The Real Goal Of Regulating Buffer Copies? So Hollywood Can Put A Tollbooth On Innovation

from the insanity dept

As you hopefully know by now, we've been talking a lot about the Trans-Pacific Parntership agreement (TPP) that's being negotiated. That's because following the SOPA/PIPA debate, there's been renewed interest in ACTA -- which is great -- but with ACTA very far along in the process, we think it's important that people are also paying attention to the next attempt by a few legacy industries to sneak bad laws onto the books via international agreements negotiated in absolute secrecy. It's been almost a year since the first version of TPP leaked, despite attempts by negotiators (especially the USTR) to keep it entirely secret. We noted many problems with it at the time, but with the renewed interest in TPP, people are once again dissecting the leaked document. Cory Doctorow, over at Boingboing recently highlighted how TPP will seek to regulate buffer copies:
One jaw-dropping leak is that that the treaty contemplates requiring licenses for ephemeral copies made in a computer's buffer. That means that the buffers in your machine could need a separate, negotiated license for every playback of copyrighted works, and buffer designs that the entertainment industry doesn't like -- core technical architectures -- would become legally fraught because they'd require millions of license negotiations or they'd put users in danger of lawsuits.

This isn't the first time that buffer licensing was proposed. Way back in 1995, the Lehman white paper, proposed by Clinton's copyright czar to Al Gore's National Information Infrastructure committee, made the same demand. It was roundly rejected then, because the process was transparent and the people who would be adversely affected by it (that is, everyone) could see and object to it.

This is about legislating chip designs and software architecture, and the only people allowed in the room are entertainment execs. The future of silicon itself hangs in the balance.
This is great background info, and there's a little more history to go into here. First, what does the leaked copy of TPP actually say? It's right here in Article 4, Section 1:
Each Party shall provide that authors, performers, and producers of phonograms have the right to authorize or prohibit all reproductions of their works, performances, and phonograms, in any manner or form, permanent or temporary (including temporary storage in electronic form).
Note the emphasis, added by me. This would require the blocking of any buffer copies without an extra license. This is actually a really big deal for a variety of reasons, and could create a massive chill on important innovations. What the negotiators here are trying to do is to kill off any cloud streaming service (or require it to pay a lot extra). In the US, a few years ago, the 2nd Circuit ruled that Cablevision's remote DVR was legal. Basically, Cablevision set up a bunch of servers that could act like a standard DVR, but rather than the box being at home, it was in a central data center. The TV networks freaked out about this and insisted that it must be illegal. But, of course, the only real difference between this and a TiVo was how long the cord between the DVR and the TV was. It seems ridiculous to think that the copyright could be impacted by the length of the cable.

The key, then, to the TV guys' argument against Cablevision was to show that Cablevision itself was involved in copying works without a license. Since it was the user pushing the button to "record" something that argument wasn't very strong -- so they picked up on a specific piece: that in the process of making this work, Cablevision had to, for an exceptionally brief period of time, buffer the TV streams that it was playing. The crux of the TV networks' argument against Cablevision was that it was that buffer that violated copyright law. The court laughed this off, and the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, leaving the ruling standing. The TV guys hate, hate, hate this ruling. What they want is for Cablevision to pay them extra to offer this service to its customers.

Courts in other countries have given very mixed rulings on this. The US and Singapore seem fine with remote DVRs, while Korea and Japan have found them to be infringing. As I was writing this story up, we have a preliminary ruling in Australia that such remote DVRs are legal.

The goal of TPP? To kill all of this and make the ISPs and cable guys pay extra to innovate and offer such services. TPP, as written, would require countries to allow copyright holders to "prohibit" the use of buffer copies. That would effectively overrule the Cablevision ruling here in the US and force anyone who wanted to offer such a remote DVR to negotiate for a license.

That's what this is about. It's got nothing to do with stopping infringement at all. It has everything to do with stopping innovation that Hollywood doesn't like -- or rather innovation where Hollywood can't insert a tollbooth. Of course, the collateral damage here would be massive. Beyond making services like remote DVRs illegal overnight, it would raise significant questions about plenty of other technologies. Think just how often buffer copies need to be made when you're dealing with digital files. Imagine if you need a separate license for each of those. For anyone who knows anything about technology, such a proposal is pure insanity. It's an attempt to massively expand copyright law in the age of computers, for something that has nothing to do with the intended purpose, nor components, of existing copyright law. It seeks to put a legal liability for a transitional state of content for no reason other than that Hollywood wants to get paid any and every time a piece of content is touched.

If the USTR (or any of the negotiators) actually understood anything (anything at all) about computers and how technology worked, such a request would be a non-starter. Instead, it's front and center in the copyright section of the TPP.


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  1.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    I am against regulation, but...

    I think it is now time to show those industries that are seeking so much control what it feels like when you are a truly regulated industry.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Re: I am against regulation, but...

    First; no more remakes or reboots.

     

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  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Re: I am against regulation, but...

    see: regulatory capture.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    "This is about legislating chip designs and software architecture, and the only people allowed in the room are entertainment execs. The future of silicon itself hangs in the balance."

    But.. what the?, this just doesn't!... *BOOOM*

    Not even Hollywood can come up something this stupid. O wait, they just did.

    (I'm actually amazed by the contents of the entire article)

     

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  5.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Eh

    . This would require the blocking of any buffer copies without an extra license. This is actually a really big deal for a variety of reasons,

    Technically clueless beyond belief!

    What proportion of a work does a buffer copy need to contain before it qualifies?

    All compressed video requires several seconds of buffered storage in order to work at all.

    Actually old fashioned copyright law used to outlaw buffered copies - until a few judges and legislators saw sense and carved out some exemptions - that were seen as essential to allowing any kind of digital use of copyrighted material at all.

    That anybody thinks it at all sensible to try and reverse this is breathtaking!

     

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  6.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Re: Eh

    Soi they want ot bankrupt all ARM manufacturers as well as the big chip players, Intel and AMD.

    And this is called innovation? Fuck that noise - time to get the M1 Garands and Lee-Enfields out.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    It's a testament to the technological illiteracy of our judicial and legislative branches that the definition of 'copy' from the 1800's has survived literally till today.

     

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  8.  
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    John Doe, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    Goodbye YouTube

    This would singlehandedly kill off YouTube not to mention countless other streaming websites.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Eh

    so legally I'd not be allowed to play a DVD in a set top DVD player? Kudos for the humongous balls!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Basically Intel, Cisco, Memory Manufacturers, storage device manufacturers, all internet service providers would all have to get a license and you bet that license wouldn't be cheap to acquire, it would be in the ballpark of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

    Really when politicians will realize that the entertainment industry is not an industry at all but a bunch of real parasites leeching society?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    This is exactly why copyrights should end.

     

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    hollystupid, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    This utterly destroys using a computer

    makes it using a pc too expensive to use end of story thus when pc sales start to drop like flies and all the investments these idiots put into it go poof ..and people still keep dropping cable tv and satellite for hand sharing sneaker net they might get the hint

    FXPING was gaining ground till someone thought hey lets rent the kids servers....as an example, so lets go back to real thieving and steal into your corporate web servers and trade on mass with hand made hosts files that change like the wind...

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Words like stupid or moronic aren't enough to qualify this. We need a much more powerful word to completely capture the full extent of this idiocy.

    What's next? Will I have to pay every time I hum a tune or memorize the lyrics of a song?

    They are insane. I surely hope that the "pirates" sink their ship as quickly as possible. Although it seems like they are doing a pretty good job sinking it themselves.

     

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  14.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Re: Goodbye YouTube

    It wouldn't kill Youtube, it would just make Youtube have to pay. It would limit the number of players to the ones with lots of money, making it easier in the future to file lawsuits or negotiate deals.

     

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  15.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Years ago I joked that the MPAA and the RIAA would sue Monster Cable for copyright infringement for allowing movies and songs to flow through their wires without paying a copyright.

    Little did I know this would eventually come true.

     

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  16.  
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    SilverBlade, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Wow, this would effectively make *all* computing illegal.

     

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  17.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    First Amendment

    Is this even legal under the US Constitution? A general purpose computer seems like the very definition of a fair use technology under the Betamax case.

    You cannot outlaw fair use without violating the first amendment.

    How can those in power be so technologically and legally clueless? Or are they just trying to hand the industry to their campaign contributors as these ridiculous laws are declared unconstitutional by the courts?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    bunch of technophobes if you ask me

     

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  19.  
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    ken (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Digital to Analog

    So if each copy a computer makes is a new copy and thus subject to a licence for every copy what about digital to analog? Those are two different versions so it would make sense to charge everyone a separate fee when you buy digital but then convert it to analog.

     

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  20.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    "Really when politicians will realize that the entertainment industry is not an industry at all but a bunch of real parasites leeching society?"

    They know it. In fact they use those leeches to pay for their re-election campaigns. Politicians create more monopoly rents to collect, politicians get more campaign money. Its win/win for them.

     

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  21.  
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    rubberpants, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:39am

    Re:

    Well, technically yes, but it would never be used like that. This provision specifically targets the worst-of-the-worst computations. It's needed to crack down on rogue algorithms currently out of the reach of law enforcement.

    /s

     

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  22.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Re: Digital to Analog

    Shut up. Don't give them any ideas.

     

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  23.  
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    Yartrebo (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    The End of Fair Use?

    "Each Party shall provide that authors, performers, and producers of phonograms have the right to authorize or prohibit all reproductions of their works, performances, and phonograms, in any manner or form, permanent or temporary (including temporary storage in electronic form)."

    If I'm reading this correctly, this also means a complete abolition of fair use and fair dealing. There's a whole lot of wrong stuck into that single sentence.

     

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  24.  
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    Ven, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    This comment is licensed for display on phosphorus stimulated to emissive levels. Any attempt to display this comment on technologies that employ the bending of to allow it to pass or not pass through to perpendicularly aligned polarized screens, or adjusting the position or attitude of a ferrous material to create an apparent change in pigmentation requires a $5 license per view. Under no circumstances may pigment be applied to a substrate to allow persistent viewing of this comment.

    tl;dr

    This comment can be viewed on a CRT, or for $5 a LCD or E-Ink display. It may never be printed.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    always has been and always will be about stopping innovation unless it's under the control of the entertainment industries. when are those in politics, the ones being encouraged to back these industries, realise that as long as fortunes can be gained by those few industries and their execs, by stopping anyone else from getting anything, then those industries will never have to do anything to come into the 21st century. they wont even have to make anything new (instead of the constant remakes) because they are going to be paid til the year dot for the old stuff!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    I see from here the big lawsuit for Buffering copyrighted work by accidentally visiting a fraudulent Web page.

     

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  27.  
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    ken (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Every router would have to pay a licencing fee

    This may also apply to routers because they hold a copy of the packets in memory to send off to the next router even though it only holds it for a few nano seconds. Every router would have to purchase a licence from the music and movie industry to allow them to route a file to you.

     

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  28.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re: Digital to Analog

    So if each copy a computer makes is a new copy and thus subject to a licence for every copy what about digital to analog?

    Ah - that would be a derivative work....

     

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  29.  
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    disfit (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    Killing of streaming?

    A strict reading also hits current implementations of streaming due to the fact that the client buffers (part of) the work.

    /me sighs

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    I suspect that the issue is that the buffers could be read or dumped in a manner that effectively would allow for DRM to be bypassed. In some ways, it's a technology to bypass DRM, which would be against DMCA.

    Time for a better business model.

     

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  31.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    But it would also make the computer you're using illegal, the TV your using, the DVD player, the sound system. All of those have a buffer (if not multiple). You would be legally required to buy all new hardware before you did anything.

    The law probably won't be used like that initially, but as we've seen already; if it can be used that way, it will be.

     

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  32.  
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    Trails (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re: Eh

    Many hard disks and disc readers have their own built in buffers too. One wonders if these would require licenses.

    Buffering is a standard part of reading or writing files in most programming languages as well (java.io.BufferedInputStream and java.io.BufferedOutputStream for e.g.). Something as simple as moving a file requires buffering.

    This is a bit like legislating the value of pi. Not quite as egregiously stupid, but closer than we should ever get.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Finally I understand bob

    When he always said Big Hardware I never quite got who he was talking about. I guess he was just privvy to TPP details before the rest of us.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Re: Every router would have to pay a licencing fee

    It also makes all operating systems infringing. No matter how carefully a player is written, it can't control what the OS pages out to virtual memory, thereby creating another unlicensed copy.

     

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  35.  
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    Ransom, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Depending on your interpretation, signals traveling through a wire or the air could be "temporary storage in electronic form".

    "Sir, we've determined that the area inside your house briefly held, in temporary storage in electronic form, your neighbor's wifi packets in which he was downloading five pixels from Mickey Mouse's left ear. You'll need to come with us."

     

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  36.  
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    gorehound (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: I am against regulation, but...

    The MPAA & RIAA & their stooges all need to die a quick death.I await someone to release the full lot of their dirty laundry for the whole World to see.

     

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  37.  
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    mischab1, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Focus too tight

    I think Cory's focusing in too tightly on this one. Here, let me change the emphasis.

    Each Party shall provide that authors, performers, and producers of phonograms have the right to authorize or prohibit all reproductions of their works, performances, and phonograms, in any manner or form, permanent or temporary (including temporary storage in electronic form).


    They are trying to steal away our fair use rights. It's like they want to play evil dictator in charge of their IP.

     

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  38.  
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    MrWilson, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Sounds like the plot of the next Tron movie. Ironically, the heroes in the movie would be the rogue programs. Hollywood has no problem selling stories of piracy, rebellion, and general defiance of authority as long as they're not subject to the acts themselves.

     

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  39.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    Even admitting that Monster Cable is one of the worst you can get that's still over the top. Even for Hollywood.

    What you can't get in the light of day try to get in the dark. Kinda like the places mushrooms are grown. And the poop they're grown in.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Every router would have to pay a licencing fee

    On further consideration, it gets worse. CPU caches, register renaming, GPU-offloaded video decode, GPU caches.... Each of these are copies, at least in part, and counting them is difficult at best (and impossible in the case of register renaming; that's not even exposed to the OS).

     

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  41.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    It wouldn't kill YouTube, nor would it make YouTube have to pay.

    YouTube would only carry video uploaded by users, with a license from the users, that covers all activities YouTube must perform in order to offer your uploaded video.

    I wouldn't be surprised but that YouTube currently makes video uploaders agree to terms that already grant YouTube whatever permission they need, even if this ridiculous "buffer" license were to become law.

    Now that covers Authorized content on YouTube.

    As for Unauthorized content, it would then be every bit as unauthorized as an unauthorized video on YouTube is today. And the blame for it being on YouTube would still lie in the same place it does today -- with who uploaded it.

     

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  42.  
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    Pjerky (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    Amen brother!

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    Now there's an idea. Print your movies. That way you could watch...err read? your movies anytime you wanted.

    /s

     

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  44.  
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    Alex Macfie (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    Re: First Amendment

    In Betamax the Supreme Court did not say that Fair Use was a constitutional right. It said that recording from the TV constituted Fair Use under existing US law.

     

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  45.  
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    Andrew (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Courts in other countries have given very mixed rulings on this. The US and Singapore seem fine with remote DVRs, while Korea and Japan have found them to be infringing. As I was writing this story up, we have a preliminary ruling in Australia that such remote DVRs are legal.

    Just for reference, making such temporary copies should be legal in the UK

    Making of temporary copies

    Copyright in a literary work, other than a computer program or a database, or in a dramatic, musical or artistic work, the typographical arrangement of a published edition, a sound recording or a film, is not infringed by the making of a temporary copy which is transient or incidental, which is an integral and essential part of a technological process and the sole purpose of which is to enable—

    (a)a transmission of the work in a network between third parties by an intermediary; or

    (b)a lawful use of the work;

    and which has no independent economic significance.

     

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  46.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    The straw that broke the camel's back

    You think the response to SOPA / PIPA / ACTA / TPP is bad?

    This buffer nonsense could be the landgrab that makes the whole copyright house of cards come crashing down.

    Can you say Prohibition. Or laws about chastity. Not only are these laws ridiculous for people wanting to do ordinary things (eg use a TiVo, Netflix, rip a DVD to their phone), they are unenforceable without massive intrusion into our private lives.

    Delusional Dinosaurs. They're going the wrong way into the tarpits. They can't see that instead of trying to restrict digital distribution and streaming, they should be embracing it -- and fast. They should be trying to become the mega powerhouses of on demand video -- anything that has ever been put onto a frame of film, on any of your devices, any time you want to see it, for a reasonable fee.

     

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  47.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    I'm sitting here reading the responses and thinking, to myself, that as I have 10gig of RAM in my machines as I work on photo retouching and stuff in Photoshop or The GIMP I'd need licenses for the parts of the photo held in the RAM buffer while I work on the photo.

    Probably even photos I took given the broad way the language is written unless slap a Creative Commons license on the picture before I start doing criminal things like making it smaller or clearing up some parts of it before I slap it somewhere on the Web.

    Such fun!

    Do the folks who wrote this understand anything about computers or the Internet at all? Or are they still stuck in a print and photocopy world?

     

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  48.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    "Really when politicians will realize that the entertainment industry is not an industry at all but a bunch of real parasites leeching society?"

    Most politicians are leeches as well...so it wont matter.

     

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  49.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    A computer functions on the principle of copy and destroy. You can not build a computer that does not require temporary copies to function. Due to the infeasibility of monitoring such things, any compliant nation would essentially have to outlaw the digitization of copyrighted materials. That or require every computer owner to purchase every license for every copy-righted work.

    In fact, I suspect this is what they are targeting. If they can prove that you downloaded and played a copy-righted work without purchasing a license, then they can sue for millions of dollars for playing it once. Context switching, I/O buffers, file-system buffers, paging, almost every last thing a computer does requires a copy and a computer does a lot of things very quickly.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Here's an idea...

    How about proposing a law that retroactively makes the individual CREATORS only the owners of the IP forever and ownership cannot be transferred... EVER. Included in this law would be provisions allowing a creator to designate representatives that could receive a COMMISSION based on sales for marketing and distributing their work.

    That way the ARTISTS always get paid and the middlemen get relegated back to being what they are... MIDDLEMEN.

    Furthermore, infringement would also then be relegated back to a civil law matter only meaning only the ARTIST could sue for damages from someone who infringes on their work.

    After all it's all about protecting the ARTISTS isn't it?

     

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  51.  
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    Killercool (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Focus too tight

    Yeah, this would seem to invalidate mandatory licensing, as well.

     

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  52.  
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    Pjerky (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Just another way to steal money from the public and other companies.

    This is a sham, this is just another way for the entertainment industry to suck as much money as possible from other businesses and individuals. These greedy bastards need to be beaten to death. There is no sane reason why a fucking buffer copy needs a license. The license to view the video or hear the audio should be sufficient for all ancillary data storage needs.

    You know what, I think that our country should charge them for the right to present to us crappy movies, remakes, etc. As well as for the right to have us see and listen to anything they make. We should charge them per ear and per eye. For 3D we should charge them per eye and per dimension. For "interactive" movies (with seat rumbling or the water that sprays at you to make you feel more involved with the movie) we should charge them per body hair and muscle that feels the interaction.

    We should also charge them per taste bud that senses the food and drink in the theater. They should also pay for the privilege to have their movies shown on our home screens and equipment. Maybe then they will understand just how much bullshit these money grabs are.

    Hollywood is more greedy and corrupt than any of the companies and individuals that they have ever criticized for greed and corruption.

     

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  53.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: First Amendment

    The purpose of fair use doctrine is to outline some first amendment exceptions to copyright. You cannot discuss one without referring to the other.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Nic, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    Gee, that'll only kill the tech industry overnight

    Jeez, talk about delusional execs and incompetence and computer illiterate politicians.

    Pass this law and the entire tech industry comes crashing down. Why? Because buffering/making temporary copies is such as vital part of computing itself that the entire tech industry would turn illegal overnight. The same tech industry that employs.

    And then it would naturally affect almost anything that plays stuff electronically with the use of a computer chip making dvd players, tvs, phones, etc... basically every electronic device you use these days illegal to use without a license.

    The geniuses behind that idea should just go hang themselves and purge themselves from the gene pool. That would be the greatest service they could do for mankind.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    MonkeyFracasJr (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    I have no problem with remakes, other than they are rarely as good as the original. And I actually like reboots.

    Not limited to movies, I enjoy the re-telling of stories, re-interpretations or adaptations. Its really too bad that everything is locked up in copyrights. Allowing anyone to retell a story would lead to a much richer story-land, even if there would still be a shortage of NEW stories.

    The root problem with capitalism is that its practitioners have forgotten there are other quality reasons to do things other than aquisition of financial wealth.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    This isnt even possible

    This nonsense would fundamentally change how a computer actually works. It's simply impossible to even imagining implementing this. With Disk caches and CPU caches it's not even possible to know how many buffers something has been copied into.

    A separate license for L2 and L3 cache? I mean this is just absurd. It's not even feasible to litigate if it was made into law

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    "It wouldn't kill Youtube, it would just make Youtube have to pay."

    Which would kill YouTube.
    Who's going to pay for cute kittens, idiots riding skateboards off roofs, and bad lip-synching?

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Every router would have to pay a licencing fee

    routers, yeah but think about your home PC. The nic software in your machine has a buffer, the hard drive buffer (read and write), the OS memory buffer used to cache the video before playing, and the video card driver, all have buffers, some with multiple layers.

    SOPA and PIPA woke up web companies and people online, this is going to wake up the hardware companies. The MPAA and the RIAA seem to be out to destroy the content industry.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re:

    "It's needed to crack down on rogue algorithms currently out of the reach of law enforcement."

    Why do I picture David Warner in a glowing plastic suit saying that?

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Finally I understand bob

    Actually the TPP IP section has been out for over a year.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah I always felt those anti-piracy messages looked rather ironic at the start or "Pirates of the Caribbean" - esp as Slysoft (well known for breaking Blue ray encryption and seemingly beyond the reach of enforcement) is based in Antigua!

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Ven, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re:

    The act of exposing a photosensitive pigment bonded to a cellulose or other substrate such that is placed linearly along a strip of substrate, commonly called making a print of a film, would be accounted for, and prohibited, in the above license.

    /pedantic

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    ummm..

    ALL data communicated is buffered.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    Re: The straw that broke the camel's back

    "This buffer nonsense could be the landgrab that makes the whole copyright house of cards come crashing down."

    I have been feeling the same thing, deep in my bones, for over a year now. I have said that here on multiple occasions. The pendulum is going to swing in the other direction and copyright will come crashing down.

    Here is the other thing I have been feeling. That pay to play - crony capitalism is going to come to a screeching halt in the next few years as people have gotten so absolutely fed up with what our federal government is doing.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    No "depending" about it - the concept of storage by recirculating "transmitted" material is as old as computing.
    Plus of course dynamic ram makes a copy every time it refreshes...

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    Yes - thats one of the hurried amendments made (in 1988) to copyright law when it was realised that just about all computing was continually infringing earlier versions of the law.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re: This utterly destroys using a computer

    "...and people still keep dropping cable tv and satellite for hand sharing sneaker net they might get the hint"

    This hasn't stopped them yet.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    In order for a stream to reach you, it must be first buffered by EVERY network device between you and provider, but also your network card, chipset, memory, CPU, videocard, and monitor(if digital).

    They should just make watching movies illegal and just put a tax on every citizen. Skip this whole dance.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    " It wouldn't kill Youtube, it would just make Youtube have to pay. It would limit the number of players to the ones with lots of money, "

    Yup. And once again the only way any band can be seen or heard globally would be to sign themselves into Indentured Servitude to a label. Status Quo is maintained, level playing field abolished.

    THIS is the bottom line, what the 'industry' really wants.

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    Right, because TV has none of these things.

     

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

  71.  
    icon
    Grover (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    JIHAD

    M1 Garands, Lee-Enfields, SAWs, RPGs. . .the list is endless. What we really need is a jihad against the entertainment/news media. I'm doing my part by never going to the theater any more, never buying another music album/cd, or movie, and I've cancelled my newspaper. These power-hungry control freaks need to understand that WE are the ones in control of THEIR money; and we can collectively hurt their asses a lot by doing that alone. Really, though, these power-hungry control freaks just simply need to be taken out. Here and now, I am going out on a limb and advocating assassinations. I, among millions of others, are sick and tired of these greedy, corrupt, dickbreath a-holes buying our already corrupt officials through 'contributions' to pass laws that only benefit themselves. No law should ever be passed without a majority constituant approval - and that means to me, in particular, no bill be brought up for consideration that wasn't supported by a majority of the voting public from the affected state of the bill's proponent.

    I've sent this same message to a number of my representatives, with the added note that should their name ever appear on a bill that supports this level of insanity, their name goes to the top of the list for recall, impeachment, or whatever it takes to remove their sorry ass from a job that they promised to uphold with integrity.

    Seriously, if it wasn't for the masochist in me, I probably wouldn't be visiting Techdirt any longer because it just totally flames me out seeing all this crap being done in secret, behind our collective backs, with damn-near impunity. God, I wish I had the power to strike all these idiots dead in their tracks.

    Ok, rant over. . .for now, the migraine is becoming unbearable - until the next time.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Re:

    Correct. You need a new bunch of Congress critters who do understand this stuff.

    Anyone for a hard reset of Congress, come the next election? US voters, do your duty.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    Yes, and when IP packets are in transit, they are usually in a cable. Every long cable is a buffer, capable of holding many packets. A similar technique was used on very early computers with mercury delay lines used for storage. Likewise, every piece of free space is capable of holding information in the form of electromagnetic waves. So every part of space is a buffer. As soon as you make buffering something needing permission, you open a vast can of worms.

    This is scope creep on steroids.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re: JIHAD

    Nah, Jihad implies that the Entertainment industry is a religion, when in fact, it's merely full of heathen idolators.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    And they said slavery was dead.

     

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

  76.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    When the Court is corrupt, it is up to the Watchman to destroy the court.

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Sardines Are Good, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    You know what pisses me off is that these people purport to speak for every copyright owner on the planet, which means most of us. As a copyright owner, I complete object to the TPP and ACTA and the assumption that Hollywood is the SOLE owner of content.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: This isnt even possible

    That's the point - to bankrupt the entire tech sector by rasing the bar for licensing so high that no-one, not even Google, can compete.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Just Another Day, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Just another way to steal money from the public and other companies.

    This is a sham, this is just another way for the entertainment industry to suck as much money as possible from other businesses and individuals. These greedy bastards need to be beaten to death. There is no sane reason why a fucking buffer copy needs a license. The license to view the video or hear the audio should be sufficient for all ancillary data storage needs.

    The real pirates are in Hollywood.

    The day we all start recognizing and labeling Emperor Chris Dodd and the entire MPAA/RIAA cartel as "pirates" is the day the truth happens, and we can finally start focusing on progress. These entertainment cartels are trying to steal every fucking ounce of progress just to line their useless middleman pockets.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Every router would have to pay a licencing fee

    It gets more complicated thann that...

    The "copyright" involved here would be for a string of bytes of varying length. Raises the question of how
    short a copyrightable packet would be allowed to get.


    Bit mapped fonts, 10 to 500 kilobytes, were held to be non copyrightable because not enough creativity was in them.
    So what makes an arbitrary string of bytes in a compressed video stream different ?

    What happens if your song and my photo have a few ethernet packets with the same bytes in both streams ?

    Who "owns" the copyright and what happens to the other one ? If the route changes and the MTU
    shortens so that my photo is divided differently do you get your copyright back ?

    How do you get notified of it being valid, invalid, and then valid again ? If no notice is required
    then how do you know this is not the way it has been being done for years ?

    No thought given to the guys in Hollywood being slashdotted with notifications ?

    Before the AT&T breakup a long distance phone call cost about three times the hourly minimum wage for a
    minute of connectivity, now that minute is less than ten cents in todays' wages. I read somewhere
    that 75% of the cost of every minute went to bookkeeping to track who owed how much and when they paid.

    Crap like this makes me believe it.

    Oh the joys of design by folks with the "just make do the right thing" attitude !

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Gee, that'll only kill the tech industry overnight

    Hollywood would need to hire accountants to replace the computers this makes illegal.

    Thi is a JOBS bill !!!

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Matt, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Internet rules

    Technology is allowing us to do amazing things- including our ability to escape physical limitations, or scarcity in many respects. Senator Orrin Hatch, and all the rest of em- want to arbitrarily assign scarcity to things that aren't naturally scarce. Senator Hatch received MILLIONS over SOPA/PIPA. http://sopatrack.com/congressperson/H000338-sen-orrin-hatch
    He's one of the most outspoken advocates for Internet regulation. He's said that a few hundred thousand computers ought to be destroyed to help people "get the picture."
    http://www.dethronehatch.com/orrin-hatch-is-no-friend-of-the-internet/

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 4:08pm

    Re:

    MPAA produces about 800 movies per year 1600 hours
    RIAA I have no idea about (lets say 10,000 hours).

    So Hollywod emits less than 12,000 hours per year.

    YouTube adds one hour of video per minute.

    365.2425*24*3600=31,556,952 hours per year.

    31556952/15000=2103.7968

    Theses guys are less than one tenth of one percent of the content the Net cares about. I agree with Falkenvinge, they are becoming less important and it scares the shit out of them.

     

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

  84.  
    identicon
    The Moondoggie, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Re: I am against regulation, but...

    Should be the f.f.

    1. Cinema and 3D tickets must cost the same
    2. No more remakes

    ...lets make it sillier:

    3. You cannot film a movie anywhere except in Hollywood
    4. If you want to film in a public place, there is a $200,000 dollar fine for every scene.
    5. All establishments whose name will be caught on film when filming publicly must be censored.
    6. No car chases, the movie must adhere to traffic rules.
    7. Selling the movie in DVD/BluRay they must state the manufacturer of the CD and the specifics.
    8. In the credits, they must name everyone who appeared in the movie. Even the extra people in the background.
    9. The studio MUST PAY everyone that APPEARED in the movie, even all the people in the background, the same amount they pay the actors, because they both appeared in the movie anyway.

    ... Meh, I'm out of ideas.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    i dont think we need any more dirt on them,

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Eh

    dont forget even video games have buffers on the video..... can anyone think of something that doesnt buffer?

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    No movie is allowed to end on a cliffhanger unless a sequel is guaranteed.

    Horror movies are not allowed to end on the standard 'twist' ending where the killer magically comes back during the last 30 seconds to finish off the supposed survivors.

    Roles cannot be recast for sequels, they must either use the same actor or write the character out of the movie.

    Movies must be released on DVD/Blu-Ray exactly as they were in the theater. No cutting out scenes or changing music. Minor fixing of goofs, such as removing boom mics or flipping reversed shots is allowed, since those are mistakes that should have been correctly before the movie hit theaters.

    No actress must be cast for the role of a stripper unless she's willing to at least take her top off.

    3D movies must stop with the ridiculously fake scenes where CGI objects fly directly at the camera for no other reason other than to showcase the 3D effect.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Just any other way to steal money from the public and other companies.

    That's a very appropriate label for them that needs to catch on. From now on I will start referring to them as

    The Content Cartels

     

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

  89.  
    icon
    saulgoode (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

    You shoulda seen the first draft...

    They wanted to require that a man carrying a red flag walk in front of every byte traveling to or from a buffer.

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    Add when a movie is shown on Network TV or anywhere for that matter it cannot be butchered by network censors and must remain intact as the director cut it originally.

     

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

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Eh

    When I write something on paper with a pen my brain is the buffer. Does that apply too?

     

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

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:28am

    Maybe the tech industry should consider not selling any more software or computers to Hollywood.

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:41am

    Streaming? That temporary electronic copying ban would kill most of the internet!

    Everything makes temporary electronic copies. Email does. Downloading and uploading files does. Everything does.

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Ivan, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 2:41am

    Optus wins landmark web broadcast rights case

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 3:12am

    Re:

    Perhaps they should excise Hollywood out of all dealings and just ignore what they say completely. From a purely Keynesian perspective, buying out the entire of Big Content would be a better investment than allowing them to force the tech induswtries into long-winded legal fights costing into the billions of dollars.

     

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

  96.  
    identicon
    James, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 5:59am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    I'd love to hear everyone's idea on improving the business model of the entertainment industry? How do you propose films make money without charging for it?

     

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

  97.  
    identicon
    menacingphantom, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    And no more special editions...

     

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

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:54am

    Re:

    Time travel?!


    (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-year-dot.html)

     

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

  99.  
    icon
    Paddy Duke (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:08am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 6th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    No one has suggested they should.

    Instead we’ve regularly tried to point out ways to improve on their current business model.

    Examples include getting rid of release windows, charging more reasonable prices for content (to buyers and commercial licensees), simultaneous worldwide distribution, getting rid of DRM, etc.

    How many times?

     

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

  100.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Goodbye YouTube

    I don't think the industry would have a single problem with this. They love it when people have to buy all new stuff.

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Ed Allen, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    Re: Focus too tight

    You may not be aware that Hollywood believes "fair use" is code for "stealing".

    They are working on a rationale for charging you every time you remember any of THEIR property which you have lodged in your head.

     

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

  102.  
    identicon
    Gary, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: The straw that broke the camel's back

    Hey remember if it works don't fix it,this has been working for them why fix it.

     

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

  103.  
    icon
    DanZee (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Focus too tight

    You have to agree to erase any memories of a movie from your brain after you've seen it.

     

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

  104.  
    icon
    PT (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Eh

    That buffer copies are subject to copyright was a wholly novel idea that was first introduced in the US case of MAI Systems v. Peak Computers, 9th circuit 1993.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAI_Systems_Corp._v._Peak_Computer,_Inc.
    MAI Systems maliciously sued one of their former service engineers for leaving to work for a competitor, and convinced the court that in order to fire up a computer to run diagnostics it had to load the operating system, and when a competitor did so it was making an unauthorized copy. Congress subsequently amended the law to remove this interpretation, within narrow limits, but the wider copyright implications were left untouched. It was taken up by a US government working group on intellectual property headed by Bruce Lehman, the Patent Commissioner and former copyright lobbyist, and staffed by numerous other former copyright lobbyists, who thought the Mai decision was an excellent idea that should have wider application. The Lehman group's report was issued in 1994 and although it was rejected at the time, this opinion obviously has nine lives.

     

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

  105.  
    identicon
    Boo Boo, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Buffers WTF !

    Buffers ? WTF - these guys are truly insane, we all know that.
    But whats more insane is that the law makers are actually listening to Big Content and drafting this shit into the current blizzard of copyright related bills being thrown at us.
    Its just so freakin sick and twisted I can't believe its true, but it is , and if we are not careful one of things will pass into actual law and make no mistake, Big Content will go to war on the internet if its ever handed one of these weapons to play with.
    The backlash I believe would eventually destroy Big Content , but this will take time , and the cost will be horrific , human and financial , as the war rages in the courts taking down or bankrupting 1000s of legitimate companies in the process.
    With all the problems facing the world why is the US giving Big Content such a high priority right now ?
    It seems that they have connections at the highest level and are turning the screws to get what they want.
    It aint healthy whichever way you look at it.

     

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

  106.  
    icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 7th, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re: I am against regulation, but...

    Hmmm... About this idea of requiring a separate license for each buffer copy your computer makes to show an image... Videos generally run at 30 frames per second. Now think of a 10 minute You Tube video... this would be 1800 separate images per minute, or 18,000 separate licenses for that 10 minute video. If the MPAA decided to license these copies at $10.00 per each, it would cost you $180,000 just for licenses to watch that 10 minute video. Now suppose you wanted to watch a 90 minute video. $1.8 million clams for that 90 minutes.

    Yes I know this is ridiculous, but this whole idea of requiring a license for buffer copies is just as ridiculous and I want to show just how ridiculous it is. If this passes, no one will be able to afford just to turn his computer on, let alone access the Internet in any meaningful way. Or we'll be criminals and they'll have to build thousands of new prisons to house all of us. But these entertainment industry pointy haired bean counters never think of things like this, all they think about is how can they milk more $$$$$$$$$ from the public and everybody else.

     

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

  107.  
    identicon
    Noob, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    say hello to cloud and box rentals

    this will probably strip personal devices of all streaming contents (games, movies, music, youtubers, etc.) ,

    instead it will force us to buy or rent devices from the content providers the old fashioned way - assuming buffering goes all the way down to the chip level - think set-top boxes from cable co.s

    gotta buy appletv's, ebooks, amazon kindles, samsung smart-tv's, ipods and the ilks?

     

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


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