Copyright A Priority For The DOJ; But Identity Fraud Has Fallen Off The List

from the great... dept

Well, isn't this just great. Just a little while back, the Justice Department announced that fighting "intellectual property crime" was a major priority. At the time, we wondered if there weren't more important things for the DOJ to be working on. The answer is yes, of course, but the Justice Department has apparently decided to push them off the priority list. A new report on identity fraud notes that it has "faded" as a priority for the DOJ and the FBI. Ah, right, the stuff that actually harms individuals directly and isn't a civil or business model issue? Why focus on that when you can prop up your friends in Hollywood?


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    The funny part

    Is that "intellectual property" doesn't legally exist in the US.

     

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  2.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 5:35am

    What Comes Around Goes Around

    Be careful of what you ask for. As has been pointed out on this and other forums, if you can't innovate take legal action. Clearly this is a losing strategy. The hand writing is on the wall.

    The New York Times recently ran an article lamenting the loss of US manufacturing/jobs to overseas firms. TechDirt also writes: Careful What You Wish For: Greater IP Enforcement In China Being Used Against Foreign Companies...

    A person commenting on this NYT article logically pointed out that research related jobs in the US will eventually migrate to those countries doing the manufacturing. China may now be starting to enforce its own version of protecting its so called intellectual property. (note, their economic leverage in owning our debt too)

    My point, if we pursue a self-serving strategy of draconian enforcement of so-called intellectual property we, as a nation, may eventually find ourselves at the loosing end. We may soon be paying China licensing rights to use their so-called intellectual property!

     

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  3.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    All just part of the cycle, unfortunately for us here in the "first world" before long we will become part of the "third world" as we lose our skills and global conglomerates move their industries offshore to save money. Hopefully in about 100 years the part of the cycle China and India are on will come back round to the US/UK/Europe again.

     

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  4.  
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    abc gum, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    Re: What Comes Around Goes Around

    Since the idea that one can own imaginary property was invented in the good old USofA, then I would think that China owes licensing fees upon their claims of intellectual property ownership.

     

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  5.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    @3 haha riiiight

    keep dreaming ...its fun . write it down
    sell it your great gran kids will get a check

    see the scam usa is trying
    its gonnnnnnna fail

     

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  6.  
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    John Doe, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    IP is all the USA produces anymore

    I think the big push for IP protection is because that is about all the USA produces anymore. We don't produce real goods so we must protect what we do produce. The more I read about it and think about it, the sadder I am to see such enforcement. If IP was treated like Real P (RP), then most of the IP laws we have today would go away and should go away.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    You can produce a bike. You can only discover ideas. Before you wrote that post, the binary string that represents it already existed in some theoretical space, you only just discovered it when you typed out that reply.

     

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  8.  
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    Krusty, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Well DUH

    Of course intellectual property crime is more important, it affects business, where as identity theft just affects the poor (and expendable) slobs that provide the man power to run the country.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    To expand upon this point, the act of discovery may be a creative one, but let's not pretend that the number 1010001...010101 never existed until you explicitly wrote it down. Does the number 1,000,000 exist even if you've never counted to it? It is impossible to invent or create information because it already exists before you thought of it. What you are actually doing is introducing it into the collection of human knowledge. This is still a valuable activity (and worthy of compensation). However, it is distinct from manipulating matter from one form into another (making a bike out of a block of metal). Over the years, America has moved away from producing physical goods and moved towards discovering information (in the form of books, movies, and music, software, etc).

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Ooh! Ooh! I got a solution! Copyright your own identity, then if somebody steals it, they can be nailed for copyright infringement!

     

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  11.  
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    Michael, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    How different is it? I don't think your analogy holds up. Isn't making a bike the act of assembling a bunch of parts? Isn't that the same as putting together 1's and 0's in a unique new way?

    If I made 1's and 0's out of clay and lined them up correctly, did I invent something? Now is it ok for someone to recreate it with a different medium (say stone)? If so, after you invented the bicycle, why can't I make it out of a different metal?

    This is not as cut and dry as you make it.

    I don't like our current IP laws, but your argument seems to have some holes.

     

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  12.  
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    Michael, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    Better yet - copyright the stealing of someone's identity. Then you should get paid every time someone commits identity theft.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: What Comes Around Goes Around

    Do some homework. I think you'll find the idea predates the good ol' US of A.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    People often confuse the medium with the content. If you create a series of 1s and 0s out of clay, you have not invented anything. You have expressed a previously existing idea in a physical medium. If someone else comes along and expresses that exact idea in another medium, then another physical expression of the idea is made. However, the idea is still an immutable constant. Before you thought of it, the number 100010101...0101011 existed. When you discovered it, you introduced that knowledge into humanity's overall knowledge base.

    All ideas that can exist already do, we may have just not thought them yet...

     

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  15.  
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    Burgos, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re:

    You can't copyright a process (as in method of stealing someone's identity through [...]). But you can try to patent it. :)

     

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  16.  
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    Colg, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    "Since the idea that one can own imaginary property was invented in the good old USofA, then I would think that China owes licensing fees upon their claims of intellectual property ownership."

    Um Nope:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law

    The US didn't invent copyright, It merely innovated it to the heights of stupidity in which it exists today. But it seems to have been outperformed by Britain in some areas.
    See "natural rights debate" in the above link:

    1729 "The judge assigned to the case sided with the publishers, finding that common law rights were not extinguished by the Statute of Anne. Under Mansfield's ruling, the publishers had a perpetual common-law right to publish a work for which they had acquired the rights."

    However Brits also seem to have been responsible for much of the push for internationalization also. So I doubt we will be seeing a cease and desist order any time soon.

    http://www.perryweb.com/Dickens/work_copy.shtml

    Colg

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:39am

    When people think it is possible to create information, then they start to feel the ideas they "invented" are theirs. But the idea existed before you were even born. Not only that, but anyone could think it and thereby discover previously unknown knowledge. When you realize that you're merely discovering an idea that already existed, it is a bit more humbling. It's a tough pill to swallow because we're always taught that artists create. And they do create. They create physical instances of the ideas they discovered using physical media. But they don't create the ideas and that's what people want to control. Also, if it is actually possible for you to create information (and not just discover or organize it), stop posting on Techdirt and go save the universe from heat-death. :-p

     

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  18.  
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    John Doe, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    This sounds good until you actually think it through. Why does someone who makes a song get paid everytime that song is used but when someone creates a car, they get paid once? If I buy a pickup and start hauling wood to people, then I am using that truck in commerce to make money. Yet Ford got paid exactly once and had no right to tell me I had to use it in non-commercial activities. I buy a song and want to play it at a party and poof, I have to pay royalties. Every time. So tell me, why does IP get more control and pay than RP?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    You can only discover an idea once. After that the genie is out of the bottle. The discoverer should get paid once for discovering the disseminating the idea.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 10:03am

    Everything I read in history about civilizations shows that right before they fall they all have great sprints in arts in some form or another.

    Maybe the arts are harbingers of falling civilizations.

     

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  21.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: IP is all the USA produces anymore

    You just disproved your point, because that crap is obviously completely made up. ;-)

     

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  22.  
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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Infant Law

    1729? Is that the best you can do? That's just the blink of an eye when it comes to ethics or law. Things like theft and burglary have a much more well established history in ethics and law.

    Try something from 1000AD, or 100AD, or 500BC, or 1800BC.

     

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  23.  
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    thom, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Not surprising...

    Now that the DOJ is being taken over by **AA attorneys, soon serious issues like identity theft, drug smuggling, and real terrorism will become minor issues. The **AA attorneys are only concerned abot issues that hurt the **AA. they don't give a rats tushie about citizens. The DOJ was supposed to be for protecting the citizens, but I guess it's now only to protect corporations.

     

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  24.  
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    John Doe, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    Hmmm, maybe the rise of the arts is because the civilizations have gotten fat and lazy and quite innovating and thus died? They have too much free time on their hand from not working and thus turn to the arts as an outlet. Something to consider: Art = Fall of Civilization. Of course artists will tell you that arts are critical to a thriving civilization.

     

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  25.  
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    John Doe, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Re: Not surprising...

    DOJ Mission Statement:
    To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

    Notice the last part about impartial administration of justice for all Americans. Sounds more like it should read ...all American corporations.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    Corpocracy

    Ah, right, the stuff that actually harms individuals directly and isn't a civil or business model issue? Why focus on that when you can prop up your friends in Hollywood?

    That's because the US has become a corpocracy and large corporations rarely suffer from identity fraud, so it's not a concern for the FBI/DOJ.

    Sickening.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Of course the DOJ thinks Copyright is a priority....

    Of course the DOJ thinks Copyright is a priority.

    Even though it's a Department of Commerce issue. Doh!

    The real problems with copyright aren't in enforcement, they are with the very system itself, and the way which it provides a system of government-granted welfare. Trying to ratchet up enforcement is similar to shoving a pole up your ass.

    It *IS* welfare for copyright holders. If they don't do anything with licensing or actually creating commerce, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that they loose their copyright/patent/imaginary property welfare status after a few years.

     

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  28.  
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    abc gum, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: What Comes Around Goes Around

    thank you capt obvious

     

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  29.  
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    abc gum, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    Re:

    Apparently the sarcasm was not obvious enough. In the future I will add something like "because everything is invented in the good old USofA".

     

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  30.  
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    abc gum, Apr 8th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Identity theft is a fraud perpetrated upon the unsuspecting public by those who were actually defrauded. These folks are passing the buck and as we all know, sh*t rolls downhill.

     

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  31.  
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    S (profile), Apr 8th, 2010 @ 9:25pm

    Going to be so hilarious when we get strangulated by our own oppressive patent laws by foreign parties who become better/more prolific at patent trolling than we are... then every major US-owned company with any serious R&D can kiss its profits and its ass good-bye.

     

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  32.  
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    ficwriter, Aug 12th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    As a writer, I can appreciate copyright laws. It isn't right for someone to copy another person's work and claim it as their own. But on the flip side, things like streaming videos of tv shows or movies or music (downloaded) is getting a little out of hand. I buy dvds. I buy CDs. I buy books. But sueing individuals for millions of dollars for copying something and posting it to the internet...and that the FBI and DOJ has made aiding these companies in civil cases is just getting to be ridiculous. These people aren't claiming to have made the movie, 99% of the pirated movies uploaded by individuals are not charging anyone. If the movie companies were smart, they'd take advantage of the ad revenue that can be earned by putting movies directly out online when they come out in theater or on dvd. Or if they don't do it for free, charge a monthly membership to get access to movies online. You'd think they'd figure out that they need to stop fighting it and join in on the internet users they are missing out on. Most people would prefer to watch things legally, and if that was an option they would probably choose that over illegal bootleg copies that are never good quality and aren't technically legal. This would also save the tax payers from footing the bill for civil cases that the government shouldn't even be involved in in the the first place.

     

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