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The bill could send you to prison for five years for streaming video 10 times in half a year.  (Source: DigitalTrends.com)
Sharing sports games with your friends? You're going to prison for 5 years!

Some accuse the United States federal government of being bought and paid for by the entertainment industry when it comes to copyright law.  Indeed, when Barack Obama was elected president he initially promised to look into copyright reform, but since has focused his efforts almost exclusively on copyright enforcement.  Copyright enforcement is a rare bipartisan-supported issue in Washington D.C. -- arguably because parties such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and their respective member corporations make a point of donating millions to members of both parties.

Given that, the U.S. Senate’s plans to criminalize online streaming of television programming or movies does not particularly surprise.  Dubbed "The Commercial Felony Streaming Act" (S. 978), the bipartisan bill was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).

The bill would aims to "reconcile a disparity" between the current law regarding stream of content with that regarding peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing.  The bill's proposed way to "reconcile" that disparity is to send Americans to prison -- if you're caught streaming 10 times within 180 days, you can be convicted of a felony and sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.

In order for videos to qualify as strikes against an individual, the infringed work must have a retail value of the streamed video that exceeds $2,500, or a license worth more than $5,000.  To qualify the streaming must also be done for "personal financial gain" -- an ambiguous phrasing.

The MPAA claims that it will only target website owners who "willfully and knowingly violated a copyright and profited from it." The organization says it will not look to prosecute those who "stream videos without intending to profit".

However, the organization or other copyright enforcement groups could eventually use the measure to try to prosecute viewers and owners of non-profitable sites as well, as they could argue that individuals see a "personal financial gain" from not purchasing work legally.  

The bill is firmly supported by the Obama administration.  The White House Office of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement urged Congress two months ago to send Americans who stream to prison.  

The effort is also being pushed by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), AFTRA, Directors Guild of America, IATSE, SAG, the MPAA, the Independent Film & Television Alliance, and the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Michael O’Leary, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs for the MPAA lauds, "This bill will help ensure that the punishment for these site operators fits the crime."

And IFTA President Jean Prewitt adds, "The illegal streaming of motion pictures and television programming is as financially devastating for our industry as is illegal downloading. Stealing is stealing, regardless of the means in which the product is being received."

The bill was approved on Thursday by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Some states have recently been pushing to make sharing your Netflix password a misdemeanor offense that carries jail time.  Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) is the world's largest legal vendor of streaming movies.  The bills contain no exemptions for sharing passwords with your family members or roommates.

The U.S. has the world's highest incarceration rate of any country in the world [source; PDF].  It is project that the U.S. spent over $80B USD in tax payer money on imprisoning its citizens in 2010 [source].



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They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By 91TTZ on 6/17/2011 9:59:29 AM , Rating: 5
As long as lobbyists have a pathway to funnel money from the companies they represent to the politicians that make law in this country, the laws will always favor the wealthy.

While I believe that lobbying should be allowed so that companies can state their cases to the government, the ability to give them money/gifts/political favors only serves to corrupt a democratic system that should favor the people.




RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/2011 10:06:53 AM , Rating: 4
No, lobbying has to be outlawed entirely if there is ever to be any hope for fairness in governance. There is no concievable way that it can be allowed and not skew politics towards the specific interests of those with the money to pay for lobbyists.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By nafhan on 6/17/2011 10:46:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think "outlawing" lobbying would just move it out of the open without otherwise changing a thing. Not sure what the best solution would be, but I have a feeling that would just make things worse - at least right now, we have some idea of who's giving money to who.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/2011 10:50:15 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, but then when you caught a lobbyist, you could send him to jail and the organization who was paying him too.

Do a few of those and you'd be surprised how fast people straighten up.


By AntDX316 on 6/19/2011 5:06:20 AM , Rating: 2
*******************************************

gotta love how the internet full of 0's and 1's makes people go to jail

in the same similar concept of life being molecules and energy makes people go to hell

but same as 0's and 1's makes people extremely happy and molecules and energy makes people extremely happy too

================================================= ================================


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By mcnabney on 6/17/2011 10:52:38 AM , Rating: 5
Fine, move it into the dark alleys.

Then we can throw Congresscritters in JAIL for accepting bribes. That IS what they are.


By MechanicalTechie on 6/19/2011 7:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
For an outside POV, if the American people dont get off their fat arses and do something about the backhands in your politics you can only look forward to the Police state thats already pressing hard on you guys :(


By MrBlastman on 6/17/2011 11:03:45 AM , Rating: 3
Outlawing lobbying is needed, now. It must be stopped at all costs. The problem is, nobody in Congress would ever vote for it...

Take this little fact for instance I heard about yesterday--the average stock returns of Congress versus the rest of America and Insiders. It is eye opening:

http://insidertrading.procon.org/view.answers.php?...

and a newer study:

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111...

Notice their average levels of return FAR exceeded the general public and at the Senate level, doubled insiders and at the House level, approached it.

Do you see the disparity now? This is damning evidence to say the least. Now do you think Lobbying is bad? This is outrageous to me, to say the least. I work my butt off to make coin honestly--these guys just get inside info and profit with ease.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By StanO360 on 6/17/11, Rating: -1
By MrBlastman on 6/17/2011 12:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with the rich wanting to be there is a lot of the time, they are there to line their pockets through legislation that benefits their businesses...

Term limits though are direly needed.


By The Raven on 6/17/2011 5:40:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Term limits though are direly needed.

I know why you would say that but you can't make people interested in politics by annoying them with ads. They only get interested once they know how much the gov't has/will screw them.

What I mean is that they will just go and check R or D on the ballot and go home to catch the end of Celebrity Apprentice. It won't matter if there is a new guy on the ballot. Term limits will just result in more book deals for more former senators. I mean Robert Byrd for example was in office for how long? 17,327 days of "service" (it is not service if it is your means of living in my opinion).

Not to sound so down on Byrd, but his constituents deserve him. If that is what they want, so be it. It shouldn't affect me in MO much since I have my own representatives here. But as the federal gov't grows that is becoming more and more meaningless... uhh... so on second thought maybe we do need term limits ;-)


By superstition on 6/17/2011 10:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
Byrd was highly effective at getting pork for his state as far as I know, so his constituents were pleased.


By Invane on 6/17/2011 12:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
The current form lobbying is in is far closer to legal bribery than any form of free speech. I'm fine with cases being presented. This should be done without large checks and other gifts being attached to the proposals.

If money is allowed to be used to influence decisions, those decisions will be made in such a way as to favor those with money. It's a simple and unfortunate reality.


By 91TTZ on 6/17/2011 3:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lobbying is free speech


Lobbying itself is free speech, which is why they should be allowed to lobby. But funneling money to the politicians who make the law is nothing short of a bribe.


By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 7:37:02 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Lobbying is free speech.

Yeah it frees up any chance of an individual citizen being treated fairly, especially when up against a corporation.


By Invane on 6/17/2011 12:35:04 PM , Rating: 3
Very interesting stuff there Blastman. The return on investment these guys make is shocking. I would have expected better than the US average...but not that much better. When they can do better than corporate insiders you know something's not right. I have seen few better indicators of corruption than that data.


By hyvonen on 6/17/2011 3:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
The first link is data presented in a bad way - the time periods don't match. Annualized returns vary widely depending on the time period chosen.

Second link requires subscription.

That said, I completely agree with you that lobbying should be outlawed across the board. Lobbying diminishes the value of voting, as lobbying essentially allows the congress to be bought.


By TSS on 6/17/2011 12:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well the problem then lies with the politicians loyalty: Their loyalty is to the money, wether it's secretly or openly given to them.

So that mentality has to be changed, which IMO is practically impossible. I'd think the only way to work with it is to outlaw any other source of income for politicians aside from the pay they recieve from the government and the budget assigned to them by the government for their campaign, which is a set amount of money for all politicians.

Maybe that way you can choose more people for president rather then 1 democrat and 1 republican both pre-selected by the corperations. Maybe then the congress's allegiance will be to the people, since their only way of putting food on the table is to serve the people. Maybe it'll put an end to party politics since people with independant opinions will be heard just as loudly.

Maybe it won't change a damned thing and the USA is set to go down a path of decadence and destruction like other empires before it no matter what happens. Time will tell, but it's pretty obvious to anybody that'll happen for sure if nothing is changed.


By wiz220 on 6/17/2011 12:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
Heh, I don't think there's much of lobbying that's "out in the open" right now. The laws are such that everything can be obfuscated and hidden while still "obeying the law".


By zenom11 on 6/20/2011 9:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. we need to fix our system. Ban all contribution from organizations/companies. so that there is no way for any organizations/companies to have leverage or political agenda and our reps in DC only work for their constituents and not these lobbyists.

the positions as our reps in DC are just a cover up, they actually have a bigger agenda. and that is bribe money from lobbyists.


By The0ne on 6/17/2011 3:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
No disagreement here. So much for one vote counting :(


By BloodSquirrel on 6/20/2011 1:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
Trying to outlaw lobbying isn't going to do a damn thing as long as people keep sending politicians to Washington based on how much bacon they promise to bring home. Politicians are using the public’s own stupid, lazy, ignorant greed to blind them to the damage they’re doing to this country. All it takes is some free gov’mnt cash waved in front of their faces and nobody will give this kind of legislation a second thought come voting day.

People make a deal with the politicians: I’ll give you what you want, and you deliver the goods, no matter who else it screws. Then they’re actually surprised when politicians turn around and make the same deal with corporations.

No legislation is going to grant morals to the same immoral scumbags that make the legislation. You need to vote for people who have their own morals, and you can’t do that *and* vote for someone who is promising that they’ll funnel everyone else’s money into your personal bank account at the same time.


By danobrega on 6/17/2011 10:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
While I believe that lobbying should be allowed so that companies can state their cases


Companies? Companies lobby? Great world we are building, where companies matter more than people.

Maybe that's it, Companies are the next evolutionary step. Humans are all going to die, and companies will eventually rule earth.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By mcnabney on 6/17/2011 10:54:17 AM , Rating: 5
No they aren't.

Companies are an artificial construct. I can create one this morning, have it bribe a congressman, and dissolve it tonight. They are not real. They are financial tools designed to restrict liability, nothing more.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/11, Rating: 0
By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 1:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if there were no people, there would be no companies. Ergo...yes they are.

Does a company have a pulse? Can you put it in a jail cell?

Libertarians often refer to democracy as "mob rule." If that's the case aren't shareholders a type of mob? Mobs are composed of people, but we don't arrest and jail mobs, we handle them on an individual basis.

Your claim lacks substance.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/11, Rating: -1
By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 3:25:10 PM , Rating: 4
You're composed of cells. You are not a cell.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/11, Rating: -1
By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 6:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Try to create a corporation that has no humans attached to it - no board of directors, no executives...you see how far you get with that.

A straw man argument that serves no purpose.

But even so, corporations are not individuals no matter what you say. But interestingly enough since they are a group then if they kill anyone consipiracy charges should be the default. And all individuals are equally guilty of a crime even if and especially when the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. That's the entire basis of conspiracy; a group that breaks the law.

But the ultimate proof that the US only claims corporations are people as opposed to actually enforcing such a proclamation is the Wall St debacle. As a person if you had created such a mess, as you mentioned with Madoff, then you'd be in jail. But once you're "too big to fail" then laws apparently no longer apply to you.

So when exactly do you expect to be "too big to fail" or above the law?

quote:
Because the law needs to know who to put in jail when the corporation does something illegal.

Time and time again those with money and influence don't go to jail. By the end Madoff had neither, and the publicity forced the hand. Otherwise he would have landed in Club Fed, same as Ken Lay if he were still alive. While Ted Kennedy was the one who didn't go to jail had the exact same thing happened to GWB the Bush clan were and are quite capable of achieving similar results.

Why people who have to obey the law look up to such people remains a mystery. Perhaps it's envy?

quote:
You're a catastrophic moron.

These words merely support my theory your argument is too weak to stand up to scrutiny. I thank you for making that clear. Let me know if you have any plans on throwing sticks and stones.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/18/2011 12:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
You've made no argument at all - and you've demonstrated that you don't even know what a "strawman" is.

You also invented the concept that I was saying a corporation is an individual. I have always stated that corporations required groups of people.

And Madoff isn't the only major businessperson to go to jail. You should try Google some time. I'm not here to hold your kleenex while you blow your nose.

As for your "too big to fail" red herring, and yes, it is a red herring - a single instance of a governmental decision that you don't agree with is not pertinent. Ergo...red herring.

You have stated nothing but falsehoods that can easily be disproven by looking at the forms to register a corporation in any state in the union. Every single thing you have said has been a lie. Not one point you've tried to make can be backed up by any factual evidence. All you're doing is trying to obfuscate and misdirect - a corporation can't exist without people, it can't do anything except at the direction of those people, and those people are accountable for it's actions. Period. End of story. Your continued dissonance proves nothing other than the fact that you are, based on the evidence you have yourself provided here, a total f%cking idiot. That's not namecalling - it's a clinical diagnosis. You're f%cking retarded, and all the evidence needed to support that diagnosis you have provided here yourself.


By YashBudini on 6/18/2011 1:37:24 AM , Rating: 2
It's both amusing and sad to see people who believe the bully pulpit adds to their credibility.


By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 12:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously he doesn't have the money nor the influence. Who does? The rich elite, and large corporations.

Who do you think employs all those that leech on K St? Who told government that xxx subsidies are required for business? The representatives of Joe Average?


By woofersus on 6/17/2011 11:44:51 AM , Rating: 3
You're intentionally missing the point. If you created a company and "had it bribe a congressman" would it not be you who were bribing said congressman? If you created a company and then stuck the paperwork in a drawer and forgot about it, the company wouldn't magically do stuff all by itself.


By ClownPuncher on 6/17/2011 1:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you created a company and then stuck the paperwork in a drawer and forgot about it, the company wouldn't magically do stuff all by itself.


Well, there goes my "get rich quick" idea.


By 91TTZ on 6/17/2011 3:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
The companies would still get to lobby to enable them to make their case. But they wouldn't be able to funnel money to the politicians.

The company should have influence as an employer of people, but not the kind of disproportionate influence that they have now due to their wealth.


By 2011tech1 on 6/17/2011 10:45:26 AM , Rating: 3
Why don't we dispense with the term lobbying and call it what it really is. Bribery


By MrBlastman on 6/17/2011 11:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
Because that would be too European. ;)

Sad as it is, Europe is rife with bribery. It is even expected there and it is insulting at the high level businesswise if it is scoffed at.

But yeah, Lobbyists have to go--along with their legalized bribery.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By wiz220 on 6/17/2011 12:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
Are you sure you're not thinking of Asia?


By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 1:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you sure you're not thinking of Asia?

Waste of time trying to pin it down, it's a human problem, ergo global.


By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 12:59:07 PM , Rating: 1
Bribery will be difficult to prove in the short term, because what you have is politicians voting favorably for certain coporations and in return after their term is over they land cushy multi-million consultant jobs at the same firms.

If I had the funding I would research all long gone politicians to see what they are up to, and shortly after showing what they are really doing they would brand me a terrorist (the current witch hunt term)and Faux would go nuts on me. It wouldn't really matter if they are exposed or not, because odds are the statute of limitations would have made them immune to any charges.

Nobody is willing to cut off their own money supply, especially one as profitable as this.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Uncle on 6/17/2011 12:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked the laws were still on the books. I've said this many a times, another name for lobbying is INFLUENCE PEDDLING, which is against the law. The politicians renamed it to lobbying, added some rules that a truck can illegally drive through. This is the reason were in the mess we are.
I disagree with your statement"that lobbying should be allowed so that companies can state their cases to the government,", This is no different then the "Black tie Affairs" whereby you pay $2500 to get in to rub elbows with who ever to help influence his thinking. The average person can't afford to go and most politicians haven't got the time of day to see their average voters.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 12:15:07 PM , Rating: 3
LOL you're really THAT naive aren't you?

Ok so make lobbying illegal. Fine. Who's going to ENFORCE that law? Civilians? Or do you actually believe some Government enforcement division is going to come down on the hand that feeds it? Their just a part of the same chain of power, greed, and control!

I think you guys are kidding yourself if you think anything will change. These people can literally do WHATEVER they want. Our Countries most sacred and binding document of law, the Constitution, is raped on a daily basis. Laws are broken by politicians and they are completely cavalier about it, why? Because they know those laws don't apply to them. They are part of the "Ruling Class".


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By Motoman on 6/17/2011 2:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Then you make lobbying illegal and you start putting them all in jail.

After a while, either the rest of them get the hint, or they all wind up in jail. Then you elect new people to office who saw what happened to the last batch.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 4:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then you make lobbying illegal and you start putting them all in jail.


Who? Who's going to do that? When is the last time you heard of a politician going to jail? They break laws, believe me.


By EricMartello on 6/17/2011 2:45:29 PM , Rating: 3
Then it's time to take up arms and remind the "ruling class" that they are vastly outnumbered by the "non-ruling class". The constitution says we have a duty and responsibility to overthrow any government who ceases to serve the interests of its people. Laws like this serve no persons' interest.


By BailoutBenny on 6/17/2011 4:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
The constitution doesn't say that. The declaration of independence does, though. If you think about the "duty to overthrow a government that does not serve the interests of its people" a little more, you will realize why anarchists have been right the whole time.


By EricMartello on 6/18/2011 5:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well it should be in the constitution, but the Declaration of Independence is just as relevant of a document to the fundamentals of the USA.

I don't think anarchism is a good solution, partly because it isn't even clear what anarchism really means, but I do support a drastic reduction of the US Government and a much tighter leash on its power...both at the federal and state levels.


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By wiz220 on 6/17/2011 12:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
I agree for the most part except that I don't really think corporations should have any lobbies. Government exists to serve the people and no matter what a Supreme Court ruling says, corporations are not people. From a governmental standpoint the goals of a corporation are at best wildly different from and at worst completely contrary to the goals of an individual. Corporations should be free to run their businesses but when they start getting favors from government we are no longer democratic, we are fascist.


By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 1:08:12 PM , Rating: 4
The purpose of considering a viewpoint is to understand it, and to best address it, not necessarily to agree with it.

Sociopaths have viewpoints, the commonalities they may share with corporate viewpoints may seem a tad unpleasant.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&biw=1004&bih=61...


RE: They need to take the money out of lobbying.
By 91TTZ on 6/17/2011 3:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So when a group of people get together and form a business, they now should have LESS rights than a "person"? I'm not sure I can get on board with that.


It's not like those members of the company lose their right to vote once they form a company, they're still a "team" that can pool their votes together if they want to. But the company itself is not a citizen and doesn't get to vote.


By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 6:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
So a group of people that are shareholders are good, but another group, who act pretty in only their own interest, like shareholders, are bad. What's the name of the second group? Unions.

The problem in both cases is indiviual ethics, if they were ever present, are set aside while the leader of the group decides what to do. The rest merely follow.

You can call them what you want, both are mobs.


By Motoman on 6/17/2011 3:16:25 PM , Rating: 1
Corporations are nothing more, and nothing less, than a group of people.

A corporation exists by virtue of having a board of directors and executives. Whatever the corporation does, those people can be held accountable.

And it's not just corporations that do lobbying - any group that has money can buy a lobbyist to buy politicians for them. Like Greenpeace, the Teamsters, and the KKK. Anybody. If you had the money, you could just buy your own lobbyist to get whatever you yourself wanted done in Washington.


By chiadog on 6/18/2011 8:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
The congress hears your concerns and will address this problem in ways best for our citizens.

*The above message is brought to you by _____(Insert Random Megacorp Here)_____


By Chilly8 on 6/20/2011 4:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
TYhe one problem with taking the money out of lobbying is that there might be even worse laws on the books now.

Privacy tools, such as VPNs would be illlegal now, if it were not for the fact that money from big business keeps t hat from happening. VPNs are also used by businesses for secure remote access to their networks.

Congress is even more bought and paid for by corporate America, than by the entertainment industry. That is why attempts to ban or restrict the use of encryption products have gone nowhere, so far.


Vote.
By Motoman on 6/17/2011 9:55:29 AM , Rating: 5
Remember, we are the idiots that put these idiots into office.

Call them.

Write them.

Email them.

And inform them in no uncertain terms that you will be voting for *anyone* else if they support such wildly sociopathic bills.




RE: Vote.
By Dr of crap on 6/17/2011 10:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
My post from above again -

Yea, that might work!
Everyones on the take, where have you been?

Politicians are all corrupt.
Don't belive it?
It's just not out in the open that's all.


RE: Vote.
By Motoman on 6/17/2011 10:51:25 AM , Rating: 2
I do believe it.

But the #1 goal of a politician is to be in office. If they're voted out of office, they can't do d1ck. So make it clear to them what is and isn't going to get them voted in/out of office.


RE: Vote.
By mcnabney on 6/17/2011 10:59:42 AM , Rating: 5
That isn't even a threat.

The districts are so gerrymandered that only a handul of races are actually competitive. The Congressman you wrote could probably send you a letter back say "hah, like I am going somewhere. The district is 80% Republican (or Democratic). I'm not going anywhere. So go cry somewhere else."


RE: Vote.
By ebakke on 6/17/2011 11:04:26 AM , Rating: 2
It's truly depressing how accurate that is.


RE: Vote.
By sprockkets on 6/17/2011 11:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
What was that congressman that committed all those crimes, got convicted, then his only punishment was "censure", and he got re-elected?

That's messed up.


RE: Vote.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 12:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Name's on the tip of my tongue but can't remember.

But hell, he's nothing. Ted Kennedy, hero of the Left, murdered a woman and it was covered up by his family and buried so he could win an election.

Karma must be real. As far as I'm concerned the Kennedy family got what they deserved. When every last one of them dies, the world will be a much better place.


RE: Vote.
By MrBlastman on 6/17/2011 12:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
Charlie Rangel.

Most politicians don't give a crap about their districts. Just look at Harry Reid insulting his constiuents a few years ago in public. They don't care. They know it is rigged in their favor and they make laws that give them immunities.

But, you can only blame the public for not giving a darn enough to take time out of their day to actually learn about their candidates.


RE: Vote.
By ClownPuncher on 6/17/2011 12:23:22 PM , Rating: 2
I like how Charlie Rangel can't even form a coherent sentence or thought, yet basically has the job for life.


RE: Vote.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 12:28:01 PM , Rating: 1
Doesn't matter. He's a black Democrat. He could be a mass murderer, but the second you tried removing him from office, the race-baiting Liberals will race-card you until you are cut to shreds.


RE: Vote.
By Motoman on 6/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: Vote.
By ipay on 6/17/2011 11:04:42 AM , Rating: 2
You miss it completely. If the lobby support both parties, you have no chance but to vote in one.

And they are no idiots, they receive money in exchange of a "service", which is business as usual in other markets.
If politicians turn "good Samaritans" and refuse any "bad external influences" in campaign time, it's guaranteed that they will lose to whatever is on the other side, even if it's a C student with no govern capabilities, or a person that thinks Africa is a country.


RE: Vote.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 11:45:27 AM , Rating: 5
Waste of time. The career politician needs to be removed from existence, and the pay and benefits for "public service" drastically lowered. From the city council all the way to the White House.

Term limits and crappy pay. That will ensure those who serve, truly wish to "serve". Not get rich and live off taxpayers for their entire adult lives. Some of these bloodsuckers have been in office longer than we've been alive!

Calling for lobbying to be illegal doesn't address the true reason for the mess we have today. Government is too big, it's bigger and more greedy than any business out there.


RE: Vote.
By therealnickdanger on 6/17/2011 11:55:52 AM , Rating: 2
QFT

Can't +1 this enough. Well, now that I've posted, I can't +1 it at all. :(


RE: Vote.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 11:59:09 AM , Rating: 2
Ty, but don't worry. I rather have good discussion than +1's. A post means a lot more to me than a rating.


RE: Vote.
By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 1:17:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. A new politician may have some ideals as to how things work, but soon enough they are forced to play ball the way their party wants them to. As soon as that happens it's all over, and that includes first termers.

Limiting them to one term will have only one clear effect; it will speed up the above process. And their won't be any reason to give voters any scraps so they can get reelected.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.


RE: Vote.
By EricMartello on 6/17/2011 2:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
The reason their party can get so entrenched in the first place is due to a lack of reasonable term limits. I don't think we should have people in their 70s or 80s making decisions that affect the people of this country. To say they are out of touch is an understatement. There should be a mandatory retirement age for politicians and it should be around 55-65 years old.

Shrinking the government and reducing its power over its people is step one. This may require a civilian uprising. After that, the USA can start fresh and become the land of opportunity it used to be.

I do think the government needs to be more proactive in preventing any single entity or group of entities from gaining too much financial control...the current distribution of wealth favors a few at the top, while the majority are left fighting for scraps on "treadmill of fail" until they die. These things would be steps in a better direction.


RE: Vote.
By YashBudini on 6/18/2011 1:34:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There should be a mandatory retirement age for politicians and it should be around 55-65 years old.

First no felons should be allowed to be congressmen, senators, or any level above them.


RE: Vote.
By inperfectdarkness on 6/17/2011 7:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
...for everything but military service. i'd like to keep some of the intelligent, competant people around in the military.

besides, the military is a very competitive employer today. weeding out chaff isn't even remotely the same degree of problem it is in legislature.


RE: Vote.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 8:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't personally consider military servicemen "politicians", so that's fine with me.


RE: Vote.
By achintya on 6/20/2011 1:08:59 AM , Rating: 2
Lowering payscales might not really work. Here in India all politicians are paid a pittance. But they are rolling in money. All this money is then obtained through illegal means - bribes. Bribing is a common thing and people regularly do it to get anything and everything done. And if the pay is lowered across the board for all politicians, there will be no motivation for any politician to really act on the bribes.


RE: Vote.
By YashBudini on 6/17/2011 1:13:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Remember, we are the idiots that put these idiots into office.

You make it sound like we actually have a choice. People stuck on the 2 party bandwagon guarantee we will get scum into office.


RE: Vote.
By Motoman on 6/17/2011 1:53:22 PM , Rating: 1
Right. Which reminds me...we need to outlaw political parties too.

"What?! Then we'd actually have to try to elect people based on their own virtues as individual people!"

Yup.


RE: Vote.
By Reclaimer77 on 6/17/2011 4:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
Outlaw parties? What? Then everyone would just say what the people wanted to hear just to get elected. At least now, with parties, you have some idea of what the person stands for. If for nothing else than the fact that they'll be pressured by their own party to tow the "party line" when it comes time to vote on something.

Without parties we would have to toss out, or rewrite, half the Constitution. How would the built in "checks and balances" to try and balance political power and keep the President and Congress in check work without parties? Hell for that matter, how would the House and Senate even work?

Moto I like you, you have a good head on your shoulders, but just outlawing everything we don't like or think might be a problem seems kind of draconian to me.


RE: Vote.
By BloodSquirrel on 6/20/2011 2:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the dirty little secret about the two-party system:

All it does is corral whoever the public is willing to vote for into one of the two parties. It doesn't change who gets into politics, it just adds an (R) or a (D) behind their name. If a candidate is electable, then he’ll make his way through one of the two parties and get elected. If somebody can’t get a nomination from one of the two parties, then they never had a chance in the general anyway.

Not only does the public control who get nominated through the primaries, but they control who gets into higher office by electing them to lower office first. You can try to argue that it’s only a minority of people who participate in the primaries, but then whose fault is that?

The two party system is just a scapegoat. It’s people’s voting habits that are to blame. There are better, smarter, more principle trying to get into the system, but they lose out to the people who are better and gaming the public, and it’s nobody but the public’s fault that they didn’t notice that the guy they voted for was promising trillions of dollars in new spending and to balance the budget at the same time


Punishment fits the crime?
By Silverel on 6/17/2011 10:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
Instead, why not revoke their access to the internet by creating a blacklist for cable providers, telcos, and seizing whatever verified internet accounts can be found during the infringement and persecution. Seems to me 5 years of internet probation would be more appropriate than 5 years of time in prison with much more hardened criminals.

Although... you probably still get internet in prison too...




RE: Punishment fits the crime?
By mcnabney on 6/17/2011 11:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
UN is ruling that Internet access is a Right. As in, you can't take it away. That isn't to say it is free, but the State cannot deprive you of that right. Have you ever heard of someone being barred from TV, telephone, or mail. Same thing.


RE: Punishment fits the crime?
By fic2 on 6/17/2011 11:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yep. Go to SuperMax and you will loose most of that. Maybe not mail - not sure about that - but certainly someone is going to be reading your incoming/outgoing mail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADX_Florence

And, as yet, the U.N. doesn't rule the U.S.


RE: Punishment fits the crime?
By erple2 on 6/17/2011 11:53:15 AM , Rating: 2
I remember being barred from TV and telephone. But that was after I painted the entire side of the house with some leftover epoxy seal paint in the garage. The best/worst part was that I signed it in my cousin's name to remove doubt that it was me. He was 2 at the time.


RE: Punishment fits the crime?
By rlandess on 6/17/2011 11:17:46 AM , Rating: 2
I agree... Lets hope politicians don't read DT.

Blacklists are cheap, prison costs more per year than most universities.

The last thing we need is to give more tools to the organizations that seek out filesharers and manipulate the system to extract ridiculous judgements and settlements that really only go to pay the lawyers so that they can continue to sue people who have done very little to the industries the lawyers represent.

off topic sort of...

But as for television specifically, the industry needs to stop living in denial of the changing world we live in. Some day broadcast TV will probably die. If you don't ride the wave you'll be crushed by it.

and

Cable companies in particular just need to roll over and die. Comcast, Time Warner, etc. would all like to see the internet crippled to the point of uselessness. In their world we'd all subscribe to their services to get premium content, otherwise we'd be back in internet of 1992, having very little to see or do.


What about this scenario...
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/17/2011 10:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
A hacker gets access to a local ABC affiliates broadcast server (this stuff is all digital and networked these days and I'm sure one is less than secure). He switches the source content for some primetime sitcom with a new release DVD. It is "digitally streamed" over the air to thousands or millions of homes.

Provided you could prove it, could each member in each household be put away for 5 years if they had the TV on ABC?




RE: What about this scenario...
By fic2 on 6/17/2011 11:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
Did you read the article or just the headline?

This is for site operators only.


RE: What about this scenario...
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/17/2011 11:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
I looked at the link to the bill, didn't read the article the whole way, but from the article:
quote:
However, the organization or other copyright enforcement groups could eventually use the measure to try to prosecute viewers and owners of non-profitable sites as well, as they could argue that individuals see a "personal financial gain" from not purchasing work legally.


"Streaming" and "profit" are ambiguous. Streaming could mean sending or receiving. Like the article said profit can be derived from cost cutting. So a judge/jury/prosecutor could interpret the law to include those ABC viewers in my example.

We've all seen how the RIAA / MPAA operate. Its the threat of prosecution to extort money, not actual prosecution.


RE: What about this scenario...
By PitViper007 on 6/17/2011 4:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
From your original post:
quote:
Provided you could prove it, could each member in each household be put away for 5 years if they had the TV on ABC?

I think not. The viewers in this case are using a service that they'd paid for (digital cable) or is freely available (OTA digital TV signal) and so have a right to access. They are not responsible for what a hacker has done to the service they've now accessed. As in many cases of criminal law (I can't believe this may come under that heading now) it would come down to the intent.


RE: What about this scenario...
By Solandri on 6/18/2011 6:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is for site operators only.

The copyright laws currently being used to sue individuals for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per infringement were originally intended to be used against commercial infringers, like people who sold bootleg CDs. If this gets passed, and the wording is vague enough to allow prosecution of people streaming video services they subscribe to to devices they own, the broadcast companies will be all over it to shut down Slingbox, SiliconDust, etc.


Is there anything more that needs to be said?
By Ticholo on 6/17/2011 9:47:47 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Michael O’Leary, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs for the MPAA lauds, "This bill will help ensure that the punishment for these site operators fits the crime."

...




RE: Is there anything more that needs to be said?
By The Raven on 6/17/2011 10:02:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yes...

Vote such legislators (who can be bought) out of office.


By Dr of crap on 6/17/2011 10:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, that might work!
Everyones on the take, where have you been?


By The Raven on 6/17/2011 5:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
lol you're right. I should've said something more useful.
We need honest people who aren't motivated by money in power.
If any of you are such a person, drop the modesty and run for office.

So vote the bums out and get some honest people in power who have no other motive but to keep us free.


Bunch of thieves
By disgusted@thieves on 6/18/2011 7:22:17 AM , Rating: 1
I am so sick of all the thieves bitching about laws like this. Man up, if you want to steal something walk into the store and take it, don't go bitching about DRM this or MPAA that.

If you want to stream content on the internet why don't you go and CREATE something of your own. Anything less is stealing and you deserve to be punished.




RE: Bunch of thieves
By MarioJP on 6/18/2011 1:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
I never knew streaming is illegal. I guess youtube is illegal too right??. Internet radio as well??. Go back to your man cave where you came from. Wow the nerve of some people.


RE: Bunch of thieves
By disgusted@thieves on 6/18/2011 2:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Why did you even make such an idiotic comment? As I said if you want to put something up on you tube CREATE something and put it up there. If you put up a movie you did not create and do not have the rights to – you are a thief and need to be punished.

I really can't tell if you are this stupid or just trying to be an A$$. If you are this stupid, buckle up – life is going to be rough on you..


RE: Bunch of thieves
By MarioJP on 6/18/2011 7:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
I was not talking about putting your own videos,etc. I am talking just WATCHING a music video or a TV SHOW. If you read closer they want "viewers" to not avoid cable feels or online service fees. This Law is the stepping stone to whats to come. What your friend can't come over to your house to watch a TV show on youtube??. So again I am not talking about just Creating your own Content.


RE: Bunch of thieves
By disgusted@thieves on 6/19/2011 10:09:37 AM , Rating: 2
To quote the article:

In order for videos to qualify as strikes against an individual, the infringed work must have a retail value of the streamed video that exceeds $2,500, or a license worth more than $5,000.  To qualify the streaming must also be done for "personal financial gain" -- an ambiguous phrasing.

The authors comment on “an ambiguous phrasing” shows his opinion on the bill because there is nothing ambiguous about this. You stream copyrighted work you don't have rights too then you are STEALING. Thieves get punished. This has nothing to do with netflix streaming or internet radio.

All this says is that you can not stream content you don't own. If you can't understand why doing so would be wrong, I don't have the time to teach you the morals your parents failed to teach you.


This works for me
By Beenthere on 6/17/2011 1:27:18 PM , Rating: 1
We all know that sharing/distributing copyright protected works is illegal. If you're dumb enough to do this then you're dumb enough to go to prison.

I fully support this legislation because many people today have lost all touch with reality when it comes to moral decency. They know it's wrong to pirate, hack and facilitate or distribute copyright protected property but they simply don't care about the law. They might change their view of reality if they spend a few years in the slammer. If not they may spend their entire life in the slammer.

There is no way anyone is ever going to rationalize these crimes and yes they are crimes prosecutable under law. Those who can't live within the laws of society go to prison - as they should.




RE: This works for me
By Cerin218 on 6/17/2011 2:53:18 PM , Rating: 2
As usual, the freedoms of this country are wasted on it's people. The concept here isn't that copy right infringement is wrong, but more that there are beginning to be more and more bills that are being bought by corporations using bribed politicians that have wording in them that can be exploited and misinterpreted by the copy right holders that already abuse the system for profit. And of course you like many others completely support this because you can't possibly see a way that this could be used against you. This punishment like ALL copy right punishment up to this point have not fit the crime.

You, like many in this country, need to remember that it is FAR easier to give up your rights, than it is to get them back.

Laws are what we all agree to live by. I don't agree to this law, nor do many others, especially since the politicians that make them were bought by the group they will benefit.

No one would love to throw you into a concentration camp more than Amy Klobuchar for doing evil things, like blinking and breathing.


RE: This works for me
By Beenthere on 6/17/2011 6:08:52 PM , Rating: 1
There are no "freedoms" being lost by punishing perople for violation of copyright laws, hacking, etc.

I am fully aware that many politicians are scumbags and should be hung by their thumbs for a couple months... but the reason copyright laws exist is to protect intellectual property. People who chose to violate copyright laws deserve to be heavily fined and spend years in prison because they know full well they are violating law and they simply do not care. Perhaps some of the scumbag politicians can be their cellmates?

Any way you slice it, it's criminal to pirate, illegally distribute copyright protected works, facilitate piracy and hacking. Sending these people to prison is a good thing for society. It creates jobs in America building new prisons, maintaining the inmates and facilities and gets scum off the streets who think they are above the law.

It's a win-win situation. And for those he keep yelling that the punishment should fit the crime, I agree. A minimum of 5 years in prison and $10K fine for every copy should be the minimum. Punishment is meant to be a deterrent. In some countries they cut people's hands and legs off for stealing. Punishment is not suppose to be a slap on the wrist. Prison time is meant to get thru to a person in serious denial.


RE: This works for me
By senbassador on 6/19/2011 2:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
"We all know that sharing/distributing copyright protected works is illegal. If you're dumb enough to do this then you're dumb enough to go to prison."

So by comparison, people should get 1 year in prison for stealing a pack of gum, because they know that stealing is wrong?


RE: This works for me
By YashBudini on 6/19/2011 4:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
This is all just the modern equivalent of the 1960's Rockefeller drug laws. You know, smoke a joint, spend a decade in jail.


DANGEROUS
By nafhan on 6/17/2011 10:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, these website operators are obviously a physical danger to society and therefore we need to be physically protected from them... or maybe not. I don't see how prison time is a reasonable punishment for this crime. Some sort of fine or something would make sense.




RE: DANGEROUS
By MarioJP on 6/18/2011 1:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
So your saying you just bot an illegal version of it which technically yes that is illegal.


RE: DANGEROUS
By MarioJP on 6/18/2011 1:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
bought*


Punish the operators!?
By Shampoo on 6/17/2011 9:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"This bill will help ensure that the punishment for these site operators fits the crime."


This bill proposes jail time for those that watch illegally streamed movies, or am I reading it wrong and need to go back to English classes?

ESL anyone?

That's a load of crap.
Get them at the source, don't punish people who happen to come across it and have no idea it's illegal content.

Example: OLD PEOPLE or people who aren't too tech savvy.

When they're provided the web address for FREE MOVIES and TV SHOWS, they don't ask; "Hey is this legal?".

They just say, sweet!




RE: Punish the operators!?
By theapparition on 6/17/11, Rating: -1
RE: Punish the operators!?
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/17/2011 12:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This bill (despite the egregious DT headline) is for site operators who willing stream copyrighted content, and are caught more than 10 times in 6 months doing so. The site operator also must be doing it for profit.

Did you read the bill which I graciously linked (unlike the handful of other stories on the topic?

If you did, you would realize you are wrong. Nowhere in it does it say the word "operator". The offender must "willfully" infringe and do so for "personal financial gain" according to the language of the past bill (Section 506(a) of title 17, United States Code) being modified.

Sure the MPAA says NOW that it will only argue in court that operators are seeing "financial gain". But once it's past what's to stop them from turning around and saying viewers are seeing "personal financial gain" by avoiding legally obtaining the content at cost? Nothing.

That's one of the major problems with the bill -- it uses ambiguous language that makes it arbitrary who can be charged. Do you really trust the MPAA that much to be kind and gentle?


RE: Punish the operators!?
By rrburton on 6/18/2011 7:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
But once it's passed ......


Bootleg anyone...
By xygot on 6/17/2011 10:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
So it says only for streaming...how about bootleg i bought on the street, will I still be going to jail?




RE: Bootleg anyone...
By disgusted@thieves on 6/18/2011 2:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
You should, no different then buying a stolen TV. If you want the product buy it legally. If the value of that product is not worth the cost then don't buy it.


By wasteoid on 6/17/2011 11:07:30 AM , Rating: 4
manslaughter
kidnapping
arson
rape
child molestation




Geoblocking
By Chilly8 on 6/18/2011 6:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
One consequence of this could be streaming sites using geo filtering software to block U.S. IP addresses. Of course, geoblocking can be circumvented, but such circumvention does not currently break any Federal law (though it might break some state laws), and the Felony Streaming Act does not change that.




RE: Geoblocking
By MarioJP on 6/18/2011 7:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
Actually if you read closer this law can apply to viewers as well.


And?
By Raiders12 on 6/17/2011 9:59:13 AM , Rating: 3
Meanwhile movie ticket prices go up, actor/actress salaries go up, directors earn more, concessions cost more, good quality movies come once or twice a yr, and Hollywood continues to manipulate politicians. I must say I am against bootlegging and illegally DLing movies, D.C and the copyright agencies want to strip consumers of any personal property rights when it comes to media nowadays...




This law has the right to exist
By Netscorer on 6/17/2011 11:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
By the tone of the article, this is yet another frivolous attempt by copyright owners to implement Orwellian society. But if one dismisses the rhetoric, this is a much needed law that has nothing to do with restraining your rights as an individual and has everything to do with preventing theft, plain and simple. It is an extension of the laws already in place that prevents the sale of illegally-obtained copyrighted content in physical or electronic (i.e. file-sharing) form. Right now streaming the content falls into a gap, as technically it is similar to renting, rather then purchasing.
I know that I will be downgraded instantly by the almighty army of folks here who start to fart in agitation from just hearing the word 'copyright', but so be it.




Absurd
By Rebel44 on 6/17/2011 12:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just put fence on US borders and rename USA to UPA (United Prisons of America) ???




Another LulzSec target....
By espress0 on 6/17/2011 12:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
lol




By xyzCoder on 6/17/2011 2:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's amazing how lame these guys are (both the special interest groups and their flunkies, our politicians). This law, even if it passes, is not going to have any significant effect (a few profiteers will go to jail - big deal). People will continue sharing copyrighted content and the internet will continue to make this easier and easier.

I agree with the posters saying filesharing is wrong, but as an effective software architect I can tell you that I have ZERO interest in offering solutions to the old media middle-men who are trying to keep their cut and ways, no matter how absurd in the modern age. Seems like I'm not the only one feeling this way, considering the brightness of the ideas they generally put forth.

As an aside, Apple and their 30% cut on all media consumed on their platform = beyond hubris. Credit card companies are gouging us at 3%, and Steve'o wants 30? I guess we should start calling him 'Mr. Thirty Percent'? Thanks so much for such a 'platform', Apple! I can't wait to see the next surprise for those stuck in that ecosystem. (Amazing that he thought it would fly, frankly - and people think he's soooo smart)

Anyhow, the good news is the following: fewer people are getting their news from TV and newspapers, and that's a good thing. The propaganda in the US is staggering - get your news from real people! (I'm at betterinfos.com)




Let me get this Straight
By MarioJP on 6/17/2011 2:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
So this sounds like they are trying to get rid of streaming altogether?? So I can't record shows on my DVR to watch later. I cant use the free version of Hulu because "no financial gain" on their part??

This is just crazy!.




By Chilly8 on 6/18/2011 4:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
One again some people get it wrong. The law, as written, only applies to those to transmit streams, not those who receive them.

And if they did attempt to prosecute viewers, all it will do is make more business for offshore VPN services, particularly those who keep no logs. After, the cannot prosecute what they cannot trace




by comparison
By senbassador on 6/19/2011 2:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
By comparison, that would be like if Walmart lobbied Congress and have them start doling out a 1 year prison sentence for stealing a pack of gum.

I am not saying that it should be ok to pirate copyrighted digital media, but punishments should be reasonable and proportional to what you did.




The Nanny 'Effing' State!
By garagetinkerer on 6/17/2011 2:51:58 PM , Rating: 1
Where do i begin. America started its demands for freedom under excess taxation from the colonial powers. So they got the Britishers out. That was 18th Century. Now, presently in 21st century, the government for the people, of the people, by the people, couldn't care less about its people. The legislation passed by the government more and more are for the companies and for the money. I fail to understand that if it wasn't for the money involved, how can these boneheaded laws be passed? Every one of which has something or the other to do with curbing the rights, or writing them off completely for that matter. I find it quite shocking really.




Jesus
By Snow01 on 6/17/11, Rating: -1
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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