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FBI, DoJ Add 35 Positions For Intellectual Property Battle

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the brought-to-you-by-the-**aa dept.

Piracy 140

coondoggie writes "The FBI and Department of Justice said they were going to go hard after intellectual property crimes this year and so far they seem to be keeping their word, as today the agencies appointed 15 new Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) positions and 20 FBI Special Agents dedicated to fighting domestic and international IP crimes. The 15 new AUSAs will work closely with the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section to aggressively pursue high tech crime, including computer crime and intellectual property offenses. The new positions will be located in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The 20 FBI Special Agents will be deployed to specifically boost four geographic areas with intellectual property squads, and increase investigative capacity in other locations around the country where intellectual property crimes are of particular concern. The four squads will be located in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia."

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The Downfall Caption Idea (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988056)

This news makes me want to use Handbrake to edit a few minutes from The Downfall where it shows Hitler planning his movements and attacks on a map and replace the captions with English describing 35 new positions in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington (while he's moving the markers across the maps of Europe).

Unfortunately that's no longer possible [slashdot.org] as Youtube/Google seems to have outlawed parodies and freedom of expression/dissent in favor of draconian law.

How appropriate.

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988096)

There's always fair use [boingboing.net] .

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988298)

I miss the one with Hilter's 787 delayed. Does anyone knows if there's another copy on the Internets?

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988488)

If there's anything good on Youtube or other video sites, it's best to archive it locally, for everything good will be deleted sooner or later.

The simplest way to do this is to delete internet cache, visit the video, wait for it to fully load, go to your internet cache and copy the biggest file somewhere else, name it .mp4 or .flv and try to play it. If it worked, rename the file to something meaningful like the topic of the video.

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988522)

an even simpler way is to just get downloadhelper or something similar for ff.

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (1)

u17 (1730558) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989954)

Or use youtube-dl [bitbucket.org] .

Youtube is not a public service (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988500)

Unfortunately that's no longer possible as Youtube/Google seems to have outlawed parodies and freedom of expression/dissent in favor of draconian law. Unfortunately that's no longer possible as Youtube/Google seems to have outlawed parodies and freedom of expression/dissent in favor of draconian law.

Google is a private entity, unless you think that they are somehow owned/run by the government... and thus do not have to allow *anything* on their site. It may not follow their "do not evil" mantra, but it's well within their rights, and it's now being "outlawed".

Re:Youtube is not a public service (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988774)

Google is owned by a political refugee from a police state that should have more enlightened sensibilities due to his own personal experience.

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988736)

My favorite of thise is when he finds out the price of the Bushmaster ACR.

Of course you can still make the parody video you describe but you'll need to host it on your own web site. This is a much better option for you because you'll find out quickly what it is like to deal with DMCA takedown notices, and C&D letters, and the real costs of the bandwidth needed to dissimenate popular videos over the internet, and wrench the servers to do that, and so on and so forth.

That way in the future you'll pause before whining about some free service someone else provides that doesn't quite to every single thing you think it should do.

You can still make a parody... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989078)

You just need to hire the actors, cameramen, make up artists, etc. yourself. At some point it stops being fair use. Taken to the extreme, I could hot wire your car and drive it down the road at insanely high speeds making fun of your stodgy, law abiding habits and then claim it's all just a parody man.

I'm not saying that endless Hitler dubbings are on one side or another, but the parody defense is really meant to protect people who are actively working with the original characters. In other words the folks who turn "Snow White" into a stripper.

Re:You can still make a parody... (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990372)

In other words the folks who turn "Snow White" into a stripper.

Ah, but then they get arrested in Australia under child pornography laws.

Re:The Downfall Caption Idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989386)

"seems to have outlawed parodies" is a little harsh. decided to err on the side of taking down parodies not likely to stand up to suit under a fair use defense, sure. the downfall vids would likely not be able to muster a strong fair use defense, as their commentary was not about The Downfall, but usually either in comparing some other social figure or movement to hitler, or making fun of hitler. legally a parody must be in some way a parody of the original, not just the ideas. Artistically, i think this is really stupid, but its how the courts have been interpreting the law.

I have to admit (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988066)

In most cases what they deem to be "Intellectual Property" certainly is a crime. I think tax money could be better spent fixing the system.

Re:I have to admit (2, Informative)

OrwellianLurker (1739950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988198)

In most cases what they deem to be "Intellectual Property" certainly is a crime. I think tax money could be better spent fixing the system.

When it comes to kids sharing songs, that's civil, not criminal.

Re:I have to admit (4, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988348)

I believe Nerdfest was arguing that the continuation of copyright in perpetuity ought to be considered a criminal infringement of the rights of society at large, and that intellectual property laws should be rewritten to prevent the present situation from being possible, wherein art is institutionalized and can never become part of the public domain.

At least, that's an estimated translation in layman's term. His thick legalese can certainly be hard to digest.

Re:I have to admit (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988372)

Apparently the government believes otherwise, with guns to back it up, and a willing populace to keep them in power.

Re:I have to admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988738)

you mean an ignorant one that is kept in the dark? ..or maybe one that can't vote for what it wants because that option is kept off the table by well-moneyed special interests?

Re:I have to admit (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988958)

I don't play the victim game. We can put anything or anybody on the ballot we want. All verified by some of the goofy shit I see on some ballots. You produce enough signatures and make enough noise, and you'll get whatever you want on your ballot.

Re:I have to admit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988978)

what a moronic cunt you must be,

IP is now the major export of the USA. Are you that fucking thick that you think the USA has ANY future unless it enforces IP law?

This place is full of ignorant thieves today, as usual.

Re:I have to admit (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989110)

what a moronic cunt you must be,

IP is now the major export of the USA. Are you that fucking thick that you think the USA has ANY future unless it enforces IP law?

Perhaps if you'd look in the mirror, you'd see an even bigger gaping cunt staring back at you.

Get your facts right, maggot, before you infest us with your drivel.

Agricultural goods, aircraft, semiconductors, and cars (among other goods!) have higher dollar values exported than IP-related exports. Yes, IP is involved, since patents, etc, are a means by which the US maintains industries when labor is cheaper elsewhere.

But IP is not an export -- and if it were, it wouldn't even be our leading export.

This place is full of ignorant thieves today, as usual.

So true, thanks for providing an example.

$government++ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988110)

$government++

Won't somebody please think of the children? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988124)

There are far more child pornography distributors/collectors than IP violators. Maybe we should think about spending a bit of money saving children from abuse instead of going after Chinese people trying to make a living.

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (5, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988448)

*bullshit*

Citation needed.

There's a child molester in every chat room.
There's a terrorist in every van.
Smoking a joint leads to crime, violence, and insanity.
Copying a music file cripples our economy.

Oh, and drinking alcohol doesn't hurt you.
Eating cheap processed chemicals doesn't hurt you.
Polluting our air and water is worth it.
Our climate is fine.

What do all these statements have in common?
They are making some entrenched interest a lot of money.

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (0)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988704)

*bullshit*

Citation needed.

There's a child molester in every chat room.
There's a terrorist in every van.
Smoking a joint leads to crime, violence, and insanity.
Copying a music file cripples our economy.

Oh, and drinking alcohol doesn't hurt you.
Eating cheap processed chemicals doesn't hurt you.
Polluting our air and water is worth it.
Our climate is fine.

What do all these statements have in common?
They are making some entrenched interest a lot of money.

I could argue very easily that many of the people making the opposite arguments also have strong financial and political interests.

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989080)

Ok, I'll bite: who would pay GP to say those things?

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31991596)

"GP" (now GGP :-) ) might only be repeating the argument. The people who originate (i.e. "make") those arguments tend to be elected prosecutors and politicians, law-enforcement agencies, private prison operators, and conservative think tanks and talk show presenters who either profit directly from those arguments through public support or funds, or indirectly through generated controversy increasing viewer counts and advertising income.

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31992136)

I could argue very easily that many of the people making the opposite arguments also have strong financial and political interests.

Right. Care to give us a few examples ?

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (1)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988868)

Wow, you are so far behind the schedule! When's the last time you've been on Freenet [freenetproject.org] ?

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990314)

I haven't ever used Freenet, but even if it's got tons of stolen software, child porn, and radical Wahabi rants that wouldn't prove how many sources the stuff is coming from. It could be 5.9 billion people or 59 people.

And to the point of the GGGP's post, I'd bet that there is more unauthorized IP on any kind of file sharing network than child porn.

Re:Won't somebody please think of the children? (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988606)

Maybe we should think about education or REAL healthcare solutions before we go all suburban housewife and dedicate outrageous resources to statistically insignificant and excessively emotional crime.

You saw the big circus over Chelsea King [go.com] in San diego. Two cute girls dead and the whole fucking city shows up for a candlelight(soon to become torchlight) vigil. It was so disgusting, even the victims' family remarked that it turned their horrible loss into a insulting and condescending feeding frenzy of two-minute-haters pretending to feel their pain. From that article:

It's very emotional," said Maurice DuBois who has been briefing search teams and offering support to the King family. "It brings us right back to the first week Amber went missing, all the chaos and fear.

Yeah, duh. Emotional, but not at all logical to exploit abuse or loss for political gain and dedicate exorbitant resources, especially during a budget crisis, to statistically insignificant crimes. Piracy and CP will be convenient reasons to screw everybody over as long as enough tools(suburban housewives etc.) can be manipulated emotionally by shit-mouthed political climbers.

Clarify (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988142)

20 FBI Special Agents dedicated to fighting domestic and international IP crimes.

So does that mean the FBI is going to be investigating US Citizens for IP of international origin, or somehow extending their Jurisdiction beyond the states?

Everyone knows the biggest file sharers in the world are Canadian.

Re:Clarify (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988178)

JOKE
Typical American with your "Blame Canada" songs and such! :P
/JOKE

Re:Clarify (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988282)

A lot of the bootleg/counterfeit stuff that's sold in the US is imported from overseas, hence "international".

Re:Clarify (0, Flamebait)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988546)

Everyone knows the biggest file sharers in the world are Canadian.

Damn straight!

The question is who they're going after. (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988164)

Going after the big-time bootleggers churning out counterfeits and selling fake Photoshop and DVDs online = fine and good. Going after j. random filesharing = gaaak.

Re:The question is who they're going after. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988374)

If they understood that piracy in a way is keeping the movie industry going, then maybe they will be able to make the educated decision to go after the people that ARE hurting the industry by making money off piracy.

Re:The question is who they're going after. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988492)

Maybe they are going after, you know, counterfeiting operations?? Just see the recent story about counterfeit i7-920s from newegg few weeks ago? How about all the counterfeit CISCO gear? Fake viagra? That's where billions are lost and brands damaged, not someone downloading 10 year old Britney tunes.

Re:The question is who they're going after. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988754)

Who do you think they're setting this up for? They are entrenching themselves to address a very long list of new criminals. Honestly, when are American citizens going to start protecting themselves?

Playing devil's advocate for a second... (5, Insightful)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988200)

According to the article, these new squads are not just for tech-related IP issues, but also counterfeit medicine and electronics. FWIW, we do need someone to go after those making counterfeit medicine before it enters the US supply stream. Also according to the article, even the Department of Defense has had run-ins with fake electronics. That kind of thing could lead to serious consequences, and therefor must be taken seriously.

I wish that movies/music/software "sharing" was separated from movie/music/software counterfeiting and fake medicine and goods of course, but either way the American public needs to be protected from those threats.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988232)

According to the article

WHOOOAAAAAH, slow down, Buster, this is Slashdot. We don't read the article.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (-1, Flamebait)

Derosian (943622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988304)

The American public should also be protected from smoking, we should definitely ban smoking. Oh yes and drinking let us ban drinking to, we don't want the American public harming themselves. Oh and lets also protect the American public from weapons so lets just remove all the weapons... I just keep going on. Honestly the way I look at file sharing right now, is that the Government wants to enforce what the Corporations want and they are making enemies of the American People, which looking at things from a historical standpoint has caused major problems in the past. Doesn't anyone study history anymore.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (0, Troll)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988358)

Oh shut up. If you can't tell the difference between fraud and smoking, just shut the hell up and kill yourself.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988944)

Oh shut up. If you can't tell the difference between fraud and smoking, just shut the hell up and kill yourself.

Hmm, looks like retchdog is aching to face trial for inciting Derosian's suicide. I just made note, so that if retchdog ends up being like this fucking asshole from Minnesota, I have this thread logged to assist in his prosecution.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990114)

Yes but the fucking asshole from Minnesota is so damn funny.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990562)

I think the prosecution would have to prove that he actually doesn't know the difference between fraud and smoking.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31992628)

There can only be one.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (5, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988364)

It's blatantly obvious that you've only read history. You have never studied history. There's a big difference between, "This is bad for you! Ban vices!" and "Shit, these guys are fraudulently selling fake medication under a forged brand name. Now Grandma's heart meds are just sugar pills!" Or perhaps, "FUCK, this military equipment that needs to meet exacting standards has the brand name on it, but the part is a forgery! So that's why our radar system went down!"

If you can't tell the difference then you are well beyond hope. It's the difference between protecting people from themselves and protecting people from FRAUD, even potentially lethal fraud. Even if you're getting down to bootlegged CDs or Photoshop...did those bootleggers do ANYTHING to earn that money aside from running off phony copies? No, they didn't, so why are they entitled to make money from outright fraud? File sharing is generally a non-profit enterprise. Bootlegging is not. Nobody is making money by seeding that album. There's a big difference. Stop your kneejerking for two seconds and actually take a look at the issue.

Mod parent up (1, Informative)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988406)

Great response.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988666)

What about real estate agents (%6, very little of which they earn through hard work), or wall street analysts (they deserve millions/billions in bonuses for almost bringing down the financial system?). There are a LOT of people that earn a LOT Of money for very little work or even work of value.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988792)

But even if I agree with all your points that counterfeiting is bad and sharing is not, the LAW MAKES NO DISTINCTION.

87 people shipping a warehouse of sugar pills branded as Lipitor? GO TO JAIL. 1 kid sharing a song with a friend? GO TO JAIL.

So stuff your justification, because we know that the amount of random filesharer abuse will FAR EXCEED the number of counterfeiting operations shut down.

Re:You're confused (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989214)

Makes no distinction? This is a US-centric thread, so I'm using USC here. Counterfeiting, Trademark, Patents, and Copyright are all treated differently. In addition, there are separate rules for counterfeit Trademarks, counterfeit Coins (18 U.S.C. 485), counterfeit Dollars (18 U.S.C. 471), and counterfeit coins and dollars that are not exact copies but appear to be legit such as a $3 or $1000000000000 bill (18 U.S.C. 475 and 489). That's pretty specific, and the law does make very fine-grained distinctions.

that aside, I'd like to see any US law which says "1 kid sharing a song with a friend? GO TO JAIL". One court case would be acceptable, unless it was turned over on appeal. Lots of people copy stuff and sell it to people and get jail time, but "1 kid sharing a song with a friend" does not qualify. In fact, I'm not aware of any examples where "1 kid sharing a song with a friend" was ever prosecuted - it is sharing with numerous strangers which gets you noticed by MAFIAA lawsuits.

In short, I don't think you have the faintest idea what you're talking about. I'd love to read more.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31991424)

1 kid sharing a song with a friend? GO TO JAIL.

Get sued, I trust you really meant? Since it doesn't rise to the level of a criminal offense....

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

Derosian (943622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989558)

Honestly you are right, I don't study history I do read it. Now I have no problems with the increased fraud protection my major quarrel is with the current intellect property system that seems to do exactly the opposite of what it was intended to do. I mean promote creativity and inventiveness not the protection provided for the creator over his creation. It was a kneejerk reaction, but considering the post I was replying to it was relevant. Lots of horrible things have done in the name of protecting someone else.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989776)

The history you speak of is full of situations like this. What has happened time and time again is that the real criminals are very hard to catch and the enforcers will be under pressure to show results. That means the easy targets are the ones they go after - that means Joe Schmoe who downloaded a couple of MP3 files. This will be especially true in this unholy alliance between the media cartels and Federal law enforcement. Where do you think the Federal officers will get their tips and evidence from?

It's true that the benefits you describe may come from this - but if you think that's all this "tool" is going to be used for you need to go back to those history books again. When you see the RIAA stormtroopers kicking grandma's door in on TV then remember what you said here today; those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988612)

Hell in a lot of areas the air is bad for you.....Why not go all the way and ban breathing while you are at it.
 

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

u17 (1730558) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990150)

If a counterfeit chip is used in a piece of location reference equipment and then fails because it doesn't meet the original's rated specs, then this could lead to an accident if used, for example, on a boat. There is nobody who would seriously want to use counterfeit chips, but you might not even know you're using them, which is different from smoking, where you have all the information about the risk and make a conscious decision (or maybe not, if you're addicted).

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (5, Interesting)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988314)

While what you say is true, there's a tremendous difference between making counterfeit medicine (which could easily injure or kill someone), making a counterfeit watch (which is defrauding the customer by making them think it's something it's not), and sharing an MP3. Ultimately, the law is going to need to realize these distinctions. I think our tax money would be much better spent on bringing copyright and patent laws in line with the digital age, rather than trying to bring the digital age in line with copyright and patent law that was never designed with it in mind.

Hey, I can dream, can't I? But look at the fights the lawsuits caused. If Joe/Jane Average actually starts getting arrested for MP3 sharing, I think we'll see hell raised on a scale that'll make that look tame. It's just a shame that it would probably take that to get people to care.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (5, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988384)

I wish that movies/music/software "sharing" was separated from movie/music/software counterfeiting and fake medicine and goods of course, but either way the American public needs to be protected from those threats.

They used to be. It used to be that the entire point of a trademark is to make sure customers got what they ordered. And such things make sense and are -beneficial- to customers. Imagine the confusion if we had 5 different products known as the "Nintendo Wii" and a parent heard their kid wanting a Nintendo Wii so they go in and ask for a Nintendo Wii and they get http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/miwi_wii_knock_off.jpg [technabob.com] instead. With trademarks if it says Nintendo Wii it (should) be a Nintendo Wii.

Patents also used to be beneficial to the public. It used to be that guilds would control trade and monopolize the market effectively with "trade secrets" that would stay in the guild. Patents helped change this because the guild would disclose information while granted a temporary monopoly to use it (after all, someone who left one shop could have taken the trade secret to another and it would have been legal) and the public would get valuable information. Unfortunately, we've gone beyond that to theoretical, common-knowledge patents that prevent work-arounds. It used to be that if Joe Inc. had a patent on, say, a black and white CRT monitor, you could create a color CRT monitor and compete with Joe Inc. However, now, Joe Inc. would hold a patent on the ability to make CRT displays work, thus cutting out access to any work-arounds.

Copyright was also seen as a compromise, especially when it was sane. The author would be compensated for his work, the public wasn't offended (after all, no one was stopping hand-written copies, it was only if you owned a printing press that it mattered) and it gave the work to the public in a timely manner. However, ironically the company who depends the most on the public domain (Disney) has lobbied for effectively infinite copyright that harms the artist and the public.

Counterfeit goods should not be judged on IP issues (after all, if there was an iPhone clone that -really was- just like an iPhone no one is being harmed it simply increases competition for Apple) but rather for fraud. Quite honestly, I'd like to see a few of the Chinese knockoff phones and MP3 players appear in stores for disposable, feature-filled items.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (2, Interesting)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990166)

Patents also used to be beneficial to the public. It used to be that guilds would control trade and monopolize the market effectively with "trade secrets" that would stay in the guild. Patents helped change this because the guild would disclose information while granted a temporary monopoly to use it [...]

The technology for reverse engineering stuff has also moved on greatly since the Middle Ages. It's very hard to keep something a trade secret if you don't physically control it. Which means that as soon as you release a drug, software, or a technical gizmo, someone will start working on reverse engineering it. This is an argument against patents on these things because if they can be easily reverse engineered then there's no public benefit to granting a patent on it.

Rich.

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988462)

Yeah. Bugged hardware is probably taken quite seriously by the intelligence people. I don't have any insight into counter-espionage, but if the (presumably) greatest intelligence threat against my employer also happened to be the one manufacturing a lot of the worlds electronics...

Re:Playing devil's advocate for a second... (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988508)

Yes, this the kind of IP enforcement I can actually agree with.

The other kind, I can't. Filesharing is not fraud.

I also wish there were different names for the two things. This doesn't deserve the label 'piracy'. It does not deserve to be lobbied for by the pirate party.

Wow, this scene is a prediction (2, Interesting)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988258)

This 1 minute scene from the British comedy, The IT Crowd.

Relevantly, the assasin at the end is an FBI agent. FBI as copyright police [youtube.com]

I point of thought, he is on foreign soil enforcing US DMCA. As a side note the makers of this series have strong opinions in this area.

Re:Wow, this scene is a prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31990280)

FBI as copyright police [youtube.com]

"This video contains content from Fremantle International, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."

Publishing interests have wanted this for a while. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988268)

Back once upon a time, copyright infringement was a civil matter, not a criminal matter. Problem was (from the corporations' viewpoint), that meant they had to pay for lots of lawyers and lawsuits against individual file sharers. So they lobbied to make copyright infringement, at least in certain forms, into a criminal matter. That meant that the corporations were off the hook as far as paying for enforcement, now that burden would fall on the taxpayers. The Feds liked it too, as they now had another reason to legally spy on the populous, plus they could ask for bigger budgets to support all this spying and prosecution. As far as the corporations and government are concerned, criminalizing file sharing is a win/win. The only looser is the citizen.

Re:Publishing interests have wanted this for a whi (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 4 years ago | (#31991930)

The only looser is the citizen.

Once upon a time, we were Citizen. Citizens had rights. Now, we're mere consumers. Consumers think they have rights (but don't).

Re:Publishing interests have wanted this for a whi (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31992676)

Are you channeling Ayn Rand?
http://atlasshrugged.com/ [atlasshrugged.com]

Turn the DoJ into Big Media's lapdog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988288)

Yes we can!

From a historical perspective (0, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988290)

From a historical perspective, the illegal file-sharing crowd reminds me of the hacking crowd of the 80s and 90s. LOD, Control-C, Kevin Mitnick, and E911. By hackers I mean crackers, although they didn't view themselves that way.

They saw their actions as morally justified. They were seeking knowledge (of other people's systems, nevermind that they could have gotten more knowledge from a college degree). They weren't in it for the money. They hacked the 911 emergency system, and came up with justifications for why it was ok (basically, it was what they wanted to do). They had aspirations to change the political system in the US (but had no clue how power actually works in the world).

Slowly, as law is slow, the legal system caught up to them, and the police started going after them. Now the hackers of that style are gone, they've either become parts of criminal organizations or white/grey hat hackers. The closest thing we have these days is DEFCON, but even they make efforts to stay within the law.

It may end up the same with file-sharers. Eventually the law will catch up with what they are doing, chase them down, and make the potential cost of sharing too much higher than the cost of music/movies. That's clearly what these guys are trying to do.

Re:From a historical perspective (2, Insightful)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988370)

But unlike hacking, file sharing is mainstream; this is why it persists. I'm too young to have been a part of that scene, but from my digging I know that the "hackers" never went away; only the "open underground" disappeared. Discussing illegal computer breaching on open forums today is an unimaginable taboo, at least if you live in a western country.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988494)

But unlike hacking, file sharing is mainstream; this is why it persists

Sure, there are lots of differences. The question is which differences matter, which will make a difference. I don't think being mainstream is actually enough (and let's be honest, by 'mainstream' you mean lots of people do it, not that the majority of people do it).

Does being mainstream actually make a difference? Are there examples in history of cases where a behavior was mainstream, but then changed by legal/government action? If there are, then being mainstream can be nothing more than a contributing factor, it is not enough by itself to ensure the persistence of filesharing. These are the kinds of analyses you have to do if you want to figure out what will happen.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988664)

Sure. I don't say it's a decisive factor all by itself, but it's certainly a factor. We could be seeing the "mainstream" thing from two different angles; here in Sweden the newspaper polls show 50+ of questionees admitting to filesharing. An even nicer angle: most of these people are probably "adults" of voting age.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988778)

We could be seeing the "mainstream" thing from two different angles; here in Sweden the newspaper polls show 50+ of questionees admitting to filesharing.

Very good point, and Sweden is one of the countries with a pirate party, so things could play out differently there than in the US. Furthermore, I don't know much about Swedish recording industry, but I'd bet the music industry in the US is a bigger segment of the economy, thus in a country like Sweden it could even conceivably be seen as 'sticking it to the US' or something. I don't know if that kind of thing is popular among Swedes, though.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989076)

The "lumpenproletariat" and the working class is cursing loudly at any percieved incursion by the US; most of the middle and upper-middle professional-class people (at least those who lean towards the moderates/liberals) seems to have a more pro-globalization view of things, because it's in their interest; they want to be able to take their careers wherever they want. I think they also might want to distance themselves from the "lower" people. The country is going through a bit of political turmoil, from social democracy to a more liberal "lean" economy. I support this, because the old system was bloated and did not evolve, but I can feel the devil tugging at my heartstrings and bloodthirst dancing in the eyes of the more ambitious people around me. I don't want "Reaganism". The government has thus far kept itself from oversteering, but the balance feels a bit unstable.

Re:From a historical perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989906)

Are there examples in history of cases where a behavior was mainstream, but then changed by legal/government action? If there are, then being mainstream can be nothing more than a contributing factor, it is not enough by itself to ensure the persistence of filesharing.

Are you talking about alcohol prohibition and the modern drug war? If you are, then just come out and say it.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990442)

Not the best comparison. Try comparing copying to sex, not to hacking or cracking.

Since long before "thou shalt not commit adultery", people have tried to regulate sex. In the Middle Ages they even refused medical treatment to people afflicted with diseases that were "obviously" caused by certain moral weaknesses. I have a 1948 English dictionary that defines masturbation with just 2 words: self pollution. On every least sexual advance, such as the Pill and other contraceptives, gay marriage, porn, obscenity, you name it, some have prophesied doom over and over. Society will lose its moral compass. Young people won't appreciate the value of hard work, and will grow up to be irresponsible hedonists. First the family will collapse, then the nation. And what really happened? The only thing that was lost was the credibility of these doomsayers-- if they had any to start with. They've utterly failed to stop sex that they don't approve of, and if they hadn't been such fools, they would have known the futility of trying. They can't scare or shame people into not doing it, can't prevent it by force of law, can't make it impossible by any technological means, such as chastity belts. Even mass sterilization wouldn't stop sex, though it makes it biologically pointless. Their scare tactics have been exposed as lies, and in many cases particularly stupid lies. It's a magnet for fools, and a gigantic sink for credibility. All this about sex sounds awfully like file sharing does it not?

Sharing will persist. Sharing a few files is even easier to do and harder to detect than sex. Someday, sharing will be entirely legal, and understood to be a huge public good. Future students of history will just shake their heads in pity at how stupid we were, allowing these vested interests to regulate, forbid, and prevent sharing, and at the wealth and knowledge we never discovered by doing so. If there are such things, cures for cancer and AIDS and a host of other problems could well be delayed for years, thanks to intellectual property rights. The industry's claims about the damage caused by sharing is about like claiming that every baby someone else has means less food for them (which may or may not be true), and that world governments should go to the expense of enforcing the use of condoms with DRM. Today, anyone who suggested that volunteers for Planned Parenthood ought to be jailed for promoting immorality would be laughed at. We're not quite there yet with sharing.

A bit off... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988568)

It may end up the same with file-sharers. Eventually the law will catch up with what they are doing, chase them down, and make the potential cost of sharing too much higher than the cost of music/movies. That's clearly what these guys are trying to do.

It won't happen. Whereas in the '80s or '90s there were perhaps a few thousand hackers, in 2010 there are millions. Public perception is changing, the vast majority of teenagers see that there really isn't anything wrong with file-sharing. Governments get their power from the people, eventually, we will have to have more relaxed copyright laws. Perhaps not in 2010, perhaps not in 2015, but soon.

Computer literacy was much, much, lower in the '80s or '90s, it was really reasonable that someone didn't have a computer or internet/BBS access at their house. Today? Almost everyone has access to a computer and knows how to use it. File sharing is going to continue to grow as long as bandwidth speed continues to grow and media size doesn't increase too much before internet speed.

Hacking (cracking) also violated the basic rights of others in that it could cause damage, disrupt or destroy computer systems. While in the vast majority of cases it didn't, the media could easily control a fearful, computer-illiterate world of the 'dangers' of crackers. Today, artists are on the web, facts have been released, its cheaper than ever to get out a product. Its becoming more and more clear that P2P is -helping- artists, not harming them. Its becoming clearer and clearer that artists produce albums not to make millions off of them (they rarely do) but rather to promote live concerts, something that filesharing can never replicate. The 'traditional' media is failing and new media is taking over.

Its becoming more and more clear to the general person that if an artist is good at what they do, they can make a living one only needs to look at Homestar Runner to see that, or Xkcd, or any number of sites that survive on ad revenue/donations. The public is realizing this, the more this happens, the more laws will need to change.

So, no. Filesharing will not die out over time like cracking did. Its really hard to justify cracking (in most cases) while in most cases P2P helps the artist.

Re:A bit off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31992166)

Everything you say might be true, however until the baby boomers significantly start to die off, they and their forebears outnumber the younger tech-savvy generations. So I think you're looking at at least 30-40 years before the demographic pendulum changes enough for what you say to make a difference. Because as the baby boomers retire, they will become more and more vulnerable to the arguments of "OMG! Crime is everywhere!" law-and-order politicians who ignore decreasing crime statistics and prey on the fears of the physically weaker elderly.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988594)

Eventually the law will catch up with what they are doing, chase them down, and make the potential cost of sharing too much higher than the cost of music/movies. That's clearly what these guys are trying to do.

Or they could just, you know, change their fucking dead business model instead of spending all this money trying to screw with the laws, going against our social morals (sharing is good, selfishness/greed is bad), to try and make the cost of sharing worse than a criminal offense, ruining countless lives in the process.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989090)

At the end of the day, though, Mitnick-style hacking requires getting into someone else's computer: there's always going to be a pissed off business on the other end of your hacking.

With piracy, though, the only way to know that it has happened is by conducting surveillance on the people who are committing it. You can certainly make life less convenient for the high-profile piracy groups, but the idea of piracy going the way of black hat hacking is pretty ridiculous.

Honestly, I think we're really only one major leap in storage before music piracy starts to become trivial. Assuming MP3 v0's, the record industry is only producing about 80gb worth of music per year. Once you can get 1tb of data on an optical disk, we're talking about an entire decade's music on one CD. What are you going to do, install surveillance software on every computer in the country? Install cameras and look for CDs? Give me a break.

Regardless of what people would like, recorded music is not scarce anymore, and therefore does not have economic value. Sorry!

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

techhead79 (1517299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989182)

There is a huge difference there though. Do you honestly believe everyone's iPod is filled with legal music? When did you have the extra money to dump 45k into music for your ipod? The difference is the number of people involved and the difference is breaking vs fair use.

Re:From a historical perspective (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989428)

A matter of perspective indeed. There are more hackers (in the take-over-other-systems sense) today than there were in the 90s and they control more systems too. There's a story right now about getting private information out of the cellphone networks. There are millions of botnet drones which work harder for hackers than for their legitimate owners. People still hack, people still social-engineer. There are just fewer "stars" because hacking is so much more widespread and there's little left of the illusion that computers are all advanced technology which hardly ever fails. When we see news of another major hack, we shrug and move on. It's expected.

Re:From a historical perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31992448)

Also the fact that those in the scene learned that fame was, although tempting, exactly the opposite of what you want if you are a serious grey/black hat. Its all under the radar now for the most part, but the dark underbellies of the net still exist and are constantly growing. They are also constantly being infiltrated by law enforcement, which has driven them even further underground. GP doesn't know what hes talking about.

Re:From a historical perspective (1)

FredMenace (835698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990494)

Besides that file sharing is much more commonplace and mainstream than hacking or cracking, as already pointed out, it's also the case that copyright is a compact between society and content creators (really owners). And many people, particularly those most aware of the history of copyright, strongly feel that the current balance of law is improperly tilted toward content owners, at the expense of society as a whole.

Thus copyright infringement in many cases can be seen as a form of civil disobedience. (Sure, we could all cry to our Congresscritters, and many of us already have, to no apparent avail, but who are we kidding? You think they are going to listen to us, or the corporations that provide their slush funding?)

Among the ridiculous abuses: "Happy Birthday to You". The song was originally "written" when kindergarten teachers Patty and Mildred Hill added the words "Good Morning to All" to an existing popular (and unattributed) melody sung (and even published) since at least the 1850s with similar, but different, words ("Happy Greetings to All", "Good Night to You All", "A Happy New Year to All", etc.). This they published in 1893 (though this original copyright has long since expired). Later, some of their (needless-to-say uncredited) 5-6 year old students spontaneously began singing it with the words "Happy Birthday to You". The real ridiculousness begins in 1935, when a publisher hired someone to (re-)add the "Happy Birthday" words to the long-existing melody, and gained a copyright on the whole thing. A number of corporate acquisitions later, and today that copyright is owned by Warner Music, who shakes down restaurant chains et al for royalties on all performances, with the copyright not set to expire in the United States until 2030 (unless Congress extends copyright yet again, in which case it might never expire). That is probably close to 200 years after the melody was first sung, and perhaps 150 years since the words were added, and neither the predecessors of the current copyright owner nor the "authors" granted the original, expired, copyright had much of anything to do with creating either the melody or the lyrics in the first place.

Read the article but we know what it is about (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988336)

They went into great detail in the article discussing counterfeit goods of all sorts that threaten health and safety and then merged and drifted over to counterfeit computer software that threatens stability and privacy. (That's malware, not infringed copyrighted software... malware like Sony's rootkit) And of course it's really all about **AA interests in digital media mentioned in the article as "digital products." Accurately, they state that there is no government agency that is tracking copyright infringement or the extent of it.

The article goes to great lengths to fill the details with things other than "digital product" infringement... things that have been historically handled by these same people who tracked down and nailed groups who created and sold counterfeit Cisco network equipment. This stuff has been dealt with and managed without adding 35 new positions. So clearly these new positions are intended to deal with a newer agenda rather than an older one.

I would like for the article to be true in the sense that I would love to see a crack down on sales of counterfeit medicines and other physical goods. Sadly, I don't think this is going to be the case. The spam and scam will continue as it always has while the real crackdown will be felt by individuals at home engaged in file sharing.

Re:Read the article but we know what it is about (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988432)

TThis stuff has been dealt with and managed without adding 35 new positions. So clearly these new positions are intended to deal with a newer agenda rather than an older one.

Or it could be that instances of counterfeit have shot up recently and the existing staff is not able to stay on top of it. I don't know how you can "clearly" draw that conclusion from the evidence.

China messing with DNS again? (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988346)

Anyone else getting redirects to http://frodocomeon.net/ [frodocomeon.net] since this morning?
(such as http://frodocomeon.net/in.cgi?12 [frodocomeon.net] which loads a fake virus-scanning page, Windows XP style)

P.S. to moderators: yes this is off-topic but please don't mod down so people can see the post and reply.

Why don't they add 35 job where they're needed? (1)

wizkid (13692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988464)

Such as in the SEC so they can have some people that actually police industry, instead of watching porn all day???

Your government in action!

One more war... (4, Insightful)

CondeZer0 (158969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988466)

The War on File Sharing is the new War on Drugs.

The approach being taken is quite similar: manipulated and fabricated studies and evidence, draconian international treaties to make sure no country is allowed to implement sane policies, suspension of basic civil liberties in the name of the war, etc.

Because jails are not full enough with non-violent 'criminals' already, maybe the US is trying to raise the incarceration rate to over 90%?

Re:One more war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988858)

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against—then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers—and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.

Thank you Ayn Rand.

Re:One more war... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989448)

The War on File Sharing is the new War on Drugs.

If we can get rid of the old War on [some] Drugs, it's a fantastic trade. All I have to do is give up big media? Sold!

Re:One more war... (1)

CondeZer0 (158969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31992074)

> If we can get rid of the old War on [some] Drugs, it's a fantastic trade. All I have to do is give up big media? Sold!

Nah, no way they will get rid of any ongoing Wars, that could mean that 1) they were wrong in fighting it 2) all the special interests (including the criminal gangs that get a monopoly in the drug trade) wouldn't like it.

So instead we just add new Wars on top of the old ones, just look at Afghanistan and Iraq!

Re:One more war... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990272)

For every generation, the government has created a criminal class by making illegal something nearly universally done (e.g. smoking marijuana, downloading files, drinking alcohol, and so on). This makes it much easier to round up and jail the commoners should they get a bit too uppity and start questioning why a bunch of seeming twits are making millions or billions whilst other rather well educated and more deserving folks are running out of their unemployment and applying for jobs at Wal-Mart.

Let the governmant pay the bill for enforcement. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31988614)

Nice job buy the media lobbyists. Get you and I to pay for the enforcement of their civil cases. IP issues are still a civil matter correct? Who is getting the fine money?

When my actual physical property is stolen, I am stuck with the very limited resources of the local overworked police force that pretty much does nothing but file a report for me to give to my insurance company. Even if they catch the perp, it is still a civil matter for me to get the value of my lost goods back. The media companies gets entire teams of federal officials at my expense to track down when their property is "stolen".

Re:Let the governmant pay the bill for enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31992146)

A person breaks into your car and steals 10 CD's from your sun visor CD holder. You get nothing and will never get them back and maybe you will be lucky to get an officer to even file a report for that. On the flip side, downloading 10 CD's worth of songs from P2P can get your door busted down in a raid, about $500K USD in fines plus tens of thousands in court costs, your computer equipment confiscated for years as evidence, and possibly loss of your only internet connection. All of this from the media companies that are using very questionable methods of "proof" of your downloading.

Wow, our government has gone in the wrong direction. You get quite a few orders of magnitude less punishment and risk from unlawful entry and physically stealing property from another person than you do by making a copy of that same persons intellectual property. In reality, you are violating the copyright owners rights to control the distribution, you are not stealing anything from them. Thank the lobbyists.

Even SparkFun was hit by scammers (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31988618)

Some company in China sold ATmega328 slugs to SparkFun.

A thoughtcrime (1)

CxDoo (918501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989698)

"Intellectual property crime", "IP offence"... George Orwell should rise from the grave and sue for "IP theft".

So much for 'net neutrality' (1, Troll)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989798)

You probably bought into the propaganda for this guy...sorry! You probably thought this government was to be, as his campaign touted "Open and Honest", but clearly neither is true. I can't find a single promise kept.

What he/they WANT is to have the tiniest hint of legitimacy in dealing with the net, so they can tax and censor it. Scaling up on IP means being on the net to show a "Demon" to fight, just like AIG, just like Goldman, so they can do whatever it takes to control that part of our lives, too.

You guys 'bomb' me all the time for being a troll...this is a very liberal enclave. But this man and his comrades in the congress are taking it all away from us. I've known the nature of this 'new America' for almost two years.

Don't be fooled...again...that this government is doing anything for openness nor fairness. It's all about control.

Not opinion: just look at the news stories. Look at the 150 banks put out of business, the health insurance companies about to fold, and the nationalization of industries.

It just might be that we're not permitted on the net, come November. He'll need every vote he can beg, borrow, steal, or fraud to stay in power.

Now: MARK ME AS A TROLL FOR WARNING YOU.

Re:So much for 'net neutrality' (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31991970)

You probably bought into the propaganda for this guy...sorry! You probably thought this government was to be, as his campaign touted "Open and Honest", but clearly neither is true. I can't find a single promise kept.

Try Here:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/ [politifact.com]

It's not a very good record, but it could be much worse. The problem is that he didn't keep lots of very important promisses. (A simple count doesn't tell you the whole story.) And lots of the ones he did keep are saved by keeping exactly what he said rather than what people interpreted him as meaning.

Well, he's better than Bush. Praise doesn't come much fainter, but I guess it's still praise.

OTOH, anyone who noticed that he voted for FISA and still believed his campaign promises is really beyond help.

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