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NEWS: Sentencing Panel Amends the FECA Act

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posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 06:02 PM
The United States Sentencing Commission seems to have added several emergancy amendments to the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005. Not only increasing the penalty by 40 percent, they now define 'uploading' as:

`Uploading' means making an infringing item available on the Internet or a similar electronic bulletin board with the intent to enable other persons to (A) download or otherwise copy the infringing item; or (B) have access to the infringing item, including by storing the infringing item in an openly shared file. `Uploading' does not include merely downloading or installing an infringing item on a hard drive on a defendant's personal computer unless the infringing item is placed in an openly shared file.
The US Sentencing Commission on Wednesday approved an emergency set of rules that would boost prison sentences by roughly 40 per cent for people convicted of peer-to-peer infringement of copyright works "being prepared for commercial distribution".

The changes also say judges may "estimate" the number of files shared for purposes of determining the appropriate fine and sentence. Larger numbers typically yield longer sentences.

This week's sentencing adjustments arose from a law that President Bush signed in April called the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act. It gave the commission 180 days to revisit its rules to make them "sufficiently stringent to deter, and adequately reflect the nature of, intellectual property rights crimes".

Another change in the sentencing guidelines alters the definition of "uploading" to make it clear that merely having a copyright file available in a shared folder - such as those used by popular file-swapping programs like BearShare and Kazaa - can count as illegal distribution.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Here is a link to the full text of the amendments:

Will the increased penalty stop people from file swapping? Not at all. Throwing a few college kids in jail from time to time for downloading and sharing mp3 files isn't going to stop the filesharing movement.

What I truly don't understand, is why the newsgroup companies that charge you $15 a month to access hundreds of thousands of warez are getting away with their deeds, yet, college kids swapping files using a client program are getting thrown in jail...

Related News Links:

[edit on 10/25/2005 by QuietSoul]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 02:14 PM
This is a little something they snuck in to put the file sharing programs (Kazaa, Limewire, etc.) out of business. I'm sure corporate money paid for it to be put in there.


posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 03:33 PM
Kazaa, bearshare, and all that junk SHOULD be put out of business. Talk about opening the floodgates on stupidity.

But they'll never get the GOOD networks hosted in Sweden, Russia, etc.

Let them bust the moronic children who share drives full of mp3s and movies. +h3y 4r3 t00 l33t f0|2 +h31|2 0VV|\| g00d.

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:03 PM
they seem to be cracking down on the internet in many ways... that is good IMO

I hope that freedom of information is always there, but freedom to break laws that have been on the books for generations is a shortcoming...

media file sharing and warez sharing are the problems with the world... those that pay for these videos,software, or music have to pay twice as much to cover for all the theives out there...
If you steal music or movies... then YOU OWE ME MONEY... cause I paid for your fun...

the anonymity of the internet makes breaking laws more about a moral issue than a "getting caught"

sometimes i wonder what would happen if people could push a button that killed people remotely... would they push it just for the fun of it?

from the rampant criminal activity of people that steal music and movies without a conscience... it looks like they would do anything criminal that was anonomous. the possibility of getting caught is the only prevention for these lowlifes...

[edit on 26-10-2005 by LazarusTheLong]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:11 PM
If a movie or album is good, I'll pay for it. If it's crap, I won't. I don't know any pirates (and I know many) who don't agree with and follow this general coda. The best policy for Hollywood and the music industry in the light of the so-called piracy "threat" would be to shift their assets into producing good stuff and stop rolling out endless amounts of bad. They should fire all their lawyers and just follow my advice. They'll find at the very least that trying to take the moral high ground becomes a whole lot easier when you're not pandering to the brain-dead for a zillion bucks.

As for cracking down on the internet, I am reminded of the line in Star Wars that goes something like "the tighter they increase their grip, the more systems will slip through their fingers." The internet was designed to withstand nuclear war through the general principal of redundancy of data and connections. Crackdowns won't work. Adaptation to the new reality might.

-koji K.

[edit on 26-10-2005 by koji_K]

[edit on 26-10-2005 by koji_K]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:18 PM
I understand how you have got to that feeling... it makes you feel good inside to justify your criminal behavior... it is still stealing...

just as if you shoplifted it from a store...

or broke into someones house to steal it...

What about you Koji... if you found a website that had pictures of kittens hanging upside down over vats of acid, and a button that said push to kill the kitty... would you try it... even once?

or what about a class reunion website that listed your yearbook, with a button next to every guy/girl you graduated with... that said "to kill this person anonomously, click here" wouldn't that class bully just be asking for it?
moral decisons are a slippery slope... and remember... you can't get caught for it... so you are left to your own morals/ethics...
a good question to ask yourself when choosing an action is:

"if the whole world did what i did, would things work out?"
and in this case...we would have no entertainment industry, and no bands, and no movies (other than cheap local talent)... so no... it is not ethical or fair.

[edit on 26-10-2005 by LazarusTheLong]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:22 PM
No Lazarus, I wouldn't kill an old classmate or a kitten just because I download movies (most of which I will never watch again and would not have seen in the movie theatre to begin with). I really don't follow your logic here. Would you kill a kitten because you jaywalked? Or would you kill a human being because you paid a parking ticket a day late? What exactly are you saying?

-koji K.


posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:30 PM

.. cause I paid for your fun...

Thank you! *muah*

Seriously though... it's like a Robin Hood kind of thing. Youve got big conglomerates gouging people in search of entertainment, making record profits, and expecting everyone in the world to buy it.

Sorry, not gonna.

I'm of the same mindset that if I view a movie, and it is good, I will go and purchase the DVD. I'm not going to blow $20 (90% of which is pure profit) on a disc full of junk, only to become a coaster later in life. And I'm certainly not going to blow $8 to see it in a theater, unless I know ahead of time that it's really really good.

Things are too expensive to waste money on crap. And greed is the only victim.

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 04:34 PM
Sorry downloaders, you got sold out by liberal and conservative lawmakers alike. Filmmakers had to drop their copyright battle against those Utah based private film editors, like CLEAR VIEW (Or whatever), and the conservatives agree to nail the file sharers. Hard.

Can't say that I feel bad.

If a person downloads movies from the internet, they're stealing something that everyone else is paying for. If a person can afford a computer and high speed internet, they can shell out ten bucks to see that damn movie.

[edit on 26-10-2005 by brimstone735]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 05:54 PM

KOJI-I'm of the same mindset that if I view a movie, and it is good, I will go and purchase the DVD. I'm not going to blow $20 (90% of which is pure profit) on a disc full of junk, only to become a coaster later in life.

that is what reviews are for... read em... everyone else that doesn't shoplift does that... so what makes you special? you got a shoplift free card?...

again: if the whole world can't do exactly what you are doing, then you are cheating, and you are a drain on society rather than a gain...

Koji, i challenge that you are not the type of person that would shoplift in RL...
so you are not driven to do the right thing for the moral reason, but rather because you can't get caught... that was the point of my analogy earlier...

People shouldn't break laws just because they can... it should be a moral question...

OH, and give me a break on the famous standby of "if i like it I'll buy it"
That may allow you to sleep at night... but just picture all those "crappy movie"files on your hard drive as DVDS that you stole from a local store, and it will be different. they still put you in jail for stealing crappy movies also...

Don't you wish everyone had that policy...
buying grocerys: "if they taste good, I will send you a check..."
buying a car:"if i like it, I will sign the papers next month.."
buying anything at walmart: they wont even let you return the crap they sell anymore... and it is crap to begin with ...

I am not against file sharing... only against file sharing that is against the law...
Personally I think that musicians are missing a market if they dont allow a certain amount of sample songs to be released on filesharing...

I also think that companies like Netflix are doing the right thing with previews and reviews from customers on movies... I rarely am surprised by the movie i get when I read what other peers have said.

the internet lets us act anonomously on many things... commiting crimes is one of them...
it all goes back to the moral question of:
are you obeying the law because it is right? or obeying the law because you wont get caught... one answer says a lot about who you are...

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 06:31 PM
Lazarus, I think you aren't seeing the distinction between data, which is intangible, and tangible goods. Piracy is not simple theft, the issues are very different, which is why there are two very different bodies of law dealing with the two crimes.

If you are morally outraged by my behavior, fine, but spare me the insights into who or what kind of a person you think I am. There is an issue here, and it can be discussed without resorting to personal attacks. It's a very different thing to say "I think there's no difference betwen piracy and stealing" and "i challenge that you are not the type of person that would shoplift in RL".

I don't kill people or animals, and I don't steal from stores either. There are many crimes which I stand a good chance of not getting caught over but I would not commit them because I actually do have moral standards.

Just because my morals are different than yours does not mean I have no morals. You apparently think that people who don't share your moral standards would sink to any level of crime.

Finally, I am sure you did not intend to, but you have misquoted me at the beginning of your post. Please change it.

-koji K.

[edit on 26-10-2005 by koji_K]

[edit on 26-10-2005 by koji_K]

posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 10:51 PM
Pardon me, but I just have simple question. Are they changing their defninition of the word uploading in THEIR thing, or the definition in general?

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 11:21 AM
First off, I apologize for misquoting you,
the original quote was from APC... it is past time to be able to change it.
and the quote function didn't work originally (hence my errored quote)

I also apologize as it seems that I am judgeing you... I was actually trying to make a point. I did not want to make any assumptions toward your character...
I actually wanted to get you to think along "a world view" by challenging you.
I did this because I respect you and your many posts. I was surprised that you dont see the problem on this issue as well...

I feel it is because you have fallen into the same moral trap as so many of my friends. which is why they treat these violations with more mercy than RL crimes. (many more will download a file, than shoplift)

give this one the test Koji, I beg you...

if everyone just downloaded copyrighted files instead of going to movies, buying DVD's, CD's, and buying software...
then there would be no good movies (that were worthy of paying for) or music that was distributed well enough to make a group enough money to support themselves (it would make music a part time garage band bag baby). Or software companies that can afford to actually warranty and support the software they produce (required for technological evolution)

In short... if everyone did what you did, the entertainment industry would crumble, the software industry would still be in DOS, and the technology that has come from the computer revolution advances would be nill... (which has saved alot of lives)

these "intellectual" propertys have to be able to make money, or everything falls, and for anyone to justify it by saying "well, the others can pay the money" is greedy and selfish of them... as well as being against anything that owning property stands for... without property we have communism...

sorry to take it all the way down the road for you... I hope i made the connections where they can be understood... but property rights are a foundation of freedom. and violating them in any way is a threat to that freedom. In this case, every little bit hurts rather than helps.

Again, Koji... I do not assume any of these things toward you... infact I simply doubt you have considered them from this perspective before. I have always seen you as a intellegent individual who considers the "long view"...
I was just surprised, and thought a different persepctive outlined with startling analogies could make the point.

Again: I support filesharing, and think it is one of the best ways to market a band. I just think that until the popular artists get less greedy, the law needs to be followed, to avoid hurting the less popular artists that are getting started.

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 02:16 PM
Lazarus- Thank you for the apology. I apologize also if it seemed I overreacted. I usually try not to take things too personally, and I understand now that you weren't intending to insult me personally but were making a point.

I agree that if everyone pirated movies, music, etc, the system as it is would not be sustainable. I suppose I take what I consider to be a realistic rather than a moral view. Not everyone does as I do, in fact the only people I know who pirate things off the internet are generally, like myself, young people who don't have the money to spend on every movie or cd that they want to check out.

I don't consider it so much theft as it is living on the crumbs of society, because unlike a thief, we are making use of data we would not pay for anyway. The fact that I buy what I consider to be good isn't just a justification to make myself feel better, it's a fact. If there was no way to pirate anything, I would generally only buy the cd's and dvd's that I would buy even with the ability to pirate things. Nothing has changed in terms of the input of my cash into the economy. Another reason I pirate stuff is more or less the same reason people tape TV shows off of TV, because I don't have the time to watch the shows I like when they are aired, so I download them to watch at my convenience. I think I still watch a large enough portion of advertisements to balance it out.

I really do see things your way, to an extent, which is exactly why I buy the "good stuff" that I like, when I don't have to, because I want to support the ingenuity of bands and movie makers that I like and feel it's wrong, if I appreciate something, to not do so. But the things I wouldn't pay for anyway, I sometimes download on the off chance that I've misjudged them and want to see for myself if it's worth paying for.

I think the laws themselves are too harsh on pirates. I know college students who have had to leave school because they couldn't afford tuition as a result of getting sued by the RIAA. These people, had "stolen" music files off the internet, had their future taken away from them (and from society) because the RIAA lost a few bucks. The penalty did not fit the crime, IMO. And the damage done to society was greater, not less.

These laws are not made harsher because there is a legislative interest in cracking down on crime. They are made harsher because there is a legislative will to respond to lobbying from big industry. The RIAA and MPAA have perverted the original meanings of the Constitution as regards copyrights. Article 1, Section 8 says: [Congress shall have the power] to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. The Supreme Court has interpreted this to mean that the public should enjoy benefits of an artists labors, not that artists should enjoy the benefits of their labors any more than is absolutely necessary to get the work out to the public. (The case is Fox Film v. Doyal).

Yet companies like Disney have consistently used their legal clout to alter the meaning of "limited time" so it benefits them, and not the public. Why? Walt Disney the artist is now dead, but Disney the company lives on and has an interest in protecting its empire, much of which is NOT directed around getting art out to the public, but to realizing maximum shareholder value.

Let me put this one more way. It is the people you are allying yourself with, the MPAA and RIAA, who are hurting innovation and the "progress of science and the useful arts," far far more than pirates. Consider the following:

When DVD technology came out, scientists around the world were elated. Part of the reason the DVD was invented was to create a universal video/data format which would no longer be limited by the PAL/NTSC/SECAM format differences and incompatibilities that had plagued video tape. A new era had arrived for media. But wait.... what does the MPAA do? They lobby for "Region Encoding," so NONE of this would happen! The sole reason they did so, cutting up the DVD world into 6 zones, was to maintain profits by preventing people in the US from buying the same movie cheaper from some other country. Well, thanks MPAA, I guess we know which side of the Constitution, scientific progress, and public welfare you are on. I take the other side.

I can't put it more simply than that. This industry, which tries to portray pirates as theives, has hurt society far more than pirates because they won't adapt to the new world, they won't die out and make way for a new system. And pirates pay the price while they get away with it. Just look at the Constitution and look at what they do, and ask how they get away with it. Because they are dinosaurs with huge amounts of money to spend.

They don't give a damn either about promoting artistic innovation. They care about controlling every theatre in the country so the theatres can be flooded with the same set of movies (ie, their own movies) year round. That's it. And that's why this pirate tries to only pay for independent films at independent theatres.

The penalties are unjust, and by ignoring them I don't consider what I do to be immoral, I consider it 1 part realism and 1 part civil disobedience.

Please don't take this personally, Lazarus, but I counter that it is you, and people who share your views, who (though not intentionally) are siding with the people who are doing the real harm to society.

As a final point, I agree with you in that I think the future lies in file sharing services that you can pay for which aren't owned by a big record label but instead give you access to songs and movies from a wide range of artists, and lets you preview them. What society needs is to make data EASIER to disseminate and yes, protect- to a degree (check out the idea of 'copyleft' on google) the right of the artist to make some money. Big businesses that are too big to change easily should focus less on pirates and more on getting with the program.

-koji K.

[edit on 27-10-2005 by koji_K]

[edit on 27-10-2005 by koji_K]

[edit on 27-10-2005 by koji_K]

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 02:31 PM
Consumers need a way to be able to return a bad product. If you buy anything and feel it is junk you can promptly return it to the store for a refund. Not the case with music, movies and software. Once you open the package you are no longer entitled to a refund no matter how bad the product is. File sharing is a great way for people to evaluate a product. See if it can perform on their system. See if it lives up to the hype. If the program performs as promised then purchase it. Had I known what a junker Doom 3 was I wouldn't have spent a dime on it. Same goes for UnrealTournament 2003. This is why file sharing will always exist because there are zero consumer protections when it comes to electronic media. If the product is garbage I should be able to return it.

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