thewayne: (Default)
Now it's the War on Downloads and any other type of IP infringing. I really like the last two paragraphs:

"While we applaud the idea of installing keyloggers on friends’ computers to see if they are undermining the country’s economic recovery, asking America to be on the lookout for terrorists and intellectual-property infringers at the same time could be confusing.

Say, for instance, you spot an unattended, and possibly counterfeit Gucci bag in an airport? Who do you call first: The Transportation Security Administration or the Justice Department?"

It really ticks me off that the ??AA have such a stranglehold on this administration, but Money Talks and it's getting heard loud and clear.
thewayne: (Default)
Very interesting stuff. This guy, John Barlow, is not only a co-founder of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, he was also a lyricist for the Grateful Dead. He had some very interesting takes on what the other people on the panel were saying because, unlike them, he personally produced creative entertainment.
thewayne: (Default)
The act would have given the governmentMPAA/RIAA power to order American ISPs to block DNS resolution of sites that are infringing content, mainly torrent trackers and download sites. Currently the government has the power to order the Department of Homeland Security to seize the domain names of sites that offend the governmentMPAA/RIAA, which is a tremendously effective tactic as it only works against specific domain types that the US controls, and no one would think of re-registering their domain under a foreign country that is not the US. Not to mention the impossibility of using Firefox add-ins that automatically reroute DNS resolution to alternates.

Definitely a Homeland Security issue. Only terrorists download copyrighted content.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) placed a hold on the Protect IP Act that will keep it from landing on the Senate floor.

“The internet represents the shipping lane of the 21st century,” Wyden said in a statement. “It is increasingly in America’s economic interest to ensure that the internet is a viable means for American innovation, commerce, and the advancement of our ideals that empower people all around the world. By ceding control of the internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives,” he said.

This is the whole problem that the MPAA/RIAA have: they're making very little effort to adjust to the internet and new technology. They want to maintain an absolute lockdown on their old business models.

Well, as Dylan said, the times they are a' changin'. If I lived in Oregon, Wyden would definitely get my vote.
thewayne: (Default)
Basically, they've bought extreme access to some lawmakers to get a bill introduced saying that there are illegal disc pressing plants (where music CD's and movie DVD's are made) that are churning out a Sagan or two of illegal pirated material and costing Hollywood a Sagan or three, and this law will allow law enforcement to raid pressing plants without a warrant and they can seize equipment.

I freely admit that piracy is a problem. But I think the ??AA are blowing their problems with piracy totally out of the water. How can Hollywood consistently post record movie box office receipts if they're losing a brazillian dollars to pirates? It don't compute. But this is entirely overboard: if they suspect a plant is illegally pressing discs, then they should report it to law enforcement who can perform surveillance to establish the facts, they can then get a search warrant and raid the place if the evidence merits it. Conducting a raid without a warrant is beyond the pale and I doubt there's any way that such a law would survive challenge.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court rules 8-1 that in a case where police kicked in a door, without a warrant, and caught the people in the apartment with drugs, that it was not an illegal search.

thewayne: (Default)
I can't say it any better than the Wired article puts it:

The Department of Homeland Security has requested that Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, remove an add-on that allows web surfers to access websites whose domain names were seized by the government for copyright infringement, Mozilla’s lawyer said Thursday.

But Mozilla did not remove the MafiaaFire add-on, and instead has demanded the government explain why it should. Two weeks have passed, and the government has not responded to Mozilla’s questions, including whether the government considers the add-on unlawful and whether Mozilla is “legally obligated” to remove it. The DHS has also not provided the organization with a court order requiring its removal, the lawyer said.

The add-on in question redirects traffic from seized domains to other domains outside the United States’ reach. Since last year, the U.S. government has seized at least 120 domains in an antipiracy assault known as “Operation in Our Sites.” The domains are taken under the same federal statute used to seize drug houses.

If the government doesn't want me to have something, then I want it all the more. DownloadCount++, it's up to over 8000.

A government by the media, for the media, and of the media.

AND there's already been a fork of the MafiaaFire addin called Fireice:

Cory Doctrow wrote about DHS's Operation in Our Sites:
thewayne: (Default)
It's been an interesting few days. First, the full text of the working ACTA treaty is to be released on the 21st. All of the countries attending the conference in New Zealand were in favor of its release, saying that earlier release was premature. It has been leaked massively and those unofficial copies were not at all friendly to personal digital rights. Allegedly the forthcoming release will not include border searches of electronic equipment and USB flash drives, we'll see what it contains soon enough.;txt

There's always fun in ??AA land! The entertainment industry submitted a wish list in response to "Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's request for comments on the forthcoming "Joint Strategic Plan" for intellectual property enforcement." Included in the list:

"Anti-infringement" software for home computers
Pervasive copyright filtering
Intimidate and propagandize travelers at the border
Bully countries that have tech-friendly policies (such as Canada, the vile den of sinners!)
Federal agents working on Hollywood's clock

Yes, they want armed Federal DOJ and DHS officers protecting Independence Day 2. (you might need to scroll down a bit to get to the article text, it displays a lot of white space on my Mac in the latest Firefox),news-6496.html
thewayne: (Default)
"'After spending a year studying how piracy and illegal counterfeiting affects the United States, the Government Accountability Office says it still doesn't know for sure.... The GAO said that most of the published information, anecdotal evidence, and records show that piracy is a drag on the US economy, tax revenue, and in some cases potentially threatens national security and public health. But the problem is, according to the GAO, the data used to quantify piracy isn't reliable.'"

Wait, so Hollywood IS LYING TO US? NOOOOOOOO! [/sarcasm]
thewayne: (Default)
A treaty is being circulated, in secret, that could have some pretty amazing ramifications. Among them: all P2P would be illegal, including trading works that are legally available, and region-free DVD would also go bye-bye.

The beauty of this is that it's being done through secret negotiations, not publicly in Congress or the UN. And major backers? Hollywood: music industry, movie industry, attorneys.

From Cory Doctrow's site: "Wikileaks has the full text of a memo concerning the dread Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a draft treaty that does away with those pesky public trade-negotiations at the United Nations (with participation from citizens' groups and public interest groups) in favor of secret, closed-door meetings where entertainment industry giants get to give marching orders to governments in private.

It's some pretty crazy reading -- among other things, ACTA will outlaw P2P (even when used to share works that are legally available, like my books), and crack down on things like region-free DVD players. All of this is taking place out of the public eye, presumably with the intention of presenting it as a fait accompli just as the ink is drying on the treaty.

Such fun! We've always had the best government that money can buy, it's just inspiring to see it actually at work.

Wikileaks is definitely a good thing.
thewayne: (Default)
Gotta love these people. The RIAA is sending out subpoenas to people alleging illegal file sharing based on IP address. The problem is, and anyone with a moderately advanced knowledge of computer networking can tell you, that IP addresses can (a) be forged and (b) are not normally constant. There is a fixed number of available IP addresses (you may have heard the stories that we're going to run out of IP addresses in the not distant future, but that's another story) and the address of your computer might change several times a day (via DHCP).

Music industry business model aside, this is a lousy way to sue people.

Here's a quote from the article:

"In two separate studies in August of 2007 and May of this year, the researchers set out to examine who was participating in BitTorrent file-sharing networks and what they were sharing. The researchers introduced software agents into these networks to monitor their traffic. Even though those software agents did not download any files, the researchers say they received over 400 take-down requests accusing them of participating in the downloads.

The researchers concluded that enforcement agencies are looking only at I.P. addresses of participants on these peer-to-peer networks, and not what files are actually downloaded or uploaded—a more resource-intensive process that would nevertheless yield more conclusive information.

In their report, the researchers also demonstrate a way to manipulate I.P. addresses so that another user appears responsible for the file-sharing.

An inanimate object could also get the blame. The researchers rigged the software agents to implicate three laserjet printers, which were then accused in takedown letters by the M.P.A.A. of downloading copies of “Iron Man” and the latest Indiana Jones film.

“Because current enforcement techniques are weak, it is possible that anyone, regardless of sharing content or using BitTorrent, could get a D.M.C.A. takedown notice claiming they were committing copyright infringement,” said Mr. Piatek."

I love it! "Uhh, the lab printer was downloading Metallica and we have to revoke its network privileges."
thewayne: (Default)
The MPAA posted a toolkit for schools to "audit" (spy on) people sharing files. The problem is, they built it using components developed by someone else who had released said components under the GPL. And the MPAA did not follow the rules of the GPL, I believe the specific violation was making any use of said code public for others to grow/benefit from. The author went on to try and contact them, but the MPAA never responded (big surprise there). So finally he sent take down notices to the MPAA's ISP that was hosting the tool kit, and they took it down!

thewayne: (Default)
With the supposed installation of automatic detection equipment in theatres that will detect a camera in use, I think someone needs to come out with a line of baseball caps and lapel jewelry that consists of a CCD chip behind glass.

Who would be interested in a cell phone video of The Simpsons? The quality is so crappy as to be totally unwatchable. Hollywood just can't get it through their heads that the quality pirated copies are coming from leaked screeners and from loose security in DVD pressing plants. There are lots of places in the chain for copies to leak, instead they're wasting time and law enforcement resources on a girl who taped 20 seconds of Transformers to show her little brother.


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