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This walking disabled parking system, while maybe not perfect, is in place to serve those that actually need it. Thus, the bottom line is that while you may not understand or agree with enforcement actions such as those now being enacted in New Zealand, there are many people with a legitimate need that will indeed benefit from it.
If violation of civil liberties extends to wiretapping for suspected IP violations, I predict that many now docile citizens will rise up and wage revolution, both underground and in high court. In the US at least, the (Constitutional 4th Amendment) guards against unreasonable search and seizure by requiring law enforcement to present "reasonable cause" to a judge in order to obtain a warrant. Wiretapping without a warrant is a clear violation of these 4th Amendment rights. I for one, would happy donate to the legal fight to protect these rights. Furthermore, legions of underground resistance will surely fight back as well. The foundations of democracy can only be threatened so far before the people decide enough is enough.
To address the rest of your concerns:
Confusing distros : One word: Ubuntu
Poor documentation : Again, Ubuntu has fantastic documentation and its all free
Software, Software, Software: Not really a problem. My mom uses OpenOffice, Evolution, and loves the Software Channel built right into ubuntu. She browses this herself, finds games and stuff, and best of all, I don't have to worry about some foreign shareware scamper ponwing her computer. Would you dare allow your mother to download software for Windows off the internet on her own? Oh, and for your sewing machine software, can pretty much guarantee you that it is usb or serial interface completely supported in Wine. Little support: Ubuntu forums rock. Great people, great support. I know that to be true as I try to "give back' by answering at least a few requests for help a month. Ways of doing things that are confusing to a Windows user: My computer illiterate mother had no trouble at all switching to Gnome. In fact, she finds the interface less cluttered and easier to navigate than Windows. Yes, there was a short learning curve, but she caught up quickly
In the end, my 60'ish very typical mother who is by no means a computer geek is completely in love with Ubuntu. In fact, she swears she will never own another MS product again. Hope this is food for thought. Maybe it is time to try again.
Once received, YouTube takes down the content and sends a notification to the poster with details on how to counter the claim if so desired. RapidShare has a similar reporting process, albeit not quite so streamlined.
I know firsthand that this process works as my wife spends 50% of her day “policing” the Internet sites such as YouTube to protect the IP of her employer. My wife's company has never once had to fight with YouTube, a major ISP, or content provider in the US, EU, or Australia to get copyright violations enforced. Thus, I would invite Mr Cary to cite even a single case where YouTube has ignored a DCMA infringement request. With that said, I believe Mr. Sherman's real purpose in this statement is to pave the way for legislation that will impose stricter fines and penalties, either on the infringer, or in a world of unicorn and fairies, on the content host directly.
MLB: It does not take long to see that MLB had such an uproar of customer complaints about SilverLight that the MS player was quickly “benched”: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10212843-93.html
Netflix: The Netflix subsidized SilverLight player has resulted in an absolute flood of complains and a continual stream of glitches: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10199350-56.html http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/03/netflix-updates/
Of course, being that this is