"Piracy Act" to get vote in US Senate

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by mcfudd, May 30, 2004.

  1. mcfudd macrumors member

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    #1
    I know everyone here purchases all of their music legally from iTunes or buys CDs, but someone out there must be concerned at what the music labels are able to push the US lawmakers into.

    CNET News article

    A recent example is the "Piracy Act" championed by ultra-conservative Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). This law gives the Justice Department authority to sue alleged p2p file traders for copyright infringement.

    Since when does the US government act as the personal bully of a private business ( Marsh V. Alabama )? I thought the Supreme Court already decided this was unconstitutional.

    Is "fair use" dead? Why don't music labels use the p2p networks to their advantage? The Berkman Center for internet and society at Harvard has discussed an "alternative compensation system" where artists will get paid for all files traded over p2p networks. This is accomplished by requiring, for example, all broadband internet users to pay an extra $5 per month. This money is placed into a pot then distributed to artists depending on how often their file is traded.

    I know this is such an old issue among hackers, but sending people to prison for sharing music and making back-ups of very expensive DVD collections?

    I am interested to know if I am the only one who is seriously worried about this? Any possible solutions? Who is going to win? Music labels or fair use?
     
  2. MontgomeryBurns macrumors member

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    #2
    $$.
     
  3. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    What is $$

    Do you mean all of the $$ the record labels lose when everybody boycots purchasing CDs in an effort to show them how wrong they are.

    Or, if they were smart the record labels would roll with p2p so they can make even more $$.

    Or, the labels have all of the $$ so Congress does whatever the labels want.

    Or, if consumers don't object to the labels questionable legal methods, we will end up paying even more $$ for even less good music and more "filler" songs on CDs.
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #4
    I do find this very troubling. There's no way the Justice Department should be doing the dirty work of the RIAA. And btw, I also like the above idea (among others) for maintaining p2p but compensating artists. These people need to accept that p2p isn't going away, and figure out a way to use it.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    I'd like to know how you think P2P file "sharing" falls under any realm of Fair Use.

    But the courts, recently, have ruled in favor of the DMCA thus against previous precedents that allowed consumers freedom to transfer their media (music and movies) to the format of their choice for personal use.

    I agree that the RIAA is going about this the wrong way. But it has all been done before. When TV, VCR's, casette tapes... they all made industries scared at first. But with everything being digital and perfect copies being uploaded onto the internet for anyone to d/l w/the click of a mouse makes things very different this time around. I think what the industries fear is wide spread pirating like in China. Once that pirating genie<sp?> is out of the bottle there is no putting it back in.


    Lethal
     
  6. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    slippery slope

    P2P file sharing is an international issue. Unfortunately, the American RIAA wants Congress to create new copyright law to protect their music distribution cartel.

    A federal judge in Canada has ruled recently (CNET News article) that P2P file swapping is perfectly acceptable in their country. Who said US copyright laws should preempt all others.

    Copyright law is generally designed to protect the "first sale" of a product. However, once the product is in the possession of a consumer, it can be "shared." My roomate can borrow a CD I purchased. I loan it to him/her for non commercial purposes.

    For example, if you purchase a cool book or magazine, do you want to pay another royalty to the publisher if your wife, roomate, child, etc. decides to read the book. Maybe you do. Or, look at it another way --should you be charged with a felony if you share your magazine? Should P2P file sharing carry the same prision terms given for rape and murder? I think not.

    The point of copyright law was never to force people to pay the creator each and every time a work is viewed by a human. Copyright law was designed to provide an incentive for artists to create by protecting their work for a limited amount of time -- to provide some measure of compensation.

    What the RIAA is doing is forcing Congress (through generous campaign donations, etc.) to completely alter current law to suit their purposes. Why then is the "Piracy Act" going to a floor vote without any hearings. Because it is one-sided legislation. It is not in the interests of the general public.

    "The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but [t]o promote the progress of science and useful Arts." "To this end, copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art."
    -- US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #7
    That example is flawed. If you photocopied that book, and somehow made a perfect copy (impossible, but this is a hypothetical situation :)), then it would be the same as p2p sharing. When you get or give music or movies or what have you over p2p, it is not the same as lending or borrowing as you have a copy, and someone else has a copy, while only one has been paid for. Sounds like copyright infringement to me...
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8

    As Counterfit pointed out your example is flawed. P2P is not sharing a single copy with a friend. It is effortlessly distributing an exact copy to hundreds of millions of people.

    As I said in my previous post there is a giant differences between the "analog age" and the "digital age." And that means everyone (companies, consumers, and the government) will have to make adjustments because you can't apply analog rules to digital media. It just doesn't work. And, as you mentioned, the fact that the internet is world wide doesn't make it any eaiser. If it is legal in Canada that's fine. But who said Canada law should preempt US law? The sword swings both ways.

    I am not denying nor defending the self-serving actions of the RIAA. I was just pointing out that we are going through new tech growing pains again (in basis this is similar to the movie studio's reaction to VCRs many moons ago), and that I fail to see how P2P is protected under Fair Use.


    Lethal
     
  9. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

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    #9
    In one word.

    YES!

    Finally someone who gets it. :D
     
  10. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I tend to agree. The digital media of commercially obtained CDs and DVDs are pressed, not burned, and inherently more stable/durable than recordings made with previous media (vinyl,magnetic tape) and therefore there really is no "need" to make a duplicate copy of its contents. The main reason anyone could have for duplicating such, is to sell/share to/with others which does not fall within the realm of "Fair Use". It is avoiding paying the artists their fair share in addition to the RIAA.
    But I also agree that the RIAA is overcharging on the original recordings.
    Additional on the flawed example, P2P file sharing isn't just letting someone else borrow your book and reading it, it is producing and distributing a new "book", for as many other people to read as want to. Plagiarism most foul. Nope, let's not pay the author, editor, the publisher.
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #11
    OK so than we all agree that Britney Spears is worth $200 million :rolleyes:
     
  12. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #12
    The problem is that these artists don't have a salary cap like they have in sports. Why should i fork over $15-20 so some talentless singer can make millions, Im all for paying for music but at the same time i don't want the industry making a fortune. All this is about is that the RIAA is a bunch of greedy sob's who are only thinking about the quick buck instead of quality.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    If you don't like it don't buy it.

    You took the time to post twice in this thread but both posts seem relatively pointless. What do pro athletes' salary caps or Britney's income have to do with anything in this thread?


    Lethal
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    My point is that everyone is crying about losing money and they seem to be well off if you ask me.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15

    Saying all bands/artists make as much, or anywhere remotely near as much, as Britney is like saying everyone w/a Mac must obviously live like Steve Jobs.


    My numbers are a few years old (and w/the economic situation things are probably worse now), but SAG (the Screen Actors Guild) has about 85,000 members. Of that 85,000 about 1.5% of them make a livable annual income from acting. I would imagine the percentages are pretty similar when you look at bands signed to the 5 major labels. If you take into consideration bands signed to smaller labels and non-SAG actors then that number is gonna get a whole lot bigger and that percentage is going to get a whole lot smaller.


    Lethal
     
  16. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    missing the point

    Flawed examples aside, there are much more important issues at stake here.

    • Was the original intention of copyright (as written by the Founding Fathers in the US Constitution) designed to protect distrabution methods and profits of large corporations?
    • Does the DMCA (which changes original copyright law to favor protecting corporate profits) benefit everyone in the country, or just a few rich media execs?
    • Do we want to start sending teenagers and college students to prision for up to 10 years for P2P file sharing? Is this going to give artists more money? NO.
    • We all know the artists need to get paid --- but why start throwing people into jail? Is this the answer?

    Consider a quote from Wired regarding the Piracy Act.

    "As the 40 percent increase in downloads over the last year makes alarmingly clear, like it or not file sharing is likely to (continue) on a massive scale no matter how many suits are brought and what the fine print of copyright or criminal law says," Eisgrau said. "Second, putting a tiny percentage of tens of millions of American file sharers behind bars or in the poorhouse won't put one new dime in the deserving pockets of artists and other copyright owners."

    In my original post I suggest moving to an "alternative compensation system" where there is forced liscensing. The labels MUST allow music to be traded. The file downloads are then tracked and the artists paid according to how often one of their files is traded. This new method is being seriously discussed by leading copyright attorneys at Harvard and Stanford Law.

    Putting more people into jail is not the answer. Using the US Congress as the RIAA's personal police force is wrong. :(
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #17

    My biggest question in regards to forced licensing is, is there an accurate way to track files?


    Lethal
     
  18. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    ACS

    You will want to read this from the lips of the pros themselves ... follow this link to Harvard Law School's Digital Media Project.

    In my humble (and RIAA hating) opinion, this is the best answer.

    We get all the music we can download, the artists get paid. :D
     
  19. KingSleaze macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Copywrite is NOT built into the Constitution.
    Do we want to send rapists and murderers to jail? (a bit exteme for an example, I realize but just trying to make the point-lawbreakers)
    So, if they are taken to trial and fined (court costs and damages), might this not pay the artists the monies due AND deter the illegal activity?
    I don't want them in jail. I don't want to be made to support them for their wrongdoing. And yes, trying to get Congress to enact more laws is wrong. The RIAA needs to act on their own to enforce current laws if they have a problem with what is going on.
     
  20. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    copyright in us constitution

    I am afraid you have lost all credibility by stating this. (You also might want to use a spell checker.)

    Please read Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution:

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    This is where all U.S. copyright law springs from. :p
     
  21. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #21
    *cough* ahem :D
     
  22. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    point

    I am one of the people who purchase music from iTunes (almost 300 tracks to date), but I am also one of the people who think what is happening with copyright (courtesy of the RIAA and the sell-outs in Congress) is WRONG.

    Copyright law was never intended to protect a cartel or oligopoly from having to enter the world of free market competition. But, laws are being rewritten as we speak to do just this.

    I want the artists to get paid. I just think there is a better way than funneling all of the money through an illegal music distribution CARTEL. This is the crux of the issue. :)
     
  23. applebum macrumors 6502

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    #23
    So even though I don't use P2P, and only use iTunes, I now will have to pay more for my CDR's, my internet connection, my iPod. QCassidy - as per our conversation in another thread - may I point out how your downloading for free has now hurt me. I now have to pay more to cover those who were unwilling to pay anything before. If this is agreeable to the P2P traders, why don't they just sign up for one of the subscription music services? If they attach this tax to the internet connection, then you basically have a subscription service. You pay an extra $5 per month and get to download all the music you want. If I wanted a subscription service, I wouldn't use iTunes.
     
  24. Mantat macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Taxing everyone who uses the internet is a bad solution, not everyone is downloading pirated MP3, also, it would legitimate download and even worst: over time, they will ask to increase this taxe.

    Also, this is not going to compensate the other 'artist': game developpers, programmers, etc...Who lose much more from P2P...
     
  25. mcfudd thread starter macrumors member

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    #25
    ACS

    The ACS model would be very bad for iTunes. Instead of paying $.99 per song -- which adds up --- you pay $5 monthly for unlimited music.

    This is not a subscription service. The music does not become locked or unavailable once you stop paying. It just makes sure that the files being traded are tracked and the artists compensated.

    This could also be extended to apply to movies, games, etc.

    As for your argument that you don't download music so why should you pay the tax. Well, you pay for roads even if you do not own a car. You pay for schools even if you are not a student. This is just one of those things that will be silently rolled into broadband internet access fees. Too bad for those who don't take advantage of it.
     

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