So Dangerous to Society at Large

This is URBANGRAFFITO . . . it is my responsibility to research all the laws that haven’t been passed yet. It is also my responsibility to alert each and every one of you to the potential consequences of various ordinary everyday activities you might be performing which could eventually lead to Incarceration (or affect your parent’s credit rating). Our criminal institutions will soon be full of little creeps like you who do wrong things . . . and many of them were driven to these crimes by a horrible force called MUSIC!

Our studies have shown that this horrible force is so dangerous to society at large that laws are being drawn up at this very moment to stop it forever! Cruel and inhuman punishments are being carefully described in tiny paragraphs so they won’t conflict with the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which, itself, is being modified in order to accommodate the Intellectual Property Protection Act).

I bring you now a special presentation to show what can happen to you if you choose a career in MUSIC . . . The WHITE ZONE is for uploading and downloading only . . . if you have to upload or download copyrighted material, go to the WHITE ZONE . . .

Imagine if you will legislation that enjoys the support of such large copyright holders such as the Recording Industry Association of America (amongst them, no doubt, a recent litigant against this very weblog) known as the Intellectual Property Protection Act, expected to be introduced in the very near future.

This bill will give the U.S. Justice Department the ability to combat Intellectual Property crime in bold new ways. It would soon become a new federal crime just to attempt to commit copyright infringement. All attempts, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison. This legislation would also permit the bypassing of copy protection even for “fair use” purposes.

It would permit wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, and would establish a unit within the FBI itself with budgets of $20 million which would create advanced tools of forensic science to investigate copyright crimes.

This legislation would amend existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work in question was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. It would boost criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses), for the noncommercial piracy and posting of copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.

This legislation would also create civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized will be disposed of, for instance, at a government auction following the rules established by federal drug laws. Copyright holders will be able to impound records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in infringements, including server logs, IP addresses, and everything that person has ever downloaded.

It appears the future that FZ envisaged with the release of Joe’s Garage has arrived as of 2008. Quite soon we’ll all have two computers: a clean one we all do our internet business on, and a dirty one that will never ever be connected to the internet.

Big brother is watching. He wants to know what’s on your hard drive.

23 Responses to “So Dangerous to Society at Large”

  1. xorg says:

    It’s ironic that FZ’s widow is such an enthusiastic participant in this draconian approach to copyright enforcement. Ho hum.
    The jails will be overflowing!

  2. Jeroen says:

    It’s ironic to forget that Frink ‘That makes me mad’ Zuppu was a person that didn’t like bootleggers. The only way he could stay in business (yes I use that word on purpose) was by selling music – on stage or on record.
    I don’t like music corporations making more money than artists, but I do believe that good copyright laws can keep artists doing what we want them to do: have the time to be creative and record music – serious expensive stuff.
    Free music is (guerrilla field recordings aside) often theft.

  3. Dr Sharleena says:

    He didn’t like bootleggers who make money with bootlegs. I have never read any statement about his position regarding home tape sharing tho.
    Nobody here advocates for “free music”.
    Bootlegs however, are not official releases and shouldn’t be commercialized by no one but the owner of the copyrights, if such is their decision…

  4. bernard says:

    Urbangr., in case you would like to learn about the discussion on copyrights in the European Union, it’s this : http://cordis.europa.eu/en/home.html

  5. bernard says:

    Just put “patents” or “copy rights ” into the search engine.

  6. urbangraffito says:

    bernard — it’s only a matter of time before the laws of U.S. regarding copyright and the laws of other countries become harmonized. What is so scary about this kind of legislation is that it creates a whole new criminal where there wasn’t one before: an info-criminal. What’s ironic is that FZ had Iran in mind when he created Joe’s Garage, yet it wound up becoming America instead due to Bush and the after effects of nine eleven. My suggestion is to keep a very close eye on your own government’s legislative agenda. I know I am going to be doing that.

  7. urbangraffito says:

    By the way, under the new law, my little parody would be deemed a “copyright infringement” and yours truly, an info- criminal.

  8. Paul Sempschi says:

    this borders on science fiction (minus the ‘fiction’), real dystopian stuff. You can only imagine the full ramifications of this law, as a means of not just copyright protection but as a means for information control and opinion-protection. All sorts of surveillance under the guise of ‘copyright protection’, remember Al Capone was brought down by tax fraud, a lot of dissidents will be brought down by downloading, this has CIA and NWO written all over it…
    If FTstcee were a religion his widow would be the Anti-Zeppo.

  9. FLQ says:

    So this means that illegal downloading is now an act of resistance and its prosecuted political prisoners, get em while they’re hot!

  10. bernard says:

    Urbangr, I didn’ t intend to be info criminal.
    I don’t know that much about that legislation in Europe. What I know is :
    - it’s national legislation ( not EU)
    -generally speaking there’s a difference between the UK and the continental counties. The anglosaxon world is much more inclined to have strict legislation.
    - this legislation has strong effects on the economy. There’s an in depth discussion going on in Europe ( EU ) about the question if patents / copyrights actually help or block innovation. Ans as our economies are badly in need of innovation this is an important discussion for our future, which is mirror imaged on the EU Research site.
    Anyway if you would like to know more about the European case I can provide you with excellent contacts via our friend Barry.
    Something else: in case you would like to make an intellectual exercise on mathematics in music, which you can then apply to FZ, here’s a free book ( .pdf) on this subject: http://www.maths.abdn.ac.uk/~bensondj/html/maths-music.html

  11. bernard says:

    Do I happen to be boring?
    Just have a look at our German friends. Latest news is : ” Neues von der Zappanale#19 – 15.08. bis 17.08.2008 in Bad Doberan Selbstverständlich findet sie statt. Diesmal erfolgt der Auftakt bereits zwei Tage vorher am 13. August 2008 in der St.-Katharinen-Kirche in Hamburg.
    Mit einem Konzert „Zappa meets Bach“ wird es unter Mitwirkung des Bogus Pomp Low Budget Semi-Acoustic Orchestra, Napoleon Murphy Brock und dem Kantor-Chor, St. Katharinen, einen furiosen Start in eine zappaeske Woche geben. ”
    Combining FZ & Bach, that’s what they will do.
    That’s truly innovative.
    Their ultimate objective is to collect money for a new ( church) organ in Hamburg.

  12. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from bernard:

    Urbangr, I didn’ t intend to be info criminal.
    I don’t know that much about that legislation in Europe.

    bernard — sometimes it takes some digging to find out what your elected officials are doing to you on your behalf…keep looking.
    In the meantime, I’ve come across this informative link — http://anti-dmca.org/law/ — which gathers together all the relevant news concerning individual governments and their particular versions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, for instance:
    A quote from urbangraffito:

    Canadians should be alarmed at Canada’s proposed new copyright law, which will bring the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Canada’s lawbooks. The DMCA has been roundly criticized as terribly upsetting the copyright balance, resulting in researchers being jailed and threatened with lawsuits, an unchecked expansion of the copyright monopoly into areas unenvisioned by law (region-coding, limiting compatibility), and a chilling effect on free speech. Canada’s DMCA, Bill C-60, is slated to be one of the first orders of business for the new Parliament. This is the make-or-break moment, when Canada decides whether it is going to follow the US down the same tiger-pit it fell into in 1998, giving American media and technology companies the legal tools to clobber Canadian culture and industry, or whether Canada is going to learn from America’s mistakes and produce a copyright law for the digital century that promotes new forms of expression and creativity.

  13. Hugh says:

    Soon we’ll have to go underground. So be it. Creativity thrives in the deep, dark underbelly of society. Now we need a name. Something along the line of “Crabpeople” or “Molemen” & Mole-Woo-Man”. Maybe “BurntWeenyMothers from Utopia” Just a thought.

  14. jim says:

    Yep, C-60 is a nasty little bitch … & from what I’ve heard about it (sweet bugger-all), we’re too “Yankeefied” up here to even know, let alone care. Just send us up some more SUVs & plasma-screens, eh?
    Music industy’s desperate to blame homemade remixes & downloaders for their current doldrums, when everyone knows it’s their own growing mountains of tepid grey sludge masquerading as “Hits” that’re doing them in. Unfortunately, proving it is going to cost all of us dearly – in many more ways than one.
    What REALLY spooks me is the impending sledgehammer coming down on “Fair Use” … looks like EEC, negativland, et al will have to either look for safe-houses or disappear entirely. This’s a serious shot at satire across the board, since it relies on a signifigant simulation of its target. Seems like these folks think Humor Does Not Belong In Music … unless it’s on the level of knock-knock jokes.
    Y’know, I wonder if GZ has thought this one through to its logical conclusion: exactly how many of FRANK ZAPPA’s songs or albums will this new set of laws take off the shelves – FOREVER – due to his generous use of unauthorized parody/homage? ABSOLUTELY FREE is the first that comes to mind … but far from the last.
    Whoopsy-daisies.
    I can also see many people openly delighted at the prospect of getting a REAL STEAL on a laptop at one of those Zero Tolerance auctions … wowee zowee, look, Ma, it’s a home-grown police-state economy!
    They failed to nuke the Internet outright – so now they’ll settle for NEUTERING it.
    Damn.
    Talk about openly begging for a hack-attack.

  15. bernard says:

    Urbangr, in EU it’s this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EU_Copyright_Directive
    However the discussion on its legitimacy continues.

  16. xorg says:

    Home taping is killing music!
    Ah, those were the days….

  17. bernard says:

    I’m not a specialist legal matters.
    However. Don’t laugh.
    Let’s start a reasoning.
    I hope Barry is allowing this.
    - KUR is a .com site. Which legislation happens to be appicable here? I don’t know. Maybe Barry , who’s main trade is ICT, could check it out with the help of a few others.
    Anyway the current state of play is : legislation is running far behind technological ( & economic) developments.
    - In case – over here in EU – national or EU laws would be applicable. This is the initial story. The point of departure.
    The EU directive is actually a directive. This means, unlike EU regulations( which are directly applicable) : it should be transcribed into national laws. These national laws should take the directive as a basic element. They can’t step backwards, however they can elaborate on it . The European way : further sophistication, puzzling the rest of the world.

  18. bernard says:

    For the legal experts amongst KUR readres ( I’m sure they exist).
    There’s http://www.euractiv.com/en/.
    (Yes, a Belgian initiative)
    Just put copyrights into the search engine.

  19. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from bernard:

    Urbangr, in EU it’s this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EU_Copyright_Directive
    However the discussion on its legitimacy continues.

    It appears, at present, that the EU member states are the only obstacle to the forward march of this kind of right wing legislation. Let’s hope they continue to be this level headed in their thinking…

  20. bernard says:

    I know, Urbangr.
    That’s the result of lobbying from the industry.
    All against useless beauty.

  21. urbangraffito says:

    A quote from jim:

    Y’know, I wonder if GZ has thought this one through to its logical conclusion: exactly how many of FRANK ZAPPA’s songs or albums will this new set of laws take off the shelves – FOREVER – due to his generous use of unauthorized parody/homage? ABSOLUTELY FREE is the first that comes to mind … but far from the last.

    I think some are so motivated by fear or greed that they are not thinking straight anymore. They see the bogeyman everywhere, or invent one.

  22. Donald Russell says:

    A quote from bernard:

    Do I happen to be boring?
    Just have a look at our German friends. Latest news is : ” Neues von der Zappanale#19 – 15.08. bis 17.08.2008 in Bad Doberan Selbstverständlich findet sie statt. Diesmal erfolgt der Auftakt bereits zwei Tage vorher am 13. August 2008 in der St.-Katharinen-Kirche in Hamburg.
    Can someone please tell me where to find the details on the Bach Meets Zappa gig in Hamburg? I am coing to Germany for Zappanale again this year, before the evil witch GZ shuts everything down and would like to attend the Bach Meets Zappa show! Thanks in advance!
    Mit einem Konzert „Zappa meets Bach“ wird es unter Mitwirkung des Bogus Pomp Low Budget Semi-Acoustic Orchestra, Napoleon Murphy Brock und dem Kantor-Chor, St. Katharinen, einen furiosen Start in eine zappaeske Woche geben. ”
    Combining FZ & Bach, that’s what they will do.
    That’s truly innovative.
    Their ultimate objective is to collect money for a new ( church) organ in Hamburg.

  23. bernard says:

    Yes, Zappanale 19 Newsletter [zappanalearfsociety-bounce@rostock.kulturkurier.de]