In the aftermath of the $222,000 jury verdict that the Recording Industry Association of America recently won against a Minnesota woman who shared 24 songs on Kazaa, the U.S. Congress is preparing to amend copyright law.
Politicians want to increase penalties for copyright infringement.
It’s no joke. Top Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced a sweeping 69-page bill that ratchets up civil penalties for copyright infringement, boosts criminal enforcement, and even creates a new federal agency charged with bringing about a national and international copyright crackdown.
“By providing additional resources for enforcement of intellectual property, we ensure that innovation and creativity will continue to prosper in our society,” Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich) said in a statement.
Here are some of the major sections of the PRO IP Act:
* Fines in copyright cases dealing with compilations would be increased. Right now, as in the case of Xoom v. Imageline, the maximum penalty for infringement of one compilation is $30,000. Now courts would be able to make “multiple awards of statutory damages” when compilations are infringed.
* Maximum penalties for repeat copyright offenders would be easier to obtain. Current law says that anyone who “willfully” infringes a copyright by distributing over $1,000 worth of material (including over a peer-to-peer network) is a criminal. The PRO IP Act keeps the 10-year prison term intact for felonious repeat offenders–but, crucially, deletes the requirement that repeat offenders must have distributed at least 10 copyrighted works within 180 days.
* Any computer or network hardware used to “facilitate” a copyright crime could be seized by the Justice Department and auctioned off. The proceeds would be funneled to the agency’s budget. The process is called civil asset forfeiture, and typically the owner does not need to be found guilty of a crime for his property to be taken.
The only “innovation and creativity” I see prospering is that of the new police department when in need of funding: come up with a new way to “facilitate” a “copyright crime” and start impounding random computers and sell them. Or, if computers are too cheap, simply find two persons downloading an mp3 song, and confiscate every router, network switch, and fiber cable connecting them together. Of course that will shut down most ISP’s, but that’s a bonus: it prevents others from downloading the same song!
Het modewoord goeiemoggel heeft tot een vechtpartij geleid in een café in Rijswijk. Een bezoeker dacht dat hij voor ‘mongool’ werd uitgescholden toen twee mensen elkaar begroeten met goeiemoggel en sloeg er vervolgens op.
Het gevecht liep uit de hand toen meer cafégangers erbij betrokken raakten. Toen de politie aankwam, was de aanstichter van de ruzie vertrokken.
Voor de Nederlandstalige lezertjes die in het buitenland verblijven, of hun TV al jaren aan de wilgen hebben ahngen, en daardoor geen idee hebben waar het woord “goeiemoggel” vandaan komt, zie alhier.
Evangelical pastors are helping to create a terrible new campaign of violence against young Nigerians. Children and babies branded as evil are being abused, abandoned and even murdered while the preachers make money out of the fear of their parents and their communities
It is unclear which program managed to, ehm, report this problem.
International — Out of 11,000 submissions in our competition to name the humpback whales we were tracking on their migration to the Southern Ocean, we narrowed it down to the final 30. Over 150,000 people then voted for their favourite name.
Mister Splashy Pants is the winner by a nautical mile!
It seems like the world couldn’t get enough of Mister Splashy Pants with many websites encouraging their readers to vote for ‘Splashy’. And as we all know, once the wonderful world of the internet got hold of Mister Splashy Pants, it was all over bar the final splash.
Mister Splashy Pants got a huge 119,367 votes (over 78 percent of the vote) with his nearest rival being Humphrey at 4,329 (less than 3 percent). The rest of the top ten were Aiko, Libertad, Mira, Kaimana, Aurora, Shanti, Amal and Manami.
To everyone who voted for Mister Splashy Pants, now that you’ve named him, it’s time to save him – he might have a great name but he and his friends are still in danger. The only way to be 100 percent sure that ‘Splashy’ doesn’t get harpooned is to stop killing all whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Minister-president Balkenende heeft als voorzitter van het Innovatieplatform de publieksprijs van € 5.000 uitgereikt aan de meest innovatieve en inspirerende werkplek van Nederland. De organisatie die de hoogste waardering kreeg van het publiek was Innvire- Leverancier van innovatieve producten en diensten uit Woerden. Innvire maakt het mogelijk om op iedere locatie visueel te brainstormen. Het bedrijf stelt de prijs beschikbaar aan een onderwijsinstelling en een zorginstelling in de vorm van een Innvire Innovatiepakket.
En voor de mensen die dat nog niet wisten: Innvire is één van mijn klanten, en ik ben best trots op ze!
Car maintenance chain Kwik Fit is currently tied up in a bitter legal battle with the UK Performing Rights Society (PRS). It’s alleged that Kwik Fit’s mechanics allowed their radios to be played within earshot of the public – a truly heinous crime for which the PRS are demanding £200,000 in damages.
According to a report, the PRS are at it again. The staff at a charity also received a visit from a PRS officer who declared that because a staff radio in the kitchen could be overheard by the public in their tea-room, they would need a license. The charity, Dam House, which was originally set up to save a historic building and offer community and health facilities, had to have a fund-raising event to raise the money for the license.
However, having purchased a license, this wasn’t the end of the matter. The PRS then started asking more questions, and when they discovered that kids sing in a carol concert there at Christmas, they declared that the premises were under licensed. Yes, of course – the PRS wanted yet more money.
98 percent of American women have done it.
37 million Americans are currently doing it.
Most of the GOP candidates oppose it.
What is it?
If you said “sex,” you were close. The answer is “use contraception.” In recent weeks, the GOP candidates have been asked a lot about their views on abortion but not one has been asked his position on contraception (or even prevention in general). Really big oversight. Maybe its because everyone just assumes they all support contraception. After all, who doesn’t?
If their statements and actions are indicators, most of the GOP candidates oppose contraception. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Fred Thompson all define life as beginning at conception or fertilization, in other words when sperm meets egg. (It’s worth noting that there’s no medical way of knowing when sperm meets egg. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a fertilized egg isn’t even considered a pregnancy.) This “life at fertilization” assertion is what is called in the business “dog whistle” politics: a political message only a specific constituency can hear. The reason, of course, to keep the message on one frequency, is that in most cases the issue is deeply unpopular with most of the American people. The candidate’s whistle, in this case, is a pledge to support the anti-abortion movement’s campaigns to roll back access to contraception.
If a candidate pledges to define life as beginning at fertilization, then anything that prevents implantation will end a life. And pro-lifers insist the pill does that. Birth control then becomes abortion, and as we know, abortion gets banned. Why hasn’t the media sunk its teeth into this little curiosity? At the very least, it would make for some really great TV. Someone needs to ask any of the GOP candidates (except Guiliani) whether he supports access to birth control. 91 percent of the American public (the majority of the pro-life public included) does so strongly.
More great pictures here.
A scout leader who once sued the City of Berkeley for challenging a national Boy Scout ban on members who are gay or atheist has been arrested on felony charges that for at least five years he sexually abused young males in the troops he led.
Sgt. Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley police said the scout leader, Eugene A. Evans, 64, a retired high school teacher and for 35 years leader of the Berkeley Sea Scouts, was arrested at his home in nearby Kensington on Tuesday after investigators identified four youths, ages 13 to 17, who said they had been sexually abused by him.
I’ve come to call this Haggard’s Law: that which a conservative speaks against most loudly is that which they will be found to be guilty of.
Een rechtszaak van Nedap tegen de Staat is aangehouden. De bestuursrechter wacht eerst een oordeel van de Raad van State in een ander beroep in de stemcomputerkwestie af.
De staatssecretaris trok de ‘Regeling voorwaarden en goedkeuring stemmachines 1997′ op 17 oktober in. Alle goedkeuringen op basis van de Regeling kwamen volgens Bijleveld daarmee ook te vervallen. Nedap ging tegen dat besluit in beroep. Het besluit van Bijleveld vormde het einde van de huidige stemcomputers, die geen papieren controlemogelijkheid bieden.
Als Nedap dit wint zouden recente modellen niet meer toegestaan zijn, terwijl veel oudere modellen, van voor 1997, met aantoonbare zwakheden wel zouden mogen worden gebruikt.
De stemcomputerfabrikant toont met deze zet het vertrouwen van de bevolking inderdaad niet waard te zijn.
Last week, I blogged a story about the re-opening of the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot Center, and the supposed inclusion of a Steve Jobs animatronic in the scene depicting the invention of the Apple Computer — and the omission of Steve Wozniak.
Looks like the rumor had it exactly backwards. Look at these photos of the newly opened Spaceship Earth: the scene in question appears to contain a robotic Steve Wozniak, leaving Steve Jobs out entirely. Where’s Jobs? All around you, I suppose — he’s the largest shareholder in Disney after all.