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Comment Re:News at 11 (Score 1) 553

On the flip side, it's actually not too hard to have the computer deny users from using passwords that contain words from the dictionary. So you don't need to say "there must be a digit and an uppercase letter and a non-character symbol..." You can just say "no words" and have the computer check the password for strings that match dictionary words.

Just as long as it allows dictionary words of three characters or less. I can't tell you how many times I've had my chosen password denied on certain systems because it contained three adjacent characters that happened to form a three letter word.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 414

With nuclear the problem isn't just the environment, it also requires a ton of people manning it. A wind farm can basically generate electricity with just a bit of maintenance.

You think you can maintain the 50,000 windmills required to match a typical nuclear power plant and the necessary power grid between them with fewer people than are required to staff a nuclear power plant?

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 414

But in reality, nuclear power plants take 20+ years to build, so they are hardly a realistic solution to today's power problems.

Define "years to build". A modern turnkey nuclear reactor can be constructed in around four years. Getting past people's fears and going through licensing hoops are what make the process take a decade or more.

Comment Re:Yup (Score 1) 436

I agree about this, and that's why I think the methodology RIAA is using *should* not really hold in court. They should really provide them with name and date ranges, forget about the IP addresses, it's just an Internet Protocol technicality and should be treated as such.

In the only case that's gone to a verdict, as far as I know, the IP address was one point of several. The IP address is useful as a tool to limit the range of people you're likely to be talking about. Combine that with other information, such as the userid used on the network, which matched a userid used by the individual in multiple other places, and you can start talking about identifying a person with some modest degree of certainty.

So, alone, the IP address can't prove someone did something. However, when aggregated together with other data, it helps to paint the picture.

Comment Re:False dichotomy (Score 1) 331

I would amend this by also requiring that distributed works protected by their own device are not covered by copyright, only the device. As they cannot be read without an external key of some sort, they are circumventing the reasonable terms limit and are therefore failing to uphold that part of the social contract of a copyright. The works should be protected only by the trade secret and contract law protecting the key itself, and if the key is broken legitimately the works would see no copyright protection.

Want to try and restrict user's rights by distributing with macrovision or CSS? Go ahead, but that distribution goes out without the protection of copyright, just the protection of the technology itself.

Comment Re:No one here's buying it. (Score 1) 246

it was something like 2 images in a sizable pr0n-pile of otherwise vanilla erotica

And remember, next time you hear a case about someone being charged with having 1000 CP images on their computer, that probably means that they found a single 40 second video clip of CP. Apparently they consider every video frame to be its own "image" and the charges and penalties are based on the number of images.

Comment Some math... (Score 2, Insightful) 793

Lets presume each of the 24 songs in question (of the 1702 songs being shared by that IP) is available on itunes with a price of 99 cents. Lets also presume that statutory damages were actually limited to the revenue lost by the company (which they apparently aren't). And finally that the 24 songs were each 5MB and the cable modem had an upload speed of 256kbps.

For the 24 songs in question to incur $80,000 in damages each, therefore, they would have had to be downloaded a total of 1939394 times, for 9696970MB of downloads. This would, at 256kbps, take 3507 days (about 9 and a half years). Kazaa had only existed for about three years at the point of infringement. Also, for that matter, that ignores the remaining 1678 songs.

Going the other direction, if all 1702 songs were saturating the upload speed of the modem for the history of Kazaa (call it 3 years even to make things easier) you'd have been able to upload 1009152MB, or about 201830 songs, divided evenly over all 1702 songs that's about 118 times each. At 99 cents each that's $2803.68 in statutory damages.

Comment Re:focus on the actual issue (Score 1) 283

I disagree. The purpose of the law and the statement in the constitution are to protect the rightful owners of the copyright. The way the particular laws are written hinges on presumptions of an earlier time, that violations of copyright of the scale we're seeing today would not be something individuals exchanging copyrighted materials would be able to achieve. Therefore, the implementation of the laws is intended to stifle mass copyright infringement. They haven't caught up to the way individuals are infringing today.

Comment Re:focus on the actual issue (Score 1) 283

The punishment is meant not to recover just lost revenue but to be punitive. According to the copyright holder can request triple damages.

Still, the punitive punishment should make sense. Charge the retail value of the song for damages plus treble that to be punitive, and now you're all the way up to $4 per song downloaded from your system.

The law is written so that people printing and distributing media for a profit lose their shirts. As in, for outfits counterfeiting tens of thousands of books or CDs at a time. Sharing 24 songs that each get downloaded around a hundred times is a far smaller offense, and shouldn't be fined the same way.

Then again, I also believe that any media distributed with DRM should be treated as not copyrighted, because the manufacturer has chosen to protect their product via a method other than copyright. If the product has DRM it cannot be expected to become free of that at an arbitrary point in the future, and since the "limited times" clause is not met the protection clause should not apply at all. Which means that any DVD protected by CSS or any music file distributed with DRM should be protected only by trade secret and contract law that govern distribution of the copy protection.

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