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Piracy Government Media The Internet Politics Your Rights Online

New Bill Ups Punishment For Hosts of Infringing Video Streams 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the legality-is-in-the-eye-of-the-rightsholder dept.
halfEvilTech writes "Two months ago, the Obama administration asked Congress to make illicit online streaming of copyrighted movies and TV shows a felony. Such a bill has now been introduced by two senators. 'Online streamers can now face up to five years in prison and a fine in cases where: They show 10 or more "public performances" by electronic means in any 180-day period; and the total retail value of those performances tops $2,500 or the cost of licensing such performances is greater than $5,000.'"
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New Bill Ups Punishment For Hosts of Infringing Video Streams

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:33PM (#36171348)

    If every-time a major corporation leaked my personal data (HI Sony!) they were faced with this same penalty. Per record leaked.

    • I'd support a fine (not felony convictions, that's absurd) if entertainment executives faced felony convictions for not making their content available at a reasonable price to the public.

      Put it on Hulu. I'll watch ads. Put it on netflix, I pay for that. I'm not signing up for HBGO just to watch game of thrones.
      • You realize that HBO GO is free if you are a subscriber to the network already.

        • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:46PM (#36172336)
          So instead of signing up for a subscription to HBGO, I could sign up for cable AND HBO just to watch it online? Uh, thanks, but that's not better unless I'm missing something... I think I'll stick to signing up for -nothing- and just watch it streaming until they offer it on DVD.
        • I'm not paying for the network, the program, the Net connection, the bandwidth, or the phone. I paid for my time, computer, monitor, table, and apartment already. Enough. Ok, I pay monthly for a half-dozen Net connections, still working on ways around that.
           
          Revolution is paying big corporations for exactly nothing, and inventing decent ways to do everything.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Ah, Sony, yes. Those with incredible bad IT security and arrogance to match. I want

      - Cash to address the insult
      - Insurance against any and all costs their gross negligence will cost me
      - The responsible parties at Sony for this mess-up to face a few years in prison

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Sue them. Stop your fucking whining, get off your lazy ass, and protect your rights.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:51PM (#36172932) Journal

        Riiiight, because most folks have a couple of million lying around to hire some land sharks and keep them on the payroll for a decade or more right? Hell a friend of mine was running a little ISP and got screwed blatntly by one of the big boys who said "just try and sue us". Even his lawyer said ultimately he'd win, no doubt but it would cost a minimum of 1.5 million and a decade, maybe a decade and a half, for them to use up all their appeals and drag it to the highest courts.

        You see the thing that makes the corps "better than you" in the eyes of the law (which is written by lawyers natch) is that they can afford legal teams that do nothing but smack guys like you around all day. Unless your last name is Buffet or Dell you can't afford justice even if you are right, simply because they can drag it out forever. So unless you can get a lawyer who'll go for class action (in which case the lawyer gets 99% and you get a coupon towards your next purchase) you are SOL dude.

  • WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrQuacker (1938262) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:34PM (#36171356)
    Why does an industry that offers so little in terms of value or innovation hold so much power over everyone? Why do we keep allowing these bullies to push us around?
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Samalie (1016193) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:37PM (#36171400)

      Simple. They have the money to buy politicians. We don't.

      And lets face it, in a 2-party system, there is no way in hell activists like us are going to get big 2 party nominations without taking the money from the lobbyists that we would thereby be bound to serve their corporate overlord interests.

      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:47PM (#36171528) Journal

        They have the money right now. This is a life-and-death struggle, but as we've seen with other industries throughout history that have been surpassed by newer technologies, not even artificial life-support by governments can buy much more than a temporary stay of execution. The Japanese government during Edo period banned firearms (despite Japan at one point being the largest manufacturer in the world) to prop up the Shogunate. They got an awfully rude awakening when Admiral Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay and shot a few cannons off.

        I suspect, in twenty years, RIAA, the MPAA and all these ever-increasingly harsh laws will be history. They had their century or so of necessary economic scarcity and its done. At some point the government will realize that there's about as much use in propping these guys up as there would have been in banning flintlocks and cannons to keep fletchers employed.

        • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hoggoth (414195) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:00PM (#36171724) Journal

          > not even artificial life-support by governments can buy much more than a temporary stay of execution
          > I suspect, in twenty years, RIAA, the MPAA and all these ever-increasingly harsh laws will be history

          You are half right. In twenty years the RIAA and MPAA may be history... but those laws giving large corporations and the government the power to monitor everything we do and punish any individual or small business that gets in their way... they will never give up those laws.

          And THAT is why Congress is letting the RIAA and MPAA push them around. It's an excuse for both parties to get what they want.
          The same thing is going on with the "terrorism" industry.

      • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by camperdave (969942) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:41PM (#36172280) Journal

        Simple. They have the money to buy politicians. We don't.

        And lets face it, in a 2-party system, there is no way in hell activists like us are going to get big 2 party nominations without taking the money from the lobbyists that we would thereby be bound to serve their corporate overlord interests.

        It's only a two party system if the parties have differing points of view. If the parties are both in favour of it, then what you have is a one party system.

        • Yup, the difference between the US political system and the one in China is that the Chinese Communist party is far more honest about the single party system than the US "Democrats" or "Republicans", and that currently the "communists" are better at managing a capitalist economy than the current american leadership. And before someone tells me that the guys in USA are more free, they are free to say or do anything has long has what they say or do don't threaten the status quo.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Simple. You have a !#%!%!-up political system that lets big money buy politicians. Money exists, and some people have plenty of it. That's not the problem. The problem is that it can be applied in copious quantities to buy political influence -- so much money that the influence of individual voters, financially or by voting, becomes almost irrelevant. Everybody knows that is the root of the problem here. There are solutions to it, or at least ways to mitigate the problem.

        Ban corporate and organization

        • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:00PM (#36173000) Homepage

          Why can't that beacon of democracy, the USA, manage to do it?

          USA is a "beacon of democracy" due to complete subversion of democracy in it.

          I would go further with that, and say that democracy is now completely worthless and its implementation should not be attempted or supported anywhere on its own, because US politicians demonstrated to the whole world how to effectively defeat it and build what amounts to a feudal society while keeping all attributes of democratic institutions and process. It's has an unfixable security bug with known exploit.

          At best, "democracy" is now a minor, and optional, part that can be used to implement all kinds of societies -- oppressive or otherwise -- and people should stop sheepishly repeat US propaganda that promotes it as a cure for all social and economic ills.

          • by Sabriel (134364)

            Don't blow off democracy just because the US didn't quite get it right.

            It's has an unfixable security bug with known exploit.

            Oh, it's fixable. But here's what you can't do: have "democracy" AND "intellectual monopolies".

            You can have trademarks, IF their sole function is to identify who made something. This helps document your civilisation's "resource tree".
            You can have patents, IF their sole function is to describe how something is made. This helps document your civilisation's "tech tree".
            You can even hav

            • by Sabriel (134364)

              You could also consider copyrights, in the above form, to help document your civilisation's "culture tree".

            • by Alex Belits (437) *

              While IP legal clusterfuck is a problem in itself, it's one of many, many results of puppeteering democracy. Fixing it (if it is possible at all) will not affect the underlying cause.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        There's nothing about "2-party system" that has anything to do with "They have the money to buy politicians. We don't."

        If there was 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10e100 parties, you'd still be a broke-ass slacker refusing to show up to shout down their candidate.

      • While there is some truth to what you say a bigger factor is that the overwhelming majority of people think it is enough to go out and vote once every other year (too many only every four years). If you want to change things you need to be willing to work at it for however long it takes. And you have to realize that even if one election goes your way, it isn't over. If you want to change things you need to be willing to dedicate yourself to it.
      • How, though? The film industry is like $14 billion per year, and music is less than that. Where exactly are they getting all this clout?

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:49PM (#36171560) Homepage Journal

      Same damn reason corporations in general are running everything. In the past few decades, "capitalism" and "free market" has been twisted by those with lots of money and a vested interest in having as much power as possible to mean unbridled, unregulated, free reign to do anything they want. When someone tries to inject some common sense into the conversation, they get called Communists (the Cold War buzzword) and/or Socialists (its modern bogeyman equivalent), the FTC, FCC, and other organizations tasked with looking out for us get emasculated and de-funded, a bunch of flag waving and chants of "freedom!" happen, and people vote and act against their own self-interest. All the while, those very rich people get to pay 15% capital gains tax on most of their income while the rest of us pay way more, and those corporations that are screwing us over pay little or no tax in the name of "creating jobs" all the while planning how to more efficiently cut our salaries and benefits and ship our jobs overseas.

      Other than posting meaningless messages on Slashdot, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to cancel your cable subscription and stop watching big content? Are you going to stop listening to everyone except independent artists? Are you going to stop going to/renting movies? Are you going to support and campaign for people who have strong consumer rights stances? Are you going to tell your family and friends, even when it's a bit awkward because they're the very "freedom!" chanters you're fighting, why they have to buy movies four times to watch them on four devices? Are you going to write to your Congresscritters and your local media, set up a blog, and otherwise try to get the word out? Are you going to donate time and money to organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation? Are you going to stop buying iPods, Blu-ray players, PS3s, Amazon Prime memberships, and Netflix subscriptions?

      Yeah, that's what I thought. That is why the bullies get to keep pushing us around.

      • Same damn reason corporations in general are running everything. In the past few decades, "capitalism" and "free market" has been twisted by those with lots of money and a vested interest in having as much power as possible to mean unbridled, unregulated, free reign to do anything they want. When someone tries to inject some common sense into the conversation, they get called Communists (the Cold War buzzword) and/or Socialists (its modern bogeyman equivalent), the FTC, FCC, and other organizations tasked with looking out for us get emasculated and de-funded, a bunch of flag waving and chants of "freedom!" happen, and people vote and act against their own self-interest. All the while, those very rich people get to pay 15% capital gains tax on most of their income while the rest of us pay way more, and those corporations that are screwing us over pay little or no tax in the name of "creating jobs" all the while planning how to more efficiently cut our salaries and benefits and ship our jobs overseas.

        What you are describing sounds like fascism. At least Mussolini made the trains run on time. In the US, they can't even do that.

        • by Alex Belits (437) *

          Oh, they just got rid of trains instead.

          Trains are too Communist for US, they are large, expensive things that provide convenient, non-humiliating way of travel to people who are not "worth" it. Our poor people must only travel in beaten up cars and piss-stained buses!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617)

      It's the last industry that we own in the US. Everything else has been sent out of the US... everything including technology. Intellectual property and control of the world's money is all that's left. Once that's gone, then end of life in the US as we have known it will end pretty quickly with it.

    • Why does an industry that offers so little in terms of value or innovation hold so much power over everyone? Why do we keep allowing these bullies to push us around?

      Supply and demand.

    • Did you e-mail your representatives and/or give money to EFF? Or some other relevant public interest group? Because I haven't yet either, and there are 3 reasons:
      1. Laziness
      2. I'm telling myself I will do it soon
      3. It's a bit of a depressing situation. I'm guessing my personal opinions on the subject are outweighed by ten dollars from the MPAA. That might be optimistic. Thousands of us need to give counter money AND bother our reps before we have a glimmer of hope of opposing them, and by the time w
  • In Soviet Russia, Streams imprison you!

    Look, we all know, "copyright infringement is bad". But this is NOT a criminal matter, and in no way should the government/police/Federal Agencies be responsible for dealing with matters of civil law.

    (And yes, if this passes, it does become criminal law...which is fucking retarded and a waste of public money.)

    • Re:Well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:41PM (#36171448)

      I don't think civil v. criminal is as cut-and-dried as you think. If it was, people would not be thrown into prison for smoking a naturally-growing green plant.

      The US Constitution (unfortunately) gives the US power to grant monopolies to artists and inventors. Wouldn't infringement on that monopoly be a criminal offense against the US Government?

      I think Jefferson had the right idea with his version of the Bill of Rights. He limited the monopoly to ___ years which he suggested should be 14. I agree. If you can't make money off your product during its first 14 years of existence, then too bad. Time to put it in the public domain for the benefit of ALL the people.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "In Soviet Russia, Streams imprison you!"

      In Soviet America, Tan Jesus imprisons you.

  • Felony? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rei (128717) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:38PM (#36171408) Homepage

    Felony? Seriously?

    "Yes, ma'am, I know you were raped, but it's not like your attacker posed a couple episodes of Scrubs on YouTube..."

    • by blair1q (305137)

      "Yes ma'am, I know you were murdered, but it's not like your attacker raped you."

      See how stupid that sounds?

      Moral equivalency is not the issue. Felony is felony and there's a large range of things within that classification.

      For instance, this may be a class-6 or 7 felony, while murder is a class-1 felony and rape is class-2. The class number is an index into the table of punishments.

      And no, it's not going to be rational all the way through. On the first list that Google returns [google.com], we see that altering a lo

      • by Rei (128717)

        I'm sorry, what exactly is the objection you're making to requesting rationality in our criminal code? That there's already irrationality, so more is welcome?

    • ...and grandchildren of artists who recorded songs 60 years ago. They're entitled to an undeserved life of comfort based on modern, perpetually-temporary copyright terms! After all, what do you want them to do - go get a job or something?
  • by Sooner Boomer (96864) <sooner.boomr@gmai l . c om> on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:40PM (#36171432) Journal

    Will be interesting (assuming this passes) to see if the so-called offenders move off shore. They might get their domain names blocked, but they might avoid prosecution if the law where they stream from does not make this illegal there too. Would also be interesting to see how this would stand up to a 1st Amendment challange as it make the punishment of electronic form of violating the law much more harsh that otherwise.

    • Re:Consequences... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:44PM (#36171496) Homepage Journal

      since anyoen who fires up a bittorrent is considered distributing, everyone is at risk.

      OTOH, maybe everyone should just do it and watch the imploding court system force them to remove this law.

    • by jd (1658)

      I'd be more surprised if this didn't result in an upsurge in multicasting. Streaming 11 people ptp would break the limit of 10 "performances". Multicasting once to 1,000 people in one go would be a single "public performance". Guess which becomes the more attractive. (It'd also slash bandwidth usage, freeing up the Internet for things it's meant for, like prawns.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:41PM (#36171444)

    This will be used to squelch free speech and the Larry Flint of the 21st century will be in prison awaiting trial before he gets in front of the Supreme Court.

    This could also be used in a copyright dispute with multiple owners (film school students vs their school, CGI hobbyists vs each other, etc.) It is unprecedented to give citizens the ability to create situations where they can send people to jail when they lost nothing but imaginary revenue and occording to several studies actually gained free marketing from the unauthorized streamers.

    When you create a scenario where someone can be arrested for replaying something in fair use, and await trial to prove their innocence... it's a travesty of justice.

  • At first I thought this was about people broadcasting pay-per-view games, which makes sense (to some extend, it is not a violent crime, so felony is a bit harsh).
    But then I read movies and television shows... Does this mean that if I rebroadcast Escape from Alcatraz on TNT it is a problem, but a pay-per-view soccer match is not?

  • how you feel.
    Please.

    If people would put the effort into being involved in meaningful ways, we can stop this.

    Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned*, and geeks whine on the internet while America burns... Checkmate.

    *Not actually likely to have happened since he wasn't there.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Dear Mr. Congressman,

      I would like to steal money by showing movies over the internet. I own the movie, right? I bought a copy so I can make as many copies in real-time as I want, right? Isn't that what "freedom of the press" is all about? Remember the Maine!

      Signed,

      L. I. McWire

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:46PM (#36171508) Homepage

    Once again proving the Obama Administration is very much in the pockets of the entertainment industry, and that the kind of people who become politicians are exactly the kind of people you wouldn't want as politicians.

  • Screwed up they are, in America.

  • Ugh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @04:55PM (#36171658)
    I know the Democrats are screwing up here. As a card carrying Dem I'll apologize for my people. Something that would help us help you though is if we could get a more solid base. The Dems are running scared, and they're pandering to Hollywood just to get enough money to fight the good fight. Ideologically I don't think my party wants to put people in Jail for this nonsense. It's an awful comprise. Obama basically said as much about the compromises he's making to get anything done.

    Anyway, I've said it before and I'll say it again, stop voting Republican. Yes, the Dems do crap like this. But they at least have to pretend to support the little man. Yes, a 2 party system sucks. Yes, Canada is a better run country than us. But a general goes to war with the army he's given, and the Dems stated ideology puts SOME limitations on the damage they can do. It's a start.
    • I seem to remember that most Hollywood people (who are, incidentally, rich) tend to be Democrat? Or at least vote that way? How is pandering to Hollywood anything new?

    • by Maltheus (248271)

      As a Republican, we faced the same issue with our party. They weren't practicing their rhetoric. But instead of pleading with people to stay the course, we formed something called the Tea Party (back during the Bush years) and decided that sticking to small government principles was more important than winning.

      Obviously that Tea Party has now been fully co-opted by the mainstream GOP, noecons and social conservatives, but I'd really have more respect for the left if they at least tried the same thing on the

      • it's a wholly owned subsidiary of the right. Seriously. The Koch bros et al funded it from day 1 though their think tanks. Didn't you ever wonder where all the money came for the facilities and organization for those 'spontaneous' tea party rallys? I hate to break this to you, but you're being manipulated. Artfully, skillfully manipulated.

        And it's not hero worship. He's better then McCain, and that's all we can hope for what with all the derp out there :(.
    • "I know my party's screwing up with the power they have, but if you give us more power, then I promise we'll do better."

      And for the record, I'm not even an American, so I don't have a horse in this race; I think both your parties suck.

    • the Dems stated ideology puts SOME limitations on the damage they can do.

      Yeah, and Reps stated ideology (states rights) also does so.

      What good is stated ideology if the parties do not adhere to it whenever and wherever it is convenient for them to do so?

    • by Fjandr (66656)

      Republicans see Democrats that way too. As long as that's the prevailing perspective, the predators (both R and D) will continue to run the farm in the same manner.

      They differ on relatively minor issues, because none of them will make substantive change unless it increases their power. They talk big about issues people believe to be important, but don't actually act on them. The division caused by the argument is enough to keep them in power, since people run scared when confronted with the possibility that

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Yes, Canada is a better run country than us.

      You might want to bone up on your recent Canadian political history. Because, uh, not so much with the progressiveness the past year or two.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ALeavitt (636946) <<aleavitt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:24PM (#36172734)

      I know the Democrats are screwing up here. As a card carrying Dem I'll apologize for my people. Something that would help us help you though is if we could get a more solid base. The Dems are running scared, and they're pandering to Hollywood just to get enough money to fight the good fight.

      So we should vote for a party that is willing to compromise its ideals on the vague promise that once they have enough power they will suddenly grow morals?

    • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:16PM (#36173160)

      Excuse me. I have had my fill of the "Democrat" this and "Republican" that argument. It is tired, useless posturing.

      The democratic national party has done what every political body has done since the organization of large government; it has arranged things to secure itself a profitable future. Pandering to it in the hopes of getting a scrap of meat on the bones thrown down is truly pathetic. Same goes for the republican GOP.

      Here's an idea. Stop voting along party lines.
      Having the "wrong" letter under their name is not grounds to exculde a candidate, nor to blanket vote.

      In fact-- Totally ignore that little letter under their names, because in the end it really is only there to distract you. Instead, vote for candidates based on their political histories, and corporate affiliation statuses (EG, if they are a corporate shill, they are a corporate shill, and DO NOT deserve your vote, regardless of what that little letter under their name is.)

      I am SICK TO FUCKING DEATH of hearing "apologies" from little Ds and little Rs about what the big Ds and big Rs are doing, spewing false hope that "If only you vote for OUR guys" things will get better. They wont. There is no incentive for things to get better for anyone other than the corporations and their hired shills, the very representatives we are arguing over.

      Here's an idea-- Instead of providing support to the people who are trying to kill us normal citizens at the behest of the monied elite, why dont we just let them die? They are losing support you say? GOOD! BOTH parties need to die.

      The US *REALLY* needs a parlamentary system with many more than 2 parties involved, where the party status is determined by percentage of popular voter registration. We need to eliminate the "Independant" registration status, and make it what it really should be: A whole new fertile list of political affiliation choices.

      Voting for the lesser of two evils is STILL VOTING FOR MORE EVIL.

      GAHH!

  • Henceforth the total resale value of any single or partial frame of any broadcast for web use will be set at $2501 or more by the industry, and licensing fees to anyone other than their friends will be set at $5001 or more. Each pixel of each frame will count as a separate public performance (they are after all separated in time). So from this day forth the publication of anything on the web that resembles any 10 pixels in any copyright work will be considered a felony.
  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:06PM (#36171820)

    I am really truly disgusted that Obama would support this. I voted for Obama once in 2008 in the final election (but for Kucinich in primaries). I am a progressive and now i feel duped for having voted for what is a conservative pro corporate, anti worker president who apparently loves being ass kisser of Republicans and surrendering to their poor and working class hating, billionaire worshipping ways. The difficulty in 2012 is that there is no one else for a progressive to vote for, we have two conservative candidates running against each other. One can vote Green, but they have no chance of winning, but its better than not voting. People do need to vote , even for the greens, to show them that they are there and that progressives are out there, rather than to give the impression we don't care. I voted for Obama, and basically am greatly disappointed about what has basically turned into a conservative, fascist, war mongering, corporatist president. He would do far less damage if he would run under the Republican party where his ideas are more at home and stop polluting the Democratic party with his corrupt policies. It seems like what he says in speeches is just enough to try to appease progressives but then he turns around adn stabs us in the back in another attack on our rights such as this, or attacks on social security and medicare, continued failures in enacting a public option for health care and making universal health care a reality, and more tax breaks for the wealthy. I get the feeling he loves surrendering to the Republicans in tax cuts for the rich and more attacks on common people.

    I think the only thing that might force Obama to take progressives seriously, rather than ignore them, a mass defection of progressives to the green party that would cut into his support base and threaten his chance of winning. That desperately needs to happen. An example of him ignoring progressives is that while he invited Republicans who want to continue to let the poor die while insurance companies rake in massive profits, he excluded advocates of medicare for all from the health care debates. He also started out with a proposal that was already conservative, the idea of the exchanges were the republicans own ideas from the 90s, leaving himself the only negotiating room was into conservative territory. This is all relevant to internet rights and fair use of copyright and having decent, non fascist copyright laws, since the same thing applies, it keeps selling us out to republicans and corporations.

    it is also time to look at election reform to implement proportional representation so we are not stuck with the two party system, such as like they have in Europe, so minority parties like the greens can have representation, and that we are not locked into two parties. Currently we have an extremist conservative right wing party, the Republicans, that wants to scorch the earth and kill the poor, and we have a centrist party, the Democrats, that is where the Republicans were ideologically, 40 years ago. Its been said that Obama is more conservative than Richard Nixon or Eisenhower. Sad, but true.

    • by Maltheus (248271)

      The main problem that we have with elections is that people wrongly believe that they've wasted their voted if they didn't vote for someone who was likely to win. I would argue that the only way to waste your vote is by giving it to someone who would have won without it.

      By voting third party (or for a fringe democratic candidate, in your case), you can goad your mainstream compatriots into fishing for your votes, and moving in your same direction. See the Tea Party for an example.

      Ok, but you might say that

  • by boristdog (133725) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:14PM (#36171928)

    Here on /. people complain about companies that "lock" you into their ecosystem. (Hi, Apple!) But you willingly let yourself be locked into the **AA ecosystem.

    Back in the day we weren't totally dependent on being entertained by moving pictures on a screen. Most of the time we made our own entertainment.

    I still live that way. I watch a one or two Netflix movies or TV shows a week, go to the real movies about once every couple months. TV is a bunch of crap, if it's good I'll Netflix it later. I have LOTS of time to create things, build things, walk the dogs, hang out with friends and family. I wish I had musical talent so I could play an instrument, but no luck there. If I had to totally give up the moving pictures on the screen, I could do it. Sometimes weeks go by when I don't sit in front of the TV. Sometimes I go days where I don't even sit in front of a computer. Okay, that's rare, but it happens. But I try to limit my browsing every day so I can actually go live my life, and then generally only when taking a break at work (Hi!).

    Think of all the things you could do if you weren't so concerned with being entertained by moving pictures on a screen all the time. Think of the **AA pockets you will not be lining if you choose to make your entertainment, or how many artists you will help if you choose to see more live entertainment instead. How much time do you spend watching TV shows and movies? If it's more than 10% of your waking hours, you are wasting your life.

    When your mom, your dog, your wife, your husband, your sister, your brother, your friend, your cat, your dad, etc. dies, how much time could you have spent with them that you spent watching TV instead?

    Face it, the fact that you are complaining about this issue shows that the **AA already has you by the balls. Don't give them a chance to squeeze, just get out of the grip. Life is short. Go out and live it.

    • I care that my tax dollars are going to be used to keep people in this country's expensive prisons just to benefit a select few corporations. You can boycott the RIAA/MPAA all you want, but you can't boycott the IRS.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:17PM (#36171980)

    If I am arrested for DWI, that is a misdemeanor? But, if I use bittorrent to watch a copy of a show broadcast last night that my DVR failed to record, I just committed a felony?

  • This is ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @05:28PM (#36172096)

    Things I can do that will get me in less trouble than pirating a movie:

    Shoplifting the movie
    Shoplifting the movie and stabbing the manager on my way out
    Executing neighborhood pets in the street while neighbors watch
    Dealing small amounts of drugs to children

    Well, at least now I have some options for the weekend that will get me out of the house. Thank god I'm not hurting the country by stealing a movie

  • So what happens when someone streams CNN on justin.tv or ustream?
    Many people are starting to cancel their cable service as the bills have started to become excessive and the content has gotten crappier. (or maybe it's just seems like it as I get older)

    I really want to start a Cable TV service over the Internet , as in IPTV.
    http://www.videotechnology.com/tv/ [videotechnology.com] Try the space bar to change channels.

    All the technology is in place for this already, and I know how to get legitimate content licenses.

    So yesterday I

  • The fine is imposed when the cost of licensing such performances is greater than $5,000. In time, the cost of licensing will of course go up simply due to inflation. After the first year a movie that would license at $5000 would then license for $5300. But the fine is still at $5000.
    In 5 years a movie that would $5000 would now license for $6691.

    In effect the fine is being imposed for smaller and smaller infractions.

  • don't give money when they call and indicate that this is a reason why. On election day don't vote for him and only vote for people that actually represent you.
  • by currently_awake (1248758) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:28PM (#36173268)
    Your grandmother has a birthday, the family gathers around and sings to her and video's it. The video gets uploaded. Because no royalties were paid for this public performance it's therefore an unauthorized distribution. How many people have to watch/download this before they get arrested? There are two sets of laws- those for the poor and those for the rich. The laws protecting the rich have much higher penalties.
  • So what is considered a public performance? I have a server where I stream my music from. Is that a felony? What if friends also have access?

    I'm gonna be honest, it's getting a bit too dangerous to even listen to music. I'd like to find a new pastime - is there an RIAA-like organization harassing people who weave blankets?

  • If you're a banker, you can rob $TRILLIONS, steal whole counties worth of homes, fund genocide, take down governments, delete pensions. I'm sure that if you also pirate video streams there's some way to forgive that, too.

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