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How Much Is Enough? We've Passed 15 'Anti-Piracy' Laws In The Last 30 Years

from the make-it-stop dept

Last week, I spoke on a panel at Stanford Law School concerning SOPA. There were two lawyers representing the MPAA's views, and at one point one of them said that he hoped that Hollywood just wanted to "meet in the middle" with those opposed to SOPA and find "a solution" that worked. Lawyer Andrew Bridges got up and asked a rather reasonable question: when, in the past, has the entertainment industry ever been willing to "meet in the middle" on copyright issues? He began listing out every single expansion to copyright law from the past 30 years. In 1976, we got the Copyright Act of 1976, which flipped copyright on its head and expanded it massively. Not only did it switch from an opt-in system with registration and renewals to an "everything is automatically opted-in," but it also massively expanded the length of copyright. You might think that the industry would be satisfied from that point forward. In fact, as key SOPA supporter Steve Tepp from the US Chamber of Commerce recently claimed: "To me if I get what I ask for, I stop complaining."

So, did the entertainment industry "stop complaining"? No. Since the Copyright Act of 1976 went into effect (in 1978), we've expanded copyright law 15 times on issues related to "stopping piracy" (and many, many more if you look at all copyright law expansions -- beyond just anti-piracy efforts -- such as expanding coverage to semiconductor chip designs, boat hulls and other things). It really started in 1982, meaning that we've had 15 new anti-piracy laws in just 30 years. If SOPA/PIPA had passed, it would have been 16 -- or more than once every two years. Let's take a look:
  1. 1982: Piracy and Counterfeiting Amendments Act: Increased criminal penalties for infringing records, tapes and films from $25k & 2 years in jail to $250,000 and 5 years in jail. Also... made it so that first-time offenders could get the maximum.
  2. 1984: Record Rental Amendment of 1984: Outlawed music rentals (have you ever wondered why there were no Blockbusters or Netflixes for music?)
  3. 1990: Copyright Remedy Clarification Act: Allowed copyright holders to sue states for copyright infringement (before that, states could claim sovereign immunity)
  4. 1990: Computer Software Rental Amendments Act: Outlawed software rentals
  5. 1992: Audio Home Recording Act: Mandated DRM on certain digital audio devices (mainly DAT), added a royalty on such devices.
  6. 1994: Uruguay Round Agreements Act: Not only did it seize works out of the public domain and put them under copyright (this was what was challenged in the recent Golan case), but it made it a criminal offense to bootleg concerts (audio or video).
  7. 1995: The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act: Created a new "performance" right for copyright holders concerning digital "performances."
  8. 1996: Anticounterfeiting Consumer Protection Act of 1996: Expanded racketeering laws to include criminal copyright infringement, as well as "trafficking" in computer software, documentation or packaging, as well as trafficking in movies or audiovisual works. Also let the government seize property associated with these activities (precursor to domain seizures...).
  9. 1997: No Electronic Theft (NET) Act: Decreased the threshold for what counts as criminal infringement (such as taking out the monetary profit requirement).
  10. 1998: Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act: You should know this one. Expanded copyright terms by 20 years.
  11. 1998: Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): Again, you may have heard of it. Created anti-circumvention rules and the notice-and-takedown system for online infringement, among many other things.
  12. 1999: Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999: Massively increased statutory damages for infringement
  13. 2004: Intellectual Property Protection and Courts Amendments Act: Set up penalties (civil and criminal) for counterfeit labels, documentation and packaging in association with copyrighted goods (yes, separate from the content itself). Also lowered the bar to show willful infringement.
  14. 2005: Family Entertainment and Copyright Act: Criminalizes recording of movies in theaters and also lets theaters detain people merely suspected of recording in theaters. Criminalizes releasing a work online before it's been officially released (if it's "being prepared" for commercial distribution).
  15. 2008: Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act: Increased civil penalties for infringement. Increased government seizure & forfeiture powers (which is how the government currently justifies its questionable domain seizures) and created a job in the White House to focus on greater enforcement.
But apparently we're told that the internet is a "lawless wild west" when it comes to copyright issues? I think not. All we've seen is expansion after expansion after expansion, always using questionable claims of rampant infringement that is supposedly destroying industries. Each time, the various industries would create a moral panic about why this law was absolutely needed. Forgive us for being a bit skeptical. We've seen this game pretty damn frequently. To claim that there are no laws, or that we need to "meet in the middle" seems pretty bizarre. As Bridges noted at Stanford last week, if they want to "meet in the middle," are they willing to give up half of these laws to get SOPA/PIPA?


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  1.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Of course not.

    The RIAA and MPAA is a bunch of children with the "gimmes".

    "Gimme more control, gimme more power, gimme more of your money!"

    Those laws are the REASON that people don't respect copyright anymore.

     

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  2.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:16pm

    Yes, lets meet in the middle, 1995.
    Then in two years, lets meet in the middle again, 1998.
    And lets continue this until we are back to Opt-in copyright and having a public domain.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Why don't we have laws that sunset in the US?

    All these laws for the exact same thing being pushed by the exact some industries really makes me think we need sunsets for laws.

    Actually we need sunsets for all kinds of laws but I will say that the law in Baltimore that outlaws you from taking a lion to the movies might need to stay on the books.

     

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    BeachBumCowboy (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Sneak in an amendment

    Perhaps the public can have a congressional staffer sneak the following line into the upcoming payroll tax compromise.

    "All bills and legislative acts enacted after 1975 are hereby repealed."

    Oh wait, the public doesn't have a six figure job laying around to give to the staffer when he gets out.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    I'm willing to bet their response would be something like, "Well if what we really wanted to have enacted didn't get watered down in commitee or on the floor before being passed, then we wouldn't have to keep going back for more."

     

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    fairusefriendly (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    The object should be to make the penalty for abusing fair use as serious as abusing copyright. If a copyright holder were to violate fair use, with a bogus complaint then they should face similar criminal and civil liabilities for that action. By doing this copyright holders would have to think twice asking for a new penalty for infringement, since the same penalty will apply to them.

     

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    Richard (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Why don't we have laws that sunset in the US?

    Actually we need sunsets for all kinds of laws but I will say that the law in Baltimore that outlaws you from taking a lion to the movies might need to stay on the books.

    The lion might be a useful defence if you wanted to do some camcording...

     

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  8.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    The Content Industry is Creating Piracy

    We need to reiterate, that by changing the law, it is the content industry that is creating the piracy they claim to be fighting.

    Basically, they get the laws they want which make formerly legal activities criminal. Then they whine even louder that they need even stronger laws to stop the ever growing piracy "threat". Restoring copyright law to it original duration; will nearly abolish piracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    I suspect it will stop when piracy is under control. Since you guys can't control yourselves, they keep writing laws to try.

    It's a bit dishonest to consider the Bono extension as "anti-piracy" though, don't you think?

     

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  10.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    That is exactly what keeps happening, they say they need stricter laws and then cry about not getting them and talk about meeting in the middle. By doing this it slowly ratchets upward a little each time.

    I think it is time we need to go on a counter offensive. We need to start demanding each year that copyright be reduced. Then when they say no we should cry and demand they meet us in the middle.

     

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Outlawed Music Rentals ...

    Prior to the 1984 ban on music rentals, we had a small store in Grants Pass, OR that rented albums. Being about 16, it was most awesome. I rented whatever rock or punk they had. They ultimately closed, which I think was a combination of wrong market (small town), and later the ban.

    Oh, and if I really liked an album I had rented ... er, I bought it. Choke on that.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Re: The Content Industry is Creating Piracy

    To bad we don't have enough money to buy some Politicians.They have more than enough money so Boycott that asshole Big Content Industry.
    Sure getting some of us to do that is a drop in the bucket but on the other hand you still have your dignity.They want to censor me and control my life then I will say I will never allow you to get into my wallet even for a dime.
    One of these days we might even see these bozos get what they truly deserve.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Sneak in an amendment

    Yes we do. Law Executioner.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    The RIAA and MPAA cannot exist unless they push for more and more legislation. That is their purpose.

    Elected officials can't get campaign funds from Hollywood unless they also push for more and more legislation. That is how they get re-elected.

    The only way they keep going is to keep making more rules. It doesn't matter if they're good or bad or necessary, but that you just keep pushing for more. That's how the system works. Lots of people are getting paid a lot of money to just keep pushing.

    Hollywood learned its lesson in the 1950's witch hunts - pay the government off and you can do whatever you want. This is the result.

    At this point any new law is probably bad or unnecessary, but there is no payout for repealing laws, no payout for easing off the legislation. There is only money for more laws.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re:

    Indeed. The Sonny Bono act actually increases piracy.

     

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  16.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re:

    well, It was to do with IP.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: The Content Industry is Creating Piracy

    Even if you had money, it takes more than a one-time payment. You have to assure them the money will keep flowing year after year after year. The only people that can do that are big corporations, the most wealthy citizens (most of whom are heads of big corporations), or well-established labor unions (who will rarely go against the interests of the big corporations that pay their workers)

     

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    MrWilson, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Sneak in an amendment

    I'd contribute to a kickstarter bounty pool if someone could actually pull this off.

     

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    Samuel Abram (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Here's another one for you:

    Check out Public law 102-307, or the "Copyright Renewal Act of 1992". This amendment meant that the two-term requirement was gone, baby, gone. The only copyright term was the maximum term, and that was the case for all acts currently under copyright at the time.

     

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  20.  
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    MrWilson, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    "I suspect it will stop when piracy is under control. Since you guys can't control yourselves, they keep writing laws to try."

    Ignoring that implied accusation that everyone here is a pirate...

    Since we've already discussed the idea that it's likely that even the death penalty wouldn't stop infringement, you'd have to ratchet up anti-piracy laws beyond any ethical boundaries (unless you want to admit that the entertainment industry is inherently unethical and willing to kill people over "piracy"), you're basically admitting that the IP maximalist dinosaurs will never enter the 21st Century and will always favor their own profits over human rights.

    For what reasons should we respect the laws purchased by people who only respect their own profits?

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    According to the "content" industry piracy will never be under control because with each new advance in technology there is more piracy, or at least potential piracy, for them to be concerned about, scream about and make dire warnings of (none of which ever come true).

    I'm going to agree with Steve R. on this. It's these laws, the constant complaining and whining from Hollywood that has led to an increasing lack of respect for and sympathy with IP laws such as copyright and patents. It's also the growth into areas not formerly covered which the industry involved (see software patents) didn't want in the first place which increases the lack of respect for these laws.

    Now yes, not respecting a law is no reason in law to break it. But when the lack of respect is widespread laws are constantly broken. See Prohibition.

    I'm also rapidly coming to the conclusion that "piracy" will NEVER be under control because it's in the "content industry's" best interests that it never does. Or that they can complain that it never does, come up with fake studies and justify enormous expenditures of lobbying all while they continue to make huge profits while the very thing they complain will bankrupt them is still happening.

    Funny, that last part, isn't it?

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Agreed. My proposal, 5 year copyright protection with no renewals.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re:

    The death penalty doesn't stop murder so why would anyone think that it would stop anything else.

     

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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re:

    It's a bit dishonest to consider the Bono extension as "anti-piracy" though, don't you think?

    Perhaps. Let's just consider it "anti-public domain" then.

    Personally, I consider it to be the ultimate deal breaker of copyright, which is supposed to be a bargain between the public and the creators, not just a monopoly for creators.

    You could even make the argument that the Bono extension was the straw that broke the camel's back. The public not living up to their side of the deal (infringement/piracy) became widespread well after the creators decided to stop living up to their side by stopping works from entering the public domain.

     

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  25.  
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    Shadow-Slider, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Here's another one for you:



    Not quite correct, the two term copyright only applied to works published pre-1976, the ones after 1976 have always been at least life plus 50.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    Ah, yes. Nobody learns from history.

    From the Annals of Tacitus, Book III, 27: And now bills were passed, not only for national objects but for individual cases, and laws were most numerous when the commonwealth was most corrupt.

    This has been shortened to a common saying:

    The more corrupt the state, the more laws.

     

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  27.  
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    DanZee (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    Prohibition

    This is basically why Prohibition didn't work. It would be better to legalize the use of copyrighted works rather than trying to stamp it out. For example 95% of what's on Google is "copyright infringement." Anybody who put a song under their home video is a criminal. Or wedding videos. Most wedding photographers have given up trying to tell the bride and groom they can't have "Time or our Lives" or some such song on their video and just do it. There should be some fair use provisions that allow people to use music or clips in their own productions.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Here's another one for you:

    or 75 years

     

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  29.  
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    Atkray (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Opt in and retroactive.

     

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  30.  
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    ASTROBOI, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Outlawed Music Rentals ...

    And another big old elephant in this particular room is....most public libraries rent music for 0.00 per album and there is nothing the copyright police can do about it. Of course they don't have everything ever recorded. But neither did the rental place.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re:

    See, I don't see it as a ratcheting up, not at all.

    When you look at the laws, they were mostly put in place to deal with new technologies and new avoidance scenes that people came up with.

    Laws are written generally to deal with the situations that present themselves. Widespread piracy wasn't an issue 30 years ago, as "copies of copies" were not comparable to the original product due to signal degradation. Now we are dealing with the digital file era, the internet, and widespread piracy. It's a joke to think that new laws wouldn't be written to make the internet be on par with other situations.

    You cannot make copies of a movie and sell them at a flea market. You cannot use a home copy DVD and play it in a movie theater and charge people to see it. Defining those things in internet terms is a little harder, don't you think?

    I won't even go into the situations of offshoring, and out of country sources for pirated material. Quite simply, there is ample proof that the new laws are needed to deal with rampant criminality in this area.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re:

    The extension thing is for me a red herring in the discussion. when copyright made it past 50 years (and was set to a higher number by the bono act as well as international treaty), the true meaning of public domain is "not in your lifetime". That is to say that the content will be in the public domain for future generations, not your generation.

    So 60 years, 75 year, 99 years... doesn't really matter. For the purposes of us standing here, it's mostly moot.

    The real volume, the real scale of the issue isn't in 65 year old works. It's in today's hottest and newest stuff. Don't let the red herring of term extension get you down, it's almost meaningless in many ways now.

     

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  33.  
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    ASTROBOI, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Like drugs.

    There is an interesting 4 episode tv series "Illegal Drugs and How they Got That Way". I 'spose you're not allowed to download that either. But anyway it shows how almost every drug known to science was legal but little by little, law by law things got to the insane situation we endure today. Now maybe you think drugs are evil and awful. I'm not challenging that. The point is we wound up with the failed and expensive War On Drugs through the passing of many, many laws which were often not even directed at drugs themselves. Pot was first criminalised to create an excuse to deport Mexican workers during the Great Depression. Opium was criminalised to get leverage against Chinese workers who were detested by the government in the 19th century. And now, hatred of detested Geeks, punks, nerds and fanboys will fuel the War On Downloading even though downloading, copying and so forth is really in the best interests of the American people. And nothing will stop it. The MPAA today is no different than the Anti-Saloon League or the other pressure groups of the 19th century.

     

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  34.  
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    MrWilson, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a good point, but murders are often committed by irrational people, sometimes in fits of rage, and always by people who are committing an immoral act (or else we call it something less severe like negligent homicide or manslaughter).

    Copying is not always an immoral act. The death penalty would likely deter more infringers than murderers, but it would still likely be ineffective against infringement. The passage of any law allowing such a punishment for copyright infringement could only come in the midst of an already totalitarian society or one on the brink of a revolution by the masses outraged by the injustices of the government.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Bollocks, new laws aren't needed at all. Amendments? Sure, if they're reasonable. But not outright new laws.

    And what about sharing a tape amongst friends? That was pretty damn rife thirty years ago. That should be illegal, too, right?

    And them pesky vinyl things, they could be shared amongst friends, too! They should be illegal.

    The laws did NOT change to accomodate new technologies. The laws changed because a small minority is afraid of losing its relevance in the free-market, so it has to legislate against its competitors.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re:

    "It's a bit dishonest to consider the Bono extension as "anti-piracy" though, don't you think?"

    You're right, it's piracy of our culture by Big Media.
    Thank you for the correction, boy!

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Sneak in an amendment

    Me too

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    Abuse of copyright should be automatic forfeiture of works in question to the public domain

     

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  39.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Sneak in an amendment

    If only I had become a congressional staffer when I had the chance... >_

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Re: The Content Industry is Creating Piracy

    So, if the content industry puts something online to see who downloads it so they can cry piracy, didn't they just grant an implied license for that item to be spread over the interwebs?

     

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  41.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Re: The Content Industry is Creating Piracy

    Basically, they get the laws they want which make formerly legal activities criminal.

    What's amazing is how they continue to do this and no one is calling them out on how the Constitution was set up to allow these civil liberties.

    Oh, of course... "Pirate Mike" is because he "enjoys piracy so much" when it's obvious to everyone that this was never about piracy in the first place.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    I have 1 tb of legally purchased itunes, thank you very much. I'm not a pirate!

     

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    PlagueSD (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    4. 1990: Computer Software Rental Amendments Act: Outlawed software rentals


    Hmm, has anyone told Redbox about this one???

     

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  44.  
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    cicero, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Government is Trespassing

    The Government doesn't build fences and ticket booths for movie theaters to exclude non payers. The Government should not be assigning scarcity to that which has no scarcity. If people want to protect the value of their products, that is for them to do. Nobody has a right to the value of their home. That is determined by the free market. This is not the proper role of Government- they'll screw everything up. If people want to use the Internet, they better have the technology to protect their products, or at least be able to go after those who steal- then the Government can prosecute them. It is not the job of the Government to manage ticket booths for everyone's products. Senator Orrin Hatch thinks the Government should start blowing up computers without due process- this is where the road is leading.... http://www.dethronehatch.com/orrin-hatch-is-no-friend-of-the-internet/

     

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    Violated (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    And now no more shall pass.

    Well I would give them 3 and 7. I could well allow them 1, 2 and 4, but 11 and 14 needs reform, while 6, 10, 12 and 15 should be killed with extreme prejudice. The rest should be repealed more gently.

    I believe you can see their greed in this when most of them is all about increasing fines. This has now led to the crazy non-commercial court cases that have yet to resolve a fine due to the loss of touch with reality.

    Beyond those changes we also need a new non-commercial law to allow for easy resolve and fine in Civil court with the aim of control.

    This is the best we can achieve without reforming Copyright on an international agreement.

     

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    kamereon (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Sneak in an amendment

    count me in

     

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  47.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The real volume, the real scale of the issue isn't in 65 year old works. It's in today's hottest and newest stuff. Don't let the red herring of term extension get you down, it's almost meaningless in many ways now.

    Nope. It is not a red herring whatsoever. Bottom line - the deal is broken and the creators struck the first blow. The creators demand that the public respects copyright, but show a complete and utter disdain for the public domain. Then they sit their scratching their heads saying "Why doesn't the public respect copyright laws?". It's a "Do as I say, not what I do" kind of thing and nobody, from infants to adults, ever respects that.

     

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  48.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    It seems that RedBox do not rent software where they instead put people in touch so one can rent to another. I would suspect that home users are excluded but we can read the law to find that out.

     

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  49.  
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    kamereon (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re:

    you must be a millionaire, congratulations!

     

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  50.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. My proposal, 5 year copyright protection with no renewals.

    I am at least going to try to meet them half-way. Copyright protection is 5 years, with unlimited renewals, but every 5 years they must submit IRS statements (under penalty of perjury) showing how much they have collected for sales of the products and they will have to pay the government 35% of the sales or $10,000, which-ever is higher to renew their copyright for another five years. All money raised will go into a copyright holding system, a website run by the copyright office which shows the title of the work, the copyright status and who paid for and how much the copyright tax was, and when the copyright expires.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    I would not say there is no money in repealing laws.

    The whole SOPA, PIPA and ACTA situation shows that not only is their millions of voters involved but the Tech companies have a large interest in protecting the Internet.

    Then on an International level many companies already abused by copyright enforcement would love to see us take on Hollywood directly and to neuter this copyright abuse.

    I would more call this both adding new laws and to repeal old laws at the same time.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Sweet but that is best left for malicious abuse. Between the two can be a whole lost of large fines. Forcing media into the public domain should remain a Judge's option should other options fail.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because a vibrant and useful public domain serves, what, no one? Nothing could ever enter the public domain and it's almost meaningless anyways, so why bother about that stuff?

    You're ridiculous.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re:

    TtfnJohn - You raise another point "each new advance in technology". Why should an advance in technology "give rights" to the content creators? I would advocate that the content creators are NOT entitled to new "rights".

    Take the example of a paper book. You can take that book anywhere, you can read it anytime, and you can sell it. So why should the development of a new technology give the content creators the "right" to deprive the reader of the ability to read the book out-of-region, to limit your ability to view content at your leisure, or to prevent you from selling it.

    Again, it is the content industry that is creating piracy by lobbying the politicians to make these normal activities criminal.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Wrong. The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended the duration of copyright. What that means is that content that otherwise would have been in the public domain and freely available did not become available. Consequently copying that content (that should have been legal) has become a criminal activity.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You ask the impossible for now.

    Once the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act has been repealed, dropping the copyright term by 20 years down to life plus 50 years, then we can do no more in Congress.

    Copyright then is set in International agreements meaning we need many countries to agree to then reduce the copyright term further.

    Not to forget to map out clear Public Domain rules at the same time.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Content Creator Steve, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    "I suspect it will stop when piracy is under control. Since you guys can't control yourselves, they keep writing laws to try."

    I propose the "Nuke Anyone Who Is Suspected Of Being a Pirate Act". If filesharing is suspected by a member of the content industry, the government should sent a ballistic nuclear warhead to the location. It's the only way we can be sure the dirty little pirate and his family are dead, and hopefully the irradiated survivors in the countryside will get the message: zero tolerance for piracy.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    Re:

    The RIAA and MPAA cannot exist unless they push for more and more legislation. That is their purpose.

    Which is sad, because both organizations were formed not to push legislation, but to push their members to adopt standards. RIAA was formed to push standards on their members recording of phonographs, and MPAA was formed to push standards (related to unacceptable content) on their members recording movies.

    They were started only to make rules for themselves (though MPAA was a little more shady, since they were started mainly as a monopoly enforcement arm of Famous Players-Lasky, Metro-Goldwyn and First National.

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You ask the impossible for now.

    True, but the content industry started it by asking for the impossible a bunch of times already.

    Copyright then is set in International agreements meaning we need many countries to agree to then reduce the copyright term further.

    Its not like our government has had any particular heartburn about reneging on international agreements in the past.

     

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

  60.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    Sweet!

    I approve of this legislation!

    First target?

    Washington.

    After all, you can't trust those staff members, always working hard to make sure that the Congress isn't working at all. They're probably sharing their files with each other all over the place!

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Government is Trespassing

    Two follow up points. One you wrote "The Government should not be assigning scarcity to that which has no scarcity.". Logically if an ersatz property right (copyright privilege) is tied to scarcity, then the converse should hold. That is that ersatz property right of an infinite good should disappear.

    Second, the quest to end piracy is eliminating the concept of the rule of law. It used to be that evidence of a crime had to be collected by the police, presented to a judge, and then decided by a jury. Now private corporations are being given the power of the State to whimsically assign guilt at their discretion and to then initiate punitive action on their own volition.

    Not only that, but search-warrants seem to be out of style and third parties are even being forced to act as a "neighborhood watch" for the content industry.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Here's another one for you:

    I think you misunderstood me. The 1976 law meant that any work created after 1978 would be one-term: the maximum term (which at the time was 75 years). It had no effect on the works that were copyrighted before 1978, which still had the two-term requirement. The 1992 law I was citing brought the pre-1978 works to the same standard as the post-1978 works: one term for 75 years (until the Sonny Bono CTEA, which extended the term to 95 years).

    IANAL, but that's what I understand about copyright law.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    mischab1, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Why don't we have laws that sunset in the US?

    That would only work if a law with a sunset provision is not allowed to be renewed for at least 10 years or something. Congress got away will the Patriot Act because it had sunset provisions. Every time it gets close to sunsetting, they re-up it.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    Re:

    4. 1990: Computer Software Rental Amendments Act: Outlawed software rentals


    Hmm, has anyone told Redbox about this one???


    I wonder how Gamefly and other game rental companies operate legally.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Meet in the middle!

    I want to have sex with your wife 100 times, and you don't want me to have sex with her at all. I don't understand why we can't meet in the middle.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Henry Losiewicz, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    on copyright issues?

    The Lawyer Andrew Bridges is trying hard to get the big shots to listen to him ,That's what you need to do if you want answers

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Either A: It's illegal and they don't care (see my posts about stupid laws)

    or B: the Software rentals only applies to stuff that gets permanently programmed into a device.

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Outlawed Music Rentals ...

    Yes, I've been pirating from the library for 20 years, long before the internet, and I still spend money on (non-RIAA) music. Government sponsored piracy at its best.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 15th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Well it's kind of like the law enforcement that was built up to battle alcohol prohibition. Prohibition was repealed, but these people wanted to keep their jobs, so it became the drug war.

    Once the standards were set, they wanted to keep their jobs, so they turned to legislation.

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    mahaliashere, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

    !!!

    Man wtf I had no idea there were that many! Ok maybe I can...

    MAFIAA and their unmitigated gall have got to go!

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 9:18pm

    Call me old-fashioned, but once I've paid for something, I consider myself to be the OWNER of said thing. I can do whatever my little heart desires with it, loan it, share it , give it away. Anyone who says otherwise had better be better-armed than me.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Richard, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    I wonder how Gamefly and other game rental companies operate legally.

    From what one understands, embedded software that is normally non-removable (i.e. software embedded in a pocket calculator) and software specifically designed for use on proprietary video game systems is exempt from the copyright prohibition on software rental (whether a software EULA can restrict or disallow rental is another issue.) Also, from what one understands, non-profit rental of sound recordings and software by public libraries is exempt from the copyright provisions prohibiting rental. (A question that comes up is whether the commercial rental of DVD discs that contain software as well as a movie (perhaps with the software being part of a bonus feature) could be legally disallowed.)

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 10:04pm

    Lets meet in the middle by substantially repealing copy protection laws. Because what we have now is not anywhere near the middle, it's one sided in favor of IP extremists.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 10:05pm

    Re: Re: Why don't we have laws that sunset in the US?

    Sunset laws are good and so is the concept of 2 congress having to pass the same law to make it valid maybe triggered by public pettions that make those laws of special interest to the public and they will watch and want a chance to change the congress to enact or defeat that law.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are talking about a country that is worldwide famous for disregarding treaties and pulling out of many unilaterally.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2012 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Copies of copies today are still not comparable to the original either have you seen the quality of the rips?

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 12:04am

    They don't get it.

    The internet routes around damage.

     

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

  78.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Copyright then is set in International agreements meaning we need many countries to agree to then reduce the copyright term further."

    The US forced all those countries to extend copyright terms, so I'm sure the US can force them all to reduce them if the need arose.

     

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

  79.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re:

    Besides, that doesn't stop people who falsely claim certain IP as their own when it isn't.

     

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

  80.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In other words, it created future pirates where originally there would have been none.

     

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

  81.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:57am

    Re: Like drugs.

    I'll point you to a 'glorious' chapter in British Imperial history, the Opium Wars we fought against China to make them import opium... (ok, that was in response to them doing a massive trade blockade, but...)

     

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

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:00am

    Re: Meet in the middle!

    How about the **AA wants you to pay each time to have sex with her, plus every time you access her Facebook page or text her, and we'd rather not pay at all or at most once? ;)

     

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

  83.  
    icon
    WhyNotAskMe (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    Democratize copyright legislation now!

    What is wrong with copyright legislation today? Every time a change to copyright law is proposed, it is in response to demands from powerful lobbies. Legislation reflects neither the will nor priorities of the majority. Legislation crafted to respect the will of the majority will garner their respect and consequently, will be easier to enforce.

    The power of the corporate lobbies needs to be curbed and their voices muted. The people must be heard. At a minimum, copyright duration urgently needs to be pushed back and reformulated to eliminate the cause of orphaned works. Incredibly, our political representatives give the lobbyists the focus of their attention, then rush through legislation such that there is little time for debate. The lobbyists have no need of political advocates, and no business being at the head of the debating table. They are more than capable of presenting their case directly to the people. Legislation crafted to respect the will of the majority will garner their respect and consequently, will be easier to enforce. See more on our website.

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I hope you do intend to charge for those renewals. After all they should incentivize sale of the products in question.

     

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

  85.  
    identicon
    Kelly Ann Campbell, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Website/News/Dissemination

    After reading the headline I forgot COMPLETELY what brought me to this website ACCIDENTALLY!

    You need to get this list to Fox News and start shouting beore we lose everything we worked so hard to do not only on the net but everywhere...

    The excuse of "privacy" doesn't fly any longer, it's JUST control and we need to stop it now.

     

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

  86.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Website/News/Dissemination

    You need to get this list to Fox News and start shouting beore we lose everything we worked so hard to do not only on the net but everywhere...

    You know Fox News (and all the rest of them) is owned by people in favor of these laws, right? They will not cover this issue.

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Marx, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 6:49am

    The Laws Should Be Stronger

    The laws should be stronger, and enforcement stronger and more consistent. Piracy is indeed rampant. One must be blind to deny it. Why isn't more being done? Furthermore, what happened to honor and conscience, in taking someone's work without permission or payment?

     

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

  88.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Oct 15th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    Re: The Laws Should Be Stronger

    The laws should be stronger, and enforcement stronger and more consistent.

    Who would that help, and how?

     

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


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