Desperation ??

Story: US entertainment industry to Congress: make it legal for us to deploy rootkits, spyware, ransomware and trojans to attack pirates!Total Replies: 11
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May 28, 2013
1:40 AM EDT
I think it is a measure of the sheer desperation to retain power over the consumer that the "Entertainment Industry" has gone this far. If any of us decided to put a root kit out on any software, we'd be figuratively crucified, and yet this "loose organisation of motion picture and sound marketers/producers" believes that they really should have the legal right to destroy another person's property. Sony tried it just once, and my understanding is that the firm got its fingers savagely burnt.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I believe that there is an incredibly simple solution to piracy. All that has to be done is charge a price for media items that makes it unprofitable for the pirates to copy. To me personally, this "report" (if you can dignify it by that name) is a blatant attempt to preserve the status quo of 20 years ago when these media firms ruled and charged whatever they liked and as a result made utterly obscene profits.

Computers and the internet are designed to permit the sharing of files, simply, quickly and cheaply. Humans enjoy sharing. Put the two together and the results are obvious. Somehow, and it shouldn't be difficult, the media firms have got to use both the above factors to produce a new paradigm of marketing. It's far too late to even consider what this report tries to recommend - the horse bolted from the stable about 5-10 years ago and to quote a classical metaphor: "There is no way back through the waters of Lethe."

May 28, 2013
3:36 AM EDT
This is bonkers. I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fool's Day.

3 reasons people commit piracy:

1. The price of the product is too high 2. The consumer wants something the company isn't offering 3. The product is released earlier in one state/nation/continent than the one they reside in.

Looking at price first then. CDs used to be prohibitively high in cost. £14 to £15 for an album which you couldn't listen to first and you maybe only liked 2 or 3 tracks. Now with services like Spotify you can subscribe for a monthly fee and get a much better service.

Now CDs have reduced in price, music can be subscribed to via a service and the worth of pirating music has plummeted. The only people pirating music are the people who would never pay.

For point 2. People wanted to have music in MP3 format. Even converting music on CD to MP3 was technically illegal. People therefore had to break the law anyway to get their music onto their music player which provide much more functionality than a personal CD player.

The other thing people wanted with music was to be able to download just the tracks they wanted to listen to without all the album fillers.

The same thing is happening with films. Up until recently there have been relatively few movie download services. Now they have started popping up I would imagine the normal everyday citizen has stopped pirating films and have started watching them legally.

This brings us to point 3. Films come out in America and tv programmes come out in America months before they hit the UK which means by the time we get to see it there is no suspense because we have heard the plot lines from forums, twitter and even the media channels that prevent us from watching it.

There are loads of people consuming movies and tv illegally simply because they want to watch it at the same time as everyone else in the world. Hardly a sin.

Provide the service and people will use it. The majority of people are not criminals.

As for this article. If any media company tries such a tactic the CEO and anybody responsible for creating, delivering and extorting money should be thrown in prison in the same way as any other fraudster.


May 28, 2013
3:52 AM EDT
I hear you loud and clear Gary, but you do NOT live in Australia. Let me give you just one example of the media ripoffs that are being perpetrated by American Media organisations against Australians.

You will be aware that the first film in The Hobbit series has been released. Fine..... I was able to order the film via, ummm, let's just say a huge American online seller, for $8 plus postage and landed in Australia for about $12.00. The cheapest you could get it immediately afterwards here in our stores was $19, and after a week it went up to $29.00, and that is the price right now. I discussed the matter with a sales woman in a big store and she was staggered at the cheapness of the overseas product.......and also stated that her store had no control over the price - they were virtually compelled to ask the shelf prices displayed due to pressure from the American Media distributors.........What I got and what was on the shelves here was identical....apart from the ridiculous "zoning". Your American Media Merchants are playing Australians for absolute suckers, and we are allowing it to happen.

Now that is just ONE example. And it is happening here day in day out. People are using the internet to avoid these excessive costs and the large retailers do NOT like it one bit.. But the internet has empowered people to obtain "choice", and that means that the shop is no longer in the local Mall - it's the world wide supermarket. Some of our retailers are trying to stop this internet usage, but again, it's trying to impose a dinosaur marketing paradigm. Ain't agonna work. The real problem is to prevent items being sold for obscene prices in overseas markets......and that becomes government legislation, if enough people get angry sufficiently.

May 28, 2013
6:09 AM EDT
> Even converting music on CD to MP3 was technically illegal.

The PTB and their lawyers tried to argue that yes. It point of fact (in the US at least) it was obviously covered by fair use, and I believe the court system has finally worked it's way around to agreeing with that.

> The majority of people are not criminals.

The majority of people aren't, no. But we're all under the copyright law, which has so far abridged the original statute creating it that it's lost all legitimacy. I can't blame anyone for breaking it. The only rational response to such inanity on the part of the bought and paid for legislature is massive civil disobedience.

> Let me give you just one example of the media ripoffs that are being perpetrated by American Media organisations against Australians.

One of so many that the list would swamp LXer. :(

Though to be fair, I believe the Aussie government (like the US government) has done it's share to make things worse. My understanding is that you all don't even have a fair use clause in your copyright law.

May 28, 2013
9:28 AM EDT
I like the Pirate Party, if for no other reason than it stirs things up and gets people thinking about the issues.

May 28, 2013
9:33 AM EDT
> The majority of people are not criminals.

The majority of people ARE criminals. It just hasn't yet been pointed out to them which law(s) they broke.

"Show me the man, and I'll find you the crime." -- Lavrentii Beria

May 28, 2013
9:48 AM EDT
There's a book out, "Three Felonies A Day", about just how much over-reaching law there is.

Hmm, see if I can find it...

May 28, 2013
2:24 PM EDT
> The majority of people ARE criminals. It just hasn't yet been pointed out to them which law(s) they broke.

It's reached the point where ignorance of the law is a certainty. As such ignorance of the law should very well be an excuse. There was a case a year or two ago (I believe in England) where even the judge didn't know that a law had been rescinded.

May 28, 2013
5:17 PM EDT
Jdixon, do read your paragraph again and insert the words "patent" or "patents".......Eerily similar would you say ?

May 28, 2013
9:11 PM EDT
> Eerily similar would you say ?

Eerily similar, yes. But for rather obvious reasons. :(


May 28, 2013
9:17 PM EDT
Yes, I agree. It's very sad indeed, but to some extent understandable because the legal profession does not study software as part of its basic training, and it is easy to understand why. As a result, the points that PJ at Groklaw (and other writers as well) constantly make is that pure software patents should all be made invalid - it's binary mathematics and you cannot patent mathematical formulas. I think it's getting there in the US court system, but "you got a long way to go" unfortunately. It's rare that you find a judge with software programming but one did surface recently and his judgements were superb.

May 29, 2013
9:23 AM EDT
> and you cannot patent mathematical formulas.

Unless you're the government, and the formula is RSA encryption.

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