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Berman Retreats, But Only To Regroup

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the if-not-for-you-pesky-kids dept.

United States 231

thefinite writes "It looks like the P2P vigilante bill sponsored by Berman is going to have to be rewritten even just to be considered. A ZDNet story talks about the likelihood that the bill will get anywhere as currently written. Hopefully, the second time around will make it clear that the idea is flawed, not just the text."

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231 comments

First berman post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524710)

I love him on NFL tonight!

Early Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524717)

This early post for Annabel Lee!

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of
ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my
Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful
Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me--
Yes!--that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my
Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we--
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful
Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful
Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful
Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling--my darling--my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Am I Crazy, Or What? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4525035)

Is it just me, or do all of E. Dickenson's poems match-up to "Yellow Rose of Texas" quite well?

Why does unix suxor so much? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524721)

Windows XP is so much fast than Macos X or KDE or Gnome.

Whats up with that?

Re:Why does unix suxor so much? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524747)

must be all that FreeBSD code it uses.

Finally... (-1, Flamebait)

sparkie (60749) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524728)

The goverment does something good for a change.

Re:Finally... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524762)

If I punched you in the throat, I bet no one would come to your aid.

Re:Finally... (4, Insightful)

phil reed (626) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524826)

"Not doing something bad" is not the same as "doing something good".

Regroup to fight terrorists.... (5, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524741)

You can imagine the wording now "Terrorists could use a P2P network to share information, or to co-ordinate attacks."

Same shit different spin. I doubt they'll be watering it down, just making it more of a general threat than being specific on copyright.

Re:Regroup to fight terrorists.... (5, Funny)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524777)

Terrorists could beat out messages on drums and other musical instruments. They could even use this method to co-ordinate attacks.

Music should be banned.

This would also solve all our problems with the RIAA.

Re:Regroup to fight terrorists.... (4, Insightful)

DSL-Admin (597132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524912)

They could also just talk to each other, so language should be outlawed... They could call each other up on the phone, so Telephones should be banned. They could use hand gestures, so arms should be amputated at birth. Soon we will be nothing more than mindless zombies with no vocal cords, eyes, ears, arms, legs, or brains... we will site around and starve because people could possibly send messages through food..... when will it all end, just nukem and it get it over with.... Are you saved? I know I just saved my stuff to tape, hope that's good enough.

Re:Regroup to fight terrorists.... (3, Insightful)

trevinofunk (576660) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524784)

We could use slashdot boards to co-ordinate terrorist attacks too. Hell, who knows, we could use mayonnaise jars to coordinate terrorist attacks.

Just slap the word terrorist on anytyhing you want to want to keep down....terrorism is the new red scare of the 60's-70's

Hey, Mr. Infringer... (5, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524797)

...it's "Terrorists(TM)". Get it right, God(C) damnit!

Re:Hey, Mr. Infringer... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4525062)

If God is copyrighted, then he should use the DMCA against my boss for passing himself off as a poor quality copy.

Howard Berman is a jackass! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524746)

That is all.

I'm getting cynical. (5, Interesting)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524748)

The problem with this type of thing, is that they get several tries at it. The first one is almost always outragous. They use that as a measuring stick. Then they start adjusting down and eventually they get a bill that passes.

It doesn't matter if the idea is flawed or not. What matters is that the congressman get's his way or not. There are egos involved, and big money, and the responsibilites to the citizens. (Guess which of the three is most important to the congressman).

Re:I'm getting cynical. (5, Funny)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524804)

Even worse. I'm a Canadian, so I am not affected by this stuff....

NOT!

The crappy US legislation always seems to find it's way into Canada sooner or later. Worse I can't even vote the people out who are making this stuff up.

Sometimes it truly is like sleeping next to an Elephant. (with bad gas!)

Re:I'm getting cynical. (3, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524853)

"The crappy US legislation always seems to find it's way into Canada sooner or later."

It's our way of getting even for taking Michael J. Fox.

Re:I'm getting cynical. (4, Funny)

Faggot (614416) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524832)

Wow, Man! This Is Totally A Refreshingly Insightful And Insightfully Refreshing Indictment Of The Practices Of Elected Officials In Modern America!

Gag me with a taser.

p.s. iplayfasterthanyou [id-nh.com]

Re:I'm getting cynical. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524939)

And that is why compromise ISN'T always the answer.

If I know you will compromise, I can ALWAYS win a deal. I just go WAAAAY over the top, I give a bit, you give a bit, and we end up where *I* wanted.

Just because you don't compromise, doesn't always mean you're bad.

Thank you. Pet peeve passed.

Re:I'm getting cynical. (5, Insightful)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524958)

All the slashdotters in Berman's district need to mobilize, and get out the vote for his opponent. November 5, the election, is a week from tuesday.

Get Cynical Over U.S. Aid To Israel: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524972)

in the amount of U.S. $10 Billion:

Read about it here Please Continue Sending Bucks [guardian.co.uk]

Woot,

Cheers

That's just standard negotiation (4, Informative)

shreak (248275) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524993)

That's not corruption or ego or anything else.

Him: I'll sell you this car for $1000000
Me: That's outrageous! I'll take it for $1
Him: That's nuts!
Me: Maybe we should find a middle ground.

For the current topic:

Their congressman: If we think someone is pirating, we get to burn down their house and roast their children over the embers!
Our congressman: You're loopy. Anyone can copy, modify, distribute and profit from anything anywhere anytime for any reason and needs no permission whatsoever from anyone.
Their congressman: Gak! Anarchist!
Our congressman: Maybe we should find a middle ground.

This is a good thing for everyone (4, Insightful)

MCMLXXVI (601095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524749)

Think about how slow the whole internet would get from this. Not only would the "good" hackers be using a ton of bandwidth but the "bad" hackers would be using even more trying to get even.
* Note the good and bad hacker referance are in the eyes of the bill writers.

Re:This is a good thing for everyone (3, Funny)

Waab (620192) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524866)

If they're lumping all the White and Black Hat hackers together on the "bad" side, what will the new "good" hackers be called? Coming soon to a movie studio or record label near you ... Green Hat hackers, protecting the bottom line.

Re:This is a good thing for everyone (0)

Bi0h4z4rD (618737) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524950)

Next thing they'll be calling them Red Hat hackers and using it as an excuse to ban Linux in favour of proprietary O/S's.

Suddenly, the picture of Billy G. leading an army of Nazi soldiers sends chills down my spine!

Don't do today what you can put off until tomorrow. You'll most likely find a better way to do it!

How do they figure this stuff out? (4, Interesting)

pheph (234655) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524768)

"Peer-to-peer networks are primarily used today for the unauthorized public distribution and reproduction of copyrighted works." -Alec French

I'd be interested where/how they figured this. A p2p network should disperse very little information about actual distribution of copyrighted works.

Alec French: Also, see Freenet [freenetproject.org]

Re:How do they figure this stuff out? (5, Insightful)

iSwitched (609716) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524981)

I doubt they have any real statistics at all.

A while back I worked for a software company that specialized in data-gathering tools. The issue of copyright infringement came up alot. Our lawyers explained that the test was whether the system in question had "substantial non-infringing uses". Since a lot of post-Napster P2P networks allow generic sharing (news, chat, media of all types) one could argue that many of them meet that test.

This completely ignores the argument that specific tools don't perform illegal acts, people do. But I guess it's oh so much harder to actually prosecute people according to real laws, when we can just make up a law du jour to go after the hardware and infrastructure. So, correct me if I'm wrong, but if their claim is accepted, and since P2P networks operate over TCP/IP, therefore TCP/IP should be illegal as well, and all DDOS attacks are hereby rendered legal and in support of the legal disruption of P2P traffic!

Re:How do they figure this stuff out? (4, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524998)

I'm guessing he ran Kazaa for a few minutes.

Seriously, get real. You can claim that P2P networks have legitimate uses all you want, but trying to flat-out deny that they are used for piracy is stupid.

It' s a simple matter of anal numerical extraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4525014)

(Translation: they pull the figures out of their asses)

This is like... (4, Funny)

MCMLXXVI (601095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524773)

Saying kids are using illeagal fireworks so we are going to use flamethrowers on the kids to disable the fireworks.

Re:This is like... (2, Insightful)

entrippy (14141) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524849)

Well, no it's not. As much as we may like to stretch the analogy stick, we're talking about damage to data, not crippling humans.

It's a big difference, both in reality and in the eyes of the law. Overwrought analogies do nothing to help anyones cause.

It is, however, like exchanging books in libraries for "fake" books that only contain random letters, because some kids are hiding exam-answers encoded in the words.

Wait for the movie (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524774)

The MPAA and RIAA are creating and marketing a bold, new superhero, The P2P Vigilante

Press relase: "We hope to educate the youth and public of America about the dangers of P2P file sharing- in the fine tradition of propaganda through the ages, the P2P Vigliante, a young, hip, midriff-baring female superhero will deal out justice and vengance to those who would use a P2P network for evil. Which is everyone who uses a P2P network. It's, like, evil and stuff. Anyway, it's on every Tuesday night at 8 (7 Central) on the WB! Excuse me, I have to go do a few lines of coke."

Re:Wait for the movie (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524992)

Hah! That's my fifth AC +5 post in a month!

Take that Karma whores!

What would get passed? (5, Interesting)

Palos (527071) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524775)

Since he admits that in its current form there is no way the bill would be passed, what would have to be changed to be passed?
The article hints that one of the problems might be lack of clearly defined techniques could be used to fight a p2p node.
Are there any "valid" techniques, at least valid as far as congress would be concerned to fight individual nodes, or the p2p networks themselves that could be used to fight against supposed violations of this bill.
Also, does this bill specify what proof if any has to exist before these attacks could take place? Could you sue someone excerising the powers give by this if it did get passed?

Re:What would get passed? (1)

tchuladdiass (174342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524881)

I would say the best technique would be poisining the p2p with what looks like legit files, but contain garbage. If the signal/noise ratio becomes too low, then many would abandon the particular network. Also, another technique would be to overload the network with downloads, which would be seen legaly as a DOS attack. This bill would make it clear that these two measures wouldn't be considered crimes (which now they can be).

Crap-flooding works (2)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524964)

would say the best technique would be poisining the p2p with what looks like legit files

This actually happens quite often, works fairly effectively too I would think. I stopped bothering to download newer movies for awhile as I got tired of the fake crap. However, I also stopped buying the DVD's once they came out because I didn't get to preview whether it was crap or not.

Guess we both lose out. Hmm, image that.

Re:What would get passed? (4, Funny)

JordoCrouse (178999) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524967)

Since he admits that in its current form there is no way the bill would be passed, what would have to be changed to be passed?

He probably had to take out the part that said "constitution, smonstitution...."

8=D (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524776)

Penis.
8===D

Re:8=D (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524815)

Tiny. Try this:
8=======================D

That, good sir, is a penis.

10th post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524781)

10th post

The real reason is... (4, Funny)

LordHunter317 (90225) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524786)

I think the real reason it isn't happening is because Berman learned from here [freedom-to-tinker.com] that his Musical Car horn on his nice shiny Cadallic would be outlawed. The new law will probably be ... "All devices which play digital copyrighted stuff must be regulated, except for my musical car horn."

Funny but not correct... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524884)

Berman is not the one who wants to outlaw musical car horns. That would be Hollings.

Berman just wants the right to _physically_ attack somebody else's musical car horn since it is disseminating copyrighted works.

A.

Re:The real reason is... (1)

SheepHead (610180) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524915)

I feel compelled to mention that the Berman bill is the bill giving copyright holders the legal ability to disable or disrupt a Peer to Peer node that they believe is distributing their content without a license.

The CBDTPA sponsored by Fritz is the one that would regulate Berman's car horn.

With all the proposed legislation attempting regulate tools, though, your confusion is forgiven. :)

sheephead

Re:The real reason is... (1)

LordHunter317 (90225) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524937)

No, I'm just overstressed and my brain has failed to function. Either way you look at it, ist still funny.

Besdies, I'm cynical enough to say Berman and Fritz are really the same person, who simply hates geeks. The answer of course is from Dilbert, essentially that "Computer geeks have sex appeal", while being a Senator does not (but being President does, only if the women is ugly).

It is dead. (4, Interesting)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524788)

Getting a bill even considered for voting is extremely difficult. A setback this earlier is probably a death sentence. If money is greasing the wheels it can only grease so much.

Re:It is dead. (1)

Profe55or Booty (540761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524847)

i think you're underestimating the industries, though...

the music/movie industry is a huge money maker for the US... the government wants to help them out

Re:It is dead. (3, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524913)

> the music/movie industry is a huge money maker for the US

Not nearly as huge as the tech and telecom industries.

Who does the government want to help out, given a choice between Metallica and Intel, or Britney Spears and Verizon, etc?

Ultimately, the elected politicians need votes. They're just starting to realize that these types of laws may just not be the way to get 'em.

Re:It is dead. (2, Offtopic)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524852)

Really, then what happend to the Bono bill. Did it go back and forth a bunch of times? And then was passed after he nosedived into a tree whilst skiing. (Sympathy vote?)

Stupid question... (4, Insightful)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524801)

Hmm... to quote from the article:
Berman represents California's San Fernando Valley, adjacent to Los Angeles and Hollywood's cluster of entertainment firms, and is viewed as likely to keep his job in next month's elections.
I'm just a stupid European, but can't you guys just vote him off or something? If not, why not? Just curious...

Re:Stupid question... (2)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524862)

His constituents (Hollywood) stand to benefit from the passage of the bill he's trying to sponsor...why would they vote him out?

Re:Stupid question... (1)

lostPackets (598793) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524882)

Yes, but not until the next election (obviously). Sadly, the general public is very uninformed about these issues so this kind of legislation is unlikely to be discussed in upcoming elections. See some of the comments from a Slashdot story last night about freedom of the press in the US. The mainstream newspapers are (for the most part) owned by the same companies that have bought this congress- critter, niche news sources are written off as fringe nutcases. Getting people to even listen to the Slashdot party line when they're being hammered with opposing propraganda 24-7 is a hell of a challenge.

Re:Stupid question... (2)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524952)

Yes, but not until the next election (obviously).

The next election is in 2 weeks (5 Nov). He's a Rep., so he has to stand for election every 2 years. Unfortunately, Hollywood (or at least Universal Studios and possibly WB -- I think) is in his district, so why would they get rid of him?

Re:Stupid question... (5, Informative)

Meat Blaster (578650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524911)

Theoretically, yes, he can be voted out. He is in the House of Representatives (which, along with the Senate, makes up our Legislative branch of government). While the Senate consists of two people from every state (50 states = 100 members), with each set of two people being voted upon by the entire state they represent, the House is made up of varying numbers from each state depending on the population of each state. The state is divided into districts, and each district has one member in the House that it elects.

So, if the people in Berman's district (a relatively tiny spot of California) don't have a problem with him, or the people who run against him aren't fantastic choices, he gets back in. He's been in for twenty years (no term limits on the House or the Senate) and inertia is on his side because of things like voter apathy and lack of knowledge about the issues. Then again, Berman could be a perfectly good representative for his electorate, given the locale.

It would be hypocritical for most people to call you a stupid European, given the fact that only around a third actually bother to vote on average here in the states (and hypocritical for me because I know next to nothing about the European system -- aren't you ruled by a queen or something? :)

Re:Stupid question... (4, Insightful)

mikeee (137160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524948)

Us guys, no. Congressional representation is based on winner-take-all votes for relatively small districts, rather than a proportinal system over larger areas.

And Berman's district is essentially Hollywood. :p

Re:Stupid question... (2, Insightful)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524953)

I'm just a stupid European, but can't you guys just vote him off or something? If not, why not? Just curious...

It wouldn't do any good. Say we wanted to vote him out so bad that we would vote for his opponent even though his opponent was an idiot too... or say his opponent died in a horrible accident. We still vote for his opponent. Berman looses the election. What happens in a democracy? The people win. America is a Republic, however. The loosing candidate in this case is appointed to an even more powerful office (Attorney General for example).

I think it's a great idea (5, Interesting)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524803)

In fact, let's expand on it: I'd like a bill passed that would let me slash people's tires if they speed on my street.

What's the difference? It's just me damaging someone else's property because I feel they are violating my rights. Having the government mediate in disputes is so inefficient.

He's -gotta- be aware it's gonna piss people off. (3, Interesting)

Meat Blaster (578650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524809)

Then again, it's not like he's really gonna have to worry about it. His #1 source of funding is TV/Movie/Music related, he's been in office since 1982, and while he's up for reelection he isn't facing any serious competition. How democratic.

Now I understand .... (5, Insightful)

taniwha (70410) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524811)

"Berman represents California's San Fernando Valley..."

Which of course isn't so much Hollywood as it is porn .... he's not really worried so much about the Lord of the Rings 4" as he is "Debbie does Dallas #76" ... which is probabloy much more likely to be on some p2p network anyway ....

Re:Now I understand .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524889)

Ummmm... You might want to check where Disney and Warner Bros and Universal are located before dismissing The Valley as not so much "Hollywood."

Re:Now I understand .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524891)

about the Lord of the Rings 4"

Seeing how you don't have a starting " should I conclude you mean the Lord of The Rings' 4 inches? That's a pretty small tool, if you ask me...

Pr0n Fernando Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4525044)

He represents my valley? No wonder why we can't secede...we have idiots representing us!

He's like...a total moron. :P

The real way to do the terrorist style talking... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524822)

1) find a old unarchived slashdot story

2) start posting your communications

3) no one notices =)

Bad precident. (4, Interesting)

jsav40 (614902) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524824)

""Unfortunately, theft of copyrighted works is the predominant use of peer-to-peer networks today," French said. "Peer-to-peer networks are primarily used today for the unauthorized public distribution and reproduction of copyrighted works."

If this legislation does go through imagine the potential impact on the open source movement...

It will be all to easy to apply the same logic to Open Source developers/providers adding another avenue of attack to corporations that feel threatened by open source...

well, what exactly is flawed? (4, Interesting)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524825)

This legislation served an important purpose in pointing some things out to those of us who go through our lives wearing pink-tinted glasses (I mean optimists, not gay people).

What it boils down to is that we anti-copyright crusaders have always maintained that digital "media" is just a bunch of 1's and 0's. A file is no more than a certain number, and how can one person or corporation own a number? To me, this has always been an extremely pursuasive argument. So now let's look at hacking over a network. What is it? Well, really it's just 1's and 0's being sent to your computer on the network. Some specific number, or series of numbers, is going to break your computer or make it impossible to use (DOS attack), but is the solution to outlaw that number altogether? In my opinion, the record industry shouldn't need this law, because all computer hacking should be legal.

How could this work, though? Well, first of all, TCP/IP has got to go. It doesn't have any authentication or security built in to it, and it's obvious that it's flawed. We need to redesign the Internet and the protocol it uses, not just to increase the address space as is being done in IP2, but to make hacking technically impossible. Then, legislation or no, we will finally all be safe.

Re:well, what exactly is flawed? (2, Interesting)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524907)

What it boils down to is that we anti-copyright crusaders have always maintained that digital "media" is just a bunch of 1's and 0's. A file is no more than a certain number, and how can one person or corporation own a number?

Someone has recently discovered that there exists a prime number which, when parsed in a certain way, yields the source code to DeCSS. Since it is illegal to distribute DeCSS, people have begun distributing the prime number.

If it becomes a passable defense that distributing a prime number can not be illegal, then all the P2P haxxors have to do is find prime numbers which can be parsed to yield Adobe Photoshop, Maya, Quake 3, or whatever.

Simple.

Re:well, what exactly is flawed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524963)

This week's vocab words:

1. prime
2. parse
3. passable
4. h4x0r

Please be prepared for the short quiz next Tuesday.

Won't work (2)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525003)

If it becomes a passable defense that distributing a prime number can not be illegal

The parser would likely be an application (not being done manually), and then made illegal instead.

Re:well, what exactly is flawed? (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524974)

> digital "media" is just a bunch of 1's and 0's. A file is no more than a certain number, and how can one person or corporation own a number?

Exactly.

And a novel is just a bunch of letters in a particular order.

And a movie is just a bunch of images displayed in a particular sequence. The images, of course, are just a bunch of beams of colored light that are in a particular order.

And a song is just a bunch of circles and sticks drawn on a handful of parallel lines.

Hell, any product you can name is just a bunch of elemental atoms arranged in a particular formation.

Reasoning like this is why the pro-IP lobby has gotten so out-of-hand.

Re:well, what exactly is flawed? (1)

Meat Blaster (578650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525002)

How could this work, though? Well, first of all, TCP/IP has got to go. It doesn't have any authentication or security built in to it, and it's obvious that it's flawed.

I agree. It's a little worrisome that hackers were able to reek havoc by attacking 7 of the 13 servers that make the rest of the Internet work, for example. It seems to me that the first place to clean house would be to make every node in the network responsible for authenticating the packets that pass through it -- no more anonymous DOS attacks!

We need to redesign the Internet and the protocol it uses, not just to increase the address space as is being done in IP2, but to make hacking technically impossible. Then, legislation or no, we will finally all be safe.

Anytime legislation is passed involving the Internet, it usually does more harm than good. I read a bit about the next generation of IP and while it's not going to make hacking impossible it is going to make it infinitely traceable. So this legislation is redundant.

Out of touch... (5, Insightful)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524836)

Here's one of the more poignant quotes, showing just how far out of touch these people are:

Unfortunately, theft of copyrighted works is the predominant use of peer-to-peer networks today," French said. "Peer-to-peer networks are primarily used today for the unauthorized public distribution and reproduction of copyrighted works.

In one sense, every communication between two systems is peer-to-peer, including everything from getting email to browsing the web. Unless you want to call one of the systems a "server", and then I guess it's okay.

It seems to me that a peer-to-peer network exists whenever one system talks to another. Are VOIP telephones part of a p2p net? Do I own a peer-to-peer network when I print to my printer? What if I print to the parallel port?

So, when my computer sync's my calendar with my PDA, I guess I'm doing something bad?

What what what? (3, Funny)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524842)

When I first read the headline I thought it said "Batman Retreats, But Only To Regroup"

Then I realized that it couldn't be true 'cause Batman never retreats.

Okay now that that's over it's time for me to actually read the article. Check for intelligent post later

Re:What what what? (4, Funny)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524871)

I'd criticise you, but I read the last sentence of the article as
Hopefully, the second time around will make it clear that the idiot is flawed, not just the text."
so who am I to judge?

Be Very Afraid... (5, Insightful)

Dr. Bent (533421) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524854)

From the article:
"All fair use is not piracy, but neither is all piracy fair use," Mehlman said.
NO fair use is piracy, that's why it's called FAIR use! The two are mutually exclusive...either you're breaking the law, or you aren't. This is not a good sign. If assistant Secretary of Commerce doesn't understand this, what hope do we have for the general public?

Re:Be Very Afraid... (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524934)

Oh, I suspect Melman understands the difference perfectly well; he, Berman, Valenti, Rosen, et bloody al are hoping that everyone else won't. If they can start blurring the distinction in people's minds (which is kind of like blurring the distinction between war and peace, freedom and slavery, or up and down -- but those have never been too hard to sell either) then Berman's bill and other repulsive pieces of legislation will become more acceptable. These people are smart. Never forget that. Evil, worthless, useless -- but smart.

Re:Be Very Afraid... (3, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525030)

Don't forget that no piracy is fair use either. That's something to keep in mind no matter which side of the argument you are on.

Re:Be Very Afraid... (2, Insightful)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525059)

Yeah, that line jumped out at me too. That was either a thoughtless wording or a betrayal of more evil schemes to come. We shall soon find out.


This is exactly the sort of definition meddling that propagandists have used for as long as propaganda has existed. The word "hacker" has been effectively redefined to include a connotation of devious intentions. The word "gay" has been redefined to refer to homosexualality. "Peer-to-peer filesharing" has been redefined by the IP industry as thievery and piracy. Now it appears that they would like to redefine "fair use" and "piracy" as a sort of overlapping venn diagram, with a middle ground which is actually both piracy and fair use. Then they can say, "If fair use includes piracy, then it must be bad." And the uninformed will say, "Hey, that makes sense. Down with Fair Use!" L. Lessig will then have to add another 10 min to his presentations explaining why the intersection of fair use and piracy = 0.


Let's hope it was merely a thoughtless wording...

falling behind.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524856)

when will our government realize that listening to the recording industry, and passing bills like the DCMA is holding us back, as more and more of our digital rights are infringed upon, while the rest of the world is allowed to advance. Ancent law is not the answer to modern technology, where the good of such laws is far outweighed by the crippling effect it has upon us.

This just in (-1, Offtopic)

ekrout (139379) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524867)

Headline News:

Berman P2P Bill Struck Down in Senate; Other Palindromes (Such As the Following) Seek Safe-Haven

To lay aside life,
draw, set age.

Never one deed unfit
can a deity do
(by no mere ceremony).

Body tied-
An act if nude Eden or Eve
negates war.

Defiled, I say a lot.

Future scenaio... (1)

jaredcoleman (616268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524869)

Song goes into public domain... (ok, hypothetical) Remade and marketed by different big label... Congress retroactively extends copyrights 1000 years... Previous holder free to hack the label and RIAA... No more RIAA...

Constitution? (5, Insightful)

jaybird144 (558619) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524883)

I may be wrong, but isn't this some form of "unreasonable search and seizure"? I don't think that any music company should be allowed to practice vigilante justice, no matter how many of their copyrighted works are in jeopardy - especially if it violates my fourth amendment rights.

Re:Constitution? (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524961)

These [bsa.org] people like to do that. It's already happening.

Look through past /. articles. You'll see tons of references.

Yeah, right... (0, Insightful)

Nigtron (473030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524901)

A problem with things like this is that they get several tries at it. The first one is almost always outragous; then they use that as a measuring stick. Finally they start adjusting down and eventually they get a bill that passes.

It doesn't matter if it's a bad idea... What matters is that the congressman gets his way or not. There's ego, money, and power involved and the responsibilites to the citizens. (Guess which of the three is most important to the congressman!)...

Berman retreats (3, Funny)

WalletBoy (555942) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524917)

It's about time Berman gets taken to task. Trek has been awful for years under his reign.

Well (0, Interesting)

Nigtron (473030) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524925)

Since he admits that in its current form there is no way the bill would be passed, what would have to be changed to be passed?

The article hints that one of the problems might be a lack of clearly defined techniques could be used to fight a P2P node.

Are there any valid techniques, at least valid as far as congress would be concerned to fight individual nodes, or the P2P networks themselves that could be used to fight against supposed violations of this bill?

Also, does this bill specify what proof if any has to exist before these attacks could take place? Could you sue someone excerising the powers give by this if it did get passed?

Batman! (2, Funny)

ljaguar (245365) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524938)

Am I the only who read

Batman Retreats, But Only To Regroup?

"Holy low self-esteem batman! I'm a side kick in my own fantasy!"

Has Anyone Ever Noticed.... (4, Insightful)

Tsali (594389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524941)

... that whenever someone brings one of these types of articles up regarding fair use that you never hear anyone on the other side of the debate?

No one. I can't find it, unless they are modded down to oblivion.

Maybe no one really likes it and the big corporate types don't visit Slashdot.

(ponder)

I think it sounds like a lot of fun (5, Funny)

Error27 (100234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524975)

A Wild West aproach to internet justice would be great.

Instead of throwing lawsuits around just bring in the programmers and attack the networks with technology. This way if you want to create a network all you need is a few great ideas and some determination... As it is p2p programmers must compete against corporations based on how much they can pay a lawyer.

Unfortunately, I suspect doubt p2p programmers will not be allowed to automate counter attacks against attackers...

So basically the idea is crap until that gets changed.

PS. One idea that's related to this is that we could solve minor disagreements between parties by giant robot battles. This would save millions in tax payer dollars.

Why is one industry's problem another's? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4524982)

I'm confused. I'm not big on corporations or industry groupings, but even from pro-corporate types, this calls into some fundamental questions on the fairness within a marketplace.

From the aticle:

'Striking a middle-of-the-road tone, Mehlman urged Hollywood and Silicon Valley "to cooperate" over finding technological solutions to protect copyrighted content without additional government intervention. "All fair use is not piracy, but neither is all piracy fair use," Mehlman said.'

This hints at a threat, however small. DRM or else.

How did one industry's problem become the other? CDs are inherently hackable. They are released by the copyright/media trade associations. Some of them are protected under trade secrets or licensed. DVDs were released with flaws that were cracked by teenagers (not that teenagers are not brilliant, just that they were not privy to industry secrets when they did this).

Normally, if you put out a flawed product, that's the originator's problem and liability to handle.

The technology companies did not release these flaws products. So why is it their responsibility to bear the weight, both financial and legal, to fix the flaws or find solutions to get around flaws that another group introduced (some knowingly)?

While I understand laws like these is the nature of politics, but this is utterly fucked up. If the law passes, marketplace accountability goes out the door (again). One industry gets hammered by another bigger industry.

ERISA was to protect employee benefits yet yielded a nasty turn with HMOs. Luxury taxes wanted to stick it to the rich yet destroyed the yachting industry, which the US has never recovered. Isn't this another law of unintended consequences which is going to really benefit no one? (even the RIAA, because people just won't want music anymore if they can't play it on what they want to; I don't use P2P networks, but I haven't bought a CD for like nearly 2 years because I'm watching them fight over this crap)

Witch Hunt? (5, Insightful)

DSL-Admin (597132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4524987)

Am I the only one who sees the similarity to the modern Anti-Terrorism Plan and the old Salem Witch Hunts? Now they have hotlines and numbers to call in if you suspect some one is involved in Terrorist Activities, or other likewise mischief. So, how are we, the supposed great nation, going to fall back to the Witch Hunts by fingering somebody a Terrorist.... Hey!, I saw that guy wearing a white robe, he's a terrorist.. I saw that lady acting suspicous,, she's an Al-Qaida member.... We were all tought of the attrocities in Salem and other locations for supposed Witches, and now we are doing the same thing again.. How many innocent people have been killed by Terrorism this year, last year, all years?.. How many innocents will be killed, or imprisoned for life because of Anti-Terrorism?? Hopefully our elected officials will be wise enough to see what's going on, and to stop accusing everything of being a "Terrorist" network or activitiy.

Bug report for US government version 1.0 (5, Insightful)

lazlo (15906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525021)

In general, I'd have to say we've got a fairly cool system of government. The constitution is really clever in many ways, and the ideas that the US were founded on were definitely revolutionary. But, like any complex-but-good idea, there are problems in the first few drafts. One of those is this:

The Constitution of the United States of America is, by its own declaration, the supreme law of the land. It defines, among other things, the Supreme Court to be the highest court in the land. So one would suspect that if a person were to be found by the highest court in the land to have violated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, with willful premeditation, that supreme law of the land, that the punishment they would be sentenced to would be severe in the extreme.

One would be wrong.

Take, as an excellent example, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, often referred to as the Bill of Rights. They are powerfully and clearly worded. They say such things as "Congress shall make no law which..." and "The Right of the People [...] shall not be infringed." But what if congress does make such a law? What if the rights of the people are infringed? It happens all too often. There are laws passed by congress that clearly and blatantly ignore these amendments. In many ways, it's much like civil disobedience, but somewhat different. I shall call it federal disobedience. Sometimes these violations are so obvious that they are seen to be so not only by me and every other citizen, but by the Supreme Court itself. And the people who originally perpetrated this crime, the senators and congressmen who proposed, supported, amended, and ultimately voted to accept these laws are not held accountable. They are not fined. They are not imprisoned. They are not prevented in any way from committing the same crime again. They are left in the position that they started in, with the full means, motive, and opportunity to become repeat offenders. If I were to break a local parking ordinance, I might have to pay $50 or so. If, on the other hand, I get myself elected to public office, and once in that public office, if I blatantly disobey the supreme law of the land, the fine that I face is exactly nothing. That is horribly, horribly wrong.

It's just a job... (5, Insightful)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525026)

Berman works for his employers (the entertainment industry), who have him stationed in Washington, almost like a consultant/outsourcing kind of deal.

His job is to push custom-designed legislation, as designated by his employer. He may realize it's dead-on-arrival. He scores brownie points for making the sales pitch, even if he can't "close the deal".

Think of your job. Haven't we all been involved in some sort of management-led initiative that we were less-than-thrilled about? I can think of a handful of instances, and I shed no tears when such things crash and burn.

Berman, Fritz, and others are paid to push these "suicide bomber" initiatives, in search of a "compromise" that is pretty much the real target to begin with.

Personally, I can't wait for the first wave of P2P vigilantes. The reprisals ought to be spectacular. The whole concept of a technologically-challenged industry battling against the world's top hackers is like Saddam Hussein sending the Iraqi navy to invade New York City. The RIAA battleship will be on the ocean floor, US law regarding the Internet will be as meaningless as a UN resolution, the net result being freedom through anarchy.

Big Business is finally shoved back, a bit (1, Interesting)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525027)

It is very rare that Big Business is shoved back, just a bit, with all of their arogant lobbyists. The people have won, for now. I just hate it when the richest people make decisions for the rest of us.

My opinion... (1)

jaredcoleman (616268) | more than 11 years ago | (#4525045)

The farthest I can see this law going is allowing the copyright holder (RIAA) to monitor the P2P traffic and log it as evidence to be submitted to authorities. It will never get passed if it allows actual vigilantism.

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