why does congress hate america?

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill:

Several lobbying camps from different industries and ideologies are joining forces to fight an overhaul of copyright law [...] which Congress might try to push through during a lame-duck session that begins this week.

The bill lumps together several pending copyright bills [...] which would criminally punish a person who "infringes a copyright by ... offering for distribution to the public by electronic means, with reckless disregard of the risk of further infringement."

The bill would also permit people to use technology to skip objectionable content -- like a gory or sexually explicit scene -- in films, a right that consumers already have. However, under the proposed law, skipping any commercials or promotional announcements would be prohibited.

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24 Responses:

  1. lo5an says:

    I wonder how that would play with an objectionable commercial?
    Or with in-movie product placement accompanied by sex or violence?

  2. lars_larsen says:

    In order to stop DVR devices from allowing you to fast forward through commercials, they'd have to embed a signal in TV broadcasts to differentiate between programming and commercials. The beauty of this is that one could theoretically program a DVR to AUTOMAGICALLY skip commercials :)

    Of course, the SWAT team would bust through your windows and point automatic weapons at you...

    • transgress says:

      hrm, very true. I think however, they will probably mark the objectional content and leave everything else unmarked. Hrm, what about people that just want to skip to the objectional content, that would be a much better feature. I mean seriously, most tv's (all?) have vchips in them, but does anyone use them?

      • lars_larsen says:

        They must allow you to fast forward through the entire program. They cant just flag the objectionable parts.

        • transgress says:

          yea but I don't see this as a fast forward feature, more like a click-n-skip, so you would be able to still fast forward over anything- however you could probably set an option in the device that plays the media to skip objectional content. With that said, it would be perfectly plausible to only flag objectional content, while still having the traditional fast forward feature to be able to skip through anything else.

          • lars_larsen says:

            It seems to me they want to stop people from fast forwarding through commercials. But you're right, its not clear.

            • transgress says:

              well it seems like they want more than fast forward, they want to be able to completely bypass the situation- afterall with fast forward you still see the sex, it just goes by faster. However, logic need not apply to government rulings.

  3. mykwud says:

    whilst doing my usual mid-workday Friendslist skim, I mistakenly first read this as "SAM RAIMI COPYRIGHT BILL". In which, I presume, he legislates "The Grudge" to be a wholly original work of his creation, the "Darkman" sequels to never-exist, and "Crimewave" to not-suck.

    • There were sequels to Darkman? Good lord.

    • thomtoffner says:

      Crimewave seemed like such a no brainer for an instant hit:

      written by Coen Bros,
      directed by Sam Raimi,
      starring Bruce Campbell,

      I mean, whats not to love. Unfortunately it was the movie that was not to love, painfully painful.

      • mykwud says:

        ahh, you're forgetting that one classic scene though:

        "Yeah, kid, maybe I am a heel. So what?"
        "Well maybe i'm a guy who HATES heels."
        "Well maybe i'm a HEEL who hates guys who hate heels."
        "Well, maybe i'm a guy who hates heels who hate guys who hate..." [Bruce punches him]

        • lovingboth says:

          And the rest!

          Sick, but good.

          Actually on topic: why do Americans vote for a congress that cares more about a few media corporations' ability to make money than their constituents' rights?

          • ilcylic says:

            Duh, it's obviously because voting third party is just throwing your vote away.

            "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."


  4. kyronfive says:

    The bill would also permit people to use technology to skip objectionable content -- like a gory or sexually explicit scene -- in films, a right that consumers already have. However, under the proposed law, skipping any commercials or promotional announcements would be prohibited.

    ....which the people who *really* run the government find even more objectionable.

  5. transgress says:

    hrm what is that quote from, i can remember it but not place it 'why do you hate america'

  6. iota says:

    I don't see why everyone is so worried about this... I'm sure that TiVo will quickly release a firmware patch that will automatically overlay hardcore porn over any commercial, making it legal to skip them.

  7. irilyth says:

    How high-tech does my commercial-skipping system have to be to qualify as prohibited? If I look away, cover my ears, and loudly hum the Final Jeopardy music (about thirty seconds, just right for this purpose), am I breaking the law?

  8. ammonoid says:

    Why do I suddenly have a mental image of someone strapped in a chair, with their eyelids propped open a al Clockwork Orange, being forced to watch commercials?

    And the 11th commandmant was "Thou shalt watch all the commercials".

  9. why does congress hate america?

    Because the latter is too stupid to fix the former. See previous election results for details.

  10. boggyb says:

    I don't ever recall signing a contract stating what I may and may not choose to watch. Then again, I didn't read the Win2k license back to front, so I probably did so (in addition to giving away my first-born son to Microsoft, and agreeing to tithe 10% of all my goods, both worldy and not)

  11. edlang says:

    In Soviet Russia, America hates the ... oh, wait.

  12. badger says:

    Public Knowledge has a website that you can fax your congressman through to protest this bill.


    (I thought this would be a good resource to share, my apologies if this comment is objectionable in some way.)