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DOJ Doesn't Like the Idea of A Copyright Czar

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the who-does-really dept.

Government 215

sconeu writes "Seems as if the DOJ is not particularly happy about HR 4729, the 'Copyright Czar' bill. The Deputy AG told Congress that the current structure works quite effectively. 'Panel members also expressed concern over Section 104 of the bill, which would allow a copyright owner to collect statutory damages for each copyrighted work that is stolen. Detractors fear that this provision could result in protracted lawsuits ... Section 104, however, would penalize criminals on a per-song basis, so if someone pirated a motion picture soundtrack that had songs from 12 different artists, the pirate would be charged with 12 separate offenses and be subject to exorbitant fees.'"

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215 comments

firt post (-1, Troll)

pkadd (1203286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701476)

Re:firt post (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701564)

This is what happens when 4chan goes down.

Re:firt post (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702540)

I've got some mod points right now, but I'd like to point out to other mods that rating this reply "funny" might cause the users to look up the parent's url.
Really with there was a "mod with comment" option... sigh...

Re:firt post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701616)

I like people like you... keep up the good work. It always brings a smile to my face when I see this type of post!!

Re:firt post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701644)

Then register and spread the love :D

What does "stolen" mean? (5, Insightful)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701512)

> ... would allow a copyright owner to collect statutory > damages for each copyrighted work that is stolen. So if I buy a Metallica CD, and someone swipes it, Metallica gets the money when the thief is caught? Bizarre.

Re:What does "stolen" mean? (4, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701784)

No, of course not.

The RIAA gets the money. Metallica doesn't see a penny.

Re:What does "stolen" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702114)

No, the RIAA doesn't get any money either. Or if they do, it's indirectly, the same way as Metallica does (Metallica receives an advance against royalties, the royalties then get used to pay back that advance.)

The RIAA provides services to various music publishers. It certainly doesn't receive money from copyright infringement suits.

Re:What does "stolen" mean? (3, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702190)

The RIAA provides services to various music publishers. It certainly doesn't receive money from copyright infringement suits.
Yes, it does. Money from copyright infringement suits run by the RIAA are used, by agreement of the labels, entirely to fund the RIAA's copyright enforcement efforts. That said, those efforts -- even the legal ones standing alone -- cost much, much more than they raise.

Re:What does "stolen" mean? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701844)

So if I buy a Metallica CD, and someone swipes it, Metallica gets the money when the thief is caught? Bizarre.
I feel that, if at all possible, the rules would be re-written in such a way where in that situation, you would be found at fault for all infringement as you, the "owner" of the music failed to keep it from being pirated.

If the RIAA is attempting to collect damages from secondary piracy that originally resulted from sharing the file even once, I fear they would do it with physical media if at all possible.

suck it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701522)

suck my fist bitches

All Pau... (5, Insightful)

quickpick (1021471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701548)

I gotta be honest, I was at best buy and I didn't see any particular movie or CD that interested me and I had a $5 off coupon to spend. Movie, music, and TV executives take note: I'm done. You can keep your ball and play by your rules, but I'm going to go home and do something constructive, like build a book shelf, or read a book, and maybe stop, look up at this beautiful world we live in and decide I don't need your crap to enjoy life.

crybaby (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701690)

Waahhh!! You won't let me steal your stuff!!! Waahhh!! You're not playing fair!!! Waahhh!! I don't wanna play wif you no more!!! Waahhh!!

Re:crybaby (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701958)

Of course, because ripping a DVD and putting it on your video iPod is stealing.

It's not about stealing, dipshit. It's about choice.

Re:crybaby (2)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702404)

I thought it wasn't so much a matter of wanting free songs, as much as not finding any songs worth paying for. The same goes for most of the current crop of movies. To top that off I already get quite a bit of music and movies for free (or at least already paid for) with my cable/internet package.

Re:All Pau... (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701700)

That's fine, they've captured the attention of the other 90% of the US population. Personally, I also have better things to do as well.

Re:All Pau... (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701752)

Wasn't this sort of unfair taxation by the British the sort of thing that prompted bloody revolution in the US a few hundred years ago?

What makes you think things are going to go differently this time?

Re:All Pau... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701810)

A few hundred years ago life was hard. Now, life is fat. That is why things will go differently this time.

Re:All Pau... (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701960)

Life was fat for the British too.

Re:All Pau... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702502)

The US looked at the British 'fat' and decided they could beat it.

And now the definition of 'fat' has forever changed.
Those Brits were bloody skinny in comparison. :)

Re:All Pau... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702064)

read a book
Enjoy it while you still can, this copyright-lobby will get to books too.

Re:All Pau... (2, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702120)

I was at best buy and I didn't see any particular movie or CD that interested me and I had a $5 off coupon to spend.

I don't shop at best buy (or anywhere else that demands to see my receipt: ComUSA, Costco, Mars Music, etc.. I don't care what their reasons are.) but I can only imagine that they stock their shelves for the mainstream stuff.

Personally, I've given up on pop music. I've developed a fondness for the classics: Mozart, Bach, those guys: Not the Stones or Beatles. Granted, I still enjoy a good tune on the radio, but actually acquire a pop CD? I haven't done that in over ten years. The classics are less than $10 as long as you buy the generic recording by some philharmonic somewhere. Now, if you see a good looking person on the cover with a name, then you'll pay the $18 for the damn thing - same composer, just a pretty person playing it. Even a Yo Yo Ma CD is more than the Joe Schmoe CD. You know what, I don't care if it's a celebrity musician or not - I can't tell the difference. And considering all of the talented folks in the World, I don't see the point of paying $10 more for a CD because its played by a celebrity.

Re:All Pau... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702402)

I don't shop at best buy (or anywhere else that demands to see my receipt: ComUSA, Costco, Mars Music, etc.. I don't care what their reasons are.)

But what is your reason? Aside from the club stores that you have an agreement with, you have no reason to show them a recipt. I walk out all the time without showing a receipt. The Best Buys I have been in never check receipts unless you are leaving with merchandise from some place other than the registers. Yes, if you check out, go back in the store with your bag then try to leave, they will probably ask to see your receipt, but even then there is nothing that requires you even acknowledge their existance. So, if the practice offends you, you have two things you can do about it, you can either pout and no one will ever notice, or you can continue to shop there and never show your recipt. Oh, and the CompUSA near me never ever checks receipts, and when I lived in Dallas back when there was only one CompUSA store (and it was a real crap-hole), they never checked receipts either. So perhaps your refusal to shop some places is based off bad information. And even if it is good information, you still don't have to show a receipt, ever.

Re:All Pau... (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702530)

I've developed a fondness for the classics: Mozart, Bach, those guys: Not the Stones or Beatles.

Funny enough, I've always listened to classical music (and still do) and also listen to rock, but lately I've been on a Beatles kick. I've actually been thinking of doing a Slashdot journal post on the subject.

The Beatles were *unbelievably* good. You really can't appreciate them until you sit and listen to all their albums. The sheer number of styles and genres they either touched on or flat-out invented is incredible. I can't imagine someone who likes rock, no matter what style, not finding *some* song they like. Hard Rock? Acid Rock? Pop? Bubblegum? Folk? Avante Garde? Orchestral? Epic? Soul? Blues? Psychedelic? Art? Progressive? Hell, even (pseudo)-Religious? They did it all.

I know it's not news that Beatles were good (heh), but you don't really "get it" until you really listen to their stuff. And it still sounds fresh 40 years later. At this moment I'm actually listening to "Hey Bulldog [youtube.com]", one of their obscure, throwaway songs (they actually knocked it out in one day for a video promo they had to do -- the video I linked to is actually footage of them creating the song, it's pretty cool), and it's a great song. The base line is incredibly rocking. Their throwaways are better than anything written these days.

The Stones are a great band, if only for sheer volume of work and longevity, but nothing they did approached the Beatles at their best.

Re:All Pau... (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702244)

I'm the same way... I had a $100 gift card to Best Buy... and did nothing with it for nearly 6 months because there wasn't a damn thing in the store that I wanted to buy.

I eventually spent it when my house got hit with lightning and I needed to buy a new router.

I've listening/viewing quite a few pod casts though. the only DVD media I buy these days are video games and the occasional Anime. TV, Movies and Music I crave new and interesting content but there's NOTHING out there that even remotely piques my interest... it's quite sad really.

Though I'm sure my apathy towards these mediums is getting put on a chart somewhere that says I'm not buying because I'm "stealing" instead. Even if the *AA realizes that they're not really losing as much money towards piracy as they say they are it's in their best interests in parading those lines. Congress will just keep giving them more and more power to bully the consumers.

Re:All Pau... (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702390)

Me too... I've been dragging around a $50 Best Buy gift card for a couple years now. Every so often I go in there and try to spend it... and find either there's nothing I want, or even after the $50 off, whatever item is STILL way cheaper over at PC Club (where the store guys will actually know enough to help me out, too).

Re:All Pau... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702394)

Hyperbole. There are plenty of good flicks. Granted, they are buried under tons of crap, but just because most movies are crap doesn't mean you can't find ONE that is worth $5 off. Same goes for music, btw.

Re:All Pau... (0, Troll)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702572)

Movie, music, and TV executives, I just want you to know that the parent poster doesn't speak for everyone. Please don't stop making crappy music, tv, and movies just because of the original poster. Me and a lot of my friends love your crap, no matter what you put out. So keep putting it out in droves, because the thought of us reading a book or experiencing nature frightens and revolts us.

Signed,
The Public

It this passes... (4, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701554)

It will be a huge turn for the federal government in US history. Meaning, this is a blantant example of politicians wanting to use the federal government resources to help primarily large businesses maximize and enforce their revenues. Piracy, like it or not, provides a market balance where in many industries it did not exist before, and most of the politicians know this.

Re:It this passes... (2, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701976)

Actually, I doubt that many of the politicians DO know that. How many congressmen or senators do you think have time (not ot mention inclination) to lurk on Boing Boing or slashdot? How many have ever swung by PirateBay to grab something not available at their local box store? haw many watch John Stewart four times a week?

I am sure that many of the people that provide their information and shape their policies know this, but I also doubt they are telling.

Re:It this passes... (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702496)

haw many watch John Stewart four times a week?
Well, I'm not sure how many watch John Stewart four times a week, but it would do a world of good if they would watch Jimmy Stewart once a week...
Mr. Smith goes to Washington
It's a Wonderful Life

You Can't Take It With You

Any of these three movies, if taken to heart, would make a world of difference if our Senators and Reps watched weekly.

Well, so much for wishful thinking, now I'll put my Scintillating Robe of Cynicism +2 and my Tinfoil Hat of Protection from EMR +5 back on.

Re:It this passes... (1, Troll)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702212)

politicians wanting to use the federal government resources to help primarily large businesses


Welcome to fascist America.

Re:It this passes... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702410)

This bill was introduced by the House Committee on the Judiciary: Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property

California has 53 reps. The committee has 6 of those, including the chair Howard Berman.
Florida has 25 reps. The committee has 3 of these.
9 of the 24 reps come from Florida (Disney) and California (Disney / Hollywood). Full list follows.

CA=6
FL=3
NC=2
OH=2
VA=2
TX=2
WI=1
GA=1
IN=1
NY=1
TN=1
UT=1
MI=1

Rep. Adam Schiff [D-CA]
Rep. Anthony Weiner [D-NY]
Rep. Betty Sutton [D-OH]
Rep. Brad Sherman [D-CA]
Rep. Christopher Cannon [R-UT]
Rep. Darrell Issa [R-CA]
Rep. Elton Gallegly [R-CA]
Rep. Frederick Boucher [D-VA]
Rep. Henry Johnson [D-GA]
Rep. Howard Berman [D-CA]
Rep. Howard Coble [R-NC]
Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI]
Rep. John Conyers [D-MI]
Rep. Lamar Smith [R-TX]
Rep. Melvin Watt [D-NC]
Rep. Mike Pence [R-IN]
Rep. Ric Keller [R-FL]
Rep. Robert Goodlatte [R-VA]
Rep. Robert Wexler [D-FL]
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D-TX]
Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN]
Rep. Steven Chabot [R-OH]
Rep. Tom Feeney [R-FL]
Rep. Zoe Lofgren [D-CA]

The real reason for unhappiness (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701562)

The IP division works closely with the DOJ's cyber crime laboratory, so separating a copyright unit could fracture investigation
More likely, then, is that those currently enpowered for enforcement don't want their power diluted. Makes perfect sense.

Re:The real reason for unhappiness (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701746)

Actually, in my original TFS, I had mentioned the "stepping on toes" aspect of the thing.

Re:The real reason for unhappiness (1)

pravuil (975319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701930)

Also it would complicate the whole process all around. Two departments, two conflicting POVs, all around it slows the whole process down not to mention what it would cost. While on one side it might help, on the other side enforcement can get awkward depending on how each side wants to act. No coordinated effort leads to slowing down the prosecution of any alleged copyright infringers.

Re:The real reason for unhappiness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702200)

Or perhaps the Department of Justice, in the interest of justice, is telling Congress that limited resources shouldn't be further squandered on what should be private matters between the company and the infringer?

Bottom Line (3, Insightful)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701578)

Abuse of the court system to slam 'Intellectual Property' offenders benefits corporations.

Taken past a certain point, though, it impairs the ability of the court system to be responsive, and brings massive costs to the agencies which have to support the infrastructure.

We're getting to that point.

Pointless (5, Insightful)

subl33t (739983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701586)

The American drug Czars have done soooo well haven't they? A copyright Czar is SURE to end all copyright violations!

Yanks: DO something about your electoral system! It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.

Re:Pointless (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701726)

Yanks: DO something about your electoral system! It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.

Person who refers to Americans(ie People from the United States of) as "Yanks" read about the U.S. constitution and the Federalist Papers we were never a democracy, instead a Federal Republic.

Re:Pointless (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701798)

It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.

It has been time for a long time. The reason few Americans are interested seems to be a combination of ignorance and apathy (generally rooted in sloth or cynicism).

I have met many people who are completely ignorant of the state-of-affairs in the war for digital freedom. They do not know that the *AA are blanketing the country with lawsuits, that the *AA think it is illegal for you to rip your CD to your Ipod, or that laws like the DMCA are depriving them of longstanding rights they used to have over their own hardware. They, therefore, have little incentive to get up and do something.

Most of the ones who DO know, feel that lawmaking is for lawmakers....let the politicians work all that out...it's what they are paid for (sloth). Others believe that there is no point in taking action, because the corporate interests already own the government and as such their individual efforts will be harmful to themselves and ultimately futile (cynicism).

So, your command to get up and do something is largely falling on disinterested ears.

If you actually want to see some action, you may have to think more creatively. Posting on slashdot ain't going to cut it.

Re:Pointless (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701850)

Yanks: DO something about your electoral system! It's time to move back to Democracy from Corporate Oligarchy.
As someone outside of the situation, what would suggest? Seriously, because we seem to have no flippin' idea. None at all. Our elections have become fixed. Our politicians are totally corrupt. They've taken away all our rights and taxed us to death.

The last time this happened, we dumped a bunch of tea in Boston Harbor and told King George to go get fscked. Then we started shooting British soldiers.

Re:Pointless (2, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702104)

I can totally see a bunch of angry nerds at the docks, raiding a shipment of CDs and DVDs fresh from China, and dumping them into the ocean.

Re:Pointless (1)

EricTheMad (603880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702182)

I can totally see a bunch of angry nerds at the docks, raiding a shipment of CDs and DVDs fresh from China, and dumping them into the ocean.
And then being sued by environmentalists for polluting the ocean.

Re:Pointless (3, Interesting)

PolarBearFire (1176791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702500)

That would actually parallel the Boston Tea Party more than you think. Little known fact: The Tea dumped in the Boston Tea was also from China.

Re:Pointless (1)

Copperfield (1117631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702280)

We have never been a democracy. I suspect you don't live in one either. Democracy does not solve problems like this. Only high powered rifles do.

I know what you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702354)

but something like half of America is rural hicks who believe in Jesus and corporate property rights. Really, the people you met on your trips to NY and LA are not typical. It's 2007 and we still don't have national healthcare. Really.

These people need to get real (5, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701594)

Copyright infringement is a civil offence. Nuff said.

The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701834)

The NET ("No Electronic Theft") Act made copyright infringement criminal in some cases. It looks like it was intended to criminalize people trading copies of copyrighted works, because it made it criminal to infringe upon copyright if you were profiting from it. And then it added to the definition of "profiting" that you could be exchanging a copyrighted work in exchange for other copyrighted works.

Mind you, IANAL, and the DoJ apparently has better things to do than go after low-level copyright infringers, it seems like congress wants to change that to help Hollywood.

As for the DoJ, it sounds like they're against this primarily because they don't want to lose power. I never thought I'd be glad to see petty politics come into play, but I'm honestly glad and I agree with them that a copyright czar is a waste of time.

But the DoJ is also sensible enough only to care about huge pirate rings selling bootleg copies, not Joe Infringer downloading at home. Hollywood hates that, obviously, but the DoJ has real work to do and I hope they keep doing it.

Or do the politicians think that we won't blame them if the conviction rates for real crimes like homicide drop so that they can divert the DoJ's manpower to catch people who infringe upon copyrights at home? I'll sure as hell blame them if that happens.

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (2, Interesting)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702090)

Politicians don't think. There is no opportunity to think when you are on the greasy pole. If you stop the frantic climbing you slide down.

Politician as a career should be banned.

Politics as a degree course should be banned.

Can everyone see the obscenity that is a "career politician". Originally politicians were people who had had experience, with life, work, industry etc. etc. & who came to politics later in life. Now you get spotty gits deciding, at age 3, to become a politician (because you get your picture in the paper lots & get lots of money) and it beats working.

Terry Pratchett, in his four ecks book - can't remember the title - has politicians placed in jail immediately on election. Now, Slashdot, THAT'S "INSIGHTFUL". Sorry for shouting :-)

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (2, Interesting)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702206)

I've long been in favor of a 12 year overall politician term limit. That would mean that a single person can never spend more than 12 years working as a politician. Preferably, the 12 years would come near the end of their lives so that they will have had a full life of experience working in some non-governmental capacity. Career politicians are a cancer.

I'm also in favor of hiding politicians in boxes and forcing people to vote for them without knowing what they look like or sound like or what their name is. The ability to look and sound good seem to often be in opposition to the ability to think.

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (1)

Joe Mucchiello (1030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702360)

Better is no consecutive terms. If you are in office, you cannot run for any office until you've been out of office 2 years. If you are in office, you cannot receive money, for any reason, none. The only exception I'd make is for the Presidency they are already term/gift limited.

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (1)

fredklein (532096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702726)

Even better is making people do a 2-year term of Federal Service before they can vote or hold office.

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702748)

That's a good one. Perhaps they can be combined. A single politician is allowed at most 3 non-consecutive 4 year terms.

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702296)

Mind you, IANAL, and the DoJ apparently has better things to do than go after low-level copyright infringers, it seems like congress wants to change that to help Hollywood...

But the DoJ is also sensible enough only to care about huge pirate rings selling bootleg copies, not Joe Infringer downloading at home. Hollywood hates that, obviously, but the DoJ has real work to do and I hope they keep doing it.
Wow, thanks for the info. Even if the DoJ has better things to do (I won't go as far as to deem them "sensible"), there's few things worse than making millions of people instant criminals, thus paving the way for selective enforcement whenever the powers-at-be feel like it.

Plus, there's the obligitory forfeiture provision.

Here's a link to this frightening law: http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/17-18red.htm [usdoj.gov]

Re:The NET Act Made it Criminal (sometimes) (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702504)

Absolutely, it's just natural that the people who would have to enforce this piece of crap don't like it. Unenforceable, arbitrary, hard to prove...need I go on?

There ought to be a law against unenforceable legislation! Oh, wait...

Check and balances (3, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701622)

We already have laws that punish real bootlegging pirates. Walk down the street in most major metropolitan areas and you see people making money off other peoples hard work. Would those people be charged with both the original crime AND a crime for EACH of the copyrights they violated to sell a five dollar version of a 20 dollar RIAA CD?

This isn't a bill written to make the constituents happy... I'm glad the DOJ is doing more than following along.

With the way this country is going... (3, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701626)

We're going to end up with a "Czar Czar". Last thing we need is more bureaucrats with dictatorial titles.

What a waste (1)

m4g02 (541882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701638)

12 separate offenses? What a waste of money and work force, this will become a huge overhead for the legal system, and a costly one, the American government should be more concerned in getting ahead of China than in suing their citizens a hundred time for a simple crime. What a waste of resources.

Re:What a waste (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702340)

12 separate offenses? What a waste of money and work force, this will become a huge overhead for the legal system, and a costly one, the American government should be more concerned in getting ahead of China than in suing their citizens a hundred time for a simple crime. What a waste of resources.
I completely agree, criminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs is a big waste of time and resources, and is a huge overhead for the legal system... oh wait, we're on a different subject now, aren't we?

It never stopped them before, and it won't stop them now.

Thanks (2, Funny)

nunyadambinness (1181813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701640)

The Deputy AG told Congress that the current structure works quite effectively.


?????

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHHHA
BAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Oh my god it hurts...

BWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

Re:Thanks (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701878)

The real system does work for catching people who are mass producing bootlegs, you know the folks who are actually able to hurt respective industries in a noticeable fashion. Not the guys who sell bootlegs on the street or the guys who take the shaky camcorder into the theater, the real bootleggers. The issue is, there are alot of them, it takes time to take them down, with a small amount of starting cash its not hard to do it, and there are a lot of them in places where the law isn't that clear.

Translation... (4, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701660)

"We dont' want to be the MPAA's bitch; if Congress likes that kind of thing, great for them, but no agent or prosecutor is going to make their career chasing college students and grandmothers. They can do their own dirtywork - we're busy with terrorism and drugs."

Who's Word is Copyright Czar? (5, Funny)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701664)

Who chose the wording "Copyright Czar"? That's akin to asking members of Congress to vote on killing puppies. No, they won't kill the puppies and they won't support a "Czar" of any kind.

Captain Copyright, on the other hand, wearing a cape, a smile, and a costume that says "Don't steal MY music" would go over much better.

Re:Who's Word is Copyright Czar? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701742)

they won't support a "Czar" of any kind.

Like the Drug Czar or Defense Czar...? I don't support them but they exist.

Re:Who's Word is Copyright Czar? (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702166)

They aren't official titles. The "Drug Czar" is a nickname for the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Re:Who's Word is Copyright Czar? (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702478)

Captain Copyright, on the other hand, wearing a cape, a smile, and a costume that says "Don't steal MY music" would go over much better.
Well, it didn't go over too well in Canada.

A "Captain Copyright [wikipedia.org]" character was indeed used for awhile in Canada to promote "rights of artists." Not surprisingly, the character and comics supporting a "copyright maximalist" slant, making no mention of fair dealing (Canadian version of fair use). Furthermore, there were a few incidents where it was shown that the Captain Copyright website was, in fact, infringing copyright.

Because of all the negative press, the character was withdrawn and the site [captaincopyright.ca] shut down. So it looks like a cape-wearing copyright crusader is not long-lived. And luckily IP law will prevent anyone else from resurrecting that particular idea.

My Question (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701760)

How does one qualify to be the "Copyright Czar" ? RIAA/MPAA lawyer extraordinaire? Divine Right? Crony? Generic Pain in the Ass? Recent recipient of "Biggest Douche in the Universe"?

Seperate offenses for what? (1)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701776)

What about pirating a cd that includes cover a cover song? Would the pirate then be responsible to pay the original artist/label's royalties as well as the covering artist?

I realize that very few artists own the rights to their own music--the artists that this bill would affect, anyway-- but where does it end? If someone pirates a movie that has product placement in it? Nike, Coca-cola, etc...can they sue, since the pirate didn't get their permission/comission?

Heh (5, Insightful)

Cleon (471197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701814)

If the "We Don't Torture, but Oppose Anti-Torture Legislation" DOJ thinks a piece of legislation is a little too heavy-handed, Congress should damn well get the message that it's time to reconsider.

Re:Heh (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702262)

So where is the section in this MAFIAA written legislation that defines copyright infringement as a water-boardable offense?

GOD doesn't like idea of yOUR world controlled.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701854)

by a handful of greed/fear/ego based murderous corepirate nazi felons.

in the end, the creators will prevail, as it has always been. the of gaining yOUR release from the hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in.

some memories we'll dream of forgetting;

for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it?

we're intending for the nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continues on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

whilst (yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

still making his views known worldwide, whilst many of US keep yOUR heads firmly lodged up yOUR infactdead.asp(s) hoping (against overwhelming information to the contrary) that the party LIEn scriptdead pr ?firm? fairytail hypenosys scenario will never end.

for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

whois it that said that trolls cannot evolve?

Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701914)

Gee, didn't the US help defeat the Nazis? I'm very confused.

Each blow in assault is not a seperate offence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701950)

How is it that copyright receives a higher standard of punishment than traditional crime. Maybe because the RIAA holds itself more important than people who really get hurt.

If someone is assaulted they cannot prosecute the assailant for each punch/stab/whatever....

They are entitled to fair protections but the system must make the redress fair as well. Each $2.99 song is a million dollars by their accounting. Now they want each instance to give them a retrial and more ability to punish the poor with larger threatened lawsuits. This is not trial by judge or jury anymore. They are fighting for trial by the inefficiency of our judicial system. They want to make the court system worse and more expensive while they use it as a hammer to win settlements - out of court. And who picks up the tab??? The country.

Go back to the initial copyright as set out by the constitution. Remove the extensions and emphasize the benefits of a global distribution system that costs peanuts to maintain.

"allowing for the seizure of equipment used to pi" (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702138)

Conyers, meanwhile, shot down the notion that a provision allowing for the seizure of equipment used to pirate copyrighted goods would result in the collection of a family's general-purpose computer in a download case.

Bill authors "carefully crafted the language to allow seizure only if the property was owned or predominantly controlled by the infringer,"


And exactly what are the PC's in a household suspected of downloading?

"I know the bill allows automobiles of speeders to be taken away, but it won't allow cops to take away the family car, only if the car was owned or predominantly controlled by the speeder"

This guy needs to learn to at least make the double talk he uses to justify his police state bill believable. I doubt this would be passable even to a 5 year old.

It reminds me of a recent speech by the RIAA blasting the "FAIR USE" act by claiming the DMCA "helped" to bring about digital mp3 player innovation.
I doubt even the majority of congressmen are that clueless about what these things are. The EFF and rick boucher make sure to at least get that across.

when reality changes (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702144)

you can dig in your heels and fight it tooth and nail, until reality passes you by

or you can adapt gracefully, and keep right on swimming

adapt, or die

i mean these are some pretty fantastic death throes we are witnessing now

riaa, mpaa: in 5 years i want to see shocktroopers on the street with congressionally mandated shoot to kill on sight orders for anyone caught singing christmas carols without prior authorization

that's the logical progression of your denial

The problem-nobody is waking up like they used to (4, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702266)

Back in the 20's the christian right got the volstead act.

Instead of curbing drinking, it criminalized everyone and resulted in the proliferation of outright poisonous liquor (things like formaldehyde in it), rampant organized crime, and rampant corruption.

The interesting thing was.. the christian right ADMITTED THIS and congress repealed it.

Now let's look at the nixon drug laws, which at the time were ostensibly designed to criminalize the protestors he hated. Drugs are still widely proliferated, but instead of being highly regulated, safer (granted they ARE kinda bad for you, but so is booze and tobacco), and taxed. Further, people would feel safer seeking treatment knowing they wouldn't be arrested.
Instead of admitting their failure, the federal government continues to spend billions in a vietnam on our very shores and against our own people.

Now theyre pulling the same damn thing with the DMCA.. the sad part is they continue to do this DESPITE the fact even record execs have outright admitted, at least between the RIAA's spin cycles, that p2p isn't going away, and the DMCA isn't helping.

what you said was true (1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702424)

except for the hardcore highly addicting and highly inebriating (so that excludes nicotine) drugs like heorin and the opiates, methamphetamine, and cocaine

marijuana should be legal, it's not worse than alcohol. lsd and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) should be legal: not addicting. of course you can't take that and drive

but the highly addicting and highly addicting trinity of meth, crack, and the opiates, especially, must forever be fought in drug war

simply because although all of the lessons about prohibition applied to these drugs as well, the effects of legalization of virally addictive substances is simply worse than prohibition

see the diagram: illegality for the red, legality for everything else [wikipedia.org]. the substances in the red have effects which are worse than all of the prohibition effects you can list

the effects of easy viral addiction and the permanent waste that lays to lives (and freedoms: a drug addict is not free) means these substances must be permanently verboten, forever. in the name of freedom: freedom from the slavery of addiction

Re:The problem-nobody is waking up like they used (2, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702616)

"Back in the 20's the christian right got the volstead act."

Applying the term "christian right" to a political movement before the 70's is like calling something a "genocide" that happened before WWII - it uses a term that didn't exist at the time of the event, not to describe it, but to leverage current emotional and intellectual trends to get the reaction the writer wishes.

In other words, trolling.

Re:The problem-nobody is waking up like they used (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702782)

Drivers still speed. Does that mean that speed limits are invalid?
Drivers continually run red lights and stop signs. Should localities take them all down?

I'm not equating these acts to using p2p services, but saying that a law is or should be invalid because people don't want to follow it doesn't make a lot of sense.

This isn't Law, It's Business... (3, Interesting)

StickyWidget (741415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702248)

This really isn't an attempt to protect intellectual property, it's actually a very sophisticated attempt to create a new class of Lawyer Businessmen (ambulance chaser derivatives). Think about it:

1. We have a new set of laws that proscribes MASSIVE penalties for intellectual property violations. People need to defend themselves from this new threat!
2. We have tens of thousands of bored lawyers in this country, not to mention the ones graduating from college. They need money and swanky cars because they are Lawyers!
3. We have an industry that wants to make money off of music. All music. Everywhere. They need people to go after these infringers!

So, if these laws go into effect, we have two sets of lawyers, the Defenders and the Aggressors. The Defenders are primarily concerned with making money defending copyright infringer. If your max fine for violating copyright is around, say $50,000, wouldn't you rather spend $10,000 on a lawyer who guaranteed he would win, or your money back? Or if you are a business, wouldn't you shell out $150,000 for a lawyer to avoid the publicity and likely 1 Million in damages?

Aggressors would be the ones who actively go after the infringers, and would basically be mercenaries under the employ of the MPAA or RIAA. Investigations would net infringers, which would be passed on to the Aggressors. Considering their take-home on a trial would be a portion of the damages awarded, they would file as many cases as possible. If a few get settled, so be it, but may would go through and they would collect.

And here's the kicker, both Defenders and Aggressors have to serve the best interests of their client, which means settlement, and a lot of it. If a Defender manages to settle for $20k, he's just saved his client $30K. If an Aggressor settles for $20K, his client gets $20K free and clear on the ILLEGAL USE OF A SINGLE INFRINGEMENT without the hassle of a trial. Less attorney fees of course. If these guys file 30 cases like this a year, they are pulling back enough money to live on easily. If they build a firm around it, they have enough money to become tin gods.

When are we going to learn that in the nation of Capitalism, nothing is a law, it's just another business opportunity? Once, a long time ago, lawyers were defenders of freedom and justice, providing a check against government corruption and abuses of power. While some still are, the majority are so in bed with the government they have batter on hand for pancakes in the morning.

~Sticky
/First, the lawyers.
//Then, the politicians..
///When the revolution comes...

Simpler times (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702284)

Life was so much simpler when law enforcement restricted their efforts to catching criminals who made money from pirated wares. Unless I'm reselling the songs and movies I've downloaded for a profit, law enforcement is wasting their time coming after me. Bust the losers that sell pirated DVDs from the trunks of their cars and leave the soccer mom's who download pop singles alone.

I don't know what people are worried about (1)

meeotch (524339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702566)

Detractors fear that this provision could result in protracted lawsuits.

...I don't think it'll be an issue. The only entities with enough money to use the legal system to protect their God-given intellectual property from rampant immoral thievery are giant corporations - which are not only accustomed, but in fact designed to process enormous numbers of transactions on a daily basis. I'm sure they'll be willing to cooperate with the newly-formed Ministry of Copyright to streamline the process. Perhaps judgments could be entered in batches of several thousand at a time, then deducted directly from the offending citizen's tax refund? Though I suppose this would be hardly fair to the victimized corp, since it would lose all the potential interest not earned on that money while waiting for the IRS to process the refund. Much better to withhold damages from each citizen's paycheck, a la Social Security tax, and allow those who are innocent to claim it back at the end of the year. (Assuming they can prove their innocence, of course.)

On a more serious note - perhaps we should all take a cue from Paul Anka: "Just don't look." (Or listen, or purchase.)

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