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Backlash Builds Against US Copyright Blacklist 292

Posted by kdawson
from the not-so-black-and-white dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The release last week of the US copyright blacklist is beginning to generate a backlash in countries around the world. Reports from Canada, Europe, and Asia all note that the US claims are very suspect and that the report is little more than an attempt to bully dozens of countries into following the US DMCA model."
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Backlash Builds Against US Copyright Blacklist

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:21PM (#27836913)

    The USA bully another country? Never..

    What will they do if we dont adopt the evil DMCA? Steal our lunch money? With the 10Trillion+ deficit over there you'll need it.

    • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:24PM (#27836943) Journal

      >>>The USA bully another country? Never..

      New face in the highest office.

      Same old shit.

      • Meet the new boss......... Same as the old boss.
      • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:48PM (#27837355) Homepage
        Obama is proving that there is equality by making sure people realise that politicians of all colours pull the same old shit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          To be fair the new administration has been in office for only one hundred days. No matter which government department you care to pick they are still loaded up to the gunnels with 8 years worth of previous administrations political appointees and not very competent employees. I would guess it would take all of this administration first term of office to clean the out and to create a far more honest and professional government service and not the current administration of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists and

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by CodeBuster (516420)

            No matter which government department you care to pick they are still loaded up to the gunnels with 8 years worth of previous administrations political appointees and not very competent employees.

            Except that Biden, despite any number of more pressing issues like the economy, wasted no time in packing the Department of Justice full of the RIAA lawyers who brought you spamigation, flagrant contempt of court decisions, and general DMCA related nastiness. The Obama Administration: always time for those who paid to play.

            I would guess it would take all of this administration first term of office to clean the out and to create a far more honest and professional government service and not the current administration of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists and for the lobbyists.

            That will never happen either under Obama or any future president. I don't believe that Obama was ignorant when he made that promise which means that he knew that it would not be kept and

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by _KiTA_ (241027)

        >>>The USA bully another country? Never..

        New face in the highest office.

        Same old shit.

        Yes, because he has an innate knowledge of every single thing the government is doing at any given time... ... and there's no possible way this was in the pipe from the chucklehead that just left and just now finally hit the light of day...

        • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Informative)

          by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@@@pitabred...dyndns...org> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:32PM (#27838021) Homepage
          He's the one who has appointed all the RIAA goons [wired.com] to high office. Even if he may not know exactly what is going on, he would have to be a fucking moron to not have a clue as to what might happen when he did that.
        • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Informative)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:33PM (#27838041) Journal

          >>>Yes, because he has an innate knowledge of every single thing the government is doing

          Nope he doesn't, but he knew that he appointed 3 of RIAA's top lawyers to the executive branch. And now we're seeing the consequences of that, and yes Obama is responsible.

          • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Informative)

            by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:03PM (#27838583) Journal

            Ooops. He's appointing them faster than I can keep up. Apparently there are now 5 RIAA lackeys....er, lawyers on Obama's executive branch. Plus a new copyright czar! Yay.

            The content industry, including the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, are applauding President Barack Obama's appointments of at least five RIAA lawyers to the Justice Department. They urged him to continue the trend.

            "The hallmarks of your administration's appointees have been competence, substantive expertise, and a commitment to your administration's agenda," the Copyright Alliance, a group of three-plus dozen content owners, wrote the president Monday (.pdf). "We have every confidence these hallmarks will be demonstrated in your future IP policy appointments."

            The communication was also in response to a letter the copyleft, represented by about two dozen public interest groups, sent Obama three weeks ago. That missive urged the president to stop tapping RIAA insiders to his administration. That letter by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge and others fell on deaf ears.

            I think we all must be duped. When Obama said he was bringing change, he actually meant collecting spare change to help pay-off his burgeoning deficit, not that he was going to listen to the People.

          • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:30PM (#27839017) Journal

            Nope he doesn't, but he knew that he appointed 3 of RIAA's top lawyers to the executive branch. And now we're seeing the consequences of that, and yes Obama is responsible.

            You know, one thing I've noticed about legal professionals is that they tend to be absolutely loyal to the highest bidder. Which means that when they switch employers, they switch loyalties. And they don't report to Hollywood any more.

            I'm not saying they'll necessarily change their attitudes towards the MAFIAA but that it's no longer personally necessary to them to push their old agenda. They report to the chief executive now. My point? Where they used to work may be a flawed predictor for what they're going to do. To turn a phrase on its head, in this case "causation isn't correlation" and to think otherwise would likely impinge upon ad hominem.

            To be charitable, we need to give them a chance to repent their misspent youth. And if they don't, I suggest we stone them in a cobblestoned street.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Elektroschock (659467)

        In fact interference in the inner affairs of foreign nations is inadmissable.

    • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:43PM (#27837285)

      The US Dollar is backed by the world's largest prison system, the IRS, and nuclear weapons.

      Think about it before laughing.

      • I have tried searching for deficits by country but to no avail. Does anyone know of a site that lists each country and their deficit? Thanks :)
        • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Informative)

          by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:32PM (#27838035)

          You want the IMF website [imf.org].

          Or take a look at these [cnbc.com] 2 articles. We're all stuffed. - and the 2nd [creditloan.com] uses 2007 figures!

          Imagine what happens if #1 in the 1st link defaults on its debts.

          • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Sj0 (472011) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:50PM (#27838317) Homepage Journal

            Suddenly, Canada's 50% of gdp looks positively cheery.

            At rates we were going before the child-like and ignorant Conservatives decided to follow the Americans into the pit of despair and debt, it was going to take only 50 years to pay off the debt at current rates(before accounting for inflation).

            • Re:lies lies (Score:5, Interesting)

              by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:13PM (#27838747) Journal

              I could create a budget to pay-off the United States debt in 5 maybe 10 years time. The only problem is that my budget would involve moving SSI from an "everyone's eligible" system to a "only poor are eligible" system, and none of the voters would want to hear that. Plus my budget would cut military spending to near-zero, and the military-industrial complex doesn't want that either.

              I'd likely end-up assassinated. But if the U.S. ever wants to get out of debt, there is no other way except to cut spending. The alternative, hyperinflation of the dollar until you need 10,000 dollars to buy a loaf of bread, is too horrible to contemplate. The only good solution is to sacrifice.

              Oh well.

              For once I'm glad the U.S. is in 15th place. Normally when we fall behind nations like Norway or Sweden on the internet speeds, I think that's bad, but in this case I'm glad we carry less debt than they do. (By the way, I thought the European Union forbids deficit spending of its member states?)

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by YeeHaW_Jelte (451855)

                "(By the way, I thought the European Union forbids deficit spending of its member states?)"

                Nope, it theoretically limits it to 3% yearly, but it isn't actually enforced so it's more like wishfull thinking (especially in the current 'let's spend ourselves out of this crisis' climate).

          • Re:lies lies (Score:4, Insightful)

            by StikyPad (445176) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:59PM (#27839377) Homepage

            Imagine what happens if #1 in the 1st link defaults on its debts.

            Ireland? Umm.. We stop celebrating St. Patrick's Day? I give up, what?

  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gcnaddict (841664) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:21PM (#27836917)
    Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along.

    Seriously, there's nothing here. Countries will always try to vilify other countries in order to satisfy their own interests. The Axis of Evil is a pretty good example.
  • SURPRISE!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by infalliable (1239578) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:22PM (#27836927)

    I do not think there is anything surprising about that conclusion that the entire thing is an attempt to force other countries into "compliance"

    • Re:SURPRISE!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:30PM (#27837073) Journal

      Just once I'd like to see the European Union Parliament issue a joint resolution to the White House:

      "Fuck off."

      Just to see what would happen.

      • by lorenlal (164133)

        First thing they'll get is a loud cheer from Americans like me.

      • Or perhaps: "stop producing fake imitation of Budweiser beer before putting anyone else on the blacklist".
        • by Sique (173459)

          The main problem with that: Anheuser-Busch started 30 years earlier than Budvar. So Anheuser-Busch has the original, and Budvar is the impostor.

          • by chimpo13 (471212)

            You're a bit backwards. From the wiki page:

            The original Budweiser Bier or Budweiser BürgerbrÃu, had been founded in 1785 in Budweis, Bohemia, Holy Roman Empire and had started exports to the US in 1871 resp. 1875. In the U.S., Anheuser-Busch started using the Budweiser brand in 1876 and registered it two years later.

            In Budweis, a new company (now named Budvar) was established in 1895 by mainly Czech brewers, which also started exporting beer with the adjective Budweiser ("BudÄjovick

      • by digitig (1056110)
        Politicians would never be so direct -- the best you can hope for is "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram".
        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:23PM (#27838919) Journal

          Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter in which, unusually, they said: "His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply". The response consisted, in part, of the following: "[We] would therefore be grateful if you could inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off".

      • Just once I'd like to see the European Union Parliament issue a joint resolution to the White House:

        "Fuck off."

        How about

        You will tell the president that we're disinclined to acquiesce his request.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373)

      This is just a leapfrogging game the multinational copyright holders are playing. They get one country to increase copyright law from X to Y, then scream that other countries are lagging behind, so those countries look at revising their copyright laws, initially just to Y, but since they're look at it, the multinational copyright holders push for increasing the law to Z. Now they behind screaming that the first country is 'behind' in protecting their 'rights'. Repeat until they have all the money.

      • Re:SURPRISE!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by malkavian (9512) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @05:14PM (#27838773) Homepage
        Repeat until they have all the money.

        Nope, repeat until people realise that the corporates have been stealing from them (theft of the public domain), and come to the conclusion that Copyright Law is now no longer a deal that the people are willing to enter into, and thus just take back by rampant piracy. At which point copyright laws are completely useless and unenforceable as you've just criminalised most of your population, which is pretty much a yardstick of a bad and unworkable law.
  • Hm, wonder why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:23PM (#27836939)
    Hm, I wonder why other countries don't want a DMCA style law, could it be that the DMCA is effectively killing the US software/hardware market? Why do we see so many (innovative and clone) products from China? Because they don't have the stupidities of US patent and copyright laws. Imagine the marketplace being flooded with choices, of phones that can do as much as the iPhone, yet cost hundreds less (unlocked of course) and including features not currently found in most phones (open hardware*, dual-sim slots, etc). The USA could easily be first in the technology market, if our lawmakers weren't in the pocketbooks of the RIAA, MPAA and other backwards lobby groups.

    *Well, perhaps open hardware is the wrong word, but basically hardware that if off-the-shelf, contains very little proprietary components and can be easily studied/modified.
    • There is a fine balance imo. China is like Geocities. There is a lot of shit coming out China for every geniune innovation.

      While we do need the freedom to improve upon things we also need protection from companies making shoddy knock-offs
      • Re:Hm, wonder why (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:02PM (#27837587)

        There is a fine balance imo. China is like Geocities. There is a lot of shit coming out China for every geniune innovation.

        The same could be said for any market, thats why we have reviews, if every game was as good as *insert favorite game here, as to not start a flamewar* then there wouldn't be a need for game reviews. Same thing for books, etc.

        The nice thing about China though is, everything is cheap and unhampered by corporations. For example, if they manage to get Bluetooth in there, they aren't going to disable tethering, etc. like what the phone monopolies in the USA make vendors do. You similarly are going to get cheap, unlocked phones. Most people's phones (especially 20-somes and teenagers) don't have a long life. For example, a phone accidentally dropped in a cup of coffee is probably going to be dead no matter if it was a top of the line phone from Nokia or Samsung or if it was a generic Chinese crap phone. So quality really doesn't matter, and the cloned phones have enough features that people need in a dumbphone (SMS, calls, sometimes a touchscreen or full keyboard, camera, etc) while not costing $300 unlocked.

        While we do need the freedom to improve upon things we also need protection from companies making shoddy knock-offs

        Sure, but that already happens in America, if we simply enforce trademark and weak copyright you don't get deceived that the cheap phone you bought was an iPhone, but there will be cheap iPhone-like phones available. Everyone wins. (And if you don't think that the iPhone is already cloned, it already is by most cell phone vendors here in the USA, the difference is you pay $400 for the rip off rather then $100)

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        There is a fine balance imo. China is like Geocities.

        Does this mean Yahoo is going to shut down China now??

      • by alexo (9335)

        There is a lot of shit coming out China for every geniune innovation.

        Theodore Sturgeon said it better than I could [wikipedia.org].

    • Re:Hm, wonder why (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Plekto (1018050) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:05PM (#27837635)

      Why do we see so many (innovative and clone) products from China? Because they don't have the stupidities of US patent and copyright laws.

      It's interesting to note that we did the exact same thing in the 1800s with any and all technology that we could manage to get our hands on during our industrial revolution phase.

    • Re:Hm, wonder why (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lorenlal (164133) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:11PM (#27837729)

      China has a system of blatantly stealing known technology too (see the Redberry, and Chery motors). They have no rules regarding foreign products, and in fact are encouraged to rip off what happens overseas by the govt. So I don't think that using China as an example of "innovation" is appropriate.

      Simple rules to allow artists and creators to make a living off of being artists aren't bad things. I'm perfectly fine with a musician being ticked that someone's jacking their music, writings, or whatever.

      In fact, if the RIAA and MPAA actually operated within those confines, I'm sure we'd have nowhere near the issue that we have now. The problem I have with the copyright lobby is that they've become a lobby. They don't value add, and they employ methods of enforcement that should be illegal. If they understood that their business model needs changing, and were willing to work *with* the markets instead of *against* the people, I'd see them as quite good and helpful.

      Sadly, their impression of embracing technology involves wiretapping, and not using the wire to sell and distribute.

      Now, onto your iPhone example - I think that you should concentrate elsewhere. In Japan, the iPhone is nothing special. They have excellent cutting edge phones, but from what I've gathered they do tend to be a little less reliable software wise. The features they have make the iPhone rather pedestrian (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/02/why-the-iphone/). In the case of the US, we do have a massive phone market, with a lot of competition, and decent product lines. It's not amazing by any stretch, but we have very solid phones, and they're engineered for reliability since that seems to be more important to the market here. Make no mistake, there's a lot of choice in the US.

      • Re:Hm, wonder why (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sique (173459) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:53PM (#27838373) Homepage

        China has a system of blatantly stealing known technology too (see the Redberry, and Chery motors). They have no rules regarding foreign products, and in fact are encouraged to rip off what happens overseas by the govt. So I don't think that using China as an example of "innovation" is appropriate.

        So this is different from Germany or the U.S. in the 19th century, or Japan in the 1950ies, or Taiwan in the 1980ies exactly how?
        Every country that has managed to close up to the technology leaders of its time has used the same tactics.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      I'm not really arguing against your point, I'm just honestly curious... what would be some examples of truly innovative products coming out of China? (and adding dual sim slots to a counterfeit iPhone does not count as innovative... :)

  • by Dripdry (1062282) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:24PM (#27836951) Journal

    We seem to continue operating under the false assumption that we are still the biggest dog on the block.
    After effectively skewering the financial system, starting a couple wars, and heaven knows what else we still expect to be taken so seriously.

    I recognize we still have the most bombs, but when or country acts like a petulant child it's still tough to be serious about it. It isn't leading the world, it isn't change. It's thinly veiled fascism.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:42PM (#27837263)
      Yes, the USA as a whole, seems to be living in a time where WWII just got over. We seem to think that in WWII we singlehandedly A) Rebuilt Europe B) Rebuilt Japan (which, does have some merit to that, but only after we managed to commit some of the most terrible crimes against humanity via the atomic bombs) C) Defeated both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. When history tells a different story. Then we also brag about our "win" in the Cold War against Soviet Russia *insert some joke here* and how by our superior diplomacy ended up saving humanity, no thanks to Russia, the other nations affected or the Russian people who opposed the Kremlin. Really, the USA thinks that they are the only thing holding humanity back from utter destruction and because of that the USA must be the country you model your countries after, including our draconian copyright laws, lack of free speech or other constitutional guarantees, the encroachment of government into business, the general failure of our economy, etc.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:09PM (#27837705)
        the encroachment of government into business

        No, you have that backwards. It's the encroachment of business into government that's the problem.
      • by jcnnghm (538570) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:31PM (#27838019)

        we managed to commit some of the most terrible crimes against humanity via the atomic bombs

        Which is nothing compared to the war crimes the Japanese themselves managed to commit. The Japanese engaged in mass killings of civilians, numbering between 3-10 million during the war. In addition, the Japanese conducted experiments not unlike those performed by Mendle under Unit 731, which was accused of both vivisection and cannibalism. They also used banned toxic gasses on the Chinese, tortured and executed prisoners, cannibalized allied prisoners, employed sex slaves and serial rape, and ran forced labor camps which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

        The atomic weapons used on Japan saved millions and millions of lives, and prevented even greater Japanese atrocities. Indeed, we still have purple hearts left over today from the supply ordered before the invasion of Japan, as the estimated casualties approached 1 million Americans, and nearly all the Japanese.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:55PM (#27838423)

          Its easy to look back in hindsight and say how it is, but back then things were different. The fire bombing raids on Japan already killed hundreds of thousands, and General Groves opposed the nuke [nuclearfiles.org] because he felt that "the effect would not be sufficiently distinct from our regular air force [bombing] program."

          Estimates of damage were approximated at 1/10 to 1/2 of the actual damage, not counting subsequent radiation damage.

          I suppose if they knew the actual damage that could have been caused, they could have dropped the bomb on somewhere unpopulated after warning the Japanese that they'd use it on their cities if they didn't surrender. The Japanese already were wanting an end to the war as seen by the resignation of Prime Minister Koiso and his cabinet. If the US hadn't demanded unconditional surrender, the war may well have ended earlier and without the use of nukes at all.

          Estimates of casualties due to the bombs were 200,000 people. During the fighting, that's about 2 months worth of lives lost. However, the firebombing of Tokyo cost roughly 100,000 lives, so the nuke was effectively more a psychological weapon than one used to kill (otherwise the conventional bombing raids would have had the same effect)

          • by Mal-2 (675116)

            This would not have worked for one simple reason -- there were only TWO BOMBS AVAILABLE. It would be many months before more would have been made. There were none to spare on "warning shots".

            It could be argued that the second bomb should have been deferred to see if the first one alone would have the desired effect (surrender), but the second bomb wasn't so much to break Japan as it was to intimidate the USSR. That's the real crime -- that Japan had to pay for a pissing match between two allies.

            Mal-2

        • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @06:03PM (#27839429)

          Which is nothing compared to the war crimes the Japanese themselves managed to commit.

          War crimes committed by the Japanese armed forces do not justify war crimes committed by the US. It's a very bad road to travel. These sorts of justifications for war crimes suddenly look far less attractive when the situation is reversed. Many of the military top brass considered the bombings to be unnecessary and also a heinous act.

          e.g.

          During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude...

          - Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

          "...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

          - Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63

          It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

          "The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

          - Admiral William Leahy, I Was There, pg. 441.

          The atomic weapons used on Japan saved millions and millions of lives, and prevented even greater Japanese atrocities. Indeed, we still have purple hearts left over today from the supply ordered before the invasion of Japan, as the estimated casualties approached 1 million Americans, and nearly all the Japanese.

          With Russia entering the war against Japan, they were already going to surrender pretty soon and the US knew it. The US military casualty estimates were originally nowhere near the 1 million level. The figures were being inflated in an attempt to justify the atomic bombings. However, even if the casualty estimates were right, it still does not justify the bombings. If it's ok for the US to murder several hundred thousand civilians in order to keep its own military casualties down, then it's also ok for anyone else. Would you accept Russia nuking Georgian cities in a future conflict in order to save the lives of Russian soldiers? If an enemy used similar tactics in order to cut down its military casualties, there would be virtually no-one arguing that it was justified (other than in the enemy country).

          • by True Grit (739797) * <edwcogburnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:03AM (#27842347)

            War crimes committed by the Japanese armed forces do not justify war crimes committed by the US. It's a very bad road to travel.

            True. Unfortunately, I get the impression from the arguments about this that people alive today simply don't realize/remember what the true nature of WWII was. It was the first, and last, example of "industrialized total war". The nature of industrialization, and the fact that all the belligerents had shifted their entire economies to 100% war production, meant that the city populations became "valid" targets, in the reasoning of the time, because they were manning the factories producing war material, and "100% war production" meant all factories were involved in the war effort in some way, so they were all valid targets.

            By today's standards its a war crime, of course, but then again, today's standards didn't exist back then, and after 6-12 years of total war and industrial-scale mass slaughter, what is now considered unthinkable, was unfortunately seen merely as "routine" then. Nor did it help that other side had themselves already done these kinds of acts against us, earlier in the war.

            The only useful lesson to learn from this, is that any war that is allowed to go on for too long, will end up dehumanizing all of its belligerants, allowing them to do things they otherwise never would have considered, and the Isreali-Palestinian conflict is a prime example of this (with both sides routinely found guilty of war crimes and atrocities).

            With Russia entering the war against Japan, they were already going to surrender pretty soon and the US knew it.

            Actually, not only did we NOT know this for a fact, but neither did the Japanese. Emperor Hirohito did not actually act until immediately after August 9, when the 2nd bomb was dropped *and* the USSR declared war. 5 days later there was a coup by some in Japan's Army against their own Emperor which was an unthinkable act in their society at the time. So surrender, regardless of conditions, was clearly not agreed upon by all in Japan's elite, with extremists in their Army even prepared to take violent action against their own "divine" emperor, rather than surrender.

            That there were those among our leadership convinced that they would, just shows how little we understood the Japanese mindset, even after years of fighting them. The only thing we "knew" with any degree of certainty was that there were elements within Japan's elite ready to "talk about" surrender. Of course we knew in 1943 the exact same thing about Germany (opposition to Hitler, recognition that the war was lost, willingness to surrender), yet the war went on another 2 years...

            The US military casualty estimates were originally nowhere near the 1 million level. The figures were being inflated in an attempt to justify the atomic bombings.

            [citation needed]

            This claim has been made before, but without proof of intent. An equally (or more) plausible reason is that the estimates kept going up as we got intel back from Japan about how they were preparing their *entire* population to "fight to the death". Nor was this without its own supporting evidence, try reading about what US troops encountered during the Okinawa campaign, which had a large component of native Japanese civilians. The suicidal fanaticism exhibited by the Japanese only escalated during '44-'45, rather than decrease, clearly not an indication of a people ready to surrender, and in fact it looked increasingly to the US, as evidence that perhaps an invasion of their homeland would in fact be horrifically bloody for both sides.

            However, even if the casualty estimates were right, it still does not justify the bombings.

            Unfortunately, in the cruel calculus of total war, it made perfect sense, since the more casualties your country takes as the fighting drags on, the less *value* you see in the lives of the enemy. Sadly,

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by jcnnghm (538570)

              This claim has been made before, but without proof of intent. An equally (or more) plausible reason is that the estimates kept going up as we got intel back from Japan about how they were preparing their *entire* population to "fight to the death". Nor was this without its own supporting evidence, try reading about what US troops encountered during the Okinawa campaign, which had a large component of native Japanese civilians. The suicidal fanaticism exhibited by the Japanese only escalated during '44-'45, rather than decrease, clearly not an indication of a people ready to surrender, and in fact it looked increasingly to the US, as evidence that perhaps an invasion of their homeland would in fact be horrifically bloody for both sides.

              I'd like to expand on this a bit. There were many different ways estimates were produced. The battle of Okinawa caused 72,000 casualties in 82 days, excluding indirect deaths from wounds that occurred after the battle. The casualty rate was 407 for every 10 square miles. Assuming the casualty rate was only 5% as high on the mainland, US casualties would have numbered 297,000.

              The Secretary of War estimated that 1.7-4 million American casualties, and 5-10 million Japanese fatalities would occur if there w

      • by alexo (9335)

        Really, the USA thinks that they are the only thing holding humanity back from utter destruction and because of that the USA must be the country you model your countries after, including our draconian copyright laws, lack of free speech or other constitutional guarantees, the encroachment of government into business, the general failure of our economy, etc.

        My understanding is that the first part of your statement is internal propaganda used to distract the US citizenry from realizing the second part.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        That's the feel-good, moral superiority reason that politicians like to trot out every so often, and that the public falls for time and again. If anyone here ever wonders why people call Americans arrogant, parent pretty much sums it all up right there.

        Realists know that it's just another form of imperialism.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      If we could just make them stand in the corner for a decade or two, until they learn to play nice with others.
      It worked on my 7 year old nephew.
    • by jcnnghm (538570)

      You may want to read up on what a superpower is, and what superpower remains today.

  • Wait for it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tgeigs (1497313)
    I'm waiting for the first ground war based solely on copyright. And if you don't think that's going to happen someday, then you have no idea how corporate America rules the politicians...
    • Warez scene raids (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:43PM (#27837297) Homepage Journal

      I'm waiting for the first ground war based solely on copyright.

      You mean like Operation Fastlink [wikipedia.org] and other raids on the warez scene?

    • Re:Wait for it (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:52PM (#27837415)

      You mean the 6th century Battle of Cul Dreimhne in Ireland, where the anti-copyright forces of St. Columcille won and 11000 men died?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columba#Early_life_in_Ireland [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:Wait for it (Score:4, Interesting)

      by RsG (809189) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:58PM (#27837533)

      Not going to happen. What might happen instead is the usual mix of embargoes, paper resolutions, backroom deals and "diplomacy", but outright war? You're kidding yourself.

      Pretty much the only times a modern nation will go to war is when it thinks it can win. Meaning against an opponent who hasn't the economic or military wherewithal to stand up and make the invader hurt. Hell, even in Iraq, the actual hurt being done to the US forces is being done by civilian insurgents, not an actual military.

      Name me one ground war since WWII that was fought between two developed nations that were anywhere near on equal footing. You can't. Even stuff like the Falklands war hardly qualifies as a "ground war", while 'Nam and Korea were the US against tiny nations that had bigger powers backing them by proxy. Do you really think that will change? Or that copyright will be the motive if it does?

      All the countries that the US opposes on the copyright issue are either first world nations or military powers in their own right. The little backwaters that it could actually clobber haven't the economic or political capital to make a copyright war worthwhile for the corporations that would promote such a measure. You really think the US is prepared for a ground war with Russia? How about Sweden? China? Canada? Please.

  • by ShanxT (1280784) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:49PM (#27837369)
    One of the reasons these countries are developing a good IT infrastructure is due to software piracy. Any student with the slightest interest can pick up any software whatsoever, be it Tally, Photoshop or MS Excel, and learn by themselves. And businesses obviously have cost benefits in using something for free. Why would a developing economy hamper it's businesses by forcing them to use original software? It might help the bigger companies, the ones who make the software, but will affect the small and medium sized businesses negatively. And in the end, the software companies that do get the benefit are American, and not local businesses.
  • Blacklist? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dwm (151474) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:52PM (#27837423)

    According to the original article [ustr.gov], this is a routine annual report listing who we are happy with or unhappy with concerning copyright and such. There's also no mention of DMCA. Evidently, countries come and go off these lists all the time. It's just a way for the USA to communicate what it does and doesn't like about other countries behavior. It's called diplomacy. How does anyone get "blacklist" out of this?

    By the way, it mentions that North Korea was taken off the bad-boy list. Does anyone really think North Korea instituted a DMCA-like law?

    • by Delkster (820935)

      There's also no mention of DMCA.

      As far as I know, it's not only about copyright but about the ah-so-lovely "intellectual property" in general. Some of the elevations on the list probably have to do with copyright laws, others might have to do with patent protection or whatever.

      How does anyone get "blacklist" out of this?

      I've heard it being called a blacklist in media before. I'm not really sure what the possible implications of being included on a specific watch level in the report would have, but generally, the difference between a listing used as a diplomatic pressure device and

    • By the way, it mentions that North Korea was taken off the bad-boy list. Does anyone really think North Korea instituted a DMCA-like law?

      Of course North Korea is in the good books. A totalitarian regime like North Korea is exactly what the copyright lobby wants for our internet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shma (863063)

      By the way, it mentions that North Korea was taken off the bad-boy list. Does anyone really think North Korea instituted a DMCA-like law?

      Do you really think Korea is a worse copyright violator than Canada? As far as Canada is concerned, this is obviously a pressure tacit to get them to write their own DMCA. Hell, even their own biased numbers show that we have the LOWEST piracy rate of anyone on the list [michaelgeist.ca], and yet we've been put in a category with the worst violators, all of which have, according to THEM, more than twice our piracy rate.

      • by shma (863063)

        Do you really think Korea is a worse copyright violator than Canada?

        Edit: that should have been "Do you really think Canada is a worse copyright violator than Korea?", obviously.

    • You're right. Special 301 reports are not "copyright blacklists." They deal with IP in general, and in past years have focused heavily on pharmaceutical patents (eyes on Thailand, Brazil, India, etc.). This one is a bit toned down in that respect, actually.

      Anyone who is familiar with the USTR's reports will find this somewhat unremarkable - well, except with the elevation of Canada.

  • by NickyGotz22 (1427691) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:13PM (#27837759)
    Finally an article on Slashdot where a librarian can weigh in with professional knowledge. I don't think enough people realize the mini-war going on in the publishing industry and how those vulture are trying to bleed everyone dry. I am a college librarian at a major university in Manhattan. Today I had to attend a meeting about copyright compliance. It seems that publishers are no longer satisfied with overcharging for every textbook and then overcharging again when a "new" edition (almost identical version except for a new graph or intro) comes out the very next year. Now they would like us to purchase a new copyright compliance software that will allow them to monitor (through the middlemen in the software company) how many times we upload any part of any published material and how many times the students access each pdf or document, and then charge us for every use even thought we have already purchased the book and been using that same material for years. Its nuts. Fair use and common long standing practices by many academic libraries used to mean to us that we could put up 10% of any published document and not have to worry. And i know the diligent followers of Slashdot are not surprised but this type of thuggish shake down. But its almost criminal the nerve these jackals have to try to penny pinch and financially gouge the very universities that are their life blood in this struggling market. Very rarely does a librarian threaten to burn books, but it would be a better use of em that paying those publishing bastards another cent.
    • by bcrowell (177657) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @10:05PM (#27841331) Homepage

      Yep. I teach physics at a community college. The school seems all too ready to accept propaganda from the publishers. At one of our yearly convocation breakfasts, they passed out a little booklet about copyright to all the faculty. The booklet was written by a publishing industry association, and you'd better believe that the words "fair use" occurred absolutely nowhere inside.

      Most college professors don't know how many high-quality free books there are to choose from -- see my sig. I use free books in all my courses. I just had an interesting talk with an econ professor at my school who has just adopted a free book put out by flatworldknowledge.com.

      One thing I see in the halls of the faculty offices that's really scary is that the textbook reps are pushing electronic books like crazy -- but these books are apparently distributed with DRM, on a rental basis, so that as soon as the student stops paying, the book stops working.

  • ......that the poster not link to another bloody slashdot page when they can just link to the freaking document itself?
  • by qirtaiba (582509) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @09:10PM (#27840971) Homepage
    The Consumers International IP Watch List [a2knetwork.org] is a counter-USTR 301 Report, released simultaneously, which lists countries according to our friendly their IP laws are to consumers, rather than how strongly those laws benefit creators. On this list, interestingly, the US is listed in the same company as China and India, countries which it strongly criticises in its 301 Report! The worst of all countries in the Consumers International list is the United Kingdom.
  • by macraig (621737) <.mark.a.craig. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:36AM (#27842511)

    Isn't it funny that the United States government has gone after so many corporations, accusing them of abusing positions of dominance in markets to create monopolies, when in fact that same government - and Americans collectively as a nation - have been guilty of the exact same monopolistic behaviors, perpetrated against the rest of the world? The United States has been abusing its economic position to "export" its economic values and system for many decades. In fact, that exportation is more coercive and extortionate than it is consensual: "you style your economy and trade laws after our own, to protect OUR interests and desire to profit from YOUR citizens, or we won't do business with you".

    Oh, and THEN there was the Iraq War(s).

    It's about time the United States Government itself was indicted on anti-trust charges. It has violated all the "trust" the American people have ever placed in it. Actions speak louder than words: this is an industrialist-dominated capitalist economy first and a democracy a distant second. Those decades of coercion, the Iraq War, and now this unsurprising revelation about yet more economic browbeating. So-called intellectual property law is one of the key aspects of that monopolistic behavior.

    Forget about impeaching just Bush and Cheney... we need to impeach the entire American government, retroactively back to at least the early 1900s, and the entire American people for quietly condoning this and turning a blind eye. This is an entire nation guilty of monopolistic behavior, and using both the might of our economy AND our military to enable it.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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