Five Questions For Homeland Security Concerning Its Online Censorship Campaign

from the please-answer... dept

As we discussed earlier, last week Homeland Security seized a bunch of domain names under a rather questionable mandate, claiming they were helping stop copyright infringement. Not surprisingly, ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) boss John Morton -- who has a history of making statements that make little sense to support such seizures, again took to the press to make some statements that made little sense in support of these takedowns:
"American business is under assault from counterfeiters and pirates every day, seven days a week," Mr. Morton said. "Criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet."
Now, this statement has all sorts of problems, and it's scary that a government official -- and one with the ability to outright seize domain names, would make so many false claims in a single quote. First of all, the evidence suggests that American business is not, in fact, "under assault" from counterfeiters and pirates. In fact, we've detailed a whole series of studies that suggest counterfeiting is not nearly as big a problem as the industry makes it out to be. In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that counterfeits are rarely even substitute products, as many buyers aren't being "fooled" at all, but are using the products as a way to build up to the real thing. There are a few areas where counterfeiting is serious -- such as with faked drugs -- but, even then, the "risk" is often overblown, as big pharma companies pretend that mere generics are also "counterfeits," when they're really just cheaper competition.

Of course, even more insidious is Morton's regular mixing of "counterfeiting" and "copyright infringement" -- which are two extremely different things. In his statement, however, he seems to rely on whatever is "worst" for what he's talking about. Counterfeit products seem like a bigger problem than straight copyright infringement, so he puts that first as saying "counterfeiters" are a problem. But, of course, the websites seized have nothing to do with counterfeits, so he switches and pretends he's talking about copyright, saying that "criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet." Except you can't "steal an idea." It's simply not possible. Nothing is missing. You can copy an idea -- but an idea is not copyrightable -- only an expression is. You would think that someone representing the US government, seizing domain names over copyright infringement would know that you can't copyright an idea.

So, given all of this, I have the following questions for Mr. Morton, anyone else at Homeland Security or in the Obama Administration, or those who support these domain seizures:
  1. Under what legal mandate is a group that's supposed to be focused on Immigration and Customs getting involved in taking down websites? What does a website have to do with either immigration or customs?
  2. Since the original seizures were announced at Disney, is it common practice for Homeland Security and/or ICE to focus on using their guns and power of raids and seizures in efforts that are designed to help specific companies?
  3. Since at least some of the websites taken down were search engines that hosted no infringing material, how does Homeland Security/ICE make sure that it is not seizing domain names incorrectly (as it appears to have done in this case)?
  4. Since we thought the US believed in due process, how does seizing domain names, prior to any adversarial trial, fit with the concept of innocent until proven guilty? And, yes, I'm well aware of the right to seize property as part of an investigation, but when dealing with websites, we are talking about a form of speech that has a much higher burden before it can be stopped -- so I'm curious for the government mandate on seizing domain names prior to a trial?
  5. John Morton has made numerous claims of "harm" from these websites, but has not shown any evidence (publicly) to support those claims. Considering that the GAO and OECD's own reports question whether or not there is any such harm, can Morton show us which reports he relied on in proving "harm" before getting a court order to seize those domains? One would hope that the evidence of "harm" would come from more than a few companies, who haven't adapted to modern technology, merely claiming so. Hopefully Morton or others can show us the evidence.
I figure if we're going to allow Immigrations and Customs officials to suddenly start censoring the web, they should at least be able to answer those questions.
Authoritarian


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    Andrew, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    Hot Air already explained all of this.

    If you look at the notice they’re posting on the seized sites, it refers you to 18 U.S.C. 981 and 18 U.S.C. 2323. Section 2323 basically says that property is subject to civil forfeiture to the government if you’re using it for the purpose of willful copyright infringement. Section 981(b) lays out the rules the feds need to follow to get court approval for the seizure: In most cases, it’s the same as it is to get a search warrant under Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Section 981(b)(3) lets the property owner challenge the seizure by filing a motion with the court that issued the warrant (as does FRCrP 41(g)).

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/11/27/doj-seizes-domain-names-of-more-than-70-websites-suspected -of-piracy/

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:16am

      Re:

      Copyright laws sure are convoluted. I'm sure this will help artists out in the long run, no?

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:35am

        Re: Re:

        "I'm sure this will help artists out in the long run, no?"

        Yes it will. It will lead to a backlash as sites are taken down. That backlash will cause more decentralized systems to be developed. The decentralization will remove the ability, of Copyight types and any government, to shut down any sites or stop any sort of free speech. The huge problem is that infringement in this scenario is a form of free speech.

        If that was sarcasm, excuse me its monday, my sarcasm detector is out at the shop being repaired ...

        ... I'm on a horse ...

         

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        Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, it will.

        Mike is obviously very upset about his beloved piracy sites being taken down, but I wonder if he really thinks we don't know that Customs did this, not "homeland security". Or that when he tries to trick people with that, he's also just outright lying when he calls it censorship.

        I wonder if Mike Masnick will ever explain this strange agenda he has: defending sites that rip off artists and creators?

         

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          Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I wonder if he really thinks we don't know that Customs did this, not 'homeland security'"


          Really? I'm... I'm dumbfounded.

          The sites were taken down by ICE... which is a part of the DHS. Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement

          Do you people read these or just see 'copyright' on a post and start yelling "Mike's a liar and a thief!!"?

          "I wonder if Mike Masnick will ever explain this strange agenda he has: defending sites that rip off artists and creators?

          About the same time that you anonymous posters come forward with identities. Instead of just revolving around each other with the same tired accusations with no foundations in reality.

          I'm sure Mike can defend himself, so I'll speak for the sake of truth and simple knowledge... I do hate to see either trodden upon.

          Mike has constantly stated that he does not support piracy and agrees that copyright infringement is illegal. If you actually take the time to read, he (like most of the rest of us) are not for piracy, but against government censorship and the revocation of the rights of Free Speech in deference to copyrights.

           

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            Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            We're aware Customs is NOW under the DHS umbrella; 20+ agencies were grouped together in the early 2000s.

            Mike is trying to scare people by saying "homeland security" when this actually just a Customs issue; an agency that has been dong this exact same type of thing since 1789.

            Do you really think you guys are fooling anybody?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Really?! Is this what you want to argue about??

              The problem being pointed out, as Gabiel Tane so succinctly stated, "If you actually take the time to read, he (like most of the rest of us) are not for piracy, but against government censorship and the revocation of the rights of Free Speech in deference to copyrights."

              So, it boils down to an issue of loss of rights vs. protection of copyright. Once our rights are lost, I really doubt we'll see any judicial source or politician jump up and give them back to us.
              I think we all agree that the rights holders need to get their fair due ("Fair due" still needing much discussion.) but eroding any civil liberties to achieve that goal is horrible.

              So, here you have a blog with active participants that want to talk about this. Can you, as a rights holder I'm guessing, come up with any insightful discussion on how to fix this problem without loss of rights?
              I desperately want active and intelligent discussion to happen to keep our rights and to pay cash to those that deserve it. Are you the guys to talk to? Are you the guys that can propose usable solutions that we all can agree upon and live with?
              Or, as I'm starting to fear, are you so entrenched in worrying about what is due to you, you are willing to give you your and my civil rights?

              The government needs to stand by what it was founded upon and runs on. Due process and application of the law to all equally.

              Finally, do we all agree that most of these sites were nothing more than specialized search engines with no infringing material stored on them? Shooting the messenger is bad form and simply looking for a fall guy.
              I'm hoping that blogs like this can address the larger issue, people are not paying for what they get. There are many sub discussions that need to be held to address this but lets focus.

              I want my children to at least enjoy the same freedoms I do.

               

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              Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wait... which of these 20+ agencies from before DHS was the one in charge of policing the internet and seizing domain names without due process? I'm a bit fuzzy on that.

              If this is 'just a customs issue', who would be the group with the authority to do this before being merged into DHS?

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How is this helping artists?

               

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Mike is obviously very upset about his beloved piracy sites being taken down, but I wonder if he really thinks we don't know that Customs did this, not "homeland security". Or that when he tries to trick people with that, he's also just outright lying when he calls it censorship.

          Already responded to your bizarre claim of "beloved piracy sites" in another thread. Not sure why you continue to repeat lies, other than that you have no real argument.

          Also responded to your claim that this is not Homeland Security. Sort of odd, since it is. Why do you feel the need to pretend otherwise?

          Finally, I've discussed in detail how seizing domain names without a trial is censorship. You may disagree -- you clearly do -- but I stand by the argument.

          I wonder if Mike Masnick will ever explain this strange agenda he has: defending sites that rip off artists and creators?

          As others have pointed out, I do not defend sites. I defend the right to free speech and protection of civil liberties. I find it quite odd that you would throw those out the window so readily, just because you think (falsely) that it will bring back an obsolete business model.

          Honestly, do you really think that taking down any of these sites will drive anyone to buy more product? It's a serious question.

           

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            Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I've discussed in detail how seizing domain names without a trial is censorship.

            Oh really? Please point me to it. I can't wait to show you how you're wrong again.

            Because it isn't censorship in the slightest when you have a court order from a judge.

             

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              Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Oh really? Please point me to it. I can't wait to show you how you're wrong again. "


              Hmm... oh I don't know... only every single article on COICA and all the related studies, cases, etc that were used in discussion.

              "Because it isn't censorship in the slightest when you have a court order from a judge."

              oookaay... citation to support that statement?

               

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                Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Everything Mike wrote about COICA was a joke.

                And no, please, tell me all about the JUDGE breaking the First Amendment. Please. Post it right here:

                 

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                  Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Everything Mike wrote about COICA was a joke."

                  I hate to break it to you, but your opinion (howeverly childishley stated) does not constitute legal application. Nor does your opinion disprove or discredit everything Mike, or anyone else, has said about COICA. That's what facts are for. Got any?

                  "And no, please, tell me all about the JUDGE breaking the First Amendment. Please. Post it right here:"

                  Actually, I asked you for citation to support your statment that a judge can set aside the First Amendment by court order. Want proof that they can't? Ok...

                  "Injunctions and the Press in Fair Trial Cases .--Confronting a claimed conflict between free press and fair trial guarantees, the Court unanimously set aside a state court injunction barring the publication of information that might prejudice the subsequent trial of a criminal defendant." http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/09.html

                  A judge decided to put a gag-order in place (court order) and it was over-turned as a First-Amendment violation. Oops.

                   

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                    Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 3:54pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Oops what? You're claiming that the First Amendment is being violated here. I'm telling you it isn't and that the judge wouldn't have done this if he thought there was.

                    State EXACTLY what you think was a First Amendment violation here and I'll be happy to show why you, and Mike Masnick are wrong.

                     

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                      marak (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Now im not a yank, but wouldnt this come under a freedom of speech? Not all of those sites were/are "counterfit", there was a couple of rap sites.

                      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." From wiki

                      So because there's no law your saying that its not against the amendment? If thats the case, how are they taking it down?

                       

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                        Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:33pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        All the sites taken down were engaging in counterfeiting and/or infringement. Any act can be claimed to be expression but that doesn't mean an illegal act of expression is protected by the First Amendment.

                        Mike Masnick knows this already, but facts aren't what he's interested in. He's interested in making misleading headlines that he knows will get attention and further his agenda.

                         

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                          Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          All the sites taken down were engaging in counterfeiting and/or infringement.

                          Which trial determined that? Last I checked we do still believe in due process in the US.

                          Any act can be claimed to be expression but that doesn't mean an illegal act of expression is protected by the First Amendment.

                          Please learn the phrase "prior restraint."

                          Mike Masnick knows this already, but facts aren't what he's interested in.

                          I am very much interested in facts. If I got any facts wrong, you are free to correct me. To date, you have not done so.

                          He's interested in making misleading headlines that he knows will get attention and further his agenda.

                          I have no "agenda." I love it when people who disagree with me, but have no arguments to back it up, resort to crying that I have "an agenda" or am "biased." If I'm wrong, prove it. Point us to some facts.

                           

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                            Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:49pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Mike knows we've been over this before, but he's hoping no one will notice.

                            There's no prior restraint, Masnick. If there was, Napster, Grokster, and Limewire would have successfully used that in their defense.

                             

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                              Modplan (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              One thing you keep glossing over is several of these sites taken down do in fact have significant non-infringing uses, whereas AFAIK in the Napster case at least, the judge decided the non-infringing uses were so rare if not even non-existent that their argument didn't hold up.

                               

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                                Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:04pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                I'm not glossing over anything.

                                The fact that they might also have non-infringing activity does not excuse their infringing activity.

                                We've been over this before. It's also shown quite clearly by Arcara v Cloud Books.

                                 

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                                  Modplan (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:25pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  The fact that they might also have non-infringing activity does not excuse their infringing activity.


                                  One again you rely on deliberately missing out specifics. Reading through the Napster case it was ruled that there was no free speech issue because the judge felt there was no protected speech being infringed upon. There was no weighing of free speech and copyright infringement because it was believed that protected use was so minute by the judge (in other words, the belief that Napster was used solely for copyright infringement and nothing or little else).

                                  We've been over this before. It's also shown quite clearly by Arcara v Cloud Books.


                                  No it has not, once again you rely on a generalisation that depends on missing out what is specifically stated. Here:

                                  from the Acara case itself:

                                  The First Amendment does not bar enforcement of the closure statute against respondents' bookstore. United States v. O'Brien, supra, has no relevance to a statute directed at imposing sanctions on nonexpressive activity, and the sexual activities carried on in this case manifest absolutely no element of protected expression. The closure statute is directed at unlawful conduct having nothing to do with books or other expressive activity. Bookselling on premises used for prostitution does not confer First Amendment coverage to defeat a statute aimed at penalizing and terminating illegal uses of premises. Pp. 702-707. We imposed a greater burden of justification on the State even though the tax was imposed upon a nonexpressive activity, since the burden of the tax inevitably fell disproportionately - in fact, almost exclusively - upon the shoulders of newspapers exercising the constitutionally protected freedom of the press.

                                  [..]

                                  It is true that the closure order in this case would require respondents to move their bookselling business to another location. Yet we have not traditionally subjected every criminal and civil sanction imposed through legal process to "least restrictive means" scrutiny simply because each particular remedy will have some effect on the First Amendment activities of those subject to sanction. Rather, we have subjected such restrictions to scrutiny only where it was conduct with a significant expressive element that drew the legal remedy in the first place, as in O'Brien, 3 or where a statute based on a [478 U.S. 697, 707] nonexpressive activity has the inevitable effect of singling out those engaged in expressive activity, as in Minneapolis Star. This case involves neither situation, and we conclude the First Amendment is not implicated by the enforcement of a public health regulation of general application against the physical premises in which respondents happen to sell books.

                                  /blockquote>

                                  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=u s&vol=478&invol=697

                                   

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                                  Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:36pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  We've been over this before. It's also shown quite clearly by Arcara v Cloud Books.


                                  Oh geeze. Not Arcara v Cloud Books again. We already discussed at great length how that does not apply. I can't believe you actually want to bring that up again. For the (hopefully) last time, Arcara is quite explicit: IT DOES NOT APPLY TO cases involving *expression*. Websites are expression.

                                  Come on, this is basic stuff. Your insistence on hanging your hat on a case that is irrelevant is sad.

                                   

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                                  Karl (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:17am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  We've been over this before. It's also shown quite clearly by Arcara v Cloud Books.

                                  Yes, we have. You were wrong then, and you're wrong now. Mike, myself, and several other people told you why and how Arcara does not apply here, quoting the ruling itself as we did so.

                                  You just called us all "pro-piracy," failed to respond to the facts, and offered up no counter-arguments of your own. Apparently, you think that by shouting "Pirate!" at the top of your lungs, you win the argument.

                                  In case you need a refresher course: In Arcara, shutting down the bookstore for prostitution was not prior restraint, because prostitution is not "presumptively protected expressive conduct." Copyright infringement is, as is libel, obscenity, pornography, or any other act where the defendant, if found innocent, would be exercising protected speech.

                                  Those are the facts. You know they are, because we've explained it to you. If you don't believe us, read the case yourself.

                                   

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                      Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Are you arguing my reference or the recent seizure of websites? Quit dancing around the matter. And you still have yet to point out where it's not a First Amendment Violation just because there's a judge-signed court order.

                      Look, I've pointed out fact and proof... Mike has pointed out fact and proof... I've come to the realization that you're either just don't get it or you're being willfully dense. Either way, I'm done. I'm not hear to teach those who refuse to listen and especially not those that revel in ignorance.

                      Feel free to take whatever victory you want to claim with your iron-clad logic of "because I said so"... even my kids don't argue thus anymore.

                       

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                        Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        This isn't censorship you fool. The fact that you keep insisting it is is why none of your arguments are making any sense.

                         

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                    Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    your statment that a judge can set aside the First Amendment by court order.

                    Are you brain dead? I said nothing of the sort. I'm saying a judge wouldn't be so stupid as to issue a court order that would somehow illegally censor someone.

                     

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Because it isn't censorship in the slightest when you have a court order from a judge."

              My brain just shit itself out of shock at the stupidity of that statement. If you censor....with a court order from a judge....then that doesn't make it NOT censorship. It just makes it judicially sanctioned censorship, which can STILL be illegal....

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Laws can never be illegal.

                 

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                Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Are you brain dead? I'm saying a judge wouldn't be so stupid as to issue a court order that would somehow illegally censor someone.

                 

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                  Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  and you obviously didn't read my link to the article where a judge issued a court-ordered gag on proceedings that was a violation of free-speech and was overturned by a higher court.

                  So, yes a judge would be so stupid as to issue and illegal court order.

                   

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Are you brain dead? I'm saying a judge wouldn't be so stupid as to issue a court order that would somehow illegally censor someone.

                  Wow. Do you want us to list out a series of court rulings that were later overturned as prior restraint/censorship?

                  I mean, seriously. You make some outlandish statements, but why make a claim so easily proven wrong? In fact, earlier in this thread, someone already proved it wrong and you STILL repeat it? Do you think everyone is completely stupid?

                   

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Oh really? Please point me to it. I can't wait to show you how you're wrong again.


              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101121/23584311958/why-voting-coica-is-vote-censorship.shtm l

              You are wrong. Much of the case law involves speech hindered due to court orders. I would suggest learning a little about "prior restraint" before making obviously false statements like:

              Because it isn't censorship in the slightest when you have a court order from a judge.


              This is simply not true. Thanks for playing, though.

               

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                Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:55pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Mike knows we've been over this before, but he's hoping no one will notice.

                There's no prior restraint, Masnick. If there was, Napster, Grokster, and Limewire would have successfully used that in their defense.

                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:30pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Mike knows we've been over this before, but he's hoping no one will notice.


                  No, I would prefer people go back and read how we already debunked you silly notions, so I don't have to repeat myself and make you look silly again.

                  There's no prior restraint, Masnick. If there was, Napster, Grokster, and Limewire would have successfully used that in their defense.

                  *sigh* This was already explained to you. It's sad that someone would cling to such falsehoods over and over again. Napster, Grokster and Limewire were not directly shut down. The courts told them to figure out a way to stop infringing content. Those sites then determined that the only way to do so was to shut down the entire system.

                  That's *entirely* different than seizing an entire domain pre-trial.

                  Since you're slow, let me spell it out for you: At no point did the courts in Napster/Grokster/Limewire block non-infringing content. But in these cases with seized domains, that's not true. That's why it's prior restraint.

                   

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        •  
          icon
          Nina Paley (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You know what rips of artists and creators? Censorship, which copyright is a form of.

          Don't you dare justify your censorhsip on behalf of "artists and creators," you lying sack of shill. I am an artist and creator, and I need freedom of expression and a free internet.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Nice strawman.

            So I'm going to assume you will always be working for free from here on out? How noble of you. We look forward to seeing how that works out for you.

            Are you related to CBS' William Paley?

             

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              Nina Paley (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 5:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Nice strawman.
              Nice red herring. (Look it up. You obviously don't know what "straw man" means either.)

              So I'm going to assume you will always be working for free from here on out?
              Yes.

              How noble of you. We look forward to seeing how that works out for you.
              It's not noble. I make more money this way.

              Are you related to CBS' William Paley?
              Again, look up "straw man." (But the answer is no).

              And now, fellow Techdirters, my sailors are going to tie me to this mast here so I can resist the siren song of the idiot troll. No matter how stupid its song, I shall not respond to the troll again. You know the story of Ulysses and the Trolls?
              Ulysses wanted to hear the Trolls' song although he knew that doing so would render him incapable of rational thought. He put wax in his men's ears so that they could not hear, and had them tie him to the mast so that he could not jump into the sea. He ordered them not to change course under any circumstances, and to keep their swords upon him to attack him if he should break free of his bonds.

              Upon hearing the Trolls' song, Ulysses was driven temporarily insane and struggled with all of his might to break free so that he might join the Trolls, which would have meant his death.

               

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                Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                We're happy for you.

                But no one is telling you, Nina Paley, how you personally should be allowed to be compensated for your art.

                But by you defending piracy, that is exactly what you are doing to other artists.

                 

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                Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:16am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                This is just all kinds of win.

                Also: Boom, headshot....

                 

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Seriously, how is this helping artists?

               

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      Hot Air already explained all of this.

      No. They explained which law explains civil property forfeitures when dealing with copyright issues, but do not answer the questions above.

       

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      identicon
      GCrooke, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:26am

      Re: Homeland Security Concerning Its Online Censorship Campaign

      Americans,in general are paranoid about every matter which is not American made, foreigners, foreign governments, homosexuals and lesbians, Chinese, Muslims, and on and on for 100 pages.
      Not everyone in the world agrees with the US at all times, so give us a break and clean up the fookin US economy, and the fookin American political system, fookin corruption with American businesses, etc.
      I rest my case, Your Honor

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re: Homeland Security Concerning Its Online Censorship Campaign

        Such paranoia is an integral part of the human species, it is not constrained by make-believe borders imposed by a group of yahoos with guns. Otherwise, why all the hate for the US if not your own paranoia? All this tells me is you do not know Americans so much as you think you do.

         

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          identicon
          GCrooke, Dec 7th, 2010 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Homeland Security Concerning Its Online Censorship Campaign

          Your reply to my post is what I would expect from a US red neck.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Don't hold your breath...

    waiting for answers.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    "Criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet."


    Is it just me, or does this sounds like "evil foreigners are stealing our work"?

     

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    Jay (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    Answering #1

    "Under what legal mandate is a group that's supposed to be focused on Immigration and Customs getting involved in taking down websites? What does a website have to do with either immigration or customs?"

    Here's what seems to have gone on in the legal department. All of these branches of service fall under DHS now. From there, the FBI investigates and the ICE executes the policies under their need to protect interstate commerce.

    In short, the Patriot Act and this reorganization threw everything into one big pot and we're experiencing the effects of this policy change.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    Five answers to the five questions

    1. None and nothing, but it pays the bills.
    2. If they cough up enough "campaign contributions", sure.
    3. They just do whatever their paying customers (Disney, etc.) say.
    4. Shoot first and ask questions later.
    5. One would hope, but in vain.

     

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    identicon
    darryl, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:44am

    we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

    we've detailed a whole series of studies that suggest counterfeiting is not nearly as big a problem as the industry makes it out to be.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100801/17431810439.shtml


    So if you like to find out Mikes motives, check out his "WHOLE SERIES OF STUDIES". :)

    Study 1.
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07735.pdf

    Back in 2007 we wrote about a study by the well-respected GAO which noted that industry claims on counterfeiting were massively overblown.

    No Mike, if you read that gao study, it is a study of counterfeit items seized at 6 specific ports.

    IT DOES NOT INCLUDE COPYRIGHT OR COUNTERFIET FROM FILE DOWNLOADING.

    But as usual you know that Mike, They also did not "noted that industry claims of counterfeiting were massively overblown.

    Read the report, mike, then come back and tell us where in that report saying anything like the industry claims are MASSIVELY (or even at all) overblown.

    Study 2.
    Mike refers us to the OECD report, which correctly conducted an independent study, that no one has been able to fault.. (except Mike, and someone who only considers border seiziers and not file sharing.

    Study 2 supports the claims that copyright, and file sharing causes huge economic damage.
    And not what mike would like you to believe.

    STUDY 3:
    like Felix Salmon, actually looked at the details and found the real number appeared to be more like $5 billion.

    Again, Felix Salmon falls into the exact same trap Mike has fallen into.
    Felix did not consider file sharing, or internet IP theft, he only looked at border seizers, and excluded internet type copyright and IP theft.

    And if you have not noticed in the last 20 years, probably 99% of copyright, and IP theft is from sites on the internet.

    And not from people smuggling copyright material across borders..

    Do you understand the difference Mike ?

    Study 4.
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2008/10/dodgy-digits-behind-the-war-on-piracy.ars/1

    T hats right, ARSTECHNICA are doing economics studies now !!!

    Mike, that is not a study, that is a blog..

    Do you understand the difference between an independent study and a blog Mike ?

    Do you understand that most copyright material is taken from the web, and not from border seizers.

    Do you know we live in the internet age, and you dont have to hide pirated tapes in your luggage anymore, you just download it.

    No border crossing, means no border seizers..

    So the MANY Studies you site, come down to too studies

    a GAO study, on border seizers, they do not say any other studies are highly wrong. They make no such claim.

    OECD report, you have failed to provide any information that indicates that the OECD is not, or their analysis is wrong, or their numbers.

    You trying to say its more like $5 billion and not 200 million (that $5Bill is again based on border seizers).

    Felix got it wrong, Felix also used US seizer and copyright loss values, for the OECD, and you cant do that and get anything like correct or sensible results.

    So show us an informed study that proves the OECD study is wrong, inaccurate, or misleading.

    So far, your "many 'studies'" dont cut it, as you well know.

    Im sure you are aware that your "studies" are not studies, they are blogs, and they do not include all aspects of copyright theft.

    THEY DO NOT INCLUDE THE INTERNET DOWNLOADS and pirating.

    The GAO did not include internet, and was very low.

    The GAO report was used as an example as why the OECD report was too high. But the OECD report did not just look at border seizers, but they included internet..

    So Mike, I dont know how long you can flog a dead horse for. but I have to wonder if you actually read the "studies" you like us too..

    And how you can calll a blog on ARStechnicia a study.

    It would be good if you found a correct, independent study, that specifically states that the OECD is wrong or in accurate.

    I READ report, not some blogger doing "back of envelope" calculates, based on US border seizers..

    It does you no favors to play this game. some people (like me) actually check if you are being honest..

    So if all you can do if give us 4 examples of your claim, 2 of what are actual studies and are not in dispute and 2 are blogs and not studies.. Try again..

    2/10

     

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      Jay (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:50am

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

      They've updated to the 2009 model. That study was more than 3 years old.

       

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      Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:05am

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

      And how you can calll a blog on ARStechnicia a study.

      The "study" is a study if it has the nature of a study.
      The fact that it is published on a blog is irrelevant.
      Reading the ArsTechnica article it clearly has the general properties of a study.

       

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      Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:18am

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

      Mike refers us to the OECD report, which correctly conducted an independent study, that no one has been able to fault.. (except Mike, and someone who only considers border seiziers and not file sharing.

      That particular report itself, by its own admission, only covers physical goods.

       

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      Jeremy7600 (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:21am

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

      So please tell us who is and who is not allowed to do a study, so that in the future we may conform to your strict guidelines.

      Otherwise we may run afoul of your rules and then we'd have chaos.

      Holy shit man, are you that fucking dense?

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:31am

        Re: Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

        People like daryl are some of the best reasons I know of to support the abolition of copyright.

         

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          Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

          People like daryl are some of the best reasons I know of to support retroactive abortions.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

          People like daryl are some of the best reasons I know of to support the abolition of copyright.
          Actually, despite my often vociferous defense of freedom of speech, the question that leaps to mind with each new post is "Which stupid-a55 traitor-to-the-King came up with that dumb 1st amendment anyway?"

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:46am

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

      Mike, did you lie or obfuscate re: these studies?

      This one gets forwarded and linked.

       

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

        Mike, did you lie or obfuscate re: these studies?


        Nope. You can read them all for yourself. Darryl has a long history of blatantly misstating what actually is being said. Relying on him to further your own position would be a dangerous game.

        The studies are pretty clear that the stats trotted out to defend these sorts of action are, in fact, bogus.

         

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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

        Your gang needs darryl for supportive arguments? Ouch. You guys are in rougher shape than I thought. But then again, that is a good thing. The sooner copyright is abolished or greatly restricted the sooner things can return to a logical and natural order. Nature & logic are awesome. Copyright is twisted and corrupt.

         

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series


      No Mike, if you read that gao study, it is a study of counterfeit items seized at 6 specific ports.

      IT DOES NOT INCLUDE COPYRIGHT OR COUNTERFIET FROM FILE DOWNLOADING.


      Umm... that's exactly the point buddy. Counterfeiting and copyright infringement are two different things. There is no such thing as "counterfeit from file downloading"

      The point here is that the industry regularly does try to conflate the two, because "counterfeit" sounds so scary that it gets people more riled up about copyright infringement. Then the further point is that even given that, true counterfeiting in most industries is not as much of a problem as they make it out to be.

       

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      JonValJon (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

      Re: we've detailed a whole series of studies.... !!!!!! Yes 2 is a series

      And up pops a troll..

      So my question for you is this...

      What vested interest do you have in making your clearly biased and un-informed comments? Work for MIAA? DHS? Disney? Or are you just some poor fellow who has been convinced that any piracy/counterfitting/copyright infringment harms him in some way, direct or indirect. It doesnt. If anything, you have gained from it. We all have.

      Unless one of the above entities cuts your paycheck for you...

       

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    identicon
    Erik, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    If you google "customs" and "counterfeit" you will discover that customs enforces laws on the distribution of counterfeit items.

    Customs brought enough evidence before a US judge to make a prima fascia case that these websites were involved in the distribution of counterfeit goods. The judge decided this was enough for a warrant, which the judge issued. Customs executed the warrant. That is due process under the law.

    Sounds like you have a problem with the judge

     

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      Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:51am

      Re:

      prima fascia case


      Which meaning of fascia were you thinking of....

       

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        identicon
        Freak, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        Probably this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_facie

        It's a common error to think that the word is actually fascia.

         

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        Erik, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re:

        Ooooh, correcting a typo in a comment that cannot be edited.

        Pedantry at its best.

         

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          Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          correcting a typo

          No way is it a typo (looked at your keyboard recently?)
          It is a misunderstanding of language that may be symptomatic of deeper misunderstandings.

           

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            identicon
            Erik, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Or maybe it is just a spell checker that does not contain Latin words and turns them into the closest English word it finds.

             

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              Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ooooh, correcting a typo in a comment that cannot be edited.

              Pedantry at its best.


              I think you will find I can beat it..

              Or maybe it is just a spell checker that does not contain Latin words and turns them into the closest English word it finds.
              Not credible - since it didn't correct "prima"

              However (and here I will show my pedantry class) I think you will find that it is a spelling checker. A spell checker would be used by Harry Potter....

               

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      identicon
      MrWilson, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      "Sounds like you have a problem with the judge"

      No, it's a systemic problem. The judge isn't the only judge to approve such requests and he isn't in charge of making the requests or targeting the sites or kowtowing to corporate interests.

      At the risk of bringing down the wrath of Godwin's Law, saying you have a problem with just the judge is like saying you have a problem with the particular German soldier who shot a concentration camp prisoner and not with the political/military leaders and bureaucrats who designed and perpetuated the situation that led to the soldier shooting the prisoner.

       

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        identicon
        Erik, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        Your Godwin argument is specious. The judge can safely say "no" if he/she feels the evidence presented is not sufficient. Judges say no all the time.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The last statistic I saw of judges negating those kind of thing was like yes=99.8% heck even when it was illegal they said yes, probably because they don't read those things most of the time.

           

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          Richard (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your Godwin argument is specious. The judge can safely say "no" if he/she feels the evidence presented is not sufficient. Judges say no all the time.
          Safety is not the issue. The typical German soldier did not play along only because the was scared. Typically they played along because they were part of a collectively agreed consensus. At present judges are also part of such consensus. A judge can say no - but an individual judge saying yes does not mean that he/she has weighed the arguments independently.

          Compare the situation with capital punishment. In America judges frequently say yes to capital punishment. In the UK it is inconceivable that you would find a judge who would support such a thing even if they could. This is the result of a divergence of cultures between the two countries during the 50 or so years since capital punishment was abolished in the UK - not because judges in the UK and US miraculously come to different decisions based on similar data.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:28am

      Re:

      That is due process under the law.

      That's not due process, that's a corrupt legal system.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      Sounds like you have a problem with the judge

      And those like him.

       

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      duffmeister (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      How do you counterfeit a digital file? I'm confused..... I thought each one was identical to the original assuming a loss-less copy, and thus not a counterfeit, but a duplicate.

      Also how did you get your counterfeit in my copyright? One is for expression and the other is a good. Does that mean we can go after plagiarists as counterfeiters? If so we have a whole new type of law practice opening up here.

       

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    They ain't taking questions: they're giving *orders*.

    I think November was a(nother) point of no return: massive increase of invasive searches at airports; extra-legal seizure of domains in anticipation of COICA; ACTA all but certain. Anywhere "legislation" is too slow, they just proceed.

    Some here can't even grasp that I'm *not* for a police state, only describing reality. It's no wonder that the militarized, corporatized, surveillance state is being put in place right in front of our eyes.

     

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    identicon
    MrWilson, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    "Under what legal mandate is a group that's supposed to be focused on Immigration and Customs getting involved in taking down websites? What does a website have to do with either immigration or customs?"

    Thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists enter the country every year through this series of tubes! We must protect our servers because they are American soil!

     

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      Not to worry, due to a lack of Net Neutrality laws, our tubes are getting clogged by bigger dumptruck-loads of data being moved by single users. If I can't send a simple ineternets, how can an immigrant make it through?

      ~snerk~

       

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    Todd Eastman (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:27am

    DHS vs FBI?

    Good article and good comments. But what I keep asking, and nobody can answer, is why DHS was involved in the first place when it seems pretty obvious to me that it should have fallen under the FBI's jurisdiction?

    Anybody know where I can find an org chart that would explain who reports to whom? Which acronyms outrank the others?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    "American business is under assault from counterfeiters and pirates every day, seven days a week," Mr. Morton said. "Criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet."


    Yep keep focusing on counterfeiters and pirates while the rest of the world drives by and go in their marry way to the future leaving behind the beatdown crazy people who want to own ideas.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    The sad fact is that this is not the Land Of the Free anymore. Draconian laws are being created everyday to protect the profit margin of those corporations that can pay our representatives the most. My question here to all of the naysayers here (i.e. darryl) is the slow erosion of the American public's rights (darryl's too I'm guessing.) a bit at a time, really worth the buck you're making?
    My only joy in all of this is that, one day, all of those screaming for new laws, will have to personally face the loss of a freedom/right one day. Perhaps they will wonder how this stupid situation can about? I'm sure that they and their children will be confused and angry about this.
    To those that espouse the correctness of new laws and unreasonable compensation, why do you even bother to comment in this blog? Why do you not just ignore TechDirt and continue to do what you have successfully accomplished in the past?
    Or better yet, why don't you find a way to make that which you claim to control, available to your fanbase in such a way that they would pay? Isn't that what TechDirt is supposed to be about? Finding ways to get people to pay?
    I just don't understand why you provide biting comments and nasty name calling when you, of all people in this world, could provide some of the best productive commentary on how to keep people from being criminals. So far, all I see from people like darryl, is anger and an unwillingness to find better solutions to the situation.
    Help find a way to make people want to give you money. With so many examples of how your current plan is failing and eroding American (And other countries.) basic rights, I expect bright, intelligent and resourceful solutions. Or at least discussion. Obviously you have something you want to sell and people that want the product. Are you telling me, around nasty commentary, that you have no creative ways of getting people to pony up cash? At least Mike, whom you vilify repeatedly, is willing to continue the discussion with you. You should be holding Mike up as an example of what you want people to do. Others just call you and your like, evil and other unspeakable names. Somehow, I just don't see this as a winning strategy for anyone.
    So many bright and intelligent people involved around the table. How come no viable and acceptable solution can be found or discussed?

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:42am

      Re:

      "The sad fact is that this is not the Land Of the Free anymore. Draconian laws are being created everyday to protect the profit margin of those corporations that can pay our representatives the most."

      Looking at history you see that when corporations, governments, prices, monopolies, are artificially supported and protected. The collapse for the supported entity is far quicker when it happens. It is called a catastrophic failure. Alternately with out support and protection there is slow and gradual errosion. Which IMHO is the better way to go.

       

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    average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    Since we thought the US believed in due process, how does seizing domain names, prior to any adversarial trial, fit with the concept of innocent until proven guilty? And, yes, I'm well aware of the right to seize property as part of an investigation, but when dealing with websites, we are talking about a form of speech that has a much higher burden before it can be stopped -- so I'm curious for the government mandate on seizing domain names prior to a trial?

    As far as domain name seizures violating due process goes, I think perhaps a good argument is that in personam jurisdiction isn't exhausted before they go straight to in rem jurisdiction. In rem is simpler, so it's not surprising they want to start there, but I have to wonder if that's not a due process violation. Even under the ACPA, an in rem action is not available until the court finds that it is not able to obtain in personam jurisdiction. To me that makes sense--only after going after the individual has proven impossible should you be able to go after the domain name. That would be more fair, IMO.

     

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      duffmeister (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      I actually agree with you here.

      An analogy of sorts:
      You seized my house cause there might be goods in there when you could have just tried a standard search warrant first. This seems to be the logic they are using here rather than try the more reasonable path first.

      As a side note, why were DCMA notices filed for the material before it went to this point? Isn't that where you start with infringement?

       

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        average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 5:53pm

        Re: Re:

        As a side note, why were DCMA notices filed for the material before it went to this point? Isn't that where you start with infringement?

        DMCA notices are used by the rights holders in a civil context, whereas these seizures were done by the government in a criminal context. Two different things altogether.

         

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          duffmeister (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So a civil offense of copyright violation required it to be treated as a criminal offense? I am having a hard time seeing that as a sensible reaction. If it is a violation of civil law why wasn't the action taken following civil law?

          Also a correction to my post...As a side note, why were DCMA notices 'not' filed for the material before it went to this point? Isn't that where you start with infringement?

           

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            average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 1:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So a civil offense of copyright violation required it to be treated as a criminal offense? I am having a hard time seeing that as a sensible reaction. If it is a violation of civil law why wasn't the action taken following civil law?

            Also a correction to my post...As a side note, why were DCMA notices 'not' filed for the material before it went to this point? Isn't that where you start with infringement?


            The fact that the feds are using the forfeiture proceedings indicate that they believe there is criminal copyright infringement being done on these sites. The only people who can take action in a criminal matter like this is the feds. Civil action could be taken too, but that would be done by the rights holders and not the government. These sites potentially could be looking at both criminal and civil liability for the same infringement.

             

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        Karl (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:31am

        Re: Re:

        why were DCMA notices filed for the material before it went to this point?

        If you believe some of the sites that were taken down: DMCA notices were filed, and the sites complied with them.

        Admittedly, that's a big "if," but given how many times the government has taken its misinformation straight from big media, it's an "if" I'm not prepared to dismiss.

         

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    Gwiz, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    A couple of thing I am curious about:

    What court are the judges that can approve of this sort of seizure from? Federal, state, local, basketball?

    Are these judges elected or appointed?

    If they are elected judges, where is the best place to look to find who contributed to their election funds?

    If they are appointed, where do I find out who appointed them?

     

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      Vic, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:52am

      Re: If they are appointed, where do I find out who appointed them?

      If they are appointed, how can I disappoint them? 8^)

       

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    ECA (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    For those that dont remember

    For those that dont remember..

    it USED to be, that if MJ/DRUGS were found on farm land, that the LAND was forfeit and the farmer jailed..
    So that if someone had Dumped MJ seeds into the irrigation ditches and the plants Sprouted in the farm areas, the FARMERS had to kill the plants, QUICKLY.

    Those old laws were changed, not long ago.
    Even the DEA has noted in the last 15+ years, that 90% of confiscation tends to be WILD PLANTS along ditches.

    The Corps wish you to THINK that 90% of the computers used are running hijacked versions of Windows..which is TOTALLY wrong. They recite numbers for the WORLD, rather then NATIONAL numbers. Canada is considered a MAJOR violator.

    In the USA, Theft and hijacking is probably LESS than 10%. Unless some HACKER installs it on your computer, you WILL HAVE A PAID version on your computer. These numbers are easy to figure. 90% of the people in the USA would rather buy HP/COMPAC/DELL, and know NOTHING of customized computers. ALSO that those listed companies are the FEW that take PAYMENTS to buy a computer. Customized computers ALMOST always require you to pay for the unit, at the TIME you ask for it.

    As to Torrents..
    There is TONS of CRAP and HACKED versions of programs in the torrents. Using Any of these versions, could Kill your computer or have you infected BEYOND BELIEF.. If you are a STUPID CONSUMER and you are thinking about getting software off the Torrents...you are ASKING TO GET YOUR SYSTEM KILLED.. Unless you know how to protect yourself, Torrents are NOT the way to go.
    Considering that 90% of machines are from MAJOR computer corps, they Already have Windows installed. and UPGRADING TO A non-COMPATIBLE version is NOT a good idea.

    Good luck folks, this is going to be another battle.

     

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      marak (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

      Re: For those that dont remember

      As much as i dont want to derail this conversation(even aussies find this interesting, might be happening to you guys across the pond, but it shows us what to look out for over here).

      Non compatible version? What the hell are you smoking?
      Unless some hacker installs it on your computer... SQL injection attacks, email scams(with links to infected webpages) etc sound familiar?
      As for the danger of using torrents, id strongly argue that more stupid users get infected from clicking bad links or from bad direct downloads than torrents(because they are that stupid).

      BTW your writing style makes you seem like a damn 4yo who cant control his voice, save the rest of our eye's eh? If you really want to emphasise use a damn * around the world.

      And aside from all that, what was the entire point of derailing this thread for your not-exactly coherent ramble?

       

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        JonValJon (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re: For those that dont remember

        you read my mind.. im still grasping to understand what that comment had to do with anything. ANYTHING. All I can assume is that this fellow is battling some crazy torrent pr0n virus right now, and decided to take it out on the first message board he stumbled acrossed.

         

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    LC, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Prior restraint


    Hot Air already explained all of this.

    If you look at the notice they’re posting on the seized sites, it refers you to 18 U.S.C. 981 and 18 U.S.C. 2323. Section 2323 basically says that property
    is subject to civil forfeiture to the government if you’re using it for the purpose of willful copyright infringement. Section 981(b) lays out the rules
    the feds need to follow to get court approval for the seizure: In most cases, it’s the same as it is to get a search warrant under Rule 41 of the Federal
    Rules of Criminal Procedure. Section 981(b)(3) lets the property owner challenge the seizure by filing a motion with the court that issued the warrant
    (as does FRCrP 41(g)).


    The First Amendment forbids prior restraint --- administrative censorship -- on speech -- even when that might fall within an unprotected category.
    Seizing an entire domain on the ground that some of the sold items are unlawful is akin to seizing an entire bbookstore on the petty official's say so that some publications might happen to be obscene.
    The Supreme Court has never held that
    the government may enjoin unprotected speech pending a final judicial determination of its constitutionality but has on the contrary laid down constitutional safeguards to which any censorship regime must conform.

    Using the label civil forfeiture to get around the FIrst Amendment's prohibition on prior restraint is likely unconstitutional under the court's caselaw.

     

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    ECA (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    LETS SAY IT THIS WAY

    The gov is to regulate PEOPLE..
    it is to PROTECT and regulate CORPS..

    WE are NOT to do THEIR JOB..
    They need to POINT to something that is illegal..before the Gov can do something ABOUT a corp problem. As it could be SPONSORED by the corp, or the Corp dont care.

    Also,
    Since these are SEARCH SITES..not the originator..
    KNOWLEDGE of a CRIME in no WAY requires you to report it. This is not True for all Law... just MOST of it..based on severity of the crime.
    I do NOT consider SHARING equal to MURDER, in severity.

     

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    marak (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Err guys been reading a little more about this story from other places, and got an intersting link.

    http://74.81.170.110/

    Thats one of the sites actual ip's - when you goto it, yup you got the taken down message. Thats not a domain name seizure, thats a server seizure(i havnt tracert'ed it yet... actually doing it now...)

    Wow getting some weird results, someone who knows more about networks will have to look at that(not my field).

    So it seems like they have seized more than just the domain name...

     

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      marak (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

      Re:

      Actually did some more thought on it, if they took the domain(not just the DNS) then that would explain the msg. Someone who knows more about networking should chime in on this.

       

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    Rekrul, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:42pm

    So, given all of this, I have the following questions for Mr. Morton, anyone else at Homeland Security or in the Obama Administration, or those who support these domain seizures:

    The answer to all five questions is the same;

    "We're the government, we don't have to answer to you!"

     

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