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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Copyright goons are at it again

Corporate media like Disney want the power to shut down websites they don't like without a trial or a court hearing. They've got plenty of toupees in Congress bought and paid for, and they're making their big move. Gatsby Wyden is fighting back -- he's good for a few things -- and outfits like Wikipedia, Reddit, and Mozilla are joining in with online demonstrations.

There's a lot of damage being done to free speech in this country in the name of copyright protection. Everybody who uses the internet -- and these days, who doesn't? -- should be concerned.

Comments (23)

This issue has brought us a lot of very odd associations between political bodies.

For example, the ACLU, MoveOn, and the Tea Party Patriots have all come out against SOPA. I think we can say that if something can bring all three of those groups shoulder-to-shoulder, that there's something wrong in the soup.

We've got a President that is quite snuggly with Hollywood, but also doesn't want to alienate the left; so he says he won't sign it in it's current form. That makes you wonder if that means some weak signing statement garbage that he railed against during the '08 campaign, or if some slight changes in Congress will all of a sudden make it palatable. After all, Obama is no stranger to taking money from the Content Cartels (MPAA / RIAA / Disney) for election campaigns.

We've got a republican House Majority Leader that has said that it's DOA in the House. Is that because he's cozying up to the Tea Party, or because he really believes that this is a terrible bill, which should be killed with fire? Or is it just another way to put his finger in the eye of the Senate, who is still considering their own version? Is he trying to outflank the President by not even having the Clerk of the House hand him a bill to veto?

Then there's a republican House Judiciary Committee chair that wrote this piece of garbage, that swears it will continue markup come February when the Congress Critters come back to work. He's clearly in the pocket of the content industry, to the point where he's not even doing what his party leadership (or the majority of the electorate) wants. Same with a democrat senator from Vermont.

The tech industry has decided that this is the time to flex the political muscles they have never used before. Wikipedia is blacked out, Google has changed their logos and added pages dedicated to this. Other tech companies are on board with the blackout.

Three million people have signed petitions, with 887,000 people calling their congress critters in opposition of this bill.

Think they'll listen?

Disney has been very aggressive about enforcing its copyrights for a long time.

Let me see if I understand this. I devote 5years of my life to writing a book. On on line retailer sells it and keeps all the proceeds on my copy written work. Or how about I set up an operation fencing stolen tech merchandise on the web. Or I go to the theater with my digital video and bootleg a movie, then sell on the Internet. Are these not all examples of theft? Are we to protect the right to steal in order to protect the right to free speech? Definitely a problem here...

Dean - I think you make excellent points -however, on a gut level, anything that Shummer, Reid and Leahy are each in favor of raises some big red flags for me.

So Dean, what is it you love about SOPA/PIPA? How, in your opinion, does it improve on laws already on the books that already prohibit all of your examples, but require due process in enforcement?

"The tech industry has decided that this is the time to flex the political muscles they have never used before. Wikipedia is blacked out, Google has changed their logos and added pages dedicated to this. Other tech companies are on board with the blackout."

I thought we hated corporations intervening in the political process.

And MPAA's Chris Dodd (yes, the former Connecticut Senator) accuses Google, Wikipedia, and others of "grandstanding"....

Dean, protecting works is one thing. But having tools that allow the accuser to have an entire site shut down based on an accusation, without due process, is not where we should be heading.

And the blackouts...just a form of protest.
They want to show what the government could do if someone just accuses their site of infringing on someone's copyright.

Dean, we've had the Digital Millenium Copyright Act for about 10 years now, how well has that done in stopping copyright theft aka "piracy"? Why, there are many cases where the DMCA has been used to shut down dissent and free speech.

Stopping it just means the gov and industry groups would be watching everything you do and no warrants needed of course. Most people would move to darknets at that point, pirate or average citizen.

Don't get me started on DRM methods. When the pirate version works better than the legit version, you have a problem. Go look up the Audio Home Recording Act from the 90s. RIAA got royalties for every product sold that could copy audio etc.. Those blank cds made for "music only" were/are no different than the regular ones for making a music cd. In Canada those music discs had extra taxes on them.

Of all of the bills stalled and stuck and dead-ended -- some of which are desperately needed -- THIS is the one that's getting through to a vote now?

All doubts now removed: Congress has reduced itself to a Mickey Mouse operation.


If you wrote a book and someone else is selling it without you getting royalties, then you should use the existing laws to sue that entity for copyright violation.

If you are stealing property and selling it on the Internet, that is no different from stealing property and selling it in the newspaper, or out of the back of a van on the street. There are existing laws to prosecute these crimes.

Recording a movie in a theater and putting it on the Internet, for sale or not, is a violation of existing copyright law. There is already a law for that, which you can be prosecuted under.

Please tell me, in detail, how SOPA will change any of the above for the better.

Then, tell me why it would be a good thing that this blog's DNS domain could be blocked from the Internet because someone decides to post a copyrighted item that could be as short as the DeCSS master encryption key for DVDs without Jack's knowledge, which causes the MPAA to pick it up on a search, and get the government to blacklist as a haven for copyright violation.

Explain it to me, because I don't get it. And neither do a whole lot of other incredibly smart people that have been involved in creating the Internet, allowing us to have this conversation.

Also, the mechanism they would be using for DNS blocking (which is exactly what China uses for censoring anything they don't like people reading, so by all means let's throw in with them on that) would prevent the adoption of DNSSEC on the root servers. This legislation will actually prevent the industry from fixing severe flaws in the DNS system that allow for zone poisoning and "man-in-the-middle" attacks which are serious concerns for identity theft and wire fraud.

Because that's a situation we want to continue with - more government censorship and an Internet kill-switch without due process, at the same time as impeding the progress of keeping electronic data transmission secure. Win-win!

Years ago one of my friends who was a sculptor had endless problems with knockoff artists who made molds of his limited edition figures and then sold them on the world market. There was no way he could legally get anyone to stop it because they operated outside the US.

So, even if Congress passes some kind of censoring take-down legislation that it can sic on "guilty" websites, I doubt we have the ability to enforce it with websites outside the US. And if we do, how does that make us any better than the Chinese government blocking access to websites they don't want the public to see?

And I don't doubt it would involve some new arm of security with tons of new government employees, all doing the bidding of companies like Disney.


Please don't feed the sockpuppet.

Feeding the trolls is OK -- they need love and attention, too. But folks from the MPAA/RIAA flack machine, just like the folks who were paid to make "bing" into a verb, are best ignored.

Do you all remember when they tried to ban the video tape recorder. Yes the recorder that allowed video rentals.

Of course the copyright moguls tried to ban video rentals too. They were too stupid to recognize a new industry that would make them billion$.

Then there were all those tapes the big studios put out with "the picture flipping and flopping and turning into Rorschach mush before your very, and very annoyed, eyes." (Tom Shales, The Washington Post, February 27, 1987) That episode caused well over a billion dollars worth of TV sets to NOT work properly. They showed that the really don’t care about anything except their corporate profits..

Anytime Hollywood wants something, the correct answer is to just say no. You will be helping Hollywood avoid another blunder and improving our freedom at the same time.

As Tom Shales said: “All movie industry claims of alleged financial damage caused by piracy are purely speculative alarmism.” (Ibid)

Same for the record industry.

Maybe we should boycott movies and records?


SOPA is a job killer.

If somehow SOPA became law, Google (this includes YouTube) and Yahoo would simply do what Halliburton did - move their operations off shore. Microsoft would probably spin off its search engine and do the same thing with Bing. Faced with the impossible task of patrolling its 800 million members, Facebook would flee also. Hundreds of other small, but important, web-based entities would have little choice but to follow. Not only would we lose the jobs these employers provide today, we would effectively drive off one of the most creative, innovative industries for this century to come. SOPA is only on our doorstep because there is no little thing the collective toadies that make up Congress can't do for their greedy corporate benefactors.

Save our jobs. Preserve our freedom. Secure our future. Stop SOPA!

Tip: If you want to promote or stop legislation, WRITE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES. I wrote to Kurt Schrader and told him to vote no. Crapping in a park (OWS) will not get you what you want.

If somehow SOPA became law, Google (this includes YouTube) and Yahoo would simply do what Halliburton did - move their operations off shore. Microsoft would probably spin off its search engine and do the same thing with Bing. Faced with the impossible task of patrolling its 800 million members, Facebook would flee also.

It won't matter. The laws affect sites based outside the US too.

Paul, last I checked all of Oregon's representatives were on the record as a "NO". Schrader was the only undecided.

Sorry, I was incorrect, it is Walden that is undecided.

SOPA, PIPA protesters won't stop at blackout
They plan to pick off lawmakers one by one.

BREAKING NEWS: McConnell to Dems: Shelve PIPA vote

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday to nix an upcoming vote on Protect IP, a major anti-piracy bill that Internet experts warn poses grave dangers to the Web's functionality.

Reid, who formally supports the bill, said on Sunday that he would proceed with a vote on a revised version despite a public statement of opposition from the White House a day earlier.

Con't at

I stand by my comment. Elected officials must be reminded CONSTANTLY. Reid has only post-poned the vote on PIPA. CBS, Disney, et al won't give up this easily.
There's a lot of arm twisting and money
spending going on right now.


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