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  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 8:25pm

    Re:

    From what it sounds like, the system is still being tweaked, with that video being one of the early attempts. If the department is actually interested in transparency, then I imagine future efforts will gradually get better.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    Only useless at stopping and/or finding actual criminals, when it comes to destroying the rights of the public and making everyone less safe, they are extremely effective.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 5:42pm

    Re:

    If Prenda can get away with forging someone's signatures for legal documents(Cooper in their case), then as disgusting as it may seem, I just don't see a judge handing out more than some minor wrist-slaps against Voltage for their imaginary signer. That said, if they are indeed found guilty on that, and don't manage to wriggle out of it somehow, would certainly be satisfying to see them put through the wringer for it.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 4:12pm

    "I blew my foot off, but it's your fault I'm bleeding!"

    A budget of $10 million only produced $3.7 million in box office receipts. Part of this is due to director William Friedkin's refusal to recut the film to earn a more box office-friendly R rating, resulting in its release being limited to 75 theaters.

    Having the film available in only a handful of theaters, it's hardly a surprise that it barely made any money. If it's not possible for the vast majority of people to watch it, it shouldn't be surprising that not many did.

    Making the matter more ridiculous, if his '8 million' number is to be believed, if even a fourth of those people would have gone to watch it had it been available to watch, they almost certainly would have made back the costs. Yet the director's stubbornness on his 'artistic vision' for the film pretty much ensured that only a handful of people would see it, tanking the possibility for it to make much money.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re:

    ...which would also reduce the number of non-criminal people willing to stay there.

    Hence why they are careful not to make the policy public. If they really believed that their actions were justified in order to decrease criminals or potential criminals from using their facilities, then they would have no problem making their actions, and the justifications for it, plain to see for anyone who might be thinking of staying there. That they don't makes it pretty clear that they don't think their actions would be seen as an acceptable price for staying there by their guests.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    Of course, wouldn't do to upset their bosses in the NSA after all.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 1:01pm

    Impressively bad

    Even those using the program knew it was bad enough that they didn't inform the rubber stamp 'court', figuring that even they might balk at the paper-thin 'justifications'.

    When even a hand-picked pack of Yes-'judges' aren't likely to buy your reasoning, you know it's not on solid legal ground.

  • Apr 27th, 2015 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    BTW, the President is directing his comments to members of Congress, each of whom, to my knowledge, is able to access all relevant information associated with the ongoing negotiations.

    Sure they can. If they set up a meeting to do so, and don't have anyone else in the room with them, and don't take any notes, and don't make any copies to have a lawyer examine later in order to spot any potential loopholes...

    Adding insult to injury, as well as making it totally clear who's really in charge of the negotiations, while members of congress may be severely restricted when it comes to viewing the agreement text, you know who isn't? The industry insiders who are writing the thing.

    They have real-time access, from their offices no less, they don't need to jump through any hoops at all. Makes it pretty clear who's really running the show, and who the 'trade' negotiations are really meant to benefit doesn't it?

  • Apr 26th, 2015 @ 9:27pm

    Re: 4 types

    You left out a bit for the first type.

    1. White hats who try find flaws and alert the appropriate people about them so the flaws can be fixed (Roberts). This is relatively small group because of the skills needed to find the flaws, and the fact that so many companies have made it clear that exposing a flaw in their product and/or service will not result in it being fixed, but the company doing everything they can to crush the one who found the flaw.

  • Apr 26th, 2015 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey now, that's unfair, sharks get a bad enough rap as it is, comparing them to parasites like that is uncalled for.

  • Apr 26th, 2015 @ 6:03am

    Re: I assume that each day they waste...

    Nice idea, but wouldn't work, both because no inmate or guard would dare touch them as prospective FBI/police agents, and because they would know that all they'd have to do would be to 'tough it out' for a short period of time, very much unlike those stuck there for years or decades.

  • Apr 26th, 2015 @ 4:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Funny, or perhaps just hypocritical, that so often the ones who are claiming that pirates are the ones with the sense of entitlement always seem to expect everyone else to shoulder the costs, whether it be time, effort or money, in protecting their stuff.

    Like they expect others to be just honored to act as unpaid lackeys, only to be just shocked that people aren't lining up for the position.

  • Apr 26th, 2015 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'd be curious to know the number of financial transactions and video/music transactions in a given year. Both are certainly massive. Yet the financial ecosystem is fairly successful guarding against lawlessness it their ecosystem.

    Here's one of the big differences though: A financial transaction is either legal or illegal, the number or content of it don't matter. If someone notices a large transaction from an account that's not known for it, it's a quick matter to check that out. A transaction with a known crime group? Again, fairly easy to investigate.

    Copyright infringement though? Not nearly so easy, as the exact same file can be both illegal, maybe legal, or legal, depending on context. There are no 'suspicious' markers to look out for.

    The difference is that suspicious financial transactions are flagged and/or stopped.

    Define 'suspicious files', and do so in a manner that doesn't require you to know the contents. Is it a large file? A small file? Files transferred on a regular basis? Files transferred on an irregular basis? Files transferred by someone with a criminal record? By someone without a criminal record?

    To even begin to look for 'suspicious files', would require ISP's or other large companies to closely examine Every. Single. One. and given the sheer number of files, and the fact that it's nigh impossible to tell the legal status of pretty much any of them without careful investigation, and in most cases, a court trial to determine one way or another, the idea that internet companies could 'monitor' what passes through their systems in the same way that banks do isn't even close to feasible.

    In addition to the problem of scale, there's also the issue of knowledge. Third-parties, like ISP's and internet companies, completely lack the required knowledge to know whether or not a given file is infringing or not, and for two reasons. One is that the legal status of a file depends almost entirely on context, which is knowledge they do not have.

    Say someone is transferring a movie, is it infringing? Maybe, maybe not. Could be a legal backup, could be a movie in the public domain or otherwise not covered under copyright. Could be pirated or it could be purchased. It could be an 'official' leak to a reviewer, or an 'unofficial' one to a friend of someone who works in the label/studio. The third-party does not, and can not know, yet context is everything in a case like that.

    The second part regarding the lack of knowledge is that the third party has no way of knowing what's been authorized or not. A given mp3 might be being transferred by the artist them-self, or by someone authorized to act on their behalf. It might be owned by the very person who's sending it, or it might be owned by someone completely different. The owner may know it's being sent and approve, or they might not. The third party does not know, and has no way of knowing. The only person who could be expected to know is the copyright owner them-self, not the third-party.

    This sacred right has been perverted by self-serving freeloaders to now include the right to share infringing material- absent a court's determination.

    And do you know why it's that way, and needs to stay that way?

    Because it's better to let the guilty go, if it means not punishing the innocent.

    That is why a trial is required, in order to determine guilt. So that if a site, or even a file is taken down, it's because it has been proven to be infringing, not just because some company or individual said it was.

    Companies and individuals screw up all the time, and you don't need to look very far to find examples. As such, it's better by far to require a trial before any speech is silenced, to make damn sure that innocent people and their rights aren't trampled in the hysterical flailing about to 'stop piracy'.

  • Apr 25th, 2015 @ 6:12pm

    Re:

    Ah yes, because much like duffle bags filled with large denomination bills, an infringing file, and a non-infringing file, look completely different, which is why it's easy enough for anyone to tell(except when they can't), despite the fact that the only person who can reasonably know whether or not something has been authorized to be posted is the copyright holder.

    And of course let's completely toss out the window the fact that to make any sort of determination about whether something may or may not be infringing, someone would have to look over it.

    As an example, let's look at just YouTube. Given how much is posted on an hourly basis, you'd need likely thousands of people, if not more, doing nothing but examining uploads(again, despite the fact they completely lack the required knowledge to spot infringement), employed on a full-time basis.

    Are you going to pay for that? What about those companies claiming that infringement is 'obvious' and that 'you know it when you see it', think they'd care to pay for something like that? Or are you expecting YT to shoulder that massive cost just as a 'favor'? You know, like how other industries shell out massive amounts of money to protect the interest of industries and/or companies completely unrelated to them.

    Financial institutions can look for suspicious types of transactions, like sudden large transfers, or transfers to certain known organizations, but online data is data, and it's impossible to determine the legality of a given file just by glancing at it, given an infringing file, and a legal one, look identical.

    Not to mention, without carefully examining the files being transferred(which brings up it's own concerns regarding privacy), it's impossible to know whether a particular file may or may not be infringing/illegal, especially if the one doing the examinging is a third-party who lacks the require knowledge to make the determination.

  • Apr 25th, 2015 @ 1:33pm

    Re:

    Those affected respond favorably to a law changed in their favor at the cost of the public, go figure. Really, who could have ever seen that response coming? /s

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 7:48pm

    Re:

    Oh please tell me someone got that on video, I'm sure the response was epic.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: One day!

    If you can automate a DMCA claim, which requires you to swear under penalty of perjury that the information in the claim is correct, I don't see why 'created by a computer' would exempt something from being copyrightable. Mind, it shouldn't be, either of them, but the precedent has already been set.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 2:52pm

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

    Theoretically it already is, what needs to be done is to start enforcing it, as well as changing the wording regarding bogus DMCA claims to actually be applicable when they should be.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 1:38pm

    "I didn't sign up for this job to do work!"

    Even further on this point, right now, sites like Craigslist and Backpages are great tools for law enforcement to find and track down actual sex traffickers. Putting the liability on them to stop the advertisements or face criminal charges doesn't stop the sex trafficking at all, it just makes it that much harder for law enforcement to find it. Does Senator Kirk really want to go down as the Senator who made it more difficult for law enforcement to find and arrest sex traffickers?

    Going after the actual criminals, that takes work, and can take time to build up a case and bring it to court. In other words, it requires them to actually do their jobs. It takes work, and the PR benefits are lacking until a convictions has been made.

    Brushing the problem under the rug though, pretending that by making it less visible you're decreasing the amount of it occurring, that takes minimal work, and the PR benefits are immediate, you can go around crowing about how you're 'tough on sex trafficers' pretty much right away, despite the fact that it's not even remotely true.

    The ones pushing such bills don't care in the slightest about actually solving the problem, all they care about is being able to boast that they made it less visible.

  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 3:00am

    Re:

    The problem is the reasoning for a no-knock warrant, as opposed to a regular one, is ridiculous. Someone has a locked door and a small apartment? If those are acceptable excuses to go with a no-knock, then that opens up countless other houses to no-knock warrants, for no real reason than because they are small and their owners don't feel like leaving their doors unlocked.

    While we conclude as a matter of law that they did not ultimately provide sufficient basis for the issuance of the warrant in that form, the police did not act in bad faith

    There's also this little tidbit, where the court even seems to agree that the information provided didn't justify a no-knock raid, and yet they passed it, and the evidence gathered from it, as legal regardless.

    If the cops don't actually have to follow the law, just have a pretty good idea that they are, then the laws and restrictions they create become meaningless. Why bother knowing the law, if the court will just say 'You tried' and give you a pass after all?

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