"According to the RIAJ, since the introduction of the new legislation rentals have increased by 50%." -- Rentals are a legal method. (RIAJ make not care for that, but it is legal.)
Yet in the U.S. such rental of music is illegal. Are these Japanese "renters" merely grifters stealing from musicians? Or is U.S. copyright law in need of reform so that renting music should be "a legal method"?
Is one approach more moral than the other? Or are the copyright laws of these two countries enforcing arbitrary decisions as to who is deemed a criminal and who is an upstanding, law-abiding contributor to society?
For me the lie in this statistic is that not all visits to "sites with infringing content" are for the purpose of accessing that content. By the MPAA's own numbers, 30% of The Pirate Bay's torrents point to non-infringing works; and TPB is the self-proclaimed poster child of online piracy. Visitors might also be interested in a particular movie's popularity (even Netflix does this), or in reading reviews, or engaging in academic research on internet usage.
What we need is to quit yapping and actually start resisting the surveillance society. -- Starting with Google and Facebook,...
Erm, yeah. Already done that. I choose not to use Google's services. I choose not to use Facebook. Or MSN. Or Skype. I can, and do, opt out of all of these services, largely because I don't think the benefits offered overcome the invasion of my privacy.
Thing is, I can't opt out of the government surveillance; the only choice is to attempt to get the government to change its decision that such surveillance is constitutional and/or beneficial.
I don't buy that collecting all the data on U.S. cititzens is consistent with the Constitution, regardless whatever oversights or limitations may be in place concerning the querying of the resultant database.
While US copyright law is clear that works of the federal government are not covered by copyright, that's not the case for state or local governments.
I should think that all laws enacted by such legislatures qualify as "works for hire" (i.e., a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment, USC 17 §101) and thus copyright ownership belongs to the employers (i.e., the taxpayers).
We should at least be granted access to it. Why should we have to pay for services such as Dropbox or Mega when all those files are being stored in a taxpayer-funded facility? Why should foundations such as Archive.org have to spend millions hosting a few dozen terabytes of data when we've are paying for the government to store hundreds of millions times that amount?
Also, what law authorizes the government to make copies of all of the copyrighted works that invariably end up being stored on these servers?
These bold "for the children" statements ignored the fact that both ISPs and search engines already actively block illegal images and supply info on these images to investigative agencies.
The problem is that ISPs and search engines are currently doing this voluntarily. It would be much better (for overly repressive governments) if they were forced to do so by law; that way, when it is decided that other types of content should also be censored, the legal mechanism will be in place to do so.