Alternative To PIPA/SOPA Proposed; Points Out That This Is An International Trade Issue

from the it-is-a-trade-issue,-isn't-it dept

While the MPAA has been pretending that there are no alternatives beyond the insanity that is PIPA and SOPA, some in Congress have actually been hard at work on trying to think through the specific issues. And one key point has become clear: this isn't a law and order issue, but an international trade issue. Nearly all of the complaints are about the problem of "foreign" sites sending goods across the border into the US. So it makes absolutely no sense that this issue isn't under the purview of the Finance Committee, whose job it is to oversee international trade. Thus, a bill is being worked on that tackles the issues as an international trade issue. A "discussion draft" is being circulated on this (embedded below).

This new effort has bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, and unlike SOPA and PIPA, seeks to try to focus in on situations that are actually problematic. In the Senate, it has the backing of Senators Cantwell, Moran, Paul, Warner and Wyden. All of whom had come out against PIPA, except for Warner. Adding him to this issue is big, given his experience in the business world. On the House side, it's Reps. Chaffetz, Campbell, Doggett, Eshoo, Issa and Lofgren. The focus would be putting the issue into the International Trade Commission, where there are experts focused on trade issues.

I think this is an approach that absolutely makes sense for counterfeit physical goods and the websites that sell them. Frankly, it's bizarre that it ever went beyond a discussion of international trade. It becomes somewhat trickier with copyright issues, and that's because you now have questions about how physical borders apply to digital networks. And I'm not sure I know how to best deal with that. Separately, having seen the ITC process on patents go off the rails at times, and become more of a way for patent holders to issue a "double whack" against a company they accuse of infringement, I'd be concerned about making sure that this process doesn't allow for two bites at the same apple. If it's properly focused on just foreign sites, that might not be as big an issue.

Either way, the devil will be in the details, but the details are still being written. Seeing as this is a discussion draft, I'm hearing that the folks involved really do want a discussion (unlike what we got with SOPA/PIPA), and that includes folks here. Take a look at the draft, and weigh in, knowing that some of the folks involved really will be reading what you have to say.


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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    The International Trade Commission!!!

    So it's Globalist Mike now, eh?

    You're saying, sheerly in terms of stopping piracy and counterfeiting, that international bureaucrats would be MORE effective than the domestic police. Baloney.

    With the whole European Union on verge of collapse, you have the chutzpan to call another "international" a reasonable solution? It's just a libertarian dodge to kick the problem down the road and continue the status quo that your select bunch of grifting pals want.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    and why should we maintain the status quo of self interested government established media cartels (through government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies, not to mention through over reaching laws that dissuade independent venues, like restaurants and others, from hosting independent performers)?

    Why should we maintain the status quo on government established taxi cab monopolies (among all of the many many other government established monopolies) along with a self interested government established media cartel that intentionally keeps us ignorant of all of the many many socially detrimental government established monopolies/cartels.

    Why should we maintain the status quo of ridiculous patents? Why should we maintain the status quo of insane infringement fines? Why should we maintain the status quo of having copy protection laws be opt out with no central database to register ones work so that others can more easily determine if works are infringing? Why should we maintain the status quo of insane copy protection lengths and constant extensions? Why should we maintain the status quo of placing little liability on those who make bogus takedown requests?

    Why should we even maintain the status quo of the existence of IP? Or any government established monopoly/cartel for that matter?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    and why should we maintain the status quo of having a government grant a monopoly on both content distribution (through cableco and broadcasting monopolies) and content (through copy protection laws). Why should we maintain the status quo on all of the many many other anti-competitive, anti-consumer, anti-free market capitalistic laws that artificially result in income inequality?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    and why should the U.S. government-industrial complex's (notice how I did not use the word public) pro-IP position be the only voice that matters? Why is its values somehow more important than everyone else's?

    What, is the U.S.'s 95+ year copy protection lengths the only reasonable solution here? Is the U.S. government's extremely pro-IP and pro-monopoly/cartel solution the only reasonable one?

    Or maybe it's that the U.S. is wrong and IP is something that governments should not consider such a big deal? Or maybe it's something that governments shouldn't do at all?

     

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    rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    I've asked this before but I'd like to get your take.

    I'm curious as to what you think would be going 'too far' in efforts to stop copyright infringement. What would have to happen for you to say, "Sure, it's morally wrong and illegal, but this is too much?" Where does it end for you?

    Here, I'll get you started. Which of the following (if any) would you consider to be inappropriate for enforcing copyrights:

    Make it illegal to link to infringing content
    Make it illegal to communicate the location of infringing content in any way
    Outlawing of onion routers
    Making copyright infringement a criminal as opposed to a civil offense
    Deep packet inspection of all Internet traffic
    Mandatory server registration / P2P ban (IE No computer can accept incoming connections unless properly licensed and registered)
    Mandatory government identification code for accessing the Internet
    Government mandated operating system backdoors
    Government monitoring of software / activity on personal computers (Think Carrier IQ)
    Deem computers without a TCM chip illegal computing devices (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Computing)
    Make writing software a licensed and regulated activity

     

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    robin, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    Exporting U.S. Laws

    It is presumptuous to state whether a site is 'willfully' engaging in infringement. What if said site's activities are perfectly legal in it's home country? What do? Freak out and cut off their payment systems globally?

    Speaking of freaking out, who doesn't believe that MPAA member companies won't claim that every single presentation they make to the ITC demands 'expedited' treatment? Hello DMCA abuse geometrically multiplied.

    Thirdly, who believes that even the sages w/ ITC can tell the difference between the bittorrent file-transfer protocol and a static server in Uzbeckistan? Not this voter.

    I'm thankful for this effort, but highly suspect of it's positioning.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    "International bureaucrats"? What are you talking about? They're saying that this is an international trade issue, not that we need to hand off enforcement to someone outside the country. You do realize that we make, change, and enforce our own trade agreements and embargoes, right? You may have experienced it in a little section of the airport called "Customs."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    and why should we maintain the status quo of not having orphaned and discontinued works automatically entering the public domain?

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:18pm

    Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    Just reading this comment shows that not only have you no clue about what the EU is compared to individual economies within it, you also have no clue whatsoever about your own USA economy which is not only stagnating it is also teetering on collapse, you also have no clue on how this proposal, on first glance, would not be an International endeavour but a purely USA initiative only for goods/services crossing into the physical/digital borders of the USA itself and would have no ability, as it shouldn't, to affect the sovereignty of other nations, as SOPA/ProtectIP can do.

    Ever thought of changing your handle to "out_of_a_clue" ? It would suit you more.

    Though on your defence you have stopped the /slash/marks/everywhere/ it shows there is hope

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:03pm

    Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    >>> "Frankly, it's bizarre that it ever went beyond a discussion of international trade."

    Oh, that's just silly, Mike, for reason I state in my title here.

    >>> "And I'm not sure I know how to best deal with that."

    You don't know at all how to deal with pirating and counterfeiting, Mike, and the conclusion from all evidence is that you don't want to, don't regard either of those as a problem, even. So you've let Big Media come up with their predictable solutions, while just NAGGING them with mantra of "find a better business model"!

     

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    Hipster Fascist, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    Was in favor of all of the above before it was cool.

     

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    Senator Palpatine, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    Supreme Chancellor, delegates of the Senate, a tragedy has occurred, which started right here with the taxation of trade routes, and has now engulfed our entire planet in the oppression of the Trade Federation!

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    We've always been at war with Eastasia.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    @rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    I've asked this before but I'd like to get your take.

    I'm curious as to what you think would be going 'too far' in efforts to stop copyright infringement. What would have to happen for you to say, "Sure, it's morally wrong and illegal, but this is too much?" Where does it end for you?

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

    Let's see. First, I don't see "DNS blocking" as such on your list, but I think THAT plus ALL ELSE that it requires (making dodging it illegal) is about right. 2nd, shutting down sites that openly host infringing content. Say, a 1000 files determined by a court to actually BE infringing, then they're shut down by the country they're sited in. That one has problems of implementation between countries, but you're asking what MY solution would be. -- Think I'll stop there, though remind that #2 can get extensive, no doubt.

    HOWEVER, I don't think it going "too far" to require that everyone regard copyright as the law, and know that they RISK some penalties for infringement. The increase of piracy can't be tolerated. Sure, that'd be the MOST difficult (oh, wait: make that /most/ because some chowderhead thinks I've given up the slashes) to bring about, but if you leave out the moral component to life, then don't complain when some thug tosses you in jail for "merely" file-sharing, because you'll have ruled out moral rules for yourself yet expect everyone else to abide by reasonable and proportionate. That's not the way it works: everyone has to accept a certain level of duty to be civil and respect laws.

    AND more importantly: I think all the BAD points that you mention WILL come about because gov'ts want to control the people. There's a natural drift of all gov't to authoritarian; The Rich try to guide that to their direct interests, that's what Big Media is doing with SOPA, and it's not very difficult to achieve, so the outlook is bleak.

    Oh, and I'm dead against copyright extended beyond the 28 years, regard that as ex post facto "law", and void.

    I've tried more than once to get these nuances across, but as the fanboy tactic here is to get vulgar at least difference of opinion (or for no reason at all, just to BE vulgar, DH's specialty), I quit caring. Stating my view is enough.

     

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    Gregory, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:25pm

    IP is important

    We need flat percentages like those of China instead of our government encouraging free trade. A knockoff from China, the main VIOLATERS, would be a lot more expensive ifCongress wasn't sell us out. We aren't competing in a global market no more than we are at war with drugs.

    This concept of selling BS to the American public is a fiasco that has brought our great country to its knees. 30% tax on all good from China and for god sakes arrest someone with a knockoff purse in NYC like the music industry brought them to court. You will certainly cut down of the crime. Cut free trade agreements .it's only good for exports while our quality goods and the American pride that goes along with it have been tossed out by companies like Walmart where price/ item w/o care or thought of quality have eroded from our psyche.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    "It's just a libertarian dodge to kick the problem down the road and continue the status quo"

    What???? It's not socialist? Isn't that the usual response when someone mentions international agencies? No "one world government" conspiracy theories to add to the deadweight of your argument?

    Seems you missed the opportunity to make a point, o_o_t_b, young fella, me lad.

    As for the meat of the matter, which is what matters, is the proposal to allow the ITC to do it's job where counterfeits and, in many cases, infringement do their job is reasonable and rational as this does involve important trade issues.

    Well, at least it does every time a rep from the MPAA arrives in Canada to lecture us that Canadian Content rules on television and radio violate those rules in spite of their having lost there.

    Do TRY, at least, to make sense, will you please?

    And since when did police get involved in civil/commmon law issues. Infringement is NOT a criminal offense. Should SOPA succeed it may become one but at this stage it isn't. Not that police don't have more than enough to do in addition to keeping order which is their primary job after all. (Not protecting failing content industries whose contribution to the GDP of the USA is something less than 0.1%.)

    But really, libertarian? Could that be because one of the few politicans in Washington to see the dangers is Ron Paul?

    Do you have the faintest idea what libertarianism is all about?

    An entirely rhetorical question as it's more than apparent that you don't.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    @ "Senator Palpatine" & "The Devil's Coachman"

    I've no idea what point you two think you're making with what appear to quotes from novels, and I LIKE THAT! Exemplifies the vacuity of opposition here, IF you are opposing.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    @"TtfnJohn": "Do you have the faintest idea what libertarianism is all about?"

    I use "libertarian" with reference to their "free trade" mantra, and particularly in this case because -- exactly as you do -- it means that the /effect/ of this proposal would be to put off any actual solution by tying it up in a "Commission". -- It's /Mike/ who supports the notion, and as I say, it's to the interest of the bunch of grifters whom he supports to delay effective solutions to piracy / counterfeiting. -- BUT if you wish, it's imprecise because based on my views of "libertarianism" actually being a mask for fascism, besides unworkable in practice. Libertarians actually favor corporation over individuals, would "privatize" and "monetize" what's now the common birth-right of all citizens, such as roads and water. I don't want that.

    In any case, SOPA is what we're going to get. -- NO, I'm not for it as such, but see the logic when it comes to the rampant piracy that HERE (by Mike and others) is denied even exists.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:00pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    @"TtfnJohn" re "police": I use the word at its most general. It means those who'd be empowered under SOPA (with its attendant new criminal offenses). Must I spell out for you all possible types of persons and offices having "police" power, or are you able to grasp the abstract with this clarification?

     

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    rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:10pm

    Refreshing

    My rep. is on that list and I have to say I was pleased with the response to the letter I sent to him. It wasn't just a form letter and specifically addressed the concerns I expressed.

    In general I agree with the approach in this proposal though I still question the whole premise that the entertainment industry is in trouble and I think the last thing they need is a bailout.

    I have the sneaking feeling I've just become a victim of the aggressive initial demand negotioation tactic though. Nevertheless I'm interested to watch SOPA supporters try to slam this while remaining self-consistint. Should provide amusment.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    Because nobody's ever made a point with a quote before...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:36pm

    Wyden's plan is a hollow joke. Criminal infringement is a criminal matter. It's not like price subsidies for exports or tariffs and the only reason to treat it as such is to maintain the status quo.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:59pm

    Thoughts and questions

    I really appreciate the request for public involvement early in this process. Here's a few thoughts I had as I read through the proposal:

    The ITC is authorized to not only investigate these issues but to initiate actions to prevent the imports in question from entering into the U.S.

    I'd like to see a full list of actions that the ITC may initiate. Is this limited to the cease/desist letters cutting off financial/advertising services?


    The public would be notified of the investigation and respondents would have a right to be heard, as well other interested parties. Final ITC determinations could be appealed in U.S. court.

    I like that part.

    the ITC would need to find that the foreign website is primarily and willfully engaging in infringement of U.S. copyrights or willfully enabling imports of counterfeit merchandise

    Does engaging in infringement limited to actual infringement, or does it also apply to DMCA circumvention tools and services? Does it apply to inducement, or linking? Could ebay or etsy be found guilty of willfully enabling counterfeit imports? Are you willful if you don't do enough(?) to police your users?

    An ITC cease-and-desist order would, under this proposal, compel financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services to cease providing financial and advertising services to the foreign website.

    Is there any allowances for services that may be legal and non-infringing in their own nations? Perhaps only ceasing to provide financial/advertising services to American users of that site? I'm just worried about retaliatory measures by other countries following this example (what if France or Germany demanded visa to cut off services to an American website that sold Nazi paraphernalia?)


    The proposal would empower the ITC to issue temporary and preliminary cease-and-desist orders, when immediate action is necessary to prevent imminent harm to rightsholders.

    Under what circumstances would a rights holder not cry imminent harm?

    Finally, this plan provides appropriate immunity for those entities that are complying with the ITC orders, including financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services that voluntarily refuse to provide services to foreign websites that endanger public health by supplying illicit prescription drugs.

    Is immunity for voluntary termination of service limited to drug sites, or does it apply to infringement/counterfeiting sites as well? I don't particularly care for the vigilante clauses that PIPA/SOPA have. There has to be appropriate transparency to ensure that there is no anti-competitive purposes or government pressure involved.

    Signed -- a constituent of Mr Chaffetz

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    My first response to the question is that someone really has to, independently, come up with a study that says that "widespead" infringement is causing losses of REAL income for member companies of the RIAA and MPAA as opposed to potential income which you can't lose anyway. Might just as well say that should I not by a song or not go to a movie I'm as guilty as the pirates, because, when you start talking about potential income loss, that's what you're really saying.

    Oh, and while I'm at it the only thing that, as publicly traded companies member companies of the RIAA and MPAA can be legitimately interested in is their own and what they pass on to shareholders not this drivel about how concerned they are about artists. They aren't so let's just get that one out of the way.

    As for what is too far?

    (1) Breaking the Internet by messing with the DNS system. While it's tempting to think this would change something about "piracy" it won't. What it will do is interfere with the billions of dollars of legitimate business taking place across the internet and the ability of companies to continue using B to B software to keep their inventories up to date, to place orders and to actually make products which appear in the physical world. It would affect and. temporarily at least, mess up the telecommunications systems in place globally which make extensive use of the internet to route, connect and complete calls using either voice or data. That may not have occurred to the likes of o_o_t_b or to some/many members of the US congress but it would make an unholy mess of such things.

    Now for the list.
    1) Make it illegal to link to infringing content. On many sites out there and on many servers it's already a violation of terms of service to do so. The tricky question, though, is what's infringing and what's fair use. The DCMA provided a route for that (I can't believe I'm defending the DCMA and its ilk but that's where things have gone.) which SOPA and Protect IP take away. (As does Canada's new copyright act survive the inevitable constitutional challenge which the betting line says it won't.)
    2) Make it illegal to communicate the location of infringing... Again, the trick of what's fair use and what's infringement. One could (and many do) argue that it's immoral to do so but if by make illegal you mean criminalizing I have to respond that law enforcement agencies have much, much better things to do. Anyway, infringement is already illegal so use the laws already there unless you're as lazy or sloppy as the MPAA and RIAA.
    3) Outlaw Onion Routers...Again, just who enforces this? And is the cost of enforcement worth what the results would be. Remember that we're dealing with an industry here that produces less than 0.1% of US GDP. An industry that moves heaven and earth to NOT pay creators as it is by means legal and otherwise.
    4)Criminalizing. See above.
    5) Deep packet inspection. An interesting solution. Maybe but if the United States makes deep packet inspection normative (and outlaws onion routers which are in widespread use by the US Military and security agencies) I guess the United States can't complain when China or Iran or the Seychelles use deep packet inspection on official US Government traffic across the internet. Fail for national and international security reasons alone there.
    5) Mandatory server registration. In a sense, that already exists. At least in the sense of routing servers you have to know they're there before they can be used so having secret servers is self defeating. And in my experience setting up a secret server to indulge in criminal activity are soon discovered because somewhere on the line they have to identify themselves to someone to communicate even if only by IP address if not both name and IP address.
    6) P2P ban. The vast majority of P2P activity is legal. It's used by business, the military, police, security agencies, search and rescue, controlling forest fires and a host of other legitimate and perfectly legal uses including the distribution of almost all Linux distributions out there. I'll get to registration shortly.
    7) Mandatory government identification code for accessing the internet. I'm glad you trust big brother to be watching over your shoulder every second of the day and night. I'm sure not. And, again, you need to consider the costs and what it all will accomplish, if anything at all. I can say with certainty that it will not stop so-called piracy in the same way as little magnetic stripes and 4 character passwords have stopped credit card fraud. There's no return there.
    8) Gov't mandated OS backdoors. Why,oh why, is it, that people who probably would find the level of government interference in private affairs suddenly go all ga-ga over it when they think they're hitching their wagons to "a good cause"? Has the fate of alcholol prohibition in the USA and the continued war on drugs not taught you anything? Both ended up costing far more than what they saved had they never gone into place at all. After all, neither had the desired effect of reducing demand for the products they made illegal and one had to be pulled back while the other plods along amidst gang wars, bloodshed and agony on so many levels.
    9) Gov't mandates spyware. See above and are you nuts? That and there's enough people like me around who can get rid of it and whip up something that will make the gov't think they are still spying on me while I carry on and let them monitor the church down the road. Such things aren't impossible or particularly difficult to do.
    10) Enforce TCM chips on all computing devices. OK, here we go again. Do you know what you're proposing here? Much as it sounds good the moment you add into the equation of computing devices things like smart power meters and smart appliances, many computers on the car you drive, the fact that modern shipping sees just about everything controlled by computational devices of one sort or another from rail, to ships to (particularly) navy ships not to mention warplanes, civilian aircraft and the list goes on and on. And guess what? They all use the Internet, incidentally. While I'm having fun imagining some super computers burning up and crashing under the load of vast mountains of meaningless data I'm forced to ask, again, to accomplish all of what?
    11) Make software writing a licensed and regulated activity. If I was part of my county's security apparatus I'd be having a fit reading that which I'm sure the American ones would have if it was seriously proposed. And I can see where you're coming from but it comes from a mistaken notion that software creation is something like assembling a car or a padlock. It's not. It's a creative process. Sure, lots of software "creation" projects make the promise of cut and paste one routine here and another there and off you go it doesn't work that way.
    Should the United States do what you're proposing and, say, India and Brazil or Finland and Vanatu not follow suit it would be a very very short time until the USA surrendered it's major lead in software and hardware design and implementation and lose it's major economic advantage in that area which would otherwise have led the wanted and needed recovery. I've already mentioned security so I'll let you ponder that happens when what you propose comes to pass and that lead vanishes in the blink of an electronic eye.

    The major reason there is piracy out there is that the gatekeepers of the so-called content industry aren't producing product people actually want at a price they are willing to pay. It's not, and never has been, an attack on the actual people who create content, the attack has been on industries that have lost all imagination and creativity under which creators themselves chafe and produce endless rounds of junk.

    What little of any quality escapes from that cesspool is overpriced and hard to find. Unless...unless...you go get it yourself. The reality is it's a consumer backlash is now and always has been. Most people also know that the same content industry is infamous for NOT paying those creators so the notion that they're hurting MyBandInLadysmith doesn't occur to them. I admit, perhaps it should but then the band may not sell anything the way things are anyway so to claim piracy causes them to lose money is based on a false assumption that if piracy ended they would.

    No, it's not going too far to ask people to respect copyright and what it's intended to do. Fair enough. Too bad the content industry doesn't except to place culture into walled gardens protected by copyright from now to when the world ends.

    What you propose and what o_o_t_b seems to support (despite is repeated protestations that he doesn't like the current copyright regime or the companies that profit from it), is going far to far.

    You are asking that citizens of, say, the United States give up their freedom and liberty to protect and industry that contributes a microscopic amount to the American economy in the name of the "creators" when they don't profit from the current regime either.

    Nor do you see the irony in the fact that an industry that does depend on copyright, almost totally, to continue to thrive is one of the loudest in opposition to SOPA and IP Protect. That's right, the very tech industry your proposals will cripple. And the tech industry relies on copyright to a far greater degree than does big content. Case in point SCO vs Linux. Where millions of lines of code were examined over a false accusation that Linux developers "pirated" copyrighted code belonging to SCO. (Turned out that it was the other way around, actually.)

    What neither you or o_o_t_b seem to realize is how entrenched the Internet is in the way we communicate, do business, relate with each other, design, how nations speak with and to each other (the occasional threat included of course), and, in the end, how people who create, create. Including novelists who spend hours on the Net and Web researching items for their latest (hoped to be) blockbuster novel. We mess with it at our economic and social peril.

    All to deal with a problem that, while it exists, has no empirical evidence, independently found, that causes the problems big content claims it does. And, in a dollar sense, contributes little to the broad economy.

    What will kill copyright is using a multi-warhead nuclear weapon such as SOPA and ProtectIP and most of what you propse should the come to pass. All to protect one of the most corrupt industries in existence. And the general public gets that. As I noted above one of the major drivers to piracy has been that big content has refused to provide what their consumers want, so their consumers rebelled. Those same consumers will lose what little may be left of their respect for copyright, as well as other IP regimes such as patents, should the warhead be fired. That's the unintended collateral damage that will be caused.

    When you basically declare a free people as a bunch of criminals for exercising their right to buy or not to buy in a supposedly capitalist system to support an industry as corrupt and creatively crippled entity as Hollywood those same people will withdraw their support for those laws.

    If. through ignorance (willful being worse) you break the backbone of a struggling economy at that same time that withdrawl may be quite sudden and widespread which is what you, o_o_t_b, SOPA and PROTECT IP propose to do.

    One of the particularly nasty things about things like freedom, liberty and democracy is that the consent to govern comes from below, not above, it comes from the broad citizenry, not from interest groups and certainly not corrupt interest groups who pass their corruption onto the legislature.

    It comes from the great unwashed. Take their freedoms, liberties and choices away governments most often find that the consent they REALLY need to govern has been withdrawn.

    PS I both write and create in other ways and use copyright and Creative Commons licensing for what I create so I suspect I have far greater interest in the issue of respect for the law that you do. By the same token, I cannot support what is happening now on moral and ethical grounds nor can I support it on technical grounds, and I know of what I speak there too having designed, built and established voice and data networks and transmission in the telecom industry for the better part of the past 35 years. From the days of electro-mechanical switching to the Internet.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    It's good to see that you at least recognize that the current copyright law has a serious problem in the extreme length. To be honest, I'm starting to wonder if the extensions have become a Constitutional issue depending on your frame of reference.

    For example, let's say a new book by my son's favorite author is released tomorrow. According to current copyright law, that book is protected for the lifetime of the author plus 95 years. Now while I come from a family blessed with good health, I doubt my son will make it much past 110 years of age. Given that he's a teenager now, that means the book will be under copyright protection until after he's dead. Essentially, that book is under permanent copyright protection for his lifetime. How could that possibly promote the progress of science and the useful arts?

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    You can read my extended reply below if you want and rant and rave all you want but I need to know something.

    If, as you keep insisting you see all that is wrong with the current copyright regime and how it's uses by those you call Big Media I'm very curious as to why you support legislation that basically amounts to an extended welfare project for the same Big Media and their desire to extent copyright until our sun finally explodes and fries up all their stuff.

    I'd love to know how you make illegal dodging a broken DNS server (as in blocked) when that's what the Internet does by design. And just what, as I've asked, will enforce it? Criminalization in support of those you call Big Media?

    While I'm glad to see the courts brought into the discussion about shutting down web sites found to be hosting gobs of 'infringing' files I also see that you want to insist that the country in which they are located shut them down. I have a small bulletin for you on that one. You have absolutely no idea how tired those of us outside of the United States are of the US Congress attempting to apply American laws extra-territorially. You have less than no right to do that and the rest of us are under no obligation to do anything at all about a court decision in the United States unless it is to use it as precedent in countries that share the legal system we all inherited from England. (And only US Supreme Court decision at that.)

    You make the assumption that copyright laws are the same in the country you're referring to which would be right only if that country was a signatory of the Berne Convention.

    (By the way the USA was a late comer to signing that one so in one way the USA was considered copyright "pirates" long before the Internet existed. Didn't hurt creators whose work was published in other countries all that much but it could explain why some people from the UK, Australia and places like that don't have a great deal of sympathy for American cries of "respect copyright!")

    I doubt that the "bad" things (most of them near insane in you understand deeply how the Internet works) when you'd see industries and government agencies outside of Big Media line up to oppose such things.

    At the risk of repeating myself there is no empirical evidence anywhere outside of claims made by your Big Media that piracy is a problem far less the massive problem they make it out to be from their bought and paid for researchers. Problem is, you see, that independent research can't duplicate the results of Big Media's bought and paid for reports. Cries of "It HAS to be" don't count. Evidence does and there is none. You can't lose what you don't have and you don't have a "potential" sale, it can't be put on a balance sheet or used to settle accounts or pay taxes so if it's "potential" it doesn't exist.

    In any event the revolt is and always has been a consumer revolt against your Big Media and not a revolt against copyright except in the fevered minds of Big Media and their crys of "what about the artist?" as if they care. After all the artist has to sign over their copyright to Big Media and one day they may see a small royalty from that in the vast majority of cases. The consumers know that too.

    OK, back to DNS blocking. If you don't understand that DNS servers are passive merely connecting one server to another server to another server, often another DNS server, then you don't understand the damage blocking can do.

    An internet connection is not a nailed down point to point connection from your computer to the one at the distant end. That happens in rare cases such as HTTPS and FTPS but otherwise the route taken my my connection to Techdirt will change when I press Submit from the one I retrieved your post on after I pressed the last submit.

    In the case of always on such as streaming audio, video and the bittorrent protocol the route can change every few seconds depending on traffic conditions somewhere out the on the Internet. Same thing happens with across the Internet phone calls.

    In that sense SOPA and PROTECT IP silliness only affects the first server out the one you connect to from your ISP and you're routed from there. There's nothing on earth, however to prevent you from connecting to another one. And companies, people and telcos (and me) always have a secondary one loaded up in case the primary becomes sluggish or goes off line.

    So if the idea of the bill is to control what ISP "first out" DNS servers can pass on to the next server should I type "www.copyrightinfringers.com" and head out there from my browsesr then what's being accompished? And at what REAL cost to users of misrouting and a host of other issues that always arise when this sort of thing gets done. And the United States has no jurisdiction over servers located in other countries no matter how much America may jump up and down and throw diplomatic hissy fits they don't.

    Personally I don't really give a damn. It's easy enough to get around just type in the IP directly instead of the name and off you go bypassing most of the DNS structure altogether from the initial and ongoing connections. It's how the Internet works unless what you really want is a complete re-engineering of the beast :)

    So DNS blocking is kinda pointless in that respect.

    As I've said, if the goal is to get people to respect copyright laws then you need to get people to respect those who old the majority of copyrighted material out there. The disconnect with the "what about the creator" thing comes when people realize, as they so, that the creator has had to sign over their copyright to get published, have their song recorded or the get the movie they wrote, directed and produced made. And most people also realize that the folks you call Big Media don't have a stellar track record on paying those creators and didn't long before the Internet.

    I have no more desire than you do to see copyright laws go into the dustbin of history and I too want them to be respected. I have a hard time, though, squaring the circle when, in the vast majority of cases, the only ones profiting are your Big Media, corrupt and unimaginative that they are.

    And I do have an interest in seeing copyright continued in one form or another as I am a writer and do write for the web and elsewhere. Admittedly what I write about isn't light reading or what you'll find on Amazon as it's often rather esoteric aspects of things like theology, biblical criticism and history as applied to the previous two. While I don't get paid for it in the traditional sense I'm supported in actually getting it out there both on paper and on the net so I'm happy.

    What I don't see happening is that respect for or the observance of copyright will be enhanced in any way by SOPA, in fact quite the opposite. I know enough history to know when governments have gone too far and with SOPA and it's companion legislation the US Congress has gone far to far.

    Particularly when so-called piracy has nothing to do with copyright is has to do with a consumer rebellion against the major copyright holders, namely the MPAA and the RIAA for their annoying habit as a customer to foist crap on the consumer at ever increasing prices.

    People do pay (support) creators directly when and where they can, otherwise there would be no independent bands and acts out there. No self published books. No attempts at do it yourself movie making. So people do respect the artists and creators.

    The legistalative equivalent of a multi-warhead tactical nuclear weapon (SOPA) won't increase respect for copyright. Given that legislators are almost as popular and what I call Big Content and you call Big Media (right down there with the bubonic plague and hiking in an active sewer pipe. So if think these bills will stop piracy I submit that you're wrong on just about all the counts I can think of.

    Particularly in English speaking counties. While most of us don't have the mythology of liberty and freedom the United States has we are just as intolerant of government getting too big for it's britches. And we are just as intolerant of government propping up failing industries in the name of something like copyright as Americans are. Maybe more so, speaking as a Canadian we have the habit of taking large majorities in our federal House of Commons and reducing 360 members to 2 following an election when they do that. We're ornery that way.

    That tends to lessen, for a while, the tendency of government to drift into authoritarianism and remind them who the boss is.

    In a free and democractic society laws such as copyright and patents exist at the consent of the governed. When those laws become a form of taxation without representation which extended patent and copyright have become the great unwashed, the governed have an annoying habit to power of withdrawing that consent particularly when it's done for the benefit of corrupt, failing businesses whether it's in the creative end of life or not. Up here in the Great White North we have an example of that that took place south of us around 1776.

    With all respect I submit to you now that what is taking place is a consumer revolt against just that and has been taking place since ADSL and cable in the home became commonplace.

    SOPA, should it pass, will only serve to increase that revolt and what respect is left for IP law, and it's not a lot, will start to vanish even more quickly than it already is. The governed will withdraw consent.

    The tech industry, the industry most dependent on IP laws in the North American economy sees that and opposes things like SOPA and ProtectIP and other such legislation.

    I'm amazed that others don't. Particularly when people such as you seem to agree on just about every point with the consumer revolt except that you want to clamp down harder and not let the marketplace function as it should and not let the citizenry make crystal clear that they are in the process of withdrawing consent for the laws as they are currently written and proposed to be written that affect on small sector of the economy at the expense of the rest of the economy.

    I have to say, I'm amazed too. I apologize if being amazed is something you consider vulgar but I am.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    with all that various uses of terms like police around here on this and related threads I felt the need for clarity on that.

    I do understand the abstraction where you and I part company is he notion that increasing said policing will do any good.

    As far as economic damage done by so-called piracy when there is a legitimate study that shows me that there is such damage beyond that bought and paid for by the folks you call Big Media and said evidence is easily replicated I'll buy into that. For now, I don't precisely because the second half of my sentence above has never happened. In fact the opposite has been the case. So while I'm open to the possibility the folks you call big media had had decades to come up with it and has, thus far failed.

    As for increasing policing my biggest fear is that it will have precisely the opposite effect. In fact, I'm sure it will.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 9:22pm

    And one key point has become clear: this isn't a law and order issue, but an international trade issue.

    This isn't the type of trade that the ITC typically deals with: http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/about_usitc.htm

    The trade remedy law that ITC enforces: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_19_00001337----000-.html

    I'm not sure I see how a few Article I administrative law judges in Washington, D.C. will solve the rogue sites problem, no matter what authority they're given.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 1st, 2011 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Thoughts and questions

    Depending on the scope of the final bill it could easily be that, a ruling that payment processors who process payments made from outside the United States must process them. The International Trade Commission has no jurisdiction inside the United States beyond that stipulated in the treaty the United States signed to become part of that group as well as the GATT.

    As for imports of actual counterfiets or products the United States has reason to believe will violate US copyright or patent laws once landed. the US has every right to tell US based payment processors not to do buisness with the selling web site, at least as far as phyiscal copies and coutnerfiets are concerned. With respect to electronic files that are perfectly legal in the country of origin I tend to feel that they're on shaky ground as that couunty could insist that the payment processors do honour the payment requests with appropriate penalties if they don't. Such orders from the United States are an attempt to impose their laws extraterrirorially which is a violation of soverienty someting most countries take very, very seriously. As does the United States.

    Before someone picks up the issue of kiddie porn and things related to it no advanced country would have any difficulty with doing exactly that themselves so that wasn't much of a problem. Places like Thailand where such things are going on aren't about to scream about it because, one way or another, it would harm their tourist trade. Best to shut up your yap about such things at times.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 9:42pm

    Re:

    I would be interested to hear a more detailed explanation of your position. Please expand on this:

    "Criminal infringement is a criminal matter."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 9:46pm

    Re:

    "Article I administrative law judges"

    How would you describe legislators? Or any other public servant? Is their job title relevant?

    You're implying that an entire branch of government is incapable of action.

     

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    rubberpants, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    Thanks for the reply. Just to be clear I don't support any of those measures I was simply trying to promote discussion.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 10:34pm

    Re:

    There is no rogue sites problem, there is and stupidity attitude problem in Washington and in some very small segments of society(i.e. entertainment industry).

    There is a real monopoly problem in that "content parasite owners" hold to much rights.

    Anyone should be able to "buy" something and use it to create a business or just for a hobby, if someone buys DVDs they should be able to rent it to anyone they like, they should be able to create services online without having to pay others to do so.

    Also anybody not doing the work should not get paid, people playing cover songs in bars and others places should not have to pay idiots who believe they have rights over the hard work of others, why is that someone who do all the work needs to pay someone that doesn't show up to entertain the public?

    Copyright should die.
    Everyone who loves freedom should pirate everything and don't give those other parasites called content owners a dime.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2011 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    How would you deal with the "pirates" then?

    That should be good.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 3:52am

    Re:

    This isn't the type of trade that the ITC typically deals with: http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/about_usitc.htm


    From that document: "The Commission also adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights."

    Sounds like it covers *exactly* the issue at hand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 4:21am

    So if I'm a pirate, I'll simply register my site in the most lax country on earth, sit back in the comfort of my home in another and laugh all the way too the bank. Great solution!!! Tell me how Vanuatu is going to deal with pirate sites registered there with servers based in Eastern Europe? This is laughable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re:

    So a download or a stream falls under the definition of an import? Does that now mean that countries are subject to economic sanctions for failing to stop the "export" of infringing content?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're right, digital media never transfers between countries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Re:

    if you were a pirate, you would be somewhere off the coast of Somalia on the high seas.

    if you want to create an online site where you yourself (and not your users) want to infringe on copyright, then go ahead. Not sure how much money you will make. The available numbers i have seen are very low (~90K gross over 5 years).

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    Actually IP is the last thing we have in the states, a sizable chunk of manufacturing has moved overseas. There has been a push for about ten years, to use IP to protect the profits of large US corporations. The problem is, without the manufacturing and people that actually build things, you slowly lose the ability to create new things and be competitive. As can be seen by the rise of south korea, and china, and the loss of leadership of the US.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    You're welcome. I sort of guessed that but I didn't know so I replied as if replying to someone supporting such actions.

    It's interesting, at times, to realize how little most people know about how deeply the Internet is entwined into our economy, trade. how we communicate with each other and live with each other these days and how damaging what seems like an "easy" solution like DNS blocking can be when the result is that it does something unexpected.

    Nor are any of the proposed solutions you outlined workable in the short or long term tempting as they may be completely outside of what they'd do the the competitive position of the United States in relation to the rest of the world not to mention the security of the United States (and by extension my country -- Canada) would be seriously compromised.

    In a perfect world everyone would respect copyright. It's not a perfect world. Nor, as I said, are there independent studies that show the content industry is really suffering the loss of actual sales simply from piracy.

    The content industry had a collective hissy fit first at open reel audio tape being sold to consumers, then cassettes, then recordable CDs (and we Canadians DO pay a tax on blanks to "support the artists") then piracy and on it goes. Every time there's a decline in profits there is something, anything, that they blame other than themselves and the products they produce and offer to consumers.

    A consumer revolt is the last thing they can see. But a constant diet of cultural gruel will cause that.

    As a sideline, Boomers like me are getting older and aren't buying songs, CDs, DVDs in the gobs we used to. Part of that is aging, part of that is we have better things to do that waste time with yet another movie remake of a bad TV show (though I am waiting till Hollywood rediscovers Mr Ed and My Favorite Martian and remakes them on tv or as a movie). Things older people do like garden, age, shave and spend much more time with the doctor than either we or the doctor would like.

    I did think I should add my technical and trade/professional background so that people would know that I'm simply not blowing steam out my ears. (Though there are times when steam does escape there when I read comments by IP purists who seem to have no legal, economics or technical background but do have rage.)

    For my part, thanks for trying to promote discussion. I hope, in my small way, I've contributed to that.

     

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  42.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    This isn't the type of trade that the ITC typically deals with:

    In fact, it is exactly the type of trade that the ITC typically deals with:
    Section 337 investigations conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission most often involve claims regarding intellectual property rights, including allegations of patent infringement and trademark infringement by imported goods. Both utility and design patents, as well as registered and common law trademarks, may be asserted in these investigations. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as infringement of registered copyrights, mask works or boat hull designs, misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress, passing off, and false advertising, may also be asserted.
    - http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property/index.htm

    The trade remedy law that ITC enforces

    ...you'll notice, includes cease-and-desist orders and exclusion orders. The proposed bill, linked above, would add the ability to "compel financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services to cease providing financial and advertising services to the foreign website." Exactly the type of actions that SOPA and PROTECT IP supporters claim they want.

    I'm not sure I see how a few Article I administrative law judges in Washington, D.C. will solve the rogue sites problem, no matter what authority they're given.

    I'm not sure how any government agency will solve the "rogue sites problem."

    But, since they're the agency that always has been tasked with such problems, I don't see why they shouldn't continue to do their job.

     

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    Karl (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So a download or a stream falls under the definition of an import?

    That is what supporters of SOPA and PROTECT IP are claiming, yes.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    Contrary to popular myth most so-called pirate sites aren't operated for profit. In fact, most of them are so low key that they're below the radar except to those most interested in what they might have.

    This is in stark contrast with Warez sites which are high profile, often operated by criminals, are as dangerous as all get out and I wouldn't unzip a single file downloaded from then unless I could completely sandbox them first and, even then, only to get a peek at what they were trying to infect my machine with.

    As for dealing with domain names registered to Vanatu and how they deal with servers in eastern Europe you do that the same way you do now. An TCP/IP Whois. That will tell you where the server is, who the ISP is that the server is connected to and a host of other information. A lot of it public, by design.

    Next question?

     

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    Karl (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 10:20am

    The devil is in the details

    First of all, this seems like a much saner proposition than either PROTECT IP or SOPA, both of which are abhorrent.

    But, of course, the devil is in the details, and since this is presently just a proposed framework, there aren't any details to comment on.

    So, I'd like to offer my opinion on what should and should not be in any bill targeting "rogue sites."

    - Immediate ex parte actions cannot be allowed. No action against the site should be taken until the site has been given a reasonable amount of time to address the complaints. If they have not replied within that time, of course, then ex parte actions may be appropriate; but if this is allowed, the time frame for a reply absolutely must be reasonable for the accused site.

    - In rem actions cannot cross territorial boundaries. They should only be allowed against items that exist exclusively inside U.S. jurisdiction (unlike, say, domain names, which are global in scope).

    - Voluntary adherence to 17 USC 512 should be a defence (and in fact, many foreign sites do voluntarily comply with it, despite the fact that it's a U.S. law). Evidence that the site did not comply must require that the site did so knowingly and willingly.

    - Proof must be shown that the site actually has, or willfully intends to, ship goods into the U.S., or provide services specifically to U.S. citizens.

    - Every requested action against a website must require a specific review process, to ensure compliance with the First Amendment rights of any U.S. citizens using the site. This must include a fair use analysis of the infringing material, and an analysis of whether the site that hosts the content is also a forum for protected expression. This process must occur before any action whatsoever is taken against the site.

    - Obeying the law in the site's home jurisdiction must be a defense against advertiser and financial transaction provider blacklists. (Obviously, the defense could not apply to physical goods shipped into the U.S.)

    - Raising a defence must never require consent to be sued within the U.S., like it is in SOPA.

    - A private right of action should never even be considered. This "solution" would cause more damage than piracy itself ever could.

    - No DNS blocking. However, requiring U.S. ISP's to cease servicing the sites is acceptable - provided they're not the only ones allowed to provide the service globally. So, for example, you could require GoDaddy to cease hosting a site, but not prevent a foreign site from registering a .com gTLD using a webhost in their home country.

    - The penalties for false accusation should be severe. If a rights holder requests an action under this law, and it is found that the site was not a "rogue site," the rights holder must be automatically held liable for all damages to the accused site as a result of the action. Ideally, no defense should be permitted. But if a defence is permitted, the burden of proof must be on the rights holder to prove that it acted in good faith.

    - In any case, the wrongly accused site must be compensated for its economic losses; if not by the rights holder, then by the government itself.

    - Any U.S. entity that is issued an injunction (advertisers, financial services providers, webhosts, etc) should also be allowed to raise a defence. And again, if the site is found not to be a "rogue site," then the economic losses to those entities must also be compensated - ideally by the rights holder, or by the government if necessary.

    - Obviously, the usual caveats apply: savings clauses, requirements that compliance not be technologically burdensome, etc.

    Furthermore, as a condition of this bill being brought to comittee, representatives and trade organizations from any U.S. party that would be subject to injunctions (such as financial service providers, webhosts, advertisers, etc) must be asked to provide input into the bill's details. None of this "meeting behind closed doors with rights holders only" crap.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re:

    From that document: "The Commission also adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights."

    Sounds like it covers *exactly* the issue at hand.


    Imports, as in bulk goods coming into a port subject to federal trade regulations, quotas, tariffs, agreements, etc. I'm sure the ALJ judges at the ITC could quite easily decide whether a website is devoted to counterfeiting and piracy, though.

    My concerns are that the process of going through the ITC would be too slow, and limiting the action to one court in D.C. is not convenient for plaintiffs.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re:

    How would you describe legislators? Or any other public servant? Is their job title relevant?

    You're implying that an entire branch of government is incapable of action.


    Not at all. My concern is that the problem is too big to limit to one court in D.C. that only has a handful of judges. While that arrangement might be workable for big fish, the little guy would effectively have no remedy.

     

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  48.  
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    Mole Pirate, Dec 2nd, 2011 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Justice has and will always be slow, we all have to accept that, why can't you?

    Why should anybody be granted a special pass from due diligence and proper procedures that are safeguards against abuse?

    Answer nobody should be granted such powers it will end up in corruption and abuse.

    If the law is too slow find other ways to deal with your problem that doesn't involve eroding civil liberties or threatening the foundations of the country.

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do you assume that if the case is handled by the ITC it will be the paragon of "due diligence and proper procedures," but if it happens in a federal district court it will be unconstitutional? That makes no sense.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Re: Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    While I agree with you that IP is very important to the US economy.

    That said, isn't it interesting that the industry with the most to gain, one would think, of attempts to lock down on and protect IP is the one that's most against it. The tech industry. The one industry that almost totally and completely exists on so called intellectual property. You'd think they'd be all for it on the surface, wouldn't you?

    (The tech industry was none too thrilled by the notion of software patents when they were proposed, even Bill Gates was against it. And is still of two or more minds on the issue.)

    The SOPA/ProtectIP issue is full of ironies, isn't it? But if the very industry with the most, allegedly, to lose and contributes the most to the US Economy, certainly more than the 0.1% of GDP the entertainment industry does is the most set against it then there is something very,very wrong with the bill(s).

     

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

  51.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re:

    In fact, it is exactly the type of trade that the ITC typically deals with:

    If buying fake NFL jerseys and downloading illicit mp3's over the internet was already the "type of trade the ITC typically deals with," then there would be no need to change the law--the ITC would already have jurisdiction. But obviously they're talking about changing the law so that the ITC would have jurisdiction.

    As I said to Mike above, the ITC, as the name suggests, deals in international trade. If I buy a fake NFL jersey from fakeNFLjersey.com located in Mexico, I'm not an importer subject to U.S. trade regulations, rules, tariffs, quotas, and agreements like NAFTA. Give me a break.

    Congress can certainly give the ITC authority, but don't pretend like this is what the ITC already does.

     

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  52.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Pirates and counterfeiters don't respect trade laws.

    Aye, matey, the buggers all walk the plank. Just come along here with Captain Highliner and ah'll show ya planks to walk on!

     

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

  53.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    NAFTA doesn't preclude laws in the importing country that forbid counterfeits. No trade agreement does. It's easier when countries like Canada have similar laws on an issue (counterfeits) than where they may differ (as you infer with Mexico though NAFTA does insist on alignment on these issues).

    Your fake NFL jersey is a physical object crossing a physical border the moment it does it's subject to the importing county's laws. If you try to resell the jersey once it's landed it's still a fake and subject to U.S. laws.

     

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  54.  
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    Curtis (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 10:47am

    tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

    Limiting these ridiculous laws to foreign sites is a HOAX just like the DMCA always has been.
    The FCC will regulate Internet wire communications after an Eighth Circuit appeal as demanded in United States Court.
    Has been pending for decision since Sept 19, 2011.
    Neeley v NameMedia Inc., et al (5:09-cv-05161)(11-2558)

    PDF APPELLANT BRIEF (56 pages)
    PDF APPELLEE BRIEF of NameMedia Inc (19 pages)
    PDF APPELLEE BRIEF of Google Inc (14 pages)
    PDF APPELLANT REPLY BRIEF (16 pages)

    Has been pending for decision since Sept 19, 2011.

    Dangerous law? All laws are dangerous to criminals.

     

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

  55.  
    icon
    Curtis (profile), Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Limiting these ridiculous laws to foreign sites is a HOAX just like the DMCA always has been.
    The FCC will regulate Internet wire communications after an Eighth Circuit appeal as demanded in United States Court.
    Has been pending for decision since Sept 19, 2011.
    Neeley v NameMedia Inc., et al (5:09-cv-05161)(11-2558)

    PDF APPELLANT BRIEF (56 pages)
    PDF APPELLEE BRIEF of NameMedia Inc (19 pages)
    PDF APPELLEE BRIEF of Google Inc (14 pages)
    PDF APPELLANT REPLY BRIEF (16 pages)

    Has been pending for decision since Sept 19, 2011.

    Dangerous law? All laws are dangerous to criminals.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 5:16pm

    We don't need an alternative, we need to get rid of IP law!

     

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

  57.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If buying fake NFL jerseys and downloading illicit mp3's over the internet was already the "type of trade the ITC typically deals with," then there would be no need to change the law

    If those companies are foreign companies, it already is the type of trade the ITC typically deals with. They are the ones in charge of "blacklisting" foreign businesses who infringe on U.S. IP laws, right now.

    This bill would not "change the law" at all. It would simply grant them a lot more power than what they already have.

    You know who is not in charge of those things? The Attorney General. That office's job is to deal with domestic infringement of intellectual property.

    It is SOPA and PROTECT IP that are trying to change the law.

    If I buy a fake NFL jersey from fakeNFLjersey.com located in Mexico, I'm not an importer subject to U.S. trade regulations, rules, tariffs, quotas, and agreements like NAFTA.

    The site would be the importer, so they would be subject to U.S. trade regulations, rules, tariffs, quotas, and agreements like NAFTA.

    And since they are a foreign company, it would be international trade. I honestly don't know how you're not getting this.

     

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  58.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re:

    So if I'm a pirate, I'll simply register my site in the most lax country on earth, sit back in the comfort of my home in another and laugh all the way too the bank.

    So if I'm a rights holder, and I sue someone in their own country and lose, I'll simply sue them in the most IP-restrictive country on Earth, sit back in the comfort of my home in another and laugh all the way to the bank.

    That is precisely what PROTECT IP and SOPA hope to accomplish.

    Incidentally, in your hypothetical scenario, your website would be liable under the laws of that lax country, and you would be personally liable in your home in another. Essentially, you would be doubling your chances of being caught.

     

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

  59.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The site would be the importer, so they would be subject to U.S. trade regulations, rules, tariffs, quotas, and agreements like NAFTA.

    And since they are a foreign company, it would be international trade. I honestly don't know how you're not getting this.


    If a company is in Mexico and they ship goods to the U.S., that Mexican company is not an importer. They're an exporter. Sheesh.

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If a company is in Mexico and they ship goods to the U.S., that Mexican company is not an importer. They're an exporter. Sheesh.

    From their standpoint, they would be an exporter; from the standpoint of the U.S., an importer.

    But that's a quibble. Under the law as it stands right now, it would be ITC's job to deal with the company itself - issue exclusion orders (to ICE), cease-and-desist orders, etc.

    It is currently not the job of the A.G., or ICE, to issue those exclusion orders, or target the foreign businesses themselves.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Incidentally:

    If a company is in Mexico and they ship goods to the U.S.,

    ...then the U.S. laws they have broken are Section 337 of the Tariff Act, as finalized in 19 U.S.C. 1337.

    You'll notice that it is the ITC, not ICE or the attorney general, that is in charge of investigating these allegations.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do you assume that if the case is handled by the ITC it will be the paragon of "due diligence and proper procedures," but if it happens in a federal district court it will be unconstitutional?

    Under SOPA and PROTECT IP, it would not be handled in a federal district court. The private right of action, as written, means the courts would not be involved at all if the rights holders choose.

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 9:07am

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

    From their standpoint, they would be an exporter; from the standpoint of the U.S., an importer.

    If the person in Mexico shipping the goods to the U.S. is the importer, then who is the person they're shipping the goods to that's in the U.S.? You're not making any sense.

     

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

  64.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 9:12am

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

    Sigh. You might want to look at what Customs and Border Protection does. Believe it or not, law enforcement actually enforces the law at the border--without reference necessarily to the ITC.

    Sorry, Karl, but I know you're not an authority on international trade law. Had you even heard of the ITC before yesterday? I hadn't.

     

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

  65.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 9:14am

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

    Huh? Text please.

     

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

  66.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

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

    Huh? Text please.

    Sorry, I was thinking of SOPA. PROTECT IP does require that rights holders go before the court in order to blacklist websites. SOPA, however, does not.

    The relevant text is in Sec. 103.

    First of all, note in 103(a)(1) that a site does not have to be a foreign site, merely "U.S.-directed." Also note in 103(a)(1)(B)(i) that you merely have to offer "services in a manner that engages in, enables, or facilitates" copyright infringement; or you take "deliberate actions to avoid confirming a high probability" if infringement on your site. So, in theory, we could be talking about Dropbox, eBay, or YouTube (especially with the "criminal streaming" provisions in Title II).

    Now, then. 103(b) is the relevant section that allows "a holder of an intellectual property right" to blacklist sites it doesn't like. Obviously modeled after the DMCA, it would require advertisers and payment processors to stop doing business with any site, within 5 days, that is listed in a takedown notice. No warrants are required, and nobody from any part of the justice system need be involved. All that is required is that the rights holder fire off a notice to their designated agents.

    It is, of course, possible to file a counter-notification. Unfortunately, if you are a foreign site, this requires consent to be sued within U.S. jurisdiction [103(c)(5)(A)(ii)]. Also, there is nothing in the bill that requires the advertisers or payment processors to actually stop blacklisting them once they receive a counter-notice. If they do not comply, they can get sued themselves [103(d)(4)(B)]; if they don't stop the blacklist, they are absolved of any liability [103(d)(5)(B)].

    All that happens prior to any court seeing anything. Once a counter-notice is filed, rights holders can take in personam actions against the site operators [103(c)(1)], or in rem actions against the websites or domain names themselves [103(c)(2)]. With the approval of the court, they may issue another round of blacklists [103(d)], and may also issue TRO's and injunctions against the domain names themselves to "to cease and desist from undertaking any further activity" [103(c)(5)]. All of this happens ex parte, with only notice being required [103(c)(3)]. (All of this also happens in PROTECT IP, by the way.)

    I'll stop for now. It's best that you read the bill itself; there's a lot of terrible things in it, this is only scratching the surface.

     

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

  67.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 2:18pm

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

    Sorry, Karl, but I know you're not an authority on international trade law. Had you even heard of the ITC before yesterday? I hadn't.

    I'd heard of the ITC, but not much. (Only brief mentions back when NAFTA was being created.)

    And, no, I'm certainly no authority on international trade law. You know who might be, though? The Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness.

    That would be Ron Wyden.

     

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

  68.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 6:06pm

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

    I see what you meant. You had said the "private right of action, as written, means the courts would not be involved..." A private right of action means the right to bring a specific case to court, so obviously the courts are involved if you're talking about a right of action.

    You're talking about the notice-and-takedown scheme. I think that part of SOPA is silly and obviously shouldn't be in the final draft. I think it's probably unconstitutional and definitely a bad idea. Other than that though, I generally like SOPA and PROTECT IP.

    This whole idea with the ITC seems silly to me. I just don't see the advantage of taking this out of the federal district courts. The discussion draft said something about not wanting magistrates who are unfamiliar with the internet from deciding these things. That's stupid. A 12-year-old can tell you whether a website is dedicated to infringement or not.

     

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  69.  
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    average_joe (profile), Dec 4th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

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

    We'll see what details he comes up with.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 5th, 2011 @ 7:31am

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

    A private right of action means the right to bring a specific case to court, so obviously the courts are involved if you're talking about a right of action.

    Sorry. When most people talk about the bills, the "private right of action" means "actions that can be taken by private individuals." Your right though, the phrase is technically incorrect.

    I think that part of SOPA is silly and obviously shouldn't be in the final draft.

    This is the final draft. It's out of committee, now it can only be voted on.

    I generally like SOPA and PROTECT IP.

    You'll forgive me if your approval does not exactly inspire confidence.

    I wrote a (too-lengthy) comment about the things I believe must be in the bill in order for it to be constitutional (and fair). Keep in mind that most of what I wrote is not in either bill.

    A 12-year-old can tell you whether a website is dedicated to infringement or not.

    You must be trolling for outrage here, because it's obvious that everyone disagrees/em> on what "dedicated to infringement" means. Some believe that it applies to content-neutral torrent search engines; ICE believes it applies to music blogs that post authorized content; Viacom believes it applies to YouTube; and nearly everyone in the entertainment industry seems to believe it applies to Google.

     

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  71.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 5th, 2011 @ 7:31am

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

    (Oops, sorry about the malformed HTML.)

     

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

  72.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 5th, 2011 @ 8:48am

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

    This is the final draft. It's out of committee, now it can only be voted on.

    And yet a markup of the bill is scheduled for Dec. 15th. Do you actually ever know what you're talking about, Karl?

    You'll forgive me if your approval does not exactly inspire confidence. I wrote a (too-lengthy) comment about the things I believe must be in the bill in order for it to be constitutional (and fair). Keep in mind that most of what I wrote is not in either bill.

    I think I read the post you're referring to. The fact that you have absolutely no legal training is quite obvious. You attempting constitutional analysis of anything is hilarious. Sorry to sound mean, but your cluelessness is epic when it comes to these things. No amount of pointing out how incredibly wrong you are seems to dissuade you, though. You keep on talking like you are an expert.

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 5th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re:

    One debbil in the details here. If you sue in the most IP loving court in the US, West Texas Federal District court and win then good on you.

    If I live in said lax country or have had someone there take care of the registration for me, register it in their name and so on then the court ruling means all of nothing to me. There's no paper trail to me. (Or bit trail, if you like.)

    The United States can't enforce a court order outside the USA than it can make another country "obey" its laws regarding copyright and all that good stuff. So unless that lax country suddenly "gets religion" about the USA's notions about copyrights the operation in the lax country is perfectly safe. Which is exactly where SOPA/IP Protect fall apart.

    But for now the discussion is theoretical except that what's happening now will continue to happen regardless.

    It goes round and round in circles, just like the discussion here, and the only loser is the United States which has just passed a censorship law, something I suspect most Americans would find abhorrent. And a law which has every capacity to cripple it's world leading tech industry.

    An industry which creates more wealth and jobs on several orders of magnitude taken to the power of 100 than the entertainment industry does and is more reliant on copyright than the entertainment industry is or can ever be. The latter being the one funding this economic and social bit of lunacy.

     

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

  74.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 5th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    Re: tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

    Some laws are dangerous to law abiding citizens as well and those are what are called bad laws, tyranny, dictatorship, censorship or whatever....take your pick or add one of your own.

    Does that sound rather like what the 13 colonies rebelled against and wrote the US Constitution to, in part, protect and defend their new republic from just that kind of junk?

    Ad hominems like "All laws are dangerous to criminals" are tossed about when the person in favour of bad law has no leg left to stand on. Welcome to that club.

     

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

  75.  
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    Karl (profile), Dec 5th, 2011 @ 8:20pm

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

    And yet a markup of the bill is scheduled for Dec. 15th.

    D'oh! Once again, I was thinking of PROTECT IP, not SOPA. It's been a long couple of weeks.

    How could I forget that? I should remember, because that was when the RIAA outright admitted that they were the ones who were actually writing the bill.

    I think I read the post you're referring to.

    You probably did, since it's a comment to this very story. Here's a link to it, if you're curious.

    Obviously, not all of that is required for the law to be constitutional; but it is, in my opinion, all required in order for the bill to be fair.

    Sorry to sound mean, but your cluelessness is epic when it comes to these things.

    Yeah, it's kind of like when I said Righthaven was not an owner of the copyrights they were suing over, and you claimed they were. That was really clueless of me.

    You keep on talking like you are an expert.

    Right back atcha, buddy.

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    KnobNB, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re: The International Trade Commission!!!

    Absolutely none of it, sorry but all of this is a gross misusage of government power. All of it destorys the free and unburdened nature of the internet.

     

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


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