Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Private File Sharing To Remain/Become legal In EU

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the nice-change-of-pace dept.

The Courts 147

orzetto writes "Italian newspapers are reporting that the European parliament's Commitee for Legal Affairs approved an amendment presented by EMP Nicola Zingaretti (PSE, IT), that makes piracy a felony—but only if a monetary profit is made. As in the EU parliament's press release: 'Members of the Legal Affairs' committee [...] decided that criminal sanctions should only apply to those infringements deliberately carried out to obtain a commercial advantage. Piracy committed by private users for personal, non-profit purposes are therefore also excluded.' The complete proposal was passed with 23 votes in favour, 3 against and 3 abstained, and is intended to be applied to copyright, trademark, design and other IP fields, but not patent right which is explicitly excluded. The proposal has still to pass the vote of the parliament before becoming law in all EU countries, some of which (like Italy) do have criminal laws in place for non-profit file sharing. A note: Most EU countries use civil law, not common law. Translation of legal terms may be misleading."

cancel ×

147 comments

Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (5, Insightful)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547667)

It's funny because this is how copyright law was generally interpreted in the United States prior to the Napster era. The first criteria (of four) that is used to determine whether something is "fair use" is related to whether the use is "of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes." Today fair use in the U.S. is interpreted so narrowly that might as well be non-existent. What's doubly weird is that the EU is typically more protective of IP than the United States is. It will be interesting to see what happens if this amendment is passed by parliament.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18547817)

Well, the situation is now fundamentally different. It used to be that one person copying a tape for a bunch of friends was no big deal. Even if it was a CD that reproduced almost perfectly with data verification it wouldn't likely get that far from the original buyer. Nowadays it's to the point where one person on earth could buy a CD and then that album could be downloaded by every person with a computer in a matter of hours or days given the right sharing service. (Torrents)

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (5, Insightful)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547901)

Yes, and that's a problem, but the alternative doesn't have to be so severe either. Why, for example, do I have to pay Verizon $5 to download a ringtone for my cell phone when I already own the damned CD. The ringtone industry (which is a multi-BILLION dollar industry) is the perfect example of how content owners are trying to turn the U.S. into a pay-per-use economy. There has to be a middle ground here...

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18548375)

But you don't have to. You can just not have the ringtone. Trust me, my cellphone just does something like "gonk gonk gonk" when someone calls me, and I'm doing just fine.

Blaming copyright because you bought a locked phone and a rip protected CD (which I assume to be the case, otherwise you'd just load the ringtone like a normal person) kind of misplaced blame a bit.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548479)

You don't. You pay Verizon $5 for the convenience of being able to download a ring tone without any complications on your part, using a subsidized phone that doesn't include some of the nicer features that'd make it easy too.

If you bought an unsubsidized phone, the chances are you could move across the ring tone as an MP3 or, at worst, MIDI, file via Bluetooth or USB.

And with most phones, subsidized or not, you have the option of doing what my wife did, and just using the phone's audio recorder to make your ring tone. Yes, I'm talking speaker to mike, like you did when you copied tapes at the age of 5 and 3.5mm jacks weren't available to you. Before you complain about the quality, remember it's going to be played out of a crappy over-cranked speaker. It'll probably be more than acceptable.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (3, Informative)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548489)

Actually you don't.

Verizon charges you for the Service of providing you to download the ringtone. If you have the CD you can upload it http://www.mixxer.com/ [mixxer.com] and download it to your phone for free.

I'm not sure about Verizon yet I'm able to do with Sprint

People still download obnoxious jingles? (4, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549877)

In civilized parts of the world, cell phones have vibrators.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549995)

The ringtone industry (which is a multi-BILLION dollar industry) is the perfect example of how content owners are trying to turn the U.S. into a pay-per-use economy.

That is just it. DRM is not about locking down some pirates. People have been pirating music and movies for years now and the industry is doing fine.

From a business perspective all the RIAA and MPAA want to do is maximize the money they take in. What is better for maximizing the money coming in; squashing the relativly small number of pirates out there and getting them to fork over the cash for their content OR would it make them more money to simply squeeze a little more money out of the relativly large group of people who pay for their content. Of course they are going after the bigger market, they are trying to move to a pay per use market simply becuase it will make them more money. It has been known tha tpsychologically if someone pays per use they end up paying more while perceiving that they payed the same.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550397)

Yes, and that's a problem

It's not a problem. It's a wonderful opportunity.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547989)

Nowadays it's to the point where one person on earth could buy a CD and then that album could be downloaded by every person with a computer in a matter of hours or days given the right sharing service. (Torrents)


      Yes, we've been at that point for a while now. And yet I see there's no shortage of wealthy artists... even if their music sucks.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548387)

Wealthy artists are conspicuous. Many excellent artists have what aspiring artists would see as a successful career (multiple albums, enough of a living not to need another job) without becoming wealthy. The Roche Sisters, for instance.

I'm just trying to say that only a small proportion of successful artists become obscenely wealthy.

He wasn't a musician, but Robert Anton Wilson, a novelist and philosopher (check him out, it's interesting stuff) died last month in poverty.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (2, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548577)

It often happens that great artists are 'ahead of their time'. I think this often keeps them from being particularly successful in a business sense as not many people are willing to pay them while they are alive. Edward Stiechen had a decent career teaching and such, but no one paid $3 million for any of his photographs until after he died.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548835)

OK, to use your very example. I have never heard of "The Roche Sisters" (and it's unlikely that many others here have).

      Therefore it's unlikely I would seek and download their music. Therefore piracy is not the cause of their lack of wealth, is it?

      In fact if you were to, say, send me a link where I could download some of their stuff, and I liked it, chances are good that I would probably buy one of their CD's. Repeat a million times with the power of the internet, and suddenly the "RIAA" and the gangsters they represent are made fairly obsolete - especially if I can buy the CD direct from the band.

      This is exactly what they are afraid of, and the reason they are grasping at the final straws before disappearing down the hall into oblivion.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549249)

I didn't mean that the RIAA is good for artists. Far from it. I was just offended that you were suggesting that all the artists had so much money.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549461)

I don't like to speak ill of the dead, or at least the recently departed, so unfortunately I won't be telling you how unsurprised I am about the author of the crappiest book I've ever read dying in poverty.

And that's a good thing?! (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549863)

Yes, we've been at that point for a while now. And yet I see there's no shortage of wealthy artists... even if their music sucks.

Really? Just out of interest:

  1. How do you define "wealthy"?
  2. How many artists in absolute terms do you think reach this threshold?
  3. What proportion of all artists who publish their work do you think this represents?

The other point you're completely ignoring is that arguing that a system where a lot of people break the law is still economically viable because some people do obey the law is disingenuous. Why should those who obey the law and respect artists' rights subsidise freeloaders?

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (2, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548833)

> Well, the situation is now fundamentally different. It used to be that one person copying a tape for a bunch of friends was no big deal. Even if it was a CD that reproduced almost perfectly with data verification it wouldn't likely get that far from the original buyer. Nowadays it's to the point where one person on earth could buy a CD and then that album could be downloaded by every person with a computer in a matter of hours or days given the right sharing service.

So? As you correctly point out: the situation is now fundamentally different.

"There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
- Heinlein, Life Line, 1939.

Maybe the right thing is for P2P to be banned. But maybe the right thing is for the content (movies, music, and yes, even software) industry to come up with a business model based on something other than the artificial scarcity imposed by the production costs of selling shiny plastic discs.

Buggy-whip manufacturers probably said the same thing when Henry Ford came out with the automobile. Meanwhile, some guy whose business was making wheels for horse-drawn carriages decided to make stronger wheels that could be bolted onto automobiles.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548981)

And the carriage maker [adclassix.com] just changed the shape and material to accommodate also. Blacksmiths make wrought iron patio furniture(?) I guess only the buggy whip guy was left out in the cold.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548181)

Napster made for an interesting little fillip in the interpretation of copyright law. People were taking CDs that they bought, ripping them, and then making them available for free, without any payment to themselves at all.

The question is why. There may be a simple karmic sense; even though you don't make a direct profit, your willingness to share keeps the whole system moving, and you get to download stuff of your own (a profit to you).

There may also be a kind of stick-it-to-the-man feeling; you just paid $20 for a stupid CD and now you want to get it back. Again, you're getting kind of a "profit", albeit not a financial one.

Those who download songs rather than buy them are almost certainly getting a profit out of the situation; they have a song that they did not pay for, and which they were expected to pay for. It's not a large profit, but in aggregate it's a lot of value spread out over a lot of people.

So the "profitability" notion of fair use got smeared out. Nobody was making a profit but the labels were losing considerable potential sales. Yeah, there's the whole "free advertising" notion, but I hardly consider that worth talking about; it's like the Change Bank claiming to make a profit off of volume, and the argument is so self-serving as to be hypocritical. The exact amount of lost sales is up for debate, and it's certainly less than 100% of the number of copies downloaded for free, but it's certainly greater than zero.

And the technologies that permit what's obviously fair use (backups, taking extracts) also permit free exchange. I don't think that the proponents of fair use did themselves any favors by demanding that their fair use rights remain untouched while offering absolutely no quarter to the lost sales from the labels. It made the entire movement look like they wanted to buy one CD and then "back it up" among the entire population of the planet.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (2, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548547)

The exact amount of lost sales is up for debate, and it's certainly less than 100% of the number of copies downloaded for free, but it's certainly greater than zero.

Funny you should say that, because people spend more money on culture today than they did just 5 years ago. How is that? CD sales are dropping like a stone, yet people spend more money. See, the problem as that the money stream now bypass the record companies, and naturally they don't like that. Of course they want us to believe that the poor artists will starve now, but I find that a bit strange, for more than one reason.

One is that even before everyone got internet and started to share their files, they got a ridiculously small share of each record sold. If the record companies worry about the artists, they could try to cut costs and streamline their business while still making the records cheap enough so people buy them.

The other is that, as I said, people spend more money on culture. If that money does not go to the artists, then it's not the fault of the consumers, but the fault of the music industry.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (4, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548799)

Thing is, the artists have always been willing to sell out. I can't speak to recording artists, but I know actors; I am a professional actor myself. (Stage, not screen, and regional rather than national; you've never heard of me.) Half the questions I get asked are "How do I get famous?" Few people have any interest in how to get better, and they'd sign any contract you put in front of them if it put their faces on the screen.

So it doesn't bother me that the artists get squat out of the deal. They got famous and that's what they wanted from the labels. If all they wanted to do was make music, they're welcome to crank it out in their home studio and sell it out of the back of a van, just like my musician friends do.

Those guys don't have any music industry to blame their lack of sales on. They sell to what customers they can reach, but without a music industry to promote them, their reach is limited. And I haven't seen the customers going too far out of their way to buy the music from CDBaby or eMusic for bands they've never heard of.

I think that there's plenty of blame to go around.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

zaajats (904507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548563)

I believe "profit" (in the legal meaning) only implies physical, measurable, commercial advantage.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548667)

Right. But the law was written with an understanding of the term that turns out to be insufficient. People who wrote the law figured that people probably wouldn't go to the trouble of distributing music for free if there wasn't a profit in it for them.

That turns out to be wrong, and the reasons are interesting. Either you can expand your definition of "profit", and leave the law intact, or you can rewrite the law entirely. But I don't think it's fair to say, "Hey, the law says this and should always say this" just because changing technology allows you to get stuff for free that you couldn't previously.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550419)

It made the entire movement look like they wanted to buy one CD and then "back it up" among the entire population of the planet.

Well, that's what I'd want to do.

Actually, From What I Understand... (3, Informative)

had3l (814482) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548481)

All this law does is make copyright infringement for commercial purposes a crime. Non-commercial copyright infringement isn't in it's scope.

What that means is that, it is NOT saying that "if you pirate a CD for personal, non-profit use, you didn't commit a crime", what its saying is: "if you make a profit from it, you are DEFINITELY committing a crime, no matter what EU country you are in".

If pirating something for personal use is a crime in your country, it probably will still be a crime after this law passes. And if it isn't a crime, this law doesn't prevent legislation that criminalizes it.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548877)

It still is that way.

Just because a company says something is illegal, that doesn't mean that it is. They use bullying and advertising to make you think something is interpreted differently because that's what they want you to believe.

Look at the ads. They say:

"Downloading is theft."
"Theft is against the law."

Nowhere do they say that "Downloading is against the law." They just want you to infer that it's against the law.

You're not breaking the law because the RIAA sues you. Those are CIVIL suits. It doesn't mean you've broken the law.

In either case, get a lawyer, even if you are one.

Re:Like U.S. Copyright used to be? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549253)

This is still how copyright law is interpreted in the US. The EU amendment did nothing to legalize file sharing copywriter works. It just says you have to profit or attempt to profit in order to be criminally prosecuted according to this law. You can still be prosecuted under civil law if the country in question has a provision for it. This is how the RIAA prosecutions work, civil and not criminal.

Where Is the US Government Politics??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18547699)

I see politics.slashdot.org has transformed into a lefty politics section for nerds, even thought FAQ clearly states this section was for US government political stories.

I don't even see US stories here much anymore. Shouldn't the editors follow their own procedures?

Re:Where Is the US Government Politics??!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18547727)

Can you explain how this is not related to right wing US politics?

Re:Where Is the US Government Politics??!! (-1, Flamebait)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548215)

I see politics.slashdot.org has transformed into a lefty politics section for nerds, even thought FAQ clearly states this section was for US government political stories.

I don't even see US stories here much anymore. Shouldn't the editors follow their own procedures?
You misspelled "janitors".

The chimps approving submissions at slashdot are definitely not "editors".

Re:Where Is the US Government Politics??!! (1)

esrobinson (1028500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548267)

I'm not sure if it was moved or something, but this is pretty clearly NOT in politics.slashdot.org

Re:Where Is the US Government Politics??!! (0, Troll)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550127)

The editors can do whatever they want with their website, and you can go fuck yourself.

:)

Seems sensible. (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547725)

No harm, no foul. Adobe, MSFT, et al haven't really lost "a sale" because of me, because I wouldn't buy their software no matter what (i.e. even if I was unable to get it for free, like I do now). So it makes sense that there shouldn't be any penalty. Yet another reason to move to Europe :)

Re:Seems sensible. (2, Insightful)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547783)

Oftentimes they gain a sale. Because you now know their software you're more likely to purchase it in the future (assuming it works...) That's the reason these companies give huge student discounts, and is also the reason why a "leaky" copyright system typically works the best for everybody.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548157)

Why would anyone with a pirated copy that is fully functional ever, ever buy a legitimate copy? Because of the greatly improved support and documentation that comes with such a copy? Or would it be because of the significant reduction in cost when purchasing upgrades later?

Face it, free is free and money is better in my pocket than someone else's. If you have the ability to get something for free you are not going to give up that privilege and run out and pay for it no matter how much you like the folks that are selling it.

Of course, you could always contribute to your favorite criminal enterprise and buy from one of these fake "OEM Software" stores. Why pay full price when you can be suckered into paying $50 for Photoshop or $20 for Vista.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

mjmalone (677326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548361)

How bout when you're not paying for it? Or when your station in life changes. I'll give you two examples: 1) st I start my own business and don't want to be found liable for copyright infringement (which is actually enforced for corporations), or 2) I'm working for Acme, Inc. in their IT department and they just asked me to help decide which graphics package they should be giving to their employees...

Basically if you go from using it at an amateur level to a professional level you're likely to reassess your pirate/purchase decision...

MOD PARENT UP (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549593)

Excellent point.

Re:Seems sensible. (1, Insightful)

drix (4602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548051)

That's a very specious line of reasoning. It's easy to say that you wouldn't have bought it anyways, but impossible to prove such a thing. The counterfactual world where you actually had to purchase all the software you're currently using unleashes an infinitude of alternative economic choices. What do you use Photoshop and Office for anyways? I doubt that's it's purely for kicks. Those are, by and large, business applications. So would the income you'd have to forgo by not using them outweigh the cost of the software itself? I know it wouldn't for me. Even if you are just using Photoshop to edit your personal photos, you might find a lot of disutility in having crappy, edited photos to showcase. Point being, you really can't say that you "wouldn't buy XX anyways", no matter how strongly you feel.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548283)

That's a very specious line of reasoning. It's easy to say that you wouldn't have bought it anyways, but impossible to prove such a thing.
Nothing wrong with his reasoning. It's impossible to prove the converse, so we only have his word to go on anyway. I tend to believe him, as I have a university site license copy of Photoshop that I use for little more than resizing digital photos. If it wasn't free, you can bet your ass I wouldn't buy it just for resizing my crappy JPG snapshots. His argument stands to reason. The converse, that he would have bought it despite his probable limited need for it, does not.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

drix (4602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548705)

Nothing wrong with his reasoning. It's impossible to prove the converse, so we only have his word to go on anyway.
And really, what could be more reliable when it comes to justifying one's own illicit behavior?

There can be no question that it's not worth spending $500-$800 on Photoshop if your only purpose is to resize images. Thank you for pointing that out. For the rest of us, there are a great many areas where Photoshop far and away beats the competition and which would cause us to take a long, hard look at buying it if it wasn't readily available for free. Things like ACR, 32-bit (HDR) support, web conversion, layer effects, etc. I have heard numerous photographers I know justify their pirated copy of Photoshop using exactly the logic of the parent poster, and it strikes me as utter crap. The features they've come to rely on don't exist anywhere else, and yet they're suggesting their price elasticity of demand is infinite. It's a joke.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549531)

There can be no question that it's not worth spending $500-$800 on Photoshop if your only purpose is to resize images.
Thank you for pointing that out. For the rest of us,


You are suggesting here you are a professional photographer. Your needs are not at all representative, with a few exceptions, "the rest of us" are making pictures for fun.

there are a great many areas where Photoshop far and away beats the competition and which would cause us to take a long, hard look at buying it if it wasn't readily available for free.


Most things "the rest of us" (that is, anyone other then serious amateur or professional photographers or graphics artists) are available from the competition and even in free software.

Things like ACR, 32-bit (HDR) support,

May be nice to have but are not needed by the large majority of people with their point and shoot cameras.

web conversion,

Is very convenient, but the functionality is available from competing software as well, abeit in a possibly less convenient way.

layer effects, etc.

Layer effects are available in many graphics editors.

I have heard numerous photographers I know justify their pirated copy of Photoshop using exactly the logic of the parent poster, and it strikes me as utter crap.

If they do in fact need the software then it might be utter crap, yes. However, most people really do not need photoshop at all, it is a 'nice to have', but not something to spend any serious amount of money on.

The features they've come to rely on don't exist anywhere else, and yet they're suggesting their price elasticity of demand is infinite. It's a joke.

Don't assume that because YOU need certain features, everyone does.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548635)

Well, I do actually use them 'just for kicks' - Photoshop for my personal website, and Office for correspondence and other administrivia/minutiae of everyday life. I could easily switch to FOSS, which has most of the same capabilities and would work fine, although I use Photoshop and Office because imho they are better application software than the FOSS stuff. I mostly agree with you though, for people who really do need to use the real deal.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548915)

Depending on what software you need exactly, there may be good, and at times even better alternatives that are free. I can say for sure that I wouldn't buy Microsoft software and I haven't for over a decade. I did get free *but legitimate) copies of Windows 95,98 and 2000, but even those got barely used. Why? because for almost everything I need there are very good alternatives.

Then, sure it is worth something to me to present my pictures in a nice way, but its not worth the price of photoshop to me, it is however worth the price of learning one of the other possibly less capable but still good enough tools that are more decently priced or free. Nowadays there is Photoshop Elements that might fill that place, but I already got used to the Gimp well enough that it will do the job for me.

Of course there are also situations where buying a certain expensive product can make a lot of sense, but that doesn't mean it usually does.

And no, I don't pirate software, when available I use free software, and where that doesn't do the job I'll buy something if the price is right compared to my need, and if it isn't then too bad.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548223)

That's an interesting moral justification you are using. Let's apply it to another situation:

I will never pay for a cable TV service. Therefore, there is no harm in me splicing some coaxial able into my neighbor's cable and then sitting back in my living room to watch TV.

In your world, that is morally OK. Right?

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548661)

There were some jackasses on here who justified illegitimate satellite receivers on the grounds that the "damn stuff is broadcast over my property" as if somehow the satellite company could change the laws of physics.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549209)

There were some jackasses on here who justified illegitimate satellite receivers on the grounds that the "damn stuff is broadcast over my property" as if somehow the satellite company could change the laws of physics.
This is called "choosing your distribution stream". They knew they were broadcasting the data when they sent up the satellite and began using it to dump data into the ether. The electromagnetic spectrum is a limited resource; for most parts of the bandwidth, people can do what they see fit with the radiation they can detect. Certain interests (Military, TV, Phone) have legislated themselves protected ranges in this resource creating an artificial monopoly in swaths of a public limited resource.

A receiver isn't illegitimate; however, the sale of such units is in some places, and some places have laws stating that you can't infringe the IP of the company who made the reference design (the broadcaster).

Just saying that it wasn't only the jackasses who were arguing along these lines. I agree with them to a degree, even though I'd never do this myself as I believe in reciprocity. If their signals ever start degrading MY signals though, you bet I'd use their signals however I saw fit.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550319)

It's not so much that I'm defending the satellite broadcasters - I don't have much time for them at all - it was the idea that they should either not be in business or give away their content for nothing because they didn't have the ability to control the laws of physics.

Re:Seems sensible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18548263)

Wow, I'm practically speechless. You are truely a fucktard, you know that? Take your whiney bitch ass to Europe, faggot. It's the perfect place for hippy fags like you that fail at life. Why is it always the abject failures are the ones who want to run to Canada or some European turd world shit hole? Have you ever been to any country in Europe? They are all shit holes. Alabama has cleaner streets and a more modern atmosphere than most of Europe. It's pathetic. And Europeans are all smelly, sweaty, repulsive, non-bathing, non-antiperspirant using... God, I can't even think of what all they are they're so repulsive. And their women are UUgly with a double capital U. Jeez, here in California, the women are beautiful, like rays of sunshine but in Europe, they all, and I mean all, look like they were not just beaten but fucked with the ugly pole. So take your bitch ass there, good riddance. I'll still be here in the land of the free, low taxation, can get top notch medical care anytime I want, cheap energy having, wonderfulness that is the US of A.

And I'll always be better than you.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548713)

The harm and the foul is not just (or even primarily) to Adobe or Microsoft. By being willing to pirate (or infringe copyright if you must be pedantic) software, you are harming the market for alternatives to the Adobe and Microsoft products.

So if you aren't willing to pay for Photoshop, why aren't you looking at the competing products that cost much less? If the market leading app costs X, you would assume that a natural market exists for an app that costs X/10 (or in the case of FOSS, 0). Saying there is no harm because you would never pay X ignores that fact that you have harmed the vendor of the X/10 product.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548837)

Maybe he did look at the alternatives to Photoshop and Office and found them wanting. Not that that justifies his piracy.

Re:Seems sensible. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549689)

No, He didn't find the wanting or lacking anything. That in it's self would justify purchasing photoshop.

He just doesn't want to spend money or effort and it all boils down to that. But seriously, If you look at alternatives to a piece of software and cannot use them because they lack one thing you "need" or "desire", then the entire theory not ever buying it in the first place is out the window. If there is a need that the other software cannot fill, and something is done to deactivate all pirated copies, then that need would dictate buying the program.

It is obvious, the only thing stopping him from buying it is the fact that he doesn't want to buy it and with pirating, he doesn't have to.

Re:Seems sensible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18549893)

Well, as long as you didn't use that software for ANY commercial advantage - including using it to make money, or even train yourself in the use of the software in order to acquire skills in order to get a job. Commercial advantage is not defined solely as selling the software for a profit.

Wow (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547733)

Wow. Even up here in Canada, I can hear the RIAA's wails of terror over this news.

Good.

Re:Wow (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548073)

this changes nothing for the RIAA and only makes it so that people that trade for cash get a civil and a criminal case against them.

I didn't RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18547757)

..But what does "for profit" mean?

Does it mean that I am selling access to a duplicate? Or does it mean that I have a website where you download the torrent, or for that matter a search engine?

I can see this being a disaster if not done properly.

Re:I didn't RTFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18547907)

eer, I meant to say a website with ads...

Wow, somebody finally gets it (1)

Sylvak (967868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547835)

'that makes piracy a felony--but only if a monetary profit is made'

This is the most common sense I've heard in a while concerning this issue.

WOOOOOOOOOT!!!. Now if only Canada could do the same, I'de be even happier. But it has to start somewhere.

Re:Wow, somebody finally gets it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18548229)

Indeed, the Ninjas appear to have lost.

Typo in the headline (1, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547861)

I think the headline should have read "Pirate File Sharing to Remain/Become legal in EU". I don't think even the EU would outlaw companies' internal fileservers.

Re:Typo in the headline (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548121)


Ah, thanks, that clears it up. I'd imagine that very few shared files are actually about Pirates.




To the person who modded Parent 'troll': you are a clueless git. Read it again, it's a slam on bad headline writing, it's not anti- or pro-piracy.

Re:Typo in the headline (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548259)

I think the headline should have read "Pirate File Sharing to Remain/Become legal in EU". I don't think even the EU would outlaw companies' internal fileservers.
And I think that when armed thugs stop commandeering ships at sea we can start allowing ourselves to use the propagandist terminology prefered by the intellectual property oligopolies.

In the meantime, I'll use "pirate" ironically when referring to file sharing.

Ah, yes, the contagiousness of crime (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548633)

Crime is contagious [nber.org] . Or, put another way, "he was doing it first". That's a great excuse.

I'm a strong proponent of copyrights -- just the 1790 [wikipedia.org] version of 14+14 years.

I'm sure a lot of people share your schoolyard mentality, though, and will use the lawlessness of our governments as an excuse to commit all sorts of crime. I look forward to observe the sociological impact of our governments' actions over the next few decades.

Would you like some freedom fries with that? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550001)

I'm sure a lot of people share your schoolyard mentality, though, and will use the lawlessness of our governments as an excuse to commit all sorts of crime.
What in the hell are you blabering about???
When did I say anything about the lawlessness of anyone's government???
I said I oppose calling people bad names to make them look bad, like calling someone a pirate when they don't forcibly board ships to steal them or their cargo, but instead copied a song without paying for it. THAT is schoolyard mentality.

Re:Would you like some freedom fries with that? (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550295)

Oops. Didn't make the connection between "armed thugs" and "piracy". I thought you were talking about the story that's been the top of the news for the past week, which, depending on which side you want to take, is either about armed UK thugs boarding ("inspecting") merchant ships or about Iranian thugs taking UK hostages.

Still liable for damages in civil suit? (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547865)

The summary and article aren't clear on this. Will people who distribute files still be liable for damages if found to be infringing upon copyrights in a civil lawsuit? If so, I don't think that it is accurate to call private file sharing legal, it just isn't criminal.

Re:Still liable for damages in civil suit? (4, Informative)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548033)

From what it looks like and if the laws are at least similar, the civil side of copyright is still in full enforcement. This is just criminalizing for profit pirate centers.

Re:Still liable for damages in civil suit? (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549283)

Parent is the reason that we should have +10 modding :-)

My real question here then would be.... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547877)

What happens if someone shares a file in Europe and someone gets it in America. (assuming the law passes).

I can already see the RIAA being very unhappy. Tides not going well for them lately.

Re:My real question here then would be.... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549855)

The same thing as if you offer pirate CDs to another country by mail order.

Not sure what happens there either... I imagine that the law you're offering from applies, but it's also possible to prosecute in the country you're selling to if you do a substantial amount of business there.

Wow - score one for the good guys - "thats us" (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547891)

And us being "the people".

Re:Wow - score one for the good guys - "thats us" (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550163)

<sarcasm> Yes, because only tyrants benefit from copyright. Those citizens who draw, write, play, compose, program or otherwise create art semi-professionally aren't really people at all, and anyway, they are few in number compared to the huge, mega-rich pop stars and the big media corps who back them. </sarcasm>

To Remain/Become legal? (5, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18547939)

Not how I understood TFA, but of course IANAL.

What I got from it was that a new directive, aimed at harsher Europe-wide criminal punishments for piracy, will be applied only to commercial piracy. Noncommercial piracy is not covered by the new directive. However, if it was illegal in a member state before, then it remains so.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (1)

lazarus corporation (701348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548203)

Like you IANAL, but I couldn't see anything in there that stated implied that if non-commercial (i.e. individual) copyright infringement was illegal in a member state then it would remain so.

In fact, the first sentence of the EU Press Release would seem to imply otherwise when it say "The first EU directive aiming at harmonising national criminal law" - if they're harmonising national criminal law then they're making it the same in all member states, surely?

I think it depends on whether you read the sentence "Piracy committed by private users for personal, non-profit purposes are therefore also excluded." as referring to piracy by individuals being excluded from the legislation (and therefore defaulting to the member state's national laws), or piracy by individuals being excluded from criminal sanctions. Given that "criminal sanctions" was the subject in the previous sentence:

They excluded patent rights from the scope of the Directive, and decided that criminal sanctions should only apply to those infringements deliberately carried out to obtain a commercial advantage. Piracy committed by private users for personal, non-profit purposes are therefore also excluded.

...then I'm guessing they mean the latter.

But then I always was an optimist.

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549773)

Keep in mind that this is about criminal sanctions, not about civil sanctions. The government can't throw in jail or fine someone for P2P'ing, but the MPAA can still bring a civil suit asking for damages.

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (1)

lazarus corporation (701348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549909)

...which is a shame in some ways: in the UK a criminal case must be proved 'beyond reasonable doubt'. A civil case only has to be proved on the 'balance of probabilities'. If the Record Industry has to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' then they'd have a much more difficult time.

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (2, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548303)

Noncommercial piracy is not covered by the new directive.

What you're describing has been known as "fair use" for a very long time.

I don't know about European Copyright law, but here in Canada (and I believe the US), I've been explicitly allowed to make a copy of an album to give to a family member or a friend forever.

It's only in the current climates that companies are trying to remove the fair use provisions in their entirety. Hence, "private, non-commercial piracy" is a misnomer -- it should remain "fair use still remains legal"; there's no piracy involved in something I already had the right to do.

Cheers

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549023)

I don't know about European Copyright law, but here in Canada (and I believe the US), I've been explicitly allowed to make a copy of an album to give to a family member or a friend forever.

As far as I recall, that is also legal in many of the European countries. It certainly is for all of Scandinavia.

What isn't legal is making copies and give them away to people that are not close friends or family.

Anyway, this directive doesn't touch the legality of P2P. You can still be the target of a civil suit for sharing Metallica on ED2K (Metallica or their record label can sue you for damages). What this directive does is add criminal charges for commercial piracy (i.e., the district attorney can sue you and fine you or throw you in jail).

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549533)

It seems like there is some confusion regarding criminal law vs civil law. IAAlsoNAL, I just play one on /.

Civil law is about conflicts between individuals, for example contracts or tort. One person (or organization) suing another. e.g., MPAA sues Joe Filesharer for $50000 in damages.

Criminal law is about conflicts between the state and individuals, for example speeding or murder. The state's prosecutor sues a person. e.g., State of Maine sues Bob DrunkDriver for $10000 in fines and 60 days of jail time.

From what I gather, this directive is about harmonizing the criminal law sanctions for copyright infringement. Since non-commercial is excluded, it means that the state can't prosecute and throw you in jail or fine you for P2P'ing. However, this doesn't change civil law remedies so Metallica can still go after you in a civil lawsuit and ask for damages.

Re:To Remain/Become legal? (1)

h2g2bob (948006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550157)

Exactly, I was confused by this too. TFA:

The plans would oblige all 27 EU countries to consider jail terms for the violation of intellectual property rights.
This directive seeks to make it a criminal offence and will not legalise anything. The EU sets a minimum legal requirement, but the member states can go further if they wish.

If you read on, even quite a few of the MEPs think this proposal is a steaming pile of poo.

How long (0, Troll)

vakuona (788200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548003)

Until the EU is part of the axis of evil. /me ducks

Re:How long (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549981)

Until the EU is part of the axis of evil. /me ducks

That will take until the day the money-men are no longer holding the reins of the warmongers. The EU is very, very, very rich. Declaring it part of the axis of evil would make a lot of very rich Americans substantially less rich, and so it probably wouldn't happen even if the French navy shelled New York.

No luck for europeans, it's still illegal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18548049)

It's just to apply criminal sanctions if some people are gaining money from piracy/counterfeit...big fucking deal...So we still can be fined, just no jail times~

No? (2, Interesting)

Dan Stephans II (693520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548055)

I read TFA, nowhere did I see that "private file sharing" would remain or become legal. What I did read is that the EU is attempting to harmonize the criminal code around commercial piracy. This harmonization could actually be _detrimental_ to private file sharing because it introduces an element of Napster to the member states (not that the article was hugely detailed but a site like Pirate Bay -- not in the EU, just an example -- could be considered profiting from copyright infringement and be prosecuted under something like this).

Anyhow, nowhere in the article does it say private file sharing for non-commercial purposes will be legalized, it only addresses it by saying that it isn't addressing that aspect.

Not legal! (5, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548065)

They are criminalising commercial copyright infringement. Non-commercial copyright infringement is still illegal. This means that you get sued and pay damages instead of getting arrested and going to jail.

Re:Not legal! (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549693)

Sorry to interrupt, but when you said

Non-commercial copyright infringement is still illegal

I guess you meant

Non-commercial copyright infringement is in no way affected

Because here in Spain, there are no civil laws against copyright infringement when there's no money involved...

Where does it say non commercial use is fair use? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548191)

I glance through the article. It says there is going to be a heavier penalty for infringement. It does not say very clearly non commercial use will not be considered piracy.

But seriously. (2, Insightful)

vakuona (788200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548297)

Any bets on the definition of "monetary profit".

monetary profit. 1. Spending less money than you earn.
                                  2. To avoid spending money by conducting illegal activity.

I don't trust politicians.

Re:But seriously. (1)

ncohafmuta (577957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549069)

So, let's say someone pirates a copy of XP in the EU, uses IE to get on Ebay and sell a personal possession in which they make a profit.
My interpretation is that the person can then be arrested because it's no longer non-profit.
Am I wrong?

Civil law vs Common law (2, Informative)

ssuchter (451997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548305)

In case anyone else was interested but ignorant of the meaning of: Most EU countries use civil law, not common law. Translation of legal terms may be misleading., I read a few articles online. I think that this one was the most helpful:

http://fountainoflaw.com/Vocab/commonlaw.html [fountainoflaw.com]

What I took away (apart from the very interesting history) was that common law expects/requires judges to consider past judges decisions, so the law is a combination of legislated statute and precedent. Civil law on the other hand focuses mostly/exclusively on legislated statue. (I'm sure I'm over-simplifying, so read the article yourself!)

Commercial Advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18548455)

The way it is worded in this article, "commercial advantage", seems to leave the enforcement open to interpretation. For example if someone does contract work from home and uses a pirated copy of Microsoft Word to author and distribute the contract and invoice, would that apply? The first thing that came to mind when I read this is people making illicit copies and selling them but It seems significantly more broad based than that.
For an application, it seems that you could always obfuscate the relationship between the pirated application and dependent applications to create a case for commerical advantage (ie all other application would be dependent on a pirated os)
Legally speaking this would appear to be broad enough to change anyone who pirates software with a felony charge.

Do not jump to conclusions! (3, Informative)

Mjlner (609829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18548977)

First of all, this is a proposed EU directive, not "federal law", a concept that doesn't exist in the EU. A directive means that member countries should implement certain requirements in the directive or there may be sanctions. It also means that these requirements may be exceeded, at the discretion of the member countries' legislative bodies. Finland is one country which already implemented a much harsher copyright law than the EUCD required and it will be free to do so in the future. Private filesharing might be excluded from this directive, but that only means that the member countries are free to legislate as they are paid^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H as they like.

The war between the users and the RIAA (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549135)

The interesting thing is... it seems nobody really cares about the artists that AREN'T wealthy.

I'm a classical musician. It's hard to make a living in music when you're purely musical, and not a celebrity figure like most "artists" these days tend to be.

So, the interesting thing about this little feud, to me, is that none of it really deals with the artists themselves. It seems that the RIAA is now seen as Microsoft is often seen (whether or not that's a valid vision of it or not I leave up to your discretion)... we fight it purely out of principle.

But does fighting the RIAA or opening up file sharing and making copyrights pretty much useless actually help the artists at all? I'm a composer... if there were no copyrights whatsoever, and if somebody malicious wanted to steal a work by me (presuming it was even good enough to be worth stolen, of course) and claim it as their own and make money off of it... well, it's rather nice to have laws in place to prevent that. OpenSource Composition doesn't work well. People don't often donate to composers. Copyrights are necessary in a world where people are perfectly happy with stealing other people's music and distributing it. Human nature is easily enticed to take something for free rather than pay for it.

So, what is this whole war between "private" file sharing and the RIAA doing to help the artists, whom, presumably, we all want to protect?

Because there ARE people that will steal [slashdot.org] other people's recordings and do all kinds of things with them; even among musicians, copying sheet music instead of buying it is pretty frequent (and illegal). Because, of course, we all know that all musicians and composers are as famous and rich as Spears or Shore.

Re:The war between the users and the RIAA (1)

bonefry (979930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549825)

Because there ARE people that will steal other people's recordings and do all kinds of things with them

Preposterous, have they no shame ?

Legal or illegal? (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549195)

The fact that this directive does not criminalise non-commercial copyright infringement (I'm sorry, but I refuse to call it "piracy" - let's reserve that term for seafaring murderers) does not mean that it'll actually be/become/stay legal. Things can be illegal without being a crime, too.

IPRED2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18549219)

I am a bit confused, but isnt it what we are talking about here?
I just thought it was funny that no one was calling it by the name a lot of people know and hate.

Re:IPRED2? (1)

kabniel (609212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549777)

(I am replying to my own cowardly self who forgot to log in) I am now sure it is in fact IPRED2 we are talking about: http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number5.6/ipred2 [edri.org]

Wrong spin (1)

mikehunt (225807) | more than 7 years ago | (#18549507)

As another poster has quite rightly pointed out: this is a new law creating certain criminal offences. Other laws, relating to civil offences are unchanged and the EU directive that all member states are already supposed to have complied with created the civil offences long ago.

Private torrent sharing is already legal worldwide (1)

AxelBoldt (1490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550231)

Has anyone anywhere in the world ever been sued in civil or criminal court for privately sharing music or video files via torrent? Didn't think so. Until that happens, it is safe to say that the worldwide legal system does not treat private torrent sharing as an illegal activity.

Whump, whump, whump (1)

Lavi Dave (1076727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550293)

Cue MAFIAA Emergency Diplomatic SWAT Team brandishing sticks and offering sweet carrots.

Not a felony (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18550469)

Is it just me, or is this just saying you'd probably get worse punishment if it's for-profit? I mean, I'm not sure how these things go down in Europe, but in the US, I believe they're generally civil lawsuits. Not criminal. I don't see how this law makes it 'legal'. It just says it's not a criminal action.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...