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Savebetamax.org National Call-in Day 249

Rinisari writes "Savebetamax.org, a project of Downhill Battle, has set up a national call-in day for September 14th. They ask that on that day, each person signed up call a specific congressperson about the INDUCE act in an effort to keep a steady stream of calls all day. The "Save Betamax" nomenclature comes from the fact that the INDUCE act could reverse the decision in the 1984 Sony v. Universal case regarding Sony's Betamax VTRs and copying of copyrighted movies."
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Savebetamax.org National Call-in Day

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  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:13PM (#10231018)
    A chance to slashdot congress!
    • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by i love pineapples ( 742841 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:18PM (#10231049) Homepage
      A chance to slashdot congress!

      Well, just think... I know not everyone here on /. is an American, but if we can take a server down, we're very likely to get somebody in Congress's attention.
    • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jordy ( 440 ) * <jordan&snocap,com> on Sunday September 12, 2004 @09:24PM (#10231450) Homepage
      What is really annoying is that this Act is supported by Barbara Boxer (California Democrat). For some reason California's Senators are extremely anti-tech industry and yet they keep getting elected. The movie/music industry is big, but it doesn't hold a candle to the tech/consumer electronics industries in CA.

      I just don't get it. I hope we do slashdot them. Heck, you can hit the EFF Action Center [eff.org] and faxslashdot them.
      • Re:Finally! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @11:28PM (#10232173)
        The movie/music industry is big, but it doesn't hold a candle to the tech/consumer electronics industries in CA.

        I suspect that part of the problem is that the copyright cartel controls 90+% of the 'official' information flow - television, radio, print even billboards. This puts them in a position to have a huge effect on public and private opinion, something that few other industries are able to do and the copyright cartel gets gets it effectively for free.
      • Yeah, I wrote, emailed and called her office in regards to this INDUCE act about a month ago. She/her aids wrote back saying that she supported a strong defense against piracy and believed that it is good for the consumer to stop piracy.
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:14PM (#10231032) Journal
    ...was "damn, are they DECADES to late! These Sony BetaMax nuts are worse than Mac people or Amiga owners -- and that is saying something."

  • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:15PM (#10231034)
    a conspiracy to affect communications and actions of the country's leaders.

    who the hell do these people think they are anyway deserving the attention of congressmen? they don't even pay the campaign bills.
  • by Silverlancer ( 786390 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:17PM (#10231045)
    Considering what the RIAA is doing, music, movie, and other media companies shouldn't be given any privledges at all, nevermind the ability to veto technologies because they don't like them...
    • Have you ever heard of Larry Niven's "ARM"? In his stories they are the technology police of the UN (who run the planet) and are charged with suppressing all new dangerous technology. (Read as any new technology period). They are the most corrupt organization in his stories.
  • If Betamax was really saved by this project, what's going to happen?
    • If Betamax was really saved by this project, what's going to happen?

      Then we'll get all our TV broadcasts in LDTV :-). A bit more seriously, Betamax probably failed by superiour quality and lack of porn. At least that's what happened to the V2000 system (the third one in this battle) brought to the market by Philips (my employer). Superior quality, but the traditional family owners didn't want to support "pink tapes". Result: the technology failed.
  • Uhhh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Frogbert ( 589961 ) <{frogbert} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:18PM (#10231050)
    Umm the 80's called... they want their format back.
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:18PM (#10231051)
    We've heard from these Downhill Battle people before. They proposed the a scheme to try to collect Apple/Pepsi winning-cap codes for iTunes downloads [studioqb.com] that neglected the fact that there were limits to how many songs a given person could download, neglected the fact that the rules said non-transferable, and that the group didn't disclose just how they selected the artists they wanted to favor.

    In short, these guys come up with nice ideas that don't work due to real world constraints.
  • Why all in one day? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by A1kmm ( 218902 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:18PM (#10231053)
    Wouldn't it be better to spread it out over a long period of time, otherwise they will know it is an organised compaign and will just disregard the calls? Is there any advantage to do this all in one day whatsoever?
    • Wouldn't it be better to spread it out over a long period of time, otherwise they will know it is an organised compaign and will just disregard the calls?

      I agree; Correct me if I have a fundamental misunderstanding of how calling a politican works, but if 1,000 people call Mr./Ms. Senator in a day, whoever records these types of calls will probably end up becoming annoyed/overloaded/whatever and is likely to dismiss the high volume... If the 1,000 calls are made over, say, a few months' time, wouldn't i
      • by qbwiz ( 87077 )
        Isn't it likely that if the phone calls were spread out over time, they would be more likely to be forgotten and underestimated? If the previous phone call about an issue was a few days ago, you might not really link the two in your mind and figure out the strong support for an issue. If they all come at once, it's relatively easy to notice that there is strong support for an issue - you've been dealing with people who care about it all day.
        • If they all come at once, it's relatively easy to notice that there is strong support for an issue - you've been dealing with people who care about it all day.

          True, if the phone calls are few and far between. If the phones are ringing off the hooks for days, then maybe the congressperson might take notice, but wouldn't a single day of calls be forgotten after weeks of relative silence? I'd think a steady stream of daily calls would be much more memorable, and much less likely leave a negative impression
    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:27PM (#10231114)
      If Congress was actually in session, it might cause congresscritters to talk about the fact that their office phone people are getting overloaded.

      Of course, annoying a congresscritter's staff is a good way to NOT get whatever you want. Staff members sometimes have the critical influence over the congresscritter they work for on technical issues they don't understand.
    • "Is there any advantage to do this all in one day whatsoever?"

      Well, as it is completely futile (unless you can figure out how to send a big check immediately while making that voice call), it makes sense to get it over with as quickly as possible.
  • by Rageon ( 522706 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:19PM (#10231060)
    Call me crazy, but wouldn't it have been usefull to have listed the time zone the assigned time is for? You think that might come in handy for something like this.
  • Coral cache (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    http://www.savebetamax.org.nyud.net:8090/ [nyud.net]
    http://www.downhillbattle.org.nyud.net:8090/ [nyud.net]
    http://www.virtualrecordings.com.nyud.net:8090/bet amax.htm [nyud.net]

    c'mon people.. we talk about using coral to prevent killing webservers, then we don't use it in the main post.
    get with it! =)
    • Re:Coral cache (Score:3, Informative)

      by realdpk ( 116490 )
      The last half dozen coral links I've used, for slashdotted articles and non-slashdotted articles, have been basically down or so extremely slow as to be not worthwhile.
  • So, this means (Score:5, Informative)

    by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:22PM (#10231081)
    ... I can watch my old Betamax tapes again? Good, I hate Congress interfering with my video formats. Next thing you know, they'll make DVD+R illegal, and only DVD-R formats will be allowed!

    No, seriously, they could have chosen a better name. "Save Betamax" doesn't mean shit to Joe Consumer (How many people actually remember that decision?). If you phrase it as "They're going to make it illegal to set your VCR to tape a show while you're away on vacation", that'll mean a lot more, although it would be a crappy domain name. But I'll be calling anyway, and you all should too. Write letters to the editors of your local papers,while you're at it.

    • If someone truly cares about the issue, they can briefly learn what the "Betamax" decision was and what it means.

      Anyway, I hope these calls generate some press.
    • I have to agree. I have lots of friends who are not Slashdot geeks and don't know what the INDUCE Act, DMCA and all this crap are about. If you want to get this idea through to a broad audience, a site called "SaveTheVCR.com" (which incidentally is available) or something similar would do a better job, with a 2-3 sentence layperson's introduction at the top of the page.

      But if their goal was to get the Slashdot local crew all fired up, then I'd say this site will do a pretty good job at getting us to man

    • Re:So, this means (Score:2, Informative)

      by nicholasbs ( 197536 )

      How about Save the iPod?

      The Free Culture student movement is already running just that campaign: SaveTheiPod.com [savetheipod.com]

      We've also launched a continuation of the campaign here: SaveThe.org [savethe.org]

      So check out those sites, and then go to FreeCulture.org [freeculture.org] and join the international student movement for free culture.

      (If it isn't already abundantly clear, I'm part of the movement.)

  • It's hard to fight (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thewldisntenuff ( 778302 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:22PM (#10231083) Homepage
    800,000 geeks vs $800,000 (campaign donations?)

    It's be great if it'd work, but it's hard to beat the money of the big corporations....The more I read the news, the more I see the big boys on the hill getting in on this....

    Scary stuff it is...
    • by MrP- ( 45616 ) <jessica@@@supjessica...com> on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:26PM (#10231109)
      800,000 geeks vs $800,000

      Why don't each of us donate $5 or something.. i think $4,000,000 is a little more than $800,000 =P
    • by jeffkjo1 ( 663413 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:49PM (#10231258) Homepage
      800,000 geeks vs $800,000 (campaign donations?)

      It'd be great if it'd work, but it's hard to beat the money of the big corporations....The more I read the news, the more I see the big boys on the hill getting in on this....

      Ask any politician which he would prefer: 1000 voters going to the polls, or $10,000 (extra '0'.) You'd be hard pressed to find one that would take the money. Interest groups for corporations hold power, but there aren't 1000 Jack Valenti's in each and every district to vote for Congressman X.
    • What's easy is getting someone to lose by giving up before they have tried doing anything to fix the situation. After all, laziness and apathy pay off now. Trying may never pay off.

      Here's hoping that there are many people who understand that political activism requires more direct action than spouting off on Slashdot. Calling and writing your Congresspeople are a step in the right direction.
    • 800,000 geeks vs $800,000 (campaign donations?)

      800,000 Geeks = 1839 Geeks per Congessional District. Assumming 3% of Geeks heed this call to arms, which I doubt, that is 51 calls per district. I've seen more signatures on a petition to replace a village traffic light.

  • Intent of the law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:31PM (#10231139)
    I hear alot of people claiming that the intent of the law is only to go after so called bad actors, and will not be used against VCR makers or computer makers. What those people forget is that in court, the intent of the law doesn't matter, only the actual wording. Anyone using the intent of the law as a defense in court will lose and possibly be laughed out of court. That means this law will be used to sue Apple, Intel, IBM, and Microsoft for making general purpose computing hardware. Even with the new wording, the EFF mock complaint against the ipod is still valid, as apple could have used "reasonable measures" such as only allowing the ipod to play DRM encoded files and have Itunes verify the CD is a pressed CD and not burned before allowing any ripping. The same applies to general purpose computers, which could have been locked down like the Xbox to only run OSes and software that use strong DRM and require checking with central servers before a document or whatever can be transfered (to prevent a user from retyping a copyrighted work like a book by hand). Keep in mind no one intended the DMCA to be used against third party printer cartriges, but it was.
    • Anyone using the intent of the law as a defense in court will lose and possibly be laughed out of court.

      Although I (unfortunately) have to agree completely with the general message of your posting, luckily not the whole world is like the USA ... luckily!! There are parts, mmm, probably over 90%, where the intent is more important than the letter. Anyway, I'm always surprised that in the US everybody fiercely hates lawyers, and at the same time everybody tries as hard as he/she can to become one.....
    • Jeebus cripes are you wrong. Judges look to intent vs. results all the time. The Yick Wo case is an example where the intent of the law wasn't to discriminate against Chinese laundromats, but the defendant in the case was freed because the law was being used exactly for that. In fact, since all law is public policy in some form or another, the courts always look to the intent of the law when deciding a case. Did this guy commit a murder? The jury says "yes." Well the law says I can give him 20 - life. Given
  • by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:34PM (#10231159) Homepage
    From the story summary:
    1984 Sony v. Universal case regarding Sony's Betamax VTRs and copying of copyrighted movies
    Not exactly. It covered time-shifting, of which copyrighted movies were a particular example. The Supreme Court was almost at a loss of what to do due to ambiguity of Copyright law and the lack of widespread VCRs in the home when the last major Copyright law was written (1976). They dared to divine the intention of Congress by saying that time-shifting constituted fair-use, and hinted that Congress should follow up with a more specific law in the future. Now Congress is doing the clarification, and it looks like it won't be in the consumer's favor.

    Shameless plug: this was covered almost a year ago in my blog article U.S. corroborating with WIPO to overturn Betamax decision and also eliminate public domain [underreported.com] (which I've shamelessly plugged here before).

    More trivia: before the Betamax decision, movies would come on HBO before videotape release (prime example: Star Wars -- HBO copies for a time were the only way to get a Star Wars videotape). Due to the assumed illegality of taping off HBO, movie studios considered HBO airing to constitute less ownership than selling videotapes. The Betamax decision reversed this notion, and thusly also the order of release.

  • by danger_boy_13 ( 775935 ) <dangerboy13@gmail.com> on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:35PM (#10231166) Homepage
    For those of you who don't want to read the decision or Downhill Battle's site, the Betamax decision is what basically allowed us the technology of DVD/CD burners, tape recorders, and VCR's (along with possibly P2P networks) by saying that, just because some people are using them (VCR's at the time) to participate in illegal activities (copying copyrighted movies or shows), the technology itself is not the culprit. Therefore, the technology is legal. This is a vital decision for the technological world and a good thing to get involved in if you can.
  • Should really campaign alongside this for the movie industry to make shorter movies (so they will fit on a betamax tape).

    Yeah I know, RTFA, but *still* betamax???

  • by dr_skipper ( 581180 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:37PM (#10231181)
    Man, the US... Land of the free.

    I'm not too worried, I live in Canada. It's a little better here.

    Maybe Canada will have to occupy the US soon to liberate it. =P

  • cut it out, guys.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peculiarmethod ( 301094 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:38PM (#10231192) Journal
    You know.. if we keep up this annoying nonsense of protesting to our elected leaders via the phone, they're gonna include the telephone as a weapon of mass destruction in the newest Patriot Act. _Then_ what are we gonna do? I suppose we could take to the streets.. then that will be made an act against the state. You see my point. We should just forget it all, and go back to our T.V.'s.
    • i don't mind burning a few points.. I think we always need a little reminder that we're at war for our rights. Otherwise it wouldn't make headlines so often. We seriously need to all activate and make the phone calls that we believe in. And _that_ is no joke.
    • Well lets see, they won't take phone calls or listen to protestors, and they only reply to e-mail with lies, and we won't be let within 100 feet of their houses...and we're supposed to listen to laws because they order around police and military, most of whom agree with us.

      Seems to me, that if gun sales in the U.S took a sharp incline, they'd get a bit freaked out but get hte message; america is of the people and for the people, not of the people and for the corporations. With that assualt weapons ban e
  • sorry for them... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ezonme ( 671218 ) <{rb.moc.soducabat} {ta} {ze}> on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:50PM (#10231260) Homepage
    Their business model is history... If they win this battle the RIAA/MPAA will know how it feels like to shoot themselves in the foot when they realize that they lost a powerfull distribution/advertising channel like the P2P networks. The indies will always find a way to get their productions to the people, they don't need p2p, just a website.

    What's next?
    • Re:sorry for them... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jgalun ( 8930 )
      The problem with the treatment of P2P on Slashdot is that most posters are unable to distinguish between P2P technology and the popular P2P networks.

      The INDUCE Act does not outlaw, and the RIAA/MPAA, are not opposed to P2P technology itself. Professor Susan Crawford, positively quoted in a previous Slashdot story about the INDUCE Act, says, "The Act (to be proposed tomorrow by songwriter Sen. Hatch and others) amends the copyright law to say that anyone who 'induces' copyright infringement is himself/itsel
  • Lost Cause (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @08:50PM (#10231261) Homepage Journal
    While I also support our 'data rights', this is a lost cause at this point. Its over, and we have lost.

    Congress does *not* give a damn about the citizens, they are only concerned about the people that line their pocketbooks ( i.e. the 'media' and other large corporations ).

    The very structure of this country has changed, and the citizens are going to be mowed over.

    Fight it all you want, but id rather pick battles that aren't lost already.

    The 2nd revolution is long over due, before the "American experiment" fails, and its remains fall into hardcore socialism.
    • You're mostly right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @09:30PM (#10231480)
      The structure hasn't changed though. Do a bit of digging and you'll find the common man has never had any real power except right after WWII (and only then because there was a shortage of workers thanks to your friend and mine, the Machinegun). _All_ complex societies throughout history have been centered around satisifying the wants of a lucky few. Ours still is, it's just that technology and Globalism has expanded the number of Lucky ones, and the losses of WWII allowed the unlucky ones to make out OK for a while.

      Trouble is, just about every single poor and middle class bastard wants to join the oppressors. And every time you add an oppressor, you've got to add some oppressed. This is just the way human economy works. As soon as the masses make some gains, along will come someone to take them away so he can join the ranks of the wealthy and powerful. There is a way to stop this: forced birth control. Either that or War, famine and disease will work just as well. So long as there are too few people to effectively oppress. Capitalism needs lots of cannon fodder.

      Oh, and give me Socialism over capitalism any day. Adam Smith envisioned a world of small time shop keepers and factory owners with a stake in thier communities because they lived there. Globalism breaks all that. What's been keeping your job from going overseas is isolationism broght on by the Cold War. Now that that's over capitalism's busted. Capital will flow where ever labor's cheapest, and that flow will keep standards of living down. You're not gonna feel this too bad, but you're children will. Their lives are gonna suck.
    • The 2nd revolution is long over due, before the "American experiment" fails, and its remains fall into hardcore socialism.

      I'm not so sure. Nanotechnology is well on its way here, and in 5 to 20 years we'll have full-blown nanotech which will provide all of us with everything we could ever desire, including (essentially) unlimited lifetimes. (You can off yourself whenever you choose to; the universe won't be able to do it for you any more.)

      So my take on this is that we should support any "welfare"

      • You are forgetting the fact that the power, not the money, is the ultimate lure. Now the more money you get, the more power you wield.

        But as soon as infinite wealth comes and computers/robots start satisfying people's wishes for free, how can you maintain your dominance over them? You can't.

        This is exactly the problem of your scenario. Too many people are now in power and love it. They are not going to give it up. Look, for example, at oil vs. renewable sources of energy. Today oilmen promote gas-gu

    • Re:Lost Cause (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Adam9 ( 93947 )
      I did a quick search at Thomas [loc.gov], and found this:

      "(6) The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (`DMCA') was enacted as an attempt to safeguard the traditional balance in the face of these new challenges. It gave copyright holders the ability to fight digital piracy by employing technical restrictions that prevent unlawful access and copying. In practice, however, the DMCA also endangered the rights and expectations of legitimate consumers."

      and then..

  • by Gentlewhisper ( 759800 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @09:05PM (#10231353)
    Well, let's just say that hollywood only has tunnel vision and can't see any potential for growth beyond their current business models.

    That was why they sued sony back then, they were scared shitless by the prospects of their property being stolen!

    Unfortunately for them, they lost, but even then they still managed to get a new cash cow out of it. Home videos.

    But with the coming of DVDs, they decided, "hey, we needed home videos no more, now that we got these new high tech media like DVDs and CDs that can only be pressed at the factory, why not we make all recording mediums illegal eh"

    And if this law passes, the implications are powerful. With CDRs, DVDRs, videos, cassettes, maybe even video cameras all outlawed? Guess who are the only ones with access to recording equipment?

    Just because they produce some lousy stinking movies doesn't mean they produce ALL the material in the whole wide world. What about people making home videos of little nelly celebrating her first birthday? Or can you imagine needing to procure a license from hollywood in the future just so you can make a video recording of big nelly's wedding?

    No good would come out of this man.. no good at all..
  • No one's listening. (Score:3, Informative)

    by hotspotbloc ( 767418 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @09:16PM (#10231403) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry and hope I'm wrong but IMO they're not going to listen. They didn't listen to us over the PATRIOT Act, Carnivore, electronic voting or the DMCA. The politicians will pay a little lip service to the media saying they're "still investigating" the bill in question and haven't made up their minds while in reality they've already cast their lot to the highest bidder.

    Let's face it: the politicians stopped listening to their constituents a long time ago.

    If I may quote the great FZ from "The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing":

    You say yer life's a bum deal

    'N yer up against the wall ...
    Well, people, you ain't even got no kinda
    Deal at all
    'Cause what they do
    In Washington
    They just takes care of NUMBER ONE
    An' NUMBER ONE ain't YOU
    You ain't even NUMBER TWO
  • The Subversives (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @09:51PM (#10231581) Journal
    These people need to excep the subversives will win. The RIAA et all, need to understand that the least damange will be if they just play ball with what people want. If they keep buying bay laws. Then us citizens will stop respecting the laws, its that simple. Bigbussiness/Gov just needs to learn that you give citizens the laws they really want or you get criminals. The other thing is no you can't jail everyone. Look at interstate speed limits. Clearly the majority of general public favors higher speed limits. My evidence most peoplle are doing 5-10 over. Now if everyone is breaking the law(speed limit) then why have the law? Well police pull over people at random and issue tickets the rest of us get away with it. So its partial negative enfocement whic psycologicly casues us to feel we will continue to get away with it, we tend to go even fast the next time. If they just set the speed for passenger cars to 80 I bet most people would comply, which means you could take care of all the violators. People would then respect the speed law and obey even when it inconviences them. So now if you make stuip laws like "though shall not reccord stuffs with a broadcast flag set" if I want to reccord it I sure as hell with find away as will most people. Just like most people don't reall pay to have the city inspector out if they remodle the basement. They know is dumb and just a veiled tax and therfore say "screw it". I'll bet again if you rewrote that ordinace to say "You onlyl need to be inspected if you change a loaded portion of the structure" people would obey and we'd all be safer.

    Look at the history of our first revolution. Here is the scary part noone are thinking about. If you keep makeing stupid laws and by extention keep makeing averge joes who were once well behaived citizen criminals and subversives then you only have criminals and subversives. People don't like to feel that way about themselves forever. Eventually that emotional stage starts to work really good for revolutionary reasoning. Then you get a revolution. I am not saying its gonna be a bloody revolution or anything, but sooner or later people are gonna toss out the current power brokers, they simply will not play ball any more. People are gonna say, forigen policy be damned I don't think think my neighbor Ted is really fit to lead this nation on the national stage but if I elect him at least I will be able to live my life like I used to for awhile I am gonna do it. I think the future is bright domesticly but its gonna ruin our place in the world when it happens, and its all because the current powers that be are two blind to stike a ballance.
  • by squatex ( 765966 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @09:55PM (#10231597)
    Its just something Ive been curious about, but how far would they go with this act? Would external hard drives become illegal? usb memory sticks? the internet itself? This legislation seems so broad, that it seems they could ban just about any device on a whim. Jesus, I gotta move.
  • who can tell how we humble mortals in Europe may be affected by this law.

    • A lot of that depends on how much you care about entertainment -- movies, music, and television shows -- produced in the US. If you don't, the most you will probably notice is a wave of electronics touting "DRM Free!" like the region free DVD players available all over the continent.

      On the other hand, if you do care about any US-produced entertainment, it will probably result in crippled media -- crap like DVDs that expire 24 hours after you first watch them, a blackout on new US TV shows until your governm

    • by mvdwege ( 243851 ) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Monday September 13, 2004 @12:01AM (#10232327) Homepage Journal

      Just look at the sordid history of the EUCD (European Union Copyright Directive). You will see that the entertainment industry will meet up with some European Commisioners, have lunch, and presto! two months later the relevant committee comes up with a new EU directive implementing the latest draconian US copyright law into an EU Directive.

      I am not hopeful. And I live in one of the countries that generally implement EU directives in the most liberal way possible.

  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @10:33PM (#10231851)
    The assault weapons ban expires in 90 minutes. ;)
  • Nuke the Whales (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday September 12, 2004 @11:16PM (#10232103) Homepage Journal
    At least they've reserved the right to regroup under a good name if they fail. No one wants to "save Betamax" - everyone thinks of Betamax as a loser, especially if they know that it was technically superior to the winner, VHS. Political success depends on popularity and positive associations, even when you're right. Next time they can call it "SaveTaping.com", even though it will have little "tape" in the future.

    "ew, Beta" - Homer Simpson
  • So if they want to prohibit everything that can reproduce sound or video they have to prohibit every aviable storage medium, from ZIP 100MB disks to Compact Flash memory, and even HARD DISKs...

    IMHO i think this whole thing is too stupid, there will allways be a way to save analog or binary data. They wont go home by home checking for storage mediums and like allways happened, we will find a new way to record and copy music and videos.

    I cant believe the music and movie industry hasnt figured this out yet,
  • Lettered (Score:2, Informative)

    by TurtleQ ( 812931 )
    This article didn't cause me to signup, but it did induce me to compose a letter to my local congressman independently. Seems like if we all do a little bit...
  • Until... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trolling4Dollars ( 627073 ) on Monday September 13, 2004 @01:19AM (#10232682) Journal
    ...people are heavily penalized for piracy and thier awareness raised, this kind of effort will not attract much attention. The fact is that Joe Average out there actually believes it's OK to install the copy of Windows XP that came with their laptop on another box because they don't plant to use XP on the laptop. Or, she thinks it's OK to download a game ROM to play on MAME as long as it's deleted in 24 hours. Or he believes that installing and trading warez is OK as long as you don't get caught. All of these people are wrong.
    I think that if the penalties for doing anything like the above were made much steeper and the enforcement much stricter, then people would really be aware of the problem and would have more understanding of why the betamax situation is important. Unfortunately, their ignorance makes them think that all the warez and "free music" they get from the net and all the illigit software they install falls under the same umbrella as VHS tapes and TV. And since THAT'S always going to be legal, in their minds, there's nothing to worry about. They don't eve "get" the problem. But what do you expect from Joe and Jane AOLer?
    Things have been moving in this direction for quite some time now. Some people out there believe that everything needs to be done for a fee and they've got hold of the steering wheel right now. This is why it's important to support alternatives that are still free (beer and speech). As long as people like me (those who believe in doing some things for free in both senses) there will always be a way out. This whole betamax thing is just an extension of this battle. We were given the right to copy decades ago and now they want to take that right away so that they can take money for something that was previously free.
    Peronally, I abide by the rules of these companies. If I want or need software and there is no free alternative, I buy it. If I want to watch a movie, I go to the theater, or rent the video. If I REALLY like it, then I buy the VHS or DVD from a used source. If I like a musician or band, I buy the CD and rip it to Ogg Vorbis for my own personal listening. I do not share what is not mine to share. I respect the wishes of these companies. But... wherever there is a free alternative that is legal and does not go against these businesses, I choose the alternative.
    This is why I run free OSes at home with only one machine running Windows XP Pro. This is why if you were to compare my Ogg Vorbis collection with every CD I own, you would see that there is not a single Vorbis file that doesn't have a matching disc. If you look through my library of MPEG files, you would see that I own every VHS they were transferred from or they are from sources on the net that are authorized to freely distribute.
    Our country is in a fucked up state thanks to the greed of the corporate swine. But things will change once Joe and Jane Average see how little they are allowed to do. ONe she sees that she can't listen to her DRM laced audio file on any machine she wants to without having to pay for duplicate licenses... and once he sees that he can only watch the movei he downloaded for five days and needs to pay for another license to watch again... and once they both run into the situation where they can't let their inlaws borrow the new movie over the weekend because it's only authorized to play on their machine. Then, and only then will Joe and Jane Average "get it". Unfortunately for them, it will be too late and there won't be anything they can do about it. Unless they want to unplug and stop watching mainstream stuff. But you and I both know that that will happen when hell freezes over. Instead Joe and Jane will continue to pour THEIR rightfully earned cash into the pockets of uncreative executives who
    know nothing about creativity or artistry. The only thing Joe and Jane will do is gripe about how expensive life has suddenly become because of all the bills they have to pay. The TV bill, the music service bill, the satellite radio bill, the internet bill, the internet movie rental bill, the TiVO bill, etc... And people like me will be shaking our heads thinking, "we told you so".

The absent ones are always at fault.