Consumer Rights
June 20, 2003
Orrin Hatch Goodies: MP3s and AIFF Files From June 17, 2003 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Okay so Wired News has a great story about how Orinn Hatch says one thing and does another with regard to respecting copyright laws. Perhaps now he will just admit that he didn't understand how easy it is to "violate copyright" (gasp!) unknowlingly.

Meanwhile, a link to the the real feed of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on P2P and Filesharing Networks where he made his original inflammatory remarks finds its way to my mailbox. (Clip starts a little bit after 1 hour 28 minutes on the real feed when Hatch gives a little speech at the end.)

And voila, MP3s and uncompressed AIFF files of the most damning part of his little speech are born.

The "original" version was pretty quiet -- so I increased the gain and made the "louder" versions of the MP3 and AIFF files. But for you purists who would rather increase the gain on your own, I left the original in the directory.

There's also another guy talking in the beginning of the "original"-- which is edited out of the "louder" versions.


Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:,1283,59305,00.html

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Orrin Hatch: Software Pirate?

By Leander Kahney | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1

11:56 AM Jun. 19, 2003 PT

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suggested Tuesday that people who download copyright materials from the Internet should have their computers automatically destroyed.

But Hatch himself is using unlicensed software on his official website, which presumably would qualify his computer to be smoked by the system he proposes.
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* Orrin Hatch: Software Pirate?

The senator's site makes extensive use of a JavaScript menu system developed by Milonic Solutions, a software company based in the United Kingdom. The copyright-protected code has not been licensed for use on Hatch's website.

"It's an unlicensed copy," said Andy Woolley, who runs Milonic. "It's very unfortunate for him because of those comments he made."

Hatch on Tuesday surprised a Senate hearing on copyright issues with the suggestion that technology should be developed to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Net.

Hatch said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights," the Associated Press reported. He then suggested the technology would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."

Any such technology would be in violation of federal antihacking laws. The senator, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested Congress would have to make copyright holders exempt from current laws for them to legally destroy people's computers.

On Wednesday, Hatch clarified his comments, but stuck by the original idea. "I do not favor extreme remedies -- unless no moderate remedies can be found," he said in a statement. "I asked the interested industries to help us find those moderate remedies."

Just as well. Because if Hatch's terminator system embraced software as well as music, his servers would be targeted for destruction.

Milonic Solutions' JavaScript code used on Hatch's website costs $900 for a site-wide license. It is free for personal or nonprofit use, which the senator likely qualifies for.

However, the software's license stipulates that the user must register the software to receive a licensing code, and provide a link in the source code to Milonic's website.

On Wednesday, the senator's site met none of Milonic's licensing terms. The site's source code (which can be seen by selecting Source under the View menu in Internet Explorer) had neither a link to Milonic's site nor a registration code.

However, by Thursday afternoon Hatch's site had been updated to contain some of the requisite copyright information. An old version of the page can be seen by viewing Google's cache of the site.

"They're using our code," Woolley said Wednesday. "We've had no contact with them. They are in breach of our licensing terms."

When contacted Thursday, Woolley said the company that maintains the senator's site had e-mailed Milonic to begin the registration process. Woolley said the code added to Hatch's site after the issue came to light met some -- but not all -- of Milonic's licensing requirements.

Before the site was updated, the source code on Hatch's site contained the line: "* i am the license for the menu (duh) *"

Woolley said he had no idea where the line came from -- it has nothing to do with him, and he hadn't seen it on other websites that use his menu system.

"It looks like it's trying to cover something up, as though they got a license," he said.

A spokesman in Hatch's office on Wednesday responded, "That's ironic" before declining to put Wired News in contact with the site's webmaster. He deferred comment on the senator's statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which did not return calls.

The apparent violation was discovered by Laurence Simon, an unemployed system administrator from Houston, who was poking around Hatch's site after becoming outraged by his comments.

Milonic's Woolley said the senator's unlicensed use of his software was just "the tip of the iceberg." He said he knows of at least two other senators using unlicensed copies of his software, and many big companies.

Continental Airlines, for example, one of the largest airlines in the United States, uses Woolley's system throughout its website. Woolley said the airline has not paid for the software. Worse, the copyright notices in the source code have been removed.

"That really pisses me off," he said.

A spokesman for Continental said the airline would look into the matter.

Woolley makes his living from his software. Like a lot of independent programmers, he struggles to get people to conform to his licensing terms, let alone pay for his software.

"We don't want blood," he said. "We just want payment for the hard work we do. We work very, very hard. If they're not prepared to pay, they're software pirates."

End of story

Posted by Lisa at June 20, 2003 11:00 AM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)

Quote of the Week

"I guess if Ari had to rebel, being a Republican is better than being on drugs, but not by much."

Alan Fleischer, father of White House press secretary Ari Fleischer

Posted by: Kyle Stoner on June 21, 2003 11:14 AM
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