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MediaSentry Hired By People's Republic of China 267

Posted by timothy
from the well-if-it-worked-for-those-guys dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "MediaSentry, now called 'SafeNet,' the RIAA's illegal, unlicensed investigator of choice, has been hired by the People's Republic of China to provide DRM for the Olympics coverage. The PRC says it 'owns exclusive rights to the broadcast of all audio and video content via online and mobile distribution channels across Mainland China' and wants to protect it from 'piracy.' I wonder if the Chinese government is aware of MediaSentry's track record — i.e. all the good things it has accomplished so far for the Big 4 record companies."
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MediaSentry Hired By People's Republic of China

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  • by cashman73 (855518) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:02PM (#24518963) Journal
    I wonder if the Chinese government is aware of MediaSentry's track record

    I wonder if MediaSentry is aware of the Chinese government's track record?

    • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:08PM (#24519027)

      I wonder if the Chinese government is aware of MediaSentry's track record

      I wonder if MediaSentry is aware of the Chinese government's track record?

      Meh. They're perfect bed fellows and we all know it. They both excel at exploiting an ignorant public.

      • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:39PM (#24519277) Homepage Journal

        I wonder if the Chinese government is aware of MediaSentry's track record

        I wonder if MediaSentry is aware of the Chinese government's track record?

        Meh. They're perfect bed fellows and we all know it. They both excel at exploiting an ignorant public.

        No kidding - I've no need of organizations that exploit an ignorant public like China and MediaSentry. I'm perfectly content with the US government and Apple.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Hurricane78 (562437)

          You forgot Google. ;)

        • by right handed (1310633) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @09:37PM (#24519855)

          No kidding - I've no need of organizations that exploit an ignorant public

          I think you misspelled oppress above. People do not chose to live in China, inadequate state education, or to be the targets of RIAA attacks. Please do not insult people stripped of their homes and political prisoners with such trivializations. These thugs punish innocent people.

          • by dwater (72834)

            > Please do not insult people stripped of their homes and political prisoners with such trivializations. These thugs punish innocent people.

            Evidence please? Especially that first one. I'm sure there *are* a few examples, as in any country, but the vast majority of reports I hear of are of people who are migrants and have just parked themselves on someone else's land. *Their* homes maybe, but not *their* land. Of course, they also have a different concept of land ownership anyway.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by meringuoid (568297)
            People do not chose to live in China

            Actually, a great many people do. It's not North Korea you know; people are allowed to leave.

          • by sm62704 (957197) on Friday August 08, 2008 @08:54AM (#24523375) Journal

            These thugs punish innocent people.

            How do Chinese censorship laws differ from American drug laws? If the Chinese "thugs" punish innocent people, the American secret police (AKA "undercover agents" and "plainclothes police") and the masked thugs from the DEA also punish innocent people. I was one of their victimes last year; searched without warrant, made to stand in the July Illinois heat for an hour, and let go because there were in fact no drugs.

            Glass houses, folks. If you're American, rather than working to free the Chinese, how about working to free us Americans?

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        Isn't this typical of most current governments?
        • by gnick (1211984) on Friday August 08, 2008 @01:24AM (#24521217) Homepage

          Isn't this typical of most current governments?

          I'd love to disagree with you (you're the only foe I've managed to acquire on /. so I guess I just want to nurture the relationship =) ). But I can't - At least not entirely. Governments are a necessary evil - It makes good sense to organize a system of laws/enforcement, public services, national defense, etc. But, once established, it is a constant struggle to keep the government a public service entity instead of a mechanism for oppressing the public in favor of those that have the most influence over the "public representatives".

          Also, I believe that the system in America isn't entirely broken. We have a lot of uninformed people electing bad representatives, but our elections are at worst slightly rigged (too much, but better than many and we're working on it - Even a 1% majority would stifle crooked polling IMHO - Major problem, but the world has no system that's unscammable). The biggest exploitation here is people not bothering to research dodgy information they've been fed and acting on bad pretenses. And, this happens much more on the corporate level than the political level which gives the major corps power to lobby/endorse/bribe the government reps.

    • by spyder-implee (864295) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:10PM (#24519043)
      I wonder why anyone would care? Why would anyone want to Pirate the Olympic broadcasts? Do you have to pay to watch the Olympics in China? Is this more a matter of making sure there is nothing broadcast which might undermine the Chinese government? Say for example an athlete making a speech about human rights after winning a gold medal.
      • by oldspewey (1303305) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:16PM (#24519105)

        Why would anyone want to Pirate the Olympic broadcasts?

        Spite? Simply to piss off MediaSentry?

      • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:34PM (#24519231) Journal

        Do you have to pay to watch the Olympics in China?

        I don't know. Didn't we have to pay to watch them here?

        Not as in "pay-per-view", but as in "over broadcast TV"?

        Even if we're talking about actually-free channels (do any still exist?), there's still the matter of ad revenue. If people just put clips up on YouTube, that means Google gets the revenue, instead of the Chinese Government.

        • by spyder-implee (864295) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @09:20PM (#24519725)
          Interesting, I assume your in America? Here (Australia) we pay nothing to watch the Olympics & there would be civil outrage if that ever happened.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Gideon Fubar (833343)
            Yeah, but Channel7 have the 'exclusive' (read: exclusive commercial, as i believe SBS and the ABC will be covering the less popular sports..) rights to the games. Channel9 were rapped over the knuckles by the IOC for filming when they weren't supposed to even be there.

            It's possible this DRM enforcement push is directed against non-endusers, as non-licensed media outlets are also 'without rights' to the material..

            Cue shocked realization from a bunch of media execs.
          • by mxs (42717)

            Naive.

            Somebody is paying. You may not give the IOC your bucks directly, but you SURE AS HELL are paying for it.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by GaryPatterson (852699)

              No, Channel 7 (here in Aus) is paying for it from the revenue they raise by selling advertising time.

              The channel is a free-to-air channel, so viewers are definitely not paying for it.

        • by owlnation (858981)

          Didn't we have to pay to watch them here?

          Would many people pay to watch the Olympics? I don't know anyone who cares about watching them. In fact, I can't think I've ever come across anyone who is excited by the prospect of the Olympics. I'm sure some are -- relatives of athletes etc.

          Despite all the hype, the protests, the scandals etc etc, it's not exactly a TV spectacular in most Western countries.

          I really can't understand that piracy is any real issue at all.

          • by Dan541 (1032000)

            I really can't understand that piracy is any real issue at all.

            It is for pirates because now the MPAA have allot of garbage to clog our trackers with.

            • by Firehed (942385)

              You can't blame just the MPAA, here. While look for Linux distros on TPB's top 100 *cough*, I found that the I-don't-have-words-to-describe-something-that-stupid show "So You Think You Can Dance" is among the top ten videos.

              The latest Mummy movie taking the top spot may be the fault of the MPAA, but it's unfair even to them to claim that they had anything to do with the trashiest of reality TV.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by SL Baur (19540)

            Would many people pay to watch the Olympics?

            Probably. If my wife demanded it, I would. I tend to watch the summer Olympics if it is convenient (I'm not much of TV watcher) because it brings back memories of track & field in my school days.

            Of course, after being spoiled by broadcast TV coverage of the Olympics in Tokyo where there was 4 or 5 channels of different events to choose from, I would never ever willingly watch US TV coverage unless they paid me (a lot) to do so.

            When my children get older, I'll probably reverse myself. The Olympics is

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Well,I can say that for me I quit watching when the USSR broke up. Before that,it was interesting to watch just for the fact that our (USA) team would look like the high school football team compared to the USSRs Over Steroided supermen. So when we did actually win something like the miracle on ice [wikipedia.org] that was exciting. Now everybody sends the steroid monsters and its all a big "meh" to me.

            Slightly OT,but can we all just admit that athletes are going to use steroids and get over it? Because all we are doing

      • by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @10:24PM (#24520171) Homepage Journal

        Why would anyone want to Pirate the Olympic broadcasts?

        I'll name one. Compare TV coverage in the United States versus a truly free country like Japan. Exclusive broadcast rights truly sucks, big time.

        Are you allowed to change channels if you do not like the particular Olympic event being shown?

      • by dnoyeb (547705) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @11:11PM (#24520463) Homepage Journal

        The Olympics sucks. I wont even bother watching them. The coverage is fucking pathetic. If you are not interested in one of the top billing events, you can forget seeing the event at all. last time around I tried like hell to watch TaeKwonDo to no avail. I could only catch some of it in Canada since I live in Detroit. Otherwise, it was a waste.

        This time I would like to see some mountain biking. My hopes are not high.

        Pay per view Olymipcs. The thought is laughable.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:15PM (#24519095)

      If they are paid enough, I'm sure they'll causally ignore it.

      A fine example of standard corrupt business finest.

      Just think, now you can use Bittorrent to bypass two evil organizations at the same time!

    • by ydrol (626558)
      I suspect all of the Western Business World is aware, but that it's not really an issue. After all China "won" the Olympics just as business is looking to get a piece of the pie..
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dwater (72834)

      > I wonder if MediaSentry is aware of the Chinese government's track record?

      Like the excellent 'rescue' of the people hit by the recent SiChuan earthquake? That efficiency and scale of that effort puts many countries efforts in similar situations to shame IMO.

      It's not all bad - which is something I have trouble saying about the RIAA, though the comparison in poor taste, IMO.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Everytime I see this company mentioned on Slashdot, they're still referred to as 'MediaSentry (now SafeNet)'. Why? Is it because the MediaSentry name is still so evocative? Just call them what they are and reference the fact that they are in fact that company that used to be called MediaSentry.
    • by kcbanner (929309) * on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:05PM (#24518993) Homepage Journal
      Because changing your name shouldn't rid you of all the shit you threw at various fans. Changing your name after you know you fucked up is kinda a dick move, so they deserve this sort of treatment.
    • by Rhapsody Scarlet (1139063) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:39PM (#24519271) Homepage

      Everytime I see this company mentioned on Slashdot, they're still referred to as 'MediaSentry (now SafeNet)'. Why? Is it because the MediaSentry name is still so evocative?

      It's because the name change is just a cynical attempt to try and get rid of a name that has 'negative connotations' attached to it, like Palladium becoming the Next-Generation Secure Computing Base [wikipedia.org], or the Security Systems and Standards Certification Act becoming the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act [wikipedia.org]. The new name is just designed to confuse people, so we list it alongside the old name to emphasize to everyone that nothing has changed, SafeNet is MediaSentry.

      • Everytime I see this company mentioned on Slashdot, they're still referred to as 'MediaSentry (now SafeNet)'. Why? Is it because the MediaSentry name is still so evocative?

        It's because the name change is just a cynical attempt to try and get rid of a name that has 'negative connotations' attached to it, like Palladium becoming the Next-Generation Secure Computing Base [wikipedia.org], or the Security Systems and Standards Certification Act becoming the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act [wikipedia.org]. The new name is just designed to confuse people, so we list it alongside the old name to emphasize to everyone that nothing has changed, SafeNet is MediaSentry.

        Well spoken. I'm not as eloquent. So I just say that a crook shouldn't be able to clean up his reputation by changing his name.

        • I'm not as eloquent.

          Horse petunias. Clarity of expression *is* eloquence. It takes a lot of understanding to achieve simplicity.

          To say nothing about the fact that you and PJ are the first legal eagles to generate a fan club since Clarence Darrow, so you'll have a hard time pushing the humble wheelbarrow in this forum.

          -- just another egregious back-handed complement from a fanboi.

      • by giorgist (1208992)
        Hey ... STOP making fun of "clean" coal

        G
    • Everytime I see this company mentioned on Slashdot, they're still referred to as 'MediaSentry (now SafeNet)'. Why? Is it because the MediaSentry name is still so evocative? Just call them what they are and reference the fact that they are in fact that company that used to be called MediaSentry.

      Mea culpa. I refer to them as MediaSentry. I don't think a crook should just be able to change its name and clean up its reputation that way.

    • by Vectronic (1221470) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @09:06PM (#24519587)

      Just call them what they are and reference the fact that they are in fact that company that used to be called MediaSentry.

      Oh, I get it, so you'd rather it was "SafeNet (Formerly Known As MediaSentry)"... What difference does it make? I'm sure a lot of people still refer to them as MediaSentry, either because they prefer to, or because they still think it's called that, internally and publicly, most likely because that is what it is still called.

      Besides, there's no Wiki for SafeNet yet, only a line: "SafeNet - Owner of the online investigative company MediaSentry [wikipedia.org]."

      Considering I don;t really give a damn, and wont bother to invesitage further, I find it interesting that A: There's no Wiki, and B: On the MediaSentry wiki, it says they were hired for this, and C: http://www.mediasentry.com/ [mediasentry.com] does not redirect to http://www.safenet-inc.com/ [safenet-inc.com] it only mentions that SafeNet now owns MediaSentry, but MediaSentry still exists as a company.

    • by fermion (181285)
      A standard idiom is SafeNet née MediaSentry.

      That said a changed name does not imply that we must refer to the entity by the new name. In fact, using the most known name is good etiquette for the readers. As long as the changed name appears somewhere, there is not problem.

  • BWAHAHAHA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NoSPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:04PM (#24518983) Homepage Journal

    This is such a crock.

    China doesn't own the broadcast rights to the Olympics. The Olympic Committee does.

    I wonder what other compromises the Olympic Committee made in Red China?

    Besides, Media Sentry is a joke. They will soon be hacked out of existance.

    • Re:BWAHAHAHA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:06PM (#24519001)
      Exactly, rule number 1 of running something online. If you make hackers mad, they will hack. I believe that Scientology learned that
    • The IOC owns the broadcast rights -- but does the IOC actually produce any broadcasts? do they operate TV stations? In fact, one of the main sources of revenue for the IOC (i.e., one of the main ways they pay for the games) is by licensing the broadcast rights separately for each oountry.

      The PRC owns the rights for broadcast in China. This is no different from NBC owning the broadcast rights in the US, or the CBC owning the rights in Canada. Note that the CBC is an arm of the Canadian government.

      • He wasn't moderated insightful for not RTFA, but for his declaration.

        Media Sentry is a joke. They will soon be hacked out of existance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LostCluster (625375) *
        The IOC produces a "world feed" of all of the events that serves as the base for coverage in smaller nations. All the local team has to add is native language comments, and maybe a few closeup cameras for their nation's athletes in the event.
      • by Firehed (942385)

        And ThePirateBay has exclusive broadcast rights for Sweden. The only difference here is that they're quite unlikely to pay their license fees.

    • China's government owns the TV stations there, and TV stations buy the rights from their national Olympic comittee. Therefore, the government owns the rights to the games within China.

      NBC owns the US rights to the Olympics, and therefore their webstreams are authorized for US viewers only. Canada? See the CBC. Etc. Etc. Etc.

      Each country's broadcasters have a right to keep other broadcasts out, and a duty to keep their broadcasts contained within their area.

  • by aeschenkarnos (517917) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:06PM (#24519005)
    ... the Chinese Government will blame these idiots for the (inevitable, unstoppable) YouTubing of the Olympics, and have them all beheaded.
  • Tell me again (Score:2, Insightful)

    by deepgrey (1246108)
    why someone decided to let the PRC host the 2008 Olympic games.
  • the DRM is just there for censorship not to stop copying.

  • This is rich (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:11PM (#24519061) Homepage Journal

    China is arguable the largest pirate nation on the planet, who has next to zero respect for intellectual property of other nations.

    Now that their money is at stake here, they want to protect their content.

    Funny, that.

    • by McGiraf (196030)

      "China is arguable the largest pirate nation on the planet, who has next to zero respect for intellectual property of other nations.

      Now that their money is at stake here, they want to protect their content."

      Read the US of A history. (I'm assuming you are American)

    • by EdIII (1114411) *

      they want to protect their content

      Maybe they should have thought of that a little sooner. The plan to add DRM is incredibly ambitious. I just wonder if there is even enough time to create a viable plan that could be implemented before the games.

      That, and as everyone knows, DRM always fails. Every time. Period. The only exceptions being when nobody actually cared about the content anyways, like say, a heavily protected video of me shaving my ass and back hair.

    • by dwater (72834)

      > Funny, that.

      In what way, is this 'funny'? I'd call it entirely predictable and consistent with, well, pretty much all countries.

  • Without all that pesky "due process" Media Sentry would have a perfect track record!
  • by RelliK (4466)

    China fights piracy.

  • Enough, already (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdamHaun (43173) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @08:55PM (#24519461) Journal

    Is there a way to hide copyright/RIAA/MPAA/piracy stories? They don't seem to show up under any consistent category or author. I know I can just scroll past them, but then I'm still stuck reading the summary of every blow-by-blow account of the copyright wars. I know, the *AAs are evil, copyright terms are too long, yeah, I get it, I got it ten years ago, I don't need to hear it repeated ad nauseum.

    (Cue -1, Cares About Quality Of Slashdot mods)

  • by Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @09:03PM (#24519561)
    FTFA:
    "Aren't they supposed to be held in the spirit of freedom and openness?
    Not in China."
    yeah, blame china... The IOC doesn't have a track record for sending takedown notices / sueing to people displaying anything remotely Olympic branded:
    http://news.sbs.com.au/worldnewsaustralia/ioc_sues_website_using_olympics_logos_552593 [sbs.com.au]
    http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-7217512_ITM [accessmylibrary.com]
    the IOC are just as bad as the MAFIIA, but they've got a perfect scapegoat to trial DRM this time around because the West aren't big fans of china as it is, so the IOC spin doctors say "we didn't want drm" publicly, while privately supporting the concept. /rant
  • by actionbastard (1206160) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @09:07PM (#24519597)
    In this day and age, competitions like this serve no purpose except to exploit the participants in these 'games'. Many, if not most, of those participating are hoping that they excel -just enough- to 'win the gold' so that they may secure lucrative product endorsement contracts with multi-national firms. Rarely, if ever, do any of these participants return for another try at Olympic glory after they have achieved -or failed to achieve- the brief stardom of the podium.

    If they do return and win, they may land contracts for a breakfast cereal or two of note and they may appear on the box for a year or two until they have been largely forgotten by the public. Then they go on to write an 'inspirational' book about their 'struggle against all odds' to achieve Olympic stardom. Finally, as their notoriety reaches its nadir, they sign on to do a reality-based television show on the E! channel that exploits their pathetic downward spiral and their life on the lecture circuit 'inspiring' people.
    • There will 10,000 athletes competing for 931 medals - most will see their picture on an American cereal box.

      .
      Rarely, if ever, do any of these participants return for another try at Olympic glory after they have achieved -or failed to achieve- the brief stardom of the podium

      Athletes do return to the games.

      That is an extraordinary achievement in itself. It means, among other things, that there is training and financial support for the older athlete who wants to remain competitve in world competition.

      Look

  • by Nymz (905908) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @09:11PM (#24519641) Journal
    • Crack official websites, and alter front page.
    • Sneak cameras into events, and post cam torrents.
    • Crack DRM on region-limited video of events.
    • Moderate this post as funny, as quick as you can.
  • by richardkelleher (1184251) on Thursday August 07, 2008 @10:21PM (#24520155) Homepage
    Based on their compatible corporate moralities, I would expect SafeNet to merge with Blackwater any day now. Then RIAA could have ARMED criminal thugs with international immunity to carry out their agenda. I suspect they would like that.
  • This seems pretty last minute to put in a DRM system for Olympics starting in 2 days.
  • The PRC says it 'owns exclusive rights to the broadcast of all audio and video content via online and mobile distribution channels across Mainland China' and wants to protect it from 'piracy.'

    What? No $1 DVD's of the broadcasts?

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday August 08, 2008 @01:35AM (#24521263) Homepage Journal

    MediaSentry and DRM: good enough for the Commies!

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