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As and IFPI lobbyist, Maria Martin-Prat looked to outlaw DRM cracking and making backup copies. Now she's Europe's "copyright queen" (or more precisely the "Head of Unit Services I, Directorate General Internal Market, European Commission").   (Source: European Commission)

EU legislators Christian Engström (Sweden, top) and Marietje Schaake (Netherlands, bottom) are fighting the appointment.  (Source: Wired (top)/LGEO Online (bottom))
EU hires a head lobbyist from RIAA parent org. IFPI to steer its copyright policy

While most agree that piracy is illegal and wrong to some extent, many feel the media industry is behind the times when it comes to digital distribution.  They argue that media companies fail to provide consumers with appealing options hence consumers take matters into their own hands and resort to piracy.  They also complain that the piracy punishment resembles mob tactics more than a fair legal process, with million dollar verdicts against everyday citizensthreats, and off-the-record settlements.

Unfortunately for those unhappy with the situation, it may be about to get worse.  

I.  The EC's New Copyright Chief -- A History of Working to Cut Owner Rights

The European Union has been appointed Maria Martin-Prat to head their copyright commission.  The copyright commission is part of the EU's business regulatory body, the European Commission (EC).  Ms. Martin-Prat will be replacing former chief Tilman Lueder, who is heading to a new position in China.

Ms. Martin-Prat had formerly left the EC and enjoyed employment working at International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the parent organization of the U.S.'s RIAA, Canada's CRIA, and Britain's BPI.

During her stint at the IFPI, Ms. Martin-Prat worked to try to outlaw backup copies of media.  The EC provides a private copying exemption, dubbed the European Fair Dealing.  The U.S. enjoys similar exemptions, which the RIAA/IFPI have contended in the past are illegal.  They argue that making backups is "stealing" and you should just repurchase damaged/lost content.  Ms. Martin-Prat argued [PDF] that backups have "no reason to exist".

She contends that backup exemptions violate the three-step test first written into the Berne copyright convention 50 years ago.  Those steps state that exemptions are only fair if they:

  1. Apply to a "special" case. 
  2. Don’t interfere with the "normal exploitation of the work."
  3. Don't "unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the rights holder." 
She reiterated her stance in a conference paper [PDF].

Similarly, Ms. Martin-Prat looked to rob consumers of the ability to crack DRM.  DRM cracking in the U.S. and Europe is prohibited, but not typically prosecuted unless you distribute the cracked files.  Ms. Martin-Prat sought to make the very act of DRM cracking a prosecutable felony.

In her IFPI work said that she and the industry were "pleading for strong copyright protection".  Well apparently those pleas for stronger "protection" have been answered.

II. Growing Opposition to Appointment

Two EU legislators -- Liberal Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake and Swedish Pirate Party MEP Christian Engström -- have openly blasted the appointment.  They write [PDF] the EC asking:

 

Does the Commission not see any problems in recruiting top civil servants from special interest organisations, especially when being put in charge of dossiers directly related to their former employers? If not, why not?

Does the Commission feel that such an appointment would help to build confidence with the European Parliament and the general public that the Commission can be trusted to handle copyright-related issues in a fair and balanced manner?

Mr. Engström was even more emphatic in his own blog, slamming the EU for supporting what he sees as corrupt cronyism.  He writes:

Welcome to the European Union, where the big business lobby organizations are calling most of the shots at the Commission, and where citizens are just seen as a nuisance to be ignored. I guess the only real news is that they don’t even bother to try to hide it any more.

Given existing EC rules and policies, the organization now has to respond to the criticism pertaining to the appointment, justifying its controversial decision.

This is not the first time that the issues of corruption, favoritism, and bias have been raised in Europe.  During the iconic trial of the Pirate Bay, the judge in the trial was found to have formerly worked for a copyright protection organization.  

He provided jurors with information that the Pirate Bay admins' legal team felt was inaccurate and misleading.  The trial resulted in a conviction, a sentence of prison time, and a massive fine for the admins.

The legal team tried to appeal the verdict and sentence, but ended up losing before an unsympathetic higher court.



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By MrBlastman on 4/6/2011 1:21:12 PM , Rating: 5
If I buy a piece of software, music, video or whatever, I should not be subject to draconian copy-protection or drm measures. It makes me, the consumer, feel dirty to be treated so poorly.

It is also the reason why _many_ honest consumers go out of their way to remove the invasive, intrusive or annoying measures put into the software so they can have a more enjoyable experience with it. I've even had copy protection make a game's framerate be cut in half or worse! A game I paid money for.

So now, this nutcase wants to criminalize us for wanting to use what we rightfully paid for in a usable manner? This is disgusting.




By darckhart on 4/6/2011 1:46:11 PM , Rating: 5
That's what happens when you let lawyers and politicians rule.

Take a moment to read the license agreements on whatever you purchase. You'll find that in most cases: 1) everything is provided as-is with no guarantee it works, 2) you didn't buy anything except an agreement to rent it for a certain time and use it during said time in a manner they say is allowable, 3) they reserve the right to change anything whenever they feel like it.

I guess they must all live in a little bubble.


By mephit13 on 4/6/2011 3:02:22 PM , Rating: 5
Correction, this is what when you let corporations rule. The lawyers and the politicians are only doing what the corporations pay them to do.


By Dailyrant on 4/6/2011 3:53:28 PM , Rating: 3
Lawyers and politicians are large organizations in themselves. They in fact work for corporations, not the people. Status quo is the goal. The larger you are the more influential you are.


By Solandri on 4/6/2011 6:18:52 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Correction, this is what when you let corporations rule. The lawyers and the politicians are only doing what the corporations pay them to do.

Hate to break it to you, but a corporation is just a group of lawyers and would-be politicians (managers) running an organization. A corporation does not think or make decisions by itself. The lawyers and managers running the corporations are the ones who are deciding to pay the lawyers and politicians running government. Government, political parties, corporations, unions. There's not much difference between them - they're all just organizations of people.

The first step in a war is to dehumanize the opposition, which is what you're doing by making people think the battle is against corporations. But that just detracts from the real problem, which is actually has nothing to do with corporations - people doing screwy things with our laws which benefit them to the detriment of everyone else.

If you clamp down on corporations and neuter their power, that doesn't make these people go away. They'll just quit their company jobs and flee to a different sector where it's easier for them to amass power, money, and influence. Some will go into politics. Others will head unions and social organizations.

Then after a couple decades, we'll decide those have gotten too powerful and that we're being unnecessarily harsh on weak corporations. So we'll do a bunch of deregulation, resulting in those people fleeing government and unions to go back to corporations, like cockroaches scurrying every time their hiding place is overturned. And the cycle will begin all over again.

In a way it's a lot like economics. My phone has more computing power than a supercomputer in 1980. We have particle accelerators capable of producing and analyzing the smallest pieces of matter. We've been able to peer at light from the very beginning of the universe. Yet we still haven't figured out how to stabilize the boom/bust economic cycle to achieve uniform growth.


By Iaiken on 4/7/2011 5:05:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
they're all just organizations of people.


Except labour groups, which are bad, evil things that must die.

quote:
If you clamp down on corporations and neuter their power, that doesn't make these people go away. Some will go into politics.


Where they will work to change things back or open different avenues to power and wealth, exclusively for their own personal benefit.

quote:
Yet we still haven't figured out how to stabilize the boom/bust economic cycle to achieve uniform growth.


The problem is that we worship growth. Anyone that expects anything to grow 10-20% year over year for any appreciable length of time is guaranteed to be disappointed. Yet a 10% gain (the typically expected rate of return) is indicative of a 7 year doubling time.

We have unrealistic growth expectations and when those expectations outstrip the reality for a sufficient length of time, the market retracts back to the more realistic figures while everybody panics.

I heard one oil exec say "We would define anything less than a 50% growth year over year for the next 10 years to be a disappointment". This is the exact same as stating "If we aren't 128 times our current size in 10 years, we're going to be disappointed." This guy was going to be disappointed if his company wasn't bigger than all of the worlds oil companies combined in 10 years. Who are these people?


By nikon133 on 4/6/2011 9:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
No... they all live in huge, beautifully presented bubles (also known as villas, penthouses etc), sponsored by their real bosses and masters...


By PrinceGaz on 4/6/2011 1:58:52 PM , Rating: 3
The DRM is only there to help ensure you do not accidentally break the law by making unauthorised copies of it, and also ensures you get the best possible experience with all the media you have purchased.

So if in the past you have bought a DVD of a movie, you are free to watch that DVD in any DVD player you own, but if you want to watch it on something like an iPhone, the correct way to do so is to buy a copy from iTunes which has been optimised to provide the best experience on that device, and if you want to watch it in high-definition, you can buy a Blu-Ray copy for use in a Blu-Ray player. You haven't actually bought the same thing three times, rather you are paying to get three times the value out of the movie.

As for games, there is no reason to make a backup copy of a disc as most publishers will be willing to mail you a new disc in exchange for your original one, at a cost which covers their expense for providing this service (which will normally be less than the original cost of the game).

Piracy is a serious problem as every time a music track, movie, game, or anything else is pirated; it is the same as stealing the money for it from the talented people who created it. Rather than robbing the musicians and other artists you enjoy, you should pay for their work. Downloading one music track illegally might seem like nothing to you, but that is one dollar or so lost to those who helped create it. Upload the same track to a hundred other people and that could be a hundred dollars lost. That is why piracy must be clamped down on as those responsible for it are often responsible for stealing and distributing many tracks and movies, adding up to hundreds of thousands, sometimes many millions of dollars. If they cannot pay for everything they have stolen, a lengthy jail term must be considered.

DRM exists only to help you avoid breaking the law and doing the wrong thing. Why would anyone not be in favour of it?

;)


By icemansims on 4/6/2011 2:07:55 PM , Rating: 5
For the record, I think (at least I hope) Gaz just forgot the /sarcasm.


By Denigrate on 4/6/2011 2:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you missed the ;).


By Ristogod on 4/6/2011 2:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
Except that DRM rarely works in a way beneficial to the consumer. How does DRM that routinely malfunctions causing the paid for product to be useless help anyone? Your interpretation is a twisted delusion of unrealistic improbabilities that does not represent actual concerns. DRM helps no one, including those selling the product. I doubt anyone looks to insure DRM is present before purchasing, yet I would imagine a great deal avoid purchasing something with DRM embedded. So how does that help anyone?


By bigboxes on 4/6/2011 2:40:50 PM , Rating: 3
+6

At first I was like wtf then I started laughing at it's absurdity then I saw the ;). Well played, sir!


By Johnmcl7 on 4/6/2011 4:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
How could you miss that the entire reply is written tongue in cheek? They even added a winking smiley at the end...

John


By spamreader1 on 4/7/2011 9:48:56 AM , Rating: 2
Probably lack of caffeine, it's early here, I almost missed the irony.


By mathew7 on 4/8/2011 5:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Downloading one music track illegally might seem like nothing to you, but that is one dollar or so lost to those who helped create it. Upload the same track to a hundred other people and that could be a hundred dollars lost.


You said it yourself: "could".... You are using the industries arguments, but forget that a person does NOT have infinite money. One download does not mean lost money. There is so much content that as a non-multi-million individual, you cannot decide which content you should buy.
There are 3 ways to take it:
1. buy the content legaly
2. download, watch and buy it afterwards
3. download, watch and forget it

My point is that option 2 exists, and I personally use it. This can also be viewed as free advertising.

Also, option 3 can be for different reasons:
- a student may have lots of free time, but not enough money, so he engages in a lot of entertainment, but he would NEVER HAVE MONEY to buy it.
- he CANNOT BUY the content even if he wants it, because it's not sold in his area (disc regions, lack of distribution in highly-pirated countries)

Nobody can prove what is the distribution of these parts, most agree on part 3 being the biggest.

Most indie developers look pretty good at piracy as advertising and a sign that they did a "wanted" work. Only the big houses want the last cent of the distribution, but forget that customers want also quality, not only quantity. Their dollars ARE HELPED by piracy. Without piracy they would not have a part of their money. Piracy also could give them an indication of how the content is seen by NON-PAID reviewers.

But do remember that copyright appeared as a civil law. When it first appeared (in U.S.??) it was to stop mass book-copiers from profiting. Not from a neighbor copying the book for his own use (because that could never be checked anyway).


By Miqunator on 4/8/2011 8:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
The sarcasm is strong with this one


By marvdmartian on 4/7/2011 9:11:38 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
They argue that making backups is "stealing" and you should just repurchase damaged/lost content.


I would counter-argue that since the product these companies put out is obviously flawed, as it can easily be damaged to the point of unusability, then they ought to provide free replacement of damaged media.

Since they refuse, and instead demand we pay full price, again, for what we've already purchased once, then we should (and do) have the right to copy it.

Of course, since that uses common sense, it will make NO sense to lawyers! ;)


By Invane on 4/7/2011 12:15:17 PM , Rating: 3
Even further, they are trying to claim we only get a license to use the purchased product. If this is the case, how are they trying to claim we should repurchase it if the physical media is lost or damaged? It is easily proven that we have a valid purchased license.

They want to have their cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, with the amount of money and influence behind them they are largely succeeding.


By marvdmartian on 4/7/2011 3:19:43 PM , Rating: 1
Absolutely right. Then again, have you ever priced out a recovery disk for a computer? In the old days, when you bought a computer system, you received a disk (or disks) that would allow you to recover the operating system, back to factory fresh specs, if your hard drive died, or your OS was messed up.

Nowadays, a lot of these companies are just putting recovery partitions (which can be corrupted by nasty viruses) on the hard drive, but giving you the opportunity to burn your own recovery disk, either with dvd(s) or cd's.

It amazes me, all the people that will put off burning their own recovery disk, until their OS is crapped up with a virus, and they go to their favorite computer geek to ask for help. Ask them for their recovery disk, and you get the "deer in the headlights" look. **SIGH**

I know that HP will sell you a recovery disk for any system made in (I believe) the last 5 years or so......for the mere price of ONLY $16, postage paid. Probably costs them $1 to make the disk, and $2 to $3 to mail it (if that).

Now how messed up is that??


Martin-Pratt
By tigz1218 on 4/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: Martin-Pratt
By nolisi on 4/6/2011 2:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
But the fact that she worked for big business (supported by the fact that she makes statements indicating she wants to control you) explains it more factually- she's conservative.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By Ticholo on 4/6/2011 2:19:17 PM , Rating: 4
She's Conservative-Liberal, perhaps?


RE: Martin-Pratt
By Denigrate on 4/6/2011 2:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
As the Libs, at least in the USA, are the ones who look to control all aspects of a citizens life, I'd put her as a Lib.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/6/2011 2:36:09 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
As the Libs, at least in the USA, are the ones who look to control all aspects of a citizens life, I'd put her as a Lib.


"As the politicians , at least in the USA, are the ones who look to control all aspects of a citizens life, I'd put her as a politician ."

There, fixed it for you.

While what you're saying is true to some extent, there's plenty of things that at least some "conservative" politicians in the U.S. would love to try to take from you. For example, your right to freedom of religion (some argue the U.S. gov't should be religion-based).

They look to abridge your freedom to control what goes into your body by supporting the criminalization of low-risk narcotics like marijuana (while promoting others like alcohol and tobacco). They violate your privacy (as do liberals) by supporting domestic spying. And they support initiatives to kill fair use and local municipal internet projects.

And they look to regulate whether or not a woman can legally have an abortion, with some arguing it should be illegal even in cases of rape or when the mother's life is at risk.

You can cherry pick examples all day from both sides. Reality check. In the U.S. BOTH parties look to control different aspects of your life. Don't delusion yourself.

The longer we blindly ascribe to labels like "liberal" and "conservative" to describe which political party is "good" and which is "evil" without looking at issues, the longer politicians can profit off corruption and take away our freedoms.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By ClownPuncher on 4/6/2011 3:25:11 PM , Rating: 2
To simplify, Progressives (both conservative and liberal) generally dislike freedoms and favor "moral" populism. Liberal and Conservative have definitions that are far too loose to apply to statements like the one you quoted.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By Nutzo on 4/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Martin-Pratt
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/7/2011 10:21:45 AM , Rating: 3
quote:

I see conservative politicians who acknowledge that this country was founded on Christian principles, but I have yet to hear one that wants to turn this country into a theocracy.


A nation founded on "religious principles" is a theocracy, more or less. You can argue semantics, but many Middle Eastern government are "founded on Muslim principles" and I'm sure you'd agree they have theocratic character.

I agree its ridiculous for people to get mad at Bush for praying (Obama says he regularly prays before making decisions too). Really that's a personal matter and does not deserve to be analyzed in a political context.

That said, the nation wasn't even founded by Christians. The majority of the founding fathers were DEISTS, who believed in God, but not in the Bible/traditional Christianity.

For the record, since everyone always questions my religious beliefs... I consider myself a Christian, though I'm not a fundamentalist. I do believe that church and state MUST remain separate. And I also agree with the Catholic church in its assessment that Christianity is ONE path to god and that non-Christians can get into heaven/the afterlife (see Vatican II for more info). It is the path I personally choose, but I'm against discriminating against others who have different religious views.

quote:

As for low-risk narcotics, do some real research on the harmful effects of marijuana first. However, I don’t think sending pot smokers to jail solves the problem. A better solution would be to ban drug users from all government benefits instead. No welfare, no section 8 housing, no disability because you are too drugged out to work. There are way too many druggies living off the taxpayers. If they say the drugs don’t affect them, then let them work and support themselves. And if they get caught driving under the influence, or selling/giving drugs to minors, then throw the book at them.


I suggest YOU do some research because I have. Medicine's most prestigious journal, The Lancet, recently published a study (which I covered and read) that comprehensively assessed the effects of various commonly used drugs. It found that Alcohol and Tobacco had worse health and social effects than Cannabis.

You're just wrong here, plain and simple, and just parroting the misinformation you've heard from some talking head. Do some actual reading.

quote:

As for abortion, the 1st reasonability of the federal government is to protect life, it’s the 1st item of the 1st amendment to the constitution. If you believe that it’s a live, there is no choice in the matter. As for when life begins, nobody really knows for certain, but technology can allow a baby to survive at 5 months, so I’m pretty sure we can call it a life some time before that.


I think it's ridiculous to argue that a fetus without a fully developed nervous system can be "conscious".

If you argument was true, a mother who got in a car crash due to making a mistake driving and lost her baby could be charged with second degree murder.

Regardless, your perspective is based on your religious views, not scientific ones, so it has no place in government (unless your "Christian government" is realized, and in that I mean your specific fundamentalist sect of Christianity, as many denominations do not agree with you.).

quote:

Most conservative are NOT against abortion in the case of rape or when the mother's life is at risk, that’s just liberal scare talk.


They've voted that way in the past! You can't argue with that.

quote:

Yes you can cherry pick examples but too often I see people on the left twisting them to support their side.


I could easily provide you examples of the hypocrisy of the left if you were insulting conservatism. Both sides are very hypocritical. I'm glad we can at least agree here (to some extent).


RE: Martin-Pratt
By Nutzo on 4/7/2011 12:33:23 PM , Rating: 1
Most of western civilization can be traced back to “Christian principles”, but that does not make us a theocracy.

Iran is a theocracy, since it has religious leaders (of one specific religion) running the country, to the exclusion of anything else.

I wasn’t justifying the use of Alcohol and Tobacco by saying that marijuana is not low-risk. They all have health and social risks, in fact my father died young due to smoking tobacco.
You should also look at the source of the marijuana used in the studies. Every official study I’ve seen, uses marijuana that was legally grown under government license at single research location (using illegal pot in a study would get the researchers in trouble). This marijuana is very weak compared to what is currently being sold on the street, which makes these studies biased towards your side of the argument.

As for abortion, what age would you say a fetus is conscious? Only after it’s born, 1 day before its born, at 8 months, at 5 months?
Studies have shown that the brain starts developing very early, during the 1st trimester, and by the 5th month, brain activity patterns resemble an adult. This is based on science, not religion, and the destruction of a conscious being is murder.

As for a mother who loses her baby in a crash, most states DO have laws concerning this. If you kill a pregnant woman, you can be charged with not only killing the woman, but will killing her unborn child. If the woman survives, but the fetus doesn’t, you can still be charged with the killing.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/7/2011 4:08:49 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Most of western civilization can be traced back to “Christian principles”,


I would agree with this statement. You ORIGINALLY mentioned the founding fathers -- most of whom were NOT Christian.

The Christian church most definitely guided "western" society throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including during the colonization of America during the late Renaissance. It was only in the 1600s and 1700s that the power of the Church finally weakened.

Now that's a totally separate issue and is more of a historical discussion, though.

What we were discussing (I thought) was the separation of church and state.

quote:
but that does not make us a theocracy.

Iran is a theocracy, since it has religious leaders (of one specific religion) running the country, to the exclusion of anything else.


I have no problem with you (an individual) praying no matter what your job is.

What is problematic is if teachers or other authority figures organize a group prayer in a government funded school (private schools should be able to do whatever, imo). Because in doing so, you've discriminated against children who pray differently or don't pray at all, essentially violating their Constitutional rights.

Also problematic is the issue of putting the ten commandments in a federal court house (there was a major debate on this -- some fundamentalists religious conservatives were very adamant that this should be allowed and encouraged). That is officially sanctioning three religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (as all believe in the ten commandments in some form in their religious texts). In doing so you've excluded other religions (Hinduism, etc.)

Any time the government adopts specific religious texts or allows its employees to lead religious activities while on the clock, you're essentially taking a step towards theocracy. No ifs and or buts.

quote:
I wasn’t justifying the use of Alcohol and Tobacco by saying that marijuana is not low-risk. They all have health and social risks, in fact my father died young due to smoking tobacco.


Oh I agree there. My grandfather died of tobacco-induced emphysema and my grandmother died of liver disease from alcoholism.

Marijuana certainly has health risks too. Psychologically it's amotivating in at least some individuals (and I've witnessed this first-hand in good friends). And inhaling any burning substance predisposes you to cancer and diminishes your lung power.

Even if its legal I wouldn't smoke as a) I'm a runner b) I've had cancer once and don't want to have it again and c) I'm a bit of a health nut.

That said, I think if people want to grow/responsibly consume it in their own homes that should be their own business.

Now of course there should be laws against them driving while intoxicated, but that would be trivial enough to extend the DUI alcohol laws.

Ultimately its money that's preventing legalization. Cannabis can be cheaply grown in arid and colder climates. Once grown it can be quickly harvested, dried and smoked with little effort.

By contrast alcohol requires complex distillation process (anyone who's microbrewed can appreciate the difficulty) to get a quality brew. Likewise tobacco grows only in select climates (the south). Thus both lend themselves to creating large commercial drug companies.

These companies e.g. Budweiser, Malboro, etc. represent an incredible powerful lobby. And they are the same ones that have been fighting to outlaw marijuana. Not because it's medically more dangerous than their products -- but because they'll lose control of a good chunk of America's legal drug spending.

quote:
I’ve seen, uses marijuana that was legally grown under government license at single research location (using illegal pot in a study would get the researchers in trouble). This marijuana is very weak compared to what is currently being sold on the street, which makes these studies biased towards your side of the argument.


I don't know how much you know about marijuana, but the "strength" is largely dependent on the growing conditions, the hybrid variety, and what part of the plant you smoke/ingest. But more potent marijuana, while intoxicating doesn't carry any other harmful documented health effects (in fact it creates positive effects like greater pain relief).

The amount of carcinogens you receive from more potent pot is the same as they're in the smoke itself, not the psychoactive compounds (THC) that determine the perceived potency.

What you're likely referring to is marijuana laced with some other illegal narcotic like PCP, etc. This happens largely because marijuana is illegal and there's no gov't oversight in terms of purity.

Consuming such a substance is most definitely dangerous -- not so much because of the marijuana, but because of the other drug that's in the mix.

But again, it's crazy to say this justifies illegality, because illegality CREATES such cases of dangerous lacing.

quote:
As for a mother who loses her baby in a crash, most states DO have laws concerning this. If you kill a pregnant woman, you can be charged with not only killing the woman, but will killing her unborn child. If the woman survives, but the fetus doesn’t, you can still be charged with the killing.


Read carefully. I wrote if the mother was found at fault. I'm not aware of states having laws that prosecute a mother if she miscarries her baby following an accident she was at fault for.

quote:
As for abortion, what age would you say a fetus is conscious? Only after it’s born, 1 day before its born, at 8 months, at 5 months?
Studies have shown that the brain starts developing very early, during the 1st trimester, and by the 5th month, brain activity patterns resemble an adult. This is based on science, not religion, and the destruction of a conscious being is murder.


I probably should have been more specific. I was referring to the most common type of abortion, early term abortions and post-zygote contraceptives (e.g. "the morning after pill"). These account for in excess of 90 percent of procedures and are relatively safe.

In general, I agree with you, though, late term abortion is a difficult issue. After five to sixth months, I agree neural activity is occurring to the point where sentience may be achieved.

Really I have no problem with rules/restrictions on later term abortions. After all these constitute such a tiny fraction of the abortions performed as they are VERY risky and dangerous.

What I DO have a problem with is restrictions on the morning after pill or early (months 1-3) abortions. That should be a woman's own right, as I said, as there's not clear-cut scientific evidence to support sentience of the fetus AT THAT STAGE.

You'll probably say that not all conservatives oppose this, and that's true. But many do, and they've fought quite effectively to ban or try to ban early abortions both at the state and federal level.

That's quite problematic.

I also think women should get something like a 2:1 vote in legislatures when deciding on abortion issues. After all, it's easy for you or me to try to sit and pass judgement on somebody, but neither of us is ever going to have carry a fetus inside of us (assuming your a man).

Just as I believe in greater self-governance in terms of local gov't I believe women should have greater self-governance when it comes to abortion issues.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By Skywalker123 on 4/7/2011 11:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
Marijuana is not a narcotic.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By TeXWiller on 4/6/2011 2:43:35 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
the ones who look to control all aspects of a citizens life

No no, those are called socialists. They are the opposite of the US libertarian and the European liberal. ;)


RE: Martin-Pratt
By Autisticgramma on 4/6/2011 2:53:55 PM , Rating: 2
Liberal, Conservative, Red-Neck, Hippy Whatever!

Just labels that divide us, I think we all agree this is BS.

If I paid, let me play the damn game. I say give the thing away free, with DRM that serves LOTS of Ads, there will be a reason to buy again, No adds (a must paying for adds will kill any industry eventually). Obviously something LIKE steam is the answer, only maybe check in every 90 days for single player stuff.

Jeez its not like the new release isn't a beta anyway, Make me auth (Genuine Advantage any one?) for the stability updates and to remove adds.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By FaaR on 4/6/2011 3:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
O RLY? Libs want to control your life, as opposed to conservatives who don't want women to be able to get abortions, gays to be able to marry, muslims to be able to build mosques wherever they like, and so on?

I'm sure I must be missing some parts of where LIBERALS are the ones obsessed with controlling peoples' lives.

As for this woman, just look at her name. Martin-PRAT. It says it all.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By tastyratz on 4/6/2011 2:46:08 PM , Rating: 5
Whats with the confusing political labels?
"the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one"

She's a douche bag.


RE: Martin-Pratt
By BugblatterIII on 4/6/2011 7:21:07 PM , Rating: 4
No, she's a turd sandwich!


By xthetenth on 4/6/2011 1:09:39 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously, what kind of government picks a lobbyist to fill a position that they've been lobbying as their career? It's bad enough that the generalized MAFIAA (pretty much the only time I'll ever deign to use a snide alteration to a name or acronym) still runs on this kind of Rip. Mix. Burn.:

http://www.checkerboardnightmare.com/d/20010611.sh...

It's another that the government is actively trying to encourage that.




By Shig on 4/6/2011 2:47:08 PM , Rating: 1
Governments don't understand things they cannot tax. With the tax base being eroded at every level of government, they have no choice but to sell out to the RIAA. Remember the EU is socialist and they're population is shrinking, they're in worse long term shape than the US imo.


By sviola on 4/6/2011 2:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't a top RIAA lawyer appointed as a top Lawyer (sorry, don't know the exact position name) for the US Government recently as well?


By Autisticgramma on 4/6/2011 3:06:02 PM , Rating: 5
Apointed a Federal Judge, then ruled on a subject she lobbied for.

Justice Bought and Paid for.


Companies beat people
By BugblatterIII on 4/6/2011 7:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to capitalism. The major corporations are running our countries.

They'll continue to do so until people realise that disliking unregulated capitalism and a 'free market' isn't the same as disliking democracy and rise up to put an end to their tyranny.

Capitalism and democracy aren't the same thing; in fact capitalism is destroying democracy!

A free market means that companies are free to do whatever they like. It's not a good thing just because it has the word 'free' in it.

Whom you elect isn't particularly relevant anymore; whomever you put into office is controlled by the same corporations as every other major political leader.

You don't get to vote which corporation controls your elected leader, therefore unchecked capitalism will destroy democracy.

And if you want to stop the corporations from taking over who can you vote for? People are realising that it doesn't matter who they vote for anymore, they're going to get shafted more every day regardless.

When even Vanity Fair starts talking about revolution you know it's getting serious. Cosmo next?




RE: Companies beat people
By YashBudini on 4/6/2011 9:06:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
A free market means that companies are free to do whatever they like

Free markets work well within a properly defined and functioning legal system. What you're seeing is free-for-all capitalism, growing closer to anarchy everyday. If one truly believes that free markets will balance out for the better by themselves then the same level of deregulation that companies want should be matched by a similar level of deregualtion when suing such companies. But as usual they want the good stuff without the bad.

As for frivilous lawsuits they have become an everyday occurence because corporations don't want to put time and money into litigation, even though once they make such a position clear they would have fewer suits to deal with. That's their choice and we all pay for that choice (It doesn't just affect them FC, but I waste my breath).

Any company can fight a charge and them sue for litigation costs, they simply choose not to.

quote:
You don't get to vote which corporation controls your elected leader, therefore unchecked capitalism will destroy democracy.

Lobbying at its finest.

quote:
And if you want to stop the corporations from taking over who can you vote for?

Why not have a corporation run for office? The Supreme Court says they are people too.


RE: Companies beat people
By myhipsi on 4/7/2011 12:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think it can be better defined as a corporatocracy. Where government works for the benefit of corporations (a revolving door for corporations).

Corporations and free markets aren't the problem, big (corrupt) government is the problem. Big government is the vehicle that allows corporations to protect their profits through setting up various barriers to entry, writing loop-holes in laws that favor them, writing tax-codes that favor them, writing new laws that punish the consumer for the benefit of the corporation (like the above example), etc. Without the government protection racket, corporations actually have to compete on an even playing field.

It drives me crazy to see all this propaganda for "more regulation" aka. more government control, which ultimately means more laws/regulations written to benefit the current form of crony-capitalism, what people today mistakenly call free-market capitalism.


RE: Companies beat people
By YashBudini on 4/7/2011 6:14:51 PM , Rating: 1
RE: Companies beat people
By dtm4trix on 4/8/2011 3:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think you just put into words what a lot of us in the United States have been thinking for the past 4 or 5 years and just couldn't enunciate it the way you just did..thank you....well played!


Another win for Netflix
By Shig on 4/6/2011 2:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
Netflix says thanks to RIAA for making their business model that much stronger.

I'd also imagine a 'Netflix' for video games is coming soon too.




By Autisticgramma on 4/6/2011 3:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
Subscription based gaming - YES
SEGA Channel any one?

Dumb viewing anything isn't the future. (period)


Wait A Minute..
By ResStellarum on 4/6/2011 10:20:22 PM , Rating: 3
Shouldn't there be a law prohibiting the appointment of lobbyists to positions of power where a conflict of interest might arise? Oh wait, forget that, we live in a corrupt representative democracy, not a true democracy, mea culpa.




and
By sprockkets on 4/6/2011 2:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
While there are perfectly rational reasons for kicking that woman out of the EU, another is the fact that the netherlands woman is hot, and the EU lady at the top isn't.




Once step closer every day.
By YashBudini on 4/6/2011 6:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

Benito Mussolini

Just remember all you pro-corporate types out there, be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.




Makes sense
By BZDTemp on 4/7/2011 7:26:26 AM , Rating: 2
The Copyright mafia have agents in the White House and of course they are wanting agents within the EU system.

Thankfully they don't get to make the laws.




Schaake up with her
By cruisin3style on 4/7/2011 6:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to pass some legislation with the Netherlands rep




Welcome to the European Union?
By Ausdrake on 4/8/2011 1:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Welcome to the Modern Corporate Status Quo Political System , where the big business lobby organizations are calling most of the shots at the Commission, and where citizens are just seen as a nuisance to be ignored. I guess the only real news is that they don’t even bother to try to hide it any more


Fixed that for you Mr Engström, it's not just the EU that creates laws purely in the interest of big businesses over civil rights, it's just a wee bit more subtle elsewhere.

Those Sci-fi dystopian futures ruled by Megacorporations are still in the cards if people keep getting walked all over by the power of big money. Fingers crossed we get Shadowrun style psychic powers and mutations to fight back with ^_^




Why Do You Support MAFIAA ?
By gorehound on 4/6/2011 5:09:51 PM , Rating: 1
Curious why any of you are supporting the MAFIAA.
Boycott all big content and buy big content used so big content will not get your money.

This headline is only one example of the assault on our liberties by corporate big content assholes.




All I've got to say
By FITCamaro on 4/6/11, Rating: 0
"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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