and the War on Drugs has been a great success too!

Story: Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920'sTotal Replies: 35
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Nov 27, 2005
10:49 AM EDT
And the War on Terrorism, and the War on Poverty.... by gosh, now it's War on Our Own Customers. That'll learn the dirty so-and-sos.

Nov 27, 2005
10:56 AM EDT
My dear esteemed colleague, tuxxie: I planned on subtext handling those issues.

Nov 27, 2005
11:03 AM EDT
oh come on, stating the obvious is one of the few pleasures left to me as I enter my dotage.

Nov 27, 2005
11:11 AM EDT
You mean: a mental infirmity as a consequence of old age; sometimes shown by foolish infatuations

OK. That can be the word of the day ;)

But, I wasn't objecting, just revealing a technique.

Nov 27, 2005
12:24 PM EDT
...and I'm damned sick of all those Wars you mention. Just an old hippy at heart I guess!

Nov 27, 2005
12:39 PM EDT
"OK. That can be the word of the day ;)"

tadelste, You mean 'mental infirmity', or 'foolish infatuations' as the word ?

In fact, Tuxchick is still a spritley young thing by your and especially my reckoning. :D

Nov 27, 2005
12:47 PM EDT
She used the term dotage. So that's the word of the day. Probably an incongruent term for the young lady.

Nov 27, 2005
1:22 PM EDT
oh, I thought you were calling me fat, "infatuation."

"Does this dress make me look fat?"

"No, your fat makes you look fat."

LXer: Telling the truth, regardless of consequences.

Time for more spiked eggnog.

Nov 27, 2005
2:25 PM EDT
Ha! Foolish drug sympathizers. We will lay waste to the capital of drugland. We will rape and pillage all of your cities and burn your strange-smelling crops until we feel suddenly really mellow. Damn you druglanders and druglander sympathizers.

Nov 27, 2005
2:33 PM EDT
nebyah: some people might take you seriously. That's why I haven't called for a jihad against Microsoft, knowing that the term jihad only applies to Islam.

We just don't have a word like that.

BTW - I'm not a drug sympathizer if that's what you got.

The article applied to software.


Nov 27, 2005
2:49 PM EDT
Actually I was trying to imply that a war on drugs/terrorism/poverty is not possible, since you can't make war on concepts, states of being, or plant derivitives. Wars are fought between states. However I am not good at being subtle. Actually I suck at writing, which explains a lot.

I was serious once, but it gave me a rash.

Nov 27, 2005
3:06 PM EDT
In the context, it's funny. I just don't know fromwhere people are coming all the time. And, BTW, I agree with you.

Nov 27, 2005
3:09 PM EDT
Me, me, I volunteer for the strange crop burning. After all, one must do one's civic duty. Like, wow.

Nov 27, 2005
3:20 PM EDT
tadelste: So you agree that I suck at writing. Cool. :) tuxchick: See it's all how you sell it. If the government would just explain the benefits, such as crop burning parties, they'd no doubt get a lot more people enlisting for the war on drugs. PS You're funny. I tried to be funny once, but it gave me a rash.

Nov 27, 2005
3:37 PM EDT
nebyah: I don't agree that you suck at writing.

Quoting:Actually I was trying to imply that a war on drugs/terrorism/poverty is not possible, since you can't make war on concepts, states of being, or plant derivitives. Wars are fought between states.

I agree with the above quote.

Nov 27, 2005
3:39 PM EDT
Prohibition always fails, because it is coercive in nature. Punishment based.

The opposite is the primary reason that voluntary cooperation works so much better than coercive, the people involved are involved because they are personally interested in whatever the project is, and its success.

F/OSS is voluntary cooperation by interested individuals amplified by the exceptionally low barriers to entry, by anyone who can get net access anywhere in the world.

Another reason that alcohol prohibition failed is because of jury nullification. Juries said, "Prosecute some little old lady for drinking a beer? No. Not guilty." That's one reason they had to go after Capone for tax evasion, no jury would convict him of running booze.

Nov 27, 2005
3:44 PM EDT
To built on your point, prohibition also focuses on deviate behavior. The deviation in the population isn't going to change one way or the other.

Nov 27, 2005
4:15 PM EDT
So guys --

Prohibition always fails?

How do you define success?

Is it absence of the proscribed behavior, or is it a better set of overall outcomes than would exist in the absence of the prohibition?

For example...

Out where I live, driving over the speed of 65 mph is prohibited. Many people, however, drive at 70. A fair number drive at 75. Some go faster than that.

Is the prohibition a failure or not?


Nov 27, 2005
5:15 PM EDT
It's neither a success or a failure. Some states don't have speed limits on the highways. Something like 95% of the drivers will always seek the safest speed. It doesn't matter where or which state, etc.

Populations have interesting characteristics. In actuarial science the practitioners can tell you within some ridiculously low variance how many houses will burn, how many people will break their arms, have heart attacks, catch the flu, etc. They just don't know who.

In insurance it's called the Law of Large Numbers.

Hey, one religion on this planet cuts off the hands of thieves. That hasn't stopped people from stealing.

The question a society must ask IMHO is how much are you willing to tolerate?

Conservatives what to preserve the status quo. Progressives want to raise the bar on tolerance.

Then you have the age of consent. In Canada, the age of consent is 14. And Canada has the highest rate of rapes per capita in the Western hemisphere. Good old Canada eh.

It's a difficult question. But that's not the issue.

The issue is whether our trade policies work. And I don't think they do. Thus, "Encircle Microsoft".


Nov 27, 2005
5:20 PM EDT
Wow Dino, This really starts to be a real moot court issue. A strong case could be made that some have the skill set and the equipment to be far safer doing in excess of 80mph on the expressway than the little old man who is doing 55mph. On the other hand it is questionable that anyone is safe at any speed on some urban streets.

One of the big problems is that this judgment is further muddied by the profit motivation for government to nab people solely on the criteria of speed.

Nov 27, 2005
5:49 PM EDT
jimf and Tom --

You are both getting it:

The measure of a prohibition is in its overall effect on socieity.

No prohibition will eliminate the proscribed behavior. However, if the net result advances societal goals, then the prohibition is a success.

The prohibition against alcohol failed for a number of reasons, not the least being that most people enjoy a drink now and then, without harming themselves or the greater good.

Of course, futile prohibitions are limited to conservative causes. Look at all the cities and states that prohibit handguns and assault weapons, yet seem unable to keep people from getting shot.


Nov 27, 2005
5:59 PM EDT
When people think a law is stupid, and it's easy to evade, yeah right it's going to be obeyed. And necessary laws are never passed, like the one I keep proposing to my Senators to ban Michael Jackson.

This whole business over "intellectual property rights" and trying to turn every aspect of music and movies into a revenue stream- when you think about something, you have a copy in your memory, so that should cost money too- is beyond ridiculous. If sanity prevails and we return to reasonable Fair Use, I will die of shock. It's not like they're protecting anything original anyway, most popular music and movies are warmed-over to the point of meltdown.

Nov 27, 2005
6:05 PM EDT
Tuxchick: You nailed it. However, I like the idea of implants of chips in the brain to capture micro-payments for the Rolling Stones. I think we might be able to get the funding from ASCAP.

I also believe that we can ask Bill Gates to call a special session of Congress to get it passed.

Ballmer can have the Supreme Court refuse to hear the case.

Jobs can get the White House to sign.

I can see this working. Absolutely.

I don't think we can arrange for a ban of Michael Jackson since he stills drives revenue.

Nov 27, 2005
6:09 PM EDT
jimf - I beg to differ: on the mad roads I used to commute to on assignments, both essentially toll roads with very high traffic densities. You had idiots driving well in excess of the of both the posted speed limit changing their velocity* with abandon, hence, barely in control in the event of an unexpected placement of any vehicle. These same idiots would drop their speed well below the posted limit with any sighting of enforcement personnel (state police, etc.) whereas I passed by those enforcers above the posted limit with getting a second look. [Of course, this varies by state and the type of idiots recruited into the enforcers union.]

In Chicago with a V-8 in front and little weight on the rear driving wheels that had a differential cut off on slippage I scared a number of people with the fish tailing this auto was prone to without suffering a forward speed reduction in snow (and some ice). However, with the differential power steering I was quite able to keep control with letting up on the accelerator a bit and only using a light finger touch steering into the skid. Now in the sub-tropics of Central Atlantic state I can barely drive on a street with a light coverage of fresh snow having forgotten all my technique due to lack of practice. Before global warming hit here I wasn't doing that badly even here in the winter.

* (velocity != speed, that is: velocity is a vector it is a combination of speed and direction whereas speed is a scalar (number value only))

Nov 27, 2005
6:12 PM EDT
" ban Michael Jackson"

Heck Tuxchick, change 'ban' to 'hang' and i'd support that. :)

One of the basic problems with this 'pass a new law' mentality is that the laws on the books already cover most of it... And, what the hell are we passing laws for business' anyway. Not to mention that those laws are 'always' pro business and anti citizenry. The whole thing stinks.

Nov 27, 2005
6:14 PM EDT
jimf: you're right and yes it does. It stinks.


Nov 27, 2005
6:22 PM EDT
TxtEdMacs, well differ if you want, I drove those same roads for 30 years, about a third of that on a motorcycle. I do agree that a lot of those people do outdistance both their equipment and their skill, but, as your observation proves, speed Prohibition does little to correct the situation. It may actually make the situation worse.

Nov 27, 2005
7:48 PM EDT
Tuxchick, Tom et al...

The big problem about intellectual property is that it was formulated to serve a societal good: to encourage creators to create and to give their creations to the public domain. That is why -- unlike trade secrets -- publicly created intellectual property has always granted a limited monopoly, both in scope and time, to creators.

Historically, IP has been easy to respect. The first purchase rule said the creator's interest ended when you bought a good. You could pass it around to friends, sit on it, make love to it, do anything but copy it and sell the copy.

Creators made money, lots and lots of great creative works were made and, in due time, passed into the public domain.

Then we started horsing up the laws royally. Copyrights damned near never expire, and, worse, get applied to software, which is more a useful art than a work of authorship.

DMCA adds the reverse-engineering provisions. Patents, shivers.

Crap on it all.

IP is not such a bad construct. Destroying the original contract sucks rocks.

I understand that digital media creates new problems by eliminating duplication costs. I actually even sympathize with creators who want to benefit from their creations.

I hope a good and fair way is found to protect their work.

I would, however, rather ban digital media altogether than see the current assault on our collective rights that the entertainment industry and their mostly Democratic shills have been foisting on us. That, by the way, is something that's really got me bitter. Hey Dems: want to distance yourself from the elephant guys? Here's a great place to do it. Of course, you might royally piss off some rather large contributors...

Nov 28, 2005
1:33 AM EDT
The future: Screw MS, Intel, Hollywood and American record labels. Who needs them anyway, apart from American economy and some bill(ionaire)s?

We'll buy VIA/Godson chips, run Linux and watch Bollywood romances, Chinese action movies, sumo wrestling instead off ballgames, and German comedies (OK, kidding about that last one). Actually, I don't care that much because Hollywood isn't making that great movies the last few years (you should watch a few French movies and the difference, apart from the many naked people in French movies, will be clear soon. I also want to get rid of the MTV pimp/gangsta music with all those hookers , and off course of Celine Dion and Pat Boone badly, so who needs DRMed WMV?).

Quoting:" ban Michael Jackson"

Please, speaking for all people outside the US: Don't!

Quoting:velocity != speed

Sniff them both, and the difference becomes even clearer.

Quoting:That's why I haven't called for a jihad against Microsoft, knowing that the term jihad only applies to Islam.

We just don't have a word like that.
War on MS? Enduring freedom? Invation of the penguins? War on dirty, untransparent, badly isolated windows?

I think the quote that used to be on the XMMS site says it all:

In a world without walls and fences, who needs windows and gates anyway?

This is also true for Intel, Hollywood et. all.

Nov 28, 2005
4:49 AM EDT
hkwint: Could you tell us how you really feel?

Nov 28, 2005
6:32 AM EDT (Intel to cut Linux out of the content market)

says it all.

I just don't want to be part of it, rather serious above, so that means boycotting Hollywood, Intel and MS.

Anyone not willing to pay to MS or Intel can't watch movies in that scenario. The part about the VIA chip is serious, I already looked for the C7, but can't find it (will call some headquarter maybe). If I can't watch Hollywood films on my Linux box, I just don't watch them, except for going to the movies. If I can't listen to some music on Linux, I'll download it, or don't get it at all.

About IP: Where would the world have been if it was enforced as MS/intel/hollywood wants? If the inventor of the wheel and fire wouldn't have shared their ideas? If the manefacturing process of a car as a whole was patented, and only Ford could make it this way, not willing to let others use that technology? The Americans stole very much IP from Germany (physics for the atom bomb, rocket engine etc). Research at universities would have to been done over and over again. Without sharing IP, a decent OS wouldn't have existed, and neither would WinNT and a lot of other MS stuff. MS wouldn't be that big, because no poor people could work with it.

This all means, for human beings, the idea of competition making the world better and things cheaper sucks (sometimes). Competition leads to war regularly, no matter if thats two countries or gangs or companies. Cooperation has far bigger advantages. Look at science, everything people find out is publicated, and others build forth on it. Much like OS.

Nov 28, 2005
7:02 AM EDT
hkwint --

I'm not as up on this stuff as I should be...

Is this something AMD is supporting as well?

Nov 28, 2005
8:06 AM EDT
Quoting:Is this something AMD is supporting as well?

I'm afraid it is.

Nov 28, 2005
8:11 AM EDT
hkwint -

Crap. I love AMD processors.

Nov 28, 2005
11:45 AM EDT
Looked it up, especially for you.

This site gives a very frightening look (worst case scenario) into the possible future of Intels/MS' plans with DRM. Since I believe you are a lawyer, I suggest you read the whole story if you have the time, it's really worth it, though that story may be too paranoid. I believe anyone interested in freedom should read it. Anyway, about AMD:

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is an alliance of Microsoft, Intel, IBM, HP and AMD which promotes a standard for a `more secure' PC.

AMD is one of the promotor members. They think if they won't follow Intel, they'll lose consumers, and maybe MS support too.

On the other hand, TCG doesn't include all factors for DRM, but the basics are there.

TCG says to be open and able to run on Linux, so it boils down to this: The hardware manufacturers including AMD provide all the necessary hardware, to enable MS to run DRM on TCG platforms. TCG can be used under Linux, but MS DRM can't.

The linked story goes something like this: Because of the alliance of MS and Hollywood, only TCG won't be enough to play Hollywood movies, since TCG doesn't allow to control which software runs and isn't enable to erase files. Microsoft likes to be able to deny non-MS-signed programs to run, since that programs could play un-DRMed content, and the MPAA/RIAA want to be able to delete illegal files/content from the users computer. MS also wants, documents can't be read on another computer. MS' DRM (may) can do all that.

So, according the worst case scenario, MS controls which programs you may run, and Hollywood controls what you look and what you listen. This is a really useful tool for governments, cause, if MS puts a backdoor in the encryption for the NSA or whoever, the government can control what people write, publish and read.

Since I don't want to be part of that future, there's my rant above. There's no other way around than boycotting almost all American content industry, all American hardware OEMS and MS. I'm willing to do that if that's what it takes.

BTW Sun and IBM are TCG promotors too, thats why I talked about the VIA C7 chips.

Nov 29, 2005
1:13 PM EDT
Prohibition always fails, because the people who were doing the abhorant behavior were abhorant in the first place.

That's why killing someone by accident isn't murder. It's exactly the same result, someone is dead, yet it is not itself criminal behavior.

People walk away from crashes on the German autobahn at their cars full speed. That doesn't mean it's safe, it means that speed all by itself is not unsafe. Take away speed limits, and most people do indeed find a "safe" speed to travel. Sometimes that speed is slow. It's called a traffic jam.

Every once in a while, in California on the big, straight superhighway called I-5, there will be what are called 'Pile Ups' where hundreds of cars will crash together, killing lots of people, in a domino effect as each car plows into the car in front of it and then becomes a target of the next car.

Why? Fog. People over-estimate how far they can see, and drive too fast to stop (or maybe even see at all) before hitting the stopped car in front of them.

Speed limits are a complete waste of time. I suggest the drivers-side iron spike. If the real threat of death were recognized by drivers, they wouldn't drive fast in fog, they wouldn't tailgate, or pull out in front of on-coming traffic, etc. Riding a motorcycle really brought it home for me, and I am glad to say that in all my years of riding I never met the pavement except with the soles of my boots. Yet.

It's sad to say, but the older I get the slower I drive under any but ideal conditions. Then, it's pedal to the metal. hehehe.

As far as "societal good", here Dino and I part company. "Society" is made up of individuals. Anything that violates individual rights is therefore damaging to society, none more obviously than statute prohibition. If I am not harming or defrauding anyone, it is not a real crime. All prohibition has greater costs than benefits, because by definition prohibition creates victimless crimes.

If the content producer does not want their content copied, they should not release it. A band that plays live cannot be reproduced, they are unique and therefore in great demand, and that is the way musicians have *until the great record labels took over) earned their rewards.

Yes, the present absurdities of copyright laws are what is bringing the issue to a head. "The Mouse Will Never Go Public Domain", but in order to enforce that dictum the public domain is what must be destroyed.

Disney and the other "producers" went to where the power is, and bought some of it for themselves. So does each special interest group. Through interventionist government, we all suffer.

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