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Piracy Deterrence and Education Act Introduced

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the funkadelic-copyright-protection-league dept.

United States 508

Bootsy Collins writes "Last Thursday in the U.S. Congress, H.R. 2517 was quietly introduced and referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill, authored by Lamar Smith (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Howard Berman (D-CA), directs the FBI to develop methods of deterring copyright violation through use of peer-to-peer networks, including efforts to facilitate sharing information about suspected violators amongst law enforcement agencies. It also directs the Justice Department to develop programs to educate the American public on why copyright violation is bad. Berman, you may remember, introduce a bill last year that would give the RIAA and MPAA wide latitude to crack suspected violators' computers. " Update: 06/23 17:03 GMT by S : We also covered a variant of this story on Saturday.

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508 comments

MSN beats Slashdot by hours now (-1, Offtopic)

Ozor (592387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274404)

Seems like everytime MSN post a artical on its Tech section Slashdot posts it a few hours later.

Re:MSN beats Slashdot by hours now (1)

DrJonesAC2 (652108) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274427)

Considering this is a link based site, that really doesn't surprise me. Besides who wants to brows MSN sites anyway :P

Whats that Smell?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274416)

Whats that smell?!

Rockin' the town like a moldy cruton (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274419)

.... f to the p

Re:Rockin' the town like a moldy cruton (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274452)

No...

F to the A to the I to the L!

YOU FAIL IT!

Hope (1)

Preferencechange (678391) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274428)

Heres to hoping it wont get past the senate. Im not holding my breath.

Re:Hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274474)

Most likely it will get shot down in the Senate, and a Conference will occur, then it will go to Mr Prez. Basically there is no way in hell the Senate will just shoot down a bill like this.

SLASHDOT FUCKIN SUX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274433)

S

L

A

S

H

D

O

D

S

U

X

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

Action (5, Insightful)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274436)

Will any of you actually write your congress critters about this?

God forbid the FBI go after dangerous criminals ... I feel much safer with pot smokers and warez kiddies behind bars.

I have written to all my representatives (5, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274479)


Read the text of the bill (I can't find the link offhand, but it's out there) -- some of the paragraphs are downright laughable, particularly the one directing the FBI to educate citizens about the dangers of connecting to "unauthorized" P2P services.

Maybe one of these days Congress will stop trying to prop up a failing business model by turning the US into a police state. But I'm not holding my breath...

Re:I have written to all my representatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274528)

I write my Rep. and Senators all the time. I even watch The House on C-Span. However, It is of no use to write to my (conservative) Rep. since he votes partisan every time.

Not such an issue for me (5, Funny)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274574)

Not too many conservative lawmakers representing Vermont these days ;)

I did, however, write with regularity to my conservative N.C. representatives when I lived there. I figured every minute some monkey spent reading a letter from a flaming liberal commie asshole like me was one less minute they could be holding prayer meetings or what have you.

Re:Action (5, Funny)

gerf (532474) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274500)

God forbid the FBI go after dangerous criminals ... I feel much safer with pot smokers and warez kiddies behind bars.

But don't you realize that File Sharing is a gateway crime? It leads to fraud, prostitution, murder, and massive drug dealing. For the love of god Think of the children!

I do think of the children! (-1, Offtopic)

RatBastard (949) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274680)

Specifically covered in BBQ sauce and slowly rotating on a spit above a huge pile of hot coals.

HMMM! Longpork veal! It doesn't get any better than that!

Re:Action (5, Insightful)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274531)

Slashdot always has good coverage of this issue, and everyone likes to talk about it, but who does anything about it?

We should at least be writing to our congress-people about the issue. It's one that's not getting substantial media attention, but it's going to become a HUGE issue in a few years.

NOW is the time to put the wheels in motion that are going to save us from government control over all intellectual property.

We need to force some change- we need to show the media empire that it can't hold onto it's current business model, that it's greedy little eyes need to open up a little and see the damage they are causing.

There is a solution to pirating that does not have to involve the government or anyone else erasing hard drives. Apple's on the right track with the iTunes store. We should be making the RIAA look at new solutions that work best for all involved, not just some fat cats. /end rant

Re:Action (3, Interesting)

Danse (1026) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274578)

Ugh.. Lamar Smith is my rep. I've written him a couple of letters on the subject of copyright and I always get the same sort of BS back, talking about how it's important to strengthen copyright law. Blah blah blah. He never gives a reason. It all seems pretty condescending really. Maybe I should write him again and ask him to explain it to me using very small words so that a simpleton like me can understand why we need practically perpetual copyrights.

Re:Action (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274582)

Tell your Congressfolk that the bill should explain to their voters that everything ever created, from crayon scribblings to songs in the shower to Madonna's "What do you think you're doing" MP3 is automatically covered by Copyright as soon as it's created, and how you should benefit from Copyright laws too.

Tell your Congressfolk that the bill should also include programs which explain to constituents just what the social and cultural benefits of the Public Domain might be, which is what the "limited times" Copyright bargain was designed to enrich.

Tell your Congressfolk that the bill should tell taxpaying citizens that even though only a very few titles are commercially viable, virtually nothing since the days of their Great Grandmother's prom night has been released from Copyright in order to enrich the Public Domain.

Re:Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274626)

Why stop at writing one letter? If you have access to your employer's customer list...you might consider writing letters from several thousand honest tax paying citizen.

If Congress gets letters from three to four hundred million constituents, they will see that P2P is a force to be reckoned with.

The abililty to control mass actions and millions of minds -- THAT IS THE POWER OF P2P!!!

San Antonio and Hill Country (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274698)

(From Lamar's web site)
The 21st Congressional District stretches along the Interstate 35 Corridor from north San Antonio to west Austin and Travis County and encompasses all of the Texas Hill Country. Fourteen counties are included in the District.

Education! (5, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274439)

It also directs the Justice Department to develop programs to educate the American public on why copyright violation is bad

Piracy's bad......mmmmkay?

Re:Education! (3, Funny)

Slack0ff (590042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274552)

Next they will be telling me that all these credit card numbers i found online are illegal... what are we fucking commies?

Next... (1)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274440)

Next we'll see copyright education in public schools, just imagine, a textbook with a section on "Why KaZaA is Bad".

Re:Next... (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274483)

And what exactly would be so bad about that?

Judging from some of the comments and attitudes that are prevalent here, I think a lot of people need to be told what copyright is, and what it's supposed to do.

If nothing else, how can you possibly make an informed argument against something if you don't know exactly what you're arguing against? (Or for, for that matter)

Re:Next... (1)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274523)

Many people don't know it's illegal to pirate music, and it's actually kind of funny to talk to people about it. I'm not saying that said textbook would be a bad thing, I just think it's interesting that this kind of thing may be introduced in public schools.

Re:Next... (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274493)

Funny thing is, the school my nephew goes to supports students getting their music from Kazza and bringing in home brew CDs to their audio video department. These CDs are used as part of their school's announcements.

serious (1)

Boromir son of Faram (645464) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274444)

I can't believe this was introduced by a guy named "Lamar."

Re:serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274624)

Just because his name is Lamar [house.gov] doesnt mean he is black.

2.3 billion...? (5, Interesting)

jdray (645332) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274447)

Did I count those zeroes right? 2.3 billion files exchanged each month?

I wonder what they're considering a "file." If they're counting the gifs and jpegs for smileys, emoticons, ads, backgrounds for the chat clients and whatnot, that doesn't seem like a fair comparisson.

What am I saying? This is Congress at work...

Re:Would you please... (1)

botzi (673768) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274533)

...tell us how many "emoticons" you've downloaded for the last month, and how many were the .mp3-s and/or the .avi-s???

that doesn't seem like a fair comparisson.

Who said anything about fair?????

Re:2.3 billion...? (5, Interesting)

ToadMan8 (521480) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274549)

Oh jeez, I don't doubt it. We had direct connect running on a private network... about 1000 users connected on average, 15 or 16 TB of data, and we averaged over two searches per second. Every day. All day. So if each search resulted in only one download (which most resulted in "download everything, I am connected at 100 mbps") that'd be 172,800 downloads a day and thus ~63,000,000 theoretical downloads per year. On our piddly little 1000 (but blindingly fast ;)) network.

Re:2.3 billion...? (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274603)

2.3B is probably a very lowball estimate based just on what they can see with all the P2P snooping software - if you think you're anonymous you're an idiot.

No, 2.3B is very conservative I'm sure.

Berman (1)

BigPenguin (529751) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274448)

I think it's very clear where Sen. Bermans' intrests lay. Does anyone know of any *proactive* [read: possitive] websites that track or publibly couter this slime ball?

Re:Berman (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274485)

I like your word 'publibly' and wish to license it for non-commercial use.

website (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274567)

http://www.guerrillanews.com/

Who will educate us? (1)

Arioch of Chaos (674116) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274464)

. . . programs to educate the American public on why copyright violation is bad.

Yeah, sponsored by the Microsoft and the RIAA. *shivers*

Doncha miss the Hoover years? (4, Insightful)

Quietdemon (682573) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274465)

I swear the faster future tech and future laws spring up, the more and more I find myself in a future looking a lot like Judge Dredd. This particular saying bugs the sh** outta me: "Quietly introduced" What exactly does that mean...that these people will try and make up some sort of law and unless people are aware enough and rebel against it, there's a good chance it will come to pass? Not to be pessimistic...ahem, but as far as I know, countries go to war without consent of the people. You can bloody bet that laws can be "Quietly introduced" without the will of the people. QD

Our tax dollars at work! (3, Insightful)

nemaispuke (624303) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274466)

This should make a good "Fleecing of America" or "Your Money" episode, oh that's right, I'm talking about responsible journalism! Never mind! It's nice to know how my tax dollars are being pissed away, and I will remember that when it is time to vote!

Uhm...excuse me.... (4, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274468)

Uhm..excuse me...but shouldn't the FBI be out chasing violent criminals and terrorists, rather than busting teenagers for downloading Britney Spears? Besides...it seems to me that all these wasted hours protecting the obsolete business models of private companies like the RIAA and MPAA might also be spent training agents more....as in making the 'intelligence' community a bit more intelligent.

Re:Uhm...excuse me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274498)

They've already proven they can't do that effectively. Here is some make-work for what they ARE good at, harassing small-time offenders.

Re:Uhm...excuse me.... (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274534)

This is a Federal Subsidy (Corporate Welfare) bill, designed to use Public funds to support the private interests and failing business practices of an influential cartel.

Pathetic, predictable.

Re:Uhm...excuse me.... (5, Funny)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274568)

shouldn't the FBI be out chasing violent criminals and terrorists, rather than busting teenagers for downloading Britney Spears?

Is this a trick question?

Re:Uhm...excuse me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274638)

Uhe...excuse me...but didn't you copy and paste this comment from this story [slashdot.org] . Um, yeah, thought so.

Re:Uhm...excuse me.... (1)

Soko (17987) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274647)

Uhm..excuse me...but shouldn't the FBI be out chasing violent criminals and terrorists,

File sharing is terrorism, isn't it? I mean Sen. Hatch seems to think so.

rather than busting teenagers for downloading Britney Spears?

Well, let's not be too stringent on what people should be jailed for. ;^)

Besides...it seems to me that all these wasted hours protecting the obsolete business models of private companies like the RIAA and MPAA

The RIAA and MPAA are trade groups (or lobby groups), not private corporations. That may sound pendantic, but your answer is in the difference.

might also be spent training agents more....as in making the 'intelligence' community a bit more intelligent.

You're assuming that there's intelligeence there to begin with. Seriously, IMHO the US congress and the RIAA are in a panic - they just don't know what to do to get back the control they "need".

Panic is the antithesis of logical thought.

IOW, the amount of intelligence they have doesn't matter - it won't be applied in the appropriate manner.

Soko

Shortsighted (1, Redundant)

rk2z (649358) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274470)

Man, am I beginning to be annoyed, by all of the technically illiterate congress members, whose shortsightedness knows no bounds. I bet they scream bloody murder the day one their computer goes down, because a campaign volunteer downloaded an mp3.

What is the program? (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274471)

develop a program to deter members of the public from committing acts of copyright infringement

What exactly qualifies as a "program?"
I know a lot of us are picturing armed FBI raids, computer seizures, kids being drug down the streets in chains for the crime of filesharing and being made into examples. It's possible... hell it's already happening.

However, I'm hoping it's more something like the current drug compaigns. Public awareness on "filesharing" and "piracy" as a crime. Consequences, that type of thing. I also hope that if it becomes obvious enough, people will wake up and Joe Average (tm) will finally realize the type of bullsh*t that corps like the RIAA are trying to pull with the law.

SERIOUSLY, the FBI has no place at all getting involved with copyright issues. There are a lot more things they can do that are a hell of a lot more productive, like preventing 9-11 mark II. We don't need them tapping our internet lines, tracing our IP's, or dragging more people in to court.

I think the USA needs a little bit of seperation between government and corporation - thought by now we all know who is really running the country anyways.

Re:What is the program? (4, Informative)

no soup for you (607826) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274536)

SERIOUSLY, the FBI has no place at all getting involved with copyright issues.

In all truth, the FBI is exactly the organization to investigate copyright violations. Remember the warnings at the beginning of movies? IP and copyright are Federal laws. The FBI enforces federal statues

disclaimer: I hate this bill and think it should not come out of committee.

Re:What is the program? (5, Insightful)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274540)

I'm sure I'm going to get flamed for this, but Corporations and copyright holders deserve protection under the law too. If not the FBI then who should be involved with copyright issues? The FBI is not the CIA, or the military, it's the government association responsible for enforcing most federal laws. Stealing copyrighted materials violates a federal law, hence the FBI should get involved. Unless you want to abolish copyrights, or create another law enforcement body to handle this sort of thing, then it is the FBI's business, this law would just make it a higher priority for them .

And you're hoping it's like the drug campaigns? The war on drugs is one of the most enormous failures that hte US government has ever embarked upon. It's caused increased violence, helped to fund terrorism, and not slowed down the drug problem.

Re:What is the program? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274564)

SERIOUSLY, the FBI has no place at all getting involved with copyright issues.

Wrong.

The FBI is the federal government's public domestic police arm. Copyright is a federal law, and if you infringe it on a high enough scale, it's a federal crime..

Ergo, the FBI is involved with criminal copyright enforcement. Either them or the Secret Service.

(And, besides which, we have a shiney new Department of Homeland Security to crack down on terrorism--let the FBI get back to busting organized crime et al.)

Re:What is the program? (1)

Jad LaFields (607990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274565)

Ah, don't you know that all the terrorists are communicating through specially encoded P2P files? The FBI know what they're up to, and by gorsh, they're gonna stop it!

I intended this to be just funny, but come to think of it, it's not impossible (remember all the hoopla after 9/11 when the media found out that Atta and Co. were communicating through email and such?)

Hmmmm..

Re:What is the program? (1)

MatthewB79 (47875) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274671)

The program should be obvious.. Didn't you see "A Clockwork Orange"? You will be re-educated by the FBI. Then whenever you are tempted to download an mp3 from KaZaA you will become violently ill. You may also be forced to lick the shoe of the current RIAA/MPAA mouthpiece.

Damn.... (2, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274475)

Based on the headline, I breifly held the hope that they would educate you on how to P2P. However, I then made the mistake of reading the summary. So what have we learned from this? It's not enough that you don't read the article before posting, you also can't read the summary before posting. If I hadn't, I could have posted a "OMG 3y3 can't bel3ive thye R go1ng to t34ch us to p1r4t3!!!!!!!1111", but now I'm stuck with this lame post instead.

d00-dz! (2, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274477)

Neither Smith nor Berman seemed anxious to comment on the legislation.

Heh...done like any professional three year-old who just messed in his pants.

SEC. 3. DETERRENCE AND COORDINATION.

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall--

(1) develop a program to deter members of the public from committing acts of copyright infringement by--

(A) offering on the Internet copies of copyrighted works, or

(B) making copies of copyrighted works from the Internet, without the authorization of the copyright owners; and



d00dz...l3337 h4><><0ring d0|\|3 |3y t3h g0\/3r|\||\/|3|\|7


(2) facilitate the sharing among law enforcement agencies, Internet service providers, and copyright owners of information concerning activities described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1).

The program under paragraph

(1) shall include issuing appropriate warnings to individuals engaged in an activity described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) that they may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Oooooh, scare tactics. Where's Shannon Doherty?

SEC. 4. DESIGNATION AND TRAINING OF AGENTS IN COMPUTER HACKING AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY UNITS.

(a) DESIGNATION OF AGENTS IN CHIPS UNITS- The Attorney General shall ensure that any unit in the Department of Justice responsible for investigating computer hacking or responsible for investigating intellectual property crimes is assigned at least one agent to support such unit for the purpose of investigating crimes relating to the theft of intellectual property.

(b) TRAINING- The Attorney General shall ensure that each agent assigned under subsection (a) has received training in the investigation and enforcement of intellectual property crimes.

More uber-l337 haxxors.


SEC. 5. EDUCATION PROGRAM.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT- There shall be established within the Office of the Associate Attorney General of the United States an Internet Use Education Program.

(b) PURPOSE- The purpose of the Internet Use Education Program shall be to--

(1) educate the general public concerning the value of copyrighted works and the effects of the theft of such works on those who create them;

(2) educate the general public concerning the privacy, security, and other risks of using the Internet to obtain unauthorized copies of copyrighted works;

(3) coordinate and consult with the Department of Education on compliance by educational institutions with applicable copyright laws involving Internet use; and

(4) coordinate and consult with the Department of Commerce on compliance by corporations with applicable copyright laws involving Internet use.


Free brainwashing too! Man, am I *ever* glad to be living in a country where my congressmen love me so much. I think I'll write them a loveletter right now. Or call them even. Where *did* I put those phone numbers?

mwa ha ha haha (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274526)

(2) educate the general public concerning the privacy, security, and other risks of using the Internet to obtain unauthorized copies of copyrighted works;

Hey, don't touch that! You don't know where it's been! :P

"They're all over me!
They're inside of me!
Can't get 'em offa me.

I'm covered with....(bacteria)...GERMS!"

That doesn't sound too convincing, ANY file you get off the internet is a security concern, no?

I'm glad I don't live in the U.S. of A. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274478)

Just wanted to share my happyness with everyone that I live in china where I have the freedom to "pirate" as much as I like. Sometimes I even pirate those movies they make in the US. But nobody really wants them. They're all after funny japanese tentacle hentai here, not US patriotism wrapped in action and titties.

Education (2, Insightful)

ToadMan8 (521480) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274486)

Oh! You mean downloading music without paying anybody for it is illegal?! Oh!! In that case I think I'll just stop.

I'm glad that education campaign is there, jeez, I didn't know that on my own. It hurts ::gasp:: the RIAA. And it hurts the artists. Well, it would if the music industry stays in it's current form. For the hundreth time, the market is changing. Perhaps, RIAA, you are no longer required. Please, Senate, don't ruin the industry squelching a change simply to support a company that makes large campign contributions.

US cracks down on ILLEGAL activities.. so what? (3, Insightful)

acomj (20611) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274487)

It seems that everyone always gets upset when the government cracks down. The whole point in pirating/ copyright infringment is illegal. Its wrong to take something that someone is not giving away and use it. The fact that you can share your files with all the anonymous cowards on the internet doesn't mean you should.

Do people download music they wouldn't buy, sure. Is there legitimate use for p2p, yes. But it also can be used easily to set out your own inexpensive publishing house and give away what others sell for free.

Information has value, especially in the new economy. I sometimes think people get to bent out of shape when people/companies try to protect that value.

It's about focus of resources (1)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274544)

So by running with your argument, I presume you'd find it acceptable to have the FBI serve as crossing guards for elementary school students? After all, we wouldn't want anyone breaking the law (failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian in crosswalk), would we?

If the FBI is going to be called in to prop up every Representative's pet industry, we may as well just give the next 9/11 hijackers the keys to the jet.

Re:It's about focus of resources (1)

Jad LaFields (607990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274667)

Well, no, the FBI investigates crimes on a federal level. You analogy doesn't work either. The FBI won't be just sitting at every P2P node, they'll more likely be doing period searches and "stings", much like your local police cruise around and if they see you breaking a law, they ticket you.

Re:US cracks down on ILLEGAL activities.. so what? (2, Informative)

jorlando (145683) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274642)

I think that the point is that the government is "paying" to protect assets of private companies.

Since the government don't "earn" money, so is the taxpayers money that is being diverted from one area to another area that is being said "more important" or "vital" or any other adjective.

The FBI now will start to eavesdrop and crack down on Joe Beer so he stops downloading N Sync and LOTR. Good...

Without that kind of distraction Bin Laden parked two boeings in manhatan, other at the pentagon and another didn't parked at white house or congress thanks to many courageous people that broke into the cabin.

But the entertaiment industrie is vital, canÂt afford a defense by itself (sueing peoples or companies that also have money to defend themselves, like google, not money extortion from students) and I've heard that the Show Bizz make generous contributions to politicians...

Way to go... letÂs do it right... crime and terrorists rampaging through the country while law officers run honey pots to convict downloaders...

Re:US cracks down on ILLEGAL activities.. so what? (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274699)

Does anyone else find it amusing that people use terrorism prevention to justify any argument they make in the US now, no matter how unrelated? Well, amusing and yet at the same time very sad.

So if the government serves the taxpayers but shouldn't be protecting corporations, corporations shouldn't have to pay taxes, right?

Re:US cracks down on ILLEGAL activities.. so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274669)

... especially in the new economy.

Had me going for a second there... then I got to that part. You just had to go over the deep end with it, didn't ya? :)

Fair bill? (5, Interesting)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274488)

Distributing copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal. This is true regardless of what you might think about the fairness of either the behaviour of the copyright owner or of the copyright law itself.

This bill is unique. It seems rational. In a world where senators advocate allowing copyright owners to (without due process) destroy or hack computers in an attempt to halt unlawful distribution of their materials, this seems sane.

It does nothing more than encourage law enforcement to cooperate in fighting crime, and puts the American people on notice that breaking the law is wrong, and that the people distributing many popular p2p programs plan spyware in their programs, and that the use of p2p carries risks for the safety of your computer, especially if they are used unwisely (like shareing an entire drive.)

And the next step... (2, Insightful)

Sunlighter (177996) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274494)

...is to provide federal funding to run ads against candidates or referenda which would weaken intellectual property laws such as the DMCA, the super-DMCAs, the CDBPTA (did I spell that right?), etc.

Why wouldn't they? They've already started doing it about candidates and referenda that try to legalize medical marijuana.

piracy deterrence (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274499)

You know would deter most pirates? If they spent half an hour finding britney's spears newest hit and downloading it, only to find out it was actually a recording of Rob Malda banging Kathleen Fent.


That would probably deter underrage sex too!

Good (3, Insightful)

fobbman (131816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274507)

They certainly should go after all software, music, and movie pirates, and take them down hard. If they make software piracy a lot more difficult, then it will force people to turn to free software alternatives. If they make music piracy a lot more difficult, then maybe folks will turn to lesser-known bands who allow mp3 downloads of their product and possibly find better-quality (but not as well-packaged, commercially) music. And if they make movie piracy a lot more difficult, then...uh...I dunno. I'm sure there's a good reason for that, other than the whole legality issue.

I reckon you support terrorism (1)

notque (636838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274508)

The bill, authored by Lamar Smith (R-TX) and co-sponsored by Howard Berman (D-CA), directs the FBI to develop methods of deterring copyright violation through use of peer-to-peer networks, including efforts to facilitate sharing information about suspected violators amongst law enforcement agencies.

Defeat file sharing through file sharing. Ah the irony.

Supporting P2P is supporting terrorist. Just like doing drugs, sleeping with people of the same sex, vandalism, murder, bouncing checks, jay walking, posting on slashdot, etc....

Re:I reckon you support terrorism (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274672)

Bah!

They're not talking about defeating file sharing--just illegal file sharing.

See the difference? No, probably not. Copyright violation only happens when you violate copyright law. There is nothing in the letter or stated intent of this bill that would make P2P illegal per se.

Implied intent may well be another thing (especially with the backing of Berman, the RIAA, and the MPAA) but your statement is just flat out wrong. (and hence, unironic)

Sounds like a good idea to me (3, Insightful)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274517)

I wonder about the poster's motivation for this one. Copyright is good, and these efforts at law enforcement are a good thing? Copyright is bad, enforced by the evil corporations? Everything should be free, oh and by the way, pass the J, won't you?

Law enforcement agencies sharing information and teaching kids about why breaking the law is a bad thing. That honestly sounds like a good idea to me. Kids are taught that drugs are bad, that you don't shoot people - why not also teach them tearing away at the foundation of the economy is also a bad thing. Yes, the way the RIAA and MPAA approach things sucks, their business model is old, and they litigate to save themselves. But that doesn't mean that copyright is a bad thing, per se.

Around here, as much as people argue that open-source is the way for the world to go, every one of us has to admit that it's only our day jobs which allows us to spend our nights cutting code for open-source projects. Copyright is a Very, Very, Very Good Thing (TM). I don't think that fact is lessened by some idiotic laws which these guys have tried to pass in the past.

The big problem with copyrights is duration (4, Insightful)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274583)

When copyrights were introduced to the U.S., they had a very restricted time frame (fourteen years I believe, without looking it up).

In the intervening years, various parties have managed to get the copyright period extended to a ludicrous extent, and it's for *one* reason: Walt Disney corporation can't come up with anything NEW that's any good, so they've gotta keep protecting Mickey and Donald and Goofy and all those other characters that, by rights, would have passed into the public domain decades ago.

Essentially, legislation and litigation are a poor but workable substitute for innovation and invention.

Re:Sounds like a good idea to me (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274621)

Hmm.

I've argued in favour of rational copyrights on /. in the past, and will do so in the future. I'm not sure that I'd put it in the category of a "very very very good thing," but I'd definitely defend it as a Good Thing when used properly. (the Bono act ain't it!)

I think that there are some real objections to be brought up here, though: What I can infer about this bill makes it sound like the FBI is pushing for greater powers to subpoena ISPs and get information out of them. What they currently have is far more than enough power to legally track and prosecute people sharing files illegally. I get the uneasy feeling that this is another board in the structure they call(ed) "Total Information Awareness." If you download one file illegally, they'll already have your number in a database, and won't have to bother with starting an investigation. Instead, charges will be laid the next day, at the convenience of your workplace, with the FBI hardly having to do more than pushing a button or two.

Great on paper (5, Insightful)

siskbc (598067) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274639)

Law enforcement agencies sharing information and teaching kids about why breaking the law is a bad thing. That honestly sounds like a good idea to me. Kids are taught that drugs are bad, that you don't shoot people - why not also teach them tearing away at the foundation of the economy is also a bad thing. Yes, the way the RIAA and MPAA approach things sucks, their business model is old, and they litigate to save themselves. But that doesn't mean that copyright is a bad thing, per se.

I know where you're coming from - to disclose, I like the general idea of copyright, and think it would be fine without industry shills. Today, copyright duration is, what, life + 3000 years? And fair use means that copying stuff for home use is only a misdemeanor instead of a felony?

My problem in light of above is, yes, the law sounds great on paper...but only there. Education is fine, but what about the inter-agency info sharing? Again, I would have not problem if it were used to get blatant commercial-mp3-only sharers, but lately it's been used to go after kids who basically build search engines. And I don't like that.

So it's like this - the law sounds good, but do you support a just law if you know for sure that it will be implemented in a monstrously unjust manner? That has to be considered, because a law in a vacuum is nothing. Consider sodomy laws on the books in most states - they are horrendously discriminatory against homosexuals and other people the Christian Coalition considers "deviants" - but I don't really care because they're not enforced at all, and amount to nothing more than a quaint little nuiscance. This law, on the other hand, while it sounds nice, has the potential to take down a lot of people who have the gall to allow people a way of sharing information without policing that information. And I don't like that at all.

Re:Sounds like a good idea to me (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274661)

Maybe it's just that the majority of /.ers wish that the U.S. really was a government "of the People, by the People and for the People" as opposed to "for the Special Interest Groups and Lobbyists" and so we rail at the moon and howl at the lobbyists and wish we could bitchslap Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Re:Sounds like a good idea to me (1)

Bob(TM) (104510) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274690)

You know, I have nothing against the concept of copyright, although the current legal implementation of copyright is messed up, IMO.

What I do have a problem with is the usage of federal funds and personnel to attempt to enforce copyright.

Patents enforcement is largely the responsibility of the holder, not the government. Why should the responsibility of copyright enforcement be any different? If a work is copyrighted and the holder does not want to pay to enforce the restrictions associated with copyright, why should the taxpayer have the responsibility to foot the bill?

they should use P2P (4, Funny)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274543)

including efforts to facilitate sharing information about suspected violators amongst law enforcement agencies
install kazaa problem solved

Piracy is bad, mmm-kay? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274547)

So, the government is going to tell everyone to stop doing this, and then everyone's going to stop. Is that how this is going to work?

I give them high marks for concept (snicker), now let's see them implement it.

Anyone heard of these "recent studies"? (4, Interesting)

shams42 (562402) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274555)

From the text of the bill:

In addition, many of the computer users drawn to the convenience of peer-to-peer systems do not realize that these systems pose serious security and privacy threats to their personal computers or company networks. Recent studies reveal that the majority of the users of these systems are unable to tell what files they are sharing and sometimes incorrectly assume they were not sharing any files when in fact they were sharing all files on their hard drive.

Does anyone have a reference for these "recent studies?" What evidence suggests that running P2P clients is a security issue?

I don't know what is considered a strong argument in bill-writing, but in graduate school we are expected to provide specifics (including citations) when we describe the results of a study. Otherwise, we could be "creatively interpreting" the results, or better yet, making stuff up altogether. Assuming that these studies actually exist, I'd bet that the subjects were AOL users!

Re:Anyone heard of these "recent studies"? (1)

fobbman (131816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274618)

Do a search for notepad.exe and see what comes back. Yes, there are some real brain donors out there on the filesharing network.

Positive feedback? (1)

signer (599834) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274573)

Hmmm. "...increased information sharing ... among various law enforcement agencies, copyright owners, and Internet service providers ..." Maybe they need to set up their own P2P network to handle all the information sharing. Then they'd need to police that for copyright violations, and then the database would grow, and require more effort to police. Suddenly this is a much more profitable and self-sustaining enterprise than I thought! Although how you prosecute yourself, I'm not sure...

Why is it bad? (3, Interesting)

jcsehak (559709) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274575)

...programs to educate the American public on why copyright violation is bad

Is there any actual evidence that filesharing is bad? Weren't record sales up 10% during the height of Napster? Isn't that the only indicator? I'd be very interested in this. If there are stories of bands that go like "we were doing alright, we just put out our first album, then it went on KaZaa, and nobody bought it, but we have evidence that a million people downloaded the whole album and listened to it more than once and swear that they would've bought it if they weren't able to d/l it for free, and now we all work at a burger joint."

If there's no actual evidence, what are they going to teach? "Well, we've got heresay and conjecture, your honor - those are kinds of evidence." Does anyone actually believe that artists are worse off with filesharing around?

What difference does it really make? (5, Insightful)

rivendahl (220389) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274584)

I mean really. Everyone here knows that the industry needs to change. They know it too. But the real problem here is that WE the US citizens are not being shielded. We elect these people into office and they work for us. However, at some point since they had the power they decided to give themselves more power. In the end, we have a Congressional body that obviously caters to the all mighty dollar. Therefore, screaming about it does no good. For those you tell don't care. Honestl, they don't.

Here's the insightful bit:

Since when did the US government guarantee that a corporation will earn money one way or another? I mean instead of letting the companies attempt to crack down on piracy their own way the companies beg and plead that the US government step in and be the daddy. The problem is that the government is not supposed to be involved in such matters. The ONLY thing the governement to supposed to do receive taxes to defend our countries citizens from outside attacks. Not police the world, bend to the will of a common nation governemnt (UN), or be involved in corporate legalities that do not directly affect the us citizens.

Online music piracy (incorrectly identified BTW), is nothing more than an easier way to "tape" a CD. We all know this. They know this. The bottom line is that the corporation needs to address this NOT the fucking government!!!

We OWN the governement. We are the BOSSES! They seemed to forget this. And we citizens find ourselves electing these people to office to only have them incorporate themselves upon entering office and then immediately being hired by a lobbyist firm as a contractor. This is why it's not called bribery. They are getting paid as if they worked there.

But I could be wrong...

Rivendahl

Useless Legislation (1)

clonebarkins (470547) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274585)

I've seen a few posts that have indicated that this law would be a Good Thing(TM). But in my opinion, it's useless. The law basically says that law enforcement agencies should share information to stop crime. THAT'S ALREADY WHAT THEY DO!!!

Yes, violating copyrights is wrong, both legally and ethically, and violations should be reasonably enforced. But will this really do anything for the big copyright violators? Prolly not. It's just more fodder to prosecute the small fries. The people who make a killing selling mass pirated videos, software, etc. in China will continue to do so. All this will do is hurt some more college kids who have no money and aren't making any off their "violations".

In his own words... (2, Interesting)

PSaltyDS (467134) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274589)

From Congressman Berman's own web site [house.gov] , you can see how chummy he is with the Holywood crowd, and even the BSA thrown in for good measure. Quoting from his own summaries:

[Quote]

DREIER, BERMAN REINTRODUCE RUNAWAY PRODUCTION LEGISLATION [house.gov]

"...Congressmen David Dreier (R-San Dimas) and Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) joined by a bipartisan group of 44 Members of the House of Representatives today re-introduced legislation that provides wage-based tax relief for film and television projects produced in the United States..."

REP. BERMAN LAUDS AGREEMENT BETWEEN RECORDING INDUSTRY AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES [house.gov]

"...Rep. Howard Berman lauded the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Business Software Alliance (BSA), and Computer Systems Policy Project (CSPP) for their announcement of joint policy principles..."

[/Quote]

Better things to do (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274604)

Doesn't the FBI/etc have better things to do then chase after a bunch of citizens violating copyright law?

Like protecting us from being blown up or poisoned by a bunch of idiots wearing diapers on their heads??

Sheesh where the hell is the priority system around there..

Hmm... (2, Informative)

Phoenix823 (448446) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274615)

(5) In addition, many of the computer users drawn to the convenience of peer-to-peer systems do not realize that these systems pose serious security and privacy threats to their personal computers or company networks. Recent studies reveal that the majority of the users of these systems are unable to tell what files they are sharing and sometimes incorrectly assume they were not sharing any files when in fact they were sharing all files on their hard drive.

Of all the P2P sharing software I've ever seen, none of them had defaulted to sharing my entire hard drive. It's not the software's fault that it's user has no idea what he/she is doing.

(6) The security and privacy threats posed by peer-to-peer networks extend beyond users inadvertently enabling a hacker to access files. Millions of copies of one of the most popular peer-to-peer networks contain software that could allow an independent company to take over portions of users' computers and Internet connections and has the capacity to keep track of users' online habits.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that this is referring to KaZaA and the spyware it installs. What makes this interesting is that, given the above quote, the good representatives seem to favor non-binding EULAs.

(8) In addition, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to act against infringements of copyrighted works, including those works protected under the Berne Convention and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property of the World Trade Organization...

I think the Department of Father^H^H^H^H^H^HHomeland Security has more important things to worry about than worrying about people distributing copyrighted music, don't you?

Separation of Powers?!? (1)

1nt3lx (124618) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274632)

The FBI is an executive agency. I thought the agency is directed by the president. Legislature makes laws, executive enforces laws, and judicial interprets laws. I do not understand how or why the Congress would be detailing the enforcement of particular laws. Certainly Copyright law itself would already fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI. And would thusly be at the will of the presidency to either enforce or ignore. Does anyone have any ideas since IANAL?

may not be a copyright violation (1)

cr@ckwhore (165454) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274633)

I could be completely wrong on this, but just because somebody is downloading a song via p2p doesn't mean that there is a copyright violation being committed. If that user has actually purchased the album, then that user is not commiting a "crime" by downloading songs. Like I said, I could be completely wrong on this... but if I'm right, then the FBI is going to have to overcome the impossible task of determining exactly who is actually committing a crime and who is downloading legally.

Uh huh (3, Insightful)

retro128 (318602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274643)

Isn't the FBI stretched really thin as it is? Unless a lot of money is involved, they won't look at you twice. Are they going to run down every college student in the country who is sharing a few MP3's? No.

These people are all living in fantasyland. The senators keep it quiet because they know there will be a backlash. Berman is already saying "It's not my bill. It's his." The RIAA shows their idoicy by touting this bill that they haven't even read! Looking at his top contributors, [opensecrets.org] I don't see the entertainment industry on there. Maybe he wants to get on their payroll?

I think the stealth with which this bill was put out indicates that the senators know that this type of legislation could damage their careers, but they want to keep the soft money coming in and keep writing up this crap.

"If you download copyrighted material..." (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274656)

"If you download copyrighted materials... you download COMMUNSIM!"

IMO this is good (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274673)

the FBI should be busting people who violate COpyright (there is a criminal penalty for breaking copyright laws)

and they should be educating people that p2p violations are violations.

ARRRGGHHHH (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6274676)

Sorry, I have nothing intelligent to add to this discussion. I'm so angry at these fuck headed fascist assholes. ARRRGGGHHH At least they are all older than me and will soon die. Perhaps someone my age will have a fuckin clue. (that's doubtful as the problem is not the people, but the system).

Now think of it for a while (1)

varjag (415848) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274684)

It also directs the Justice Department to develop programs to educate the American public on why copyright violation is bad.

Why copyright violation is called a 'crime' if it isn't even obvious to an average Joe that it's bad? People usually don't have any problems identifying common criminal activities as such; you don't have to explain to a person that murder, fraud, piracy (the real one), rape, blackmail are bad, pretty much regardless of the person's citizenship and cultural background.

Disclaimer: I *do* consider copyright violation a.. well, violation, but I think it is stetched too far these days. Humanity somehow existed for centuries without copyright protection, and, while authors often suffered from copycats, there always was an opportunity for a creative person to get food on table.

Things that make you go "hmmmm" (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274693)

We already have laws against all the "activities" that this law is supposed to cover.

Tell me, when will the US actually start *enforcing* the already existing laws, as opposed to wasting time making up new laws to overlap the existing ones?

Oh silly me, there I go thinking again...

Huh. (2, Insightful)

Geekenstein (199041) | more than 10 years ago | (#6274700)

You know, it always amazes me listening to the slashdot rants and bitches about copyright protection. The "everything should be free, nobody should make money off of anything!" crap astounds me.

If someone creates something, be they a penniless mother of 6 living in a hovel someplace, or a big heartless, greedy corporation, they deserve to profit from it. Why should anyone create anything - programs, music, movies - and get nothing for it?

Before I get the "But Open Source" speech, wasn't that Linus I saw driving around in a very expensive Italian sports car? I more than suspect he knew his work would get him a very good paying job. Good for him. Just like a lot of other OS people are now getting paid well because of their work.

I'm a capitalist. People's inventions deserve to be protected, because it encourages them to keep on inventing.

To those of you who still say everything should be free, remember this:

Eventually your mom will kick you out of the basement, and you'll have to work to feed yourself. You better hope to God not too many people steal your company's product, or you'll be out looking for work again.
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