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Congress Creates Copyright Cops

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the story-you-are-about-to-see-is-a-fib-but-its-short dept.

The Media 533

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Not satisfied with pitiful potential penalties of $150,000 for infringing upon a $0.99 song, Congress is proposing new copyright cops in the "'PRO IP' Act of 2007, specifically the creation of the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER). They also feel that the authorities need the authority to seize any computers used for infringement and to send copyright cops abroad to help other countries enforce US laws. MPAA boss Dan Glickman praised the bill saying that, 'films left costs foreign and domestic distributors, retailers and others $18 billion a year,' though Ars points out that it allegedly costs the studios only $6 billion."

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As a none resident of the USA (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610873)

I feel quite justified in saying you can take your laws and shove them up your arse.

*ahem* sorry, but the summary just forced me to say that.

WTF (4, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610925)

OMG this is (*&#$% scary, the last thing we need is another above-the-law government organization. We've already seen that the CIA is now above the law with their news of destroying evidence of torture that they previously said did not exist.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610959)

OMG this is (*&#$% scary, the last thing we need is another above-the-law government organization

"the last thing we need is another government organization"

There, fixed that for you.

Re:WTF (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611137)

Pffft. Lots of luck with government enforcement, especially when just about everyone [boingboing.net] is doing it. Don't they get it?

Besides, I'll bet the federal courts strike this law down as being unconstitutional.

Re:WTF (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611429)

Remember, they are counting on us being too lazy and too self-involved with our shopping and HDTVs and Guitar Hero III to do anything about this stupid new proposal, as well as the rest of their idiotic/evil mess.

As far as the destruction of evidence by the CIA, I'm starting to think that there must be a dedicated corps of decent public servants left in government, our military and in our intelligence services, otherwise, we'd never even hear about these things. Somehow, we've learned about the illegal surveillance, the secret prisons, renditions, torture, about the NIE report that Iran hasn't had a nuclear weapons program since 2003, etc etc etc. So at least we have a chance, albeit small, to do something about it.

Now if only there was some dedicated corps of decent people in the entertainment industry, we might be able to stop or at least slow down the RIAA/MPAA and their rampant criminal activities.

Re:As a none resident of the USA (3, Interesting)

thomas.prebble (1125281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610973)

What ever happened to state sovereignty?

what happend to state soverignty (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611059)

we alll joined the UN and we don't do that no more

Re:what happend to state soverignty (4, Informative)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611169)

Actually, UN is only a loss of sovereignty for nations that do not have veto power on the security council. I know you were kidding, but I just had a 3 hour debate on this yesterday with a friend. So the ideas are clear in my mind. Sovereignty is not lost unless the overseeing administrative unit has enforcement power that the (more) local administrative unit cannot legally stop. The only enforcement power that UN has is Article 7 security council resolutions. They are the ones whose violation authorizes enforcement (as in use of weapons) by member nations. Since US has veto power over all security council resolutions, US sovereignty is not lost to the UN. But all the nations outside of the 5 permanent members have lost their sovereignty.

A better example of loss of sovereignty is probably NATO. Because the NATO supreme commander (as far as I understand -- don't quote me on it) has the power to order actions by armies of member nations.

If we were to ever enter into an international treaty that gave some overseeing administrative unit a clear power to veto our laws and was combined with an alliance that gave some supreme commander unequivocal power to order our FBI or military around, then we would (pretty much by definition) lose sovereignty. As it stands, we may still have the power to say "No" to a decision of any international organization that we've joined.

Re:what happend to state soverignty (4, Interesting)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611403)

Well, no, actually we all joined the WTO, which was then subverted to implement neo-imperialist rule on the globe in the name of the Great American Public. We are all very grateful, by the way, we had a real shortage of laws - thank god for the EUCD and other international laws "inspired by" the need to not get blockaded from world trade by the U.S.

Re:As a none resident of the USA (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611079)

If you are British don't forget that our arse-licking government has made an "agreement" where the USA can extradite anyone without showing they have a case, even for crimes committed in the UK. See here [bbc.co.uk] and here [spy.org.uk] for details. So if a record company thinks you might have have duplicated a disk, or videoed someone singing happy birthday you could be whisked of to the states just like that.

Re:As a none resident of the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611139)

That sounds like napster talk to me. Get 'em boys!

Re:As a none resident of the USA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611413)

The one-sided extradition agreement sucks, and should probably be struck down under European human Rights law if correctly challenged, but the offences you describe do not fall under it. It is confined to criminal charges carrying at least 12 months imprisionment under *UK* law. Small scale personal non-profit copyright infringement in the UK is still a civil offence.
The cases cited in the links you provide relate to fraud, terrorism and hacking into US govt computers. If you want to be really paranoid, I suppose you say that the US could make up some terrorist charges and then drop them and subsitute copyright charges once they had you; but I think they would recognize that this would definitely finish the extradition agreement if it was *that* badly abused, or it would only happen once because UK courts would not extradite anyone else on that fraudulent basis.

WTO Membership (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611049)

If you are a member of the trade union, the ip cops will come and shove it up yours, as being a separate sovereign nation wont mean diddly.

Man this is scary. Just the very idea of federal government running around to arrest people on a CIVIL issue where the burden of proof is ( basically ) reversed is frightening and completely contray to the constitution. WTF ?!?!

Re:As a none resident of the USA (1)

ilovecheese (301274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611369)

Exactly :)

In the country I reside, copying of software / movies / other bullshit for personal & non commercial uses is acceptable, and not a crime. Good thing someone, somewhere has some intelligence.

Re:As a none resident of the USA (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611407)

Try inforcing US laws around the world and most countries will tell you politely to get stuffed ... the rest will not be polite ...

and the Seize computers used for piracy is a laugh ... It could easily be interpreted as seize the internet as a whole ... ... who writes this dross .. oh yes the same people who get to interpret them ...?

In Soviet Socialist States of America (5, Funny)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610879)

The music owns you.

Re:In Soviet Socialist States of America (4, Insightful)

Negatyfus (602326) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610963)

Am I the only one that thinks the USIPER acronym eerily sounds like "usurper?" That's exactly what this is starting to look like.

Re:In Soviet Socialist States of America (2, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611065)

Am I the only one that thinks the USIPER acronym eerily sounds like "usurper?" That's exactly what this is starting to look like.

Please, stand by for questioning.

In destroying one, two or 10 of them, we are doing the work of millions. That's why our hand must not tremble, why we must march across the corpses of the enemy toward the good of the people. -- Joseph Stalin

Because remember that "Goals (if noble) justify the means".

Re:In Soviet Socialist States of America (2, Insightful)

Cjays (866936) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611069)

It also almost rhymes with "Lucifer."

Re:In Soviet Socialist States of America (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611153)

I did but U-SPIER also fits

Re:In Soviet Socialist States of America (0, Redundant)

CoolGopher (142933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611289)

To me it sounded more like "lucifer"...

No naming of Congress Critters? (1, Insightful)

dammy (131759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610883)

GOP was in charge of Congress, /. we all saw their name-party plastered in the article splash. Congress is now in Democrat control and suddenly, no Name-Party is being posted on the article splash. Wuz up with dat? /sigh

Dammy

Re:No naming of Congress Critters? (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610937)

GOP was in charge of Congress, /. we all saw their name-party plastered in the article splash. Congress is now in Democrat control and suddenly, no Name-Party is being posted on the article splash.

Maybe you should try to RTFA? Let me help you out:

"A bipartisan group of Congressmen (and one woman) yesterday introduced a major bill"

Show me the majority of the Republicans opposing this bill and you'll have a point. Until then, I'm going with "Congress is clueless and sucks" as a generalized statement of how I feel about this.

Remember! (4, Insightful)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610897)

Remember to write your congressmen.

Both in opposition to this bill and to state you general feelings that copyright law has become too broad and too far in favor of big media companies.

Do it now, email is good, paper is better.

Re:Remember! (5, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610993)

Why is it specifically in favour of 'Big' media companies? What is it that prevents this also helping out small media companies, and even individuals who create copyrighted works?
It seems that anti-copyright campaigners would much rather portray every copyright owner as being like Madonna, prince or Metallica, rich and arrogant, rather than the reality, which is that the vast majority of copyright holders by number are very small or one-man companies.
if you are an average-wage magazine column writer, copyright law helps protect you from being ripped off. If you are an author, musician or other content creator, the copyright law also helps protect you. the fact that the law also protects some big clueless, evil bastards that none of us like does not mean we should throw out the law. Laws against violence also protect politicians and business people that we hate, that doesn't mean the whole idea of those laws is bad too.

Copyright law needs to be clarified and reformed. But it also needs to be enforced. Writing to your elected representative is the correct way to achieve sensible laws. Breaking the law so you can watch spiderman 3 for free proves their point, not yours.

Re:Remember! (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611047)

You know what happens with every single new government entity? They feel the need to justify their existence. 3 guesses how these guys would try to accomplish that. We already have laws for these things. Enforcement on a digital system *is not possible* with out invading our privacy or crippling our hardware.

Re:Remember! (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611101)

Why is it specifically in favour of 'Big' media companies? What is it that prevents this also helping out small media companies

The optimistic side of me wants to say you're right. I hope this doesn't turn out to be just the enforcer for the RIAA, but instead turns out to be something useful. I could see a possibility where government influence would eliminate the $47483848343524324 suit for an album's worth of songs. An agency dedicated to proper enforcement of all types of copyright could only help. Think about it. The way copyright is enforced now is only by the big boys. Unless you have the legal might to take the "sue for ungodly amount then settle" route, enforcing copyright is hard. If we could move to a system where everyone is able and obligated to enforce their copyright properly that would be a major plus.

Re:Remember! (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611325)

"If you are an author, musician or other content creator, the copyright law also helps protect you."

Except, of course, that the monopolistic nature of copyright law works as a force multiplier for marketing investments. Which in turn means that the market will be strongly biased against any small or one-man owners; they'll be utterly and completely marginalized. Out of the money consumers are spending on 'copyright', only a pittance ever reaches the actual creators.

The 'small author' is, and has always been, the excuse. They have no leverage to wield the power supposedly given to them; they take the terms the owners of the presses give to them or they can get lost.

Had copyright ever been intended to reward authors or other creative talent, it would have been formulated so they actually got paid as their works generated revenue.

Consider the extent to which creative talent could have been paid, were the money consumers are spending today even remotely equitably distributed between actual creators rather than financing the coke snorting parties of media execs.

Re:Remember! (5, Insightful)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611445)

Why is it specifically in favour of 'Big' media companies?
Because, currently (in the US) [wikipedia.org] , an individuals copyright is good for life plus 70 years! (Sounds more like a prison sentence than something good;-) For a corporation the copyright is for either 120 or 95 years.
How does having a work protected by the government for years after the creator has passed on benefit anyone other than a corporation that is feeding off the works of others?

if you are an average-wage magazine column writer, copyright law helps protect you from being ripped off. If you are an author, musician or other content creator, the copyright law also helps protect you. the fact that the law also protects some big clueless, evil bastards that none of us like does not mean we should throw out the law.
Only a few nuts are suggesting we should totally repeal or ignore the copyright laws.

Writing to your elected representative is the correct way to achieve sensible laws.
Yes, and we need a lot of letters to counteract the bags of $$ that 'Big' media companies are providing to said elected representatives. Copyright laws may protect the little guy but the little guy is not the one that is demanding that the government get involved in stepped up enforcement.

Re:Remember! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611155)

I am living in Europe, which congressman should I write to to tell them I don't want these in my country ?

Re:Remember! (5, Funny)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611295)

You can't really write a congressman, but you could, as superwiz noted above [slashdot.org] write to the NATO supreme commander and ask him to get NATO to nuke (at least) Wash DC or the whole U.S. off the map. Pretty sure that'd help.

Re:Remember! (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611363)

And don't forget to follow thru and vote anyone out of office if they vote for the bill. Empty threats only compound matters, you must be willing to follow thru.

Just more evidence (4, Insightful)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610901)

That our government is owned by corporations. What a surprise.

government for the corporation (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610949)

there are three principal players in society

1 We, The People
2 Government
3 Corporations

the government was draw up to be By the People and For the People

but today you have to have BIG MONEY to pay BIG MEDIA for INFLUENCE in order to get what you want

change requires LEADERSHIP and COMMUNICATION

and just exactly where and how are you going to come up with those given the way society is organized?

Re:Just more evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611209)

Someone needs to rewrite 1984 with a Corporate Fascism theme.

Re:Just more evidence (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611333)

Corporations are people too!

 

I am not so sure that is just the corps... (1)

awfar (211405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611425)

I am not so sure it is the corporations, though I am sensitive to their influence.

In my mind, the real issue is that GDP is based upon dollar transactions. Sales of a product like DVDs are probably the easiest dollars they can tax, entertainment taxes, easier than cigarettes, easier than gasoline. The ephemeral nature of IP is that it can be simply duplicated - like cheaply printing money for taxes and adding to the GDP.

Every loss is an opportunity lost to their "business", government, and I am sure they don't like it just as much as the entertainment industry.

which is bill number ???? (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610907)

we never believe any of these without the bill number.

Re:which is bill number ???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611121)

No bill number, but there is a press release about it from house.gov [house.gov] .

Re:which is bill number ???? (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611163)

we never believe any of these without the bill number.

Dude! It's on the internet! What's not to believe?

P.S. This post is a joke.

Re:which is bill number ???? (4, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611183)

H.R.4279 [loc.gov]

Obligatory Men In Black quote (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610927)

Oops, better not, these USIPER agents might not have a sense of humor that we are aware of.

I've always wondered... (2, Interesting)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610931)

The role of the government is to run the country per the will of the people who created the government, is it not? So at what point does public will tip the scales and cause these laws to become moot and oppressive? How legal is it to make a law that will actually cause the majority of law-abiding citizens to become criminals? What if more than 50% of the people illegally download music, shouldn't the law then be repealed? Whatever happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611023)

Whatever happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
It's been redacted.

Re:I've always wondered... (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611045)

How legal is it to make a law that will actually cause the majority of law-abiding citizens to become criminals

Very [wikipedia.org] .

What if more than 50% of the people illegally download music, shouldn't the law then be repealed

That argument hasn't seemed to work very well for marijuana legalization so I kind of doubt it's going to work here :(

Whatever happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

I don't know if I buy downloading music off the net for free as essential to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". I definitely think the punishments for doing so are way out of line with the severity of the crime though. And "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" went out the window when the Government decided it could tell [wikipedia.org] me what I can and can not put into my body. It went out the window when the Government decided to try and regulate [wikipedia.org] what we can do in the privacy of our own bedrooms. It went out the window when the Government decided to compel people to register for selective service at 18 but deny them the right to legally purchase alcohol until 21.

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611457)

So at what point does public will tip the scales and cause these laws to become moot and oppressive?

Moot and oppressive? What? I do not think it means what you think it means.

How legal is it to make a law that will actually cause the majority of law-abiding citizens to become criminals?

You mean like this one? [wikipedia.org]

What if more than 50% of the people illegally download music, shouldn't the law then be repealed?

We still have speed limits, don't we?

Whatever happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

What did happen to it? What happened to the rights of artists to control their own works? How is it that your "illegally downloading" (you said it yourself, don't point the finger at me) of music is to take over the rights of those who produce it?

The idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness doesn't mean you get to trample the rights of others just so you can enjoy the latest top 40 hit. How is it that we, as a people, have lost sight of this? Why is it that we feel that if something has the potential to make us happy that we suddenly have some God given right to it? This idea of using something that you are not licensed to use simply because you feel you have the right to it is a skewed vision of how the system does and should work. I simply can't understand why people feel that if they want something and they don't feel like paying for it that stealing it is ok. And to top it off we now have people acting like it's their right to do so!

blackmail (5, Insightful)

midnighttoadstool (703941) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610933)

With such disproportiate laws, particularly of seizure, innocent US citizens are now wide open to black-mail.

A determined enemy only has to have a few minutes access to your computer, download a few songs and then report you.

Re:blackmail (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611013)

Sounds like a junior hacking project...just don't forget to tip the media off after you turn the congressman over to the IntelliCops.

Are we surprised? (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610935)

The *AA industry is comprised of some pretty heavy hitters in the donation arena for politicians. I'd be more surprised if ridiculous laws that favored the industry weren't put forward. Heck, it's practically a perfect ploy. Politicians still get to play "save the childrenz!!1" by targetting video games, and nobody seems to care that they're ignoring the tripe their biggest doners put out.

"It costs $X billion per year" (2, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610953)

What you fucking imbeciles don't realize is that the people pirating your movies WOULD NOT PAY FOR THEM OTHERWISE (mostly because they're shit, but that's really beside the point here). But no, dickbeats like Glickman parade their made up and meaningless numbers in front of the largest congregation of dickbeats on the face of the earth (hello, US Congress!), they have a big circle jerk, and come up with some abominable brainchild of a bill like this one. Sigh. If the terrorists haven't won already, they probably deserve to. They don't even have to take our freedom, we're just selling it off a piece at a time.

Re:"It costs $X billion per year" (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611043)

ROF,LMFAO

tee hee you got that right on the money

the industry goons look at the "pirated" copies and count each one as a lost sale

that is wishful thinking and nothing more

each pirated copy actually serves as a promotion for that particular show, CD, DVD etc what have you but again to what extent isn't known or even measurable

the existing copyright laws is fine as it is, and if some goof-balls start running off counterfeit DVDs in volume and for sale then the copycops will come and haul them birds off to jail. note that running off DVDs or computer copy files is equivalent: a copy is a copy what media is used is irrelevant.

Sometimes (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611161)

If the terrorists haven't won already, they probably deserve to.

Sometimes it seems that living as a dhimmi [wikipedia.org] in an Islamic state would not be that different than living in Britain where our government has seen fit to make us a de-facto 51st state, but without the voting rights or constitutional protection.

Re:"It costs $X billion per year" (2, Informative)

FreakyLefty (803946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611195)

Also, look at the numbers they're using. Choosing a random album from the charts, I put Led Zeppelin's Mothership into Isohunt, and got back just shy of 1,500 seeders and leechers, every one of whom is technically "making available" the entire album, which consists of 24 tracks.

At $9,250 per track, the RIAA seems to think they're owed nearly $315,000,000. From just one album, and just the results on Isohunt.

Re:"It costs $X billion per year" (1)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611217)

Indeed. If N is the number of people with legitimate copies today, and X is today's price, and M is the number of people using illegitimate copies, potential lost revenue would be (N+M)*Y - N*X, where Y is the price required to get everyone to use legitimate copies.

Note that I said "lost revenue", not "lost money". If an entity invests some amount of money and doesn't get a return on it, then they have lost money on a poor investment. However, as soon as that entity makes any type of profit, by definition they have not lost money but have gained money. You cannot "lose" money you don't have, and unrealized profits or losses are not, in my mind, a legitimate argument.

The interesting thing would be to turn this around and say that if implemented, the bill would cost Americans $18 billion a year, since there is apparently $18B/year currently in the pockets of consumers that is being used some other way. So perhaps Wal-Mart or someone should sue these folks for potentially stealing their revenue...

It doesn't make sense, and that's the problem, because when things don't make sense fundamentally it's not possible to have a rational discussion with those making the decisions.

It is an unfortunate observation, to be sure.

My wife could be an RIAA accountant (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611303)

Note that I said "lost revenue", not "lost money". If an entity invests some amount of money and doesn't get a return on it, then they have lost money on a poor investment.

My wife could be an RIAA accountant. She often tells me that if she brought a £70 for a sale price of £50 it will save us £20. I keep telling her that buying it won't save anything - it will cost us £50, but she doesn't (or chooses not to) get it!

Re:"It costs $X billion per year" (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611351)

"the people pirating your movies WOULD NOT PAY FOR THEM OTHERWISE"

Bullshit.

I hear this argument all the time, and know people that pirate their movies / songs / whatever and they ALWAYS tell me this same thing. But the minute it becomes impossible to get whatever through elicit means, they seems to come up with the money for it.

My last girlfriend would always get her movies from some Russian warez site...but if one of the films wasn't there she'd begrudgingly see the new release (and complain it wasn't badly translated). A good friend seems to be able to buy tons of music equipment, but never pays for his software. His argument is ART SHOULD BE FREE. The software is no more art than the guitars. I WOULDN'T PAY FOR IT ANYWAYS is his mantra, because again, he never pays for 'art'. Yet, when his favorite cracked software seemed to not work right with his audio interface, and he had to step down to his soundblaster quality card (I don't even know if they make soundblasters anymore)...he complained that he had to spend $800 on his audio card and why should he have to pay another $500 for software (errr...because they are made by two separate companies????) And then proceeded to complain for weeks that he ended up having to buy the light version for $100 and it didn't do half of what he needed and screamed they will never get another cent from him because they ripped him off -- even after I TOLD him it wouldn't do what he needed and offered to give a slightly older version of the software for free (but he would have had to relearn it...which wouldn't have been hard because it would have come with manuals).

Each and every time someone says someone won't pay for it, it means they simply don't want to pay for it and will avoid it at all costs, unless of course they can't and in which case, they will pay for it.

Personally, I think bills like this in Congress are asinine. Then again, congress is made up of people. And people are idiots for the most part. One set of idiots trying to balance out a wrong from a bunch of cheap assholes that seem to think programmers and musicians and actors should work for free. Of course it is going to be counterbalanced by a bunch of jackasses that think they need to have retinal scans mandatory for every DVD viewing to make it possible keep unauthorized people from watching their products. It is the natural counterbalance to INFORMATION, SPECIFICALLY YOUR INFORMATION, WANTS TO BE FREE AND IF IT DOESN'T I'LL CRACK IT AND BRAINWASH IT UNTIL IT DOES.

Anyhoo...

Re:"It costs $X billion per year" (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611455)

"What you fucking imbeciles don't realize is that the people pirating your movies WOULD NOT PAY FOR THEM OTHERWISE (mostly because they're shit, but that's really beside the point here)."

TRANSLATION: A movie is "shit" only when you have to pay for it. Otherwise it's a justified use of bandwidth (downloading it), storage (burn it to media), and maybe even time (watching it).

When you're armed with little more than those bullshit, hypocritical arguments, you really aught not be surprised when your opponents don't take you seriously.

Go away. You aren't doing any serious, rational opponents of the MPAA any favors.

Communism (2)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610975)

It's a good job I'm communist, all this file sharing and FOSS is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Too bad that the US wants to wipe out anything that looks/is commie and benefits the people and turn it into something that benefits the few.

A Bigger Picture (5, Informative)

flyneye (84093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21610991)

I'd like to point out that Ben Franklin said we should have a revolution every few years just so we could weed out these helpful sort of Congress/Senate criminals legislating to line their pockets.

Re:A Bigger Picture (1)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611179)

A little revolution now and then is a good thing; the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -- Thomas Jefferson
I think you're confusing Franklin with Jefferson but either way you have a good point.

Re:A Bigger Picture (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611197)

Pretty sure he was referring to elections. But he never imagined that people would trust CNN more than their own judgment.

Re:A Bigger Picture (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611359)

Actually I'm pretty sure it was Jefferson and he suggested once every generation or so.

Of course they both may have suggested something along those lines.

one 99 cent song is not the issue (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611007)

one 99 cent song is not the issue

ownership of the copyright the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute/sell copies is what is as issue

and yes, you can have a copyright on intellectual property, written or recorded material is not "imaginary" or fake or in any other way any less real than any asset.

Re:one 99 cent song is not the issue (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611263)

and yes, you can have a copyright on intellectual property, written or recorded material is not "imaginary" or fake or in any other way any less real than any asset.
  [sarcasm]Brilliant! I propose a new "intellectual property" tax to help fund the enforcement of this particular piece of legislation.[/sarcasm].

Excellent Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611039)

Excellent headline, Zonk. Congress 'creating' copyright cops != there is a bill in committee. But, this is Slashdot, let's just scaremonger away!

There is no way (2, Funny)

jrutley (723005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611041)

Hah! I fart in your general direction!

As a Canadian, I know that there's no way that they would be let in the country. We are not like that other country with its corrupt politicians that pass laws like the DMCA.

Oh wait a sec...

Re:There is no way (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611301)

well, Canadians are just like Americans... Just without a gun and a bible... Right

Cool. Another War (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611061)

First we had the WAR ON DRUGS
Then we had the WAR ON TERROR
Now we have the WAR ON COPYING

Funded by the taxpayer of course.
 

Re:Cool. Another War (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611123)

tee hee this should be a fun thread

Re:Cool. Another War (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611411)

Let's start a WAR ON WARS ON STUFF then. Actually, at the current rate, a WAR ON NOT BEING AT WAR might be in the general public's best interest. Whaddaya know, maybe it'll work out :)

Why new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611083)

Just change it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Copyright.

(And eventually add "Soft Drinks")

Where do I apply? (2, Funny)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611087)

Copyright cops eh? Sounds like they'd just trawl the net, connect to trackers and get a whole load of IP's.

Getting paid to surf the web and download copyrighted material? Every slashdotters dream!

As a EU citizen ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611093)

from TFA: "To do this work internationally, the bill also authorizes US intellectual property officers to be sent to other countries in order to assist with crackdowns there."

... I state stay home.

CC.

Re:As a EU citizen ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611345)

I state they should be pouring their money into cooperative international assistance on catching paedophiles, mas murderers etc, not this glamorised hollywood bullshit, why do we never hear about big investments and new bills pushing REAL issues the tax paying public actually WANT dealing with.
What's that you say? oh yeah, no fat corporate pig scared shitless it's on it's last legs is footing major bills to pay for improvments to REAL law and order.

Re:As a EU citizen ... (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611375)

I wonder how this bill "authorizes" these crackpots to come to Finland to enforce whatever?
I'm pretty sure I would get a 6 month probationary sentence for "excess self protection" if they would try and arrest me at my home and I would defend myself with a chainsaw. Someone from foreign country trying to kidnap and rob me? Hell no!

People *WILL* stop watching and listening (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611105)

It's getting RIDICULOUS... no, it's getting MORE ridiculous!

Before long, people will stop watching TV and movies because it LEADS to wanting to record from TV or buying a DVD which leads to wanting to make backups which leads to being a felon! But if you don't know what you're missing, you won't be tempted by the 'drug' that is the entertainment industry.

So now I am imagining an entire future where people are afraid to hum a tune or even create their own entertainment for fear that it is similar enough to something they never heard or saw but is currently controlled by the perpetual copyright holdings of "big media" which officially merged a couple of years ago.

Should this thing pass, darker times will be upon us... not that things aren't pretty dark now.

Re:People *WILL* stop watching and listening (4, Informative)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611437)

This [gnu.org] and this idea of copyright cops will not end well.

Copyright cops, eh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611117)

YOU CAN'T MAKE FORCE PEOPLE TO BUY YOUR PRODUCTS.

YoUR PRODUCTS SUCK.

PEoPLE DELETE YoUR MUSIC OR MOVIES AFTER THEY DOWNLoADED THEM BECAUSE YOUR MUSIC OR MOVIES SUCK.

Loss vs. lobby money? (1)

jonr (1130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611131)

I sometimes wonder if lobby money (bribes, as civilized people call it) surpass the alleged loss because of piracy...

ha ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611143)

This is so miserable that it has reached the levels of "tragicomic"! Corporate fascism has finally exposed its unabashed face. They are bold, because democracy has long been abolished in US, and they will pass this law with no problem! LOL! Little american capitalists you believed in the system so much and now the system is screwing you... next time you go to the doctor and are presented with a 10K bill remember that your government is spending money (your money) to ensure the profits of some corporations... by the people and for the people alright... look Britney Spears is having another fit... and iran has now WMDs... care to sign up to fight for "freedom and democracy"?

Ha ha ha! The best payback for your dark history in the last 2 centuries will be to see your country internally collapse along with your ideology... neo-capitalism alright... have some more... the sight is spectacular mofos...

Job creation (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611149)

If the US government makes half of the country cops and puts the other half in jail, there'll be no unemployment. Well, not until they outsource the cops. Wait, they're already sending their cops to other countries. I see, the US is going to try to corner the world market in law enforcement.

That almost makes sense. I think it's time for bed.

Who wrote this bill? (1)

caution live frogs (1196367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611167)

I read an article previously showing evidence that corporations are no longer just pushing for laws, they are actually drafting legislation and then giving it to friendly congresspersons. (Been happening for a long time, despite efforts in the mid-90s to curtail it.) This leads me to ask - is this new bill the result of pressure from the RIAA, or from the RIAA itself acting through a representative that was purchased specifically for this type of action?

The only way you or I will ever have the ability to influence Congress is if (a) corporate and private donations to individual persons in government are banned, or (b) you suddenly inherit Bill Gates' stock portfolio. Until then, the laws are going to be largely written the way big business wants them to be written - because more often than you realize big business is holding the pen.

Can we stop please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611175)

Government: it's enough. We have enough. Way enough.

Please vote for Ron Paul in 2008.

Thank you.

These guys are not living in the modern world (4, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611213)

I don't even see how having that will even help their sales...

Their problem is that they're still living in a society where we had:
- No Internet.
- No home cinema systems.
- No media centers.

Many today don't even want to go to the cinemas because they think it's noisy and with annoying people in front of them, or even people telling about the events in the movie or constantly laughing at bad places. Or maybe they just want to easily go to the bathroom when they wish during a LOTR-like movie marathon. So then they pirate stuff instead of just twiddling their thumbs with a useless 50" home cinema system until the artificially delayed DVD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD release is made, usually also with artifically imposed regional restrictions.

I mean, there's a whole new field of technology at play here that completely seem to pass them. They still seem to think we are sitting on: a mix of cassette, vinyl, and CD players, and on CRT TV sets. That's what their business model is still geared for. And people today barely even own these relics anymore. They use the media in totally different ways than before.

If this is actually implemented.. (3, Insightful)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611221)

If this is ever actually implemented, I would taunt the motherfuckers to try and come "seize" me and whatever infringing media machine I might be using. At some point a man has to say "enough" and defend himself with violence from absurd laws.

Don't you realize.... (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611339)

If this is ever actually implemented, I would taunt the motherfuckers to try and come "seize" me and whatever infringing media machine I might be using. At some point a man has to say "enough" and defend himself with violence from absurd laws.

That this post is a terrorist threat. Now they won't even have to pretend to treat you fairly. ;-)

Someone should read the Constitution (3, Informative)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611249)

Perhaps there would be less frivolous legislation proposed if the bill drafters would maybe compare their bill against the US Constitution. There seems to be a rather basic conflict between confiscation of property and the "due process" clause of the Constitution.

Not to mention that other countries tend to have laws and Constitutions and claims of sovreignity over their land and inhabitants.

Just a little advance reading could spare a us a whole lot of floundering and discussion.

We have money for this ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21611251)

Lets' see.....

There's no money for fixing schools. My property taxes have gone way up due to the fact the Current Administration is cutting school aid nationwide. Lucky for my kids we are in a rich area so the parents can still pay.

We are pissing away cubic dollars in Iraq on a scheme to keep Iraqi oil off the market, protect OPEC, and keep prices high.

But, we can set up an entire law enforcement apparatus to protect the richest industry on the planet ? Oops, almost forgot, that industry also owns the media outlets (thank you FCC for allowing mass ownership of media) which the wankers rely upon to be re elected.

Corporate America has gotten just about every Christmas Present it wanted under the Bush Administration. The Bankruptcy Bill was the first shot. Next, continue to subsidize Oil and Gas companies. Make sure that all worker protections, or public protection, is de-fanged, or given to the person who used to lobby against it. Flat top mountains in West Virginia. Allow utilities to continue to build 1950's era generation plants.

Meanwhile, block stem cell research, push "abstinence", and raise the prices of contraception for poor women while making abortion less available.

Bush was honest, once, when he stood before a gathering of huge corporate benefactors, and said "Some call you the elite...I call you my base".

Next up....roadside execution for speeding.

"to help other countries enforce US laws" (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611269)

to help other countries enforce US laws

Once you start to meddle, you just can't stop anymore.

government vs private sector (1)

GoneWalkabout (1199765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611283)

I'm so sure that a government department will be able to better the *huge* gains made in stopping file sharing by the RIAA.

Money talks (1)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611293)

I wonder how much in campaign contributions (read bribes) it cost the RIAA to get this bill through?

So, basically, (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611327)

as all computers are used to commit copyright infringements [slashdot.org] , this effectively means the prohibition of computers, right ? :P

Well when you can't compete, legislate profit! (1)

phrackwulf (589741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611331)

The government in the U.S. props up otherwise un-competitive businesses like the automotive industry and large agribusiness in a country that no longer wants or needs either, was it really a surprise when the entertainment guys wanted a piece of the pie? Suing customers is a lot more efficient then actually selling something, especially when the product is inferior. In the words of Harold W. Smith, "What about it? There is none! It doesn't exist! This guy figured out the perfect defense contract. Develop something for the military that doesn't exist because its already going to be obsolete in a year!" Unfortunately what we really need is a bipartisan group of Senators to legislate CURE into existence. A government organization with an unstoppable assassin to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of American citizens. There's something the Republicans can redeem themselves with!

It's pronounce 'Usurper' (1)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611343)

Obviously someone put a lot of thought into this moronic bill. Although I'm totally missing the 'but our kids want to listen to new music' (Ignore the fact that 90% of the so called new music is just a remix/rehash of old ones, but hey)

An idea would possibly be to put in a second branch of Congress which only allows people that have a technical background. They can then create the laws that they think are required for the regularion of technology, instead of the current flock of congresscritters that think floppies are shoes.

USIPER is filmed live on the US streets (1)

DrDrink (773701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611371)

Everyone, everyone, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Especially scary (4, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611377)

The worst thing about this from my perspective is that the US has a record of refusing to follow any foriegn laws and not allowing their own officials to be extradited to other countries if they break local laws in the course of their work.

This mean that these copyright cops will have the ability to go into a foriegn country, stomp all over the local legal system and then escape back to the US before they can be forced to account for their actions. These are not the actions of a country that wants to earn the respect of the world community.

This will not help the US cause in the long run as it will just cause even greater resentment in the countries on the receiving end of such treatment.

The obvious example is the pirate bay. If they really want to close the pirate bay they need to convince Sweden to pass tighter copyright laws, not go in and bust it illegally like they did. The problem now is that after that stunt it has made it much harder for them to convince the swedish people that such a change in law is neccessary. It has also made many european politicians scared on enacting said laws for fear of being accused of being a lapdog of a deeply unpopular president (Bush).

Maybe some of this situation will change when he leaves office but at the moment no other politician wants to appear to cosy with someone who has made some very questionable decisions and is going to be out of office soon anyway.

If the US really wants to try and encourage europe to adopt their laws, a much better start would be make some sort of concession to the european community. A good start would be allowing US troops to be prosecuted by a european criminal court for crimes they commit in Europe. We are not really that bad in Europe, we are also democratic nations who have very similar outlooks in a great many ways. If the US trusted us a little more that would most likely be reciprocated.

Overseas? Whatwhat? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611379)

"to send copyright cops abroad to help other countries enforce US laws". Am I to believe from this that copyright law sees no geographical concept of jurisdicion? I mean, I knew that international law could be used to prosecute people overseas, I had no idea that US law could be applied that way.

USURPER (1)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611381)

At least they got an appropriate name.

"films left costs"? (2, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611431)

The MPAA, for one. MPAA head Dan Glickman, in a statement praising the new bill, said that "films left costs foreign and domestic distributors, retailers and others $18 billion a year,"


I had a hard parsing Glickman's quote until I realized what he probably meant was "film theft costs ..."

Costs (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 6 years ago | (#21611443)

Why is it that when they tell you how much "X" loses from copyright infringement, they always make the assumption that the 1,000,000 people who bought the pirated copy would have gone to purchase a legitimate copy if the pirate copy hadn't been available? Of the 18 billion the industry supposedly "lost" through piracy, I would hazard a guess not even 1% is actually the loss of sales (real money in the till). Does such a paltry sum (relative to the size of the industry) really justify Digital Rights Management, hordes of new law enforcement officers and somewhat draconian changes in the concept of fair use? I doubt it.
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