European Terrorism Law and Music Downloaders

The European music industry is lobbying the European Parliament, demanding things that the RIAA can only dream about:

The music and film industries are demanding that the European parliament extends the scope of proposed anti-terror laws to help them prosecute illegal downloaders. In an open letter to MEPs, companies including Sony BMG, Disney and EMI have asked to be given access to communications data - records of phone calls, emails and internet surfing - in order to take legal action against pirates and filesharers. Current proposals restrict use of such information to cases of terrorism and organised crime.

Our society definitely needs a serious conversation about the fundamental freedoms we are sacrificing in a misguided attempt to keep us safe from terrorism. It feels both surreal and sickening to have to defend our fundamental freedoms against those who want to stop people from sharing music. How is it possible that we can contemplate so much damage to our society simply to protect the business model of a handful of companies?

Posted on November 27, 2005 at 12:20 PM • 83 Comments

Comments

LeeNovember 27, 2005 12:40 PM

This makes no sense, in what way will the prosecution of music downloaders help fight terrorism? This may be a secret ploy to catch Osama next time he downloads his favourite Britney Spears songs.

anonymousNovember 27, 2005 12:48 PM

If this happens, i'm moving out of Europe to some 3'rd world country. Better to be governed by some wacky dictator then by these psychopatic corporations IMO.

AnonymousNovember 27, 2005 12:49 PM

Yes, this is really sick, isn't it?

It's certainly possible that the threat to the citizens of some EU nations is so grave and so unprecedented that such extraordinary measures are called for. But they certainly would be extraordinary and shouldn't be taken lightly.

It is scarcely credible that the recording industry should seek to hijack such measures for such a trivial and self-serving purpose.

I think this, coming on the heels of the "Sony rootkit" debacle, is the final proof, if any more were needed, that the record labels (and Hollywood) regard their customers as enemies and will use any means to protect their business model.

Bill Thompson at the BBC has some pertinent commentary:

"If they cannot come up with a business model which allows them to make profits without criminalising their customers, trampling over our civil liberties or installing malware on our computers then they do not deserve to stay in business, and new ways for artists to reach the public will have to emerge."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4469886.stm

GregNovember 27, 2005 1:32 PM

Lets just remeber that this goes to vote. Its not law. I don't think it has a chance to get through. Bit like the last patent law vote.....


" Last week the British Phonographic Industry announced its latest batch of cases against illegal downloaders, taking the total number of UK actions to over 150."

i think there is more than 150 doing this. Legal action with police state powers will make little difference. What are thay going to do, take 1 million people to court? Even the courts would be telling them to get bent.

RSNovember 27, 2005 1:34 PM

Well, you know, every joint you buy from the guy on the corner buys a gun for some Jihadist. Same goes for bootled DVDs, and (I don't know how, but be assured there's a team of very expensive spin doctors figuring a way to explain how) it must be the same for freely downloaded .torrents. Right?

Have you listened to European pop? It's as bad as American pop. Maybe a new business model that would make all music possession illegal, and then a tax on everyone to pay for the "war on music notes." Might work.

RS

gregNovember 27, 2005 1:59 PM

@RS

Tax is one thing they know how to do in the EU. Thats probably a good goverment incentive to curb .torrents. Its to hard to tax. Unless they just tax all bandwidth

Hadi HaririNovember 27, 2005 2:32 PM

Why are you confusing the two? I'm not in favor of any of these laws, but Sony isn't saying that downloading music is terrorism. They are say that just as there are laws that allow you to have access to private information to fight terrorism, there should also be laws to allow them access to people sharing music.

As for protecting a handful of companies, and irrelevant whether I agree with the business practices of the music industry, I think everyone has the right to protect what is theirs "legally".

But please, just as some are trying to take all our liberties with the excuse to fight terrorism, let's not fall into the same trap and make everything look like it's part of the same fight. This is clearly IMHO a misinterpretation of the text.

rob mayfieldNovember 27, 2005 2:45 PM

theres a number of video/music sales and hire outlets in these parts that advertise a direct link between piracy and terrorism, openly claiming that the funds from pirated content are used to support terrorism and that the consumer is responsible for supporting terrorism if they accept pirated content.

you have to wonder if this is an 'initiative' by the bigger corporates along the same lines.

MichaelNovember 27, 2005 2:56 PM

@Hadi Hariri

I don't think RS was "interpreting the text". I think he was trying to be funny.

Suw CharmanNovember 27, 2005 3:08 PM

The brashness with which the music and film industries have attempted to hijack legislation that the UK government has claimed is for the protection of its citizens from terrorism and organised crime is nothing short of disgraceful. Of course, the data retention legislation is deeply flawed regardless of the CMBA's interference and what is most important now is to let MEPs know that they must reject this directive when it comes before the European Parliament. Anyone in Europe reading this should contact their MEP and make their voices heard. If you are in the UK, visit http://www.writetothem.com/ to find out who your MEP is, and send them an email.

Suw Charman
Executive Director
www.openrightsgroup.org

IronyNovember 27, 2005 3:41 PM

The recording industry itself is starting to look more and more like an organized crime syndicate.

They extort money by using threats of legal action. They bludgeon foes into submission. They use "high-visibility examples" to put fear into those who would contemplate resistance. And they attempt to influence legislators into enacting one-sided laws that favor them and their cronies. Oh, and they "defend" the rights of the artists they have under "contracts".

All IMNSHO, of course (gotta dodge those libel laws, ya know).

Jens MeiertNovember 27, 2005 3:43 PM

Outrageous, and incredible. Western countries' reaction to terrorism (completely ignoring any data security and privacy issues) is yet unbelievable, but the music industry is, well, perfidious, and yet macabre.

Bruce SchneierNovember 27, 2005 3:46 PM

"Why are you confusing the two? I'm not in favor of any of these laws, but Sony isn't saying that downloading music is terrorism. They are say that just as there are laws that allow you to have access to private information to fight terrorism, there should also be laws to allow them access to people sharing music."

I know that's what they're saying. They're saying that loud and clear. I think my comments stand as written.

B-ConNovember 27, 2005 5:20 PM

"Why are you confusing the two? I'm not in favor of any of these laws, but Sony isn't saying that downloading music is terrorism. They are say that just as there are laws that allow you to have access to private information to fight terrorism, there should also be laws to allow them access to people sharing music."

The problem is that they're likening pirated music to terrorism. The two are worlds, nay, dimensions, apart.

Why? Becuase they're greedy scumballs with no ethics.

winsnomoreNovember 27, 2005 6:46 PM

This is an absurd concern, actually it's backwards. Not chasing the pirates hurts everyones rights.

It's terribly wrong to assume that if music industry wants laws and law enforcement to help enforce the rights given to them (copyright) by the public, they are evil and their demand is encroaching liberties.

It's akin to saying that though you have a right to carry money and get robbed in the middle of the street, we won't chase the robbers or let you identify them in a lineup. We know we can find them, but you are really too rich (aka evil) for us to be bothered, the (little)guy was just trying to have some fun(a good thing).

I am amused by Bruce's tirades regarding security legislation; he gets mightily worked up about imagined freedoms being lost to terrorism legislation .. yawn .. yawn.
Read Hayek and you will stop worrying about such secondary issues.

JonathanNovember 27, 2005 7:06 PM

Winsnomore,
You seem to be terrifically confused on this issue, as well as security and rights in general.

There's more to copyright than ownership, and there's more to rights than enforcing the law. You wouldn't know it from listening to the companies you defend, however, as they've been fighting not merely to defend their rights but to extend them without limit, at the expense of the public good and private citizen.

What's more, letting private companies set themselves up as para-law enforcement agencies, even when they're ostensibly doing so to "merely" enforce their rights is an amazingly bad idea. One only has to look to the "Sony BMG Rootkit" fiasco to see a private company's idea of "doing the right thing".

Companies answer only to their customers, and many times, not even to them. The job of law enforcement is rightfully best left to elected democratic government.

RichNovember 27, 2005 7:24 PM

Follow the money. It's not hard to do.
If P2P is supporting Terrorism, then we should shut down: all gambling sites, Wal-Mart (at least the MP3 players), Sony (at least the PSP), Microsoft (at least the XBox 360), all singles dating sites, SBC/Yahoo DSL, Netflix... These are the companies that are supporting bittorrent sites via advertising. At least the 3 sites I just found and browsed via google.

The actual peers are not the ones making money in peer-to-peer.

JonathanNovember 27, 2005 7:25 PM

Oh, and one more thing...

...there are two Hayeks. One, the modest and imaginative social theorist... The other Hayek is Hayek the libertarian; Hayek the paranoid and splenetic reactionary; the Hayek who fulminates against his pet hates -- 'the counter culture', 'permissive education', 'dropouts', 'parasites' and so on -- like any dyspeptic ten-a-penny rednecked blimp. This Hayek is unconnected with the former, and should be ignored.
-- Alan Haworth, in "Anti-Libertarianism: Markets, Philosophy and Myth".

To most people, the idea that private companies should be allowed to make and enforce the law is self-evidently repulsive and terrible. Evidently, Winsnomore, that sane majority can't count you among its happy number.

DemureNovember 27, 2005 7:28 PM

@Winsnomore

What other private-sector corporations are advocating that they be allowed to perform their own law-enforcement?

As an individual I have the right to self-defense for my person or the person of others (in certain circumstances), and certain kinds of property (home, but not business, for example). No individual has the right to act as a court of law or an officer of the law, unless deputized as such. (Details may vary by jurisdiction.)

The laws governing access to information in pursuit of terrorism define how law-enforcement officers, NOT private individuals, are allowed access to that information. Law-enforcement is the province of governments, not of individuals, nor the legal fabrications known as corporations.

Ian MasonNovember 27, 2005 7:50 PM

First off, the contact details of many of the members of the proposer (the Creative and Media Business Alliance) of this vile commercial interference in European's basic rights and freedoms is publicly available at http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/press/20041103.html. Just in case anyone wants to, politely please, share their thoughts with the originators of this proposal.

Secondly, I've added those companies names to my boycott list. I shall not be buying any more products from them or their subsidiaries; either personally or (more significantly) professionally. And I'm going to tell them so, and why.

RogerNovember 27, 2005 8:14 PM

There is a bit of a tendency for people to jump in on blogs and start uttering platitudes without actually reading the articles being discussed.

Clearly it would be absurd to compare music "piracy" to terrorism. But nobody is doing so. It would also be unacceptable to give law enforcement powers to private companies -- but no-one is asking for that, either.

What is actually being said is this: under the proposed legislation, certain telecommunications metadata that was previously retained only for short periods, now will be compulsorily retained for three years. The data will only be available for investigating racketeering and terrorism. However lobbyists for recording industry have suggested that this data should be made available for any criminal prosecution, not just racketeering and terrorism. It is obvious that they hope the data will be used by the police in investigating copyright cases that fall under criminal law.

This certainly is a concern, but their proposal is extremely unpopular and is unlikely to be accepted.

To me the key point here is that once you have gathered this great hoard of sensitive information, there will be many vultures circling to get a bite of it, and you need to constantly guard against their depredations. It is far safer to not have it there at all, then it is completely immune from theft or dubious claims; and this is a matter which legislators ought to consider when debating the risks and merits of these sorts of bills.

But please don't confuse the issue with wild exaggerations such as corporations seeking police powers! You end up making privacy advocates look like uninformed paranoids who are best ignored, and thus deliver easy victory to your own opponents.

Ari HeikkinenNovember 27, 2005 8:36 PM

That's exactly the problem of anti-terrorism laws. They're mostly useless against real terrorists, but once passed it's way too easy extend them to cover something totally unrelated.

JonathanNovember 27, 2005 8:42 PM

Roger,
What you're describing is fundamentally different than what was described in the excerpt quoted above from the Guardian, in which the companies themselves are asking to be given access to the data for "legal action". That's a far cry from promoting the idea that law enforcement should have that data when prosecuting criminals.

Which is right?

Ari HeikkinenNovember 27, 2005 8:50 PM

Just to add, if this don't pass what prevents them to claim music sharing is "organised crime" and demand those laws apply anyway?

Now everyone think. Each CD (or any other product) you buy will give those idiots more money (=more power) to pursue these kind of things.

If you don't like this, then atleast don't fund it. Everyone can do atleast as much as check which companies are pursuing these things and boycott their products.

afxNovember 27, 2005 8:59 PM

They already have quasi police powers. Most ISPs aren't equipped to monitor content of their customers, so its standard policy to terminate customer's accounts when they recieve a letter from one of these companies that say they have been distributing copyrighted material. They collect IPs from things like bittorrent trackers and the like.

No checks made to verify if it were true or not. If you call up and complain, you've got a good chance of the overworked underpaid tech support operator to put you on some sort of blacklist for ruining his day.

What's their real goal with this legislation? Probably a few more high profile cases so they can continue to do what they're already doing without opposition and the claim of proof.

winsnomoreNovember 27, 2005 9:23 PM

Johanthan,

I am not defending any companies, only the rule of law.

Mixing the piracy issue with rights, terrorism and the hatered for the scums in the music/film industry is an absurdity that needs no discussion.

Terrorism is NOT the issue.

Rule of law is the issue.
Everyone has a right to petition for reprieve against harm.
Don't give them the reprieve; that's ok

But don't tell me that it is to assure your freedom, it's largely to satisfy your self defined "right" to deal with the scum (rich).

You actually have no "right" to harm others (or their rights) under any constitution.

And, better read Hayek than quote some hackney English politician who didn't know (his)right from left.
It's like saying I know Bible because I have read quran.

If the entry fee to your sanity club is to be conceited and irrational, I am not in your club neither would ever want to be in it.

winsnomoreNovember 27, 2005 9:47 PM

@ Demure

That legal fabrication is probably putting bread on your table and a computer on your desk to bitch about it's existence!

The rights belong to whom they are bestowed by the society; that's the basis of the society. You can hate someone; that's ok, but you can't trample on their rights.

Your hatred of "the company" really stands in the way of a real discussion, give it what's it's due or it might stop feeding you .. nah it WILL stop feeding you.

Private companies have always done "their" enforcements, ever seen store security guards who can frisk you and even hold and question you? ever not paid a ticket collector the fare and seen whether he calls the cops or does the job him/her self :-)) I could go on ..

That free music played aloud can really cause shot-circuits up there, one should be careful.

Chris WalshNovember 27, 2005 10:08 PM

"The rights belong to whom they are bestowed by the society"

Sez you. I was born with mine. They weren't granted to me by any man or any group.

Corporations (in the USA, anyway), however, most emphatically *were* granted what rights they have as legal "persons" by the same collectivity that can at its pleasure and consistent with law, take them away.

DMNovember 27, 2005 10:20 PM

Information wants to be free. Once this information is being collected, for any particular purpose, the scope of who gets access to the information will be progressively widened until almost anyone with any power to throw around has access to it, that is, anyone but you.

AnonymousNovember 27, 2005 10:39 PM

@chris

Your rights were given to you by the constitution (if in US ... otherwise I doubt you have many :-))
those are the only ones you have, please look around carefully and don't double count

Chris WalshNovember 27, 2005 11:03 PM

@anon 10:39PM

" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

AnonymousNovember 27, 2005 11:11 PM

@chris
You are quoting the declaration of independence.

Declaration has no legal value; it's a pamphlet that lays propositions not the law.

Supreme court in us doesn't rule by the declaration, only by the constitution

Why are you arguing so hard if you don't even know the basics? Or am I being too hard and you are yet in kindergarden?

winsnomoreNovember 27, 2005 11:20 PM

@chris

you may be shocked to discover that constitution doesn't specifically grant anyone "life", "liberty"or pursuit of happiness either !!!!

It also doesn't mention privacy, though our judges have been pretty good at finding it between the lines .. but I guess I am wasting my breath, it might be way over your head .. just ignore all that and believe what you want. and there is this ~mensa you can readily join, ask Jonathan he is registering fast.

winsnomoreNovember 27, 2005 11:20 PM

@chris

you may be shocked to discover that constitution doesn't specifically grant anyone "life", "liberty"or pursuit of happiness either !!!!

It also doesn't mention privacy, though our judges have been pretty good at finding it between the lines .. but I guess I am wasting my breath, it might be way over your head .. just ignore all that and believe what you want. and there is this ~mensa you can readily join, ask Jonathan he is registering fast.

drjat42November 27, 2005 11:27 PM

@anon

You have it exactly backwards. The U. S. Constitution grants rights (powers) to the U. S. government not to the (American) people. Ammendments IX and X were included in the Bill of Rights specifically because there was worry someone would misinterpret the first eight as being the _only_ rights.

Please go reread the Federalist papers.

Amendment IX


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

jammitNovember 27, 2005 11:45 PM

But I download MP3's from strangers because I'm afraid of getting a rootkit from a store bought CD. I see since the "shock and awe" of sueing people isn't working, more insidious measures must be taken. To try and see this from the music industry eyes, I suppose if the people are illegally downloading music, then turnabout is fair play. Maybe the music industry should take its ideas from the oil industry and put a shill in office.

neduNovember 27, 2005 11:49 PM

Bruce,

In your Nov 17 Wired story, you wrote, "While Sony could be prosecuted under U.S. cybercrime law, no one thinks it will be."

But paragraphs 20,-22 of the EFF complaint against Sony allege that the MediaMax DRM software installs "even if the user declines the EULA." http://www.eff.org/IP/DRM/Sony-BMG/sony_complaint.pdf

There are further reports coming out now that the software may be permanently activated under some circumstances—not just temporarily as the EFF alleges—even though the user has refused Sony's EULA and the CD was ejected without playing audio.

If some random hacker, rather than a multinational corporation had distributed this, I have little doubt that there would have been charges and an arrest by now. At some point in time, we need to have a serious conversation about "Equal protection of the law."

Jeroen HellingmanNovember 28, 2005 2:05 AM

Look at the upside of this. Such a move would encourage the widespread awareness and use of secured communication and the bad guys will happily ride with the masses. Such expanding of the directive's scope will in practice be its undoing...

Jan-WillemNovember 28, 2005 2:55 AM

In the Netherlands the High Court has ruled recently that internet providers are obliged to give details about users who are misconducting to those who are injured. This rule was made after a request of BREIN to get the details of mass distributors of music.

Instead of creating a new model with cheap music distribution, the music industry can only use juridical means.

THL99November 28, 2005 4:50 AM

It is not only that they always want to go further and further in their own corporate interest by lobbying and pressing for that obscene privacy undermining legislation. By now, they also completely neglect rights that customers positively have: According to applicable copyright legislative e.g. in Austria, customers are definitely entiteled to make copies of copyrighted material for their personal use ("Recht auf Privatkopie") and it is even positively o.k. to hand copies to friends and neighbours, if it is not for money. With their DRM stuff they deny this right to millions of their customers - But there is no authority fighting this evident violation of law - so much on their tremendous influence... do we have to fear the worst?

MichaelNovember 28, 2005 5:24 AM

The quotation from this "Alan Haworth" is so confused and self-contradictory - is he complaining that the man is a "reactionary" or a "libertarian"? - and so laughable when directed at a Nobel laureate that he is obviously someone who can safely be ignored.

As for "that private companies should be allowed to make and enforce the law is self-evidently ... terrible."

I don't know about self-evident, but I think it would be wholly mischievous. And any good "State-worshipping reactionary" (if we're going to use such childish langauge) such as G. W. F. Hegel would agree, correctly in my view.

But that's irrelevant, because not what the CMBA wants. It wants the State to pursue its claim for it. And, of course, it wants the taxpayer to fund what looks very much to me like a private quarrel.

Fingers crying for helpNovember 28, 2005 5:31 AM

It's absurd that a company can ask for laws to be created to fit their needs.
Soon they will ask for a law to have access to logs of ISP and such and then, I dont wana think.
Like THL99 said, every country should have this kind of law and more, this law also should include the right over your DNA and everything that's yours.

winsnomoreNovember 28, 2005 7:40 AM

@drjat42

What's the issue here?
The rights of the citizens are granted/implied/conferred by some compact. The compact ought to be precise, that's why "pursuit of happiness" is not a right!
If a "right" is not mentioned in the constitution, it doesn't mean you have it, and when you have a conflict, the given rights (by constitution) trump the unmentioned.
So it's not backwards as you state. The law of the land is written and not and left for everyones private interpretation.

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 7:52 AM

Winsnomore,
You need to read something besides Hayek, apparently.

A few notes:

"you may be shocked to discover that constitution doesn't specifically grant anyone "life", "liberty"or pursuit of happiness either !!!!"

The Constitution specifically forbids the taking of life, liberty or property by the government without due process. In general, the laws of the U.S. forbid the taking of life or liberty otherwise. So what's your point?

"But don't tell me that it is to assure your freedom, it's largely to satisfy your self defined "right" to deal with the scum (rich)."

Um, the only one claiming anyone is scum because they're rich is you. Like I said: read something besides libertarian drivel; you're mischaracterizing things badly.

The problem here isn't that the rich are claiming rights. The problem is that they're claiming more and more rights and powers (some traditionally and rightfully reserved for governments) at the expense of everyone else.

"Private companies have always done "their" enforcements, ever seen store security guards who can frisk you and even hold and question you? ever not paid a ticket collector the fare and seen whether he calls the cops or does the job him/her self :-)) I could go on .."

There are severe limits placed on what they can do--for the most part, we're talking citizen's arrest powers. That's a far cry from the extra rights to snoop in people's private conversations and activities.

"You actually have no "right" to harm others (or their rights) under any constitution."

The Constitution and laws of the United States most certainly do specify the right to harm others under several circumstances, including self-defense and enforcement of contract.

So far, you appear to be batting very close to zero, Winsnomore. Care to give it another shot?

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 7:56 AM

"The rights of the citizens are granted/implied/conferred by some compact. The compact ought to be precise, that's why "pursuit of happiness" is not a right!"

The pursuit of happiness is not generally seen as a legally-enforced right, though most people do see it as implied in economic opportunity.

"If a "right" is not mentioned in the constitution, it doesn't mean you have it, and when you have a conflict, the given rights (by constitution) trump the unmentioned."

This also is not necessarily true. The right of free speech is specifically mentioned in the Constitution, yet that right is frequently curtailed by social needs (the right not to be trampled in a stampede from a theater, for example) which aren't. Rights appear to be a good deal more complex than you seem to think.

"So it's not backwards as you state. The law of the land is written and not and left for everyones private interpretation.""

Which, unfortunately, appears to be exactly what you're doing.

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 7:59 AM

Winsnomore,
I'm going to call for you to do something libertarians typically hate and address a real-world issue I brought up before (and which you seem to have conspicuously avoided): the Sony BMG Rootkit fiasco.

Do you believe Sony was within its rights to do what it did? If not, why not? Weren't they simply enforcing their rights?

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 8:05 AM

drjat42,
I do have to agree with Winsnomore on one thing, though:

"You have it exactly backwards. The U. S. Constitution grants rights (powers) to the U. S. government not to the (American) people."

That simply isn't true. The Constitution specifies powers and rights granted to all parties (the federal government, the states and the people). The specification of rights not held by the federal government is pretty much what the whole Bill of Rights is about.

The Constitution is best seen as a contract between the people and their government. It specifies how that system will be run, and necessarily includes rights and powers granted to all.

As for Amendments 9 and 10 of the Bill of Rights, they have been interpreted by the Supreme Court (the final arbiter of such things) as basically truisms, though they have been cited on occasion as grounds for implied rights (e.g. privacy).

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 8:16 AM

To amend the above slightly: the specification of rights not held by the federal government is MAINLY what the Bill of Rights is about. But even that document includes the specification of powers for the federal government, too (search and seizure, the ability to deprive individuals of life or liberty, the ability to quarter soldiers in private residences as proscribed by law, the ability to take private property with "just compensation", and others I'm sure I missed.

The above post was me, BTW.

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 8:18 AM

Finally, Winsnomore,
"If the entry fee to your sanity club is to be conceited and irrational, I am not in your club neither would ever want to be in it."

There's nothing much more conceited than throwing out blatant strawmen (e.g. "you just hate these guys 'cause they're rich!") in lieu of real argument, even after you've been called on it.

Physician, heal thyself.

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 8:30 AM

«As for protecting a handful of companies, and irrelevant whether I agree with the business practices of the music industry, I think everyone has the right to protect what is theirs "legally".»

You seem to forget that the very concept of "legally mine" has already been f***** up by RIAA & friends. THEY (labels) own the artist's work, not the artist. If the artist ever get 50cents of the 20bucks you payed his very lucky. Try that in the book industry. If an editor tryed that to do that to a book author he would simply seek another publisher, one with a *diferent* BUSINESS MODEL!

Ian MasonNovember 28, 2005 8:35 AM

I'm not saying that you folks in North America are woefully parochial, but how did a item on EUROPEAN law turn into a discussion of the US constitution?

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 8:42 AM

"It's terribly wrong to assume that if music industry wants laws and law enforcement to help enforce the rights given to them (copyright) by the public, they are evil and their demand is encroaching liberties."

By your opinion it would seem to me that you're on their payroll or completely out of touch with common practices of the music industry. Either way it would be really lame for you to emit an opinion. (either biased or clueless)

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 8:57 AM

@ winsnomore/Anonymous

"The Constitution specifies powers and rights granted to all parties (the federal government, the states and the people)."

"The rights of the citizens are granted/implied/conferred by some compact. "

Sorry, the Framers don't agree. The rights of the people are inherent, universal, and sovereign. The social compact that is the U. S. Constitution grants to the government some _limited_ powers that have the consequence of circumscribing _some_ of those inherent rights.

If the governemtn is not specifically granted the right to legislate/act in a certain area the people retain the right to do whatever the hell they want.

See Federalist 84 (which opposed the Bill of Rights altogether on just the grounds that some will misinterpret the Bill just as you have).

[via Wikipedia]
"It has been several times truly remarked, that bills of rights are in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgments of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was Magna Carta, obtained by the Barons, sword in hand, from king John....It is evident, therefore, that according to their primitive signification, they have no application to constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the people, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain every thing, they have no need of particular reservations. "We the people of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America." Here is a better recognition of popular rights than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our state bills of rights, and which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of government....

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power."

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 9:31 AM

> What are thay going to do, take 1
> million people to court? Even the courts
> would be telling them to get bent.

Lookup TV licensing. They *do* take a lot of people to court. Not quite 1 million, but the idea's there.

A non TV viewer whom they harass monthly.

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 9:40 AM

[about rights]
> Sez you. I was born with mine. They
> weren't granted to me by any man or
> any group.

Refreshingly, some people still hold this view.
Thank you Chris, I am not alone.

MichaelNovember 28, 2005 10:14 AM

"... [Some] North America[ns] are woefully parochial ... how did a item on [EU] law turn into a discussion of the US constitution?"

Yes, it does look that way. I skipped most of it.

Here is something that is more relevant to the topic:

"The [British] government has signalled it is sympathetic to the plan to use the powers for tackling internet piracy."

The source is the newspaper "The Scotsman". Unfortunately, it doesn't specify what the "signal" it claims to know of is. I'd like to be able to assess whether this is a reliable claim or not.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/entertainment.cfm?id=2310512005

Delores QuadeNovember 28, 2005 11:10 AM

@ Jonathon (re: Winsnomore +/- Hayek)

Jonathon pointed out that:

"The problem here isn't that the rich are claiming rights. The problem is that they're claiming more and more rights and powers (some traditionally and rightfully reserved for governments) at the expense of everyone else."

Which is accurate, Winsnomore. (You left yourself wide open, I think you should settle this thread when you have the time and are able to fully chew on it.)

@ Jonathon

Let me see if I've got this straight :-^

The "rich" are "rich" for various reasons, largely due to unscrupulous behavior for the most part (I repeat, most part), _and_ the "governments" are "ill-informed", "over-informed" in the wrong areas, and/or their decision making details are provided in an "untimely" and generally biased fashion. Both have power and both are highly susceptible to unscrupulous behaviors (as demonstrated time and time again in a finite loop traceable from today back to the beginning of time).

Therefore, the logic involved while trying to communicate to either of the above "elements" of power (the "rich" and the "governments") are consistently flawed and severely manipulated due to overwhelming fear and desire for control on both parts.

So, if the above is pretty accurate, in a civilized society, wouldn't these two primary elements of power naturally cancel each other out?

What would that leave us with?

The Papa-Nazi (The Press, the entire Entertainment Industry, Churches, White Collar, Blue Collar, Pink Collar worker bees, Terrorists, Rogues, Slackers, Hackers and the remaining 70% of the population "below C average" with access to the Internet, Telephony, and Video/Voice recording devices). Well, it seems to me that they all cancel each other out without more monologue.

Who's left? Universities, Military Pawns, Kindred Spirits and Sincere Intellectuals? Hardly. They're generally poor, distracted, "0wned" and/or tired of fighting.

Where do we go from here?

@ Anonymous_0

"think anarchy is the only solution. :)"

Even though the The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, defines "anarchy" as "a state of lawlessness and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government)", it should be noted that "anarchy" also implies/encourages an absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose.

So, I don't think anarchy is the only solution. :(

dq.

ordajNovember 28, 2005 11:16 AM

@Irony

Don't forget the payola to radio stations and the "copy tax" on every blank CD/DVD you buy.

ProbitasNovember 28, 2005 12:33 PM

"Our society definitely needs a serious conversation about the fundamental freedoms we are sacrificing in a misguided attempt to keep us safe from terrorism. "

According to my read of Bruce's quote above, this is the crux of the issue here. Sony and the others should not be blamed for simply using the tools made available by democratically elected officials ("We The People") in their attempts to make the world safer. Most people, upon finding $50,000 in bearer bonds on the street, might want to "do the right thing", but let's face it, the temptation to use the ill gotten gains is great. RIAA members are simply trying to use the treasure we left by the side of the road. They are not to be blamed for trying to use the treasure, rather, the people who are leaving the treasure unguarded are the real culprits here. As long as we continue to elect persons who promise security theater in response to real threats, we are making ourselves vulnerable to these types of attacks against our liberties.

"We have met the enemy, and they is us"

winsnomoreNovember 28, 2005 12:40 PM

@Jonathan

First the simple thing, I don't know all the details, but if EULA didn't tell all the nastiness it was going to create, and did it then Sony was wrong .. hit them with the best legal penalty you can.

I don't like any of these guys, but I am not going to trample over them because "I think" they are bad/unethical/scum ... all the good folks from sanity club have claimed them to be.

Also, one should be able to separate the criminality of the act from stupidity. I may be wrong, but I don't think Sony fully knew the mess they will be in with all the loose ends in this rootkit.

May I add that MicroSoft sells XP and also collects all kind of information from your computer and sends it to the ivory (or granite) towers in redwood, this is before it let's you use their software
And alas all you freedom fighters are using that software to bitch about privacy and creating ~mensa majorities ..
I bet you most of the folks don't know this detail either !!! but as long as they are in your club it's ok ..

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 1:07 PM

@Delores

"The "rich" are "rich" for various reasons, largely due to unscrupulous behavior for the most part"

Sigh. It seems every time the topic of "rights" comes up on the Internet, the libertarians have to jump in with philosphical treatises, and then the whole discussion goes off kilter.

For the record, I have no problem with "the rich". But also for the record, I think most of the rich are rich because of hard/smart work, knowing how to work the system, more than a bit of luck, and (in some cases) unsrupulous behavior. I don't think you can say the last point is the main reason why the rich are rich.

As far as government is concerned, I think government -can- be all that you described. At the same time, I think government can make very good, well-informed decisions.

The biggest difference I see between private and public power is their constituencies: at the most, "the rich" may respond to their customers (assuming they own a business), which is very likely a small subset of the population.

By contrast, democratic government, through elections, answers to a much larger customer base.

Perfect? Nope. But nothing is, and from what I've seen, nothing's better.

StefanNovember 28, 2005 1:19 PM

Music used to be regarded as one of the virtues of humanity, something shared by all people, regardless of their social class or ethnic background.

Here in the information age, it's just another conduit for greed and materialism.

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 1:42 PM

@Jonathan + Delores

I never claimed rich have right to claim more, I just said they have right like everyone else, it's Jonathan and his ~mensa club members who demonize anyone with money and want to deny them "any" rights!


Now @Jonathan ..
reg. Hayek:
May be you didn't understand the Bible /Quran .. here is another one for you, simpler and to the point.

Reading Hayek (a noble laureate) through Alan Howarth, a political hack (and English to labor MP to boot), is akin to touching your ears by passing your hands through your legs, it's painful and at your age I don't think you will make it.

It's amusing; you denounce Hayek and then claim money has power! I wonder if you have you ever read/understood anything?

I think this one is a home run .. batting is pretty good so far .. do you want more ?

+++

Are you serious about your criticism?
All your statements are platitudes with long infinitives and zero truths or any real arguments .. like your profound statement
"There's more to copyright than ownership, and there's more to rights than enforcing the law"
WOW I am impressed and so I beg you tell us "more"
Enlighten everyone .. please please tell us "more"
Oh pray tell us what's public good? eminent domain anyone?

You started the "blatant stawman of your sane majority"

Please don't fling it back this at me.. I didn't start it, I don't want it .. I don't need it.

I have a naggig feeling that you think soviet union was better .. no companies no rich people no problems :-))

I don't want to claim victory over mentally challenged, but I don't want to play with you anymore

neduNovember 28, 2005 1:46 PM

When Norway's Økokrim prosecuted DVD Jon for hacking he was acquitted. I don't think anyone wants to deny Sony a fair trial.

peachpuffNovember 28, 2005 2:06 PM

"I never claimed rich have right to claim more, I just said they have right like everyone else."

Okay. Forget about wealth. Should I have access to everything the government knows about you, including espionage-style information they've gathered in case you're a terrorist? That way I could check whether you've done anything illegal that negatively affects me.

For example, if you move into an apartment next to a suspected terrorist and the government records your phone calls, can I get tapes? Who knows what crimes against me they might reveal?

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 2:53 PM

Winsnomore,
"I never claimed rich have right to claim more, I just said they have right like everyone else, it's Jonathan and his ~mensa club members who demonize anyone with money and want to deny them "any" rights!"

Really? Please find for me an instance of me doing so. I beg you. And if you can't (here's a hint: I haven't done so), then drop your mischaracterizations.

"I think this one is a home run .. batting is pretty good so far .. do you want more ?"

As far as I can tell, you haven't even been up at bat. The rest of us are playing baseball, and you're trying hard as heck to score a checkmate.

Frankly, you have a really nasty habit of completely ignoring the point (to say nothing of anything anyone else says) and going off on your own tangents.

Since you're basically arguing with yourself already, I encourage you to continue to do so :)

winsnomoreNovember 28, 2005 3:15 PM

@Jonathan,

keep the score fairly preacher ..
my home run was to your Alan/Hayek pitch .. something you don't want to face anymore.

I can't fathom the profound statements that say nothing ...(need I quote them again?) ..
more... more ... yes more
what I got out of all the tirades is that
a) you know more than anyone else and have decided that "private citizen" and "public good" is being threatened by companies
b) companies are asking for enforcements rights that only government "should" have
c) rich are rich because they are unscrupulous
d)anyone who doesn't agree, can't join your ~mensa club


winsnomoreNovember 28, 2005 3:35 PM

@ peachpuf

Your questions are good, so let me add mine

Suppose you have 5 year old child and are looking for a house, do you have the right to know if any sex offenders are in the neighborhood?

Suppose you are an ex-con (oh say an oz of pot), should you have access to information on the sex offenders? and vice-versa.

Should non-offenders have more information about others (compared to offenders)?

These are complex issues, but to dismiss them solely to protect privacy is a narrow view and probably untenable over long term.

Now to answer your original question, if the congress passed a law and SC held that the information collected is legal and can be put to any use, petition your lawmakers to give you the access and if enough of you want it, they will give it to you! Megan's law anyone.

I personally don't want it (yet).

Jonathan might want it, to send solicitations for this ~mensa membership.

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 3:55 PM

Winsnomore,
I have to thank you. It's been mildly amusing watching you argue with yourself. A nice distraction from an otherwise boring day...

"keep the score fairly preacher ..
my home run was to your Alan/Hayek pitch .. something you don't want to face anymore."

OK, bud. My quote was simply intended to point out to you that you might want to approach Hayek with a little bit of skepticism. Evidently, that point (as appears the case with just about everything else posted here in response to you) went well over your head.

"
a) you know more than anyone else and have decided that "private citizen" and "public good" is being threatened by companies"

See, here's the problem. You're putting words in my (and everyone's) mouth. I never said that I know more than everyone, or anyone, else.

The rest, however, is accurate. It's just about the only thing you've gotten right thus far.

"b) companies are asking for enforcements rights that only government "should" have"

Yep, though that's only part of what I was saying. Not bad -- and a record for you.

"c) rich are rich because they are unscrupulous"

Never said it. Either post the time and date of the quote, or retract it. In fact, I posted something that took issue with the idea.

"d)anyone who doesn't agree, can't join your ~mensa club"

Not in Mensa, and wouldn't want to be, thanks.

I have to ask, now, in all seriousness: are you simply joking around? Or do you really believe what you're posting? Because what you've posted thus far looks to me like someone who's trying to parody libertarians.

JonathanNovember 28, 2005 3:59 PM

Winsnomore,
"Suppose you have 5 year old child and are looking for a house, do you have the right to know if any sex offenders are in the neighborhood?"

I'd like to know. But there are limits to how I can find out -- because otherwise, that ability (e.g. breaking into houses, etc.) would be abused.

I'll also note that your analogy (copyright infringement to sex offense) is pretty outrageous -- unless, of course, you think that violating a corporation's rights is the ultimate crime...

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 5:05 PM

@Jonathan

-You signed this in an earlier post that the above post is from you .. so you can squirm but i think it's amply clear it's you.

"For the record, I have no problem with "the rich". But also for the record, I think most of the rich are rich because of hard/smart work, knowing how to work the system, more than a bit of luck, and (in some cases) unsrupulous behavior."

So eat your words .. here is recipe. Print it on a 24lb paper and swallow without water.

You say so much that you don't know what you are saying .. and we still want more .. more to this more to that .. pity the "general public" .. always wanting more.

- When you write
" Evidently, Winsnomore, that sane majority can't count you among its happy number" , you established a lot of facts,
a) you decided you know what the majority thinks
b) that whatever you think the majority thinks, is sane
c) you took a vote in the universe and came up with a astounding yes to the proposition that all your inferences are right on the money
d) you have been anointed to spread the gospel .

That's what led me to say you think you know it all, except deductive reasoning .. so again I am sorry for not writing in long hand.

- Why would you quote a nitwit to define Hayek? my reason for mentioning Hayek was to point to good folks here what ought to be defended, without being obtuse about it.

You just couldn't stand it that some think Hayek/libertarians are right .. for you Alan Howarth is right - 100% (maybe cuz he has 2 views .. 'la john jkerry)

-You find many things outrageous .. being the ultimate arbitrator of what constitutes harm to others .. you either speak for your "sane majority" or the whole society .. and are the lord protector of the realm of freedom(S).

-BTW ~ operator is ones compliment in c/c++ so ~mensa was a pun if you didn't get it .. so sorry, I was having so much fun with it .. didn't know you were clueless.

In all seriousness I think you are a college prof. who never had anyone question his "sanity" so you are outraged that there is a different viewpoint

peachpuffNovember 28, 2005 6:34 PM

We seem to have a troll in this discussion. Not to name any names, but someone appears to be starting arguments, continuing them anonymously, responding to their own anonymous posts with anonymous accusations that it was posted by someone else, and repeatedly arguing that we can't criticize changes to the law because whatever's legal is allowed.

Escape while you can.

AnonymousNovember 28, 2005 7:06 PM

@Jonathan, etc
Quit feeding the troll!

@Troll
I'm amazed at what passes for trolling these days. If you want to feel that you are challenging people's preconceptions, you need to stay on topic more and use ad hominem less. But maybe you have a less benign justification for your aggression.

@Everybody else
There are some interesting points in this. You realize that if Equifax were a person, basically everybody would be able to press charges for invasion of privacy. Corporation do seem to have more power and less responsibility than people.

Juan FranceschiApril 18, 2006 1:30 PM

Dear Sir,

My name is Juan Franceschi, I consider my self as a dedicated, responsible person, with the military discipline and skill’s, and the civilian diplomacy. Well organized and mission oriented (always searching for the safeties way to accomplish the project without interrupting the mission).

I’m very interested in obtaining a position in your company where my education, training and experience will contribute toward your corporate philosophy, standards and goals.

I will be grateful if I could be considering for any global position within the logistical field, risk management and or physical security.

I’m a native Spanish speaker, ex-member of the United State Special Forces Unit, with enormous civilian and military experience in Latin America and Europe.

I strongly believe that my dedication, loyalty, experience will be of a great benefit to your company. Willing to maintain a low profile and to overcome any situation with and with out any supervision.

I’m willing to relocated world wide including areas of high risk for a short or long term commitment at a minimum notice. All records including physical, dental and passport up-to date.

Best Regards,

Juan Franceschi


Juan FranceschiApril 18, 2006 1:31 PM

Dear Sir,

My name is Juan Franceschi, I consider my self as a dedicated, responsible person, with the military discipline and skill’s, and the civilian diplomacy. Well organized and mission oriented (always searching for the safeties way to accomplish the project without interrupting the mission).

I’m very interested in obtaining a position in your company where my education, training and experience will contribute toward your corporate philosophy, standards and goals.

I will be grateful if I could be considering for any global position within the logistical field, risk management and or physical security.

I’m a native Spanish speaker, ex-member of the United State Special Forces Unit, with enormous civilian and military experience in Latin America and Europe.

I strongly believe that my dedication, loyalty, experience will be of a great benefit to your company. Willing to maintain a low profile and to overcome any situation with and with out any supervision.

I’m willing to relocated world wide including areas of high risk for a short or long term commitment at a minimum notice. All records including physical, dental and passport up-to date.

Best Regards,

Juan Franceschi


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