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Author Topic: Files aren’t property, says US government  (Read 4145 times)

zridling

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Files aren’t property, says US government
« on: November 05, 2012, 05:46:38 AM »
So I guess this means your files are my files and my files are the government's. And those Hollywood movies might not be the movie studios' "property" after all.
KimDotCom is only one battle between the corporate state and us. My entire existence is now one of defiance -- to politicians, to wars, to god-believers, to climate deniers, and to a US government that at every turn is doing the wrong thing. Whenever someone does have the courage to call bullshit on them, suddenly they disappear into indefinite detention, lose their passport in a foreign country, or the government suddenly passes a new law criminalizing any form of dissent. I can "own" property, but only as long as it can used to incriminate me. And then some [slippery slope] excuse is made for why it's not really my property:
-- You shouldn't have put it in the cloud.
-- You shouldn't have put it on servers.
-- You shouldn't have put it in your email.
-- You shouldn't have put it on your HD (or any other storage device).

In case you haven't noticed, the internet is illegal according to your government. Enjoy it while it's still around.

______________________________________________________________________
Relevant links:
Files aren’t property, says US government
http://www.theregist..._goodwin_megaupload/

Megaupload and the Government's Attack on Cloud Computing
https://www.eff.org/...tack-cloud-computing

Richard Stallman Was Right All Along
http://www.osnews.co..._Was_Right_All_Along

The government maintains that Mr. Goodwin lost his property rights in his data by storing it on a cloud computing service.  Specifically, the government argues that both the contract between Megaupload and Mr. Goodwin (a standard cloud computing contract) and the contract between Megaupload and the server host, Carpathia (also a standard agreement), "likely limit any property interest he may have" in his data.  (Page 4). If the government is right, no provider can both protect itself against sudden losses (like those due to a hurricane) and also promise its customers that their property rights will be maintained when they use the service. Nor can they promise that their property might not suddenly disappear, with no reasonable way to get it back if the government comes in with a warrant. Apparently your property rights "become severely limited" if you allow someone else to host your data under standard cloud computing arrangements. This argument isn't limited in any way to Megaupload -- it would apply if the third party host was Amazon's S3 or Google Apps or or Apple iCloud.   

The government's tactics here also demonstrate another chilling thing—if users do try to get their property back, the government won't hesitate to comb through their property to try to find an argument to use against them. The government also seeks to place a virtually insurmountable practical burden on users by asking the court to do a slow-walking, multi-step process that takes place in a far away court.  Most third parties who use cloud computing services to store their business records or personal information are not in a position to attend even one court appearance in Virginia, much less the multiple ones the government envisions in its submission to the court.

Ultimately, if the government doesn't feel any obligation to respect the rights of Megaupload's customers—and it clearly doesn't—it's not going to suddenly feel differently if the target of its next investigation is a more mainstream service.  The scope of its seizure here was breathtaking and they took no steps to engage in what the law calls "minimization," either before its searches and seizures or afterwards, by taking  steps to return property to cloud computing users who it knew would be hurt. And now the government is trying to use standard contractual language to argue that any user of a cloud computing service has, at best, "severely limited" ownership rights in their property.

Renegade

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 06:23:32 AM »
In case you haven't noticed, the internet is illegal according to your government. Enjoy it while it's still around.

But, but, but... Hackers! Terrorists! Anarchists! We need to be "safe"!

More and more we see the vindication of Stallman.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 06:31:00 AM »
As George Orwell so neatly put it - there is really no way to get around Doublethink.

I'll risk a quote (which may or may not be a copyright violation depending on who you ask):

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.

If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality. For the secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes.



TaoPhoenix

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 08:12:35 AM »

I'm kinda amazed that the big Cloud guys aren't upset by this. It's that social division by zero thing again. This is basically becoming Calvinball. If files aren't property then if it worked it would be a hysterical defense to the Copyright problem. (Remember the P part of Intellectual Property?)

But if files aren't proprietary property then a whole lot of law precedent is going to break.

Renegade

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 08:20:51 AM »
But if files aren't proprietary property then a whole lot of law precedent is going to break.

I was thinking about just how absurd things would get, and then I remembered... Silly Renegade! Laws are only there to restrict the freedoms of PEOPLE! Not CORPORATIONS! Sometimes I just let my brain fall out of my head. After all, the rule of law is all about some animals being more equal than others. And we all know the corporations are the pigs. :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

justice

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 08:52:07 AM »
As long as the government hasn't signed my acceptable use agreement which retroactively applies rights to files I've uploaded, they can't do anything! Muhaha.

But seriously,
Quote
Apparently your property rights "become severely limited" if you allow someone else to host your data under standard cloud computing arrangements. This argument isn't limited in any way to Megaupload -- it would apply if the third party host was Amazon's S3 or Google Apps or or Apple iCloud.   
There's a difference between services that are aimed at sharing information with the public, like Megaupload, and services that have private information, such as iCloud. Just need a few appeals and case law before they'll realise, hopefully.

zridling

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 03:23:04 PM »
I'm kinda amazed that the big Cloud guys aren't upset by this.... if files aren't proprietary property then a whole lot of law precedent is going to break.
And in the larger picture, if there is no private property, there is no capitalism. Not even the crony capitalism we suffer today.

Silly Renegade! Laws are only there to restrict the freedoms of PEOPLE! Not CORPORATIONS!
That reminds me of Nomi Prins' article:
Before the Election was Over, Wall Street Won (long read)
http://www.nomiprins...wall-street-won.html

But seriously,... There's a difference between services that are aimed at sharing information with the public, like Megaupload, and services that have private information, such as iCloud. Just need a few appeals and case law before they'll realise, hopefully.
That's the obvious fear in the Megaupload case, that by the time you protest your case, your files have been confiscated, you've been locked out, and they're looking for ways to prosecute you with it. You can always spend years and untold amounts on lawyers and international courts trying to claw back your property, though. Good luck with that!

SeraphimLabs

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 05:07:47 PM »
If files aren't property, then they also cannot be someone else's Intellectual Property, nor can they be stolen property in an infringement case.

I honestly think this is the biggest good news for the average person since internet file sharing was invented- as long as you don't actually download the stuff onto your own machine, it isn't your property to be charged with possession of, and all the liability falls onto the host storing that content- except files aren't property so they get off easy too.

This is amazing, it really would break every single infringement case on record and completely destroys the notion of software patents and copyrighted software.


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 05:14:09 PM »
If files aren't property, then they also cannot be someone else's Intellectual Property, nor can they be stolen property in an infringement case.

I honestly think this is the biggest good news for the average person since internet file sharing was invented- as long as you don't actually download the stuff onto your own machine, it isn't your property to be charged with possession of, and all the liability falls onto the host storing that content- except files aren't property so they get off easy too.

This is amazing, it really would break every single infringement case on record and completely destroys the notion of software patents and copyrighted software.

You'd think, but of course it won't work out that way, it will become "Schrodinger Property", when and if it suits someone to have it be in whichever state suits their evil ends. You didn't think the US Gov managed THAT kind of end run on Copyright, did you?

IainB

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 05:26:22 PM »
This seems rather confuzzling to me. It might even all be leading to a good thing, depending on how you looked at it or defined things.
I think a careful definition of all terms used might be in order. Things could look a little clearer then.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 05:36:38 PM by IainB »

40hz

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 06:37:19 PM »
I think a careful definition of all terms used might be in order.

Yes. I'm sure we'd all like that. But I'm not holding my breath. We're dealing with double-plus ungood duckspeakers after all. ;D

IainB

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 07:09:46 PM »
@40hz: Yes of course, but you see I was not excluding the terminology in the opening post.
If you start off with fuzzy terms, you generally end up with fuzzy thinking.

Separately, this seemed relevant: http://imgs.xkcd.com.../infrastructures.png

Renegade

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 07:13:46 PM »
@40hz: Yes of course, but you see I was not excluding the terminology in the opening post.
If you start off with fuzzy terms, you generally end up with fuzzy thinking.

And sometimes it just takes a while for the fuzziness to become problematic.

Separately, this seemed relevant: http://imgs.xkcd.com.../infrastructures.png

As we see in that cartoon! :)

More and more, Stallman is being vindicated.

I really don't like some of Stallman's ideas, e.g. he's a radical socialist human-hater that seems to support depopulation, but for the FOSS stuff, he's pretty much being proven right.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 08:15:27 PM »
@40hz:[/b] Yes of course, but you see I was not excluding the terminology in the opening post.
If you start off with fuzzy terms, you generally end up with fuzzy thinking.

No doubt. But these are Americans. Fuzzy thinking only takes second place to magical thinking when politics and this crowd are involved. Trust me. I've lived here all my life. ;D

40hz

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2012, 08:20:46 PM »
he's a radical socialist human-hater that seems to support depopulation

No he's not. He's just an ubergeek. Very smart - but poorly socialized.

And like most geeks he sees all problems as nothing more than technical problems. Problems which are amenable to simple linear technical fixes.

He doesn't hate people. He just sees them as yet another technical problem. :-\

 ;) 8) ;D

Renegade

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2012, 08:28:59 PM »
he's a radical socialist human-hater that seems to support depopulation

No he's not. He's just an ubergeek. Very smart - but poorly socialized.

And like most geeks he sees all problems as nothing more than technical problems. Problems which are amenable to simple linear technical fixes.

He doesn't hate people. He just sees them as yet another technical problem. :-\

 ;) 8) ;D

I find some things he says rather puzzling.

On one hand, he'll talk about morality and ethics and blah blah blah.

Then, in a second breath, he'll talk about depopulation.  :huh:

I don't know how he reconciles "morality" with "depopulation". The "final solution" was a "technical answer" to a "technical problem"?
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

f0dder

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2012, 11:35:21 PM »
that seems to support depopulation
Oh? That'd be one of his redeeming character traits.
- carpe noctem

Renegade

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2012, 01:12:44 AM »
that seems to support depopulation
Oh? That'd be one of his redeeming character traits.

Hahahaah~! ;D

I take it that you really don't like Stallman very much!  :tellme:
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

zridling

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2012, 05:08:55 PM »
you-are-free0.jpg

40hz

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 05:44:38 PM »
The "final solution" was a "technical answer" to a "technical problem"?

What came out a the Nuremberg Trials was exactly that. Those accused of genocide had rationalized it to themselves that way. That was what came to be called "the banality of evil."

Quote
Banality of evil is a phrase used by Hannah Arendt in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.

Her thesis is that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.

Explaining this phenomenon, Edward S. Herman has emphasized the importance of "normalizing the unthinkable." According to him, "doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on 'normalization.' This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as 'the way things are done.'"

Sometimes you can also be too intellectual and emotionally detached for your own (or other people's) good. Stallman is very much like that.

There used to be an honorary organization founded by the Discordians called the Part of the Solution Party - or P.O.S. for short. It was open to public figures who favored the practice of getting rid of parts of the general population as part of "the solution" to society's woes. They had the right to add the letters POS after their name.

These are the same people who say things like: I'm sorry to hear about your cat's penis. But it really was for his own good y'know.

Perhaps we should nominate RMS? ;D
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 06:04:07 PM by 40hz »

barney

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2012, 05:53:27 PM »
POS also stands for Point of Sale ... an apt simile considering some of their later history.

40hz

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2012, 06:04:42 PM »
POS also stands for Point of Sale ... an apt simile considering some of their later history.

That too. ;D :Thmbsup:

Renegade

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Re: Files aren’t property, says US government
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2012, 08:44:38 PM »
POS also stands for Point of Sale ... an apt simile considering some of their later history.

Neither of those 2 are what I first thing of when I see "POS". :)

A friend of mine has an HP laptop that has been in for repair more than I can count. It's been nicknamed the "HPOS". :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker