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United States Software

Senator Orrin Hatch a Pirate? 933

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the kettle-retorts-to-pot dept.
Stigmata669 writes "Remember a few days ago when Senator Orrin Hatch decided that software piracy was punishable by destruction of computers? Well a bored and unemployed Sys. Admin in Houston smelled a rat when he was rooting through Hatch's website source. As it turns out Sen. Hatch is a common software pirate himself."
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Senator Orrin Hatch a Pirate?

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  • by Infernon (460398) * <infernon.gmail@com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:39PM (#6249690)
    If you think being a pirate was his only crime, think again-- he's charging 15.98 for his CD's [altapacific.com]!!! That's just robbery!!!

  • Sensationalism... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobPiano (471698) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:39PM (#6249693)
    The article title is just alittle bit senstational... The senator's web designer didn't register *free* software (you have to pay for commerical use only). He was in violation of the software license. Obviously nobody on slashdot has ever violated a software license (if not please direct me to all that shareware you registered in under 30 days).

    It hardly damages his stance against downloading music.

    I'd say the only thing really damaging there is that he's from Utah.

    Oh well, keep fighting the good fight.
    -Rob
    • MPU (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:42PM (#6249714)
      You're right. Hatch isn't the pirate, his web designer is, but it doesn't make it any less funny and ironic. :P
      • by SunPin (596554) <[moc.atsirebyc] [ta] [mapshsals]> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:53PM (#6249821) Homepage
        (Avoiding the filter is an art. Art rules.)

        YOU ARE SO FIRED!

        (had to do it)
      • Re:MPU (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:09PM (#6249939) Homepage
        The irony - oh, sweet, sweet irony - is that Hatch's proposal would have been unfair exactly because it would have hoisted him on this petard. A machine is violating copyrights? It doesn't matter whose it is, it goes. It's the same logic as drug-law enforcement forfeiture (your kid gets pulled over and they find a joint in his pocket, they can take the car he was driving - your car - sell it, and use the money for the police department's Krispy Kreme fund. They don't even need an indictment!)
        • Re:MPU (Score:5, Insightful)

          by meta-monkey (321000) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:35PM (#6250504) Journal
          Agreed...and even though he wasn't directly responsible for it, it screws him too.

          Here's my question...what about all the other senators? I wonder who does his web hosting? It's on senate.gov, and while the server may be virtual, it's possible that every other sentaor has his website hosted on the same box. So, Orrin's web designer fucks up, and every senator gets his website destroyed. Great plan, Orrin.

          I'm the sysadmin for a university research lab. We've got a few servers for home directories, and about 50 users. I can't keep track of every piece of copyrighted material somebody might copy and put on my server. So, because one user screws up and downloads "Baby Got Back" without sending the requisite $0.45 to whatever homeless shelter Sir Mixalot hangs his hat at these days, and 50 graduate students lose their theses. GREAT PLAN ORRIN.

    • by SirGeek (120712) <sirgeek-slashdot @ m r sucko.org> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:43PM (#6249719) Homepage
      The article title is just alittle bit senstational... The senator's web designer didn't register *free* software (you have to pay for commerical use only). He was in violation of the software license.

      And ?

      This is no different from what he's claiming everyone else is. He IS a commercial site (He isn't someone doing their family web site). He is a "commercial" entity (in a broad sense). He's using it to promote his "business" (politics).

      I would simply notify the creator of the JS stuff and have them get charges brought up on violating their IP (use the DMCA since it is act 1st, think later).

      • Re:Sensationalism... (Score:4, Informative)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:56PM (#6249853)
        No, it is not a commercial site. However, the copyright owner still had requirements (registration), which Hatch's staff did not meet. But the fact that registration rather than money was required is immaterial. (If not, the GPL is certainly null and void, since it doesn't require payment either)
      • by ScottForbes (528679) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:52PM (#6250190) Homepage
        This is no different from what he's claiming everyone else is. He IS a commercial site (He isn't someone doing their family web site). He is a "commercial" entity (in a broad sense). He's using it to promote his "business" (politics).

        I'm cynical about politics, but I'm not that cynical. Senator Hatch's web site is not commercial in any meaningful sense; he is not engaging in commerce via his site. If he had an online store with Orrin Hatch baseball caps and bumper stickers, it'd be another story -- but he doesn't. As a Senator, Hatch has a legitimate duty to be accessible to his constituents, and his web site serves that non-commercial purpose.

        I would simply notify the creator of the JS stuff and have them get charges brought up on violating their IP

        You can't "bring someone up on charges" merely for violating copyright: Copyright infringement is a civil matter, not a crime. The DMCA blurs this distinction, by making it a crime to circumvent copyright protection, but nonetheless you can't arrest the gentleman from Utah [sic] for infringing someone's copyright.

        A big part of the RIAA's tactics in this debate is to make you think file sharing is a crime. They want to embed in your consciousness that "listening to music that someone else purchased" is morally equivalent to "boarding a ship and stealing the cargo." Playing fast and loose with language is part of that effort: If you subconsciously accept that intangible ideas are "property" which can be "stolen," and that "pirates" are "stealing intellectual property" when they download copyrighted materials, then the battle is already half lost.

        I'm more than happy to see a hypocrite get his comeuppance -- if Sen. Hatch thinks copyright infringement should be punished with vigilante justice, then I'll warm up the tar and feathers -- but the original poster is right to point out that "pirate" is unjustified hyperbole, and that using pirate analogies to discuss these issues only makes it harder to defend our rights.

      • Re:Sensationalism... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 20, 2003 @12:09AM (#6250727)
        Actually, the developer [milonic.co.uk] whose code he is accused of stealing explicitly prohibits Government/Political organizations from qualifying for a free license:
        Note that Intranets of any description and Government/Political bodies will need to purchase, we cannot provide free license for these installations.
    • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@g m a i l . com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:46PM (#6249744) Homepage Journal
      Screw the hypocrisy angle!

      His idea to be able to remotely destroy or disable somebody's computer is idiotic.

      I know I'm flogging a dead horse here, but isn't time we got politicians with a clue?

      • by Golias (176380) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:37PM (#6250096)
        Thank you for the most insightful post of the entire thread, Cpt. Splendid.

        1. There is no hypocrisy or irony here, as desperate as some people are to find it.

        2. Senator Hatch's suggestion was remarkably clueless.

        I'm not one to criticize Hatch undeservedly... As an occational professional musician himself, Senator Hatch has often come down on the White-Hat side of music rights issues, taking the recording industry to task on the Senate floor for restricting fair use. There is a great deal to admire in his accomplishments over the years, and while he was a distant 5th place in the GOP presidential primaries last time around, I would have been far happier with him as our current president than with GWB.

        That said, he exhibited stunning thick-headedness in his assertion that frying the computers of those who are using Kazaa to illegally trade music and software was a good idea revealed him to be so poorly-informed that it makes me wonder if he spoke to his advisers about this idea at all before publicly airing it. It was a stupid, stupid idea, and Senator Hatch should be ashamed that he ever uttered it.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:46PM (#6249745)
      He was in violation of the software license. Obviously nobody on slashdot has ever violated a software license (if not please direct me to all that shareware you registered in under 30 days).
      Umm, we're not the ones advocating blowing up computers of infringers.

      It certainly DOES damage his stance. I can't imagine he knew about the violation, which is a great argument against his idea. There are a lot of parents out there who don't particularly want their computers to explode, even if their kids are making unauthorized copies of intellectual property.

    • by topham (32406) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:49PM (#6249779) Homepage
      The whole point was "pottle, kettle, black".

    • by DataPath (1111) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:55PM (#6249839)
      It might be a bit overhyped, but the facts are still facts. He seems to believe that after two warning shots, "pirates'" computers may be remotely destroyed. His webmaster was illegally using software, which would, under the terms Sen. Hatch is seeking, would make it a target for destruction.

      I think if he REALLY understood the implications of what he was proposing, he'd cry himself to sleep at night in shame.

      Think about what he was proposing:
      1) Give companies the right to remotely destroy physical property.

      2) There is no mention of any review process - think of what Microsoft would be capable of doing to any of its competitors[1] - legally destroy their infrastucture

      3) Software piracy is so wide-spread that it could seriously destroy the U.S.'s economic backbone.

      4) A public school where some of the kids after hours get together and play video games - would those computers be exempted? How many caveats and exemptions would there have to be?

      5) Organizations like the BSA and the RIAA have sent violation notices falsely (finding OpenOffice available on FTP and mistaking it for MS Office, confusing a Professor's MP3 encoded lectures for copyrighted music). What's to prevent mistakes where people's work is destroyed? Personal files? Financial records?

      The U.S.'s lawmakers these days are just too blind-stupid about technology. And it doesn't appear to be changing. Oh yeah, and they're too easily bought by lobbyists.

      That is all.

      [1] competitor, n. - anyone who produces software.
    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:56PM (#6249854) Homepage Journal
      The senator's web designer didn't register *free* software

      More correctly, the senator's web designer didn't register *copyrighted* software. Free or paid for, is the copyright owner's choice. The cost is not the issue.

      It damages his *incredibly fanatical* stance against copyright infringement, because he was all "holier-than-thou" and now it's been pointed his fly was open the whole time.

      Set your own house in order, before chastising other people, would seem to be the relevant... thingy.

    • Re:Sensationalism... (Score:5, Informative)

      by sweetooth (21075) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:58PM (#6249863) Homepage
      Senator Hatch is selling cds from his site as well. That would make it qualify for commercial uses and require a $900 registration fee as well. So, based on those criteria the maintainers of his site are the pirates. However, if you follow what the BSA says about software "theft" the senator is actually responsible for the actions of the people hired to do the work for him, just as a company would be responsible for the actions of thier employees. It remains to be seen if the senator will be allowed to simply use the non profit version or not.

      This does damage his stance against copyright violaters as this makes him look very hipocritical. Software piracy is nothing more than copyright violation just as trading music and movies is.
    • by werdna (39029) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:24PM (#6250019) Journal
      Having taken absolutist or extreme positions on an issue, you can't credibly defend yourself for things that most people would just shrug off.

      Bill Bennet cannot credibly author a "Book of Virtues" in adult and children's editions, make $25,000 a speech daily, and then point out that most people gamble and private lives are nobody's business.

      Rhonda Storms could not credibly call for the dismantling of Hillsborough Countie's Public Access stations for supposed IP abuses (after losing for years to overcome first amendment responses to her efforts to censor what she deemed offensive programming), requiring that all producers undertake IP sensitivity training, and then defend her unlicensed synchronized parody of the Beach Boys' tune "Help Me Rhonda" in an election commercial as a reasonable oversight.

      Likewise, Orin Hatch cannot insist that a few infringements of a few tunes are evil enough to justify a government official's call for destruction of personal property without due process and simultaneously argue that he should be forgiven for not studying a licensing agreement.
  • by Capt'n Hector (650760) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:43PM (#6249720)
    it's a lot easier and software-licence free to do it using css. All you need to do is hide the html part of each menu, and when the menu title is moused-over, the css, and something like two lines of JavaScript, will display the menu. No muss, no fuss.
  • Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mensa Babe (675349) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:44PM (#6249726) Homepage Journal
    Don't call him a "pirate," unless he was proven guilty of abordage! Otherwise we just sound silly, claiming that Dimitry was not a pirate, but Orrin Hatch suddenly is. Please don't be so inconsistent. Pirate is a pirate. A person guilty of copyright infringement is a person guilty of copyright infringement. Please don't use incorrect meanings of words, at least on Slashdot.
    • by Adam9 (93947) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:50PM (#6249793) Journal
      piÂrate
      n.

      1.
      1. One who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation.
      2. A ship used for this purpose.
      2. One who preys on others; a plunderer.
      3. One who makes use of or reproduces the work of another without authorization.
      4. One that operates an unlicensed, illegal television or radio station.

      What's your point?
    • Re:Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:08PM (#6250297) Journal

      Otherwise we just sound silly, claiming that Dimitry was not a pirate, but Orrin Hatch suddenly is. Please don't be so inconsistent. Pirate is a pirate. A person guilty of copyright infringement is a person guilty of copyright infringement.

      And Dmitry was not guilty of copyright infringement. The charges were dropped, and his employer was found not guilty.

  • I do (Score:4, Interesting)

    by drteknikal (67280) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:46PM (#6249755) Homepage
    I register all my shareware, or uninstall it before the stated evaluation period ends. If you do otherwise, shame.

    I do not install unlicensed software in production environments. My personal computer is different, but I still conform to the license requirements or remove the software.

    You're talking to sysadmins here -- you'll find relatively few pirates in the bunch. You might rethink your accusations in light of your audience.
  • And... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Loki_1929 (550940) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:46PM (#6249756) Journal
    If someone actually destroyed the server hosting his website, he'd be the first person lining up to put them in jail. Come on, Hatch, of all the things to take a ridiculous stand on; copyrights? Is $18,000/yr really that important to you?

    I'd like to see how Hatch's constituents react when they find out he's the one who authored the law that let the music company destroy their computer because little Johnny wanted to hear the latest trendy music hit.

    And yes, I understand that no such bill would ever make it anywhere, but for a high-ranking Senator to even suggest such an idea is absolutely unforgiveable. There's no excuse for violating imaginary property rights, but there is an excuse for willfully destroying the physical property of someone? I don't know whether he's really serious about such an idea, but assuming for a moment that there's a bit of sanity left in his noggin, I think he needs to choose his words more wisely. The fact is, this simply cannot work out well for him, and will only provide fuel for his critics and those who would like to take his seat.

    Quite frankly, the man has no concept of what he's talking about, and needs to sit down, shut up, and listen to what others have to say for a change.

  • by hrieke (126185) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:47PM (#6249761) Homepage
    http://www.senate.gov/~hatch/index.cfm?Fuseaction= Students.Utah [senate.gov] And click on the MyUtahSearch.com graphic...
  • Even better... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ktakki (64573) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:48PM (#6249769) Homepage Journal
    Go to Sen. Hatch's web site [senate.gov] and click on the "MyUtahSearch.com" [senate.gov] graphic on the right hand side of the page. It redirects you to a [not safe for work] pr0n site.

    [Thanks to The Turd Report [kuro5hin.org] for pointing this out on K5.]

    k.
  • NoBody's Perfect. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anubi (640541) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:49PM (#6249776) Journal
    No matter how hard we try ( that is, even if we attempt to try ), we are gonna break somebody else's interpretation of what's right all the time.

    I think this episode just verified that observation.

    The scary thing is that because none of us are perfect, anyone with an axe to grind can mill through the most innant details of our personal lives and bring it to the public attention, that of our wife, boss, friends, co-workers, etc.., highly magnifying what they think we did wrong.

    This could be quite a way for one to harass another.

    Like, now Senator Hatch himself has gone onto public record as advocating destruction of other's private property.. what if instead of some government official talking about destruction of other's property, it was somebody else talking about it? Where are we going to draw the line between a "patriot" and a "terrorist"?

  • So...let me see if I have this straight...slashdot is running an article on an elected official doing something illegal?

    We're gonna need more space if this is the start of a trend.

    A LOT more space.
  • by Rai (524476) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:52PM (#6249804) Homepage
    Oh my god, what a rare and shocking revelation.

    While it is quite funny is see our politibots when they get caught in their hyrpocrisy, I hope I wasn't the only one who wasn't surprised to read this.
  • by zptdooda (28851) <(deanpjm) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:55PM (#6249842) Journal
    It's the glass house idea. I know it isn't piracy per se, but it's a close enough cousin.

    Before a person in office criticizes an action, they should make pretty darn sure that they don't even have the appearance of being tainted by the act or anything close. Delegate the role. But check.

    The bar is lower for nonpublic figures. Our words don't weigh as much in the public eye.

    Now he'll have to be the brunt of embarrassing questions like "why should your computer not be destroyed?" It just weakens his stance.

  • by petman (619526) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @09:56PM (#6249848)
    Surely the Senator didn't create the page himself? He might not even know what the Javascript is for. Sure, if he knew that the webmaster was doing something wrong, and he didn't stop it, then he would be at fault, but there's no proof of that here.

    Of course, my opinion above is from a common sense perspective, rather than a legal one.
    • Ah but since this is software piracy the entire organization is responsible. As the head of his office Sen. Hatch is ultimately responsible for any piracy that goes on in his organization.

      Anyway go here http://www.bsa.org/usa/report/ and report Orrin for piracy.
    • Surely the Senator didn't create the page himself? He might not even know what the Javascript is for. Sure, if he knew that the webmaster was doing something wrong, and he didn't stop it, then he would be at fault, but there's no proof of that here.


      Who's the owner of the site ? Hatch or the webmonkey ?

      His name is all over the place, it is HIS website, so he should be held accountable of what's found on it. I remember hearing something like "ignorance is not a valid defense".
      If I was going to put my name on something I did not write, I'd damn well make sure my legal team audits each and every bit of it to insure I wouldnt get myself in hot water over it.

      This man is a self-proclaimed copyright professional. I guess he should have known better.

    • by Longinus (601448) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:55PM (#6250212) Homepage
      He might not even know what the Javascript is for.

      Yep, that sure sounds like the kind of guy I want making decisions about IP and technology.

    • And your point is...?

      If my daughter downloads songs on my machine, will Hatch NOT blow mine up?

      It's his site; it's his responsibility.
    • by inkswamp (233692) on Friday June 20, 2003 @02:08AM (#6251235)
      Surely the Senator didn't create the page himself? He might not even know what the Javascript is for. Sure, if he knew that the webmaster was doing something wrong, and he didn't stop it, then he would be at fault, but there's no proof of that here.

      Fine, but that, IMO, is directly analogous to the idea of destroying a computer because it has been used for piracy. Consider the modern computing environment where multiple users may (and do) use one machine for a variety of purposes. Tell me, should all users of the machine suffer if one of them downloads music illegally? If all users on that one machine may be legally targetted because of the actions of one user on the same machine (which is basically Hatch's position) then surely he should be held accountable for someone else's work on his Web site. I mean, it's his site, not mine, not yours and certainly not his Webmaster's.

      This only goes to show further how out-of-touch and un-informed Hatch really is about computers. He should be making no laws governing their usage until he can build his own fucking web site.

  • by djcdplaya (220461) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:00PM (#6249880) Homepage
    This is funny, but the sad thing is that it will in no way affect Hatch's platform nor media credibility.

    I imagine that tommorow a sysadmin and a webdesigner will be out of a job. And that sucks in today's market.

    I mean, really, you think an old senator put a website together by himself? WITH javascript!
  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by chrisgeleven (514645) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:03PM (#6249888) Homepage
    When I read about Hatch's little idea, this is what I came up with as responses:

    1. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    2. What ever happened to getting a warrant?
    3. What ever happened to a fair trial in front of a jury of peers?
    4. What ever happened to the government running the police, instead of the corporations.
    5. What ever happens when someone at a record label royally screws up and fries the hard drive of someone with legiminate copies of MP3's (say of my band or ripped legally from CD's I own)?
  • Remember Napster? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tuxlove (316502) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:09PM (#6249938)
    I was somewhat involved with Napster back in its heyday. I once visited their office, and was introduced to a new employee who came straight out of Orrin Hatch's office. He used to be an assistant of some sort to Hatch, and was clearly hired by Napster because he could serve as a lobbyist of sorts with some very direct Washington contacts. The funny thing is, as soon as they hired this guy, Hatch came out in strong support of Napster and defended them for a time.

    I was amazed, but not surprised. That's not the sort of position one would have expected from the likes of Orrin Hatch, but clearly is ex-assistant was having significant influence on him in Napster's favor. How ironic, yet also unsurprising, that in the wake of Napster's demise, Hatch has pretty much gone 180 degrees from his previous stance.
  • Go to http://www.bsa.org/usa/report/ and report Orrin for piracy
  • In all fairness.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:15PM (#6249972)
    The Milonic DHTML Menu was totally free [archive.org] a little while ago.

    For them to change the licensing terms retroactively ( "EVERY copy of our JavaScript menu needs to be licensed" [milonic.co.uk] - are they really insiting that older copies that were downloaded with it was advertised as free now be paid for and/or registered?) seems very shady to me.
    • by el_nino (4271) on Friday June 20, 2003 @07:18AM (#6252127) Homepage Journal
      The DHTML menu on the Wayback Machine was version 3.0. The version currently on Hatch's site is 3.3. Just view the source.

      If you still had version 3.0 downloaded and licensed to you for free under the previous terms, it would be doubtful if they could retroactively change the licensing terms, but in this case they're offering new software under new licensing terms, and even if you had a license to a previous version of that software that doesn't give you any rights to the new version.
  • by angst7 (62954) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:16PM (#6249976) Homepage

    But a quick look at the Google Cache [google.com] will let you see the original, licence-violating version.

    ---
    Jedimom.com [jedimom.com], leon's getting larger.
  • by djupedal (584558) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:16PM (#6249980)
    ...Professor....what is 'pirate booty'...?
  • by OYAHHH (322809) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:26PM (#6250033) Homepage
    I called Boring Orrin's office to complain and here was the reply I got:

    "Senator Hatch's website was created via a third party who was responsible for the problem. The problem has now been corrected."

    Those aren't the exact words but they effectively expressed his staffer's opinion.

    But what really got me was the fact that the staffer refused to provide Senator Hatch's take on the matter and really seemed quite nonchalant about the whole affair.

    I mentioned that I felt that Senator Hatch bears ultimate responsiblity for what is on his website and that I felt like he should own up to it.

    Or to, at the very minimum, help pay the litigation costs of the person whose copyrighted material was stolen so that they could sue the crap out of the "third party web designer".

    Once again I basically got a shrug type reaction from the staffer.

    Those people don't have a clue!

    If you want to make a difference, call Hatch's office, complain, then call your Senator's office and request that they punish him. If it's long distance for you then it will be a few bucks for each call but it will be money well spent.
  • by jensend (71114) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:32PM (#6250067)
    Senator Hatch is, overall, a great guy. The other congressmen from Utah (except for Jim Matheson, a moderate Democrat who managed to barely hold on to his House seat despite the careful gerrymandering of our terrible State Legislature) vote harder-than-hard-line Republican, often seemingly without any thought. Hatch has genuinely tried to investigate the issues and work towards solutions- even though the solutions he engineers get fairly widely booed in Utah since they may deviate from the Party Line. In just about all previous instances when I have disagreed with Sen. Hatch's views, I have nevertheless felt them to be well-reasoned and somewhat justified.

    This time around constitutes an exception. Everybody makes stupid mistakes once in a while, and I hope Hatch manages to pull a course correction on this issue pretty soon.
    • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:05PM (#6250280) Homepage Journal
      This time around constitutes an exception. Everybody makes stupid mistakes once in a while, and I hope Hatch manages to pull a course correction on this issue pretty soon.

      No, this time does not constitute an exception. Orrin was also the sponsor of another misguided piece of legislation that maybe you've heard of, the DMCA.

      Orrin has taken over 175K so far just this year from the TV/Movies/Music lobby [opensecrets.org]

      Orrin is one of the WORST congressmen this country has EVER had. Bought off like every other congressman but he apparently is not only paid off but stupid about the legislation that he introduces.

      Now jensend, as a constituent I suggest that you get informed on these issues that your idiot congressman makes the rest of the country suffer for.
  • Shuddder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Malicious (567158) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:33PM (#6250079)
    OK, so it's all well and funny that the guy's got a porn link on his webpage. Yes, he's a senator, and that should be damaging... but the only people seeing it are Slashdotters, and we're ALL clicking the fucking thing, probably making him a small fortune with no real result. Instead, don't click it, tell your grandmother about it!

    ROCK THE VOTE!

  • by thogard (43403) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:39PM (#6250117) Homepage
    Does everyone remember all the congresscritters out on the steps singing God Bless America? That had an audience of over a billion but did they pay the royalties to the Boy & Girl Scouts? I bet they didn't even check out the copyright before they decided it was a good idea. But it means they all broke copyright law.

    If anyone gets to talk to a Senator, this is a very good thing to bring up. According to standard copyright rates, they all owe more in royalties than most of them will ever see and some of these guys play with the national debt.
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:40PM (#6250122) Journal
    I'm visiting the US for a week, and have realised where the power here comes from: The Media.

    CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, ABC/Disney, and ALL of the others seem to be based on pure viceral knee-jerk reporting. If you want to see Sen. Hatch get in trouble, sic the reporters on him.

    Seriously. The media is living on exploitation, either their own or others. Exploit them to the best of your abilities, and watch things explode.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:44PM (#6250140) Homepage Journal
    Politicians better fix the economy and end the tech-visa programs before more bored and unemployed techies turn up more dirt on them.

    You know what they say: An idle IT person will hack into the devil's workshop.
  • by dafoomie (521507) <dafoomie@hotmPAS ... m minus language> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:57PM (#6250225) Homepage
    Lets just notify the BSA, and I'm sure they and Senator Hatch can amicably (massive audit) settle this "oversight".

    http://www.bsa.org/usa/report/report.php
    1-888- NOPIRACY

    Lets see how Mr. Hatch likes his computers destroyed.
  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:03PM (#6250259)
    ...made it standard procedure (in states where radar detectors are/were illegal) for the police officer, upon discovering the illegal device, to destroy it on the spot, usually by stomping it to bits.

    Well, I seem to recall they stopped this practice, since a judge somewhere determined that this was depriving the defendant of "due process."

    So-- how could the use of computer-destroying technology be legally sanctioned? There is no due process. Sure, the technology could be used, but officially, the perpetrator would be subject to fines, legal damages, and/or jail time, just like any other virus-writing script-kiddie.

    Orrin Hatch is really just advocating vigilanteism, which is an abandonment of the whole legal system. What's next? Should I start waving a pistol at everybody who cuts me off, or torching the car of that guy down the street who plays his stereo too loud?

    Let's take it one step further. Let's have it so that we not only destroy the music pirate's computer, but we overload his power supply, cause a fire, and burn down his house, and hopefully all his neighbors' houses, too, since they probably were in on it as well...

  • Kettle? (Score:3, Funny)

    by keiferb (267153) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:15PM (#6250338) Homepage
    Pot here. You are black! I repeat: You are black!
  • by Valen0 (325388) <valen@escomFORTRAN.us minus language> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:23PM (#6250396)
    According to this software piracy information PDF [bsa.org] made by the BSA [bsa.org] in paragraph 4, the US Senate [senate.gov] is liable for this unlicensed software:

    "Many businesses, both large and small, face serious legal risks because
    of software piracy. Under the law, a company can be held liable
    for its employeesâ(TM) actions. If an employee is installing unauthorized
    software copies on company computers or acquiring illegal software
    through the Internet, the company can be sued for copyright
    infringement. This is true even if the companyâ(TM)s management was
    unaware of the employeeâ(TM)s actions."
  • who to trust? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Parsec (1702) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:43PM (#6250565) Homepage Journal

    The Wired article brought a few important points to mind.

    • How, in Hatch's scheme, would small intellectual property owners take advantage of this system? Or are do they admit that the little guy is unimportant because they don't make the big campaign contributions?
    • How would you verify that a small IP owner is actually the owner of the property in question. How do you keep this system from abuse?
    • How does a small IP owner keep a big company from claiming its property and destroying legal copies of the IP to destroy said small business?
    • How on Earth would you secure a system with such a wide back door?
  • Death Penalty (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blunte (183182) on Friday June 20, 2003 @12:11AM (#6250735)
    "I do not favor extreme remedies -- unless no moderate remedies can be found"

    Hatch reportedly said that. Ok, so what if destroying a pirate's computer doesn't do the trick? What if they get another computer and pirate more?

    Maybe we should execute them... and if we do that, we should do it on national television to set an example.

    Now that I have made some fun of the absurd overreaction to copyright violation, I ask this: how many congress people should be fired, or worse for knowingly doing things for personal gain, at the cost of the US people? That's theft of tax money. It's fraud, etc.

    Point is, we all know the politicians are effectively paid by corporations to make certain decisions. We also know that we, the public, can't afford to compete with businesses to buy off politicians. I won't rant too much, but we've needed true campaign finance reform for ages. Corporations can't vote, so they shouldn't be able to manipulate government decisions. And we know many of them don't begin to pay the taxes they're theoretically supposed to pay. Yet I do pay my taxes, and when I screwed up one year, I ended up owing a bunch. I'm paying that off.

    It comes down to this: our politicians are either ignorant about technology (this is almost universally true), or they are in bed with the corporations who are paying for their re-election campaigns. It's both, of course.

    There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, to be able to compete during campaign time, you have to accept as much money from any source who will give it to you. That's the way it works.

    I just don't know what more to say about this. It all seems futile. I do think justice, real justice, will be served one way or another. The people in positions of power who abuse those positions usually know what they are doing. They'll remember their deeds on their death beds, and perhaps they'll feel rotted. What a way to die...

  • by bkocik (17609) on Friday June 20, 2003 @12:32AM (#6250842) Homepage
    Earlier today I was reading through the comments from the previous story about Senator Hatch, and someone mentioned his site, hatchmusic.com. I went and looked to see what kind of music he writes.

    Check out this link: http://www.hatchmusic.com/songs.html [hatchmusic.com]

    See the second CD from the bottom of the page, "Many Different Roads"? I thought the cover art looked awfully familiar. Turns out I have a copy of that rose picture on my hard drive from years ago. It's all over the web, and can be found via Google image search [google.com].

    I don't know the history of that particular image or who owns the copyright to it, but I can't help but wonder if the good senator bothered to find out...

  • by willutah (556976) on Friday June 20, 2003 @10:29AM (#6253508) Journal
    If people would check Milonic's website [milonic.co.uk] before blabbering on slashdot, they will notice that Hatch has resolved this issue:

    "We have received many emails regarding the implementation of our software and Milonic are pleased to announce that there are no longer any licensing issues with reference to the above [Orin Hatch] website..."

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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