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Road builders and maintainers should pay robbery victims

By United Fools in Op-Ed
Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 11:17:43 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

According to this news report, ISPs should pay record companies for music swapping. This logic is very valid, in our wise opinion. However, as we are more concerned with the more serious crimes that impact some lives more than music swapping on the Internet, that of the issue of robbery, we propose a concrete measure to help robbery victims and to discourage more robberies. We propose to have road builders and maintainers paying robbery victims for their losses.

Robbery is a serious crime and impacts the lives of victims significantly. Robbery brings trauma to store clerks, bank tellers and customers involved, besides money losses, physical harms and property damages. Sometimes robbery results in deaths of victims or the robbers. Robbery is a serious problem and most countries give serious punishments, long sentences or other inhumane treatments. However, the statistics of most countries will tell you that robberies are still happening at alarming frequencies. Clearly, harsh punishments are not very effective in preventing robberies.

One factor generally overlooked is the relations between roads and robbers. Roads provide the means for robbers to reach their targets and to get away quickly. Without roads shops and banks will be hard for the robbers to reach. More importantly, roads enable the quick get-away that makes a robbery worth attempting for the robbers because their chance of being cut on the spot by the police is fairly small, if they get out fast in time. Roads provide significant help to robbers.

Therefore, road builders and road maintainers are partially responsible for the occurences of robberies. For crime victims who demand justice and compensation, road builders and maintainers should pay for part of their losses. As most roads are built/supported by local governments, the city or county should be charged and paying fines for every robbery that involves local roads. If the road in question is in private property, than the property owner should be responsible.

Making road maintainers pay also has the desired consequences of encouraging the development of traffic filtering technologies. That is, if the cities, counties, etc. want to avoid paying the fines for robberies, they will invest in the development of technologies that can remove illegitimate traffic (such as robbers drving to or fleeing a crime scene) from the roads. Roads that can automatically stop a person thinking of attempting a robbery before he reaches his target can greatly reduce the crime rate and increase the security of the general public.

Making the road owners pay for robberies made possible by their roads is a just thing to do. Crime victims deserve justice, and parties accessory to crimes should pay. Such measures will force road maintainers to be socially responsible and to be creative in coming out with new technologies that prevent robbers from using the roads and thus robberies from happening.

(The reader may wonder if the same reasoning also applies to other crimes like rape whose criminals also use roads. Or should car companies be liable as well, since robbers often have get-away cars. While we would say yes, let's focus on one thing at a time. Other issues are the topics of future articles)


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Should road builders/maintainers pay for robberies made possible by their roads?
o Yes. Good idea! 43%
o Not realistic, road builders are politically powerful and will block such measures 13%
o No, because I do not want road funding to be used for paying robbery victims 12%
o No, this measure will discourage road maintenance and more potholes will appear after robbers pass by. 24%
o No opinion. 6%

Votes: 188
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o this news report
o Also by United Fools

Display: Sort:
Road builders and maintainers should pay robbery victims | 122 comments (117 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1! Too bad I won't be around to vote you up (4.00 / 6) (#1)
by jdrake on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 11:46:02 PM EST

This is a good counter to their garbage.
- If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around, is there any sound?
- If the universe is created, and nobody is around, is there any bang?

Yar you going to kill yourself? (1.85 / 7) (#4)
by Psycho Les on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 11:59:04 PM EST

If so, plz post pictures.

[ Parent ]
haha (3.50 / 10) (#2)
by vile on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 11:49:06 PM EST

funny article. perfect sarcasm for the situation. I applaud you.

The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
Get those car maker bastards too. (4.30 / 10) (#6)
by Edgy Loner on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:26:17 AM EST

After all roads are'nt much use with cars. Or trucks or motorcycles. These devices are the very same instruments used by thieves, robbers, rapists and child molesters to reach their victums and escape after performing their foul deeds. They are veritable chariots of destruction and mayhem. In the United States alone, truck, automoble and motorcycle manufacturers make billions in profits from aiding and abetting crimes of every nature imaginable. Therefore I propose a schedule of taxes and fines be levied on these companies to compensate the victums of crimes.

This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
i completely agree (none / 0) (#8)
by twistedfirestarter on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 01:24:15 AM EST

whta bout the 400000 deaths every year in US from car aciidents? They should pay for the hospital care.

[ Parent ]
And don't forget those educators... (4.00 / 4) (#12)
by gnovos on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:40:47 AM EST

If kids couldn't read they wouldn't be able to follow directions and roadsigns to escape from robberies.  Crime enablers, that's all schools are.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
What about the parents (4.75 / 4) (#15)
by WeaponOfChoice on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 04:49:20 AM EST

If it wasn't for the parents actually creating the kids who grow up to be educated, roadsign following thieves there wouldn't be a problem at all.

I propose [insert thought provoking technological solution here] to end this vicious cycle.

Be Strong: Protect the Weak.
[ Parent ]
Apples and oranges, neener neener. (3.00 / 6) (#7)
by zealtrix on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:48:47 AM EST

A better analogy would be smuggling, IMHO.

Hah! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by dublet on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 07:45:07 AM EST

So does that mean you agree?

Badger. Badger. ←
[ Parent ]
A poor analogy (2.83 / 12) (#9)
by Imperfect on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:00:45 AM EST

ISPs do have the ability to filter P2P file-sharing traffic. Road builders and maintainers do not have the ability to filter robbers.

Well-written, however. Feel free to write something else, and it will almost certainly be voted up by me.

Not perfect, not quite.
Not really (5.00 / 11) (#10)
by DarkZero on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:25:57 AM EST

ISPs do have the ability to filter P2P file-sharing traffic. Road builders and maintainers do not have the ability to filter robbers.

"ISPs have the ability" is not exactly true. They have the ability to filter it if they pay for the equipment, software, and manpower to do so out of their own pockets. For smaller ISPs, this could be a sizable percentage of their cashflow. Similarly, if small towns put a sizable percentage of their cashflow toward vastly increased law enforcement and a system that monitored who everyone on the road was and what they were doing, they could filter roughly the same percentage of robbers from the roads as ISPs could filter "pirates" from their service.

[ Parent ]

Not quite... (4.90 / 11) (#11)
by gnovos on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:31:41 AM EST

Soooo, you are saying that checkpoints are impossible.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
That could change real quick (5.00 / 10) (#13)
by FlipFlop on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:41:47 AM EST

ISPs do have the ability to filter P2P file-sharing traffic.

Let's say most ISPs actually do start blocking P2P traffic. How long do you think it will be before someone adds SSL to a current P2P standard?

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

And how long after that . . . (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by acceleriter on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:04:17 PM EST

. . . will significant upstream traffic from a mere "consumer" be prima facie evidence of abuse of his connection, with immediate disconnection as the minimum penalty. P2P apps have an obvious traffic signature, and SSL won't mask that.

[ Parent ]
Plainly put, (4.00 / 3) (#23)
by JChen on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:58:44 AM EST

if some dumbshit ISP starts blocking, the users will simply switch to another ISP that doesn't.

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
And if all the ISPs do it . . . (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by acceleriter on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:02:45 PM EST

. . . then demand for broadband collapses like a cake with children jumping around the oven. That much, Rosen got right.

[ Parent ]
Not true. (5.00 / 2) (#47)
by pla on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 04:29:06 PM EST

I have had broadband connection since first available to me (around four years now).

In that time, I downloaded a total of three (legal) files off Napster, and perhaps 50 songs (by indie artists offering them directly, no theft involved) total off the web. I have never used an actual P2P system (which Napster didn't tecnically count as, since all traffic went through their servers).

Regardless, I have a steady trickle of traffic both upstream and down... A couple of distributed processing CPU-wasters, local mail storage that I fetch from my actual ISP every five minutes, usually some large, slow download going on in the background... I use perhaps 5GB/month downstream, and essentially none of it involves music, copyright violations, or any form of file-sharing.

The bulk of what I *actively* download, believe it or not, currently comes from bloated PDF files that I want to get one tiny blob of data from (ie, I want to know how to frobulate the accumulator of a ZapoTron 9000, with that info only available on page 92 of a 4MB PDF file from ZapoTron's web site). Repeat 40-50 times a day (assume at *least* four tries just to find the right PDF), and you go through a gig every week.

I think you have correctly identified P2P as the "killer app" for broadband, but it became popular *after* broadband did. A fat pipe just facilitates file sharing, neither actually requires the other, though they did help each other grow a LOT faster than either would have otherwise.

[ Parent ]
Google's pdf to html translator (4.50 / 2) (#49)
by hollo on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 06:17:54 PM EST

Do you know about google's pdf translator. Once you've got the URL of your pdf, type it into google, and click on the "View as html" link. Works for word docs as well.

[ Parent ]
For technically inclined people . . . (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by acceleriter on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 06:34:21 PM EST

. . . there'd still be demand for broadband in the absence of P2P. Your examples fit my experience pretty well--I'd utilize a fast pipe without P2P, too.

But it appears to my untrained eye that for the vast majority of residential broadband users, P2P has been the carrot worth paying $30-$60 per month for and if it is unavailable, a dialup connection becomes sufficient for their needs.

[ Parent ]

I suspect a troll (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by rdskutter on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 05:45:39 AM EST

In that time, I downloaded a total of three (legal) files off Napster, and perhaps 50 songs (by indie artists offering them directly, no theft involved) total off the web.

Ah. lets set the tone of the comment with this "Hollier than thou!" statement.

I have never used an actual P2P system (which Napster didn't tecnically count as, since all traffic went through their servers).

Wrong. Napster is a P2P application. The only thing that is stored on central servers are the lists of files available from each computer on the network. The file transfer is P2P... but I suspect you knew that anyway.

Regardless, I have a steady trickle of traffic both upstream and down... A couple of distributed processing CPU-wasters, local mail storage that I fetch from my actual ISP every five minutes...

I would hardly call that even a trickle. Its more like a drought. Seti normally sends about 1 work unit per day. I can't imagine that any other distributed apps are much faster than that. So lets say 500k per day. Actually since you say "a couple" lets say 1M per day + 2M for your email.

usually some large, slow download going on in the background...

What large slow downloads are available without downloading either vidoes or pirate software? You can hardly call mp3's "large downloads". Maybe you have an extensive collection of "legal" porn movies.

I use perhaps 5GB/month downstream, and essentially none of it involves music, copyright violations, or any form of file-sharing.

I can't see how you are able to get anywhere near 1GB a month with this usage. Why did you bother getting broadband in the first place? Get back under your bridge.

Yanks are like ICBMs: Good to have on your side, but dangerous to have nearby. - OzJuggler
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.[ Parent ]

Nope, no trolling. (5.00 / 1) (#93)
by pla on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 03:15:56 PM EST

Ah. lets set the tone of the comment with this "Hollier than thou!" statement.

No, not "Holier than thou". I pointed that out as 100% relevant (even critical) to my point, that a person can still need (or at least strongly desire) a broadband connection without using P2P.

The file transfer is P2P... but I suspect you knew that anyway.

You suspect correctly. However, the very fact that it stored a central index of files made it easy to shut down. With "true" peer-to-peer software, like Kazaa (with some tweaks, since the parent company has crippled their client a bit), even if the parent company gets shut down and ordered to stop their program, they simply don't have that power. As long as just two people run the client, they can still share files between them.

I would hardly call that even a trickle. Its more like a drought.

For email, you estimate correctly... I get a meg per slow day, as high as five meg on a busy one.

For Seti, you assume I only have one machine running it. Three-plus units per day, over five machines, comes out to almost five megs per day of total traffic generated.

What large slow downloads are available without downloading either vidoes or pirate software?

Mostly, local mirrors of several of the websites I check regularly. Particularly news sites, I have discovered, have an annoying tendency to change the text of online content without any notice whatsoever of such changes. Checking my current local webpage cache, I have... Almost exactly 100MB (99.3), of which I refresh (roughly) half of this per day.

Additionally, I download perhaps one or two CDs per month of comepletely free and legal software, such as Linux distributions, StarOffice, X86, dev builds of GCC... Also, a dozen or so 30-80MB indie shorts (or would you consider iFilm and AtomFilm as "stolen porn"?).

I can't see how you are able to get anywhere near 1GB a month with this usage.

I would consider that *your* shortcoming, not mine. Do not accuse me of trolling as a result of *your* lack of productive net use.

Incidentally, I notice you didn't comment on my statement about having to search for technical documentation in large PDF files. For an idea of what this entails (and a chance to prove me wrong), quick - For the Pentium III 1.26Ghz, what does Intel claim as the maximum core current draw? I'll even give you a hint... The answer to the followup question you'd need to ask contains a "4" (which uniquely identifies the right answer). Okay, go answer this in 5Mb or less.

So for my monthly, non-P2P net usage, I use somewhere around:
  • 90MB for mail
  • 135MB for Seti
  • 1.5GB for a local webpage storage
  • 2.7GB for tech docs (underestimating heavily, I suspect)
So that comes out to 4.425GB per months, and doesn't include *any* incidentals (such as movies from iFilms, or a new Linux distro to test, or "normal" web surfing).

Get back under your bridge.

Whether or not you consider me a troll, I (and many others) *do* legitimately use several gigabytes per month, without it involving any copyright violations (you could argue about the local webpage mirror, but I think I've made my point regardless).

If you want to talk about "intent" WRT to a trollish comment, I really have to wonder about *your own*... I don't quite understand what you mean to argue by claiming that a person can't legitimately use 5GB/mo without using a P2P service to steal massive amounts of music and movies... Do you mean that we *should* do away with P2P since only evil pirates, taking food right out of the mouths of Hillary and Jack, can possibly use it? Do you mean that we should do away with broadband completely? Do you mean that, having nothing better to do all day than steal music and play AoE, you find it tough to believe some people use their net connection *productively*? I don't know. Don't really care, either. I know what I use my fat pipe for, and described it. Take that as you will.

[ Parent ]
Bandwidth usage (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 04:22:55 PM EST

Now, I'm going to be the first to admit that I've been known to use P2P programs. However, none of them start up when I boot my computer, and often I leave them off. I still often manage to pull many megabytes a day (i.e. 50-100 without problem). How?

Well, I play MMORPGs. Anarchy Online eats around 4k/s, and often stays up for a few hours, even when I'm not actively playing. Three hours at 4k/s is 43mb.

I listen to online radio. I'm not honestly sure how much bandwidth it eats, but it's pretty good quality - I'd be surprised if it was less than 5k/s. That will probably push it above 100mb for the same amount of time. (incidentally, the radio I listen to is a commercial station - www.launch.com for the curious.)

I browse webcomics. 100k per comic is perfectly reasonable, and I've got over 100 comics on my list. Some of them don't update daily, but I'd consider it perfectly reasonable to estimate I have 40 new comics a day. So that's 4mb of graphics (per day) alone, plus who knows how many megs of ads and text (and if I go reading the forums . . . well, that probably kicks it up quite a lot.)

I could go on about mIRC, AIM, whatever my distributed computing client of the day is, more webbrowsing, and so on and so forth. I'm not going to :P I've racked up over 100mb/day with only four hours of use, and that's because I spend most of the time at work. If I was at home I'd consider 250mb/day perfectly reasonable.

As mentioned, yes, I also use P2P programs. However, with these numbers, I'm thinking that the majority of my bandwidth isn't used by those. 100mb/day gives me 3gb/month, and I know for a fact that my total download this month was about 2gb.

[ Parent ]

well, actually (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by Wah on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:44:16 PM EST

. . . then demand for broadband collapses like a cake with children jumping around the oven.

This happened in the year 2000.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

why don't they filter then? (5.00 / 5) (#24)
by VoxLobster on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 11:20:28 AM EST

aside from the added cost of equipment/manpower, it opens up a big legal problem for them. If they start controlling aspects of what their users can do with their bandwidth, they become responsible for what those users are doing. That is the main reason ISP's don't filter P2P.

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

Sure they do (5.00 / 8) (#26)
by Mysidia on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 11:24:16 AM EST

They could litter their roads with nails and objects designed for piercing vehicle tires.

That would effectively filter robbers' cars.

Just like filtering all P2P networks would filter file sharers too.

And in just the same manner, filtering P2P networks would also filter legitimate users.

After all: to try to escape copyright enforcement is not the sole reason for building or using a P2P network. The main reason is to distribute bandwidth sensitive applications and allow for efficient routing of messages across your network. Hell, the internet itself is a P2P network at certain levels.

-Mysidia the insane @k5
[ Parent ]
Internet as P2P network on certain levels (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by acceleriter on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:01:19 PM EST

It was, but it isn't as much so today as it was in the beginning, and with only asymmetric connections available to most individuals, will become even less so in the future.

[ Parent ]
So filtering KaZaA hurts legitimate users? (3.00 / 1) (#68)
by Imperfect on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 04:33:30 AM EST

How? Seriously, how. I'd be willing to bet that less than 1% of the traffic that passes along the ports that KaZaA uses is legit.

Besides, ISPs can't block 'P2P' traffic, that's too nebulous and too non-specific. But they can block KaZaA, and ShareReactor, and DirectConnect, and all the other piracy-encouraging software just fine without hurting many legitimate users.

In the military, this is what's known as "acceptable losses."

Not perfect, not quite.
[ Parent ]
Port numbers are not proof of "legitimacy&quo (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by abulafia on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 11:06:02 PM EST

For the purposes of debate, I'll assume we call Kazaa an "acceptable loss". (I actually strongly disagree.)

What happens next? Software uses port 80 (http) or 443 (https), facillitates trading via email, ftp, or what have you.

So, do I lose the ability to use MIME in email because I might be emailing a representation that sort-of looks like a copyrighted recording? How about http?

There are a number of automated tools out there that will reply to an email with a particular request with a file. Adding a search feature on top of that would be easy.

You cannot allow something like the net while disallowing Verboten Bits.

Providing ad hoc data sharing between people is a huge public good, but that's the topic for a different rant.

Take your pick.

[ Parent ]

File Sharing is the Bane of Bandwidth Today! (none / 0) (#108)
by Imperfect on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 01:10:19 AM EST

I forget the exact statistic, but a huge percentage of the bandwidth that crosses our lines nowadays is due to filesharing. Cutting that off would severely reduce lag in many key zones. This isn't theory, this is actual proof.

Now mind you, since I'm a lazy sob, I'm not about to hunt down the article and link it or anything, but it's late at night, and that article's like 6 months old, and thus ancient by the standards of the 'net. Good luck trying to find it anyway.

At any rate, no. You can't filter e-mail, or ftp, or secure http, or even IRC. But you can filter KaZaA. You can filter DirectConnect. You can filter Napster (which has been done, and AFTERWARDS, the Universities which did so noticed a large decrease in the lag they suffered!). And in doing so, you can stop a large percentage of the file sharing apps out there.

Of course this is a temporary solution, and a somewhat ineffective one, and one I completely and TOTALLY disagree with. Hell, I don't even know why I'm playing Devil's Advocate here anyway! I don't think it's right to filter out KaZaA or anything like that anyway! I'm just saying that it's a poor analogy, and that argument still stands!

Blah, so off-topic. =(

Not perfect, not quite.
[ Parent ]
Technical impossibility (5.00 / 1) (#113)
by rantweasel on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 05:38:33 PM EST

How many p2p apps switch to port 80 if they can't get through on their default port?  Most of them.  How can you block those clients by port?  You can filter out the IPs of the connection servers (ie, *.kazaa.com), but then users will use proxies, or more distributed p2p systems.  Then it's the same race that all of the censorship companies run - can you update your lists faster than the users can?  I think we all know how that is doomed to failure.  Having been involved efforts to filter p2p traffic, I assure you that it is not as simple as you want it to be.  The only effective solution that we were able to reach was bandwidth limiting per user.


[ Parent ]

What about common carrier protections? (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by RevLoveJoy on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 01:44:33 PM EST

I think the RIAA's whole arguement misses the point. Perhaps I am just being nave, but doesn't taking an active filtering stance with regards to traffic tend to remove the 'common carrier' protection to the ISPs?

If I phone in a mob hit and I'm caught and found guilty, the next of kin certainly cannot sue AT&T in civil court!

Regardless, great article!


Yes, yes, rate 0, too US-centric. Whatever.

Every political force in the U.S. that seeks to get past the Constitution by sophistry or technicality is little more than a wannabe king. -- pyro9
[ Parent ]

of course (3.22 / 18) (#14)
by minus273 on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 03:14:51 AM EST

its ok when people sue gun makers... becasue they are doing the liberal thing (TM) right?

But Guns (2.00 / 4) (#19)
by Wafiq Hamza on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:01:49 AM EST

kill people and copyright laws are evil and stealing from society

[ Parent ]
no, guns are inanimate objects. (4.00 / 4) (#20)
by Anon 17933 on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:08:39 AM EST

People kill people -- whether with a gun, knife, baseball bat, screwdriver, string, car, etc... Guns don't have the capability to do anything all by themselves.

[ Parent ]
Humour (5.00 / 3) (#22)
by David McCabe on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:57:36 AM EST

Notice how this is in the humour section. And how funny and sarcastic we're being.

[ Parent ]
From GTA III: (3.75 / 4) (#30)
by tkatchev on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:26:51 PM EST

"Guns don't kill people, death kills people! It's a medical fact!"

So true, so true...

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Death is what _happens_ when you die, troll. (1.00 / 2) (#78)
by tekue on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:49:01 AM EST

So dumb, so dumb...
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. --Tom Robbins
[ Parent ]
Sir, (none / 0) (#111)
by tkatchev on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 10:10:59 AM EST

read my post again.

Then again, maybe English is not your native language?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I agree, to an extent... (4.66 / 3) (#54)
by mayo on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:10:34 PM EST

Regardless of technology available there have always been people trying to kill one another. Surely it's glaringly obvious though that guns make it a hell of a lot easier for people to kill people. I wonder how many fewer murders we'd have if people had to use their bare hands? Of course that's patently unrealistic but it's a thought.

[ Parent ]
you have a point (3.33 / 3) (#75)
by Anon 17933 on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 08:52:21 AM EST

Guns do make it a bit easier for a weak person, for example, to kill someone. And they also make it a bit easier for the "spur of the moment" killings we hear about so often these days.
However, they give me the most effective way to protect my home and family, and as a result, I will continue to exercise my second ammendment right to own them.

[ Parent ]
Drunk Drivers Don't Kill People, (4.00 / 4) (#56)
by gjetost on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:24:05 PM EST

Cars kill people. Let's sue all the major companies.

[ Parent ]
Reminds me of that ad on UHF.. (5.00 / 3) (#74)
by dublet on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 08:24:52 AM EST

"Guns don't kill people... I do"

Badger. Badger. ←
[ Parent ]
Or more scientifically . . . (none / 0) (#96)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 04:09:54 PM EST

Guns don't kill people, hydrostatic shock resulting from the application of kinetic energy to flesh kills people.

Clearly the only solution is to ban energy.

[ Parent ]

I thought that bullets kill people (n/t) (2.50 / 2) (#53)
by buck on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:02:50 PM EST

“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
[ Parent ]
nah (3.00 / 2) (#58)
by Wah on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:37:49 PM EST

people without the intelligence to get out of the way of the bullets kill themselves.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Intelligence? (none / 0) (#82)
by Luddite on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 10:46:04 AM EST

I'd think that would come down to your reflexes, which routes right past your conciousness and to the nerves without a whit of intelligent thought.

[ Parent ]
you are probably correct (none / 0) (#88)
by Wah on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 01:12:25 PM EST

if I wasn't trying to make a joke about death by bullet.

Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

indeed (3.33 / 3) (#64)
by strlen on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 01:28:49 AM EST

though you're not at the root of the problem. the root of gun problem is not even the bullet, it's the magnesium, which is used in the manufacture of primer, for the bullets. what's needed is a war on magnesium, and judging by the success of the war on drugs, it's going to be a stunning success.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Compressed air... (none / 0) (#76)
by Elkor on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:42:04 AM EST

At a short enough distance, compressed air can be used to fire a projectile with lethal effect.

So I don't think it is accurate to predict that removing the gunpowder will eliminate the usefulness of a gun.

Sorry, good thought though. Imagine how many social injustices could be eliminated if we applied the War on Drugs methodology.

Ahhh, Utopia. Or something.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by strlen on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 02:18:48 PM EST

You have mentioned compressed air, which brings me to another thought. Combustion, can be said to, also, be the evil of the world. Holocaust wouldn't have happened if they couldn't burn the bodies, war can't happen if they can't use combustion for explosions, bullets can't be fired without combustion. But combustion, required oxygen, which as a part of air, can be used to make compressed air. So we must ban oxygen, as the root of all evil. Thanks for leading me to that wonderful piece of information. I'm calling Ashcroft and Janet Reno right now, so they could devel a new war on on Oxygen.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
yes, and preventing death and violence (none / 0) (#105)
by benxor on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 11:25:20 PM EST

you fucking gawmster 'oh, it's alright to sue people who are trying to profit from taking us back to the stone-age, but it's not alright for to sue those who are providing a needful service which most use legally.' yes, in fact.

all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]
Responsibility (3.90 / 11) (#21)
by Godel on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:25:07 AM EST

Road builders should pay robbery victims? Well that sounds more logical than what some city in California tried, sueing the gun manufacturer because someone used it to commit murder. What next, prosecute the car company when a drunk drives their cars? This is what happens people when you let government take responsibility for you. Freedom and responsibility are inextricably linked, as one wanes, so too must the other.

Don't forget the CD-R tax (4.44 / 9) (#25)
by encore on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 11:21:00 AM EST

This is really no different than the "tax" we already pay on every blank CD-R to support the RIAA.
I know that I personally use about 50 blank discs a week and haven't used one of them for music in about 6 years (and even that was legal).

logically (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by crazycanuck on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:35:51 PM EST

all road users should be takex for the loss of revenue due to robbers, since any car could be used in a roberry.

[ Parent ]
In Canada... (5.00 / 5) (#34)
by Alannon on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 01:24:39 PM EST

They have this sort of tarrif here in Canada, but it's not as bad as it sounds, since in return, they've made it legal for people to swap music. As long as it is between two individuals and no money is involved, it's legal. Little known fact, but true.

[ Parent ]
Curious (5.00 / 2) (#59)
by Wah on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:40:36 PM EST

So if I tunnel through a server that's based in Canada I can make people happy with bits and not be called a pirate?  Curious.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
tunnel (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by Baldwin atomic on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 02:27:32 AM EST

probably not.

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that under US law, if the data goes through US servers, and is being used to commit a crime, you can be tried under US law.

E.g. Someone in China h4x0rz a server in Canada. Almost certainly his packets will bounce through the USA, so he can be found guilty of a crime under US law (if the chinese give him up...)

I may be wrong, but I remember reading something like this (perhaps it was a proposed bill that never passed)

Opinions not necessarily those of the author.
[ Parent ]
I think you're right (none / 0) (#72)
by Wah on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 08:00:54 AM EST

now that that I actually think about it.

I remember hearing about this too.  But, like you, I don't recall if it was proposed or some type of executive order, or what.  Can someone with a bit more time than me hook a brotha up? (5 minutes on google didn't work this time)
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#120)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 12:36:56 PM EST

maybe if you also went up there and bought music CD-R's, but otherwise you're just riding on Canadians' backs.

[ Parent ]
umm... (none / 0) (#63)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 12:48:46 AM EST

Excuse my ignorance, but I'm canadian, and I don't have a fricken clue what you're talking about... care to provide some links there?

Not saying you're wrong, but, you know...

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

links (4.66 / 3) (#81)
by bafungu on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:58:35 AM EST

The canadian copyright levy FAQ is probably the simplest to read.

If you want the actual act itself, the relevant section is here

In short, in Canada it is perfectly legal for you to make a copy of a friend's CD for your own personal use.

[ Parent ]

So called Data CDs (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by jaymz168 on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 03:25:30 PM EST

Does this apply to those blank CD-Rs that are labeled as being for 'Data'? Since there seems to be a specified media for music, CD-R/W for Audio, then shouldn't that tax, levied for the RIAA, a group representing the music industry, only apply to those discs?

[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#115)
by Djehuti on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 08:51:10 AM EST

The blank media tax applies to those CD-R/RW's sold as music CD-Rs. Most computer writers will write to either data or audio media; most consumer home CD-burners will only write to the designated music media. This is why the "music" blanks are more expensive.

[ Parent ]
I meant yes to 2nd question; no to first. (n/t) (none / 0) (#116)
by Djehuti on Wed Jan 22, 2003 at 08:53:22 AM EST

[ Parent ]
You forgot something... (4.57 / 14) (#32)
by LuYu on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:49:05 PM EST

This survey is useless because it leaves out:

No, because the content rights owners do not own the content. They only own rights to profit from it. Sharing files is legal.
Framed the way it currently is, the survey assumes a crime is being committed. That furthers the propagandistic agenda or the content industry. Ideas are not property (read the Jefferson quote at the top). They never were, and they never will be. People who apply the term "theft" to ideas are just trying to convince you so that they can control you. It is a lie.

You have a right to think and a right to read and learn. Defend them now before you give birth to Dan Halbert. If you have such a son, he probably will not be so lucky. He is more likely to turn out as Winston Smith. Stand up against Ministry of Truth before it is too late.


"I will believe you are not an animal when you do not eat, sleep, urinate, or defecate for one month."

Wrong (3.00 / 6) (#41)
by MyrddinE on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:32:43 PM EST

Sharing files is not legal. Perhaps you may wish it was. Perhaps you think that the laws should be changed. Perhaps you think ownership of ideas is unconstitutional. But that's irrelevant.

The current laws on the books of most countries hold that copyright is essentially ownership for a (theoretically) limited time. You DO own it, and file sharing IS illegal.

And all the wishing in the world won't change that. Writing to your congressman might...

[ Parent ]

Sharing files, in and of itself, is not a crime (5.00 / 6) (#67)
by FlipFlop on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 03:11:48 AM EST

Put the following in a text file and share it with people. I hereby give you permission to do so.

Sharing files is legal.
Sharing files is legal.
Sharing files is legal.
Sharing files is legal.
Sharing files is legal.

Sharing files, in and of itself, is not a crime, otherwise you could be thrown in jail for distributing copies of Linux, or your own musical recordings. Whether or not it is illegal to share music files without the copyright holder's permission is something you will have to address with respect to the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992.

AdTI - The think tank that didn't
[ Parent ]

Wrong (4.33 / 3) (#73)
by kaemaril on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 08:22:49 AM EST

Sharing files is completely legal. Violating copyright is not. You may be doing the latter by doing the former, but not necessarily.

Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?

[ Parent ]
Laws aren't laws if they can't be enforced (5.00 / 1) (#106)
by dh003i on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 12:19:46 AM EST

Though shall not masturbate.

I can say that and call it a "law".  So the fuck what.  Excusing the circuity, laws are only laws if they can be enforced.  The contract without the sword is meaningless.  It's pretty clear that laws against the sharing of copyrighted music cannot be enforced, due to the massive number of people doing it (sorry,  but you can't throw millions of people in jail, or sue millions of people -- the system can't handle that kind of volume).  Even if you could, the rapid rate of evolution in file-sharing technology can quickly and easily overcome any hindrances to file sharing, by creating protocols for anonymous sharing.

Btw, copyrights don't grant you the right to own information.  They give you some limited priviledges, not rights (limited by fair use), for a limited time.  I can write an eloquent book discussing the various theories of aging and the evidence behind them.  I can get a copyright on that book.  All that's protected is my expression of those ideas.  Someone else could go through my book chapter by chapter, re-writing things and expressing them in different words, and then publish their own book.  It's even conceivable that we could make a computer program that could do this.

Laws which do give people rights over ideas -- i.e., laws which allow you to trademark fictional characters integral to your stories -- are inherently unconstitutional and violate the first amendment.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

I'm waiting next... (4.90 / 11) (#33)
by buck on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 12:49:15 PM EST

for the new ads on TV like the ones linking drugs and SUVs to terrorism. "I helped build a road." "I patched up a pothole with asphault." "I helped a robber hold up a 7-Eleven."
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
Re: I'm waiting next... (5.00 / 4) (#36)
by mmsmatt on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 01:35:18 PM EST

Hm, eventually we can link the RIAA to terrorism! Think about it...

I paid for a blank CDR and some of that money went to the RIAA, and some of their executives drive SUVs, and those SUVs use public roads, and those roads are used by robbers and terrorists alike.

[ Parent ]

Hey, that's better than Kevin Bacon (5.00 / 3) (#77)
by Elkor on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:45:43 AM EST

"7 degrees of Terror funding."


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Sig (none / 0) (#39)
by nooper on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:05:42 PM EST

Hey, your God sig wont work for me

[ Parent ]
You need the right version of ar. :) (n/t) (none / 0) (#51)
by buck on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:54:38 PM EST

“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
[ Parent ]
good Idea (5.00 / 9) (#35)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 01:26:47 PM EST

then, when we pay these forced fees, we can just start steeling since we already pay for it.

We do this already. (2.00 / 7) (#37)
by Kwil on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:04:48 PM EST

Your satiric analogy doesn't work for me because we already do this.  You're just looking at the wrong level.  Trying to attach it to road construction companies is like the RIAA trying to attach the tax to individual techs who work at ISPs - which they're not.

To put it at the proper level, attach the fee to the organization that has the roads created -- this would be the government.  So in order to protect us from crime, we should have the government pay the costs of policing and jails etc., and they can collect the fees from the people who use the roads. Just like they already do through a little thing known as.. uhh.. taxes.

Beyond this, your analogy is also flawed in that without ISPs providing access to the internet, there would be basically no peer to peer networks. Without roads, there would still be travel.

No, I'm not saying the RIAA is right in their suggestion, I'm just saying your attempt at satire is crap.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze

Actually (5.00 / 3) (#42)
by vile on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:33:47 PM EST

Good try. Your analogy is all wrong.

First, trying to attach a tax to techs at an ISP is synonymous with taxing workers at a Road Construction/Maintenance company. You built it, you pay for it type attitude is assumed.

In this analogy and in comparison with your attempt at rebutting the article, you will find that the government would be compensating victim's of robbery crimes.. which they do not do.. and taxing everyone to pay for it, which they do.

You will further find that not all roads are government sanctioned or built. Come to think of it, built..? Does the government itself build them? No, Road Construction companies do. In the same manner that ISPs create the access that people access the Internet with.. should the Investors of that creation be taxed instead?

Additionally, without the government's initial steps to provide a reliable communication system in the event of an attack, there would have been no ARPAnet, Internet, etc. Without the Internet, there would be no P2P networks. So, who's liable?

Perhaps the government is, for allowing the Internet to exist -- or even going further, initiating its existence. Or, perhaps, the music industry as a whole is at fault for profiting off of the existence of music -- and promoting its existence. You know, music wouldn't be 'traded' so much if everyone didn't know the most popular songs..

This is all debatable. Mainly, this entire discussion is bullshit.. almost tired of hearing the RIAA rant. Who are they? They don't affect my life one bit.. and they don't need to start now -- I'll be one of the first to hire a lawyer for a joint civil suit.

Personally, I don't think that we need taxes added to our ISP costs to support a failing business model (?). Which, by the way, how much money did the RIAA make again last year?

Profit mongrels.

The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Peer to Peer, Old School (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by Elkor on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:50:27 AM EST

Beyond this, your analogy is also flawed in that without ISPs providing access to the internet, there would be basically no peer to peer networks. Without roads, there would still be travel.

So, my friend called me up and asked me what new music I had. And I told him I had the new Big Band CD. So, they asked me for a copy. So I ripped a copy on my computer and rode my horse over to his place (no roads). While I was there I saw he had the new Imported Band album, which I knew that my other friend would want, so I got a rip of that while I was there.

Hey, look, a Peer to Peer network.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
<grin> (none / 0) (#101)
by vile on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 08:16:45 PM EST

even better than my comment. :D

The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
problem (3.50 / 4) (#38)
by turmeric on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:05:12 PM EST

roads are public. the internet is entirely 100% private.

Not all roads (none / 0) (#46)
by Godel on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 04:11:56 PM EST

... are public in the USA. Ever heard of a turnpike?

[ Parent ]
turnpikes are owned by the state (none / 0) (#48)
by turmeric on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 05:18:14 PM EST

and are public. at least that i know of.

[ Parent ]
we have a private one ( expensive too ) (none / 0) (#112)
by mrondello on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 03:36:50 PM EST


[ Parent ]
not so private (none / 0) (#89)
by tsreyb on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 01:21:28 PM EST

'fraid the Internet (upper case 'I') is not 100%private. By my estimate, not even 90%. Yes, many of the individual networks comprising the Internet are private - but many are not. After all, the Internet is just a conglomeration of many, many independent networks, overseen by a non-profit (www.isoc.org), with some functions parcelled out to private firms (assigning names & numbers, for example).

[ Parent ]
Satire (5.00 / 10) (#40)
by dirtmerchant on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:10:52 PM EST

My god, have everyone of these responders gone mad? This is a fucking satirical piece. And, if I might add, a pretty funny one at that. Laugh, mod it up, and go hit up Gutenburg for the collective works of Jonathan Swift.
-- "The universe not only may be queerer than we think, but queerer than we can think" - JBS Haldane
A sense of humor? (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by buck on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 09:56:26 PM EST

Surely you jest.

“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
[ Parent ]
on the satire (5.00 / 6) (#43)
by axafluff on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:41:17 PM EST

I would have liked the text more if you had put the first paragraph last. In the current order, after reading the first two paragraphs you had given everything away and I felt the rest of the text was blah, predictable satire. Switch them around, give people a chance to suspect a satire and make their own associations, including the issue at heart. You don't slam your penis up on the table at the beginning of a date, do you?

sorry, this should have been an editorial (nt) (none / 0) (#44)
by axafluff on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:42:51 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Nice (4.50 / 2) (#55)
by mayo on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:19:18 PM EST

You don't slam your penis up on the table at the beginning of a date, do you?

If I was big on signatures you would so just have been sigged, that's too funny!

[ Parent ]
We're getting closer to the root of the problem.. (4.91 / 12) (#57)
by Wah on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:33:16 PM EST


Has there ever been a robber who was born without a mother?  I think not.

If we don't get to the root of the problem, there will be people, and robbers, forever.

BTW, is it a coincidence that with the rise of piracy in the world that the Raiders and the Buccaneers are in the Superbowl?  

Yea, probably.
Fail to Obey?

delve deeper! (none / 0) (#95)
by myenigmaself on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 03:39:14 PM EST

Why stop at mothers? Why not grandmothers?? Great-grandmothers??? Great-great-grandmothers, etc... I think we should just blame evolution (or God, whatever happens to be your bag). Yeah, it's God's fault. God should be taxed... not sure how to enforce that one though. God's got that whole, "all powerful" thing. Well crap, I believe we're at the intersection of 1st and 1st... the Nexus of the Universe!!!
"If debugging is the act of removing bugs from code, programming must be the act of putting them in."-Dykstra Sr.
[ Parent ]
Nah (4.00 / 1) (#100)
by Wah on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 07:50:11 PM EST

I was going to go after motherfuckers next.  Those bastards cause all sorts of problems.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Copyright laws are different in other countries (4.00 / 2) (#60)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 10:41:05 PM EST

What may be copyright infringement in one country may not be in another.

But well, I suppose that with such actions, the Palladium and TCPA, what entire countries think is permissible or prohibited is irrelevant unless they agree with The Artificial Monopolies.

And it's not even a basic right they find so important. It's an artificial right - a copyright.

A poor analogy. Here's a better one. (4.00 / 5) (#62)
by Demiurge on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 11:14:20 PM EST

Banks are regulated heavily in part to prevent them from allowing such criminal activities as money laundering. IF an ISP, through negligence or passive participation, allows criminal activity to flourish in its networks, shouldn't it be held at least partially responsible?

No, Banks are tasked to help stop SPECIFIC crimes (5.00 / 4) (#65)
by michaelp on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 02:26:31 AM EST

not to penalize all transfers because some folks might use the bank to commit a particular crime, therefore it is your attempt at analogy that fails.

Taking specific steps to prevent money laundering is such a specific task taken to help prevent a specific crime, as might be requireing ISPs to report transfers over a certain bandwidth limit.

Penalizing ISPs and thus all ISP customers because some criminal activity might be engaged in by a few is much more like forcing all road builders to pay a fee back to all robbery victims than taking a specific step to prevent a specific crime.

In fact I'm quite certain that if all bank users were asked to pay into a fund that would be used to compensate victims of money laundering, there would be quite a bit of outcry.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
uh, no... (none / 0) (#104)
by benxor on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 11:18:55 PM EST

When a bank stops money laundering it prevents damage to itself, it's customers, the general state of the economy, and so on. when ISPs block ports and use other invasive and annoying methods to prevent people using file-sharing programs, they benefit... the RIAA. And piss off and act as detrement to... every single user. Indeed though, it is a crime to copy music - an argument against what you're saying then can only really be made concretely if you're prepared to argue that music copying should *not* be a crime. I would argue that it's wrong to take money away from an artist when they should be earning on their unique creation - after all, as in GNU, code is code, but music and art are special and specific talents and their creations are not just re-creatable by the click of a button (except in the case of N*Sync). But limiting the RIAA in pressuring governments to pass laws which effectively protects their unholy cashcow is not necessarily wrong. And in any case, when you buy a CD, who are you benefiting? The record companies. When you go and see a band at a concert, you benefit the record companies. But do we need these people to represent music? Even if the answer is yes, it doesn't necessarily say in adendum that 'therefore one almighty transcontinental organisation may keep a tight grip around the throat of the industry and decide who does and doesn't succeed' nor 'so therefore the whole of the music industry should be controlled by a few major players, and everyone else can go fuck themselves'. Perhaps a restructuring of the whole music delivery system needs to occur. Why not a system where music *is* freely ditributable, but the artist themselves has a personal and binding contract with each customer on each and every track they purchase? People could buy singles, or sets of singles which they can have mixed together and burned on CDs, and no middle-man (i.e. record company) controls the flow and arrangement of this information from artist to consumer. Admittedly, I can't pull out of my hat how this would be a secured system - the words 'private and public signed keys' come to mind - perhaps songs encrypted by a personal key and an artist's key so that files cannot just be copied willy nilly, and songs people want can be bought at *fair* prices - remember, without the packaging of bands and albums, CDs would be cheaper, and the CD medium may not even be reuired. Keys would ensure that it was near impossible to steal music, since of course it would take a supercomputer the next 50years (or, well, 50,000,000 years) to crack a single key. I suppose I've rabbited on a bit here, but there you go. ps: of course a single person could buy many singles, then distribute the files with their private key available on them, thus creating 'musical warez' - but warez is much easier to track down, and needing a single key to open the files would mean the law could effectively get medievil on the warez dealers arse and wipe away all copies of tracks with that key. it would also be linked to that persons customer information. oh hell, I just think the idea of mixing a cd from 40c tracks would encourage people to mix and match and *buy* more than steal as an alternative to $35 albums.

all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]
Paragraphs, please. (none / 0) (#121)
by vectro on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 12:28:12 PM EST

Otherwise, it looks like a long, disorganized, unreasoned rant.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
woops (none / 0) (#122)
by benxor on Wed Jan 29, 2003 at 06:22:41 PM EST

Sorry about that, that was before I put it on auto-format - I had it on HTML and neglected to put in

all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]
On the contrary (4.84 / 13) (#70)
by Big Dogs Cock on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 06:34:49 AM EST

Here in London, road builders have done all in their power to ensure that robbers cannot escape (by car) at high speed.

People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
The funniest line from that article... (5.00 / 3) (#80)
by Gord ca on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:55:30 AM EST

...wasn't about the proposed unenforcible ISP fine.
[On file trading services Kazaa and Morpheus] "It's clear to me these companies are profiting to the tune of millions and millions of dollars. They must be held accountable," Rosen said.
Hmmmm... Are you sure we're talking about the same file sharing companies?!? Has Kazaa even turned a profit yet? Isn't its main revenue stream banner ads?

They've made the record companies loose many many millons of dollars in lost revenue, yes. Of course, to arrive at that figure, it's required to use accounting practices and theory that would make Enron look straight.

The best part is that many RIAA companies are under investigation or have been prosecuted for illegal price fixing (how is that trial going?), a practice that did in fact earn them millions and millions in dirty profit.

Oh yes, and when did Rosen go socialist? Isn't the glory of the capitalist system that you're entitled to any amount of money people are willing to give you? Since when did a company have to benefit the community (ex. by producing music) to profit?

Boo says I'm ranting. I stop now.

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it

This one's even funnier (none / 0) (#94)
by joemorse on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 03:28:45 PM EST

"We will hold ISPs more accountable," said Hillary Rosen, chairman and CEO the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) (RIAA), in her keynote speech at the Midem music conference on the French Riviera.

So she's saying this from her expensive hotel, paid for by the record companies (and, hence, you and I), on the French Riviera? In a year when the industry is supposedly going through such tough times? When the RIAA starts going to conferences in, say, South Dakota I'll probably take them a bit more seriously.

Now let's you just drop them pants!
       -Don Job, from Deliverance
[ Parent ]
couple of items (none / 0) (#114)
by Wah on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 08:44:55 PM EST

Has Kazaa even turned a profit yet?


(how is that trial going?)

It's over.  Collect your pittance here.  Read all about it (and the associated math) right over here. :-)
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

That's pretty silly. (2.11 / 9) (#83)
by electricmonk on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 10:47:52 AM EST

Your implied meaning, that is.

So, you're saying "since some people don't steal music over the Internet, then the RIAA has no right to take their money from them"

That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. Perhaps you are familiar with another system that works like this; we usually refer to it here as taxation. You, the user, turn over a certain portion of your earnings to the government and, in return, recieve services from them proportional to your need. There is nothing morally wrong with this - you are helping out the poor and disadvantaged by doing so.

Similarly, through paying this fee to the RIAA, you will be able to continue to enjoy the music that you listen to. What would happen if the major record labels ended up going bankrupt? You certainly wouldn't be able to get music anymore. Odds are, you would be a lot more pissed off than you were when you found out you just had to pay a fee to compensate for the crimes committed by others.

Hell, I can draw another parallel to taxation here: if you think this is so goddamned unfair, then what are you doing by electing officials who continue to support the concept of imprisonment by the state? You are, after all, paying the upkeep for other people who have committed wrongs. Surely, they should all be executed at minimal cost to you, the taxpayer, because you shouldn't be paying for their mistakes. Or should you? I certainly hope nobody here is heartless enough to support such a position - we have enough people imprisoned already for frivolous drug offenses, the last thing we should do is start executing them.

So really, when reflected upon, this isn't such a bad thing. What you are really doing is paying for a service rendered by the RIAA. Sure, there may be some who don't listen to music, but by and large, such a luddite probably doesn't have an internet connection, either.

"There are only so many ways one can ask [Jon Katz] what it's like to be buried to the balls in a screaming seven-year-old" - Ian

It really comes down to a confusion of roles (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by sllort on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 10:57:37 AM EST

I think that many people believe that the role of entertainment companies is to catalog and package media and thereby add value to it by adding organization and structure. This is not the case. The new role of media companies is to be the sole arbiter and provider of information and ideas. That is, there can be no information without a media company and conversely without a media company, you may have no information. Because of this new role, media companies have new responsibilites, such as taxing the flow of information, because it belongs to them. Just as we tax cars to pay for the roads they travel, we must tax the Internet to pay for the ideas that travel it.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
idiot (3.83 / 6) (#85)
by dh003i on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 12:10:24 PM EST

Sorry, asshole, but the RIAA doesn't get to impose a piracy-tax on us all under the assumption that we all steal music from them.  And the industry isn't losing as much money as it says it is anyways:  people download hundreds of albums worth of songs, but they certainly weren't going to buy hundreds of albums anyways.  And if they are going to tax everyone online for online-piracy, then they should have to stop suing individuals for piracy, as they've already been compensated.

Your argument is the same argument the original author was satiring.  Just because crimes occur on roads doesn't mean that road-builders should be the ones compensating victims for crimes.

What if a major music label goes broke?  So the fuck what.  It's not my job to care about some corrupt greedy music-industry execs billion dollar yearly incomes.  The artists will still be there, and might even be liberated and start advertising and managing their own careers, and taking most of the profit from their own CDs.  And quite frankly, as much as I love B. Spears, C. Aguilera, and Shakira, their music is hardly essential to me as a music-lover.  I'll survive without it, and nothing that happens is going to take away what's already there.  There's enough good classical and neoclassical music available to keep me satisfied for a thousand lifetimes.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

Speaking of silly .. (5.00 / 3) (#86)
by gbd on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 12:23:05 PM EST

.. your parallel to taxation just doesn't work.

There is a huge difference between the government collecting funds to provide basic goods and services to its citizens and the government forcibly collecting revenue for and distributing it to large corporations. The money that people pay in taxes goes to the government and is spent by various levels of government to do things such as maintain the military, roads, schools, etc. It does not go to private corporations as a sort of financial Band-Aid to treat some perceived injury that they have suffered.

Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

small point (4.00 / 1) (#107)
by miguel on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 12:28:22 AM EST

There is a huge difference between the government collecting funds to provide basic goods and services to its citizens and the government forcibly collecting revenue for and distributing it to large corporations.

Actually, to the feds, there is not much of a difference.

I want you to be free
[ Parent ]

??? huh (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by phlux on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 12:45:24 PM EST

God I hope you are being sarcastic - because if you aren't I would reach over and smack you upside the head. That has got to be one of the most closed minded bs posts I have read in the last few weeks.

[ Parent ]
Authority and representation (4.66 / 3) (#91)
by lunatic on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 01:56:00 PM EST

When the RIAA allows the general public to elect its board, then maybe we can consider allowing it to collect taxes.

What would happen if the major record labels ended up going bankrupt? You certainly wouldn't be able to get music anymore.

Strange. Music existed before the recording industry.

There have been suggestions that the recording industry and publishers add value to the system by serving as a filter. Fine. Then if that's the case, that ought to be the product they offer the consumer, and they ought to live or die on that basis.

Most business models that need to be artificially propped up by massive legislative structures would seem to be fatally broken anyway.

[ Parent ]

You're right! (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by dennis on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 06:18:35 PM EST

What would happen if the major record labels ended up going bankrupt? You certainly wouldn't be able to get music anymore.

So true! I feel so sorry for the people more than a hundred years ago, who had no music. Creating music is such hard and thankless work that no one would ever do it without the royalties from a major record contract. (And don't listen to all those spoiled musicians who say they hardly get any royalties - probably no one wants to listen to their stuff anyway.)

What you are really doing is paying for a service rendered by the RIAA.

And glad I am for the opportunity! I'm glad they handle recording the albums, since it's impossible for musicians to do any kind of decent digital recording on their own. I'm glad the RIAA companies market their favored musicians to me, since their taste so well matches my own. Finding out about good music from my friends is so haphazard by comparison. And without the RIAA, who would stamp out millions of CDs and send them to the record stores? A CD contains 700 megabytes of data - you're not exactly going to distribute that over the Internet!

All these hippies who think culture should belong to everyone, instead of to a few large corporations, need to start living in the real world. Besides, if we don't use taxes and legislation to prop up industries with 100-year-old business models, how in the world are we going to progress?

[ Parent ]

brittany spears will be sorely missed indeed...... (none / 0) (#110)
by davidcopperfield on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 08:23:09 AM EST

As for me It'd be a good thing if the record labels really did start hurting for $$$$. Considering that were deluged every day by advertisements for boy bands and whatever the vox populi is. For the most part, this is the lowest form of music....it's a mass-produced product. I mean listen to whats on the radio... every station plays the same play list no matter where you go----It's becaused they're all owned by the same owner and he's being pimped out by the recording industry. A long time ago it wasn't like this, Radio stations gave equal play and record companies searched out the best and brightest for the contracts. Now it's just cheaper to make a band and advertise it on the TV and radio.... So what would I do if the record companies went out of business? I'd throw a party and put on a DIY record I bought or downloaded somewhere on the internet. Besides, the idea that the recording industry will go out of business is garbage....it'll never happen, not in our lifetimes at least. The only possible comprimise, which they will make, is to actually compete in the market. This, unfortunately, will leave brittany and her mother on welfare...

[ Parent ]
ISP's should sue RIAA (5.00 / 4) (#97)
by Rahyl on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 04:14:37 PM EST


Why don't the ISP's sue the RIAA for not controlling their products adequately?  Do you have any idea how badly mp3 downloads interfere with my legitimate business use of the network?

I'm paying good money for network access and when it slows down, it takes longer for me to do business.  I'm sure I'm not alone.  Time is money so unless the RIAA is willing to pay up, they need to be shut down.  We need to count on our elected representatives to teach the RIAA a valuable lesson;  we will no longer tolerate their blatant negligence with regard to the network access that we pay for and they abuse.

The RIAA should pay for every bit of bandwidth used by bands that fall under it's jurisdiction.  Every song that a band publishes is a chance that my business will fail and families will starve to death.  Do it for the children!

First, the bands introduced our children to drugs.  They taught our children that trashing hotels was OK.  They inspired our children to violence and suicide.  Now, they want to steal our networks by allowing their music to be freely traded over the Internet.  How much more will America tolerate?


By the sound of it, the RIAA is hurting bad.  This is good.  As CD sales continue to drop, the RIAA will continue to suffer.  My recommendation to you, dear reader, is this:  Stop buying CDs all together.  Download all the music you can.  In exchange for this, you must attend shows and purchase band merchandise (like shirts, stickers, etc).  It's a fair trade that shows the bands a more appropriate business model that puts organizations like the RIAA out of the picture.

Keep up the good work everyone.  At this rate, it shouldn't be long before the members of the RIAA are unemployed.

CD sales dropping? (5.00 / 2) (#118)
by vile on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 07:35:47 PM EST

Interesting you say that.. perhaps you would like to see some data.

The most interesting feature of the data is the # of new releases. CD sales falling? Wonder why?

Loved the sarcasm.

The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Speaking seriously... (none / 0) (#102)
by khym on Mon Jan 20, 2003 at 09:14:20 PM EST

Rosen suggested one possible scenario for recouping lost sales from online piracy would be to impose a type of fee on ISPs that could be passed on to their customers who frequent these file-swapping services.
So the RIAA is not (yet) saying the all ISP users should pay up, just those using file sharing services; the ISPs say it's not technically possible to track who uses file sharing with enough accuracy to pass on the fees like that. Maybe the RIAA already new this, and suggested the fee-based solution to sound "reasonable" before going on to suggest that ISPs be required to block access to file sharing systems, like how Panama phone companies got Panama ISPs to block Internet phone calls.

Of course, file sharing services would just switch to using different ports. If you want to be really paranoid, maybe the RIAA is counting on that. If they got an injunction against ISPs to force them to close off certain ports, then that would set a precedent for closing off the new ports that file sharers were using. The file sharers would keep hopping around, and then the RIAA would use this as evidence that home users couldn't be allowed to use just any ports, but had to be restricted to essentials like SMTP, HTTP, SHTTP... plus anything "approved" by the RIAA. Then they (and the other heavy-hitting "content providers") would have pretty much complete control of the Internet, and would be able to lock out their competition.

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
You're missing an important point. (none / 0) (#109)
by it certainly is on Tue Jan 21, 2003 at 06:12:00 AM EST

File sharing the RIAA's music will still be illegal, so why on earth is the RIAA saying "you are engaging in illegal activity. Pay us a monthly fee to prop up our failing business model and you'll still be engaging in illegal activity, no promises we won't bust your balls, especially now we know exactly who you are."

Why the hell aren't the RIAA offering a LEGAL, fee-based method to get ahold of music rather than trying to tax something that they also want to remain illegal.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Nutty McShithead (1.00 / 1) (#117)
by anyonymous [35789] on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 09:14:54 AM EST

Someone is responsable for inhibiting my money making. I don't know who, and I don't know how. I'm going to find out who they are and sue them for something. It's all thier fault. It's not like I'm doing anything wrong. Why should I do anything different from what I'm already doing? I will do anything to put more money in my pocket. I will support the enforcement of silly laws like those that stop us from reproducing certain sounds without permission, and without paying for it. Only people with permission can reproduce sounds. The FCC can regulate what is in the air, so can my wallett. I fatten my wallett from the allowances of ignorant teenagers who buy the music I choose for them.

File sharing is a good thing..... (none / 0) (#119)
by chopsandmash on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 10:50:32 PM EST

Thanks to the likes of Kazaa and DirectConnect I have discovered a lot of music I would never have otherwise heard of. What does this mean? Well, I'm not sure if I'm alone on this one, but an MP3 lacks the crystal clear quality of a genuine CD, especially when played on proper HI-FI equipment, so if I happen to hear something 'stolen' and I like it, I will more often than not seek out that CD and purchase it, a sale the record company would not have gotten otherwise. It seems these companies are shit scared of losing every penny that they can potentially make but are oblivious to the extra revenue that is generated by people, such as myself, buying CDs that would otherwise be left on the shelf.

Road builders and maintainers should pay robbery victims | 122 comments (117 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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