US Copyright Official Pretends That Concerns About ACTA Are Unfounded; Mocks Legitimate Concerns

from the nothing-to-see-here dept

Michael Geist points us to a report covering a recent panel discussion at the Future of Music Coalition policy day, about ACTA. You can see the video of the whole panel discussion here:
The session kicks off with U.S. Copyright Office official Steven Tepp defending ACTA, by saying right from the outset, "Quite candidly, we're in the midst of a worldwide epidemic of copyright piracy." What kind of epidemic? Well, he uses that old line about how organized crime groups and terrorists are being funded by copyright infringement -- a claim that the industry keeps making, but which makes little sense. Even if it were true that some crime operations are selling bootleg DVDs and such, aren't they under the same, if not more, pressure from unauthorized internet file sharing?

But, even more to the point, tossing out the "organized crime" and "terrorists" claim (never with any actual evidence, of course) is a pure moral panic. If organized crime groups and terrorists are a problem, go after them for their organized crime and terrorism efforts. Don't claim that we need to put in place restrictive copyright laws that impact everyone just because law enforcement is unable to stop these organized crime groups. And it's worth pointing out while Tepp claimed this is all about organized criminals and terrorists... pretty much all of his comments following that had nothing whatsoever to do with either, but were more directed towards file sharing.

Tepp's next point is to back this up by quoting the widely laughed at (even by Tepp's own bosses) USTR Special 301 report, which has no actual methodology, other than to repeat whatever complaints are made by the entertainment industry and the pharma industry, without any effort to back that up with facts or data. That's not evidence. That's just US companies begging the government for protectionist policies against competitors. Amusingly, Tepp won't even name the countries he's talking about, so that people can point out the mistakes or problems in the USTR's report. He refers to "one Latin American country" or "one Western European country," by which he means Spain, but never says that -- perhaps because the USTR's report on Spain is misleading and not accurate. For example, he claims that in Spain (er this "Western European country") "internet piracy is no longer prosecuted and that government seems to be moving in a number of wrong directions with regards to online enforcement."

That's insulting to the Spanish and blatantly incorrect. Spanish copyright law has recognized that private, non-commercial file sharing is not the same thing as commercial counterfeiting. It's really quite misleading and disingenuous for Tepp to kick off this talk by saying he's not talking about internet downloading but about organized crime and terrorists... and then just a couple sentences later, complain about Spain not punishing kids for downloading some songs for their iPods. Furthermore, the big complaint about Spain is that it properly recognizes that a search engine or a tool should not be blamed for the actions of users. The US used to believe that too. But does Tepp explain any of this? Nope. He makes it out like the Spanish gov't is supporting terrorists. This is blatantly untrue and misleading. And, honestly, claiming that Spain's decision to create copyright laws that make sense is the country going in "the wrong direction"? That's insulting.

However, it does show how the whole ACTA debate is being distorted by the industry. They'll claim over and over again that it's about stopping organized crime and terrorists, but then immediately assume that people doing file sharing online should get lumped in with those people.

From there he goes on to pull out the usual bogus (and legally false) claim that these actions "rob" the United States. Uh, what? If the US is being robbed, charge the perpetrators with theft, and move on. A government official should not be making such legally incorrect statements to support a policy. This is not about anyone being robbed. This is about countries that have made reasonable determinations on how copyright law should be applied. And many folks have figured out how to work successfully within those legal regimes. That a few US companies don't want to adjust shouldn't lead the US gov't to forcing other governments to change their laws.

And then, the kicker. Like Ron Kirk recently claimed, Tepp says that now that the ACTA document has been released, it's proved all the "wild internet rumors" to be "false." Um. Except that's not true. The details showed that there are massive problems with ACTA, in that it only exports the restrictions with none of the exceptions. While it is true, technically, that it is "consistent with US law," today, that ignores the fact that US law is constantly changing, and ACTA would lock in aspects of the law, without allowing Congress to make important and necessary changes for fear of "not living up to our international obligations." Fixing problems with current case law (not statutory law) on what constitutes "contributory" infringement? ACTA limits that. That's a huge problem that many people pointed out in those "wild internet rumors" and it was proved 100% true.

Later on Tepp makes even more bizarre claims (amusingly, right after he slips up and calls it a "treaty" despite all the efforts of US negotiators to make sure they never called it a treaty). He says that ACTA has no intention of changing whatever balance each individual country makes in terms of copyright sanctions or exceptions. He specifically says:
"ACTA very clearly, from day one, has never been about changing the balance of copyright law. It doesn't talk about rights. It doesn't talk about exceptions... ACTA's just saying, whatever the infringement provisions and exceptions you have in your law, are up to you (consistent with all those other treaties we've all negotiated and agreed to), and you should have some minimum type enforcement actions available so that the remedies for violating those rights... have some meaning... So to say that ACTA is exporting without exceptions is to ignore that it's also exporting without rights. It's not talking about rights or exceptions."
That's blatantly untrue. The provisions on secondary liability do exactly that -- increase restrictions, without corresponding exceptions. And if it's not changing what any country does, then what's the point of the document in the first place? To say that it's just setting a "minimum type [of] enforcement" is to say that it's requiring specific copyright sanctions, which was exactly the complaint. Furthermore, the idea that this is needed to make sure enforcement "has some meaning" is again incredibly insulting to the decisions on copyright law that those other countries have made -- such as Spain's decision that personal, non-commercial copying should not be treated like for-profit, commercial copying.

Tepp is playing sneaky word games. When people complained about how ACTA exports enforcement provisions without the exceptions, Tepp focuses on the fact it doesn't export rights, but ignores the enforcement provisions -- which is what people were concerned about in the first place!

Anyway, he goes on to try to address the secondary liability claim, first by mocking the example that was brought up earlier of the Google execs found guilty of criminal privacy violations:
In terms of secondary liability issue, this is another red herring. The Google case in Italy, that happened entirely without ACTA. How is that possible? How could something bad happen without ACTA?
Once again, blatantly misleading. The example of the Google execs was used to show how secondary liability could create harm for American companies, by highlighting troubling secondary liability rulings in a different realm -- in this case privacy law. It wasn't saying that it was directly an example of what would happen with ACTA, but highlighting how secondary liability, as a concept, can lead to bad results. Tepp either feigned ignorance or was actually ignorant of the fact that this example was just showing secondary liability problems in privacy law, to suggest how those problems might also show up in copyright law. Mocking such a serious problem with secondary liability does not inspire confidence that Tepp or the US Copyright Office has even thought through the consequences of secondary liability.

That's scary.

Tepp continues:
ACTA doesn't mandate every jot and till of secondary liability. It sets forth the basic approach to it in the US and proposes that as standards to follow elsewhere. Could countries go beyond that? Sure. Have countries already gone beyond that already? Sure. Does ACTA require it? No... This is something ACTA does not require...
Um. What? Section 2.18.3 of ACTA, as it stands, appears to require third party liability (i.e., "secondary liability") and the related footnote to that section defines it pretty clearly:
For greater certainty, the Parties understand that third party liability means liability for any person who authorizes for a direct financial benefit, induces through or by conduct directed to promoting infringement, or knowingly and materially aids any act of copyright or related rights infringement by another.
Once again, Tepp is being misleading. He's pointing out that ACTA sets the floor for secondary liability based on what's in the US, but totally ignores the fact that secondary liability for copyright in the US is a highly dynamic area. It's not in the statute anywhere -- a law that tried to put it there did not pass -- and really was only defined by the Supreme Court just a few years ago in a manner that many people find problematic. If ACTA sets that as the floor, then it limits the US from being able to fix the problems with the Supreme Court's definition. At the same time, note that Tepp only talks about going "beyond" what's in the US today. He doesn't seem to realize that many countries find the US's view of secondary liability as already having gone way too far.

He's right that countries can already go further, and some do, on their own, but that does not minimize the fact that encouraging greater secondary liability will likely come back to haunt many US companies.

Thankfully, Michael Petricone from the Consumer Electronics Association responded to Tepp's statements by making many of the same points I'm making. Later he highlights many of the other problems with ACTA, including the lack of Congressional oversight, and the failure to involve stakeholders and the public (Tepp, amazingly, says that the process has been open to anyone who wanted in). A great moment, about halfway through, is when Petricone challenges Tepp, by saying that if he's right that "there's no 'there' there," then "why the secrecy?" Tepp's response? Basically "that's not my department."

A few other points:
  • Richard Bengloff, from A2IM (representing independent labels), admits that they decided to support ACTA despite not having seen it. He says that someone from the RIAA "briefed him" on the background and that was enough for them to support it wholeheartedly. That's scary. Considering that the specific language choices are really important for the kind of impact ACTA will have, to say that an entire organization was in full support of the document, without even knowing what it really said, is stunning and a huge question market for A2IM. Why would you trust an organization that blindly accepts an important document it hasn't seen?
  • Later on Bengloff makes this hilarious statement: "We're going to support anything of any type that stops this crime." And, of course, he emphasizes the word crime. Like Tepp before him, he is deliberately mixing certain criminal activities and civil infringement for personal use as if they are the same thing. And, he's being woefully uninformed if he thinks that ACTA will actually do anything to actually stop file sharing. He's doing the labels he represents a great disservice.
  • Petricone does an excellent job responding to Bengloff on this point, noting that it's ridiculous to say you'll support "any" action designed to stop file sharing, when you don't look at the wider consequences of those actions -- including on other industries and the public at large.
  • Petricone also highlights how the entertainment industry has been blurring issues by lumping copyright in with counterfeiting, saying that if the agreement focused on actual counterfeiting, there wouldn't be so many complaints about the proposed agreement.
  • Malini Aisola, from KEI, reminds everyone how silly it was that the USTR wouldn't share the documents earlier, despite FOIA requests, claiming that keeping the documents secret was a matter of national security (a position that still has never been explained).
  • Tepp is incredibly condescending to Aisola, when she expresses concerns about some of the language in the text and how it will impact seizure of legal generic drugs. He reads off a press release from ACTA negotiators that says ACTA won't impact that issue. As if the press release of what ACTA negotiators say the agreement will do has any impact on what the agreement actually says. Aisola has a list of text KEI would like included in the document, as a "consumer Bill of Rights" to ensure that what's in the press release is true, and Tepp shoots her down by saying that such agreements don't usually contain that kind of text. He says we should only discuss what's directly in ACTA, and if it violates those principles -- again, dismissing the idea that exceptions are important to making sure enforcement is not overly draconian.
  • A final point from Bengloff, equally as jaw dropping as his earlier comments: "If we don't stop piracy, we won't be in the music business because there will be no more creation." Yes, that's why more music is being created today than ever before, and there are more people making money from music than ever before. This argument that without strong copyright law there will be no more creation is beyond laughable. Lots of folks have figured out business models that work without involving copyright law. Pretending those models don't exist is blatantly ridiculous. You would think that, as an industry association for independent labels, A2IM would be on the forefront of encouraging these better business models, but instead they're sucking up to the RIAA demanding protectionism for the same copyright laws that have allowed the major labels to be the gatekeepers in the market, at the expense of indie labels.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    "Even if it were true that some crime operations are selling bootleg DVDs and such, aren't they under the same, if not more, pressure from unauthorized internet file sharing? " - in countries where the internet is not readily available or only available in internet cafes, file sharing is much more difficult because you cannot leave your torrent thing running for a couple of weeks to get a download. in many of those places, the market for bootleg videos and music is very strong.

    it is also very strong in many places because the price for the bootleg disc is often cheap enough to compete with a free download that might take hours or days to accomplish.

    you need to get out of socal and go see the world mike. you might get a better understanding of how the world works, not just your well manicured neighborhood.

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

    Grand Secondary Liability:

    Someday:
    Lawyer: "Your honor, my client is suing the US Government, as it instituted a patent system which allowed a company to patent, sell, and profit from their invention. The SAME invention which was involved in my clients horrible, life-altering injury. We intend to prove that--were in not for this "Patent" system--my client would be uninjured today. Obviously, this is the fault of the US Government. We're demanding a $630,000,000,000.00 settlement."

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Grand Secondary Liability:

    the judge would just answer the obvious. mike masnick says that patents have slowed progress. thus, the government saved your clients from maybe suffering 20 years earlier. as a reuslt, he now owes the government 20 billion dollars for having been able to lead a good life.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    Don't be silly, it's impossible to compete with free! Right, TAM?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Independent Joke

    Richard Bengloff, from A2IM (representing independent labels), admits that they decided to support ACTA despite not having seen it. He says that someone from the RIAA "briefed him" on the background and that was enough for them to support it wholeheartedly.

    Huh? So A2IM actually takes their marching orders from the RIAA? They're not really very "independent" then, are they?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Grand Secondary Liability:

    he now owes the government 20 billion dollars for having been able to lead a good life.

    Life would be much better without patents and the scum like TAM that they breed.

     

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  7.  
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    jjmsan (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Grand Secondary Liability:

    or maybe despite what and earlier AC said the judge will be Mike Masnick.

     

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  8.  
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    jjmsan (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    Prohibition

    If they want to cut off organized crimes cash cow making movies easier to get and cheaper would do it. How much is organized crime involved in bootleg liquor these days.

     

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  9.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Prohibition

    Why, in certain countries--none at all, because it's legal!

    Hey, are you saying you've come up with a simply solution for denying terrorist/organized crime all sources of income? You must be some sort of genius!!
    ; P

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:18pm

    Re:

    I think Mike is in norcal, not socal...

     

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  11.  
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    UhHuh, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:18pm

    Too long to read.

     

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  12.  
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    NAMELESS ONE, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    but but but its about counterfeiting said TAM

    he then went off at the mouth whining how we all need to wait and when we see it it will have nothing to do with copyright and we all were crazy people
    BUT BUT
    YOU LOSE PWNED
    and its finished we cant lose too many people have downloaded too much everywhere that even if you stop people publically it will go on off the net and on and on in trade.

    if your thinking of the children then make the catholic church liable for all the kids they raped and molested.
    IF your thinking of the children INVADE Taiwan AND STOP the FOR PROFIT STOMPING DVDR machines
    IF your thinking of the children then OUT LAW the SALE of GUNS AND STOP teaching kids how to play solider

     

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  13.  
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    NAMELESS ONE, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    no more creation

    A final point from Bengloff, equally as jaw dropping as his earlier comments: "If we don't stop piracy, we won't be in the music business because there will be no more creation."

    ya like no one ever made music without copyright
    WHAT A DAMN FOOL

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    Says the guy commenting on the internet!

     

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  15.  
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    ANTI TAM, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    HI FOOL ITS CAPS R US

    R U ENJOYING TODAY
    AND IM A GO "ROB THE USA" OF SOME 30 YR OLD TV
    COME GET ME
    THEN ILL PUT IT ON LEVIED MEDIA
    AND SHARE WITH THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD OFFLINE

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    IF your thinking of the children then expose TAM. HES a GAY homosexual rapist faggit whose a catholic priest and is atm busy banging 10 year olds

     

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  17.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Re:

    Thanks for contributing nothing to the conversation.

     

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  18.  
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    TenPhil, May 27th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    Steven Tepp

    Does he seem like he was ill prepared? It accuses everbody else on the panel of not having read the text properly and not having substantive proposals, after only a month, on a text that's been worked on for 3 years. He is quite condescening and defensive, which seem to signal that he feels like he's loosing the argument.
    Lets hope that's true in the end.

     

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  19.  
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    Richard (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

    "noting that it's ridiculous to say you'll support "any" action designed to stop file sharing"

    Quite true. Mr Bengloff will have quite the egg on his face if some totalitarian state decides to go out and execute "file sharers"* in their homes and someone points out he said he would support anything.

    * "file sharers" in this country are defined as anyone who transfers a file across the internet, which would be everyone or anyone the government decides to enforce this against.

     

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  20.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 4:47pm

    Piracy as a business model.

    First, there are 2 types of piracy.
    1. is to make profit due to
    -Limited distribution, limited in 1 of 6 region codes/distribution areas around the world. And limited even MORE as area 1 is USA, and CANADA isnt always included.
    -High cost of original
    -Limited availability, understocked, OVER stock in other locations.

    2. is for SELF. same reasoning, but NOT for profit.

    IF' you consider what has to be done to COPY, remove/replace DRM, setup to manufacture a CD/DVD/BR for MILLIONS of copies.
    THEN trying to make a profit, and under cutting the ORiginal PRICE.. It takes a bunch of money to setup and distribute a product.
    So, what makes it WORTH pirating ANYTHING?
    The PRICE of the original is Listed above in #1.
    You have to consider that in #1, the WHOLE POINT is to make a profit. So, the IDEAL of the company, SUPPLY and demand are essential. And if the CORP cant get a product to the DEMAND are they really doing THEIR JOB?

    IF a pirate can do the JOB cheaper, and has the DEMAND for a product that the CORP isnt supplying..is it a BAD THING?
    The CORP should HIRE the Pirate or LOWER PRICES and make MORE available WHERE ITS WANTED.

    Lets look at HULU.
    Think of the information Gathering that COULD be done, IF' you let HULU be seen Across the WORLD instead of USA ONLY.
    They could figure out WHICH regions are watching certain types of shows and MARKET those shows.
    Instead of MAKING your OWN distribution system, HIRE IT OUT. There are Pirates that PROBABLY would love to be the MAIN distributor and give a BETTER profit margin then THEIR OWN services.
    ONLINE? GREAT. how many persons would sign up at $20 per month to get DIRECT DOWNLOAD and distribution of movies, AS SOON as it was released?

     

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  21.  
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    Undisclosed Wimp, May 27th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    Re:

    You take a week to download your torrents? What a wimp!

    I downloaded the whole set of Debian DVDs in an afternoon.





    Oh, and, like someone already mentioned, you just tangled yourself up by basically admitting that it is possible to compete with free downloads. "Piracy" is not destroying the industry. It's the industry that has failed to adapt.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Grand Secondary Liability:

    The client: Progress

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

    ACTA supporting funding for terrorists?

    Sounds like Steven Tepp was arguing that ACTA should be supported as it protects terrorist funding sources....

    Of course, the logical thing to do would be to encourage free file sharing as it undermines and destroys both criminal gangs and terrorist financing.

    Brilliant! Ban ACTA - it supports terrorists and criminals.

     

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  24.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Anon

    Let me see..
    FREE and wait on a DL for HOURS, DAYS...
    Buy it for $5 and have a permanent copy that can play on DVD player as well, as the computer?

    I think I would pay the $5.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    ACTA stands for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement so why is everybody talking about copyright infringement? How is counterfeiting like copyright infringement? Do they think we're stupid?

     

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  26.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

    I wonder

    If you have ever read the BIG BLUE screen at the beginning of movies about COPYING the Video?
    NO ONE has a right to copy/burn/replicate a movie without written permission.

    But you as an individual HAVE a personal right to make 1 copy for personal use, only.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re:

    "You take a week to download your torrents? What a wimp!" - not me. my very high speed connection can download very quickly indeed. my comment was in reference to places that do not have great internet, third world, whatever, and countries where the majority of people are using shared computers / internet cafes and the like.

    "Oh, and, like someone already mentioned, you just tangled yourself up by basically admitting that it is possible to compete with free downloads. "Piracy" is not destroying the industry. It's the industry that has failed to adapt." - wrong. you can compete against free when free is not convenient enough, is difficult to obtain, or isnt reasonable to obtain (such as people without a home internet connection, think third world again).

    actually, it makes the point perfectly. when the only way to share music was sneakernet and cassette tapes, the music industry could compete with free very easily. now that music can be shared in seconds, and actually obtaining the material legally (even online) is not any quicker, there isnt many ways to compete product for product. thanks for helping make that even more clear.

     

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  28.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    xxx note/entry)

    you give great read ... lol ... I bookmarked this one.

     

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  29.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    The fun of it.

    PAID for piracy only survives WHEN..
    Just as a business is run under Supply and DEMAND..
    1. the goods are limited in that area. by region code or other form.
    2. OVER PRICED. The Pirate can Undercut the price by more then 25%.
    3. Supply isnt Available because shipments went 1 way instead of WHERE YOU ARE. Like sending MORE to the big city, rather then a small town.

    Its the business of BUSINESS/CORPS to ascertain where they will make the best amount of money. The problem with the corps is They are living in the past.
    They could install THEIR own site ONLINE distribution, and probably do TONS better.
    I posted below a comparison with Hulu. and videos being only available from the USA. its STUPID, and could be used to locate Where to send Goods.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thank you for admitting the product isn't a good product to base your business model on selling.

     

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  31.  
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    Rekrul, May 27th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    Why is anyone surprised at this? The government is in the copyright industry's pocket and they will twist the truth (or even flat-out lie) in order to get ACTA passed. Anyone who thinks that there's even a slim chance of stopping it, or of altering it to be more fair and balanced, is living in a fantasy world.

     

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  32.  
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    JEDIDIAH, May 27th, 2010 @ 8:13pm

    Elliot Ness just aint interested...

    > it is also very strong in many places because the price
    > for the bootleg disc is often cheap enough to compete
    > with a free download that might take hours or days to
    > accomplish.
    >
    > you need to get out of socal and go see the world mike.
    > you might get a better understanding of how the world
    > works, not just your well manicured neighborhood.

    That still doesn't alter the fact that this only means that EXISTING LAWS should be enforced. The 1970 version of US Copyright law would be more than adequate to deal with that sort of situation. This is an ENFORCEMENT issue. New laws aren't needed. The real problem is that career law enforcement professionals don't view it as worth their time to persue this. They would rather go after more interesting cases that will further their own personal ambitions or sense of fullfillment..

    FBI agents would rather chase bank robbers, or kidnappers, or drug dealers.

     

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  33.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Share sites..

    I like the EARLY claims against MONEY making Piracy, and then mentioning a SHARE SITE, which isnt making money.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 9:04pm

    I can well understand any frustration that Mr. Stepp may have felt. It is difficult, if not impossible, to engage in a debate where parties arguing against ACTA are in large measure largely unfamiliar with the process of international negotiations and simply wrong in many of their assertions about the substance of the agreement being negotiated. In fact, it seems they are so blinded by merely one section of the agreement that they overlook the fact that it is multi-faceted and involves much more than simply their only too predictable talking points.

    As difficult as it may be for some to comprehend or accept, the Copyright Office with which Mr. Stepp is affiliated is a rare breed among the many arms of the federal government. It knows the law, it examines proposed laws and responds in a dispassionate manner to Congress, and is not the slightest bit reluctant to stand in front of the train when it believes that proposed laws are ill conceived.

     

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    herodotus (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 9:10pm

    "As difficult as it may be for some to comprehend or accept, the Copyright Office with which Mr. Stepp is affiliated is a rare breed among the many arms of the federal government. It knows the law, it examines proposed laws and responds in a dispassionate manner to Congress, and is not the slightest bit reluctant to stand in front of the train when it believes that proposed laws are ill conceived."


    Pinky promise?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Brendan (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 9:23pm

    He comes off as a huge jerk that I don't want to be in charge of running anything.

    He pretends like everyone is making general claims. There are tons of specific recommendations and concerns. He chooses to ignore them.

    It's too bad that Malini (KEI) backed down when they were discussing consumer rights. Tepp said "speak in positives, not negatives" so let's do that. Insert words like "Individual privacy rights shall take precedence over all provisions laid out in this text." There's positive consumer protection for you.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Anon

    except, a legal cd is not $5. it's usually $15. and if it's something like anime, expect $50 for 2 episodes from Japan. granted DVD box sets are cheaper.

     

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  38.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 10:01pm

    ACTA and Laws

    We need accoutability in the creation of laws, to hold our politicians accountable for their campain promises, and their actions. Every line item, in every bill, needs to be traceable to who added it, and who editted it. We need a BillWiki d0t gov. This will shine a light on the corrupt politicians and raise up the men of valor and principle.

    We need this in an easily accessable place with who voted for what laws.

    We need every revision of every document having anything to do with ACTA. We need the drafts of ACTA to be release with the names of the individuals that created it and editted it.

     

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  39.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 10:08pm

    one last time before I sleep

    "They'll claim over and over again that it's about stopping organized crime and terrorists,"

    Extortion, creating an overwhelming sense of fear in the population at large, money laundering through creative accounting, ... oh wait I keep getting the recording industry and al qaeda confused .....

     

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  40.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Elliot Ness just aint interested...

    JED,
    thats part of it..

    PROVING is part of it..
    getting a Search for a ITEM/GUN/what ever...
    Knowing who and WHERE its happening..

    So, who is going to take the time to FIND IT..
    WHO is going to PAY for those SEARCHING for this to happen.
    This is like going to a swap meet, and chasing rabbits..They DUMp and run.. you got nothing.
    and the GOOD STUFF looks real.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 10:48pm

    Re:

    I can well understand any frustration that Mr. Stepp may have felt.

    Tepp, not Stepp.

    It is difficult, if not impossible, to engage in a debate where parties arguing against ACTA are in large measure largely unfamiliar with the process of international negotiations and simply wrong in many of their assertions about the substance of the agreement being negotiated.

    I remember back in the day when you used to make substantial comments here. But the above is pure conjecture, and easily proven false. Among the critics of ACTA are many folks quite knowledgeable both about what is in the document and the process of negotiating international treaties. The two critics on the stage both have tons of experience in that arena, despite your attempt to smear them falsely.

    KEI has been involved in many international treaties, and CEA has worked closely with the government on many treaties as well. Other ACTA critics are also quite knowledgeable about the process and the substance. Bill Patry, for example, has been quite critical of ACTA. Are you really going to suggest that he is not knowledgeable about those issues.

    I find it odd that you post comments like this, where you blatantly insult people, tell them they don't know anything about stuff they clearly do know about... and yet provide not a single shred of evidence to back up your false claim.

    In fact, it seems they are so blinded by merely one section of the agreement that they overlook the fact that it is multi-faceted and involves much more than simply their only too predictable talking points.

    Again, I do not understand what good it does for your position to make such obviously false claims. It baffles me. Everyone knows that there are many aspects to ACTA. However, what people are concerned about is the copyright parts of the document. In fact, in this particular session, Michael Petricone mentioned those other sections, and how many of them are fine, despite your claim that they are being ignored.

    Why you make such statements is beyond me. Though, it does explain why you post anonymously.

    As difficult as it may be for some to comprehend or accept, the Copyright Office with which Mr. Stepp is affiliated is a rare breed among the many arms of the federal government. It knows the law, it examines proposed laws and responds in a dispassionate manner to Congress, and is not the slightest bit reluctant to stand in front of the train when it believes that proposed laws are ill conceived.

    This made me laugh. I know many people in the Copyright Office, and I know many people who used to be in the Copyright Office. I just ran this paragraph by a friend who worked there for a while. He responded "Whoever wrote that either works for the entertainment industry or is making things up from scratch." You tell me which is true? Frankly, I trust my friend who used to work there more than you. The Copyright Office is famous not for its "dispassionate manner," but it's drive and determination to make copyright law stronger at every turn. There are some in there who fight these moves, but they tend to lose. You should hear about some of the arguments they have in the Copyright Office over the question of formalities...

    But, honestly, suggesting that the Copyright Office is some neutral "dispassionate" angel is laughable and wrong. The Copyright Office has an agenda that they push hard. And those who work there and try to get folks to open up a bit are not looked upon kindly.

     

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  42.  
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    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re: Anon

    LEGAL DVD $20
    Anime..Has to go thru the USA distribution method, DOUBLING the price.

    CD for music? is a waste of plastic. YOU COULD PUT 20 SONGS ON A Disk..they dont.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2010 @ 11:27pm

    but if acta passes, as consumers, Mr Joe Average will just stop buying hardware - unless software/game/music industry bundles media with the device. even then, if it's drm laden stuff, no one will bother.

    the entire computer industry is thriving because of the free content that can be downloaded into it. remove that and see what happens :/

     

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  44.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), May 27th, 2010 @ 11:55pm

    CLOSE

    Mr. JOE average, (over 60% of the USA)

    wont KNOW what he is missing, for along time.
    He wont understand that CERTAIN devices are NOT marketed in the USA, or WHY they arent.

    A DVR that can record anything you plug into it(as the VCR DID) then make copies to SAVE and give to friends.

    They are trying to REMOVE the idea that PIRATING is part of a free market. its a PRICE control, its competition.
    IT TELLS YOU, that you are OVER PRICED or that your HARDWARE/Facilities are OBSOLETE(if they can do it cheap, so can you).

    THINK of who you pay to FIX your car.
    Mechanic and Product/his boss/2-3 paper pushers/boss
    At $80 per hour..the mechanic gets $15-20, the REST goes up the line. TO MUCH is going up the line.

    Hardware/software is easy. OBSOLETE is OBSOLETE. And using RAW/MP2 format instead of MP4 format is stupid. You gain 2-3 times the space on 1 DVD. Instead of 9 gigs you get 18-27 GIGS of space. and the size of Blue ray(29(?) gig?..

    Stupid is thinking that CONVERTING your movie to run on you iPhone will keep it in HIGH RES.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 2:39am

    "the entire computer industry is thriving because of the free content that can be downloaded into it. remove that and see what happens :/"

    LoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooL

    What happens LoL

    People find alternative content and will start producing their own then those old dogs come crying saying they can't compete.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 2:46am

    The United States of China.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, May 28th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Grand Secondary Liability:

    >>mike masnick says that patents have slowed progress. thus, the government saved your clients from maybe suffering 20 years earlier

    To the contrary, my client's probability of having avoided the patent owner's abominable implementation would have grown significantly had competition been allowed.

    In particular, 12 companies, each stacked with smart above average engineers and each having taken a pass on patenting that same invention because of their belief such an invention was quite obvious and elementary, were each finishing up products that were all superior to what the patent author eventually produced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Elliot Ness just aint interested...

    "and the GOOD STUFF looks real."

    Are you talking here about bootleg Gucci or downloaded U2 from Pirate Tide? They're two different things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    I find it odd that you post comments like this, where you blatantly insult people, tell them they don't know anything about stuff they clearly do know about... and yet provide not a single shred of evidence to back up your false claim.
    Heh, is the AC Tepp himself? I gotta wonder.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you ARE saying it is possible to compete with free downloads, but the industry is too dumb to figure out how?

    I mean, you said it yourself, PAID bootleg copies compete with FREE downloads. Why can't the industry figure out a way to make money despite the fact that there are FREE alternatives? Maybe they haven't made their products attractive enough for people to pay. And in capitalism, industries that fail to do that, DIE.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2010 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re:

    IIRC, most, if not all, of the organizations represented by the members of the panel submitted a response to Ms. Espine's recent request for comments re the efficacy of the means currently employed for dealing with the infringement of copyright. Rather than providing comments directed to the question asked, the letter strayed in a direction pertaining solely to policy regarding copyright law in general. I have to wonder if organizations providing comments unrelated to the question truly have a grasp of what the law actually entails.

    As for your acquaintance's purported comments re the Copyright Office, I have no way of knowing their substance of asking questions to help clarify what was stated. All I can say is that my dealings with the Copyright Office have typically been at the most senior levels involving the head of the Copyright Office, the Register of Copyrights, and senior counsel within the office's law department. In each such instance I was impressed by their forthrightness and knowledge of Title 37.

    It is also worthwhile to note that while the Register of Copyrights is appointed by the President, the Copyright Office itself is within the legislative branch, i.e., the Congress. Thus, in matters of proposed legislation it is heavily involved in reviewing such proposals and reporting back to the relevant Senate and House committees pointing out the merits and demerits of the proposals.

    Perhaps your acquaintance has had a different experience, but all I can say is that it does not track mine.

     

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  52.  
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    ECA (profile), May 28th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    lets see.

    Lets see.
    WHICH would you rather have.
    1. a free, computer only Download.
    2. a CHEAPER DISK that plays on other devices, DVD PLAYER, CD music player, and you can take it anywhere. and not need a special player.
    3. a Cheap version, that you can COPY to a disk and play anywhere, without Special players.

    Myself, I would rather something that DOES NOT require my computer/certain devices to play.

    Also the realization that taking away COPY PROTECTION/DRM, getting rid of Distribution systems/DIRECT DOWNLOAD, NO ART WORK, no MIDDLE MEN, no shipping and handling. That alone would drop prices to 1/2 current costs.
    Then Make available the OLD/NEW/everything from Everywhere and charge PENNIES for the service(almost itunes/amazon).
    THEN, for remote areas and BETTER distribution to MORE people. GRAB companies like RED BOX for ALL..Music/video/SOFTWARE(I had this idea in the 90's) and BURN the DISK right infront of the customer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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