Category Archives: copyright infringement

From our Dept of WTF? -Homeland Sec shutting down websites under DMCA

Since when is Homeland Security involved in copyright infringement which is what the DMCA- Digital Millennium Copyright Act is? Well, they are now as per a RawStory writeup sent to me by RJ this morning, which states the Feds have shut down 76 sites and counting. From the RawStory link:

The Homeland Security Department’s customs enforcement division has gone on a Web site shutdown spree, closing down at least 76 domains this week, according to online reports.

While many of the web domains were sites that trafficked in counterfeit brand name goods, and some others linked to copyright-infringing file-sharing materials, at least one site was a Google-like search engine, causing alarm among web freedom advocates who worry the move steps over the line into censorship.

All the shut sites are now displaying a Homeland Security warning that copyright infringers can face up to five years in prison.

*snip*

Homeland Security’s ability to shut down sites without a court order evidently comes from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a Clinton-era law that allows Web sites to be closed on the basis of a copyright complaint. Critics have long assailed the DMCA for being too broad, as complainants don’t need to prove copyright infringement before a site can be taken down.

Where is the due-process for this fuckery? Why would Homeland Security be involved when it doesn’t have a friggin thing to do with protecting the…cough… ‘Homeland’? Eric Holder, who evidently has nothing better to do than protect the public from counterfit handbags and such, released a statement on the seizures:

“With today’s seizures, we are disrupting the sale of thousands of counterfeit items,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. “We are cutting off funds to those looking to profit from the sale of illegal goods and exploit the ingenuity of others. And, as the holiday shopping season gets underway, we are also reminding consumers to exercise caution when looking for deals and discounts online. To put it simply: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Yeah, you go get em Holder, you refused to prosecute Tom Delay or any of the Bush Administration’s henchmen that tortured people, but this shit is real-fucking-important right dude?

How friggin pathetic is that? Chalk another one up for The Corporatocracy. Protecting their rights is so much more important than anything else out there that needs protecting.

From the WSJ, EFF has the following comment on these seizures:

Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Friday that his group had “a lot of concerns” about authorities seizing Internet domain names without prior notice. The civil-liberties organization has been lobbying against a proposed law known as COICA—the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act—that would give the government additional powers to move against sites involved in copyright infringement, even if they weren’t located in the U.S.

Senator Ron Wyden has vowed to stop COICA before it gets to the floor of the senate for a vote in this session. The bill would then have to start over during the new session next year, which will be controlled by the rightwing nutters for the most part. Personally, I love that Wyden will use one of the Rethugs favortie tactics….holding up a bill in committee.

From our Dept of WTF?


The RIAA has really, seriously lost their collective mind. H/T to Chet at the Vanity Press for this gem. From Wired:

The recording industry and U.S. radio companies have squared off for decades about whether AM and FM radio broadcasters should pay royalties to singers, musicians and their labels.

But now the debate is getting meaner; there’s more at stake as the recording industry seeks new income avenues in the wake of wanton peer-to-peer piracy and declining CD sales in part due to the iPod and satellite radio. A U.S. House subcommittee could vote as early as Thursday on a royalty measure.

On Monday, the recording industry sent the National Association of Broadcasters — the trade group representing the $16 billion a year AM-FM broadcasting business — a can of herring to underscore that it believes its arguments against paying royalties are a red herring. The NAB says its members should not pay royalties because AM-FM radio “promotes” the music industry.

How in the blue hell would anyone know about new artists or new albums from our favorite artists if it wasn’t for radio? The radio stations also promote the artists by running ads for their concerts which usually coincide with the release of a new album right? From the Wired writeup we get to the…cough..bottom line:

The argument boils down to this: Radio is making billions off the backs of recording artists and their labels; and the recording artists gain invaluable exposure because they’re on the radio, so royalties should not have to be paid.

The recording industry needs the radio industry and vice versa. Each side in this money-grubbing argument needs the other in order to make any money. This is fucking extortion and it stinks to high heaven. The RIAA is looking for ways to make up for the losses in revenue due to the electronic music industry. People are not buying CD’s near as much as they used to..and I for one pretty much buy all my music in the form of an electronic download. I only buy a CD when the artist’s electronic album is exclusively on ITunes..because I hate ITunes.

In other money-grubbing news..the MPAA has the nads to use the following argument also in a court case of copyright infringement:

The Motion Picture Association of America said Friday intellectual-property holders should have the right to collect damages, perhaps as much as $150,000 per copyright violation, without having to prove infringement.(emphasis mine)

“Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances,” MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote Friday to the federal judge overseeing the Jammie Thomas trial.

“It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement,” van Uitert wrote on behalf of the movie studios, a position shared with the Recording Industry Association of America, which sued Thomas, the single mother of two.

Well gents, if you can’t prove anything, where in the hell is your infringement? By using your skewed ass logic, I could sue my husband for divorce because he has what it takes to cheat on me. I wouldn’t have to prove he cheated on me, I would just have to show that because he has a penis, he has the ability to cheat on me. The proof must be on the individual that brought the lawsuit..it has been that way for-fucking-ever, its part and parcel of the Rule of Law for christs sake.

Fucking greedy bastards..