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Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 88

It's not about possession, it's about who's in control of the "make a copy" process.

So if I first ask my girlfriend to make me a mix CD, then I become party to her copyright infringement, but if she just does it of her own accord I'm fine?

Yes. It's called induced infringement - where you induce another to infringe on your behalf.
The rest of your questions have the same answer.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 1) 88

I was under the impression that downloading is illegal, but uploading is not, and that is why it is handled in civil, not criminal, court. Is that correct?

Nope, both are illegal, both criminally and civilly. Specifically, 15 USC 504 has civil remedies for copyright infringement, including both copying and distribution. 15 USC 506 has criminal punishments for copyright infringement, including both copying and distribution. The difference? The criminal penalties only attach when the infringement was committed "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain"; "by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000"; or "by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution."

For most casual sharing, it's not for private financial gain, so the first one is out. It's also not usually totaling over $1000... but watch out, because many people's upload or shared folder can frequently approach that. And it's rarely a leaked pre-release work, though that does happen too. So, generally, most people don't run into criminal copyright infringement (it tends to be more counterfeiters), but it could happen.

Comment Re:Thought. (Score 2) 88

Normally I don't respond to ACs, but this is a good question:

Find a torrent you want to investigate.

Join that torrent. Don't seed. Just advertise you have the whole thing.

Log any requests, but serve up bum content; fail checksums, or hit protocol errors, simply time out, seed bad data at 1B/s, whatever. You're not giving that tacit license, since you're not feeding proper data.

It's a good thought, but there's the problem - you're not serving up the copyrighted work, so therefore, you don't know that the accused recipients downloaded the copyrighted work... and in fact, you explicitly know that they didn't, because they got crap. Like, if I record myself farting into a microphone for five minutes and then upload it to a network with the label "Creed - new hot single!.mp3", even though you may not be able to tell the difference when you download it, I couldn't sue you for copyright infringement of Creed's new song, because I know for a fact that you didn't make a copy of Creed's new song.

So, yeah, by uploading bad content, you don't give an implied license to the good content, but you also can't be sure you're finding anyone who got the good content.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 2) 88

Is the recipient of a mix CD a copyright infringer? If not, it doesn't make any sense that a downloader would be either.

The one who started out in possession of the media, made and distributed a copy of it, is violating the right to control copying and distribution, i.e. copyright.

It's not about possession, it's about who's in control of the "make a copy" process. If I put something on a server, and you (via your computer) send a GET request, then you're initiating the copying. If you don't have a license to do that, then you're infringing copyright. I may also be infringing copyright by distributing it - it's not a you xor me requirement.
So, this becomes:

Someone who started out with nothing, and directed a system to make them a copy, distributed nothing, but ends up in possession of something that someone else illegally copied and distributed, has done what exactly that violates what law?

Directly infringed copyright, and the law is 15 USC 101 et seq.

Comment Re:Not Unexpected (Score 1) 88

Really, they are only strictly interpreting the text of the law as written - legislating from the bench is against the separation of powers defined in the Constitution. What needs to happen now is an updated law to clarify this to the original intent (and hopefully grant amnesty to anyone wrongly covered). Doubtful that will ever happen, but that's what should happen.

I'm not sure what needs to be clarified, a repeat offender seems like a common and trivial concept that the District Court completely messed up by tying it to a particular action. The entire point of using the word repeated is to punish a consistent pattern of behavior, it applies to everything from shoplifters to serial killers. Why should downloaders be an exception? For that matter, why should uploaders be singled out in particular? If I screw up and put something in my shared folder that I shouldn't have it's still one bad act from me. That does not make me a repeat infringer even if I shared a hundred songs and a thousand people took the opportunity to download from me. It just means I screwed up big, once. Same way getting into one fight and hurting four people is not the same as getting into four separate fights and hurting someone each time. The former is still an isolated incident, the latter a repeating pattern.

Comment Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 5, Insightful) 88

Downloading music or movies without a license has always been copyright infringement, just like uploading or sharing them. However, the labels only go after uploaders for a few different reasons:
First, technically, it's difficult to identify a leecher or someone who only downloads - due to the nature of file transfers and how the various protocols work, you can easily discover uploaders and download complete copies from them (e.g. by finding Napster hosts, bittorrent seeders, etc., and then blocking transfers from everyone except your 'target'). To discover a leecher, however, you have to be a seeder or host and wait for them to download the file from you. And with so many other seeders out there for any file, that doesn't happen often.
Second, even if you did manage to get someone to download the file from you, if you're the copyright owner or acting on the copyright owner's behalf, you put the file online for public distribution! So the downloader can easily argue that they have at least an implied license from you, and they actually obtained a legal copy. Ooops.
Third, even if somehow you get over those two hurdles, a leecher actually can use the "a download only costs 99 cents, so the actual damages due to my infringement are tiny" argument to mitigate the label's giant statutory damage request. This doesn't work for uploaders who are distributing copies, as a distribution license typically costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the work (Michael Jackson paid about $45k each for the distribution licenses for several hundred Beatles songs back in the 1980s, for example). But a mere downloader isn't distributing to anyone.
And finally, though it would be illegal and unethical, if you were accused of downloading something, you could rush out and buy a copy of it with cash, and then claim you were just legally format shifting (albeit by proxy). Maybe your proxy that you got it from is liable for infringement due to their distribution, but if you can legally rip your own CDs for archival purposes, then simply using someone else's drive (and computer, and network connection) to do it shouldn't create liability for you.

So, yeah, could a label go after a mere downloader for infringement? Absolutely, and that's always been true. Are they going to do so, and potentially spend millions knowing they're going to run into those four potentially insurmountable barriers? Hell, no. Not when moviebuff6969 is seeding 50 films on bittorrent.

Disclaimer: I am an IP lawyer, but I'm not your IP lawyer. This is not legal advice, but is purely for (my own) entertainment purposes.

Comment Re:What kind of inhuman piece of shit (Score 1) 880

One that doesn't want to see his own country nuked. That's the thing about an arms race you see. It's compulsory. The peace loving hippy gets his stuff taken away by the guys with the guns. Every time.

An arms balance is necessary, an arms race implies an out of control positive feedback loop. It might be because one side genuinely wants to be the agressor or both sides are confusing shows of strength and willingness to defend themselves with escalating aggression, but mostly it's because we don't want to be vulnerable. But the less you can be harmed, the more everyone else is at your mercy. And they don't want to be vulnerable either, so they want better weapons so they can hurt you too. Disarmament is taking down this stress level, we won't point big guns at you if you don't point big guns at us. But with nukes and MAD both sides want to hold that "FUCK YOU TOO" card, just in case it's a deception.

Comment Re:To be fair, a pretty easy run (Score 1) 244

Not to mention there was no traffic on the road that late at night, and more importantly, you don't learn anything scientific from doing this (and afaict, they don't even claim to have learned anything), it's just a publicity stunt. And Uber has been doing a lot of these kinds of publicity stunts lately. My theory is that they are trying to pump up their valuation for an IPO (or another round of funding or whatever).

Well, it's obvious that post-SDC somebody will be operating this huge fleet of self-driving taxi/transport vehicles. At some point it's just about being the most hyped company to get the funding to ride the bubble like say Amazon did. Sure, they lost 96% of their share value in two years when it popped but those who never got on the hype bandwagon mostly lost everything and are nowhere to be found. To be honest I don't really mind a SDC bubble where everyone goes crazy because it will also accelerate change, the dotcom boom/bust might not have been good for investors but the transition from offline to online went pretty snappy.

Comment Re:like in the movie? (Score 1) 244

And there is a large feedlot right next to it, where they collect the piss.

The GTA V beer is spoofing Budweiser's anthem, I wonder why... of course they also say it's German but I think they got it confused with Bismarck, North Dakota or something. They might be responsible for World War I, World War II, blood, sweat, tears and gas chambers but bad beer is simply inhumane.

Comment Re:No you don't (Score 2) 239

No. You don't. Because that isn't possible to do. The fact that this guy even said that means he is clueless about mobile. He needs to be replaced.

Ah our resident doofus. If he said he had a PC to replace your phone, obviously he'd be clueless. A phone to replace your PC? Why not, for most people their phone now has way more power than the PC had ten years ago, it just has bigger input/output devices. Microsoft could make a x86 phone with a HDMI/DisplayPort/USB dock (or just an USB-C cable hookup) and it'd make a perfectly satisfactory PC for most people. His problem will be that nobody wants the phone side of it, they want their iApps or Google Play-apps.

Comment Re:Who needs them anyway (Score 1) 325

I stopped wearing a wristwatch 10+ years ago. It was annoying to wear while using a laptop. There's clock on my phone, computer, car, radio, egg timer.. I don't see the point in carrying extra one on my wrist.

To me it's exactly the opposite, sure there are all these different context-dependent places I could see the time but my watch is always there and I can just glance down 0.2 seconds to see how long do I have to get somewhere or be somewhere or have spent on something or have left of something. I feel it gives me more control over the day than if I don't wear one because the overhead is so small, if I have to pull my phone out of my pocket I don't really do it unless I need to know the time. I put it on in the morning, take it off when I go to bed and it runs years on a battery so that very little "nice-to-have" is balanced by a no-fuzz experience. Don't know how your watch is or how you type but I don't have a problem using a keyboard all day with mine.

Comment Re:No Von Neuman Machines yet (Score 1) 218

Raising babies takes a tremendous amount of infrastructure. An adult human is mostly self-sufficient; babies are not. As somebody said, it really does "take a village" to raise a child.

Reality check: Children have grown up all over the planet for all of history with no infrastructure with poorer parents often raising half a dozen of them. The way we raise western 21st century kids means most parents have enough with a few, but unless they quite literally die they grow up every other way too. The "takes a village" saying is about society's influence, everybody wants to fit in with their peers and prevailing norms, even if that is at odds with your parents.

Comment Re:What are we forgetting... (Score 1) 218

Okay, so we've got the mining robots, the auto-fuelling spaceship dock, the autonomous telephone sanitizers... I can't help feeling there's something we're forgetting... Oh! Right - people. Hang on. Why are we sending people again?

Because we're not smart enough to make a robot that could and would do what we'd do and telepresence would be hopeless with the delay. Take the stupidest person you know that can drive a car. Ask him to write the software for a self-driving car, might as well ask him to jump to the Moon. Not even many man-years of the best and brightest has managed to get their car a driver's license that millions of teenagers manage every year. If there's a real base there will be plenty that goes wrong or becomes defective and plenty to fix. If it's just to have humans in a bunker eating canned food until their return flight, then yeah there's not much point.

Comment Re:Should we be using TrueCrypt 7.1a instead? (Score 4, Informative) 73

I would like this answer too, please, someone...

If you have system encryption enabled (traditional BIOS, no UEFI support) and you have a strong passphrase and you are the only user and you're not worried that anyone can physically tamper with your system boot or rescue disc - in which case they might just as well use a key logger - then there's no critical issues.

There are several nice to haves that make weak passwords stronger by increasing iterations, close various attacks that other users/processes can do and cleaning up better if you only use containers. The ugliest is probably a privilege escalation attack, malicious software can use the TrueCrypt driver to escalate to admin but if malware is running on your machine you probably have big problems anyway.

Probably the most interesting part about VeraCrypt is the potential for UEFI boot but apparently there's no way to secure erase the keyboard buffer, all you can do is reset it (which they didn't do, but do now) and hope the driver actually overwrites it. But if you can dump the entire UEFI memory area it might still be there. Hopefully legacy BIOS mode will be around for a while longer, in this case simpler is safer.

Comment Re:how about 4A (Score 1) 428

They couldn't force you with out the lead pipes and rubber hoses, fortunately those aren't allowed in the US yet. What you do in a situation like this is refuse to comply, force them to arrest you and spend the night in jail so you can call the ACLU and get the warrant tossed. See they get away with it because no one refused to comply. Once everyone in the building complies there is no effective way to sue them and set a precedent that will stop this happening again.

Why not? If you think they have an illegal warrant, you sue them as if they had no warrant. Same way you don't sue GPL violators for copyright infringement and not breach of contract, because you have no proof they agreed to the license. They will bring out the warrant and say it's okay, we had a warrant. Then you can challenge it and appeal any dismissals. I wouldn't do it without the ACLU, EFF or someone like that bankrolling it, but it seems to carry less risk since if your challenge fails you were never "rightfully" arrested and perhaps even charged with obstruction of justice. I strongly doubt "Scary guys with guns and fancy papers said I had to or be arrested so I did" counts as consent, immediate compliance does not mean you lose your right to challenge it after reviewing with legal counsel. Same way I'm not about to argue with a SWAT team breaking down the wrong door, I'd comply perfectly. Then sue the shit out of them.

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