As SOPA/PIPA Still Loom, Techies Already Creating Workarounds

from the of-course-they-are dept

While there's still a fight over whether or not SOPA and PIPA will pass, it seems that people are already working up basic hacks to make the laws obsolete, should they pass. The folks behind MAFIAAFire, the browser plugin designed to route around ICE seizures has created a new offering, dreadfully named "The Pirate Bay Dancing," which will route around any DNS or IP blocking by using a rotating list of proxy servers. If you thought that ICE was upset about MAFIAAFire, you'd have to imagine they won't be at all pleased about this bit of code. Of course, SOPA does have an anti-circumvention clause in there, which would effectively make this plugin illegal. Of course, I can't see how they could possibly enforce something like that. Using a proxy in general is legal. How will they know if you're using a proxy to get around these particular blocks? Either way, it's yet another example of why the MPAA's insistence that DNS blocking remain in the bill shows (yet again) how technically clueless they are. DNS blocking is a total waste of time. It makes the internet less secure. It fragments key pieces of the internet. Breaks the basic agreement of how the internet is supposed to work... And all for what? To create a system that won't actually block much at all?


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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:20pm

    I've said it before...

    This is a fight that the govt. can't win, because they're trying to play on the technology battlefield. The techs, and I don't even remotely consider myself one of them, are and always will be smarter than those enacting these laws.

    It's as though you went up to a person w/an F-15 jet and told them it was now illegal to use it. Sure, you made your law, but the guy with the jet already blew you up before you could enforce it....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:31pm

      Re: I've said it before...

      "This is a fight that the govt. can't win"

      See the war on drugs.

       

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        MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re: I've said it before...

        Charlie_Sheen_WINNING.jpg

         

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        monkyyy, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:51pm

        Re: Re: I've said it before...

        ahh but in the war on drugs they have big guns and training, its questionable if they have guns on the internet, much less big ones and even ammo

         

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          Machin Shin, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 7:53am

          Re: Re: Re: I've said it before...

          The guys they are going to be fighting online do not need guns. You looked at the news lately? Everything is connected to the internet including a lot of things that shouldn't be. Things like utilities, prisons, and even emergency communication systems are all exposed to the net and there for are all vulnerable to attack.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    I'm sure no one believes that techies and hard core infringers won't find work-arounds. That was case with piracy even before the internet existed.

    Pretty sure this has always been about making casual infringement less likely.

    They might not admit it, but that's what it's about.

     

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      AJ (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      "Pretty sure this has always been about making casual infringement less likely."

      They failed badly? All someone has to do is download a browser plugin and problem solved. You don't think the casual guy can figure this out? A fucking 5 year old could figure it out....

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Except that workaround will be illegal, putting mafiaafire guy and mozilla in legal jeopardy. Not as casual as you think.

        That people would use proxies to bypass the block is pretty obvious, and I wouldn't be so sure that the lawmakers and their staff aren't already planning on dealing with that too.

         

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          Squirrel Brains (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well... I don't think lawmakers and their staff have much say an the content of the bill, quite frankly.

          What do you consider to be casual infringement?

           

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            Gwiz (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What do you consider to be casual infringement?

            It's when you download a movie in sweat pants and a T-shirt, instead of your buccaneer hat, puffy shirt, and eye patch.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think he is referring to casual computer users infringing. Not casually infringing on things.

            As in, novice computer users dont even know about browser plugins, so to some effect it would stop this bunch.

            As easy as it is for "techies" to understand browser plugin, having done IT support, its amazing what most people dont know.

             

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              Planespotter (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 2:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But we aren't talking about novice computer users, to be able to download files with any file sharing software requires an element of skill, albeit easily obtainable via the help sections of the thousands of indexing sites around the globe.

              The novice computer user you are talking about doesn't do filesharing.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your right......however, I have a great point here.


              If the bill did pass, and something big like facebook, or youtube went down. That would effect probably every one of these people who know the bare basics. My mom for example knows how to turn the PC on, and get on facebook to play her farmville.

              But then that person thinks......"Oh wait! That dude down the block who sells bootleg movies. He knows alot about computers!"

              Me personally being tech savy enough to setup most, if not all of the workarounds.....Just thinking it over, I know about 50 people, who would gladly pay me probably 50 bucks just to come over, and make it where they can get back on facebook, youtube, etc. again.

              Now with that said........it is almost a promise that the guy who is bootlegging DVDs somewhere knows twice, to three times the amount of people I do. So there is just another shady service that he'll be able to provide, and profit off of.

               

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          AJ (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Except that workaround will be illegal, putting mafiaafire guy and mozilla in legal jeopardy. Not as casual as you think."


          Come on.... really? How many times do we have to do this? There are hundreds of different kinds of ripping soft wares. There are thousands of types of hacking tools... its already illegal to download the stuff in the first place.. no one pays attention to the laws that exist now, much less new ones...

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          do you think anyone about to break the law is going to care about the legality of the tools they're using?

          criminals have no problems getting guns. its the legit player who has to wait 7 days.

           

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          MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Illegal in the US.

          A lot of what we do is illegal in China (like watching porn) and we give a crap about breaking Chinese laws as much as we give a crap about breaking US laws.

          We are Swedish citizens, we are not breaking Swedish law.

          US lawmakers can go suck an egg for all we care.

          If it becomes illegal and Mozilla asks us to move, we'll host this on our own _Swedish_ website (in English of course).

           

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            xenomancer (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There's no awesome or BAMF button so I clicked on insightful and funny a few hundred times... which only got you one vote in each, but it was worth it.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:


          Except that workaround will be illegal, putting mafiaafire guy and mozilla in legal jeopardy. Not as casual as you think.




          And the government can't do anything about Mafiaafire, for the very reason that the programmers aren't US citizens.

          And even if they were, any code can bbe anonymously distributed over Tor and Freenet.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Slysoft has been a middle finger to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA (and related trade agreements making circumvention illegal in other countries) for a really long time. All the plugin has to do is move to Antigua.

          Duh.

          Of course, Slysoft's website might be one of the first to vanish under the 'Rogue Sites' provision, their software being the first and still best for moving MY blu-rays to MY media server.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yep like is hard to get a list of IP's and put on the HOSTS file.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file

           

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          monkyyy, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 11:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          illegal =/= immoral
          this will be one of those issues where people dont care for the law, much like lying about reading eula

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 12:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Exporting encryption technology was at one stage illegal because of course the rest of the planet cannot make anything better than ROT13 or DeSS (that was sarcasm for those bereft of the humour gene)

          Hang on.. It still is illegal in the USA..

          Just because some lawmaker in some tinpot city like DC makes a law that says that the use of some technology is illegal means sweet FA when the rest of the planet can and will use, distribute, improve, disassemble, create, and wave it from their middle fingers at any time they so choose.

           

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          techflaws.org (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 1:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Really? So Mozilla is responsible if someone else codes a plugin for them?

           

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      rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      Wait a minute. I thought this was about shutting down "rogue sites" who's operators are becoming millionaires or some other some such meme.

       

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      MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:53pm

      Re:

      When talking to some of our friends they did not even know what a "proxy" was, when we tried to explain how "hidemyass" works they thought we were kidding as there just isnt a site with the name "hide my ass" that is this "proxy" thingy.

      Keeping that in mind we designed this.

      You don't need to _know_ what a proxy is, how it works or change any of your browsing habits... it just ****ing works! (Added the stars and the extra word so we do get sued).

      In short:
      People dont really understand tech nor like change.
      The idea is, you don't change any of your habits, except for the initial install, you won't feel it if sites get seized or blocked.

       

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      Kenneth Michaels, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 3:59pm

      Re: intent vs. reality

      I'm sure the *intent* of the legislation is to stop casual infringement. But given the industry's heavy handedness with take-down notices (e.g., dancing babies), we know where this legislation is headed-with countless legitimate websites and small businesses being shut down without a fighting chance.

       

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    AJ (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    Sigh

    Once again, some 20 year old spent his lunch hour writing a workaround that renders millions of dollars of lobbying monies and countless hours of political ass-smooching obsolete.

    Brilliant!

     

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    anonymous, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    'And all for what?'

    to control the Internet, to preserve their way of life, to keep the exorbitant prices they charge, the refusal to adapt and try to force people to continue buying little plastic disks.

     

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      BraindeadBZH (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:51pm

      Re:

      Glad to see someone which understands what it is all about.
      Those guys clearly don't want a free world where people don't need them.

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, everything that big government and business support and represent is about to come under fire. It scare the crap out of them, 3d printing in plastic and metal, communications, money, medicine going personalized based on genetics, local energy production being so cheap the grid isn't needed, are all exteremly disruptive technologies that will be here within the next 10-20 years. Each technology will accelerate the rate of change making big business incapable of adapting due to their glacial size.

        Its a bright future for the public at large. We will have a ton of growing pains, with the government becoming ever more secretive and controlling, always months or years behind the curve.

         

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    rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Anti-circumvention

    Just as the anti-circumvention clause in the DMCA has been used as a club for all kinds of unintended actions (replacement printer cartridges) I expect the same would happen with SOPA. The whole concept of what the Internet enables is at risk here.

     

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    brandon (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 1:59pm

    PIPA and SOPA

    Does pipa need to be passed before the end of the year or they have to start all over again, and does the same go for sopa? Thanks

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

    Why do you even care? You're none of you pirating, right?

     

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      rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:16pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      Can you help me find where someone here said they wanted to use this workaround to continue piracy? Thanks.

      In fact, you mentioned piracy right in your post. Shame on you for pirating. Don't you know that's illegal?

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:48pm

        Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

        @rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:16pm

        Can you help me find where someone here said they wanted to use this workaround to continue piracy? Thanks.

        -------------

        Mike wrote: 'dreadfully named "The Pirate Bay Dancing," '

         

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          Joe Perry (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          yes because stating the fact that a workaround has been created obviously means you are using it and encourage others to do so.

          some people use heroin. oh no, I just became a drug addict!

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          Yeah, the name is dreadful - from an etymological design point of view. The Pirate Bay is performing a shindig.

          What's that got to do with "continuing piracy"?

           

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          Rikuo (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          That's Blue for you folks! Literally judges a book by its cover! Stand up and take a bow, Blue. You deserve it!

           

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      SabreCat, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      Reading comprehension fail.

      "It fragments key pieces of the internet. Breaks the basic agreement of how the internet is supposed to work... And all for what? To create a system that won't actually block much at all?"

      That says nothing about what Mike himself does, nor does it have to for him to make his point.

      Your style of interpreting these posts is like reading every fictitious character as an autobiographical stand-in for the author. Even people who don't pirate can say "this isn't going to work" as a valid criticism of the bill!

       

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

        Reading comprehension fail.

        We're talking OOTB. If there wasn't a reading comprehension fail on his part, I believe the world would end. Its like destroying the TARDIS -- you just don't do it if you want the universe to survive. We should all be thankful that OOTB continues to fail at reading comprehension.

         

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          xenomancer (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          Are you suggesting that OOTB is a second coming of the TARDIS? A sort of... ReTARDIS?

          (Sorry OOTB, it was too funny not to post. Please don't take it personally.)

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          I'm marking this insightful and funny just because of the nice use of Blue's reading fail and the comparison to destroying the TARDIS.

          Doctor Who FTW!

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:21pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      I love how you're always in such a knee jerk rush to troll Mike's posts that you don't even proofread your posts.

      Seriously, it's hilarious.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:27pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      Why do you even care? You're none of you pirating, right?

      It's not about pirating, Blue. We are all worried about the people around you in real life. If these bills become law and Mike decides to shutdown commenting here on Techdirt because of the liability concerns, you would have no place to post your confusing tirades and those around you would have to listen to them. Seriously, we are only thinking about you and yours when we oppose these bills.

       

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:36pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      And once again, stupidity on display. The workarounds are to let me get to a site for my own legitimate purposes, regardless of whether or not this horrible legislation results in a site getting taken down, because there will be collateral damage with this bill, but I won't feel it, thanks to MAFIAAFire.

      Cheers, dumbass....

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

        @"Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:36pm

        And once again, stupidity on display. The workarounds are to let me get to a site for my own legitimate purposes, regardless of whether or not this horrible legislation results in a site getting taken down, because there will be collateral damage with this bill, but I won't feel it, thanks to MAFIAAFire.

        Cheers, dumbass...."

        ------------

        Oh, right. I forgot that you're an exception to all rules and even laws of physics. You just go to links sites to LOOK at the links.

        And yet again, betraying your own calls for debate and civility shows that you don't consider yourself required to be honest, let alone decent.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          "Oh, right. I forgot that you're an exception to all rules and even laws of physics. You just go to links sites to LOOK at the links."

          No, idiot, I go to sites for my own legitimate reasons which have nothing to do with piracy. I go to the Pirate Bay to get the latest Pinguy distro. I go to YouTube for the non-infringing videos.

          "And yet again, betraying your own calls for debate and civility shows that you don't consider yourself required to be honest, let alone decent."

          You're the exception to that rule. I don't want to debate with you because you're an insignificant tool. In fact, I'd be far happier if you'd figure out a way to step away from your computer for five minutes and instead step in front of a bus traveling at a very high speed. You have no worth, pal. Zero. You're a stain, nothing more....

           

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          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          Please stop the whining shilling, you vapid bitch! I know you can't, due largely to the spectacular number of missing chromosomes you have, but I thought I would just throw it out there.

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 12:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          I like looking at the holes between the links, the way they clink and in the right light blink.

          This though is just my kink about lynks. And lets not talk about Zelda


          =====
          Warning the above weirdness is only because I know out_of_the_blue_without_any_clue can only understand this Vogon Poetry type of writing.

           

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            Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 6:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

            My pancreas just tried to strangle me to save itself from the horros of Vogon poetry. Thanks.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      A Youtube Poop is piracy to them.
      A ten second music clip is piracy to them.
      Posting a movie poster is piracy to them.
      Not liking them is piracy to them.

       

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      MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:42pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      Not really sure if your one quick line was trolling. If yes, well done! /b would be proud of you!

      If no:
      As others have posted, its not about pirating - these ham fisted attempts at controlling the internet are just going to fragment it into country specific chunks rather than the full internet as we enjoy it today.
      MAFIAAFire refuses to sit idly by and will use our spare time, as well as spare change, to match 50 cents for every million the MAFIAA spend - but still kick their ass!
      (Hey! We are the first to admit we are not in the 1% but definitely the 99%)

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

        @MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:42pm

        Not really sure if your one quick line was trolling. If yes, well done! /b would be proud of you!

        ----------------

        Hmm. Was indeed quick, yet a valid point. I mostly post such out of charity for the fanboys to rail at, otherwise they'd have nothing but "you're so right, Mike".

        In all seriousness -- though I'm sure most here will pooh-pooh it because they can't actually BE serious -- won't surprise me if jack-booted thugs kick open your door and drag you off never to be seen again.

        The police state is HERE, not just imminent. A country that invades two others and kills hundreds of thousands doesn't care BEANS about your rights. I'm not being any more alarmist than justified. Can't you people put two and two together reliably from what you see every day? The nice lawful prosperous 20th century is over. Everything is changed now, you can't rely on due process or redress in court.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          Your posting is charity? You sure it's not punishment, considering all the times you said you'd leave (but never actually do)?

           

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          Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 6:27am

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          You are so deranged with your diatribes that it's just pure gibberish at this point.

          Take a breather, get away from the site and get yourself checked in somewhere. Your kind of nuttiness is not what we can use in the debate here.

          And yes we do like debate. We're not all yes-men/women.

          But we like to debate on points, not on truthiness, not on conjecture and not on diatribes such as yours.
          All the points you bring up are way off base, way off topic, and just sheer lunatic. If that's a courtesy from you, then please stop trying to help us.

           

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          bongo houzi (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 7:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

          Blueboy, sometimes you almost seem lucid. You just need to back away from the silly notion that anyone who disagrees with you is a pirate by nature,

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Ash, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      I'm not pirating and I care. There are lots of good reasons to care, none of which involve watching lame movies.

       

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      Mole Pirate, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:16pm

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      As a true pirate let me say this, SOPA will have zero impact on my pirate ways, it may affect legal business and thus real jobs, it may affect dramatically speech everywhere, but it does absolutely nothing to stop me from dragging and dropping a DVD onto my desktop(yes is that easy to copy something nowadays), heck you don't even need to put it in a ISO file anymore you just right click on the folder and click "play with", almost all players will detect that folder and what is inside and play it.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      monkyyy, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 12:07am

      Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

      i pirate a ton, anything funded by Hollywood accounting and other nonsense i dont buy period

       

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        Planespotter (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 2:49am

        Re: Re: Workarounds to continue what you claim you're NOT doing?

        I once set up a system to download every new US tv episode posted in a 48 hour period and immediately delete them just to test an internet connection that was flaky as hell...

         

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    wallow-T, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Prediction: the final version of whatever passes Congress will drop nearly all of the network technical stuff -- after all, the government is already seizing domain names in bulk quantities, and judges are already ordering search engines to delete results.

    What will go into law is the financial blockade -- it will be trivial to command that Visa, Paypal, MasterCard etc. stop doing business with a site, and probably this will include advertisers as well.

    The effectiveness of a financial blockade strategy has already been demonstrated against Wikileaks (where the US has marshalled private firms to destroy a journalism enterprise, but that's another rant about the police state which is already here).

    Google is already making big public hints about "follow the money", indicating their support for the financial strategy.

    This will have much the same effect of strangling future net developments as the full-monty version of SOPA would.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 4:08pm

      Re:

      While I believe some "techie" stuff will remain once the dust settles, you are correct that cutting off financial assistance will be the death knell of many of the "rogue" sites. While that section will probably be amended to some degree, the concept is virtually cast in stone.

       

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      RonKaminsky (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 8:31am

      BTC, FTW?

      This may be the big push which will cause Bitcoin to finally find more widespread usefulness, then.

      Inexorably leading to (more of) the SAME act : "Stop Alternative Monetary Expedients"...

       

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    identicon
    Brent, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Why not just run your own DNS server?

    I've often thought of just running my own private DNS server. It's not like a single person using it for personal use would be that resource intensive, would it?

    I imagine that the DNS server blocks would be at the ISP level, not to root level, correct?

    If not, I suppose a guy could just tell it what authoritative source to use as it's root.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:45pm

      Re: Why not just run your own DNS server?

      Why bother to be honest, just specify usage of OpenDNS or something in your network settings.

      It's not that resource intensive to run a DNS for one person or a small group, it will however eat a lot of storage space after a while.

       

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        Brent, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:31pm

        Re: Re: Why not just run your own DNS server?

        Good point. However, wouldn't OpenDNS be subject to these new rules?

        Being in Canada, I'm not sure yet how affected I'd be by this legislation, but I have a feeling we'll feel the full impact of it here.

         

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    brandon (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:16pm

    PIPA and SOPA

    Does pipa need to be passed before the end of the year or they have to start all over again, and does the same go for sopa? Thanks

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Can someone please explain to me how DNS blocking "makes the internet less secure"? I am not trolling I really want to know.

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      I'm going to try and make it as simple as possible.

      When you open your web browser and type in, let's say www.google.com, the computer doesn't look for www.google.com. Instead, it translates that into a 4 sets of numbers of 2 numbers each (e.g., google would translate to 74.125.39.104). Your computer would go online and look up what's called a DNS server and ask it to translate google.com into a number. The DNS server would say "here's your number, go here to connect to google" (sorta like asking for a telephone number, so to speak).
      With DNS blocking, your computer asks the DNS server to translate google into a number, but with the site blocked, the DNS lookup fails. At this point, DNS servers based in and operated in the US cannot be trusted to resolve DNS lookups, so DNS servers from all around the world start to spring up. Trouble is, most of these new servers are unknown. Thus, when you configure your web browser to ask a DNS server not based in the US, you're essentially putting your blind faith in a complete stranger. Your computer would ask the DNS server to translate google.com and instead of the numbers I gave you earlier, gives a false set of numbers, potentially leading your browser to load harmful web pages (perhaps you looked up your bank's website and instead get sent to a realistic looking fake).
      At this point, the internet has become massively less secure. The only real solution at this point is to have to memorise the IP addresses of every website you want to visit (the set of numbers I listed above).

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:34pm

        Re: Re:

        @ Rikuo: "Thus, when you configure your web browser to ask a DNS server not based in the US, you're essentially putting your blind faith in a complete stranger."
        ---------------

        Well, that and for most people, faith in the ability of Microsoft to stop viruses. We all know how effective that is. -- BUT you're not forced to do that unless you wish to get to a blocked site.

        Since you don't pirate, I doubt that DNS blocking will EVER be so common as to be noticed, nor will your quest for the alleged legal parts of blocked sites EVER lead you to need another DNS server. -- I don't see the reason for a panic, but it's about all you guys have got to protest SOPA with.

        [Once I have an IP address, it can go into my local "hosts" file to skip DNS entirely. You should learn what a "hosts" file is.]

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I just used the "Pirate Bay Dances" proxy-server plugin for Firefox so I could get to the Piratebay (its blocked in Ireland on Eircom). Once I got there, I proceeded to download...wait for it...Skyrim mods. Wait what? According to you Blue, the only use for Piratebay is infringing. Yet, last I checked, mods are perfectly legal (and encouraged by Bethesda).
          What about when the copyright maximists start having sites blocked left and right? (see history of DMCA abuse for proof of this claim) Once that happens, people will start in their droves to use alternate DNS servers.

          Hang on a minute Blue...did...did you just say I don't pirate? But this flies in the face of everything else you've written, where you've accused people you've never met of piracy, without proof. Why the opposite tactic now? Btw, I do pirate, and am proud to say it.

          And no, its not just the DNS blocking isn't what we protest about. Its the fact that a mere accusation is enough to starve any website or startup of income, all without having to go through the courts.

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Quote:
          [Once I have an IP address, it can go into my local "hosts" file to skip DNS entirely. You should learn what a "hosts" file is.]


          You too.

          http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file

          Since SOPA and PIPA only blocks DNS queries people can make their own lists and when IP blocking start being used people can just use proxies or network overlays.

           

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          G Thompson (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 12:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You use a .host file to get around DNS already?

          Wow, that's just an amazing pro-active bit of circumvention on your part.

          You must be a pirate amongst pirates.

          Or is it just to stop the darstedly evilness that is Micro$oft and Google from entering your CPU frequencies to modify your slash key ożo

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          @ out_of_the_blue: You're right, DNS blocking won't be noticed by many people. Until, that is, someone points out that the images on hmv.com are for commercial purposes, so not Fair Dealing under UK law. hmv.com gets blocked, someone else plays tit for tat, and then the whole web collapses in one giant mess of IP addresses without linking domain names. Now I won't pretend to know exactly how the web works, but even my grandma would notice _that_.

           

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 4:21pm

        Re: Re:

        Not the one who asked the question, but your answer is a very thoughtful explanation of what is involved.

        A question comes to mind. Is it not possible to spoof a DNS server such that a query for an address can be directed to another site?

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 7:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes it is that is why DNSSEC was created to address that, which SOPA would kill and people would have to expend another 10 years trying to find a good solution that everybody can agree on and then another decade or two to implement it.

          SOPA makes the internet less secure for longer.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      It will drive people to use alternative DNS servers instead of the ones provided by their ISP's, potentially making your bank visits to pay the monthly bills vulnerable to 'man in the middle' attacks.

      Not saying all alternative DNS servers are bad, but there will no doubt be more than a few scammers jumping on this new opportunity.

       

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      •  
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        A Guy (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:00pm

        Re: Re:

        It will cause other locales to make their own root DNS servers. That will lead to the fragmenting the centralized DNS system. Right now, there is one DNS root system that allows users and services to verify whether or not their DNS has been hijacked.

        If there are 100 different root servers set up for different regional laws, you may need to send your DNS request to a server that forwards it to another DNS server on a different root system, and then to another until it can eventually be resolved. It will be practically impossible to verify every hop and every server on in that series isn't malicious.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      It also breakes DNSSEC proposal since it was not designed to differentiate between legal tampering and illegal tampering, both are the same thing the only thing is that one is sanctioned by some form of authority and the other comes from someone else, but they both do the exactly samething and the computer doesn't have a way to distinguish what is legal or not and forcing it to accept something breaks the prima reason for what it was created and that is to make sure the information you are asking is coming from the local you asked for and not some other source.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSSEC

      It took 10 years to plan that crappy thing and it would take a decade more to implement it, SOPA just throw that away and make everybody go back to square one on the security front, so SOPA will let you in a insecure state for longer and probably make any future security harder because to allow tampering in the system even for supposedly legitimate reasons is to open the door for the illegal too since there is no global agreement on how the governments should pursue such thing, the system can't be build to accommodate each and every particular of every country out there.

      Besides it allow governments to hide what they are doing, which is never good for anybody.

       

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

    So might as well drop all the technical objections: it can be done. And as usual, you guys mistake an admittedly very low risk of being caught dodging DNS blocking with the fact that it will soon have a very large /potential/ down side, instead of none. As with your mistaken thinking on HADOPI 3 strikes, it'll turn out to have a disproportionately large chilling effect on pirating.

    You guys all style yourself intrepid hackers, but just ask yourself IF you'll use those work arounds after you see a few examples made.

    And yet again, I ain't /for/ SOPA and whatever attendant problems it makes. But the industry reaction -- and further escalation -- is absolutely predictable and enough justified that Congress is easily swayed to yet more fascism.

    ==============

    Think this more or less on topic: Know why I'm not much worried about SOPA? ... Read Glenn Greenwald today for the latest actual danger to liberties: the entire world is to be "legally" treated as a battleground with the military arbitrarily nabbing people, no charge, no trial, no rights. The gov't is on verge making all your premises of due process and reasonableness obsolete.

    Greenwald writes poignantly: "To be perfectly honest, I just couldn’t get myself worked up over a bill that, with some exceptions, does little more than formally recognize and codify what our Government is already doing."

    So, continue to focus on that you'll still be able to illegally download porn and games: lets me mourn less for the country to see how empty-headed you kids are.

     

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      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:41pm

      Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

      No, China's firewall doesn't "largely" work. Though China would like to believe it does--and they'd like you to believe it too.

       

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      identicon
      MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:52pm

      Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

      - and further escalation -- is absolutely predictable
      Ok, I'll bite:
      What do you suggest?

      Let them just get away with doing whatever they want?
      Bend over, pray they are kind enough to pass you the lube?

      The thing is, they are playing our... domain(hehe), we will run rings around these idiots. If we were playing in the courthouse they would do to us what we are doing to them: kick ass.

      They escalate: we dodge, hop, skip and jump and get out a new solution.

      While they have to find someone to look into each of our "solutions" and how to "fix" it, we look at what they do and a couple of minutes later we know how to respond.

      Cat and mouse, whack a mole or pick your favorite phrase but remember our moles are on steroids, bench press 300 and are holding your mamma hostage!

       

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        identicon
        out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:17pm

        Re: Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

        @MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:52pm

        - and further escalation -- is absolutely predictable
        Ok, I'll bite:
        What do you suggest?

        -------------------

        Not to be rude or even contentious, but YOU are playing whack-a-mole with a browser plug-in.

        MY solutions are more comprehensive, basically to tax The Rich (including Big Media) back down to where they're no longer a danger to the 99%. I recognize that's reaching for the stars, but no other solution short of bloodshed EVER gets The Rich (and the gov't they own) back under control.

        But I tire of fighting uphill battles against both The Rich and smartass little fanboys who foolishly think that they can flout laws (such as copyright) and not have it come back on them by a general disregard for laws and their own rights such as The Rich are implementing today. That comes out here as various railing, specifically that browser plug-ins just aren't enough to overcome a gov't that has plenty of jack-booted thugs.

        Besides that, in general, Mike's quaint notions aren't a solution to piracy. Big Media HAS a solution that I think, sadly, WILL work, and The Rich don't care what "collateral damage" it does.

         

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          A Guy (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

          Nah, it's a numbers game. 95%>>5%

          The 95% have more people working on their problems. If it comes down to class warfare, 95% will always win. That is why the 5%, or 1%, or whatever minority you wish to demonize will not let it come to class warfare. Generally, they didn't get into their positions by being dumb.

          That's also why China is such a threat

          1 billion > 300 million

          They have a lot more human capitol than us, which is why we should be focusing on being more efficient instead of saddling the market with bad regulation that add inefficiencies.

           

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          identicon
          MAFIAAFire, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

          but YOU are playing whack-a-mole with a browser plug-in.
          Are you saying we are doing the whacking and they are the moles? If that were true then we would be the ones with the power, and thus the hammer. While I do think optimistically that's a little too optimistic even for me!

          MY solutions are more comprehensive, basically to tax The Rich (including Big Media) back down to where they're no longer a danger to the 99%.
          While you are there get me a unicorn for my kid please!

          Would ask for a fairy but you would probably get me Tom Cruise or Clay Aiken :P

           

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 4:26pm

        Re: Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

        Of course you can skip around and defeat efforts trying to stop what you are doing, but at some point I would like to think you would ponder the question "Is what we are doing hurting the livelihoods of those who depend upon being compensated for their labors?"

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 7:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

          If he ever change his mind I won't.
          And I don't care about the rights of self centered people who are stealing the rights of others under the claims that it is the law.

           

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      A Guy (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Does China's Great Firewall work? -- Yes, largely.

      1. The Great Firewall of China doesn't work. The rest of the world banded together and gave anyone who has the slightest technical knowledge the ability to bypass it.

      2. Who here is focusing on games and porn (and movies and music) other than the supporters of the bill? I believe the fact that this bill is a civil liberties nightmare has been a prominent theme here.

      3. Of course some in government wants to give the military the ability to detain US citizens from inside the United States without a trial. How else will they be able to use all that information they've been illegally gathering if it would be inadmissible at trial?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    this p's me off so bad. I don't watch tv, I don't play too much videogames and I don't listen to that much music. my entertainment I could care less if every tv show and videogame goes away. I don't give a **** about them. most software I can do without. so if they did away with every software that is being pirated I could care less... but I will be so mad if they water down the internet that I use to get the information that I want. I PAY for my internet and they're talking about watering it down and telling me what I can and can't do with it! HOW IS THAT OK?!

    all you idiots that say "quit being paranoid", "worry about it when it happens", "it doesn't stand a chance of passing" think about this...

    worrying about stuff when it happens is one of the worst mistakes you can make. I've done it too many times.

    the bill does have a chance of passing

    this isn't paranoid conspiracy theorie bs, it's reality. they already censor tv, they already have a warrent to listen to your phone conversations with no probable cause (remember it's for your own good!), they already tell you what you can and can't do all the time.

    all I'm saying is. if this bill passes (and it appears to have lots of support) then what is the point of having the internet. it will be rendered almost useless.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Dear Mafiaafire,

    I don't get to ask these kinds of questions on other sites like ars or TF, but I was wanting to know if you have considered that putting a publicly available proxy list into your plugin may result in people using your plugin for "other questionable things" besides accessing TPB or other sites. Are these proxies taken from a private listing that can only be accessed one-at-a-time by clients or is it taking proxies at random from a large proxy listing site?

     

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      identicon
      MAFIAAFire, Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 8:52am

      Re:

      Random from multiple proxy listing sites.

      We have no control over the proxy sites (which is good - no central point of failure) what people do once they reach these proxy sites is not any of our business.

      A person can do _exactly_ whatever they could do previously on these proxy sites. Our addon does not give them extra powers to do more or less.

      Think of it as a taxi service, we take them to the airport... what they do once they get to the airport is out of the scope of the cab driver.
      We have no idea why they are going to the airport either and quite frankly, it's none of our business.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Sincere, Dec 12th, 2011 @ 11:00pm

    Why are you all feeding the troll? Ignore what he says.

    When is techdirt going to ban out_of_the_blue? Why not give him a taste of the very censorship he supports. This person is not here to take debates seriously, they're just a copyright troll. I get tired of reading post after post and seeing you all getting trolled by a person who's only sole purpose is to derail the topic with their unnecessary commentary. It makes me not even want to read techdirt comments anymore because you're all so gullible. Most sites would have banned this person by now, do mods here have any plans to stop him from ruining the comments section or what? I can't say I'll be returning if you don't do something about the troll.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Sheogorath, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Why are you all feeding the troll? Ignore what he says.

      To ban the idiot, this site would have to make it so everyone who wants to comment would have to sign up. As an admin on two other websites and a member of a wiki, I'm too busy to do more than check in here every now and then, and make the occasional comment. If full membership was required to comment at Techdirt, I'd be one of the casual users they'd be effectively turning away.

       

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


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