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Congressman Hollywood Wants To Make DMCA Tougher

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the who-elects-these-guys dept.

228

Stormy seas writes "Congressman 'Hollywood' Howard Berman (D-CA) used a House subcommittee hearing today to express his view that the DMCA was in need of a rewrite. In his view, it doesn't go far enough. During his opening remarks for a hearing on the PRO-IP Act, Berman said that the DMCA's Safe Harbor needs further scrutiny and that it might be time to make filtering mandatory. There's more: Berman also 'wants to examine the "effectiveness of takedown notices" under the DMCA, and he'd like to take another look at whether filtering technology has advanced to the point where Congress ought to mandate it in certain situations.'"

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Open source the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687077)

Isn't it about time for us to move to open source governance [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Open source the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687175)

But then who would we have to blame for everything? Ourselves? That sounds horrid!

P.S. Seen this yet? [metagovernment.org] It looks like open source governance might actually be happening. On a global scale, no less. Just don't let the powers that be find out. They might try to close down the internet. :)

Re:Open source the government (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687734)

Ok Californians, can ya'll PLEASE vote this bozo out???

When is this asshat up for re-election?

Re:Open source the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687980)

Every two years just like every other congress person. Ever bothered to read the Constitution?

Re:Open source the government (0, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688222)

Who let the jews steal our music?

Re:Open source the government (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688300)

It's worth mentioning that this only applies to the House, and not to all of Congress. Senators serve a 6 year term, with 1/3rd being up for election every 2 years. I'm sure most US slashdotters would know that, but just in case...

Re:Open source the government (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687210)

I was going to make a flippant remark about how you could implement the new government and call it "Communism", but it occurred to me that a bit of education would be better.

You see, Direct Democracy (rule by consensus of the masses) has been considered many times in history. Unfortunately, no such democracy really got off the ground or survived. There are simply too many competing interests to make it viable. In the few instances where there is a consensus, a Tyranny of the Masses [wikipedia.org] can often create worse conditions for some individuals. Effectively, you have no real justice.

Representational Democracies are intended to blend the best aspects of consensus with the best aspects of a Benevolent Dictator [wikipedia.org] . (An example of such a dictator was Emporor Trajan [wikipedia.org] of the Roman Empire.) By electing someone to represent their views, the majority is able to have their viewpoints expressed but with their competing interests solved at the level of the representative. The representatives then work out their differences and come to an agreement that (if they're doing their job correctly) generally pleases the people they represent.

Of course, what is to stop the representatives from carrying out tyranny against people they do not represent? What is to prevent them from creating unjust conditions for individuals in their attempts to improve the life of the majority of those they represent? Worse yet, what is to prevent an official that the representatives grant power to from using that power to take control? (e.g. The Roman Republic being overthrown to become the Roman Empire.) That's where checks and balances step in.

In modern democracies, these checks tend to take the form of legalistic means or division of power. The U.S. Constitution, for example, grants basic rights which are then upheld by the courts. It is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to ensure that the representatives never override the intent of the basic rights granted by the Constitution. Another example is the control of the military. The direct control of military assets in the U.S. are divided among individual states. Funding for those assets is controlled by Congress. Use of the assets is controlled by the President, but War may not be declared without the approval of Congress.

This division of power ensures that neither the President or Congress can turn the military on their own people. Those in the military report to the President of the United States, but their actual responsibility is to the citizens and the states. (In ancient Rome, the responsibility of the soldiers was to their commander. A mistake that allowed Julius Caesar to seize control.)

What I'm getting at is that the design for modern governments has been well thought through. There are a lot of reasons behind the layout of our governments, and they are (to date) the best balance for free societies that history has been able to produce. Simply throwing away the government in favor of anarchy ignores the thousands of years of history that have lead to the abolishment of empires and dictator rule.

Today's governments can still be improved, but let's make sure we're making those improvements with a full awareness of what our ancestors learned.

Re:Open source the government (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687292)

Theoretically they are somewhat decent forms of rulership. However, as it stands today, practically, the ones with the most money can buy their way into the legislature. And the division of powers and the creation of laws by the rich combined with years and years of bureaucracy have made it so difficult for the poor to which some legislature is against (the rich benefit from stuff like the DMCA because they are the ones that own or can buy the intellectual property these laws protect) that they can't protect themselves against it. Ever noticed how many individuals can get an audience before the supreme court (that's where you go to get federal legislation overturned)? Usually it's an organization with deep pockets and loads of knowledge with people dedicated to that process (like the ACLU, religious groups or companies).

Re:Open source the government (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687330)

I would like to know your thoughts on the technocratic element in a modern government.

Technology has never been as large an effector in society as it is today. I see modern technology as being able to allow more fine-grained governing while also dealing with the mammoth problems that come from large populations and legal systems.

Technology is becoming more and more a part of the governmental process worldwide, does it make sense that we should require our leaders to have at least some level of technical sophistication to properly utilize and understand this new aspect of government?

Have our ancestors ever faced a question like this? One of dramatic technological impact on government and society?

Re:Open source the government (4, Informative)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687516)

The U.S. Constitution, for example, grants basic rights which are then upheld by the courts.

The founders were smarter than that. The US Constitution instead assumes that people have these rights (as expressed in the Declaration of Independence), and limits government interference with them. Read the 1st amendment: "Congress shall make no law...", later clarified to mean that no branch of the government at any level can do those things (interfere with speech, religion, the press, gathering).

How can you defend the status quo??? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687572)

I whole-heartedly disagree with this.

First, the idea of "tyranny of the masses" is easily programmed out. Look at the other link already provided in this thread. In their FAQ, they explain how "mob rule" is entirely avoided through simple procedure: http://www.metagovernment.org/faq/ [metagovernment.org] That is nothing like rule by the masses; and yet every single person on the planet can participate.

As for the idea that governments have been well thought through; who is it that has been doing the thinking? A couple of leaders, right? How many people framed the U.S. Constitution? Now compare that tiny pool to the pool of everyone on the internet. If you allow everybody in the world to get together and decide how to formulate the government, wouldn't they have better resources to draw upon? That same website cited above proposes a scoring system not terribly unlike SlashDot's, but with numerous layers and with recursive scoring (so a high score from a person who has a low score doesn't count as much as a high score from a person who has a high score). Let a few billion people play with this system for a few years and do you really think it will still be inferior to the status quo?

Now think of what is NOT solved in the status quo, even in an alleged democracy such as the United States.

Here's how the U.S. picks a President. You as a citizen get to pick from a handful of rich, politically-connected people to represent one of two parties. For most citizens, by the time they get to vote in a primary, the candidate is pretty much already chosen for them. Then you get to vote again! Now you can choose from one of only two ('cause let's be realistic) politically connected rich people, and your vote is aggregated into a state's delegation to the congressional congress. You don't even get to pick who your delegate will be. Those delegates then pick one of those two people to rule the entire county with broad authority. You get no further say at all for four years, and that one person is free to do whatever the hell they want, as long as they don't completely piss off a large majority of the rich, politically connected people in Congress who were picked by the same process.

How is that democracy? It has the semblance of democracy. You get to cast a vote, meaningless though it is. But you get no real say in government unless you "know people."

And what's worse, you could be a genius with a wonderful solution to a significant problem... and you get the same quantity of votes as an idiot who doesn't know the first thing about any issue whatsoever. How is that good?

Yes, we have a nice history to developing our form of government, but sometimes we have to make a radical change. That's what the American Revolution was, after all. It is simply time for us to run another update and use modern technologies to implement something much more democratic. And much more effective.

Re:How can you defend the status quo??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687852)

Yes, we have a nice history to developing our form of government, but sometimes we have to make a radical change. That's what the American Revolution was, after all. It is simply time for us to run another update and use modern technologies to implement something much more democratic. And much more effective.

And that's precisely what it says on that same website [metagovernment.org] :

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1810

Re:How can you defend the status quo??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688276)

To be fair, parliamentary democracies have a somewhat higher level of involvement. But granted, they are nothing like opening up every aspect of every government to every person in the word.

Re:Open source the government (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687620)

The U.S. Constitution, for example, grants basic rights which are then upheld by the courts.
Not to be terribly pedantic, but it's been mentioned here on numerous occasions that the constitution doesn't grant rights. Our rights are innate to our existence, and thus the constitution only mandates that laws are not created that might abridge our innate rights. And, it lists a few of the big ones, though it recognizes that there are others. At most, the constitution enumerates what aspects of governing the federal government can control, leaving everything else to states and the people.

Our representative democracy was designed such that the government feared the people. The failure of representative democracies is often that the government would only pay lip service to the people while it strengthened itself. The failure of our current representative democracy is that of education. Most of the US is uneducated, and know squat about its history, much less the ideal it embodies. And the few who are educated and do know can't be bothered to care.

Re:Open source the government (1)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688336)

<snip>Most of the US is uneducated, and know squat about its history, much less the ideal it embodies</snip>

As I was always taught that learning history was to prevent mistakes from happening again. I believe in the old adage, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it". The question now is, when?

representation (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687646)

Of course, what is to stop the representatives from carrying out tyranny against people they do not represent?

I think the biggest problem today (besides corporate sponsorship) with the US government is that the representatives are elected by their constituent states. When a congressman thinks of "his people", he does not think of "Americans", he thinks of all the people back in Timbucktoo, Alabama that need a new hickway, erm Highway to Wockahooey, Alabama so he can get elected again. Meanwhile all his fellow congressmen are doing the same thing porking money back to their home states so they can get re-elected.

At this point I think we would be better drawing names from a hat than rubber-stamping incumbents back into congress over and over.

Yes, but that's nothing new (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688368)

When a congressman thinks of "his people", he does not think of "Americans", he thinks of all the people back in Timbucktoo, Alabama that need a new hickway, erm Highway to Wockahooey, Alabama so he can get elected again. Meanwhile all his fellow congressmen are doing the same thing porking money back to their home states so they can get re-elected.

It just goes to show that Tip O'Neil was right - all politics is local!

Re:Open source the government (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688172)

That is a cogent discussion of the differences between American republicanism and direct democracy, however, it does not (as you imply) apply to all 'modern' democracies. The concept of checks and balances is by no means unique to the American system but it is an idiosyncrasy in the international sphere. Our presidential system (which is really what you are describing) is much less common among modern democracies than is the parliamentary model, which is based not on separation of powers and individual accountability for the executive but rather on fusion of powers and mutual accountability at the head of government level. Observing the British Parliament, and popular perception of it, you will find that the Prime Minister has power virtually unchecked by formal law, leading many in the press to bemoan the free exercise of power by that office. It is also worth noting that the form of separation of powers considered most important by our founding fathers was not the separation between branches of the federal government but the division between the federal government and the states, which was to a great degree a rejection of the British unitary model, in which ALL governments (national, city, and local) have only dependent power upon the will of Parliament. That model, with its attendant rejection of that crucial form of separation of powers, is by far the most common amongst modern democracies.
To address a few other points:
1) The constitution does not grant rights, and the courts cannot uphold them. They are considered 'intrinsic' and are therefore beyond the scope of law to judge. It is the burden of the legislature to prove that its actions do not interfere with the enumerated rights or, very importantly, with the non-enumerated rights guaranteed- but not provided- by the tenth amendment.
2) Separation of powers does not give you certainty that the military will not launch a coup, or that the military will not be used by one branch of government against another. A case in point is the Nullification Crisis of 1832, another would be the 1876 elections in the Southern states.
3) The argument that modern governments (and, by extension, our government) are well thought through is to some degree bolstered by the extraordinary longevity of our constitution, but we must recognize that the elastic clause (article 8, section 18, U.S. Constitution) is not the iron band it once was. The original form of government envisioned by our forefathers is, mercifully , dead. We have since performed massive, but piecemeal, renovations on that framework, and have in doing so created a new form of government which we do not understand very fully. Personally, two quotes come to mind- the first, from the Langoliers, is that "I'm not sure that knowing what that is will save our asses, but I'm damn sure that not knowing will get us killed!", and the second, from Joel on Software, is that "it is easier to write code than to read it", in this case meaning that we had better understand what is changing, and why, if we are to preserve the freedoms we hold dear.

Re:Open source the government (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687808)

Wow, I had never heard of that, but it is truly one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard.

The more things change ... (4, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687081)

And to think, I was happy when the Democrats took control of Congress back in November.

Meet the new schmucks, same as the old schmucks.

Re:The more things change ... (4, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687111)

Best Gu'bmint money can buy....

Cash or charge please...

Re:The more things change ... (-1, Troll)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687149)

Oh, come on.

  I agree that this is terrible policy - but:
1) The bill in question hasn't even been introduced
and
2) Even if it passed, would it kill anybody?

  Yes, the Democrats are lame. Yes, the Democrats are crooked, they're only a hairsbreadth from the Republicans on ideological issues, and they are mostly just as much chronies to the status quo as the pachyderms are.

  But to say that this is just as bad as the stuff the Republican congress was doing? Come on.

  In any case, these don't look like serious proposals to me - it looks to me as if congressman Hollywood is merely running a defensive action against the possibility that the DMCA might be revoked or overturned. It's not the most original rhetorical device but for all I know it might be successful.

Re:The more things change ... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687398)

So the law is fine so long as "it doesn't kill anyone".

You or your kid get caught doing something that they media
cartels don't approve of. It doesn't even have to be immoral
(much like drugs). So you get caught doing this dastardly
thing (like playing DVDs on your video ipod) and get all of
your computer equipment confiscated.

It's all OK because no one was killed... right?

Statutory damages are already out of hand.

There is already a federal enforcement agency to handle this stuff when it's a crime (FBI).

Letting governments sue on behalf of coporations is really, really bad.

Got something to protect? Then make an effort to protect it? What? It's too much effort for you to protect? Then mebbe you shouldn't be ruining lives over it.

Re:The more things change ... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688170)

So the law is fine so long as "it doesn't kill anyone".

No, it's clear he is saying that lame and corrupt leadership is better than deadly and corrupt leadership. There is nothing in that post supporting your interpretation.

Re:The more things change ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687476)

The one thing that hasn't been addressed here is that while the Democrats are as crooked as the Republicans, as any politician is . . .

We are actually hearing about stuff like this going through. In the previous incarnation of congress many small bills with wide effect went through without being reported on. I would rather see the corruption exposed than hidden.

Re:The more things change ... (5, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687169)

Meet the new schmucks, same as the old schmucks.

There is a saying in poker: If you look around the table and you can't tell who the sucker is... it's you.

Why do we still think that we can swing between two parties that are the same in so many ways and have real change? Who's the real schmuck in that case?

Re:The more things change ... (1)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688348)

That's why my "campaign" during the coming year will be "A vote for a third party is a vote for choices that matter." I'd like to oust the schmucks in power and force somebody to pay more than lip service to the good of the public (and not just what the richest 1% of the public SAYS is good for the public.)

Re:The more things change ... (2, Interesting)

thosf (981274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687272)

This only helps THE "REAL" PIRATES:

Although articles abound (expecially those originating from the offending industry) claiming huge losses because of the so-called "piracy" in the music industry, it also was absent the reasons why downloading is so popular.

First of all, the "music" (a loosely used term) that the music industry foists upon us - the genre called "(C)rap" - is not very popular outside of the audience that has an intellect that is easily overwhelmed by common cockroaches. So who in their right mind would want to download this ooze?

A small CD replication firm has given me a per-unit CD price quote of 24 cents in a 25,000 quantity. Based on the numbers the recording companies sell (in the millions) I suspect their actual product cost is about 10 cents each. At an average retail price of $19.95 for a music CD - of which about 25 cents is for artist royalties - that leaves about $10 profit for the recording companies after the wholesale costs are subtracted. When you sell something at 100 times your cost, I can't help wondering who the "real" pirates are in this industry.

If the energy companies sold power to California at 100 times their cost, this would be a much different conversation. I guess laws regarding greed don't apply to the liberal-dominated entertainment industry.

No wonder many new artists (including myself) are opting for publishing direct via the internet. Even if we sell less copies, we make much more than the 10-cent per unit pittance the record labels "give" us.

In spite of an economy that has been declining for almost two years - with a corresponding decrease in consumer purchasing power, the music industry's greed has basically put themselves out of business. Lowering prices a few percent won't bring people back in the stores.

Henry Ford senior had it right: "the only thing that makes something not sell is too high a price."

Re:The more things change ... (3, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687528)

Because we all know that the price of burning a CD is all that is put into making a record.

Re:The more things change ... (4, Funny)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687830)

Seriously. Any accounting model that doesn't take into account the labels blow and hooker fund is fundamentally flawed.

Now find the umbrella! (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687988)

Seriously. Any accounting model that doesn't take into account the labels blow and hooker fund is fundamentally flawed.

Rumour has it that those expenses are listed under more pedestrian line entries like "Catering" and/or "Fruit and Flowers".

As such, they become tax-deductible expenses!

Re:The more things change ... (1)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688176)

You totally stole my joke. [slashdot.org]

Re:The more things change ... (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688078)

Reread what he said. I suspect their actual product cost is about 10 cents each. At an average retail price of $19.95 for a music CD - of which about 25 cents is for artist royalties - that leaves about $10 profit for the recording companies after the wholesale costs are subtracted.

Anyway, if the CD costs 25c and the music costs 25c then what's left? Promotion and distribution which is what RIAA members do. They find "talent" promote that "talent" and distribute the product. The real reason you get so much crap music is the Universal, Sony etc are really good at convincing people to care about fake "artists" and the "crap" they produce. So if we want to kill them off we need to find a new way to promote artists and or get people to ignore what promotion is already going on.

Note: the people on stage are often small part of the music the "talent" you need includes people who write songs and people who stage the show etc.

Re:The more things change ... (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688312)

Of course there's more to CD's cost than the CD itself. There's all those holidays... I mean recording sessions in the Bahamas to pay for.

Re:The more things change ... (3, Insightful)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687316)

And you are surprised by this ... how ?

The vast majority of elected politicians have been in their offices for so long, they don't know what it's like to live in the real world under the laws that they have created, modified, or otherwise butchered. They're protected from these things. Then, every November, we go back only to send the same clowns right back in or send a clone in who may or may not be wearing the same letter (R or D) on his or her jacket. Once they get there, they're all the same... not really trying to do their jobs, but doing just enough to make sure they get all the special interest money to get reelected.

What will it take for the "middle" to finally get out there and say, "Enough is enough! We're tired of the status quo and want someone who has personal integrity and will do the job we sent him there to do"?

Re:The more things change ... (1)

FlatEric521 (1164027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687458)

The vast majority of elected politicians have been in their offices for so long, they don't know what it's like to live in the real world under the laws that they have created, modified, or otherwise butchered.

It is more than just their separation from the real world. Congress seems to believe that it is their job to pass new laws on a regular basis. It doesn't seem to really matter what direction the new laws seem to go, just as long as we get that new law.

I also think that Congress does not tend to stop and think about potential consequences of their actions. I'd bet some lobbyist told this Congress-critter that this would be a great thing for Hollywood (which is in his district) by maying a list of advantages about how great it is. I'd also bet this same congress-critter never stopped to wonder how many items on that list of advantages are true and if there is a list of disadvantages that needs to be examined as well.

Re:The more things change ... (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688212)

Now wait just one doggoned minute there... you're asking the congresscritter to actually read the proposed bill before actually voting on it.

We can't have that. That's making the congresscritter do his or her job instead of going out there and campaigning and fundraising. Sure, you might argue that is why there are congressional staffers... but the staffers should just be looking up historical details and stuff like that... not giving the congresscritter the reader's digest version of the text of the bill.

Re:The more things change ... (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687428)

Considering that he's been representing the same district since 1983, I don't think the Republican/Democrat shift had much to do with this bill.

And since his district includes parts of Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, it's likely that anyone who replaced him would be just as favorable to the film industry.

Re:The more things change ... (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687902)

Considering that he's been representing the same district since 1983, I don't think the Republican/Democrat shift had much to do with this bill.

And since his district includes parts of Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, it's likely that anyone who replaced him would be just as favorable to the film industry.
...but without the 24-year tenure in Congress giving him chairmanship of a critical committee.

Re:The more things change ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688246)

Considering that he's been representing the same district since 1983, I don't think the Republican/Democrat shift had much to do with this bill.
I'm sure he'd push this kind of bill anyway, but the party shift made Berman considerably more powerful, because he is now the boss-man of this subcommittee [house.gov] :

"The Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property shall have jurisdiction over the following subject matters: copyright, patent and trademark law, information technology, administration of U.S. Courts, Federal Rules of Evidence, Civil and Appellate Procedure, judicial ethics, other appropriate matters as referred to by the Chairman, and relevant oversight."

Re:The more things change ... (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687462)

Are you surprised? I mean, seriously, this didn't just start after they got the majority in Congress.

Re:The more things change ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687670)

The technological solution to the problem he describes isn't an American Great Firewall of China, it's to hack the electronic ballot and get a third party candidate elected in his place.

Re:The more things change ... (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687730)

And to think, I was happy when the Democrats took control of Congress back in November.
Boy were you naive. These guys believe in equal opportunity. They have bought representation in both parties.

Re:The more things change ... (1, Offtopic)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688044)

If only Ron Paul would get elected and put a stop to such nonsense.

Wow. (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687087)

And here everyone thought that the potential Canadian bill was going to be bad. Government-mandated content filtering... Where have I heard that before?

Re:Wow. (1)

s!lat (975103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687179)

I'm going to have to go with Germany, 1933 FTL!

Re:Wow. (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687592)

Actually, the Nazi Internet filtering and monitoring program wasn't nearly as effective as they had hoped. It was one of the great failures of the Nazis, and one wonders if the war would have turned out differently had they been successful in their attempts at truly effective Net filtering.

Their first attempts were very crude, and basically involved having operators inspect each packet by hand before allowing them to be sent. This was slow and time consuming, and delayed packet switching so badly that the Net in Germany became near unusable. As the Nazis wanted to be able to monitor communications, rather than simply eliminating communication, they knew they needed a better way.

They weren't able to come up with automated solutions until 1941, and even then they were slow and unreliable. The first techniques involved large machines with automated "hands" to pick out the packets and text scanners to look for offending text. However, the machines broke down frequently, and were easily defeated by employing simple encoding such as rot13, or even by intentionally misspelling banned words.

It wasn't until late 1944 that they were able to come up with a fully digital process, but of course by then it was too late to do much good.

One suggestion (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688048)

You know, users could really help the *AA and government if they would simply set the evil bit [faqs.org] on all internet traffic that potentially infringed on someone's copyright...

That would make content filtering a snap!

Re:Wow. (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687201)

In every dictatorship you've ever studied?

His view? (5, Insightful)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687097)

His view that the DMCA is in need of a rewrite? Has he been getting letters from his voters / constituents that the DMCA needs to be tougher?
If not, then why is he pushing for greater power?
(In an ideal world, corporations are not constituents. People are)

Re:His view? (1)

BZWingZero (1119881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687113)

But constituents don't pay the bills.

Re:His view? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687324)

I'd beg to differ.

He is dealing with Southern California where everyone works in the entertainment industry, wants to work in it or is highly affected by it.

When I was in this industry, I know I had people protecting my interest (at a fee) and they did pretty well about it. They were pretty clueless about a lot of things, but their goal wasn't to be fair or knowledgable, it was to make money by protecting our interests. Being fair or knowledgeable might even be opposite of these goals in some ways.

So it isn't a democrat vs. republican mentality as some have mentioned...it is purely working for the people that elected him and ensure that CA remains one of the highest profitable states in the republic. I would suggest politics would be far better if more people represented their masses as opposed to special interest groups (and in this case, they are the masses...in Ohio, supporting these interests WOULD be a special interest type group and should be ignored).

Re:His view? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687770)

Uh, taxes?

Re:His view? (2, Insightful)

RedDirt (3122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687167)

I suspect the notes from his constituents appear in the memo fields on his campaign contribution checks. I'm just sayin'.

Re:His view? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687244)

I guess he got letters from his campaign contributors that the DMCA needs some beefing up.

Wait... you don't really believe that "by the people for the people" thing, do you?

Re:His view? (4, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687256)

Has he been getting letters from his voters / constituents that the DMCA needs to be tougher?

"The representative from Hollywood" isn't just hyperbole. He represents the 28th congressional district in California [wikipedia.org] , which includes [govtrack.us] parts of Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. People in the film industry are his constituents.

Re:His view? (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687358)

I have a friend who lives in Berman's district. My friend is a very liberal Democrat, and even he refers to Berman as "the poster boy for the RIAA." It's well-known in his district that if you aren't registered as a Democrat there's no point in asking him for help, regardless of the circumstances. Unless you're a member of his party, he not only won't help you, he won't even be bothered to answer your request.

Re:His view? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687784)

I'm in his district. His beliefs actually match the Slashdot hive's beliefs on most issues (net neutrality, war in iraq, etc). I've always thought he would be a good interview candidate for the site.

http://www.house.gov/waxman/ [house.gov]

Re:His view? (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687438)

...which also includes the people that setup the buffet table on the set.

Not everyone in the industry is a mogul.

Allowing the fat cats to get all megalomaniacal because they
are all getting hysterical about "evil pirates" and such does
nothing to help 99.9% of the people in Mr. Hollywood's district.

Who do you think his constituents are? (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688132)

His view that the DMCA is in need of a rewrite? Has he been getting letters from his voters / constituents that the DMCA needs to be tougher?

I suspect that the MPAA/RIAA lobbyists regularly tell him that the DMCA needs to be re-written every time they make a contribution to his campaign re-election fund.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687099)

I was concerned that too many single mothers & college students were loose and free on the streets ... making copies of anything and everything while the owner still retained the original material. What has society come to?! Please help us, Congressman!

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687103)

w00t

3 words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687105)

Vote Him Out

the more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687125)

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Scary thing is... (4, Insightful)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687143)

The scary thing is, is that this is very likely to pass. As many personal freedoms that the DMCA stepped all over it was passed with a 100% vote. Since no one wants to be seen as soft on crime, I predict this one will too. Quite sad actually as some parts of the current contradict the Home Recording Act of 1984(I think that's when it was passed). I hope the ISPs fight this tooth and nail and get it killed on the universal filtering provision and someone points out that the phrasing of what he wants is similar to China's Great Firewall.

[captcha=inputs]

Re:Scary thing is... (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687824)

As many personal freedoms that the DMCA stepped all over it was passed with a 100% vote. Since no one wants to be seen as soft on crime, I predict this one will too.

I know what you mean, voting against anything anti-crime is usually election suicide.

BUT - I think this might just be the one real counterexample, because this is a situation in which you can make a compelling case that this isn't anti-crime, but anti-citizen crap. If I'm an incumbent and someone points to that and calls me anti-crime, I'll run a counter ad that says I voted to let ISPs NOT SPY on their customers. Then I'll counter and say that if my opponent would have been in office, he'd initiate a police state to monitor everyone's internet access just to make sure that Hollywood takes more of their money.

Normally that technique doesn't work, but I think the fear of internet snooping might be compelling enough that you can fight back against it.

Business as usual (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687153)

Congressman 'Hollywood' Howard Berman (D-CA) used a House subcommittee hearing today to express his view that the DMCA was in need of a rewrite. In his view, it doesn't go far enough.

So the story is that yet another Congressman is proving himself to be an idiot. If he makes enough noise, he'll probably be indicted in a few years for some sort of unrelated wrongdoing. Welcome to the world of politics. Next time elect a better representative. Or even better, get involved and run for yourself. While I don't always agree with their platform, the representatives that run because they have a solid cause are always more effective and trustworthy than the career politicians.

Of course, honest politicians rarely make headlines...

Re:Business as usual (1)

Stripe7 (571267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687450)

His constituent's are the Hollywood crowd, so he is voted in by the bloc of voters there. Everyone else in the US gets to pay for for the laws he creates. We pay in extra taxes for the enforcement of those laws, we pay in the higher cost as our ISP's have more government mandated software/hardware monitoring requirements, we pay in reductions in freedoms those laws restrict due to their overly broad scope. Does he care? no. It is up to everyone else to make sure the representatives of their districts kill the bill.

Heil Berman ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687191)

Screw Godwin. You know I'm right.

Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687218)

As long as we don't have RIPA here you're good to go.

Damages aren't enough already? (3, Interesting)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687254)

a bill that could boost statutory damages for copyright infringement

I'm pretty sure damages are about steep enough as it is. Something $250,000 per album is the metric I think. Correct if me I'm wrong, that's just what I've seen suits for ip infringement go for (RIAA). I sincerely hope this guy does not get his way. With breaking net neutrality and introducing content filtering on the table I worry for the future of the web.

Hey, I agree (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687274)

The DMCA needs a rewrite, direly.

But I fear the agreement ends here.

Re:Hey, I agree (1)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687600)

http://www.copyrightreform.us/ [copyrightreform.us] ... I'd say the whole damn thing needs to be fixed at it's core.

Re:Hey, I agree (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687716)

It's as it is with many things: The core itself is fine. What isn't is what layers have been wraped around it to warp it around and pervert it into the opposite of what it was supposed to be.

How to tell when filtering is ready (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687312)

Filtering the internet will be ready for prime time when ignoramuses like him are filtered from occupying any position of power.

In other words -- never.

Re:How to tell when filtering is ready (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687876)

Filtering the internet will be ready for prime time when ignoramuses like him are filtered from occupying any position of power.
So much for the wisdom of crowds...

 

Contribution list (1)

aweiland (237773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687326)

I'd love to get a look at this guy's campaign contribution list.

Re:Contribution list (2, Informative)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687446)

It's not complete, but if you look at this link here [opensecrets.org] you can see he's in the top two of getting contributions from music/movie industries. This really shouldn't be too much of a surprise as we do live in a country where your money buys your influence.

Re:Contribution list (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687926)

Jesus loves Congressmen who take money from special interests and then try to push bills devoted solely to aiding those interests. Jesus hates consumers, wants them to pay through the nose for substandard media services at obnoxiously high prices. Jesus wants Congressmen to be political prostitutes. Jesus despises democracy, hates what the Founding Fathers tried to create, and is glad there are brave men and women in Congress without a shred of moral decency in them willing to sell out the citizens of the US to make sure an outmoded business model survives.

Effective protest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687336)

It always amazes me that Congressman can propose legislation like this with impunity, knowing that they can ignore or throw out any faxes, letters, etc sent their way in opposition to it. I have felt that it would be far more effective to give a donation to the opposition party in that Congressman's district, stating that the donation was motivated by the Congressman's legislative proposal, as that form of opposition can't be thrown away, but must instead be fought. (Orin Hatch-R is another one that should be protested in this manner). Maybe if Congressman had to actually fight for their legislative seat, they might be more careful in the legislation they propose and listen to their constituents, instead of the Hollywood bigshots/corporations.

More action, less whining? (1)

zentinal (602572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687360)

Speaking as a former Angeleno... Are there enough geeks in Berman's district to call his office and get him to reconsider? Given the small number of people who vote in congressional elections if he doesn't back down, are there enough geeks in his district to get him punted out of office? Oh damn, it's a presidential election year.

Easy: No copyrighted stuff allowed over IP (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687392)

How about not letting any copyrighted stuff at all be transmitted over IP? That would make sure that unauthorized copying isn't done, and would make the internet TONS faster as the tubes are emptied.....

(hopefully everyone can recognize this as satire)

This is big. Write your congressmen now! (5, Insightful)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687474)

Pardon the tinfoil hat, but this is clearly a ruse to force ISPs to put in a Chinese-style, government-controlled way to limit free speech. Even if you don't have any interest in stealing the crap that Hollywood and the record companies spew out, you should be very concerned about this bill. I've sent my representative and both of my senators the letter blow. Feel free to copy and modify it as you like if you'd like to write to congress as well.

Dear <Fill in the blank>,

I understand that the House Judiciary Committee recently introduced the PRO-IP act. I've read that Representative Berman of California has even discussed a congressional mandate of filtering technology. (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071213-time-to-revisit-the-dmca.html)

As a computer programmer, I generate intellectual property and I am all for tough laws to protect my rights. However, as a citizen, I am far more concerned about laws that force companies to raise their prices without benefiting their consumers (which is simply the equivalent of a tax on everyone that's spent on projects benefiting only a very few) and my personal freedoms.

The success of the Internet is entirely due to the ability of telecom providers to do their job: facilitate communication. They are not liable if a telephone or internet connection is used for committing a crime. The actual criminal is. As a consumer, I don't want to pay more for telecommunications because hollywood is too cheap to pursue legal action against pirates. After all, I don't ask the government to pay to put an alarm system on my home or car. Hollywood should bear the expense of protecting their intellectual property and pass that on to their customers so we all pay for the cost of producing movies and music based on how much of it we consume.

Furthermore, I have a much deeper concern about a congressional requirement for filtering technology. It is simply one more step towards a totalitarian state of big government with too much power. In America, we enjoy freedom of speech and press not only because our constitution mandates it, but because the free market has created the technology to facilitate it. Unlike in other countries such as China or North Korea, the government simply can't restrict speech because no one in America would obey such unconstitutional laws or policies. If the government puts in place a system that can limit what information can flow freely over the Internet, we're simply one law or government policy away from destroying the first amendment. Free speech is far to important to the American way of life to wait for the courts to declare such a thing unconstitutional.

Whether the technology is there or not, please vote against any legislation that attempts to mandate that internet service providers and/or telecommunications companies filter the information they are charged with transmitting on behalf of their customers. Such a policy would be devastating to both our economy and our democracy.

Sincerely,

Adam Carheden

Re:This is big. Write your congressmen now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21688118)

But what if my name isn't Adam Carheden? I'm American, I can't understand without more notation. Thanks in advance.

Wait, there's more... (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687480)

Congressman Berman® went on to say that C-SPAN(TM) has been granted an exclusive license to cover Congressional proceedings©, which includes all audio, video, textual transcripts and brainwave emanations©, should any someday occur.

In other© news, C-SPAN(TM) has issued a press release(TM) supporting this as "double-plus good legislation®", and promising to do its part to aggressively defend its intellectual property, including all recordings and the C-SPAN(TM) logo from unauthorized© copying©, citing©, reporting©, blogging®, commenting(TM), or joking on late night TV(TM).

*All copyrights, trademarks, and general hooey are the self-proclaimed properties of fat pompous sons of motherless goats.

Aren't you guys going to have elections there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21687642)

Aren't you guys going to have elections there soon?
This is a good time to send the message for your elected representative to know what should they represent on your behalf.

Jack Johnson vs. John Jackson (1, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687660)

"Congressman 'Hollywood' Howard Berman (D-CA) used a House subcommittee hearing today to express his view that the DMCA was in need of a rewrite. In his view, it doesn't go too far enough.

Fixed it for the Congressman.

Once again... (4, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687708)

Politics is the enemy of technology.

It seems that the priorities of our politicians lie not with expanding the market for new technologies and benefitting the whole of the United States, but rather, with protecting the outdated market models of a few dominant players in the industry. It occurs neither to the politicians nor the industry that there is a lot of money to be made by embracing technology. If you want examples, look at Google. Look at Microsoft.

But instead of the RIAA and MPAA embracing technology, building new markets, and experiencing the stock-increase-frenzy of being the Next Big Thing(TM), they seek to expand copyright law, stifle the market, and strangle the industry. And when their efforts don't produce the increases they seek, what do they do? Blame piracy, of course!

Of course the artists are starving; the record companies don't know how to sell music!

And we're slipping farther along into becoming the technological backwater of the first world. Truly sad, that technology is being vilified for the evil that can be done with it, rather than the good that it already does society.

It must be nice to have a job where you can always blame your poor performance on the actions of others.

Congressman Hollywood's mascara is running... (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687720)

he better clean it up. No one likes a sloppy whore.

Too bad I'm not from the U.S. (1)

yukk (638002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687750)

I'd definitely mod this Congressman down.

dear washington dc (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687942)

you frequently scold the technocracy in beijing on limitations on personal freedoms who act in the name of the "harmonization" of society

you frequently scold the theocracy in tehran on limitations on personal freedoms due to the need for a "virtuous" society

you frequently scold the autocracy in moscow in limitations ono personal freedoms due to the pressing need for "strength" in society

well, at least those assholes pretend to be working for the common in man in their evil propaganda

pray tell, when you sublimimated your understanding of what the founding father meant in the founding documents of this country to become a whore of a corporatocracy, did you even blink?

a corporation is an all consuming machine. it will destroy our culture by putting toll booths on every derivative of every utterance possible if they could with their legions of lawyers. in order to make one penny more

but there is more riches in this world than corporate coffers. cultural riches: books, music, movies. our shared cultural inheritance

and you can't even sing happy birthday without owing someone something

fucking h christ, this wrong

i'm not talking to you, mr. whore of the corporatocracy in washington dc, you're already bought and sold, a slave. you're unredeemable, pointless, corrupt. a waste of effort

i'm talking to you, average american in the street: fight back against these corporations, use every technological and socially disruptive means at your disposal. corporations are giant sucking vampires, that will mindlessly encroach more and more on our public domain, and they will not stop until even every single thought you possess has a price tag on it

bring the fucking corporations down, bring them to heel, break them. bring them to respect OUR shared cultural space. they will not do it. their paid whores in washington dc will not do it. only we can do it, the citizens the founding fathers had in mind, which aren't even considered in the decision making halls in washington dc anymore apparently on questions of media and its rightful relationship to our consumption as our shared heritage

Filtering is definitely required... (4, Interesting)

fallen1 (230220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21687958)

of all the FUD and bullshit Howard Berman spews. Personally, I'd like to see laws requiring EVERY dollar a senator or representative gets - regardless of the source - accounted for. If they can't account for it with a clear paper trail then they get fined - $250,000 per dollar unaccounted for. Grandma sent you $10 for Christmas but you can't find the card that came with it? I'm sorry Howard, that will be $2.5 million dollars payable to the United States of America to relieve the tax burden on the middle class. If they have to have a personal accountant keep track of all of it, then they pay for it out of their salary AND the salaries of all those serving in the House or Senate are frozen for 6 years - so no pay bumps to cover hiring that personal accountant.

I say we squeeze them so tight they literally crap themselves when they take "campaign contributions" from big business. I say we make the task of keeping track of all that "soft" money and other contributions so onerous that it will be more than it is worth -- for the most part. I say we, the people, take back our country (for those of us who live in the USA) and make the politicians once more SERVE the people and not their own self-interest, pocketbooks, or corporate greed.

I know this will probably never happen, at least not in my lifetime, but it is a nice dream to have.

Here is a parting quote I found interesting many years ago (and still do):

As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

Commissioner Pravin Lal
"U.N. Declaration of Rights"

Foul Stench.... (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688000)

To paraphrase a certain rebel princess:

"The more you tighten your legislation, Berman-Hollylord, the more consumer dollars will slip past your fingers."

See, the more problematic it becomes to use music the way WE want, the less the desire to purchase said music becomes.

Sigh ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688102)

Can someone in the US please go whack this gentleman with a clue stick, or a real stick as applicable.

Someone needs to explain to these people that mucking about with the core infrastructure on the presumption that every single action is likely infringing is just asinine.

Would this same congressman want that all cars have a breathalyzer interlock, because there could be drunk drivers? Or, have us prove that we're not about to commit wire fraud every time we dial the phone? Or, how about ensuring that every time you drive near a school zone you prove that you're not a registered child molester? Because, that's the level of burden he's placing on the industry with these laws.

The problem with these legislated methods of making the ISPs responsible for monitoring everything we do on the basis that some small subset of people are doing something illegal; is, that only that subset of people are doing something illegal. You can't realistically but the burden (and cost) of DRM and content filtering on absolutely everything onto everyone else.

The overwhelming majority of us aren't in the middle of stealing your damned movies or music; don't overburden the entire system (at someone else's expense) as a dragnet. If you think someone is infringing, go ahead, chase them, but we can't force the entire infrastructure of the internet to be built around protecting the interests of a few large companies.

This is trying to get the wishes of these big media companies paid for at taxpayers expense. Though, since apparently the US is pondering adding a copyright enforcement agency, maybe that battle has already been won.

Cheers

And it probably applies to farting too... (1)

my_left_nut (1161359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688104)

That's right. Soon you won't be able to fart without someone trying to claim it as an IP infringement.

Oh, the humanity!

The internet detects censorship as damage and routes around it. In this case, any protocol (even ICMP) can be used to tunnel over. I suspect if passed, we'll be seeing a lot more of that kind of end running around.

Filtering (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688106)

The only filtering needed is those of the financial type to our politicians, then we see who lobbied for what laws.

Hollywood Showdown (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688262)

OK, I expect the Representative from Hollywood to demand even more special privileges for Hollywood - that's what they send him there for. And I expect the Reps from the rest of the country to slap him down - that's the other 299 million of us send them there for.

What I'd really like to see would be a Congress enforce the Constitution, which says Congress can infringe our rights to free expression only to promote science and the useful arts by securing for limited time exclusive rights of authors to exploit their own work. Since exclusivity is at its lowest utility to protect motivating return on investment as it ever was, and free dissemination is at its greatest utility, I'd expect that limited time to be the shortest in history, at most its original 14 years, if not eliminated entirely.

But then I guess Hollywood Berman would have nothing to do.

As if (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21688294)

As if the DMCA isn't dumb enough [wellingtongrey.net] .
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