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TN DMCA: Calling All Nerds

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the getchyerself-t'-nashville dept.

United States 27

Average Joe writes "Next week is shaping up to be a critical week for the defenders of digital freedom down in Tennessee. Both the Senate and House will be holding different sub-committee hearings next Tuesday and Wednesday. Opposition to SB213 & HB457(Super DMCA bills) really depends on living, breathing people coming down to attend the actual hearings and hanging around outside. Expect to see the button man handing out cheaply produced but quite to the point artifacts of the fight. Please, if you can make it do so - even if you're not quite from Tennessee. ;) Learn More at"

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Is anyone planning a trip from Memphis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5958968)

My car's a bucket of bolts, so driving myself across the state isn't an option for me. Anyone planning a caravan or something?

Re:Is anyone planning a trip from Memphis? (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5967450)

I can make a caravan. I've posted to the Golum list [] about it.

caravan (-1, Offtopic)

aicra (239865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5959063)

A caravan is a GREAT idea! Will someone come get me in AZ. The Oily Americans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5959242)

The Oily Americans

Why the world doesn't trust the U.S. about petroleum: A history of meddling

Monday, May. 12, 2003


For more than a half-century, American foreign policy dealing with oil has typically been manipulative and misguided, often both at the same time. The pattern of intrigue has ranged from U.S. officials' secretly writing tax laws in the 1950s (so the Saudi royal family could collect more money from the sale of its oil and American companies could write off the added payments on their tax returns) to overthrowing a government that showed too much independence in handling its oil sales. To illustrate the dark side of American oil policy, we offer two tales, stitched together from declassified government documents and oil-industry memos, involving a pair of Iraq's neighbors, Iran and Afghanistan.

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY HERE.. The Oily Americans [] The Oily Americans (0, Offtopic)

friedtaters (625608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5966078)

You really could have started your own thread... you know?

Hmmm (5, Interesting)

Lshmael (603746) | more than 11 years ago | (#5959388)

The lack of comments (fine, *pertinent* comments, Mr. I-browse-at-negative-1) worries me. While going to Tennessee is not an option for me (I think the one-two punch of no money and final exams are adequate excuses), here is an excerpt from the site, illustrating why you should go:

Do you have more than one computer? Do you use Linux? Do you use any kind of Internet security hardware or software (called a "firewall"), or does your company use networking equipment to share Internet access using network address translation (NAT), or allow employees to connect from home using a virtual private network (VPN)? Do you cryptographically sign or encrypt your email? SB213/HB457 threatens your access to all of these. And if you don't understand some of these terms, you may already be using these technologies and simply be unaware of it. That's unimportant, though, because you can still go to jail for it.

This legislation is being presented to the Judiciary Committees as a "Theft of Service" bill, which simply "update[s] state law so that it comprehensively protects new broadband communication services from piracy and sabotage." In reality, it is much broader and more insidious. In its current form this law would make even a minor violation of your Internet agreement a Class-D felony, and levy excessive fines of $1,500 or more per device or software program, per day. Imagine, hooking your laptop up improperly at home for a year could cost you more than half a million dollars. Compliance will cost Tennessee businesses a bundle as well.

Considering the amount of angry comments about past Slashdot posts involving similar issues [] , this surprised me. Perhaps everyone is just too apathetic...

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5959519)

Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that virtually everybody understands that this is really no big deal. Those of us who have read the law for ourselves, instead of relying on the Chicken Little-esque interpretations of the lobbyists, realize that this bill, if passed, will have no real effect on anybody but criminals.

Re:Hmmm (3, Insightful)

program21 (469995) | more than 11 years ago | (#5959824)

The fact that it could possibly be used against people not doing anything illegal is the problem. These bills are too general in what they restrict, and while the provisions can (and likely will) certainly be used against those doing illegal things, it's not much of a stretch to use them against law-abided people as well.

Take the DMCA (the actual DMCA) for example. It was never intended to be used to cover security flaw disclosures, or garage door openers, or printer catridges, but it's being interpreted by some to cover exactly those things. This interpretation is based on what's written, not on what that bill was intended to cover. And it's that potential that we need to worry about.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960269)

My +1 to you sir (it's all I've got to give in reply)>
The fact that it could possibly be used against people not doing anything illegal is the problem. These bills are too general in what they restrict, and while the provisions can (and likely will) certainly be used against those doing illegal things, it's not much of a stretch to use them against law-abided people as well.

Take the DMCA (the actual DMCA) for example. It was never intended to be used to cover security flaw disclosures, or garage door openers, or printer catridges, but it's being interpreted by some to cover exactly those things. This interpretation is based on what's written, not on what that bill was intended to cover. And it's that potential that we need to worry about.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5961330)

Take the DMCA (the actual DMCA) for example. It was never intended to be used to cover security flaw disclosures, or garage door openers, or printer catridges, but it's being interpreted by some to cover exactly those things.

So? Until a court holds that those interpretations are valid, it's all Chicken Little stuff.

Get it through your thick skulls: the sky is notfalling. Okay? This law, if implemented, would affect NOBODY who is not currently doing something illegal.

Re:Hmmm (0)

friedtaters (625608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5968046)

Then why do you need an additional law if it is already illegal. Something smells in your logic, Leroy.

Re:Hmmm (1)

tliston (669910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5972862)

So? Until a court holds that those interpretations are valid, it's all Chicken Little stuff.

Don't you think it's a little late then?

Speaking as someone who has been affected by the law, my choice to stop distributing potentially illegal software from my website in Illinois is based on my desire not to end up as a test case.

These laws have an effect long before they ever end up in court.

And, by the way, you need to be more careful: your "This law, if implemented, would affect NOBODY who is not currently doing something illegal" line of reasoning appears to be infringing on IP belonging to the MPAA [] .


Re:Hmmm (1)

friedtaters (625608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5966047)

And so you are so confident of your opinion that you must post anonymously. Chicken little may have erred in his perception, but not in his intent. Your argument that a laws detrimental affects are best proven in a court once the law is passed reveals much about your opinion of the general populace and your apparent belief that you are not among them. Why don't you reveal your true identity and relationship to this matter? Why don't you volunteer to be "test case #1"? And if it is chicken little that warned you would you still demean his existence then?

Garden Recipies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5962122)

Grease Ant Recipe
1 lb. Bacon
4 tbs. baking powder
4 packages yeast
Corn meal

Fry the bacon and collect all the grease. Save the bacon for something else! Add some corn meal to make a paste (not too much) Add the baking powder and yeast and blend everything together.
Place the mixture in jar lids Place the lids in ant paths (under the refrigerator is a good place if you have animals)

Classic Ant Recipe
This is the one that gets repeated every week on the radio show.
3 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. boric acid powder (available at the pharmacy)

Bring water and sugar just to boil and stir in boric acid. Place mixture in small jar lids and place in ant paths. Remaining mixture can be stored in a tight, well marked container in cupboard. Keep jar lids filled and out of reach of children and pets. You can place it under mesh or another can, so ants can get in but animals can't.

Organic Snail Bait
2 tbs. flour
½ tsp. Bakers yeast
1 tbs. granulated sugar
2 cups warm water

Stir all the ingredients together and place in containers in garden. If your dog is interested in the yeast, place the containers under mesh cage or gallon pots.

Deer Repellent
(Made famous by Bob Tanem)
1 cup water
1 cup skim milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. "spreader sticker" ( available at nurseries )

Blend everything well. Strain, then spray your plants every 3 to 14 days.

Rose Spray
For downey mildew only
1 gallon water
2 tbs. horticultural oil or Ultra fine Sunspray oil
2 tsp. baking soda

Mix everything thoroughly. Spray once a week, no more than two applications. This is usually needed in spring. (Note: repeated sprays of baking soda could build up to levels toxic to your roses)

For use on infested plants, like roses with Thrip (tiny insects that hang out in rose flowers and discolor petals or stops rose from opening). Wheast is used to attract beneficial green lacewings
1 part sugar
1 part yeast

Mix sugar and yeast with water to make a thin paste. Place drops on your rose buds.

Squirrel Recipe (to deter Squirrels)
½ oz Tobasco Sauce
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 pt. water
½ tsp. dishwashing liquid

Mix in Spray bottle and spray the soil where Squirrels dig.

Racoon Chaser
Use this recipe to create an unpleasant experience for your local racoons. They often do not refrequent a place where they have had an unpleasant experience. Try not to have accessible water nearby.
Captain Crunch Cereal(or similar sugar cereal)
Hot Tai Pepper
Peanut Butter

Mix in an old aluminum pie plate and place in areas where they do the most damage.

Re:Hmmm (1)

MntlChaos (602380) | more than 11 years ago | (#5965717)

Perhaps very few /. readers live in TN? Perhaps because this didn' make the front page? Are those good enough reasonsfor why there are too few comments?

how about... (2, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5960613)

.. how about trying to enlist the help of those same nashville disk jockeys who helped rouse the rabble to protest the proposed state income tax? They seemed to do a good job getting tennesseans out there to the capitol. Can't hurt,it's a phone call/email away.

Re:how about... (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5961174)

because rallying the technocracy isn't as politically correct as rallying the working class (although the geeks are working class folks too).

Living in TN myself, I know of only a handful of geeks in my area, and none are really interested in protesting something (even though they should protest the Super DMCA).

Personally, I'd go to protest but have no way of getting anywhere.

Re:how about... (2, Funny)

Roundeye (16278) | more than 11 years ago | (#5965656)

Damnit, Nagy.

If you hadn't been such a cluefuck on the NLUG list (and the LUNA list and the GOLUM list and the...) maybe you'd still be around to see all the traffic about these bills, the hearings, the strategies to get them killed, amended, tabled, etc.

There's a shitload going on here. Just because nobody bothered to fill you in doesn't mean it ain't so.


Re:how about... (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5966122)

Actually, NLUG was pretty hostile towards me from the beginning so I don't want to hear about how I acted on NLUG's list. What happened on the LUNA list, well, that's unforgivable. On GOLLUM, I didn't do shit until some dick wipe said something.

Now, there is NOTHING in your statement that addresses my LOCAL area. NLUG isn't local, LUNA isn't local, and GOLLUM sure as hell aint local.

I never said nothing was going on there (on the lists). Just nothing going on in MY AREA.

Re:how about... (1)

friedtaters (625608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5966298)

Wow, I don't know what the sub thread is really about here... As for enlisting the radio show hosts: I have personally attempted several times to get both their attention and their listeners attention. So far the radio show hosts have been completely silent. It is difficult to read anything into that silence, but word has it that the parent owners may be pressuring them not to speak about it. Conspiracy minded, perhaps, but remember the parallel battle being waged against American consumer currently. The FCC will be making a decision next week, I believe, that will allow for even greater consolidation of ownership in radio and television. Knowing that lines of ownership have already crossed between communications service providers and the various programming and news companies it only makes sense that local radio and tv stations may be under pressure by distant parent companies to let the Super DMCA pass without comment. As for the people that hang out at their web sites, geesh. What a pathetic bunch! They don't respond to information about this bill presented to them, they do get in big fights with each other over the rules of the forum, impeaching Bush, right wing vs. left wing and most anything else. I gave up.

Re:how about... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5966987)

--if you are looking for the national community of independents, who can see beyond the dem/repub good cop/badcop routine, look to the alternative patriot broadcasters like found at and Internet/shortwave/satellite, some am/fm. Constitutional radio and commentary and news at the various hosts websites. My two favs out of the 24 hour programming are alex jones show,, and thepowerhour, throw an .org on that one for their site. There's more, too, and there's some spill over from more of the "indy" places as well. A LOT of people are abandoning the old fashioned forced left/right dem/repub scamster paradigms and parties and finding a lot of common ground and understanding with each other in the independent and various third party movements. "common ground" around basic born-with rights is the real key phrase there.

It's a good thing,too, IMO. The quicker we can be rid of that two headed single monster hydra of a criminal junta government the better. It's been hijacked, taken over, they are scared to even have a couple/three more candidates on the stage with them at the so called "national debates". Prima facie evidence of advanced political goonery. Bring back the constitution, and this time stick to the english language! Less bribed and blackmailed conflict-of-interest lawyers and international global businessmen writing laws, ta heck with that, we need middle class english teachers with common sense doing that! And NOT members of the CFR or skull and bones, either! Ha!

BTW- cool handle, pretty funny!

You had me until the end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5971873)

writing laws, ta heck with that, we need middle class english teachers with common sense doing that!

That hasn't worked out very well in New Jersey, either.

what, my rants are perfect! shocking! (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5972365)

heh heh heh--didn't know you had an english teacher running whatever there. sorry. New jersey is a "special place" I think.

It doesn't matter, once it collapses, it will collapse, it's inevitable now. This is the modern equivalent of the fall of rome. Overly centralised and dictatorial government. Check. Expansionist/imperialist warfare. Check. Blind nationalism. Check. Loss of confidence with the people as opposed to their government, increasing mistrust, propaganda replacing just normal "news" and official pronouncements. Check. Using foreigners to do all your actual work, even in government. Almost completely there-check. Over emphasis on urbanization and "trade" as opposed to actual wealth-creation. Check. Over emphasis on bread and circuses and amusements, gluttony and greed and increasing lawlessness and immorality very common. Check. Government making more and more things illegal as well, to have more command and control over people, a spiral down. Double check. A neo royal class of people, who "rule" over the others. Check.

See? It won't matter, it's on the decline, like a star going super nova. Happened to every single other civilization that went that same route, tech level is not even much of a factor in it.

People in the US by and large think that history doesn't apply to them, they are "special".

Pretty silly viewpoint, but most have it, near as I can see anyway.

An example of the impact of this legislation (4, Insightful)

tliston (669910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5964153)

Perhaps a concrete example would help people to understand the impact of legislation like this.

I am an Open Source developer, and in the spring of 2001, I created LaBrea, a network defense application. LaBrea puts unused IP addresses on your network to use, creating a "network tarpit" that traps and holds connection attempts from worms and scanners.

On April 15th of this year, it came to my attention that a nearly identical version of the proposed Tennessee law had been enacted in Illinois and had become law as of January 1.

As I read through the law, I discovered that LaBrea appeared to meet the criteria for what was called an "unlawful communication device" because it both disrupted and concealed the true origin and destination of communication.

If, indeed, LaBrea represents an "unlawful communication device," then my continued distribution of LaBrea from my website within Illinois placed me in violation of the law, and opened me up to incredibly punitive criminal and civil penalties.

Additionally, on January 14th I had contacted the developers of every Windows personal firewall that I could find to explain a flaw that I had discovered under WinXP and Win2K. The firewall vendors had worked out patches and rolled them into their products, and I was in the process of coordinating the publication of the vulnerability information with the various organizations when I discovered that this provision was law in Illinois.

Under this law, simply disclosing information describing a technique for "defeating or circumventing any technology, device or software used by the provider, owner or licensee of a communication service or of any data, audio or video programs or transmissions to protect any such communication, data, audio or video services, programs or transmissions from unauthorized access, acquisition, disclosure, receipt, decryption, communication, transmission or re-transmission" is treated as a felony. I will not publish this information, nor will I allow the vendors to credit me when/if they choose to publish it.

I have been contacted by the MPAA who has attempted to assure me that there is some sort of requirement for "intent to defraud" under the Illinois law, but I cannot find any such language. Lawyers from the EFF have, essentially, agreed that such language does not exist.

And so, where does this leave me? I've pulled LaBrea from distribution because I cannot justify placing myself in a position where I could be subject to criminal and civil penalties to give away software for free.

Is it illegal for me to distribute LaBrea? I honestly don't know. But I certainly can't justify hiring a lawyer to sort it all out. Quite frankly, I'm getting to the point where I really just don't care anymore. It's difficult enough to write good software-- trying to do it while walking through a legal minefield is impossible.

That is the result of this stupid legislation. If you live in Tennessee, or if you're in a position to influence what goes on there, do whatever you can to get it stopped. There is no justification for passing this law immediately. If there are legitimate questions surrounding this legislation (and I believe there are), then table the dang thing and sort them out now , before it is enacted.

Further information can be found at the HackBusters website []


Re:An example of the impact of this legislation (1)

friedtaters (625608) | more than 11 years ago | (#5966187)

Thanks for your input. In fact, your case has been used on several occaisions when speaking with legislators by the group Tennessee Digital Freedom. Take heart, your case has been noted. It might have been tempting to take the prior cowardly post about this being a Chicken Little issue too seriously and just give up. BUT, as that person who is obviously monitoring this venue must know, there isn't anything further from the truth. The lobbyist have been very deceptive, rude, and intimidating in their defense of their pet legislation. It would seem that the small but passionate group of people who came out to oppose this bill have really upset the plans of many lobbyist, legislators, and corporate executives who thought they had achieved a bloodless coup in our state. Perhaps they are also sickened at how cheaply the opposition derailed their mission. Even if some form of the bills passes, they will have spent many tens of thousands of dollars to get something that neither they or the opposition really want. Next step: Regulations on all "communications service providers" and dropping the special status cable companies currently enjoy. As a libertarian I am normally averse to regulations on industry, but when legislation is passed which amounts to regulations on consumers then it becomes more than fair and absolutely necessary. They struck first blood, now we strike back!

Worry Not (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5978588)

While I do have a bare shred of faith that a Judge will understand the intent here is not to defraud. The intent is to defend against attack. It's a defense system that does not cause harm. What you are in fact creating is a Electronic Burglar Alarm. Has I understand tracing the offender is ok, attacking his system isn't. Informing the Domain's Admin/Owner/Upstream Provider is ok. Wasting a Hacker's time in a honey pot isn't illegal, frying their brain like in a William Gibson novel (attractive thought it may be) would be.

On the Honey Pot issue, what differentiates it from a Online game? You put it there, people come and there are rules to get in. It would seem that the argument that putting up a Honeypot is an invitation to enter (the Honeypot only). While a SysAdmin could learn valuable lessons from observation, the defense of the Alleged hacker could be that they 'KNEW' it was a Honeypot and that the price of entry was cleverness not cash. Therefore they are playing a game, one in nature much like Ultima online or Neverwinter Nights.

Don't worry about this, it's for the most part a groundless fear. If you did actually come under attack by some foolish District Attorney, likely You would be getting calls from the likes of Johnny Cochran and Alan Dershowitz offering free legal.

Why didn't this make the front page? (1)

Dubber (101609) | more than 11 years ago | (#5972865)

Yo, Editors, why didn't this make the front page?
One measly post (which ignited our fires down here and got us to the hearing (barely) in time) about an S-DMCA hearing in Massachusetts made the front page. Everything about the Tennessee action and the response from [] and other Tennesseans has been relegated to YRO [] . Sure it belongs in YRO, but the parent post is a call to action.
Shoulda been on the front page, since not everyone follows the sidebars and action (if driving to Nashville & sitting in a hot humid uncomfortable room for probably a couple hours is "action") is needed in Tennessee Tuesday & Wednesday next week.
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