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Old 12-16-2011, 12:09 PM   #1
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Things Aren't Going too Well for SOPA

There's an opinion piece here from the Washington Post about the first day of judiciary committee hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA").

The gist:

Quote:
If I had a dime for every time someone in the hearing used the phrase “I’m not a nerd” or “I’m no tech expert, but they tell me . . .,” I’d have a large number of dimes and still feel intensely worried about the future of the uncensored Internet. If this were surgery, the patient would have run out screaming a long time ago. But this is like a group of well-intentioned amateurs getting together to perform heart surgery on a patient incapable of moving. “We hear from the motion picture industry that heart surgery is what’s required,” they say cheerily. “We’re not going to cut the good valves, just the bad — neurons, or whatever you call those durn thingies.”
Bills like SOPA are what happens when policy makers forget (or don't care) that copyright was always intended as a careful balance between the rights of the public and the rights of content creators.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 12-16-2011 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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Considering that the author of that opinion piece says at the end that SOPA is likely to make it out of committee -- i.e. it's probably going to get one step closer to passing -- how exactly does that indicate that "things aren't going well for SOPA?"

Or did you mean that things aren't going to go well for us if SOPA gets passed?
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:32 PM   #3
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I meant for SOPA; it's received significant opposition and yesterday's meeting was 11.5 hours long with the committee not even getting through all of the proposed amendments. In spite of the author's opinion, I don't think the bill will make it through in its current form (or at least I'm hopeful that that's the outcome).

I really don't understand how SOPA has made it this far; experts have testified that it will significantly harm the internet as a whole and anyone reading it would probably find it repellent.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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I saw a commercial for this travesty on TV. It said several times "piracy is stealing". Many of the gullible are going to believe this and get behind it I fear. If they can't even differentiate the difference between copyright infringement and theft then they should just drop this immediately.
I have seen several messages in movie theaters with this same mistake being promoted: "You wouldn't steal a car" and crap like that. Many people fall for this because they can't think for themselves.

Last edited by CyGuy; 12-16-2011 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:54 PM   #5
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Those ads are obnoxious. I wouldn't have an issue with SOPA though if it was actually drafted to address only piracy and its reach was restricted to the U.S. As it is now, the bill is a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed and has no real protections from companies abusing its provisions to censor websites.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
I don't think the bill will make it through in its current form (or at least I'm hopeful that that's the outcome).
So far, the revisions have been fairly minor.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer
I really don't understand how SOPA has made it this far...
Existing laws are unable to tamp down piracy; thus, those who make a living based off of copyright want stronger tools.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer
experts have testified that it will significantly harm the internet as a whole and anyone reading it would probably find it repellent.
Many of those experts are techno-libertarians who said pretty much the same thing about the DMCA, or have commercial interests in providing users with whatever information they want, regardless of copyright laws.

For example, the idea that it would "break" the Internet is hyperbolic. At the worst, it might require ISP's to blacklist certain sites, or introduce some discrepancies between US and foreign DNS servers.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyGuy View Post
I saw a commercial for this travesty on TV. It said several times "piracy is stealing". Many of the gullible are going to believe this and get behind it I fear.
Such propaganda is a total red herring. Even if copyright infringement were theft, rape, and arson, SOPA would still be bad. People charged with those crimes are afforded due process of law. An accusation is never enough justification for punishment.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:04 PM   #8
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I listened in on the hearings yesterday. Pretty much all I heard was:
"I have experts who believe this is a bad idea, we should have a meeting with them so they can give us interwebs luddites a crash course on what this bill actually could do."
"I don't believe your experts. Pass!"
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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I saw one of those commercials for the first time on Wednesday, and I hated it. I mean, it freaking compared piracy to terrorism, and blamed piracy for job loss!
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:40 AM   #10
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i found this pretty funny-

Movie Studio Employees Are Pirating Lots Of Movies

"So, yeah, all those horrible nasty pirates that the MPAA is insisting are killing their record profits are apparently their own employees.

TorrentFreak, obviously not a fan of the Stop Online Piracy Act, decided to give Hollywood a taste of its own medicine. You see, some Russians put together a BitTorrent equivalent of WikiScan called YouHaveDownloaded.com that tells you exactly what an IP address has pulled off the rushing torrents of the Internet. So, all TorrentFreak did was find the IP address range of major companies and run them through YouHaveDownloaded’s tools.

Guess what they found!"

http://www.uproxx.com/technology/201...s+%28Uproxx%29



further detail-

https://torrentfreak.com/busted-bitt...nd-fox-111213/
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post

I really don't understand how SOPA has made it this far; experts have testified that it will significantly harm the internet as a whole and anyone reading it would probably find it repellent.
Money trumps experts. Always has, always will.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:43 AM   #12
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So far, the revisions have been fairly minor.

Many of those experts are techno-libertarians who said pretty much the same thing about the DMCA, or have commercial interests in providing users with whatever information they want, regardless of copyright laws.

For example, the idea that it would "break" the Internet is hyperbolic. At the worst, it might require ISP's to blacklist certain sites, or introduce some discrepancies between US and foreign DNS servers.
The amendments proposed have in fact been quite significant; including amendments that would require the law to be reviewed after a certain period of time, to only put in force DNS/IP blocking after it has been studied and to limit the scope of SOPA to the U.S. Whether any of these will pass is unknown, but it is not correct to suggest the revisions have been minor.

And Whether or not the experts that testified are "techno libertarians" is irrelevant (and probably fallacious reasoning), as is our arguing about whether or not it will or will not break the internet. The point is that there has been no study done on the effect that SOPA will have, and it is obvious from the streaming broadcast of the hearing that the politicians involved haven't a clue about how the internet works. I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the people proposing sweeping legislation to regulate the internet be required to have actually considered the issue carefully.

If you're interested at all, there's a letter here from 83 engineers explaining what's wrong with SOPA and Protect IP from a technical perspective. Notable "techno libertarians" who signed the letter include:

-Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP (recognized as one of the "fathers of the internet" according to Wikipedia)

-Paul Vixie, author of BIND, the most widely-used DNS server software, and President of the Internet Systems Consortium

-Esther Dyson, EDventure; founding chairman, ICANN

-Christian Huitema, worked on building the Internet in France and Europe in the 80’s, and authored many Internet standards related to IPv6, RTP, and SIP; a former member of the Internet Architecture Board

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Old 12-17-2011, 08:01 AM   #13
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I saw one of those commercials for the first time on Wednesday, and I hated it. I mean, it freaking compared piracy to terrorism, and blamed piracy for job loss!
Don't copy that floppy, citizen.

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Old 12-17-2011, 08:46 AM   #14
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Withdrawn. I shouldn't be getting into what could be an internet argument.

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Old 12-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #15
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Don't copy that floppy, citizen.

Don't copy that floppy was one of their better attempts to get their message across. It was certainly more effective than their po-faced you wouldn't download a car thing. With that, most people know the parody versions a lot better than the official one.
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