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SOPA internet censorship bill

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Affairs' started by EarlyMon, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member Thread Starter


    Member243850 likes this.
  2. Drhyde

    Drhyde Android Enthusiast

    Ugghh...there's also ACTA which was completely drummed up in secret.

    When are we going to learn? Did we learn nothing from bad legislation like the PATRIOT Act? Why are we giving law enforcement, government agencies, and even businesses more power to police us? The internet is last real place of freedom. I can go read about Android, post on neo-nazi forums, watch weird ass tentacle porn, whatever. It's the one place that we can truly do what we will. Yes, there are drawbacks to anything like the internet, but instead of snubbing it out, why aren't copyright holders/businesses/whatever attempting to adjust their business methods and mediums rather than snuff it out because someone downloaded their music?
    tommy_ed likes this.
  3. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    Because while we're the ones that elect our officials, it's big business that influences them.
  4. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    God sakes, Early . . .I am. I recently spent several hours with several lawyers and a few representatives of a large IP Rights department of a large well known manufacturer and this was a touched on during the meeting.

    Did not specifically apply to me, but it was debated.

    You would be amazed at just how many IP attorneys do not know much about the Copyright Act and/or the DMCA.
    mikedt and EarlyMon like this.
  5. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I had a meeting with some lawyers recently about the discovery process for electronic documents. I was shocked. We've stored almost everything electronically in the enterprise world for a few years now and people have no idea whatsoever how it's stored. Consequently they have no clue what and how to ask for relevant documents.

    We got a request from another firm for all documents stored in ASCII that contained certain key words. I explained to the lawyer for the firm we were working with that nothing in Windows has been stored in ASCII since at least NT. Since then it's all Unicode. We seriously considered telling the other firm that we had no documents at all stored in ASCII. We ended up giving them the documents we had that had those keywords, but no emails because emails are not stored as plain text at all in the Exchange environment we're running. I ended up being surprised at how many lawyers on both sides of the table had no clue how documents were stored electronically. The guy I talked to said I should offer a seminar on e-discovery.
  6. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    What do you suggest we do? How do we "adjust our business methods?" Help me understand what we should do. We can't control the Internet. We can only hope people do not offer our crap for free.

    If I steal your car, perhaps you should forget the "keeping it on the driveway" model and try a "garage model." Not sure what you mean. Got solutions? I am all ears.

    You illegally DL something, we can use the takedown provisions of the DMCA and that often forces infringers/weh hosts/whatevers to remove things from their customer's web site. We can go to federal court and sue you, perhaps sue you in your state courts, get a judgment and go after your stuff, but then we are blasted by people that think we are big and bad and evil.

    They would, however, scream bloody hell if we/I stole their personal property.

    I am one of those creators and I know other creators. Part of my month is spent looking at the laws and ways to prevent issues like illegal downloads and talking to IP departments making sure I dot every I and cross every T, just to avoid possible lawsuits.

    We had a recent complaint by someone that said we stole a screen shot of theirs. It was a SS of a typical Windows 7 desktop. Standard Windows wallpaper, a "My Computer" icon, and the trash. Nothing came of it except the need to spend a little time and a little cash.

    We face problems; once something is in digital format, it can be stolen wholesale. We can use DRM but that gets hacked and people seem to raise hell over ant attempt to protect what is unquestionably our property.

    If you DL my stuff illegally, you are a thief. Not saying you personally are a thief, smiley. If I go after you, I am an ass or bustardo or cretin.

    I favor strong enforcement. Something needs to be done or I'll give up and perhaps become a dishwasher or line cook.
  7. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    There's nothing wrong with enforcement. The problem is giving all the power to the copyright holders and none at all to anyone else. Let's say I post some content on my site. Let's say it's something that I truly and honestly created. Under the proposed bill, all you'd have to do is claim that the content was really yours and not mine and I could have it taken down, all donations to my site suspended and even my domain name seized without any due process. That is the problem. All you have to do is get a court order and I'm just assumed to be guilty.

    To carry the car analogy further, I could basically call the cops, claim that the car in your driveway is really mine and they would tow your car away, toss you in jail and you'd be stuck there with little if any due process. Under the proposed law, if I link to a site that has stolen content my site could be taken down even if I have no clue that the content is stolen. Under the law, if someone posts one infringing video on Youtube, the entire domain could be seized. There could be hundreds of thousands of videos up there, but if there is one video that is alleged to be infringing, then the domain is gone. The problem is not the concept. The problem is the execution.
  8. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    What it all boils down to IMO is greed. I know it's easy to dismiss my claim as some fool hardy naive person that doesn't know "how much work" goes behind the scenes to create, and distribute a piece of work. What's sad is the amount of compensation an artist receives for creating a piece of work only to end up a broke after-thought that's the subject of a VH1 special.

    I am all for protecting a CREATOR'S rights to revenue created by their work, but we have so many people with their fingers in the pot that the whole system has become a perverse bloated entity where the true artist is discarded once their ability to "lay golden eggs" has been maximized and the revenue from their past work only lines the pockets of greedy business executives.

    At this rate we'll have laws that prevent people from singing songs or giving accounts of movie plots, or other copyrighted material for fear of prosecution.
    Drhyde likes this.
  9. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I don't know that it's greed so much either. I think it's people who have no idea at all how the technology works. They are in full panic "think of the children" mode about piracy and pirated content. Auto thefts are out of control so they're now going to toss everyone who they think might have stolen a car in jail. Later on they might give them hearings to see if the car in question is really stolen. The problem with car theft is legit. The over reaction is the problem.
  10. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    I'm not sure the car analogy fits very well. Unless after a car is built, Dodge, Ford, and GM go broke, while the car owner makes a lifetime of money, I don't the analogy. If the creator of such a piece of work was the one that received the largest portion of revenue then all the lawyers', producers', and promoters' claims could be justified. Yet they just as exploited as everyone else.

    I say that's why we've gone from a country that used to innovate and manufacture to a country that litigates and provides middleman services which then inflates the cost of goods and services. How many of us actually create something at our place of employment, anymore? I say it's only going to get worse at this rate.
  11. rpretzel

    rpretzel Well-Known Member

    Although the current proposed legislation has its problems, IP / copyright violation is a major problem. My company losses millions of dollars per year to copyright violation. This is mainly in the form of people posting our copyrighted material on the web. Even though we implement various Digital Rights Management techniques, people always find a way around them.

    This legislation may not be the right way to do it, but something needs to be done.
  12. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    The goal of this bill is fine. This is the part that troubles me -

    There are sites whose sole purpose is to relay pirated copyrighted material, despite the lying disclaimer of not being responsible for what others do - while the current blockbuster is plastered all over the front page. The Feds have already gone after one such site earlier this year, and its operator is now spending something like 7 to 10 years in a Federal pen. And the site is now home to a DCMA takedown notice.

    So - what exactly is this trying to do that isn't within the law already?

    Did the lawmakers know what a domain really entails?

    When new laws do nothing to further what old laws provided for, that makes me cringe. DMCA vs. Fair Use, anyone?

    Who's behind this? When there's copyright infringement, the holder has rights and methods of remedy under the law. And criminal penalties have already been upheld.

    I think this is a red herring. I think this proposed legislation is there so we (the USA) can somehow use this as leverage against foreign trading partners.

    I also hate those who infringe on others' material - it's simply lying, cheating and stealing.

    I equally hate industries putting themselves above the law - case in point, RIAA went after music distribution it didn't approve of; it was being distributed by the original author under a Creative Commons license as I recall, and the author was not part of the RIAA.

    The situation sucks out loud and I don't think Congress is helping here - and I wish that if were going to do something, it would be something that makes sense.
    lordofthereef likes this.
  13. Where is your proof? Most people who download stuff, would never have bought it in the first place. You're just getting free advertizing for future works.
  14. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    The part that troubles me is how we will all be guilty of something. I just hope we have recourse and a chance to defend ourselves and prove that my copy of "Let it Be" was legally bought and paid for.

    Do you happen to remember when our (Utah) beloved Senator Orrin Hatch wanted to develop some way to automatically wipe hard drives when some software Trojan/spy/magic beans/smurf power or whatever it was (I am old and I forget) discovered illegal material on your computer?

    Something like that, I am old, so I forget.

    The problem for his proposed laws was someone discovered stuff on Hatch's computer that was (apparently) illegal. So this proposal went away. For many good reasons like it will not work, people will suffer, and the privacy issues.

    I see a big battle coming soon, Early. Few seem to agree with my paranoia. Not sure what or when or where or what, but we have it good right now. I hope I am wrong, but I see sweeping rules and laws and frightened ISPs going after everyone at some point.

    You are a smart guy, Early . . . what approach looks good to you? If I appointed you 'Royal Chancellor of All IP' and you could make changes, what do you see as the best way to protect the creator and punish the violators?

    Earlier today, I was looking at cute kitten videos on YouTube. I noticed just how many people post music and cite 'Fair Use' when they post music I know to be illegally posted.

    Do we force YouTube to immediately remove the material and somehow punish the poster? Perhaps closing their accounts and making them sign-up again?

    Or is the Web just to vast and perhaps we just limp along and hope for the best? I know I do know what to do and that bothers me.

    I currently create and before that, I helped bring great products to market in the tens of millions of units. At one point, I worked for several companies that absolutely controlled the market(s) we were in.
    Lots of folks creating as we e-speak.

    I think the problem with your analogy is this: If you claim the car in my driveway is yours, the cops would arrive (because that is supposed to be how it works) and when I whip out my ID and auto registration, the cops say thanks and go away. Especially since I have registration documents going back to 1960, the date of original purchase.

    Not to mention, plenty of speeding tickets that place me in that specific car in the 70's, 80's, 90's and beyond. Smiley

    Due process is served because I could immediately prove ownership. No jail for me.

    The web is a bigger, more complicated place.

    Have you ever searched for something and noticed how many web sites are posting exactly the same information? How do I begin to prove who actually wrote the original article? Or wallpapers. How do I find a nice wallpaper to use on a book cover? I search for images and I simply cannot be certain if the site I get it from owns the IP/rights, despite what they tell the world.

    So in a world filled with 24,234,656,432,050 images, I cannot be sure if the one I select will land me in Federal Court.

    I often recount how I was threatened and accused of stealing IP. I posted an article that the moderator said I copied from another member's web site. The problem was, I actually wrote the piece and he copied MY web site.

    Search for "warez" and see how many sites offer free downloads of things they are not allowed to offer. Links are another issue. Not sure if my web site filled with links to illegal IP would be taken down or not. No stolen property, just a list of places where you can commit crimes.

    As for YouTube, they know their site is filled with illegal IP. They are not legally responsible because of certain provisions in the DMCA. The law (largely) protects them from such problems. At least for now.

    I would suggest that they want millions of users--illegal or not--because it drives revenue. the last thing they want is to have millions of users "taken down."

    No shortage of web sites that no matter how you parse them, they are knowingly offering things that are not at all legal. And trying to figure out what to do about them is a problem. I see innocent people paying the price and the word "Witch-hunt" comes to mind.

    That said, I understand some large web site hire people to ferret out illegally posted IP. Perhaps a growth industry?

    Clarify your point. No offense meant, Smiley. Whether or not someone would or would not buy something matters Zero as far as the legalities are concerned.

    I once wrote a book called "Soldering X-Jack Connectors With the TODDCO Hot-Bar Bonder." Nobody would ever buy that book. Talk about a dry read . . . you could restock the Gobi Desert and soak up the Dead Sea with it.

    I would never buy the book, and I love the TODDCO.

    If someone posted it as a free download, I would take umbrage. Would I sue? No. Would I threaten? Perhaps. Would my threat be ignored by the infringer? Perhaps yes.

    But it is MY book and I am the only person (well, the now defunct Megahertz Corporation might have a say) allowed to sell it or give it away. It has zero value, but the Copyright Act does not address that, so its value does not really apply.

    Perhaps I missed your point?

    EarlyMon likes this.
  15. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    I'm not saying NO ONE creates, I'm saying that we're creating less and less. Instead of putting value towards the creative process we're putting it in all the infrastructure built into the item being created.
  16. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    If a similar act to this one was put in place on cars, that would change. You would be tossed in jail and your car confiscated as long as I could prove that I also owned the same model car. Once you were in jail, then it would be up to you to produce proof that the car in question was indeed yours. If you could prove it, then you'd get your car back. Until you did, you'd be stuck in jail though.

    Sure link farms are a problem. The thing is the law also applies to people who don't know they're linking to infringing content.

    Leo Laporte often talks about how TWIT is sometimes yanked off of Youtube for using infringing content. He will play a clip from a show and then the guests will comment on it. In his mind, that's fair use because his show is a news show. I'm not a lawyer, but I think he's probably right. Under the new law though, his entire web site could be blacklisted from the Internet. What's worse, if I post a link on my blog that says to go to his site to see an awesome show, my site can be blacklisted as well. This law goes way, way, way too far.
  17. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    OK, I see what you are saying. Lawmakers would go insane and pass a law that makes it possible for my to visit Steve Harris Imports--a local Ferrari Dealer--and lay claim to their cars?

    Hardly, I say.

    Like I have said, something is going to happen and it will not be pretty. Not sure it will go as far as many here seem to think, however.
  18. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    Since when are the feds given a tool and use it responsibly? Just saying. This is possibly the worst legislation since the Patriot act.
    Frisco likes this.
  19. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    "SOPA (PDF), which is modeled partly after the Senate's PROTECT IP act [5] (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property), will allow copyright holders to obtain court orders to block sites that allegedly infringe on their property."

    Looks to me like the USA is on a very slippery slope towards Chinese style internet censoring. First of all it's copyright infringing stuff, but once the censoring infrastructure is in place and operating, it will probably be other things that the US Govt and other organisations deem illegal and politically sensitive, and don't really want people to be looking at.

    A sort of Great Firewall of America if you will. But just like the Great Firewall of China, those who want to will be able to poke holes straight through it with proxys and VPNs.

    I actually find that a bit disturbing but at the same time I'm not at all surprised.
  20. I asked first.

    To prove that there is lost revenue due to "piracy" or whatever you want to call it.
  21. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    From what I understand, this is what a judge in Texas feels about pirating....The local media said she was pirating music, but it sounds like she was just installing games, whether pirated or not, I can't say for sure.

    Oh and as a Texan myself, I'm a little embarrassed when the judge talks about having a computer in the house. It almost sounds like, "We don't need no fancy lurnin masheen!"

    NSW warning for Judge's excessive use of F-bombs....

    Judge William Adams beats daughter (mirror, GRAPHIC WARNING) - YouTube
  22. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Android Expert

    Having just read through this thread, I would like to state a few things, a micture of opinions and facts, in no particular order.

    The analogies made comparing digital goods to tangible goods, in my opinion, are poor because we simply do not have a magic machine that we can buy to make a copy of a ferrari at a small fraction of its cost. A better example would be pirating books old-school by xeroxing them and then distributing them. It is, and has always been (to my knowledge), strictly illegal to do that.

    Taking down a site that merely links to pirated material is ludicrous. Just because it tells you how to commit crimes shouldn't make it illegal. If we are going to make that illegal, why not make all of the media (Dexter, CSI, etc.) illegal as well. After all, it shows me some increibly detailed and crafty ways to commit crimes far worse than downloading the newest Hannah Montana video.

    I don't feel that one must give concrete evidence of monetary loss to legitimately want piracy to end. But if you are going to say "I lost 15 million dollars last year to piracy", back it up, or don't make the statement at all. You wouldn't use or make claims in any other legal matter that couldn't be backed up, this should be no different.

    The reason I dislike propositions where entire websites can be shut down due them containing potentially questionable material, no matter how small a segment of said website that material takes up, is because I personally see it as giving up freedom for safety, and as great Benjamin Franklin so aptly said, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
  23. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    That's not how the courts work, they try to use common sense.

    If you benefit in any material fashion from illegal use of copyrighted materials, you have proven the value of the worth. Then, the claim is awarded based on a typical rule of thumb of (what_you_gained) x (3 to 5) - the extra is strictly to punish you for the criminal act and to reward the injured party for the unknowable loss of income due to your shenanigans.

    The injured party starts the ball rolling with a claim of lost earnings or profit, but it's just a claim. The injured party proves lost revenue by establishing that others benefited. It's that simple, honestly, as a matter of law.

    And that benefit does not have to be direct monetary gain for the stolen material in question. Often, companies steal and then marginalize the stolen goods just to put the competitor out of business and then to increase profits later. So - the whole, but I made nothing, look, everyone agreed with me it's junk has already been exposed in court as the shaggy dog it truly is.

    Therefore, there's no legal leg to stand on when an individual pirates media on the excuse that they charge too much, that you're teaching them a lesson, or that it's junk, or that you're actually helping them somehow advertise. The most hilarious defense is - I wouldn't have bought it anyway. Meaning - it has no value. Pretty obvious - if it had no value, you would not have stolen it.

    So, it never starts with, "prove the worth of what was stolen from you, then we decide if you were ripped off."

    It's always a case of, "I was ripped off, here is the basis for my plea for damages."
  24. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

  25. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    I have been thinking of this since you posted it, and I'm going to fall back on my priniciples:

    Having guys like me make laws would be as bad as having the courts defining what is and isn't software property. From the frying pan to the fire.

    As for your memory, yes, I believe that was basically how it went down for Hatch.

    As for your paranoia - it's not paranoia when they're out to get you, and they definitely are that. See: my thread on net neutrality, on the creation of a national IP czar within the administration, on the chicanery of the RIAA.

    Consultant for definitions within a law or expert witness, I'm your boy.

    Czar, Emperor or Chancellor? Not this cowpoke, I'm just too American for that. :) ;)

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