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Controversial Section of PRO-IP Act Cut

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the now-just-cut-the-other-sections dept.

Government 101

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Rep. Berman (D-CA) has removed the controversial section 104 from his PRO-IP Act. That section would have multiplied the already excessive statutory damages for infringement in the case of compilations, making the damages for infringing upon the copyrights of a single average CD rise into the millions of dollars. This change came after proponents of the amendment were unable to cite even one case where the statutory damages recovered were insufficient. But don't let the article fool you into thinking that the PRO-IP Act is no longer controversial now that this one section is gone, the act still creates copyright cops who are authorized to seize people's computers."

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Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22671926)

Nothing Cryptonomicon-esque, just some s/w will do the trick. Sieze away, Mr. Gestapo. All sorts of nice 1s and 0s for you to look through.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22671944)

You could always TrueCrypt [truecrypt.org] encrypt the contents of your drive to guard against seizure efforts without hampering your own use of the system.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672064)

and rot in jail because it is impossible for you to prove that you have complied with the court's order to give over evidence.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (3, Funny)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672078)

Last time I checked the burden of proof was on the prosecution. They may have fixed that recently, so I could be wrong.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672084)

When it comes to complying with a court order to turn over computer files, turning over encrypted computer files is not complying with the order. It's really not that hard.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672104)

I give you the fifth amendment.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672148)

Who says the evidence will incriminate you?

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Insightful)

digitrev (989335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672226)

No one. But you can easily claim that, with all the various laws on the books, including laws that haven't been examined in years, that you could breaking laws you don't even know about. Hence, pleading the fifth.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

greedyturtle (968401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675644)

Run linux on it, and you could be stealing from this company [sco.com]

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672466)

Obviously someone thinks so, or they wouldn't be taking your computer in the first place.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672536)

WRONG. Maybe they're investigating someone else's crime and believe your machine has evidence on it.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672592)

Likewise, you could claim that handing over the keys would be self-incriminating for something they are not investigating yet (a few illegal songs yourself, maybe?).

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672682)

illegal songs
Please, define that term.

Although I would contend that many songs should be illegal.. including this one [gnu.org] , I don't think that term means what you think it does.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672750)

songs that have been downloaded in a manner that violates copyright law?

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672760)

you're a retard.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678888)

If they need someone's files to convict someone else, they can grant immunity for anything found in those files that may incriminate the owner to negate the Fifth Amendment barrier.

However, they still have sneaky tricks, like only granting immunity at the state level and not federal, or not international so you're effectively barred from travel to certain countries for, say, having cartoons of a particular religious leader. And they'll still put you on their radar in case you acquire any similar incriminating thing later, which will be a separate crime(*). And then there's that whole confiscation issue too.

(*) I don't think "fruit of the poisonous tree" applies. If someone with immunity testifies to a murder, it's a matter of public record and that person will still be looked at as a suspect for other, similar murders. Immunity does not grant freedom from suspicion. Further, you can be compelled to testify if granted immunity from prosecution even though testifying will still get you killed; witness protection is not perfect nor is it a cushy life forever. Nor does prison for contempt for refusal to testify guarantee continuity of your life.

Unless there's some way to make disclosure under an evidentiary seal requiring anything self-incriminating be treated as it never existed. And reality still just doesn't work that way.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672518)

Um, what about plausible deniability features that TrueCrypt has? Your rebuttal is obsolete.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672726)

Plausible deniability is a two way street dude, they can't prove there is more information on the drive and you can't prove there isn't. And no, the burden of proof is not on them.. it's on you.. the court has ordered you to turn over records relating to X, if you refuse to turn them over, you are in contempt. Unless you can convince the judge that the records never existed then you're screwed - it's just as bad as if you had shredded them.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672768)

Is that so? I am not familiar with the procedure, but isn't there a need for a request to be specific? I recall that at least in one case covered here of RIAA suing someone for whatever, the sued party was able to put limits on the scope of the inquiry. If you cannot figure out the scope of a search/seizure, could you probably argue it is unreasonable, at least in the US?

Indeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673822)

I believe the legalese term is "fishing expedition".

Why can computers be searched at all? (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 6 years ago | (#22680718)

In a civil case, don't they usually subpoena records? They don't come into your house and search for them, you are simply expected to hand them over. Say for instance that they subpoenaed letters I had received over a certain period. I would check my files and turn over any letters that met the criteria, along with a declaration I sign under penalty of perjury that I've turned over all relevant documents. In the RIAA case they get to mirror an entire hard drive and search through all contents. There was indication in the testimony of the 'expert' in the Lindor case that he had gone through emails and documents, he even referenced a resume he found on the hard drive. All they were looking for supposedly was evidence of infringement and use of Kazaa, which they did NOT find.

Computers are used for everything nowadays. Allowing unfettered access to a computer's hard drive would be like allowing them into your home to look around for whatever they want. Nowadays you can watch movies and listen to music on your computer, make phone calls, purchase almost anything on line, reserve movie tickets, and communicate with email and IM. Allowing access to this information if little different than searching a house. You can find what clothes they wear by looking at online purchase history or receipts stored on the computer. You can possibly find their bank records showing ATM withdrawals from a casino for instance or a sex shop. Going through their email is akin to looking over personal letters and birthday cards. Allowing access to a hard drive in my opinion is not narrow enough of a discovery request.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Interesting)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673390)

The main point of TrueCrypt (as I understand it) being that it's impossible for the prosecution to provide any evidence that what they see isn't everything you've got. No evidence you aren't complying = no leg to stand on.

Me? I'd keep anything "they" are after on a mini-sd card (hell, they're so small you can almost legitimately claim that you lost it). If all else fails and you get a suprise warrant at 3am, you could even stick it up your ass as a last resort. As long as you don't do something stupid like put the card in /etc/fstab or (more likely) fail to scrub /tmp before powerdown you win: There is no evidence what so ever that the files in question were ever present.

Problem: (1)

BalorTFL (766196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674112)

Sounds like a great idea, but until they come out with 128-gigabyte miniSD cards I'm going to need that goatse guy for a roommate. :(

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Informative)

vuffi_raa (1089583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684328)

The main point of TrueCrypt (as I understand it) being that it's impossible for the prosecution to provide any evidence that what they see isn't everything you've got. No evidence you aren't complying = no leg to stand on.
providing encrypted files is compliance so long as you have the decryption key provided as well or can show an attempt to provide the key- the fact of the matter though is that if all of your data is encrypted the cost for discovery in a civil case would be so high that it would be ridiculous to pay for it (that would be the burden of the litigant and not the defense- defense would only have to provide the data post discovery in compliance with the submission by the litigant (or opposing counsel) so you could theoretically turn over the drive and it would be up to whoever is suing you to decrypt the drive- in the realm of e-discovery there are only certain vendors that handle encryption and that would be in the forensics and not in your standard lit support vendor/service beaurau, so the cost would be generally high per piece of media. Following this the review process would be pretty high as well considering the price point that we charge at our company usually comes out to $1-3 per doc give or take (depending on the client, population, etc.) after all is said and done and that is 1/2 to 1/3 of the standard rate for edoc reviewing at most companies (we have a damn fine stat on recall and precision as well) so imagine that you have a couple of terabytes of data at home which isn't hard considering you can drop a terabyte in your desktop nowadays, the cost that would be incurred during the discovery process alone would be pretty high for say, the RIAA to sue someone who not only will never have the $ to pay on a suit, but also may or may not even have any files that are incriminating. When it comes down to it the economics on consumer IP cases make zero sense, unlike corporate B2B, where you are actually looking to recover losses on a product base and are assured a return on a ruling or settlement.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673748)

That is why you have two encrypeted files. One you give them the password to and it is some, *GASP* reveling photo's completly legal, but you don't want people looking at. Are they going to check the byte valus of the data verifing that you gave them ALL of the encrypted stuff? I understand with new encryption software it will prompt for a password, if A is given you get A results, if B is given you get B results. Just set up so that they see A as said above stuff to be encrypted, but not jailed over.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675740)

Last time I checked the burden of proof was on the prosecution. They may have fixed that recently, so I could be wrong.

These are civil cases. I guess you've never heard, but innocent until proved guilty only applies to criminal cases. You might wan t to learn a little about our legal system before you comment with such dripping sarcasm next time.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

vuffi_raa (1089583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684250)

there is no prosecution in a civil case

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (5, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672096)

Passwords, pass phrases and keys are, for better or worse, considered to be protected by the 5th amendment.

Unless law enforcement or the copyright holder can crack the security on it, there is no way that they can compel a person to hand over the files at this point.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672122)

Do you have any case law to back this up or are you just talking out of your ass? Seriously, the courts see it no different to requiring you to hand over the keys to a filing cabinet. You're free to refuse, at which time you are in contempt of court and will be spending the remainder of your life in jail, except for every 30 days, when you will be brought before the judge to be asked if you are now ready to hand over the keys.

or the copyright holder
Huh? What do you think we're talking about?

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (4, Informative)

Cairnarvon (901868) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672192)

http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9834495-38.html [news.com]

So yes, case law does back it up.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672286)

Are completely unaware of the difference between civil and criminal law or are you just disingenuous?

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (3, Interesting)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672434)

No, he's informed. What's your excuse?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org]

"The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the right against self-incrimination applies whether the witness is in Federal or state court (see Malloy v. Hogan, 378 U.S. 1 (1964)), and whether the proceeding itself is criminal or civil (see McCarthy v. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34 (1924))."

And more specifically,

http://www.sorrelsudashen.com/papers/Fifth_Amendment_Right_Against_Self_Incrimination_in_Civil_Cases.pdf [sorrelsudashen.com] (pdf)

McCarthy v. Arndstein, 266 U.S. 34 (1924) Privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment "applies alike to civil and criminal proceedings, wherever the answer might tend to subject to criminal responsibility him who gives it."

If copyright violation didn't have a criminal component to it, you might be right. But it does, particularly since the DMCA specifically criminalized copyright violations of digital material.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672454)

If copyright violation didn't have a criminal component to it, you might be right. But it does, particularly since the DMCA specifically criminalized copyright violations of digital material.
Streeeeeeeeeeeetch.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672586)

Laaaaaw. It means what it means. You can't be compelled to offer testimony that may result in a criminal charge.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Interesting)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673494)

Testimony, not evidence. Consider that you can be compelled to give a blood sample for DNA evidence. They can even arrest and restrain you and forcible extract the blood. This is not considered self incrimination by the court. A password is not testimony, it's necessarily to the acquisition of evidence.

Of course, this must have been tested at some point. Are there any law scholars that can provide a more specific example?

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2, Informative)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678278)

Passkey-as-testimony was covered a couple of parents up; the precedent's been set. This subthread is from QuantumG suggesting that the same protection doesn't apply to civil court.

Re: DNA vs. passkey, the generality seems to be that in security terms, "what-you-are" or "what-you-have" factors are evidence (they can be taken with a warrant) but a "what-you-know" factor is testimony and cannot be forcibly extracted from you (Fifth Amendment).

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22684644)

Ah, so it was covered. Is it just that one judge in that one case a few months ago? I figured it would have been tested and set well before then. I hope his ruling is the one that sticks, but I just don't see that happening.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (2)

edumacator (910819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673386)

I'm always surprised at how quickly people jump to ad hominem attacks. Even if the grandparent to this post was completely wrong, which he isn't, you immediately accuse him of being a moron or a sinister plotter. All he's doing is disagreeing with you. I would hope we could still do that civilly.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673412)

Read the rest of the thread, he's a moron.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673848)

I did. He's not. He disagreed with you. I might add at times people have even asked for help finding material to help them understand your point. Your replies tend to be sarcastic and mocking rather than engaging in an attempt to educate. I don't know anything about law and the finer points elude me, but it seems like you truly do, so I would suggest instead of calling people retards and morons, you might respectfully engage with them and try to show them where they are getting something wrong.

Just a thought.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22674880)

you, sir, deserve more karma.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672368)

I heard this story before but if the ruling was overturned by a higher court then it would no longer hold. From the link "(Judge) Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury's subpoena" so it looks like this is quite solid. And it's very unlikely that the fifth amendment will be amended.

Also as a practical matter (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673538)

You can use the favourite trick of the Bush crew and "not be able to recall" the password. I'm going to bet this would be fine. After all, people forget their passwords all the time (all the damn time, I would know, I do tech support for a living) and you can't be forced to give up what you don't know. If you do soom looking through cases, you'll see that the whole "I don't recall," type of thing is not that uncommon. You get the feeling at times that the person is lying, but, well, you can't prove that. It isn't as if the prosecution can say "Yes he does recall, judge, tell him he has to remember!"

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673312)

Seriously, the courts see it no different to requiring you to hand over the keys to a filing cabinet

Seriously, they do.

As well they should. If a court doesn't get the keys to a file cabinet, they can break it open, settle the issue, and send you a bill. With encryption, if the keys are actually lost, there's no way to "force open" the file cabinet, and you'd be put in jail for not complying with a court order that it would be impossible to comply with.

Re:Time for the old Dead Man's Switch (1)

scruffy (29773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22678416)

Isn't it part of the Miranda Rights?

"You have the right to remain silent."

I would think the SCOTUS would have to revisit Miranda to make this, giving up passwords, a requirement. Otherwise, I am within my rights to remain silent.

Good example. (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22671932)

This is a good example of the fact that both major parties play these games with our civil liberties. As much time as people spend bashing the Republican party over privacy invasion and big business backroom deals, it's good to remember that the Democrats play the same games every day. Perception is a funny thing.

Re:Good example. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22671990)

You're right. Both parties are in the end totally screwed. America is well on it's way to being that corporate fascist state that many have warned it would become.. One nail, one brick, ..one more law at a time.

Keep letting it slide boys and girls... That nice warm blanket is slowly being pulled over your body.

Re:Good example. (1)

Idefix97 (725474) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672118)

Berman is just a shill for Hollywood.

Re:Good example. (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672440)

Didn't he remove the excessive bit? Or is it that he's responsible for the original bill, and is simply backing down a bit?

Re:Good example. (2, Informative)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672530)

Rep. Berman (D-CA) has removed the controversial section 104 from his PRO-IP Act.

Yes. It's also good to remember (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672428)

That while the Democrats suck, they suck far less than the Republicans.

So let's not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the less sucking. Let's vote them in ... never vote Republican again, and then start working on an alternative to the remaining sole party, the Dems.

Re:Yes. It's also good to remember (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672496)

Let's vote them in ... never vote Republican again, and then start working...
How fucking stupid are you? The only way to fix the steaming pile that is our government is to get off your sorry ass and vote against the incumbent. When our elected leaders see that they are becoming nothing more than one hit wonders, they will come to the realization of, "Holy shit, we do work for the people and not the lobbyists". And when their is no incumbent in the race, vote for who you feel will do the least amount of damage. In the event that all candidates are equally damaging, vote for the candidate that is most honest about the damage they will do.

Re:Yes. It's also good to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675354)

Your strategy strikes me as the greater stupidity. If intelligent people split their vote, the Republicans will win every time. Worse, the thoughts and desires of intelligent people will become even more marginalized as neither party will want to waste any time catering to us. No, we need to stick to our guns and vote for the lesser evil, which happens to be the Democrats right now. The Republicans are trying to get amnesty for the telcos, for crying out loud! They don't serve our interests. Voting them in again will only teach them to care about us even less.

That's all very nice, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672462)

How do I get Quake 3 to run on Linux???

How could statutory damages ever be insufficient? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22671966)

How could statutory damages ever be insufficient when the copyright owner has the option of proving actual damages?

Re:How could statutory damages ever be insufficien (4, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22671998)

IANAL, but IMHO, and it may be soon to tell, given current circumstances, but notwithstanding alternate outcomes, that I have absolutely no idea how to respond to your question. But look at the silly monkey!

You make a good point. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672264)

You have a good point, but I assume the copyright crowd is going at this from a couple of angles:

A) Actual damages are quite hard to prove in court, which is the point of creating statutory damages. They might not even bother asking for them, lest they have to justify what actual damages they've suffered from infringement. Of course, they may not have suffered any actual damages, or may not be able to prove that they have.

B) While they're not punitive damages, they're high enough that they can be seen in that light. As such, they could be an insufficient penalty.

That said, $150,000 for infringing upon an average 10-song CD that goes for $20 retail and $10 on iTunes is already unconstitutionally excessive [ssrn.com] per a Supreme Court ruling (BMW v. Gore) that looked askance at some statutory damages that were merely a few times the actual damages. The PRO-IP Act here would raise that to $1,500,000 ($150,000 for each song on the CD), which is even more excessive than before.

After all, how many copyrighted works sell for $150,000 to begin with? And don't list long-dead painters. Their works hit the public domain long before copyrights got an extra hundred years or more of life with the life+70 term passed back in the 1970s.

- I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [endsoftpatents.org]

Re:How could statutory damages ever be insufficien (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674976)

The Statutory damages are already unconstitutional. Appealing this all the way to the Supreme Court will completely invalidate all copyright law in whole. Yes, they are *also* unconstitutional on not contemporary limited length of term.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org]

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
There's a whole load of rulings which can be added in support, starting with excessive punitive damages more than three times actual damages being unconstitutional. $150,000 for a $0.99 is clearly an unconstitutional excessive fine. QED.

Net effect: there is no copyright law. The effective copyright protection is zero. Simply because the copyright law is blatantly unconstitutional on multiple fronts.

Just the latest in a long list of malfeasance ... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672026)

Berman should be forcibly removed from office for the things he's already done. They can take Howard Coble and Orrin Hatch along with him. We the People have no use for them.

Re:Just the latest in a long list of malfeasance . (4, Insightful)

Obyron (615547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672596)

We the People keep reelecting them. Blame California, North Carolina, and Utah. (and blame Canada)

Re:Just the latest in a long list of malfeasance . (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674124)

Amen brother. It's hard to believe they keep electing him, although the nuts and bolts politics involved probably make it impossible for the local party to field any other candidate. He gets oodles of money funneled to his causes through various third parties (the big media corporations), neatly bypassing campaign funding laws.

If it's a district in which electing a republican candidate is basically impossible then we do indeed have only ourselves to blame. Or the pavlov-trained monkeys living in his district.

Re:Just the latest in a long list of malfeasance . (1)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675112)

Geek Solution:

Write a program to fight gerrymandering by randomly drawing district lines based on population dispersion. Statistician + Programmer = Solution. Let's see the results, what maps would look like, then we can force all politicians running to support it with a national marketing campaign called The Contract Against Incumbent GErrymandering (C.A.I.G.E.)

Re:Just the latest in a long list of malfeasance . (1)

Shagg (99693) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675808)

He gets oodles of money funneled to his causes through various third parties (the big media corporations), neatly bypassing campaign funding laws.

The (D) next to his name pretty much stands for "Disney", not Democrat.

Re:Just the latest in a long list of malfeasance . (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 6 years ago | (#22677446)

Don't blame *me* for Hatch -- I vote against that fucker every election he's on the ballot. I'm one of maybe a dozen blue pixels on one of the reddest states of the map. Sometimes I wonder if I should sign up with one of those vote trading sites, as my votes here are pretty much spitting in the ocean.

Especially scary (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672036)

But don't let the article fool you into thinking that the PRO-IP Act is no longer controversial now that this one section is gone, the act still creates copyright cops who are authorized to seize people's computers."

This [doiop.com] and this idea of copyright cops will not end well.

WalMart (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672098)

making the damages for infringing upon the copyrights of a single average CD rise into the millions of dollars.
...and yet, if you just physically steal one, no one cares near as much. Whatever floats their boat, I guess.

Re:WalMart (3, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672898)

Of course. Physical theft hurts businesses, especially small ones. On the other hand, piracy threatens the control of the media giants. Who do you think has more lobbying power?

Re:WalMart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673160)

The law and its enforcement envision operations involving distribution of hundreds or thousands of tracks at considerable economic loss.

If you stole a couple hundred CDs, that would be more like it. And the attention would be right there with it.

People don't pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for acquiring a song or two, or even an album or two. You won't go to jail for downloading an album or three. Stealing a few, however, will indeed put you in jail. In that sense, they care a great deal MORE.

millions of dollars? (0, Redundant)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672190)

I think I'll just steal CD's the old fashioned way from my local wal mart and lower the risk.

Copyright Cops Maintaining an environment of fear (-1, Troll)

FromTheAir (938543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672238)

Copyright Cops Maintaining an environment of fear

That is the approach they are attempting. The same approach used by individuals in the administration and elsewhere.

Fear is the Antichrist

12 year olds getting their parents houses raided and computers seized

Transferring large files could be cause for suspicion

Re:Copyright Cops Maintaining an environment of fe (5, Funny)

Arterion (941661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672248)

Fear is the Antichrist
I thought fear was the mind-killer.

I remember (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672258)

"Yes, Billy, it's true. The United States wasn't always a fascist dictatorship. Actually, the proper term is oligarchy, but I won't bore you with all that stuff now. Anyway, there was a time when the people in office actually cared, some more than others, about the ideals that made it a good place to live. And, no, there was no invasion. Our people just gave it all away, a little at a time, by always voting for politicians who promised to make the country a safe place for children and kittens. It's safe now, Billy...just as long as you do exactly as you're told."

Re:I remember (3, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673144)

Our people just gave it all away, a little at a time, by always voting for politicians who promised to make the country a safe place for children and kittens

I know I'm replying to your rather flippant remark with something serious, but why are we doing this? The other democracies in the world seem to have veered in a more liberal direction (liberal, not by the American definition). What makes the Americans MORE susceptible to welcoming a tyranny with open arms? I would have thought it the opposite, being one of the most violently individualistic countries on earth.

The average American, it seems, is the epitomy of sheep, anti-education, anti-freedom, and pro-tyranny, and not just our tyranny, but the tyranny of everyone else too. How did this happen, for a large part our founding fathers were ideal freethinkers (minus Adams), and liberals (again in the non-modern American sense), but somehow we've turned into the modern Soviets. This confuses the hell out of me.

How the hell did Europe (and Canada) beat us at our own, original, game?

How did France, Canada, the Nether

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673196)

Wish I could give you an answer. I'm Canadian, and I don't much like the direction my country is heading in at the moment, either.

I've forgotten what our Prime Minister looks like, it's been so long since he pulled his face out from between Bush's ass cheeks.

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

moxley (895517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673694)

This is no accident. There has been manipulation and paranoia based behavior control.

"We were attacked" "by evil terrorists" (the fact of who those "evil terrorists" actually are or whether it was some bullshit storybook conspiracy that completely falls apart and lacks credibility if you have half a brain OR was a manipulation in the first place doesn't matter because the effects are the same with how it is being used).

People are being made to feel like there is danger coming at them from all corners at all times. The fear has been ratcheted up constantly and is bombarding this TV addicted country relentlessly; and the internets is the newest place where terrible things can happen to you, your family, and the country (according to the TV).

If you can find 4 or so hours of pre-recorded mainstream network television (including news and the ever ubiquitous crime drama) from ten years ago (it was still total trash but not the same trash we have today) - watch it - then, watch the same amount of today's television and I think you'll see that there is a very noticable difference.

The people driving the bus that is America want you to feel as though you're on a roller coaster that is careening off the rails all at times sourrounded by foreigners with rocket launchers just waiting for their chance to blow you away and next they're going to be trying to convince you that the neighbor on your left (who looks you) is in league with those "terraists" and the neighbor on your right is going to go off of his meds and shoot up your kid's school.

When people are this scared they make bad decisions. When people are this scared they'll allow things they would NEVER allow (like giving up their rights and taking a "I don't care, lock 'em up or torture 'em, it's not me or my family who will be affected" attitude)...The fact that this country would even talk about being okay with indefinite incarceration without charge and torture (let alone actually allowing or making it fucking policy) is disgusting and unbelevable and would have never been possible without this scheme. The thing most people don't get is that it already is affecting the entire society and it will affect them and those they care about because the definition of "terrorist" and what is considered is "terrorism" is being changed - look at the homegrown terrorism act for one thing..

People wonder how Germany was transformed in the 30s...I don't wonder anymore.

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673750)

I don't think the current atmosphere is to blame, though it exasperated the situation. I came of age at the tail end of the cold war, and we were still ruled by the same fear as we are today (albeit more based in reality), In the 90's, after the end of the cold war, we still managed to be ruled by wankers (Clinton, and the birth of neo-cons), but this was not fear based wankerism. Bush I and Clinton were both in a time of naive optimism, but we STILL voted the the extreme right into control.

Really the down fall of American politics can probably be traced to the Truman administration, if not before.

Remember before the current USAPATRIOT act mentality we had McCarthy and J.Edgar Hooverism. Islamic extremists are nothing more than the new International Communist Conspiracy. I guess (barring the unexplanable wankerism of the 90's) fear can be the main effect, which still begs the question "why are we so afraid?".

Not to sound to paranoid, I'm still sad to admit that I can see ourselves being the bad-guys of the next century, taking Germany and the USSR's place. I want to love my country, I really want to, but I have no shared values with America anymore, it seems. This depresses the hell out of me. For Pete's sake, we actually are arguing about the merits of torture, this is the sign of a whole country jumping the shark.

Re:I remember (1, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674170)

The fact that this country would even talk about being okay with indefinite incarceration without charge and torture (let alone actually allowing or making it fucking policy) is disgusting and unbelevable and would have never been possible without this scheme.

Millions of slaves, many of which belonged to those very founding fathers who wrote your constitution, might disagree.

The simple fact of the matter is that the US has always had a shining outside and rotten core. This is understandable: the reason oppression exists in the first place is that it is profitable to the oppressor, at least in the short term. Your founding fathers threw out their oppressors, true; but they were merely human, and thus unable to resist the temptation to become oppressors themselves.

Indiands, blacks and communists; it is merely that the powers that be have run out of other targets, so it is time for Joe Average to feel the boot on his face. Unfortunate for Joe, but hardly unexpected, given the history of the United States and the difference between its ideals in speeches and reality.

Re:I remember (1)

Greg_D (138979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674910)

Other countries are more politically active and have more than 2 political parties. In America, you're either for the Republicans or for the Democrats and whichever side you're on, you're convinced that the other is evil and out to destroy your rights.

Of course, that makes you only partially right. In reality, both parties are evil and want to destroy your rights, so in the end, you're only supporting the evil bastard who has the best campaign manager.

Re:I remember (1)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676016)

òô

Really, eh? UK is beating us at being libertarian? The most observed society in world where you can be compelled to offer up passwords to encrypted data is more free? Interesting conclusion.

Canada the bastion of freedom? A place where freedom of speech is abridged regularly? e.g. the Kempling case, Westboro baptist church denied entry, and defacing the Koran is punishable by law?(Ezra Levant) Where you can be prosecuted for hate-speech for calling Americans bloodthirsty? (University of British Columbia Prof. Sunera Thobani)

Your reality must be an interesting place to live.

The US definitely has issues that are questionable, and in some cases outright BS (DMCA, SCOTUS emminent domain decision) but we are hardly the fascist state you would believe us to be. Get over it and do something about the problems that we do have.

Re:I remember (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22679292)

I didn't call the Non-American Western countries "glowing beacons" of freedom, did I? Nor did I claim they were libertarian, only classically liberal. I admit they have some problems, but not as many, nor on as slippery a slope as we do. We're not the great satan, nor saint, but we seem to be working on the former rather than the latter.

What was the last country Canada invaded under flimsy pretexts and outright lies? When was the last time France broke some nations sovereignty to bomb the shit out of a "bad guy?". How many people has the Netherlands secretly moved to foreign countries to be tortured, just so they can allege that they don't condone torture (while endorsing whole heartedly).

Who is the main country in the world using the Geneva Convention as toilette paper?

Yes, the U.S. also gives out billions in aid to poor countries, which is nice.

Re:I remember (1)

protomala (551662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673918)

When I see news like that I think: I'm glad I live in Brazil, even with all it's problems.
What is happening with america? I know it was never that land of freedom movies talk about, but sudennly it appears people are leting all the fears take upon their brains much like in the the wall (pink floyd) videoclip.

War on Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672262)

After the war on copyright will the US have 10% of its population in jails?

Re:War on Copyright (3, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672444)

The sad thing is, that 1% of the population is already in jail. The highest incarceration rate in the world. But we think were safer. Do you think a 10-fold increase in people in jail will lead to an overhaul of the system, or just become a nice way to ensure lots of jobs as Prison Guards for the local economies?

Re:War on Copyright (3, Informative)

wk633 (442820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672770)

1% of adults, not of the general population. Not that it affect your point.

Re:War on Copyright (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22683326)

Thank you, you are correct. I imagine things would drastically change if a large percentage of children got locked up!

wait let me guess... soul is a lawyer (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672294)

Translate this into a little better english... WTF did he say? she say?

Lawyers are evil - no exceptions (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672556)

If you are a lawyer, then yes this means you. The world would be a better place without you.

Time to cash in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22672620)

I've been selling my likeness for years, $100,000,000 per distrobution, to my friends of course who then sell me theirs for the same price to even things out. Now someone used my likeness on a website that had 10,000 hits without my permission. Time to sue for a trillion dollars under the new laws.

Re:Time to cash in (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674272)

Hi AC, this is the IRS.

did you pay your taxes on this $100,000,000 per distrobution of your likness?

what about basic necesities? (1)

hondoslack (796620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22672988)

Oh dear, heaven forbid a few ultra rich individuals be deprived of a few cents per "stolen" song. The 4,000,000,000 people that go to bed hungry every night wouldn't need any of it anyhow. And as for the US becoming "fascist", give me a break. Go live in Cuba or Venezuela for the real deal. Although things can change, and they have, this is still a country with a constitution protecting more freedoms then most countries around the world.

Oh sure, that has nothing to do with this discussion, right? Time = money. Money makes the world tick. We are all wasting our personal time debating this, and the government we pay taxes to is wasting time and our hard earned money debating this. Now to protect ourselves from unrighteous evil discrimination of our privacy, we'll have to waste even more of our precious personal time. In the end, the cost to humanity is ridiculous. Screw the entertainment industry, who needs it anyway?

Music and entertainment has its place, but is it worth all of this? It most certainly isn't worth the loss of privacy we are all faced with. Anyhow, there are several ways around all of this mess. Problem is, most of us are just too damn lazy (and cheap) to do anything about it.

Lack of sleep is definitely taking its toll... my writing has been quite incoherent. To sum up:
(1) stop sharing someone else's hard work for free?! How would you like it if people could share your paycheck on line? (not that I agree with how much is charged for their "art", but it IS illegal)
(2) find a more economic way of legally acquiring the music you like (used cd shops, ppd, etc)
(3) go live in a country where you can acquire/provide pirated material without consequence
(4) get to bed, and stop wasting time on this issue!

So there you go. 4 steps to successfully avoiding incrimination. I'm going to apply step 4, ciao.

Re:what about basic necesities? (1)

ryu1232 (792127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673408)

People already share my paycheck online, it is called electronic tax filing.

Re:what about basic necesities? (0, Troll)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675280)

(1) stop sharing someone else's hard work for free?! How would you like it if people could share your paycheck on line? (not that I agree with how much is charged for their "art", but it IS illegal)
The Alphabet called. They want you to cease and desist from copying their letters.

This should be alarming (5, Insightful)

sltd (1182933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673020)

They're beginning to make compromises. With this controversial section removed, it's just that much closer to becoming a law, which is bad for everyone.

Re:This should be alarming (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22673710)

They're beginning to make compromises.
Not really. It's a standard tactic.

With this controversial section removed,
It was born to die.

it's just that much closer to becoming a law,
Bingo.

which is bad for everyone.
Not everyone, just most.

Re:This should be alarming (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22674500)

"They're beginning to make compromises. With this controversial section removed, it's just that much closer to becoming a law, which is bad for everyone."

Bingo! Bingo! BINGO!

Mod parent up!

Which is why I say we need a copyright offensive:

http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/2007/04/some-thoughts-on-copyright-offensive.html [blogspot.com]

That way, after we are done compromising, we are in a better state than when we started, not in a worse state.

Your comments very much appreciated.

all the best,

drew

Civil Asset Forfeiture (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22673056)

From my understanding, the PRO-IP Act wants to not only create a whole arm of the government to do the RIAA/MPAA's dirty work, but they want to expand civil asset forfeiture to copyright enforcement as well.
          With Civil Asset Forfeiture, your property, NOT YOU, is accused of a crime. Since your property is not a person, it has no rights. Thus you have to prove your property's innocence. It can be a very long, drawn out, and expensive process, and even if you win, you probably still won't get your property back. Civil Asset Forfeiture is currently used to take property in "drug" cases. (Or when the drug enforcement agencies need more money. You see, they are funded by what they take.) If you want something to make your blood boil, just google Civil Asset Forfeiture for all the details. You can read about case after case of abuse of these laws. Basically it boils down to this: You have property, cash, a ranch, a nice car, whatever. The police arrest you on a bogus charge and let you go 24-48 hours later. They keep your property. It just must have been involved with drugs.
          Now, they want to take our computers, and expand this system to copyright infringement. My guess is that somewhere between 95% - 99% of computers have at least one copyright infringing file on them. This means that they can be seized. Translation: If this passes, the copyright cops can take any computer, anywhere, anytime. One might not have an infringing video or music file on the system, but what about an email? a screen background? etc. The owner might not face any convictions, or even have charges brought against them, but they sure won't be getting their computer back. This could also be expanded to just about any storage medium -- a usb flash drive, an iPod, a hard drive, a cd, anything. It would be a great way for law enforcement to search electronic media, or computer systems. Instead of searching someone's computer, just accuse it of a copyright violation, and seize it. Then they can search it all they want, and when they're done, sell it off to make a little cash.
          Now consider what data even simple, non computer savvy people have on their computers. What does that say about their lives? Could it cost them their job or their livelihood? For example, an author is working on his next book. His computer is seized on some bullshit copyright charge, and he never gets it back. Like many people, he did not back up the system, or the cops took his backups too. No more book.
          We all know what a success the War On Drugs has been, so expanding it to the War on Copyright Infringement must be a great idea.

Re:Civil Asset Forfeiture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675136)

Someone remind me to wrap my computer in C-4.

proip you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676256)

Am I the only one who snickers a bit when I see the word 'proip'?
For some reason, it just sounds like something you might do to/on someone you like or hate a lot.

Or maybe something you would do to the constituency as a whole: proip all over the people!

authorized to seize (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676486)

Time to encrypt.

What ever happened to that case that was to claim that the 5th amendment also covers your digital data?
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