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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

mbone Re:What's unclear? (99 comments)

IANAL, but I believe that the actual rights-holders would need to go to court to establish their rights, and, yes, if they won a judge could invalidate promises made by the other parties. Likewise, I believe a judge could declare an actual rights-holder incompetent, and invalidate their grant of rights. A last-minute deathbed grant of rights into the PD might be subject to that kind of attack, if the heirs thought it wasn't proper, or the dying author / composer was no longer competent.

4 days ago
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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

mbone Re:What's unclear? (99 comments)

It's clearly illegal to do that with the intent of changing your mind later.

Did you RTFA? The whole point is that it IS legal to change your mind later, and no amount of promises, or guarantees, or written contracts can change that. You cannot give up, sell, or renounce, your right to change your mind, no matter what you do.

Just because some article says something doesn't make it so. If you want to play this game, I would strongly recommend you get competent legal advice.

(As it happens, I have received legal advice in this area, and it sure didn't agree with what you said.)

4 days ago
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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

mbone Re:What's unclear? (99 comments)

IANAL, this is not legal advice, but I agree with your argument.

The only ways out I see would be if your heirs tried to convince a judge you were not legally competent to make the PD assignment at the time you made it (or, of course, if someone came along and said they also had some rights in the work in question, say by being co-creators). So, there would always in practice be a little risk, but after 35 years? That seems like a stretch.

4 days ago
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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

mbone Really? (99 comments)

Specifically, the PK post highlights that thanks to the way copyright termination works, even someone who puts their works into the public domain could pull them back out of the public domain after 35 years.

Really?

So, I should infer that all of those "irrevocable" open source licenses are meaningless, because the grantor of the rights could just change their minds? Somebody sure should let RMS know.

IANAL and all that, and this is for sure not legal advice, but when I have gotten such advice, it was always along the lines of, be careful what you place in the public domain, because you won't be able to change your mind. I am sure I would not want to go in front of a judge and say something along the lines of, "yes, I told people this was public domain, but they were silly to think I actually meant it."

4 days ago
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NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years

mbone Re:1420 what (28 comments)

The Hydrogen line is at 1420 MHz (AKA 21 cm). That long wavelength is why this dish can be made of high tech chicken wire, instead of having a solid surface.

about two weeks ago
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NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years

mbone Re:how much fuel is left? (28 comments)

Not that you would know it from the summary, but they have revived the dish, not the Satellite. They are receiving natural radio waves, nothing from TIROS.

about two weeks ago
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NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years

mbone It's a radio telescope (28 comments)

So, they have shown that they can mount a receiver on an existing radio telescope, and receive radio waves.

That's cool and all, but not exactly newsworthy.

about two weeks ago
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To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

mbone & Vice Versa ? (110 comments)

Since they always let the terrorist stuff through, so as not to tip their hand, when will the spammers start disguising their messages as jihadist cal to arms?

about two weeks ago
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An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

mbone Re:Doubters merely lack imagination (227 comments)

I would find such statements more convincing if I hadn't heard Marvin Minsky say almost exactly the same thing in 1975. And, yes, he was talking about all of this happening in the 1980's.

about two weeks ago
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An Open Letter To Everyone Tricked Into Fearing AI

mbone Something is blatant here (227 comments)

The problem isn't the machines, it's the people running the machines (and the people controlling those people). Journalists, willfully ignorant or otherwise, are so far down on the list they don't really matter.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

mbone Welcome to the real world (290 comments)

So, Bitcoin wil be subject to volatility, like every other currency and precious metal in history, and that will cause troubles for the people who actually extract the stuff. Who (aside from anyone in the mining business) knew?

about two weeks ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

mbone Jury of your peers (303 comments)

Maybe, in cases like this, the notion of a "jury of your peers" should be extended to include technical competence. In other words, instead of asking the prospective jurors about their views on the death penalty, they could ask about their knowledge of DNS or BGP.

about two weeks ago
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US Government Lurked On Silk Road For Over a Year

mbone No Surprise (129 comments)

Anyone who is surprised by this is an idiot.

about two weeks ago
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Google Aims To Be Your Universal Translator

mbone Re:How much of this is the cloud? (122 comments)

I would assume both that 100% of it is in the cloud, and that to Google, that is a feature, not a bug.

about two weeks ago
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Google Aims To Be Your Universal Translator

mbone Value Subtracting (122 comments)

Unless and until Google starts to hire actual translators and pay them actual money, this is value subtracting and will suck income out of the very translators it depends on. If we are really unlucky, it will be an unsustainable parasitism, driving translators out of work and actually reducing the ability of the world to deal with multiple languages.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 30-Day Deadline For Disclosing Security Breaches

mbone Good (125 comments)

Sounds like a good idea. Now, let's get the NSA and FBI to fill one of these out.

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

mbone Re:Uninterested people aren't worth it (480 comments)

Bingo!

The assumption that low voter turnout is a bad thing always puzzles me, as it seems to suggest that it is better to have a larger number of uninformed people voting... rather than a smaller # of people who can at least be bothered to get up off their arse and do something.

The actual experience shows that the lower the turnout, the more likely the electorate is to do something stupid.

about two weeks ago
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'Silk Road Reloaded' Launches On a Network More Secret Than Tor

mbone Secret? (155 comments)

If we are discussing it on Slashdot, it's not secret.

about two weeks ago
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NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

mbone Re:Not all of his ashes.. (108 comments)

That weight would have gone to Pluto anyway; the ashes (plus the coin) were used as counterweights, for trim.

about three weeks ago
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NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

mbone Re:Just a flyby... (108 comments)

It would be more than slight :)

On the other hand, if there are any unknown tiny moons of Pluto, he might get interred on one of those.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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The first private Lunar mission.

mbone mbone writes  |  about 3 months ago

mbone (558574) writes "The Daily Beast reports that China is moving ahead with its lunar sample return mission (which will place it in a very exclusive club; only the USA, Russia and Japan have returned samples from celestial bodies) with the Chang’e 5-T1 lunar orbiter, but they also have another first, the first lunar get-away special, which has given a Luxembourg company LuxSpace its own first (sorry Google X Prize): the first private Lunar Mission, the " Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M)."

Now, the 4M is not much of a spacecraft, just a transmitter at 145.980 MHz with the handle JT65B for hams to communicate with (it's not clear from the article if this is a transponder, or just send only), together with a radiation dosimeter, but you can bet that this is not just the first private Moon mission — there will be more."

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Mars (One) Needs Payloads

mbone mbone writes  |  about 7 months ago

mbone (558574) writes "Mars One has announced that their first, unmanned, lander, targeted for 2018, needs payloads. Along with their 4 experiments, and a University experiment, they have two payloads for hire :

Mars One offers two payload opportunities for paying mission contributors. Proposals can take the form of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations, marketing and publicity campaigns, or any other suggested payload. “Previously, the only payloads that have landed on Mars are those which NASA has selected,” said Bas Lansdorp, “We want to open up the opportunity to the entire world to participate in our mission to Mars by sending a certain payload to the surface of Mars.”

The formal Request for Proposals for all of this is out now as well."
Link to Original Source

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A Lunar Space Elevator in our (near) Future?

mbone mbone writes  |  about a year ago

mbone (558574) writes "After the IAA sponsored a study on the terrestrial space elevator which concluded that it should be possible to build one, in 30 years or so, if that pesky unobtanium for the tether material can be actually invented in that time, now is the time for some press on the Lunar Space Elevator, which has the advantage that existing tether materials (such as Zylon) are strong enough to support it.

A Lunar Space Elevator would be the biggest structure ever made in much the same way as the Great Wall of China is bigger than a kiddie sandbox. The current prototype design (scaled for a deployment in a single SLS launch) would involve 270,000+ km of tether material, stretching from Sinus Medii, past the Lagrange point, deep into cis-lunar space. With all of that string, the prototype payload mass is only 128 kg, but you have to start somewhere, and it could be (and, if it works, would be) built up over time.

The goal is to open the Moon up to mining. Let the games begin!"

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Server Sky - internet and computation in orbit

mbone mbone writes  |  about a year and a half ago

mbone (558574) writes "Even if SpaceX and other companies can drastically lower the cost of going to orbit, what are we going to do once we get there? Since the 1970's, NASA has been searching for commercial applications for space, such as making crystals or medicines in zero-gravity, but, except for communications and navigation, space as yet barely figures into commerce, largely because it is expensive to send materials there, and expensive to send finished products back. Now there is Server Sky, which is trying to build on the realization that information is the cheapest product to send to and from space, and that "traditional data centers consume almost 3% of US electrical power, and this fraction is growing rapidly. Server arrays in orbit can grow to virtually unlimited computation power, communicate with the whole world, pay for themselves with electricity savings, and greatly reduce pollution and resource usage in the biosphere." What do slashdotters (who tend to be interested in computation) think? Is there money to be made in putting the cloud above the clouds?"
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Violation of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "A very interesting paper has just hit the streets (or, at least, Physics Review Letters) about the Heisenberg uncertainty relationship as it was originally formulated about measurements. They find that they can exceed the uncertainty limit in measurements (although the uncertainty limit in quantum states is still followed, so the foundations of quantum mechanics still appear to be sound.) This is really an attack on quantum entanglement (the correlations imposed between two related particles), and so may have immediate applications in cracking quantum cryptography systems. It may also be easier to read quantum communications without being detected than people originally thought."
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US Government loses confidence in ICANN

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The "no cost" contract between the US Department of Commerce and ICANN over hosting the Internet Assigned Names and Number Authority (IANA) was supposed to be re-let this March. Now, it has been withdrawn, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says that "we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community." This is a pretty stunning vote of no confidence in ICANN by the US Government, on the eve of the 43rd ICANN meeting in Costa Rica. Speculation is that this is related to the attempts of the ITU-T to take over Internet governance, but it also could be over the new Global top level domains. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about this in the weeks to come."
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Why did the Government cancel the IANA RFP?

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Friday afternoon (a classic time to bury bad news), the Department of Commerce put out a laconic cancelation of the zero dollar RFP for IANA, the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority : AMENDMENT 0003 — Request for Proposal (RFP) SA1301-12-RP-IANA is hereby cancelled. The Department of Commerce intends to reissue the RFP at a future date, date to be determined (TBD). This contract may be for zero dollars, but it is a crucial one for the Internet, as it ties IANA, and thus ICANN, the global root for DNS, and such matters as the new global top level domains, to the US Government. Anyone have any idea what is up?"
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That's it for IPv4 - it had a good run

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The last regular Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address assignment, a /8, has been handed out, by IANA to APNIC, which will trigger the final distribution of IPv4 space to all of the Registries. So, February 1, 2011, marks the end of business as usual for IPv4. The future holds (hopefully) the wholesale adoption of IPv6 and (probably) a market in IPv4 address space."
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Wikileaks looses its DNS

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The DNS provider for wikileaks.org, EveryDNS, has booted it off and the site is no longer reachable by name. EveryDNS say on their main web site EveryDNS.net provided domain name system (DNS) services to the wikileaks.org domain name until 10PM EST, December 2, 2010, when such services were terminated. As with other users of the EveryDNS.net network, this service was provided for free. The termination of services was effected pursuant to, and in accordance with, the EveryDNS.net Acceptable Use Policy. I guess that being DOSed is not part of the AUP. http://www.wikileaks.info/ has a list of mirror sites, some of which no longer work, due to wikileak's loss of Amazon.com EC2 hosting."
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Domain Seizures no Hoax

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Despite some suspicion, including on slashdot, the seizure of the file linking site rapgodfathers.com and various torrent sites are apparently real, as Eric Holder is having a press conference and has issued a press release touting the seizure of sites "engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works."

Among other things, this shows that the DOJ is using both Google Analytics and Piwik Open Source Web Analytics, as there is analytic javascript for both in the index.html on the banned sites. And, based on look at the jpeg used, at least some of the ICE use Macs, as the take-down jpeg was prepared with Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Macintosh on 2010:11:18 09:37:21"

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Customs and TSA Raid RapGodFathers Hosting Site

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The Torrentfreak site is reporting that DHS and ICE (i.e., Customs) agents arrived at a Dallas datacenter Tuesday with orders to take down the 146,500 member RapGodFathers site (RGF). Equipment was seized, and they report that their domain name is being blocked and is likely to be taken as well. The RGF admins say that the site has no content itself, just links to other sites, and that they always respect DMCA takedown notices. RGF reports on their twitter account (@rapgodfather) that they are looking for "for more offshore hosting to support RapGodFathers."

If the facts are as reported, there are a number of troubling issues about this, not the least of which is why US Customs troubles itself with link-sharing sites in Dallas, far from any US borders."

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Robots in space

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "The crew for this Wednesday's Space Shuttle launch includes a robot bound for the ISS — Robonaut 2, or R2, "the first dexterous humanoid robot in space." For now, it will be deployed on a fixed pedestal inside the station, but the plans include giving it mobility (not that hard in micro-gravity) and taking it outside to help with space walks. Now, the New York Times has an article about "Project M," sending a humanoid robot to the Moon — which at least has its own NASA promotional video.

Is our form really the best there is for space exploration ? Should our robotic explorers look like us, or like the Mars Rovers ?"

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Hands on Airport Searches

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "As it happens I was talking to a TSA person socially today and they brought up their new "aggressive" policy for pat down searches. Now I see it has made the Boston Herald. It will be done for any secondary screening, or if you opt out of the X-ray machines.

They are supposed to feel under a woman's breast and under a man's genitals, and also to feel the separation in a woman's genitals, and likewise into one's bottom. They are apparently not very happy about having to do this, but have been trained on the new technique and will be given performance review demerits if they don't perform properly. (Maybe the TSA will send ringers through security to evaluate performance, I didn't think to ask.)

I have to wonder if it is to convince people to go through the backscatter X-rays now that it is becoming widely known that you can opt out of that. I have a feeling that this will cause a major push-back from the traveling public."

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20 meter tsunami in New York after asteroid hit

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "According to an article in LiveScience, an 200 meter diameter asteroid impact in the Atlantic 2300 years ago may have caused a 20 m (60ft) high tsunami to hit what's now NYC. They have found 30 cm of disturbed sediments in the NYC area with shocked minerals, which is generally regarded as conclusive evidence for a meteor impact. They go on to speculate that 'One possible reason why Indian tribes only moved into the area relatively recently is that the people who were once there were all wiped out'. Of course, it would not be a pretty picture if this were repeated in the same area today."
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In Court ? Be careful what you post on Facebook.

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Going to Court ? Seeking damages for injuries ? Be careful what you post on Facebook (and, presumably, elsewhere). ! In the first case of its kind (analyzed in the Courtroom strategy blog, a Suffolk County NY Judge allowed a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit to obtain access to the Facebook profile of the plaintiff suing them, saying "Plaintiff has no legitimate reasonable expectation of privacy." You have been warned. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I would expect this to become common."
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Facebook has issues, goes down for some users

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Apparently Facebook is having issues, and is intermittently and maybe regionally down. The Wall Street Journal DIgits blogs says that they are having “an issue with a third-party network provider." but it may be more than that. From Northern Virginia, it is possible to pingFacebook servers, but the server throws a "500 Internal Server Error" if you try and conect via http."
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Google is testing Airborne Camera Drones

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "According to the German language site WirtschaftsWoche (an English version is available from the IBTimes) Google has purchased a German "Microdrone" for evaluation. These devices can take off, fly a mission and land automatically using GPS, and can carry night vision cameras or even "see through walls" Far IR cameras. Of course, the maker of these drone assures us that they cannot be a "Big Brother der Lufte" because that is "verboten."

Is it just me, or is Google entering into dangerous airspace here ? It seems like the ruckus from a backyard-after-dark addition to Street View could make the legal tussles Google has already encountered with the driving vans seem minor by comparison."

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NIAC is Back !

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Do you have an idea on how to do space travel right ? Think it could pass peer review ? Well, the NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program) is back ! In a two day "Industry Forum," the new NASA Chief Technologist, Bobby Braun, described an ambitious new program of NASA initiatives to encourage new thinking and new ideas, including funding for "Game Changing Technologies, and the new NIAC. These new initiatives are explicitly modeled on DARPA, and are an attempt to "push the reset button" on an increasingly hide-bound bureaucracy. I attended the forum, and the reaction from non-NASA participants I talked to was overwhelmingly positive. They also announced 3 new Centennial Challenges. The Centennial Challenges are an X-Prize like program with a total of $ 5 million in new awards, for a successful nanosatellite launch system, an solar-powered electric vehicle capable of night-time operations, and a sample-return robot capable of autonomously retrieving geological samples.

In many ways, NIAC is the most interesting of the new initiatives, as it is specifically intended to deal with blue-sky, just this side of science fiction ideas with a 10+ year development horizon. Selected ideas will get $ 100K for the first year, and can ramp up after that (up to and including flights into space). Space elevators, nuclear propulsion, truly autonomous robots, even things like the search for alien life in the deep biosphere, could be funded if they seem interesting and pass review. (The previous NIAC provided the first serious funding for the space elevator, for example.) Jay Falker, the Program Manager, made it clear that they were not looking for just proposals from established names and big companies, but would welcome participation from all (although only US citizens or companies can get funding). So, there you go slashdotters ! If you have an idea, the technical savvy to back it up, and can wait for the announcement of opportunity (thought to be around October 1), then you have a chance at getting NASA funding to back it up."

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Hayabusa returns particles from asteroid

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "Slashdot readers may remember the long odyssey of the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft — and the recent Slashdot article entitled "No Samples On Japan's Hayabusa Asteroid Probe."

Well, the BBC now has a story, "Hayabusa capsule particles may be from asteroid." Apparently JAXA (the Japanese Space Agency) has opened the sample container returned to Earth by Hayabusa, and has released "images of tiny dust particles inside the container."

You will note that I titled this story carefully — Hayabusa has now returned particles from the asteroid. Whether they are asteroid particles or pieces of dust brought all the way from Earth remains to be seen, but they were certainly returned from the asteroid — a remarkable technical feat. This announcement, I think, gives considerable hope that these particles are from the near-Earth asteroid, Itokawa, as the Japanese have been very careful in trying to avoid contamination. Even a tiny speck of dust would be very revealing about the asteroid's constitution and possibly its history as well. Kudos to JAXA for a job well done."

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Federal Authorities Shut Down 7 Movie Sharing Webs

mbone mbone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mbone (558574) writes "There is an article in NJ Today on a announcement by the United States Attorney and Homeland Security about the seizure of the domain names of seven sites: TVSHACK.NET, MOVIES-LINKS.TV, FILESPUMP.COM, NOW-MOVIES.COM, PLANETMOVIEZ.COM, THEPIRATECITY.ORG, and ZML.COM, for violations of federal criminal copyright infringement laws. The announcement said that these high volume web sites offered copies of movies such as “The Karate Kid,” “Toy Story 3 and “Sex and The City 2.” ZML.COM, is a “cyberlocker,” the latest target for the MPAA's ire.

Search warrants were also executed on the servers involved with these sites.

So, was this an out and out criminal enterprise, or a bunch of hobbyists ? Or something in between ? I bet the slashdot audience knows."

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