Orrin Hatch, your Big Brother
June 17, 2003 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Senator Orrin Hatch [R-Utah], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, favors legislation allowing copyright holders to remotely destroy the computers of illegal file traders. Hatch, an accompished songwriter in his own right, is quoted as saying that damaging someone's computer "...may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." Apparently the good Senator is forgetting that our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence.
posted by mr_crash_davis (32 comments total)
 
i'd love to engage in this thread, but i've got to get out and catch a movie and buy some CD's.
posted by quonsar at 4:53 PM on June 17, 2003


next: the tv that blows up when you steal cable, the car that blows up when you drive over the speed limit, the toothbrush that blows up when you don't brush for a full 3 minutes.

then again, would a gubmint-sanctioned program to destroy windows machines be such a bad thing? bsd, linux, osx, qnx users rejoice...
posted by dorian at 4:59 PM on June 17, 2003


seems mr. hatch has changed his approach somewhat from when he gave this speech.
But we cannot, in the name of copyright, unduly burden consumers and the promising technology the Internet presents to all of us
posted by H. Roark at 5:02 PM on June 17, 2003


Personally, I'd like to a government chair (in all branches, bureaus, and departments) that blows up when you try to subvert the Constitution.
posted by keswick at 5:02 PM on June 17, 2003



...and since i'm wishing, i'd also like a pony.

posted by keswick at 5:08 PM on June 17, 2003


What I am trying to figure out his how they find out you have MP3s on your hard drive, and what if those MP3s are ripped from CDs that you own? How would they tell the difference. I have a ton of music files on my computer, but I haven't gotten them from anyone else. I'd be more than a little upset if my computer were "damaged".

And can I have a pony too?
posted by Orb at 5:11 PM on June 17, 2003


How would they tell the difference.

I believe the distinction was left to "good faith on the part of the copyright holder." i.e., "ha ha ha, you're all so screwed."

not big on the whole pony scene, but I'd sure love to see keswick's chair plan put into action.
posted by dorian at 5:23 PM on June 17, 2003


Screw it, why not just bring back public floggings? Downloading one MP3 file is good for three lashes. More than one, and it's a day and a night in the stocks. Keep on downloading, and you have to wear a scarlet 'M' on all your clothes. "I saw Goody Howe downloading MP3s! She's in league with Lucifer!"
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:26 PM on June 17, 2003


I did NOT vote for the man.

Just wanted that to be clear.

Thank you.
posted by Plunge at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2003


So, do you think "down the Hatch" will catch on as an euphemism for the destruction of fair use?

What a friggin' schmuck. I hope he discovers what it's like to have his computer remotely wiped because the RIAA decided he violated his own copyright by duplicating his own music...
posted by FormlessOne at 5:37 PM on June 17, 2003


What's so weird about this is that Orrin Hatch has been pretty anti-RIAA in the past. Oh well, maybe something changed his mind.

Anyway, he's not proposing something like a car that blows up if you speed, more like allowing you to shoot out the tires of someone tailgating you.
posted by delmoi at 5:47 PM on June 17, 2003


This is typical Hatch. I believe he did this with the last batch of DRM legislation he was trying to pass. First he makes a crazy announcement and then in a couple weeks a watered-down version of his earlier crazy plan gets released to a comittee or to the press and its supposed to look reasonable in comparision.

I wonder what he's going to unload in the near future? Some extension to the DMCA?

I'm sure he's laughing at his constitiuents who are probably freaking out right now. Good way to get re-elected.
posted by skallas at 6:07 PM on June 17, 2003


Bad law. Bad idea. Bad senator. Those of you in sunny Utah, please vote yourselves a new, less constitutionally challenged senator? Thanks.
posted by swerdloff at 6:21 PM on June 17, 2003


Oddly enough, his website is still operating.
posted by khisel at 6:52 PM on June 17, 2003


utah is 0wnz0red lock, stock, and barrel by dudes who believe jeebus took a stroll across the atlantic to north america. stick with the devil you know.
posted by quonsar at 6:55 PM on June 17, 2003


Free Pony. Choose "Last Week's Show" which is a Real Audio Stream, and you want to start 18'30" into the stream.
posted by namespan at 7:08 PM on June 17, 2003


Those of you in sunny Utah, please vote yourselves a new, less constitutionally challenged senator? Thanks.

It's impossible. Hatch will be re-elected until he retires. Steve Young himself (rich, football star, descendant of Brigham Young) might not be able to take his seat. Every time Hatch runs, he runs on his seniority and the influence/power derived therefrom, constructing an image as an ombudsman for Utah. Few indeed are the folks there who question whether that's the best basis for selecting a Senator. Well, few indeed are the republicans who question it anyway.

utah is 0wnz0red lock, stock, and barrel by dudes who believe jeebus took a stroll across the atlantic to north america. stick with the devil you know.

Taking quonsar (or people who say Ownz0red) seriously is probably an mistake, but I just thought I'd respond to this. If the topic at hand was about abortion, alcohol, or gambling policy, I could see how this would be relevant. It's not. The only possibile relevance could be to call attention to the fact that somehow a majority of Mormons seems to get the idea that the Republican party is the annointed party of God. This despite the fact that the leadership of said church actually goes to some lengths to remind members that it ain't so. The drooling inertia of mass local culture may be to blame for Hatch's re-election, but the church isn't.
posted by namespan at 7:32 PM on June 17, 2003


Forgive me, but wouldn't this be a direct violation of certain cracking/cyber-tresspassing laws?

All that has to happen is one CEO or Federal Judge comes in to discover his MP3 collection has been wiped, and this is history. Assuming of course that such a law ever makes it past being a bill.

In the meantime, check your firewalls and security updates. I bet we could hasten the demise of this proposal by making sure our each of our representatives has a good MP3 player. Should we chip in for iPods for Congress? ;-)
posted by ilsa at 7:32 PM on June 17, 2003


This will never happen. And even if it did! Those of us who are tech minded know the ways of circumventing that technology can and will be used. What a joke.

I kind of want it to happen, just to see how fast a patch would come out. 24 hours? Maybe a few days? Maybe before it even comes out! Ha ha, here we go back to square one. More money lost, right?

I steal music. Im going to be as public as I can. Here is the reason: I can't afford $18 a cd. And when I can I buy the real deal. I support shutting down piracy for profit. Otherwise its fighting a losing battle.

I also support (and this probably is going to happen soon) music becoming public property after a certain time. No, not right after an artist dies. But 40 years or so. Is classical music public property?
posted by Keyser Soze at 7:45 PM on June 17, 2003


I like Reynolds' remedy.
posted by homunculus at 7:47 PM on June 17, 2003


an accompished songwriter in his own right

By what standards?
posted by namespan at 7:51 PM on June 17, 2003


The only possibile relevance could be to call attention to the fact that somehow a majority of Mormons seems to get the idea that the Republican party is the annointed party of God.

namespan, i hope you don't over complicate everything like that. it simply means what it says - a state composed of people who not only beleive the standard fairy tales but EMBRACE AND EXTEND them is liable to send something WORSE than hatch in his stead. and i suppose now you'll question the relevance of microsoft to this whole discussion.
posted by quonsar at 8:33 PM on June 17, 2003


I don't think grabbing mp3s is the Right Thing To Do, but this Hatch thing is ridiculous. I can see it now-judges come home and the computer's gone blooey becuz Junior downloaded something...ah, the possibilities of hilarity ensuing are endless!

Record companies stink. I don't buy that much ($ constraints) but much of what I do buy is independent stuff.
posted by konolia at 8:50 PM on June 17, 2003


But Maybe someone can clear up this "ways to damage computers involved in such file trading" concept for me. So I'm running my P2P program on my Windows computer. How can they hurt my system? It would have to be by as-yet-illegal "hacking," the article says—am I really that vulnerable to a hacker who wants control over my machine (legally or not)? I don't guess a lot of file-traders would fall for viruses masquerading as mp3's (though I'm sure the coming "piracy-proof" audio-formats will have a delete-hard-drive "feature" built in!).

(The linked article does not spell out what "destroy" really means: I assume Mefites here conjuring images of sizzling PC's are taking poetic liberties...? But I'm afraid Sen. Hatch really was getting excited imagining scenes of smoking, thundering destruction.)

Dang, when I saw this headline I thought it referred to downloading kiddie porn: arrest the downloader, seize his computer, and destroy it. How naïve!
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:34 PM on June 17, 2003


So I'm running my P2P program on my Windows computer. How can they hurt my system?

ha ha haha ha. er, sorry. carry on.
posted by dorian at 11:06 PM on June 17, 2003


Presumption of innocence?!? Oh, Crash, Crash -- don't you know that when you pirate music you're supporting terrorism? You're lucky he only wants to fry your computer, and not lock you up in Camp X-Ray.

And illegally sharing MP3s makes baby Jesus cry...
posted by wdpeck at 11:07 PM on June 17, 2003


...somehow a majority of Mormons seems to get the idea that the Republican party is the annointed party of God...

Computers. Copyright. MP3s.

And yet somehow you manage to drag it back down to religion. "Oh, he's Mormon! Well that explains everything!"

Got an axe to grind, namespan?
posted by oissubke at 6:41 AM on June 18, 2003


And yet somehow you manage to drag it back down to religion. "Oh, he's Mormon! Well that explains everything!"

You're right. The particular myth that he believes is less important than that his mentality is pre-rational and thus can't comprehend the US Constitution.
posted by goethean at 7:53 AM on June 18, 2003


If there was a presumption of innocence in this particular branch of the law, would we be paying royalties to the music industry on every piece of blank recording media (like DAT, cassettes, music CD-r's) and every digital recording device we buy?
posted by pitchblende at 9:09 AM on June 18, 2003


Curious, I thought copyright as religion only existed on slashdot.

This is simple a starting negotiating position. It's ridiculous and should be...so you'll be happy when they decide the RIAA can just fine you at will, and not completely destroy your link to the rest of the world.
posted by wah at 9:31 AM on June 18, 2003


Orrin Hatch, software pirate?
posted by homunculus at 2:51 PM on June 18, 2003


Computers. Copyright. MP3s. And yet somehow you manage to drag it back down to religion. "Oh, he's Mormon! Well that explains everything!"

Got an axe to grind, namespan?


Not with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sometimes with members of said church who actually seem to believe the Republican party is endorsed by the church as annointed of God. But the point of that portion of my post was to address quonsar's insertion of religion into the discussion. Which probably should have gone unmentioned, but since it did, I thought I'd direct it to what I saw as the only possible rational point of contact with the discussion. And to add that as a group, I don't find Mormons (including myself) any more credulous about political matters than the rest of the US population. Which is not, unfortunately, a compliment, but at least an acquital of the church's direct influence.
posted by namespan at 6:00 PM on June 19, 2003


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