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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Town's Crier » PRO-IP Act Signed Into Law
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Topic Subject:PRO-IP Act Signed Into Law
Aro
AoKH Dictator
posted 10-20-08 10:08 PM CT (US)         
A topic I asked Turty to post, but he didn't. Anyway, serious stuff now:
The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007 ("PRO-IP Act of 2007", H.R. 4279), is a law that will increase both civil and criminal penalties for trademark and copyright infringement. The law will create a new executive branch office, the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER).
Source: Wikipedia's short entry on the law.
Backed by the RIAA and MPAA, the PRO-IP Act has drawn criticism for its potential for extreme punishment. In its proposed state, the act could grant the government permission to seize all computers and compatible devices from a home if a single, pirated MP3 was discovered on one of the machines.
Source: Bush Signs Pro-IP Act Into Law
The impact to the consumer is obvious. The simple fact of the matter is that I doubt there is a consumer anywhere in the US who has never downloaded or otherwise acquired a single thing in violation of someone's copyright. What this now means is that, for consumers, more or less anything that has come into contact with that pirated item can be seized by the government. The statute is worded in such a broad manner that it would be theoretically possible to seize all of the computers in a home or office if one pirated MP3 or piece of software was present. More importantly, the penalties have changed so that individual elements are now imputed as works.
Source: The PRO-IP Act and Gaming
President Bush has signed the EIPRA (AKA the PRO-IP Act) and created a cabinet-level post of 'Copyright Czar,' on par with the current 'Drug Czar,' in spite of prior misgivings about the bill. They did at least get rid of provisions that would have had the DOJ take over the RIAA's unpopular litigation campaign. Still, the final legislation (PDF) creates new classes of felony criminal copyright infringement, adds civil forfeiture provisions that incorporate by reference parts of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, and directs the Copyright Czar to lobby foreign governments to adopt stronger IP laws. At this point, our best hope would appear to be to hope that someone sensible like Laurence Lessig or William Patry gets appointed.
Source: President Signs Law Creating Copyright Czar

Wikipedia said the House of Representatives passed the bill 410 to 11. It was unanimous in the Senate. I was unaware of this law until I read the link Turty posted today.

So what do you all think of this law?

Your attractive master.
"Because I before E is a LIE!!!"

[This message has been edited by Aro (edited 10-21-2008 @ 00:48 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
sly_guy
Squire
posted 10-20-08 11:02 PM CT (US)     1 / 23       
So what do you all think of this law?
At first glance, it looks like complete and utter crap. I'll post more once I've read up on it. (Likely not until tomorrow)

- ک

Ladies and Gentlemen, wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

This message has been brought to you by procrastination and the letters K and V.

[This message has been edited by sly_guy (edited 10-21-2008 @ 00:50 AM).]

General_II
Squire
posted 10-21-08 00:14 AM CT (US)     2 / 23       
I guess it's good they're finally making a law rather than forcing people to rely on legal precedents. This just makes possessing copyrighted material a greater offense. It's not like companies are going to run around suing internet users at random. We will only be able to see the effects of this law in a few years, when the precedents regarding the case define the limits of prosecution and such.

Be sure to thank the Democratic majority for passing this; Biden still thinks this law is too loose and needs to have stricter penalties.

[This message has been edited by General_II (edited 10-21-2008 @ 00:15 AM).]

Aro
AoKH Dictator
posted 10-21-08 00:29 AM CT (US)     3 / 23       
This just makes possessing copyrighted material a greater offense. It's not like companies are going to run around suing internet users at random.
From what I understand, it gives companies *and* the government greater wiggle room to punish suspected individuals and seize information.
Be sure to thank the Democratic majority for passing this; Biden still thinks this law is too loose and needs to have stricter penalties.
I could give a crap about what party supports it or who's affiliated with what, this isn't about the red/blue bull. It affects almost all internet users. It looks like the politician majority pushed it through, and given their limited understanding of how piracy or the world-wide-web works, that's no surprise at all.

EDIT: Apparently it was unanimous in the Senate.

Your attractive master.
"Because I before E is a LIE!!!"

[This message has been edited by Aro (edited 10-21-2008 @ 00:50 AM).]

four hundred babies
Squire
(id: Lord_Fadawah)
posted 10-21-08 06:29 AM CT (US)     4 / 23       
This just makes possessing copyrighted material a greater offense. It's not like companies are going to run around suing internet users at random.
Yeah, individual users are probably safe. It's just not worth it for them to run around prosecuting kids who download mp3s and games.
Gwame
Squire
posted 10-21-08 10:23 AM CT (US)     5 / 23       
This is one of the many times which makes me appreciate living outside the US.

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
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morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 10-21-08 11:50 AM CT (US)     6 / 23       
What about games like Red Alert? I have acquired the game (I can even post a picture of me with the box if necessary), but it doesn't run on XP or Vista. The only way to play the game is to download it (the modified version).

Morgoth Bauglir/Quaazi - BORINGMETAL HEADTWAT
Huidin's Belief - The Siege (4.4) - 2475 - Birth Of The Uruk-Hai (4.1) (Best Sound of 2008)
Signature currently under construction. If you want to help out and provide me with the resources needed, download from the above links.
Gwame
Squire
posted 10-21-08 01:22 PM CT (US)     7 / 23       
ya guyz n my fav tv shows air in 'merica, not in UK or eyerland

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
morgoth bauglir
Squire
posted 10-21-08 01:24 PM CT (US)     8 / 23       
eyerland
Did you know the pronunciation of that mean "eggsland" in german?

Morgoth Bauglir/Quaazi - BORINGMETAL HEADTWAT
Huidin's Belief - The Siege (4.4) - 2475 - Birth Of The Uruk-Hai (4.1) (Best Sound of 2008)
Signature currently under construction. If you want to help out and provide me with the resources needed, download from the above links.
Gwame
Squire
posted 10-21-08 02:22 PM CT (US)     9 / 23       
Richtig... Ich spreche Deutsch, aber ich habe es nicht bemerken.

Translation: Yes

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
NeverFinished
Squire
posted 10-21-08 03:18 PM CT (US)     10 / 23       
This is one of the many times which makes me appreciate living outside the US.


I seriously don't think they're going to enforce this 100% though...it will probably be more like 0.0001%...so don't worry, be happy...

--->n i

/*~-._.-~*~-._.-~*N e v e r F i ____ s h e d*~-._.-~*~-._.-~*\

...the ESTEEMED, BEAUTIFUL AND SEXY...NF~Aro
Powery
Squire
posted 10-21-08 03:45 PM CT (US)     11 / 23       
Well, with more strict penalties now, be sure to place your pirates in one place ready to be deleted when you sight official-looking/uniform-wearing dudes coming on your doorstep.
Eaglehaslanded
Squire
posted 10-21-08 03:57 PM CT (US)     12 / 23       
Seems pretty punitive to me. But then, how do you prove a file is pirated?

.^//        Eaglehaslanded
  \  /~   
  ///      You, sir, are a wench - Scud
 '' ''     You, Sir, are a wrench - Reach
nav
Squire
(id: nav_2004)
posted 10-21-08 07:42 PM CT (US)     13 / 23       
Wow. I hadn't heard anything about this before hearing it hear. AoKH, your prime news source!

This makes me think a lot of things, but I'll start here:
Be sure to thank the Democratic majority for passing this; Biden still thinks this law is too loose and needs to have stricter penalties.
As easy at it would be to drag partisan politics into this, you really can't. As Aro said, the initial vote in the House was overwhelming. The Senate passed the bill with a few modifications by Unanimous Consent. The final House vote was 380-41 in favor, with 176 of that 380 being Republican votes. Also, the Senate bill was co-sponsored by 22 Senators, 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans. I don't think you can really point fingers at one party or the other. Here is the voting on the form that went into law.

Intellectual Property is a sticky subject. Being an electrical and computer engineer, I very much have mixed feelings on the issue. On one hand, it is not fair to ask everything to be given away for free. If all software and electronics (two things I work with the most) have no intellectual property laws, my career ceases to exist. Why? My company will not have any legal authority to stop other companies from stealing my ideas and will be unable to obtain any type of short-term competitive edge. As a result, the company will not make any money, and my job will be gone. Without some type of protection, I can't put food on the table. Arguably, it's not just me; I think one could make a good case that without any type of intellectual property protection, capitalism as we know it would cease to exist.

However, that is not to say that I am in favor of harsh intellectual property regulations. If anything, I tend to favor openness wherever possible. Harsh regulations do not help anyone out; they turn off consumers to whatever products enforce them, and they harm us all as users. Too much enforcement of intellectual property laws, especially on individuals, only serves to anger people.

My biggest concern with this law is not so much the law itself. While, yes, it does seem like a bad idea (even from both of my points of view), the really scary thing about it is not the law but the combination of the law with the precedent set by the RIAA. The RIAA previously had the blessing of the federal government to hack into people's computers to look for pirated music, which they did on a small but well-publicized scale. What is really scary about this law, though, is that (depending upon how the courts interprete it) it could easily expand that initial blessing to an actual interpretation of a written law that can be used not just by the RIAA but by any corporation, organization, or even individual who is out to make a quick buck in the interest of "protecting" his or her intellectual property. As a victim of such attack, there is nowhere to turn, as the aggressor has the full backing of the United States Government. This is not good.

The problem with most intellectual property protection attempts is that they largely fail to thwart the real revenue vacuums, which is the reason for intellectual property in the first place. Virtually all attempts to protect intellectual property thwart only individuals. This is obvious in the RIAA's attempt to sue average citizens for pirated music as well as Microsoft's attempt at Genuine Windows. In both cases, and in all cases really, the professional pirates are not stopped; they posses the technical know-how or are connected with the technical know-how to circumvent such actions. Also, they largely position themselves below the radar of the US government. Average individuals, however, are not so lucky. Whether downloading a new song to sample it before buying a CD or trying to get security updates for a computer you bought from someone else that has been unknowingly preloaded with pirated software, the individuals are the ones picked up by most recent attempts at intellectual property enforcement.

The larger problem with intellectual property enforcement as I have been referring to it in the previous paragraph, is that it is reactionary and very uncreative. In a technology environment especially, intellectual property is only important for a short time period for any given product. After that, you are likely trying to protect an obsolete system. The best intellectual property protection, especially in technology, is to be close to developing a newer, better system to replace the one that everyone else has figure out and is trying to steal. It's only when you slip behind that extended time intellectual property becomes an issue. More creativity in both new development and intellectual property limitations and enforcement would be a lot better for everyone, both the companies and the consumers.



(This space intentionally left blank.)
sly_guy
Squire
posted 10-21-08 11:53 PM CT (US)     14 / 23       
Wow. I hadn't heard anything about this before hearing it hear. AoKH, your prime news source!
I hadn't either, but perhaps that isn't as big a shock, seeing as I don't live in America. However, the lack of any articles on this story on the major news networks is... interesting, to say the least. You'd think they'd be all over something like this, but apparently not.
Harsh regulations do not help anyone out; they turn off consumers to whatever products enforce them, and they harm us all as users.
I'm with you on this one, as the increased penalties are quite ridiculous. I've read somewhere (can't remember where, exactly) that if one were to download a CD with 12 songs/tracks on it, for example, it could cost the downloader up to $360,000 (based on a ruling that each individual "work" is worth up to $30,000). Before the PRO-IP was put in place, the maximum was $30,000, which means that the new law has given a rather broad definition of "work".

And what good are the increased punishments, besides forcing people to fork over money that they likely don't have? They aren't good, simply because it will snatch the money away from consumers (and put it in the pockets of large corporations), who might not have anything left over to spend. In short, I can see this having a negative effect on the economy, which is one of the last things the US needs right now.
Average individuals, however, are not so lucky. Whether downloading a new song to sample it before buying a CD or trying to get security updates for a computer you bought from someone else that has been unknowingly preloaded with pirated software, the individuals are the ones picked up by most recent attempts at intellectual property enforcement.
This is exactly why I'm surprised that many people in this thread aren't worried. It's going to be the individual downloaders who are caught by this, not the professional pirates.
From what I understand, it gives companies *and* the government greater wiggle room to punish suspected individuals and seize information.
In my opinion, the companies that create the Intellectual Property should not be able to take the law into their own hands, which is what this law is allowing. It gives the companies free reign to investigate *any* user. Not good.

The investigations should be left to the authorities, which leads me to my next issue with this law. Namely, that the Department of Justice is worried about it:
The PRO-IP Act seeks to stem the "tsunami" (as one representative put it) of counterfeiting and piracy by making a pair of changes to the structure of the federal government. First, a new executive branch office devoted to intellectual property enforcement would be created in the White House, and it would be modeled on the office of the US Trade Representative. The Department of Justice would also get a new IP enforcement division that would consolidate work currently done in several other divisions.

Sigal Mandelker, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the DOJ, told the subcommittee that this plan raised some concerns at Justice. For one thing, having a White House office that can direct the priorities and investigations at Justice could undermine the independence of the department, she said. In addition, the current arrangement at Justice is "actually quite effective."
(Source. I realise it's fairly old, but this thing's been around for a while, apparently - which brings me back to the media question - why the *hell* haven't we heard about this before?)

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Furthermore, if the White House is allowed to interfere with/determine the relative importance of investigations, it's just one more thing happening that shouldn't. The Dept. of Justice should be allowed to determine the importance of/conduct investigations on its own.

I'll agree that piracy is a very big problem, but this isn't really the way to go about tackling it, in my opinion.

(As a side note, while this article is quite sarcastic, I still found it a good read. And it kind of illustrates my point about the ridiculous punishments.)

- ک

Ladies and Gentlemen, wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

This message has been brought to you by procrastination and the letters K and V.
Cobra the Mediocre
Squire
(id: The_Cobra_81)
posted 10-22-08 01:12 AM CT (US)     15 / 23       
Nobody's said much about the cost of adding this "Office of USIPER." Increased government size? Hooray, just what we need!

Cobra the Mediocre
SteadilY working up to Average
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
(Age of Kings Heaven) (The Renegades)
four hundred babies
Squire
(id: Lord_Fadawah)
posted 10-22-08 02:55 AM CT (US)     16 / 23       
My biggest concern with this law is not so much the law itself. While, yes, it does seem like a bad idea (even from both of my points of view), the really scary thing about it is not the law but the combination of the law with the precedent set by the RIAA. The RIAA previously had the blessing of the federal government to hack into people's computers to look for pirated music, which they did on a small but well-publicized scale. What is really scary about this law, though, is that (depending upon how the courts interprete it) it could easily expand that initial blessing to an actual interpretation of a written law that can be used not just by the RIAA but by any corporation, organization, or even individual who is out to make a quick buck in the interest of "protecting" his or her intellectual property. As a victim of such attack, there is nowhere to turn, as the aggressor has the full backing of the United States Government. This is not good.
So real life is in danger of becoming like Youtube, where a corporate body can issue a DMCA takedown notice because you used 2 seconds of a copyrighted video clip and Youtube will remove your videos with no questions asked. Sucks.

Of course, Youtube's policy of "guilty until proven innocent" is marginally defensible when you consider they are up against giant corporations and you are probably a kid in your bedroom, but isn't copyright supposed to promote creativity instead of stifle it?
Gwame
Squire
posted 10-22-08 12:45 PM CT (US)     17 / 23       
Of course, Youtube's policy of "guilty until proven innocent" is marginally defensible when you consider they are up against giant corporations and you are probably a kid in your bedroom, but isn't copyright supposed to promote creativity instead of stifle it?
Well, that's somewhat exaggerated. YouTube could be much harsher with copyright infringement. They don't take down the video unless the copyright holder makes a claim, and this is proven through the countless infringing videos you'll find there. Also, they tend not to disable a user's account until three offences have been made. The video may be taken down immediately, but the user is not punished. After the third infringement, the account is disabled, but there is no legal action taken (despite the warning that there may be) and the person can simply make a new account.

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
azure skies
Squire
(id: ThUnDeR77)
posted 10-22-08 06:46 PM CT (US)     18 / 23       
The fourth amendment specifically requires search and arrest warrants be judicially sanctioned, supported by probable cause and be limited in scope according to specific information supplied by a person (usually a law enforcement officer) who has sworn by it and is therefore accountable to the issuing court.
nav
Squire
(id: nav_2004)
posted 10-22-08 07:03 PM CT (US)     19 / 23       
It may be in the Bill of Rights, but the RIAA has found a way to position itself outside the 4th amendment already. This law doesn't change that fact one bit, sadly.
isn't copyright supposed to promote creativity instead of stifle it?
That's a lot more concise way of expressing my feelings on intellectual property as a whole.



(This space intentionally left blank.)
azure skies
Squire
(id: ThUnDeR77)
posted 10-22-08 07:13 PM CT (US)     20 / 23       
I give the legislative branch an F- on the month.
four hundred babies
Squire
(id: Lord_Fadawah)
posted 10-23-08 04:26 AM CT (US)     21 / 23       
Also, they tend not to disable a user's account until three offences have been made. The video may be taken down immediately, but the user is not punished. After the third infringement, the account is disabled, but there is no legal action taken (despite the warning that there may be) and the person can simply make a new account.
Really? They must have changed the rules. Some time ago a user called WalrusGuy made a video where the Colgate mascot Dr Rabbit appears to be singing along to "What What (In the Butt)" by Samwell (video here) and Colgate had his account disabled for a few months until the issue was resolved. But maybe that's just me getting confused.
Gwame
Squire
posted 10-23-08 11:52 AM CT (US)     22 / 23       
Well, I was judging based on personal experience. Yes, I have experienced the YouTube ban-hammer. This was sometime early this year, if I recall correctly.

MY NAME IS GWAME I AM AOKH MEMBER SINCE 2004 AND I HAVE MANY POSTS
BEST SIG OF 2008 AND 2ND BEST SIG OF 2009 (SAME SIG LOLOL)
BEST SIG OF 2008
92% of teenagers have moved on to rap music. If you're on of the 8% that still listens to real music, copy this into your signature.
"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^" "Gwame your sig ain't funny nomore." - morgoth bauglir"^`'*-=~+,._.,+~=-*'`^"
Luke Gevaerts
Squire
posted 10-23-08 06:57 PM CT (US)     23 / 23       
So what do you all think of this law?
Short, sweet and to the point: it's not going to make a difference.

Luke Gevaerts Website YouTube Backloggery

"Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that.
I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." - Frank Zappa

OD AoKH
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