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[P]
Forget DMCA, the new nemesis 'SSSCA'

By Aztech in Internet
Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 08:24:47 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

From a Wired article:

Music and record industry lobbyists are quietly readying an all-out assault on Congress this fall in hopes of dramatically rewriting copyright laws.

The Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA), scheduled to be introduced by Hollings, backs up this requirement with teeth: It would be a civil offense to create or sell any kind of computer equipment that "does not include and utilize certified security technologies" approved by the federal government.


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From that same Wired article:
It also creates new federal felonies, punishable by five years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. Anyone who distributes copyrighted material with "security measures" disabled or has a network-attached computer that disables copy protection is covered.
The SSSCA and existing law work hand in hand to steer the market toward using only computer systems where copy protection is enabled. First, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act created the legal framework that punished people who bypassed copy protection -- and now, the SSSCA is intended to compel Americans to buy only systems with copy protection on by default.
Politics has always been about lobby groups, pressure groups, special interest groups, but it seems we truly have a complete take over of the legislative process spearheaded by Hollywood pressure, for the second time, it's too easy to draw parallels the DMCA which passed very quietly in 1998 without much fanfare, three years on we're just starting to feel the true magnitude of those consequences.

Now they're at it again, not just in the USA either, as Jon Johansen found out in 1999 after he cracked the CSS protection scheme on DVD's the DMCA knew no borders, and the proposed European Copyright Directive (EUCD) will enshrine a DMCA into European domestic law.

I believe this also puts the SDMI challenge in context, their ulterior motives were nothing to do with watermarking schemes it was purely a political exercise. The SDMI most certainly knew all their technologies would be shot to pieces under peer review, but the ensuing situation was ripe for exploitation, they basically ran to Capitol Hill saying "these nasty hackers cannot be stopped, just look what they've done to us, we need tougher laws" but as always you cannot use the law to make up for bad technology or to make technology do the impossible, but evidently they most certainly try.

Obviously computers and the Internet in general are purely about information, as such information is processed indiscriminately, one of the great virtues of the net, but now the rules have to change, basically we're all thieves until proven otherwise, the public cannot be trusted with any device without copy protection, trust us, it's for your own protection!

Copyright was an important element for innovation, however the penalties of these new acts have totally lost context of society itself and only exist to aid entrenched cartels. When it comes with copyright v. liberties, a 200 year old invention meant to foster innovation since manipulated beyond all recognition or our hard fought for liberties dating back at least a millennia, I know which one I choose.

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Display: Sort:
Forget DMCA, the new nemesis 'SSSCA' | 130 comments (119 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
Mistake (3.33 / 12) (#1)
by sigwinch on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 01:12:38 AM EST

Now they're at it again, not just in the USA either, as Jon Johansen found out in 1999 after he cracked the CSS protection scheme on DVD's...
He did not. He just publicized work done by others.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.

Re: Mistake (4.28 / 7) (#3)
by Aztech on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 01:18:19 AM EST

I took the reference from 'A brief history of DeCSS'. Quote :-
"In late 1999, a program known as "DeCSS" appeared on an Internet mailing list. Among its authors was 16 year-old Jon Johansen of Norway,"
He did indeed publish the details, which is exactly why his home was raided, but he was also a contributor to the code.

[ Parent ]
What? (2.50 / 2) (#60)
by Rk on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:14:44 PM EST

Norway has a DMCA too? Can anybody provide me with a list of countries with DMCAish legislation?

[ Parent ]
It's a WIPO Thing... (4.50 / 2) (#79)
by Lord INSERT NAME HERE on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:42:57 AM EST

The DMCA was originally a World Intelelctual Property Organisation treaty, so it's not just the US who have the DMCA. The EUCD, a European Union directive, was just passed, meaning that all member states have to produce DMCA-esque legislation within a reasonable timeframe or face prosecution from the European Commission. Similar moves are afoot in Canada. I'm afraid I don't have a complete list to hand, but basically you can expect any country in the WIPO to be implementing somethign similar fairly soon...
--
Comics are good. Read mine. That's an order.
[ Parent ]
What? (1.00 / 6) (#61)
by Rk on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:15:10 PM EST

Norway has a DMCA too?

Can anybody provide me with a list of countries with DMCAish legislation?

[ Parent ]
Seriously (2.33 / 15) (#8)
by cunt on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 05:55:26 AM EST

There is no need to forget the DMCA. You should be able to remember more than one law at a time.

For the record, I am pro-plagiarism. Blatent theft is both fun and profitable!

Truly frightening. (4.69 / 13) (#11)
by Dlugar on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 11:50:53 AM EST

You don't even have to look to find bad stuff in this sucker! Check out the very first sentence:

(a) In General -- It is unlawful to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any interactive digital device that does not include and utilize certified security technologies that adhere to the security system standards adopted under section 104.

And what, exactly, are the security system standards in section 104? SDMI? Other copy prevention schemes? Who knows!

Sec. 104: Adoption of Security System Standards
[Summary: The private sector has 12 months to agree on a standard, or the Secretary of Commerce will step in. Industry groups that can participate: "representatives of interactive digital device manufacturers and representatives of copyright owners." If industry can agree, the secretary will turn their standard into a regulation ...]

(The summary is from the bill, not my own creation.) Is that frightening or what? But heck, if the DMCA can pass ...

Dlugar



Scary law (4.73 / 15) (#13)
by John Milton on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 01:59:07 PM EST

The really scary thing about this is this part:

Under the SSSCA, industry groups have a year to agree on a security standard, or the Commerce Department will step in and decide on one. Sunshine laws would not apply to meetings held in conjunction with the law, and industry organizations would be immune from antitrust prosecution.

Translation:

The Copyright Industry gets one year to work out all the goodies they want, but nothing can stop them from adding juicy additions later. The fact that a few companies have a near monopoly on entertainment will be enshrined and law, and every anti-trust law our nation has developed will be reduced to a squirt gun.

Well fuck me gently with a chainsaw. I just don't see how this couldn't be a good thing for the consumers, right? It's like leaving a kid in a toystore with an unlimited credit card. Congress would have to be insane to ratify this. Oh, wait...we're screwed.

Slightly good news. The bill hasn't actually been submitted yet. It's been drafted. There's a good chance that a lot of negative publicity could kill it. If anyone wants to talk to the guy that suggested this piece of crap, he's right here. I warn you. There's a scary picture. He looks sort of like Nixon on a good day. He doesn't have an email address, but he does have a web form.

On a side note, I voted this down, because of the poorly attributed quote. Apparently, it's going to the frontpage despite the error. Could an editor please fix this to clarify the origin of that quote.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Hardball politics (4.14 / 7) (#16)
by Aztech on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 03:53:27 PM EST

This is the nature of congress, you submit a ridiculously over the top bill that has no reasonable chance of passing then it gets watered down then passed, so they start high and progress down for there. Obviously it's better for Hollywood if they water down a potent bill rather than a moderate one, it's much easier to gracefully allow 'concessions' on a hard-line bill than add more strength to a moderate one, which would leave you on the defensive. So as with the DMCA it wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it's still very potent.

[ Parent ]
"Fritzy" (4.50 / 6) (#18)
by Dlugar on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 05:39:32 PM EST

For some more information about Senator Ernest Fritz Hollings, feel free to visit opensecrets.org.

Some interesting tidbits:

  • $0 self-financing
  • Top three industries supporting him: Lawyers/Law Firms ($1.2mil), TV/Movies/Music ($.2mil), Lobbyists ($.1mil)
  • Top three contributors: AT&T ($35,610), FedEx Corp ($33,500), Time Warner ($33,500)

Dlugar



[ Parent ]
WOW (2.00 / 2) (#22)
by delmoi on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 08:36:15 PM EST

He really does look like nixon!
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Consumer vs citizen argument (3.80 / 5) (#42)
by Steeltoe on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:36:08 AM EST

Well, if you see yourself as a consumer you've already bought their argument. Myself, I consider myself a human being of planet earth, and then a citizen. I don't need corporations or governments (theoretically). It's the people that do the real work in society anyways.

Nice picture though. Some fangs would suit him nicely. Maybe they were photoshopped out? :-)

- Steeltoe
Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
Asking the right question (4.50 / 10) (#19)
by calibraxis on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 06:47:54 PM EST

I don't think we're asking the right questions. I think we should be asking "How to convert the millions of people who use Napster-like services into political influence?"

Somehow we need to get everything into position, so that any politician would find it an easy choice to stop working against the public! People have been feeling so powerless for too long.

Howbout some goddamn TV commercials! (3.25 / 4) (#20)
by Blarney on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 07:47:49 PM EST

Maybe some sort of scary thing where an adorable family is playing music on their computer, when all of a sudden jackbooted thugs break down their door, cuff them, and take them away. Then the message : TELL YOUR CONGRESSMAN TO VOTE NO ON THE SSSCA. KEEP FREEDOM ALIVE ON THE INTERNET AND IN AMERICA

Oh wait, I forgot that this will never happen. For those who still don't get the point:

ACTION = SPENDING $$$$ TO CHANGE PEOPLE'S MINDS.
COMMERCIALS FOR THE MASSES, BRIBES FOR THE POLITICIANS.
DISCUSSION IS GOOD, BUT DISCUSSION != ACTION



[ Parent ]

You know what I think... (4.00 / 4) (#21)
by calibraxis on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 08:23:29 PM EST

The problem keeps coming down to the fact that artists have a hard time making money to support themselves. If that's not true, then at least it's public perception.

The Beastie Boys' Grand Royal just closed down. They offered a lot of mp3s of some well known artists, but it just didn't work. The only reason I heard of them was because of the closing.

On one side is a small focused group working against the public, and that focus is what's making the tail wag the dog. If we can somehow break that barrier of artists not making money, then we can get the public focused.

[ Parent ]
Grand Royal (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by The Great Satan on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 10:24:26 PM EST

Can I have more information on that please? Was there a seperate internet division of the label that went under or did the whole thing go? Will the Beasties no longer be releasing their own material (cd's and such) under Grand Royal? Were they trying to charge for .mp3's?

BTW breaking that barrier of artists not making money has been one of my particular interests for the last couple of years. I've been trying to help a band (The Shizit, see the .sig) get better known but in the end I only managed to do some insert art for them. If you've got any ideas, I'd love to hear them.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Finding out their mistakes... (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by calibraxis on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 11:04:51 AM EST

Sorry I wasn't on last night. Here is the note in the Grand Royal message boards. The entire thing appears to have gone down; they're selling out all the inventory and folding it back to beastieboys.com.

I think their model was to sell through normal channels + online store, but use the website for hyping up mp3s of a few tracks. In Winamp, the mp3s opened up a web site, which was a little annoying but understandable.

I wish I knew what mistakes they made, and it would be really helpful if I emailed them and asked what they learned. On one hand, a business plan could be the mistake, or the execution, and maybe it was the execution.

[ Parent ]

at the drive-in (3.50 / 2) (#53)
by jacobito on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 01:57:54 PM EST

I had heard that what finally did them end was the fact that they sunk a ton of $$$ into "post-hardcore" band At the Drive-In, who then broke up, mid-tour

[ Parent ]
Goddamn TV commercials! (3.60 / 5) (#33)
by IriseLenoir on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 10:57:34 PM EST

And you think TimeWarner & co. are going to let you pass that on their TV?? Let me tell you a more resonable commercial. An 'adorable' hacker is pirating music on his computer, when all of a sudden, jackbooted Officers of the United States of America break down their door and send him to jail, where he belongs, since he posses a threat to inovation and other sacred American Values. Then the message: TELL YOUR FRIENDS THAT ENGAGING IN SUCH ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL ACTIVITIES WILL GET THEM THE SAME THREATEMENT. FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. (but that goes without saying, we always have your best interest in mind)

"ACTION = SPENDING $$$$ TO CHANGE PEOPLE'S MINDS."

Ah, I see I'm speaking to an educated Public Relations person. Keep up your good work, then!
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]

Didn't Apple run this one already? (3.50 / 2) (#78)
by epeus on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:13:12 AM EST

It just needs a new tagline. 'It's your music. Vote down the SSSCA. Dig it?'

[ Parent ]
Not even remotely possible. (3.10 / 10) (#23)
by delmoi on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 08:47:54 PM EST

There are thousands and thousands of devices out there already that are being sold. This bill would make them all illegal.

I mean, every game system currently available, every PC currently on the shelves. The ability to build PCs from pieces. Stereo systems... I mean what isn't an interactive computer These days?

The economic ruin caused by making 99% of all available 'interactive computers' illegal would be far greater then any losses in the entertainment industry.

Not that something like this might end up being put into law, such as any computer with the ability to have copyrighted material copied to it or something, with a 10 year transition period or something.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
Actually... (4.28 / 7) (#24)
by TheLaser on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:04:21 PM EST

There's an exemption in the draft for devices made before the potential bill becomes law.

Still, the amount of redesign and engineering requied to actually implement this sort of thing would be huge.

[ Parent ]
Well (4.00 / 4) (#25)
by Elendale on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:11:27 PM EST

I seriously doubt the folks who propsed something like this expect it to pass. What they want is for people to say "You can't do that! It would make everything illegal!" and then exempt current devices from the bill and say "Is that better? Ok, we'll pass that then." For the really cynical, you might suggest that the industry is trying to do this as PR: that they are (through the puppet government) introducing a bill which they will decry as destructive to the industry, only for it to get pushed through (and neutered) to make them look like they aren't really in charge... PH43R |\/|Y C0|\|5P1R4C135!

*ahem*

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Give it time (4.00 / 4) (#27)
by Aztech on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:26:45 PM EST

Given the short life span of anything related to the PC industry it would be a reasonable approximation to expect a critical mass of new devices within five years, everyone has to replace their PC sometime and obviously their idea is to ensure the new one you buy will incorporate all these nice copy protection features.

Also, I'm sure the Microsoft factor will come into it too, in other words if you want to watch any sort of music, film etc you need to have one of these copy protected devices or you miss out.

Most laws are there for the long-term, putting today's mle aside the content industries will be happy if everything is locked down with 10-20 years, then it's business as usual.

As with any new law, they aim high then give concessions so it seems less extreme, but I'm sure a Secure PC type scheme will still result.

[ Parent ]
More (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by Aztech on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:33:45 PM EST

I forgot to mention another element of 'shoving' consumers, basically they will build new platforms like DigitalTV, Digital Radio etc which will include copy protection as a given, then you cut off the old service within a reasonable timeframe and push everyone onto the new platform.

The copy protection system is what's holding up HDTV deployment and if you look at places that have digitaltv such as the UK, they plan on shutting down the analogue services by 2006. However the motives are different in the latter example, the government wants to sell of the spectrum off for a pretty penny.


[ Parent ]
Hate to do the cliche thing... (3.83 / 6) (#26)
by Elendale on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 09:18:51 PM EST

But is anyone else getting flashbacks to 1984 and telescreens? If there is a path to the telescreen: this is the first (or maybe second... DMCA means we can't tamper with them) step.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


They're here (3.00 / 2) (#89)
by equus707 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:28:46 AM EST

Telescreens are already here...'cept they're called webcams now.

[ Parent ]
ooh, ooh, conspiracy theory (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by Wah on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:39:49 AM EST

if anyone puts strange software on your computer that turns on your webcam, it would be illegal to find out how to turn it off. At least if they "encrypt" or "protect" it in any way. And if AOLTW succeeds in buying @home, I think all the pieces are in places. They just have to erase a few rights with new legislation, get the FBI to smash a few heads, and well, then we get a new version of that nasty future, which is so easy to use, no wonder it's #1.
--
Information wants to be free, wouldn't you? | Parent ]
Why does this matter? (4.00 / 10) (#29)
by Anon 20517 on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 10:21:14 PM EST

Seriously, how would I go about explaining this to my law abiding, Windows-using, non-geek friends and family? Any suggestions?

--Greg

One suggestion (4.50 / 4) (#40)
by squigly on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:23:12 AM EST

The only way this applies to the average person is if they want to copy something. Since everything a computer does is copy data, this is relevent. They would have to buy a new version of Windows, and possibly a whole new computer.

Possibly this might also affect digital video recorders. A TiVO is a piece of computer equipment under the hood. I'm sure most people are aware of this.

The final point is price. All new computer equipment that could be network connected will need a certificate. This will add to the cost, which will be passed 0on to the consumer.

[ Parent ]

Shouldn't Affect TiVo (3.25 / 4) (#43)
by ajschu on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 08:51:29 AM EST

Straight from the draft, section 103, paragraph (b):

PERSONAL TIME-SHIFTING COPIES CANNOT BE BLOCKED. -- No person may apply a security measure that uses a certified security technology to prevent a lawful recipient from making a personal copy for time-shifting purposes of programming at the time it is lawfully performed, on an over-the-air broadcast, non-premium cable channel, or non-premium satellite channel, by a television broadcast station (as defined in section 122(j)(5)(A) of title 17, United States Code), a cable system (as defined in section 111(f) of such title), or a satellite carrier (as defined in section 119(d)(6) of such title.)
So, it appears that this law would not affect TiVo when used for time-shifting. Of course, another law could be in the pipeline in an attempt to redefine "lawfully performed" time-shifting.

AJS



[ Parent ]
Question... (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 02:29:15 PM EST

... What qualifies as a "non-premium" channel? Will I still be able to time-shift stuff on HBO, TLC, or Discovery?



[ Parent ]

Time-shifting, what it is...and isn't (5.00 / 1) (#123)
by kmself on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:18:39 AM EST

Time shifting, in the most strict, literal, interpretation, means that you can take a performance at time A and view it at some later time B.

This doesn't have to include times C, D, and E. Eg: no multiple replays.

This doesn't have to include bypassing content. Eg: skipping commercials.

This doesn't have to include archival rights. Eg: no copies of the game for your friend, or Dad, who's in the hospital.

This law is so fucking bare-assed minimum where it addresses public rights, I'm surprised it doesn't have the Riech's stamp on it.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Possible explanations (4.75 / 4) (#46)
by substrate on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 09:24:36 AM EST

I don't think its possible to educate everybody on why this proposal is bad. For those who can be educated there is a selection of explanations that may help. What explanation is best depends on the target. The guy who religiously watches Monday Night Football, except for when his wife drags him to the mall is different than the mathematics professor.

1) Eventually everything will be a computer, and most things already are whether you know it or not. When you purchase a new TV or VCR in the future (to record your HDTV Football games) will have a computer within it. Unless a network explicitly allows it you will not be able to record the game you missed while being forced out square dancing with your wife. Even if you do record it you will only have a predetermined amount of time in which to watch it.

2) You and your kids both have computers. Eventually you will want to upgrade or install new software. Right now you probably share one copy between both computers. The proposal being put forth doesn't only make this illegal, it also means that your computer system will be required to have safeguards that prevents this. If your daughter is good with computers and knows how to get around this then they're breaking the law. Fines and/or jail may result.

3) Science and mathematics have progressed through disecting and expanding on the works of others. Even Einstein didn't start from a blank piece of paper. Cryptography is the study of encryption systems. It includes both mathematics (number theory, cryptography, statistics etc.) and engineering (coding theory, signals and systems etc). Systems which become part of a companies repetoire for content protection will then become illegal to further explore. Exploring them can be viewed as steps towards circumventing access control. You could be stiffly fined or even serve time in jail.

Not exhaustive, but this is how I've explained things to a few friends of mine who have more or less matched one of the categories.

[ Parent ]

For how long are you going to keep... (2.09 / 11) (#31)
by IriseLenoir on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 10:43:43 PM EST

bragging about your Constitutionally provided rights and how you are proud to be from the 'Land of the Free'. How long untill 'Americans' get the fact that their government is all but democratic, and that Corporates have all social and economic power? Untill you realise that if someone makes profit, it is on someone else's back and if under capitalism you need money to make profit, it can only lead to despotism? Are you going to wait having a chip plugged up your brain so 'they' know where you are 24/7 and can kill you with a sygnal from a satellite before saying, "uh, maybe we should have done something when we still could"?

You are not the cloths you were, you are not the content of your wallet. You are the all-signing all-dancing crap of the world.

Libertarian capitalism; an oxymoron.
Libertarian communism; our only hope.
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Wake up (1.00 / 2) (#41)
by karaV on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:24:18 AM EST

> Are you going to wait having a chip plugged up
> your brain so 'they' know where you are 24/7 and
> can kill you with a sygnal from a satellite

Dude, they can do that now.

[ Parent ]
Households own everything... (3.50 / 2) (#44)
by ScottBrady on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 08:59:07 AM EST

Corporates have all social and economic power
Wrong. Citizens own everything in a capitalist society, or more accurately households own everything. Who owns sole proprietorships? Households. Who owns partnerships? Households. Who owns corporations? Share holders which in turn are households.

The problem with America today is that corporations have too much power. I could never walk up to a Congressman and ask for legislation that provided welfare to small business, yet the publishing industry has done just that. They can go to Congress bitching and moaning about loosing money to dirty pirate hackers and offer to cut a nice fat check in exchange for legislation that sets up a system of welfare by turning all computing devices into authorized media players.

Any country that allows the DMCA to pass and is seriously considering passing the SSSCA has lost it's understanding of true freedom and liberty.

--
Scott Brady
"We didn't lie to you... the truth just changed."
YHBT. YHL. HAND.
[ Parent ]

But who owns the householders house? (4.00 / 3) (#58)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 04:14:19 PM EST

I think thats a pertinant question. If your assertian that citizens (or households) own everything is true then it means people own their own houses. Is that true? I dont think it is. Everyone I know either pays rent or a mortgage. The people who pay rent obviously dont own their own house and they have to work to keep on paying rent otherwise they end up homeless. The people who pay on their mortgage will own their house in 30yrs but in the meantime they have to carry on working to pay their mortgage or, again, end up homeless. Very few of them own shares, they cant afford them. Those that do dont own a significant share of any company.

Now, if hardly anyone I know owns a share in any company, who does? Whenever I watch the financial news I see all this talk of institutional investors. Pension funds, banks and their ilk. Their sole job seems to be passing money around to make more money. What do they actually do? Thats a serious question, I mean, do you seriously think that society can't function unless we have hoards of investment bankers and stock market traders in the city of London (or on Wall Street) to pass money around and otherwise make money from usury? So I get a job and take out a pension so when I get old I wont die of hypothermia or starvation, the pension company puts money into some company but I dont have any control over that company, the pension company does though. Do I have control over the pension company? Not likely, I'll go with whatever company offers me the best package whatever their ethical standpoint, the only alternative is to wind up at the end of my days without enough money to support myself.

So, getting back to the original question, who really owns everything in a capitalist society? It seems the city does. The city that gives us our loans so we can buy our houses, the city that takes our money to invest it where they see fit so that they can dispense it back to us at the end of our days. In short, its the capitalist upper classes that own everything in a capitalist society, the bourgeois. They control our money and they own our houses and they enshrine this power in their corporations. Trying to pretend that you somehow have control over a company just because some of your money somewhere is invested in it is, to be honest, a bit of a sham.

--
Nick
I still dont understand why people keep on trying to pretend that they are free. Maybe it makes them feel better. I dont know...

[ Parent ]

The local governments. (4.25 / 4) (#64)
by Happy Monkey on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 06:12:15 PM EST

Local and/or state governments own all houses within their borders. If you stop paying property tax, your home will be confiscated. This is effectively identical to a rental arrangement.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
Whatever happened to Orrin Hatch? (4.20 / 5) (#32)
by The Great Satan on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 10:45:00 PM EST

I thought the tide had been stemmed if not turned with the RIAA/Napster hearing. Wasn't there a little idea about compulsory licensing of RIAA copyrighted music:

"According to Potter, committee chairman Orrin Hatch said that if record companies and music publishers don't reasonably license their music and make it available in various file formats, they would consider legislation to force the companies to license their music to all comers."

Quote comes this Wired article.

Oh wait - Bush wasn't in office then, was he? W must have gotten Hatch back in line with the New Corporate Order.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
Rep. Rick Boucher, too. (3.66 / 3) (#34)
by The Great Satan on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 10:59:52 PM EST

Rep. Rick Boucher (D, Va.) was even attempting to get the DMCA amended.

Virginia's close enough to South Carolina that he ought to be able to go knock some sense into fellow Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
Whoa, slow down there... (none / 0) (#128)
by elefantstn on Thu Sep 27, 2001 at 04:12:35 PM EST

This kind of stuff takes time to get done, and there recently hasn't been a whole lot of extra time. First the protracted election mess, followed by belated appointment hearings, followed by budget/tax debates, followed by the recent tragedy - there hasn't been downtime for this sort of thing. I doubt Orrin Hatch has totally given up on it, it's just understandably a small worry right now.

And the W/new-corporate-order comment was just lame. Get over yourself. It makes no sense to think that this sort of legislation would have been fine by Clinton - the best friend the entertainment industry ever had - and not by Bush.



[ Parent ]
Copyright doesn't help me anyway. (3.50 / 6) (#35)
by The Great Satan on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 11:16:55 PM EST

As a visual artist, it's not like copyright protects me. How many times have you seen Giger's style ripped off? Can he sue for that? No. Lucas went to great lengths to protect the light sabre, but how many light sabre rip off's have you seen? About a billion. Verizon can copyright their logo, but copyright is practically useless to me. If anything it's a big negative as it creates a pretense for corporations to sue or otherwise intimidate if I come close to one of the gabillion things they've copyrighted over the last 100 years.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
Suggested ammunition (3.87 / 8) (#36)
by Pseudonym on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 11:25:57 PM EST

If you want to win the public over with this one, don't talk about copyright, concentrate on the cost. Note that whatever DRM system will be mandated under this bill will almost certainly be patented. Say this will add dollars to the cost of every computer you buy, every OS upgrade you buy, and that this money will go straight into the pockets of whoever it was who paid for the law.

You see, there are only two things that the public understands: money and sex. Every major political scandal in the western world is based on one or both of these. So don't talk "fair use", don't talk "rights" and don't talk "open source". Talk money.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
That sounds... (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by Lord INSERT NAME HERE on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 09:59:09 AM EST

Like a great way to win the battle whilst losing the war. If we can educate folks about fair use et al, the DMCA can be taken out too. The cost argument should be made along side the the rights argument, not to the exclusion of it.
--
Comics are good. Read mine. That's an order.
[ Parent ]
I think you're missing the point (3.66 / 3) (#73)
by Pseudonym on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 10:26:36 PM EST

The point is that the general public is simply not enthused about the DMCA. If we stress fair use, open source and so on, we'll get exactly the same response over the SSSCA.

For that matter, I think we should have initially stressed the money angle over the DMCA, too. The DVDCCA-studio cartel, region coding and so on all rip off consumers. We should have stressed this to consumers from the start.

Of course, now we have threatened university professors and falsely imprisoned programmers.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately (4.00 / 3) (#74)
by Lord INSERT NAME HERE on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 11:07:05 PM EST

There is a counter-claim. All the studios have to say is "piracy means we have to charge more for music, so this technology will make CDs cheaper" and we're back to square one.

Contrary to popular belief, the public aren't stupid, and their only interest isn't in money. Of course, I'm in Scotland, so I can't speak for the American public, but I can't imagine that things are *that* different.

Whether or not it's a "right", people *care* when they can't make a copy of a CD. Almost everyone I know under the age of 25 burns CDs all the time, whether it's for purposes of "piracy", or simply to make compilations of their favourite tracks, like they've been doing for years with cassette tapes. Even some older people do it; my mum springs to mind.

There's a tendency in geek circles to see all non-geeks as half-witted buffoons who do nothing but read the National Enquirer and watch football all day in their trailers. Well, that's just not true. Most people are fairly smart, certainly smart enough to grasp content-protection and why it's bad.

The problem is that most people don't have the time to understand complex techincal issues. I don't understand the offside rule in soccer, I don't know how to be a secretary or a trash collector or an economist or a lawyer or a million other things. I just don't have time. I understand technical things at (or close to; I'm in university, but I've worked for small computing companies before) a professional level, and a few other important things (politics, philosophy &c) at an educated-layman's level.

Most other people are the same, but focussed differently. A lawyer would understand law very well, but technology perhaps only slightly. There's nothing wrong with that. What we, as the informed section of the public, need to do is educate the rest of the public. The trick is mostly to stay away from jargon, and explain the most immediate negative effects.

For example, don't explain how content-protection does what it does, explain what it does. Don't mention encryption, say "Content protection stops you from copying music you've bought, even for personal use. It also stops you from playing your music on a different machine from the one you first played it on, or on any type of machine that the music comapny don't like." add "The DMCA makes it illegal for you to remove the content-protection, or to tell anyone else how to."

Next, if they're still listening, point out that this is an infringement of the right to freedom of speech; most people understand that pretty well, and understand the implications if we lose it. After that, you can maybe try explaining America's fair use laws if it seems like they're interested enough to want to hear about them. You don't always have to appeal to people's base instincts (ie greed) to get them to listen.

BTW, sorry Pseudonym, not all of that rant was really directed at you. A lot of it was at a certain elitist section of the community. But the point is still valid, I feel. People aren't as stupid as some might have you believe.
--
Comics are good. Read mine. That's an order.
[ Parent ]
Understood (4.25 / 4) (#77)
by Pseudonym on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:39:10 AM EST

I realised you weren't ranting at me. :-)

BTW, I (as an Australian) can't speak for the American public either.

My original point was an oversimplification. I was thinking of people my parents' age when I was thinking "money".

Actually, my mother is an interesting case. She's a music teacher, and she's noticed what she can do being slowly eroded over the years, with respect to photocopying, creating music compilations and so on for classroom use. I find it amazing that the point of view of schoolteachers hasn't come up on these forums before. (I've asked her to write a short piece on the state of music education wrt copyright, and I'll post it when she's done.)

Back on topic, while I agree that the public isn't stupid, they don't act and speak consistently on many topics. For example, I think that most people don't agree on "freedom", but most would agree on "fair play". Freedom of speech is good, but denying freedom to neo-nazis is "fair".

"Hackers" and "pirates" are "unfair". We desperately need to paint the corporations as "unfair" instead, which is why I suggested concentrating on money.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
OT - Mozart (3.50 / 2) (#84)
by Herring on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:16:59 AM EST

The copying of music for educational purposes is an interesting point (my mum's a music teacher as well).

The story which springs to my mind is that of a young WA Mozart who was taken to see a performance of some piece of music (can't remember what it was exactly). The Vatican (I think) regarded this piece as, in some way, special and didn't allow anyone outside to have a copy of the music. Anyhow, the long and short of it was that the young WAM heard it once, went home, and wrote it out note perfect from memory.

My question is, what would his legal position be is he did that now in the US?

Not a fair comparisson with modern "music" as you don't need to be a genius to work out both the notes in an average Britney number.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
That claim is a lie (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by kmself on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:10:53 AM EST

Unauthorized media production (commonly called "piracy") reduces prices. It's simple economics.

Unauthorized production is an alternative production operation competing with the authorized producer. The pirate faces only marginal costs of production, he has no fixed costs to amortize. He competes at lower cost. Lower production curve, more output at lower prices. Tell that to the masses and they'll love ya ;-)

I've discussed this at more length in the case of software here.

There is a downside: less total production, in some cases. However, this is highly dependent on other market characteristics, and it's quite likely that there would actually be a more diverse supply of music / writing / video in a market that didn't suffer the oppression of centralized control.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

I've got your money/sex angle right here. (2.50 / 2) (#68)
by The Great Satan on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 08:04:00 PM EST

NO MORE FREE PORN ON THE NET!!


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
I wrote on this earlier today. (3.80 / 5) (#37)
by Crashnbur on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 01:26:54 AM EST

I wrote about Hollings' proposal-to-be on my website before I had any idea that I could simply respond to you guys... I discussed a few previous Hollings and Stevens bills briefly, and I basically came to the conclusion that the SSSCA will never make it past the House.

Anyway, feel free to take a peak at what I wrote, if for no other reason than to find something to argue about. :)

crash.neotope.com


Clipper (2.80 / 5) (#38)
by jbond23 on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 02:04:02 AM EST

Reading the text, I can't decide if this is the hardware equivalent of the DMCA or another attempt to get Clipper in through the back door. Is it actually about mandating hardware security systems that have an NSA approved backdoor?

Well, Microsoft must be clicking their heels... (4.60 / 10) (#39)
by Kasreyn on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 02:21:00 AM EST

...because this bill will make an excellent Linux-Killer. Reread the GPL. Specifically the bits about requiring availability of source, and section 7. Those are totally incompatible with such legislation, and the terms of the GPL will not let you out of its requirements. Either Linux must be rereleased under a new license (perhaps an updated GPL? The FSF has yet to comment AFAIK), or it will be impossible to distribute it (under the GPL) without breaking this new law. Thus, your choices are 5 years in jail and 500,000 dollars, or not distributing Linux. Non-GPL'd OSS Linux clones and FreeBSD might not be hurt as badly.

I bet this explains those 687 comments over there about this. ;-P

(sigh)


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Why this will most likely go through because... (4.00 / 9) (#45)
by Dialup on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 09:19:42 AM EST

1. It concerns technology. Hence, the tech-savvy who know about it are nervous.

2. This is about 10% of the computer-using base. The rest of them play video games and promulgate Outlook viruses. They know bupkis about the guts of the box. Point of fact, a good friend of mine referes to the tower case as "the modem".

3. Your average person cares more about the WWF than the WWW. Hence, the number of citizens objecting to this will be proportionately less than if, say, they were pushing legislation to allow the construction of nuclear waste disposal faccilities in residential areas. (oh, wait....)

4. Money talks. The bastards pushing for this have most of it. Only one company has more, and their recent actions flat-out prove that they're thinking along similar lines.

5. And they'll give a smidge of it to anyone in the government that will get this passed.

6. Because development and implementation of this sort of system will Create Jobs and Be Good For The Economy (tm).

...and these days, being against the creation of jobs is worse than not being a Christian.

I will go on the record: I'll be absolutely, flat out, buy everyone in the bar a round of drinks FLABBERGASTED if this does NOT pass. The American government is simply far too corrupt and bent over the corporate knee to actually shoot it down.

We need Ninjas. Lots of Ninjas.

Ninjas? Yeah! Ninjas! (1.00 / 3) (#101)
by Duke Machesne on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:40:54 PM EST

Maybe we can get Ashida Kim to add the RIAA and MPAA to his shit list; with the Brotherhood on our side, how can we lose?

 

(shoutout to my boys in the memepool; word)

[ Parent ]

I say we strike (4.53 / 15) (#48)
by DJBongHit on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 10:50:45 AM EST

We need to organize and threaten a widespread IT strike should this thing pass. If they're gonna try to control what we can do with our computers this much, I say fuck 'em. Make them try to run their own computers for awhile. They'll come crawling back.

I'd rather take a big fucking pay cut and go back to flipping burgers than have to live under a law like this.

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Way to go! (2.33 / 3) (#81)
by locke baron on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:28:37 AM EST

Thank you, DJBongHit. You just said what I'm sure a lot of us are thinking (but are afraid to say). I'd take this a step further, and even resort to a little mischief if they still don't get the picture...


Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]
hmmm... (4.62 / 8) (#50)
by Ender Ryan on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 11:30:08 AM EST

Isn't copyright supposed to protect individuals like myself who produce copyrightable works? As a programmer, shouldn't copyright be to my benefit? What I don't understand, is how on earth did copyright get SO OUT OF WACK? The people in favor of such nonsense are businessmen, lawyers, and politicians, none of whom have EVER, EVER produced the works that are supposed to be protected by copyright.

I think we should all start passing out flyers, with colors and pretty pictures to keep people interested. I would be willing to carry them around with me at all times while out in public. I would create it myself, but I am a horrible writer when it comes to explaining things so they are simple. I could NEVER be a teacher.

However, I REALLY want to do this. If we all passed out a few hundred or thousand flyers, and the flyers would good enough to get 30% of the people to pay attention, maybe, just maybe it could make some kind of difference. Plus, it would be very simple and easy and we'd at least be doing something about this.

Is anyone with me on this? I don't believe we will accomplish anything acting as individuals, we need to all work together if we are serious about fighting this.

Please reply if you are interested, or if you have a better idea. Let's not just sit on our asses and let our freedom be whittled away.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


Difficult to educate the public (4.33 / 6) (#54)
by insect on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 02:13:34 PM EST

I find that it's not an easy thing to educate the public about things like this. Things like copyright law and intellectual property are second nature to geeks like us; we can read the law and immediately understand why it's a bad thing. Most people understand so little about IP that a flyer would have to be a small book to educate them to the point that they could understand.

I stood outside the capitol in Austin, TX protesting the DMCA and the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov. We would shout slogans like, Down with the DMCA or Free Dmitry!

When the occasional passer-by would ask for more information, we tried, often in vain, to explain, "A Russian programmer... Circumvention device... DMCA... Encryption... Ebook.."

By the time we were done with our explanations, we had often fully alienated the public, and assuring them that whatever we were talking about was to complicated for them and something they would not be interested in. Some of the flyers we passed out were excellent and obviously well thought out, but I think they still came off as too complicated or obscure to the average passer-by.

The corporations have a lot of money and high power, specialized lawyers on their side to fight for their cause. It's imperative that we find a way to educate the public of the travesties these companies are attempting, but how to make the general public care? I have no idea. It's no easy task.

[ Parent ]
Say it Loud (4.00 / 2) (#97)
by Duke Machesne on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:49:53 PM EST

and do not waste your voice trying to explain encryption circumvention devices!

Tell it to 'em straight: there's a guy in jail right now for giving a speech. Plain and simple. If they can put a guy in prison for giving a speech, the details of what he gave a speech about are fucking irrelevant. Tell them "be pissed off".

Same with this new bill: The bottom-line is simple. They want to be able to put you in jail for not buying their security hardware, and we don't think they should be able to do that. Get angry and the techno-babble melts away.

__________________________________________________
arts schoolsweight loss
[ Parent ]

The sky is falling! (3.33 / 6) (#51)
by rebelcool on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 12:46:09 PM EST

Folks, use some common sense here. The likelyhood of this bill passing is quite small. Just because it has been written means NOTHING. Thousands of bills are submitted each year. Most go nowhere. Just read the thing. If by some miracle it actually DOES pass, I give it 6 hours before a court will immediately suspend it.

It is unlawful to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any interactive digital device that does not include and utilize certified security technologies that adhere to the security system standards adopted under section 104.

The interactive digital device is defined as: "The term "interactive digital device" means "any machine, device, product, software, or technology, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine, device, product, software, or technology, that is designed, marketed or used for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, storing, retrieving, processing, performing, transmitting, receiving, or copying information in digital form."

So, basically anything which processes any kind of information - virtually any kind of device. This means that things like industrial controls will need security measures in them to prevent the copying of mp3's and what not. That is ridiculous. Most devices have nothing to do with copyrightable data of any kind. To put security controls on these is absurd. This is why this kind of law will never be passed.

Now untie your panties kids.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Um... (4.20 / 5) (#52)
by CrayDrygu on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 01:54:09 PM EST

Just because it has been written means NOTHING. Thousands of bills are submitted each year. Most go nowhere. Just read the thing. If by some miracle it actually DOES pass, I give it 6 hours before a court will immediately suspend it.

So is it just me, or weren't people saying the exact same thing about the DMCA?

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

[ Parent ]

not that I recall... (3.00 / 3) (#57)
by rebelcool on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 03:48:17 PM EST

then again, the dmca was passed before I had even heard of it.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

But you know about this one. (4.00 / 2) (#110)
by static on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:56:17 PM EST

So I'd say Wired were doing the right thing about this one, to ensure it was known about before it got anywhere near submission.

Wade.



[ Parent ]
If it doesn't pass... (3.75 / 4) (#59)
by dennis on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:06:09 PM EST

...it will be because lots of people freak out and raise a ruckus. Just because the bill as written doesn't really make sense, technologically, doesn't mean that copyright holders won't lobby for it, or that Congress won't pass it.

[ Parent ]
device manufacturers (3.00 / 3) (#62)
by rebelcool on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:52:17 PM EST

i imagine device manufacturers will be quite upset over it.

As carnage4life said earlier, i doubt it gets past the house.

In fact, id venture to say Wired was just looking to spark some controversy, as this bill isnt even INTRODUCED yet. What shoddy reporting.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Ink by the barrel (3.33 / 3) (#65)
by dennis on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 07:27:22 PM EST

i imagine device manufacturers will be quite upset over it

Wonderful. Do you suppose that device manufacturers, by themselves, have more political power than the media corps? There's no evidence of that so far. In addition, some device manufacturers, including IBM and Intel, have been working on new standards for hardware DRM, so certainly they wouldn't be all that upset by this law.

Media corps seem to have political influence far out of proportion to their size; file-sharing networks are a godsend to hardware and networking companies, which are a much bigger chunk of the economy than Hollywood. Nevertheless we have DMCA enforcement and the demise of Napster, because as Ben Franklin pointed out, it's hard to argue with people who "buy ink by the barrel."

[ Parent ]

heh... (3.40 / 5) (#66)
by rebelcool on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 07:47:12 PM EST

they both have very powerful lobbies. You think device manufacturing is limited to computers? Pull your head out of your ass.

Lets take a firm that manufactures cash registers. Those process data - lots of it. Of course none of the data they handle is copyrightable. Yet they'd still have to build that functionality in. That is wasteful. Will the cash register corporation stand for it? Of course not. And any court will look at the case and see that too.

Just because a bill becomes a law guarantees nothing. This is the reason for the judicial system.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

heh yourself (4.50 / 4) (#67)
by dennis on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 07:57:47 PM EST

Just because a bill becomes a law guarantees nothing. This is the reason for the judicial system.

Tell that to the Russian programmer cooling his heels in jail while the judicial system sorts things out.

Stand aside and let the big boys fight it out if you want. Personally I'll be putting my two cents in. Otherwise they might work out a deal that serves all their interests, but not mine.

[ Parent ]

It means a lot. (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by kvan on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 07:20:31 AM EST

Just because it has been written means NOTHING.

It most certainly does. These are two senators, and they are actively considering a law so horrific I can barely put it in words. The fact that it's even a bipartisan bill shows beyond any doubt that the corruption and utter disregard for citizens is wide spread in both parties.

If you're a US citizen, the mere fact that this has been written should send cold shivers down your spine, and in force.

I can't help but think that this kind of corrupt government disregarding the citizenry is exactly the reason why there is a second amendment to the US constitution... or at least why there used to be one. Would this kind of legislation even be considered if the government didn't have a de facto monopoly on force? I never thought I'd say this, but these days I think the second amendment was a lot smarter than faith in democracy ever was.

In fact, it's starting to look inevitable that someday, I will be forced to flee the West in order to live in freedom. Talk about things having changed in the last 15 years.


"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, most do." - Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
Anyone else... (4.00 / 2) (#56)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 03:03:59 PM EST

... getting a big "Access Denied" when you try to tell Senator Hollings what you think?



No Access Denied For Me... (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by Luminescent on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 08:28:33 PM EST

Though I'm running Windows (until i boot back to linux), using IE5... Perhaps they give that error to linux users, so they don't have to hear all the complaints we must be sending to him...

[ Parent ]
No, that can't be it... (3.50 / 2) (#72)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 09:48:08 PM EST

... my machine was running windows and IE5 (at least I don't think I was using Opera then) at the time too. Maybe they have a script watching for insinuations of being bribed that tosses those out. ;)



[ Parent ]

This will do so much for the ruling class... (3.40 / 5) (#63)
by epcraig on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 06:03:23 PM EST

You think it might be a good thing to install Linux on an "obsolete" computer so that you can help a newbie? Forget it. It'll be illegal, because the hardware is obsolete, and by definition, non-compliant.

Of course, Linux itself will be non-compliant, thus illegal.

No more unauthorised programming allowed. Never again a chance to learn how to program on an obsolte word processor. No more rags to riches software. It'll also keep the underclasses off the internet, because these madatory upgrades will be expensive.

Of course, this will be good for hardware companies, upgrades will be mandated by law, and necessarily quite profitable. No more obsolete hardware, or software, to compete with the state of the art, compliant offerings from the big corporations.
There is no EugeneFreeNet.org, there is an efn.org

Right to Read (3.00 / 4) (#80)
by locke baron on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:23:47 AM EST

This sounds a hell of a lot like the scenario described in the short story 'Right To Read'. (I can't remember the author... RMS, I think, but don't quote me on that).
No unauthorized programming, no unauthorized OS's, no debuggers... Owwwch. Uber-scary, to say the least.

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]
grrrrr (4.75 / 4) (#107)
by graveyhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:25:38 PM EST

Goddamnit RTFArticle!!!!!
Sec. 101: Prohibition of Certain Devices
(b) Exception -- Subsection (a) does not apply to the offer for sale or provision of, or other trafficking in, any previously-owned interactive digital device, if such device was legally manufactured or imported, and sold, prior to the effective date of regulations adopted under section 104 and not subsequently modified in violation of subsection (a) or 103(a).
This is the fourth time I've read garbage like yours today. THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO FORCE UPGRADES OR MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO OWN OLD EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURED BEFORE THE LAW PASSED. Traditionally these are know as ex-post facto laws (meaning after the fact). I think you have confused this with the recent MS license shenanigans.

[ Parent ]
What about my cyborg implants? (2.25 / 4) (#70)
by The Great Satan on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 08:38:40 PM EST

If this passes, doesn't that mean I'll have DRM software in my head one day?


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
Human DRM (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by Aztech on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 09:34:26 PM EST

If you're a relatively new release then this work is already in progress, however they're had some problems with contradictions in the kernel, it appears some children are doing the exact opposite after they've been programmed.

[ Parent ]
When will theses f*ckers learn (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by The Great Satan on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:01:27 PM EST

Thanks for the link to the Salon article. I love this line here:

According to the Patent Office's director of copyright, Anthony Murphy, a major proponent of the new program, understanding intellectual property carries important social value: "By bringing awareness of the importance of copyright into our schools, tomorrow's consumers can take their place in a community which understands, values and respects intellectual property."

It just goes to show how delusional the ruling elite are and how little consideration or respect they have for the common man.


Check out my comic at www.shizit.net/alpha. Or take care of your post hardcore music needs at www.shizit.net. Or ignore this lame self-promotional spam.
[ Parent ]
No joke! (4.00 / 3) (#82)
by jonabbey on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:33:34 AM EST

It's no joke. This sort of law only makes sense if it is complete and comprehensive. If we ever develop technology that will give us any rough approximation to telepathy (even "just" sensorimotor, optic, and audio taps), this sort of thing would have to be there, or the whole game is lost for the folks supporting the DMCA and the SSSCA.

These laws are being driven by NAPSTER, P2P, DiVX, and the Internet itself. Hollywood will not give up the ability to make money off of selling movies, nor will the record industry sit still for the current P2P games for any longer than they must. The challenge is that if something like the SSSCA is not adopted, industry and society will have to really radically change. People talk about how the RIAA could have avoided the whole napster problem by providing music at low cost, but how low could RIAA go and not be undercut by people doing what comes naturally with an openly programmable Internet?

In the absence of something like the SSSCA, it seems that the only alternative left would be an acceptance of the sort of gift economy that open source flourishes in. That's too radical a shift for the Corporate Content Masters to abide, whether they be Universal/Vivendi or Microsoft. For that reason, I don't imagine we're going to see Microsoft fighting this very hard, even though it would effectively outlaw the PC As We Know It.

-- Jon



Ganymede, a GPL'ed metadirectory for UNIX and friends.
[ Parent ]
Bring Down DMCA/SSSCA? Simple... (3.80 / 10) (#75)
by datian1972 on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 11:43:54 PM EST

Writing letters will get no one anywhere. Educating the general public about tech issues is pretty much a lost cause, because they think they don't have to care, that it doesn't affect them; therefore, anything we say goes in one ear and out the other.

The answer to all these problems is simple, when you think about it. When I do, it astonishes me that techies everywhere can be so blind to it. Everyone here, on Slashdot, and every other web forum talks about how powerless they feel, but it's quite obvious to me that few groups of people in history have had more power to make their feelings known and listened to.

I'm going to state an obvious fact here, but as its implications don't seem to have sunk in, or people have pooh-poohed it, it bears repeating: Computers run everything now. They run banks, stock markets, airline reservation systems, credit card companies, grocery stores, and on and on and on. If the computers don't run, the economy doesn't run. And who runs the computers? We do. Lock out all users, kill all processes, and come down with a terrible headache and let all the record executives, lawyers, and errant congressmen scramble.

Imagine how quickly and earnestly policy makers will endeavor to understand the error of their ways when millions of ordinary constituents call up angry because their credit cards were rejected at the Gap.

Yes, it's a strong measure. But it would be utterly effective. Yes, they'd probably yell at us. But what could they do about it? Pick up an O'Reilly book and figure it out? Don't think so...

So the answer to all this mess is simple. You just gotta ask yourself how much your rights mean to you. Are you willing to practice a little civil disobedience at very little risk to yourselves to gain government's total attention? Are you willing to stay home from work for a day or a week and change the course of history?

It may not be time for it just yet, but seems to me the time to put up or shut up is quite near...

While your idea is for a noble cause... (4.60 / 5) (#85)
by Afty on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:58:33 AM EST

Your advice is terrible, and dangerous:

"You just gotta ask yourself how much your rights mean to you. Are you willing to practice a little civil disobedience at very little risk to yourselves to gain government's total attention?"

How very little is the risk involved in carrying out an action on a credit card control facility, or on a major bank or financial institution. It would represent an act of industrial espionage, in addition to breaking any number of clauses in a persons contract. It would probably get a person fired, made unemployable from that point forth except for unskilled work, and make them liable for an unpayable fine and hefty amount of jail time.

I would love to fight the DMCA and it's European equivalent, and the globalisation of laws etc. (I'm in the UK) but TBH, I think it's truly too late, and I think that not enough people do, or ever will, give a flying shit about their freedoms, as long as they have the little things in life.

And you know what? Sometimes I ask myself this question:

Freedom or Contentment?

[ Parent ]
Doing Nothing is More Terrible and Dangerous (3.50 / 4) (#91)
by datian1972 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 08:46:07 AM EST

So going on strike is industrial sabotage (you meant sabotage, I assume)? If UPS workers can go on strike and shut down shipping for a month, why can't we? Why is that substantially different from what I'm talking about? In the UPS workers' case, the government rushed in to help resolve the issue. If I.T. workers did the same you'd better believe you'd finally get quality time with policymakers.

People might get fired? Well, some might. But that's the risk anyone standing up for their rights has to run. Do you think Rosa Parks thought the governor of Alabama would hand her a medal and invite her in for tea? No, she was just fed up with a government that treated her like a second class citizen.

Besides, there's such a thing as amnesty, and strikers often demand it as a condition for ending a strike. But even if there were no amnesty, and they threw all of us into jail or just blackballed us, who would get the computers running again?

Yeah, this advice is terrible and dangerous. But seems to me just sitting around and bitching is advice that's even more terrible and dangerous.

[ Parent ]

Reason to 'strike' (3.66 / 3) (#92)
by Afty on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:14:16 AM EST

I have yet to hear of a group of people strike about a law about to be passed which (in the public, and the governing bodies perception) does not affect them.

People will not understand why something to do with protecting a DVD from being copied has anything to do with your job as a security consultant for an online bank / crypto firm.

Because of this any 'strike' will happen haphazardly and will be crushed under the giant jackboot of corporate pressure.

As for who will get the computers back running again? Well, why should anyone have to. Going on strike means doing no work, it does not mean you can deliberately interfere with the systems of your organisation. Should a crash or similar happen, then you can't be held responsible, but I'm fairly sure you could be prosecuted if you turned the servers off then refused to turn them on again.

As for who would maintain them? The contractors, who don't actually care too much about the DMCA, and put their rates up by several hundred dollars an hour to take advantage of the situation. Despite what alot of people say in the industry, maintaing a good computer network involves little more than a pinch of common sense, and alot of book reading, much of which can be done on the fly. Yes, some IT people have 'hard' jobs that are challenging but 90% of the people I know in IT find their jobs easy, and it's my opinion that a good 1/6 of people (mainly male because of the engineering-task orientation the male brain picks up when young) could pick it up given the incentive (a move from $40k in accounts to $80k in IT with free training is a likely incentive.)

Any strike of this type will do more harm than good to the people involved. It's a shame, but I genuinely don't think we can do anything at all to stop this sort of thing. Groups of people, usually in powerful positions, have spent decades throughout generations working out how to maintain their wealth and ensure it is safely passed onto their children. They are getting better and better at manipulating the average person to make them believe that this is a good thing, while the average person does not get any better at comprehending the motives behind who tells them what and/or checking the facts.

Quite simply, we're heading for dark times (at least compared to what they *could* be) as the accumulation of power (not necessarily wealth) by the few continues at the expense of the freedoms of the many. I used to shout, rant, rave, but now I think I'll just bury my head in the sand, and do my best to ensure my family, friends and I have a happy life, because I honestly don't believe anything significant can be done.



[ Parent ]
Re: Doing Nothing is More Terrible and Dangerous (4.00 / 2) (#106)
by graveyhead on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:16:10 PM EST

Do you think Rosa Parks thought the governor of Alabama would hand her a medal and invite her in for tea? No, she was just fed up with a government that treated her like a second class citizen.
You are wrong about this. She didn't stand up for any ideals. She was just tired after a long day at work and didn't want to walk all the way to the back of the bus. There was nothing political about it at all. She became a sort of martyr when she was thrown in jail, because the community got itself up in arms. Sounds similar to Dimitry case, huh? The difference is that the unjust laws don't affect nearly as many people as in the previous case (at least not on the surface).

I actually agree with your first post, except for the following reservations that arise from the logistics of your plan.

a) How do you choose appropriate people for the walkout? The Peapod delivery guy who delivers my groceries would be good because it causes the company an immediate problem, but I can't see Joe College $5.50/hr going on strike. Also, I wouldn't trust that a delivery person has the ability to artiulate the problems with the awful legislation of late. The programmers who wrote and maintain peapod software are terrible candidates because the company could go months without their support. The system administrators are the ideal candidates for your walkout, but I don't have any idea on how receptive they really are to this kind of thing. I am sensitive to it because I write free software and do not want my rights taken away or restricted. Do these laws affect sysadmins as much as programmers/researchers, or are you just relying on the fact that they are all l33t kiddies who will participate in anything slightly anarchistic?

b) How do you choose the time for such an event? During this recession, many folks don't even have jobs to walk out of, and many others are scared to piss of their current employers for any reason (including their morals).

c) If everything is set up and 80% of participants chicken out at the last minute, that means the 20% with balls immediately lose their jobs. In short, you need to guarantee that a very large percentage of IT workers will strike at the same time. Is this really realistic?

All in all, I really like the idea. Let's show them who's really in charge :-) If you can overcome these problems (it's not really as simple as you hinted at) I'd be one of the first to jump on board.



[ Parent ]
Not espionage. (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by driftingwalrus on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:02:17 AM EST

It's not industrial espionage, it's civil disobedience. Industrial espionage is when an employee relays information he receives as part of his work to another company. Corporate version of spying.


"I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates
[ Parent ]
Ah... a windfall for me! (3.00 / 2) (#102)
by K5er 16877 on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:49:48 PM EST

And while you and all of the other techies decide to take down computers nation wide, a few brave, heartless scabs like me will make a killing fixing computers. In this economy, I welcome the job!

Seriously, do not underestimate the power of children to turn an idealistic man into a corporate slave.

Dave

[ Parent ]

Physical dismantlement. (2.50 / 2) (#115)
by driftingwalrus on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:57:53 PM EST

That's why you have to physically damage the hardware. Clip the ends off all the ethernet cables and wind them in a ball in the corner, for example. Takes maybe a half-hour to do, but weeks to undo.


"I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates
[ Parent ]
Online Petition to Oppose SSsca (3.75 / 4) (#76)
by quam on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:18:40 AM EST

If you also find the mere consideration of such legislation offensive, you may be interested in adding your signature to a petition for opposition of SSsca.

Perhaps this petition or the act adding a signature would have little impact. But, at midnight in front of my box, I feel there is some way I must spend even a spare minute to fight drafted legislation such as this. It is appalling how the U.S. and some other areas of the world are increasingly painting a picture much like Orwell's 1984.

-- U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
innovation (2.00 / 3) (#83)
by oohp on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:00:22 AM EST

These laws do not actually protect innovation, they rather prevent innovation and promote "bad" innovation such as weak encryption schemes. They prevent research papers from being published and what good is unpublished research if it dies with its author? It's going to be a hit for opensource as well. You won't be able to sell Linux/BSD unless approved by the federal gov't or so.

You are wrong (3.66 / 3) (#88)
by codemonkey_uk on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:37:37 AM EST

The (proposed) law, as it is drafted, does not prevent the publication of research papers, rather it controls production and/or sale of specific computer systems.

It might, on the other hand, affect Open Source software. But then, on the other hand, it might not.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

The DMCA wasn't supposed to affect research either (3.50 / 2) (#94)
by Trepalium on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:38:52 AM EST

But we all know of the story of the RIAA bullying Edward Felton when he wanted to introduce his finding on SDMI. I'll bet the only reason the RIAA backed down and reversed their position after the fact was that they realized that they could never win a court battle against honest educational researchers. Never underestimate the ability to abuse the purpose of the law by only enforcing the word of the law.

[ Parent ]
email / webform (4.00 / 2) (#86)
by codemonkey_uk on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:26:49 AM EST

FYI, next time you want to know the email address of someone who only has a webform contact, take a look at the HTML source code. In this case, the web form for Senator Fritz Hollings sends email to: qmail@hollings-cms.senate.gov
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
WTF? (2.00 / 1) (#87)
by codemonkey_uk on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:34:27 AM EST

I'm quite sure that I posted this comment as a reply to that comment. I blame scoop. Its been out to get me of late.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]
Spam as hactivism? (2.50 / 2) (#90)
by bionic on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 07:52:55 AM EST

I think we prettymuch all agree the corporate world has us over a barrel. Now when 'they' make the rules, don't expect to be able to play by the rules and win (that's why they're there - control).

One thing thats really surprises me about the internet is that for the first time in history, any idiot with a bit of knowledge and technology can send information to millions of people a day. Now what do people do with this amazing capacity?

Collect debt leads and flog b-grade porn sites.

Depressing isn't it.

I know its (at best) ethically dodgy to send a manifesto as unsolicitied email, but how else are you going to fight the likes of the DCMA and SSSCA? Stand on street corners handing out fliers? Write whiny posts on slashdot?

Just a thought :)

To educate the masses, use terms they understand: (4.71 / 7) (#93)
by Mephron on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:19:27 AM EST

THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WANTS TO FORCE YOU TO REPLACE:
  • YOUR TV SET
  • YOUR VCR
  • YOUR PLAYSTATION
  • YOUR RADIO
  • YOUR TAPE RECORDER

HOW? BY PASSING A LAW THAT MAKES IT ILLEGAL TO HAVE A VCR THAT RECORDS WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO RECORD! BY PASSING A LAW THAT WILL MAKE YOUR CABLE COMPANY NOT SEND THE SIGNALS TO YOUR TV UNLESS IT'S AN APPROVED TV! BY MAKING IT ILLEGAL TO MAKE YOUR OWN TAPE FOR YOUR CAR!!

WHY? BECAUSE THE RECORD COMPANIES AND THE MOVIE COMPANIES - WHO ARE MAKING MORE MONEY THAN EVER - WANT TO CHARGE YOU MORE FOR THEM!

AND IF THEY CAN DO THAT... WHAT CAN THEY DO TO BOOKS OR NEWSPAPERS?

ONLY YOU CAN STOP THIS!

...oh, yeah. Don't mention Dmitry on it at all. That'll just confuse them. Keep it simple and loud like this. That has the potential to get more attention. You're appealing to the behavior that almost everyone's done at some point, and to their wallets. Step One.

Quibbles. (3.50 / 2) (#112)
by Apuleius on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:04:15 PM EST

The tape recorder presumably isn't digital. There's also the grandfather clause to take into account.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
I agree (3.00 / 1) (#124)
by thePositron on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:41:15 AM EST

Break this stuff down so that everyone can understand. Some people like to share their books and give their old books away. Presumably laws like this in conjunction with the DMCA could make this activity illegal. Also give people an easily accesed source of information on the internet or the offices of the EFF.



[ Parent ]
I don't give a fsck (1.33 / 6) (#96)
by quartz on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 12:37:07 PM EST

You know what? I don't care. Let them pass their little laws to their heart's content. Their laws are, as we all know, designed to protect the IP of the entertainment and software industries. Fine with me. I don't really care about their products anyway. And for those who do care, there's always the choice to just NOT BUY the stuff if you don't like the terms. It's that simple.

On the other hand, GPL-ed stuff will always be Free because its authors *want* it to be Free, and there's no way to make it illegal for people to give stuff away. Free software will always be Free software, as it's based on the very concept of copyright; the only way to make Free software illegal is to abolish copyright, which I would venture to guess it's not very likely to happen anytime soon.

One of the two real issues with DMCA and friends is that it makes it illegal for people to break the puny encryption schemes that the industry keeps coming up with. Well, so fsckin what. Does anyone force YOU to use their POS encryption? No. The Open Source community has come up with some pretty good encryption techniques for your privacy needs. So what's the problem here? That you might go to jail if you use or distribute DeCSS, or a paper on SDMI? Well DON'T. I can't for the life of me understand why do people feel such an overwhelming urge to play with DeCSS or SDMI when there are so many Open Source alternatives available that you can play with risk-free till you die of exhaustion. And they're much better than anything Adobe might come up with anyway. So: companies close their stuff to the public, FINE. The public employs GPL to close ITS stuff to the industry, and we'll call it even.

The other potential issue is DRM-enabled hardware. And I don't really see that as an issue either. What do I want from hardware, DRM-wise? To not prevent me in any way from doing whatever I want with information I own. Again, I have little to fear. GPL-ed information will effectively use DRM to grant me, the user, all the rights I'm entitled to as per the GPL. So what's the problem again? That I won't be able to make copies of the immortal works of Christina Aguillera and Leonardo DiCrapio? Well, ask me if I give a fsck.

So, can someone tell me why should I care about all this DMCA nonsense?



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
This law could threaten free software (4.25 / 4) (#98)
by sanity on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:38:13 PM EST

This law makes it illegal to distribute technology which does not contain DRM, meaning that it could be illegal to distribute a version of Linux which did not contain or support DRM technology. Since the nature of DRM is such that it generally relies on security through obscurity, any supporting software could probably not be Open Source - and could therefore not be integrated into Linux without violating the GPL.

Even if there was some workaround for this, it would certainly not sit well with the Open Source philosophy.

[ Parent ]

Not much of a threat (2.00 / 3) (#100)
by quartz on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 02:18:28 PM EST

I don't see how this would make Linux illegal. Linux can work perfectly well with DRM hardware, as well as implement its own version of DRM management. The key is an open DRM interface of the most simple kind, like the copy protection bit on CD audio tracks. The DRM encryption itself can be as obscure as it wants, any given file only needs to show a "copy protected" bit and Linux won't touch it. Linux DRM should have only one policy: refuse to copy anything that's marked "copy protected". That should be enough from a legal point of view.

Now if individuals decide to write programs to override the copy protection and decrypt the content, well, that's their problem. Such programs can be written for Windows or MacOS just as well as for Linux, and it's the individual who's at fault here and who will rot in jail, not the OS.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Why Free Software conflicts with this law (5.00 / 2) (#104)
by Valdrax on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:23:18 PM EST

The problem is that because the source is available, you can make use the software to create systems that violate the law. This is essentially the argument that the MPAA has used against DeCSS. Though the code was intended to help build a Linux DVD player, it could also be used to create DVD-ripping software for use in piracy. Because the circumvention measures can be circumvented, distribution of Linux can come under legal attack in America. Furthermore, the rest of the world is unlikely to cripple their versions of Linux for an American copyright law, so full versions of Linux that are illegal under the law will be freely available. Due to the modularity of Linux and its GNU userspace utilities, updates by American commercial companies can and will be used by Linux distributions from abroad, meaning that American commercial companies will have contributed directly or indirectly to operating systems that are in violation of SSSCA. This will be a powerful deterrent to development on Linux. The scheme you envision means that all DRM-marked media will be unusable under Linux. While this is fine and dandy for all those who would rather live in an ivory tower away from the realities of the mass market, such a scheme will tank Linux's adoption in the commercial sector. It will make the system less far less attractive to people who haven't decided to turn their back on the majority of the body of modern literature and arts. What you ask for is for Linux to be relegated to a fringe OS that no one uses except extremists. Furthermore, the ethic of the Linux community is the polar opposite of what is needed to implement these changes to Linux. This practically ensures that if we don't kill this law now, then there will be a future war with it where we are on the disadvantage -- a time when we are trying to stop from being punished under it.

[ Parent ]
(OT) Formatting (2.50 / 2) (#105)
by Valdrax on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 04:26:13 PM EST

Sorry about the unreadable formatting. I keep forgetting that the "Plain Text/HTML Formatted" pop-up menu remembers your last choice rather than keeping a consistent default state.

[ Parent ]
There is no Choice (5.00 / 3) (#99)
by Valdrax on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 01:50:53 PM EST

On the other hand, GPL-ed stuff will always be Free because its authors *want* it to be Free, and there's no way to make it illegal for people to give stuff away. Free software will always be Free software, as it's based on the very concept of copyright; the only way to make Free software illegal is to abolish copyright, which I would venture to guess it's not very likely to happen anytime soon.

You haven't read the bill at all, have you?

Under this new legislation, using GPL'ed software could become illegal. Systems distributed without enforced copyright protection software will be illegal under this law. This includes our freedom-loving little OSS and Free OSes. Furthermore, even if Linux and other OSes are modified to enforce copyright protection, such protection is easily disabled due to the fact that we have the source. This may make GPLed software illegal.

(Your comment about it never being illegal to give stuff away for free is woefully incorrect. DeCSS was given away for free. Songs on Napster were given away for free. Do you think that if I made crystal meth that I could give it away for free and be immune to prosecution?)

I can't for the life of me understand why do people feel such an overwhelming urge to play with DeCSS or SDMI when there are so many Open Source alternatives available that you can play with risk-free till you die of exhaustion.

Your suggestion that we forfeit our rights to control how we read and use movies, music, and literature bought from American industries ignores the fact that a wide variety of very good material comes out of them, and many of the artists responsible for such works have no alternative but to turn to the terms of such industries to get their works out. All your wonderful GPL'ed alternatives do absolutely no good if there is no content published in their formats. Fine literature and fine cinema are not a function of their formats.

I don't want to have to limit myself to a few fringe works just because the RIAA, MPAA, and publishing industries have decided that its their right to screw the customers. I happen to like the works of several people who have had to turn to the major industry cartels to get exposure. I don't want to lose my rights to purchase any of their works in the future just because the people who own them now are jerks. Under current copyright law, many of these works will not enter the public domain until I am old or dead.

You say that we have the choice to not buy the stuff, but the crux of the matter is that we are being forced into either dealing on their terms or going without. I don't want to have to choose between never reading my favorite authors again or having to buy an eBook. I don't want to give up my favorite music or be forced to buy a song that only plays on one device -- one that I have to pay for each time I hear it because I can't own replayable copies.

So, can someone tell me why should I care about all this DMCA nonsense?

You can dig in an pretend that you are a wiser man for having not knuckled-under to their schemes, but by doing nothing to stand against them, you are in fact submitting to them. You are not Free. You are a prisoner of your choice to play by their rules, and so is everyone else that you didn't fight for. Fighting the DMCA is about the freedom to choose how to use products which you buy rather than be dictated to by the companies that hold the rights to them.



[ Parent ]
There is ALWAYS choice (3.00 / 3) (#103)
by quartz on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 03:05:53 PM EST

Systems distributed without enforced copyright protection software will be illegal under this law.

See my reply to #98 below for an argument as to how Linux can stay legal.


DeCSS was given away for free. Songs on Napster were given away for free. Do you think that if I made crystal meth that I could give it away for free and be immune to prosecution?

DeCSS and crystal meth are illegal; you can't even *have* them in the first place, so there's not much point in considering whether or not you can give them away. As for the songs on Napster, you can't give away something that does not belong to you. You only LICENSE music from RIAA or software from Microsoft, you never own it. My point is that you will always be able to give away LEGAL stuff that belongs to you.

Your suggestion that we forfeit our rights to control how we read and use movies, music, and literature bought from American industries ignores the fact that a wide variety of very good material comes out of them, and many of the artists responsible for such works have no alternative but to turn to the terms of such industries to get their works out.

You have no rights to control what you think you bought from the American industry, as long as you agree with the concept of Intellectual Property as it is legally defined now. "Fair use" is a pathetic joke, and what's currently left of it will gradually erode until it dissappears completely. Current IP law says that the one who owns the "work of art" has complete control over it, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. It's not written anywhere that the industry should accomodate your so-called "fair use" right.

I don't want to have to limit myself to a few fringe works just because the RIAA, MPAA, and publishing industries have decided that its their right to screw the customers.

Guess what: it's their RIGHT to screw the customers. As long as you agree to the EULA when you buy the stuff, they can screw you any way they like, it's capitalism at its best. Same goes for artists: they chose to sign the contract, they're screwed. Both you AND the artists get exactly what you deserve for being stupid enough to rely on the industry to bring you together. If you want to change the situation, address the CAUSE of the problem, which is the concept of IP itself, don't address the symptoms and rely on idiotic hacks like this so-called "Fair use" right.

You say that we have the choice to not buy the stuff, but the crux of the matter is that we are being forced into either dealing on their terms or going without.

Dude, nobody is forcing you into anything. You CHOOSE to deal with the industry, the artist CHOOSES to deal with the industry, you both get what's coming to you. Why the heck would both of you CONTINUE to choose to get screwed while whining about being forced is beyond my comprehension. The technology that can connect you directly with the artist is here, but, for some twisted masochistic reason both of you refuse to make use of it.

You can dig in an pretend that you are a wiser man for having not knuckled-under to their schemes, but by doing nothing to stand against them, you are in fact submitting to them. You are not Free. You are a prisoner of your choice to play by their rules, and so is everyone else that you didn't fight for. Fighting the DMCA is about the freedom to choose how to use products which you buy rather than be dictated to by the companies that hold the rights to them

Heh, this is my favorite. YOU're the one who's getting screwed over and over, but I'm the one who's not free. Look, I'm as free as it gets, I positively, genuinely am, because I dont't have the slightest desire to consume the products of your "industry". I absolutely cannot respect whores, especially RIAA or MPAA whores. How the fsck am I supposed to like the artistic expression of someone I don't respect? I'm not submitting to anyone, I just don't give a fsck about the whole thing. The DMCA is to me the same thing as a law regulating the positions in which prostitutes are allowed to fuck their clients: it's just not my area of interest...



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
All or Nothing Choices (4.33 / 3) (#108)
by Valdrax on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 05:28:37 PM EST

See my reply to #98 below for an argument as to how Linux can stay legal.

I'll address that there.

My point is that you will always be able to give away LEGAL stuff that belongs to you.

You seemed to be arguing that distributing Linux couldn't be made illegal because it will always be legal to give your things away. I quote: "There's no way to make it illegal for people to give stuff away." DeCSS is fundamentally no different from a version of Linux that does not support the DRM standard the SSSCA will enforce.

You have no rights to control what you think you bought from the American industry, as long as you agree with the concept of Intellectual Property as it is legally defined now. "Fair use" is a pathetic joke, and what's currently left of it will gradually erode until it dissappears completely. Current IP law says that the one who owns the "work of art" has complete control over it, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. It's not written anywhere that the industry should accomodate your so-called "fair use" right.

I guess 200 years of Supreme Court case rulings don't faze you much, do they? Fair use is a well-established legal doctrine. It has been a cornerstone of academic research, parody and satire, and review and criticism. Without fair use, I could claim copyright to my posts and you couldn't quote them without risking a lawsuit from me. Without fair use, academic papers could not quote others without gaining the explicit permission of the current owner of the quoted paper.

You say that we can't do anything about it? That this law is the natural and correct order of things? Maybe you need to read up a little more on US history and on what current rights you enjoy now before giving it all up as futile.

Guess what: it's their RIGHT to screw the customers. As long as you agree to the EULA when you buy the stuff, they can screw you any way they like, it's capitalism at its best.

I guess 200+ years of contract law and consumer anti-fraud protections don't faze you either. Our legal system has rightfully protected us from bad contracts and abusive companies for years. You sound like your advocating price gouging, damaged goods, and a lack of accountability as the highest virtues of our system. Look back at the Industrial Revolution and ask yourself if we really want to return to that level of consumer exploitation today. We do have a choice.

Same goes for artists: they chose to sign the contract, they're screwed. Both you AND the artists get exactly what you deserve for being stupid enough to rely on the industry to bring you together. If you want to change the situation, address the CAUSE of the problem, which is the concept of IP itself, don't address the symptoms and rely on idiotic hacks like this so-called "Fair use" right.

Ah, what a wonderful argument. So the best way to abolish IP, which destroys the ability of authors, performers, and supporting crews to earn revenue, is to roll over and let the middlemen squeeze as much money as possible out of us and to allow IP laws to become futher entrenched in the dogma that every piece of intellect can be owned, controlled, and mined for money. IP will not be abolished in a revolution any time soon. While you advocate trying to get people to overturn the whole system, they are wisely moving pieces slowly in the other direction. You advocate instant economic chaos and turmoil while they slowly get people used to the idea of living life their way. The masses will submit, and we will be dragged with them because we would not stand when the fight could still be won.

Dude, nobody is forcing you into anything. You CHOOSE to deal with the industry, the artist CHOOSES to deal with the industry, you both get what's coming to you. Why the heck would both of you CONTINUE to choose to get screwed while whining about being forced is beyond my comprehension. The technology that can connect you directly with the artist is here, but, for some twisted masochistic reason both of you refuse to make use of it.

Do you know what I'm looking at right now? I'm looking at my copy of Roger Zelanzy's Hugo award winning novel, "Lord of Light." Roger Zelazny died on June 14, 1995. He spent his entire life working himself to the bone to make a living off of writing, even while he was dying of cancer. He did this under the traditional publishing scheme, where he gained a small royalty for every book he published.

In five years, if I lose my copy of "Lord of Light," then I will have to buy a replacement. If the DMCA and the SSSCA go into full effect, will I have the option of buying a paper book anymore? Why should I have the option? From the publisher's point of view it's really advantageous to only publish this old book in a digital format where the cost of distribution is nil and where I am forced to purchase it again and again whenever I change computers. What happens in 2070, when it becomes public doman under (current but ever extending) copyright law? Will it still be around on their servers? Will any paper copies still exist?

What about all the books which haven't been published yet? I am not willing to cut myself off from the flow of modern literature just because someone 3rd party feels they need to squeeze every last dime out of me for it. I feel that I should have the right to enjoy this literature as my ancestors have. Why should my rights be less than theirs?

It's an all or nothing choice. Either deal with them under the new regime of the DMCA & the SSSCA or lose the ability to read one of my favorite books ever again permanently because the author can't decide to give away his livelihood now that he's dead.

Look, I'm as free as it gets, I positively, genuinely am, because I dont't have the slightest desire to consume the products of your "industry". I absolutely cannot respect whores, especially RIAA or MPAA whores. How the fsck am I supposed to like the artistic expression of someone I don't respect? I'm not submitting to anyone, I just don't give a fsck about the whole thing. The DMCA is [...] just not my area of interest...

The thing is that by your inaction, you are forcing the choices of others to be similarly constrained to all or nothing. You seem to think that the enjoyment of modern literature requires liking the middlemen who exploit it and agreeing to their rules. By not standing up for the rights of others, you are allowing them to be forced into the same path you have -- of being an outsider -- or of being a "whore" to the industry.

One day, you may change your mind and wish to buy a CD that you can listen to anywhere, a book that you can read anywhere, or a movie that you can watch anywhere. If that day comes, because you didn't pay attention to the SSSCA now, you may not have that choice. Your rights will be diminished. Why? Congress passed a Law so that someone you've already expressed distaste for can profit at your expense, and you did nothing to stop it.



[ Parent ]
Too late for compromise (4.40 / 5) (#111)
by quartz on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 10:42:46 PM EST

I guess 200 years of Supreme Court case rulings don't faze you much

Um... no, it doesn't. And I'm willing to bet that Jack Valenti and Hillary Rosen aren't too fazed either. The reality as I see it is that America has reached the point where those who control 1) the media and 2) the money also control the laws. Your beloved public is hypnotized by the media these days, and you don't have much of a chance to educate them. They happily do what they're told to by the media, and the lawmakers happily pass the laws dictated to them by media moguls and other potentates of the day. You have no place in this picture. UCITA, DMCA, the seatbelt law, the war on drugs, the recent anti-privacy laws (like the one that gives businesses complete freedom over what they are allowed to do with your personal data - have you gotten that nice letter from your bank yet?), the list goes on and on. They all became laws without much opposition from the public. What exactly makes you think the public and the Supreme Court will suddenly snap back into consciousness now?

You say that we can't do anything about it? That this law is the natural and correct order of things? Maybe you need to read up a little more on US history and on what current rights you enjoy now before giving it all up as futile.

I admit there's a lot I don't know about US history, but what does that have to do with the rights I'm enjoying now? I'm not even a US citizen. But that's not the point. The point is that history is not going to help much. The times have changed, and many things that worked in the past are not working anymore. But if history is your argument, so be it. I'm going to answer your argument with an observation on European history, about which I know a little more than I know about US history, and which also goes back a little bit more than 200 years. I can fill several pages with names of people who created works of art and science that we cherish even today, from Plato and Aristotle to Michelangelo and Bach and Da Vinci and Copernicus and Aligheri. How come they managed to practically create the foundations of human knowledge without having the "crucial" and "all-important" legal concepts of Intellectual Property and Fair Use to protect them? If you look at it that way, you'll see that mankind did pretty well without the legal concept of IP - only when IP was made into law has the trouble started. And from this point of view, UCITA and DMCA and software patents are only logical consequences naturally following the path set by the first IP law ever passed. In the big picture, your 200 years of history don't weigh too much.

Look back at the Industrial Revolution and ask yourself if we really want to return to that level of consumer exploitation today. We do have a choice.

Of course we're not going back to the industrial revolution. We're headed to a level of consumer exploitation that would make the Industrial Revolution seem like a Disney movie. But good luck telling that to the consumers, they seem to be far too busy watching Disney movies to care.

The thing is that by your inaction, you are forcing the choices of others to be similarly constrained to all or nothing.

Oh well. If that's what it takes... Whatever your idealistic thoughts are about educating consumers and artists and publishers and legislators into "playing nice" with each other, IMO they're just that, idealistic thoughts. The world is driven by MONEY and greed trumps good intentions any time of the day. Ironically, my "ivory tower" extremistic approach seems more connected with reality. The GPL and its uncompromising attitude towards users' rights seem to gain more and more followers with every new stupid restriction of freedom that your Amrican government passes into law. I'm afraid, my friend, that the war has started and there's not much room for subtlety and compromise anymore. My guess is that, as time passes, the artists themselves are going to divide more and more clearly into two groups, one that embraces and advocates freedom of information, and another that just bends over to publisher's demands, mirroring the two groups of consumers. And then, well, let's just say that it's going to be very interesting to watch...



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
Have you read this law? (4.33 / 3) (#120)
by aphrael on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 02:57:48 AM EST

It specifies that "any software that is designed or used for the primary purpose of storing, retrieving, processing, or copying information in digital form" must "include and utilize certified security technologies".

Personally, I find that terrifying. I certainly hope someone amends this to exclude word processors and simple text editors.

[ Parent ]

IT Workers General Walkout (4.20 / 5) (#113)
by jyhad on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:06:29 PM EST

Off the anti-dmca.org website you will find a link to the Technical Engineering Guild (TEG).

At some point, a general walkout will be called for by this and other organizations on a global scale. As previous posts have suggested the politicians are no longer listening, therefore a strong action is required.

I'm sure the anti-dmca people would be interested in suggestions assistance with this type of operation. Remember, these laws are not limited to the US and will affect everyone very soon.

WTO + WIPO = DMCA

Turn it off. (3.00 / 1) (#114)
by driftingwalrus on Mon Sep 10, 2001 at 11:36:45 PM EST

Things are heading in the direction where we will have to turn the machines off. Kill their networks, their telephones, their cell phones, their satellite and cable TV. Turn off the breakers and walk out of the building. Reach into the wiring closets and pull out a handfull of wires. Totally dismantle the whole thing.

It would take mere minutes on an individual basis, but the effect would be remembered for years.



"I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates
[ Parent ]
Yes! Shut it down! (3.00 / 1) (#118)
by thePositron on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:40:57 AM EST

This effort could even be able to get the support of other segments of society if the ramifications of the law are explained to people who are not technically adept or knowledgeable ( something I am cosntantly doing with the DMCA currently). Shut it down and impel the government and the large corporate powers to take into account and respect the sovereignty of the individual and the health of the intellectual commons.


General strike
The philosophy behind the General Strike



[ Parent ]
Petition (4.00 / 3) (#117)
by thePositron on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 01:30:54 AM EST

I know that this may be nothing more than a psychological boost, but if you are opposed to the SSSSCA, sign the online petition stating your opposition to it.



Ban vim! (5.00 / 4) (#119)
by aphrael on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 02:49:55 AM EST

This is an interesting law. I think it's *flawed*, but that may just be me; i'll certainly be whining at my Congressman about it when the law is introduced. :)

Some particular observations:

  • The term "interactive digital device" means any machine, device, product, software, or technology, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine, device, product, software, or technology, that is designed, marketed or used for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, storing, retrieving, processing, performing, transmitting, receiving, or copying information in digital form.

    Note that this would apply to word processors and text editors, as eg., the law *broadly construed* could be used to ban vi and emacs unless someone retrofitted them to use a certified security technology. Eeep!

  • Some government agency (the Commerce Department) is required to determine whether or not the 'digital device manufacturers' and the copyright owners have devised a security sytem which is reliable and resistant to attack. If the measure passes, the trick will be to convince that agency that it isn't reliable and resistant to attack.
  • Right now, the law protects personal time-shifting copies (videotape, etc) of *television* broadcasts (although it allows the use of security technology to block copies of things on premium cable). Hopefully someone is being vigilant to make sure that doesn't get dropped out.
  • It's interesting that there's funding totalling $142 million for training people in computer security attached to the bill. I think this is, in essence, a bribe to buy votes.


Would Emacs qualify? (none / 0) (#127)
by WWWWolf on Wed Sep 12, 2001 at 01:54:58 PM EST

Note that this would apply to word processors and text editors, as eg., the law *broadly construed* could be used to ban vi and emacs unless someone retrofitted them to use a certified security technology. Eeep!
I think XEmacs comes with pgp/gnupg support already out of the box =) =) =)

::sigh:: I've said this before and I'll say it again: "Silly Amerikans and their silly laws..."

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
It won't be passed in it's current form... (4.50 / 2) (#121)
by mmcc on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 03:40:17 AM EST

The movie studios are clever. I bet they know that this bill in its current form will not be passed. That's the point... the extremism of the bill is intentional. The ploy woll get a more "restricted" version passed.

Expect to see it cut down, but still keep all the stuff the studios want. Currently it affects TVs, videos, PDAs, computers and who knows what else. Expect that to be cut down to only computers. Expect only the storage and output devices to contain the protection. (eg. IBM's secure video, and the IDE secure media extensions... which already exist.)

By make everybody think it's going to be really bad first, then back down a little, then the studios will get what they want, and the EFF and the government will feel they scored a victory for consumers. The law will still be draconian and worse than now, but not as bad as everybody though originally.

And shortly after that, they'll introduce it in my country.



What are the chances of this passing now? (1.00 / 1) (#126)
by Bernie Fsckinner on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 12:31:35 PM EST

Nobody will be paying attention to Hollings now. He'll probably be able to slip this one by.

?! AHH !? (none / 0) (#129)
by newK5User on Sat Sep 29, 2001 at 04:43:46 PM EST

Where is free enterprise going?

nested conspiracy theories, anyone? (none / 0) (#130)
by halon on Tue Nov 06, 2001 at 09:02:03 AM EST

// conspiracy theory 1

Sec. 101: Prohibition of Certain Devices
.....
(b) Exception -- Subsection (a) does not apply to the offer for sale or provision of, or other trafficking in, any previously-owned interactive digital device, if such device was legally manufactured or imported, and sold, prior to the effective date of regulations adopted under section 104 and not subsequently modified in violation of subsection (a) or 103(a).


Perhaps it's just a scare tactic to get us to buy up all the gear we can buy before it becomes impossible to buy non-collared equipment. PC sales aren't what they were.


// conspiracy theory 2

Sec. 101: Prohibition of Certain Devices

(a) In General -- It is unlawful to manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any interactive digital device that does not include and utilize certified security technologies that adhere to the security system standards adopted under section 104.


This is clearly designed such that any uncollared device cannot use protected files (a content protection scheme). However, the phrase "and utilise" may allow for a situation in which a collared device cannot utilise unprotected files (a censorship scheme).

This would be hard to do with everyone wanting to have their own website. However, this could easily become part of a scheme of salami tactics, of which the DMCA, etc. are examples.


These are, of course, wild speculation. I don't think such a broadly worded bill would ever be passed. However, is is notable that the bill would make it illegal to produce any electronic equipment which did not have the protection schemes built in. Since these schemes would surely be licenced and the licences not available to every tom, dick and harry, it would implicitly ban homebrewed equipment in general.


Forget DMCA, the new nemesis 'SSSCA' | 130 comments (119 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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