Priacry != Theft
November 17, 2003 3:43 PM   Subscribe

And the MPAA will 'up the ante' with the Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act. Increased jail time and fines for distribution of copyrighted works. And careful with that cam-phone in the theater, those and the screeners (leaked before they're commercially available) will get you the stiffest penalty.
posted by Nauip (55 comments total)
 
their forum has some banter on why Piracy == Theft and Piracy != Theft. If you want to check out some of their rather well thought out arguments click here
posted by Nauip at 3:46 PM on November 17, 2003


So how many more prison do we now to build?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:04 PM on November 17, 2003


Whoops..., how many more prison sentences will this lead to; that is the scarier thought here.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:07 PM on November 17, 2003


first one was better, TCS. :-)

so, how many more theater do we now to build, *that* is the question...
posted by quonsar at 4:14 PM on November 17, 2003


can someone decode what == and != mean?
posted by birdherder at 4:18 PM on November 17, 2003


== means equals exactly
!= means does not equal

programming stuff
posted by cinderful at 4:21 PM on November 17, 2003


can someone decode what == and != mean?

sigh. many new theater we now to build, i fear.
posted by quonsar at 4:24 PM on November 17, 2003


I don't even live in the US, and I can't wait to move away from it. This feeling is strengthened daily by things like this.
posted by Jairus at 4:29 PM on November 17, 2003


Often stated, copyright infringement is not a criminal offense.

At least, there was a time when it was not.
posted by the fire you left me at 4:38 PM on November 17, 2003


== means equals exactly

Well, that's a little redundant, but yeah. The notable reason you see == to express logical comparisons is that a single = is used for assignment in a lot of programming languages, notable C/C++.

Someone should put together a fascinating post on the troubles caused by = used where == would be appropriate. Except that might not actually be possible. Making it fascinating, I mean. I assure you, it's tragically possible to assign when you mean to compare.

/derail


Priacry Makes Baby Jeuss Cry!
posted by cortex at 4:44 PM on November 17, 2003


"notably". Fuck it. Football, home, going, etc.
posted by cortex at 4:45 PM on November 17, 2003


So some kid who steals a movie gets thrown in the slammer. Meanwhile, a Texan business failure who steals the Presidency gets to keep his job? Nice to know we have our priorities straight.
posted by ed at 4:53 PM on November 17, 2003


So some kid who steals a movie gets thrown in the slammer. Meanwhile, a Texan business failure who steals the Presidency gets to keep his job?

Some kid who has an unauthorized copy of a movie, actually. Theft isn't necessary.
posted by Jairus at 5:02 PM on November 17, 2003


I'd like to see law enforcement and prosecutor bonuses paid on the basis of provable economic harm inflicted by the accused: they'd be falling all over themselves to nail Ken Lay, and laughing in the face of anyone who tried to bring a case against some kid sharing a DivX of The Hulk.

Right now it seems to be the other way around.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:07 PM on November 17, 2003




Eh, some people think === means "equals exactly". I've neverb een clear on what == means then, though.
posted by yerfatma at 5:16 PM on November 17, 2003


4easypayments: Ha. Thanks for trivializing the arguments of those of us who create content, and are concerned about digital rights and the future of the public domain. Pretty clever.
posted by Jairus at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2003


i'm not sure, but i thought that == was used to compare two different values (i.e. if x == this) whereas = is used to assign a value to a variable (i.e. x = this).
posted by poopy at 5:28 PM on November 17, 2003


"...that depends on what your definition of "=" equals..."
posted by zpousman at 6:04 PM on November 17, 2003


Weirdest thing is the law is toughest on *potential* illegal activities. IOW just sharing the file without it be downloaded is a crime. So is the harsher penalty for a work not yet released. So somebody's getting paid whether or not the work would have recouped its costs in a market. At least according to this piece.

sheesh
posted by infowar at 6:38 PM on November 17, 2003


poopy, that's pretty good. In Javascript the difference is as follows:

= Sets one value equal to another
(Example)
x=10
Sets the variable x to equal the number 10

== Returns a true value if the items are the same
(Example)
x==10

Returns the value "true" if the variable x is currently equal to the number 10
posted by jeremias at 6:47 PM on November 17, 2003


Diane Feinstein's top campaign contributor (2004): Walt Disney.
posted by ed at 7:03 PM on November 17, 2003


Summary of java operators. For those who like the high level sort of thing.
posted by the fire you left me at 7:06 PM on November 17, 2003


Since they were given a free ride for their fraudulant practices, it is every citizens moral duty to protest their existence by stealing their products and denying them their ill-gotten profits.
posted by HTuttle at 7:10 PM on November 17, 2003


Thanks for trivializing the arguments of those of us who create content, and are concerned about digital rights and the future of the public domain. Pretty clever.

If a content creator wishes to put his or her work in the public domain, I'm all for it. Just as I support anyone who desires to give the fruits of his or her labor freely to the world. The article is simply a slam of the attitude that consumers feel somehow entitled to free copies of work which has not been placed in the public domain.
posted by 4easypayments at 7:11 PM on November 17, 2003


The thing is, in some languages, if you use x=y even within a conditional statement (such as "if (x=y) then goBoom()"), will set x equal to y as well as executing "goBoom", which is why you need the == operator for comparisons.
posted by signal at 7:12 PM on November 17, 2003


Priacry Makes Baby Jeuss Cry!
I was wondering if anyone else would notice that. Ah, well. so I'm a sloppy typist.

The really neat thing about the new proposed law is that you don't have to commit a crime and you still win a fabulous vacation in one of our nations overpopulated prisons and wonderful cash fines! You rip a DVD you legally own and one of your p2p programs share it out (with or without your knowledge), no one need download it for you to be prosecuted under the proposed law.
posted by Nauip at 7:24 PM on November 17, 2003


The article is simply a slam of the attitude that consumers feel somehow entitled to free copies of work which has not been placed in the public domain.

4easypayments: IMHO, the average consumer feels entitled to free copies of work due to the double standards placed around radio, television, and internet distribution. It's hard not to feel like you're entitled to download MP3s from Warner Records when AOL-Time Warner advertises their service by telling consumers how fast they can 'download and share MP3s'.

With that said, I detest the misleading and one-hundred-percent-incorrect assertation that downloading music/movies/etc is theft. It's FUD, plain and simple, and if you want to make a point about consumer attitudes, there are much better ways to do it than by linking to that article, which is to my eyes, nothing more than a well-written troll.

...and with that said, as both a content creator and a consumer, I fully support HTuttle's position of boycotting and/or downloading as civil disobedience or protest.
posted by Jairus at 7:29 PM on November 17, 2003


I fully support HTuttle's position of boycotting and/or downloading as civil disobedience or protest.

"...but odds are i'll have my sheeplike ass in line for a ticket sometime this weekend."
posted by quonsar at 7:41 PM on November 17, 2003


"...but odds are i'll have my sheeplike ass in line for a ticket sometime this weekend."

To be honest, I only go to see an MPAA movie if I can afford to donate to the EFF (or other fund/org working for digital/public-domain rights) at least as much as I'm paying in tickets, popcorn, etc. As a result, I don't see very many MPAA films outside my home, where I'm able to borrow/download/buy used copies.
posted by Jairus at 7:44 PM on November 17, 2003


So... three years, huh? How does that stack up against, say, rape or homicide?
posted by RylandDotNet at 7:51 PM on November 17, 2003


So... three years, huh? How does that stack up against, say, rape or homicide?

According to The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average time served for sexual assault (including molestation, forcible sodomy, lewd acts with children, etc.) is 35 months. Just shy of three years.
posted by Jairus at 7:57 PM on November 17, 2003


"I assure you, it's tragically possible to assign when you mean to compare."

Not to turn this into a language holy war or anything, but some languages will actually catch the assign/compare bug and generate an error instead.

posted by spazzm at 8:21 PM on November 17, 2003


So... three years, huh? How does that stack up against, say, rape or homicide?

A more accurate, and damning, comparison would be to ask how it stacks up against someone shoplifting the same DVD out of a store. That really is actual real-life theft, and I'll bet you that the penalties are not nearly as bas as the current or proposed ones for individual-level copyright infringement.
posted by majcher at 8:43 PM on November 17, 2003


The thing is, in some languages, if you use x=y even within a conditional statement (such as "if (x=y) then goBoom()"), will set x equal to y as well as executing "goBoom", which is why you need the == operator for comparisons.

Actually, if y == 0, then it won't execute goBoom.

Thank god for compilers to catch this and flag it as a warning, because it's so easy to typo that.
posted by piper28 at 8:44 PM on November 17, 2003


Stupid frescoes. Not nearly "as bad", of course.
posted by majcher at 8:44 PM on November 17, 2003


... average time served for sexual assault... Just shy of three years.

do you mean to tell me that all this time i've spent downloading movies i could have been... *cough*... uh, never mind...
posted by quonsar at 8:55 PM on November 17, 2003


Remind me again that bit about "life, liberty, and justice"?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:13 PM on November 17, 2003


All for sale!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:42 PM on November 17, 2003


"I assure you, it's tragically possible to assign when you mean to compare."

Not to turn this into a language holy war or anything, but some languages will actually catch the assign/compare bug and generate an error instead.


But then, a good C++ compiler will throw a warning for suspect uses of assignment in, ferexample, conditionals.

Also, emacs is better than vi.
posted by cortex at 9:47 PM on November 17, 2003


maybe they should just sentence the, er, "offender" to be the artist's butler for three years. the latest hollywood status symbol would then be whose butler-army is the biggest.

...

s'why it's good style to put the non-variable (if there is one) on the left hand side

if (NULL == x) {...}
if (10 == y) {...}

then if you type '=' instead of '==', the compiler will most definitely raise holy hell at you. comparing two variables, if both are objects then use .equals() (if it exists...)
posted by dorian at 9:52 PM on November 17, 2003


And if it's perl and you're comparing strings, you gotta use "eq". I don't think it complains if you use "==", it just doesn't work. Good old perl.
posted by smackfu at 10:29 PM on November 17, 2003


Best. Derail. Ever.
posted by dhartung at 11:08 PM on November 17, 2003


Perl doesn't complain when using == to compare strings, because there's no such thing as strings in Perl. "10" and 10 (the string and the number) are both the same as far as perl is concerned (at least in normal usage). By using == you're telling perl you want to compare the two scalars numerically.

So, what window manager does everybody like? *ducks thrown eggs*
posted by fvw at 11:16 PM on November 17, 2003


Explorer.exe.

What?

OK, fine. Blackbox.

Animals' rights and theft prevention act... is definitely a better idea.

My policy w.r.t. MPAA is "rip the DVD now, ask questions later."
posted by azazello at 1:44 AM on November 18, 2003


the ART Prevention Act?

who do these guys think they are, comedians?!
posted by titboy at 3:02 AM on November 18, 2003


Also, emacs is better than vi.
posted by cortex at 9:47 PM PST on November 17


Why use an office suite (with tetris) when all I wanted was a text editor?
posted by the fire you left me at 4:07 AM on November 18, 2003


So that you can play Tetris, jackass!
posted by cortex at 5:25 AM on November 18, 2003


Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., plan to introduce the legislation at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Joining them at the event will be actress Bo Derek, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Jack Valenti, and
Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America.



Yeah...cause Bo Derek has dogs in this hunt...sheesh. Way to revive your career, aging use-to-be. As for John Cornyn, I would hereby like to apologize for Texas...again. Really, I don't know where all these loons came from...but I sure wish they'd go back.
posted by dejah420 at 7:43 AM on November 18, 2003


ok. but i still have not heard a good reason for the 'sharing' to be legal.

taking it from store w/out paying = illegal
taking off someone else's computer = legal

call me a simpleton, but you're still taking it w/out paying for it. and it is something they charge for. is it because you can? is it because they said not to? maybe because they make such crap that you shouldn't have to pay? none of these make any sense.
posted by bluefish at 9:50 AM on November 18, 2003


Look at it the other way around, bluefish: what do they lose when you take it?

Take it from the store: they lose a physical CD, a physical CD case, a physical CD liner. All those things cost money to produce.

Take it from your friend's computer: they lose nothing.

Or think of it this way: when you listen to music at your friend's house, are you not "stealing" it? What's the difference between that and listening to a rip of his CD at your own convenience?

Finally, it doesn't much matter that you "have not heard a good reason for the 'sharing' to be legal." The fact remains that, in Canada at any rate, is is legal. It is actually written in our laws that Canadians are allowed to share music. We have explicit permission to take a friend's CD and make a perfect clone of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 AM on November 18, 2003



Or think of it this way: when you listen to music at your friend's house, are you not "stealing" it? What's the difference between that and listening to a rip of his CD at your own convenience?


If that's all "file sharing" amounted to, I don't think content producers would be concerned.

The question is closer to: What's the difference between listening to a CD at a friend's house and burning an infinite number of copies of that CD and giving them to anyone across the entire globe who wants to listen to that CD. It's a big difference.
posted by 4easypayments at 11:30 AM on November 18, 2003


Just for clarification, here in Canada:
Listening to music at a friend's house = Legal
Borrowing a friend's CD and listening at home = Legal
Ripping a friend's CD and listening at home = Legal
Downloading a rip of a friend's CD via slsk/kazaa = Legal
Sharing my CD library with my friends via slsk = Legal
Downloading/copying my friends libraries via slsk = Legal

i still have not heard a good reason for the 'sharing' to be legal

Really, I don't see why I should be legally obliged to physically go to a friend's house if I want to hear a new CD he purchased. Additionally, if something's going to be illegal, there should be a good reason for criminalizing it, not just because of a perceived absence of reasons why it should be legal.

The question is closer to: What's the difference between listening to a CD at a friend's house and burning an infinite number of copies of that CD and giving them to anyone across the entire globe who wants to listen to that CD. It's a big difference.

First, no-one has infinite bandwidth or hard drive space. Second, people were burning and mailing CDs (remember the MeFi Swap?) since CD-Rs became available. This is 'theft' too, according to the RIAA. They also (briefly) tried to outlaw selling used copies of your CDs, some time ago, because they don't get royalties from those sales.
posted by Jairus at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2003


Additionally,what's the difference between your library from making a CD available to all and sundry, and putting a rip of a CD up on Kazaa?

And to take it a step further, if it's made illegal to share one's music, kiss goodbye to your library because the next step will be to make it illegal to share books. Publishers have been agitating for that for ages, and are very interested in how this RIAA bullshit pans out.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:36 PM on November 18, 2003


Perhaps "infinite" was the wrong word. But placing a file on a file-sharing network for the world to consume is something very different than sharing a CD with a friend.

As for libraries, that is an example of true "sharing". One book, one CD, or one video, which is passed around among many people. For a library to be an analogue of a file-sharing network-- rather than loaning you a book which had to be returned-- they would print up your own copy of it for you to keep. If that actually happened, publishers would have something to be concerned about.
posted by 4easypayments at 7:38 PM on November 18, 2003


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