• Pirates, Censors & Hypocrites!

    The pointless lobby and laws to protect a dying business model don’t convince anyone.

    Not even people working in the US Congress itself, since they too download movies ilegally:

    In late October, someone at the U.S. House of Representatives decided to catch up on the latest season of Dexter, illegally downloading an episode of the TV series while at a congressional office. In the days that followed, with Hurricane Sandy threatening to keep federal workers hunkered down at home, employees of Congress downloaded the 2012 mob film Lawless, a Halloween-themed episode of The Middle, and an episode from Season 9 of CSI: New York.

    Over the last four months, employees of the House of Representatives have illegally downloaded dozens of films and TV shows, according to a report shared with Whispers by ScanEye, a website that tracks what IP addresses have downloaded on BitTorrent. BitTorrent is a protocol for sharing large files over the Internet. Unauthorized downloads of copyrighted material is illegal in the U.S.

    Whispers was able to ascertain a number of IP addresses associated with Congress using the IP geo-location website MaxMind. The report does not include IP addresses associated with every congressional office, so the number of illegal downloads may be higher.

    Ohh, this would be the sweet mother of irony if these people were prosecuted like anyone else! But I don’t know why, I got a feeling, they’re getting off the hook on this one!

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    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker
    • SmilodonsRetreat

      And a federal prosecutor goes after a kid for downloading public works and threatens him with up to 50 years in jail and the kid kills himself.

      And people wonder why we don’t trust our government.

      • Exactly!

      • Ingemar Oseth

        “And a federal prosecutor goes after a kid for downloading public works….”

        Public works? The documents were not “public works,” there were behind a pay wall.

        Listen, I don’t think for a second the prosecutor should have been so aggressive, but you must agree the situation should be discussed on the basis of the facts, not fiction.

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          OK. Here’s the facts:

          1)2008, Swartz downloaded 20% of the public access to court records. A service that was supposed to be free, but running a hug surplus from charges to find and print data.

          2) The JSTOR articles were never released to the public, no one will probably ever know the actual intentions.

          3) A previous research project by Swartz involved the downloading of about 400,000 papers and digitally analyzing them.

          4) JSTOR declined to prosecute, even though the requests brought down a server.

          5) JSTOR is like a library, just online. If the library at MIT had bought the articles, then Swartz would have been free to physically copy them.

          6) He had a valid account to get into JSTOR. While the articles for most people are behind a paywall, his MIT account was granted access through the MIT library. As a student/researcher, the documents were free for him.

          7) He downloaded a lot more than anyone thought anyone was capable of.

          Those are the only known facts. He had a right to download the articles… he didn’t distribute them. The only problem was with him breaking into a wiring closet at MIT.

          Did he do something wrong? Yeah, breaking into a wiring cabinet at MIT. Everything else was legal. Now, if he put all those articles up for free on the internet… that’s a bit trickier and it’s certainly arguable that would be illegal. But he didn’t do that.

    • Copyleft

      I don’t think there’s much lingering doubt that the current model of protecting intellectual property doesn’t work. What’s missing is proposals and discussions of what NEW model can replace it.

      Too many of these discussions get sidetracked into ideological dead-ends, e.g., “All creative content is always going to be free/pirated and nobody will ever earn a living at it, so accept it and get over it!” That’s not productive.

      • I agree with you! There doesn’t seem to be a solution at sight, but from what I’ve read, piracy is not hurting businesses (I mean, they’re not going broke or anything). They loose much more money in many other ways!