....LMB: "Free License to Hack, Thanks Congress!"....

July 26, 2002

I mentioned in a recent LMB post that the RIAA and MPAA want the legal right to hack into your computer with the help of Congress. Well, the bill to do it, the "Peer to Peer Piracy Prevention Act" was introduced into the House today by Rep. Howard Berman.

But honestly, I think that the bill is doomed to failure because of poor wording, as pointed out in this article, and in more depth in this discussion on Kuro5hin. To have the right to hack people's systems, there are three requirements:

That's it. You can hack completely legally with just a tiny bit of preparation.

Write some text. Copyright it. You're now a copyright holder. If the above bill passes, you now have the authority to do all kinds of hacking, so long as you can argue that you were trying to "impair" the "unauthorized distribution" of your copyrighted material.

There are some restrictions about what you can and can't do in your hacking (e.g. can't cause more than $50 in damages, can't actually delete files), but the bill makes it hard for you to get in trouble for breaking these rules; your victims can't sue you unless you do more than $250 in damages (?), and they get approval from the Attorney General.

So if anyone with a modicum of sense in Congress reads this bill, I don't think it'll get passed, because in some ways it becomes a loophole for all hackers, not just RIAA/MPAA ones. But I don't know how tech-savvy the House is...

Posted by Jake at 10:21 AM
Comments

Holy fucking shit...

I'm writing in, for all the good it will do..

Posted by: michele at July 26, 2002 01:22 PM


Your tax dollars at work:
__________

From :
"Rep. Howard L. Berman"

To :


Subject :
Re: Peer to Peer Privacy Protection Act

Date :
Fri, 26 Jul 2002 16:38:26 -0400


Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate hearing from you on this
important matter.

Due to the large amount of correspondence my office receives, replies will
only be sent to constituents of the 26th District of California. If your
e-mail message did not include your current mailing address, please resend
your original message with your 26th District address.

Once again, thank you for sharing your views.

Posted by: michele at July 26, 2002 04:20 PM

me too

keep an eye on berman. he's on the intellectual property committee, and is in the pockets of the industry. he got 186k from them!

but, that doesn't mean that a freedom and hacker PAC couldn't influence him...

Posted by: johnk at July 27, 2002 03:22 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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