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Tennessee's Super-DMCA Rises From The Grave

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the kudzu-of-cluelessness dept.

United States 245

Tsar writes "Members of the Tennessee Digital Freedom Network turned out in force as Tennessee's Super-DMCA Bill, its hour come round at last, slouched back to Nashville's Legislative Plaza. The industry heavyweights made their pitches, but were thwarted by thoughtful, intelligent comments and questions from the newly-formed Joint Committee on Communications Security. My favorite quote of the day: 'I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...' I think I blacked out for a minute after that."

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336270)

all posts in this article, their posters will be bitchslapped

- CmdrTaco
pants are still optional

When will it end? (5, Insightful)

bl1st3r (464353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336272)

I'm an American. I love my country and I love the freedoms we have. But when will the copyright crap end? Its getting to the point where enough is enough, and the next president should be considering what to do about the situation.

On one hand, you have 60 million American felons, on the other hand, you wrestle control away from fat, rich corporations. It seems like a no-brainer.

Re:When will it end? (-1, Troll)

JamesP (688957) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336279)

When you stop voting for Bush...C'mon, there should be anti-DMCA riots...

Yep... (0)

t4b00 (715501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336294)

we are going to have allot of felons.

what freedom do u guys actually have? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336317)

someone really answer this question please.

is your country actually still any good place to live in?

i dont see any attractive stuff at your place, and it gets scarier every day, and the paces have gained in speed since the bush administration....

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (2)

bl1st3r (464353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336325)

I really like it. I like what it stands for, and I like the theory of it. I liked it and believed in it so much I joined the Army. I don't like being in the Army, but its not all that bad.

I just think that this legislation process has gotten all out of whack. No corporation should be able to "buy" senators and bills/laws, but thats what happens every day. Its getting way out of control.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (1)

fruity1983 (561851) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336343)

You didn't answer his question. What makes your country so great to live in?

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336397)

Freedom. It really does feel more free. I now have lived in the Netherlands long enough that I have grown used to the society and love it. But what became clear is that the Netherlands is, in many ways, a very controlled society (self control, government control, etc.). In that sense I feel more free in America. This goes hand in hand with the common belief that anything is possible (i.e. "I want to be an Astronaut!", response: "Great! go for it!"). You can argue that this is overly optimistic, but in the end this attitude often leads to life satisfaction. I honestly believe that the quality of life is good when living in America; yes, better than many places. Switzerland also seems quite nice, if you're Swiss.

Now America's actions on the international scene are simply awful, no question.

If you believe your choice of media (often) protraying the difficulties of living in America (e.g. everyone's mother was a crack whore, crime is terrible), then you're simply missing part of the picture.

The same bias is applied to the Netherlands: many people seem to think that the Netherlands is very liberal, supporting prostitution, soft drugs, etc. when, in fact, the society is quite conservative. The laws governing the "liberal" things are really just (good) ways of dealing with problems. Leagalizing hash and a war-on-drugs are simply different ways of dealing with an unavoidable market.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336538)

>Freedom. It really does feel more free. I now
> have lived in the Netherlands long enough that I
> have grown used to the society and love it. But
> what became clear is that the Netherlands is, in
> many ways, a very controlled society (self
> control, government control, etc.). In that
> sense > I feel more free in America. This goes
> hand in hand with the common belief that
> anything is possible (i.e. "I want to be an
> Astronaut!", response: "Great! go for it!").
> You can argue that this is overly optimistic,
> but in the end this attitude often leads to
> life satisfaction.
> I honestly believe that the quality of life is
> good when living in America; yes, better than
> many places. Switzerland also seems quite nice,
> if you're Swiss.

You, like so many, are very confused.
You confuse freedom of action with freedom of mind. As long as the USA has a society that spits on differently thinking people, and accuss them of all kinds of bad things for the mere reason they think differently, the USA is a long way from freedom.

Both freedoms are important, but freedm of action is a farce without freedom of mind.

Interestingly, I lived in both the USA and th eNetherlands, and I know a whole lot of Americans living in the Netherlands..they turn out to agree without exception that the USA offers a lot less freedom of mind then north-western europe, and esp. the Netherlands..

Ah well, good for you you movd to the USA, but I'd rather suggest you open your eyes for the mental oppression that is very common in the society you live in now before calling it free.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (5, Interesting)

dipipanone (570849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336552)

If you believe your choice of media (often) protraying the difficulties of living in America (e.g. everyone's mother was a crack whore, crime is terrible), then you're simply missing part of the picture.

I'm pretty familiar with both the USA and the Netherlands, and have spent some time in both countries every year for the last ten years or so.

The thing about the USA is that it appears more free if you're an orthodox sort of person that fits in with everyone else around you and doesn't actually want to make any choices that the rest of your culture think are somehow immoral or improper.

What the USA doesn't do very well, in my opinion, is brook difference or dissent -- and to me, a culture that is able to tolerate or embrace those those things is one that meets my idea of a free.

There's no equivalent of Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan in the Netherlands, spewing hate across the airwaves. And if you want to smoke pot or have some kind of unorthodox sex, the state doesn't feel it has any role in policing those areas of private morality.

So while I think your main point is essentially correct -- the Netherlands is a conservative country, and the culture and many of its institutions are also somewhat conservative, but its profound and deep-rooted tolerance for me makes it a much freer environment than the USA could ever be.

That said, what you do have in the USA is a much greater degree of economic freedom -- be that the freedom to make a million, or the freedom to sleep under a bridge because minimum wage jobs don't pay enough to both feed and accomodate you.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336855)


The thing about the USA is that it appears more free if you're an orthodox sort of person that fits in with everyone else around you and doesn't actually want to make any choices that the rest of your culture think are somehow immoral or improper.

What the USA doesn't do very well, in my opinion, is brook difference or dissent -- and to me, a culture that is able to tolerate or embrace those those things is one that meets my idea of a free.


I disagree, in fact I would say nearly the exact opposite. The tolerance of the Dutch is overplayed hype as far as I've been able to tell. If you are not Dutch (as in allochtoon) you'll always know it. If you mean "tolerance" as in don't say anything to your face but save it for later or "tolerance" as in it's cool what they're doing in another country (but keep it over there) then you're right.

My point is while there is certainly nice tolerance it is a facade to some degree. Ask immigrants how they feel, the warm welcome that the Turkish and Marocans receive in Dutch society. I'm just lucky I'm from a "rich" country. While the same thing can happen in American there are lots of cities (New York, Seattle, etc.) where you really can become American and fit in just like everyone else or at least feel like it's your own (if you don't want to feel American). I will never feel that way in the Netherlands.

Tolerance just to ideas is also lacking. Try critizing the Dutch government in front of them, they'll either 1) tell you how broken American government is in response or 2) tell you you're clueless because you don't know how brilliant the Dutch system is. There are certainly some problem s with the Dutch government but they are not hearing it. One immigrant friend gave up talking Dutch politics with Dutch people because he found them too nationalistic to hear criticism. I must admit I've been burned in the same way: listening to someone tell me how broken American is (and how to fix it because they already have the solution), then I agree and inquire about problems with the Dutch government only to see them close their mind completely.

Aarg! That is not tolerance or open-minded!

Embracing of foreign ideas? I'm amazed you think so, on that front I'd choose America any day.

In reference to Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan, did you not hear about Pim Fortuin? He wasn't as hateful as good ole Rush or Pat, but he was pretty radical in views. And a Dutchman assasinated him for it. You can say it was a fluke and Dutch society was shocked by the assasination (even non-supporters) but that's the same in America. Before you say the difference is that in America such views are mainstream keep in mind that Fortuin was going to take 15-20% of the vote with his horse and pony show style politics. Where the hell was their tolerant and embracing attitude then (they should have rejected Fortuin's views)?

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (4, Insightful)

jlanthripp (244362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336498)

Just a sampling from the top of my head, though not everything on this list appeals to everybody, and there are some things in this list that are in peril under the current administration:

  • Freedom of the press - you can print pretty much anything you want, and nobody can toss you in jail for it. The only exceptions I can think of are for libel, slander, and revealing classified information (because if you have classified information you either got it illegally or you signed a statement saying that you promised to not reveal it, understood the National Security Act, and understood that violating that act lands you in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison).
  • Freedom of speech - see above, only it applies to verbal communication as opposed to written.
  • Freedom of association (now severely curtailed by the Patriot Act, which will hopefully be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court).
  • The right to not be subject to search and seizure without a warrant, issued by a judge, supported by an affidavit sworn under oath under penalty of perjury (also heavily eroded by the Patriot Act and various laws passed under the pretense of cracking down on drug dealers, which will also hopefully be declared unconstitutional).
  • One of the lowest overall tax burdens (for all income levels) in the industrialized world.
  • Nubile Southern Women (Southern USA Women, that is).
  • Wal Mart. You too can buy a riding lawnmower, a barbecue grill, an oil filter for your car, some clothes, and next week's groceries at 3am on Saturday.
  • Almost limitless opportunities for socio-economic advancement. My father's family got indoor plumbing for the first time in 1965 when he was 15 - and though they qualified, neither my grandparents nor my parents nor I have ever applied for or received one cent in government aid. He made over $80,000 in 1990, putting him in the wealthiest 5% of the nation. And he never had a management position with a title any more glamorous than "Mechanical Maintenance Foreman". To me, that illustrates the fact that with hard work, self-discipline, and determination, anyone in America can overcome a "lower-class" background. My house (a modest cottage) and my truck are paid for, and I get by just fine on a part-time job - to me, time to spend with my family is more important than money, and though I can afford everything I need, I am by no means rich. I am, however, housed, clothed, fed, and happy - and thus I'm better off than most people in the world, for which I'm thankful.
  • Backyard cookouts, tailgate parties, barbecued chicken with Texas toast. "Plugged" watermelon (cut hole in melon, pour rum into melon, eat).
  • Deserts, beaches, mountains, forests, grassy plains, swamps, bayous, rivers and lakes - all within a day or two driving time, and all the hotels accept Visa and Mastercard.
  • American Indians (aka Native Americans), Anglo-Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, Scots-Irish Americans, Indian-Americans, Spanish-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Asian-Americans, Polynesian-Americans, Arab-Americans, Palistinian-Americans, French-Canadian-Americans, mixtures of all the above and then some.
  • Near-total confidence of invulnerability from hostile invasion, even if military spending were cut by 2/3 (which isn't a bad idea).
  • Even the American "poor" are wealthy by the standards of many other nations - death by starvation is almost unheard of, for example.
  • The right to legal counsel if accused of a crime, the right to trial by jury, and the right to appeal an unjust criminal conviction. (Yes, I know about the people at Camp X-Ray - they are recent developments, exceptions to the rule, and with any luck a judge somewhere will order that they be given their day in court or set free)
  • Freedom to practice any religion, or no religion - so long as said practice doesn't infringe upon the rights of others.
  • Travis Tritt, Rob Zombie, System of a Down, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the New York Symphony Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams Jr, Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Bobby Darin, and countless local acts of all genres.
  • Jack Daniels, George Dickel, Johnny Walker, Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, and Shiner Bock.
  • Law enforcement officers - most of whom, despite the popular perception, genuinely care about the well-being of the public and despise the few cops who make the news by taking bribes, brutalizing suspects, and otherwise abusing their authority.
  • Separation of powers among the federal, state, and local governments and the various branches thereof, which tends to limit the damage that any one group of bad apples can do.
  • Last Saturday's Tennessee/Alabama football game (Five overtimes!)
  • Choice of living in a city of 10 million, or living 10 miles from the nearest neighbor - and everything in between.
  • My local discount tobacco store, run by a friendly Iranian immigrant, that sells Camels cheaper than anywhere else in town - the owner is making an honest living, and doing quite well for himself.
  • The right to keep and bear arms (except for people who have been proven to be unable to handle the responsibility - mainly convicted felons, wife-beaters, and the insane).
  • The freedom to be Richard Stallman or Paul Allen, Socialist or Nationalist, Communist or Capitalist, Fundamentalist or Atheist, or anything in between.
  • Popeye's Fried Chicken and Biscuits- mmmmmm :)
  • Fishing, hunting, canoeing, hiking, snowboarding, water skiing, and horseback riding.
  • Public tennis courts, basketball courts, racketball courts, bicycle trails, and baseball fields.

There are flaws, to be sure. No nation or government is perfect. Our system, flaws and all, is still one of the best overall systems on the planet IMHO. The parts that are broken are mostly minor, and almost all of the broken parts can be fixed relatively easily. The foundation is still good - it's just got some rot in the timbers and a few loose shingles.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336593)

> # Freedom of Press
> # Freedom of speech

And you really think the USA is the only country that has that maybe it was 200 years ago.

> # Freedom of religion

There were countries in Europe that had that 2 centuries before the USA was founded.

> # Even the American "poor" are wealthy by the standards of many other nations - death by starvation is almost unheard of, for example.

Small mistake. USA has approx 12% of its population living below the poverty line. That is absolutely unheard of in western europe for example.

There are many more such minor mistakes in your list, many of which lead to the 'we are better then the world' attitude which is truely unfoundd.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336638)

Only a European would consider this an American vs European thread.

You guys have been busting our chops since World War 1.

Criticism is great, I love it, but dont confuse criticism with sour grapes. There's nothing wrong with believing your country is great, and there's no such thing as unfounded pride.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336899)

is your country actually still any good place to live in?

i dont see any attractive stuff at your place, and it gets scarier every day, and the paces have gained in speed since the bush administration....

I'm going to have to post this as an Anonymous Coward, and even then I don't really feel comfortable saying what I feel to be true, but I am going to openly and candidly speak of how I feel about being born and raised here in the US.

It's a nice place to live, and if you fit in marginally well while growing up, chances are you will have a very comfortable life in the US. And yes, I have a comfortable life.

But freedom is mostly an illusion no matter where you live. In the US, the illusion is very strong because the things you are permitted to do are most likely things you were interested in doing in the first place. It's kind of like being free to do the things you're allowed to do, but I don't know if that qualifies as a free country. I'm free to do things like being a consumer of legitamate goods and services, hanging out with apathetic do-nothing friends, watching TV, etc... You're free to do that so long as you have enough money (or credit), and of course you are free to have the stupidest, most assinine opinions (and voice them) without any basis or reason behind them, and please don't point out the irony that I felt the need to post this as an AC.

Yeah, you can talk trash over here as much as you want! You can get away with statements like, "I think GWB is a supidhead!!!" and no one will drag you off to prison. Now if you threaten GWB, then that's a whole different story, and you will go to jail. No one would argue against that policy either. If someone threaten me, I'd want them locked up too!

BTW: That whole free speech thing is pretty cool, but unless people actually pay attention, what good is it? I think that's why we're allowed to have and keep our opinions. The powers that be probably realized that no one really cares what everyone else thinks, and nothing revolutionary will ever come of a speach. (I keep thinking Martin Luther King Jr., but that's probably not a good example...)

And all those other rights and priviledges are mostly smoke and mirrors. Yeah, you have a right to bare arms... blah, blah, blah... Just don't try to carry a gun down the city street with you. (doh!) If you're really that interested in playing with firearms, there's a socially acceptable way of doing that, but you have to follow all the rules of the beaurocracy. It's such a hassle that most people just don't bother. It also costs a lot of money too, so that's another issue.

Without money, your options are limited and your influence is nill. I have just enough money to pay my bills and keep my nose to the grindstone. How is that free? It's not, but I live in a free country. Go figure.

Now watch how many people will come back with the diatribe about how I can go to school and get an education to work my way up and so on and so on... Sorry, but I didn't make very good grades in school, and the local trade schools are just interested in getting me enough financing to give a lifetime supply of college debt. I hold a decent enough job, and if I attempt to better myself I will probably forget to dot and i or cross a t and screw up the decent living I've made for myself so far.

Some people over here make statements about how much worse it is in other countries to make you feel guilty for not being more grateful that you are a US citizen. I've never been to those other countries, and there's no practical way for me to choose to live in another country to find out. Oh sure, you'll get endless testimonials from people who've claimed to live abroad, but living outside the US has never been an option for me. What do I care if they chop up people in "BFE" for talking back to the local prince? I'm likely never to have the opporuntiy to live there, or any other country. I can only tavel so far, and I hit an impass like "no more money for travel". Sometimes I think this is why the US has a problem with homeless people. I mean, where else can those people go? They sure can't afford to board a plane or a boat and move someplace else.

So is the US a free nation? I'm not sure anymore, and I'm not sure that it really matters. I don't have a personal basis for comparison, but I'm told it's the greatest nation on earth... Believe me, if I knew for certain of a better place to build a life, I'd do whatever I could to get there... but there is no better place on earth... or so I'm told to believe.

Believe what you will about the US. Hate us and believe that we're all a bunch of fat lazy capitalist pigs with a war-mongering dictator for a president. Or realize that most of us just live out our lives as we were conditioned to live, and we're actually kind, thoughtful people who just don't know anything outside what information is available/fed to us.

Oh, and it should be noted that living in the US is nothing like it shows on TV or in movies. We only wish our lives were that interesting.

Don't get me wrong. I love my country. It's my home. I love my friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow man. I would gladly give my life to protect or save another. I still disagree with much of the politics that I see, and I'm deeply saddened that yesterday's future wasn't nearly as wonderful as described in the brochure they passed out when I was being educated and programmed.

For those in other lands, I bid you all peace. I hope that you have a comfortable life and a reasonable government with high ethical standards towards the treatment of its people. Whatever the government over my country does may or may not reflect my actual position, but it's all I've got. This is my home. This is my land. This is my place. This is my country.

God bless America.

Re:what freedom do u guys actually have? (1)

YanceyAI (192279) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336905)

Personally, I love what my country stands for, not what it is or might become. That said, I've often considered moving to Canada or France (too much classism in England), or even some place more exotic. I worry about the world our daughter might grow up in and what values our system might impose upon her.

Still, every day, I get into my safe, affordable car and drive to my stable, fairly pleasant---yet demanding--job. My husband and I have the economic and political freedom to say and do just about anything we want, while our earning level is dead average.

I hate the corporate side of America, but I also benefit from the boom. If it gets too bad, then we will pick up and leave. For now, we'll stay close to the grandparents.

Re:When will it end? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336336)

Our Founding Fathers viewed exclusive ownership of "intellectual property" not as a right, but as a sharply time-limited privilege temporarily granted by the Government. Copyrights and patents were not intended to last more than a couple of decades of years.

We are now living in a society which is growing increasingly at odds with the original intent of those who created this nation. We are subjugated by the twin pathological powers of corporate special interest cartels and judicial tyranny.

Re:When will it end? (1, Funny)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336372)

We are now living in a society which is growing increasingly at odds with the original intent of those who created this nation.

Just for the sake of argument... ... you do realize that they're dead, right? And they died a long time ago?

Things change. Unless you're claiming that Jefferson had the gift of clairvoyance, and knew about computers, immediate infinite copying, and DVD players.

Personally, just a hunch, but I don't think he did.

Re:When will it end? (4, Insightful)

redhog (15207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336422)

I think that the point is, that it does not matte. At all. If the founding father's pointt was that after a _limited_ time, eveyone should be allowed to copy a work, then it does not matter they did not know how easy or hard it would be in hunded yeas to copy that work _after_ the limited time had elapsed.

What has changed is _not_ only technology, but goal and policy. Our culture is by large not our anymore. Our knowledge is neither.

We the people, need to take back what is our.

Red herring (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336516)

Jefferson certainly knew about the writings of the Denis Diderot and the Marquis de Condorcet. Diderot was commissioned in 1763 by the Paris Book Guild to argue for a copyright equivalent to physical property; he went so far as to claim that works of authorship were in fact a truer form of property, as they were entirely the product of their creator, while physical property could be formed only from natural resources and the work of other men. Condorcet held that ideas originated in nature and, unlike real property, could be cultivated by all without diminishment; on the contrary, he wrote, the dissemination of ideas benefitted the common good. Diderot portrayed the artist as a creator; Condorcet saw a discoverer. Diderot perceived ideas to exist for the benefit of one man, Condorcet wished them to enrich every man.

Had the framers intended a Diderotian system, they would have implemented one. Instead, the American institution of copyright was informed by Condorcet and Locke. But if you want to speculate about Jefferson's mind, why not ask the man himself?

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody.... -Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Isaac McPherson, 1813

Re:Red herring (0, Offtopic)

dipipanone (570849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336571)

Somebody mod *this* fucker ALL the way up!

Re:When will it end? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336773)

Just for the sake of argument... you do realize that the same type of reasoning was used to put Hitler in power, right? But it's OK, WWI was a long time ago. This is a different era. We no longer have to conform to the treaty of Versailles, things change.

You know, somethings do change, but then again, some things don't. A rock will alway be a rock, and there will always be people out there who try to do things at the expense of others. Preventing THAT was the intent of the founding fathers and I fail to see how that has changed over the years.

Re:When will it end? (2, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336708)

Too bad founding fathers did not patent their intent. :)

Re:When will it end? (3, Insightful)

Colonel Cholling (715787) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336891)

Our Founding Fathers viewed exclusive ownership of "intellectual property"...

Others in this thread have correctly identified Jefferson as a proponent of a particular limited version of patents. If that is what you had in mind, you should have said so. Because anyone who says "The Founding Fathers believed..." has no knowledge of history. With the possible exception of independence from England, there is no single issue which all of the Founders were of one mind about. They tended to be sharply divided over most of the crucial issues which went into forming our Constitution. It therefore makes no sense to make them into one monolithic body, "the Founding Fathers," whose "intentions" can be quoted like Scripture.

Re:When will it end? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336412)

Or we should be considering another form of governement to prevent shit like this happening in the first place. The reigns of power are consolidated into too few hands, do you think any schmuck can represent the impetus of 100's of millions of people? Presidents, republics, and consititutional monarchies are so 17th century.

Re:When will it end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336424)

It is not a simple matter to represent a large amount of people. The original intent of the American government power structure is very good.

I'll bet you 100 fake euros that the EU will have a president within the next 10 years (if it lasts that long). This would not simply be a power grab, it is a pratical way of dealing with the difficulties of representation versus efficiency.

Re:When will it end? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336465)

God forbid that the 'fat, rich corporations' get to where they are through the hard work and dedication of their founders.

Re:When will it end? (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336492)

Its getting to the point where enough is enough, and the next president should be considering what to do about the situation.

That's the problem... we are NOT a democracy, we are an Oligarcy.

if you vote next year you do NOT vote for your president, you vote for a person to vote for president.

Until we can tear down the system in place that makes everything so easy to corrupt, you will only get presidents in the white house that are nothing but puppets that tow the party line and ensure that the party's funder's interests are that which is on the top of the pile and in front with the most attention.

This copyright crap will end when congresscritters get their offices buried in US mail Letters all screaming that if they dont oppose every copyright extension, strengthening, and DCMA type bill that comes through, they will not be voted for and will be badmouthed all over town by said letter writer.

but in the USA, americans are way too lazy and dont give a rats ass to write a letter and spend 37 cents to mail it. they dont care.

Hell, you want to see change in Govt? figure out how to get only 50% of the minorities to vote. they would outnumber the "majority" voters 2 to 1.

first post! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336273)

for teh GNAA nigfagz!

-jesuitX

Re:first post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336290)

66.134.52.222

Does this IP look familiar?

Oh, and YOU FAIL IT. Asshole.

Excuse me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336274)

...whilst I die laughing.

Don't you dare comment! (5, Informative)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336278)

If you're taking the time to write a comment on this story, DON'T. Instead, take that same amount of time to write a one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators (you have two, you know that?) telling them that you disapprove of this bill, telling them WHY (privacy violation, overextension of copyright, and so forth are good places to start), and encouraging them to work against it. Not tomorrow morning, RIGHT NOW. Get away from that Submit button and go write a letter to someone who could actually do something. Then send it snail mail to their LOCAL office (not DC office), or fax it. (Not email. Many offices don't pay attention to email, although some do.)

I don't want to see any replies to this post. Get away from Slashdot and do something other than whine, or you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Are you still here? Stop reading and start acting!

Some more info, while I'm at it (2, Informative)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336303)

What is SB213/HB457?

SB213/HB457 is the Tennessee version of the "Super-DMCA" bill, which is backed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Proposed in the Tennessee General Assembly in the 2003 session, versions of this bill have already been passed in eight states (and counting). This legislation negatively impacts citizens' freedom of speech, access to secure communications, and use of many networking technologies. It gives Internet service providers (ISP's) unprecedented control over what types of devices and software citizens can use while connected to the Internet, and gives them power to sue users for thousands of dollars per day if they infringe on that control in any way. This legislation tries to ensure that citizens have far fewer freedoms in their electronic interactions; as the Internet and pervasive computing becomes more a part of our lives, this will translate into control by a few corporations over almost everything that you do electronically.

Why should it matter to me?

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

This legislation was presented to Tennessee legislators in 2003 as a "theft of service" bill, designed simply to "update state law so that it comprehensively protects new broadband communication services from piracy and sabotage." In reality, it is much broader and more insidious. The Tennessee bill (HB457) as originally submitted would have made even minor violations of your service contract a Class-D felony, and allowed fines of $1,500 to $10,000, per device or software program, per day, on those found in violation. Compliance would cost Tennessee businesses a bundle as well; businesses planning to move to Tennessee would be less likely to do so.
"It is not a cable theft bill. It is a comprehensive broadband/Internet telecommunications bill."
-- Geoffrey Beauchamp, chief lobbyist for SB213/HB457

You Can Help!

Get informed, get educated, get involved, get organized, get effective. Read all you can about the bills. Read good analyses by people whose motives agree with yours. Write thoughtful and intelligent letters and emails to your representatives. Call them and tell him how you feel and why. Connect with other people who feel the same way that you (and we) do, and help us build a campaign to bring about change for the betterment of Tennessee.

The Tennessee General Assembly is out of session until 2004, and summer study will likely not start until the fall. You can stay current, and help us stay current as well, through our online forums. Keep up with our activities, and stay alert for important news and information that we may have missed. If you have a web page, you can add one of our link banners to your site. Please do what you can to help us get the word out about this dangerous legislation!

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1, Funny)

t4b00 (715501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336308)

They call me Taboo for a reason...

You have a good point, but consider it is entirly possible congressmen read slashdot.

Just a thought.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1)

eatdave13 (528393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336353)

Oh, I believe it. I wouldn't doubt anything I read on my 48" diamond monitor.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1, Funny)

geeveees (690232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336319)

I am European! HAHA! I shall know continue refreshing slashdot.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1)

ideatrack (702667) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336375)

And I'm English! I shall continue complaining about situations without making any efforts to correct them, while simultaneously expecting immediate results! And still feel superior!

It's what makes this country great. That and out out-dated monarchy.

Both? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336371)

Thanks, but I think I'll be writing up on SlashDot and then pasting it into my word processor afterwards. My computer has that clipboard thing all the kids are raving about.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1)

arvindn (542080) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336373)

If you're taking the time to write a comment on this story, DON'T. Instead, take that same amount of time to write a one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators

Excuse me sir,

If you take the same amount of time to post a comment on /. and to write a "one page, reasoned, intelligent letter to your Senators", I regret to tell you that you take slashdot way too seriously. I would advise going out and taking a breath of fresh air :)

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1)

zoefff (61970) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336415)

Senators (you have two, you know that?)

No, I don't!

err...have, that is.

Tell me, what can I do in the EU!

Re:Don't you dare comment! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336503)

Contact your local MEP [eu.int] (you have one, you know that?) explaining the problems with the US DMCA, and how the EU should avoid them in revising its [ukcdr.org] own [fipr.org] legislation [patent.gov.uk] . The subject is due to come up in the EU parliament again next month, so you'll be timely and on-topic.

This bill is for the state of Tennessee (4, Informative)

putaro (235078) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336450)

It's not a federal bill. Unless you live in Tennessee those senators are not real interested in your input.

Re:This bill is for the state of Tennessee (1)

llj555 (538725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336825)

Nashville journalist and blogger Bill Hobbs has been covering this bill all year: Hobbs Online [blogspot.com] .

Re:Don't you dare comment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336505)

I'm from Virginia, so my two Senators consist of an economy-destroying dickwad (George Allen,) and a very strong proponent of the northern and eastern regions of the state, in which I don't live (John Warner.) Fortunately, the Representative from Virginia's 9th district is Rick Boucher, one of the guys who drafted the Digital Millennium Consumer Rights Act; it makes me feel proud for helping elect him every two years.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (2, Interesting)

Darth_Foo (608063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336727)

I already have. Fortunately, the state Senator Trail, quoted extensively in the linked article giving the MPAA/RIAA/cable crowd a hard time, is a personal and professional acquaintance of mine, close enough that we're on a first name basis. Also fortunately, I'm also on a first-name acquaintanceship with the U.S. Representative (Congress-critter) from that Distric, Bart Gordon. I don't hesitate to write whatever letters I can and to chat them up on these issues when I run into them. The best way to stay informed and involved in these issues is to join the EFF. Subscribe to their Action Alerts and send those emails, faxes and letters ASAP on any issue that matters to you. DON'T sit there like one of the sheeple, being led around by the cable industry, the recording industry, the movie industry and others. If you make yourself heard intelligibly, calmly, rationally and CONSISTENTLY, you will be heard.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1)

rf600r (236081) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336782)

What if I'm still not convincd the 1st ammendment entitles me to steal? I'm not even close.

Re:Don't you dare comment! (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336865)

Yep, write a letter to your senator and watch him laugh immediately before wiping his ass with it. No money, no influence. You can pretty much buy votes these days so what does it matter what the voters think?

Re:Don't you dare comment! (0)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336876)

I don't have a senator, you insensitive clod. And I don't live in Tennessee.

I'm going to have a stroke (-1, Troll)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336283)

It's like geeks all became lawyers and can't stop talking about the repercussions of this and that.

Why isn't the Apache story on the front page? Or the video game story? Or even the dinosaur story?

Why must we wait for the repeats before these much more interesting stories finally make the front page?

Slashdotted (2, Informative)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336285)

I can't access the file, so here's a link to the .pdf, HB0457.pdf [state.mt.us] .

Re:Slashdotted (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336315)

HTML link [216.239.59.104] . Don't you just love Google?

Re:Slashdotted (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336337)

This is a different House Bill 457 - it's from Montana, and it's "An act requiring a county to conduct a special mail ballot election at municipal government expense when a municipality requests an election to approve or disapprove the application of the municipality's building code jurisdiction to all or part of an area not to exceed 4 1/2 miles beyond the municipality's corporate limits" Not quite the same thing, methinks.

Wrong PDF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336391)

You linked the wrong PDF file.

Nice goat! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336463)

Congrats!

Uh oh... (3, Funny)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336298)

> the newly-formed Joint Committee on Communications
> Security...

It seems that whenever the term "security" is part of the name of a government body in the US, something bad is about to happen.

Re:Uh oh... (2, Funny)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336309)

You have to realise that "security" refers to job security for lawyers and law enforcement officials... :)

Re:Uh oh... (1)

SweenyTod (47651) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336377)

Yeah, and to those of us not in the USA either.

But you produced Sigourney Weaver and Buffy, so I think the balance is there somewhere. :)

Re:Uh oh... (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336408)

What's this "us" and "you" business? Here in Australia, we're still having the virtues of DMCA-like laws spruiked to our politicians - we've got at least another few months before they're law.

The "sheriff of Asia" still has to go down this particular stupid path.

Firs Amendment advocates.... (5, Funny)

t4b00 (715501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336299)

'I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...

With Advocates like you, who needs adversaries?

Advocates? (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336383)

Whatever. The MPAA is a leading beneficiary of the first amendment, but frankly if the first amendment were repealed tomorrow the MPAA would do what it must in order to survive... go back to making propaganda films and the like. At least Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay would still be thriving.

Why black out? (4, Insightful)

Forge (2456) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336301)

The statement was true. The MPAA and RIAA for that mater promote 1st amendment rights. They advocate free speech for musicians and movie producers. They aggressively block attempts to sensor what they want to say.

Sure they spend millions trying to fight our attempts to freely use the stuff we have bought. However they spend billions producing junk^M^M^M^M^art that aught to be sensord for the preservation of what little intellect remains on this planet.

Re:Why black out? (-1, Troll)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336496)

Sure they spend millions trying to fight our attempts to freely use the stuff we have bought.

Ask an artist about the 1st amendment and how it applies to the RIAA or the MPAA (I only know first hand about RIAA). The freedom of Speech is basically this, "I (the RIAA) say that you owe me money. By the way thanks for writing the songs." The RIAA is a bunch of sanctioned felons who have no place in the halls of congress, senate, the mayors office or the Citgo shitter for that matter.

Re:Why black out? (2, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336669)

The statement was true. The MPAA and RIAA for that mater promote 1st amendment rights. They advocate free speech for musicians and movie producers. They aggressively block attempts to sensor what they want to say.

They block attempts by the GOVERNMENT to censor what artists can say, but they willfully censor artists themselves. With the vast majority of the movie theaters in this nation controlled by the MPAA and its standards, any attempt to freely reach an audience requires that you jump through hoops by A) making a movie with the MPAA, B) making sure that its content isn't too controversial to be carried by an MPAA distributor (The Passion is the most recent example of this), C) making sure that it's censored so it won't get an NC-17 rating (like Quentin Tarantino did with Kill Bill and the House of Blue Leaves scene) or censoring it down to PG-13 if you REALLY want to reach an audience, and D) paying them every step of the way for the privilege of letting them screw with you and your work.

But hey, that's not "censorship" or anything, because you're perfectly free to release whatever type of movie you want... in the backwoods of upstate New York in a theater with a seat capacity of twelve. At 12:47AM. On a Wednesday. Provided it's not raining.

MPAA == 1st Ammend. (1)

Down8 (223459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336305)

That is fscking comedy. I'm seriously laughing out loud (which has nothing to do with that queer euphamism, "lol", I see so often just about everywhere nowadays).

-bZj

Help! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336313)

I'm in love with a UT bot!

we like the 1st amandment.. (2, Funny)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336326)

..as long nobody tells things about us or our tech that we don't like.

and by the way, that korean manual on your vcr is a 'copyprotection device', so don't press that button with a red circle.
-

Your Typical Tin-Foil Hat Rant (3, Insightful)

Excen (686416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336331)

In all seriousness, the people of Tennessee need to stomp this law into the dirt, before it can spread throughout the country. You may deny it, and say that only the hicks, to use a generalization that would only be relevant in NYC and LA, would approve of something like this, but it's only a matter of time before a whole bunch of states pass this kind of legislation.

On a side note, the -IAA crowd couldn't buy off Congress all at once to get their way, so they're purchasing state legislatures one-at-a-time now? Why don't they just save up for a few months or years or whatever to get what they want? It's what the rest of us have to do!

DMCA could be bad news for Debian/apt-get (4, Informative)

Debian Troll's Best (678194) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336334)

In a previous job I was the system administrator for a small legal firm (taking care of their Debian-based legal document tracking and retrieval database server). Hence, I've been taking more than a passing interest in the proceedings of the various DMCA related court actions. If I'm understanding things correctly, then this latest case in Tennessee will be a real threat to open source software, and especially Debian.

The thing with the DMCA is that it's all about trying to thwart people from cracking copy protection mechanisms. And a key step in the process of breaking protection is its eventual transmission from its original source to its eventual destination. IANAL, but from my readings, the DMCA will be coming down as hard on mechanisms which facilitate the transmission of protected materials as much as the mechanisms which are used to circumvent that protection in the first place. Now, let me describe to you the perfect DMCA-circumvention transport tool. It's simple to use. It moves data (software especially) with a minimum of fuss. It can check for differences between the source and the sink, and make appropriate changes to what's being grabbed. And you can use it to upgrade Debian.

Yep, it's apt-get I'm talking about. This is something which has started to get some serious consideration on the Debian mailing lists. What if apt-get is in contravention of the DMCA? What is apt-get is considered to be a tool for the transmission, installing and dist upgrading of pirated/cracked data protected under the DMCA? It's something which is keeping people like Ian Murdoch, Bruce Perens and Joel 'Espy' Klecker up late at night talking with their lawyers just in case the worst does happen.

So fellow apt-get users...please take a moment to consider the precarious position we are all in as a result of this DMCA madness. Write your local congressman. They need to know how evil the DMCA is. And send them a Debian CD-ROM while you're at it...maybe we can win over some Windows users in the process!

apt-get peace out, comrades!

Re:DMCA could be bad news for Debian/apt-get (1)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336363)

By that logic, you could say that http, ftp, scp, bt, tftp, e-mail, freenet, and the like are all against DMCA. This, while it may be what {RI|MP}AA want, would certianaly destroy the entirety of what we now know as the Internet.

Re:DMCA could be bad news for Debian/apt-get (3, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336473)


  • would certianaly destroy the entirety of what we now know as the Internet.
Exactly. Don't you think the AAs would be happy to see the internet dissapear?

Re:DMCA could be bad news for Debian/apt-get (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336659)

Don't say that! You might make them orgasm with purely the thought of it.

Excuse me???? (2, Interesting)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336345)

I started reading this and the following statement caught my attention:

She then introduced the next two speakers, who she said "speak around the country on this specific piece of legislation." Senator Trail asked her why we needed this legislation at all since we already had laws that made cable theft illegal. She stated that the existing law only covers analog, not digital cable theft--giving the impression that, without this new bill, digital cable theft is legal. In responding to Senator Trail's continuing questions about this, she also admitted that the primary goal of the new legislation was getting stronger civil penalties.

Are they actually claiming that it's legal to steal cable TV if the cable is digital?????? WTF???????

Wild MP3 Distributors ! (-1, Funny)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336347)


If the crazyness doesn't stop in pumping up how much criminal you are for copying a song or two, I fear that future wars may be fought over Wild MP3 Distributors (WMD's).

Forget the terrorists, fear the WMD's !!

Well these things happen. (2, Funny)

barcodez (580516) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336350)

This is what happens when you don't democratically elect a leader.

Re:Well these things happen. (1)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336388)

This is what happens when you don't democratically elect a leader.

Wrong.

However, even if your fantasy were true, think what things would be like with algore as Supreme Leader. I'm sure he'd be fighting the DMCA, MPAA and RIAA tooth and nail, right? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

No, in fact he'd be fighting for them, because just like the Republicans, the Democrats receive millions of dollars from the media big dogs. The rights of regular Americans and the public good mean nothing by comparison.

That is the reason the existing two party system is in need of a BIG overhaul.

Wrong Statement (3, Insightful)

famazza (398147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336499)

I'm sorry, but this have nothing to do with the president (we all know who we are all talking about). This is about the faillings of this so called democratic govenment.

In a democratic government we have people electing their representatives so they can have their interests defended and laws supporting their needs and opinions. The way US government is organized it just doesn't happen this way.

The legislative is mostly supported by huge corporations that use their power and money to buy the ones that was supposed to defend the people interests.

And what happens then? Then we have draconian laws that protect most corporations, harming just a few of them, aproved, even if them simply don't bring any good to the people. That's the case of DMCA, for examplo.

What can be done? We can try changing the way we vote, and the way we participate, avoiding being confused and manipulated by huge organizations and voting in politicians that really represent us.

IMO we need even more. Politicians should not be allowed to be paid by corporations. Corporations should not even participate in politcs decisions. Politics campains should be maid on the streets, squares, not on TV. We should be able to contact in person our representatives.

Will that be true someday?

Re:Wrong Statement (-1)

sn0wcrash (223995) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336545)

I must have been taught wrong. To me you descibted a republic and called it a democracy.

Re:Wrong Statement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336682)

No, he described a representative democracy.

Re:Wrong Statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336759)

> I must have been taught wrong. To me you descibted a republic and called it a democracy.

Yes you are taught wrong, it is supposedly both.
- Being a republic says something about having an elected head of state, but not how and by whom that president/head of state is elected.

- Being a democracy says something about where the real power is supposed to be (with the people)

Hence, when the people elect a president, you end up having both (at least to some extent)

It is a common misconception that republic and democracy contradict eachother, they are not. This misconceptin is also mostly common among Americans. It may have to do with their ducation, but prolly also with the fact that the political parties there have somewhat silly names which need to be justified as being opposing.

Your Sig (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336633)

You say "I know life isn't fair, but why can't it ever be un-fair in MY favor!?"

I'm assuming that, because you are posting on slashdot:

1) You have a computer

2) You have the leisure to post

3) You are probably not blind or mentally retarded.

4) You probably went to school - in other words, had access to education, and did not have to work instead.

5) Probably do not live under an oppressive government that forbids private use of things like the internet.

I could go on, but I hope the point is made. Compare to many of the people in the world, and especially compared to many people throughout history, life has already been unfair in your favor (as it has in mine).

Mod parent down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336674)

This is just trolling.

I live in TN and dont like this.... (1)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336380)

I live in Chattanooga TN and I can tell you that most people dont know that this is even going on. Hell, Tennessee has astronomical rates on T1 lines and we wonder why we dont have more computer industry. The truth is that our politicians don't want us to know that in the name of freedom our real freedoms are being taken away. I love Tennessee, especially Chatt, but this just goes to show you how stupid our poiliticians are. In fact after reading the bill, it seems that only coorportations are having their rights protected. I understand not breaking the law and i dont, but it seems like this bill will be abused.

Re:I live in TN and dont like this.... (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336507)

I love Tennessee, especially Chatt, but this just goes to show you how stupid our poiliticians are.

Your' politicians are smart. Long ago Franklin and Adams argued over who should run the country, the majority (according to Franklin) or the elite few (according to Adams). The letters they exchanged had a strong impact on the future of American government with both the two party system and the electoral college owing not just a little to those letters. Sounds like your state sides with Adams.

Re:I live in TN and dont like this.... (2, Interesting)

lythotype (446239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336699)

I live just outside of Chattanooga. When this whole mess came to my attention I emailed my state representative, Bobby Wood, and my state senator David Fowler. They both wrote back in person (and quite prompty I may add). While they admitted this topic was a bit over their heads they were still knowledgable about the bill and its repercussions. They both said they were against the bill and would not vote for it if it came to them. I was impressed to say the least.

More Tennesseans need to do exactly this. They may be suprised on just how easy it is to contact them.

Re:I live in TN and dont like this.... (1)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336873)

Yeah ive contacted them as well. I hope they dont vote for it. In the end a majority of reps are going to have to not support it. I hope it never passes.

Re:I live in TN and dont like this.... (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336884)

Yep, Mr. Smith was the only good politician ever to come out of Tennessee.

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336409)

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The last two lines seem appropriate here.

Proving Damages and Loss (5, Insightful)

Slur (61510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336430)

In the world of electronic data transmission the notion of theft is much blurrier than it used to be. A company that sold onions could point to an onion thief and say "he stole seven onions so we want seven equivalent onions as a remedy." They could easily prove damages because they have physical goods on hand.

The issue becomes blurrier in the case where - at the end of their season - the onion company ends up with a lot of rotten onions that they can't sell. They cannot claim unequivocally that the individual onion thief caused them any damage. They would have to know whether the onion thief would have bought the onions he stole, or whether those seven onions would have rotted with the rest.

In the case of cable tv or music downloads, it seems to me that a company has to be able to show that a given individual thief would have bought the item in question.

In other words, a million dollars in "theft" probably only amounts to a thousand dollars in actual damages. And that's a generous estimate.

Obviously companies have to sustain themselves somehow. However, it ought to be done in ways that make creative use of the newest technologies. It ought to be done through adaptation, not through shortsighted legal scheming.

If I were the President of Show Business I'd tell the music and movie folks to suck it up and send the lawyers home. The present may seem scary, but there's no need to panic and start making kooky demands. In the longer view this is just a little bump in the road.

Uh, you mean it... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336433)

...wises from its gwave?

Flat-rate charging the culprit? (5, Insightful)

Phil Karn (14620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336446)

Seems to me the cable companies and telcos want this bill mainly to protect a fundamentally flawed business model -- the flat rate broadband plan.

Yes, residential customers really like flat rate plans because they know exactly how much they'll spend every month. But they have a Faustian downside: they give the carriers an excuse to severely limit and control how you use the service. Just as all-you-can-eat cafeterias have rules that regular restaurants do not (e.g., against sharing food or taking it home) most flat-rate broadband plans prohibit connection sharing, business use, running servers, etc.

If the carriers instead charged by usage for the shared part of their network, then they would have far less of an arguable case (i.e., none whatsoever) for claiming that a NAT box, even if you use it to provide service to your neighbor, constitutes "theft of service". If you pay for those bits, they're clearly yours to give away.

I know it's unpopular to argue for usage-based billing. But if I'm forced to choose (and I think I will be) between flat rate plans with lots of heavy-handed restrictions and a pay-as-you-go plan with no restrictions at all, I know what I'd do.

Groups like those opposing the Tennessee bill should educate their lawmakers that it's simply not their job to protect unsustainable business models. Although broadband service is frequently provided over cable TV facilities, it is nothing like cable TV. With usage-based billing, even your average legislator might see how analogies between NAT boxes, which support a two-way telecommunications service, and illegal cable descramblers, which gain access to a one-way broadcast service, simply don't apply.

Imagine also the public outrage that would finally be directed against Microsoft when end-users have to pay for all the traffic generated by their worm-infested machines. Not only might that create an incentive to get such machines quickly off the net, we just might see a lot of ordinary Joes defenestrating their copies of Windows. Clearly a good thing.

Even the MPAA and RIAA couldn't complain, since usage-sensitive billing would discourage file sharing. (We don't have to tell them that everyone would simply revert to the way music was widely pirated long before the Internet: by exchanging physical media.)

Oh, and the spammers would have to pay more, too. Wouldn't that alone make it worthwhile?

Re:Flat-rate charging the culprit? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336886)

That is interesting all, but not entirely true.
Where I live (the Netherlands) it is pretty common that cable providers try to say that running a server is illegal, but they stopped making an issue of NAT boxes since they do want those customers with internet capable game consoles and do see why those customers are not gonna switch their 'modem' between their computer and console all the time.

With DSL providrs the story is a lot better, the one I use, and many of them here, do explicitly allow you to run a server. My DSL connection came with documentation about how to setup a srver, and the profile my provider gives you with the dsl modem they sell is explicitly made to allow it.
They even went as far as giving me a temporary reduction on my subscription fee because I happen to run a mail service whioch is used by quite a few of their customers, and me moving onto their network saved them some bandwidth.

No, this has nothing to do with flatrate broadband, it is a viable business model when you can offer bandwidth for almost nothing anyway.

Cable companies have a much harder time then specialized telcos since the cable companies have a conflict of interest. One type of content will get them money if they allow their customers access (tv), the other type costs some money (internet) and it so happens that the ones who pay for the first dislike the later.
That they can earn money on the later from their customers is nice, but the margins are lower, and they definitely do not want to upset the people who generate their tv based cashflow.

Edmund.. (1)

Atescha (602547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336489)

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Somehow, this came to mind after reading the first comment :)

Re:Edmund.. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336912)

Which is why I decided to run for local office this fall. Will I win? Who knows. I didn't like the choices I was going to have on the ballot, so I got the required signatures to put my name on the ballot. I've spent about $160 on advertising and a few evenings away from my family talking to others in my district. A small price to have a voice.

I can't make a difference at a larger level than my county...no I take that back. My new title will actually get me in the door where I couldn't previously. Maybe I'll be heard after all. I know I have an earful to deliver!

Now, I'm not saying this is the answer... (1)

Aldric (642394) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336513)

But I'm starting to think that big corporations will only stop stamping on peoples rights when top executives start getting shot by the people they are screwing over.

Re:Now, I'm not saying this is the answer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336885)

Would this be considered (illegal) terrorism...or a (lawful) counter-terrorism campaign?

What exactly is the problem here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336557)

When the MPAA rep said "I stand here before you as representing the MPAA, one of the leading advocates of First Amendment rights...", why did you "think I blacked out for a minute after that."? Aren't they a leading advocate of First Amendment rights? Do you know what the First Amendment [cornell.edu] says? Exactly how this supporting this bill undermine the First Amendment?

Furthermore, nothing that the industry said in the linked "hearing notes" seemed unreasonable or underhanded to me. Despite the attitude on slashdot, things do have to be paid for. Grown-ups know that. People who steal cable, uncap modems, or resell (or even freely give away!) broadband are harmful to society's infrastructure, and have to be criminally prosecuted. Civil prosecution is too expensive, difficult, and slow.

Look: you can't justify stealing "because it's there" or "because you aren't hurting anyone". The power grid, the water mains, and sewer system are also all "there", but try illegally tapping into them and see how fast you end up in court. And rightfully so: they have to be paid for fairly if we (as a society) want them to be available. And arguing (as many do) that you are already paying for capacity that you don't use yourself is like arguing that there is more food at an "all-you-can-eat" buffet than you personally can eat, so you ought to be able to take out enough for all your family and friends.

Come on, people - grow up!

Who's violating the "Super DMCA?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7336619)

Let's see here...

Download.com says that more that 2.1 million copies of Kazaa have been downloaded. When you determine the number of users that will use Kazaa to download music illegally, you're probably looking at several hundred thousand. These figures are certainly known to the major computer manufacturers. Therefore, computer manufacturers and software developers like Dell, Gateway and Microsoft would be in violation of this bit here:


(a) It is an offense for any person knowingly to:
(4) Possess, use, distribute, sell, give, transfer or offer, promote or advertise for sale, use or distribution any:
(B) Material, including hardware, cables, tools, data, computer software or other information or equipment, knowing that the purchaser or a third person intends to use the material in the manufacture, development or assembly of an unlawful communication or access device for a purpose prohibited by this section;

as the companies make products which they know will be used for illegal purposes.

Boy, "Microsoft vs. the RIAA, MPAA, et al." would be so much cooler than "Microsoft vs. The United States."

I've already said it (5, Insightful)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336751)

I've already said it countless times, but if you haven't already read The Right to Read [gnu.org] , do it now while you still have the right to do it. From what I witness it might change in the near future. That's funny that we all were laughing out loud at Richard when he wrote his "stupid dystopian science fiction which will never happen outside of a paranoid mind foolishly guarded with a tinfoil hat" and at the same time we all kept allowing it to slowly happen. And who looks like a fool now? Sadly, not Richard but us. It certainly doesn't make me feel proud at all. The DMCA is the fruit of our own inaction, our own inertia, our own plain stupidity. We all have to remember that. We have to take the responsibility if we ever want to overthrow the law system we don't agree with. The DMCA was introduced democratically and it can be fought only democratically, where everyone takes the responsibility for the will of the majority. It is a great time to renew our EFF memberships [eff.org] because that is our freedom at risk.

Today is a good day... (2, Interesting)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336779)

...to be proud that I was born in Knoxville.

I guess hicks don't like oppressive legislation, regardless of it's focus.

the important question here is... (3, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7336822)

Just what constitutes a "communications service".
For example, does the "communications service" end at your cable/DSL/dialup modem?
Or does it end at your web-browser?
Or what?

If we cant get these new bills overturned completly, we should push for clear definitions of just what a "communications service" is to be enshrined into the bills. That way, they can only be applied in the ways that the law-makers intend.

My take on why these bills are being pushed for:
1.to enable companies providing "communications services" (e.g. cable providers, telcos etc) to go after people who are stealing service (e.g. cable pirates, phone phreakers etc)
2.to enable those same providers to have greater controlls over the networks (for example, cable companies can make it illegal to plug digital recorders into their networks and record stuff)
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