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Bush Signs Law Targeting P2P Pirates

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the another-victory-in-the-war-on-terror dept.

Patents 727

BlakeCaldwell writes "CNet is reporting that President Bush signed into law the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (previously-reported). A lawbreaker can land in jail for up to three years for distributing a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet. The MPAA's president Dan Glickman applauded the move, stating he wanted to 'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.'"

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727 comments

Not that bad... (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370559)

Before we hear people slamming this (because it's Bush related), read what the EFF has to say about it...

Straight from the EFF [eff.org]'s Fred von Lohmann:
April 22, 2005

As many have reported, the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 (S.167/H.R. 357), recently passed the House, which also issued a committee report about the bill. Since the identical language had already passed the Senate in February, the measure now goes to President Bush for signature.

There has been some alarmist [theregister.com] reporting about the bill. While it's decidedly a mixed bag, I think the bill should be marked as more victory than a defeat for the public interest side in the copyfight.
...And the bottom line from the EFF:
The real silver lining here emerges when you consider where the entertainment industry started back in 2003, and where they've ended up in 2005. After two years of heavy investments in lobbying Congress for a host of outrageous changes to copyright laws (like the Induce Act), the entertainment moguls managed to enact only a tiny sliver of their agenda, and only by granting concessions to ClearPlay.

Re:Not that bad... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370625)

You post makes little sense to me. First, we arne't Bush bashing. He wasn't really involved with this bill. It's bashing the Republicans and their love of the religious right. Second when the EFF says there is a silver lining that means the bill is a dark cloud. I don't know how you can read that as an endorsement, but you do.

To say this bill could be a whole lot worse doesn't make it a good bill. Duh!

Re:Not that bad... (3, Insightful)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370654)

What does religious right really have to do with people pirating movies?

Re:Not that bad... (3, Funny)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370672)

Simply put: Passion of the Christ DVD sales

Re:Not that bad... (1)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370744)

haha funny ;)

I hit send before I was done. I also wondered what constituted a "pre-release" movie. Does this include 'Battlestar Galactica' and other seasons of shows which don't even have an announcement of a release date yet? I'm going to buy that as soon as it comes out on DVD but I'm sick of waiting. I'm hoping this just means movies that haven't hit DVD yet. Once it hits DVD anyone who has friends that buy it can watch it for free anyway.

Re:Not that bad... (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370736)

Nothing. But the religious right are behind a key part of the bill that makes it ok to release "edits" for movies regardless of what they do to those movies without either the consent [slashdot.org] of the artist, or at least honouring the artist by allowing them to have their names removed from the edited work.

This was covered yesterday [slashdot.org] (we have two Slashdot articles about the same thing from different sides.)

Personally, and I know this isn't a popular view here, I don't like this bill at all. It expands my "rights" in one area where I emphatically do not want them and feel the net result is a slap in the face to artists and the concept of artistic integrity.

In the other, it creates the danger of disproportionately high sentences for copyright infringers, which amongst other things threatens to discredit copyright (on top of the overly long copyright terms we see today and absurdities such as the restrictions on equipment we can use to access content we've bought copies of.) Beyond some extra funding of the Library of Congress, I really don't like this.

Re:Not that bad... (-1, Offtopic)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370838)

Ahh ok cool. I was too busy playing Empire Earth 2 yesterday to keep up with slashdot ;) Mmmmmm....ICBMs are pretttttyyyyy.

Re:Not that bad... (0, Flamebait)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370763)

What does religious right really have to do with people pirating movies?
Didn't you get the memo? The religious right believes all sin is punishable by death (unless its one of their own). Stealing is a sin (even though copying a movie is not stealing - its a copyright violation yaddda yaddda yaddda yaddda ... ), and ranks right up there with gay marriage in their opinion. Pirate a movie - go to hell. Gays and lesbians - go to hell. Don't believe in Jesus - go to hell.

Me, I prefer the religious right go to hell - they talk so much about it, without having at least checked it out first.

Re:Not that bad... (3, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370636)

So we should be happy because even though they got what they wanted, they maybe could've gotten even more? I sure am happy that insane rubbish like the INDUCE act was thrown out, but I don't quite see why I should celebrate a setback just because it could have been an EVEN bigger setback.

Re:Not that bad... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370699)

You say that like you're replying to someone who is defending an administration that thinks its OK to openly lie and flaunt its corruption, who flipflops on ethics issues faster than Kerry ever could hope to, and who appears to honestly believe that this is all right because they weren't the first administration to be hives of scum and villainy.

Really says a lot for your "values" when they appear to consist of "But he did it first!"

Re:Not that bad... (1)

NonAnonymousCoward78 (785634) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370653)

I can understand why the EFF might consider this a real victory, but the fact still stands that they have an enormous amount of influence over our government. Frankly, any legislation that is passed by special interest lobby is too much, small victory though it may be. If you want to preserve your rights and freedom the only way is to severly restrict the power and scope of the federal government to such an extent where they are unable to enact anti consumerist laws due to the influence of companies.

Re:Not that bad... (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370656)

I don't think there is a problem with the major intent of the bill, which is to allow people to self-censor portions of films they don't want to see. The problem is the 3 year max. prison sentence for distributing any commercial work before its official release date.

This kind of techinque to get laws passed doesn't go over well with most of us. Its like those gun legislation bills that start out quite good, but then are amended to death with loads of pork and turn in to shit legislation.

Re:Not that bad... (3, Interesting)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370740)

So you think there is a legitimate need to distribute movies before they are released?

My concern with the bill is the sections regarding commercial content. You can skip things that are offensive to you but not ads? What about the paid placement of Marlboro ads in Superman II? Would skipping that be illegal still?

In any case it is interesting to see how the responses by the Slashbots vary depending on how the headline is written. When these services are mentioned as "censorship" everybody goes nuts about how evil they are. When the story is posted as being about giving you more "freedom" the same idiots praise it. It would be interesting to compare the last few Clearplay/Cleanflicks stories and look for inconsistencies in the attitudes of individual posters based on the headlines.

Sheep! All of them!

Re:Not that bad... (3, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370805)

So you think there is a legitimate need to distribute movies before they are released?

No. I just don't think it warrants a possible prison sentence of 3 years.

You can skip things that are offensive to you but not ads?

Ads are offensive to me; problem solved.

Re:Not that bad... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370828)

So you think there is a legitimate need to distribute movies before they are released?

Is there a legitimate need for "release dates"? Epecially having different ones according to geography. What's so difficult about just realeasing the movie when it is finished?

Re:Not that bad... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370659)

At first, they wanted to cut off all four of my limbs. However, after years of negotiation, and much effort, we've managed to reach a compromise where they only cut off my left foot.

I'm happy with the deal.

huh?

Re:Not that bad... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370675)

The real silver lining here emerges when you consider where the entertainment industry started back in 2003, and where they've ended up in 2005. After two years of heavy investments in lobbying Congress for a host of outrageous changes to copyright laws (like the Induce Act), the entertainment moguls managed to enact only a tiny sliver of their agenda, and only by granting concessions to ClearPlay.

And yet after 229 years of lobbying Congress the flesh and blood people of this fine country and losing their rights sliver by sliver to those "people" created out of paper and ink.

Re:Not that bad... (0, Flamebait)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370694)

The real silver lining here emerges when you consider where the entertainment industry started back in 2003, and where they've ended up in 2005. After two years of heavy investments in lobbying Congress for a host of outrageous changes to copyright laws (like the Induce Act), the entertainment moguls managed to enact only a tiny sliver of their agenda, and only by granting concessions to ClearPlay.
Bullshit. Asking for the moon and "only" getting half is just strong-arm negociating tactics. 3 years for 1 copy of a screener? Gee, what's next - maybe life in prison for stealing a dvd player and TV to watch it on ... I'm sure WalMart would like that.

How about the death penalty for the MPAA execs for each time they falsely advertise something as being so great, when it's a sinking turd?

Re:Not that bad... (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370840)

How about the death penalty for the MPAA execs for each time they falsely advertise something as being so great, when it's a sinking turd?

False advertisement isn't that big a crime, but extortion and perjury sure is.
If people started actually suing them for unlawful threats, we could get something done. Of course, it would take a lot of organizing work to pull something like this.

Re:Not that bad... (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370749)

Give it a few months/years, and the bit about pre-release will vanish, leaving you with these over the top criminal sanctions for sharing any file, even those legal outside the States (such as Naxos licensed classical/world recordings), or deleted material.

In soviet russia... (5, Funny)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370563)

...they don't have this problem.

Re:In soviet russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370622)

... jokes don't get old.

Re: Where is Soviet Russia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370823)

Anyone?

Ridiculous (-1)

jersey_emt (846314) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370576)

Ridiculous...another attack on our privacy that will be put into law without question.

Re:Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

jersey_emt (846314) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370614)

"A lawbreaker can land in jail for up to three years for distributing a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet." Some rapists don't even serve this much time. How does putting a copy of a movie on the Internet deserve 3 years in jail?

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370638)

"How does putting a copy of a movie on the Internet deserve 3 years in jail?"

Because the MPAA said so.

Re:Ridiculous (1, Troll)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370785)

rape doesn't hurt corporate america, in fact, rape can even stimulate the economy by forcing victims to seek out therapy/pharmacutical treatment. plus, what do corporate lobbies care about rape? middle aged upper class caucasion males don't really have to worry much about sexual assault unless they're the assailant. the body of legislations passed in a particular government directly reflects its dominant ideology and where the power lies.

it's the economy, stupid.

Re:Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

thagoren (879712) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370815)

"Some rapists don't even serve this much time." Gee, you mean that some criminals don't serve the maximum possible jail time for their crimes? Unless this law is the one exception in all of US law, movie pirates won't all be serving the maximum time either, so they can still expect to serve less time than rapists and murderers. Since you'll probably get just a few months, go ahead and steal as many movies as you want! After all, it's all in the name of "privacy" - which obviously no-one except criminals have a right to. By the so-called "logic" of most slashdotters, anyone involved in the movie industry certainly can expect no right to privacy - unless it's to protect their cocaine.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370837)

> How does putting a copy of a movie on the Internet deserve 3 years in jail?

Because they are taking money away from rich people. Raping individuals takes no money from rich people and therefore warrants a lesser sentence, unless of course the victim is (a) rich and (b) white.

Re:Ridiculous (-1, Redundant)

thagoren (879712) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370713)

Wow - how will we ever survive these horrible attacks on our "privacy", like not letting us steal movies? I can't believe anyone would ever support a law against theft and piracy!

New name for law... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370585)

They should call it the Federal Entertainment Copyright Act of Law (FECAL). That way, when the FBI goes to bust someone, they can have a press release where they say:

"We here at the FBI take FECAL matters very seriously, and Jimmy here is in way over his head."

Funny that they stress "Family Entertainment". (4, Funny)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370586)

No, Mr President, I don't think this has anything to do with the American family. Just say Movie Protection or something.

Re:Funny that they stress "Family Entertainment". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370644)

Family Entertainment, Patriot Act or Copyright: this doesn't surprise me anymore.

Re:Funny that they stress "Family Entertainment". (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370705)

No doubt, im really getting tired of politicians purposely mis-labeling things just to get other politicians to take intrest, and these are the guys who dont bother to read most of the stuff they vote for .

Once again, another day another bill signed for big business. Hell, in 5 years Bush Jr has yet to veto a single bill, and why would he? In order to veto something, a bill sponsored by a Democrat would have to pass the house.

No Kidding? (-1, Redundant)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370587)

1337 Comments [slashdot.org]

No wonder they duped it ...

I don't have a problem with dupes when they encourage debate/discussion regarding a different area of the story, but this is a complete repost, except Bush has signed the bill now.

the new slashdot dupe policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370634)

Append a little note saying something like: "You can read our previous coverage on this here".

I still think that typing the keywords into google is faster, but hey, what're you going to do besides not subscribe?

Re:No Kidding? (1)

Aruthra (826467) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370660)

I think the fact that it's "except Bush has signed the bill now," is the most pertinent. I think that calling this a dupe is like if there was a story about the pope dying and the cardinals being convened, and then we called the article about who finally got elected a dupe.

Re:No Kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370668)

except Bush has signed the bill now
In other words, some NEW STUFF that MATTERS to NERDS happened? What's the tagline of this site again?

Re:No Kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370755)

I sort of agree.

But-
It would have had a much different twist if the story was "Bush Vetoed" instead of signed.

FECA is now L ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370588)

So, now that the FECA is a law, does it become the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act Law?

/not a US constitutionalist
//enough constitution stuff right now to bother with that one
///just an AC today, anyway.

Oh he thanked them alright. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370590)

The MPAA's president Dan Glickman applauded the move, stating he wanted to 'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.

And they would like to thank the MPAA for their contribution.

the word sponsor just leaves a bad taste.... (5, Insightful)

VMaN (164134) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370591)

....in my mouth..

I just can't understand how "buying" laws is considered perfectly natural and good legislation... (I know that's not exactly the context the word was used in, but still)

Re:the word sponsor just leaves a bad taste.... (5, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370667)

It's the REAL Golden Rule.

The one who has the Gold makes the Rules

Re:the word sponsor just leaves a bad taste.... (3, Informative)

LloydSeve (672423) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370671)

The word sponsor represents what Congressman brought the act before congress. Every bill has a sponsor, or someone who introduced it.

Re:the word sponsor just leaves a bad taste.... (0)

VMaN (164134) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370718)

Thanks for clearing that up for a non american like myself.

irony (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370596)

irony: President Bush signing anything that involves the word "intellectual"

Not just Americans (-1, Troll)

Manip (656104) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370602)

If you break American law (e.g. this one) and live in any country (like the UK) which has an extradition treaty with the USA you can be brought to America and charged with the crime.

So if you trade with an American you can expect a free holiday in an American prison.

Re:Not just Americans (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370661)

Source on this? Sounds made up to me.

Re:Not just Americans (5, Informative)

ThunderBucket (73081) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370676)

US law only applies to USians. If you were a US citizen in the UK, sure, you could get into trouble.

Extradition doesn't mean you enforce foreign law on your citizens, it means you agree to repatriate foreign countries' citizens if they're wanted by the courts.

Re:Not just Americans (1)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370723)

If you break American law (e.g. this one) and live in any country (like the UK) which has an extradition treaty with the USA you can be brought to America and charged with the crime.

So if you trade with an American you can expect a free holiday in an American prison. I don't know about that though it's possible. However, realize that enough "extraditions" will probably have the effect of boosting anti-American sentiment in other countries, and if the government is seen as pro-American, I'd say this might have some effect on the government opinion polls in that country. I think you know where I'm going with this... :)

Re:Not just Americans (5, Interesting)

jobsagoodun (669748) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370789)

f you break American law (e.g. this one) and live in any country (like the UK) which has an extradition treaty with the USA you can be brought to America and charged with the crime.

Absolute Bollocks.

Extradition laws apply only to laws which are punishable with jail sentences > 1 year in both countries. Generally this means serious offences like murder, abduction etc.

Now, once the UK starts banging people up for swapping movies you may have a point...

Re:Not just Americans (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370798)

If you break American law (e.g. this one) and live in any country (like the UK) which has an extradition treaty with the USA you can be brought to America and charged with the crime.
Not so, most extradition treaties stipulate that the crime you are extradited for, is actually a crime on your home country. In fact, some requests made by the USA for extraditions from the Netherlands, for something that is a crime in both countries, have been denied by Dutch courts, on the grounds that the punishment in the US for such crimes is much harsher than the one in the Netherlands. This mostly concerns minor drug-related crimes.

Re:Not just Americans (1)

kmartshopper (836454) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370818)

So if you trade with an American you can expect a free holiday in an American prison.

They're not so bad -- just don't drop the soap!

The story says it all (4, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370608)

I was going to make some cynical, sarcastic comment on this but... damn, what's the point?

With everything going on today we're going to hunt down... filesharers? And sentence them like they've committed assault. Right.

The guiding hand of corporate bribes, excuse me, contributions, was never more obvious.

Re:The story says it all (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370686)

Consider the fact that the law only applies to pre-releases, and then you can realize that this is actually quite sensible =)

Re:The story says it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370832)

It's only sensible if you accept the fact that America has grown so uncompetitive in everything else, that our nation is starting to stake its ground around Hollywood. Except that Jesusland hates Hollywood. But that's OK, there's a symbiosis in that Hollywood mocks them to the amusement and $$$ of the rest of the US and the export market.

It's all quite a reasonable system if you're willing to get rid of antiquated ideas like "pride in your country," "just law," and "financial security."

Eh? Is that the real acronym? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370615)

The F amily E ntertainment a nd C opyright A ct L aw?

Nice knowing you guys (4, Funny)

sgtron (35704) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370624)

Been nice knowing you guys.. wait.. we'll all meet up again in the big house and talk over the old times together.. it'll be fun!

*sigh* I knew I'd have to do this sooner or later. (2, Funny)

doublem (118724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370629)

Start -> Control Panel -> Add Remove Programs

Wait for "The list to be populated"

Click "Remove" next to "eMule, used Frequently"

"Are you sure you want to uninstall eMule?

*sigh* "Yes"

Remember kids, when you use P2P, you're supporting terrorists, and because of that, using P2P will get you shipped to Syria where a confession will be tortured out of you, and then you'll be imprisoned without trial or access to a lawyer until such time as Democrats seize control of the government.

Re:*sigh* I knew I'd have to do this sooner or lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370727)

then you'll be imprisoned without trial or access to a lawyer until such time as Democrats seize control of the government.

You mean like when democrats seized control of the government in the 40s and imprisoned the Japanese without a trial or lawyer? Or when democrats seized control of the government in the 60s and imprisoned communists without a trial or a lawyer? It's not a republican vs democrat thing. Its a "whatever the current hysteria" thing.

Re:*sigh* I knew I'd have to do this sooner or lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370745)

There is one problem with your statement of democrats taking over. Two of them sponsored this bill. You have to remember that when it comes to things like this the people in power are a few generations behind most of us and as such, tend to not fully understand some of the ramifications of their decisions in such matters.

Re:*sigh* I knew I'd have to do this sooner or lat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370819)

Most retarded post ever. RTFA, its for prerelease movies. Plus, its up to the MPAA to identify you as releasing the prerelease, then hand you over to the fbi for prosecution. I would only be scared if I was a bootlegger with screening privs

American Law, got to love it (4, Insightful)

cyberlotnet (182742) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370630)

I know, sue americans, take all there money, put them in jail for years for doing things like hmm lets seee.. Oh yea stealing a few movies.

In the meantime lets let convicted murders get out on "good behavior" so they can get another shot and killing someone else.

Lets send rapests to see a shrink who can claim they are now safe for the world again.

Lets focus on every stupid little thing that happens EXCEPT the things that harm and affect us the most!!!

Cause gosh darn it I don't ever want to walk pass some "Axis of Evil" P2P criminal on the streets, the pure inhumanity of it all.

Re:American Law, got to love it (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370760)

You're missing the point.

P2P is being punished so harshly because doing so protects the interests of big business.

Here's the skinny:

The wealthy don't care about the crimes that impact predominately middle and lower class people. They don't care about white collar crime because most of the time, it's the government or the Middle or Lower classes that end up taking the financial hit. (Enron for example)

P2P however is something that the wealthy can't let stand. The lower and Middle classes have the chance to take money from the wealthy and big business. THAT'S what the government and big business are going to take seriously. I'm sure there was a version of the bill that included capital punishment clauses, not for serious consideration but as a "We all would love to pass this one, but not even the MPAA campaign contributions could balance the political backlash from the masses."

Re:American Law, got to love it (1)

DigitumDei (578031) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370836)

The death/rape of a one person isn't as important as the wellbeing of huge corporate bodies. Especially when those huge corporate bodies are very willing to give politicians lots of money...

Sad but true. :(

The rest... of the story. (2, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370642)

The MPAA's president Dan Glickman applauded the move, stating he wanted to 'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.'

Glickman later added that he would like to apologize to those same congressional sponsors, as their seven figure checks will be delayed for up to two days.

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370733)

'thank the congressional sponsors of this legislation for their strong advocacy for intellectual property rights.'

Translation: You're our , that's the least you could have done for us...

Good Government (3, Interesting)

RealBorg (549538) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370657)

always gives their citizens plenty of reasons to feel guilty so they try to keep a low profile and do not risk civil unrest or a revolution against a corrupted system. Schon Tacitus wusste: Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges. The greater the degeneration of the kingdom, the more of its laws.

Time Shift? (5, Interesting)

maotx (765127) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370678)

From S.167RH, Title I, Sec 103. [loc.gov] which can be found under the Text of Legislation:

a. Criminal Infringement

1. IN GENERAL- Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed:

C. by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

So much for distribution of television shows online. Almost all of them will eventually release a DVD of the series (commercial distribution) therefore anyone posting last nights tv show as a torrent will be a criminal.

Re:Time Shift? (4, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370777)

I wonder if anyone will have the balls to have this challenged in the courts. As many TV shows are distributed via bittorrent, any downloader will make "it avaliable on a computer network accessible to members of the public". It seems to me that 3 years in prison for downloading/uploading a show that is shown for free is cruel and unusual.

It also reasons that if I run an FTP server and password protect it (jim:jim), then it isn't "accessible to members of the public".

Re:Time Shift? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370813)

but in reality the tv networks have already distributed it to the public for free.

lets get drunk and drive... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370687)

If we're caught, we'll do less time than if we somehow managed to get a low quality copy of a movie from the theater. Heck, we can even lose control, slam into another vehicle, and kill an entire family on their way to visit grandma, at most we'll be slapped with a small fine and told how naughty we are.

Welcome to MegaCorp, where we make the rules, and frankly, human life is far less important than our profits.

Arrest the First Criminal (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370695)

Since mr. GW Bush is a known pirate [boingboing.net], I suggest the DOJ investigate him first. Any other course of action would make a mockery of the supposed blindness of lady justice.

We all know what we shouldn't be doing (0, Troll)

Icupnimpn2 (728778) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370698)

Although I agree that 3 years for a single copy seems harsh, I can't say I'm angry that this law was enacted. It seems to have an effect only on people who are doing one very specific thing with p2p software that we all know they shouldn't be doing anyway. At least p2p software in general or bittorrent weren't made illegal. Only distributing pre-release movies. Answer? Wait until they're released.

What A Cheap Shot (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370714)

from the another-victory-in-the-war-on-terror dept.

Seriously, Zonk, can you cite anybody in the Administration who has said that enforcement of IP laws is part of the War on Terror?

No, I didn't think so. So why the cheap shot connecting the two? It's funny how slashbots talk out of both sides of their mouths, that the technology shouldn't be procescuted, it should be the violators. Now the violators are being targeted, you guys still whine about...something.

Downloading OK? (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370715)

This law seems to target distributers only .. does that mean downloading is ok? But what if you use Bittorrent where you download and upload segments of the file simultaneously, does that make you a distributer?

Re:Downloading OK? (1)

Icupnimpn2 (728778) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370817)

That certainly does make you a distributor. The question is whether or not they could nail you under this law if you kept your UL ratio under 1:1. Let the new age of the H&R Super Leechers Begin!

Thank god! (2, Funny)

Ath (643782) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370722)

Now that this law is passed, unauthorized peer-to-peer filesharing of copyrighted materials will be stopped and we can move on to more important subjects.

Amazing (5, Interesting)

mattmentecky (799199) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370731)

Isnt just downright amazing how out of sync sentencing is for certain crimes?

Take for example Massachusetts Sentencing Guidlines [mass.gov]. And compare it to this new federal law that was signed.
Larceny on a scale of $10,000-$50,000 can get an offender 36 months (in some cases, less!) than someone breaking copyright on a *single file*. This means that Person A can walk into a physical record store and almost wipe the store clean via theft, and get sentenced the same as Person B who shares one copyrighted song online.

That is just amazing to me.

last time i checked.... (-1, Flamebait)

Ishkibble (581826) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370735)

you know, the last time i check this country was supposed to be, by the people for the people and of the people. now it seems like its
by the corporations, for the Corporations, and of the upper 1%

atleast thats the message i get from all these legeslations being passed that are lobbied by the RI/MP AA.

i'll tell you one thing, the RI/MP AA are not scoring any points in my books. maybe if they stoped fucking over artists and changed their buisness model i would take another look

They must have solved all the other problems (3, Interesting)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370741)

I WAS a Bush supporter...but this bugs the doo doo out of me. Of all the things that are going on in the country why has this become a priority? What about gas prices Mr. President? What about the healthcare fiasco Mr. President? What about all these children that are being kidnapped and nurdered by sex offenders Mr. President? What about the crappy education system in which our children score well below the rest of the world in nearly every category Mr. President? Maybe I expect too much for our elected officials...like concentrating on things that will make life better for Americans, and for the rest of the world.

What?! (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370742)

"strong advocacy for intellectual property rights"

The same law allows ClearPlay to edit hollywood movies against the creators' wishes. Despite the hype to the contrary, it does NOT allow consumers to rip and edit movies. That'd violate the DMCA!

How is allowing corporations to edit movies a "strong advocacy" of property rights?!

Family Movie Act Embedded in Legislation (3, Interesting)

iammrjvo (597745) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370752)


This piece of legislation has a particularly interesting act in it called the Family Movie Act [google.com]. The legislation allows companies to market filters and equipment to skip over parts of a DVD. The idea is that people who don't care to see the more raunchy side of Hollywood can skip the profanity and sex. (Yes, I don't want the profanity and sex in the movies that I watch. I've heard all of the jokes, so let the rants begin.)

This part of the legislation was promoted by ClearPlay [clearplay.com], a company that distributes filters and DVD players that can utilize the filters.

Not only do I like the ability to skip the raunchy stuff, but I like the fact that this promotes the idea that people can have control over the content that they pay to license. Hollywood considers the filters to be an "edit" of the original movie, but since the original DVD isn't altered, I don't see any difference between this and manually skipping content. It empowers the user and I like that. The implications are broader than just "Family Friendly Movies."

Slashdot Editorial Spin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370762)

I am a subscriber and saw the prerelease headline for this story. It was slated before the recent OS X story, then was pulled before general release. I wondered why, and now I know:

The original story led with a headline covering the aspects of the bill that make it explicitly legal to *filter* DVD content, certainly a positive side to this legislation for the tech industry and fair use. Apparently, that headline wasn't sexy enough, though, so they pulled the story and resubmitted it as yet another whine about the entertainment-industrial complex abusing all those poor shmoes who think they should be able to get other's creative works for free.

(Yeah, I'm editorialzing too, but I don't have Editor in my title)

Skewed Justice (3, Insightful)

inflex (123318) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370766)

Disclaimer - I own all my music.

What scares me here is the absolute disparity (right word?) between the punishment of virtual-space crimes versus violent, sexual and other more "real" crimes.

When you see murderers/rapists/etc walk free 12 months after their committal to jail and yet people can get 3 years for file-sharing... wow, I'm disturbed.

I think it's time more people in congress suffered to violent crime.

From the Bill Summary and Status page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370771)

Title: A bill to provide for the protection of intellectual property rights, and for other purposes.

Loophole? (1)

cttforsale (803028) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370781)

This line is interesting: "C. by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution" So will you be subject to this new act if the "work" was already commmercially distributed?

Family? (1)

p0 (740290) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370790)

Prefix any bill with "Family" and it will surely pass. For exable

* Family Security and Iraq Invasion Bill
* Family Privacy and Public RFID Tagging Bill
* Family Protection and ... ???

Anyone else see some similarities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370802)

.. to the nations war on drugs. What i mean is how the government wastes a shit load of time and money fighting something that really can't be controlled. There will always be a way around the governments censures. SO instead of educating the public, they will force poor college students like myself to pay exorbatant amounts of fines, or even better stick 'em in jail so they can waste more tax payer money. I find it amazing that the government worries about things like this instead of placing more research into things that matter, for instance, fuel alternatives and hmmm say cancer research, or better yet drug addiction treatment..

Take a look at the whole bill... (2, Insightful)

Acoustic (875187) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370809)

If you also look at Title II of the bill it also has an "Exemption from Infringement for Skipping Audio and Video Content In Motion Pictures" This will allow manufacturers to legally create players to skip over crappy content and effectively lower the moving rating.

Back when DVDs first came out, this was supposedly one of the big "features" that the industry was touting: the ability to select a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating for the movie. So far, Hollywood has never delivered on that. Then, when a companies (like clearplay) enter the market to fill the gap, they get sued. This bill protects that right to skip the content you don't want to see. There are a lot of good movies out there that would be a lot better if they would just leave out some unnecessary obscene material

Does this really surprise anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370824)

Just another law that proves the government is in bed with corporations way too much these days.

I could go on ranting about how pathetic US law has become, but really, what's the point? Everyone knows it already.

Besides, I would hate to be considered a terrorist for not agreeing with everything the US does.
(Thank god I don't have any oil)

myoptic leaders who hail from rich families (2, Interesting)

paronomasia5 (567302) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370825)

you can steal hundreds of millions from shareholders and get a slap on the wrist. enron, adelphia, worldcom, dot-bubble, arthur anderson, xerox, tyco, haliburton, qwest, health south. where are the crack downs on these villains who steal real money from citizens? this doesnt even count the recent plague of ceo's stealing 10-20-30 million dollar salaries while golfing.

but if you duplicate binary bits that happen to form images when passed through an appropriate transmogrifier you go to jail for 3 years.

this people in this country are fooked! the only way to 'get ahead' in the new economy appears to be to break the rules and go for a winner take all one-time-fuck-everyone. if you want to survive, fuck your shareholders, fuck some government contract, fuck some competitor, send someone to die for oil, get a hundred million bucks, and then you're part of the "other half", you can live safely in your guarded conclave. sit at home, programming, sharing bits==go to jail.

its whistleblower versus pistol holder, demograns republicats one party system, they all gain from larger corporate subsidies.

both sides now (1)

noldrin (635339) | more than 8 years ago | (#12370829)

Congress: The entertainment industry is evil and is hurting our children and families, it must be stopped! Congress: We need to protect entertainment industry so it can keep making products for our children and families!

Quote from Alpha Centauri (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12370831)

"Beware of him who denies you access to information."
- Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I have tasted the fruit"
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