Tag Archive for 'corruption'

Why do copyright holders and US legislators assume people are guilty until proven innocent?

Yet another bill making copyright violations incrementally more serious hit the news today.

Entertainment industry lackeys Senators Feinstein and Graham have introduced a new bill that would effectively ban devices that record streamed digital music, primarily through satellite radio.

Then there’s the new super-DMCA introduced by Conressman Lamar Smith, someone who is so completely in the pocket of the entertainment industry that he probably doesn’t even fart without asking them if he is allowed to do that. This bill is something else. Among other things it would make posting copyrighted material on the net exceeding a value of $1,000 punishable by a 10 – 20 year prison sentence. You gotta be fucking kidding me! I can kill someone and get a lower sentence. Be sure to check the working draft of this bill that reveals the kind of edits done to it before its introduction. It’s amazing.

When the fuck did the US legislators start assuming every US citizen is a criminal and therefore not to be trusted with such awful gadgets as satellite radio receivers with recording capability? And I’m not even going to go into the way copyrights have been extended so that the original work is basically covered until hell freezes over.

Why is the tech industry sitting with their thumbs up their ass and basically letting the entertainment industry dictate the direction of technological innovation? (Update: read below…)

With the introduction of such concepts as the Broadcast Flag it’s clear the entertainment industry doesn’t want the consumers to record anything digital. Not even if you legally own it. They don’t want you to back it up or transfer it to another device so that you can listen to it while jogging. And the reason for it is not so that you’d have to buy it sevral times (although that’s a consequence), but because if they allow it, then all of us criminals will be distributing digital content wholesale. And there’s where the assumption of guilt until proven innocent comes in. Why are the US legislators buying into this sort of thinking? It goes against everything this country is supposed to stand for.

Why are organizations such as the EFF the only ones that keep making any noise about these issues?

Just north of the border, there’s a revolution going on in the music industry. Six leading Canadian record labels left CRIA, The Canadian Recording Industry Association, over disagreements on how CRIA handles copyright issues. It has left some wondering just how Canadian the CRIA is, as it seems it’s more interested in protecting the “rights” of their southern comrades than advancing Canadian artists’ interests.

Fuck’em. Just fuck all of them. Simple as that.

Update: Right on cue, CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) has upped the ante:

Please also read the press release associated with CEA’s campaign against RIAA/MPAA. Awesome!


Here we go! Let the games begin

Jack Abramoff is reportedly accepted a plea bargain with the prosecutors. He’s expected to testify against other people involved in his dealings. Tom Delay may not be smiling too long after all.


It’s a good start, now get the rest of them

One down, several more to go.


Do as we say, not as we do

Washington Post is reporting on how the Republicans are relaxing the ethics rules so that it would be harder to report ethics complaints against House representatives. Last month they changed the ethics rules so that their majority leader, Tom DeLay, could remain the majority leader even if indicted of accepting illegal campaign donations.

The ethics rules are, in part, designed to ensure the legislators are not unduly influenced by outsiders with which the legislators might have vested interests in. This is why state government officials and judges are supposed to recuse themselves when deciding on issues they have personal involvement in.

According to the Washington Post article the Clinton administration legislated that administration officials could not hold a lobbying position until five years after resigning from their administration position. Well, on his second term, just before his people started leaving the government, he overturned that law. How convenient.

The article outlines several high profile instances of vested interests, for example Bill Tauzin negotiating himself a lucrative lobbying position within the industry he was supposed to be regulating at the same time.

One has to wonder how these fine and upstanding politicians are supposed to reconcile relaxing ethics rules on themselves while trying to impose tougher penalties on questionable business practises in the insurance and financial services industry.

And they wonder why people are turned off by politics. It seems that they only have to look in the mirror. They’d see a person more interested in serving his/her own interests, increasingly often, at the expense of the interest of the people s/he is supposed to represent.