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U.S. Joins Hollywood in War on Piracy 358

Posted by Zonk
from the taking-on-the-real-terrorists dept.
Section_Ei8ht writes to mention a Washington Post article about a new joint initiative between the U.S. government and the entertainment industry. The government will now be aiding efforts abroad to stop copyright infringement. They cite the recent Pirate Bay fiasco, as well as the problems Russia is having with the WTO as a result of their thriving IP black market. From the article: "The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates, who swap digital copies of 'The DaVinci Code,' Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free."
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U.S. Joins Hollywood in War on Piracy

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  • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:31PM (#15544497) Homepage
    This is dumb for two reasons. One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs. The other is that it is yet another war on an abstract idea. (joining the war on terror and the war on poverty) Bad news, you can't win against an idea, only against a group of people (terrorists, pirates, the poor?). And yes there are too many pirates to even think about "winning" against them. They probably make up more than 50% of the population.
    • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:35PM (#15544536) Journal

      I think we need a war on politics, personally. Might actually have some benefits for the public in the long term.

      • by anicca (819551) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:47PM (#15544647) Journal
        Since the war on drugs has made drugs cheap, pure and ubiquitous, the war on terror is doing the same for terrorists, do you really want more politics? While everyone is rushing to war on one another, the fox is in the henhouse.
        • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:52PM (#15544691) Homepage
          So ... we should have a war on Fox? Now I'm really confused.
        • pretended war (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hany (3601)

          Since the war on drugs has made drugs cheap, pure and ubiquitous ...

          One correction: pretended war on drugs ... thanks to what the saying "what does not kill you makes you stronger" kicks-in.

          I think that real war of people agains politics will kill politics quite effectively in very short time. Same as real war on drugs would have killed drugs and real war on terror would kill terrorists.

          Because we can't consider war on drugs being serious when for example even some US soldiers deployed to fight drugs a

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:37PM (#15544548)
      > This is dumb for two reasons. One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs. The other is that it is yet another war on an abstract idea. (joining the war on terror and the war on poverty) Bad news, you can't win against an idea, only against a group of people (terrorists, pirates, the poor?). And yes there are too many pirates to even think about "winning" against them. They probably make up more than 50% of the population.

      Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

      - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957.

      In other words, This is smart for two reasons. One is that it is the US meddling in other nations' purely internal affairs. The other is that it is yet another war on an abstract idea. (joining the war on terror and the war on poverty and the war on some drugs, which that other guy forgot.)

      Good news, you can't win against an idea, only against a group of people (terrorists, pirates, the poor?). And yes there are too many pirates to even think about "winning" against them. They probably make up more than 50% of the population, meaning that there's about a 50/50 chance that when we need to put someone in prison, or just sue them into the stone age, we'll be able to do so.

      All we need now is a war on pr0n, and we'll have around 70% of the population as criminals. Then we turn power over to the Democrats, they can declare the Christian fundies that make up our voting base as McVeigh militia whackjobs, and we'll have absolute power over everybody.

      Power corrupts. Absolute power is pretty cool.

      • by b0nj0m0n (899670)
        I say congrats on finding an apt subject title for your comment. If you wonder whether they're "winning" the war on pirates, just take a peek at legal download statistics. That's what you call a "victory". It's pretty stupid to claim that if we had a war on porn, then 70% of the population would be criminals. If 70% of the population supported porn in a democracy that criminalized porn, then they would be a shining example of stupidity in action. Get out and shout and vote until it's legal again. The
        • by kfg (145172) * on Thursday June 15, 2006 @09:23PM (#15545648)
          Get out and shout and vote until it's legal again. The US government . . .

          . . .is not a democracy.

          KFG
        • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @09:31PM (#15545680)

          It's pretty stupid to claim that if we had a war on porn, then 70% of the population would be criminals. If 70% of the population supported porn in a democracy that criminalized porn, then they would be a shining example of stupidity in action.

          Think about alcohol Prohibition. Before and after Prohibition, a majority of adult Americans drank alcohol at least occasionally. (Perhaps even during it, though we'll never know.) Yet the idea was popular enough to get passed via constitutional amendment, requiring the approval of two thirds of both houses of Congress AND all the state legislatures. Not that it wasn't stupid, it was *so* stupid that 13 years later it became the only amendment ever repealed.

          Never underestimate the ability of the American electorate to be precisely that stupid.

      • A corollary quote... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by QRDeNameland (873957) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:39PM (#15545031)
        Eventually it was discovered
        That God
        Did not want us to be
        All the same

        This was
        Bad News
        For the Governments of The World
        As it seemed contrary
        To the doctrine of
        Portion Controlled Servings

        Mankind must be made more uniformly
        If
        The Future
        Was going to work

        Various ways were sought
        To bind us all together
        But, alas
        Same-ness was unenforcable

        It was about this time
        That someone
        Came up with the idea of
        Total Criminalization

        Based on the principle that
        If we were All crooks
        We could at least be uniform
        To some degree
        In the eyes of
        The Law

        Shrewdly our legislators calculated
        That most people were
        Too lazy to perform a
        Real Crime
        So new laws were manufactored
        Making it possible for anyone
        To violate them any time of the day or night,
        And
        Once we had all broken some kind of law
        We'd all be in the same big happy club
        Right up there with the President
        The most excalted industrialists,
        And the clerical big shots
        Of all your favorite religions

        Total Criminalization
        Was the greatest idea of its time
        And was vastly popular
        Except with those people
        Who didn't want to be crooks or outlaws,

        So, of course, they had to be
        Tricked Into It ...
        Which is one of the reasons why
        Music
        Was eventually made
        Illegal.

        --Frank Zappa (from the booklet of Joe's Garage, Acts II & III - 1979)
      • I guess the US is really starting it's war [ridiculopathy.com] on americans [ridiculopathy.com].

        Satire becoming reality, I'm not sure wether I should laugh or cry about it.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't forget the war on drugs.

      But of course, not prescription drugs, since the makers donate to campaign funds.

      And not alcohol, that's OK, even though people drive drunk, because again, Anheuser-Busch has lobbyists.

      Of course, tobacco is fatal, too, but that's fine, because the tobacco companies make a lot of money, and know who to talk to in Washington.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:39PM (#15544567)
      But we have reports that those countries have weapons of mass distribution!
      • As a Brit I must accept these charges we have been harbouring weapons of mass destruction since the cold war. We also have a policy of releasing terrorists from prison and our police recently apologised when they shot a totally innocent man who was suspected of being a terrorist. What depths have we sunk to?
    • Not to mention that if the U.S. is in their country taking away their video games, there's going to be a lot of young 3rd-worlders upset with the U.S. Probably not the best way to help our foreign relations debacle.
    • Unbelievable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alaren (682568) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:47PM (#15544645)
      One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs.
      Indeed. And because of that, the article opens with some pretty shoddy journalism:
      Last month, Swedish authorities briefly shut down an illegal file-sharing Web site after receiving a briefing on the site's activities from U.S. officials in April in Washington. The raid incited political and popular backlash in the Scandinavian nation.

      As the Pirate Bay folks are fond of pointing out, what they do is not explicitly illegal in Sweden, nor has it been tried in court. It would be silly to say that they don't facilitate infringement, but stating flatly that they are "an illegal file-sharing Web site" is like saying that "people who drive on the left side of the road are driving illegally." It's true in the U.S... but not everywhere.

      Then we get this garbage:

      In Russia, the government's inability, or reluctance, to shut down another unauthorized file-sharing site may prevent that nation's entrance into the World Trade Organization...

      Whether or not this site is "authorized" is still up for debate. Just because the RIAA doesn't like what they're doing doesn't mean it's illegal or even unauthorized. The RIAA is not a governing body, though they certainly seem to be headed that direction.

      Later we get the words "intellectual property theft" and still later we get "Working against Russia, the lawmakers say, are its plans to make intellectual property rights violators subject to civil, rather than criminal, penalties." This entire article is shilling for the MAFIAA and for the glorious powers of infringing on the sovereignty of other nations. Criminal penalties for infringement? "Suggestions" on how to improve domestic laws?

      These people are monsters.

      • Re:Unbelievable (Score:4, Insightful)

        by BigCheese (47608) <dennis.hostetler@gmail.com> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:01PM (#15544773) Homepage Journal
        The whole article sounded more like a RIAA/MPAA press release then anything resembling news.
      • What's wrong with infringing on the sovereignty of other nations? Isn't that what empires are supposed to do?
      • Re:Unbelievable (Score:3, Insightful)

        by StikyPad (445176)
        saying that "people who drive on the left side of the road are driving illegally." It's true in the U.S... but not everywhere.

        It's not even true in all cases in the US. One-way streets spring immediately to mind.

        At any rate, you're right to criticize the reporting; in fact the article would be grounds for both a civil lawsuit and a motion to dismiss the case. By omitting the term "alleged," the paper has criminalized the defendant and tainted potential jurors. Of course, they're not based in Sweden, so i
    • by Erwos (553607) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:56PM (#15544732)
      "One is that it is the US meddling in other nations purely internal affairs."

      Internal affairs? International trade is not an internal affair, by definition. When you're violating the copyright of citizens from other countries, it has moved out from being "purely internal" to "international".

      "You're allowing wholesale violation of our citizens' internationally recognized copyrights" is hardly the worst reason I've ever heard for objecting to membership in trade organizations, too.

      -Erwos
      • Double standard? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:07PM (#15544821)
        The US picks and chooses which of its laws it will enforce in other countries -- the general trend seems to be that if there is a belief that some US corporation can profit from the law being enforced, it will be; otherwise, the US government couldn't give a shit. Consider the laws here in the states (and recognized by several international groups) regarding chemical factories. Does the US start meddling with other countries when a US chemical company decides to open up a plant somewhere and blatantly breaks the laws it would be required to follow here in America? No. Labor laws? No. But turn it around,so that the company is producing its products here in the states and selling them overseas, and suddenly, the US is interested in enforcing American laws outside of America. Double standard?
      • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @11:33PM (#15546246)
        When you're violating the copyright of citizens from other countries...

        TFA talks about 1) the Pirate Bay: a tracker site. It doesn't have any copyright files on its servers. Arguably facilitates copyright infringement, but so does Google or Yahoo if you put in the right search terms. 2) AllofMP3: it has the right, under Russian law, to distribute the files it sells. Rights holders can just ask for their royalty checks, they refuse to do so and claim they're being robbed.

    • Not to mention the question of why the US government should act as stop-loss agents for a private industry?
  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:34PM (#15544522)
    ...who swap digital copies of 'The DaVinci Code,' Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free

    Gee, you should be PAYING THEM to download that crap. Eew.
  • by daeg (828071) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:35PM (#15544528)
    I'd like to see a study that looks at if people that pirate software and other copyrighted materials would pay for them to begin with. I'd also like to see a study of the commercial gains from piracy. For instance, downloading an MP3 from a friend of a song. The downloader likes the song, so he buys the entire album from iTunes. He now kmow about the band and enjoy them and will likely purchase more. All I see are press releases from the record and movie industry claiming they "lost" money.
    • Studies have been done.
      Here is one:
      http://w1.nada.kth.se/media/Research/MusicLessons/ Reports/MusicLessons-DL4.pdf [nada.kth.se]

      It has some interesting stuff.
    • by blibbler (15793) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:24PM (#15544943)
      The problem with studies into things like that is the effect of piracy is very nebulous. While it is unlikely Adobe loses a sale if a 13 year old "software collector" downloads photoshop, there is a reasonable chance that they lost a sale to a 30 year old hobbiest photographerwho does the same. The music situation is similarly difficult to pin down. While I have bought many CDs of artists that I have first been introduced from downloads, there are many albums that I have been content to have downloaded MP3s of. Would I have bought them otherwise? Maybe, maybe not. In the hight of the original napster, CD sales were very large and "pirates" argued that the CD sales were being fed by the napster downloads. Music downloads have continued to rise, while CD sales have collapsed, however today "pirates" claim that the low CD sales are caused by the labels not releasing any good music. It doesn't take much of a brain to see the problem with that argument.

      The other problem with such studies are their credibility. Would you believe the results of a study that was funded by the RIAA (or even a copyright friendly government.) A study conducted by a group like downhillbattle.org or the FSF would have the same level of credibility (remember the adage 'Just because you agree with a statement, does not make it true). Ultimately, any study conducted would be hailed by interest groups that agreed with the outcome and ignored by interest groups that did not. Leaving everyone right back where they started, just angrier.
      • Yes, but that "13 year old software collector" who steals a copy of Photoshop learns the software. He then goes to college, and he's ahead of the curve in his new media major because he's been using photoshop for 5 years already. Then he graduates, gets a job, and guess what? The company that hires him also buys him a copy of this now defacto standard product.
      • The solution to this problem for software to have a "free version" that has all of the basic functionality that one needs to run the program on a day-to-day basis, and then when they try to do something fancy like shift the color tone, nag them to buy the full/regular version. Most of the people who buy photoshop now are graphic professionals, who need those features anyway, and it can get everyone else who illegally copies the program off their addiction to pirated Adobe software (the trick will be to fig
    • I do not believe that the "they wouldn't have bought them anyway," line of thinking qualifies as a valid justification for copyright infringement. The only time it is important is when the "content" industry claims losses amounting to huge sums of money they never had. It doesn't mean that infringement is ok, it just means that the industry's claims are quite disingenuous.
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:35PM (#15544538) Homepage
    The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates, who swap digital copies of "The DaVinci Code," Chamillionaire's new album and the latest Grand Theft Auto video game for free.

    These 3 products have a value of as much as $250 billion? Wow, these guys really are making too much money. Guess I better go download some more movies.
    • by Wildclaw (15718) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:41PM (#15545432)
      RIAA/MIAA isn't losing $250 billion every year. The real truth is that society is gaining $250 billion/year because of file sharing. In other words, filesharing is very good for society. Without it, society would be a lot poorer.
  • by nEoN nOoDlE (27594) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:37PM (#15544543) Homepage
    So first the government wants to ban the legal sales of Grand Theft Auto here in the US and now they want to ban the illegal download of Grand Theft Auto overseas? Are they for or against the game? Or do they just not want anyone to have it?
  • Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LainTouko (926420) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:37PM (#15544554)
    Ah, the democratic will of the people in action. At last the US government is listening to the cries of its people to punish those Swedish guys who make free stuff available and aren't breaking any local laws. Oh, wait...
  • by Screwy1138 (976897) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:37PM (#15544555)
    It's unfortunate, but this is just more of the same.

    But what are we going to do? Intervene more in the politics of other nations? Yeah they love that. We can go to war to get all our copies of Grand Theft Auto back (right before we ban them for being obscene).

    Sooner or later India and China will have a larger say in global economics, and their positions on these topics will carry more weight. I wonder what things will be like when other countries don't bend so easily to the will of the U.S.
    • Sooner or later India and China will have a larger say in global economics, and their positions on these topics will carry more weight.

      Which is exactly why the US is so gung-ho about this stuff.

      The sooner they can convert the governments of the emerging powers to the stupid side, the stronger the protection of the MAFIAA's business model will be when those countries do dominate the world market.
    • The US in entering the information age in a big way, and the US vision of IP is simply plain wrong. The future is not one of "intellectual property", but of information services. Just as the commoditisation of the labor force led to the drastic death of the plantation system and all it's false property rights, the commoditisation of information in the information age will lead to the drastic death of the copyright system and false "intellectual property" rights.

      The fact that Linux has taken off in the USA
  • by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:39PM (#15544564)
    It sounds like they're going to be moving to the war on piracy. I expect we'll be carpet bombing Stockholm before the elections.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:39PM (#15544566) Homepage Journal

    ...such a this one [washingtonpost.com]. I used it to send a letter to the author of the linked article. This letter is enclosed below. If it contains factual errors, let me know; I may have listened to the wrong slashbots.

    In "U.S. Joins Industry in Piracy War" you seem to allude to the shutdown of The Pirate Bay early on when you say mention an "illegal file-sharing Web site" in Sweden. Numerous Swedes have been working to set people straight on this - The website "The Pirate Bay" was in no way illegal under Swedish law because it does not itself contain any copyrighted materials, only links to the same. Your assertion that their site is illegal is libelous at best, since Swedish law does not prohibit such a site. In fact, their law only prohibits the exchange of copyrighted material - having it unshared on your hard disk is not a crime.

    Copyright law in the US was intended to protect our cultural heritage, not to provide profit to copyright holders in perpetuity. It is now little more than a shield that megacorporations can hide behind so that they have no need to innovate and bring us something NEW. The two acts which extended copyright were far from being in the interest of the American people.

    The seizure of TPB's servers illustrates that fascism is alive and well, and spreading throughout the world. The police in fact seized numerous servers that did not even belong to TPB as an apparent scare tactic to bring ISPs in line with their wishes, even though they were not backed up by law - if you harbor those who are practicing their legal rights, you may in fact lose business because we will interfere with it, deliberately and without cause.

    By referring to TPB's actions as illegal, you are helping to perpetuate a fraud against the entire planet.

    Hopefully I was correct about all this, but the claims I have made above were made in many long-standing high-score comments in the last discussion about this subject, and not refuted, so hopefully peer review will have made me sound like I know what I'm talking about.

    • Hopefully I was correct about all this, but the claims I have made above were made in many long-standing high-score comments in the last discussion about this subject, and not refuted, so hopefully peer review will have made me sound like I know what I'm talking about.

      Heh. I just mailed them a link to your posting. Now your credibility is down the pooper.
    • By referring to TPB's actions as illegal, you are helping to perpetuate a fraud against the entire planet.

      Tell them they kill younglings, too. Rub it in.
    • by Eccles (932) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:15PM (#15545262) Journal
      Dumb, dumb, dumb.

      No, not your write-up, but that you mailed the author of the article.

      This has been in the paper, seen by many thousands. You want to try to educate one guy?

      Send it to the opinions/letters to the editor instead.
    • Copyright law in the US was intended to protect our cultural heritage, not to provide profit to copyright holders in perpetuity.

      There's nothing about "protecting cultural heritage" in the Constitution, and I'm pretty sure we didn't really have much of a cultural heritage when that document was written. It did say something about furthering the arts and sciences though, and there's a good argument to be made that modern IP law is hindering development more than it's protecting it.
    • Copyrights aren't to protect "cultural heritage", they're meant to give authors/artists/musicians etc an incentive to create works, as they will have a monopoly over the distribution rights for a limited time, and then be open to the public. The key part here is limited time, which Congress keeps extending every time Mickey Mouse verges on going into the public domain. IMO, these extensions violate both the letter and spirit of the Constitution, and should have been smacked down two or three exensions ago
  • I for one had never heard of "Chamillionaire" until this article. Why site these specific items? It's almost as if they WANT me to go download it! Which I won't because piracy is bad bad bad. Everyone knows Ninja's are where it's at these days.

    I forsee the future, and it is bleak. What's next, Cory Sherman for President??

    "Remember kids, when you download MP3's, you're downloading Com^H^H^HTerrorism."

    -Some Bloke
  • And in other news... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dave562 (969951)
    Hollywood will be teaming with the government to bring you candidates who although short on substance and integrity, are guaranteed to have voter appeal and provide a vehicle to forward the Republican party platform.
  • Why don't they make products worth watching. Most of the junk Hollywood makes isn't even worth my time even if it were free.

    Yet another industry that failed to adapt to new technologies that's going to fight until their death.
  • by clevershark (130296) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:46PM (#15544634) Homepage
    ...the figures for the "lost revenue" they pull out of their *sses gets larger and larger. I think the industry is goatseing itself there...
  • How come we can generate these awesomely tight relationships with other countries regarding IP and copyright laws, but we can't get Chinese companies to not use 15 hour work days and below-living-standard wages to produce goods?

    Oh, I see. Because neither one is good for Rich White Guys. Carry on, then.
    • "...Rich White Guys"
      shoud be
      "...Rich People"

      There a a lot of rich non white people who profit from this behaviour. Like the Chinese, for starters.
    • Because they're not stupid?

      Why can't we get the Frnch to reform their employment laws while we're at it? Obviously an over 8% unemploymet rate is bad for them. Let's do something about it!

      Every country has it's own ideas about what works and what doesn't as far as the economy is concerned. While we SHOULD try to intervene where major abuses of human rights occur, a 15 hour work day is hardly a massive problem.
  • SO how much (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:51PM (#15544689) Homepage Journal
    is the industry giong to pay for our government to do this? oh wait, taxpayers will.

  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:51PM (#15544690) Journal
    Politics is show business for ugly people.
  • I've yet to download any pirated copies of American entertainment. In my world there's Bach and Bebop [wikipedia.org], these I have on CD; then there's the rest of what passes for music. As for the rest of what passes for American entertainment there's nothing worth stealing coming from the America. I look forward optimistically to an offering from American entertainment that would be worth stealing and, possibly, even buying.
  • by shogarth (668598) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @06:58PM (#15544748)
    In the aftermath of the raid, members of the Left and Moderate parties in Sweden have proposed scrapping last year's law that criminalized illegal file-sharing, reported the Local, an English-language newspaper in Sweden.

    It looks like a reporter has a hard time distinguishing between legal jurisdictions. I doubt that the Swedes would have wasted time criminalizing something that was already illegal. This is a perfect example of the fuzzy thinking that most people bring to this (admittedly complex) issue.

  • Except the ones having huge amounts of cash, of course.

    Almost everything they did from the start of their first term to date have been in expense of majority, in profit of minority.

    Minority always having the meaning "wealthy" of course.
  • yep..

    this nation has become so hijacked by a plutocratic and manipulative media elite that the US government now places this on a higher priority than terrorism, human rights violations, and other very good reasons to pressure other nations and refuse to admit them to the wto.

    This may be getting old, but I think this is making me physically ill. How on earth can anyone stand by and allow such corruption? how can anyone not suffering from clinical senility go along with this.

    I mean.. f**k the national deb
  • The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate...

    In other news, today The Big Bad Wolf announced that small children were causing serious damage to the forest ecosystem, and that in the future trespassing children would be punished more severely.

  • Shit like this is why I don't bother to read the news any more. It's depressing to the point of being totally demoralising.
  • Joins the war? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:25PM (#15544950) Journal
    If they do as well as Iraq and their mission in finding Osama Bin Ladden - then Hollywood has nothing to worry about.

    Mission accomplished!
  • 250 Billion? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Just Jeff (5760)
    Someone thinks that russian kids have 250 Billion dollars that they would spend on Hollywood creations? Even if their counts are close, those copies are floating around because they are (relatively) cost free. If Hollywood managed to obliterate every pirated copy of everything they created, they would not end up with one additional dollar. People do not have 250 billion extra dollars in their pockets. They will just never see another Hollywood movie and not care when one comes to thei movie theaters.
  • by shodai (970706) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:30PM (#15544980)
    I bought 5 books last night, knowing fully well that I could easily get them online for free.

    I haven't bought any music or movies in at least five years due to the greedy ****ing **AA - that and everything released has been a -2/10.

    Make stuff worth having and we will probably buy it... or you can just sue grandma for downloading without a computer, that always works.
  • Lost opportunities (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alexo (9335) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:40PM (#15545041) Journal

    "The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates [...]"


    Yup. Potential loss of extortion money always pisses the mob off.

    • Yup. Potential loss of extortion money always pisses the mob off.

      US mob vs russian mob (allofmp3, supposedly).

      one mob sells me goods cheaper than another. is it wrong to choose the cheaper of the 2 mobs? ;)

      (I really don't think either mob is any more ethical than the other. I honestly don't.)

  • by Arivia (783328) <arivia@gmail.com> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:43PM (#15545054) Journal
    How can I be downloading his album if I've never even heard of him?
  • Hmm. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:45PM (#15545071)
    I thought the US already did a good job at stopping piracy [wikipedia.org]:

    While boats off the coasts of South America and the Mediterranean Sea are still assailed by pirates, the advent of the United States Coast Guard has nearly eradicated piracy in American waters and the Caribbean Sea.

    (Wikipedia's article on Piracy [wikipedia.org].)

  • Wow, I can't think of a more beautiful thing you stupid politicians could be doing.
    I'm going to write a letter right now to you all telling you how wonderful an idea this is, to force other countries to adopt our laws so they can pay for entertainment,
    Why don't we force them to wear gold stars and send infringers to death camps?

    Honestly, with the amount of HIV, poverty, malaria, influenza, strife, famine, and general nastiness out there in the world, I'm glad my hard earned tax dollars are going to s
  • by Facekhan (445017) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:53PM (#15545126)
    The article repeats the falsehoods that The Pirate Bay and the AllOfMP3.com are illegal file sharing websites. One is a legal under Swedish law and is a torrent site that does not host any copyrighted material. The Russian site, AllofMP3.com sells mp3 tracks legally by a quirk of Russian copyright law. The reason the RIAA is pissed is for 2 reasons, the first is that the songs are sold cheaply to both Russians and foreigners who go to the site which screws with their regional price fixing system, and the other is that they are not collecting the royalties to which they are owed because of those who are supposedly representing foreign copyright holders in Russia pocket the money themselves or they simply choose not to make the effort to get their share from those entities. This also infringes on the RIAA's patented business model which is mostly based on cheating artists out of royalties. If the writer did even a scrap of research beyond the press releases from the RIAA then at the very least the word "allegedly" illegal file sharing might be used instead.
  • The more lord vader tightens his grip, the more star systems will slip through his fingers!

    Technology progresses as the will of the people. Nobody will ever put this genie all the way back in the bottle, nor should they.

    rhY
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @07:58PM (#15545158) Journal
    The intellectual property industry and law enforcement officials estimate U.S. companies lose as much as $250 billion per year to Internet pirates,

    Think for a moment about this sentence. No not about the amount or how they arrived at it. Think about that sentence and and the saying, "you can't spend a penny twice".

    That amount X is perhaps lost to the content owners BUT it is not somehow evaporating into thin air, that amount saved is being spend on other things.

    So if the content industry gets the amount X then other industries will lose an amount X. Put simpler, that kid who has a allowance who just got a movie for free will now spend that money on his cellular phone, fast food, clothes etc etc.

    It is the real problem with the content industry. They used to have to contend only with clothes for young kids pocket money. Now there is games and the phone to contend with. If you ever worked for a phone company you will know how many people get into trouble with their mobile phone bill. That is money they can't spend on music/movies/games. You can't pirate cell phone minutes but you can pirate content.

    The industry world wide isn't being hurt by pirating, just the industries that are being pirated.

    As to the amount, well you then have to simply ask, where the hell would the economy come up with a spare 250 billion dollars. Since that amount of money is unlikely to be stuffed behind the couch, even Bill Gates, the figure is meaningless. You may as well make it a gazillion for all the relevance.

    If piracy was eleminated today the only thing that would happen is that you would see a shift in spending patterns. Perhaps the fashion industry needs to get in on the side of the pirates, cause if everyone has to pay for every bit of content they used to get for free, they will have a lot less money to spend on clothes.

    The economy is not a infinite idea, there is X money and you can't just wish up an extra amount. That 250 billion just doesn't exist.

  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:05PM (#15545204)
    We live in an age were every individual can have their own printing press.
    Obviously we cannot have that much freedom. Information is dangerous for the masses.
    Only the publishing/media companies know best.
    To restore order, publishing should only be done by the big media companies.
    The material should of course be screened by the Department of Homeland Security, to fight Terrorism.
    120 years for copyright is not enough. 1000 years would be fair.
    Restore something even better than the Stationers monopoly of 1557!!
    Down with "Freedom of Press (Piracy)".
  • Apparently internet piracy in the US is responsible for over 2% of the GDP.

    Seriously, this is the stupidest number they've come up with yet.
  • by darkonc (47285) <`moc.neergcb' `ta' `leumas_nehpets'> on Thursday June 15, 2006 @08:14PM (#15545249) Homepage Journal
    When Bush says that your war is on the side of good and right, you know that you're in trouble.
  • But the movie industry just announced record breaking profits.
    In 2005, profits from video sale were up 10%, and despite the fact that it was a really weak year for blockbuster films, box office totals were only down 1%. Here's how some of it breaks down:

    Total video revenue: $21 billion
    Boxoffice revenue: $23.8 billion
    Total revenue: $44.8 billion

    Total US generated Revenue: $25.5 billion ... and they claim that piracy is costing them the same as their record-breaking revenue. I think not. The fugres just dont
  • The sooner they start getting heavyhanded with foreign pirates, the sooner we will see other countries pushing open source for economic reasons...

    Never mind the benefit of not having a gigantic US-based software company running your computers for you.

    As for the music and movies... who cares. Commercialized popular culture is a disease, so why would anyone want to steal a disease?
  • When I was in college I worked at Blockbuster Video.

    One of the most shoplifted games was "GTA". In fact in one of our stores they had to keep all the games behind the counter.

    Imagine that, a game about theft being the most stolen item in the store! HA! Ohh the irony.
  • Isnt piracy just an evolutionary process that is the early sign of what life could be?

    Take away all of the money claimed money loss and then whats wrong about piracy? Take away economics, and the fact that artists need to be paid to live... (i get that beleive me)

    I think Piracy is that part of humanity that wishes to evolve towards a free for all world. A kind of "star trek world", where all have access to software reguardless of price, poverty level, intellect, country, or carear.

    Piracy is definatly a prot
  • by eh2o (471262) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @09:05PM (#15545561)
    The Davinci Code? Puhleeze. Who would download that garbage? I only use bittorrent to download cheezy british scifi sitcoms from the 80s.
  • by dognuts (699368) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @09:54PM (#15545761)
    There's a huge difference between perceived loses & real loses.
    They appear to be taking a page out BSA's [bsa.org] book to reach such conclusions.

    Using the entertainment industry's analogy, every P2P download represents a lost sale,
    & it sounds & looks good to the average Politician!

    Now if we use an example the flaw will become apparent.

    Example: If Photoshop's [adobe.com] latest version get's downloaded via P2P 100,000 times does
    that mean they lost those sale's?

    Answer: At $649 US a pop I very mush doubt it!

    Being generous I'd guess only 1% to 2% of those 100,000 people would truly pay
    $649 US for Photoshop if that was the only way they could get it.

    I think it would be safe to say the true cost of Piracy isn't $250 billion, but closer to the
    $2.5 to 5 billion mark anually.
    In all likelyhood the U.S. government will spend more than that amount each year hence
    forth in fighting Piracy, thanks to the lobby groups mystical figures.
  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:01PM (#15545788) Homepage Journal
    When the US government gets involved and demands favors, things get done. Take Pirate Bay, as an example. If you try going to http://thepiratebay.org/blog.php?id=29 [thepiratebay.org] you'll find - Oh wait a second, the US pulled some favors, had the site illegally taken down, and what - it's back? No fucking way!

    Notice what they're doing now. They're flaunting it - before they had cannballs fired from the ship at a Hollywood sign, today they're using an abstract phoenix in the shape of the pirate ship as their logo, and in the blog (see link above) they have offers from many in various servers to set up redundant hosts. The MPAA and RIAA cannot and will not win. They HAVE to come to grips with today's technology or face extinction. Whether or not they want to admit it, P2P and sales CAN coexist. Some folks use it as try-before-you-buy (I've done this, quite recently in fact), and the folks who won't buy, are likely not the target consumer anyway.

    Personally, I often wait for movies to hit cable or DVD before I watch them (usually cable first and if I like it I buy the DVD), unless it's a movie I want to see in the highest possible resolution, then I'll go to the theater and hope they bothered to focus the projector. I am mainly part of the secondary market - the market that the MPAA fought tooth and nail against when they tried to block home video from becoming reality. I buy lots of DVDs (although admittedly not since the MPAA illegally caused thepiratebay.org to come down for all of three days), probably too many, but I rarely go to the theater because so few new movies are worth the hassle.

    As an aside where politics is concerned, rather than just the MPAA's stupidity: Is it IP that will be the final straw and get people to say "enough is enough" and actually get out and VOTE, or run for office, or do whatever else it takes to institute change? Will the reality that Joe Sixpack's Hi-Def television will not display Hi-Def from legitimate content with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray but will display pirated content at full resolution make him realize that it is the politicians he put in power which enabled this sort of bullshit to happen? Don't mess with Joe Sixpack's television, because he gets pissy when the telly goes on the fritz, and I would not want to be the one responsible! It'll be the boston tea party of the new millennium, only it'll be HD-DVD and Blu-Ray discs! ;)

    Actually, if it is IP which causes major changes for the better, it would be a pretty sad statement of today's society.
  • by vgmtech (957686) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:05PM (#15545799)
    I'm starting to see a cannon battle of the US and the Pirate Party and it's bay.
    But now The Pirate Party of the United States is emerging what could happen now?
    http://www.pirate-party.us/ [pirate-party.us]
  • by M0b1u5 (569472) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:34PM (#15545947) Homepage
    Might as well declare a war on human nature.

    Because that is what enforcing music copyright is all about. The single reason why there are music pirates is because music has ALWAYS been free. Since the dawn of time, it has been free. Free to listen to. Free to create. Free to copy (when copying became possible). Free to share.

    People have always shared music, and no one has ever thought they were criminals when they did it. ESPECIALLY not the publishing industry in the USA when they flagrantly spent decades ripping off sheet music from Europe, and printing it for local consumption. (Hello China! I'm Pot, are you kettle?)

    See, this is the whole ball of wax right here: There's NOTHING WRONG with sharing music. There never has been, and there never will be. Fuck the law - the law is a TOTAL ass in this regard. When did musicians get the idea they should earn 20 Million a year? That's fucked.

    Sharing music isn't "copyright infringement". It definitely isn't "piracy". (Piracy involves sailing, murder and grappling hooks). It's just Civil Disobedience. And it's great!

    It is only in recent times that music has been deemed to be "property" (LOL - what a concept) and that it can be "stolen" (LOL! "Theft" removes the item from the owner. Ipso facto, sharing is not stealing, and it is not theft.) but the population has NEVER accepted these laws.

    In general, copyright laws are acceptable to a population provided they are not affected by the law. Americans have been stupid to allow Congress to repeatedly rape the public domain of the vast majority of material that should be in it right now. Just why this has been allowed to happen, I am not sure. Nor do I really care: I live in New Zealand!

    One day, the American public will quite literally, stand up and say "ENOUGH IS E-FUCKING-NOUGH! IF YOU CAN'T MAKE YOUR MONEY IN 7 YEARS - FUCK YOU!".

    There's no reason why anything should be protected beyond 7 years.
  • Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Friday June 16, 2006 @02:37AM (#15546860) Journal
    *looks at the Da Vinci Code box office [boxofficemojo.com]*

    Oooh, it cost $200 million to make, and just made $650 million in worldwide profits so far.

    I feel so sorry for them. :-(

    You guys must stop downloading that movie right now!

    You aid crippling the movie industry! Just look at where we are today! :-/

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

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