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Megaupload To DOJ: You Don't Get To Make Up The Rules That Suit You

from the rules?-where-we're-going... dept

Yesterday, we wrote about the US Justice Department arguing that there's no problem with the fact (which it admits) that it did not and could not properly "serve" Megaupload as a corporation, since it has no US presence, arguing that as long as it generally makes an effort to do so, and also promises to really serve the company once its execs are extradited to the US, it's perfectly fine. Megaupload has now hit back by pointing out that the DOJ appears to be making up the rules that it would like to exist, rather than following the rules that do exist.
The Government bears the burden of proving that it has validly served Megaupload within the letter of the Rule... and effectively concedes it cannot carry it. So the Government instead urges this Court to rewrite the Rule. It specifically puts forth three alternative arguments that no federal court has ever accepted, as far as we are aware, and for which it cites not a single relevant precedent.

First, the Government argues that, because Megaupload is aware of these proceedings and purportedly had “minimum contacts” with the United States, the Rule has no application. By this argument, the entire Rule can be disregarded wherever the Government deems it unnecessary or perhaps unduly burdensome. Second, the Government contends that, even if it must otherwise conform to the Rule, it may disregard the latter portion of the corporate-service requirement and decline to mail the summons to Megaupload. With this argument, the Government would read out of existence the express mailing requirement of Rule 4(c)(3)(C). Finally, the Government argues that, to the extent it must nod at Rule 4’s mailing requirement, it may ignore the Rule’s express prescription and simply send the summons to an address of its choosing. Here, the Government goes so far as to claim it can deliver the summons to Megaupload’s address in Hong Kong, even though that approach would essentially strike Rule 4(c)(3)(C)’s requirement that the summons be mailed to the company’s “last known address within the district or to its principal place of business elsewhere in the United States.”
But... but... you don't understand. Since the MPAA and RIAA explained to the DOJ that Megaupload is evil and Kim Dotcom is a real life super villain, the rules don't matter, right?


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Given the farcical way the DOJ has acted of late, asking for a rules rewrite is unsurprising. It's being run on a pure political basis. They stopped caring about upholding the law and now just abuse the system to serve specific groups of people.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    But... but... you don't understand.

    Its on the internet. Duh.

    "Since the MPAA and RIAA explained to the DOJ that Megaupload is evil and Kim Dotcom is a real life super villain, the rules don't matter, right?"

    You know when I used to look at him, Jabba the Hutt came to mind, but now, its more like this:
    http://clipartist.info/SVG/CLIPARTIST.ORG/CUTE/cute_bear_teddy_bear_animal-1331px.png

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    I don't have any clue why the DOJ feels it needs to do this. honestly this is just causing American companies to feel as though they should leave.

     

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    jjmsan (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    Different point of view

    May be we have been looking at everything from the wrong angle. All these years we have thought the anti piracy laws were to stop counterfeiting for the benefit of Hollywood. Maybe the government has been using this as an excuse to bend the rules of law to their advantage.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:43am

    Where are they?

    I'm just wondering if any of the usual people that love to cite that "it's the law" is why you have to respect copyright will show up and comment.

    Clearly the DOJ is trying to make exceptions to the law, so why can't we the people make our own exceptions to copyright law?

    I promise to only infringe for personal use and not distribute the media.

     

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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:44am

    This is nothing new.

    The US government has been making up the law for years now.
    Gitmo, drone attacks, extraordinary rendition, warrant-less surveillance, domain seizures... the list goes on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:48am

    "But... but... you don't understand. Since the MPAA and RIAA explained to the DOJ that Megaupload is evil and Kim Dotcom is a real life super villain, the rules don't matter, right?"

    What a pathetic poke. Mike, did you not sleep all night trying to write that horrible line?

    The alternative is that companies can offer services to Americans, but not be subject to US law. So you are saying you support rogue operation outside the US scamming Americans and being able to get away with it?

    How yellow of you.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re:

    Racist troll is racist.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:51am

    Re:

    @ #3
    'I don't have any clue why the DOJ feels it needs to do this.'

    'I don't have any clue why the DoJ feels it CAN do this',

    may be better statement

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/07/doj-sues-telecom-over-nsl/

    This coming from an agency that is suing a telecom with the argument that by challenging its authority it broke the law.

    Anybody has any respect for the DOJ as an instrument to uphold the law today?

    Now the government want to troll terrorists or at least is that what they say, but I suspect there are some government employees here already running a test run.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/counterterrorism-trolls/

    But I digress the DOJ may be sensing that it is full of shite that is why they are trying very hard to find a connection any connection.

    https://torrentfreak.com/feds-drag-rapper-swizz-beatz-into-megapload-case-120718/

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re:

    "The alternative is that companies can offer services to Americans, but not be subject to US law. So you are saying you support rogue operation outside the US scamming Americans and being able to get away with it?"

    MU would only be "scamming" if they DIDN'T deliver the services they promised.
    Fact is, until the shutdown, they provided EVERYTHING they promised to their customers!

     

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    Tim Griffiths (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Re: Where are they?

    This.

    These are people who put in place and would like to strictly enforce laws that make it illegal for you to break a digital lock (even when it's held in place by spit and gum) on media we own with the intent to LEGALLY copy that media for our own use that harms no one.

    Yet when it comes to bending and even breaking of this law with the intent of doing something that is not otherwise legal in a way that has clearly caused massive harm... well... that's ok... right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Oh Mike, why did you have to put in that last line. It's so painful

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    What European banks can't offer services for American citizens no more?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re:

     

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    Chargone (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re:

    when you control the legions, few are willing to stand in your way.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Re: Different point of view

    Well, yes, of course.

    The reason for the push to wildly expand copyright law is not and never has been because of piracy. It's about enabling a relatively small collection of companies to maintain a chokehold on the means of distribution.

    A big part of this is the use of IP laws to raise the barrier of entry, to make it so expensive and onerous to enter the business that very few can.

     

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  18.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Re:

    ... reality is like that sometimes.
    especially when expressed by way of mocking the particularly stupid.

     

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  19.  
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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Re:

    What if Americans get scammed by the labels, are the labels subject to DOJ scrutiny?

    Not if if Super Leahy has anything to say about it!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    I don't have any clue why the DOJ feels it needs to do this. honestly this is just causing American companies to feel as though they should leave.

    No, you've got it backwards. It's to scare them into staying -in- the US. This is the DOJ saying "We can reach out and touch you anywhere. If you're in the US we'll at least pretend you have some rights."

     

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    Niall (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Re: Re:

    Which explains why he found it so painful, it hit home *hard*.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    The alternative is that companies can offer services to Americans, but not be subject to US law.


    If someone isn't in the US and isn't a US citizen, they should not be subject to US law. It's a fundamental moral point. Whether or not they offer services to US citizens isn't relevant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re:

    I think they're trying to hire effective trolls.

     

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    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    the heart of the matter

    Um. They don't?

    That's what governments do: they make up the rules, sometimes known as law.

    What is at issue here seems to be jurisdiction. The MegaUpload prosecution is supposedly based on the fact that there were some US based webservers. But that's not true of young Richard O'Dwyer they are extraditing from England even thjough he didn't break UK law.

    Your government is laying claim to ownership (and control) of the entire Internet. And our governments are letting it.

     

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  25.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re:

    "The alternative is that companies can offer services to Americans, but not be subject to US law."

    No, the corporation is still subject to US civil law, just not CRIMINAL law. And the actual hominid individuals involved are still subject to the criminal law.

    The idea of prosecuting a corporation criminally is sketchy anyway -- who/what is going to jail if convicted? The Corporate Seal? Is it about criminal restitution? Civil damages would cover that better, and has a better mechanism in place.

    Nope, this is all about trying to do something big, and now about backpedaling for (what seems more and more apparent) their own incompetence.

     

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    MrWilson, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re:

    I imagine that the entertainment industry pays their trolls better. Unless the AC thinks he can multitask... "MegaUpload is just a bunch of pirates and terrorists!"

     

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  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    I'm happy for you, Pirate Mike. Your buddy, Pirate Kim, has some great arguments. Policy-wise, his position just doesn't make sense. He's saying that if a foreign corporation commits intentional torts, they can be served under the FRCP even without a U.S. address. But then if a foreign corporation commits criminal acts, they can't be served under the FRCrP if they don't have a U.S. address. Why would we want to reward foreign corporations for committing crimes if we punish them for committing (lesser) torts. He's obviously got the better textual argument (it says "must"), but I think the government wins on common sense. I think the statute can fairly be read to imply that when no such address exists (although I'm not convinced that there isn't constructive notice under Va. law), there is no need to mail the summons. Your boy actually has a good case on this point. Congrats. Could go either way though, I think.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Re: But... but... you don't understand.

    Alright I am a sick bastard all I see is pedobear there.
    I can't look at a bear anymore and not see him lurking in the shadows.

     

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  29.  
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    DCX2, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:15am

    Lame

    Allegedly steal hundreds of millions from wealthy corporations? The US will hunt you down no matter what country you live in, and will violate law after law in order to punish you even before trial, by destroying your businesses, seizing ALL of your assets, and destroying your customers' data.

    Actually steal hundreds of billions from middle-class Americans, destroy the global economy, and bring about the worst recession and intense job less in nearly a century? No charges. No trial. No jail time. Instead, you are GIVEN money because you're "too big to fail".

    The US Government's priorities are all fucked up, that's for sure.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Re: But... but... you don't understand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    There's this little matter of jurisdiction. I suppose the DOJ feels it rightly serves the country of New Zealand by local courts. Next thing we will be hearing is that New Zealand needs to pay the US taxes for that representation.

    Apparently, DOJ feels there is no need of jobs in the US, unless you're a lawyer or congress critter. It's been busy closing server farms and making up laws as it goes along into what it wants them to say and not what they say. Is there any reason that jurisprudence should continue to look at past case results in determining the out of present cases in court? It looks like you can just write it up how you want it to come out by the looks of things.

    Is there any reason why you could think of that the average citizen no longer trusts it's government?

     

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  32.  
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    Bengie, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Ummm.. logic fail?

    If the government can't contact a corp because the CORP DOES NOT EXIST IN THE USA, then maybe it should not be worrying about civil cases.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    What common sense has to do with the "law"?

    It is common sense to apply the maximum statutory damages designed to punish companies to a mother of 3?

    Does it makes sense to go around suing your won best customers?

    Does it makes sense to charge 20 times for the same thing and when people don't pay one of those times scream "thieves!"?

     

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    Rabbit80, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    Re: the heart of the matter

    I was thinking something similar myself - some of the arguments that the feds are making should surely help Richard in his case - however the clear difference is that Richard is being charged as an individual, not a company.

     

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    Milton Freewater, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Re:

    "The alternative is that companies can offer services to Americans, but not be subject to US law."

    Depends on the law, doesn't it? Most taxes and tariffs are location-specific, are they not?

    The law in question only applies to US companies ... and Mike didn't make that up, remember, that's a fact of this particular law. I don't see what you're even arguing about.

    I honestly suspect you're a shill paid by Megaupload to discredit the other side.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:42am

    As the once-mighty ship America sank slowly in the West ...

    the captain, first officer and crew were frantically doing their utmost to serve tons of steak, vats of champagne and gallons of caviar to a few grossly-overweight gluttonous rich (and mainly foreign) gold-laden passengers on-board who were demanding they be fed immediately (or else "the ship gets it") and promising the captain, first officer and crew unimaginable riches and enormous future success in exchange for an endless supply of more calorie-laden fattening food.

    Naturally, the ship sank and everybody on-board drowned*.

    *Except the aforementioned fat rich (mostly foreign) passengers, whose extreme lard buoyed them to the surface and floated them to the safety of yet another ship that was destined to sink with them on-board.

     

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  37.  
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    Milton Freewater, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    Common sense suggests that a law with the word "must" in it MUST be followed if you want a judge to sign off.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    A good point ruined by name calling.

     

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  39.  
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    Spointman (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re:

    And the actual hominid individuals involved are still subject to the criminal law.

    See, I'm not even convinced that this is true. Let me give a couple of examples.

    In the US, it's flatly illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. In parts of Europe, it's legal for minors to drink alcohol as young as 14. So if an American family flies to Europe, and the 14yo kid gets drunk, and a few days later (when they're all sober) the family flies back, then using the logic in this case, the kid and his parents can be arrested and charged.

    Here's another example. I don't have a US driver's license, but I do have one from, say, Japan. In Japan, I take my car out for a drive. Then I fly to the US. Since I was driving without a valid US license, this logic means I can be arrested and charged in the US for an act that was perfectly legal in Japan.

    The logical conclusion is that if you commit an act that is against US law, even if you're totally outside the jurisdiction of US law, then you can be arrested and tried in the US. This violates every inkling common sense and, I would imagine, quite a few tenets of international law.

     

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  40.  
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    Haywood (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Re: Different point of view

    Much the way the era of Bonnie & Clyde helped J. Edgar Hoover take over the country. States rights be Damned, there are criminals out there, we need more power.

     

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  41.  
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    Monkey with Attitude, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:57am

    Re: Lame

    Nope the priorities are right in line with who paid what and how much.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re: Different point of view

    There are many tools in those companies who love being used as thin edges of the wedge for expanded government powers.

    Those tools are also dumb as a bag of hammers if they think for one second they will be exempt in some way from those expansions. Then they're just nails to be pounded like the rest of us, citizens or not.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re:

    "Depends on the law, doesn't it? Most taxes and tariffs are location-specific, are they not?"

    Well, that is the point of attempts to bring the laws up to date, to deal with the simple fact that the internet is "here" but not "here" at the same time.

    It does create a certain amount of unfair competition. If you are local, you are subject to local laws, yet a company from outside can put up a website, offer the same service, and not have to live up to any of the customer service or legal obligations.

    It means that, when it comes to "services" the laws are set by the most permissive jurisdiction on the planet. If you could find one that allowed child porn, you could setup a company and sell child porn from there to everyone in the world, perfectly legally. That would be an intolerable situation, no?

    How would you address it?

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, you failed miserably at logic. If no crime is committed in the US (the kid didn't drink here) then no problem with the law.

    If the law says that only US corporations can violate Copyright Law (in a Criminal Manner), then maybe the law needs to be cleared up (since that statute is likely pre-internet). BUT, you can't just go ignoring the law so you can enforce the law, that's not logical.

     

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  45.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If the law says that only US corporations can violate Copyright Law


    The law doesn't say that, though, and literally nobody is saying that it should. US law does only apply to US entities or to those who are in the US. That's the point.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's hilarious how you guys have nothing to ever fall back on but child porn. Can't think of anything else, huh?

    Always gotta go with the one that most people find wrong. Says a lot about your position though.

    I know when I want to justify some of my actions I point out how my doing something wrong (say perhaps using drugs) is actually good because by me doing said wrong, per this example (drug use), so I'm actually taking drugs off the street thereby keeping drugs out of children's hands/noses/lungs/etc, so why am I the bad guy? You wouldn't want your children doing drugs and possibly becoming addicts or OD'ing now would you? (Note, I don't actually use drugs. Just showing how it's ridiculous to try and spin something by pointing at something else and saying, "See! You wouldn't want that now would you?!"

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re:

    Stupid is as stupid does.

     

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  48.  
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    Glen, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    Re: Lame

    Where is the "Sad but True" button when we need it?

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    as i see it

    IMO The problem is people still see copying as theft, and their sense of entitlement to make "big money" off an idea. The internet is just a tool and nothing else. Yes it affects a lot of business models but that doesn't mean it's bad and evil, it just means that corporations have to reinvent themselves.

    Unfortunately they just change the rules to fit an outdated business model instead of trying fix the situation. Between patents and copyrights, it's just how it has always been done and people as a whole fear change.

     

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  50.  
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    Another AC, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're ignoring the other side of your arguments. If I were the local business and someone set up shop and didn't have to play by the same rules as me, that's called life.

    What you ignore is the fact that I can do the same thing to them in their place of headquarter. You also ignore the fact that even if they do business in my locale, they are still subject to laws in their own locale that I am not... by your argument that's somehow unfair. Your argument doesn't hold up.

    Also, if someone sold child porn online in a place where that's legal, there IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT (or it would be illegal). That's why the law in the US says it's also illegal to possess child porn silly.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "In the US, it's flatly illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. In parts of Europe, it's legal for minors to drink alcohol as young as 14. So if an American family flies to Europe, and the 14yo kid gets drunk, and a few days later (when they're all sober) the family flies back, then using the logic in this case, the kid and his parents can be arrested and charged."

    Nope, you got it wrong.

    What we are saying is that because it's legal for the kid to drink at 14 in Europe, then European beer companies should be allowed to sell their products to US kids because it's legal in Europe.

    It doesn't fly, does it?

    So why should it be legally to sell access to illegal content online, just because the company doing the selling is offshore?

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    Because the DoJ hired many lawyers who have backgrounds with the cartels. There will more than likely be jobs waiting for them if they somehow manage to get forced out.

    The lead lawyer on the Mega case is a former BSA lawyer, who told people they owed him money if they failed his groups audits, and would take them to court for tons of money if you couldn't satisfy their demands.

    They are used to getting what they want, despite what the law says. They have the money they get to make the rules, and now that they have agents in place in the highest ranks of the legal system it seems to be working.

     

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  53.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re:

    Not racist, its trying to call this yellow journalism.
    This does not qualify, except in this trolls fevered imagination, to the great yellow journalism we have come to have prevalent in the country. One merely needs to watch Faux News for about 5 minutes and you can find classic yellow journalism upto and including editing reality to support their crazed ideas.

     

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  54.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If a company is caught selling beer to 14-yr-olds it'll be fined and possibly shut down. And usually you are notified about the issues before being closed down. Besides, no company will sell services that would break a certain country laws much like MU did. They had both a DMCA takedown procedure that worked as the DMCA itself requires even though they had no real obligation to comply. There's no proof that the content hosted on the servers located in the US was infringing. The fact that you have content on your server that MIGHT be infringing it doesn't automagically make it infringing. My Google Drive has some content that COULD be infringing but it is not. However, to save space, I'm fairly sure that some of the LEGAL mp3 I have on my G Drive are probably duplicate with others using the service and Google keeps a single copy. It is fairly safe to assume that some of the ppl that have the same file in their drives don't OWN the songs (although you would have to PROVE they don't own that song).

    So you see, there's no crime in the first place. There's not even a civil issue. And Dotcom has offered to settle this if he gets due process, which is clearly something the US is trying desperately to deny him.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    I think that depends on whether or not you're trying to rule the world.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re:

    Well corporations are people now, so I guess that if the corporation is convicted of criminal activity then EVERYONE employed by the corporation goes to jail or pays the fine.

     

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  57.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    Except that there's no proven crime or civil offense from MU. And the US Govt is throwing the evidence down the drain.

    Still, a somewhat good point ruined by unnecessary name calling as jupiter noted.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Technically speaking the US still can't raid a Europe based warehouse because it sold beer to a 14 year old residing in the US.

    It can however block all imports from that particular company at it's borders. Basically what happens with the move to all these digital goods is that the US has lost it's ability to enforce it's import / export restrictions.

    While i understand that trade has ALWAYS been done in a manner like this or similar so as to artificially adjust the local economy or industry, i'm not entirely sure that i'll be sorry to see it slowly erode into a borderless trading world.

    Yea, jobs will be lost in some areas, but jobs will be gained in others. One day borders will simply lose their meaning and while i'm sure there will still be the various local and overlord governments, at least we can hope for a relaxation on movement restrictions.

    I however don't hold any hope that this will happen in my lifetime

     

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  59.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Considering that the DoJ is arguing this, I see no ligcal fallacy in calling it out liek the bullshit it is. Would it, for example, be perfectly legal to shoot a elshman on Broadway, provided it was the exact distance of 12 yards and with a longbow? After all, that was a law in York, and New York has "York" in its name.

     

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  60.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It means that, when it comes to "services" the laws are set by the most permissive jurisdiction on the planet.


    Uh, no, it doesn't mean that.

    If you could find one that allowed child porn, you could setup a company and sell child porn from there to everyone in the world, perfectly legally. That would be an intolerable situation, no?


    However, the customers would be breaking the laws of the countries they're in and would be subject to prosecution, as it should be -- so "perfectly legally" would only apply to half of the transaction.

    Saying that you are only subject to the laws of the jurisdiction you are in is not saying that everyone can act above the law. Not even close.

    I'm amazed that this stuff is even debated anymore, since this type of situation isn't new -- it predated the internet by at least a few hundred years -- and we have loads of existing debate and settled law covering these issues.

     

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  61.  
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    Karl (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you could find one that allowed child porn, you could setup a company and sell child porn from there to everyone in the world, perfectly legally. That would be an intolerable situation, no?

    Copyright infringement (or, for that matter, unfair competition) are not even remotely on the same scale of harm as child porn.

    But I'd just like to point out that even with child porn, your argument has significant problems.

    For example, in Japan, there is a significant amount of pornography that would be considered "child porn" in the U.S. The laws and culture in Japan are different, and all of this pornography is perfectly legal there. (When I worked at Tower, the book buyer was sent some of this stuff from publishers in Japan as samples. Obviously he sent them right on back.)

    If one of those porn sites sets up a page on the Internet, does the DOJ have the right to have Japan arrest those companies? Even though they have done nothing illegal under Japanese law?

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Dreddsnik, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Different point of view

    " All these years we have thought the anti piracy laws were to stop counterfeiting for the benefit of Hollywood. Maybe the government has been using this as an excuse to bend the rules of law to their advantage. "

    Yes, and no. It's a symbiotic relationship. As long as Hollywood goals continue to work toward making censorship 'acceptable' the government is completely willing to let Hollywood look like the instigators. Sometimes it's hard to tell who is actually the man behind the curtain.

     

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  63.  
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    drew (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Wow! That's a novel business idea. Hell, it could even work...

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    drew (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not quite, there used to be a bylaw in York that said you could shoot a scotsman from the city walls with a bow (York having been sacked by the scots at one point).
    I believe there used to be a similar law regarding the welsh in Chester though.

    as you were

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    If the DoJ can rewrite the laws in court to criminalise what has previously only incurred civil liability, that's effectively a coup that usurps the legislative authority's powers.

    If the DoJ and courts can collude to rewrite the jurisdiction to include any business on earth that happens to do business with a US company or business, that's an extension of this coup to the whole world, or the first foot on the road to US trade and commerce isolation.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    You mean like how American businesses can do business with China without being at risk of its owners and chief officers being summarily extradited to China to face their justice system for comments they posted on the internet?

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Too bad no one told the RIAA or MPAA about it.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I think it's hilarious how you guys have nothing to ever fall back on but child porn. Can't think of anything else, huh?"

    There isn't a lack of anything else to fall back on. All I am doing is giving you a worst case scenerio, and asking you to explain how you would handle it.

    Also, when you say "child porn" it doesn't mean 5 year olds, it can mean the difference in laws. As an example, the 16 year old topless girls in the UK or the slightly underage nude models from the Netherlands. Would you consider it acceptable that these companies could sell movies with 16 year old girls having sex (which was legal in that country) in the US without issue? What if they stream it?

    See? It's not the stupid "think of the children" crap like Mike tried to pull the other day, it's a true example of how the difference in laws can be an issue.

    So, now, would you like to address the issue rather than settling back on tired spinning?

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If the 14-year-old boy from U.S. bought a can of beer in Europe and open the can and drink it in U.S., can U.S. sue the shop selling that drink?

    Okay, maybe the case is not sensible for alcoholic drink, but how about smokes?

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 8:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. You think a company preventing another company from offering an application that would allow children who can't speak to actually speak is " 'think of the children' crap". That pretty much says it all right there about you and your point of view. When you say "think of the children" and use it to curtail due process as is the case here, well... that's all well and good. But when an actual child is being silenced because of ridiculous patents, well that's too fucking bad and it's just Mike pulling a stunt and more of his crap.

    You know what, that says it all really. You're most definitely not worth responding to and I'm glad you did say that. So others can see exactly the kind of person you are and the kind of person who is trying to trample on the rights of others and who believes that the U.S. should impose it's will on the world.

     

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  71.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That case has already been seen in on-line gambling sites when the USA has banned this business. Most European gambling sites ceased dealing with all USA aspects as a result but three of these sites I recall did not still welcoming US gamblers, their money, and even advertising to them in the US.

    The result was that ICE seized their domains, their US based assets and accounts, then the DoJ started criminal action against them. I only don't know what happened after that.

    Such gambling sites are unfortunately lawful in Europe including here in the UK but the USA still ATTACKED them because they still traded business with the US.

    They have now done the same with MegaUpload. I would say US unlawful Japanese porn is also an option but keep in mind gambling sites are money (against Las Vegas etc) and MegaUpload is money (against Hollywood MPAA/RIAA) but this questionable porn would have so few US porn dealers care any so it is not a money matter.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You know what, that says it all really. You're most definitely not worth responding to and I'm glad you did say that."

    I take that as a "I can see your point, and I cannot come up with a way to argue it, so I will settle for attacking your personally".

    So now that you are done being dismissive and making personal attacks, would you like to try answering the question? It is particularly relevant here.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You're ignoring the other side of your arguments. If I were the local business and someone set up shop and didn't have to play by the same rules as me, that's called life. "

    No it's not. If the other side isn't following the law, and is making their living by doing something you cannot legally do, it's not "life", it's a crock of shit and unfair competition.

    We aren't talking some great innovation here, we are talking about a guy who set up a file trading site and made money charging people to view copyright material without permission, and then used a series of companies to launder the cash and make the money look legit.

    Do you honestly think it's a better business model, or just someone making a fast buck by not paying for his raw material products?

     

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  74.  
    icon
    techflaws (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:23pm

    Re:

    I think the government wins on common sense.
    That would be a first.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's not a personal attack if it's attacking your argument. Uncertain statistics (that the industry is fond of) are no reasonable comparison with an actual case study of a child being limited. You think the latter isn't worth defending, as opposed to initiatives that only somewhat marginally target the issue of child pornography while actually largely targeting allegedly dissemination of content you deem as illegal. That much is fact.

    And really, you're complaining about personal attacks? Every day we come to Techdirt we have to deal with you trolls insisting that if we don't support copyright, we're all two-faced, slimy, weasel-wording, chubby, Pirate Chicken Littles. Your side has no claim to validity to scream "personal attack".

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 1:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ahh, so now you are denying that child porn exists.

    Congrats. You have finally blanked out reality.

     

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

  77.  
    icon
    drew (profile), Jul 20th, 2012 @ 1:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What. The. Fuck?
    That is quite the most ridiculous pile of bilge you've come up with yet.

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm amazed that this stuff is even debated anymore, since this type of situation isn't new -- it predated the internet by at least a few hundred years -- and we have loads of existing debate and settled law covering these issues."

    The issue is that with the internet, there is no physical material to intercept, no simple way to check what is coming in. So no matter what has happened for at least a few hundred years, we have an entirely new situation that the laws just don't deal with very well.

    As an example, would you consider it "possession" if the US based customer could only see streaming videos of the content? Does the customer actually "possess" them?

    What happens when you move to a product like movies or music, where the actual possession of them isn't illegal, but the selling of them from offshore without permission is (as it would be in the US considered a criminal copyright violation to sell them)? Should the offshore company get a walk just because they are offshore? Can they continue to do business in the US and thumb their noses at the law?

    Clearly, things are different, we cannot rely on the existing laws to cover it properly and fairly.

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 3:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Want to point out where I said flatly that "child pornography doesn't exist"? I said the statistics were "uncertain". Half the argument of why shills claim cyberlockers should be stopped is because you claim child pornography is on cyberlockers, therefore you should throw the book at them. Not only are legislative attempts at limiting child pornography debatably successful and are usually aimed at other issues unrelated to child pornography (e.g. alleged illegitimate music downloads), there has been no proof that a majority of content on cyberlockers, let alone Megaupload, is child pornography. However, you don't care whether any exists. You don't care that your precious IP laws are affecting other children, who are clearly undeserving of anyone's concern in your self-justified opinion. You just want Kim Dotcom to go (to quote Candace Flynn-Fletcher) "DOWN! DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN!", and anyone else who thinks that there were issues in the way everything has been handled so far is a slimy, weasel-wording, two-faced, chubby Pirate Chicken Little.

    Not only did you perform a personal attack you even put statements that weren't there. The one who has blanked out reality is you.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 4:19am

    Re:

    You've no clue.

    Torts are civil law and no basis for criminal charges doof.

    As it happens the proceedure for serving someone for civil suite are not as strict. This is in part because only money and not the punative power of the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of force is involved.

    It seems based on this variance and the very deliberate language the legislators chose, they deliberately placed businesses like MegaUpload outside Federal criminal jurisdication.

    There are certainly good policy reasons for doing so. What you fail to understand is that your wish for how it should be is not how the law is written or how it is, which is why so many non-US companies do are content to do business with US companies and businesses.

    If being up for being arrested under US federal criminal law is a risk of doing business with the US and its businesses or companies, this is a substantial risk that most businesses are probably going to prefer to not have to deal with.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 4:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am not being dismissive or making personal attacks, I am commenting on the what you quite clearly said. A child being silenced is "crap". But if it comes to protecting IP and stopping piracy, the first thing you and your side fall back on is "think of the children" and here today, you went right to child porn to try and further your point.

    The truth is you have no point, so there's nothing to argue against it.

    And please. Personal attacks and being dismissive, I find it hilarious that you have the gall to say that. That is all you and your type do on this site day in and day out. Or should I link to quotes? The people who most sound like you (and really, it's a shame you ACs hide behind the AC moniker, because I'd really love to see what other comments you've left... I can all but guarantee you've thrown a few "hey chubby" comments at Mike) are the ones quick to dismiss any attempts at doing business in modern ways and are also quick to label everyone a pirate who says, "Hmm. This doesn't seem like a good idea insofar as actually stopping piracy."

    I mean, again, why are you arguing child porn? This is about Megaupload. And truth be told, all these hypotheticals and whatnot are not worth discussing. At the end of the day, the U.S. has overstepped it's bounds and has resorted to demanding that others do what they want them to. Falling back on "but you have U.S. customers" is the biggest crock of all, it shows you just how truly desperate they are and how full of holes their case is.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow your tone changed fast. So did your argument I see.

    "No it's not. If the other side isn't following the law, and is making their living by doing something you cannot legally do, it's not "life", it's a crock of shit and unfair competition."

    I'm sorry you feel that way, but that is life I'm afraid. What 'the other side' is doing isn't illegal, you may think it's unfair but that's irrelevant. Life is unfair AC, you have to learn to deal with it.


    "... we are talking about a guy who set up a file trading site and made money charging people to view copyright material without permission, and then used a series of companies to launder the cash and make the money look legit."

    No we aren't talking about that. None of this has anything to do with your point I was replying to. Not only that none of that seems to be supported by the facts of the case. This appears to just be your opinion, so I'll ignore it.


    "Do you honestly think it's a better business model, or just someone making a fast buck by not paying for his raw material products?"

    If what he is doing is legal where he does it, then yes it's a WAY better business model. If the cost of raw materials is $0, that's a great thing for business!

    Of course you and I disagree as to what the business really is - simply selling access to online storage is not even in the same realm as selling copyrighted 'goods'. The whole money laundering thing appears to be more made-up opinion of yours that are not supported by the facts of the case.

     

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  83.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 20th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    we have an entirely new situation that the laws just don't deal with very well.


    We don't, though. These are very old issues. The only thing the internet makes different is that it makes information transmission more efficient.

    As an example, would you consider it "possession" if the US based customer could only see streaming videos of the content? Does the customer actually "possess" them?


    Yes, but temporarily. But why is the concept of "possession" important? It's not important in terms of copyright law (which is about distribution, not possession).

    Should the offshore company get a walk just because they are offshore?


    Yes. The offshore company is not breaking the law. The person doing business with them is, though, so it's not like the activity is suddenly legal because an offshore company is involved.

    Can they continue to do business in the US and thumb their noses at the law?


    But they are not thumbing their noses at the law. In your hypothetical, they are obeying the law. It is the US-based customer who is doing the node-thumbing. Why are you trying so hard to avoid putting the responsibility on the persona actually doing the law-breaking?

    Clearly, things are different, we cannot rely on the existing laws to cover it properly and fairly.


    I still don't see how things are different. These issues have existed for literally as long as nations have existed. They are not unique to the internet at all.

    Existing law does just fine, as near as I can see, except that changes over the last few decades have made the law oppressive and unfair to anyone who isn't a major corporation.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2012 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So why don't you bring up anything besides child pornography? Oh, I understand why - it's because whenever people counter your arguments you accuse them of supporting child pornography.

    And yet you have the gall to call everyone else two-faced. Bollocks.

     

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

  85.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jul 20th, 2012 @ 9:00pm

    Re:

    > The alternative is that companies can offer services
    > to Americans, but not be subject to US law.

    So your position is that the Federal Rules of Procedure can be rewritten on the fly by DOJ lawyers-- who can make up whatever they like-- whenever advances in technology makes a traditional prosecution inconvenient?

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    lawerencehar, Oct 26th, 2012 @ 4:26am

    party makeup

    Party makeup is all about looking distinctive with the right mixture of glamour, glitz and sparkle. The concept of parties is about impressing people with your dressing sense, makeup and looks. for more information you can visit party makeup

     

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


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