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New Russian Site Carries Unlicensed Song Lyrics 235

Anonymous Coward sent a link to lyrics.mguk.ru/, operating under the name LyricsDot, which looks a lot like the old non-profit www.lyrics.ch database did before it signed an agreement with the (U.S. based) National Music Publishers Association and went commercial. The trick with this new lyrics server is that it's in Russia, where U.S. law (and copyright law in general) seems to mean little or nothing. Is this the wave of the future? Will other sites containing data that violates copyrights or otherwise irritates large U.S. companies move to Russia or other countries where local authorities are unlikely to cooperate with American law enforcers? It's going to be interesting to see where this all goes.
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New Russian Site Carries Unlicensed Song Lyrics

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  • Mine doesn't work either. Could you post an IP, please?
    --
  • What is freenet? Could someone provide a FAQ link or a quick description?
  • What we need in a .pi TLD for all these sort of pirate operations, with the servers running on a ship anchored in international waters.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Fun as bashing abuses of "freedom" in America is, it's better reserved for other stories. The question at hand is: whether the controvertial information storage will be relegated to countries where the US can't directly intervene.

    People have brought up good points on the treaties of Bern, Paris, and various other international agreements. What some of the American posters don't seem to understand is the spirit in which russian hackers tend to understand these agreements - namely that they were made for the purposes of convenience among big governments after WWII, specifically, for the convenience of America. This is not to insult anyone individually (well, maybe a few politicians, but no one here), but Russians, in general, don't tend to like American foreign policy very much. One could say they regard Americans as intruding, interfering sods who have no business messing with the world to suit their imperialistic tendencies. (e.g. Bosnia). But again, that's not the subject here. The point is that when America makes something illegal, it only encourages hackers over there to continue doing what they would have done anyway. (And let's settle the whole "international agreements" deal right now - I haven't heard about the UN coming forward to prosecute the Danish hackers on behalf of MPAA. The MPAA is lobbying the American Congress, not an (officially) international organization...does that tell you something?)

    Besides all of which, the whole notion of copyrights as it is applied today (and as others have excellently pointed out) is utterly absurd. A copyright is supposed to unequivocally guarantee a given person's authorship for a given idea (and give them the opportunity to make money off it, if they choose, for a given period of time). A copyright is not supposed to be a weapon for greedy publishers to punish anyone who *might* interfere with their profits. If I read Einstein's work in e-text, I won't go out and claim that I came up with relativity. If I use his work, I'll cite it as an e-text. I'll give him the recognition that his copyright entitles him to. But spreading Einstein's ideas electronically (assuming the "copyright" is still in effect) is illegal since some fscking a**hole over at Huffton Mifflin or wherever *might* earn a couple bucks less this year. The issue at stake is the profits of American companies - do you think anyone else in the world, not just Russia, will give a flying fsck about that? Don't be rediculous!

    The idea behind the whole thing is to make information more available for use by everyone. A similar idea rests behind the OpenSource movement, the GPL, etc.. Sites like that aren't out to infringe on the authorship of a given person for an idea. They aren't claiming that they came up with the stuff (in this case wrote the music or the words). And if anyone can logically explain how someone typing up the words to a song will *in any way* hurt the artists that wrote them, I would *love* to hear it. Or how making the text of a written twenty years ago will hurt the author (who wasn't getting that much in royalties to begin with, and now is probably getting next to nothing) will hurt it's author. (As an example of the latter, I can point out Maxim Moshkow's library here [rambler.ru]. For those that don't read Russian, the site hosts over 1.2 G of e-text (mostly translations) of a great number of works. Kinda like Guttenberg, but on a slightly larger scale)

    By way of official disclaimer, I don't agree with true violations of copyright law (for example stealing someone's work). But I won't exactly go out of my way to make sure that the MPAA or whoever else gets that extra little bit of money. The purpose of this "undernet" is to make sure the information is available until the legislators realize that they can't rob the public in the same way forever, and change the laws (and then we'll start all over again).

    One more point on, on foreign aid. Someone mentioned the importance to Russia of foreign aid. Here's a little inside info on that aid: it's not helping anyone. The aid goes from American banks to Russia, and then promptly to unnamed swiss bank accounts of the politicians responsible for receiving it. If you don't believe me, think about it this way - the money that Russia has received is enough to rebuild two economies, were it not being skimmed by the mafi...I meant the government. Begging your pardon...I misspoke. :) Yeah, they can go and shut down one server. In responce two more will open somewhere out in Vladivostok. Another cultural point - Soviet censorship couldn't stop "forbidden" books from being read (the so-called "Samizdat" - self publishing), during the worst of Stalinist times. I fail to understand how American companies with the aid of the American government intend to stop this information now.

    And if they manage to do so....what does that tell you about American government?

    I would happily sign my name to this, but with the state of "American freedom" being what it is, I think I'd rather not.

    --Woland
  • it's funny to watch the foreigners argue about how shitty america is. :-)
  • That the former Evil Communist Empire(TM) and the Mad Mullahs could very well be bastions of freedom against the corporate empire. Piracy sucks, but so does corporate control. When will the corporates stop funding the lawyers' extra holiday homes and work on a reasonable way to work with the internet that satisfies both sides of the argument.
  • right on I say, its kinda like asking your mom if she'll buy you some candy, and if she says no... you go ask your dad.
  • translation: warez-monkies want their free software
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm suprised not to find any stories or mention of OLGA. OLGA (the Online Guitar Archive) featured guitar tablature of popular music artists that was indexed (and by the time that there was a web, a search interface). This saved a lot of time since you didn't have to wait for someone to post the song you were looking for in the USENET newsgroups. They used to have a catalog of about 33,000 songs online with a number of mirrors around the world. What was unique about OLGA was that many of the contributions were submitted by people /figuring/ out the songs, that is, it was like open source software: It was all done through the contributions of its users. If you didn't see it up there or if you didn't agree with the way someone else plays it -- add your intepretation. That was cool because you could get 2 or 3 different perspectives of how to play the same song. Unfortunately, the Harry Fox Agency tried to sue them because they alleged that the files in the archive were copyright infringements. (Well, some of them probably were -- i.e., copied right from a book.) A number of the mirror sights closed down and the archive became severely crippled. They still operate today -- but only with a limited number of mirrors and very strict criteria on what contributions can be submitted. Check it out: http://www.olga.net/ Scott
  • information might want to be free, but people's hard work doesn't. I don't think free commercial software or mp3's is considered information. Even if you're just giving out where to get them. It still boils down to the same thing. Freenet, although is and can be used legally, it's followers claim reasons to use it over programs like napster is for illegal purposes. Wow, if that's the only reason to use freenet...im not using it. What legitimate purposes did you have in mind for freenet?
  • Information is a most fungible product. It knows no bounderies or nationalities. The US Congress, or the UK government or anyone else who thinks that laws passed in their own country will regulate the internet in other countries has been smoking the "Willy Weed" a bit longer than they should. Early governments and religious organizations went through this noise right after the invention of the printing press. You would think that folks would have learned by now, but I guess they never will. Really, its rather pathetic to see the responses that have been made...
  • I just did, and they agree, what next master?

    Dunno, i'll think of something later. You were very quick by the way. Amazing how quick the repspective heads of state responded.

    one word answer: Freedom

    Ahahahahahaha! Sorry, hang on, let me have a roll on the floor. Oh my...

    Oh thats better. My sides hurt now. Freedom you say? Yeah, it's so free you have your politicians in the pockets of major corporations, you snatch 6 year old boys away at gun point to send them back to Cuba, the RIAA & MPAA are jumping all over a couple of coders who dared to defy them, WAVE is in the offing across several states. You say you have Freedom? You think you're free because you have a constitution that isn't worth the paper it's written on provided it suits the politians? You can own a lethal firearm, so you must be trully free, right? Oh please.

    Who said any of the other countries in the world can't be free? Australia isn't free? Western Europe isn't free? My, i feel opressed.

    Just because you don't like capitalism

    That's a rather general statement, made by someone who doesn't know me, don't you think? FYI (Although really, none of your business), I tend to lean to the right (That is, Conservative) politically. I do believe in free health care and education for all however.

    Your comment comes across as though you believe the old US "Commie bastard" crap from the 50's & 60's that was spread like manure across America. Communism isn't actually evil, it's just that the means to implement Communism tends to be violent, and the leaders in the past have tended to be a little mental.

    BTW, calling me an asshole tends to confirm to me even further, that because i dared to question the good ol USofA, i must in some way be abnormal. Bzzzzt. Go travel the world a little why not.
  • That was tried here in California in March, the proposition failed... Well, maybe next year.
    -----
    Vikhozhu odin ya na darogu;
    Skvoz' tuman kremnisti put' blectit;
    Noch' tikha. Pystinya vnemlet bogu,
  • It's not working... But still a great Idea... lets move out to russian, iraq, iran, afeganistain... Or any place against US government... maybe te country side shound be good enough
  • I mean no nothing personally against anyone, but I am angry at a lot Americans, from their lack of respect, and lack of consideration of the outside world. But I am more angry at fellow Australians who let our country get influenced so much by America.
    I think it's something that's overlooked a lot by most Americans. The ability to critically evaluate America is something lacking with Americans.

    I'm getting a bit off topic here, so I'll get to the point. America has a lot of world power. If they set their minds on getting this lyrics server shut down, they probably will.

  • Instead of, or in addition to, "none of the above," add a new column. You get one vote for a candidate, and one vote against. Apply minimum thresholds to win, kinda like a new newsgroup on Usenet: at least X people must have voted, at least M for and mo more than N against, winning by at least a margin of..., etc, etc.
  • The recent novel Distraction (by Bruce Sterling, IIRC) has some great observations about this, both the music and the software.



    Spoiler warning!



    In his future, America kept threatening China over the software piracy thing, just like we are now. China calls America's bluff and releases every single copy of every single software product they have onto the net. America's software industry goes belly-up, followed by the rest of America's economy, followed by the rest of America, period. The state of Wyoming spends most of the book on fire. :-)


  • I loved www.lyrics.ch and I love the new site,
    thanks for telling me about it Slashdot.

    I sincerely hope they aren't bullied off the web... I know the music is copyrighted, but I don't think people's 'impressions' are. :)

    MO
  • On Windez, what about Ctrl-P?
    Or, for us Mac folks, Command-P?

    Incidentally, when I saw the "instructions" for the Mac, I decided I had better things to do...

    Pope

    Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength! Monopolies offer Choice!
  • about that question above, YOU SHOULD GET A SENSE OF HUMOUR AND NOT TAKE EVERYTHING SO SERIOUSLY

    why are you arguing about your country being better? Because it's not. i don't have to argue with you anymore, because I KNOW the I have more freedom than you probably EVER will. You probably can't get your green card. I understand, for you, the test is probably pretty hard. But don't worry, you'll get it next time. You foreigners will never understand what freedom is like until you get it.

    if that question I asked to stallman is your view on me as an american, I feel sorry for you. you couldn't find anything else on me, so you started searching through my previous questions....PATHETIC!
  • There are lots of people in this discussion that didn't get it to work. It was probably moderated up because the moderator didn't get there neither.

    Bugs in the DNS system, or deliberate blocking of it in some DNS servers.

    You should know that, studying at IFI :)


    --
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - arcade@kvine-nospam.sdal.com - arcade@efnet
  • Do you realize how _easy_ it is too mobilize troops? The right amount of money into the right pockets in mexico would allow for amassing of troops. It is really not that far away, just an ocean, in the era of ICBM's. You export say 100,000 troops a day, again, not that many on something the size of a B-52, only made to house men for a 12hr flight. (assuming they take the long way) So in a few days, they have 500,000 troops ready to be an invasion force. Now add the other implements of war that dont need to be transported. ICBM's, fighters, etc. If they were able to build an army (read: hitler did it) w/o anyone noticing, mobilize troops, and do prelim air raids, we would be caught relativly off guard. We have an awsome war machine, which is known for turn around time, but they have sheer numbers to work with. You send 300 peons vs 5 warriors and the peons will win, hands down. We might be able to maintain a 25:1 kill ratio (dont underestimate military training in the US, namly special forces, seals, marines, etc), but eventually the ratio will come back to haunt us. They have alot of able bodied bullet stoppers.
  • See the Freenet web page [sourceforge.net].
  • I think you're trouble here is assuming that /. has some sort of hive mind and that the hive mind is a hypocrite if you read two opposing viewpoints.

    /. is not a hive mind. It is a collection of individuals, each representing their own thoughts and no one elses. Perhaps there are some hypocrites here on /., but probably no more so than in society at large. But the notion of "mass hypocrisy" is ridiculous. Note, for example, that there were many posters who defended katz et al over the Hellmouth thing. Note also that many of the /. critics were arguing that the /. gang were the hypocrites for saying that the posters "owned" their comments while simultaneously treating the posts as though they were in the public domain.
  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:29AM (#1101033)
    It's amusing to see that Russia, a country where during the cold war millions of Americans were taught to hate/fear as the big, bad, oppressive Soviet Union, may turn out to be the one place where information and "intellectual property" is free and safe from censorship.
  • >>And citizens of other countries lose respect for the U.S. in general.

    Too late...

  • the same in most western countries

    I'd hardly call Russia a Western country by any stretch of the imagination. And even if the copyright law is similiar across countries, it still isn't the same law, and shouldn't allow one person in the US, to sue another person in a diferent country, under the US law.

    World leaders need to start to understand the whole Global Internet thing, existing laws just don't work.
  • I might point out that I am not American. I live in Reykjavik, Iceland, and do not have a drop of American blood. However, our good way of life today is mostly thanks to Yanks. I hated Americans for a long time, before I grew to realise this. I hated all the fat, ugly people, the hypocrisy, the sick morality und alles, but I realise that we Europeans owe America a lot....hell, they saved us from the greatest menace of all...Communism.

    I did not say that Americans invented the computer. However, it is pretty obvious that American companies made the personal computer a reality for middle-class homes, not just for the super-rich. Same goes for Linux. If it hadn't been embraced so vehemently by Americans, I doubt if Linux would have caught on, not to mention the Linux-promoting agendas of companies like RedHat (though I prefer SuSE myself).

    Please don't misinterpret what I have to say so grossly, but thanks for the reply.
  • Duh. Who said anything about altruism? Generosity often makes sense. However, I'm talking about more than just cash here.

    http://www.phillytalkradioonline.com/usa.html

    Again, I'm not saying that the USA is the ultimate paradigm of sweetness and light. I'm simply saying that not all of us are the bloodthirsty dictator wanna-bes that we're so often cariacatured as.
  • . but if Russia becomes a sort of data haven (ref: some book by William Gibson), someone may start blocking accesses to Russia in their firewalls.

    Bruce Sterling wrote an excellent book on this subject; it's called Islands In The Net. I would dare to go as far as to claim that it is an even better reference than Gibson's books concerning data havens.

  • So what's the problem? If I lend someone money, and they waste it (I'm not arguing that that's what the debtors are doing, I'm just drawing a hackneyed parallel) and then I choose to give them more money, with the hope that they'll be able to make good on the debt, I'm being MORE selfish? How does this follow?
  • Hmmm, I don't think I've ever seen a communist regime. Communism has, according to me, never been implemented. The thing they had in Russia; have in Cuba, etc. isn't communism (at least not in the way I learned about communism in school, or interpreted Karl Marx's (and others) writings...). Communism, like democracy, is good idea, it just isn't feasible (yet).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Freedom is relative. Compared to Holland, a very liberal country indeed, America is not free. If you are proud of America because you perceive it to be free, you should long to once live in the great superiour country known as The Netherlands. Holland doesn't care about drugs, prostitution, the police won't harass you or beat you.
  • My god... is it really necessary that the compyrighted *lyrics* to songs be kept so tightly under wraps that the only way to get them is to go to some illegal Russian server? What exactly are the artists (more likely the music companies) afraid of?

    That I might look up a song lyric so that I can quote it correctly to a friend?

    That I might spend all my time reading through the lyrics archive instead of actually listening to the music?

    That I might skim over the lyrics to an album that I don't own to see if I might enjoy the album?

    That I might actually be interested in a piece of music that I own so much that I want to go read the lyrics in order to understand it better?

    Krist... Obviously such nefarious actions must be stopped immediately.
    --

  • ...then you would be able to use legal means to stop it...if you had the money to do so.

    Just another jab at the way my country works, which can be annoying. Still love the bitch, tho.


    --
  • There is a large difference between international treaties that you are talking about at *US* law. Even with international treaties, US law still has not jurisdiction over Russia, much as it seems you would like to believe. Treaties are agreements between governments, *not* companies.
  • I get a failure on DNS resolution of that site.
    ls: .sig: File not found.
  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @07:20AM (#1101047) Homepage Journal
    Lyrics? You are worried about some freaking lyrics? Oh, wow.
    Let me tell you something. You can go to Russia or China or India or South America, anywhere and you can get the entire Adobe Photoshop for 2USD. You can get ANY game for less than 3USD, you can get any Windows, any Unix, AIX anything for less than 5USD. And you are worried about some lyrics :)
  • by K8Fan ( 37875 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @10:24AM (#1101048) Journal
    Isn't this the same thing as lyrics.ch?

    The basic idea, except that the company that administers loads of music publiching rights in the US, the Harry Fox Agency, convinced Interpol to sieze this guy's computer and shut lyrics.ch down. Then, in order to stay out of jail, he worked out a way to put the lyrics up, with permission, but in an almost completely useless form. If you want to see lyrics.ch, you have to accept an browser application that will install on your system to show the lyrics in a way that is supposed to prevent copying.

  • Just like how once Napster came out suddenly no one bought any albums from the store anymore!
    I hope the move to Russia for copyrighted data does occur. U.S. copyright and patent law sucks, and this could force reform. It could also force companies to offer their "data" at reasonable prices. And to actually *compete* to make their data available. I.e. be able to buy songs online for 50 cents, an album for five bucks.
    Or will America just nuke Russia until it concedes the U.S. as the one true world power? After the DeCSS case, I think this one is more likely.
  • Same here. It would certanly take a hair-trigger reaction to get it out of the DNS before the first reply post, though.
  • I agree with this somewhat. The Russian people have lived the last 80 years drowned in waves of lies and corruption. When the Party's 'apparatchiks' couldn't be blamed, other non-worthy citizens would cheat off the naive and/or honest ones. Its not right that Americans (or any other country) take advantage of loosened laws to initiate barely-legal business - this hinders useless efforts thriving for honest, equitable business.

    To a certain extreme, these type of intrusions into foreign economic activities often lead to unexpected conclusions; some where the US 'Trueman Doctrine' is suddenly recalled (think Gulf War).
  • Or just the slashdot effect ?

    [too bad I missed the first post !]

  • Re-read the criticism, robo, he was mainly ranting at YOUR post, the US was a secondary target.

    You then blame citizens for not voting?! What a laugh. There are plenty of good reason NOT TO VOTE. There is a reason politicians want you to vote is well: it reduces uncertainty. One of the biggest factors of any elections is voter turnout. Polls can't predict it well.

    There are other good reasons not to vote - like not particpating in a charade - but that is just one.

    In case I haven't burnt enough kharma yet, get a clue rob. Please.
  • Black helicopters swarming around the building that holds the servers.

    Some guy leaning out of one of them with a megaphone, shouting:
    "Shut down the mirror of three thousand Geocities pages or we'll attack!"

    ------
  • Many warez servers, crack servers etc are in Russia. They do have copyright laws, but the local authorities don't care much about piracy in Internet. There has been some public stunts where "hackers were caught", but actually that wasn't anything considerable.

    Probably in a couple of years pirate sites will move to third-world countries, e.g. Russia or Asian countries, where the laws aren't so strict or they don't care about copyright laws.

    (Btw, even today Russian warez sites and crack sites are better than servers in Europe or America. I know ;) )
  • by platypus ( 18156 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:37AM (#1101066) Homepage
    whois lyrics.mguk.ru ...
    Query: lyrics.mguk.ru
    Registry: whois.ripn.net
    Results:

    domain: MGUK.RU
    type: CORPORATE
    descr: Corporate domain for Moscow State Univercity of Commerce
  • by Cmdr Taco ( 52881 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:37AM (#1101068) Homepage
    This is how copyright should>/I> work. Like patents it's intent is to encourage creativity by rewarding the author with limited exclusivity for a time, then improving society by making the creation free for all to use and build upon. Copyright was once 20 years (like patents), then 50 years, then author's life plus 50 years, then author's life plus 80 years, and now dead congressman Sonny Bony sponsored the last extension to author's life plus 100 years. A fscking century! You see no problem here? And *just* *by* *coincidence* ****ALL**** of these extensions happened just shortly before the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons were about to have their copyrights expire. Are Disney's interests == the public interests?

    Also, does any of us feel guilt at listening to classical music knowing that no royalties are going to the estate or descendants of the creators? And I'm not just talking about the really ancient centuries old stuff where "rightful heirs" are today unknown. Even some artists who wrote songs in the 20th century like Scott Joplin, who would be protected by current law if their copyrights hadn't already expired, get nothing from the use of their work. Do you feel bad for this?

    How can anyone support Disney keeping sole control over Mickey Mouse and yet have a clean conscious incorporating 'the entertainer' into their copyrighted movie of slot machine or game program?

    BTW, the copyright on pkzip won't expire until the year 2101!!!!!! Is this in any way reasonable?!

  • So, hypocrisy is normally something along the lines of "do as I say, not as I do". But I interpret your situations as more like: "I don't care if you screw someone else, just don't screw me". And honestly, who the hell doesn't act like that? Oh yes, that's right, the small proportion of "mature" Slashdotters.
  • Yes,

    but Konrad Zeus did not build a computer. He designed a computer but Hitler, believing that the war will end in a few months did not put money in the building.
  • "You will be able to view a protected lyrics document, but will not be able to print the lyrics."

    Hmmm... I wonder what kind of technological marvel they have created which will prevent me from cutting and pasting the lyrics I am viewing on screen to another document and then printing them?

    I went to lyrics.ch (now songfiles or something like that) and saw that hey had this "you have to download some app or plug-in and accept some secure cookie" crap. I am not willing to do any shit like that. And I'm using a Mac right now, so the instructions/gyrations were even more complicated.

    I'm glad to see this new site up and I hope that they will withstand the legal and political pressure and refuse to capitulate.

    The longer term solution (one which I wish had been implemented in the lyrics.ch issure, but hindsight is 20/20) is to make the mySQL database of all these lyrics publicly accesible as a giant tarball and mirror the hell out of it. It worked quit well for DeCSS. Once the cat is outta the bag, you can't put him back in. Imagine, 100, 1000, or even 10,000 sites mirroring this data. They can't sue us all, and we can move it around.

    To the operators of the site: Please make the entire database available for public, anonymous FTP. We'll mirror it and make sure that it can't be taken away.

    I really like the 'data haven' idea, is there one of the nouveau riche IPO recipients that would like to buy us an island somewhere in international waters? I'd volunteer to go work there. :)

    BTW, does anybody remember that this (like the IMDB) started as a series of usenet posts that someone just collected into one location/database?

    I wouldn't hurt to regularly repost the tarball on rec.arts.music. just like the FAQ's for the newsgroup.

    Let's not let it get away this time!

    Russ
  • Here's a question: I know it's a weekend and all, but does anyone care? Is this really newsworthy? Big deal, some website in some God-forsaken backwater country like Russia has some illegal materials available. And Slashdot posts it.

    "Illegal". Its illegal, because we in the western world has stupid laws. Of course, those who made it should be properly honored -- but for how long?

    And, its important to post, due to the interesting question it raises. Will "illegal" sites like this, be set up in countries which doesn't respect stupid letters from american lawyers? (Hey! Mattel lawyers! I've got your letter to me in glass-and-frame on my wall!! :))

    However, its not long before we'll have freenet. And with it, totaly anonymity and the possibility to post whatever we want, without fear of retribution. I look forward to that.


    --
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - arcade@kvine-nospam.sdal.com - arcade@efnet
  • by Roblimo ( 357 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:40AM (#1101090) Homepage Journal
    No offense taken - I agree with you. Remember, many Americans are as unhappy with the U.S. government as you are, but as long as a majority of our fellow citizens doesn't even bother to vote, and corporate dollars control our electoral politics, things are not likely to change.

    It's gotten to the point where it looks like the best we can do is find "workarounds" for some of the dumber laws.

    I don't support copyright or patent violations per se, but some of the things we are allowing to be copyrighted and patented, and the way some of the copyright and patent holders act (making threats that cause large legal bills even if they are not valid), we might as well all get used to being outlaws. This country once tried to ban alcoholic beverages -- and created a large group of outlaws by doing so. Then the U.S. government decide to go to "war" against some popular recreational drugs -- and created a whole new class of drug outlaws. Now we seem bent on creating intellectual property outlaws.

    In the end, what happens is that U.S. citizens lose respect for *all* laws, and stop caring about whether they follow them or not. And citizens of other countries lose respect for the U.S. in general.

    - Robin
  • ...if you could be certain it was the same people.

    Slashdot has more than a few readers, you know.

    --

  • by Rahoule ( 144525 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @11:07AM (#1101096)

    Well, I'm not disturbed, just, well...pissed off. I used to frequent Lyrics.ch a lot when it was "free" (before 1999).

    Let me tell you a story...

    When I was in grade 8, I discovered that my school had a bunch of old reel-to-reel tape recorders that were going to be thrown out. After some negotiations with a teacher, and some of his negotiations with the principal, I was allowed to take one home. Since I needed some tape to record with, I went to a local stereo shop and bought a reel. It had already been used, so it was a bargain. When I played it, I found that someone had recorded two rock songs at the beginning of the tape. I didn't care much for the second one, but I absolutely loved the first! I listened to it over and over. I was never able to find out the title or who sang it. I played it for a few friends, and they couldn't name the song or artist, either. Eventually, I lost interest in it.

    About nine years later, I was heavily into MP3s, and I planned to try to transfer many of my cassette radio tapings and other recordings to MP3 format. I remembered that rock song on the reel-to-reel tape, and decided to have a go at it. It was about this time that I also knew about Lyrics.ch. Since the title and artist of this song still eluded me, I decided to see if Lyrics.ch's full-text search engine could help. After only a few tries, I discovered the title and artist: "Isolation" by Toto. Since Lyrics.ch also lists the name of the album a song is from, I was able order a CD with the song on it, and get a much better quality copy (which was good, because now, 11 years later, that reel-to-reel tape recorder is breaking down). I tried some of Toto's other music, and soon found that I really liked them.

    Lyrics.ch also helped me decipher the lyrics of lots of other music I had, as well. It was also instrumental in helping me track down a few songs I heard on the radio but for which the DJ did not announce the title or artist.

    Then, in January 1999, as you know, the Harry Fox Agency and some big-money, copyright-owning record companies came knocking. When all the dust settled and the negotiations finished, Lyrics.ch was still in operation, but one could only view about 1/3 of their songs.

    I gave the "new" Lyrics.ch a try. In order to view a song, I had to run a large Java applet that took a while to download and presented a "high security risk" according to Internet Explorer (my version of Netscape at the time was 4.05; not good enough to run the Java applet). Then, the lyrics appeared, but I was unable to copy-and-paste them out of the browser window. The lyrics disappeared whenever the applet lost the focus, so clicking File->Print was useless. The Java applet displayed about a page-full of lyrics at a time, but for only about five seconds per page. Not enough time to read them, and useless for singing along with the song! At the end, it just displayed, "This concludes the reading of this lyrics." I would have to reload the page to view them again.

    I'm not sure, but I think the lyrics are now encrypted as they are sent down the wire to your computer. I have to wonder how much of this was mandated by the copyright holders, and how much was done by the Lyrics.ch staff simply to please them and avoid further trouble.

    About the only to save the lyrics is to use screen capturing and retype the lyrics while viewing the screen capture (they'd be too small and blocky for an OCR program). This is difficult in Windows; you must quickly paste the bitmap into a paint program before capturing again. About the only operating system for which this would work is Mac OS; there when capture the screen, it automatically saves the captures with incremental filenames. I don't know how to capture the screen in X.

    Why can I not save or print the lyrics as before? Sure, they're someone else's property, but wouldn't a strict copyright notice at the bottom of the page solve that? What's wrong with just good ol' HTML? And besides, they're just lyrics! What harm can one do with them? It's not like they're directly harming CD sales, like pirated MP3s.

    It seems to me that this was just done by the record companies just to show the world who's boss. They could have said, "Listen, those lyrics are our intellectual property, but since they're helping people find music, we'll let your site stay up [unmolested], but you have to put this copyright notice on them and give us a cut of your ad-banner revenue." But instead, they've made the site almost useless. I refuse to run that Java applet on my home computer, too. Who knows what else it's doing, besides showing lyrics?

    I realize that Lyrics.ch should not have taken such a liberty with someone else's copyrighted property, but the record companies should not have reacted as they did. Their reaction only hurt them, as far as I'm concerned. Remember how the lyrics were user-contributed before? I haven't seen any new ones added since the crackdown.

    So, I applaud these brave Russians with their lyrics site. It wouldn't hurt to set up a mirror in Taiwan (a country which never signed the Berne copyright convention), too.

    By the way, I've read The Right to Read, and I love it. Sorry, but my right to fair use comes before some money-grubbing record company's right to lock up harmless information like their lyrics. FIGHT THE COPYRIGHT NATION!!

  • This time, as many people as possible need to try to obtain a copy of the database, then hoarde it. Nobody else should try to run a competing service, that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense in this case, but if thousands of people have backups of the database, then in the event that this site gets shut down for whatever reason, another one can pop up in another location with no delay and right where the other one left off.

    -Restil
  • If you ask the wrong question, the answer doesn't matter.

    it's not

    What do we believe, anyway?

    it's

    What do I believe? Anyway...
    --
  • by DHartung ( 13689 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @11:19AM (#1101101) Homepage
    The Soviet Union acceded to the Universal Copyright Convention in 1973, and the Russian Federation inherited those treaty responsibilities. In addition, Russia on its own signed the Berne Convention in 1995.

    The Berne Convention is as close as anything comes to a world copyright, with 144 countries signed on [Word97 doc, sorry]. These 144 countries represent well over 85% of the world's population; the only countries remaining to sign are mainly disorganized ones like Somalia or rogue states like Afghanistan. The Berne Convention permits the same people who sued the Lyrics Database before to file suit in Russia.

    Now, it may be true that there is a certain degree of corruption or even lawlessness in Russia, but from a legal standpoint, it is not true that US law means "nothing" there. A copyright filed in the US must be recognized by the other signatories, including Russia.
    ----
  • There are plenty of good reason NOT TO VOTE.

    There is ONE good reason not to vote. If you want to make everyone else's vote louder...DON'T VOTE!


    --

  • Sorry, international treaties exist. Get educated someday. The arrogance of the states has nothing to do with this. I am not trying to get flamebait points for this, so I am spelling out the truth below.

    This is a modified post from what I made on another site concerning a similar issue.

    For counties that have signed the Berne convention, it is illegal to _distribute_ unauthorized copies of copyrighted matierial.

    If you don't believe me, check this link out:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/treaties/berne/overvi ew.html

    It's the text of the treaty. It doesn't list signatories, but both the US and the Russian Federation are:

    http://www.wipo.org/eng/general/copyrght/bern.ht m

    Your ability to get the cooperation may be stymied by slow courts and the fact that you have to somehow go over there to get some type of prosecution.

    If this material is not copyrighted (I don't know the full issue of this case), then there's nothing to stand on. But I doubt it.
  • exactly...i find it funny they're worried about lyrics when you can get the entire CD pirated along with the lyrics
  • Is anyone else bothered by this limitation of the www.lyrics.ch site:
    You will be able to view a protected lyrics document, but will not be able to print the lyrics.

    At least they haven't made it illegal for people to read over your shoulder. :)

    (Go read The Right to Read [gnu.org] even if you think RMS is a fruitcake. It brings up some good points on this topic.)

  • US courts have held that US laws apply anywhere in the world where Americans or American interests are affected. Enforcing US laws, however, is a question of logistics; they can't afford to kidnap^H^H^H^H^H^Hextrajudicially extradite everyone who sells pot to an American tourist or copies a MP3, though in a few high-profile cases they can make an effort. Witness what happened to Noriega, for example.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @06:03AM (#1101125)
    USA to Russia: "Let's ditch this ABM thingy."

    Russia to USA: "No waysky."

    USA to Russia: "Waysky."

    Russia to RIAA: "How do you like our new lyrics site?"

    RIAA to USA: "Eeek! Gasp! Inarticulate sounds!!!"

    USA to Russia: "OK, we'll stick with the ABM thingy."

    Russia to RIAA: "OK, we'll take down the lyrics site."

    --
  • An excellent point and something I'd never even considered. +1+1+1, Interesting, Informative, and Insightful.

    Perhaps this sounds silly but, we should all campaign for life of author + 400 years. Then when Disney throws their support behind it, use DNA testing to dig up some decendant of Hans Christian Anderson and sue Disney for mega-mega-infringment.

    Okay, so I know that wouldn't work but it makes you think. If someday in the future, one of my descendants wants to make a 3D Holographic BrainTV production of an "original" Disney work (ummm...I'm trying to think of one...Fantasia, maybe? Well, at least the animation part...) I seriously doubt the copyright laws of that century would even allow it! And yet Disney owes most of their fortune to building on the works of others.

    I am truly, truly sickened by the blatent hypocracy that I only just now realized existed. I see a bleak, bleak future when the only people that have the right to make a derrivative work are the people whose only goal is to exploit it.

    - JoeShmoe

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
  • It's a simple fix. One more box, labled "none of the above." If none of the above wins, then they hold a second election, with new canidates.

    At the very least, it makes politics more interesting.

  • Well, its like my grand pappy always used to say:

    If ya can't beat 'em, move your servers to a country that treats it citizens like shit, but is still better than America because it lets us put our stuff there...
    or somethin' like that :)
  • FreeNet is still the answer. :)

    You cannot block anything perfectly in firewalls. Tunneling solves it pretty good. Set up a proxy, which you can connect via.


    --
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - arcade@kvine-nospam.sdal.com - arcade@efnet
  • As long as you have better connections than whoever wants to take you down. To do business in Russia, especially on the borderline, you have to be in tight with the Russian Mafia.

    And then there are all the bored computer geniuses writing doomsday viruses; I don't know about you, but I'd be wary of downloading any executable content from Russia or thereabouts.
  • They'll simply proceed legally against the Russian organization, and perhaps lobby the U.S. Government to enforce the intellectual property treatise that Russia has agreed to, as a member of the WTO.

    Russia currently has a virgin economy, and if it wants it to ever grow so that Russia can be a serious world power, again, instead of the joke that it is, they'll oblige large corporate pressures. It's simply a matter of how hard American corporations wish to press situations where a country refuses to enforce agreements.
    If anything, publicizing this site will lead to its downfall.
  • by Stickerboy ( 61554 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @06:13AM (#1101155) Homepage
    Either there's some mass hypocrisy going on, or a good majority of Slashdotters are simply too immature to think things through. Recall:

    Situation 1

    Jon Katz et al. publish a book on the Hellmouth series of discussions and articles on Slashdot. Whether or not it actually accomplished anything is irrelevant; a mass outcry goes up from Slashdot posters whose material was used. Reasons ranged from not getting a slice of the pie to feeling intellectually raped to wanting a say where and when "their" material is used.

    Situation 2

    A site goes up in Russia purporting to use and abuse copyrighted material that the owners of which obviously don't want to be folded, spindled and mutilated in that way. Slashdotters cheer the advent of "free information".

    I won't even the parallels this draws to people who take "liberties" with the GPL and other related copyright licenses. I mean, hey, they should be free to do what they want with it, right?

    Marie Antoinette tried to have her cake and eat it too. She ended up missing her head, an irrelevant footnote to history. I fear this community will just end up an irrelevant footnote.

    telnet://bbs.ufies.org
    Trade Wars Lives
  • I think that's a very good point. Everybody gets excited when they have the ability to get lyrics from russia because now the site is not breaking any laws. But what if someone were to take linux, find some flaws and improve them, then distribute it binary only from russia? would we have any power to stop them?

    It works both ways. Foreign countries have laws that can both help the what some of us believe in hurt it also. Don't forget that.

    As a side note, I have some mp3's...theyre illegal too. I don't believe I have some right to these mp3's. In fact I know that I don't. I do have a problem with how artists are treated by the recording industry, but nonetheless, I believe they have a right to control their ip just as much as the next guy. Not everything in the world should be gpl'ed...even rms says that.
  • My original message: Sir/Madam:

    I am writing this letter to express my frustration over the design of your web site. My main point involves the use of a great evil to the Internet, known as Java.

    The method by which you display lyrics becomes not only untimely, but also frustrating to users like myself who just want fast access to the lyrics we need. I do not want a little timed singalong, I do not want a 5 minute wait for 1k of TEXTUAL data, and I certainly don't want your web page keeping me from achieving my goal of reading the lyrics to a song. I think that there are others like me out there, but they have likely said nothing and gone elsewhere.

    I want to read lyrics to songs I like, and with a name like lyrics.ch, I hope that it is your intent to provide them. I hope you see the error in your ways.

    I hope you post your lyrics in plaintext.

    Their response:

    Quoting ILS Webmaster : > Dear Eli:

    We were able to bring the lyrics back only when we instituted technology to protect the copyrights of the music publishers, who own the rights to display and print lyrics. The java technology, which includes scrolling the lyrics in successive pages, allows people to view the lyrics, but not to print or to save the lyrics, which was part of the copyright protection requirements.

    There is a great deal of difference between someone simply writing the lyrics for themselves, and displaying them in a digital manner which is easily and perfectly reproduced. As the "distributor" of lyrics in a digital environment, ILS chose the only option available which allowed protected lyrics and allowed users to view those lyrics without requiring them to actually install software. The Java applet is signed with a digital certificate, verifying it is the same applet that was written by Fox Agency International, to assure users they are not getting a bad or malicious applet. Like most things, Java in and of itself is not evil, it is its misuse that causes problems.

    If you're interested in learning more about the issues of copyright and music, you may want to visit http://www.face-copyright.org/music/index.htm.

    Thank you for visiting ILS.

    ILS Webmaster

    None less, the site still takes approximately 5 minutes to load what would be 2 minutes of text. Copyright does have acceptable use clauses, and they should be taken into consideration. Copying the lyrics (which would be in the best interests of bands and record companies to include anyway) for the purposes of singing along is most likely acceptable in the eyes of the governments overseeing the copyright rules. That is why acceptable use is included in the copyright law, because without it, we wouldn't be technically allowed to even memorize the lyrics.

    By the way, it has been 10 minutes since I have started downloading the applet for one of your pages, and it appears to have hung it self. Perhaps a single, permanent viewer applet with some CONTROLs for forward, backward, page up and down will do. Have the applet download first, then fire up the lyric from a secure server. Let people scroll. Let them know it will scroll automatically.

    Also, If I type www.lyrics.ch into my browser, I do not want to redirect to songfile.snap.com! I wanted to go to lyrics.ch. Post a link if you must, add a link to songfile.snap.com in the REAL lyrics.ch site if you must, but stop hijacking my browser. By the way, A lot of people can't stand popup windows as well.

    These little niggling points may not seem significant to one who has become used to viewing his/her own site continually, but to new users, it can be the point of no return. They may not visit you again.

    You may want to check out sites such as:

    http://www.asktog.com or

    http://www.useit.com or perhaps

    http://www.anybrowser.org/campaign/

    for more information on compliance with a solid user experience.

    I also want to let you know that http://srogers.com/lyrics/ has a clause that states:

    "CONDITIONS & TERMS: for the use of the Classic Lyric Server By consulting this archive or copying documents the user acknowledges the following conditions:

    The lyrics in the files contained herein are an interpretation of the represented musical piece. They are not intended to replace any commercially available publishing, nor is it guaranteed to represent an exact transcription of any commercially or otherwise released piece. In fact, I urge you to support the artists by buying one of the lyrics books above. These files are for private, scholarly, or research use only. The documents are subject to different license and copyright regulations. As far as no particular regulation is indicated, the documents are not (available) in the 'Public Domain' . The user acknowledges and agrees that the lyrics are copyrighted and protected under the copyright law. The copyrights remain with the authors respectively with the indicated Institutions Passing documents to third persons presumes, that these persons previously were informed about and are liable for compliance of the regulations. "

    It is not your site's problem if an end user re-distributes the copied datum to another location. They can and may do so, as I am sure you are aware, completely without your knowledge.

    BTW, srogers.com/lyrics gave me what I needed (behind blue eyes by the Who) in a matter of seconds. I doubt you can afford to lose out.

    as of today, Monday, May 1, I have not received, nor do I expect to receive a response. Also, I will go to any other site with the cajones to post something that doesn't take 5 minutes to download via applet.

  • No matter wether this site is in Russia or in Pluto I would like to note that some people are making too fast notes on the "illegalities" of information outside US. Note Russia is *NOT* Soviet Union. Yes it is the heart of ex-Soviet Union. But as in US we have now the presumption of inocense. And sorry guys. It is not perfect but it EXISTS. In the second Chechen war people have seen this thing working, good or badly. On what concerns our virtual world of Internet so this thing has been even overused. Some virus writers have managed to stay away from trouble because the corporate environment is too stupid to call some cracking/virus soft illegal (without court rulings) and ask for immediate action against them (which have burned a pair of cases against crackers).

    We may consider, among us here, that this site may violate copyright laws. But for the moment it is hard to consider this thing illegal at all. Note that copyright laws in Russia differ, sometimes radically, from US. And here Bern Convention and other international rulings may be of little help. The fact that the site publishes lyrics (and ONLY lyrics) could give some trouble for a US lawyer. I am not an expert on music/literature field. But I have noted that partial and relatively restricted publication of art does not violate any copyrights in any way. lyrics are, in some way, an element of a song... So are they copyright protected?

    And note. US laws are not applicable in Russia. Russia has its own body of law. It may be similar or not to US. But in some cases is radically different. Here I have the right to copy 10000 Windows98 CDs while I restrict them for my personal use or to decor the walls of my room. Here I can reverse-engineer any program. And I can sell my modifications, if this does not negatively influence the reward of the original author (I can sell a patch to rip off Explorer out from Windows but I can't sell a crack for Windows CD key). And I can do this, independently from the original author. And I can sue Microsoft and other companies, for the fact that they are violating my consumer rights by stamping in their russian licenses that I have no right to reverse engineer their stuff.

    So on what concerns this site let's wait and see. Until someones risks to go to court...
  • by cehf2 ( 101100 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:10AM (#1101165)
    .. where U.S. law ... seems to mean little or nothing

    Now excuse me, but being in Russia US Law has no effect, so it does not "seem" to mean little it actually means absolutely nothing.
  • Server: leopard.webtribe.net
    Address: 194.164.194.2

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: lyrics.mguk.ru
    Address: 195.7.186.68

  • by K8Fan ( 37875 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @08:31AM (#1101169) Journal
    How can anyone support Disney keeping sole control over Mickey Mouse and yet have a clean conscious incorporating 'the entertainer' into their copyrighted movie of slot machine or game program?

    Even more offensive is how they have liberally dipped into the Public Domain for virtually every one of their movies and animated films. Only a handful of Disney films paid any royalties to anyone other than themselves. If they had any morals, they'd be ashamed, but both "shame" and "morals" are not words that exist in the corporate lexicon.

    Actually, the passage of the "Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act" was even more insidious - it was passed by voice vote during the Monica Lewinsky nonsense. The Congress-critters who were bought off didn't even have to put their names on it!

    How were they bought off? Well, one of the most important bits for re-election is the endorsement of the local paper and TV stations. Guess who owns a large chain of newspapers and TV stations? Why, the Mouse of course! You either support this bill Senator, or we endorse your opponent. In the corporate world thay call this "synergy".

  • by Martin Fitzgearld ( 162416 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:11AM (#1101170) Homepage
    Will they push for new laws that would force copyrighted content to be censored at the border (in the router), like other countries such as China do in their firewalls?
  • by jlcooke ( 50413 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:13AM (#1101178) Homepage
    As a non-American, I can tell you that it the arrogance of the states gets to me sometmes.

    No offence Roblimo, but your statement here is one of those times!

    The US is one country. Yes, you are the most powerful, all that other stuff you love telling everyone. But you're one country.

    What if Russia demanded that a US publisher pay a Russian poet for the illigal use of his poetry? The good 'ol USofA wouldn't give a flying rats ass.

    And why? Because Russia is another country and the US should not have to abide by any other law except its own.

    Just sick is what your country is. Just sick.
  • Countries that have strong regulations will realize that they are going to be losing business in this market because it is so easy to up and move to a place with little or no regulations. The worse the regulation, the worse it is for the economy. I hope more sites do this, government control deserves a slap in the face.

    Mike Roberto (roberto@soul.apk.net [mailto]) -GAIM: MicroBerto
  • They will if they are given enough pressure from governments. Universities are blocking napster.. why shouldn't they block FreeNet?

    Napster is easy to block. You just blacklist the napster servers. Freenet is decentralized. I don't remember if its port-bound, but if its not, I don't see how they can block it at all. If it IS port-bound, then you can just set up a tunnel.

    How do you think people are using UDP at studby.uio ? ;)


    --
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - arcade@kvine-nospam.sdal.com - arcade@efnet
  • Well, Freenet runs on a generic port, and communications between nodes will be encrypted, so it is not as simple as just blocking it with firewalls - but of course it can't be impossible to block or detect it's traffic, only highly inpractical.

    However, as much as I am glad that people are recognizing and putting faith in our work, there is that proverb about many eggs and a single basket. We are doing our best, but there is no such thing as a miracle, and while I wish for it to be true, I am a little worried by the "Freenet solves all" attitude. All efforts to promote freedom in cyberspace are valuable, and just because we have set our goals high does not mean that other efforts should be abandoned.


    -
    We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.
  • Doesn't this already happen with cryptography...

    Open source projects like gnupg [gnupg.org] make sure that all of their content is created and distributed outside the U.S. The OpenBSD [openbsd.org] project and the OpenSSH [openssh.com] project have their ftp servers outside the U.S. so they'll not have to deal with U.S. laws regarding encryption. Not really new news, just a new application what other people have been doing for a long time.
  • it is most definetly the future. but it's not like it hasn't been done before.. (*cough* cryptography *cough*)

    .. but if Russia becomes a sort of data haven (ref: some book by William Gibson), someone may start blocking accesses to Russia in their firewalls.
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @05:15AM (#1101198)
    http://www.lyrics.mguk.ru/about/about.ht ml [lyrics.mguk.ru] has the following statement:

    " This web page is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this page, or any portion of it, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law. Any files you have downloaded here are only for your own purposes. Any uploads prohibited. Our team does not bear the responsibility for your surfing this page."

    Imagine that. Invoking copyright law to protect the content what violates copyright law.
    ___

  • I was bored just last weekend and went to visit lyrics.ch. I knew that they had been bullied and now had some stupid applet that only scrolled the text for a short amount of time. It was still there. So I busily went about reverse engineering it. Turns out they apparently just dump a jar with the text to the client (well, it is in serialized form, but the text can be easily extracted). This is very easy to get around, but just obfuscated and annoying enough that one would rather not even use the service than attempt to get the lyrics. I bet their visit rate has plummeted. They are now an almost worthless site. Who wants to wait for a goddamn applet to load to give them a glimpse of the lyrics?...that's just insulting. To bad they had to turn their site to shit.
  • Never, ever underestimate the power lawyers think they have. If foreign countries host sites with copywritten material, we'll just have lawyers suing ISPs for routing traffic from them. After all, if people knew the words to songs, they might just go sing them themselves. Then where would this world be? It cannot happen, except from licensed karaoke dealers.

    I have no problem getting to the site, it's IP resolves to 195.7.186.68, but this lyrics site is a virtual host, so it's pointless unless you want to telnet to port 80 and give a Host: command in the HTTP request.
  • Apparently the DNS record hasen't propigated throughout the entire net yet. Here's the record -

    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: lyrics.mguk.ru
    Address: 195.7.186.68

    And for you lazy ones, just click here [195.7.186.68].

  • Good post, except that communism is actually evil. And the means used when attempting to implement it are evil as well; how could any method of implementing an evil not be evil? Conversely, how can a good end be implemented by evil means?

    And before anyone decides to jump on me for being some religious McCarthyite nutball, let me affirm that I'm not -- a libertarian atheist is more like it. 'Communism' -- authoritarian socialism, that is -- attempts to make humans interchangable parts more than any other ideology out there; it must therefore typically result to force when implement its goals. Since the initiation of force against another human to achieve one's own goals -- no matter how 'ideal' they may seem -- is evil, communism is evil. Anyone making arguments on its behalf ("Education! Bithrate!" ... whatever) is simply an apologist for Communism. Ignore that there has never been a Communist regine that didn't kill significant numbers of its own citizens, and you can argue that, for the people lieft living, they may have gotten a few benefits for a short period of time. Then the economy, culture and society are run ito the ditch, and people suffer on a much wider scale than before communism, with little hope of escape.

  • Seems like I can sneak onto _any_ music related thread, and this is no exception ;) Everybody already knows that I have loads of instrumental music at the above URL, that it's cool music, that it's free and I support Napster and people exchanging my music freely and lust after popularity that is great enough that I can speak out on behalf of mp3s and be listened to ;)

    Well, you might _not_ know about my other project at mp3.com, because it's not current stuff so I don't promote it. But I do write pop/rock songs as well: mp3.com/RFW [mp3.com] is the place- that's short for The Room Full Of Windows, my 'song band'. What's more, for every single song I have up there (two DAM CDs available- DAM == 'mp3.com press to order system'), the full lyrics are typed out and listed online on the page. Not everybody takes the time and effort to do that, but I did.

    I hope somebody does the cut-n-paste thing (seeing as I've done all the actual typing) and _puts_ my whole lyric collection on this Russian server. It would be with my total approval- the only limit I'd have is that I'll leave it to somebody else to do it, because I'd like the webpage-hit and would be happy to get song downloads in exchange for making this available so freely. The lyrics are, and will remain, copyright Chris Johnson (various dates). However, I am perfectly free to permit them to be kept on a Russian server and doing so does not in any way imply I waive copyright. I just happen to not be a dick about sharing- shock, horror ;)

    I don't actually have any song lyrics on mp3.com/ChrisJ [mp3.com] except that one of the techno songs mutilates the words, "get out of this one alive" as spoken by a MacInTalk speech-synthesis voice I hacked different data into to make it more distorted and weird :) need to play with more of that. However, there is a lot of 'about this song' material, and that is where I put the technical data on how I made the songs, and if there are any great audio hacks I invariably include how I did it. So even on the instrumentals there is background information included :)

    you're welcome ;) now moderate me down, dammit! Hacking MacInTalk voices with ResEdit and a total lack of documentation is simply not geeky! you should have done it in perl while covered in hot grits! ;)

  • by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Sunday April 30, 2000 @09:00AM (#1101214) Journal
    This means we're gonna be logging into fragging RUSSIA to enjoy the freedoms we should have as AMERICANS.

    And to think people fled to the US to enjoy the freedoms they couldn't have in Russia, just in my adult lifetime.

    This is so sickly ironic it makes me chuckle.
    ========================
    63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs,
    ya get 1 whacked with a service pack,
  • Agreed completely...
    The Hellmouth outcry made me loose a lot of respect for the Slashdot readers as a whole. A sad sad day....
  • by volsung ( 378 ) <stan@mtrr.org> on Sunday April 30, 2000 @06:27AM (#1101217)
    Hypocracy? Certainly. Mass Hypocracy? I wouldn't be so sure:
    Never doubt the ability of a vocal minority to sound like they are the majority.

  • It works. Its in the DNS. Your DNS server has screwed up. (or it is so new that your DNS server caches old DNS data, that isn't correct anymore).


    --
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - arcade@kvine-nospam.sdal.com - arcade@efnet
  • America is historically the most generous country in the world, but nobody seems to remember that.

    Actually, America is historically among the LEAST generous country in the world. From A deposition given to the house of representatives [churchworldservice.org] "Congressional support for relief and development assistance remains low, and the United States has now fallen behind Japan, Germany and France in terms of actual dollar amounts of assistance given to less developed nations. As a percentage of GNP, we now spend less on helping the poor overseas than any other of the world's 21 wealthiest nations. Last year, one-fourth of all U.S. foreign aid went to high-income nations, at a per capita expenditure of over $5 per person for the 638 million people living there. In contrast, the 3 billion living in the world's poorest countries received the equivalent of only 96 cents per person. Of this assistance, almost half went to military or security assistance. In overall terms, less than one percent of the Federal budget is spent on foreign aid, and less than half of that goes to development and humanitarian programs that help millions of the world's poorest people. This situation is deeply regrettable for a prosperous and powerful nation with the means and opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the lives of impoverished peoples and countries."

    Also much of the aid given by the US is actually inapropriate, either dumping of food unwanted in the US, destroying local agriculture [cato.org] or linking aid with helping the US's military interests [oneworld.org]

  • ree health care???I guess you haven't looked at Candada lately. People have to fucking come over to the US because the waiting list is too long on life or death operations. It doesn't work.

    This is the claim which is brought out whenever the US's healthcare interests are threatened. However, they can't ever find any ACTUAL cases.

    And of course, they conviently forget the growing percentange of Americans who don't have any access to healthcare at all.

  • This reminds me of Gibson's datahaven concept in his Neuromancer series. How long can it last? If US lawyers fail to get a site pulled because it is hosted in Russia, will they start going after ISPs that peer with the Russian ISP? "You must drop packets to/from this list of IP addresses or you are helping aid copyright violation"
    --
  • People will have to install FreeNet servers - yes. But I don't think that will be a problem. Lots of people will do that. And, maybe one or two corporate firewalls for some companies will block them, but ISP's most certainly won't.

    And remember, since freenet isn't dependant on ONE particular site, someone inside such a firewall may always make a 'tunnel' through a proxy, to bypass it.


    --
    "Rune Kristian Viken" - arcade@kvine-nospam.sdal.com - arcade@efnet
  • The fact of being a signatory really doesn't matter, in the current climate there. Sure, they have to enforce. Oops. Somehow other priorities have intervened.

    But the idea that certain things can escape US law by skittering off to second and third world nations, where enforcement is less strict, is really a little naive. In most of these places--and Russia is certainly included--enforcement is always available, for a price. That price can be met, by the RIAA, either by buying some more US congressmen, and putting the pressure on "through channels," or by going to the source, and buying some Russians politicians (it's probably cheaper that way).

    As Lawrence Lessig pointed out, the fact that the net is largely unregulated is not "the nature" of the net. Corporate interests are perfectly capable of purchasing the results that they want. And in this case, where there is a single point of failure (a single web site), it's an easy assault, and an easy solution.

    In fact, it seems likely that RIAA more or less bought the Swiss database, earlier. Can they keep it up? Sure, why not? They'll just add another few dollars to each CD ....

    Amy!

You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish. You can tune a filesystem, but you can't tuna fish. -- from the tunefs(8) man page

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