Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Intractably horrible. (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43098875) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

I suppose that it probably depends upon Comcast's agreements with the various cities / communities that its contracted with to offer services, but generally cable companies, and thus cable internet providers, have some sort of agreement to exclusively offer cable services in specific geographic areas - in effect legalized monopolies - but I'd be very surprised if, having such monopolies, they'd be allowed to pick and choose who in those geographic areas they will sell to, and to refuse to sell to anyone else. Of course, this is probably going to turn out against the way it probably ought to work, because companies and governments are not too isolated from one another these days, I'm sure these agreements are grossly favorable to the companies and not the consumers.

Comment: Re:Libel? (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43097175) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

"Skipping over the finer details of how this probably isn't a "false accusation of criminal conduct",..."

Well, its a given that an accusation of copyright infringement is an accusation of criminal conduct, being that copyright infringement is against the law.

As for the accusation being or not being false, its very possible that it is false, especially if the criteria is that the party making the accusation must have a good faith and reasonable belief that the accusation is true. Under this system, if my ISP accuses me of copyright infringement, all they are basing it on is the copyright holder providing them with an IP address that they don't like, that happens to be mine. The ISP itself has no other basis for believing me to have engaged in copyright infringement except the word of the copyright holder. The copyright holder isn't providing them with evidence - it isn't even outlining what the evidence is. Its just the copyright holder saying "hey, the guy with this IP address is infringing! Trust us!". That's not exactly proof, or evidence, is it?

As for it being libelous or slanderous - (I forget which, but one of those is written / published word, the other is just spoken word), it depends again. Nominally the warning would be private. After all, they're just displaying a warning to me when I try to use my internet connection, right? Ok, now suppose someone is at my house using my computer or watching me use my computer when this warning pops up. Now, in their eyes, I'm a criminal. Now my reputation is damaged with that person. They may even spread the word. So the accusation is not private and for purposes of a person's reputation, might as well be public. There simply should not be a reasonable expectation that everything that appears on my computer screen is private and will only be viewed by me.

Comment: Re:no, it's not a good thing (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43096737) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

Its rather absurd, I think, but the idea that agreements entered in to while under duress should be invalid got lost somewhere along the way. A good example of this is when employees are laid off by a corporation - usually the layoff is accompanied by a termination agreement, which is basically you agreeing to take some money from the company in exchange for you not suing them for laying you off, or for anything else. The idea that for most people, the layoff is going to proceed whether they like it or not, and that they'll soon find themselves out on the street without the money being offered long before they could ever get to court, and the fact that one party of the "agreement" (the company) has placed the other party (the employee) in the position where they basically have no choice to agree, doesn't seem to carry any legal weight, which is beyond unfair.

Comment: Re:Libel? (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43096685) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

I'm no lawyer but from what I've read, with certain types of accusations (aka de facto libel) you only need to prove that the libel was incurred - you do not need to prove specific damages to collect. And yes, false accusations of criminal conduct qualifies as de facto libel in most US states.

Comment: Re:I like this idea (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43096579) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

I don't think downloading itself really constitutes a reproduction. If user A has an MP3 file of a copyrighted song, and the contents of that file are transmitted from user A to user B, but user B never actually records the contents of the file, not even to memory, but simply discards the contents of the file bit by bit (or byte by byte) as they arrive, then no copy has ever been created and user B has done nothing wrong.

Moreover, a 3rd party monitoring the communication between user A and user B might be able to tell that the contents of the MP3 file were transmitted from user A to user B, but without having access to user B's computer, has no way to determine if user B recorded the contents, or discarded them as they arrived.

So a 3rd Party monitoring internet communications can prove distribution, but cannot prove reproduction.

Granted, if user B tried this defense, they might be forced to turn over their computer for analysis, or it might not pass the smell test with the judge or the jury (after all, why else would user B initiate a transfer of the file to their computer if not to record it?), but technically, its true.

Comment: Re:There always is the alternative... (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43096173) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

Sure it does. What interests of the artists are the record companies protecting? Artists are generally making money off of concerts, not record sales. Yes, they're making (probably) more money off of concerts than they otherwise would due to the record companies promoting their albums. But record companies are not the only ones who can promote albums effectively. Keeping the record companies in business does not serve the artists.

Comment: Re:Anti-trust (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43096079) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

That's one way to look at it. Yes, the copyright holders still only have a person's IP. The difference now is that they are using a third party agent (your ISP), who has a lot more than your IP, to harass you, disrupt your internet service, and potentially even slander you (imagine you're using your PC in front of other people, or they're using your PC, and suddenly up pops a message accusing you of copyright infringement - now your reputation is damaged with those people). What's more, there are no mechanisms in place to ensure that the copyright holder really has a good faith belief that you've done anything wrong - all they need to do is name your IP address to the ISP and now they've sic'd the ISP on your like a guard dog.

Suppose it wasn't the copyright holder and the ISP getting together to do this. Suppose it was just two divisions of the same company. That makes it seem a lot more nefarious, huh? Well, just start by thinking of how many movies Time Warner owns the copyright to, and how many internet subscribers Time Warner Cable has.

Comment: Re:There always is the alternative... (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43094599) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

Exactly. If someone told the movie industry even at its height that they could collect $50 / month from most every family in America, they'd be doing triple back flips. The fact that they could, but they won't make it happen, and instead chose to alienate their customers / potential customers, is mind-boggling.

Comment: Re:Appealing is a moral duty. (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43094567) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

That assumes that there are any costs to the ISP or the copyright holder associated with an appeal. So far the appeals process sounds like a complete farce that would consist of nothing more than a 5 minute "hearing" in front of someone being paid minimum wage - and that's assuming the hearing isn't conducted via telephone with someone off-shore making $0.15 / hr.

Comment: Re:Why would you want to appeal? (Score 1) 354

by KoshClassic (#43094535) Attached to: In Defense of Six Strikes

That assumes that this is the end of the story, and not just the tip of the iceberg. Do you really think the fact that you received those six strikes is not getting recorded in preparation to be used as evidence against you in a future lawsuit? And correct me if I'm wrong, but are they really even right now supposedly stopping after the 6th strike? Or do you get the "6th strike" penalty for strike 7, 8, 9 and so on?

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.