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MPAA Requests Immunity to Commit Cyber-Crimes

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the how-low-can-this-nation-sink dept.

The Courts 1180

The news has been buzzing around for the last couple of days that Representative Berman, whose palm has been crossed with silver by the entertainment industry, would introduce a bill permitting copyright holders to hack or DoS people allegedly distributing their works without permission. Well, the bill has been introduced - read it and weep. Although the bill wouldn't allow copyright owners to alter or delete files on your machine, they would be allowed to DoS you in essentially any other way. Let me restate that: the MPAA and RIAA are asking that they be allowed to perform what would otherwise be federal and state criminal acts and civil torts, and you will have essentially no remedy against them under any laws of the United States.

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Oh I get it.... (3, Insightful)

tacokill (531275) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953089)

Ok, so its open season. Fine. Game on.

Re:Oh I get it.... (2, Insightful)

microbob (29155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953100)

No doubt.

How do they expect people to react?

I will just push P2P netwoks into the next phase....

Fair Warning (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953115)

"And someone said, 'Fair Warning, Lord.
The young man gone to town.
Turned from hunted into hunter.
Gone to hunt somebody down.'"
-Van Halen

Anybody there? (-1)

Big Dogs Cock (539391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953092)

No FP Yet?

Unconstitutional on it's face (5, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953095)

If it applies only to big business (RIAA, MPAA, BSA), and not to joe sixpack, it's unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

Oh, and this post is Copyright (c) 2002, by me, "sconeu". I reserve the right to search any and all computers for unauthorized reproductions of this post.

Re:Unconstitutional on it's face (5, Interesting)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953141)


This article [theregus.com] over at The Reg gives a satiric slant on that.

Go get yur black hats, podners!


Re:Unconstitutional on it's face (3, Insightful)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953169)

As long as it applies to any "copyright holder" then it will pass muster. The trick would be to then see to it that the RIAA or MPAA ends up illegally distributing some kiddies' copyrighted work, at which point that particular kiddie could DDOS the hell out of either organization.

Re:Unconstitutional on it's face (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953215)

i'm going to copyright my ass print and DoS the hell out of the fbi.

they may not have a copy of my ass print, but I suspect they do..

Re:Unconstitutional on it's face (5, Insightful)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953219)

It would still be the law until the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional, if it passes. A lot of laws that are contrary to the constitution don't get challenged, so the Supreme Court can't strike them down. Hopefully, we can keep it from passing. It is time for everyone to start faxing their Congressmen. E-mail is too easy to ignore, and snailmail takes too long if it even gets there. When elections come around in November, anyone who supported this should be voted out. Slashdotters need to get politically involved.
Also, consumers can boycott the movie and music industries. It is our money they use to bribe Congressmen and Senators. Don't give them any.

Re:Unconstitutional on it's face (2)

colmore (56499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953220)

You'd think so, but that argument probably won't work. America has, for a very long time, given corporations greatly preferential treatment over individuals.

Omg (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953096)

I have nowhere to begin. I love the hypocrisy of the US and its laws. This cost the RIAA a pretty penny i would imagine.

Re:Omg (1)

tj500 (595962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953172)

It hasn't happened yet, and I doubt it will happen.

The MPAA is declaring war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953097)

If these bastards want to declare war on us, I demand the right to fight back.

Re:The MPAA is declaring war (5, Insightful)

Old Uncle Bill (574524) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953113)

200 MPAA goons with script kiddie crap vs. 200,000 pissed off hackers. Who are you putting your money on?

Re:The MPAA is declaring war (3, Insightful)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953160)

The goons have the bandwidth and the law behind them. I think we know who always wins: BIG MONEY.

Re:The MPAA is declaring war (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953244)

Just what are they pissed off hackers going to do? Deface web sites? Big deal. They sure as hell won't get very organized politically, because they will turn on each other as soon as Hacker A realizes that Hacker B is pro-gun control or anti-war-on-drugs or pro-GPL or such. And other the Bruce Perens, no one is going to stop playing WarCraft and get out of their La-Z-Boy and risk their cushy almost-6-figure jobs by going to jail for civil disobedience.

It's all talk. The best thing to do is to send money, hardware, and expertise to the Free World where the MPAA and the RIAA aren't in control, and start letting the brain drain go the other way for a change. But unlike their ancestors, I doubt most American geeks are willing to move elsewhere to create a freer society.

whew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953098)

good thing i'm in canada..they can kiss my ass.

If this passes... (3, Insightful)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953102)

They've just declared war, and they themselves will be the first casualties.

I wish I could feel sorry for them.

Here's what the meeting looked like (4, Funny)

Typingsux (65623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953105)

Click me [photoisland.com]

Re:Here's what the meeting looked like (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953177)

FYI: The image linked above is not goatse or something similar.

(i.e. it's safe to click even if you're at work)

More images from the meeting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953221)

They are from a photoshop thread on fark here [fark.com] .

Re:Here's what the meeting looked like (1, Offtopic)

Zordak (123132) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953224)

One of those moments when I REALLY wish I had mod points. Did you doctor that one yourself or just find it somewhere?

Holy Cow. (3, Insightful)

Icepick_ (25751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953107)

If you've been living under a rock, now is the time to realize how deep it really is in Washington now.

This is complete and utter bullshit. My money stays home if this passes. Anyone read any good books lately?

Such a blesing I dont live in US (0)

ashutoshmehra (546864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953108)

Heck, i use a dialup and dont even have a static IP.. :)) Fortunate me!!!

What this might mean..... (5, Interesting)

Captain Pedantic (531610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953109)

The Register is actually looking forward [theregister.co.uk] to this becoming law!

Re:What this might mean..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953235)

Can't you tell when someone is pulling your dick? or are you just trolling?

What crap (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953110)

If I deface their servers, I can go to jail.
If they distrupt my internet connection, they get immunity. The hell with buying a CD if this happens. They have a monopoly and are not playing fair. It isnt the consumer's fault that the market that their product is changing all the time.

This is just as ludicrous as if the candlemaking industry would have protested thomas edison inventing the light bulb. They would have thugs with hammers break lights so people just use candles.


What about... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953111)

Canadian Law? European Law? Russian Law? Japanese Law?

If the screw with my computer, will I be able to sure them senseless since I live in a different country?

Odd.. (1)

snevine (264453) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953114)

Reminds me of the whole X-Files/FEMA conspiracy.


and then ... (2, Funny)

tandr (108948) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953116)

... all the hell will break loose when Lucent Bell Labs will DoS all unix machines? Or virus writers will do DoS legaly -- "It is my virus, they stole and DISTRIBUTE it!!".

and then just wait till MS would do DoS to these nasty pirates...

Like a cop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953117)

Sort of like an undercover cop is allowed to partake in illegal activity (like a drug deal) in order to catch the criminal red handed?

Lets face it, if you do illegal activity, you can get spanked. Don't do it.

Right now, as it is, if they did that, they'd still have you nuts in a bind, because they'll simply blackmail you into settling, or else they'll sue the pants off you for your illegal activity.

No need to get your panties in a bind over this. But what am I saying, its michael. Tin-foil hat time!

Re:Like a cop? (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953197)

Sort of like an undercover cop is allowed to partake in illegal activity (like a drug deal) in order to catch the criminal red handed?

Yes, but these people are not agents of any law enforcement agency. By what right do they claim exemption from The Law?

Re:Like a cop? (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953206)

Its not an undercover cop. Its like John Doe who lives down the street being annoyed by the crakc house on his block grabs a shotgun and starts shooting. The RIAA/MPAA are not law enforcement agencies.

Re:Like a cop? (1)

Cainam (10838) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953223)

Last I checked, large corporations and police officers at least *theoretically* have to follow different sets of rules.

Not just any crime... (4, Insightful)

aronc (258501) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953118)

As of a few days ago if citizen do these same things they can be considered terrorists and subject to a maximum sentance of life in prison. Now who again is being helped by our lawmakers now?

Oh crap.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953121)

Aww bloody hell.. there goes the country..

So I should be able to DDoS them in retaliation for tearing down my network...

Man that sucks

What's the big deal? (-1, Troll)

Zico (14255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953122)

A lot of people around here think there's no harm in hackers doing that to other people's computers, going so far to squeal when they get "ratted out" by others or end up in court for their actions. But is the MPAA decides to do it, it's all of a sudden a bad thing? Yokayyyy...

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Interesting)

Nidhogg (161640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953187)

Not everyone feels there's no harm in doing it. I don't see the sense in it in any circumstance.

I think it's the duplicity that the government is showing is what everyone has a problem with.

"DoS'ing people is bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. Oh wait a minute... except for them."

It's just another instance of someone trying to have it both ways.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953249)

DoS'ing people is bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. Oh wait a minute... except for them."

Well yeah, because the people they're DoS'ing are thieves. They pretty much shouldn't complain about whatever happens to themselves, and acting like they have any moral high ground over anybody else is hilarious.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953229)

There are plenty more of us who think that the "5c4|pt k|dd|35" who like to do that kind of shit are useless pricks who need to grow the fuck up, and say, "serves 'em right for being a dumbass" when they get caught.

regardless of that, it's certainly a horrible, abominable thing when the government says "if you do this, you'll go to jail, unless you are a big corporation." this is the most grevious, heinous example of how much the US govt. is controlled by corporate interests.

Immoral acts (2, Flamebait)

SpatchMonkey (300000) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953126)

But otherwise illegal acts are already carried out by ruling organizations - this already happens and is endorsed on a much wider scale.

For example, the death penalty for serious crimes. It's murder - except when the government do it!

And just look at religion. One of the commandments in Christianity is "you shall not murder". How hypocritical when their own god went and meticulously tortured and killed sections of a whole race of people (the Egyptians.)

Don't be shocked about this. There are many, many occurances of the same sort of thing to show that history does indeed repeat itself.

Re:Immoral acts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953210)

Justice is the will of the stronger.

Re:Immoral acts (1, Offtopic)

Razzious (313108) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953237)

Not interested in getting into a theological discussion with you, but any religion has "Punishments, or consequences" for wrong doings.

The death penalty is to remove a threat from society. Prison alone cannot do this, as we see breaks regularly.

Also you say Christianity has a commandment. Actually thats just an Old Testament Commandment. In theroy Jew, Muslims, & Christians, along with Mormons, Jehivah's Witnesses, and many others claim this commandment. Yet there are other commandments to further this one that say, "If you do THIS, you are to be put to death". Stop taking one line of text out of text and look at the principles they relate to.

Don't be shocked when you post things without actually looking at or thinking about them. You are obviously either unlearned, or repeating things without thinking them through.

Corporations fuck Americans, news at 11 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953130)

I wonder at what point the revolt will happen. Something tells me it will be when it's far too late, and anybody trying to be proactive about it will be called a terrorist or something.

When will the American people wake up? It's so blatantly obvious to the rest of the world that your corporations are out of control. When are you going to finally realize it's time to put a leash on them?

Settle down first... Congress is not a fast body (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953131)

Crazy ass bills get introduced EVERY DAY in our gov't. We should be waiting to see what the committee does with this before overreacting. Chances are it wont even make it to a full House debate.

Bad move! (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953132)

Never mind if this passes, the mere introduction of this bill, let alone the public information here on slashdot, will open a s***storm onto their servers.

Can I introduce this bill? (0, Troll)

Salden (571264) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953133)

Where I am allowed to distribute copywrited works for my own profit? I mean, they make alaw that severely limts fair use and then turn around and ask the govt to allow them to violate our privacy?

Re:Can I introduce this bill? (0, Troll)

GoatEnigma (586728) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953195)

Somehow I doubt this would extend to anyone else who found their stuff on the internet. If I program something and there are copies of it out there, can I bring them down? What if I program an internet agent that moves from place to place? Can it take down people's computers because it's residing there? What a ridiculous bunch of crap! Why don't they just authorize Mafia-style hits and save the bandwidth?

new p2p scheme (3, Interesting)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953134)

Where will all of this end? Does the MPAA/RIAA actually need the right to attack individuals over the internet for having an mp3 of Stairway to Heaven on their pc? Is there anything dsl/cable/whatever providers can do to protect their customers from this?

More questions and a film at 11.

Look you whiney gut kids (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953138)

We are at war! You alleged smart people make
more in one month than regular people do. But you
don't want to pay for music???

What do you spend your money on? The newest
and coolest hardware? Why don't you just
steal it from the stores, babies!

grow up!

Of course this will be fought (2, Interesting)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953143)

One good thing is that it will force rank and file senators to open their eyes and learn about what is really going on on the internet and learn something about technology and about how the MPAA and RIAA operate.

If they do not do this, then is it not true that they have proven that they (the senators) are no longer protecting and standing by the principles upon which the united states of america's constitution was written?

What's the purpose of having the right to bear arms again? (rhetorical question)

How sad (0)

NetCAM (40537) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953144)

Its both sad and disturbing that this type of $hit can be gotten away with. There needs to be better ways of bringing these types of evil thing to the light of everyone. I would like to see these puppets in Congress that have the money lined pockets to pass some sorta law where any type of money donation is illegal to them or whatever political party they are a part of so we have unbiased representatives that aren't just looking out for their own good.

Privacy laws.... (1)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953154)

Wow, this seems to go against privacy laws. While they are scanning every hard drive for files, are they going to catalog information on your disc or shared drives? Hope they have big freaking storage rooms to get every machines drive copied examination. As for the DoS attacks, are they going jam up networks and piss off the isps or just have your isp pull the plug on you? That would be very uncool, but I could see that happening.

response of network operators (1)

mdouglas (139166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953155)

what they are proposing amounts to a dos attack, and if it impacts the operation of an isp, their going to get themselves null routed [merit.edu] .

Good bye internet... (3, Interesting)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953156)

...hello again Fidonet, old friend. How you be? Here, let me help you with that (whatever.)

This had better not pass into law because it's an open invitation to civil war on the net. I can't believe such stupidity makes it this far in Congress, no, wait, yes I can believe it in the context of UCITA, DRM, etc., etc., seemingly ad infinitum.

Re:Good bye internet... (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953175)

Eye, you've forgotten the article, the rep was paid to introduce it!

Buying politicians. (2)

perlyking (198166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953162)

The concept of buying politicians is disgusting.
America doesn't need to be taken over by force or war, one day someone from another country will just buy it.

Its like government enforced vigilantism (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953163)

They are saying in short, "Well we don't have the resources to enforce our copyright laws, so feel free to bust into people's houses looking for bootleg tapes. If you find bootleg tapes, feel free to burn the house down...or seal the door shut. Whatever we don't care." This is ridiculous. They just calmly legislated the first step towards anarchy.

Courtroom scene: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953164)

Judge: You've been convicted of causing widespread distrubuted denial of service attacks against xzy.com, resulting in a loss of millions of dollars in revenue. How do you plead?
skr1pt |1DD13: N0t gu1ty, y3r h0n0r! Th3y'z h0st1n' K-R4d ph4t mp3z.
Judge: Oh, well in that case: court finds defendant: Not guity.
skr1pt |1DD13: w00t!

evil rears it ugly head ... again (1)

jimmythegoat (595952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953165)

It seems quite natural to me that these behemoths ask for special privlages under the law. They've been doing it all along, though they no longer feel the need to disguise their requests anymore. Come to think of it, they don't really ask. They sort of buy their way in.

Hello, ISP? (1)

Salden (571264) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953166)

ME: Yes, my firewall has logged several attempts to break into my system, can you tell me more about this host (xx.xxx.xxx.xxx)? ISP: Oh, that's just the RIAA looking for illegal copies of MP3s on your hard drive. It's ok, they're allowed.

In other news (5, Informative)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953168)

The Canadian Private Copying Collective wants more of your money.

On top of raising existing levys, they want to tax any media that can store copyrighted material. This includes Hard drives and Flash media. While the MPAA is crashing your computer in the US the CPCC is robing you blind every time you buy recordable media.. And how much are the artists getting??? According to reports, after 2 years of the levy being collected NOTHING has been paied to ANY artist.. Theroy has it they are spending all the money lobying for higher levys.


Since... (0)

Omega Prime (265024) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953173)

Well, Since i dont live in the USA (Thankfully) this would be against the law.I should report them to their respective ISP's and have their accounts terminated. lol

The Irony (1)

ScooterB (23301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953174)

I have to laugh at the fact Berman is introducing a law that would allow one to be a vigilante. Isn't the purpose of a law is to prevent such a state. Anyhow, a law such as this would produce utter chaos. DOS attacks do not usually affect just the intende site but other sites as well (i.e. sites hosted on shared servers, shared bandwidth, etc.). I hope the rest of Congress will be wise enough to put this bill in the trash.

What if... (0)

$0 31337 (225572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953178)

the end user is someone on a dialup connection through a small ISP? Wouldn't a dos attack be hurting innocent users as well as the alleged downloader?

Monetary claims agains't wrong person. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953179)

What if the DOS or hack the wrong company/person by mistake? Does this mean I can sue them for lost business income, damage and so forth? Hey! they have to be liable for my losses as they have potentially made me liable for theirs!

Mad props to the men of slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953180)

This post is an instrument of mad props for all my buds:
  • Klerck
  • Ralph "Jew Hater" Nader
  • Sexual Asspussy (453406)
Hey Ralph, enjoy this MP3 download:
Non-trolls are kindly asked to pay homage to Feco Japan. [rotten.com] Thank you.

One set of laws for (1)

fiori (45848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953181)

those who have the influence and/or money and one set of laws for those who don't. Yet another example of legal inequality for corporations. Would this make it possible for me to legally dDos CNN, NY Times, or even Google if they distribute something copyrighted by me?

Not a chance in Hell, Jack and Hilary (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953183)

You can DoS all the p2p kittens you like, and keep on giving capitalism a bad name. Why? Real fsckin' simple:

  • I prefer to read. Make a movie that can kick the ass of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo in its original French, and I might shell out for a ticket. Not likely.
  • I listen to imported European heavy metal. Much of it is released in the states by Century Media (Warning: site uses Flash!) or directly imported.
  • I have a real life and I work for a living: I don't have time to waste on the insipid product of MPAA/RIAA member corporations.

So... DoS the kittens all you like. But if you DoS me there's no immunity: only vengeance as I show Edmond Dantes how we do things in New York City.

I will like to know how I can become a big company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953184)

So I can use laws as my tp and customers as my own canteen.

They should ask themselves... (1)

s4f (523726) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953185)

What remedy do they have against us. We copyright holders who have good reason to suspect they are violating our intellectual property rights might just have them wishing they had never persued this stupid legislation.

What happen for foreign computer ? (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953186)

It is unclear to me what would happen if the MPAA DoS or Hack a computer physically located in another country, where DoS'ing or hacking is illegal. Even if this is legal in the US, remmember , in that case everything (target computer, person, data) is located in a foreign country.

So what would ever happen then ? Logically they would be completly open to a lawsuit in the country where the bad deed happened. And since in a lot of country you have only to deposite a plaint when somebody did something wrong, you don't even have to pay lawyer to sue, the governement do it for you if you have a case (i.e. if somebody did something illegal on your possession).

ISP Complicity? (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953189)

What I want to know is what actions ISP's will take when some IP address somewhere starts flooding a bunch of their cable modem customers with WinNuke packets. After they've traced back to find out that it's legal, what will they do? I'm pretty sure it's also legal for them to blacklist anyone who is 'legally crashing' their customers and causing their helpdesk phones to ring off the hook.
I hate to say it, but the best solution to this is good security. Put up the best firewall you can, and let them bring it on.

How low? (4, Insightful)

Bonker (243350) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953190)

MPAA - 'Can we have immunity from laws designed to protect the computer infrastructure and commit damaging acts against networks and computers that don't belong to us?' - Pending

John Ashcroft and Federal LEO's - 'Can we have immunity from the fourth ammendment and commit invasion of privacy against americans?' - Denied up until 9-11, then granted, despite the fact that they already had information about the WTC attacks. Permanent acception is pending the Patriot act's expiration date.

George Bush and Oil Industry CEOs - 'Can we have immunity from laws protecting the environment and virgin wilderness in order to increase our profits and control of the energy industry by drilling in Alaskan wilderness and completely ignoring global warming and any other environmental concerns that are too expensive for us to worry about?' - Pending.

What's next?

Preists - 'Can we have immunity from laws protecting children from molestation and rape so we can get our jollies with 9 year olds?'

Corporate Executives - 'Can we have immunity from laws protecting our investors and the general public so that we can pad our pocketbooks and live lives of luxury?'

Police - 'Can we have immunity from laws protecting citezens from police brutality so that we can beat, maim or kill with impunity?'

The Rich - 'Can we have immunity from laws protecting people from slavery and oppression so that we can further entrench our selves in oligarchy and profit from the abuse of our fellow humans'?

The Repo precedent (2)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953191)

This reminds of reposession, where the repo man can legaly break into peoples home to take back a car or TV they're not keeping up payments for.

I don't really have point other than to point out the similarities. Discuss.

Martial Law (1)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953194)

It seems to me that the MPAA and RIAA are essentially saying: "Why don't we just put the whole internet under martial law until we can sort out all of this DRM business?"

Why don't they get their acts together and start utilizing the amazing distribution methods made available by the internet and digital media, instead of slandering and scandalizing them? It would save us all a lot of time and money.

I'd like to see some massive band like NSYNC or Madonna release one or two songs from their next album as Free Music. Let anyone share, listen, redistribute, etc. What a great way to promote an album!

I challenge the RIAA to try it. Just see if it works. If it bombs, then you've only lost two songs and you never have to do it again. If it works then you can stop investing in DRM technology and make lots of money. And everyone will be happy.

Desparate Times... (1)

Escape Tangent (594982) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953196)

I think that this only illustrates how insanely hard organizations like the MPAA and RIAA are getting hit by the actions of p2p file-sharers. I use p2p methods myself, and I don't agree with the allegations that such sharing methods impair the profits of the recording industry... It is sometimes difficult to remember that we *are* in a digital era, and things less tangible (i.e. files) are being given priority over things more cumbersome (i.e. CD's). Take a look at recent innovations like the iPod, various CD/MP3 player combo devices, and other digital media players. You'll soon see the real reason the MPAA and RIAA are hurting: everyone _else_ is buying in, and they don't want to be left behind. But you've got to wonder: do they really have enough sense in them to successfully DoS someone?

Loophole (3, Interesting)

Nomad7674 (453223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953198)

One of the "exceptions" listed to the immunity (i.e. if this condition is tripped, then they ARE liable) is:

(C) causes economic loss of more than $50 per impairment to the property of the affected file trader, other than economic loss involving computer files or data made available through a publicly accessible peer-to-peer file trading network that contains works which the owner has exclusive rights granted under section 106;

So if you managed to place the files in question on a server which also had some commercial purpose (say, hosting images for an eBay auction) might this trip the $50 limit and allow prosecution or civil action? I am only the son of a lawyer and not one myself, but this seems like a low threshhold for such a bill

Re:Loophole (2)

kabir (35200) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953251)

As it turns out you can't seek remedies unless the damage is greater than $250 - keep reading. The disparity doesn't make sense to me, but then again neither does the sentiment behind the bill.

For crying out loud! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953199)

I sent this post in 5 hours ago. It is on News.com

OK sure - this sucks and to hell with them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953202)

But this congressman is a Rep. from CA. His industry base is Hollywood - so you can't really expect him to not be biased. Any other Rep. that gets behind this could be legitimately paid off (or freaken insane), but this CA rep is representing his constituents (for good or bad) and that is his job. Note that im sure the voters (not the industries) in CA aren't for it...

pronouns (1)

bensej (79049) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953203)

In a quick scan of the summary of the bill I noticed wherever the copyright holder is refered to by a pronoun it is always a her... can't they even try to hide the fact that Hillary Rosen wrote this. Is it to much to ask to try to keep up the facade that our politicians aren't bought.

Lets see how this would work (5, Interesting)

strictnein (318940) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953209)

The MPAA would hire a couple of "consulting" companies to carry out these acts.

These consulting firms would attack and disable some script kiddies computer who is serving MP3s.

So, what does the script kiddie do? He and his bunch of script kiddies go and shut down the offending consulting firms internet connection(s) with a DoS that's about 100 times more massive (because they can use everyone elses poorly protected servers to do it). And that's just if they pick on a teenager in the US.

Say they try and shut down some actual knowledgable hacker in, say, Russia. Wait a second... why are the bank account numbers, credit card numbers, home address and telephone for the head of the MPAA up on MPAA.com? Weird.

My question is, how does this web site [mpaa.org] even stay up?

I'm sure the script kiddies internet provider will just be pleased as punch that the MPAA just hacked one of it's customers and possibly used a DoS attack to do it (there by degrading the quality of service for all their clients)

Sounds great to me. It'll work like a charm this new law (if passed).

And why does the MPAA sound like a police orginization to me?
From their website:
To battle the problem, in 2000, the MPA launched over 60,000 investigations into suspected pirate activities, and more than 18,000 raids against pirate operations in coordination with local authorities around the world.

The MPAA/MPA directs its worldwide anti-piracy activities from headquarters in Encino, California. Regional offices are also located in Brussels (Europe, Middle and Africa), Mexico (Latin America) Canada and Hong Kong (Asia/Pacific).

Uhmm... that scares me

poll? (1, Offtopic)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953213)

wouldnt this make a better poll option?

Will you be going to your local meetup tonight?



Only if CBN picks my ass up in his rusty el camino!

Letter to the 6th District of North Carolina (5, Interesting)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953214)

I sent off this Letter to the Editor to newspapers in Coble's 6th District in North Carolina (Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, Asheboro, Lexington) this morning, before the bill was officially introduced. Hopefully it'll get published in at least one of the papers:

To The Editor,

For years, Congress and law enforcement has been telling us about the dangers posed by computer hackers. They have warned computer users about how you should be on guard for the damage that hackers can do to your computer systems.

However, Rep. Howard Coble is preparing to submit a bill in Congress that would grant almost complete immunity to large music and movie companies to hack into your computers, if they have the suspicion that you might be sharing copyrighted files. No proof or involvement by law enforcement will be needed. And what's more, if they damage your computers in this vigilante action, you'll need to prove real damages of over $250 and get the permission of the US Attorney General to file suit against them.

What Rep. Coble is saying is that computer hacking is bad, unless you're a rich corporation with lots of money to provide in campaign donations. The hypocracy of such a bill is stunning. The voters of Congressional District 6 need to decide whether Rep. Coble is looking out for their interests, or Big Hollywood's.

By "P2P network" they mean "The Internet". (1)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953216)

The bill's description of "Peer to Peer" network can easily be applied to any internet connected device. Only one line mentions routing traffic through a central server (and then it speaks of 'routing', not 'serving'), and that only applies if the central computer is in the US.

In short, this lets copyright owners DoS any internet-connected computer, *unless* that computer is sharing files through a central server located in the US. Pretty bizarre.

When this starts happening... (3, Funny)

Quantum Singularity (594841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953217)

It WILL be an act of war. Arm yourselves, people. PGP your files and offload to a disconnected machine. And get a firewall. And Nmap. If they do this, we can fight right back and when they do, the government will finally see the error of this bill.

sold to the highest bidder for $187k (1)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953218)

According to the link Howard Berman was bought by TV/Movies/Music industry for about $187k. For a multi-billion dollar industry that seems like a bargain. Mabye the EFF should start a "Buy a congressman" fund, instead of trying to drag things through court...

An interesting question... (1)

taernim (557097) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953225)

Okay, so the issue at hand *should* be on how to punish people who are "illegally distributing copyrighted material."

As much as I want to discuss that, enough people have already made their thoughts known on it.

My question is this. Let's say you have a CD collection that was stolen. Do you have the right to reclaim what was taken? Let's even assume you kept all the receipts, as well as the bill or proof of break-in from your insurance company.

Can you just trot over to Best Buy and say "Ok, my CDs are gone, load me up with new ones!"... I don't think so.

So should you be able to reclaim your losses?
If not, what about keeping a MP3/WMA/OGG/RM copy of your CDs.

Now sure, I can see the MPAA/RIAA arguing against you if you are sharing these out. But where does it stop? If they see you trading LEGAL things, they may hack you anyway and see you have this "illicit collection of materials" on your computer. Then they may launch, worry-free, a DoS on you... even though you had originally owned the CDs they were ripped from.

So is anything like this going to be addressed?
If not, it should be...

tcp/ip (1)

cisco_rob (443705) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953231)

So - who gets to hack microsoft looking for the source to their TCP/IP implementation in all builds of windows?

Don't worry too much (yet) (3, Insightful)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953233)

We should still be writing our representatives but at the same time I don't really think this bill stands much of a chance. Congress usually understands when they are making something that is on the books illegal into something legal for elite groups. They know that if they pass the bill and it gets some publicity that there will be huge public outcry, probably enough to keep at least some of them from being re-elected.

Even if it passes its obviously unconstitutional and any judge in his right mind will strike it down.

(if it passes the house and goes to the Senate then I'll worry)

The problem... (1, Redundant)

Restil (31903) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953234)

I don't agree with this policy to ANY extent, but if the limit of the damage they could do was isolated to ONLY the individual host that was causing the infraction, the problem would be minimal. However, this type of action will also affect the ISP, because they have to handle all the additional traffic. If the infringing files are located on a webhosting system, the MPAA would have to take out the entire system to do any good, and I can guarantee you that the owners of that system will NOT be pleased to find out that they can't even legally prosecute the entity that caused them to be down for two days.

My other thought, does this work both ways? If the MPAA so much as even slightly infringes on someone's copyright, we're allowed to DOS them back into the stoneage... right?

How are they connected to the internet? Or more importantly, what resources do they plan to use for these attacks? Unless they're REALLY huge, and I don't think they are, they will have to use an intermediate ISP of some type. That ISP will be FLOODED with abuse complaints. How long do you think they'll go on supporting this? Imagine that any ISP that connects the MPAA loses 50% of their other customers. How long before the MPAA is unable to get an internet connection at all?


"(B) causes economic loss to any person other than (2, Informative)

blunte (183182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953238)

The bill states, in the exceptions section, that they are not allowed immunity if their action (B) causes economic loss to any person other than the affected file traders.

Logically it seems impossible to me that they can do anything over the internet that cannot be said to cause economic loss to someone else. In other words, any traffic they put on the internet could be said to cause economic loss to someone, because ultimately someone is paying for that bandwidth.

This bill doesn't seem like a very solid piece of legislation, even for what they want it to allow them to do.

Safe harbor if no other alternative? (1)

glsunder (241984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953239)

From the analysis, prepared by Rep. Berman and friends [politechbot.com] :

"Nor could copyright owners avail themselves of the safe harbor for interdiction efforts on websites, FTP sites, IM services, or IRC channels. The definition is structured so narrowly to ensure that the safe harbor is only available in circumstances in which copyright owners have no effective alternative to technological self-help for addressing infringements."

So does this mean that if it can be shown that the copyright owner could have dealt with the problem in a different way, they'd be liable as if they had no safe harbor?

Why not all IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3953240)

Why do the MPAA and RIAA receive special recognition in many laws? There are many other types of intellectual property. This bill should apply to all intellectual property holders equaly or be thrown out.

For instance: The RIAA collects a small tax on all blank digital media because digital media is used to copy music. The problem is that digital media is also used to copy software. Why don't software companies receive a cut of the tax as well?

Fair is fair. Either everyone involved gets special treatment or no one gets special treatment. The RIAA and MPAA shouldn't be the only ones with special treatment.

SlashDot Predicament (-1)

sucko (257144) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953242)

You guys are such notorious whiners that the outside world has all but shut you out.

When something really important comes along you go ignored from crying wolf a few million times too many.

not so terrible? (-1, Troll)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953245)

Okay, this sounds pretty bad at first. I mean, it's basically a license to hack. But I think there might be something worthwhile in here, and I don't want to toss out the baby with the proverbial bathwater.

First, we're talking about the RIAA and MPAA doing this to copyright violators, that is, criminals. These are people who would be thrown in jail if the police were to catch them. So why doesn't the police go after them? Basically, they have other stuff to worry about. With gang shootings and drug smuggling skyrocketing (heh, the one growth sector left...), the cops are out fighting crime. They simply don't have the time or resources to deal with computer criminals.

In that light, this doesn't seem so bad. After all, they'll only be DOSing criminals, so what's the harm? The law-abiding computer users have nothing to worry about. In fact, we might consider off-loading law enforcement in other areas as well. Maybe give good drivers the ability to write traffic tickets?

In essence, there's a huge difference between some punk DOSing an innocent web site and a legitimate company protecting its property by DOSing a hacker.

Secure p2p? (1)

Valiss (463641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953246)

Since this would allow copyright owners to legally hack into peer-to-peer networks, could p2p deisgners make the connection SSH? Or perhaps some other form of encryption. Sure it could still be hacked, but it would take a long, long time and considering the number of p2p users, I doubt it would be worth thier effort.

It's a wonderful idea! (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3953248)

Yes, let's let private companies commit crimes. Sounds good to me. I mean they are already commiting crimes and if we legalize it, it will save a a lot of money in court costs.

Seriously though, this is a stupid idea. To allow a private company to hack into our computers if the suspect that we have illegal intellectual property on our hard drives!

How is the music industry going to tell the difference between a MP3 that is pirated and a MP3 that is the result of someone exercising his fair use rights?

It seems to me that they have put the horse in front of the cart. They first need to have one of their Senators take away our fair use rights. I would suggest using Senator Hollings from SC. They have already purchased him so they might as well get all the mileage they can from their purchase. (I think he comes with a five outrageous bill guarantee.)
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