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Congress: File-sharing and piracy linked to terrorism?

By cce in Internet
Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 09:41:03 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

What do "warez" groups, counterfeit designer bags, organized crime, and P2P file-sharing have to do with terrorism? On Thursday a Congressional subcommittee invited the US Department of Justice, Microsoft, and the MPAA to come help answer exactly that question.


This IDG article gives a report of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property oversight hearing held Thursday, titled "International Copyright Piracy: Links to Organized Crime and Terrorism." The subcommittee has recently been focusing on digital piracy, especially issues involving peer-to-peer file sharing, the subject of two of the most recent hearings. Thursday's hearing heard the testimony of the following witnesses (names linked to prepared testimony): John G. Malcolm's testimony focused on organized crime, describing "organized crime groups frequently referred to as 'warez' groups" and detailing the latest Operation Buccaneer busts which led to felony copyright charges and sentences of up to 46 months. He acknowledged that most "warez" groups do not profit from their activities, but that the consequences of their actions are "dire" and that "the Department will continue to devote significant resources to pursuing warez groups."

He also spoke about organized criminal syndicates whom actually profit from piracy, and made the link to terrorism by asserting that "organized crime syndicates are frequently engaged in many types of criminal enterprises, including supporting terrorist activities." The IDG article states that when pressed for an actual case where file trading was connected to terrorism, Malcolm could not offer one, but said, "It would surprise me greatly if the number were not large."

Rich LaMagna's testimony for Microsoft was an overview the company's anti-piracy efforts (it "invests millions of dollars each year" to keep a team of "more than 100 attorneys, forensic experts, and ... investigators"). He discussed piracy rings in Asia but didn't mention terrorism. Joan Borsten began her long tale of Russian corruption and piracy by stating, "here at the outset let me make clear that my comments do not purport to make any linkage between piracy and organized crime and terrorism."

But MPAA head Jack Valenti went beyond even the DoJ's testimony in establishing a terrorism link. His prepared testimony is entirely written in a sensationalist magazine style and begins with this attention-grabbing leader:

America's crown jewels -- its intellectual property -- are being looted. Organized, violent, international criminal groups are getting rich from the high gain/low risk business of stealing America's copyrighted works. We don't know to what end the profits from these criminal enterprises are put. US industry alone will never have the tools to penetrate these groups or to trace the nefarious paths to which those profits are put. For these reasons it is entirely suitable and necessary that the Subcommittee ... hold this hearing and illuminate the nature of the problems and the effect on the copyright industries ...
In his testimony, Valenti cites an article in the Customs Service newsletter U.S. Customs Today titled "Financing Terror", which claims "counterfeit 'designer bags' can generate profits for terrorists." The article ends with these chilling words:
September 11 changed the way Americans look at the world. It also changed the way American law enforcement looks at Intellectual Property crimes.
Valenti told Congress that more anti-copying legislation is necessary, saying "only when governments around the world effectively bring to bear the full powers of the state against these criminals can we expect to make progress" against the "large, violent, highly organized criminal groups" who are "getting rich from the theft of America's copyrighted products."

Congressional response

Though Malcolm's testimony seems to be clear in distinguishing between international for-profit piracy rings and simple file-sharing, it seems this was lost on some on the Congressmen (quotes from IDG article, emphasis added):

Representative Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, praised the hearing for highlighting the "disastrous connection" between copyright piracy and organized crime. "I can't help but sit here and wonder ... if parents fully understand the ramifications of what it is to steal a movie or pirate a song," he said. "If more American parents understood the connection between the pirating of intellectual property and organized crime, I think then there'd be a much more effective public relations response in our own country to better appreciate the disastrous ramifications."

Wexler suggested public service commercials should highlight that alleged connection between piracy and organized crime, much like anti-drug commercials highlight the connection between the sale of illegal drugs and funding terrorism.

And on the subject of P2P file sharing and college students:
Representative John Carter, a Texas Republican, suggested that college students would stop downloading if some were prosecuted and received sentences of 33 months or longer, like the defendants in the DOJ's Operation Buccaneer. "I think it'd be a good idea to go out and actually bust a couple of these college kids," Carter said. "If you want to see college kids duck and run, you let them read the papers and somebody's got a 33-month sentence in the federal penitentiary for downloading copyrighted materials."

A transcript of the hearing is not yet available from the House Judiciary committee.

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Related Links
o This IDG article
o U.S. House Judiciary Committee
o Subcommitt ee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property
o hearings
o witnesses
o John G. Malcolm
o on online gambling
o on why the FOIA should be scaled back in a post-911 era
o Rich LaMagna
o bio
o here
o Joan Borsten
o Films by Jove, Inc.
o Jack Valenti
o MPAA
o Operation Buccaneer
o IDG article
o testimony
o prepared testimony
o U.S. Customs Today
o "Financing Terror"
o testimony [2]
o Robert Wexler
o John Carter
o House Judiciary committee
o Also by cce


Display: Sort:
Congress: File-sharing and piracy linked to terrorism? | 139 comments (137 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
US Congress to everyone else: (4.66 / 12) (#1)
by Entriech on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:59:04 PM EST

"Well if you thought we were retarded before, pull up your socks and grab your jocks, 'cause we're just getting started."

More seriously I'm glad to see someone went to the trouble of rounding up the assorted info dealing with this issue after seeing it on a few different news sites. This looks good to me.

Also, Jack Valenti is a complete and utter tool.
-----
"But you are a person, and I can't say I'm fond of that. My days are less than enjoyable because of you people."
I guess the means... (5.00 / 9) (#2)
by enterfornone on Fri Mar 14, 2003 at 11:59:58 PM EST

...the RIAA need to change their ad.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
thank you very much (none / 0) (#34)
by VoxLobster on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:07:25 PM EST

I was looking for a new desktop image

VoxLobster
I was raised by a cup of coffee! -- Homsar
[ Parent ]

Not done yet, so cut me some slack... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:06:20 PM EST

http://24.125.76.224:8000/misc/mp3_terrorism.jpeg

I'm not the best at photoshopping stuff, but I am somewhat proud. Notice I changed the background color to green, the color of Islam. But I'm having trouble deciding if I should put a picture of Osama in the background, or a picture of Saddam.

Maybe we could start a poll?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Remember kids... (4.70 / 10) (#3)
by salsaman on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:08:11 AM EST

...every time you download an mp3, you are helping the terrorists.

I thought it was.. (5.00 / 4) (#11)
by steveftoth on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:53:37 AM EST

an angel gets it's wings?

[ Parent ]
No, no (5.00 / 4) (#16)
by sigwinch on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:39:50 AM EST

Downloading porn makes angel wings.

Download porn for Jesus!

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

Lazy Terrorists (5.00 / 2) (#52)
by dasunt on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:47:21 PM EST

...every time you download an mp3, you are helping the terrorists.

But I already helped them once already by filling up my gas tank on the truck this morning.



[ Parent ]
I beg to differ. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by awgsilyari on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 01:28:13 PM EST

The poster on my bedroom wall tells me I'm encouraging Communism, not terrorism.

So, which one is it?

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Is there a difference ? (none / 0) (#99)
by salsaman on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 10:28:02 PM EST

n/t

[ Parent ]
Yes, there is. (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by ethereal on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 03:47:09 PM EST

In fact, we paid terrorists to fight the Communists. Now that there are no more Communists, terrorism is the new communism.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Wasn't it.. (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by olethros on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 07:21:36 AM EST

"Downloading mp3s supports Communism"?

Actually, file sharing, is, by definition, a Communist act!

-- Homepage| Music
I miss my rubber keyboard.
[ Parent ]

Not only that ... (4.71 / 14) (#6)
by pyramid termite on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:38:51 AM EST

... but a lot of those downloading warez kiddies eat French fries. They should be hanged.

The terrorists have won - they've put stupid pills in the Congressional water supply.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
True... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by enterfornone on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:19:11 AM EST

true

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Traitors (4.83 / 18) (#7)
by Blarney on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:51:18 AM EST

Goddamn it, when are they going to bust a few of these worthless human record players for treason? They're plotting vengeance against anyone who keeps even a penny or a shred of individual freedom from their plutocrat sponsors, and they're doing it all in the name of Osama Bin Laden. What more proof do we need that they're in league with the enemy?

Every scummy "executive" who closed a productive enterprise down, pocketed the payroll, cleaned out the investors with bankruptcy proceedings and "retention bonuses" and justified it by 9/11 is a traitor, injuring the people of the United States by the power of Osama Bin Laden. Every government official who revels in arbitrary, unaccountable power and claims 9/11 as his justification is a traitor.

How blithely John Carter talks of jailing young people for the phony crime of not buying enough music and software, and doing it because of the terrorists. What more does he have to do to become a terrorist himself? If a man hurts people and says it's for Osama, whose side is he on? Not mine, for sure. Our soldiers fought in Afghanistan, were wounded and killed, and they did not do it for the record companies. Three thousand office workers died because of a CIA-sponsored madman - was it all so that Microsoft could make a little more money?

9/11 is their justification for tyranny - shall we have a King and Lords soon? Aid and comfort to the enemy, that is what they're providing.

Re: Traitors (none / 0) (#30)
by jeti on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:19:26 AM EST

Our soldiers fought in Afghanistan, were wounded and killed, and they did not do it for the record companies.

At first I read Vietnam, then I reread it.

[ Parent ]

hum... (3.66 / 3) (#9)
by Work on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:41:00 AM EST

i think the point is missed.

The majority of software piracy occurs overseas in open air markets by yes, criminal syndicates. They press millions of pirate CDs and VCDs with software, movies you name it.

I don't think its a terrible leap of logic to suggest that some of these groups (they're very well organized, as they have incredible distribution channels) could have ties to a few terror groups. I would suspect this to be more common in places like indonesia and the phillipeans than say, the middle east.

These arent 'warez' groups which are populated by friend lacking children, but large operations with pirate software factories with massive duplicating machinery. There are even pirate hardware factories - i remember a few years ago Asus had a large problem with their motherboards being duplicated shoddily and sold under their name - can you imagine that, someone setting up a pirate motherboard factory? Only in asia...

Two different kinds (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:55:38 AM EST

These Congressmen seem to be equating #warez on your favorite IRC network (but not DalNet anymore!) which is an organized bunch of guys across the country sharing stuff for free, with the organized crime groups in Asia that have factories and guns and shit. Now obviously, if the first group doesn't even make any money from their warez operations, they can't be supporting terrorism, but congressmen can exhibit huge amounts of cognitive dissonance.

Next they will connect Kazaa and WinMX, which don't even have any organization, with supporting terrorism.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

counterfeiting cake in Asia (4.00 / 2) (#19)
by cce on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:59:27 AM EST

... well, it's not that unimaginable, someone setting up a "pirate motherboard factory." If you're already making cheap motherboards, and you want to be able to sell them for more, you just stamp someone else's logo on them -- instantly you're able to make more money. I'm in Hong Kong, and the Chinese factories nearby counterfeit EVERYTHING -- clothes, shoes, FUBU gear, bags, etc., even FOOD!

There's a bunch of famous moon cake brands, and it turned out that someone was making counterfeit moon cakes for and selling them under the famous bakery's name. It turns out they were really just reprocessed moon cakes left over from last year's moon festival and some people got sick.

[ Parent ]

i mean unimaginable... (none / 0) (#41)
by Work on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:49:34 PM EST

here in the west. Counterfeit things do exist of course, but its not available in the open like it is in asia. Hell, over there its probably easier to come by the counterfeit than the real thing.

[ Parent ]
A thief is obviously also a murderer and a rapist. (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by MugginsM on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:53:10 AM EST

>The majority of software piracy occurs overseas in open air markets by yes, criminal syndicates. They press millions of pirate CDs and VCDs with software, movies you name it.

> I don't think its a terrible leap of logic to suggest that some of these groups (they're very well organized, as they have incredible distribution channels) could have ties to a few terror groups.

Urm, I think that *is* a terrible leap of logic.
They could have ties to terror groups, sure. They might also have ties to charity groups, church groups, environmentalist groups, and local neighbourhood watch groups. They might spend that ill gotten money on guns, sure. They might also spend it on fashionable clothes, nice cars, and luxury apartments.

Just like *anyone*.

- MugginsM

[ Parent ]

Hamas (none / 0) (#40)
by Work on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:47:44 PM EST

Hamas feeds breakfast to children and educates them.

They also blow buses up filled with children and the elderly in isreal.

The fact they also serve breakfast to children doesn't mitigate the fact they blow up innocent people.

Same goes for a piracy group. If any of their money goes to terrorist organizations, then they are 'supporting terrorism' by every definition of the words, no matter what other things they may be undertaking.

[ Parent ]

Refutation (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by tekue on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:23:51 AM EST

  1. What would those groups gain by supporting terrorism? If they wouldn't, it's not the pirate groups that are supporting terrorism, it's the people working in them. Show the link between working in such establishment and supporting terrorism.
  2. If you are an USAmerican and you have paid taxes, you've supported lots of worldwide terrorism, including Osama bin Laden's education as a terrorist. You should be imprisoned.

--
A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. -Milton Friedman
[ Parent ]
try thinking, moron (1.00 / 1) (#59)
by dh003i on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:52:49 PM EST

The "piracy' that the MPAA, RIAA, and BSA are bitching about is what occurs over P2P networks, which as NOTHING to do with underground warez producers.

My ripping a CD and making MP3's or OGG's from it and sharing those online has NOTHING to do with these organizations. Nor does my downloading such OGGs or MP3s. Likewise with divX movie files -- this is stuff that's done by home enthusiasts, not professional warez corporations.

When I download an MP3 or divX AVI file, how much do I pay for it? Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Obviously, I'm not supporting any criminal syndicates. On the other hand, when I pay for a music CD, I'm supporting the exploitation of musicians by music corporations. So, therefore, logically, if I don't want to support such illegal monopolizing corrupt activity, I will download my music for free.

American's don't pay for cheap pirated CDs. We don't have to. We pay for broadband connections and get LimeWire, which allow us to download software, compressed music, compressed movies, and such for free from other people like ourselves.

In no way does any of this activity relate to criminal organization, and you only show how much of an idiot you are by trying to say so. Your argument -- and that of our idiotic politicians -- is essentially this: people who pay for cheap pirated CD's from crime syndicates (thus support those syndicates) are infringing copyrights; people who download music for free are also infringing copyrights; therefore, people who download music for free must be supporting crime syndicates. This is fallicious logic, and only an idiot such as yourself could fall for it. It's no different than me saying "I was robbed by a man who was black," and then going on to conclude that, "thus, all black men are thieves." This is called the fallacy composition -- that is, attributing to a group all of the properties of one of it's members.

Summarily, TRY THINKING NEXT TIME.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

re: try thinking, moron (none / 0) (#65)
by Kuwanger on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:52:34 PM EST

> In no way does any of this activity relate to criminal organization, and you only show how much of an idiot you are by trying to say so. Are you using AOL or MS software?

[ Parent ]
Try reading the article, "moron" (none / 0) (#66)
by Work on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:56:19 PM EST

Here, I'll quote. Emphasis mine.

Part of the hearing rehashed complaints about file-trading by college students over P-to-P networks, covered in previous hearings and statements from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). No one at the hearing connected P-to-P trading with the financing of terrorism or organized crime.

Indeed, my post had nothing to do with P2P and was about the open air pirate markets of asia. Not surprisingly, your post, like most of yours, comes off as a tirade by an illiterate awkward 15 year old.

Summarily, try READING next time.

[ Parent ]

no, YOU try reading (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by dh003i on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:10:57 PM EST

Florida Democrat, praised the hearing for highlighting the "disastrous connection" between copyright piracy and organized crime. "I can't help but sit here and wonder ... if parents fully understand the ramifications of what it is to steal a movie or pirate a song," he said. "If more American parents understood the connection between the pirating of intellectual property and organized crime, I think then there'd be a much more effective public relations response in our own country to better appreciate the disastrous ramifications."

OBVIOUSLY, he's trying to make a connection between file-sharing and organized crime. Teenagers DO NOT -- nor do ANY Americans -- pirate songs by buying pirated CD's. They pirate by downloading (what idiot would pay for pirated music, when (s)he could download it for free). Thus, this stupid liberal could only be referring to piracy by P2P file-sharing.

So, before you go about saying "no one made that connection" just because the person who wrote the article OBVIOUSLY didn't bother to consider the obvious implications of a quote he included, try reading the ENTIRE article.

Btw, even if that quote was true -- if no-one did make a link between P2P and organized crime/terrorists -- you still wouldn't have a leg to stand on. In that case, the ENTIRE issue is MOOT, since hardly NO American's pay for pirated anything, as I said before. Either way, the entire argument is bullshit, and neither these nazi's in congress nor you have a leg to stand on.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

heh.. (none / 0) (#70)
by Work on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:30:22 PM EST

This gets funnier by the moment...

Do you not realize what my original post was about? And how you're arguing against something I never said? I make a statement of facts - asian pirate rings are the main cause of piracy in the world and they likely finance terrorist organizations in those parts of the world - and you go off on some tirade about how you downloading and not paying anything is okay, congress is nazis and so on.

Seriously. Calm down. You look like one of those drooling internet messageboard fanatics who uses anything to post some half witted rant that has only a tenuous connection to the post at hand.

Its just a website. Get over yourself "dh003i".

[ Parent ]

realize exactly what original post was about (none / 0) (#75)
by dh003i on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 09:23:45 PM EST

And what, exactly, is the point? Warez operations in asia have nothing what-so-ever to do with Americans or file-sharing. So why was this even mentioned in the article? Why is that idiot nazi democrat from FL trying to say that kids downloading MP3's are supporting syndicate organizations/organized crime? Also, why is that idiot nazi republican from TX suggesting that we put KIDS in jail for over a YEAR for something -- downloading MP3s -- which hardly qualifies as a "crime" any more than would "speeding"? Indeed, speeding and driving recklessly is worse than all the file-sharing in the world, as that can cause people their lives and cause serious injury. Thus, the maximum "penalty" for file-sharing shouldn't be any more than what we'd get fined for speeding.

There is no connection between warez crime syndicates and US citizens sharing files online, despite what the aforementioned nazi's are trying to insinuate. There is, in fact, very little connection between warez syndicates and the US at all, so I hardly see how it's a matter of domestic policy. Summarily, this entire article -- as well as the meeting it overviews -- is entirely irrelevant.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

yeah right (4.00 / 1) (#10)
by RJNFC on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:47:48 AM EST

personally, I think it would be a disaster to bring a college student to trial for this. they would probably end up with some crying cheerleader who just wanted to be like her friends and was too stupid to even know what she was doing was illegal. and that's a pretty steep sentence, too. punishing students for downloading might be a solution, but not by making severe examples out of a few people.

That's what they want (5.00 / 2) (#13)
by Blarney on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:19:14 AM EST

They want a kid who will cry in court, and who will go crazy from fear of being raped by a HIV-positive fellow prisoner. A kid who will regret the conviction for the rest of his life, who will never get a good job, rent or own a nice home, or be able to vote due to the stigma that government propaganda places on even non-violent, harmless felons.

They want fear, they want injustice proclaimed on every TV screen and newspaper. The government is wise enough to know that most people are cowards that will not even dare think "there, but for the grace of God go I", because they aren't prepared to accept the logical and moral consequences. They know that people will mostly say "he must have done something really bad that they won't tell us about" when hearing of some poor human sacrifice to the false idol of "setting an example", because the alternative - the idea that the Man could show up and drag them away at any time - is just too frightening to live with.



[ Parent ]

exactly (5.00 / 2) (#24)
by RJNFC on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:30:41 AM EST

and because of this, it's simply not an effective tactic. much better would be finding some other way of punishing or (far better) actually providing a cheap, fast way for people to buy the music they want over the internet. of course, we've all had THAT discussion before. actually, I'm sick of this now that I think about it.

[ Parent ]
Not only that (4.86 / 15) (#12)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:55:14 AM EST

I hear the P2P pirate terrorists are devising a cunning plan to rob us of our precious bodily fluids.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
My god... (none / 0) (#26)
by coillte on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:11:33 AM EST

so they're in league with the body snatchers eh?

______________
"XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"
[ Parent ]

No! (4.00 / 2) (#35)
by miah on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:08:24 PM EST

But you should pour me a drink of pure grain alcohol and rain water Mandrake.

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Hehe, have to watch that movie again -nt- (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by iasius on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:35:43 PM EST




the internet troll is the pinnacle of human evolution - circletimessquare
[ Parent ]
The devilish plot? (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by hershmire on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:05:19 PM EST

Fluoride. They put it in everything!
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
bloody hell? (4.71 / 7) (#14)
by daishan on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:24:19 AM EST

How stupid is congress? err, congressmen?

Robert Wexler defames the memory of all those 'brave patriots' who lost their lives on 9/11. How dare he and the companies he chooses to represent over his constituants attempt to profit on the deaths of the innocent!

The only thing against this argument is common sense. Yes piracy is a problem, but it's like comparing shoplifting to murder.

Cause of death: drowned in absurdity (nt) (3.66 / 6) (#15)
by mister slim on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:25:12 AM EST


__

"Fucking sheep, the lot of you. Yeah, and your little dogs too." -Rogerborg

What is hilarious (4.33 / 3) (#18)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:57:07 AM EST

Congress seems to have just heard today that peer-to-peer services have gasp PORN!

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

OMG (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by enterfornone on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:08:05 AM EST

lets hope they never discover NNTP.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Warez = Terrorism? And I'm Osama Bin Laden. [nt] (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by the77x42 on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:13:06 AM EST




"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

Appalling. (4.87 / 8) (#22)
by regeya on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:54:32 AM EST

Okay, you non-USians, in case you weren't aware that most our elected officials are mouth-breathing morons (and poor, poor Mr. FBI Agent reading this, I'm well within my rights to say this) you are now.

Here's the illogical progression:

1. Organized crime and terrorists profit from piracy.
2. College students use file-sharing to pirate.
3. Therefore, college students are terrorists.

Any 10-year-old should know better than to get tripped up on this, but elected law makers are having trouble with such a simple logical problem.

I suppose it's a lot easier to go after the little guy, the home-taper and the Gnutella leeches, than it is to go after the real target. I mean, after all, they were discussing how piracy has organized-crime and terrorist connections; obviously go after the end-users of services that have no income and are run mostly by freeloading college students. The alternative would be to throw money at actual law enforcement and busting the big-time piracy rings, which costs money and could potentially produce casualties. And besides, since most of the DVD-piracy rings are "offshore" anyway, how could we expect anyone in this country to go after the big-time piracy?

No, the answer is to throw some kid trading crappy screeners of Two Towers in the slammer to toss the salad. Not some Mafia guy. After all, the Mob does more for political campains than some broke-ass college student. :-P

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

If you think any 10 year old can avoid that (5.00 / 2) (#28)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:14:14 AM EST

trap, you don't know many 10 year olds. Most adults will happily fall into the old "God is Love, Love is Blind, Ray Charles is Blind, therefore..." trap simply because it usually isn't laid out in plain terms.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Nice sig (none / 0) (#36)
by miah on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:11:36 PM EST

But I always thought the saying was:

You can lead a horse to water, but it takes big fricken hands to drown him.

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the biker grade crystal meth of the masses.
SLAVEWAGE
[ Parent ]
Bleh. (none / 0) (#38)
by regeya on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:18:43 PM EST

We're not talking about "God is love, love is blind, Ray Charles is blind, therefore..." we're talking about "Organized crime makes money off piracy, organized crime gives money to terrorists, trading MP3s on the Internet is piracy, therefore trading MP3s on the Internet gives money to terrorists."

Hell, when I was ten, I could have told you that Wexler and Co. were morons. And I'm not an exceptional person, really. Are you telling me the average American 10-year-old is dumber than dirt? That might explain why many of my fellow Americans are idiots, I suppose.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

The fact that you don't recognize (none / 0) (#95)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 06:03:01 PM EST

that the two are logically equivalent pretty much makes my point.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Not really. (none / 0) (#98)
by regeya on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 09:36:05 PM EST

You're throwing out toy problems which, yes, illustrate the point, but is really a distraction. Let's stick to the subject at hand for the moment.

Anyone up for writing an article about logic? Porkchop_d_clown, you've declared yourself the local supergenius; take a stab at it!

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

what I'm trying to figure out (none / 0) (#63)
by calimehtar on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:09:18 PM EST

is how "and terrorists" got tacked onto the end of "organized crime". I mean, piracy and organized crime, sure. But how does that money get from, say, the Russian mafia or the Triad into the hands of Osama? I thought Osama was funded by oil, religious fundamentalists and various American presidents.

[ Parent ]
Logical problems? (none / 0) (#110)
by Akshay on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 07:49:26 AM EST

Don't know too much about the current batch of 10 year old kids, but consider this statement I read about three years ago:-

Nothing is better than true love. Bread is better than nothing. Therefore by transitive property, bread is better than true love.
Princeton Review doesn't name the genius who wrote this, but apparently, he was trying to describe the (romantic ambience of?) university he was studying in.

[ Parent ]
terrorism (4.00 / 5) (#23)
by nickco on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 04:45:29 AM EST

yep. 33 months. that'll teach 'em. all you kids downloading songs don't need to worry though, because half of the U.S. will be there with you once they finally get to enforcing all the laws they've made. our fearless leaders in Washington are creating a massive subset of people who have been convicted felons.. no wonder they want to spy on everyone. i'd be paranoid too.

Actually (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by gyan on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:33:36 AM EST

half of the U.S. will be there with you once they finally get to enforcing all the laws they've made

 The scary part is that they won't. Completely enforce, id est. They'll selectively pick people to enforce. No telling if you will be that "made example of" college kid. If they start going after leechers with a modest share size, it's even scarier. No more hiding under moderate-to-limited P2P activity.

********************************

[ Parent ]

sure (none / 0) (#57)
by nickco on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:34:29 PM EST

2% of the U.S. and growing.

[ Parent ]
Haven't they been doing it for years? (none / 0) (#97)
by daliman on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 07:53:28 PM EST

Drug prohibition?

[ Parent ]
Heh heh... (4.91 / 12) (#27)
by coillte on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:18:02 AM EST

This whole gig reminds me of McCarthy.

The popular demonisation of an unpopular activity in the name of false patriotism. Whether the activity itself is questionable, the identifiable similarity between the rhetoric quoted above, and that of HUAC is enough to indicate that the response indulges an agenda incommensurate with its stated concerns...

Next thing you know, the buggers will be cracking down on civil rights and marching off to war...

Hey...wait a second...

_____________
"XVI The Blasted Tower. Here is purification through fire,lightning, flames, war...the eye is the eye of Shiva... the serpent on the right is the symbol of the active will to live,the dove on the left is passive resignation to death"

`Thank God For Jack Valenti (5.00 / 10) (#31)
by HidingMyName on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:20:46 AM EST

Surely he and his clients are tireless supporters of human rights. Now I know to avoid terrorism and human rights abuses by purchasing genuine designer sneakers designer goods, just be sure to get authentic celebrity endorsed goods, enjoy my Disney products and protect human rights.

My letter from Wexler (5.00 / 9) (#32)
by bsdbigot on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 11:12:22 AM EST

Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing to express your support for stronger consumer protections in digital media. As a Member of the Subcommittee for Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, I share you interest in piracy, compyrights, and electronic media.

The past few years have seen major advances in the capabilities of digital technologies. Everyone benefits from the improved ability for sharing of these ideas; however, these new technologies have been used to "share" illegal, copyrighted materials, which hurts bothe copyright owners and consumers of digital media alike.

I completely agree that consumer interests must be given a strong voice in the Internet media debate. In fact, I believe that if the music industry had been more responsive to consumer demand for online music, the problem of copyright piracy would not be as extensive as it is today. However, I believe that the so-called Digital Choice and Freedom Act and the Digital Media Consumer's Rights Act both unfairly limit the ability of copyright owners to prevent digital pircay under the guise of consumer protection. For example, these bills would allow any individual to sell copyrighted material on an equal footing with the lawful owner of that material. This provision, along with several other similar provisions, would give consumers of digital media "rights" that reach far beyond the rights of traditional media consumers. I am sure you would agree that to favor consumers of one specific form of media is unreasonable.

These significant problems aside, I aprreciate the need to provide consumers a voice in what will surely be a lively and ongoing debate over Internet piracy and digital media availability. Rest assured that I will continue to follow this important issue and keep your concerns foremost in my mind. Thank you again for taking the time to write. Please feel free to contact me anytime I may be of assistance to you.

With warm regards,

Robert Wexler

Please, commence the blasting. I haven't yet written my response letter - I have a few ideas, but I'm looking for more.
<:) L

Well, put that way (3.00 / 2) (#37)
by regeya on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:12:23 PM EST

Well, put that way, and I hate to admit this, I agree with Wexler. Any plan that takes rights away from copyright holders, especially anything that allowed people to sell copyrighted material without the copyright holder's permission, is just as wrong as the piracy.

Having said that, IMHO treating P2P filesharing the same as some Chinese shop cranking out illicit DVDs is wrong, wrong, wrong. If I were to go to work right now and logged into my work machine, Limewire would be running at this moment. Do I use it much? No. I use it mostly to find "out-of-print" stuff that isn't readily available. Want a copy of Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales album? Good luck finding it in a local shop; if you do, it's probably not new. And that's another thing: once record companies stamp out filesharing, used-CD sales are next. That was a big campaign before Napster threatened to ruin the industry, just as VHS videotapes ruined the movie industry. ;-D

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

He's fooling you (5.00 / 2) (#51)
by cpt kangarooski on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:40:44 PM EST

Currently we have § 109 which allows purchasers of copies to resell those copies without permission from the copyright holder.

When an author sells a new copy of a work, they profit on it to some extent, presumably. A used copy competes with the new copies, and no profit is to be had on used copies.

Copyright holders tend to hate this: the Author's Guild doesn't want Amazon listing used books alongside new ones. The RIAA doesn't want there to be used CD stores, and various artists have spoken out against them before.

The Digital Media Consumer's Rights Act that Wexler opposes deceptive labeling of copy-protected CDs as non-copy-protected CDs (making it unfair competition regulated by the FTC) and permits people to circumvent copy protection only if it is NOT in an infringing way, and to make tools for doing so only if they can be used for significant non infringing ways.

Nothing about harming the rights of copyright holders to sell their works, at least as long as they're up front and truthful about it.

The Digital Choice and Freedom Act which Wexler also opposes would allow people to make backups and space shifting displays, preempts non-negotiable shrink wrap contracts, reinforces the existing right to resell works, also allows circumvention of copy protection by lawful users.

So, given that it's been legal and pretty much laudable that you can sell your used copies of things with the approval of Congress and before that the Supreme Court, for about a century, and thriving trades in it even before that (since no one had been stupid enough to try to fight it)...

What's the problem?

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]

Wexler's a lying fuck (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by dh003i on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:33:15 PM EST

Any plan that takes rights away from copyright holders, especially anything that allowed people to sell copyrighted material without the copyright holder's permission, is just as wrong as the piracy.

Wexler either doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about here, or is a lying fuck. Probably both.

The bill does not grant me -- as someone who's purchased a music CD -- to make millions of copies of that CD and legally sell it, thus allowing me the same selling rights as the original author. It gives me FIRST SALE rights, which I have for normal media. I buy a CD, I listen to it, I no longer want it, I can sell it to other's at a reduced price. That is what this bill allows you to do with digital media.

There is nothing here that deprives artists of any rights. This simply gives consumers the same rights in the digital world that they have in the real world. As in the real world, when you have to destroy all copies of a book/movie/CD when selling the original to another (or also give all copies to the other person as well), so would you have to do with digital material.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Just like selling a second hand book <nt> (none / 0) (#118)
by lordpixel on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 10:46:22 AM EST



I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
[ Parent ]
for the sake of balance: (4.50 / 4) (#33)
by calimehtar on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 11:35:19 AM EST

Okay, so this is pretty dumb. It's like those infomercials about drugs and terrorism (mpeg): "Drug money funds terrorism: why am I supposed to believe that?" "Because it's true."

Well, first of all, you can say that about anything, and if you're the US government and you say it in a really convincing way, people will believe it. It also depends on exactly what you mean by terrorism. Certainly nobody believes that the Twin Towers were attacked because of some drug dealer's turf war.

On the other hand there is a lot of violence indirectly related to the drug trade, though this is mostly due to the fact that the drug trade is black market, not regulated by any government bodies, and so must be carried out outside the law. And by the same thing could probably be said for the trade in bootleg DVDs and CDs especially in a market like China where piracy is an industry.

Realistically, the people trading bootlegs or file sharing in North America don't have a dealer and aren't doing it for money, and so don't have anything at all to do with the black market other than some flimsy moral association based on the illegality of their actions.

On the other hand, I don't doubt that it's true that in some markets like China and Russia that the record companies and film distribution companies are losing, maybe, hundreds of millions of dollars. And in North America, they must also be losing at least a bit of trade compared to time pre-digital media and pre-internet.

So the relationship they've constructed between piracy and terrorism is flimsy at best. And it's obviously a ploy to get heavy-handed in the legal enforcement of ant-piracy laws, ie lock some kids up.

The question is: what would you do? Say you're a record exec, you're losing a lot of money to people who are doing what seems an awful lot like stealing. As technology improves at a frightening pace, piracy just gets easier -- the quality of the copies improves and the speed of transfering the data improves. It's already easier to email your friend a copy of the latest Eminem album than it is to buy it, and really no amount of technlogy, apart from maybe Palladium, can change that.

What would you do?



Give up and die. (none / 0) (#64)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:20:11 PM EST

There is no longer scarcity of anything that can be digitized. Society will have to adapt to that - the rabbit can't go back in the hat.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Semi-medialab model (none / 0) (#100)
by bjlhct on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 12:34:44 AM EST

Musician makes one song, releases it for free. Sets a target for a second song. People contribute money to a pot. If it reaches the target the musician gets the money and makes the song and releases it for free, if it doesn't the people get their money back.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Of course! (3.57 / 7) (#42)
by thekubrix on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 12:56:18 PM EST

If me smoking marijuana in the privacy of my own home can be easily linked to terrorism, then your godamn right downloading roller coaster tycoon supports Osama!

God Bless My Country (5.00 / 4) (#43)
by BSDyke on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:30:12 PM EST

Where fucks like Valenti and Carter can make fortunes off the backs of college students, who barely have the money to pay their tuitions. Maybe if these greedy assholes didn't send jobs oversees, Americans would have the money to pay for their overpriced music. If you ask me, the real fucking terrorists are Fortune 500 CEOs who do shit like this.

Anyways, shit like this is going to keep happening because people seem resigned to it. The fact is that we're not. If everyone who got pissed off at this article wrote a letter to their congressman, it would go a long ways to counteracting bullshit like this.

--
Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?

Oh do shut up... (3.66 / 3) (#45)
by skyknight on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:03:48 PM EST

about sending jobs overseas. It's the natural evolution of economies that technologically advanced regions will export lower skill jobs to less advanced regions. It may cause short term frustration for some individuals, but in the long run it is most definitely in the best interests of everyone.

It's in the best interests of the technologically superior region because the labor pool can move on to doing more high level tasks. It's in the best interests of the technologically inferior region because revenue will flow into it, allowing this region to progress. Undoubtedly the people in the former region who lose their jobs will be pissed, but it's a signal to them that they need to retrain and move onto a profession whose services are in demand.

What you are preaching is essentially the stagnation of technological progress. In your fantasy land, everyone would still be subsistent farmers. Is that what you want? There wouldn't be colleges all over the damn place. You would either be working on your parents' farm, or maybe if you were really enterprising, you'd have managed to get a mortgage and bought your own farm.

Oh, and I've been out of school less than a year, and have recently started making payments on my $30k+ worth of student loans, so BAH! My debt level is only that low because I spent all of my vacations working full time, as well as a good chunk of my free time during the academic portion of the years. The only expense I have right now that I consider unjust is the fact that I pay 1/3 of my income in taxes.

I'd love to hear your alternative to a free market, preferably one that doesn't result in an Orwellian nightmare.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Oh please... (4.50 / 2) (#48)
by BSDyke on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:39:28 PM EST

It may cause short term frustration for some individuals...

Like towns in Michigan that once relied on auto factory jobs? Many rustbelt communities have stagnated since the autoindustry moved production outside of America. I would hardly call the loss of an entire community's livelihood to be mere "frustration". Nor would I call it short term, either, unless your privy to some information about jobs returning to those areas that we don't know about.

...but it's a signal to them that they need to retrain and move onto a profession whose services are in demand.

Please kindly remove your head from your ass before you talk. How is someone who is 50+ years old supposed to retrain to do something aside from what he's done all his life? Not only that but what happens when there are no other jobs that pay close to what that person was making before?

In your fantasy land, everyone would still be subsistent farmers. Is that what you want?

No. What I want is for companies to stop laying off workers so they can move overseas where labor laws are non-existant and the pay is below subsistance levels. I want corporate CEOs to stop laying off thousands of workers and then receive millions of dollars in benefits for doing so. Most of all, I want corporations to stop paying off our Congress so that they can legally continue to do these things and fuck us over.

I'd love to hear your alternative to a free market...

Free market? Sorry but America isn't a free market. The cry of "free market" only occurs when something is going to happen that would put a crimp in the profits of corporations. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was based upon the presumption that there would be no multinational corporations, nor monopolies. I suggest you consider that the next time you read it.

...preferably one that doesn't result in an Orwellian nightmare.

Yeah because the Bush administration isn't headed down that road on its own. I don't think they need the help of any wild-eyed radical to achieve that.

--
Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?

[ Parent ]

Luddite... (4.00 / 2) (#55)
by skyknight on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:02:37 PM EST

You are right to a certain extent that the US do not represent a free market. There is enough corruption and strong arming that it often tastes more like facism than free market capitalism. What you propose, however, would be even worse.

I think that you would quickly find that communism is even more susceptible to corruption than is our present pseudo-capitalism. Instead of a mostly free market system, with a few egregious travesties, you would instead find yourself with an all powerful planning board. Perhaps you could momentarily remove your cranium from your rectum long enough to ready Hayek's The Road to Serfdom.

You would, in fact, be trading in powerful businessmen for omnipotent governmental dictators. If you think that Uncle Bill with his billions of dollars is a dangerous manipulator of the economy, just wait until Uncle Sam has a go at it with his army.

I don't deny that it's painful to see the retrenchment of an industry, but why is it that farmers and auto workers seem to get such favorable treatment? Where is the protectionism for tech people in the post dot-com era? Do the people who perhaps spent the past 5 years in the tech field but have found themselves unemployed have a right to a tech job even if they are no longer in demand? Should the government have propped up failing startups to keep those people in comfy chairs and sipping Starbucks coffee? You can either deal with harsh reality now, or you can live in a disreality for a little while, only to face an even harsher reality later. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Instead of creating a system in which the power of big bosses would be curtailed, you would be consolidating the power in the hands of an even smaller, more powerful elite. Small businesses would cease to exist, as they would be completely mired in red tape. Every time someone tried to hire or fire a person there would be a law suit that would drag on for years. Going from "at will" employment to a system of compulsory employment would be a complete disaster. Do you really hold up Russia and China as model economies?

As for your jibe about Bush, don't mistake me for a Republican. I hate the two major parties; the Republicans are facists, and the Democrats are communists. I can't wait for Bush to be out of office. Unfortunately, he'll be too busy managing the fifty first state to get unelected.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Luddite? Explain. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by BSDyke on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:58:35 PM EST

What you propose, however, would be even worse...I think that you would quickly find that communism is even more susceptible to corruption than is our present pseudo-capitalism.

While that is debateable, I'm wondering why you believe that I advocated communism? I certainly don't, especially not Soviet-style "communism" (which is really state-capitalism, but that's a debate for another time.) Since I've told you what I don't believe in, how about somethinig I do believe in. To me if I'm busting my ass, I expect to see an equal share of the profits returned to me. So one thing which seems more fair are co-ops where everyone owns an equal share. Unfortunately right now co-ops seem limited to being run by hippies selling organic foods and hemp smoothies or whatever. Great.

...but why is it that farmers and auto workers seem to get such favorable treatment? Where is the protectionism for tech people in the post dot-com era?

I used farmers and auto-workers because of what they represented. One could look at the technology sector with increasing alarm as more code is farmed out to India. In fact, I'm quite concerned about that personally. I think salaries for programmers will receed as cheap labor from India replaces it.

Should the government have propped up failing startups to keep those people in comfy chairs and sipping Starbucks coffee?

Not at all. The gov't should step in when a company is going to bail out on American workers, not to protect companies from bad decisions they make. However, this wouldn't be a problem if the majority of businesses were co-ops instead of run by a handful of greedy kleptarchs.

I skipped many of your arguements because they're based on the belief I'm advocating traditional communism, which I'm certainly not. I agree that its probably worse than American-style capitalism. But I don't think it needs to be an either/or thing. Thinking like that is in part what's kept our economic system going for so long: If you don't support us, why you must be a godless communist! There are other alternatives, and its those alternatives that I believe in.

--
Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?

[ Parent ]

What I deem most important... (4.00 / 2) (#69)
by skyknight on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 07:17:01 PM EST

is association by pure mutual consent... In my utopia, all interactions would be voluntary, and force would be deemed acceptable only in defense. It would seem that you do not share my vision. From your comments, it appears that you support strict governmental enforcement of what you deem as fairness. Unfortunately, people in general are very poor judges of fairness when it involves large groups. The rights that you are giving to employees result in bondage of employers. While this may seem all fine and good to you in the context of big evil corporations, how does this fit into your framework when the employer is a friend of yours that operates a small business of just a few people? Will every financial decision that he makes be subject to your assessment of fairness, and vetoed if it doesn't pass muster? That doesn't sound like freedom to me.

You state that if "[you are] busting [your] ass, [you] expect to see an equal share of the profits returned to [you]." I have a question for you... When you're collecting a salary, do you expect to see an equal share of the losses if things go sour? I assume you don't, and thus you should not expect to share equally in the profits when things go well. There must be a direct correlation between risk and reward, or society will fail to encourage people to take necessary risks. Your reward should be tied to three things: the level of your expertise, the supply of people of with the ability to perform your job, and the risk that you are taking in the venture. To enforce the equal distribution of profits to employees with total disregard to these variables makes no sense.

Recently, I sunk several thousand dollars into seeding a software consulting business. I spent money on hardware, and I'm continuing to spend money on upkeep, and paying people to do work for me. It is presently growing in a healthy fashion, but still making a small monthly loss. Meanwhile, the people who work for me collect their money, and then merrily go on their way. If my business folds, then I will have lost several thousand dollars, spent months making other people profit, and I will be left with nothing but a lesson in how not to run a business. If, however, the business brings in tens of thousands of dollars in profits, then that profit will be mine, and I will not be sharing it with those who took no risk in this endeavor. Does this strike you as so terribly unfair an arrangement?

Instead of lamenting the lack of co-ops, why don't you go out and start one yourself? Nobody is stopping you. Gather up some people you trust, get everyone to put in some seed capital, roll up your sleeves and get to work. If this is what you see as an ideal setup, then get out there and create it.

As for India sucking away tech jobs... I'm really not worried about it. Indeed much tech work will be outsourced to India, but by no stretch of the imagination will it be all of it. What is and will continue to be outsourced is bulk, straightforward, gruntwork type stuff that can be churned out factory style. The talented people in America need not have any substantial worries. The people who merely have two years' training in web design from a tech school are indeed in trouble. C'est la vie.

So go the ramblings of this godless libertarian...



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
cash (none / 0) (#82)
by SlamMan on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 03:53:00 AM EST

Who says programmer's salaries shouldn't got down?  If there's more supply (workers) that demand (workers) than the price of said supply goes down.  Thats just how it works.  if workers in India can do the same job as people here for less money, than computer programmers probobly aren't as entitled to insane saleries as we thought.

I never did see the reason why people insist that computer people should get paid more than other skilled jobs.  

[ Parent ]

Which World Do You Come From Again? (none / 0) (#91)
by khilghard on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 03:38:36 PM EST

It's those "Computer People" that drive 30% of all economic growth standardly each year in the U.S. You take that away and the growth of the U.S. will decrease. Paying people 300k+ a year would be overkill. Paying people 50k+-80k+ a year is not bad for all the very difficult programming or engineering work involved. It takes hard work, skilled work, as good as say welders. Bad programming can screw up millions of computers and send billions of dollars down the drain. The socalled "Computer Poeple" take care to make sure that doesn't happen. Do you really want to pay them less or screw them over? I would hate to see the day that a five year college degree to take care of the most complex systems in the world being reduced to the salary of a bus driver. But as your opinion so obviously pointed out, these "computer people" can be payed just as well as the bus driver is. After all it's not so different from driving a bus!


"God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives." -James Barrie

[ Parent ]

Enk. Wrong. (none / 0) (#117)
by SlamMan on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 09:16:28 AM EST

I said skilled work.  Comparable with a welder is certainly acceptable, since its work of an equal skill.  But lets be honest here; its not open heart surgery.

[ Parent ]
I think if you compare... (none / 0) (#124)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 06:50:03 PM EST

the failure rate for weldings, versus the failure rate for software projects, and additionally the really insidious ways that software fails, you would find that software development is a much harder problem. On average, software developers may be no better at developing software than welders at welding, but if you've worked in the industry on serious projects, you would know that the gap between talented software engineers and untalented hacks is quite wide, and I would imagine much wider than that between talented and untalented welders.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
or the opposite (none / 0) (#101)
by bjlhct on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 12:40:29 AM EST

There's a lot of good those indians can get from the influx of programming job.

Basically, the thing here is that when it's in a company's best interest to have foreign workers, the benefit to consumers is greater than the damage to the native workers fired. You would have the workers screw over the consumers. And guess what, they don't like that when they figure things out. So if you were a fired worker, get another job, don't be a leech.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]

I'm always shocked... (none / 0) (#113)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:19:36 AM EST

when someone on K5 agrees with me on issues of economics. It's almost an unheard of occurence. Isn't it alarming how willing people are to look at only one side of the coin, while blithely ignoring the other? It strikes me as willful ignorance in a lot of cases.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, no. (none / 0) (#120)
by bjlhct on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 03:46:29 PM EST

I understand what you're saying perfectly well. I have seen both sides of the coin. Perhaps you are willfully ignoring that people have thought it through and come to the opposite conclusion as you? I'd be less likely to think this if you had an argument better than "they disagree with me, therefore I must be right and they are ignoring the facts."

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Try reading my comment again... (none / 0) (#123)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 05:52:14 PM EST

I thought that it was pretty clear that my accusation of "willful ignorance" referred to people refusing to look at both sides of an issue, not to people coming to different conclusions. In my mind, my fourth sentence was linked to the sentence immediately proceeding it. It would seem that your mental parse tree for my four sentence paragraph was something like

((1 2 3) 4)

whereas what I intended when I wrote it was

((1 2) (3 4))

So, can you stop being offended now? Natural language is woefully ambiguous...



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Ygyde then? (none / 0) (#129)
by bjlhct on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 11:10:45 PM EST



*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Interesting... (none / 0) (#133)
by skyknight on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 07:06:09 AM EST

A language designed from scratch, eh? I'm afraid I don't know it. Furthermore, it's the clause association ambiguity that caused us trouble. I think that you will get into this kind of trouble with any context senstitive language, Ygyde apparently included. We need some kind of LISP like syntax for perfect non-ambiguity.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Should we just (none / 0) (#135)
by bjlhct on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 05:06:48 PM EST

(use in out sentences) (parentheses) ?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Natural evolution, sure, (none / 0) (#72)
by subversion on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:25:07 PM EST

But it only works if the only people who can do the tech jobs are in the technologically advanced area.

Today, however, that isn't true.  Science/engineering jobs often go to foreigners (honestly, usually because they're better at it than their American colleagues).  So, if the unskilled jobs go overseas, and the foreign skilled labor comes here...

Exactly what do you expect a kid from Flint, Michigan to do, again?

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

I don't expect... (none / 0) (#74)
by skyknight on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 09:19:36 PM EST

anyone to force anyone to do anything. I expect people to adapt to an ever changing world, not to have a sense of entitlement to a living by birthright, and certainly not to expect the government to take care of them. Jobs should go to whomever employers deem the best choice. Would-be employees should do everything in their power to make themselves as attractive as they can be to would-be employers. Anything else is misguided sentimentalism, "hay and a barn for human cattle", to borrow a phrase from P. J. O'Rourke.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Are all libertarians this deluded? (none / 0) (#76)
by BSDyke on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 09:43:44 PM EST

Jobs should go to whomever employers deem the best choice.

Which usually translates to whomever will work for the lowest wages.

Would-be employees should do everything in their power to make themselves as attractive as they can be to would-be employers.

Which usually translates into working for the lowest wages they can bare, and then some.

Anything else is misguided sentimentalism

Yeah who needs a minimum wage, or overtime requirements, or safety regulations, or child labor laws, or any of those other things that people foolishly expect the gov't to provide for them?

--
Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?

[ Parent ]

Not quite... (none / 0) (#77)
by skyknight on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:14:37 PM EST

Employers do not give jobs to those who will take the lowest pay. They give the jobs to those who yield the best value. Value is a function of two variables: cost of labor, and quality/quantity of output. Rational employers simply seek to optimize the value of their expenditures.

Workers do not work for the lowest amount that they can bear. They too, just like employers, try to find a job that provides them with the best value.

Wage fixing destroys jobs. Jobs that could have existed below the fixed wage simply will not be created. It also drives inflation, as fixing wages puts them at an artifically high value, and the system will self correct. The only result is a temporary boon to those who received the fixed wages, while everyone else gets screwed.

Safety regulations seem nice until you're in the position of a small business that is so mired in red tape that it can't conceivably function. The bureaucratic alphabet soup imposed on businesses serves as a nearly insurmountable barrier to small businesses. The result of this is that business entitities are limited to large corporations that can effectively play the system, buying the government off.

Child labor laws seem nice on the surface, until you realize that in a lot of places in the world, the choice is between labor and starvation. Careless good intentions have a way of killing people.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
interesting (none / 0) (#80)
by dh003i on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 12:42:34 AM EST

But what's happening in these 3rd world shitholes is people are being FORCED to work in inhumane conditions. They're petrified to quit their jobs due to fear. You are right that making laws based on emotion is short-sighted.

However, some minimum standards should exist. Many children are working in what is effectively slavery conditions -- and they are effectively slaves, brutalized by their masters.

Corporations employ thhis sort of child-slavery to get cheap products, and that should be illegal.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Parallel train of thought... (none / 0) (#109)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 07:48:16 AM EST

Historically, women in the American workplace were subject to sexual harassment and discrimination. How would things have played out if people had decided that the best answer to that situation was simply to keep women out of the work place?

I think illegalizing child labor is dangerously short-sighted. We had child labor in America not too long ago if you think about it... Children worked long, physically exhausing hours on their parents' farms. Why? They did it because they had to for their families to survive. When the revenue surplus (beyond what they need for their physical self) of adult bread-winners is very small, children, unfortunately, have to step up to bat too. That's harsh, but real.

As an aside, I think children back then were probabaly more in tune with reality though... Children who have to work when they are growing up tend to be much less bratty than those of whom nothing is expected. They are more appreciative and grateful of things than the worthless playboys who grow up never having to lift a finger. This isn't to say that children should be brutalized, but I think I'm a better person for having had a paper route, done lots of yardwork, and worked at McDonalds when I was younger.

I encourage you to fight for more humane treatment of child laborers, but please think long and hard about the ramifications before you take actions to illegalize it.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but... (none / 0) (#103)
by subversion on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 02:06:53 AM EST

They give the jobs to those who provide best value.

In other words, given a choice amongst those of equal training (and remember that most employers will have a resume and an interview to go by, at most) they'll take the one who wants the least pay.

Every time.

As it happens, Americans don't generally want to work for wages less than what they expect.  This worked fine when the job market was expanding.  Now, it's very tight, and employers get to set the rules.  Why do the car companies like hiring employees on visas?  Because they're willing to work for less than an American equivalent, because even $40,000 is worth a lot when you come from somewhere with a per capita yearly paycheck averaging $5000 or less.

Cheap labor goes overseas because safety regulations make it hard to have cheap labor here.  Skilled trades are, in general, being reduced due to automation (a good thing, for sure, unless you're a Ford assembly line worker).  Intellectual labor stays in the states, but the companies hire people on visas because it'll save them money.

Although libertarians like to sound right, they miss a fundamental truth - nobody gives a fuck about the free market when they're unemployed, or making less than they need to survive.

Although some of what you say sounds nice, it isn't.  Child labor laws kill less children than sweatshop conditions and fascist overseers who will literally kick a worker to death for quitting.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

You will have never before seen such misery... (none / 0) (#112)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:15:18 AM EST

when the National Bureau of Fairness is established... Central control is not the answer. Please see my reply under your other comment.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
You will never before have seen such misery (none / 0) (#126)
by subversion on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 06:54:06 PM EST

As when all labor laws are removed.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
I expect (none / 0) (#104)
by subversion on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 02:14:48 AM EST

My right to life.

You know what's involved in that, for 99% of the world, those of us who aren't trust fund pansies?

A job.  I work because it pays my bills, and because (when I have an engineering job) I generally enjoy the work.  

I re-iterate my question.  If the cheap labor is going overseas, the skilled trades are being replaced by automation, and the brain work is increasingly being given to visa employees, where exactly do you expect people to make a living?  Most people do not want to be on welfare - they want to work a decent job for a decent wage.  Laws designed to ensure both of these things are nothing to be scornful of.

Go to Flint.  Look around the city.  Come back here and tell me that there was nothing wrong with GM's actions.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

You have a right to life... (none / 0) (#111)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:11:06 AM EST

To be trite, you have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The sticking point, of course, is that your right is to the pursuit of happiness, a key distinction which is often lost on people. While I deem that you have a right to life, I do not think that you have a right to a job. You have a right to pursue employment, to seek out arrangements of mutual consent between yourself and an employer, or on the other side of the coin, if you are enterprising, to seek out arrangements of mutual consent between yourself and am employee.

It seems in several of these threads under my root comment, a lot of people are doing a cost-benefit analysis of sending jobs away, but only doing the benefit part of protectionism. You see the benefit of, say, forcing GM to hold onto American workers, but have you given thought to the broad consequences of effectively abolishing economic freedom from the perspective of business owners? Whether you like it or not, the purpose of a business is to turn a profit. An investor is not going to risk thousands or millions of dollars in seed capital just to create jobs for other people. They expect, and rightfully so, to have the opportunity for reward in return for their risk. I hope that you agree that that is a rational stantpoint.

I think the fundamental problem in this issue is a failure to see the big picture, namely the failure to see that the big picture is not just the handful of large corporations in America, but also the multitude of small businesses. Suppose that I'm running a small business, perhaps having only five employees, and ascertain that to keep the business from going bankrupt I need to shed a couple of the employees. What if my employees have families? Do they have a right to their jobs, and thus do I have an obligation to provide them with it? What happens when I fold because the government forces its regulation upon me, and then all five employees are without jobs?

The problem with government control is that it is of the form "one size fit no one." I don't deny that real world economics foist very real, very painful situations onto real people. The point I'm trying to make is that a certain degree of pain and suffering is, unfortunately, both natural and unavoidable. The really cruel irony is that governmental attempts at panaceas almost always make things worse because they fail to fully ascertain the complexities of the situations over which they are exercising dictatorial power.

Think about how the Internet works... I think that it is a very good model for how a healthy economy should operate. There is very little central control. Instead there is a vast collection of autonomous nodes that make their own decisions and figure how to route around problems, and self-heal networks. This does not come from the imposition of the will of a central authority, but rather lots of small, rational decisions resulting in a collective good. This may be of little consolation to you while your cable modem is out, but in the long run it is the best thing for which we can reasonably hope.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Internet analogy (none / 0) (#125)
by subversion on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 06:53:36 PM EST

And then someone finds a DoS exploit against DNS, and takes down the root servers, and no one can use the Internet.  Analogies suck, learn to argue without them.

It is very, very hard to live in America without a job, unless you're independently wealthy.  If I have the right to life, it does translate into a right to work.  I really don't care if it screws a business owner - I'd rather see a business get screwed than a person.  Profit may be their motive, but it isn't mine.  If a small business folds, well, the owner has just as much of a right to work as anyone else.

The point is that your comment of "Get re-trained and get a better job" DOESN'T WORK in our current world.  I don't have anything that will work, but at least I don't hypocritically pretend that profit should be king over all else and that that will make people's lives better.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

You're making me weary, but... (none / 0) (#127)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:26:11 PM EST

Your mention of DoS attacks only strengthens my analogy. Despite the attempts of many people to ruin the internet over the years in various ways, it is still alive and well. What root server are you talking about? The whole beauty of the internet is there is no root server.

Your anti-business stance is completely irrational as best I can tell. It would seem like you think that jobs appear magically out of the air. If all of the businesses fold because of political shenanigans in the realm of the economy, then there won't be any jobs worth having. What good is your right to work if there are no real jobs to be had?

It sounds to me like you're proposing the nationalization of everything. Great... Then we can be like Soviet Russia, where everyone had plenty of money, whole wheel barrows full of it, all of it worthless. If there aren't any goods being produced, then everyone starves. No amount of phony paper money will save you.

You seem to have some kind of religious opposition to people making "profit" from doing anything... Why? Would you prefer completely futile activity in its stead? I've done all that I can for you... You seem unwilling to think through the chain of consequences, to examine the secondary effects. Instead of imagining a system where everyone gets a job and just stopping there, think deeper into the series of events that would inevitably unfold. You are carelessly preaching your own demise.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
I'm making *you* weary? (none / 0) (#134)
by subversion on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 07:08:51 AM EST

DNS root servers.  I'm making you weary?  Learn a little bit - if I mention DNS, when I say root servers, odds are those are the ones I'm referring to.

I'm not proposing nationalizing a damn thing.  Although I do approve of the "call your opponent a commie" debate tactic.  But people who blithely assume that there will be jobs to be had if you just make yourself attractive enough to an employer (i.e. you) are just as deluded as state-capitalists like the Russians.  The fact of the matter is that that just ain't the way it works.

In fact, I could more easily accuse you of thinking jobs appear out of thin air.  I obviously understand not only that they exist, but that they often move; lately, mostly out of the U.S., with the remaining jobs being increasingly taken up by visa labor (don't believe me?  Ask any of the professional engineering societies like IEEE, ASCE, ASME, etc.).  You have this strange belief that it'll all be OK if everyone just bites the bullet; I acknowledge that people will get screwed, and would like to minimize that.

I don't oppose profit.  I'm a good capitalist like everyone else, I like money, I like nice toys.  I also don't particularly see a need for money to be the supreme motive over all else, allowing profit to justify abuses of people.  You seem to believe that its OK to pay jack shit, because it helps the company.  I say that if the company can't pay a decent wage, the fucking thing deserves to fold.  

Injustice is 40,000 $40,000 per year line workers getting laid off while the CEO collects a fucking bonus for increasing the profit margin.  Do I think companies should have some responsibility to their employees?  YES.  I do.  I think that encouraging a company not to think of an employee as an interchangable resource is, in fact, the best way to get the best work out of people.  I've worked for small businesses; my dad runs one, I ran one for a while.  I've worked for government agencies; NASA and non-profit social services both.  I've worked for large chains, small chains, and mom and pop retail.  And the ones that treated their employees best got the best results.  Hell, people will take pay cuts to keep a company going if the company has treated them well.  Ask a line worked at GM if they would take a pay cut if GM was in danger of bankruptcy.  Watch them laugh at you, because they've been getting screwed by GM their entire life.

You act like labor legislation automatically causes businesses to fail.  If a business will fail if they keep an extra employee, then it'll probably fail without them too.  If a large corporation can operate with 40,000 more employees, then they should.  If they don't have suitable jobs, they should be training those workers for better jobs, not throwing them out on their asses.

We're fundamentally opposed here; you seem to think I'm a socialist, I just think you're an ass.  It ain't worth it any more.  Done.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Not entirely (none / 0) (#86)
by pyramid termite on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 10:12:05 AM EST

It's in the best interests of the technologically superior region because the labor pool can move on to doing more high level tasks.

Some of the labor pool can - but much of the labor pool ends up stuck in one of those small Michigan factory towns taking whatever they can get. (I know - I'm FROM one of those towns.) The myth that everyone is a society is going to end up doing high level tasks is just that - a myth. What of the people who don't have that skill level and aren't ever going to get it? They can either be participants in a society that feel their participation is rewarded, or they can be outcasts who create problems. Unfortunately, because of a shortage of rewards for many roles society has to offer, they choose the latter route.

There's an even worse problem - right now, for much of our industry, or our consumer goods, or our communications we are totally dependant on imports from other countries. All we need is ONE nuclear bomb in a container on a container ship and we would have to tighten our borders in a way that would kill our economy. Hell, the bomb wouldn't even have to go off - just finding it would necessitate extreme security measures.

In other words, it's not just a matter of the little people losing their jobs - it's also a matter of national security. We as a country are much more vunerable today because many of the manufacturing jobs have been sent overseas.

To sum up - sending manufacturing overseas has had some positive effects, but has also had the negative effects of causing more domestic disorder and increasing our vunerability to world events and terrorism.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Some good points... (none / 0) (#108)
by skyknight on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 07:36:56 AM EST

You are right in describing the myth, but I do not ascribe to it. Rather, I think that technological progress is a double edged sword that constantly both gives and takes from society. The matter of fact, however, is that we don't really have a choice. Technological progress will proceed without bound perhaps indefinitely; we are powerless to stop it.

The natural effect of technological progress is that jobs are created at the top, and eliminated at the bottom. That's just the way things are. If one tries to artificially preserve jobs at the lower rungs, it chokes of the creation of new jobs at the higher rungs, and thus severely stagnates progress. People ought to keep this in mind and have contingency plans. Nobody (as far as I'm concerned) has a "right" to work in a single profession for a whole life time. My father started off his professional career as a university professor, then he went on to work as a mathematical analyst, then he switched over to being a software engineer. He has always spent a great deal of his spare time retraining himself in new areas so he could adapt to the ever changing economy.

Myself, I've recently landed in the "real world" with a job as a software engineer, but I'm already wondering what kind of dramatic paradigm shifts might occur in the next 20-30 years that could render my trade very much obsolete. Nanotech, for example, could be a more disruptive technology than anything the world has ever seen. Maybe programming nanotech devices will displace the programming of conventional computers. I'll have to be ready for that. You have to either be willing to play the game, or get steamrolled by evolution, which takes no prisoners.

As for your point about national security... I think that that is actually one of the few potentially valid arguments in favor of protectionism, but I'm still torn on the issue. I appreciate the fact that if America were completely reliant on foreign entities for, say, steel and oil, we would be in a real strangle hold in times of war. If I understand correctly, America choking off Japan's oil supply is what caused them to attack Pearl Harbor. It's very dangerous to allow anyone absolute, arbitrary power over oneself. That being said, I don't know what the compromise is.



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Hey! (none / 0) (#54)
by tetsuwan on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 04:59:16 PM EST

I think Cheiron did a great job! Jobs done where competence walks the earth ...



"... to preserve freedomocracy and kittens ... " - Rogerborg
[ Parent ]
Dead link (none / 0) (#61)
by BSDyke on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:01:14 PM EST

Hehehe...I win! :p

--
Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?

[ Parent ]

Yes, you do (none / 0) (#88)
by tetsuwan on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 10:49:55 AM EST

Should've been a link to this site, but WTH.
"... to preserve freedomocracy and kittens ... " - Rogerborg
[ Parent ]
If that's the point... (4.00 / 3) (#44)
by mikelist on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 01:51:46 PM EST

...making college kids duck and run, this Carter guy needs to be replaced. I'm not a college kid, although I was a non-traditional student at one point.

Congressional Logic (4.55 / 9) (#47)
by bjlhct on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:21:23 PM EST

Group A supports terrorism. Group B, we dislike for other reasons. If we call both "X" then Group B is "X" - ergo, it supports terrorism.

This is confusing to those of us who use "normal" logic until you realize that Congress exists in a parallel dimension.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism

As a USian, you need to bitch @house.gov (5.00 / 10) (#49)
by cavalier on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 02:42:32 PM EST

And not just here. Remember that. Congress doesn't read Kuro5hin. Congressional staff does have to read their inbox.

"One letter, whatever. Fourteen letters, hmm. A hundred letters about our meeting last Thursday? Shit, we hit a nerve!"

Follow the links and email any of the following:

  • The Committee Chairman
  • The individual represntatives on the committee
  • The witnesses
  • YOUR personal representative, so he/she knows your displeasure with the above.
To see a sample of a poorly written letter, you can check out mine here.

It's True! I'm So Shocked! (5.00 / 21) (#50)
by mickwd on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 03:28:02 PM EST

How could I have been so blind as to not see the obvious links between audio / video piracy and terrorism ?

I think there's only one answer. I must never again pay money for audio or video entertainment. I must only download it for free. Even going to a shop and buying CDs and DVDs sounds too risky for me now - you never know whether the store you're going to is just a front for a bunch of terrorists.

But if I'm not paying any money then no money can be going to fund terrorism.

If we all do this, it'll cut off terrorism funding at the knees.

Please everybody - think of the children.

I'm a tax payer - therefore, I fund terrorism (3.80 / 5) (#53)
by smallstepforman on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 04:35:00 PM EST

Isn't it ironic that the biggest funder of terrorism is the government (one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and other cliches). Therefore, every taxpayer indirectly funds all terrorist activities that their government supports. Some may call these groups terrorists, while others call them "fighters for democracy against tyrant dictators". You do know that some rogue states are full fledged democracies, dont you?

Nazi fucks (3.57 / 7) (#58)
by dh003i on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 05:39:01 PM EST

Representative John Carter, a Texas Republican, suggested that college students would stop downloading if some were prosecuted and received sentences of 33 months or longer...

Sorry, unconstitutional under cruel and unusual punishment.

Any jail time at all for downloading music or whatever would be absurd and clearly unconstitutional. This would be analagous to sentencing someone to life in jail for stealing an apple.

Furthermore, since the original owner isn't deprived of anything, it isn't even theft. Copyright infringment has never been and never should be a penal crime. The only punishment anyone caught downloading music should be subjected to is having to either destroy the files they downloaded, or pay the equivalent dollar amount for what they downloaded.

For those who've uploaded files to others, they should have to pay for half of what the market price is for what they uploaded to others -- that is, what can be proven that they uploaded to others.

Of course, if you're a rational person, and realize how absurd it is to create an artificial scarcity on a theoretically infinite good, you'd realize that the entire IP system should be abolished, and no-one should be penalized for sharing information.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

not unconstitutional (none / 0) (#78)
by atavist on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 10:29:13 PM EST

People used to be hanged for stealing horses. Cruel and unusual is being drawn and quartered. Serving time isn't.

[ Parent ]
I'm afraid you're wrong (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by pyramid termite on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 10:29:50 AM EST

Any jail time at all for downloading music or whatever would be absurd and clearly unconstitutional. This would be analagous to sentencing someone to life in jail for stealing an apple.

The Supreme Court just reviewed a case of a man who was sent to prison for 50 years for shoplifting golf clubs under California's 3 strikes you're out law. They found this was not cruel and unusual punishment, even though to less legalistic minds like you and I, it's not much better than executing him on the spot.

Note, however, that you can steal billions of dollars with a pen and a piece of paper, wreck thousands of people's jobs and investments and get a LOT less time in prison for doing so.

Conclusion - the Bill of Rights doesn't mean shit in this country because the people interpreting it interpret it for the benefit of the people who own us.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I wish you weren't wrong (none / 0) (#122)
by Control Group on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 05:27:11 PM EST

Copyright infringment has never been and never should be a penal crime

I'm with you on the "shouldn't be," but you're way off on the "never been" [full text of the DMCA]. Specifically, look at Sec. 1204, "Criminal offenses and penalties."

***
"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

Uh, quoting the article... (4.50 / 4) (#67)
by Work on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 06:59:54 PM EST

Part of the hearing rehashed complaints about file-trading by college students over P-to-P networks, covered in previous hearings and statements from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). No one at the hearing connected P-to-P trading with the financing of terrorism or organized crime.

So...what was the point of this story again? Title doesn't seem to match the words of the article.

Attempting to connect.... (none / 0) (#85)
by thePositron on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 06:33:14 AM EST

Nice observation and you are correct of course. However it is my opinion, after reading the article, that companies in the entertainment content distribution business are attempting to provide examples that connect file trading of "their" exclusively distributed entertainment materials to nefarious activities such as terrorism. Although they have no examples of the nefarious activities that they are trying to tie to the activity they dissaprove of. They are still attempting to associate these activities with nefarious intents by associating them with a catchword that provokes fear via the one media outlet that was willing to report it. Do you agree?

[ Parent ]
I believe (none / 0) (#89)
by Work on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 12:52:31 PM EST

this article is really poor. Their best connection would be the asian piracy rings that sell the stuff in open air markets and make millions of dollar off it and own factories dedicated to pressing pirated material.

This is inp laces like indonesia and the phillipeans probably do have ties to various violent organizations in those parts.

[ Parent ]

One sided debate (4.20 / 5) (#71)
by doormat on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 08:09:00 PM EST

Its interesting to note, that all four people called to testify were on the side of the copyright industry. Now granted, there really isnt anyone on the side of pirates, but there was no real "voice of reason" in this hearing. No one from the EFF, or some likeminded group to denouce the absurd linkage of piracy to terrorism. Or to be more specific about how P2P and smaller scale piracy is far different than DVD-pirate groups in China or NYC. If the only voices heard are mouth pieces of the copyright industry then these clueless congressmen are going to think thats the only voice.
|\
|/oormat

They've got it backwards (5.00 / 9) (#73)
by BushidoCoder on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 09:06:42 PM EST

The connection that they are trying to forge is that foreign syndicates which sell large volumes of pirated media may be connected to other organizations that have violent political agendas. They then try to connect p2p file sharers to these organizations because they happen to use the same verb.

I suspect that for the same reason that p2p file sharing is bad for the RIAA, it is equally harmful to the business plan of people who resell pirated music. No matter how cheaply those pirates mark down media prices, they can't compete with free, and unlike the official legal copy, there is no moral desire on the part of the consumer to buy that copy to "support their favorite artist". As a result, if the market these pirates are trying to sell to has access to p2p services, chapter one of a high school economics textbook tells us that the pirates will sell less copies at a lower price.

You could argue and say that p2p networks make it easier for these organizations to make illegal sellable copies, but that's a fallacy too. If I was a Russian gangster who was intending on selling 100,000 copies of Britney Spears' newest CD, I would spring the 15 bucks to get the CD quality source instead of using the inferior compressed version.

\bc

Sadly (none / 0) (#105)
by Greyshade on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 03:01:19 AM EST

Our pockets aren't deep enough to endear congress to our point of view.

[ Parent ]
Bandwidth (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by hughk on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 01:32:12 AM EST

Bandwidth is the main issue, A pirated CD will sell for about $2 in a Russian market, whether audio or data. If it doesn't work, you can usually return it (hey thats something that MS should learn about).

The thing is that most people do not have broadband internet at home, certainly not unmetered, Most people don't even have access to high-speed data lines outside Moscow and St. Petersburg. Even there, it depends on what district you are in as some telephone lines are frankly dreadful. At $2 per CD, an audio or data CD becomes a good deal compared to the download. I must admit that one of my RH distributions came from the market. I needed Linux in Russia and even though I was working somewhere with good internet access, it was cheaper and more conventient to buy a 'pirate' CD set than try to d/l the ISOs. As there were multiple CDs, I think I paid only about $1.50/CD. I cheked later against the genuine article and the CDs were identical in content, as well as screen printed with an RH logo.

The pirates increase the calue of there wares by combining CDs, for example two audio CDs on one. Sometimes they will even do MP3 compilations. It is interesting that they are more innovative than the RIAA. For video, VCD is a very popular distribution medium.

[ Parent ]

No wonder you all are (1.42 / 7) (#79)
by Magnetic North on Sat Mar 15, 2003 at 11:14:23 PM EST

so proud of your country.

Losers.

(Btw. I will never employ an "American". Losers)

--
<33333
Well you sound like such a fun person to work for (none / 0) (#81)
by morkeleb on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 02:05:22 AM EST

(Btw. I will never employ an "American". Losers)

Well damn - and I was polishing my resume up so I could send it to you.

I'll refrain from commenting on the massive stupidity of your comment by simply pointing out that you're posting on a website created and run by an American inside the US. So if you think we suck so bad, what the hell are you doing here anyway?
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Trolling, of course. (nt) (none / 0) (#93)
by avery on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 05:20:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Probably not (none / 0) (#102)
by wilson on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 01:54:32 AM EST

(Btw. I will never employ an "American". Losers)

It seems unlikely that one will give you the opportunity.

(BTW, you can drop the quotes. Americans is what we are. It isn't a cute nickname for something else.)

[ Parent ]

Profits over patriotism (4.00 / 3) (#83)
by squigly on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 04:19:32 AM EST

I was thinking of complaining directly to the organisations involved.  Since they have no real evidence that piracy is involved with terrorism, I wonder how they would respond to a letter accusing them of abusing the memory of the WTC victims for their own profits.  The problem is, I can't quite work out how the letter should go.   Anything I an think of can be too easily refuted by dogma.

As far as John Carters comments go, I believe he's the only one who actually gets the whole picture here.  He believes piracy is wrong, and he's simply proposing a solution to the problem.  I doubt even he thinks it's an ideal solution, but it's a good starting point.

beware of dogma... (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by israfil on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:43:46 AM EST

The problem is that anything at all can be refuted by dogma, because it is its own justification.

Of course software piracy is bad, because... APPLE PIE AND MOTHER's MILK!!!!

"Oh... right!" says the crowd.

<sigh>

(Not condoning piracy, but to re-use an earlier post... Not everything bad is equal to terrorism)

i.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps... (none / 0) (#132)
by Mantikor on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 04:10:51 AM EST

...this comment will be of some assistance?

Since it's almost impossible for any individual to know exactly where their money goes when buying a DVD or CD (much US money was donated to the IRA, for example), the only sensible conclusion that any honest Usonian can come to is that money should not be spent on such items.

Stop the terror - never pay for movies, music, or software.

[ Parent ]
Can't this be extended to telephones? (5.00 / 5) (#84)
by zentara on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 06:09:57 AM EST

If you follow their dumb arguments, telephones are a terrorist tool, since they allow communication between the slaves.

god damnit (4.16 / 6) (#92)
by Matt Oneiros on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 04:07:19 PM EST

I don't care what you think of piracy, file sharing and all. It really doesn't matter. Lets get one thing straight for the record though:

THINGS YOU THINK ARE BAD ARE NOT EQUAL TO TERRORISM.

Mahalo, thank you.

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real

Public Relations?? (4.66 / 3) (#94)
by speedfreak2K2 on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 05:59:28 PM EST

Ok, if it was a corporation I would understand them trying to influence the way we think. But CONGRESS?!? Shouldn't we be influencing the way that THEY think?
You! Take that crown off your head, I'm kicking your ass!
Whao, Things are getting though now ! (2.50 / 2) (#96)
by runlevel0 on Sun Mar 16, 2003 at 06:22:13 PM EST

OK, I know M$ could be held responsible for spreading it's software using Warez as a way to invade the market, and also of easying the compromise of computer security by 33V331 H4><0RZ, but sendig Bill Gates to Guantanamo is IMHO way too much...

Jack Valenti is so right (4.00 / 3) (#106)
by tjost on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 06:20:27 AM EST

America's crown jewels -- its intellectual property -- are being looted. Organized, violent, international criminal groups are getting rich from the high gain/low risk business of stealing America's copyrighted works. We don't know to what end the profits from these criminal enterprises are put. US industry alone will never have the tools to penetrate these groups or to trace the nefarious paths to which those profits are put. For these reasons it is entirely suitable and necessary that the Subcommittee ... hold this hearing and illuminate the nature of the problems and the effect on the copyright industries ...
I couldn't have said it better myself. I mean, it's just spot on. Now all we need to do is find a way to stop these big record companies from looting our valuable intellectual property. Surely that will stop terrorism!

A new index (2.50 / 2) (#114)
by xria on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 08:21:24 AM EST

I was wondering how low an IQ would have to be to be taken in by this specious argument, and realised that anything with 'Intelligence' in it cant be attributable to Robert Wexler. Maybe a new measure needs to be created, a Moron Quotient (MQ) perhaps, and if it was then he would be rated as over 200 (unmeasurable).

Valenti's testimony (4.60 / 5) (#119)
by RainyRat on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 01:09:18 PM EST

"September 11 changed the way Americans look at the world. It also changed the way American law enforcement looks at Intellectual Property crimes."

Oh, very well done, Jack. Way to hijack (pun not intended) the deaths of 3000-odd people, and use it to suggest that people stop eating into your 18-mile-wide profit margins.

<sigh> Only in America. Except probably not.




Eagles may soar, but rats seldom get sucked into jet engines.
scary as all hell (4.66 / 3) (#128)
by YelM3 on Mon Mar 17, 2003 at 10:55:07 PM EST

This is horrifying. A few months after September 11 I said to myself, "next thing you know they'll be blaming software piracy on 'Terrorists,'" and for the love of God almighty they are actually doing it. I hope these lying capitalist unAmerican fuckheads are seen for the evil scum that they are and thrown in solitary confinement for the rest of their pathetic, greedy lives.

I don't know what to do about the situation in this country lately. It just makes me want to run and hide for a few years, until things settle down and people get a grip on reality. The only thing stopping me is that I know it won't be any better in a few years, and if WE don't do something about it, it's going to be a hell of a lot worse.

Are IP groups hijacking the Patriot Act? (3.66 / 3) (#130)
by Gooba42 on Tue Mar 18, 2003 at 01:10:29 AM EST

If they establish their case, does this mean that Microsoft, Vivendi, et al. get to have the FBI at their beck and call? Ready to add whatever "terrorist" downloaded the most recent warez beta of Windows to the watchlist?

I don't want to go up against the MS secret court. Their money could hire some good lawyers but it could also hire some damn good hit squads.

Timing of hearing is questionable (4.00 / 2) (#136)
by ToughLove on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 10:47:41 AM EST

Hey guy's we are at WAR! Forget your freedoms, let's shut down all those "free speech" mechanisms that our political advesaries{terrorist} could use to threaten our ability to control the flow of information and existance!

Terrorism is a much better exuse to control you with hidden code, than is piracy, yet Jack Valenti has successfully made the link between three thousand former corpses in NY and IP law.



The "tv media" has been silent on this (4.00 / 2) (#137)
by ToughLove on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 11:01:17 AM EST

Is it any wonder why these guys want WAR; If you were making over 1,000,000 year minipulating public opinion and had a "koosh job" with noteriety, wouldn't you push for anything{incl.war} that could be used as an exuse to impose strict laws to maintain their present cashflows?



John Carter is onto something here (3.00 / 1) (#138)
by ToughLove on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 11:06:29 AM EST

"I think it'd be a good idea to go out and actually bust a couple of these college kids," Carter said. "If you want to see college kids duck and run, you let them read the papers and somebody's got a 33-month sentence in the federal penitentiary for downloading copyrighted materials."

Although, John thinks this would help prevent piracy, it would do two things; Get Parents outraged at congress over IP laws and force kids to use decentralized encyrpted P2P systems, all which is GOOD for our FUTURE!



IP laws are artificial (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by ToughLove on Wed Mar 19, 2003 at 11:29:00 AM EST

IP laws are contrary to the human nature of people wanting to share with others, they help to build up artificial profits at the expense of the freedom of a society; If these guys are so concerned with people pirating their "goods", perhaps they should find it in their inhuman hearts an decide to take it apon themselves to suck the profit out of the "terrorirsts hands", and make their works available for FREE, by doing so, they don't look like whining crybabies running to congress, and they could stop their part in funding terrorism! I say these IPDroids should stop trying to blame IPTheft on terrorism and blame themselves instead. After all, this war is about preserving the cashflow of the elite at the expense of society at large.

Congress: File-sharing and piracy linked to terrorism? | 139 comments (137 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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