Comments on: even I can’t believe this Blog, news, books Thu, 12 Oct 2017 05:34:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: John Slimak Thu, 22 Nov 2007 16:43:45 +0000 Doing some research does anyone have any updates on this issue? By the way Kim I use to line in NH and our Plate has the slogan “Live Free or Die”.

By: Kim Thu, 04 Oct 2007 11:19:41 +0000 This whole induce issue is a symptom of a larger problem.

The US government is simply too big, and too willing to create laws when there’s no real need. Most people in government now believe that the solution to any problem is to create another law, another bureaucracy, or both. Many new laws are created to satisfy corporate interests, and nothing more.

Soon, everyone will be a criminal, because it will be effectively impossible to live without breaking laws.

Then, the government can pick and choose who it arrests at will.

Land of the free… what a joke.

By: Dan Lockton Tue, 02 Nov 2004 19:13:27 +0000 “Inducing another to commit copyright violation”. Who can really define to what extent someone is induced to do anything? If someone leaves the window open and I lean in and steal something, I can’t make the excuse that that person induced me to do it by making it easy to do so. Or can I?

I might as well argue that the record companies are inducing me to download copied music by paying radio stations to make sure that I hear the same tunes every five minutes.

It reminds me of a case here (a long time ago) in England where the Automobile Association used to warn motorists of police speed traps ahead. That was ruled to be assisting a crime. So the AA men started saluting every car that passed, _unless_ there was a speed trap. That way, they weren’t ‘doing’ anything in assisting the crime.

Maybe if p2p software produced, on searching for a particular file, a list of addresses where you _can’t_ download the file you want, but somehow implied fairly simply how to form the addresses to get the files, then that wouldn’t be inducement?

By: Mr. X Tue, 13 Jul 2004 02:14:48 +0000 “when copying is so easy and cheap, how are we to reward and encourage creativity?”

Real creativity is not motivated by rewards – creating is a reward in itself.

Technology is governed creativity, just like art or music, they evolve hand in hand, and are beneficial to each other. They can pass as many stupid laws as they want, they won’t stop this evolution. And the reach fat people who pass those laws will disappear, just like dinosaurs…

By: Mr. X Tue, 13 Jul 2004 01:57:46 +0000 Damn! I think that Alex dude should get his own blog… How many freaking comments did he leave on this post alone? I got tired counting…

By: Justin Wed, 07 Jul 2004 14:07:17 +0000 Alexander:

I don’t think the other Alex is going to hang around this thread. He never really answered any of my questions, and hasn’t been heard from in this thread for two weeks.

Every operating system has a built in anonymous �tracker� that will keep a log of works accessed and report weekly to a central server designed to count uses of all works.

No one in their right mind would use that. The reasons are extensive and will not fit in the margin of this webpage. :)

By: Alexander Wehr Wed, 07 Jul 2004 07:46:01 +0000 I just wanted to ask the other Alex…

if bits are matter, and cars are matter.. then why would it be legal to build a replica of a car but not to replicate bits?

and also, intellectual property is an idea… you said bits are matter, and therefore intellectual property.

Since intellectual property governs the idea and not the matter, than i would have to say that, since bits are matter, they are my property, and i have a right to replicate them

The current perverted concept of “intellectual property” violates and disregards an individual’s right to personal property.
There are two economic structures which come to mind immediately which are typpified by a lack of personal property.
one is SERFDOM.
another is COMMUNISM.

both are considered unconstitutional, and yet by perverting the definition of copyright these large corporations and their owners are becomming the new “noble class” of the 21′st centry.

By: Alexander Wehr Wed, 07 Jul 2004 07:27:31 +0000 I have one model to counter said argument.

In this model:

1. Everyone pays a fee with their internet.
2. Every operating system has a built in anonymous “tracker” that will keep a log of works accessed and report weekly to a central server designed to count uses of all works.
(no information on identity at all would be needed, so no privacy concerns)
3. Said system can distribute the funds.. and the level of use can be assessed to determine if the fees charged represent the value gained.

This system could work, and even as a novice programmer I could design the basic technical framework for such a system.

By: Alexander Wehr Wed, 07 Jul 2004 06:58:59 +0000 “what�re you gonna do when they then make Gnutella illegal and Ashcroft�s minions start tracking down all the Gnutella users? “

I did some calculations on the time required to catch all the gnutella users if a concerted effort were made.

with arrests at the rate of 10,000 people a month, and a conservative estimate of 60 million sharers, it would take roughly 500 years.

If people become cowards, and 9/10 of all filesharers abandon the technology, that still leaves 6 million.

it would take 50 years to arrest 6 million people.

I certainly wish our government luck.. of course arresting 10,000 people a month for exchanging their cultural heritage is just asking for armed revolt.. but who knows.. maybe people will tolerate it for 50-500 years.

By: Alexander Wehr Wed, 07 Jul 2004 06:54:36 +0000 To put it succinctly, a democracy is SUPPOSED to reflect the values of its people.

Obviously this is no longer the case though, because despite majority opposition to taking legal action against swappers in even conservative polls, our congress continues to try to manipulate the population against its wishes to conform to the long deceased business models of hollywood and foreign record companies.

By: -j- Sun, 04 Jul 2004 16:21:01 +0000 Misappropriation is closer, but still not quite right; it still involves physical matter being taken and later restored. The concept is more similar to the man who sells fake rolex watches in the city than any form of theft.

By: Jake Brodsky Fri, 02 Jul 2004 12:29:49 +0000 Folks, what has happened here is that the business models have changed from a one to many distribution paradigm to a many to many distribution paradigm. In other words, when copying is so easy and cheap, how are we to reward and encourage creativity?

This is fundamental technological change which our society has never dealt with before. Clearly the old models are breaking down; however nobody has new business models to replace the old ones.

If I understand Alex’s argument, I think he says that the old ways still apply. The point the rest of us should make is that they don’t make sense given today’s technology. The laws have to be pragmatic and reasonable to most people, or they’ll be ignored. The INDUCE act would be tantamount to recognizing what the Wright Brothers had done as dangerous and then assigning the entire airspace in the US to the Federal Government and banning all aviation except for that which has been carefully certified by large rail road companies.

The answer to defuse Alex’s argument is to show a functional alternative. Our society can’t afford to simply throw away centuries of practices and laws designed to encourage intellectual development and honesty. Neither can it afford to ignore new technolgies which enable much less expensive and wider distribution.

Alex is right in one major respect. We all need a clue. We need to think very carefully about how to use the new many to many distribution system we call the Internet, to reward creative efforts in our socieity. The INDUCE act is the symptom of this problem, not the solution.

By: Edward Bryant Mon, 28 Jun 2004 18:34:44 +0000 Will someone think of the children!
They are our future!

No … wait robots are our future.
Will someone think of the robots!

By: jerry lobdill Sat, 26 Jun 2004 19:56:41 +0000 Why stop with secondary liability? That only makes you swat at flies, as W says. Hell, lets have tertiary, quaternary and even centenary liability to kill off inducement at the root. So… why not ban broadband connectivity. That does more to enable p2p crime than anything that’s been discussed here.

By: DJN Fri, 25 Jun 2004 19:08:24 +0000

… it should not happen without an opportunity for Congress to consider the full implications of this new regulation…

Does this even happen any more? Or rather, does deliberation, discourse, and debate in committees or on the floor any longer affect whether a bill becomes law?

All these comments about whether or not our elected representatives are doing a good job and/or listening to constituents seem to me to be ignoring the new reality of Congress: today, most of our Congresspersons have little or no power. The “Republican” (I use quotes because most of them seem to be ideology-free; Reagan is already rolling over in his grave) Congress and White House have changed how laws get written. Reason and discourse are not involved, at least not how they used to be. About 5 people now make all the laws, and if their bills get amended at all on the floor, they either kill the bill or just wipe away all those amendments in conference committee. (Amusing how Alex spun the Republicans’ killing of a veterans bill, because some Democrat had the gall to suggest changes, as a negative on Kerry…)

Check out America as a One-Party State for an interesting read on the ongoing destruction of our government. Personally I think it’s all about Clinton; most right-wing discourse in this country is dominated by hate, and there’s no one they hate more than Clinton. I think the Republicans are still trying to get back at Clinton by “beating” the Democrats at everything. What happens to society, to our culture and economy, appears to be irrelevant to them.

Am I saying we shouldn’t fight this garbage? No; but personally I can no longer see any effective way of fighting it except in the courts, and even that’s a serious crapshoot. Our federal legislative process is basically broken. Or at least missing its essential element (as the founders saw it) – reason has left the building.

By: Bob S. Fri, 25 Jun 2004 18:25:44 +0000 I have a tendency to “troll feed” when it comes to discussions about the entertainment cartel, but after reading Alex’s tired, haggard diatribes against p2p users, all I really feel is pity – for Alex. (Van Halen, maybe?) There are several things about this subject, that are so totally out of alignment with reality, that need to be addressed, and I’ll do me best right now;

1) I steal, literally, an Eminem CD; actual physical property, and I’ll likely get charged with a misdemeanor; if I “steal” an Eminem mp3, or, worse yet, allow 50 people to “steal” copies of it from me, I could be charged with a felony. How does this punishment fit the “crime”?

2) As Justin pointed out so eloquently, no amount of mp3 trading removes any physical property from the artist. This can not be emphasized too strongly.

3) Let us say that Glaxo announced the invention of a miracle drug, that will cure every form of cancer ever discovered. They will have an exclusive patent for it, and will be expected to recover R & D costs, and hopefully profits, too, for 7-12 years, and then it goes generic. On the other hand, let us say that Britney Spears does a remake of her first single, but retitled “Screw Me Baby (One More Time)” on the same day as Glaxo releases their drug. She will make money on every instance of this song being played – on the radio, at an ASCAP-fee-paying night club, even as a cheezy MIDI ringtone – for her entire life, plus SEVENTY FIVE FREAKING YEARS!!! How in God’s green earth did this get so completely screwed up?!?

4) Alex makes a comment on the poor studio musicians, lighting techs, key grips, set builders, et al., that lose mone when you “steal” music and movies. Hello?!? None of these people get points on this stuff; they get paid union scale, and are paid for the work they do, ONCE. That’s all they are entitled to get, for Cliff’s sake. Sorry, Alex, but Hazel Pethig (Costume Designer) doesn’t get royalty checks every time an episode of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is on cable.

5) If Orrin Hatch (or any other Congressional Asshat) thinks he can destroy my PC, for filesharing, he is sadly mistaken. This is not a threat.

By: thomas Fri, 25 Jun 2004 18:18:03 +0000 “Horseshit. When I download Madonna�s latest album from a Kazaa sharepoint, that means I don�t have to buy it.”

I would never buy a Madonna album. Though I might download a song or two for free. I downloaded some Eminem for my father-in-law to hear because he was wondering what the fuss was about. But neither he, nor I, would ever EVER buy an Eminem disc. So, horseshit yourself.

“If you liked it enough to download it, keep it, and put it on your sharepoint it means that you might otherwise have bought it. If you didn�t like it, why would you keep it?”

Because it is not even worth the energy to hit the delete button? Because my niece may come over and I would actually have a track she might be interested in? In the later case, if she hadn’t heard it before, maybe SHE would go buy the disc if it didn’t suck. Or she would decide it sucked, too.

By: Ian Fri, 25 Jun 2004 17:30:28 +0000 Alex – your email address is already going to be spammed, as I’m sure the spambots crawl this site, its certainly not an obscure one. No, they’re not targeting you in particular, in case your wondering.

This INDUCE act and the floor comments does make P2P users out to be pretty stupid. No one I’ve talked to in person thinks P2P is legal in any shape or form. The one benefit of the lawsuits as of late has been to bring this to light. Someone who gets their news via the news breaks on pop radio stations will know its illegal. There’s no ‘inducement’ – its more of an offer.

Granted, at my job a gal called in who had essentially spent $30 on KaZaA that came with a “certificate of legality”. But you can’t regulate out stupidity. I’m sure there are other laws on the books to prevent that sort of misleading marketing.

Which reminds me, Orrin’s Utah had the right idea with trying to make spyware illegal. That would be great if government made some legislation about that. I’m no fan of KaZaA; I wouldn’t mind them being put away in some Austrialian prison for crapping up peoples computer.

If Orrin wanted to stop porn, he could just go after the hotels and cable companies that distribute the porn and the Hollywood porn studios that create it. But wait. That would be going after big corporations. Never mind.

By: JH Fri, 25 Jun 2004 17:02:18 +0000 Anyone know if Orrin’s lobbyist son Scott has a contract with the RIAA, MPAA, Disney, or Sony? That might explain his sudden change of heart.

Another point to make is that if he really wants to prevent the distribution of pornography he is going about it in the wrong way. All this will do is push people onto FreeNet which will lead to more FreeNet development, more FreeNet nodes, and more FreeNet content. So more stuff will get traded in a way that law enforcement can’t track.

By: Justin Fri, 25 Jun 2004 16:22:04 +0000 List of things we’re still waiting to hear from Alex about:

  • Why DRM is feasible. No handwaving or unsupported assertions allowed.
  • Anything proving that copyright infringement is killing CD sales. This includes a rebuttal to the Harvard/UNC paper.
  • Why it’s bad for the media companies to adapt to technology instead of repress it.
  • Why new technology is bad. Using stereotypes of AOL users doesn’t count.
  • Where copyright law (17 USC) refers to infringement as ‘theft’. Congressional testimony from RIAA/MPAA execs (or bought-and-paid-for Senators) doesn’t count.

Things we don’t care about:

  • Lessig’s programming skills.
  • Your tape deck.
  • Equating transient magnetic charges to durable goods.
    By: Conrad B Fri, 25 Jun 2004 16:06:44 +0000 “It�s not just Metallica, by the way. It�s also the Beatles, and Madonna, and anyone else who is smart enough to do the math and realize that p2p is nothing but a theft mechanism for the vast majority of people who use it.”

    Is it?

    I’m surprised that these artists dont appreciate the fact that people use p2p to listen to their music. Criticising their fans deos not seem like a good way to encourage people to buy their music does it?
    Besides, i could have 50 people round my house for a party and play their music and thats ok. But you seem to be saying that if i put their music on p2p and 50 people listen to it then that is illegal.

    By: Rob Fri, 25 Jun 2004 14:28:28 +0000 Brad asks how just inserting the few lines he quotes would overturn the Betamax decision. IANAL but it seems pretty clear to me. The Betamax decision said that a particular product is legal to produce as long as it has a “substantial non-infringing use” in terms of violating copyrights. This language attempts to insert a clause making a product illegal if it “relies on infringement for its commercial viability”. The logic as I see it would then flow thusly:

    -ripping a track from a CD and distributing it to others is a violation of copyright [just accept for a moment that this is accepted as fact by most of our legislators]

    -if there weren’t some technology out there like Kazaa or Napster that made it easy to distribute and download such violations, there wouldn’t be as much distribution going on (and therefore less violations)

    -conversely, if it weren’t for this need for easy distribution technology, such products like Kazaa and Napster wouldn’t be commercially viable (nobody would pay for them unless they wanted to distribute violations)

    -therefore, the ONLY reason these products are commercially viable is that they enable copyright violations to be easily distributed; and so by their very existence they “induce” copyright violation, and therefore should be banned.

    In the original Betamax case, the commercial viability of the product was not at issue. It was simply a question of whether the product exclusively existed to make or enable copyright violations. Under the new law, the court would have to decide whether products would be commercially viable if they didn’t “induce” people to record songs, movies and TV shows which would (presumably) be distributed later in an infringing manner. VCRs probably wouldn’t be affected, but they’re not the target of this legislation anyway; it’s Kazaa and Gnutella and other p2p file-sharing applications that this legislation wants to make illegal. Under this legislation, even if those applications could conceivably be used to distribute non-infringing content, the mere fact that some majority percentage of their current use is for swapping files that are considered to be infringing would call into question their viability as commercial products if there weren’t such infringing use, and therefore their authors would be liable for prosecution as criminals. Therefore, no commercial (sue-able) entity would write such software, no one would profit from p2p file sharing, and it would all go away or at least drop down to a manageable level. That’s their plan. Go after the distribution channel and make it illegal to write software that “induces infringement” for profit.

    The next step is to make it illegal to write such software under any circumstances, even for free. Make it illegal for an ISP to forward packets that haven’t been “blessed” as not containing non-infringing or at least properly-licensed (e.g. paid for) content. Require ISPs to use hardware that checks everything flowing over the wire to make sure this is the case (think it’s impossible? think again- just require ISPs to reassemble every file that passes through their system and check it; sure it slows the network down, but they don’t care about that, and I’m sure there’s many other ways to go about it). Don’t think “it can’t happen here”, because it most definitely can.

    By: Rob Fri, 25 Jun 2004 13:19:52 +0000 I for one don’t believe Lessig’s ideas are inevitable. There are powerful interests out there who are pulling out all the stops to see that their business models are protected. I don’t subscribe to the position that we don’t really need to worry because if they shut down Kazaa there will still be Gnutella; what’re you gonna do when they then make Gnutella illegal and Ashcroft’s minions start tracking down all the Gnutella users? Or when our government starts putting pressure on the countries hosting offshore servers to shut them down? Nothing’s inevitable, my friends. Except death and taxes, sure, but we’re working on those as well :) In the meantime, if you’re interested in freedom of expression you better listen to what Prof. Lessig is talking about. Agree or disagree, but he doesn’t make these points lightly.

    By: Alex Fri, 25 Jun 2004 07:37:15 +0000 In fact, I’ve been thinking a little more about the thinly-veiled threat (about what I don’t know) by somebody anonymous called ‘save the obsessed’.

    Here: I’ll make it easier for you. Don’t just blather on about the “I have pictures of you” stuff. I’ll give you the damn coordinates for my HOUSE. The email address works, by the way, it’s not redirected, and if you want to submit it to spammers, go right ahead. If you decide to email, I’ll be happy to supply the address. C’mon over. You can look it up on Terraserver print out the picture, plug them into your GPS system and sit outside my door with a rifle and make sure the next time I go outside, I’ll meet a hail of bullets because I dared to post some contrarian responses on Lessig’s blog. Then you can write it up for Lingua Franca and show everyone what an example of freedom you are.

    By: Alex Fri, 25 Jun 2004 05:57:20 +0000 So this is what you think of Lessig’s ideas? That they’re like death and taxes? Every adult knows that death is inevitable, but they usually don’t begin their children’s lives by scaring them about it. I don’t know; it’s in the realm of possibility that Doctorow’s did. Actually, the inevitability you suggest sounds an awful lot like the other ‘historical inevitabilities’ I’ve heard of…so why don’t you just say it outright?