The PROTECT IP Act Is About The Old Media Industry Going To War With The Internet

from the nicely-put dept

Larry Downes, author of the book, The Laws of Disruption, has an excellent (if lengthy) column discussing why the PROTECT IP Act is about the legacy media industry going to war with the internet:
It is now clear that the true enemy of traditional media, still unbloodied, is the Internet itself. The remarkable ability of digital technology to reduce the transaction costs of information exchanges of all kinds has destroyed the business models, if not the businesses, on which content providers have operated successfully since at least the 18th century. Thatís when the first copyright law was passed in England.

The focus on "media" in the very name of the industry belies its reliance on the limited life of physical copies as the key control mechanism. But as physical copies are replaced by faster, better, and cheaper digital alternatives, control becomes more illusory. The entrenched providers are growing desperate.

A full-scale war between content distributors and everyone else has been raging in earnest for over a decade. Both sides have seen theirs share of victories, defeats, and casualties--some in the market, others in the courts. Like many messy conflicts, it has dragged in many once-neutral parties, including device manufacturers, network operators, and consumers.
He goes on to note that what this and other recent attempts to change copyright law in favor of those industries are really attempts to break the internet in order to protect some old business models. Yet, because we believe in free speech, we can't just completely stop the spread of content online, and so the silly set of laws we keep seeing are really attempts to take convoluted paths to break the internet, while being able to pretend they're just trying to stop "criminals." The real problem, however, is that these laws are being driven by the industries they help the most, and being passed by elected officials who don't understand what they're doing to the internet:
There's more, but let's cut through the unpleasant details here for a moment. In essence, what PRO IP, COICA, and now Protect IP all try to do is disrupt sites that infringe copyright and trademark without removing them, largely in cases where actually taking them down is both legally and technically impossible.

Their attenuated tactics, taken together, try to effect the removal of the site from the Internet when law enforcement canít easily exercise jurisdiction over the site itself or the people who operate it. Doing so, of course, leaves the actual site and those who operate it untouched, free to use their own tactics to avoid erasure or simply reappear nearby. And it requires the forced conscription of a dizzying jumble of Internet service providers, some large and some very small.

But the more indirect the solutions, the more the technical integrity of the Internet--its openness, its least common denominator protocols--is compromised. It may ultimately break. In an effort to disrupt illegal uses of technology, these laws may succeed only when they unintentionally disrupt all uses, legal and illegal.

How did we get so quickly to the brink, where Congress is wading so deeply into technical details it clearly doesn't understand? Why are the combatants in this war willing to resort to increasingly incomplete, ineffective and dangerous tactics? (Dangerous to the infrastructure, to the law, and otherwise.)

Law is often the last refuge of an industry in transition. Rather than change, or change as quickly as innovation makes possible, industry incumbents sue, first to slow the pace of progress and then, ultimately, simply to survive.
The full article is a lot longer, but really does a great job framing the entire argument that shows what's really at stake: an old industry that's being disrupted, and which is seeking (whether consciously or not -- and I'd actually argue that they don't realize what they're doing) to break the internet, because it upsets the ways they used to make money. What's unfortunate, is that politicians don't recognize that they're merely helping to prop up an unnecessary legacy industry, when there are plenty of new, better, more efficient operations able to take their place instead.


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  1.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    Easy Peasy

    If I can't repeat what I've been told, I don't have free speech.

    QED.

     

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  2.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Tools can be used for good or bad

    The same tools (PROTECT IP, COICA) that can be used to stop the distribution of unauthorized files are exactly the same tools that can be used to stop the distribution of unauthorized ideas, thoughts, speech, or viewpoints.

    Just as the same tools (BitTorrent, RapidShare) that can be used for the authorized distribution of large files are exactly the same tools that can be used for the unauthorized distribution of large files


    The PROTECT IP supporters say its about piracy. I say it's about censorship and deeper problems that they either don't see, or don't care about, or even worse, hope to accomplish.

     

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    Steven (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Tools can be used for good or bad

    As much as I'd like to put a sinister spin on all this. I really think the recording industries position is one of active ignorance coupled with complete apathy toward the fate of the internet (or anything/body else for that matter).

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    It's funny

    This morning, I listened to a speech delivered by JFK like 30 years ago.

    The speech was about unnecessary secrecy, censorship, etc.

    It was amazingly relevant to todays events...

     

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  5.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

    I keep hearing how the new laws are going to "break the internet," but I just don't see it. How exactly will the internet be "broken"?

     

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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Will time be our saviour?

    Whenever I see stories like this, it keeps popping into my head that perhaps, things will ultimately get better when all the old guys who are used to this industry have died off and the next generation who gets it can finally take over.

    Then I hear my boss telling his kids that copying a CD from a friend is stealing; and from my sister that her kids obviously don't value music because they download it to their ipods and she needs to teach them better, and I start wondering if people aren't trying to indoctrinate the next generation into the old ways already.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Just like like Mike Masnick, Larry Downes makes his money selling web 2.0 snakeoil to dummies.

    It's all about money.

    It's all about money to Masnick, it's all about money to Larry Downes, and it's all about money to leeches that want to consume art without paying for it.

    What a noble bunch.

     

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  8.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Why we fight

    This guy gets it. From the article:

    Ultimately, the only way to stop the tide is to blow up the moon. And that is an altogether different kind of solution, one that would cause far more damage than the harm you are trying to avoid.

    That's why we fight against every effort of the legacy content to preserve their monopolies. The only way they can truly "win" and remain in their current business models is to destroy the Internet and force technological progress to stop.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Re:

    It breaks "their" internet.

    The greedy leech internet.

     

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  10.  
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    Mr. LemurBoy (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    Well, i'm not a legal expert here, but from the sounds of what the people trying to pass these laws want to do, i'd say ultimately they'd like to see the internet be a place with no anonymity that requires permission to do anything, and essentially turn it from a communications medium into a broadcast medium. IMO, that would be a very broken internet.

    Note, this is not necessarily what these exact laws will do, but it's easy to extrapolate what the unchecked end-goal would be.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Doubleplus good.

    The movie and music industry has pulled out all stops in what one can only hope is a last ditch effort to not adapt. When they finally embrace the technology of the 90s and its all better, then they will wonder what took so long.

    Hopefully they get there before they try to force a completely sanitized Government approved internet on us telling us how we must support Big Brother and to think otherwise is a crime.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re:

    The internet isn't 'broken' largely because those very laws are mostly ignored.

    E.g., The Wayback Machine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: It's funny

    thats why he got shot

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    Your irony is improving, TAM. Keep it up!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Re:

    http://www.youtube.com

    Because if this law gets passed I would have just made Masnick and myself felons by posting that link.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re:

    They have adapted.

    They utilize numerous examples of new tech- they license their content to all sorts of internet music businesses.

    You just don't like the fact they're finally cracking down on freeloaders.

    Really, whining is so unbecoming.

     

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  17.  
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    lostalaska (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re: It's funny

    Yeah, JFK died in 1963 so it's closing in on 50 years since his death. Interestingly the drumbeat for less secrecy and censorship has been going on long before JFK, sad so few people actually realize this has been going on for generations with little to nothing actually being changed.

     

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  18.  
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    That Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    Re:

    how does one consume art?

    I understand if your just a sandwich artist and I consume your masterpiece I paid for. The sandwich does not remain.

    If I listen to a song on the radio or an ipod, is it suddenly gone forever? Or do you believe as Prince does that a cover of a song makes the original simply blink out of existence?

    And its not that people do not want it all for free, there is a big disconnect in the corps trying to say that something digital should cost the same as a physical medium. Or trying to limit the consumers rights to where and when they get to see what they paid for.

    You lobbed your best idea, and missed the mark... now go make me a sammich... not so much mayo this time Mr. Arteest

     

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  19.  
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    rubberpants, May 16th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    In order to completely stop piracy, computers on the Internet would need to be forbidden from running arbitrary code and communicating arbitrary data to other arbitrary computers. Implementing those measures would break the Internet because it would cease to be the Internet and would become cable TV.

    It's not difficult to comprehend actually.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    The strength of the Internet comes from computers being able to freely communicate with each other. Every roadblock, every barrier to that communication weakens what makes the Internet so special.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re:

    yes its mine now please get off of it.

    shouldnt you be behind a paywall?

    stop pirating the articles and comments

     

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  22.  
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    rubberpants, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re:

    They're trying to sell something that can be exactly duplicated and instantly transported to anywhere in the world for zero-cost. That's not adaptation. That's denial.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

    Re:

    The government argued that allowing the FCC to regulate public airwaves wouldn't prevent free expression from being transmitted over public airwaves. They argued that the FCC will ensure a minimal amount of competition if they were allowed to regulate. At first they did, but over the years the minimum requirement kept on decreasing.

    The government also wrongfully grants monopoly power over cableco infrastructure use (and the ability to build new cableco infrastructure).

    Restaurants and other venues that want to host independent performers may get sued by collection agencies demanding money under the pretext that someone 'might' infringe. This prevents these venues from hosing independent performers.

    Now we've reached the point where most information distribution outside the Internet is corporate controlled. Big corporations wrongfully control content distribution over public airwaves. This has made it more difficult for independents to create and distribute content without first sacrificing their copy'right' privileges over to some third party. This has also made it more difficult for independents to create and distribute permissibly licensed content. Content creation often requires consumption. It's hard to create and profit from permissibly licensed (or any) content (ie: via donations or selling other related things like concert tickets) if you can't distribute your content for people to consume. So this artificial reduction in the distribution of permissibly licensed content has resulted in the reduced production of such content (though the Internet is changing that now, but the government wants to pass laws to retard this just like they did many years ago when it came to cableco infrastructure, public airwaves, and restaurants and other venues).

    The result is that the government wrongfully grants a monopoly on both content and distribution. This has also resulted in a huge reduction of free speech. For example, despite the fact that our current IP laws are absolutely indefensible (ie: copy protection length lasting 95+ years, among many other problems) MM and other IP critics would never be allowed to criticize IP over public airwaves or cableco infrastructure. The govt is not lifting a finger to correct the problem they created. Instead, they are seeking to turn the Internet into the same monopolized nonsense that they turned everything outside the Internet into. and the claim that this is not what they're doing was the same claim that the FCC made years back when the FCC started controlling public airwaves. But that turned out to be nothing but a big fat lie and that's all this is.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re:

    "MM and other IP critics would never be allowed to criticize IP over public airwaves or cableco infrastructure."

    Addendum:
    but the public airwave/cableco monopolists are often more than happy to broadcast pro-IP propaganda.

     

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  25.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re:

    they license their content to all sorts of internet music businesses.

    At rates that threaten to put those businesses out of business? Yes, great adaptation on their part.

     

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  26.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re:

    they license their content to all sorts of internet music businesses.

    Still not getting it.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    in fairness he didnt say they adapted well

     

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  28.  
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    Qritiqal (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re:

    AC is right. We all should have to pay for access to the internet in 5 minute chunks, with 50% of the fee going to RIAA/MPAA since MOST LIKELY half of our time online is spent stealing their property.

     

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  29.  
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    Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    The true enemy of traditional media is traditional media. The Internet is just getting one holy heck of a lot of collateral damage in this fight because the idiots don't know how to commit suicide gracefully.

     

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  30.  
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    Charles, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re:

    You mean "sudo make me a sandwich." :)

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Link!? Must click! Doh, did I just break the law?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re:

    Today, I can put a link up on a web page to whatever.com/some-non-infringing-content.html

    Three years from now, whoever owns whatever.com decides to let it fall by the wayside for reasons only known to them, and some other new party comes along and posts infringing content under that domain.

    Since I made my link 3 years ago, it's unlikely I'm going to remember it, let alone remember to check to make sure it's still not infringing, and suddenly I'm dragged into court and charged with a felony for linking to infringing content, through no actions of my own.

    So this will likely create a massive chilling effect on the act of putting hyperlinks into your pages. Hyperlinking, however, is the very backbone of the internet. Hence broken.

     

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  33.  
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    Steven (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    If you can be held liable for what is at the end of a link...
    If you can be silenced from a simple accusation...
    If domains can be redirect from a simple accusation...
    If gatekeepers are allowed to choose what bits you are allowed to receive...

    then the internet is broken. All of these things have been proposed and pushed, and some of them are now reality.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not everyone has ears of tin, thinks mp3s sound good, and loves dodging viruses all day, dude...

     

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  35.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re:

    I always thought businesses were supposed to cater to their customers. Customers want video/music/photos they pay for to be available to them in any form on any device in any place. The internet has made this possible at extremely low prices. Yet the industry continues to place roadblocks for customers to get content at the actual cost the internet allows...which is infinite supply...which basic economics teaches that price goes to near zero.

     

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  36.  
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    lol, May 16th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    Your counter-argument to EVERYTHING is "I just don't see it". Here are some newer arguments you can start using:

    "I just don't get it"
    "I just don't understand it"
    "I just can't get behind that"
    "The argument is null and void until I understand it"
    "Wow that makes a lot of sense to me"

    You're welcome :)

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Re:

    and the way the government eventually handed control of most communication channels over to corporate entities was rather disingenuous.

    The government knew that immediately handing over exclusive public airwave use over to corporate entities would create a huge public outrage. No, it had to be a gradual process. First ensure a minimal amount of competition to reduce outrage and then reduce that minimal requirement over time.

    Congress also knew that if it was the one responsible for handing over public airwave use over to corporate entities, many congressional legislators would become unpopular among voters. So what did they do? They created the FCC and gave the FCC the authority to do what they wanted done. This was far more acceptable because the FCC didn't immediately hand exclusive public airwave use over to corporate entities. They did so gradually, over the years. and having Congress delegate that authority over to the FCC and having the FCC to do it directs a lot of voter attention away from congress members and over to the FCC instead, it distorts which elected officials are to blame for these actions (since no member of Congress has to directly approve of exclusive public airwave use being handed over to the highest corporate briber ^H^H^H^H^H^H bidder), which helps keep our elected officials in office.

    These bills are similar. Instead of Congress directly passing laws that monopolize the Internet over to big corporate entities, they will pass laws that delegate the necessary authority over to other entities (ie: plaintiffs, various government agencies). Then those various entities can regulate the heck out of the Internet in ways that mostly benefit big corporate entities at public expense.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The majority of law (I believe it's like 70 percent) is made by federal agencies (ie: the FCC, FDA, etc...). Ron Paul once proposed that all law created by federal agencies should first be signed by Congress before taking effect. I agree. Doing so will more directly give elected officials accountability over the laws that federal agencies pass. We can know exactly who approved what bill and who didn't and so we can vote accordingly. No law should have any effect if it hasn't first been signed by elected officials (and the public should have access to which elected officials signed what). and that includes laws created by federal agencies like the FDA, FCC, etc...

     

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  39.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    "web 2.0 snakeoil"

    That, AC, is an awesome phrase. Bullshit, but awesome. If you're going to troll, you might as well troll lyrically!

     

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  40.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So piracy shouldn't be much of a problem then, right?

     

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  41.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Heh, indeed. They are adapting like panda bears: hoping the rest of the world will work hard to keep them alive at great expense.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    agreed.

    I'm off to go buy and legally download some .FLAC versions of classic tunes ripped straight from vinyl with no loss. oh wait those dont exist. How about just some newer tunes ripped lossless from the masters....oh no, really? just mp3s from itunes....no thanks

    well I guess that is ok they have still only had almost 2 decades to adapt. But hey i can pay for shitty mp3 versions so its a start...?

     

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  43.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every panda that wouldn't screw to save its species."

     

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  44.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    here's how the latest bill, the PROTECT IP Bill would work. It's all about linking. I can assume you have a facebook page, am I right? And that, like everyone else, you hear a song you like, so you post a link to the song on Youtube. Well, under the above named law, that would be illegal. The song would not be cleared by its copyright holder, and thus, you would be punished, by having your facebook account shut down.
    Not only that, the rights holders merely have to ACCUSE a site of infringement, and the domain registrars or whoever, under the proposed law, will have to take it down in order to avoid liability. That's what's so dangerous about the law. A court won't be needed to censor a site. Just an accusation from a third party.
    It's actually worse than the Great Firewall of China. There, they censor they say for national security and other BS. In the US, it's because someone told someone else where a song was...

     

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  45.  
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    Rikuo (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Like book authors who say "My book is being stolen on the internet, therefore I won't release an authorised version and see at least some income".
    Now imagine if that applied to physical goods. Your local Wal-mart reports high cases of theft, therefore decides to shut down and not sell anything at all.
    (And before anyone starts, yes, I know, if theft is high and your costs are also high, then its not economically feasible to stay in operation in Wal-mart's case. But for authors who refuse to allow e-books for that reason is nonsensical, because there is zero to little cost involved.

     

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  46.  
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    That Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Really? license... uh huh....

    So Hulu Plus isn't a tremendous waste of money for the consumer? They get more ads and fewer options.

    So 28 day waiting period for everyone but Blockbuster? that worked out well...

    They never claimed that format shifting purchased items was stealing? They did that one in a court room, enjoy backpedelling that one.

    All that have done to adapt is to pay more money to more politicians to get them to swallow the idea that protecting a business model is the most important thing they can do.

    Please name 10 internet music businesses they have licensed to... then name the 2 that survived the ridiculous demands placed on them by the labels.

    Quiver in terror at the idea of the first "mainstream" artist who drops the label, and just goes on their own...

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    I do not agree that the PROTECT IP Act Is about "The Old Media Industry Going To War With The Internet".

    I do agree that it is about, rightly or wrongly, going to "war" with those who infringe or facilitate the infringement of copyrighted works.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on May 16th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    That is what they say the purpose is but the problem is the collateral damage. The laws as they are written can turn just about anyone who uses the internet into a felon. The same laws as they are written could be used to attack legitimate businesses or citizens if they fell out of favor with the government or the legacy industry.

    Its like nuking chicago to get rid of gangs. Sure you'll get rid of a serious problem but you'll also cause a lot of uninteded damage, more damage then the ends are worth.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Don't forget to mention that that video could be an authorized version. Since there is no fact checking in the process they just have to say it isn't authorized and bam there goes your facebook or blog or whatever page. Even if you were linking to a legitimate video.

    Oh and your a felon. I'm going to repeat that a felon. For linking to something that was or you believed to be legitmate.

     

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  50.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 5:19pm

    This AC is correct! Sorta

    "It's all about money."

    100% correct Mr. AC. It's all about the media industry losing control of the gates and losing its guaranteed payday. Some in the media industry are screwed FAR worse than others. Let's take a look shall we?

    Journalism and Publishing - Just F*cked. Copyrights aside, there is no reason that a good author needs to give a percentage to a publisher anymore. Marketing? It can be done through social networking and hard work. As for Journalism, Wikileaks anyone? The news is for all intents and purposes, FREE now. Paywalls and print will still survive for a while, but as those 4 year olds get older, you will see less and less of the old guard.

    Music - Crippled but evolving. Technology has improved on the device and service sides of the equation to the point that an artist can work hard and be pretty much self promoting. The distribution of music has changed and the industry did nothing significant to take advantage and now it's locked in combat with the internet. Whatever comes out of it is sure to be different than any of us can see now.

    Movies - Barely scathed. DVD sales are encountering similar problems to the recording industry, but the box office is still churning out its annual blockbusters and people are still spending. Piracy of movies on the net appears to barely be denting the bottom line for movies. The only real threat is the cost of making a decent movie seems to be dropping and opening opportunities for indie movie makers. Stay tuned for further disruption.

    Broadcast TV - WTF? This one is an enigma. NBC, CBS, ABC, BBC.... they all seem to be SLOWLY getting it. You can go to the broadcasters' websites and watch quite a bit of programming for free and you can buy a series on iTunes or Amazon, so it seems they get that free works with their business model. What I don't get is that they have TONS of content (programming from decades past) that they can release at any time and pick up ad revenue on, but they just don't seem to want to release it. One big problem is mergers like NBC/Universal, that put Movie execs in control of TV content, so you have people that are against the internet controlling people that are starting to get it. That can't end well.

    So you end up with an industry at war with the internet and threatening to cause a rift in the DNS architecture and do A LOT more harm to the economy than anyone can accurately predict.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    ...and once you're a felon, you can't vote to have the (any) law changed.

    Hmmm, how convenient...

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    abc gum, May 16th, 2011 @ 6:20pm

    "I keep hearing how the new laws are going to "break the internet," but I just don't see it. How exactly will the internet be "broken"?"

    You don't see it because you are blind.
    Your mother warned you about what would happen if you didn't stop doing that.

     

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  53.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re:

    http://www.youtube.com

    Because if this law gets passed I would have just made Masnick and myself felons by posting that link.


    Which law are you talking about? And how do you figure that linking to YouTube would become a criminal act? I think you are mistaken.

     

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  54.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re:

    The strength of the Internet comes from computers being able to freely communicate with each other. Every roadblock, every barrier to that communication weakens what makes the Internet so special.

    That sounds nice and all, but can you explain in what concrete way a user such as myself will suffer when the internet is "broken" by these laws?

     

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  55.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I get the argument, but it seems misplaced. Nobody is going to be "dragged into court and charged with a felony" for linking to content like that. I think you've bought into the FUD that's going around about how linking to anything infringing will automatically be a felony. That's just silly.

    Ars has an article out today about the bill I believe you (and others) are so paranoid about: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/05/new-bill-upgrades-unauthorized-internet-streaming-to -a-felony.ars

    The bill is aimed at sites that stream content, i.e., sites dedicated to infringement. Hyperlinks are just fine, and they will continue to be so.

     

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  56.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re:

    But you can be held accountable for "what is at the end of a link" already, and the internet is not broken.

    You can already be "silenced from a simple accusation," and the internet is not broken.

    Etc. I'm hearing lots of rhetoric, but not one simple example of how I should fear the internet being "broken" by these laws. I see how things will change for pirates, sure, but that's the whole point, right?

     

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  57.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re:

    It's not even a counterargument. I'm not saying it won't break the internet. I'm simply asking why people are saying it will break the internet. I'm just curious. Seems like FUD.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    crickets...

     

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  59.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    > Nobody is going to be "dragged into court and charged
    > with a felony" for linking to content like that.

    Simple question: How can you know that?

     

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  60.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    > But you can be held accountable for "what is at the end of a
    > link" already, and the internet is not broken.

    > You can already be "silenced from a simple accusation," and the
    > internet is not broken.

    Yes, it is. The fact that you're okay with these things doesn't mean they're not serious problems.

     

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  61.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re:

    here's how the latest bill, the PROTECT IP Bill would work. It's all about linking. I can assume you have a facebook page, am I right? And that, like everyone else, you hear a song you like, so you post a link to the song on Youtube. Well, under the above named law, that would be illegal. The song would not be cleared by its copyright holder, and thus, you would be punished, by having your facebook account shut down.

    It's not so much about linking as it is about sites that are dedicated to infringement. I don't think your hypo is persuasive. People aren't going to start having their Facebook accounts closed down for linking to YouTube videos. That's silly.

    Not only that, the rights holders merely have to ACCUSE a site of infringement, and the domain registrars or whoever, under the proposed law, will have to take it down in order to avoid liability. That's what's so dangerous about the law. A court won't be needed to censor a site. Just an accusation from a third party.

    They would only have to take it down if so ordered by a court. And before a court issues such an order, there is due process.

    It's actually worse than the Great Firewall of China. There, they censor they say for national security and other BS. In the US, it's because someone told someone else where a song was...

    There they actually censor people by controlling what people can say and hear. That's censorship. What we have here is hardly comparable, IMO.

     

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  62.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because that does not appear to be the bill's aim. The bill is aimed at streaming sites, not people with a random link to something infringing.

    It's quite a stretch to turn a bill aimed at streaming sites into FUD like this. Give me a break.

     

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  63.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The internet is already broken? In what way? What are the "serious problems"?

     

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  64.  
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    Jay (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's also a stretch to believe any company would sue people first and ask questions later.

    Then Righthaven came along...

     

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  65.  
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    Modplan (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's not so much about linking as it is about sites that are dedicated to infringement. I don't think your hypo is persuasive. People aren't going to start having their Facebook accounts closed down for linking to YouTube videos. That's silly.


    Yeah, it's totally silly that 80,000 innocent sites were taken down. It's a good thing we had due process right, like with those music blogs that were taken down based on music the labels themselves had sent? The standards for which are lowered further here, that'll turn out OK I'm sure.

    Due process: Saviour of all, except where laws and enforcement are captured primarily by corporate interest, in which caOH MY GOD COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT!

    P.S. I see you being disingenuous again in pointing to a lacking summary, when on Ars is this article:

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/05/senate-bill-gives-feds-power-to-order-pi racy-site-blacklisting.ars

    Clearly the bill provides what can only be described as a censorship power in pressuring intermediaries like Google into doing the Governments work for them (stopping copyright infringement) by demanding they not even link to a site. How that isn't a definition of a broke internet I have no idea.

     

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  66.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I get the argument, but it seems misplaced. Nobody is going to be "dragged into court and charged with a felony" for linking to content like that.

    Actually it's already been happening in Germany for quite some time. When you put up links to "forbidden" software like AnyDVD you "adopt the content" (probably wrong translation in this context) behind the link which means any lawyer can write a cease-and-desist order resulting in a hefty fine. It goes so far as to people in Usenet postings not mentioning the name anymore when ripping DVDs is discussed.

     

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  67.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What are the "serious problems"?

    1) Xou can be held accountable for "what is at the end of a link"

    2) You can already be "silenced from a simple accusation,"

     

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  68.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL, when I think you can't get anymore ridiculous you also admit to be a member of the Voodoo audiophile morons. Nice.

    Unfortunately the test and studies over the last years have verified that even golden ears can't hear a difference between the uncompressed files and mp3s as low as 160 kbit.

     

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  69.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL, I forgot. Since you are so technically impressive please explain how one could ever contract viruses from mp3 files. Thanks.

     

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  70.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    For fuck's sake - that's what PROTECT IP will do; make it a federal crime for linking. That means pointing to Youtube will become a felony under this "Act".

    How the fuck do you not get this?

     

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  71.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 11:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Streams are essentially hyperlinked video that's not stored locally. If youi cannot see that, then either:

    a) You've been dumped 500 years into the future and have no clue; or
    b) you're being deliberately obtuse, and need to be shot.

     

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  72.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 16th, 2011 @ 11:23pm

    Re:

    It's like someone tried casting Misdirection on the US public.

     

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  73.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 1:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I can name two: iTunes and Amazon Cloud.

    ...What? I never said they were good!

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love your crazy talk... sexy.

     

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  75.  
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    G Thompson (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 2:32am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It will destroy Interactivity for one.

    The inability to contribute to the Great conversation that is the internet, with all its social dynamics due to the inability to converse, inform, educate, debate, or criticise when, how and to whom you want is the absolute worse thing you can do. Without it the Internet is nothing more than a one way flow of government and corporate propaganda.. ie: TV

    I think the ninth circuit said it best in Winter v. G.P. Putnam's Sons 938 F.2d 1033 at 8
    Although there is always some appeal to the involuntary spreading of costs of injuries in any area, the costs in any comprehensive cost/benefit analysis would be quite different were strict liability concepts applied to words and ideas. We place a high priority on the unfettered exchange of ideas. We accept the risk that words and ideas have wings we cannot clip and which carry them we know not where. The threat of liability without fault (financial responsibility for our words and ideas in the absence of fault or a special undertaking or responsibility) could seriously inhibit those who wish to share thoughts and theories[...][emphasis added]

    and I think the obiter at 9 is especially relevant
    Strict liability principles even when applied to products are not without their costs. Innovation may be inhibited. We tolerate these losses. They are much less disturbing than the prospect that we might be deprived of the latest ideas and theories.[emphasis added]


    Interactivity and the sharing of ideas and theories is what the internet, and also humanity itself, is all about. If that is stopped, then sadly within the USA you will have broken what you created.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 2:38am

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

    "I'm sorry ma'am, but we must kill everyone in town in order to save the bank robbers. I'm sure everyone will understand."

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 2:55am

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

    1) Xou (sic)can be held accountable for "what is at the end of a link"

    There isn't anything wrong with that. Take some responsibility in your life, if it isn't too much of a chore...

    2) You can already be "silenced from a simple accusation,"

    "Silenced"? No, you can go say whatever you want again on the web in less than 10 seconds.

    I'm being ripped off a million times more easily than that.

    Where's your outrage now, hypocritical asshat?

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    IronM@sk, May 17th, 2011 @ 2:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You really are quite dense aren't you.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 3:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Joe:

    If you're this much of a pussy around pirate nerds, I don't want to see you in a courtroom against real lawyers.

    Get a desk job.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 3:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What would Masnick and his Freetard Army do if ICE hadn't accidentally taken down those MOO sub-domains for 24 hours?

    oy...

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 3:06am

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

    Where's your outrage now, hypocritical asshat?

    Thanks for proving his point, sucker.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 3:26am

    Re: This AC is correct! Sorta

    There are no more gatekeepers.

    This is the mythical bogeyman that is still dragged out of his coffin to be used by piracy apologists.

    The moment the internet became a viable distribution channel for musicians, the notion of "gatekeepers" ceased to exist.

    There are no more gates.


    This is a double edged sword for the tin hatters that believed the major label's sole purpose was to foist musical crap onto an unsuspecting public.

    A re-examination of the history of major labels will very shortly be required reading.

    God Bless Van Dyke Parks, Lenny Waronker and Mo Ostin.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    umm..Not complain about it...

     

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  84.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    For fuck's sake - that's what PROTECT IP will do; make it a federal crime for linking. That means pointing to Youtube will become a felony under this "Act".

    How the fuck do you not get this?


    I think you're confusing the PROTECT IP Act with the other Act whose text isn't released yet. I also think you're completely confused about what either Act will do. Neither one will make it a felony to point to YouTube. The reason that sounds so ridiculous is because it is. You're buying into the FUD, it would seem.

     

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  85.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You really are quite dense aren't you.

    Your insult might actually carry weight if it was backed with an argument. Standing alone, your insult is meaningless and only makes you look "dense."

     

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  86.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Through virtual intercourse, numbnuts.

     

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  87.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 6:01am

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

    Tell us who you are or I call bullshit.

     

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  88.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re: This AC is correct! Sorta

    Then why do they act like gatekeepers? Would it not make more business sense to adapt?

     

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  89.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What, am I supposed to be an asshole like you? I'm trying to be better than that. ;)

     

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  90.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > Because that does not appear to be the bill's aim.

    Since when has a bill's aim stopped overzealous law enforcement?

    See the Lori Drew case for a prime example.

     

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  91.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > What are the "serious problems"?

    You already listed them yourself.

     

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  92.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Virtual intercourse.

     

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  93.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see how either Act stops interactivity or the sharing of ideas. It's one going to become a one-way stream of information. Ideas will still be free-flowing. Sounds like a bunch of FUD to me.

     

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  94.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 8:16am

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

    So we shouldn't have a law because some overzealous law enforcement agent might go too far with it? Couldn't you say that about any law?

    That still doesn't explain how either Act will "break" the internet.

     

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  95.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 8:35am

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

    """So we shouldn't have a law because some overzealous law enforcement agent might go too far with it? Couldn't you say that about any law?"""

    Yes! YES! Finally, he gets it. Any law can (and in many many cases, will) be stretched and abused by law enforcement to fit situations it was never "meant" to address. This is why all new laws should be carefully scrutinized and worded very extremely concisely (that means not vague and nebulous). ACTA and Son of ACTA are both worded very poorly with incredible amounts of legal ambiguity and frankly I can't see how they would not instantly get challenged as unconstitutional. And no, I won't give examples, read them for yourself and if you can't see the spots that basically say "if we say it's bad we can make it disappear" then you just don't want to see.

     

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  96.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 8:37am

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

    Lars? Is that you?

     

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  97.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re:

    These laws attempt to stop communication between people, it is as simple as that. Historically how often has attempting to prevent communication worked? ... hmmm ... okay, Never. The unintended consequences are going to the exact opposite of what they are aiming for. With more light shined on what they are doing. That is the last thing they actually want.

     

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  98.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I think you're confusing the PROTECT IP Act with the other Act whose text isn't released yet. I also think you're completely confused about what either Act will do."

    When ACTA was secret. We sat around a speculated what it would be like. We were wrong, it was far worse. In most cases when I see bad laws I chalk it up to stupidity and incompetence, in the case of every new IP law, I chalk it up to malice and fear.

     

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  99.  
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    DannyB (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    How Protect IP breaks the Internet

    It breaks the Internet because nobody can link. Links are a fundamental part of the Internet.

    Why can't you link? Well, you can, but you may become a felon for doing so.

    If you link to something today, you may become a felon tomorrow if what you linked to is changed by the site's owner to be infringing content.

     

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  100.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you're confusing the PROTECT IP Act with the other Act whose text isn't released yet. I also think you're completely confused about what either Act will do. Neither one will make it a felony to point to YouTube. The reason that sounds so ridiculous is because it is. You're buying into the FUD, it would seem

    The text has been leaked. It adds "public performance" to 506(a). And, considering the arrest in channelsurfing, some think it's already a felony to point to YouTube and other such hosting sites. Isn't *that* ridiculous?

     

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  101.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    After reading this ...

    I see an unintended consequence of this law and linking to infringing content becoming a felony. More people only linking to CC and free content.

     

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  102.  
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    LaughingalltheWay (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    It's about the law catching up with the online economy. News flash-the bad guys have moved online too. And for the record, the big companies are not the only ones hurt by IP theft. The little people suffer even more when their stuff is stolen-since their profit (margins) are smaller.

     

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  103.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

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

    I see a big difference between running a streaming site like channelsurfing.net and simply linking to a video on YouTube. The law is aimed at the former, not the latter. I see no reason for regular people with links to YouTube videos to be worried.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

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

    That may be the intent but the letter of the law says I should be worried. Although they won't charge everyone who links to a youtube video they can charge anyone. Which means if you leaglly piss off the government or a da or the police or warner brothers they can make a felon out of you.

    Interconnectedness is a core principal of the internet. If people are fearful to link because the government CAN make them a felon it destroys the fabric of the net. Mike might be afraid to link to torrentfreak or somewhere because industry insiders don't like him and can then get him arrested. It hampers peoples ability to share and report.

    Beyond that and worse yet is that no oversight is needed. An accusation becomes fact. I don't even have do to anything illegal or "wrong" and some non government entity can silence me just by saying I did.

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What's its aimed at and what it allows people to do are very different things. If they can shape it and word it so that only its aims can be accomplished an no one else can be harmed with it that's fine. But as it stands its incredibly vague and although they certainly won't drag everyone with a link youtube to court, they can drag anyone with a link to youtube to court.

     

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  106.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Please name 10 internet music businesses they have licensed to..."

    "Amazon Cloud."


    Amazon cloud has no licenses, neither does google's new music service, why? Because the industry refused to come up with a deal and just wanted to butt rape the both of them.

    I would have accepted Pandora as an answer

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, May 17th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love when people wait 8 minutes then write "Crickets" some people have jobs and cant just sit around hitting refresh all day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108.  
    identicon
    HothMonster, May 17th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

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

    Right cause IP holders never go after fans over stupid shit. Its never happened. The redskins owner wouldnt use this to get some poor guy arrested, whoever those tards producing Twighlight are wouldnt abuse this.

    Whats its aimed at and what it allows to happen are very different things. Write it so it can ONLY hurt dedicated infringers and couldnt be used against someone who posts to a youtube video they didnt know was infringing and ill be ok.

    What if im a well known wikileaks supporter but have committed no crimes. Look a felony law that can apply to anyone. Oh no the government never uses laws to go after people that the law was not intended for, no, never.

    If you want better laws to go after pirates, than take the time to write better laws to go after pirates. Don't just throw some draft written by some asshat who doesnt understand how the internet works before a bunch of old ass men(congress) who also dont know how the internet works. We end up with some ambiguous poorly-written law that can be used for nefarious means. The last thing we need is another reason for the trucks to get backed up in the series of tubes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  109.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

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

    > So we shouldn't have a law because some overzealous
    > law enforcement agent might go too far with it?

    That isn't the issue. You claimed that "nobody is going to be dragged into court and charged with a felony for linking to content like that" and offered the bill's aim as evidence that your claim is valid.

    Since a bill's aim has never been a stumbling block to overzealous law enforcement, there's no way you can legitimately use the aim of *this* bill as justification for your claim that people won't be prosecuted in that manner.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110.  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), May 17th, 2011 @ 10:11pm

    What you reap is what you sow

    Where's your outrage now

    Where in the post above did you detect any outrage on my part?

    I'm being ripped off a million times more easily than that.

    Suits you right for calling people asshat. Enjoy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  111.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 11th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Technical Concerns

    one good paper on the subject:
    http://www.circleid.com/pdf/PROTECT-IP-Technical-Whitepaper-Final.pdf

    there are others out there..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  112.  
    identicon
    raymondwoou@gmail.com, Apr 17th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re:raymondwoou@gmail.com

    raymondwoou@gmail.com,raymondwoou@gmail.com,raymondwoou@gmail.com,raymondwoou@gmail.com;raymondwoou@ gmail.com,raymondwoou@gmail.com;raymond.woo@energizer.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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