Washington Post Editorial Claims Piracy 'Costs' Companies Millions; Believes PROTECT IP Won't Be 'More Sweeping Than Necessary'

from the mpaa-and-riaa-suddenly-concerned-bill-isn't-nearly-'sweeping'-enough dept

Another editorial has appeared supporting PROTECT IP, this time at the Washington Post. The writer, sporting the unlikely nom de plume "Editorial," makes the usual statements rehashing the usual arguments. In true pro-PROTECT IP fashion, it begins by pretending this act has something to do with counterfeited goods:
CITY SIDEWALKS ONCE were lined with merchants peddling counterfeit designer handbags or second-rate copies of popular movies. Such vendors are less commonplace today, but counterfeit goods have proliferated more than ever, thanks to the Internet.

Fake goods - from sneakers to pharmaceuticals - are produced half a world away but can be marketed to U.S. consumers through foreign Web sites.
So far, so what. If anyone is still clinging to the notion that PROTECT IP is being cobbled together to stop trafficking of counterfeit goods, then these few lines of lead-in should allow them to remain comfortably misinformed. Editorial (or "Ed," for short) gets to the real driving force behind the act in the very next sentence:
Some sites stream pirated U.S.-produced or -owned movies and television shows. Such theft costs the copyright- or trademark-holders billions of dollars each year and thwarts the ability of writers, producers, songwriters and others in the creative arts to earn the royalties they are due.
Costs? Really? Piracy COSTS the rightsholders billions of dollars?

Now, you can make the argument that piracy results in lost sales or that a decline in revenues can possibly be attributed to piracy (no really, go ahead... the comment threads are open), but I don't think that you can say that piracy of goods costs these companies anything. Just because the content providers of the US may be routinely filling out large numbers under the heading "PIRATES" in their collective Accounts Payable columns, they are incurring no costs as a result of piracy.

Now, those in the industry may be confused and point to the dollar amount expended to fight piracy as a "cost," but if that's the case, it's very much an optional cost. More to the point, pretty much every dollar spent on this fight is a wasted dollar. For all the good it does them, they may as well just contact major pirates (whoever they are) and offer them X amount of dollars to stop running their piratey websites. Sure, these pirates might take the money and some might even cease their piratical operations, but someone else would take their place and no one would be better off but a limited number of pirates.

In short, discussing piracy as a "cost' when it comes to digital goods is completely misrepresenting what's actually going on here. If we were discussing physical goods, then yes, theft (a word that is perfectly logical when referring to physical goods) could be considered a cost. But when it's just a matter of bandwidth usage paid for by the uploaders and downloaders, then there's no real "cost."

However, the inanity/insanity doesn't stop there. Read on:
Consumers often find themselves saddled with shoddy goods and little or no recourse to get their money back. Unlike domestic sites, these foreign-registered businesses are often out of reach of U.S. laws.
Maybe those consumers who are purchasing counterfeit products are finding themselves with shoddy goods, but I can guarantee you that consumers who are availing themselves of pirated digital goods (movies, music, games) are finding themselves "saddled" with clearly superior goods, free of region locking, DRM, ridiculous street dates, a million anti-piracy intersitials and the like.

It goes on from there, sounding more and more like an MPAA press release than an actual editorial. There's some stuff about how PROTECT IP won't break the internet or violate anyone's free speech. There's talk about how "reasonable" and "fair" it is and how it will only be used to deal with consistent violators (the ever-popular "rogue sites") before wrapping it all up with this paragraph:
The Protect IP Act takes pains to protect Internet service providers, search engines and others that may have done business with a rogue site. They are not required to scour the Internet for offenders nor are they held liable if they happen to host or provide services to a site that is eventually deemed unlawful. They are only required to take "reasonable" and "technically feasible" measures to obey a court order. There may still be room to tweak these provisions to ensure that they are not more sweeping than necessary. But there is a need for a legal tool that stops those who persistently leech off of the innovations of others.
While I would like to believe that efforts enforced by the DHS (in association with the MPAA and RIAA) would result only in tempered responses to the "worst" sites, there is nothing in the collective past of all the entities involved that indicates this would happen. And as has been proven already, what the MPAA/RIAA/DHS feels is reasonable is far removed from what ISPs and search engines feel is reasonable. So the definition of "reasonable" will obviously be left in the hands of those tasked with enforcing the legislation and, as other nations instituting various anti-piracy programs have shown, the public is already persona non grata during the debate of these bills. It can't be too much longer before everyone else on the "outside" of this bill (ISPs, search engines, etc.) finds themselves completely shut out of the input process.

And what exactly is this supposed to mean? "Not more sweeping than necessary?" Everything implemented in a top-down fashion by government entities is "sweeping." The government only knows how to do "macro." That's what government does best. The government should not be in the micromanagement business, but thanks to the fiduciary arm twisting of various lobbyists, it's finding itself in exactly that position. Even worse, "Ed" here is relying on the fact that the government (again, in conjunction with the RIAA and the MPAA) has any idea what "necessary" is and can be counted on to not "sweep" past it.

None of this is truly necessary and as such, it can pretty much be guaranteed that the implementation of PROTECT IP will bring about tons of enthusiastic sweeping with a large number of overreaching brooms. And not only will the taxpayers be handed a broken internet (while being scolded about "why we can't have nice things"), we'll also be expected to pay for the privilege, including any internet repair work down the road.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    What will you report when a second paper comes out with the same sort of statements? Would that be a "chorus of support"?

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    "Would that be a "chorus of support"?"

    No it would be PR firm, hired to promote PROTECT IP in action.

     

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    The Logician (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    I would submit that the terms "piracy" and "pirates" no longer be used in reference to file sharing. They are inaccurate, for they refer only to pillaging ships at sea and to those who perform that act. It would be more accurate to simply use the words "file sharing" and "file sharers" instead. In those more accurate terms, it is more difficult for those who wish to impede technological progress at any cost to make their arguments.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re:

    SO when there are a couple of newspapers writing about how their are problems with the patent system, that is just a PR firm at work?

     

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  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    "What will you report when a second paper comes out with the same sort of statements? "

    A funded propaganda campaign that is based on unfounded rumors that have long since been debunked by the GAO's report on piracy, the 3 year research team of Joe Karaganis and the SSRC with "Media Piracy in Emerging Economies", the 1 hour long Youtube of Michael D Smith in "Channels & Conflict: Response to Digital Media Distribution, Impact on Sales and Internet Piracy", and the mountains of evidence that has said that piracy increases sales.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    In regards to costs, you could posit that these "rogue" streaming sites are alleviating some marketing costs, certainly saving on costs of distribution, and making those who cannot view the streams due to region-prohibitive or license-prohibitive reasons into supporters...at least as fans, since they're given no way to financially support the originators of the broadcasts.

    How much of those costs they're claiming are actually NOT coming to them anyway because of their own inadequacy?

     

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  7.  
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    The Logician (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you cannot provide evidence for your point of view, then your arguments cannot be accepted. Logically, if one believes in what they say, they would back it up with detailed, independently-verifiable facts.

     

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  8.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    Unfortunately, it's an industry term. It's the same as Jack Valenti famously picturing what the VCR did for movies. People should use different words other than "piracy" but it seems that once you take a certain position, it's ingrained to use such a word.

     

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  9.  
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    Loki, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    One of the many key points "Ed" misses is that the government and the entertainment industry have on a continually increasing basis "cherry picked" parts of various laws to make things legal/illegal as they see fit, regardless of what the various laws say. Adding this law just gives them more options for bogus claims.

    Then there is the bit about how this law won't be abused. Really? So despite the fact that every other law passed so far has been abused at some point, in some shape or fashion, we can trust the government that THIS one won't be. Oh, no sir, definitely not. Please.

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    This is just like Masnick's ignoring "sunk (or fixed) costs", by which he "proves" that only marginal costs matter for movies.

    But you CANNOT just say that content comes out of nowhere. Costs BIG (way too much in my view because everyone wants in on the gravy train that comes from mass market, but never mind that for now) to produce anything. It's a risk. Therefore, at least potentially, piracy COSTS the producers money when they don't recover those pesky "sunk (or fixed) costs", PLUS there's a chilling effect from the increased risk.

    Geez, I only want to put some reasonable limits on what people get for performing mere entertainment. You "freetards" -- guess I'll start using the term, since you've embraced it -- want to deny even the possiblity of recovering costs: you want it NOW, for free, without any advertising in it, it'd better please you or you won't even buy the associated crap; claim that piracy promotes the product, and no amount of piracy could even /possibly/ cost the industry anything, such as cause the biz to collapse.

    By the way, I'm still against "PROTECT IP". That you oppose it too is incidental.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Let's not feed trolls boys and girls, just click that 'report' button and cruise on by.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Umm, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110822/03261115609/chorus-mainstream-press-saying-patent-system-i s-broken-gets-louder.shtml

    If Mike feels that the "Chorus" is good when it supports his points of view, should they also not be good when it goes against his point of view?

     

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  13.  
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    anonymous, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    basically, yes. no paper seems to have the balls to print anything other than what the RIAA and MPAA tells them to print, ie, what will REALLY happen once the bill is introduced and the Internet is broken, or how it wont be the entertainment industries that have to pay out to repair it, but good ol' 'Joe Public' yet again!

     

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  14.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/quest-for-patents-brings-new-focus-in-tech-deals/?smid=tw-nyt imestech&seid=auto

    This one actually has a direct author showing his side of the story. The link you have which contains a link to the guardian article was an Editorial so I can understand your point.

    My point would be that the editorial from the guardian was far more objective than the rant which Tim is commenting on here. If you read the language used it is extremely one sided, and places all the fault on consumers and how they are stealing from these wonderful content companies.

    Some of the facts were already debunked by Tim, and yet again I will go ahead and say that my problem is not with "Big Content" (Thanks Bob) trying to make money. My problem is that the Protect IP Act will not do what they want, and is so broadly worded that it could be used for other reasons should a lawyer see fit to do so. Beyond that its measures for dealing with "theft" is inherently dangerous to the structure of the internet that simply trying to get rid of downloadallmovies.ads may have serious ramifications for other sites which have done nothing wrong.

     

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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    Damn it man, this is not time for your superior logic. There are trolls entering the system.

    SCOTTY - I need more power!

     

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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    **coincidental - yeah that makes me feel better.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:15am

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

    I don't disagree with your points, but I would say you are making the same mistake.

    I am not questioning right or wrong. I am questioning the "chorus" effect that Mike has used to support his dislike of the patent system. When the papers agree, they are wise and sage, and when they disagree, we get posts like this (admittedly written by one of Mike's underlings, and not Mike himself).

    If 3 or 4 papers come out with similar comments, are they a chorus that shows a trend, or just more idiots? Is the "chorus" effect just more BS covering for opinion over fact, no matter which side it is for?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    Why not user terms like "honest citizen" and "honest fair use"? It's BS window dressing to try to swap the words out just because you don't like the negative connotations.

    Piracy is piracy, plain and simple. Get use to it, Pirate.

     

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  19.  
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    John Doe, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Mike and everyone - please give you your advertising passwords - It won't COST you anything. LOL

    I will be happy to take Mike's and anyone's advertising revenue.

    It's won't "cost" you anything since you never had the money, and you never had it in your accounts payable.

    And it's not "stealing" if I steal your password and income, since I can't be arrested for possession of stolen property - just hacking or fraud.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Why? It's insightful, not something to report.

    Are you actively trying to suppress free speech? On Techdirt? Wow.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Oh no, those poor artists will be deprived of their five cent checks if piracy continues to run wild!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    and thwarts the ability of writers, producers, songwriters and others in the creative arts to earn the royalties they are due.

    This part is also a joke.

    First off, content is being created in larger quantity than ever before. More people than ever are managing to make a passable living as writers, publishers, songwriters, musicians while others are struggling to maintain the opulent lifestyles they were once accustomed to. Welcome to the changing marketplace.

    Secondly, as has been pointed out before, the rest of the world is struggling as well. People who were making $20 an hour ten or fifteen years ago, are struggling to make $10 an hour now. People are losing their houses, their cars. Do you really think these people care whether or not you can get paid for work you did ten years ago? Someone who has been on unemployment for a year will probably tell you the same thing they hear all the time "go get a job at Walmart".

    Add to that the actual content creators themselves who are doing quite well - your Trent Reznors, your Kevin Smiths, your Wil Wheatons - are also among the most vocal opponents of some of these entertainment industry measure to protect their old revenue streams.

    Sorry, but as someone who would have been a very staunch supporter of a Pro-IP bill a decade ago before looking at all the evidence pro and con, I can only offer up the immortal words of DX - "SUX IT!!"

     

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  23.  
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    Scooters (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re:

    I would submit that the terms "piracy" and "pirates" no longer be used in reference to file sharing.
    We regret to inform you the submission request has been denied.

    The reasons for the denial can be found found below. We appreciate your feedback and hope you will continue to submit further recommendations of logic.

    Denial reasons:
    -"File sharing" has an inherent cost of ten (virtual) cents to produce, according to facts we pull out of thin air.

    -"File sharing" indicates an act of love, not of hate. Who punishes a child for sharing?

    -"File sharing" just doesn't sound cool.

    Sincerely,
    The Public Domain

     

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  24.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    That is not suppressing anything. Suppressing would mean that he has the power to stop out_of_the_blue from posting further, or permanently removing the comment from this thread.

    He can't

    All we as a community can do is flag his posting so that it does not appear openly in the thread, but it can still be clicked on and viewed with out issue.

     

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  25.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It depends on if they are all written by "Editorial" or if there are real people behind them that are willing to associate their names to the article.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    It still amounts to censorship, albeit from a group rather than an individual.

    If it takes 10 "report" clicks to get something removed (or blocked), then it only takes 10 people together to deny the free speech of all others. Register 10 names, come on techdirt, and you can dictate what is and what is not discussed.

    Any sort of censorship, especially on Techdirt, reveals the truly two faced nature of the people on the site.

     

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  27.  
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    Colin, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    Do you think real pirates get pissed off at this? Like, "Dude, I'm taking people hostage with a fucking rocket launcher and this guy is sitting in a basement downloading whatever the hell 'Transformers' movie they're on now. A little respect, geez."

     

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    The eejit (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    And I would submit to you that the terms "anonymous" and "Coward" are not need, and that they should be replaced with the words "Cowardly" and "Lunatic".

    We can't always get what we want....but if we try sometimes, well, we just might find, we get what we need.

     

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  29.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re:

    "Piracy is piracy, plain and simple. Get use to it, Pirate."

    What are you, twelve?

    Logician is technically correct. You wanting to keep the window dressing that has negative connotation is your decision, but your argument is illogical.

    A pirate steals a physical object, thereby depriving its previous owner of its enjoyment/value. If I could simply make a copy of what the pirate took then what did I actually loose?

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    HA! Is that your latest tactic? I've quit going back because no minds are ever changed here.

    It'll just make everyone do what you claim about suppressing anything: focus attention on it! Do you think Techdirt is immune to Mike's treasured "Streisand effect"?

    And since there's nothing objectionable but the idea, any readers will wonder just what the heck you're "reporting".

    I hereby dub the back-firing of this tactic the "out_of_the_blue" effect.

     

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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Logician --- Can you try and square this one away? I tried, but apparently failed. He was much farther gone than I realized.

     

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  32.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    "effect" - should also be in quotes. Otherwise its just your handle.

     

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  33.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    The key words being passable living.

    No-one DESERVES to get paid. The era of megarich stars is over, but the era of those who make a living from their craft is just beginning.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re:

    We don't use any of those terms because they are misleading. What we're talking about is not piracy (which as noted above takes place on the high seas) but copyright infringement. I'll agree that calling it file sharing can be seen as giving it to nice of a connotation. But piracy is far more misleading to what is actually happening. So why not drop all of the misleading terms on both sides and call it exactly what it is?

    Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. Get use to it, Troll.

     

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  35.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:49am

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

    No, I got that, but my point was that if the editorial is written in a matter than is more objective, and tells more than one side of the story that I grant it a little more credibility. It may not stand on its own, but that's why you get multiple sources.

    The article which Tim is commenting on is written from one side, using "facts" which aren't true, and again misses the point of why we do not like the Protect IP Act. It does however sound pretty much like a PR piece both the RIAA and MPAA wrote about why they support Protect IP.

     

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  36.  
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    btrussell (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    "If we were discussing physical goods, then yes, theft (a word that is perfectly logical when referring to physical goods) could be considered a cost."

    They wouldn't dare call it theft. It's shrinkage.

     

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  37.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is the copyright industry. Pushing forward a bubble of IP protection, they lobby, they file suit, they hire PR firms to promote their agenda.

    Facebook tried this same thing a couple months back and got caught.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    It's truly amazing how the zeal to make a point will cause people to utterly distort the facts to suit their argument.

    Secondly, as has been pointed out before, the rest of the world is struggling as well. People who were making $20 an hour ten or fifteen years ago, are struggling to make $10 an hour now. People are losing their houses, their cars. Do you really think these people care whether or not you can get paid for work you did ten years ago? Someone who has been on unemployment for a year will probably tell you the same thing they hear all the time "go get a job at Walmart".

    Average wage stats from the SSA reveal, not surprisingly, that you are a liar. Like Masnick, you cite a single example supporting your point and extrapolate it to universal application. Pretty pathetic.

    http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/AWI.html

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    I think its time to twist this

    If piracy is costing producers billions of dollars, then its saving consumers billions of dollars. Just imagine this ad:

    [Open to cut sequence of people doing regular jobs, building things, an assembly worker on the line, a real estate agent closing a deal with a handshake in front of a house, a poor sap sitting at a desk reading techdirt]

    Voice Over: In this troubling economy many of us are working hard just to live from day to day. When you come home you just want to kick back and relax. [guy throwing his feet up leaning back on the couch remote control in hand] But for many its just not that easy. [static on tv, unpaid cable bill] So why not just do what's easiest. Download it for free! [guy on computer smiling]

    PIRACY - Saving you billions of dollars every year!

     

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  40.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    It still amounts to censorship

    Depends on your definition of censorship, really.

    You can't walk into my house and shout obscenities at me either. Does that mean I'm censoring you? Why/why not?

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Wouldn't you say that's a bit ironic? Compare flagging the post to ICE's actions in seizing domain names.
    The sites are still there, you can still click on them, as long as you take the time to type in the I.P. address.
    OotB's comment would still be there, maybe not as easily accessible as before, but an extra click, and you can still see it.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    OoTB, I will have to admit, I agree with you on this one. I always click on reported posts on this site, just to see what it is. Most of the time, they're shills, trolls or complete morons.
    Just to point something out to you though. It isn't Mike flagging the posts (why would he, when he can just delete them?). It's us fellow commentators. When enough of us flag a post, it will be hidden.

     

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  43.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Mike and everyone - please give you your advertising passwords - It won't COST you anything. LOL

    Um, yes they would have the money. They charge the ad companies based on the number of eyeballs reading the articles, and the money goes into their bank accounts. Where did you get this absurd notion that all advertising is free?

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

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

    You honestly don't think that the anti-patent ones aren't written from one side? In each case, they ignore the millions of valid, functional patents and focus instead on a narrow number of flakey or over broad patents.

    It's as one sided as it gets, but nobody here complains.

     

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  45.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

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

    I am not questioning right or wrong. I am questioning the "chorus" effect that Mike has used to support his dislike of the patent system. When the papers agree, they are wise and sage, and when they disagree, we get posts like this (admittedly written by one of Mike's underlings, and not Mike himself).

    Misunderstand muchly.

    The point is this. Mike does not regard the support of MSM as necessary to endorse his views. His views come from his own analysis of the problem. Thus he thinks it is good when someone in a position of influence agrees with him and bad when they don't just like you and everyone else.

     

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  46.  
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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Costs?

    I wonder if the next idea is to try to get congress to allow them to write off these "costs" on their taxes.

     

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  47.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Let's not feed trolls boys and girls, just click that 'report' button and cruise on by.

    ootb isn't a real troll - he isn't that predictable and he certainly isn't an apologist for the corporations I don't think his comments should be reported.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    Obviously the 'cost' to the artists are the charges from the industry to 'protect' them from priacy....

    There is an easy way that 'piracy' can cost the artists money.... the labels can charge them for it based on their contract.

    I'm sure there are terms in there like: 10% of sales goes to cover 'DRM' being added to the product, and another 20% goes to cover the **AA's legal fees when they sue customers to 'protect the artists'.

    See.. Piracy cost the artists because the **AA's charge them for it... So the **AA's are obviously banking the 'billions' that they aren't giving to the artists, so they can claim with a straight face that 'Piracy is costing the artists billions (they just forget to add the... because we are charging them for it.)'

    And obviously this is why the artists aren't 'earning the royalties they are due', since they are still 'unrecouped' due to all the charges they are forced to pay to fight 'piracy'...

    It make sense if you don't think about it....

     

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  49.  
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    mike allen (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When I started broadcasting I was on a ship in the north sea I was a pirate and PROUD of it. So calling me a pirate is no insult. I would love all radio stations to stop playing label music for a month and watch the labels scream.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

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

    Huh? Mike basically puts up posts that could be taken as "look, I am right because others agree with me". He is attempting to justify his position and show that he isn't alone in his beliefs.

    How hard is that to understand?

    I was just hoping he would apply the same standards to editorials that disagree with him, and perhaps accept that he may be wrong, because others don't agree with them.

     

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  51.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    But you CANNOT just say that content comes out of nowhere. Costs BIG (way too much in my view because everyone wants in on the gravy train that comes from mass market, but never mind that for now) to produce anything. It's a risk. Therefore, at least potentially, piracy COSTS the producers money when they don't recover those pesky "sunk (or fixed) costs", PLUS there's a chilling effect from the increased risk.

    First of all, I don't think this comment should have been flagged.

    In the sense that the word "costs" is being used, the writer (Ed) makes it seem as though piracy costs content producers money. As in, the more that gets pirated, the more it costs.

    I could download a million copies of whatever and the only costs incurred would be covered by my cable bill and the bandwidth usage on the supply side. It's not as if my actions suddenly cause X Movie Company to start hemorrhaging money from its bank account.

    Recovering costs is completely different. Now, you can somewhat extrapolate that into a "costs" statement, but you can't do it in the statement used above. If the movie company was worried about piracy "costing" them anything, they'd get out of the business entirely. They may not sell as much as they used (jury = out), but a million pirates downloading a million movies adds $0 to the costs incurred on their part. The costs of movie production are already on the bottom line and a steady stream of infringement adds nothing to the costs of the production/distribution.

    Unless of course, some enterprising young hacker has found the back door and is streaming their content out into the virtual alley directly from their servers. At that point, they're out the cost of bandwidth but nothing else.

     

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  52.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

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

    Name two valid functional patents.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    ScytheNoire, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    Big media = Corporate tools

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Dave, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

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

    I think your misreading Mike's point when he points out a 'chorus' of voices discussing the problems with the current patent system. The chorus is not notable because it agrees with Mike. It is notable because mainstream sources have typically backed the patent system. It is notable because mainsteam attitudes are changing and pointing out the problems wtih the patent system.

    And why are you so stuck on this? you seem very intent on getting some kind of validation for pointing out Mike's supposed hypocrisy for not emphasising people and articles he doesn't agree with. Even though he does that all the time.

    And I'm not even going to bother to spellcheck this.

     

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  55.  
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    btrussell (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    I think they were being honest.

    People were infringing on these great big C's.

     

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  56.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

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

    """millions of valid, functional patents"""

    Cognitive dissonance at it's finest. To quote Indiana Jones, "now there's a contradiction in terms."

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: RECOUP

    so, if it costs me ten million dollars can't I just sell eleven million copies of my movie for a dollar a download??

    (did someone miss a train?)

     

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  58.  
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    The Logician (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Unfortunately, the dictionary definitions do not agree with you, AC #18. As follows:

    1: an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery

    2: robbery on the high seas


    Your logic, therefore, is flawed. File sharing is file sharing, and should be referred to as such.

     

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  59.  
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    The Logician (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:51pm

    Also, in response to AC#34, it could only be called infringement because of the laws that have been bought to make it so. But because those laws were not ethically passed, the terminology they assign is irrelevant. Logically, then, the act can still be described merely as file sharing.

     

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  60.  
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    The Logician (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    My apologies, that was AC#34, not 43.

     

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  61.  
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    The Logician (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    Fascinating. I thought I made an error that I did not. Again, apologies for the multiple posts.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Mike and everyone - please give you your advertising passwords - It won't COST you anything. LOL

    That is just rubbish.

    A password is a personal thing that is supposed to be secret, nobody puts their password on TV or radio or try to make it known to the whole word and then try to charge them for it.

    To actually get a password from someone you actually have to either trick people into giving out their password or get into their systems to get it.

    But I digress idiots will be idiots no matter what.

     

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  63.  
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    JMT (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Referring to copyright infringement as "piracy" is supremely stupid, but I think using the term "file sharing" is also quite silly in these discussions, as it incorrectly implies that simply sharing any digital file is wrong or illegal. The only term that should be used to describe the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted material is copyright infringement, because that's exactly what it is.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Are you an idiot?

    Do you know what AVERAGE means?
    It means they take the top earners earning millions a year and average with the lower portion that receives a couple of thousand dollars a year the absolute value of is meaningless to show how much people are really getting in real life, what it does point out and it is very useful is it it is contracting or not and in that page there it showed that it contracted which means things got so bad that even the top earners are not feeling the pinch.

    For fraks sake go learn some economic basics you screw up.

     

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  65.  
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    JMT (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    "If it takes 10 "report" clicks to get something removed (or blocked), then it only takes 10 people together to deny the free speech of all others."

    I can't believe you're so stupid as to actually believe that, so I'll assume you're just baiting for a response.

    As well you know, if a comment is flagged nobody is prevented from reading it and the commenter is not prevented from commenting again. So calling it censorship or a denial of free speech just makes you look either stupid or trollish. Which is it?

    Personally I see no point in hiding flagged comments. They should be tagged "stupid" or something, in the same manner insightful and funny comments.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re:

    * which means things got so bad that even the top earners are feeling the pinch.

     

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  67.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Re: I think its time to twist this

    This is an amusing take on a very serious question, one the people claiming these costs never answer. If piracy is costing producers billions of dollars then who is gaining these billions? It most be going somewhere, so someone must be benefiting. Unless it doesn't actually exist of course...

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    Re:

    "File sharing" and "file sharers" doesn't have a catchy ring to them.

    I propose they be called "Technological Ninja's" or "TekNinja" (because replacing hard C's with K's is the "in" thing). Where "Pirates" and "Piracy" is an overt act of aggression to forcibly obtain other people's property, "Ninjaing" an item, in MMORPG parlance, is the act of stealing something before other players notice(not entirely accurate, but meh) which is more closely aligned with the act of file sharing than "pirating".

    Besides, everyone knows Ninjas are better than Pirates.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Posts that have been 'flagged' in this manner are not blocked or removed. You can still see them by clicking the link and restoring them. This is as much censorship as putting post-its on all the nibbly bits of old statuary in a book that you borrowed. Anyone can take the little bits of paper away and see what you didn't care to see.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Glenn, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    PROTECT IP

    and all the other new crap laws will cost billions dollars... of taxpayer money--all for no effect. None of this will cost the content owners a dime, because *we* are the ones that will be paying for it. The only thieves here are the content owners and the governments instituting these new laws on their behalf.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    "piracy COSTS the producers money when they don't recover those pesky "sunk (or fixed) costs""

    No, that would be 'those pesky "sunk (or fixed) costs"' that 'COSTS the producers money' because that's what a cost actually is, something that requires payment. Copyright violation, by its very definition, cannot cost the copyright holder anything. It can metaphorically 'cost' them lost sales although it can also metaphorically rape them because that's the nature of metaphors but it cannot, by definition, literally cost them money.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Mike and everyone - please give you your advertising passwords - It won't COST you anything. LOL

    Depriving someone of something is not the same thing as depriving them of nothing.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your tin foil hat with the word 'Freetard' printed on it is ready for pick-up.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    Getting a post flagged is a badge of honor. It means I've really gotten under the skin of the freetards.

     

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

  75.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 25th, 2011 @ 7:46pm

    "Consumers often find themselves saddled with shoddy goods and little or no recourse to get their money back. Unlike domestic sites, these foreign-registered businesses are often out of reach of U.S. laws."

    Newspapers often find themselves lacking the integrity to actually investigate stories, often find themselves publishing shoddy editorials ghost written to portray something in a favorable light. Unlike real news these editorials have no basis in fact and people actually informed on the topic find them laughable. The problem is the large number of people who have faith in the "ideal" that the free press once promised. They have not understood that they are now more concerned with stopping competition than reporting the news accurately. And these things are done well outside the reach of US Law as they cry freedom of the press.

    Now turn to page 23b for our lengthy coverage of the Snooki vs Jwow frenemy fight.

    They helped report Watergate to the world, and now they vomit up this on the same pages. Oh how the mighty have been bought.

     

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  76.  
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    The eejit (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re:

    You miss the point that the top 10% of American wealth is equivalent to the bottom 90%. The mean income is higher than ebfore, because of the level of skew the highest earners have.

     

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  77.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 2:13am

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

    Huh? Mike basically puts up posts that could be taken as "look, I am right because others agree with me".

    As I just said - NO - he doesn't. He posts "look MSM is finally taking notice of this hooray"

     

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  78.  
    icon
    indieThing (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Radio Caroline ? Gosh, I miss that station, makes me all nostalgic!

     

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  79.  
    icon
    indieThing (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Answer to "Costs? Really?" -- Yes. If expenses aren't recovered...

    No, it just means you're probably a prick.

     

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  80.  
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    The Logician (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I refer you, JMT, to my earlier response on this issue:

    It could only be called infringement because of the laws that have been bought to make it so. But because those laws were not ethically passed, the terminology they assign is irrelevant. Logically, then, the act can still be described merely as file sharing.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Lee Graczyk, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    PROTECT IP Act

    Mike, you are exactly right in saying that “it can pretty much be guaranteed that the implementation of PROTECT IP will bring about tons of enthusiastic sweeping with a large number of overreaching brooms.” One of the major flaws in the PROTECT IP Act its current definition of what constitutes a “rogue” site is too broad. Specifically, it does not distinguish between rogue online pharmacies that sell controlled and uncontrolled substances without a prescription and the licensed, legitimate pharmacies that always require a valid, signed doctor’s prescription to purchase medications. Because of this, if the PROTECT IP Act is passed, millions of Americans who rely on Canadian and other international pharmacies to buy affordable medications, will lose access to those pharmacies. In the U.S., where Americans pay twice as much for prescription drugs compared to people in other industrialized countries, those on fixed incomes have no other affordable alternatives to safe drug importation. RxRights is a national coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting and protecting American consumer access to sources of safe, affordable prescription drugs. The Coalition is also encouraging consumers to take action now by sending letters to Capitol Hill and the White House to state their opposition to the PROTECT IP Act in its current form. For more information or to voice your concern, visit www.RxRights.org.

     

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  82.  
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    Greevar (profile), Aug 26th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

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

    The AC is doing the same thing the AC always does, try to invalidate the message by discrediting the messenger with an ad hominem attack. "Mike is being a hypocrite or dishonest, so everything he says is wrong!" is the endgame for the AC shill. Why else does the AC shill call Mike and all whom agree with him "piracy apologists"? They do it to kill the message by attempting to (and failing) take away all credibility from the messenger.

     

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


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