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DMCA Abuse Widespread

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the anyone-really-surprised dept.

CDA 224

Doc Ruby writes "Via TechDirt, the news that despite the intent of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it's very popular to abuse the law by using it merely to compete, without legal basis: 'Supporters of the DMCA claim that only an occasional improper takedown notice gets through. Some new research suggests otherwise. Over 30% of DMCA takedown notices have been deemed improper and potentially illegal.'"

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224 comments

Power to abuse? (5, Informative)

Dubpal (860472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107425)

If you asked those Swedish guys over at thepiratebay.org (a search engine for .torrent files), I'm sure their data would show higher than 30% abuse.
Their legal threats [thepiratebay.org] page is a hoot.

On a more serious note, laws like the DMCA that put (arguably) too much power at the hands of copyright holders were always going to be susceptible to abuse. Remaining on the subject of torrent search engines, lokitorrent.com pulled its site down after threats from the MPAA who cited the DMCA, without even going to court. (They later went to court, where it was ruled that the domain owner release all visitor data to the MPAA.) With power like that, where's the incentive not to abuse it?

Re:Power to abuse? (4, Insightful)

Prospero's Grue (876407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107433)

With power like that, where's the incentive not to abuse it?

Agreed. To use a phrase I heard some time ago; it's how we ended up with a legal system instead of a justice system.

Re:Power to abuse? (4, Interesting)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107451)

anyone with half a brain (sometimes less) can realize that the DMCA was only passed because the copyright holders felt they needed a way to 'protect' themselves. So, they pay the gov't to make a new law that really ONLY protects the copyright holders.

Re:Power to abuse? (5, Informative)

richwmn (621114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107471)

Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Used as the basis for Animal Farm by George Orwell

Re:Power to abuse? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107496)

Thanks, Captain Already-Well-Known-Quote.

Re:Power to abuse? (3, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107508)

Used as the basis for Animal Farm by George Orwell

I'm not certain that's quite what happened. The Animalist Revolution was corrupted not by power per se but by Napoleon. Had the Revolution remained under Snowball's leadership it would probably have been rather more successful; however, Napoleon and Squealer (who were already complete stinkers) took every opportunity that came their way.

It wasn't so much that power corrupted, as that power attracted the corrupt and gave them even greater scope within which to practise their corruption...

Re:Power to abuse? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107531)

I prefer..

"Power attracts the corruptible"

Re:Power to abuse? (2)

54v4g3 (756080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107514)

If we truly had a justice system then none of the filesharing takedowns would be happening (such as with grokster, KaZaA, etc.). Nor would Any organization have the ability to shut down torrent sites. It's quite obvious why- they aren't doing anything wrong!

The only people who should be sued are those who are doing the copyright breaking. Not that I'm a supporter of the current copyright system, that would just be fair justice according to the current laws.

Re:Power to abuse? (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107522)

I keep thinking things have to reach a tipping point eventually, where the law is demonstrated to be such an ass that the only sane thing would be to put it down humanely.

Evidence mounts and mounts (no pun intended), but I'm still waiting patiently for the scales to tip.

Re:Power to abuse? (3, Interesting)

tylernt (581794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107752)

I think you have a while to wait. Usually lots of people have to get killed before a revolution is born.

Re:Power to abuse? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107596)

And it is also proof that we as a society are circling the drain.

I am an engineer, scientist and hacker at heart. and because of the DMCA and patent laws I am forced to be a criminal to continue to invent, engineer and think.

when you make laws that overnight put a wide swath of the populace into the criminal segment then you know that the corruption that is leading towards complete opression is nearing completion.

Personally I cant wait for all of you to look suprised when they mandate that every american is required to have a passport and use it for interstate travel. and I'm betting that it will be here before 2008.

So I simply acknowlege that I must break laws to continue and therefore move myself into the underground. Release the information on webboards in free countries like the Former soviet union under a untraceable psyudonym.

Thanks American Government! The past 8 years have taken all of the countries brightest and made them criminals of the state.

Re:Power to abuse? (4, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107642)

DMCA will collapse society, DRM'd Film at 11

Re:Power to abuse? (5, Insightful)

tylernt (581794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107765)

"passport and use it for interstate travel"

At first I thought this was kind of stupid since the federal gevernment doesn't have that power. Then I remembered that the federal goverment has ruled that marijuana grown in California, sold in California, and consumed in California constitutes interstate commerce and can therefore be regulated or banned by the federal gov't.

Yeah, we're screwed.

Re:Power to abuse? (2, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107834)

It always has been a legal system, where you legally try to get justice rather than taking the law into you own hands. Truth is, you are not entitled to justice, you are entitled to due process. It is one of the inherent difficulties if the courts are to be truly fair, they can only hear your case and render their best judgement. This is anywhere and not just in the US.

A helpful guideline: (5, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107454)

Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying. They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible.

cf: DMCA, Patriot Act, Prevention of Terrorism Act (UK), Enabling Act (Weimar Germany)...

Re:A helpful guideline: (4, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107486)

on the Prevention of Terrorism Act (UK), it is interesting to note that Tony Blair said it would never be used to prevent legitimate protesters. then, a matter of days later, it was used to eject a pensioner who objected to the war on Iraq from the Labour party conference. how the hell is a pensioner objecting to a war a terrorist?

Re:A helpful guideline: (4, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107525)

Minor point, I think the act was used by the police to prevent him from re-entering. They just used regular bouncers to eject him.

Sometimes the police deliberately push the envelope on what they consider to be bad laws in order to provoke reconsideration of the law. There's a possibility that this is one such example, by a policeman who doesn't like the totalitarian direction that we are taking. Not all police support the creation of a police state, it gives them more work to do for one thing.

Re:A helpful guideline: (3, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107634)

Minor point, I think the act was used by the police to prevent him from re-entering. They just used regular bouncers to eject him.

You are correct - the bouncers ejected (read: assaulted) him and then the police "detained" him under the anti-terrorism laws.

Then to add insult to injury, Blair still tried to push through a law that would allow the police to detain anyone for 90 days without charge, defending it by saying the police were very responsible and would never abuse a law.

This is a prime example of why excessively broad laws are always a bad idea - whilest it may improve the ability to legitimately target people doing wrong it will always be abused by someone as well.

Through all the IRA attacks whilest I was young the constant message delivered by the UK government was that if we changed the way we lived because of terrorism then the terrorists have won... well I guess we know who's won now then don't we? (Amazingly enough, Blair used the "if terrorism changes the way we live then they've won" speech in a justification of curtailing civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism!)

Re:A helpful guideline: (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107701)

(Amazingly enough, Blair used the "if terrorism changes the way we live then they've won" speech in a justification of curtailing civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism!)

That was funny, but the most entertaining piece of hypocrisy on this issue is this:

On the 90-day internment law: Blair says that the police want to be able to imprison people without charge for three months for investigation and interrogation. He says that on this matter the police know best and we should listen to them and give them what they need to make us safe.

On the late opening law for pubs: police representatives say that it will be a disaster and lead to even greater alcohol-fuelled public disorder and random violence. Blair completely ignores them and goes right ahead with changing the law so that (starting today) we British people are free to drink all night if we see fit to do so.

I'm not sure quite how these two Mr Blairs manage to live together in the same skull. Libertarian and fascist in one. Or maybe he's hoping that we'll all be to pissed in the pub to get pissed at him...

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107729)

I'm not sure quite how these two Mr Blairs manage to live together in the same skull. Libertarian and fascist in one.
Firstly, there's no reason why one should follow a single school of thought on all issues. That kind of reductionism is counter-productive. Secondly, you've missed the -ism that encapsulates both of those ideas : populism. Those ideas are both very popular.

However ideologically vapid it is, there is something to be said for governments doing what the majority want them to do.

Re:A helpful guideline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107783)

Problem is, the majority wan Blair out. It's just that they didn't agree on who should be there instead.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107801)

Yes, there is something to be said: stupidity.

I invite all of them, and anyone else who is interested, to see what "populism" is doing to Brazil.

Curruption on the government has pretty much increased threefold. The parliament hasn't really been any to conduct any real business in the past year (at least). In a nutshell: things are going to hell in a handcart.

Re:A helpful guideline: (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107839)

I'm not sure quite how these two Mr Blairs manage to live together in the same skull. Libertarian and fascist in one.

I'm not so sure that there is a conflict between the two. Think about it. Fascists want to merge the corporations and the government into one single entity. Libertarians (at least based on their Slashdot posts) want to abolish government power completely, leaving corporations the only entities with any power - which, of course, will lead to them merging into cartels and ultimately a single entity.

The end result of both is the same: a world ruled by corporations. Only the path taken there varies.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107700)

Sometimes the police deliberately push the envelope on what they consider to be bad laws in order to provoke reconsideration of the law.
This is utter bullshit. First of all, cops are too stupid to think about doing such a thing, and cops like their power too much to willingly risk losing it.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107754)

I have had friends who were police officers, and they aren't all like Chief Wiggum. Some of them are genuine, public-spirited heros. Sure, there are bad apples, some go in for it just for the power, and some are corrupted by it, but not all. As for them all being stupid, well, all I can say is that if you're trolling then you got me.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107827)

I speak from experience. Cops will try anything to get you in the wrong. Like when I was hassled for taking pictures of old busses; I was standing on the sidewalk and while hassling me, they tried to get me to step on the adjacent private property so they could charge me for tresspassing.

Re:A helpful guideline: (5, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107526)

how the hell is a pensioner objecting to a war a terrorist?

Bushian reasoning:

1) This is the War On Terrorism.
2) You are either for us or against us.
3) If you are against us in the War On Terrorism, then that makes you
4) A Terrorist.

Blairian reasoning:

1) I'm doing the Right Thing, because I'm a pretty straight kind of guy, ok?
2) And I think Jack has the right to make his speech without impolite interruptions.
3) And we really shouldn't get sidetracked by theoretical arguments about civil liberties, because terrorism is really a very serious threat.
4) And I should point out that I had absolutely nothing to do with the incident itself.
5) And I don't think that a blame culture is very productive at all, just ask Peter or David, so it really isn't helpful to go talking about whether anyone should resign.
5) It's in the past now, so we should all move on and deal with the new problems that are ahead of us, going forward into a better and fairer Britain in the 21st century.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107616)

+1 for Funny, another for Insightful.

Then -awholeloadofpoints for Depressing, frankly.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

icarusfall (840182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107643)

Nice one, that's superb. Best post all day, I think.

Re:A helpful guideline: (0, Troll)

jc42 (318812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107553)

[H]ow the hell is a pensioner objecting to a war a terrorist?

That's an easy one: He struck terror into the hearts of Labour Party leaders.

I mean, imagine the results (on their jobs and leadership positions) if this sort of thing became widespread.

Here in the US, we have a similar story: We've reached the stage where decorated military veterans are calling for withdrawal from Iraq. We even have a Congressman, John Murtha, who's an ex-marine with medals and has called for pulling the troops out of Iraq. Bush's gang first tried to label Murtha a traitor, but the public outcry forced Bush to publicly state that being against war isn't treason (at least if you're a decorated veteran). Now commentators are describing Bush and Cheney as "running scared".

So Bush et al are clearly being "terrorized" by people who object to their foreign policies. And Bush is the one who some time back told us "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists."

Labelling all your opponents as terrorists is conventional politics. And it's an old story. We can expect to hear a lot more of this before it's all over. (And it'll probably never be over.)

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

Hamilton Publius (909539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107580)

Both the Democrats and Republicans are wrong about what to do now in the Iraq war. The Democrats want to retreat immediately and the Republicans want to "stay the course." Neither proposal will make America safe from Islamic terrorism.

As Republicans have noted, withdrawal at this time would be perceived by the Islamic fundamentalists as a major defeat of the West and draw more recruits to their cause. But as the Democrats have noted, staying our current course--which has no standard of victory and no clear connection to protecting America from Islamic terrorism--is a disaster that has already resulted in the death of two thousand Americans.

The solution is neither embracing defeat nor staying a losing course; the solution is to pursue victory.

We must define war objectives designed solely to protect the American people from Islamic terrorism, and then execute those objectives by any means necessary. Above all, we must make it our objective, not to bring the good life to every corner of the Middle East, but to make the terrorist states of the Middle East non-threatening--which means that we must end state sponsorship of terrorism.

In Iraq, we must crush the insurgency immediately--which includes choking its backers, Iran and Syria--and let the Iraqis themselves take on the responsibility of establishing a government that will not threaten America. Once the insurgency is crushed the priority should be on eliminating the regime that is the greatest terrorist and nuclear threat to the United States in the Middle East: Iran. Such a policy would serve as a death blow to bin Laden, CowboyNeal, al-Zarqawi and the rest of the fundamentalists, who attract their recruits with the hope that America can slowly be defeated.

Re:A helpful guideline: (2, Interesting)

anopres (768976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107690)

I've been following this story quite closely, and I've never heard anyone call Jack Murtha a terrorist. For some reason, people think that if a person served honorably in a prior war, that they know how to conduct the current one. I find it even stranger that we look to Vietnam war veterans for guidance, when you could easily make the argument that they knew how to loose that war, maybe they can help us loose this one. Jack Murtha is a stand-up guy. I think he is one of our better statesmen. On this issue, he is just wrong.

Re:A helpful guideline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107818)

Please cite one statement, any statement, in which anybody speaking for the Bush administration labeled John Murtha as a terrorist.

And Bush is the one who some time back told us "If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists."

When he said "us", he clearly meant the United States and other free nations fighting against terrorism, not himself and his golf buddies, because that comment was in the context of remarks to other nations.

By which, he was saying that if you are unwilling to participate in the struggle against terrorism, by willingly making your country a haven for terrorists and engaging in diplomatic relations which make the war on terror more difficult, then your country can't really be counted as much of an ally at this critical juncture in history.

This is what has come to be called "The Bush Doctrine," that the United States shall make no distinction between terrorists and the governments which support and aid them. A rather extreme view, but in late 2001 most of America was not in the mood for moderation.

It has nothing to do with the neo-con view regarding opponents of our presence in Iraq. People who want us to leave Iraq simply want our troops out of harms way. Nobody can fault them for that. Personally, I think that Senator Kerry's remarks during the previous campaign show a lot more wisdom than what we've been hearing lately from some of his colleagues: Even if you think it was a mistake to go in to Iraq, it would be a colossal blunder to leave right away.

The US leaving Iraq without finishing the job is what I would call a worst-case scenario. It would 1) plunge Iraq back into the dark ages, 2) send a signal to terrorists that they don't need to beat us, just out-last us and wait for us to lose the stomach to fight, 3) free up terrorist resources to attack us on our own soil and/or disrupt the new government of Afghanistan, 4) make Iraq a new safe haven for terrorist training camps.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107680)

It's that whole "If you're not with us, you're against us" logical fallacy that seems to be the "in" thing with terrorist-crazed politicians nowadays.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107718)

a matter of days later, it was used to eject a pensioner who objected to the war on Iraq from the Labour party conference.
Private property, dude. You can protest all you like, but you can't do it in my house.

Re:A helpful guideline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107813)

Party conferences are held in public buildings, dude.

Re:A helpful guideline: (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107851)

Party conferences are held in public buildings, dude.
No. Wrong. They're not. They're invariably held in privately owned hotels/conference centre.

The 2005 Labour conference was held at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, owned by the Hilton Hotel Group.

Public property, my arse.

& the recent amendment to the Texas Constituti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107787)

The recent amendment to the Texas Constitution further disenfranchises gays and lesbians by denying the right to marry or have legally recognized relationships on the same level as marriage. I'm not trolling; this will likely be used against surviving gay partners by other relatives in order to deprive them of inheritance rights, and used against partners trying to make medical decisions for incapacitated spouses, and used to dismiss adoptive parental rights of surviving partners, etc.

We've been told the law would never be enforced that way, but we know it's a lie. These sorts of things were already happening, but now there's a stronger legal basis for the discrimination.

Re:Power to abuse? (2, Insightful)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107506)

Actually, if you RTFA, the problem wasn't the DCMA (in this case - I hate the stupid thing), but the interpetation of it in the case ALS Scan v Remarq - as quoted;

"However, in the recent case of ALS Scan, Inc. v. Remarq Communities, Inc., the court found that the copyright owner did not have to point out all of the infringing material, but only substantially all of the material. The relaxation of this specificity requirement shifts the burden of identifying the material to the service provider, raising the question of the extent to which a service provider must search through its system. OSP customers should note that this situation might encourage OSP's to err on the side of removing allegedly infringing material."

The courts that interpet laws are as much of a problem as the Congress that passes them in the first place.

Re:Power to abuse? (2, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107590)

They may be 'in the right' (thepiratebay.org), but do you really feel that attitudes like that are going to make things better for us in the long run? Their responses are crass, rude, childish and feel like school yard mud flinging.

I personally do not feel like attitudes like this will do anything but make things worse for us in the long run.

I'm glad someone is standing up for our rights, but this is NOT going to sway popular opinion in a good way.

Can we maybe find some examples of people that are fighting 'the good fight' and not just using this as an excuse to hide behind and be wee little children?

I like the new graphic. (1)

SynapseLapse (644398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107434)

I like it. Maybe it's been around for a while, but I like the idea better than "Generic man being gagged." So Kudos to whoever made the new YRO icon.

Re:I like the new graphic. (1)

MPolo (129811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107528)

There are now a bunch of "subcategories" for YRO. The "gerneric man being gagged" is still there as the icon for the Censorship subcategory. This article is in the CDA subcategory.

But I feel a little stupid at the moment... What does "CDA" stand for? Constitutional Dummy Association?

Re:I like the new graphic. (1)

Luuvitonen (896774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107549)

Close. It's Constipational.

I am SHOCKED (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107439)

Shocked and dismayed.

Re:I am SHOCKED (1)

republican gourd (879711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107568)

Me, I'm shocked and AWED.

DMCA Porn! (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107457)

Isnt the DMCA also used by porn reseller sites to tell you that you need to own the original DVD before you can download it from them in their disclaimer?

It's never enforced, is it? :P

DMCAish things (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107463)

I'm afraid it's just much easier to prosecute people who do DMCAish things (facilitate infringment via mechanism stripping) than it is to prosecute people who infringe on a thing by thing basis. I mean, there are hundreds of millions who do the latter, and they're hard to find. Whereas people who do the former usually brag about their successes.

That being said, i think the DMCA sucks and puts in geoprady the legality of all sorts of differnt types of security research while not doing much to protect people's copyrights at all. At this point i feel that some people infringe (when they could just as easily buy) because they feel some kind of injustice has been done upon them via the record industry's tactics.

Re:DMCAish things (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107572)

There is one simple major issue with the DMCA: it is fundamentally redundant.

Copyright infringement and facilitating crimes were already illegal before the DMCA. Before the DMCA, only 'criminals' infringed on copyright and wrote software to facilitate it... and after the DMCA, only 'criminals' infringe on copyright.

The only truly new thing with DMCA its unprecedented potential for abuse... and DMCA abuses account for the majority of DMCA case I have read about. As someone else pointed out and as I also have said in the past, legal != just/fair.

Definition of occasional as used by DMCA enforcers (4, Interesting)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107479)

SARCASM ON: From the rules and regulations of the DMCA user group (Not publicly accessible, so this will cause a take down notice):
Article 2b:
Wrongful notices.
An notice is considered wrongful if the party who send the notice is sued for this notice, and the highest court willing to hear the case decides that the notice has been send wrongful.
Article 2c:
Allowed wrongful notice percentage.
If not more than 60% of the notices gets rejected by a court, the sending of these notices will be considered as an occasional mistake due to the murky nature of the person or company who got the notice initially. :SARCASM OFF

Re:Definition of occasional as used by DMCA enforc (1)

Namronorman (901664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107673)

http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf [copyright.gov]

There is a lot of uh... loosely written stuff there that can be interpreted by whatever billion dollar budget company sees fit. I think they just wrote the same stuff over and over again using different synonyms to make it look long, while in fact it's just saying, "HEY! Use us however you want *insert a Captain Plan... err Pollution the power is your's*!

The DMCA is only a symptom. (4, Insightful)

Elrac (314784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107480)

The real disease is the fact that the USA's elected lawmakers are, in many if not most cases, susceptible to pressure and/or bribery by the industry. This is how many of these asinine laws originated.

Unlimited legal campaign contributions, indeed!

Re:The DMCA is only a symptom. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107592)

I disagree. The corruption is not so much in the elected officials as the people who elect them. If the winner of the election is the one who spends the most money, then it is the fault of the electorate for putting to much stock in propaganda, not the fault of the candidates for producing it. If the electorate voted for the candidate who represents their interests, not the one with the best slogans, then campaign contributions would not be an issue.

Re:The DMCA is only a symptom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107695)

Yep, and guns don't kill people, people kill people...

You can't wholesale change human nature. If people are shooting other people with guns you take away their guns, not let them do it because "that's what people do".

Likewise, if you know people are attracted to propaganda (which they are, in the same way that people are attracted to sweet things) you stop people producing propaganda.

Where do I send the invoice? (2, Funny)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107768)

Hey, if we're all that corrupt, where's all the baksheesh I've got coming?

I demand my unfair share, right now or I'm going back to voting ethically and intelligently.

No (3, Insightful)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107778)

If a weak man foolishly walks into an alley in a bad part of town and gets mugged, he is foolish, true. But that does not remove the blame from the mugger.

If a woman wears provocative clothing in a bad part of town late at night and gets raped, maybe she was foolish for attracting attention, but she is not to blame for the rape. The rapist is.

If you leave your home unlocked and you get robbed, you will probably feel angry at yourself for leaving the house unlocked. The blame for the robbery, however, is purely the robber's.

If the American electorate is overly susceptible to media influences, call them gullible. That does not make the shark-like actions of the corporations any more acceptable. Even using the metaphor of a shark (they shouldn't be blamed; it's in their nature) is a better reason to take precautions against them, not a worse one.

If you're still reading this, I had a previous discussion on slashdot where we talked about some of this:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=167485&cid =13964842 [slashdot.org]

Re:The DMCA is only a symptom. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107618)

And you forget that they typical elected US lawmaker lately seems to have an IQ lower than 60. Espically when it comes to technology.

honestly, as an american I am utterly disguested at the rampant idiocy that governs the American Government. The problem is the morons that keep re-electing these idiots.

If we had an upper age limit I think things would change. If the House of Represenatives was full of 21-40 year olds that actually worked for a living instead of having their entire life spoon fed to them they might make decisions based in reality.

But this country has always been governed by the rich. The founding fathers were the richest men in the colonies.

Re:The DMCA is only a symptom. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107737)

They even let the lobbyists and corporate reps participate directly. This [lessig.org] sort of freaked me out when I read it:

1988. It is 2:30 in the morning. I am sitting in the House Commerce Committee room with four or five congressional staffers and only three or four lobbyists/lawyers. The final mark-up for the DMCA is the next morning in the Full Commerce Committee. The Bill had already passed out of the Judiciary Committee but it had a sequential referral to Commerce which needed to approve it before we went to the floor for House Passage. And we were hung up....And several of us, including most importantly by that time, the Committee Chairman who had heretofore been opposed to the Bill, wanted to get it done.

That was written by the RIAA's Hillary Rosen. Here she is, participating on the creation of the bill! Maybe that's not an unusual practice in Congress, but it sounds shady to me.

"the industry" (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107774)

When it comes to the legal 'industry' they are IN it.. Not just being bribed.

Thats the beauty of being an attorney, the more stupid laws like this, the more money to go around.

And remember, you get paid even if you lose.

Re:The DMCA is only a symptom. (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107806)


In all fairness, we have the power to kill the DMCA right now without any help from the congress. The real prop that's holding up the DMCA is societies own belief in the copyright system, kill that and the DMCA will follow.

Highly disturbing (3, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107494)

Over 30% of DMCA takedown notices have been deemed improper and potentially illegal

What I find most disturbing about that statement is that it implies that something a bit less than 70% of DMCA takedown notices are not improper and not illegal. That is a law that is far over-reaching, draconian, and designed for abuse. I guess that's what happens when one lives in the good 'old U.C.A (United Corporations of America).

-S

Re:Highly disturbing (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107625)

What is highly disturbing about the not improper and not illegal uses of the DMCA Takedown Notice. It is just a legal notice that a copyrighted work is being distributed, and offers a lawsuit-free chance to take it down, with no damages for the time it was up being collected.

Sure, the 30ish% abuse rate is disturbing... but there's nothing to see here talking about the other 70ish%.

Re:Highly disturbing (4, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107741)

What I find most disturbing about that statement is that it implies that something a bit less than 70% of DMCA takedown notices are not improper and not illegal.

Actually, that's a standard logical fallacy; it doesn't imply any such thing. Even if the 30% figure were accurate, it can only be a minimum estimate until the cases are settled in court. But most are settled out of court, mostly for financial reasons (the cost of an individual fighting a corporation), so their legal status can never be known. If you want to make an inference like this, you should read it as "at least 30% of takedown notices are invalid".

But note that that 30% only applies to the specific sample studied, and it wasn't at all a scientifically-chosen random sample. The sample was what statisticians call "self selected", so as a statistic, the number is rather bogus.

This isn't a criticism of the people who did the study. If you read TFA, you'll find that they didn't claim that 30% of DMCA notices are improper; they stated clearly that about 30% of the cases they studied were improper.

So that 30% isn't a statistic; it's merely an example of the DMCA's effect on a small sample of people who are willing to go public with their story. TFA doesn't actually teach us much about the overall impact of the DMCA.

But I suppose that's a bit too precise for a /. discussion. Radical over-generalization (along with reasoning from the inverse) does seem to be the order of the day hereabouts.

The ESA vs HoTU (4, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107515)

The ESA (Entertainment Software Association), a body representing many software companies, sent a threatening letter to Home of the Underdogs [the-underdogs.org] a few years ago, demanding that they cease the sale of all copyright materials from their website. They state to be standing behind the DMCA.

IDSA is providing this letter of notification pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and 17 USC =A7 512 (c) to make you aware of material on your network or system that infringes the exclusive copyright rights of one or more IDSA members.
...
IDSA has a good faith belief that the Internet site found at theunderdogs.org infringes the rights of one or more IDSA members by offering for illegal sale one or more unauthorized copies of one or more game products protected by copyright...


Anyone who has seen this website knows that they do not sell games at all and never have. They provide abandonware downloads - games that have been out of print and not for sale for many years - in the interest of the preservation of culture.

Just another example of clueless bullies hiding behind the DMCA, seemingly for financial gain, but for properties not even for sale! Read the full letter and the webmaster's commentary for full details. http://www.the-underdogs.org/partdeux.php [the-underdogs.org]

Re:The ESA vs HoTU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107635)

They provide abandonware downloads - games that have been out of print and not for sale for many years - in the interest of the preservation of culture.

I think you meant to say "in the interest of the preservation of copyright infringement". While the games haven't been for sale for many years they are still the developed works of an individual or group. Who knows... 50 years from now they may want to a best of compilation and won't be able to because everyone has infringed on their rights.

Re:The ESA vs HoTU (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107722)

So, uhm... exactly how long does a product need to be out-of-sale to be considered abandonware? And does that mean out-of-sale at your local supermarket? Out-of-sale anywhere in the whole world? Not available at eBay? Unable to purchase the rights from the copyright holder? Because I'm pretty sure somebody's still willing to sell it if you give them enough money.

The property is still for sale, even though you might not like the price.

Accused until proven innocent (3, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107519)

With the fall of the Canadian Liberal government coming on Monday, Canada will be safe from Bil C-60 the Copyright Act amendment until at least the early Spring. This gives our American oppressed neighbours time to find a job north of the 49th, and spend time backing up their "content protected" CD collection to hard drive, or iPod without fear of abuse from the local constabulary.

C 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107604)

I've read most of it, and it's definately not as scary as US copyright increases, in first reading it states: 31.1 (1) A person who, in providing services related to the operation of the Internet or other digital network, provides any means for the telecommunication of a work or other subject-matter or a reproduction of it through that network does not, solely by reason of providing those means, infringe copyright in that work or other subject-matter. (2) A person referred to in subsection (1) who performs any other acts related to the telecommunication that render it more efficient, including the caching of a reproduction of the work or other subject-matter, does not, by virtue of those acts alone, infringe copyright in the work or other subject-matter. [http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/chambus/house/ bills/government/C-60/C-60_1/C-60-4E.html%5D [parl.gc.ca]

Why is this surprising? (5, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107520)

I mean, does anyone here really think that if a law puts that much power into the hands of an organized business cartel, that it's NOT going to be abused? Did anyone here NOT see this coming? Frankly, with a law as broad and Monopoly empowering as the DMCA, it was only a matter of time. And not a very long amount of time either.

Now, keep in mind, this is coming from a registered N.Y. State Conservative Party member, who listens to Rush Limbaugh every day, and voted for W. TWICE.

The amount of Individual Freedoms this law steals from people is abhorrent. It offends every Freedom loving, Patriotic bone in my body. Unfortunately, Most people don't see this as a priority. Like many of our laws, it's a "Creeping Freedom Stealer". Much like the old story of the frog in the frying pan, most people won't notice it taking thier Freedom until it's too late.

Re:Why is this surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107665)

viva la revolution!

I agree with you - 100%. Slowly chipping away at the freedoms we have until one day - we have none.

Then it's going to get messy.

Re:Why is this surprising? (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107769)

Now, keep in mind, this is coming from a registered N.Y. State Conservative Party member, who listens to Rush Limbaugh every day, and voted for W. TWICE. The amount of Individual Freedoms this law steals from people is abhorrent. It offends every Freedom loving, Patriotic bone in my body.
This is strange. I suppose that a twice dubya-voting NY conservative rush-limaugh listener would lose no opportunity to trumpet that the DMCA was passed by a cigar-sucking democrat...

Re:Why is this surprising? (1)

richg74 (650636) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107805)

I mean, does anyone here really think that if a law puts that much power into the hands of an organized business cartel, that it's NOT going to be abused? Did anyone here NOT see this coming?

Of course it's going to be abused, for the same reason that centrally-planned economic systems are always abused. The participants decide that economic rent-seeking through legal games and political manipulation is a lot less work than actually producing good products or services for a competitive market. Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations) understood that; it is sad and ironic that so many so-called conservative politicians and pundits don't.

This kind of law is, in a way, an excellent example of why good intentions are not a suitable paving material.

(BTW, I'm not a conservative, but more of a classical liberal. But I think empowering monopoly, or putting in place the mechanism for a police state, is a Bad Idea in any case.)

Re:Why is this surprising? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107859)

The amount of Individual Freedoms this law steals from people is abhorrent.

There's a word for people who love Individual Freedoms.

KFG

DMCA is a Good Thing (5, Funny)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107530)

The DMCA really is a good thing.

Congress passed the DMCA a long while back (a few years now, IIRC). It's obviously withstood the test of time; if there was something illegal about it, the Supreme Court would have already overturned it. So, I don't see where anyone can complain. Obviously the only people who have problems with it are the software/movie pirates, and piracy is bad, right?

We should all just try to get along with the DMCA instead of constantly badmouthing it. It's obviously a valuable and appropriate used piece of legislation.

Re:DMCA is a Good Thing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107558)

lol(?)

Re:DMCA is a Good Thing (2, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107566)

I certainly agree. I mean, the RIAA and MPAA go through all that trouble and expense of drafting the legislation, making sure it is everything they wanted and more, and bribing^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcontributing to the campaigns and special luxuries of our esteemed and irreproachable congressbeings to get the DMCA passed through our pristine halls of legislation. So shouldn't they be allowed, nay expected, to use it as much as they wish? This is America, damnit! We believe in private property here, and if a man can't use his own bought and paid for law as much as he wants, well then we're just heading for Communism, forced gay sex, bestiality, witchcraft and Gigli 2.



BTW, whatever robot modded parent down needs to have his humor circuit replaced.

Nooooooooo!! (1)

lurch_ss (865961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107661)

Anything but Gigli 2!

Re:DMCA is a Good Thing (2, Funny)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107607)

Congress passed the DMCA a long while back (a few years now, IIRC). It's obviously withstood the test of time; if there was something illegal about it, the Supreme Court would have already overturned it.

Fallical (odds are that isn't a word, but whatever) reasoning... I know this is a bad example for copyright issues, but Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation were around for almost 100 years before it was ended, and there was a lot wrong with it... just because there is something wrong does not mean that something should have been done already to prove it wrong or illegal... it takes more than that, escpecially when corporations are in control of our laws..


So, I don't see where anyone can complain.

It's called reading the article (RTFA), and doing your own research to get the other side. I can think of many things wrong with it The law has been used to impede fair use, for one thing that might bnot have been mentioned here.


Obviously the only people who have problems with it are the software/movie pirates, and piracy is bad, right?

RIAA logic... fair and square consumers are also impacted by the DMCA, people who write software are also affected... so no, this fallicious reasoning does not hold up.


We should all just try to get along with the DMCA instead of constantly badmouthing it. It's obviously a valuable and appropriate used piece of legislation.

Troll. There is no other expination for this... the use of parroting RIAA arguments... and faulty logic.



Oh wait, couldn't this post be satire? A parody of the **AA's logic? It does reek of sarcasm when looked at it that way... I am confused now.

I used to think Republican = Limited Government (1, Offtopic)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107550)

At least that's what they tout.

And now they are in power, they want a more and more powerful government in all areas - the only thing they are willing to downsize are social programs.

Don't get me wrong, the Democrats suck too.

George Washington was right when he told the American people to avoid a two party system at all costs.

Re:I used to think Republican = Limited Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107587)

I guess you can't just create a new party in the USA, we have like 11. and were a 10 million heads country.

I love this website, every day I love my grandparents more and more for not going to dig gold in the Wild West.

Re:I used to think Republican = Limited Government (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107630)

Well,

It's not that we can't create a new party (we have many but close to 0 representation in congress) - but our winner rules in many areas create an imbalanced representation compared to the parliaments based more closely on the purely English system.

Certain positions require winner-takes-all but some should be more flexible.

The other problem is Gerrymandering. Representatives of congress literally create the borders to their own districts, protecting against newcomers.

The last problem has been the dominance of the career politician over the citizen politician in top politics. One recent example of citizen polician is probably Jesse Ventura. The rest of the bums are pretty much career politicians - beholden to their corporate allies.

Re:I used to think Republican = Limited Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107830)

-1 incorrect. State Legislatures determine congressional districts, not US congressmembers.

Re:I used to think Republican = Limited Government (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107606)

George Washington was right when he told the American people to avoid a two party system at all costs.

I am not an American, so this may not be accurate, but it is my understanding that Washington opposed the idea of political parties altogether - not just the situation that exists when you have only two. He believed that all candidates should stand on their own beliefs, not on a platform that is only a lose fit for their opinions but popular with a large, unthinking, group of the electorate.

Pirated Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107557)

Would these two activities be considered DMCA abuses?

1. A pirated small name Internet software that phones home.

2. Distributing non-broadcast TV shows (example: Stargate Atlantis; BayTSP and MGM).

Mountain and Molehill (2, Insightful)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107562)

The DMCA certainly does have its problems, both in initial design and in abuse of it 'in the field.'

However, let's put things in perspective. What is *really* the bigger problem right now - a few (even a few thousand), bad yes, abuses of the DMCA or the completely out of control wanton disregard for copyright law that exists in many internet corners? The defenders of P2P for LEGITIMATE use lose their credibility if they are not equally realistic and aggressive in condemning and thinking of ways to stop illegitimate use.

Re:Mountain and Molehill (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107650)

...thinking of ways to stop illegitimate use.

The problem with this is one that might not yet have an easy to implement solution: How would you do it?
There is filtering by artist, but then the possibility of other things involving that artist that aren't illegal (if there are, of course) could be blocked.
Filtering by title is another thing, but there are many different songs with the same title that the possibility of blocking an independent's work with the same title bo accident...


The problem really isn't coming up with a solution... but impkementing it so it only blocks illegal content without interference to legal content in any way.

Re:Mountain and Molehill (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107725)

Oh come on. Given all the ingenuity that is put into circumventing controls, a bit can be put into enforcing community support against piracy. Just as a 10-second idea, how about something akin to a reputation system, where certain users are given weight for correctly identifying copyrighted works and gain, for example, download credit for doing so? Yes, this is not a complete or well thought out idea, but my point is that certainly something can be thought up. There would even be a system of punishing those who introduce offending files into the system and so forth.

Re:Mountain and Molehill (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107820)

how about something akin to a reputation system, where certain users are given weight for correctly identifying copyrighted works and gain, for example, download credit for doing so?

You mean something like the slashdot mod system? Surely you can't be serious!

Re:Mountain and Molehill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14107679)

what about corporate and monied interest puting a virtual lockdown on mans' intellectial creativity and output? Thoughs and ideas will have a price and ownership more and more into the future leading to a new and corrosive type of feudalism. They want to freely build on the indeas of past but totaly own the future with regards to knoweledge. Until they protect the public domain and find way to keep enriching it for the good of man, there will be reactions like we are seeing. There has to be a relvant public domain. Make your dollars for your work for a limited time then move on, you are not allowed to infinitely squat on your ideas. That is what copyright and patents are for.

The last thing we need are robber barrons invading and controlling the intellectual and artistic space without any checks or balance.

Re:Mountain and Molehill (1)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107792)

The defenders of P2P for LEGITIMATE use lose their credibility if they are not equally realistic and aggressive in condemning and thinking of ways to stop illegitimate use.

We already did - but for some strange reason, telling the music & movie industry "Stop pricing discs to earn a dollar profit for every cent you spend and you'll remove the incentive for piracy" didn't get greeted with much enthusiasm! :o)

Re:Mountain and Molehill (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107838)

Actually, I know your comment was tongue in cheek, but recall nevertheless that prior to the introduction of all those $1 / song services, these messageboards were teeming with messages that said, flat out, "charge a fair fee, say, $1 per song, and then we will have an alternative and not need to pirate."

The lesson from that adventure was basically that there are a lot of people here with convenient ethics.

Partisan tactics (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107583)

I don't get you US consumers. What can you do to resist? Slashdot is great for bitching and whining but other than awareness-of does little to correct the issues. I don't need to yet in my country (Canada) but you guys from my point-of-view need to engage in some armed insurrection. Not physical arms of course, somebody might get hurt. Instead how about organizing and really using the first box in the defense of liberty, the soap box?

Here's the quote about boxes if I remember it right:
There are four boxes to defend liberty with: the soap box, the jury box, the voter box and the ammo box. Use in that order.

Re:Partisan tactics (1)

John Whorfin (19968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107715)

Shouldn't the jury box and the voter box be switched?

Re:Partisan tactics (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107840)

Not when you constantly have to vote the bastards out like here with our Liberal party at the moment (massive kick-back scandal and all they have to really say for themselves is "we paid back all the money!", yeah, only because they got caught). The system is already corrupted, we're not starting from step one so everythings mixed in at all stages. Knock some laws down while slowly turning the tide of voting against whoever happens to suck most.

Re:Partisan tactics (1)

deimtee (762122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107786)

Soap, Ballot, Jury, Ammo.

Self Sustaining Argument (4, Insightful)

wellybog (933647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107605)

This story just served to remind me how pointless it is to try and enforce law on the internet.

Perhaps the various copyright enforcement agencies would do better if they changed themselves into education agencies.

It doesn't take a genius to understand that piracy kills the product being pirated. Most people like the own the "genuine" article too though (so you make your money in the long run).

Oh hell... this is a big old can of worms. They invent an anarchic network topology (the internet) that is self sustaining and deliberately uncontrollable - then they try to control it.

How stupid is that.

Chilling Effects (4, Informative)

Misch (158807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107645)

ChillingEffects.org [chillingeffects.org] keeps a library of submitted DMCA takedown notices.

I hate the DMCA as much as anyone (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107685)

But the 30% figure is meaningless. First, it appears to be a purely subjective determination. It's not as if 30% of the notices were determined to be served in violation of the DMCA by yhe courts.

And second, and MUCH worse, is where the notices were obtained. "900 notices collected by the Chilling Effects project."

The sample is NOT an average sample thus the results are flawed. Of course the notices submitted to the Chilling Effect project are going to be egregious. Why else would anyone submit them?! The fact that only 30% were determined to have been served in violation of the DMCA seems pretty good considering the source.

Re:I hate the DMCA as much as anyone (2, Informative)

Bruce_Nash (766419) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107788)

This issue is discussed in the report, (http://mylaw.usc.edu/documents/512Rep-ExecSum_out .pdf [usc.edu] - PDF, http://mylaw.usc.edu/documents/512Rep/ [usc.edu] - HTML).

The data set falls into two halves -- self-reported takedown notices and takedown notices sent to Google. The Google part of the set is a complete record of all the notices they have received over the last 3 years or so.

One would expect the self-reported notices to have a bias, but it turns out that Google notices shows the same proportion of flawed notices: 30%.

Bruce

(Full disclosure: my wife is one of the co-authors of the paper.)

Vile Criminals (2, Funny)

endoplasmicMessenger (883247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107688)

I heard that someone actually had the audacity to put a small piece of tape on the outer edge of one of those DRM'ed Sony CD's to disable the copy protection. What brazen defiance of the DMCA! I'm waiting for the lauch of the ??AA's program of lawsuits to put such vile criminals behind bars where they belong!

Don't atack the DMCA, attack the root (4, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14107798)

Attacking the DMCA is like attacking the leaves of a vine, and not the root of it. No matter how hard you pluck off those leaves, they will always grow back in some other form untill you attack the root.

The root of the problem here is societies own belief in copyrights. The DMCA is simply taking it to it's logical conclusion, along with the continuious extensions, and all the other abuses associated with copyright. People need to stop looking at copyrights as ever being a benefit, but rather as a burdon that was bearable 25 years ago when the biggest issue was copy machines and copyrights only lasted a few years. Not anymore. The burden copyrights require is too much to bear in the information age. Contrary to the hype, copyrights don't help many artists, and are anti free market. They are moral sewage that has robbed our culture and given it to hollywood, and they make it so that software companies who would otherwise strive to serve us - strive to controll us. The copyright system needs to die and take it's place on the trash heap of history.
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