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Congressional Anti-Piracy Caucus Formed

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the battle-lines dept.

United States 631

questionlp writes "News.com reports that three members from the House of Reps has formed a caucus that aims to stop piracy and make for stronger IP laws. One of the members of the caucus: helped author a note last fall to 74 fellow Democrats assailing the Linux open-source operating system's GNU General Public License as a threat to America's 'innovation and security.'"

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i bought a fagdot subscription... (-1)

gasaraki (262206) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995610)

just so i could get fp and troll you assholes.

fucking linux fagot fucks, go jack off to goatse you anal criminals.

Re:i bought a fagdot subscription... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995629)

Customer: Waiter, there's a "linux fagot fuck" in my soup!
Waiter: What do you expect, sir, we bought our soups from the corner shop!

Customer: Waiter, there's a "linux fagot fuck" in my soup!
Waiter: That's a very diplomatic way of putting it, sir. Shall I ask that Coon opposite you to leave?

Customer: Waiter, there's a "linux fagot fuck" in my cock!
Waiter: Never mind the "linux fagot fuck"! Get your cock out of my goathole, sir!

Nice Piece of flamebait there in the article (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995616)

And all are DEMOCRATS
Party of the people indeed..

Second post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995617)

Customer: Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!
Waiter: What do you expect, sir, we bought our pizzas from the corner shop!

Customer: Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!
Waiter: That's a very diplomatic way of putting it, sir. Shall I ask that Coon opposite you to leave?

Customer: Waiter, there's a coon in my cock!
Waiter: Never mind the coon! Get your cock out of my asshole, sir!

This is just like Congress... (4, Funny)

craenor (623901) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995619)

200 years after people stop raiding other people at sea, they try to put a stop to piracy. Next they'll be cracking down on cattle rustlers...

Re:This is just like Congress... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995763)

Actually, that kind of piracy still is a huge problem. It also involves loss of life, but does congress do anything about it?
NO! They'd rather take their bribes and traipse around drafting laws around computerized michief.

oh, i get it... (2, Insightful)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995627)

so free as in beer is like free as in campaign fund raising money from the riaa...

Re:oh, i get it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995648)

Customer: Waiter, there's a fly in my beer!
Waiter: What do you expect, sir, we bought our beer from the corner shop!

Customer: Waiter, there's a fly in my beer!
Waiter: That's a very diplomatic way of putting it, sir. Shall I ask that Coon opposite you to leave?

Customer: Waiter, there's a coon in my beer!
Waiter: Never mind the coon! Get your cock out of my asshole, sir!

oh no!!! (4, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995628)

They're going to outlaw piracy! Soon it will be illegal for me to have all of my MP3s and DIVXs!

oh wait.....

Re:oh no!!! (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995752)

They're going to outlaw piracy! Soon it will be illegal for me to have all of my MP3s and DIVXs!

No Linux and gnu either.

After all Linux is just a pirated version of SCO Unix according to AL GORE attorney David Bios. These senators are paid for by Microsoft and Disyney.

Linux is the only os that does not incorporate drm copyprotection so it must be stoped.

Lets get together with a few ignorant and corrupt politicans educate them about this pirated Unix then only SCO has permission to write courtesy of Microsoft lobbiests.

Colon? (2, Funny)

Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995634)

One of the members of the caucus: helped author a note last fall to 74 fellow Democrats assailing the Linux open-source operating system's GNU General Public License as a threat to America's 'innovation and security.'

Innovative colon usage. Speaking of which...

Re:Colon? (0)

REDNOROCK (597025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995673)

I know: What you mean, whats wrong with these fools

In Other News (4, Funny)

Coffee Warlord (266564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995635)


Congressman Wexler has added to his holdings, having purchased a yacht to go along with his mansion.

Re:In Other News (1)

Jeremy Allison - Sam (8157) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995654)

Why not, after all we have "the Best Democracy Money can Buy"
(see :

http://www.gregpalast.com/contents.htm

for details).

Re:In Other News (5, Informative)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995684)

Here's information about Wexler's main contributors [opensecrets.org] , and here's information about Smith's [opensecrets.org] . It looks like Smith is the one getting the yacht, since his #1 contributor by industry is the computer industry. Which makes sense since he's the one who wrote the note attacking linux.

Even more interesting (4, Informative)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995701)

In fact, Smith's main single contributor [opensecrets.org] was Microsoft!

Re:Even more interesting (4, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995754)

In fact, Smith's main single contributor was Microsoft!


This is not surprising, since his district, the Ninth District of Washington, is where Microsoft is. I am not surprised that he is representing their interests.


I wouldn't be surprised if the other Congressmonkeys behind this were being financed by the movie and record industries.


It isn't time to spam your Congressmonkey yet. They haven't DONE anything, or even proposed to do anything yet. When they actually start doing something, then it will be time to act.

Re:Even more interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995812)

Why would they do anything ? It's not like they will get any reasonable percentage non-party-approved votes in the first place.

Second - there are 2 parties. That means for all combinations of all major issues there are only 2 opinions for 280 million people.

Re:Even more interesting (5, Insightful)

SLot (82781) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995835)

It isn't time to spam your Congressmonkey yet. They haven't DONE anything, or even proposed to do anything yet. When they actually start doing something, then it will be time to act.

I disagree - if you happen to be a constituent of said Congressmonkeys, you are paying their salaries, and you therefore should complain often & loudly when they do anything that you don't feel represents your interests.

American way and all. :)

reminds me of a story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995636)

We had this developer that used to piss off everyone at the office. So one night I went to his workstation, removed Linux and installed Windows. Then I pissed all over his chair. After that I wanked off into his coffee mug just for good measure.

Still, I felt like the job wasn't done, so I pulled down my britches and dropped a load right on his keyboard. Then I grabbed his sweater off the back of his chair and used it to wipe my arse.

You should've seen his face the next day when he came into work and saw the whole mess. He was like, "Ugh, gross! Someone installed Windows on my workstation!"

Needless to say, he didn't fuck with anyone at the office after that.

Re:reminds me of a story (-1, Redundant)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995746)

+5 funny!!!! this deserves repeating!!!

We had this developer that used to piss off everyone at the office. So one night I went to his workstation, removed Linux and installed Windows. Then I pissed all over his chair. After that I wanked off into his coffee mug just for good measure.

Still, I felt like the job wasn't done, so I pulled down my britches and dropped a load right on his keyboard. Then I grabbed his sweater off the back of his chair and used it to wipe my arse.

You should've seen his face the next day when he came into work and saw the whole mess. He was like, "Ugh, gross! Someone installed Windows on my workstation!"

Needless to say, he didn't fuck with anyone at the office after that.

Re:reminds me of a story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995768)

larry, i've been a fan for a while. keep up the good work. thx for the props.

No, I am not being snarky (5, Insightful)

plemeljr (250971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995637)

Where is the Fair Use and Consumer Rights Caucus?

Oh yeah, there is none.

Re:No, I am not being snarky (5, Insightful)

yanestra (526590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995749)

Where is the Fair Use and Consumer Rights Caucus? Oh yeah, there is none.

Possibly it's a problem of the American democratic system? The parties need to get their money from somebody, and that "somebody" is definitely not: The People.

Re:No, I am not being snarky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995822)

Which is REALLY ironic considering we fill the government's pockets AND the RIAA's. WTF?

Wow he did well (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995642)

Looks like Washingtons Representitive Adam smith has
won backhanders, i err mean "Funding" from M$ RIAA and the MPAA well done - your in the money...

Stay away! (1)

gerrynjr (662919) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995644)

Looks like they'll have to grab my freedom loving gentoo install from my dead fingertips.

Really though, how can they expect to stop a worldwide movement, not piracy, but the open source movement.

sounds fishy to me (2, Insightful)

zoloto (586738) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995650)

Joining Wexler as co-founder of the caucus is Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., who helped author a note last fall to 74 fellow Democrats assailing the Linux open-source operating system's GNU General Public License as a threat to America's "innovation and security." Smith's Ninth District includes the Seattle surburbs near Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters


smells fishy to me...

Re:sounds fishy to me (1)

Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995680)

A congressman protecting interests within his district? Why I never...

Re:sounds fishy to me (1)

vicviper (140480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995836)

I would agree with you if MS was the only constituant in the district.

bad linux (1)

PitViper401 (619163) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995652)

You just know how innovative Micro$oft is being ...

The official caucus theme song... (4, Funny)

cyt0plas (629631) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995653)

- "It's the end of the world as we know it."

Turn it all off (5, Interesting)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995655)

a note last fall to 74 fellow Democrats assailing the Linux open-source operating system's GNU General Public License as a threat to America's 'innovation and security.'

Turn it all off then. Vast portions of the Internet run on Linux, FreeBSD (even though it isn't GPL) and especially Apache. Maybe we should all pick a day and turn it all off, at least in the US it would probably bring traffic to a halt. THEN maybe they will reconsider making stupid laws regarding the choice of one's operating systems!

Are you crazy? (4, Funny)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995728)

What about my up time on Netcraft [netcraft.com] !!!!

This is a secret ploy to get all those 600+ day people to reboot. Well I'm not buying.

Re:Turn it all off (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995731)

I like it! Yeah, pick a day, and everyone with a Linux or other Open Source-based host, router, e-mail server, DNS server, Web server, etc., turn your box off for that day -- or at least shutdown the Open Source program in question -- Apache, sendmail, postfix, BIND, whatever. Just one day. Watch the Internet crawl to its knees!

Not unlike Black Tuesday, and the Burn All Gifs campaign. Although neither of these completely solved the goals they were aiming for, you'll notice that PNG is becoming a vastly more popular format than GIF, and Black Tuesday *did* send a message that was heard loud and clear.

I'm all for it. I'll do it! Who's in with me?

Re:Turn it all off (1)

JJahn (657100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995779)

Hmm. Good luck convincing some big company that runs their important servers on Linux to just shut them off for a day. And they are the ones that probably matter the most for open-source in the long run (they are the ones who put money into it)

Re:Turn it all off (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995820)

You don't have convince the big company. Only the guy or gal who's running it, who's likely just another random geek like the rest of us.

The system could just have, oh I dunno, say some random hardware problem that takes 24 hours to fix, maybe due to availability of parts or trained staff or something. Or maybe the admin takes that day to do maintenance on the machine that must be done while the machine is temporarily down, and oh, BTW, the spare mirror doesn't seem to want to startup today due to crashed hard drive or something.

You get the picture.

Re:Turn it all off (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995847)

Although neither of these completely solved the goals they were aiming for, you'll notice that PNG is becoming a vastly more popular format than GIF

Wha? You're joking, right? Please name three *mainstream* web sites that use PNGs over GIFs. I wonder if you can name one.

Re:Turn it all off (2, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995805)

Ok, but what day? Preferably something that will be particularly disruptive - Sometime the week before Christmas?

Turn It Off the Day Of Their First Meeting (4, Interesting)

FFtrDale (521701) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995850)

How about dropping the Linux, Apache et al. servers (that one Personally Owns or is responsible for) from the Net on the day that the Congressional RIAA Caucus holds its first meeting? They've imposed draconian laws about unauthorized computer access and are trying to fix as law the ability and legal right for copyright owners to crack our computers and break things in the course of their fishing expeditions. Now they're forming a conspiracy of elected officials to cripple the cutting edge in an effort protect their outdated cronies. It's time to show them whom they're dealing with. They've forgotten whose minds created the realm they presume to rule, and they've deluded themselves into forgetting whose hands keep it all running. Bad employee! No more time in Congress for You!

Well... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995656)

These men have just become my three favorite people to hate, along with our non-president Bush.

Here's some addresses for you to do with as you please; normally I'd recommend writing them as I usually do, but their corrupt stupidity compels me to not care if you DDOS them, spam them, or whatever:

Rep. Robert Wexler [house.gov]

Rep. Adam Smith [house.gov]

Rep. Tom Feeney [house.gov]

Oh, and if you haven't already, try joining the EFF [eff.org] .

Corporatism getting way out of hand. It's getting scary as hell if you ask me.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995711)

Those are great resources, but honestly, saying Bush isn't the US president makes you sound like you're in denial. Bush was elected because of how the political system here was designed, not because he 'cheated'. You should gripe about the system behind his victory, not some imaginary crime committed by his campaign. And pretending he's not the president isn't going to keep him from being re-elected, so I suggest focusing on the legitimate reasons to dislike him instead of imaginary ones. For example, his appointment of ashcroft. Who would want to re-elect bush if they knew a man came with him who is trying to create a police state? That's the kind of arguments you need to make to win people like me over, otherwise you're just preaching to the choir.

Re:Well... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995761)

Shut up! We like our liberals and intellectual wannabies stupid on slashdot!

Re:Well... (-1, Flamebait)

Ezubaric (464724) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995799)


But Bush did cheat. Bush's brother controlled the the infrastructre that had to collect and count the votes. Jeb scratches Dubya's back ... and federal money flows to Florida. Anybody remember Kathleen Harris? Who appointed Souter and Thomas?

Damn. I sound like Mulder now ...

Re:Well... (0, Flamebait)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995808)

not some imaginary crime committed by his campaign.

Perhaps not his campaign per se, but I think it's quite possible Gore would have won if there weren't all these people taken off the voter rolls in Floriday "by mistake". Did I mention that the Florida Governor was his brother? How many times do we have to ask the question: if this happened in some third world country, who would believe that it was just a coincidence?

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

baltimoretim (631366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995721)

I can't tell... has Feeney's site [house.gov] already been vandalized?

If not, I don't get his point.

Certainly off the air... Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995743)

If it wasn't vandalized, it's certainly dead.

Guess Windows wasn't enough to handle the load...

Re:Well... (0)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995898)



Instead of writing them, find out who is against them in the next election and get people to vote for them.

Please, voters act! (5, Informative)

killthiskid (197397) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995659)

Wexler co-sponsored a bill last year, backed by the major record labels, that would authorize copyright holders to disable PCs used for illicit file-trading. He also serves on the House Judiciary subcommittee that writes copyright laws.

Will the people of the 19th Congressional district of Florida vote this moron out of congress, PLEASE!!!

Thanks,

The rest of the America

Re:Please, voters act! (1)

Keeper (56691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995755)

Right, as if they'd be able to figure out which hole to punch on the card...

Send your congressman a letter. (5, Insightful)

eightball01 (646950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995660)

If you're in one of those states with the congressmen mentioned, send them a letter. Not that the bastards can or will read it, but maybe with enough letters saying that Open Source isn't the problem, they'll start to get a damn clue.

Re:Send your congressman a letter. (5, Funny)

Old Uncle Bill (574524) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995762)

Uh, I think they only read letters from constituents that also contain $100,000+ checks in the envelope.

Re:Send your congressman a letter. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995818)

Uh, I think they only read letters from constituents that also contain $100,000+ checks in the envelope.

Sweet, I can do that.

... err it don't matter if it bounces, right?

Re:Send your congressman a letter. (1)

craenor (623901) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995809)

Better yet, send him a nice dvd rip of some pr0n and include it as a subliminal message...then he might "see the big picture"...

Before half of you go crazy (1)

Hatechall (541378) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995664)

in an attempt for easy karma, remember that this is just a caucus being formed, not a law being passed. There are tons of caucuses for any number of subjects money can buy, which may or may not have an effect on future issues.
I know most of you have a pretty bleak interpretation of our lawmakers, but remember that many are, despite if you agree with them on subjects or not, quite intelligent and DO actually act for the good of general public policy instead of only for handouts.
Just thought I would give my 2 cents before we start the massive RIAA bashing.

Second-level thinking? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995670)

Since Free Software is immune to piracy, it would put all these piracy fighters out of a job. So they gotta fight it.

Fine.... (4, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995674)

...Let them do whatever they want to IP laws here. Shut down every server that hosts MP3s and DIVX movies. I'll just go to Korean / Dutch / Nigerian Servers and download the stuff. And I don't care what kind of copy protection they mandate. There's always a way through the analogue hole. Great waste of my tax dollars.

America's 'innovation and security.' (2, Funny)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995675)

WHAT America's 'innovation and security'???

You mean Micro$oft?

Re:America's 'innovation and security.' (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995773)

no, like BSD.

Seriously, I thought financial security for corporations was the biggest halting factor on america's innovation and security. Last time I checked, Microsoft was financially secure. They rarely if ever innovate, they never produce secure products, and they have 95% of the desktop market.

Linux, on the other hand, is free, is a worldwide project (including americans), is far more secure than Windows, and depends upon the fates of the developers to continue. BSD is in a similar boat.

So unless they fully intend to ask Linus to switch to a BSD license, which would IMO be even more stifling than the GPL since companies wouldn't be releasing code of modified linux etc., then they're completely idiots as opposed to mostly idiots.

democrats are dying! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995681)

The altest issue of Time confirms it: Democrats are dying. You don't need to be Saddam Hussein to predict the democratic changs in 2004 -- democrat's dont' have a chance in 2004. Let's ignore the polls and look at the canidates.

President George Bush has kicked the shit out of 2 countries in the past 3 years, and Iran, Syria, North Korea, and China know they'd better STFU if they hope to last.

Meanwhile, the democratic candidates are stuck telling people that their taxes should be raised, dictators should be coddled, and the French should be listened to.

Re:democrats are dying! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995772)

Haven't you stupid pointy nosed fucks learned not to fuck with East Asia by now?

After getting your ass whipped by Mao in China, Kim Il Song in Korea and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam I think the last thing you barbarians want is to come and start a new war in the far east.

Biotch.

Not to worry.. (3, Funny)

403Forbidden (610018) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995706)

If The Simpsons have taught us anything it's that Caucases are nothing more than a bunch of poorly inked drawings who congo line around a mountain lodge yelling "caucas caucas caucas!"

Just like congress too.. always resting on their laurals.

Corporate Government (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995718)

Democrates, Republicans, it's all the same shit, they are all owned by corporations. There is no legitimacy left in this system.

Re:Corporate Government (0, Offtopic)

G27 Radio (78394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995832)

Democrates, Republicans, it's all the same shit, they are all owned by corporations. There is no legitimacy left in this system.

You might as well have said "The sky is blue and grass is green" if you just wanted to burn mod points.

Jeeez (1)

spumoni_fettuccini (668603) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995723)

peer-to-peer piracy was a crime under a 1997 federal law, but universities continued to treat file-swapping as a minor infraction of campus disciplinary codes. "If on your campus you had an assault and battery or a murder, you'd go down to the district attorney's office and deal with it that way," said Rep. William Jenkins, R-Tenn These guys are bashing p2p. I know lots of "shady dealings" go on over p2p, but so does legit file sharing. From the sounds of it they're pinning everything but the fall of man [and the're working on that]

Democrats... (5, Interesting)

arazor (55656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995725)

A Democrat leading the charge to outlaw Linux and open source AGAIN! I am saying this as a registered democrat before someone marks this as flamebait. And I note there is at least 1 republican involved in this my point there really is no diffrence between the major parties.

Just dont know what to do... EFF ACLU all good and well but there is no way in hell they can ever match the funds that MS MPAA RIAA et al have...

I guess its true if voting really made a diffrence it would be illegal.

Re:Democrats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995747)

Quit whining about it, and do your part to make the system work.

Pick the party you like and try educating them on the subject. Sure...there are a few complete sellouts, but most politicians still have a little bit of a soul left.

Re:Democrats... (3, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995801)

As soon as you say ACLU I differ with you.

Too much defending the weird instead of defending the righteous cost the ACLU any chance of my support.

See how strange politics is?

Re:Democrats... (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995897)

Yeah I know what you mean I dropped my membership in ACLU this year... I still get all sorts of weird shit from other groups that think just because one was in aclu they support. Im not complaining I get loads of mailing labels fof free

I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning (2, Funny)

miu (626917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995732)

...blamed P2P networks for spreading illegal forms of pornography, while another fingered universities as hotbeds of widespread--and felonious--copyright infringement.

Men engaging in perversion with architecture are hardly qualified to complain about internet pornography.

this hardly seems like news (1)

bongobongo (608275) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995733)

i think i'm a bit desensitized to news like this cause i hear noise about 'bringing down the pirates' on a daily basis, but have yet to see anything tangible really come about.

this is the 23489th time we've heard this, isn't it? anyone worried?

Re:this hardly seems like news (1)

YahoKa (577942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995788)

What an insightful comment... We should really start ignoring these stories. Ignoring issues always works!

Re:this hardly seems like news (1)

bongobongo (608275) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995859)

i'm not prescribing anything, i'm commenting :P

Voices (1)

Poeir (637508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995740)

Voices given to...
The author
Members of Congress
Motion Picture Association of America
Recording Industry Association of America

Conveniently absent are voices of typical users, any technologist, or even anything negative. So much for journalistic integrity.

Re:Voices (1)

zbowling (597617) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995784)

SO TRUE. At least you see exactly what is happening here. I hate these groups. They are so against democracy in my mind. Have you seen them on C-SPAN? You summed up all the people that were allowed in the room for some of the latest ones. Go free speach and open source.

Re:Voices (1)

Poeir (637508) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995793)

Maybe I'll come off as ignorant here, but why would I want to watch C-SPAN? It's just full of people I'm not going to enjoy seeing in any respect of the word.

a tale of two Adam Smiths (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995748)

Adam Smith 1700's: "Letting people choose how to spend their money is the way to stimulate the economy."

Adam Smith 2003: "But we can't let them choose Linux."

Another Feeble Attempt By The Government !! (1)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995750)

The United States needs to take the initiative and form an international coalition against piracy. By simply concentrating on domestic incidences, the government is failing to block 95% of the other pirated media which is downloaded from international servers. And because MILLIONS of Americans download illegally obtained media, from either foreign or domestic sources, how can the united states government possibly stop it ??

The U.S. Government should have prepared for this years in advance instead of waiting to make some makeshift committee.

ohh wonderful... (1)

zbowling (597617) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995751)

Great... This means that senators who really don't know anything about technology but are getting their advise from their supporters (like various big companies) will making the decisions. Have you seen the meets of these things on C-SPAN? They ussally have 6 "witnesses" from prespective "experts" in their field giving their advice and view points. Unfortunatly, these witnesses are choosen by the senators themselves. The all work for major companies or some type of advice group. People who have interests usally against anything good for the person and better for their own pocket books. I say NO! They should ban these things. They are so against democracy in my mind.

we can stop this (2, Interesting)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995758)

We can stop this, you know. All this idiocy can end. Intuit's about-face proves that even the big powerful companies will listen when enough people speak up.

We need to write our senators, our mayors, our governors, our friends, our coworkers - even the president. The more loud we are, the less they will be able to deny what we're saying.

Money and your vote Count (4, Insightful)

Kefaa (76147) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995775)

In the absence of an opposing view, your representatives believe what they are told. Tell them differently.

Be concise, polite, and specific. If we can /. a website we should be able to make a point in DC.

Contacting your Representative -- The Easy Way [congress.org]

Don't wait. Do it now or don't whine about it later.

the check is in the mail (1)

sugarbomb (22289) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995794)

from a grateful industry, straight in to a politicans pocket

"We're always grateful when members of Congress devote their attention to an issue as critical as the protection of copyrighted works," spokesman Rich Taylor said. "We look forward to working with this new body in the days and weeks to come, to help create an environment where a legitimate digital marketplace can thrive."

ARRR! (2, Funny)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995796)

Shiver me fuckin' timbers, matey...they say they be crackin' down on piracy. Hoist the mains'l! We best make sure they not be preventing Cap'n Torvalds from doin' what he wants with his ship...

duh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995802)

It's just capitalism.

As long as we live in a system where one class lives large off the exploitation of the other class this will always happen.

One class wants to use technology to further its own interests (free music, open source collaboration, etc.) and the other class will fight against it to protect its interests (profit extraction from culture i.e. $20 bucks a CD, proprietary lock-in, etc.)

Sorry it's just part of the system. If you like capitalism then you have to just shrug this kind of thing off as just what is going to happen.

I dont get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995817)

A letter sent to some members of Congress last Friday by Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., warned of the threat of "ever-changing technologies"

Joining Wexler as co-founder of the caucus is Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., who helped author a note last fall to 74 fellow Democrats assailing the Linux open-source operating system's GNU General Public License as a threat to America's "innovation and security."

Aren't ever-changing technologies a good way to ensure innovation?
Isn't competition a stimulant for innovation?
Isn't linux a good example of a secure OS?

Universities ... (2, Funny)

jefu (53450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995821)

another fingered universities as hotbeds of widespread--and felonious--copyright infringement.

<hillbilly-congressman-paid-off-by-who-knows-who-v oice>
You know them durn-gum universitees. Teech them commoners bout thinking fur thumselfs and next thing you no they'll start ackshully doin it. And decidin thay kno better than the nice folx in Dizney and Mycrosponj that pay us. Next thing ya no they'll want to vote me out of offis. Time to cut funding for eddication. Put the extra moneee into congresshional pay razes and tacks cuts for the RIAA and MPAA - thats the tikket, afffer all we kin see how there hed executives are all goin browk.
</hillbilly-congressman-paid-off-by-who-knows-who- voice>

He's got it upside down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995823)

Actually open source promotes development

Traders: Sell Dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995834)


Oh wait you are [yahoo.com]

maybe when USA is bankrupt they will get a clue

"make for stronger IP laws"? (5, Insightful)

MacDork (560499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995848)

I really wish that politicians would clairfy their positions more often. What exactly does "make for stronger IP laws" mean?

Harsher punishment maybe? Well, we don't need that for copyright law. At 5 years + $150,000 fine per violation, I would say the opposite given that rapists in America serve an average of 5 years.

Maybe they mean longer terms on copyright. Oh, wait, that's already at creators lifetime + 90 years. Effectively eternity in the computer industry. No need to increase that unless Eisner can come up with some more bribe money [opensecrets.org] .

My guess... another round of overly broad, unenforceable laws that makes everyone a criminal which they will selectively enforce. That is supposed to be illegal, isn't it?

Is anyone surprised? (4, Interesting)

csguy314 (559705) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995851)

I don't think anyone should be surprised by this. The US government has always vehemently supported protection of IP laws.
In fact the US has heavily subsidized the research of major biotech companies, like Monsanto, with billions of tax payer dollars. But none of the profits ever get back to the public.
The US even refused to sign an international treaty on preserving the biological species of the world. Then Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Curtis Bohlen, said the treaty "fails to give adequate patent protection to American companies that transfer biotechnology to developing companies" and "tries to regulate genetically engineered materials, a competitive area in which the United States leads". (New York Times, April 26, May 24, 1992)
US companies make billions of dollars a year because of IP, and they are the ones funding political campaigns. So why should anyone be surprised that the government is so adamantly promoting stricter laws that will benefit the governments benefactors?

USSR (2)

porkface (562081) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995856)

No political system is perfect, but in my opinion, Linux gives us some of the greatest aspects of both Socialism and our "free market" economy.

Let's face it, Microsoft is scared because they don't feel they can compete. What could be a greater sign that Linux encourages competition? Just because Linus isn't the richest man on Earth, doesn't mean Linux doesn't aid our economy.

Anya and Spike die on tomorrow's Buffy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995867)

And if I hadn't pirated the show, I wouldn't've known this, so it's ontopic.

Keep track of this (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995873)

This is our enemies list.

Not that this means all that much since none of the people who managed to cash out successfully after an IPO and therefore have the cash to start a PAC to represent our interests can be bothered to do so, and it's too late to do the Federal and state filings for this election cycle needed to allow such a group to legally raise and spend money in any case.

Remember that no amount of money spent on non-profit geek activist groups like EFF, etc. can be used to buy a politician because tax-deductible non-profits are forbidden to make contributions to political candidates.

For what it's worth, this will tell you who to vote against.

Ok, um... (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995879)

Once again, further proof that Congress is the opposite of Progress. On a more serious note:

"The concerns of the thousands of Americans whose livelihoods depend on intellectual property protection are not being fully debated or addressed,"

Uh-Huh. Seeing as Wexler wants to give the RIAA the right to hack your computer maliciously, I'd say the rights of the millions of Americans whose livelihood depends on having a functional computer are not being fully addressed. But they don't offer money, do they?

At any rate, it's obvious that they've been bought by the **AA. What else is new?

Hurrah! (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995885)

[...] three members [of] the House of Reps has formed a caucus that aims to [kill open source software and fair use in the name of "stopping piracy"]

Hurrah!

Up to now the RIAA/MPAA/Microsoft/etc.-corrupted congresscritters have been pretty much anonymous. When they weren't actually introducing a bill you couldn't tell them from the general crowd of congressional dupes.

Now we will have an explicit way to track the congressional ringleaders and target them for defeat - in primaries and general elections.

Hot DAMN!

(Ask anybody who helped take out Roberti, Roos, or Foley how a grass-roots movement works.)

why do the rights of thousands matter more than us (-1, Troll)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995887)



We are millions, in fact hundreds of millions, why should we go to jail to protect the rights of thousands of people who dont really matter?

Why should any of us care of some office clerks and record company CEOs lose their job? Maybe if they earn their money doing some work that matters they wont have to defend intellectual property.

I dont agree with minority rules, its against democracy, time to move to China or Iraq.

The scariest part of all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5995888)

In the US, the democrats are the LIBERAL party!!! About the only thing more conservative and paranoid than this is pure fascism.

FEC in focus (3, Insightful)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995889)

Check out fec.gov - Rep. Robert Wexler received contributions from the following PACs (among others):
  1. AOL-Time-Warner

  2. ASCAP
    MediaOne
    Micros oft Corporation
    Fox
    RIAA
    Sony
    Walt Disney
He's taken money from the very people that his legislative plans will benefit. Can any sane, rational person honestly believe that this is not a conflict of interest? This is not right, and it's symptomatic of the legalized bribery that is the core problem of the American political system.

Furthermore, the contributions from the PACs listed above don't constitute anywhere near the majority of his campaign funding. He's a democrat, and most of the PAC contributions are from labor unions. The larger part of his campaign expenditures were thus paid by organizations that purport to represent workers - sometimes also known as consumers. Despite this, he is acting as the lapdog of the content industry. As Mark Twain said, an honest politician is one that stays bought.

Wexler thus fails both the idealistic and pragmatic tests for honesty. I submit that he needs to be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

Got Crack (1)

Unixinvid (643778) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995895)

Congress: Yo we should mix Baking Soda with some cocaine and sell it.
My Answer: If you were smart why not stop giving microsoft welfare and let open source grow.

Don't forget... (2, Informative)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5995899)

as soon as the EFF Action Center [eff.org] writes a report... utilize their service to send your representatives a letter expressing exactly how you will feel and how you will vote. Keep an eye on it!

Remember, as always, strength in numbers. And don't forget to donate to them an the ACLU.
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