Read a news feed, go to jail?

I was just reading this article about an attempt in the U.S. Congress to expand laws against copyright infringment and piracy to including “attempts” to infringe. How will they know what is a legitimate and illegitimate attempt? If I read a feed is that an attempt? After all, people can use RSS to copy my content without my permission. IE, infringe on my copyrights. If I try to rip a DVD to my hard drive for my own use, is that an attempt? If I copy my new Office 2007 DVD over to my hard drive so I can have the original source files on my hard drive in case I need to reinstall, is that an attempt?

Really scary stuff. I probably would stop reading feeds and would cancel my Netflix subscription if such a law went through.

Read a feed, go to jail? Maybe!

36 thoughts on “Read a news feed, go to jail?

  1. I think some this stuff about illegal downloading is stupid. some people just do it because they do not have all the money to go out and get the new fancy things in this world. but i do not like the ones who try to make a buisness out of it those are the ones who need to be sued,takin to jail, not the ones who have just done it once just because they didnt have the money nore time to get it.that is my opinion if it makes any scence.

  2. I think some this stuff about illegal downloading is stupid. some people just do it because they do not have all the money to go out and get the new fancy things in this world. but i do not like the ones who try to make a buisness out of it those are the ones who need to be sued,takin to jail, not the ones who have just done it once just because they didnt have the money nore time to get it.that is my opinion if it makes any scence.

  3. Funny how the legitimate consumers are always the ones who suffer through stuff like this, isn’t it? I doubt prosecuting attempted copyright infringement will slow down pirates in any significant way. It’ll just result in innocent people going to jail because they wanted a personal copy of a DVD.

  4. Funny how the legitimate consumers are always the ones who suffer through stuff like this, isn’t it? I doubt prosecuting attempted copyright infringement will slow down pirates in any significant way. It’ll just result in innocent people going to jail because they wanted a personal copy of a DVD.

  5. We have attempted murder, attempted rape, attempted robbery, attempted extortion, attempted… Well, you get the drift. This is a law that extends the illegality of something to include attempts to break the law, not a particularly controversial idea on its own. I’m not sure I get all the hype.

  6. We have attempted murder, attempted rape, attempted robbery, attempted extortion, attempted… Well, you get the drift. This is a law that extends the illegality of something to include attempts to break the law, not a particularly controversial idea on its own. I’m not sure I get all the hype.

  7. Just more B.S. They can pass whatever they like, I don’t obey any law I don’t agree with or that infringe on my rights and freedom.

  8. Just more B.S. They can pass whatever they like, I don’t obey any law I don’t agree with or that infringe on my rights and freedom.

  9. It isn’t the right reaction to say that you’d stop reading feeds and change your behavior. If you want to effect change stand up for what you believe in, keep on doing what would become illegal and if you get charged make a gigantic stink. Seriously, if enough people make enough noise under such circumstances, there is no way that these things would happen.

    Unfortunately, the common reaction is to keep your head down.

  10. It isn’t the right reaction to say that you’d stop reading feeds and change your behavior. If you want to effect change stand up for what you believe in, keep on doing what would become illegal and if you get charged make a gigantic stink. Seriously, if enough people make enough noise under such circumstances, there is no way that these things would happen.

    Unfortunately, the common reaction is to keep your head down.

  11. You all can laugh this off, but #1 is on the money…

    We are heading for 1984 whether anyone cares to believe it or not, and frankly, it sucks.

    We are losing freedoms year by year. If I ever win the lottery, I plan on voting with my feet and getting out. There are places on this earth where the governments are nowhere near as bad as the US. All governments are dirty, but there are still some great places to live with low taxes, good weather, and safe to boot.

  12. You all can laugh this off, but #1 is on the money…

    We are heading for 1984 whether anyone cares to believe it or not, and frankly, it sucks.

    We are losing freedoms year by year. If I ever win the lottery, I plan on voting with my feet and getting out. There are places on this earth where the governments are nowhere near as bad as the US. All governments are dirty, but there are still some great places to live with low taxes, good weather, and safe to boot.

  13. The seizure of equipment aspect is especially troubling. One copyright violation and EVERYTHING is gone indefinitely while law enforcement combs everything on your hard drive for evidence to prosecute you with.

    Copyright itself seems really outdated and that certain aspects of copyright protection shouldn’t apply online. But corporations make the law, don’t they? And it’s not in their interest to be fair.

  14. Nick (#9): Yes, he is a scumbag. But a dangerous one. Imagine — how exactly will ‘intent’ be interpreted? The example I wrote on my blog was this: I go to Best Buy and buy a new release DVD, a spindle of 100 blanks and a box of blank DVD cases. I know that I’m planning to go home and put the new DVD on the player while I’m burning 100 copies of the school band concert to sell on campus next week with the yearbook.

    Does the guy at Best Buy know that? Or does he report that I might ‘intend’ to duplicate that brand-spankin’ new DVD, scan the artwork and sell it as a pirated copy? And how then do I prove that I DIDN’T intend that?

    Legislating intent is a very dangerous thing.

  15. The seizure of equipment aspect is especially troubling. One copyright violation and EVERYTHING is gone indefinitely while law enforcement combs everything on your hard drive for evidence to prosecute you with.

    Copyright itself seems really outdated and that certain aspects of copyright protection shouldn’t apply online. But corporations make the law, don’t they? And it’s not in their interest to be fair.

  16. Nick (#9): Yes, he is a scumbag. But a dangerous one. Imagine — how exactly will ‘intent’ be interpreted? The example I wrote on my blog was this: I go to Best Buy and buy a new release DVD, a spindle of 100 blanks and a box of blank DVD cases. I know that I’m planning to go home and put the new DVD on the player while I’m burning 100 copies of the school band concert to sell on campus next week with the yearbook.

    Does the guy at Best Buy know that? Or does he report that I might ‘intend’ to duplicate that brand-spankin’ new DVD, scan the artwork and sell it as a pirated copy? And how then do I prove that I DIDN’T intend that?

    Legislating intent is a very dangerous thing.

  17. I think in the details of this act, Gonales wants to prosecute only those who try to make a profit by infringing on copyright. Other are saying he is just grandstanding so he can get a new job with RIAA or MPAA. Either way, he is a scumbag.

  18. I think in the details of this act, Gonales wants to prosecute only those who try to make a profit by infringing on copyright. Other are saying he is just grandstanding so he can get a new job with RIAA or MPAA. Either way, he is a scumbag.

  19. I think we are reaching a major turning point on this issue. If people will not stand up and dramatically pressure their local and national legislative representatives NOW, then this is the type of laws we can begin to expect.

  20. I think we are reaching a major turning point on this issue. If people will not stand up and dramatically pressure their local and national legislative representatives NOW, then this is the type of laws we can begin to expect.

  21. My understanding is that the Creative Commons licenses were designed to specifically deal with this situation.

    I admit that I just slap the standard (c) on my sites and call it a day, which is probably not the best thing to do for the web community as a whole.

    Maybe a renewed push for Creative Commons adoption would be in order…

  22. My understanding is that the Creative Commons licenses were designed to specifically deal with this situation.

    I admit that I just slap the standard (c) on my sites and call it a day, which is probably not the best thing to do for the web community as a whole.

    Maybe a renewed push for Creative Commons adoption would be in order…

  23. Well specifically I believe there’s a “fair use right” in the US for personal use.

    There are no “fair use rights” in Canada or UK, just ‘non-infringement exceptions’ and personal use is not one of them.

    UK/Canada copyright law largely means that only large infringement or profitering is treated criminally, whereas small infringement is a civil matter which largely not pursued, IMHO. Using a VCR was technically infringement but it became acceptable (probably because it’s largely unpoliceable)

  24. Well specifically I believe there’s a “fair use right” in the US for personal use.

    There are no “fair use rights” in Canada or UK, just ‘non-infringement exceptions’ and personal use is not one of them.

    UK/Canada copyright law largely means that only large infringement or profitering is treated criminally, whereas small infringement is a civil matter which largely not pursued, IMHO. Using a VCR was technically infringement but it became acceptable (probably because it’s largely unpoliceable)

  25. And now you know why we need a Lawyer to take a bath these days!

    Most likely the law will be structure so no normal, law-abiding citizen can actually understand what it is legal and illega. I’m thinking of getting rid of every piece of digital content I have and the digital equipment that reads that content. It’s the only safe way.

    HMMMM… 1984 is getting closer and closer. Next thing you know we will have “thought” police.

  26. And now you know why we need a Lawyer to take a bath these days!

    Most likely the law will be structure so no normal, law-abiding citizen can actually understand what it is legal and illega. I’m thinking of getting rid of every piece of digital content I have and the digital equipment that reads that content. It’s the only safe way.

    HMMMM… 1984 is getting closer and closer. Next thing you know we will have “thought” police.

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