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MPAA Informational Page and Boycott

By skwp in MLP
Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 01:42:16 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

Electronic Freedom is a new website that currently focuses on the issues surrounding the DeCSS trials and the MPAA. We are currently attempting to organize an MPAA boycott for the month of October. The page also has an open letter to the MPAA. The site will slowly transform into a general site about current techno-freedom issues such as the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, the DMCA, and others. Hopefully by involving the community, we can do things such as collaborate to write letters to our congressmen, or use our strength in numbers for boycotts, etc.


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MPAA Informational Page and Boycott | 14 comments (10 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (3.63 / 11) (#3)
by pope nihil on Mon Sep 18, 2000 at 10:15:12 PM EST

this stuff is very important for anyone living in the US or countries that the US has significant sway over. i would like to see a central place where people can find what can be done to stop this slow march toward 1984. in all reality, this thing has been building for a very long time. ever since they started "interpreting" the constitution, things have been awry. i feel that things are now about to reach a critical mass where our devolution from a republic to fascist state will be nearly instantaneous. i don't know about the rest of you, but i am SERIOUSLY considering a major change of address.

I voted.

Re: MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (2.66 / 6) (#5)
by Scriven on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 12:21:12 AM EST

Maybe you should do what Baldwin said he'd do today.

The Baldwin/Bassinger clan (I forget which Baldwin it is) said publicly today that if Dubya gets elected, they'll move out of the US.

They can move up here to Canada if they want. 8-)

This is my .sig. It isn't very big. (an oldie, but a goodie)
[ Parent ]
Re: MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (2.50 / 4) (#7)
by pope nihil on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 01:43:21 AM EST

i may be moving to canada until i can move to some other country that won't sell me to the Incorporated States of America for putting a copy of decss on my website.

I voted.

[ Parent ]
Re: MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (2.66 / 3) (#9)
by Precious Roy on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 06:03:42 AM EST

Just fine with me. The McMahons (Vince, Linda, Shane and Stephanie) have already replaced the Baldwins as America's top acting family. :-P

But to return to the topic for a bit... someone pointed out this law is a big thing for the U.S.... but what about the rest of the world? Can any readers give an indication of what other countries think about this whole mess?

[ Parent ]

Re: MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (2.66 / 3) (#10)
by guppie on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:24:04 AM EST

It's a big mess, and it effects us living in Western Europe because our governments have a nasty tendency to copy American laws, especially when it comes to technology and IP.

Just last fall, all the NATO countries adopted the US export-laws for crypto, without any democratic debate. (IIRC, it's a bit blured in my memory.) I think the thing was presented as an "opportunity to get better crypto", as well as "fight cyber-terrorism", or some bs like that.

Then the MPAA sues this young Norwegian over DeCSS, and he has to defend himself in NYC (WTF! I though Norway was an independent country!), even before he is tried by his own judcial system. (Will happen soon, if you can trust the newspapers over here.)

As a result of this, I joined the EFF to help them fight the Anti-Freedom forces on ther home turf, the US of A.

Rants aside, my view is that "this whole mess" affects the whole world, the Internet beeing gobal, but "governed" from the USA. We must make ourself heard in our home countries, as well as in the US through such organizations as Electronic Freedom & EFF.
And of course K5 ;-)

What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
-Zack de la Rocha
[ Parent ]
Re: MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (3.33 / 3) (#12)
by Precious Roy on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:47:49 AM EST

One trap a lot of Americans fall into (myself included) is thinking that the influence of our laws end at our borders. I know more than once, I've said "Yeah, all I'd have to do is move to Europe and I wouldn't have to worry about that."

In one word: Oops. I didn't realize that our law (even when it comes to international things such as the Internet) really has such an effect on the rest of the world.

As for NATO adopting our crypto law... you were expecting democracy from a military organization?

[ Parent ]

Military vs. civil rights (3.50 / 2) (#13)
by guppie on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 08:39:29 AM EST

Of course, the military is inherently undemocratic. The thing that pisses me off is that my governemt gives away my civil rights to NATO without any debate.

This is how it went down in Norway: Our DoD comes back from some NATO meeting and tells the politicians that they "have" to go along with the other NATO countries. (In fact, the Wassenaar arrangement, www.wassenaar.org) The defence comittee recommends for the parliament to pass crypto laws corresponding to the American ones. There is some protests from academia and geeks, but nothing comes into the mainstream press. The law is passed 2 months later. What can you do? Not much, since all the parties (possibly not the left-wings, they're always against NATO, no matter what) doesn't seem to notice the problem at all.

What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
-Zack de la Rocha
[ Parent ]
Re: MPAA & RIAA & DMCA, etc ad infinitum (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by Matrix on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:24:28 AM EST

Well, Britain's pretty much gone even farther than the US (see the RIP act and related "anti-terrorist" bills). Canada's laws so far seem sane, but you can bet that will change when the US notices that they're loosing intelligent people to us that can't stand US laws. Japan, I'm not too sure about...? I'm fairly sure the rest of Europe's pretty good, though.

"...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."
- Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Isn't this job done by EFF already? (3.33 / 3) (#8)
by guppie on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 04:22:11 AM EST

I don't wanna be a bore, but it seems to me that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org, if you don't know) is adressing the problems Electronic Freedom wants to deal with. For example, EFF is already paying legal bills for the unfortunate Norwegian that's beeing dragged to court for DeCSS.

But maybe Electronic Freedom can be a good grass-root site for the angry masses that want to do something with the situation. I guess there is no such thing as "too much political involvement".

What? The land of the free? Whoever told you that is your enemy.
-Zack de la Rocha
Floppy disks, BBSes, the Net, VCRs, CDs and DVD... (3.66 / 3) (#14)
by tom0 on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:39:57 AM EST

All of these types of media have generated piracy hysteria, and lots of legal maneuvering (lobbying, EULAs, lawsuits, prosecutions, you name it) by the people who's work could be copied with them... or by the organizations who "represent" them. Nobody seems to have a problem with saying "screw the MPAA" (or the RIAA), and as far as I can tell it's because these organizations seem like a racket. They're screwing your favorite artist on one end, and the fans on the other (while bagging some of your freedoms while nobody's looking)... Fine, so they're not the most sympathetic charactatures, but don't they have a point in here somewhere?

Look at software- no one can deny that piracy is rampant... The rationalizations are that the pirate copies generate "buzz" and let people "try out" the software before they buy it. Also there's a theory that people who pirate copies would not buy them, and vice versa, so no harm no foul, eh? There's ample evidence to support the opinion that piracy is good or bad, depending on how you twist your statistics, but let's take a step back and ask this: can it be stopped? Just looking at the computer and gaming console software markets, any sane person would have to say no. You can download Dreamcast GD-ROMs and Word 2000 from the net. The net will make quick work of any "copy protection," too, offering a little utility to disable it, or as many working "product keys" as you can imagine.

Despite efforts from very early on, software companies have been completely unable to stop piracy... What they have done, for the most part, is put up some minimal barriers (like "copy protection"), accept some level of piracy, and force it underground. This seems to work- there's lots of money to be made in software nowadays.

With VCRs the MPAA took much the same approach. Of course, they're analog, so you can't make perfect serial copies, but they also use Macrovision on tapes and DVDs- "breakable" if you get an electronics magazine and are handy with a soldering iron, but this is not something your "average joe" is going to do.

Enter DeCSS+MPEG-4 and MP3. Here are digital formats that can make perfect serial copies. Granted, they are not "as good" as the original- they're compressed to fit through our current digital pipes, but they are pretty good and our pipes (and disks) will only get bigger. This scares the bejesus out of the MPAA and RIAA for obvious reasons... It must have dawned on them that, if the software people could not stop piracy with "copy protection" alone, they'd need to do more. I am, quite honestly, blown away with the success they've had with lobbying. Granted they've probably spent a fortune, but the DMCA is amazing. Aside from the DAT tax the RIAA managed to get, I don't think any other piece of special-interest legislation has ever been so succeessful.

But, pretend we're in an alternate universe where the MPAA, RIAA and record labels as we know them don't exist (ahhh... doesn't that feel good?). In this universe, you can download songs for $.50 a pop, or movies for, say, $2, and the artists get 90% of it (the rest going to cover bandwidth and production costs, and a thin slice to the movie or record company). Enter Napster and movie trading. Everyone likes to say "I would support the artist, but I don't want to support the $#%@'s who actually are making the money now," but if we take them out of the equation, does Napster go unused? Somehow, I doubt it. What if Napster instead focuses on distributing ISOs of computer software and cracks, does it survive it's first day in court?

My point here is that the details of these powerful organizations make it easy for the geek community to label them as the "bad guys"... I think we need to worry about ourselves, and the big picture, a little here, too. After all, what happens if Napster wins and there's no longer any monetary incentive for musicians to make new albums or production companies to make new films? Does everything shift back to live performance? What happens when we're downloading bootleg vidoes of those with dolby 5.1 surround sound?

I don't think anyone knows the "right answer", but I don't think either extreme of the zealot spectrum will be good for anyone in the end.

MPAA Informational Page and Boycott | 14 comments (10 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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