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U.S. Joins Hollywood in War on Piracy

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the taking-on-the-real-terrorists dept.

358

Section_Ei8ht writes to mention a Washington Post article about a new joint initiative between the U.S. government and the entertainment industry. The government will now be aiding efforts abroad to stop copyright infringement. They cite the recent Pirate Bay fiasco, as well as the problems Russia is having with the WTO as a result of their thriving IP black market. From the article: "The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates, who swap digital copies of 'The DaVinci Code,' Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free."

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358 comments

I thought all GTA players were criminals anyway (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544484)

What do they expect?

Re:I thought all GTA players were criminals anyway (1)

cliffski (65094) | about 8 years ago | (#15544509)

They probably expect that after spending millions developing a well-received and popular video game, that people would dip into their pockets and buy it, rather than download a free copy and sticking two fingers up to the game developer.

Stupidity in action (5, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | about 8 years ago | (#15544497)

This is dumb for two reasons. One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs. The other is that it is yet another war on an abstract idea. (joining the war on terror and the war on poverty) Bad news, you can't win against an idea, only against a group of people (terrorists, pirates, the poor?). And yes there are too many pirates to even think about "winning" against them. They probably make up more than 50% of the population.

Don't forget.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544520)

the war on drugs.

Re:Stupidity in action (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about 8 years ago | (#15544536)

I think we need a war on politics, personally. Might actually have some benefits for the public in the long term.

Re:Stupidity in action (5, Insightful)

anicca (819551) | about 8 years ago | (#15544647)

Since the war on drugs has made drugs cheap, pure and ubiquitous, the war on terror is doing the same for terrorists, do you really want more politics? While everyone is rushing to war on one another, the fox is in the henhouse.

Re:Stupidity in action (4, Funny)

Umbral Blot (737704) | about 8 years ago | (#15544691)

So ... we should have a war on Fox? Now I'm really confused.

Re:Stupidity in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544699)

No, we have a war on pirating... eh... now I'm confused too.

Re:Stupidity in action (1)

anicca (819551) | about 8 years ago | (#15545077)

The Harper played while the Fox was in the Bush. You don't want to war on your new source of cheap workers...

Bush Administration Quietly Plans NAFTA Super Highway

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?print =yes&id=15497 [humaneventsonline.com]

Re:Stupidity in action (1)

cdc179 (561916) | about 8 years ago | (#15544966)

See http://moveon.org/ [moveon.org] and help the cause.

Re:Stupidity in action (4, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | about 8 years ago | (#15544548)

> This is dumb for two reasons. One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs. The other is that it is yet another war on an abstract idea. (joining the war on terror and the war on poverty) Bad news, you can't win against an idea, only against a group of people (terrorists, pirates, the poor?). And yes there are too many pirates to even think about "winning" against them. They probably make up more than 50% of the population.

Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957.

In other words, This is smart for two reasons. One is that it is the US meddling in other nations' purely internal affairs. The other is that it is yet another war on an abstract idea. (joining the war on terror and the war on poverty and the war on some drugs, which that other guy forgot.)

Good news, you can't win against an idea, only against a group of people (terrorists, pirates, the poor?). And yes there are too many pirates to even think about "winning" against them. They probably make up more than 50% of the population, meaning that there's about a 50/50 chance that when we need to put someone in prison, or just sue them into the stone age, we'll be able to do so.

All we need now is a war on pr0n, and we'll have around 70% of the population as criminals. Then we turn power over to the Democrats, they can declare the Christian fundies that make up our voting base as McVeigh militia whackjobs, and we'll have absolute power over everybody.

Power corrupts. Absolute power is pretty cool.

Re:Stupidity in action (2, Insightful)

b0nj0m0n (899670) | about 8 years ago | (#15545012)

I say congrats on finding an apt subject title for your comment. If you wonder whether they're "winning" the war on pirates, just take a peek at legal download statistics. That's what you call a "victory". It's pretty stupid to claim that if we had a war on porn, then 70% of the population would be criminals. If 70% of the population supported porn in a democracy that criminalized porn, then they would be a shining example of stupidity in action. Get out and shout and vote until it's legal again. The US government isn't meddling in other nation's internal affairs. It's acting as part of the world community and the global economy. If this were actually considered logic, we'd be shipping a shiny new crate of nukes to the *real* "fundies" in Iran, since that's their own soveriegn right, and their own affair, right? Piracy is harmful to the economy, plain and simple. It's a self-centered attack on the principle of the market economy - produce a product and sell it. Just because *you* can't afford to buy the product doesn't mean that you can steal it. And if you can afford it, but you choose to spend your dollars elsewhere, then you don't really want it, and shouldn't have it anyway. The definition of property sucks in the current state of world government. You can patent the mathematical formula you "invented" using a common mathematical language, and you're a genius, but you're an evil corporate oppressor when you want to own the movie that you financed, produced, wrote, shot, edited, marketed, and distributed.

A corollary quote... (5, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about 8 years ago | (#15545031)

Eventually it was discovered
That God
Did not want us to be
All the same

This was
Bad News
For the Governments of The World
As it seemed contrary
To the doctrine of
Portion Controlled Servings

Mankind must be made more uniformly
If
The Future
Was going to work

Various ways were sought
To bind us all together
But, alas
Same-ness was unenforcable

It was about this time
That someone
Came up with the idea of
Total Criminalization

Based on the principle that
If we were All crooks
We could at least be uniform
To some degree
In the eyes of
The Law

Shrewdly our legislators calculated
That most people were
Too lazy to perform a
Real Crime
So new laws were manufactored
Making it possible for anyone
To violate them any time of the day or night,
And
Once we had all broken some kind of law
We'd all be in the same big happy club
Right up there with the President
The most excalted industrialists,
And the clerical big shots
Of all your favorite religions

Total Criminalization
Was the greatest idea of its time
And was vastly popular
Except with those people
Who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws,

So, of course, they had to be
Tricked Into It ...
Which is one of the reasons why
Music
Was eventually made
Illegal.

--Frank Zappa (from the booklet of Joe's Garage, Acts II & III - 1979)

Re:Stupidity in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15545070)

What's that you say? War on pr0n? Too late. It's already the case. I can remember 2 laws that were passed for that (the Bush gov't is far too religion centered, it's getting ridiculous)

One that prevents "distasteful" stuff i.e. whatever they don't like, which is truly NONE of their effing business, as long as it's not kiddie porn or something like that - and then american CC billing companies can't be used for these sites anymore and such. Retarded! Who cares what people like if it doesn't hurt anyone? If they like it and are willing to pay for it, why not? Just because Bush administration finds it distasteful it's now illegal. Yay for freedom!

And the other law that says webmasters must be able to prove that the persons on pics are all of legal age - even if they look like your grandma, it's still not good enough, you GOTTA be able to prove it... Some sites were shut down over this too.

And I've seen some sites change because of COPA lately too.

Re:Stupidity in action (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544561)

Don't forget the war on drugs.

But of course, not prescription drugs, since the makers donate to campaign funds.

And not alcohol, that's OK, even though people drive drunk, because again, Anheuser-Busch has lobbyists.

Of course, tobacco is fatal, too, but that's fine, because the tobacco companies make a lot of money, and know who to talk to in Washington.

Re:Stupidity in action (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544567)

But we have reports that those countries have weapons of mass distribution!

Re:Stupidity in action (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | about 8 years ago | (#15544573)

Not to mention that if the U.S. is in their country taking away their video games, there's going to be a lot of young 3rd-worlders upset with the U.S. Probably not the best way to help our foreign relations debacle.

Unbelievable (5, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | about 8 years ago | (#15544645)

One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs.
Indeed. And because of that, the article opens with some pretty shoddy journalism:
Last month, Swedish authorities briefly shut down an illegal file-sharing Web site after receiving a briefing on the site's activities from U.S. officials in April in Washington. The raid incited political and popular backlash in the Scandinavian nation.

As the Pirate Bay folks are fond of pointing out, what they do is not explicitly illegal in Sweden, nor has it been tried in court. It would be silly to say that they don't facilitate infringement, but stating flatly that they are "an illegal file-sharing Web site" is like saying that "people who drive on the left side of the road are driving illegally." It's true in the U.S... but not everywhere.

Then we get this garbage:

In Russia, the government's inability, or reluctance, to shut down another unauthorized file-sharing site may prevent that nation's entrance into the World Trade Organization...

Whether or not this site is "authorized" is still up for debate. Just because the RIAA doesn't like what they're doing doesn't mean it's illegal or even unauthorized. The RIAA is not a governing body, though they certainly seem to be headed that direction.

Later we get the words "intellectual property theft" and still later we get "Working against Russia, the lawmakers say, are its plans to make intellectual property rights violators subject to civil, rather than criminal, penalties." This entire article is shilling for the MAFIAA and for the glorious powers of infringing on the sovereignty of other nations. Criminal penalties for infringement? "Suggestions" on how to improve domestic laws?

These people are monsters.

Re:Unbelievable (3, Insightful)

BigCheese (47608) | about 8 years ago | (#15544773)

The whole article sounded more like a RIAA/MPAA press release then anything resembling news.

Re:Unbelievable (3, Funny)

buddachile (115746) | about 8 years ago | (#15544867)

What's wrong with infringing on the sovereignty of other nations? Isn't that what empires are supposed to do?

Re:Unbelievable (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15544951)

"people who drive on the left side of the road are driving illegally." It's true in the U.S... but not everywhere.

How do you suppose we pass in the US?

KFG

Fighting Ideas (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 years ago | (#15544668)

While i agree you cant 'win' with a fight against ideas, you can suppers them by instilling enough fear in the populace not to admit their 'ideas' ever again in public.

Oh, and not that i agree with it, but the WTO has effectively torn down all resemblance of 'independent states' in the world. And undermines a countries sovereignty.

Re:Stupidity in action (3, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | about 8 years ago | (#15544732)

"One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs."

Internal affairs? International trade is not an internal affair, by definition. When you're violating the copyright of citizens from other countries, it has moved out from being "purely internal" to "international".

"You're allowing wholesale violation of our citizens' internationally recognized copyrights" is hardly the worst reason I've ever heard for objecting to membership in trade organizations, too.

-Erwos

Double standard? (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 8 years ago | (#15544821)

The US picks and chooses which of its laws it will enforce in other countries -- the general trend seems to be that if there is a belief that some US corporation can profit from the law being enforced, it will be; otherwise, the US government couldn't give a shit. Consider the laws here in the states (and recognized by several international groups) regarding chemical factories. Does the US start meddling with other countries when a US chemical company decides to open up a plant somewhere and blatantly breaks the laws it would be required to follow here in America? No. Labor laws? No. But turn it around,so that the company is producing its products here in the states and selling them overseas, and suddenly, the US is interested in enforcing American laws outside of America. Double standard?

Re:Stupidity in action (1)

NMagic (982573) | about 8 years ago | (#15544747)

I understand the goal, and to a certain degree, I agree with it. On the other hand, I don't think that the government realizes that they just opened a big, black hole. As Umbral Blot says, this isn't an obtainable goal. There's no magic egg at the end of the level that says piracy has been defeated. This is another "war" that is just a huge money dump.

At the same time, I get mp3s from friends and listen to them. If I like the stuff, then I feel it's worthwhile to support the group. The question is, am I evil for getting something for free? Is my Karma neutralized when I actually buy the album or go to the concert? Could it be that the entertainment industry is demonizing their own biggest fans? How many people downloaded some of this content to try it out, then either deleted it (didn't like it) or bought it (did like it)? In the government and Ent Industry's eyes, they are still pirates.

I for one, like to "Try before I buy".

Re:Stupidity in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544758)

> One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs.

Amusing. The US government has been doing this for the last 100 years...suddenly, now it's shitty films and computer games at stake you sit up and take notice?

I disagree (1)

Orionetheus (914838) | about 8 years ago | (#15544893)

Only 1 or 2 percent of the population are actual pirates. The rest are leechers, I download stuff sure, but I'm never ripping or re encoding or cracking things.....I'm a leech, and I accept that...

But the US should leave other countries to their own affairs, I refuse to also believe that 250$ Billion is lost to piracy, I think at least 100$ billion is lost to CRAPPY GOODS! Has anyone seen the bad movies and music lately? Why was "Im n luv wit a stripper" Number 1 on itunes for 3 weeks?!??!?!??!?! They paid for it to be there, they arent exactly struggling, they have enough money to pay their music artists enough money to retire on at age 18 yet they complain about us stealing?

BS BS BS

Re:Stupidity in action (2, Insightful)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | about 8 years ago | (#15544962)

Not to mention the question of why the US government should act as stop-loss agents for a private industry?

Re:Stupidity in action (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15545043)

The end goal is to maintain the US economy. We no longer mass export fuel, textiles, machinery, electronics, or computer components. No one wants our cars, and they wouldn't fit on many foreign roads anyways.

What's left? Since 1996, cultural products (films, music, television programs, books, journals, and computer software) became the largest US export.

There are at least four things that could seriously hurt the economy, and one may cause the others to happen:
- lose our biggest export
- a housing bust
- other nations stop paying for things, like oil, with US dollars
- China stops lending us money

If these were to happen, a great many people will be standing in line at the soup kitchens, and it would be more than just the ones who made cultural products.

Giving to the poor (1)

NRISecretAgent (982853) | about 8 years ago | (#15545064)

So it took you a loss of $250 billion to notice. I've got one simple question... Does that mean that the people who couldn't aford to pay for a trip to the movie theaters got to keep a small chunk of that spare change you moguls didn't get?

Re:Stupidity in action (0, Troll)

thomag (894176) | about 8 years ago | (#15545140)

"the US [would be] meddling in other nations purely internal affairs"

If another nation is home to pirates that cost the U.S. $250B a year, and the U.S. wants to stop them, they are not "meddling in other nations purely internal affairs".

Your other ideas are not very clever either (war on [abstract idea] is a figure of speech, you don't send troops against poor people; and you suggest we do nothing about piracy because there's just too many?!?) but that one's silly.

yet another excuse (0, Offtopic)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 years ago | (#15544519)

This is yet another excuse to trash our privacy rights and increase monitoring of the average citizen.

And you WILL like it, or we may decide to detain you.

Huh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544522)

...who swap digital copies of 'The DaVinci Code,' Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free

Gee, you should be PAYING THEM to download that crap. Eew.

Something I'd like to see: (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | about 8 years ago | (#15544528)

I'd like to see a study that looks at if people that pirate software and other copyrighted materials would pay for them to begin with. I'd also like to see a study of the commercial gains from piracy. For instance, downloading an MP3 from a friend of a song. The downloader likes the song, so he buys the entire album from iTunes. He now kmow about the band and enjoy them and will likely purchase more. All I see are press releases from the record and movie industry claiming they "lost" money.

Re:Something I'd like to see: (4, Insightful)

blibbler (15793) | about 8 years ago | (#15544943)

The problem with studies into things like that is the effect of piracy is very nebulous. While it is unlikely Adobe loses a sale if a 13 year old "software collector" downloads photoshop, there is a reasonable chance that they lost a sale to a 30 year old hobbiest photographerwho does the same. The music situation is similarly difficult to pin down. While I have bought many CDs of artists that I have first been introduced from downloads, there are many albums that I have been content to have downloaded MP3s of. Would I have bought them otherwise? Maybe, maybe not. In the hight of the original napster, CD sales were very large and "pirates" argued that the CD sales were being fed by the napster downloads. Music downloads have continued to rise, while CD sales have collapsed, however today "pirates" claim that the low CD sales are caused by the labels not releasing any good music. It doesn't take much of a brain to see the problem with that argument.

The other problem with such studies are their credibility. Would you believe the results of a study that was funded by the RIAA (or even a copyright friendly government.) A study conducted by a group like downhillbattle.org or the FSF would have the same level of credibility (remember the adage 'Just because you agree with a statement, does not make it true). Ultimately, any study conducted would be hailed by interest groups that agreed with the outcome and ignored by interest groups that did not. Leaving everyone right back where they started, just angrier.

Re:Something I'd like to see: (1)

Apraxhren (964852) | about 8 years ago | (#15544971)

Well there are plenty of legal ways to preview a song, such as the radio but seeing as you can't really pick which song to hear it's a bit hard and non pop music is harder to find. Your friend could also tell you "hey, go check out blahblah on itunes(or whatever music store even most brick and mortar stores you can listen to an album first.), as you can listen to 30sec clips of the song. You could also go over to your friend's house to listen to the album and see if you like it. There are plenty of legal ways of previewing or getting reviews of music before you buy that it doesn't justify stealing.

It is a bit harder with movies or games as allot of people only watch/play it once, unlike music which you listen to repeatedly usually. They also can't give away the ending or the surprise as obviously then it wouldn't be a surprise. So you go into a movie with only what someone else has said about the movie and you may not like it at all. With most games and other software there are demos you can try that are either limited function or limited duration if not both.

If there were stiffer and/or actual enforceable penalties for pirating the only complaint by many would be money as many of us are dirt poor and hell we like free stuff. For music/games there isn't really a reason other than money that they are pirated, movies however people are questioning the content and they like free stuff. Why would you pay for something you don't like which seems like the real problem with the movie industry you have no idea what you are getting except from the words of others.

Re:Something I'd like to see: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15545087)

Here's [utdallas.edu] one such study (it's a .pdf, sorry).

FTA:
(T)here is strong evidence that the impact of file-sharing has been to bring significant harm to the recording industry. The basic evidence in the United States over the last few years--the birth of file-sharing and the subsequent decline in CD sales--makes for an extremely compelling and simple explanation in spite of the protestations to the contrary from the large and vocal group of individuals supportive of file-sharing. The recent reversal in the decline in CD sales matches a reversal in the activity of file-sharing, providing additional support for this conclusion.

This conclusion is not likely to have been a surprise to most anyone, prior to this topic becoming so highly politicized. The basic intuition of most economists is not much different than that which occurs to members of the general population: when given the choice of free copies versus purchased originals, a significant number of individuals who might have purchased originals will chose to substitute the free copy. It would be amazing if there were not a strong substitution effect.

Although there are conditions which might work to mitigate or even overturn this theoretical expectation, those conditions are unlikely to occur in the case of file-sharing. Although the concept of 'sampling' has been mentioned as a possible mitigating factor, theory does not appear to support this surmise. A broad analysis of the various theoretical factors at work supports a view that file-sharing is likely to cause damage to the owners of copyright materials that are so shared.

$250 Billion? With a B? (4, Funny)

Pedrito (94783) | about 8 years ago | (#15544538)

The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates, who swap digital copies of "The DaVinci Code," Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free.

These 3 products have a value of as much as $250 billion? Wow, these guys really are making too much money. Guess I better go download some more movies.

Re:$250 Billion? With a B? (1)

The_Dizzle_4_Rizzle (982845) | about 8 years ago | (#15544746)

My queestion is, how do they calculate 250 B? I mean, if they are just measuring the number of downloads and multiplying it by the retail price of the media, then they aren't taking into account the fact that the person downloading it for free wouldn't necessarily buy the media if they didn't have the option of downloading it for free. Therefore, I don't think it is fair to call that "lost" revenue, because it wasn't potential revenue.

Re:$250 Billion? With a B? (4, Informative)

optimus2861 (760680) | about 8 years ago | (#15544903)

They calculate the figure the same way they've always calculated it -- pulling it out of their ass. That figure is higher than the gross domestic product for 35 of the 50 states. It's fully one-quarter of the Canadian gross domestic product. Do they really expect anyone to believe that they're losing as much money as the sum of all economic activity in any of Maryland ($227b), Indiana ($227b), Minnesota ($223b), or Tennessee ($217b), every single year?

Little wonder nobody gives a damn about what they have to say on the issue.

Re:$250 Billion? With a B? (1)

mtdenial (769442) | about 8 years ago | (#15544987)

So if google's gdp guess [google.ca] is roughly accurate, they are claiming that they are 'losing' 2% of the GDP per year. I just can't believe someone could actually say that with a straight face. They have to know that they are being completely dishonest. I don't ask for much, really, just don't lie to me and don't treat me like I'm a moron, this probably has something to do with why I don't go to the movies very often anymore...

Grand Theft Auto (5, Funny)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | about 8 years ago | (#15544543)

So first the government wants to ban the legal sales of Grand Theft Auto here in the US and now they want to ban the illegal download of Grand Theft Auto overseas? Are they for or against the game? Or do they just not want anyone to have it?

Re:Grand Theft Auto (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#15544822)

They are for telling you what to do; and think.

Preferably for a profit.

KFG

Democracy (5, Insightful)

LainTouko (926420) | about 8 years ago | (#15544554)

Ah, the democratic will of the people in action. At last the US government is listening to the cries of its people to punish those Swedish guys who make free stuff available and aren't breaking any local laws. Oh, wait...

Re:Democracy (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 8 years ago | (#15544942)

Ah, the democratic will of the people in action. At last the US government is listening to the cries of its people to punish those Swedish guys who make free stuff available and aren't breaking any local laws. Oh, wait...

First I think you mean stuff available free, I'm pretty sure most these things dont fall under "free stuff".

Secondly, yes they (TPB) might not violate Sweedish laws, but all those downloaders in the US sure are.

Re:Democracy (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | about 8 years ago | (#15545038)

Mabey Not, depending on where courts hold the copying happens. Also note that the MPAA is making Bittorent downloads availible with licences that do not give the user permision to copy the movie, estopping them from arguing the user is making the copy with Bittorent. But IANAL.

Is there anything left to say on this topic? (4, Insightful)

Screwy1138 (976897) | about 8 years ago | (#15544555)

It's unfortunate, but this is just more of the same.

But what are we going to do? Intervene more in the politics of other nations? Yeah they love that. We can go to war to get all our copies of Grand Theft Auto back (right before we ban them for being obscene).

Sooner or later India and China will have a larger say in global economics, and their positions on these topics will carry more weight. I wonder what things will be like when other countries don't bend so easily to the will of the U.S.

Re:Is there anything left to say on this topic? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 8 years ago | (#15544802)

Sooner or later India and China will have a larger say in global economics, and their positions on these topics will carry more weight.

Which is exactly why the US is so gung-ho about this stuff.

The sooner they can convert the governments of the emerging powers to the stupid side, the stronger the protection of the MAFIAA's business model will be when those countries do dominate the world market.

Re:Is there anything left to say on this topic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544906)

Sooner or later India and China will have a larger say in global economics, and their positions on these topics will carry more weight. I wonder what things will be like when other countries don't bend so easily to the will of the U.S.

What will happen is, you will be able to get pirated Indian and Chinese DVDs and muisc cheaply in the US, pirated American and Indian DVDs and music cheaply in China, and pirated American and Indian DVDs and music cheaply in India. It will be a world of multicultural wonder.

Yes, there is a huge amount to say (1)

argoff (142580) | about 8 years ago | (#15544926)

The US in entering the information age in a big way, and the US vision of IP is simply plain wrong. The future is not one of "intellectual property", but of information services. Just as the commoditisation of the labor force led to the drastic death of the plantation system and all it's false property rights, the commoditisation of information in the information age will lead to the drastic death of the copyright system and false "intellectual property" rights.

The fact that Linux has taken off in the USA faster than any other nation is directly because the US is a bigger free market than any other market. The information age happened here first, the market and economy is the biggest market, and the internet penetration while not the highest in the world is still way up there. It is not Europe, Russia, China, or India that need to change. It is the US, and the pressures to change are bigger than life and are not coming from overseas, but comming from right here at home.

The truth is that the only way we are going to be able to get it on with the information age is to kill copyrights right here at home. I say we had better be ready for that battle, cause it's comming wether we want it or not.

Re:Is there anything left to say on this topic? (1)

joemawlma (897746) | about 8 years ago | (#15544978)

I wonder what things will be like when other countries don't bend so easily to the will of the U.S.

It won't matter, the earth will be destroyed.

Wow... (1)

hrrY (954980) | about 8 years ago | (#15544557)

That's some prime directive...now we tell the "svede's" how to run their shit to?! I mean, do they want to make it so we can't travel to other country's????

Since the war on terror worked out so well (5, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | about 8 years ago | (#15544564)

It sounds like they're going to be moving to the war on piracy. I expect we'll be carpet bombing Stockholm before the elections.

I love contributor links... (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 years ago | (#15544566)

...such a this one [washingtonpost.com] . I used it to send a letter to the author of the linked article. This letter is enclosed below. If it contains factual errors, let me know; I may have listened to the wrong slashbots.

In "U.S. Joins Industry in Piracy War" you seem to allude to the shutdown of The Pirate Bay early on when you say mention an "illegal file-sharing Web site" in Sweden. Numerous Swedes have been working to set people straight on this - The website "The Pirate Bay" was in no way illegal under Swedish law because it does not itself contain any copyrighted materials, only links to the same. Your assertion that their site is illegal is libelous at best, since Swedish law does not prohibit such a site. In fact, their law only prohibits the exchange of copyrighted material - having it unshared on your hard disk is not a crime.

Copyright law in the US was intended to protect our cultural heritage, not to provide profit to copyright holders in perpetuity. It is now little more than a shield that megacorporations can hide behind so that they have no need to innovate and bring us something NEW. The two acts which extended copyright were far from being in the interest of the American people.

The seizure of TPB's servers illustrates that fascism is alive and well, and spreading throughout the world. The police in fact seized numerous servers that did not even belong to TPB as an apparent scare tactic to bring ISPs in line with their wishes, even though they were not backed up by law - if you harbor those who are practicing their legal rights, you may in fact lose business because we will interfere with it, deliberately and without cause.

By referring to TPB's actions as illegal, you are helping to perpetuate a fraud against the entire planet.

Hopefully I was correct about all this, but the claims I have made above were made in many long-standing high-score comments in the last discussion about this subject, and not refuted, so hopefully peer review will have made me sound like I know what I'm talking about.

Re:I love contributor links... (2, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 8 years ago | (#15544876)

Hopefully I was correct about all this, but the claims I have made above were made in many long-standing high-score comments in the last discussion about this subject, and not refuted, so hopefully peer review will have made me sound like I know what I'm talking about.

Heh. I just mailed them a link to your posting. Now your credibility is down the pooper.

Re:I love contributor links... (1)

Maradine (194191) | about 8 years ago | (#15544924)

By referring to TPB's actions as illegal, you are helping to perpetuate a fraud against the entire planet.

Tell them they kill younglings, too. Rub it in.

Re:I love contributor links... (1)

Crazyscottie (947072) | about 8 years ago | (#15544969)

You should send a similar letter to the heads of the RIAA and MPAA. I'd be interested to see their responses to it. This isn't something "arguable," so they can't hide behind their "poor starving artists" arguments or anything pathetic like that.

Viral Marketing in Action? (2, Insightful)

fohat (168135) | about 8 years ago | (#15544586)

I for one had never heard of "Chamillionaire" until this article. Why site these specific items? It's almost as if they WANT me to go download it! Which I won't because piracy is bad bad bad. Everyone knows Ninja's are where it's at these days.

I forsee the future, and it is bleak. What's next, Cory Sherman for President??

"Remember kids, when you download MP3's, you're downloading Com^H^H^HTerrorism."

-Some Bloke

Re:Viral Marketing in Action? (1)

fohat (168135) | about 8 years ago | (#15544693)

Of course I meant Cary Sherman. Stupid Vowels...

Re:Viral Marketing in Action? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544771)

It's probably best that you haven't heard of "Chamillionaire". He's just another idiotic rapper who raps about all the usual stereotypical crap (guns, drugs, sex, violence and money). Mainly popular among young, middle class, suburban children.

And in other news... (2, Interesting)

dave562 (969951) | about 8 years ago | (#15544594)

Hollywood will be teaming with the government to bring you candidates who although short on substance and integrity, are guaranteed to have voter appeal and provide a vehicle to forward the Republican party platform.

Another corporate intiated, tax funded war (1)

ScottLindner (954299) | about 8 years ago | (#15544630)

Why don't they make products worth watching. Most of the junk Hollywood makes isn't even worth my time even if it were free.

Yet another industry that failed to adapt to new technologies that's going to fight until their death.

Every time you read this sort of story... (3, Interesting)

clevershark (130296) | about 8 years ago | (#15544634)

...the figures for the "lost revenue" they pull out of their *sses gets larger and larger. I think the industry is goatseing itself there...

Re:Every time you read this sort of story... (3, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | about 8 years ago | (#15544704)

I think they’ve now claimed losses due to piracy that exceed the revenue of their industries.

Are they even trying anymore?

Labor Laws vs IP Treaties (1, Informative)

kthejoker (931838) | about 8 years ago | (#15544648)

How come we can generate these awesomely tight relationships with other countries regarding IP and copyright laws, but we can't get Chinese companies to not use 15 hour work days and below-living-standard wages to produce goods?

Oh, I see. Because neither one is good for Rich White Guys. Carry on, then.

Hello? welcome to the new age (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#15544700)

"...Rich White Guys"
shoud be
"...Rich People"

There a a lot of rich non white people who profit from this behaviour. Like the Chinese, for starters.

IP not property (1, Insightful)

slothman32 (629113) | about 8 years ago | (#15544651)

I of am the type who doesn't think IP is property.
Unlike real property it'sn't in limited amounts.

The Const. reason was to help create more works.
It was designed to prevent people from selling others work.
It wasn't designed to prevent people from doing what they want with their own, including time-shifting and backing up, though of course those weren't thought of then.

Thomas Jefferson: "Just as a man could light his taper from an existing candle without diminishing the original flame, so, too, could he acquire an idea without diminishing the original source."

You could think that "stealing" the fire would make them need to use money to buy matches but that still doesn't affect his saying.

Now I am not completely against copyrights.
I do think that the current implementation is worse than having none at all but a better one would be to just penalize sellers and make the time [b]actually[/b] limited.
1e6 years is technically limited but I don't think they, the founding fathers, mean something like that.
No 70+ years. 10 is better.
I was thinking that the length should be related to how long it takes to promalgrate around.
Back in the 1700's it took decades. Now it takes seconds.
That means more people can access it sooner and decide if they want it.

For computer and movies it gets obsolete so quickly that even 5 might be reasonable.

Just remember that "Happy Birthday," "I have a Dream," and "Mein Kampf" are all copyrighten.

I want someone to do those in public to show how stupid the laws can be.
Especially since MLK jr. probably didn't want it to be private.

P.S. "it'sn't" is a contraction for "it is not"
P.P.S. I like using the word "property" because I get to quickely type the letters "e,r,t,y" which are next to each other.

Re:IP not property (3, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | about 8 years ago | (#15544884)

"Just as a man could light his taper from an existing candle without diminishing the original flame, so, too, could he acquire an idea without diminishing the original source."

Thomas Jefferson is right but you, and pretty much everybody else misunderstands copyright when they quote him as you did here. His analogy basically gets it wrong, regardless of how poetic and insightful it may initially seem. Ideas are free to use and take as you like. Copyright doesn't stop this, never has, never will. What copyright protects is the expression of an idea in a tangible medium. What does this mean? Let's use the Da Vinci Code fiasco as an example (because it was mentioned in the summary). Three authors jointly wrote a book called Holy Blood Holy Grail where they established the theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene sired a child and his bloodline is potentially still in existence today. That's the idea. These three authors expressed their idea in the form of a non-fictional historical account of the facts behind this theory. Dan Brown took the idea and wrote a fictional story around the premise. the subsequent court case against Dan Brown failed simply because his expression of the theory (idea) was vastly different from the HBHG historical account. It doesn't matter how unique an idea is, and the theory presented by HBHG is rather unique, the only protection one will receive is for the uniqueness of the expression once it's fixed in a tangible medium (book, music, play, sculpture, painting, etc.).

Re:IP not property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15545091)

What copyright protects is the expression of an idea in a tangible medium.

In practice the distinction gets very muddled (that is, the disticntion is more or less non-existant). Since copyright only protects the expression of the idea, in theory it should be legal to express exactly the same idea in a different form without incurring a copyright violation.

Try translating a copyrighted book (expressing the same ideas in a very different form) and see how far that gets you.

SO how much (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#15544689)

is the industry giong to pay for our government to do this? oh wait, taxpayers will.

There's No Business Like Show Business (5, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 8 years ago | (#15544690)

Politics is show business for ugly people.

Re:There's No Business Like Show Business (1)

aphaenogaster (884935) | about 8 years ago | (#15544885)

I resent that! -Dennis Hastert

I'd like to pirate something (1, Flamebait)

Quirk (36086) | about 8 years ago | (#15544713)

I've yet to download any pirated copies of American entertainment. In my world there's Bach and Bebop [wikipedia.org] , these I have on CD; then there's the rest of what passes for music. As for the rest of what passes for American entertainment there's nothing worth stealing coming from the America. I look forward optimistically to an offering from American entertainment that would be worth stealing and, possibly, even buying.

Same old crap, different people (0, Redundant)

Atroxodisse (307053) | about 8 years ago | (#15544724)

I can only repeat the same argument against their piracy statistics so many times before I become bored with my own points. I think I'll try something new. Lets see, how about this one. Your piracy statistics are wrong because elevator vacuum cleaner torque wrench. It's not like someone at some point hasn't pointed out to these people how stupid their arguments are, it's just that they don't care. The man is not my friend. Why do I even bother to post this crap?

Stamp out and abolish redundancy! (3, Insightful)

shogarth (668598) | about 8 years ago | (#15544748)

In the aftermath of the raid, members of the Left and Moderate parties in Sweden have proposed scrapping last year's law that criminalized illegal file-sharing, reported the Local, an English-language newspaper in Sweden.

It looks like a reporter has a hard time distinguishing between legal jurisdictions. I doubt that the Swedes would have wasted time criminalizing something that was already illegal. This is a perfect example of the fuzzy thinking that most people bring to this (admittedly complex) issue.

Re:Stamp out and abolish redundancy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544902)

I doubt that the Swedes would have wasted time criminalizing something that was already illegal.

Hmmm? Here in Sweden it was legal to download (but not to upload) a year ago.

SO that's why music industry "Won" (1, Flamebait)

H01ym0ses (961442) | about 8 years ago | (#15544754)

Ok now I understand why the music industry said they have won the war on piracy. They are passing off the invasive tactics to a seedier ally. Yea I pirate stuff, I don't think anyone who has a PC and internet access has not. The fact of the matter is that there is so much complete garbage coming from both Movie and Music industry that I refuse to spend hard earned money on something that I cannot confirm that I like. I'm not going to purchase a car without testing it out first. Yea they complain about people downloading movies still in theatres, WTF as much as it costs for a single person to go see the movie let alone a family DAMN right I'm going to want to know what my money is buying before I dump 100 bux into the pocket of some half assed movie producer/director cause of his name. You can also blame the people in the movies for this to a degree too. 20+ million to make a movie as lame ass as war of the worlds?! You should have paid this out to people for the time they invested in seeing this atrocity(nothing personal Steven). With the current sequel a year tactics of movies and such, most of which don't deserve the first movie let alone a sequel, why do I even bother with over glorified TV shows with digital sound? Again I stress, its not that everyone wants to be a pirate, although I'm sure that some do, its that you leave little options to the contrary. Movie downloads should be widely accepted by now yet you stifel them for your "DVD" sales. WTF do I need to go to a video store to get a movie when my HIGH SPEED internet connection has wonderful delivery method built-in. If holywood wants to crucify someone start with its own. Make an example of the halfassed movies that come out in groves and make more people weep with disgust then creating a witch hunt out of everyday people to proclaim that you are losing 250bn a year on shit like "the da vinci code" (great book, lackluster movie). If you start asking a reasonable fee for the GOLD plated tin foil you're passing off as pure I'm sure that we will return in kind. Heaven knows the 2k a month I make which almost covers my place to live and just my bills let alone my car payment and other stuff just ain't worth trying to divey up a share to some guy who makes 20mil just to look good in front of a camera and wince when a bright light that he is told is an explosion. Please sue me for piracy you can have the 3.75c I have left at the end of each month till hell freezes over cause you sure as hell won't get more then that out of me no matter how much you stomp and stare. Holywood can kiss my ass just like the record companies. Make something I want and then make it affordable and we'll talk till then SUE ME.. can't get blood from a turnip... HM

Not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544784)

...who swap digital copies of 'The DaVinci Code,' Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free
Not true. They are paying severely by playing/watching them.

Pirates are parasites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544816)

from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

"Nothing is given to man on earth . Everything he needs has to be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways-- by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by minds of others. The creator originates. The parasite borrows. The creator faces nature alone. The parasite faces nature through an intermediary.

"The creator's concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite's concern is the conquest of men.

"The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.

"The basic need of the creator is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion. It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motive. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.

"The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism."

I for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544817)

welcome our old Government Overlords.

$626 billion my ass (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 years ago | (#15544818)

I personally have *never* downloaded anything that i was going to buy. If it wasn't available for free, and i didn't feel it was of any monetary value, id have done without. If its something i felt was worth money, i bought it. No one has lost a single dime in 'potential sales' from me due to piracy. However, they have lost out on all of my entertainment money due to their being an ass, as i refuse to buy anything from the 'industry' due to their actions. I know im not alone.

I am sick of it being called theft, and the total lies about the numbers. Screw them.

Bush & Co. does EVERYTHING except serving citi (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 8 years ago | (#15544820)

Except the ones having huge amounts of cash, of course.

Almost everything they did from the start of their first term to date have been in expense of majority, in profit of minority.

Minority always having the meaning "wealthy" of course.

Semantic Schematic (1)

midimastah (462854) | about 8 years ago | (#15544846)

The key here is not to say that they've declared war on it. Whenever they do that to phenomena, it doesn't work very well, like the whole "war on drugs" or "war on poverty."

IP rights human rights.. corporate states of A (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | about 8 years ago | (#15544847)

yep..

this nation has become so hijacked by a plutocratic and manipulative media elite that the US government now places this on a higher priority than terrorism, human rights violations, and other very good reasons to pressure other nations and refuse to admit them to the wto.

This may be getting old, but I think this is making me physically ill. How on earth can anyone stand by and allow such corruption? how can anyone not suffering from clinical senility go along with this.

I mean.. f**k the national debt, or social security, or medical care, or rising poverty rates, or al queda, or the plummeting median wage, or the oil price gouging.. we MUST make sure the hollywood cartels are allowed to do whatever the f**k they please anywhere. >.

China gets into the wto despite massive and continuing human rights violations on the promise to "stomp out piracy".. and now russia.. a much better nation than china on these points, is being told "abandon your sovreignty to we the media elite or be isolated".

I'm getting tired of this.. whenever anyone wants to grab their pitchforks and torches i'll be happy to join you.

Fight back. http://www.tvbgone.com (1)

agent (7471) | about 8 years ago | (#15544861)

Fight back. http://www.tvbgone.com/ [tvbgone.com]

He is making things up. (1)

rejecting (824821) | about 8 years ago | (#15544890)

An ongoing battle between Swedish authorities and an illegal file-sharing service called the Pirate Bay can be traced to an April.. So uh, when did the court decide that? He must be an expert in Swedish law.

Got agenda? (1)

Infonaut (96956) | about 8 years ago | (#15544905)

The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate...

In other news, today The Big Bad Wolf announced that small children were causing serious damage to the forest ecosystem, and that in the future trespassing children would be punished more severely.

MAN I'M GOOD! I was right about this one too! (1)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | about 8 years ago | (#15544920)

Yet another story that proves yet again how I was right [slashdot.org] . I should be getting negative marks for redundancy at this point.

Let's just hope they don't start another crappy youth brainwashing campaign like "Don't copyy that Floppy" [wikipedia.org] featuring MC Double Def DP (honestly? What the hell is it with the government thinking we like rappers?)

What's Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15544930)

Whats next? a US war on Linux. quote "Those linux hippies are taking away jobs and money from the American people, this is an outrage and we won't stand for it."

Two word summary: "We're fucked." (1)

RLiegh (247921) | about 8 years ago | (#15544937)

Shit like this is why I don't bother to read the news any more. It's depressing to the point of being totally demoralising.

Re:Two word summary: "We're fucked." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15545035)

right there with you..

I just dont bother with anything but slashdot anymore. I occasionally tune into an air america internet stream but theyve become just as dogmatic, substance free, and evangelistic as their neocon counterparts.

I thought what i'd do was, i'd pretend i was one of those deaf-mutes..

at least until I see enough people willing to right things the way our forefathers did with king george.. hopefully without blood though.

posting anonymously for obvious reasons.. homeland security can bite me.

Joins the war? (2, Insightful)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | about 8 years ago | (#15544950)

If they do as well as Iraq and their mission in finding Osama Bin Ladden - then Hollywood has nothing to worry about.

Mission accomplished!

250 Billion? (2, Insightful)

Just Jeff (5760) | about 8 years ago | (#15544965)

Someone thinks that russian kids have 250 Billion dollars that they would spend on Hollywood creations? Even if their counts are close, those copies are floating around because they are (relatively) cost free. If Hollywood managed to obliterate every pirated copy of everything they created, they would not end up with one additional dollar. People do not have 250 billion extra dollars in their pockets. They will just never see another Hollywood movie and not care when one comes to thei movie theaters.

Books and "The Industry" (3, Insightful)

shodai (970706) | about 8 years ago | (#15544980)

I bought 5 books last night, knowing fully well that I could easily get them online for free.

I haven't bought any music or movies in at least five years due to the greedy ****ing **AA - that and everything released has been a -2/10.

Make stuff worth having and we will probably buy it... or you can just sue grandma for downloading without a computer, that always works.

Lost opportunities (2, Insightful)

alexo (9335) | about 8 years ago | (#15545041)


"The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates [...]"


Yup. Potential loss of extortion money always pisses the mob off.

I've never even heard of Chamillionaire. (2, Insightful)

Arivia (783328) | about 8 years ago | (#15545054)

How can I be downloading his album if I've never even heard of him?

Hmm. (3, Funny)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | about 8 years ago | (#15545071)

I thought the US already did a good job at stopping piracy [wikipedia.org] :

While boats off the coasts of South America and the Mediterranean Sea are still assailed by pirates, the advent of the United States Coast Guard has nearly eradicated piracy in American waters and the Caribbean Sea.

(Wikipedia's article on Piracy [wikipedia.org] .)

Yes Please Spend my Tax Dollars (2, Insightful)

badxmaru (545902) | about 8 years ago | (#15545076)

Wow, I can't think of a more beautiful thing you stupid politicians could be doing.
I'm going to write a letter right now to you all telling you how wonderful an idea this is, to force other countries to adopt our laws so they can pay for entertainment,
Why don't we force them to wear gold stars and send infringers to death camps?

Honestly, with the amount of HIV, poverty, malaria, influenza, strife, famine, and general nastiness out there in the world, I'm glad my hard earned tax dollars are going to supposed a 3rd party that doesn't give a rat's ass on this, and is instead out to make money for itself to support a bloated and outdated business model.

And us Americans wonder why the rest of the world hates us.

TFA consists of no research whatsoever (4, Insightful)

Facekhan (445017) | about 8 years ago | (#15545126)

The article repeats the falsehoods that The Pirate Bay and the AllOfMP3.com are illegal file sharing websites. One is a legal under Swedish law and is a torrent site that does not host any copyrighted material. The Russian site, AllofMP3.com sells mp3 tracks legally by a quirk of Russian copyright law. The reason the RIAA is pissed is for 2 reasons, the first is that the songs are sold cheaply to both Russians and foreigners who go to the site which screws with their regional price fixing system, and the other is that they are not collecting the royalties to which they are owed because of those who are supposedly representing foreign copyright holders in Russia pocket the money themselves or they simply choose not to make the effort to get their share from those entities. This also infringes on the RIAA's patented business model which is mostly based on cheating artists out of royalties. If the writer did even a scrap of research beyond the press releases from the RIAA then at the very least the word "allegedly" illegal file sharing might be used instead.
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