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Politician Violates His Own Two-Strikes Anti-Piracy Plan (torrentfreak.com)
192 points by nextparadigms on Oct 3, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

This trend of laws which attempt to take away a person's Internet access is very scary. How is this to be enforced? By what logic is it considered a proportional or effective punishment?

> How is this to be enforced?

Mass surverillance, mass punishment, mass censorship. You have a vast amount of information that people are not allowed to communicate to each other, even inside their most private communication.

> By what logic is it considered a proportional or effective punishment?

Nobody claimed that it is considered proportional. We're dealing with a topic that key stakeholders like Mark Getty are describing as the "Oil of the 21'st century". Considering that all copyright matters are decided completely behind closed doors (ACTA for example has been even declared a "national security secret" by the Obama administration, to prevent information about upcomming laws to leak into the public, to decrease the amound of opposition before its too late) and that all copyright jurisdiction is basically routing around democracy and public participation since its emergence in monarchistic Europe, they simply dont see the need to present those measures as proportional because they know that (in the near future) no population will ever be allowed to vote on it.

This is just great. Here's an even better article in german about the whole story (from the german pirates) http://piratig.de/2011/09/30/kaudergate-2ndstrike-sehr-geehr....

Lucky for Kauder, as a politician he's immune to law, but its nevertheless absolutely embarrassing.

Lawmakers that are above the law will always be a problem.

Edit: I do not mean that such will always exist, though I guess that's an interesting debate in its own right.

> Lawmakers that are above the law will always be a problem.

Much like sysadmins who make policy exceptions for their non-admin accounts!

That would be more like police skipping laws they disagree with.

Managers/CEOs dictating a 4 email per inbox policy and then getting it removed for them only when it causes them an inconvenience would be more like the above story.

I agree. Is there a strong argument in favor of politicians having immunity, other than the fact that they had the power to make that law for themselves?

If a politician does not have political immunity, he can be arrested on trumped up charges by the party in power.

At least in some cases, it would be better of politicians had to 'eat their own dog food.'

That's not a good enough reason for immunity from the law. While we're playing "maybe/possibly/couldhappen," certainly the media would be watching something like that closely enough that the truth shouldn't be difficult to find.

Yes, there is. There are also not completely above the law, but subject to the parliaments procedures (or so).

The argument is the separation of powers: the judges shouldn't be able to interfere with the lawmakers.

You are free to find that argument convincing or not.

In most jurisdictions (I'm not sure about Germany) Parliamentary Immunity is not immunity from the law. Parliamentary Immunity is immunity from prosecution for things politicians say on the floor of parliament. So a politician can be arrested for breaking the law in most situations.

To be clear, the policy in question that he has been pushing for is not a law, and it looks like it was pretty unlikely that it was ever going to become law.

He isn't receiving special treatment by the authorities in this case; currently no one would have their page aggressively taken down for this.

In Germany, politicians are not "immune to" or otherwise above the law. Parliamentarians (which this gentleman is one of) have limited immunity, as in most democracies, to protect them from arbitrary acts by the executive branch. IANAL, so I'd be curious if this kind of copyright infringement could be acted upon.

Politician's blog: (http://www.siegfriedkauder.de/)

Copied photo: (http://www.vogtsbauernhof.org/content/view/full/213)

Pretty clumsy move, especially for a lawyer, especially for a lawyer who claims to want to protect copyright. He's not jsut kept the image in his private collection, but is serving it to whoever many people visit his site. I have no idea about Germany, but in England it's the sharing with other people that becomes a problem.

He probably couldn't care less about protecting anyone's copyright. He is probably benefiting in some way (personally or politically) and that is why he is pushing for this.

"He is probably benefiting in some way (personally or politically)" ... besides being a politician he is also the chairman of the German music industry organisation. There you go.

they should insist his site be taken down, under his own policy any other site would have been for the initial infringement, irrelevant of the later change.

Of course this would be an obvious demand and ironic. But I suggest one should only insist that he retreats from his policy aims: accept failure and/or step down.

Asking for his site to be taken down in accordance with his own misguided policy could give undue legitimacy to this policy.

I second this. Can he also be ostracized from the internet completely on all devices/all his locations? In fact hit his office staff too since we are not sure who actually committed the infringement.

Of all the comments here, @codeup is the most level-headed for the HN crowd. Most people in these forums typically rail the RIAA, tell musicians they should seek new business models, claim that piracy is not stealing, and defend unethical behavior as it pertains to copyright tooth and nail. Then, when a politician fighting for pro-copyright policy infringes, they want to see the policy not just upheld, but to quote @dlikhten "on all devices/all his locations? ...his office staff too..."

It just goes to show how weak the defense is for this side of the argument. "See! It's so difficult. Let's just forget about the whole argument, but punish this idiot first."

"claim that piracy is not stealing"

Infringement is not stealing, or at least it wasn't before people started trying to abuse marketing to induce linguistic drift in order to promote their agenda.

I don't think "let's just punish this idiot first" is a reasonable can of paint to use. It's more likely to be taken as proof that the nominally legal or moral campaign of the copyright lobby is really just abusing the system for profit and power. Copyright lawyer or politician goes on about how horrible kids are for using Napster, is found committing plagiarism or lifting photos.

If anything, people want to punish them for abuse of power, not infringement. At most, it's "let's hang this guy with his own rope."

Infringement may not be stealing, but it's just as illegal. He's trying to implement a system for enforcing a law that already exists. In particular, it's a law where you get a warning before anything happens. How is that abusive?

Further, what is "nominally legal or moral" about protecting the rights of artists to be paid for the use of their works? If you build software and decide to charge for it, and someone else makes a bunch of copies of it and makes it impossible for you to make money from it, do you not want the law protecting you to be enforced? Last I checked, programmers have a hard time making money from merch and touring.

It's civil rather than criminal, or at least it used to be, so it is not really accurate to call them "just as illegal." It used to be you had to show damages and then sue for reparations. Regardless, conflating the two is disingenuous.

> what is "nominally legal or moral" about protecting the rights of artists to be paid for the use of their works

"Nominally," as in, "in name." It is claimed to be done to "protect the artist" - while the same people making this plea are and have been shafting the content creators as hard as possible by any trickery and chicanery they can get away with. There is a moral argument to be made, but the parties who are usually first to go there are decidedly amoral.

The moral of the argument and the person making it should be kept separate. Everyone thinks the RIAA should go fuck themselves. It doesn't mean there should be a content free for all to spite them and pretend that it's not hurting artists just as much.

And false advertising is just as illegal as trespassing, but that doesn't mean we should conflate them.

What's abusive is the punishment. Would it be abusive if a first offense of jaywalking was given a warning and the second punished by permanently stripping you of a drivers license?

If people were randomly walking into traffic at the same rate that they're taking content that doesn't belong to them I think we'd be pretty quick to support swift and decisive action. Everyone cries (me included) when some poor sap has to take a million dollar beating for downloading a handful of MP3s. If 1000 people losing the internet after being warned already once helps to stop that from happening, and simultaneously starts getting the public to take this issue seriously, I think everyone is better off for it. When you get a warning about this issue, you educate yourself about it, stop doing what you're not supposed to, and you move on. How long do we have to side with ignorance (meaning that people don't know they're doing something wrong) over fairness to content owners?

I don't think the give-him-some-of-his-own reaction shows "how weak the defense is for this side of the argument".

You may be taking the reaction literally, but it likely just means this: If we mock this politician by threatening to apply his policy to himself, it may begin to dawn on his supporters that he is wrong.

So folks are just making fun of him, and rightly so. I just think that this particular joke may backfire (see my other comment).

My understanding: The two-strikes plan is a really nasty thing in many ways which is perhaps understood almost unanimously in HN crowd.

The politician in question obviously does not understand that. He's the player at the poker table who doesn't know who's the weakest player at the said table. Therefore, he is that weakest player. He is therefore an idiot, as you have stated.

But the problem is that he is a dangerous idiot, and people are generally happy when a dangerous idiot is crushed by his own stupidity. He was dangerous and we could not do anything; but too good, he took care of that himself.

Nobody realistically expects the said law to be applied to the said politician. But suggesting that increases the level of that politician's misery and perhaps would teach a lesson to other dangerous idiots.

From my perspective the political game is not about actually getting things like this realised, but pushing the level of acceptance. He is making claims that are on a "borderline", meaning they are quite out there, but not "completely" insane. By doing this he attempts to push the level of acceptance further and move the middle ground towards his position. Good old Hegel'ian Dialectics.

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