Senator Endorses Destroying Computers Of Downloaders

from the a-bit-extreme dept

Senator Orrin Hatch today said that he thinks it would be good if there were technology that would destroy the computers of those who download music from the internet. During a discussion about ways to stop copyright infringement, he specifically asked about ways to damage users’ computers. When told that no one was interested in actually damaging machines, he responded: “I’m interested” and said that it “may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights.” He says he wants technology that would warn a user (twice) and “then destroy their computer.” Then, to reiterate the point, he said: “If that’s the only way, then I’m all for destroying their machines.” This of course, goes beyond even the most ridiculous proposals in the last few years from politicians. While it’s unlikely to lead to any situations where this is actually occurring, it’s a bit scary that he’s suggesting such a draconian system for propping up obsolete business models, rather than encouraging companies to create new business models around new digital opportunities.


Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Senator Endorses Destroying Computers Of Downloaders”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
19 Comments
Aaron (user link) says:

Paid shill

Orrin “Disney” Hatch is not, and I repeat, not, a senator. He is an evil robot that was removed from the Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean display, and refitted with a new Orrin Hatch rubber face. He then killed the real Orrin Hatch and ate him. Michael Eisner programs him and makes him move around from the massive computer system in his bunker buried 5 miles below the surface of the Epcott center.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

imhotep1 says:

It's just not possible

While it is technically possible to write harmful viruses, or a bios or bootsector corrupting program, distributing one and executing it on every possible combination of opperating system and hardware architecture is not possible. It isn’t possible and it never will.
When people like Orrin Hatch, or RIAA spokespeople, or anyone else makes claims even remotely like this, we should point out that computers don’t work like that, and that they are idiots.
Microsoft might make computers work this way with Palladium, but someone will find away around it, and it will just be another reason not to use their products.
I’m sure if we all put our heads together we could come up with other copy protection schemes that are even more draconinan and stupid. How about electrodes that connect our genitals to the computer’s power supply, so it can shock us if we download anything the government finds inappropriate. Perhaps maybe just a big metal spike with a CO2 cartridge behind it could be mounted on the monitor, firing directly into our brains if we so much as even look at copywrited data.

Bob Bechtel says:

Same great idea applied to a different venue

Following the distinguished Senator’s reasoning, I think that automobile manufacturers should be required to include an enforcement measure in all new cars and trucks that will sound an alarm the first two times that the vehicle exceeds a nationally-set speed limit, oh, say 55 mph. (Wait, what about school zones? Better make that 20 mph.) On the third violation, the vehicle blows up. That will provide a good lesson to those scofflaws…

Csharpener says:

Re: Same great idea applied to a different venue

I think it’s funny that he’s proposing this while using pirated/unregistered software to build his web site. The inquirer has a great little article on it. Perhaps we should destroy all computers with copyright infinging material. But let’s start at the source. All things being equal of course.

Dan says:

Avenging Data Theft

The question here appears to be not how severe the penalty actually is, but rather how justified it is in the first place. I am not defending copyright infringement, just putting in my two cents worth. Copyright infringement is theft of data. This is not the same as shoplifting, because it does not decrease the total value of property owned by another. With that in mind, the idea of assaulting the pirate’s computer would be a purely destructive act, defying the principle behind copyright law: ensuring that the company benefits from use of their product. It would also be interesting to see how this case has to do with spyware and legislation against unauthorized parties intruding into personal data, not to mention property.
-Dan

Paul M. says:

I emailed the senator, with a copyright notice, th

I emailed the senator, with a copyright notice telling him the email was copyrighted by me, and he HAD to delete it after reading it and PROVE it to me, otherwise I would use his proposed rules to come and destroy his computer.

I sent it from a real email address with sufficient details for him to respond properly.

He never did. I was reminded by the Sony case announced on techdirt which linked to this item that I needed to get round to destroying the Senator’s computers in order to protect my copyrighted material!

Edward R Cole (user link) says:

Orin Hatch; I am a little late on this response.

This sounds strikingly similar to “Faranheit 452; The Temperature Where Books Burn.”
Quite frankly, I could care less about the music industry. The internet will level out the playing field and the real talent will emerge from the socially democratic processes embedded in search engines and chat forums. Orin is not worried about the corporation manufactured artists, he is worried about the corporate fatcats who are going to go out of business. Ahh, yes, the demise of corporate tyranny, due to the rise of an authentic capitalism; oh, yes, the irony…it sounds so sweat to the ears.
E Russell Cole

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »