Publishers Can't Just Blame Ad Network For Having Ads On A Site That Links To Infringing Content

from the properly-applying-liability dept

As we've seen in some cases, there is a belief among some that many of the worst provisions in SOPA already exist under US copyright law. The latest story involves publishers Elsevier and John Wiley going after ad networks Chitika and Clicksor, because their ads showed up on a site that linked to (but did not host) some content that allegedly infringed. We mentioned this case earlier in the year, but the latest ruling is at least a slight limit on this attempt at what appears to be fourth party liability, rather than third party liability. Note the distance. Someone puts up a website with some infringing content. Someone else links to that content. Someone else provides advertising on that site that links... and the copyright holder claims the advertiser is liable? Huh?

The ruling does go against the publishers here, but only because they failed to first send a notice alerting Chitika, so the court said that Chitika didn't know that the content was infringing:
Plaintiffs do not allege facts showing that Chitika was familiar with the content of the Pharmatext website, or knew (or had reason to know) that such content was infringing. Thus, plaintiffs fail to support with plausible facts their conclusory allegations that Chitika “must have had knowledge” of the alleged infringement of plaintiffs’ books...and that Chitika “plac[ed] ads on the Pharmatext site because [it] believe[d] that Pharmatext users – in other words, people seeking to obtain pirated copies of copyrighted books – are a target audience for particular advertisers.”
Of course, as Eric Goldman notes in his analysis (linked above), this suggests that if Elsevier had sent notice, then it might have a claim... and suddenly we're back in SOPA territory, since that has a notice provision for advertisers.

There is also some discussion in the case of whether or not US jurisdiction is proper, seeing as the site was directed at users in India. Elsevier claimed that because its investigators downloaded the content in the US, that means it's proper to apply US laws, but the court isn't entirely sure of that:
While it appears that Chitika may eventually be entitled to judgment on this ground (that is, plaintiffs’ failure to allege any act of direct infringement occurring entirely within the United States), factual issues involving the structure of the Internet and the locus of the infringing activity remain (Where did the copying take place? Where are the third-party websites and servers, from which unauthorized copies of plaintiffs’ books were downloaded?). These issues preclude the granting of the motion on this ground.
Of course, even pre-SOPA, the Justice Department and ICE like to claim that any .com or .org is automatically subject to US jurisdiction. Either way, it's a reminder that even without SOPA or PIPA in place, the courts may be creating very similar caselaw anyway. That's pretty scary.

Especially when it comes to such fourth party, or tertiary liability, since it seems positively crazy to think that someone so disconnected from any law breaking might be legally liable for it. Again, as Goldman notes:
Notice that this court totally sidestepped (or missed?) the tertiary liability aspect of this case--that Chitika was a support provider to a site that only provided links to allegedly infringing files. To me, it would be entirely appropriate for the court to say that any tertiary player categorically lacks the ability to materially contribute to infringing activity. Otherwise, once we start doing a dragnet for service providers to service providers to infringers, the universe of potential defendants grows to a ridiculous size.
If anything this is why we should be creating further safe harbors for parties, not decimating them with things like SOPA and PIPA.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    What's missing from your article is a discussion of the other remedies that have been ordered by courts that are identical the those claimed to "break the internet". It's also noteworthy that these orders were pursuant to ex part proceedings.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter:

    "For example, in November, one judge in a case involving Chanel luxury products took action against hundreds of websites being used to sell knock-off handbags, wallets, shoes, and other items. Of particular note, the judge's order not only hit the websites themselves, but according to the Technology & Marketing Law Blog, also hit a host of tech companies that weren't parties to the action. GoDaddy was ordered to change registration info. And services like Google, Facebook, Bing, and Twitter were told to "de-index and/or remove [the domain names] from any search results page."

    In other words, the websites were eradicated from ever having existed."


    So if the "break the Internet" claims are true, why is my Internet still working?

    The bottom line is that you're going to get SOPA either from the courts or from Congress. Opponents would be wise to start dealing on a SOPA they can live with because as various court cases mount, so does the body of precedent.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    I think a better written bill would go a long ways towards achieving the goals desired and not "break the Internet" or piss off hundreds of ligament companies.

    In other words, as you so keenly proved in your example / verbiage, this bill is poorly written and will affect many people who have no involvement in the originating case.

    Thank you for so succinctly explaining it.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Hmmm...given the choices you lay out, I'd rather take the one that offers due process in a court of law as guaranteed by the Constitution. Can you see the difference?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    I think a better written bill would go a long ways towards achieving the goals desired and not "break the Internet" or piss off hundreds of ligament companies.

    In other words, as you so keenly proved in your example / verbiage, this bill is poorly written and will affect many people who have no involvement in the originating case.

    Thank you for so succinctly explaining it.


    About the only thing you'll get is a restriction to foreign websites. The cast of characters who will have skin in the game will be the same as the ones discussed in my post and the article above.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    As written, this bill is good example of legislation by special interests. While it makes them very happy, the rest of us, who also have some skin in the game, are none too pleased with the overly broad application of the law, decimating legitimate websites.

    As you can guess, by the multiple discussions on this blog, many thoughtful and intelligent people have read the bill and have pointed out it's flaws. It's really too bad that feedback is unwelcome and unwanted in making this bill something we all could live with.

    So I will continue to inform my friends and family about the far reaching affects of this bill.

    Also, just for the politicians out there that read this blog, I will remember who voted for this and I promise them, I will be educating friends and family on this too.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    I can't wait for 5th and 6th party liability suits. The power company supplies power for the ad agency. OMG, companies like Ford provide transportation so these infringement supports can get to work! City water provides them with clean drinking water... where does it end?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Re:

    "The bottom line is that you're going to get SOPA either from the courts or from Congress. Opponents would be wise to start dealing on a SOPA they can live with because as various court cases mount, so does the body of precedent."

    I'm sorry, but we can't take your word for anything. You sir or ma'am are a fibber. How so you ask? Well, wasn't it just last week that you (and I can't be certain it was you but I'll lay the words at your feet anyway) were saying that we'd all be crying because SOPA was a sure definitely going to be passed and sucks for you thieves come this time next week and I can't wait to see you all crying? I believe it was. And even if it wasn't you, it was someone who thinks just like you. Obviously, you can't be trusted/believed.

    "So if the "break the Internet" claims are true, why is my Internet still working?"

    Simple, mass DNS changes haven't been put into effect yet. The example you cited is but one. Now imagine such a thing on a massive scale, at that point, you would be affected. Regardless of what you believe.

    Which to be honest, why bother pointing these things out? You'll go on saying and believing what you want regardless of all the irrefutable proof presented to you.

    It'd be like me explaining as simply as possible that 2+2=4. Then having teachers, mathematicians, etc explaining the same thing. At the end of which you say, "No, it doesn't."

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Right now payment processors an ad networks have voluntary procedures to suspend accounts. Judicial orders to payment processors, ad networks, ISP's and search engines under SOPA have to be made under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; just as the orders in the cases discussed above.

    Trying reading the actual bill.

     

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  9.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    No, he cannot see the difference. Actually, he probably can, but he prefers to be a liar and apologist shill for the copyright maximalists. Regardless of whatever drivel he chooses to spew, there will always be ways found around this bullshit, and he and his fellow losers will be standing around in slack-jawed amazement at that, while frothing at the lips and squealing like pigs. Screw him and all of his friends, should he actually have any.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re:

    "The bottom line is that you're going to get SOPA either from the courts or from Congress. Opponents would be wise to start dealing on a SOPA they can live with because as various court cases mount, so does the body of precedent."

    I'm sorry, but we can't take your word for anything. You sir or ma'am are a fibber. How so you ask? Well, wasn't it just last week that you (and I can't be certain it was you but I'll lay the words at your feet anyway) were saying that we'd all be crying because SOPA was a sure definitely going to be passed and sucks for you thieves come this time next week and I can't wait to see you all crying? I believe it was. And even if it wasn't you, it was someone who thinks just like you. Obviously, you can't be trusted/believed.

    Sorry, wrong guy. I think the bill will pass after a manager's amendment. My point is that whether or not it passes, the SOPA remedies are being implemented by the courts and will continue to be at an accelerated rate.

    "So if the "break the Internet" claims are true, why is my Internet still working?"

    Simple, mass DNS changes haven't been put into effect yet. The example you cited is but one. Now imagine such a thing on a massive scale, at that point, you would be affected. Regardless of what you believe.

    So it's a scale thing? OK. Well it appears that perhaps the internet will only be broken for those desperate freeloaders who will migrate to alternate DNS systems. So if they chose to use those alternate systems and then get their identity stolen or otherwise scammed while looking to unlawfully download free music, whose problem is that? Nobody is forcing them to use an alternate DNS.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Excellent analysis of the facts and conclusions!!

    No one thinks this is a magic bullet. The target is the soft middle. People who infringe because it's so easy and almost completely free of consequences. You and the other freeloaders will probably be undeterred.... until VPN and encryption are put on the table as part of the next cyber-security/terrorism bill that is.

     

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  12.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "So if they chose to use those alternate systems and then get their identity stolen or otherwise scammed while looking to unlawfully download free music, whose problem is that?"

    You have no understanding of the technology involved, you have no idea how it will be broken. Anything you say can and should be ignored by everyone.

     

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  13.  
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    AJ (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Re:

    "About the only thing you'll get is a restriction to foreign websites. "

    Wrong, these restrictions have already been routed around, even before any law has been passed...

    http://freeeedom.info/mafiaafire_MIRROR/

    That's the easy one. I could provide you with a grocery list of work arounds if I thought it would do any good....

    And before you say "it will stop the casual inf ringer".. google "How to get around DNS blocking"...

    Even a 10 year old can figure it out...

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    "So if they chose to use those alternate systems and then get their identity stolen or otherwise scammed while looking to unlawfully download free music, whose problem is that?"

    You have no understanding of the technology involved, you have no idea how it will be broken. Anything you say can and should be ignored by everyone.


    I am not a tech guy. I'm simply responding to the public arguments of the piracy apologists and freeloaders. Anti-circumvention measures are covered in SOPA and are broadly defined. As stated elsewhere, this bill won't do much to stop hardcore freeloaders like yourself, so there's no need for the nerd rage.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I was interested in what you had to say until the name calling. I am not a "desperate freeloader" and feel that name calling is the resort of those that have noting valuable to say.

    Continue to make respectful and reasoned comments and I'll do the same (Or the best that I can anyway.) to reply to you.

    I suspect that many people, just as I will admit to, want an open and free Internet. If I do chose to infringe, then punish me as appropriate and be done with it. (BTW how is it that an "infringer" can spend more time locked up or pay more in restitution than a serial killer?)

    Locking up or blocking parts of the world that Big Media deems is unacceptable is not a solution. Tell you what, lets make this something we can all vote on? As I no longer trust any Governmental Representative, let the people have a say in this. After all, Big Media cannot afford to provide incentives to us all.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "So it's a scale thing? OK. Well it appears that perhaps the internet will only be broken for those desperate freeloaders who will migrate to alternate DNS systems. So if they chose to use those alternate systems and then get their identity stolen or otherwise scammed while looking to unlawfully download free music, whose problem is that? Nobody is forcing them to use an alternate DNS."

    It's CURRENTLY a scale thing, per your ONE example.

    Obviously, you have no idea of how the whole DNS thing works, which is why you're making such terrible and incorrect statements. You think "only freeloaders" will be affected by this, that's your first mistake. Your second mistake is "if I'm not affected, why should I care". At which point, you're no longer to be taken seriously but patted on the head and then ignored.

    As for "nobody is forcing them to use an alternate DNS", that's beyond false. If DNS changes are made, per SOPA, then the U.S. government would be forcing people to adapt alternate DNS. This includes people in other countries possibly being forced to adapt and move to alternate DNS systems because of U.S. government changes. As I said, you seem to be under the mistaken belief that only a particular group will be affected, as has been noted by experts, this is completely untrue. Which shoots down anything/everything you said.

    Another incorrect point is "whose problem is that". It's everyone problem. Not just the "freeloaders" (that you seem to think will only be affected). You're the type of person who ignores everything because you think it doesn't affect you, then when it does you complain.

    Get off your high horse, open your eyes, overlook your own personal bias, and pay attention to what ACTUAL experts are saying. Just because someone is against something doesn't mean they support piracy/file sharing. In fact, it's possible to be against SOPA AND against piracy/file sharing at the same time. I'll take the experts words/facts/evidence over yours any day of the week. I'll take those same people's words and assertions over the content industry who can't be believed on anything. Claims that the sky is falling are hard to take seriously when the words "record breaking profits" are used yearly.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    Name calling? Really? Is this the best you can do?

    Stick to rational conversations. You seem to be able to pull them off when you want to.

     

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  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    "So if the "break the Internet" claims are true, why is my Internet still working?"

    Your internet is still working because DNS has not yet been fractured into multiple conflicting systems.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    +1

    "In fact, it's possible to be against SOPA AND against piracy/file sharing at the same time. I'll take the experts words/facts/evidence over yours any day of the week. I'll take those same people's words and assertions over the content industry who can't be believed on anything. Claims that the sky is falling are hard to take seriously when the words "record breaking profits" are used yearly."

     

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  20.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Yes, Mike, the Internet enables symbiotic infringement.

    But whoever pays the freight and who collects money off infringing material is still logically at fault. -- And by the way, you keep relying on statute, where in common law and common sense, just because a crime is split up into parts doesn't make it legal.

    So there's a technicality that needs put in place: notifying adverisers / advertising agency, and then those "fourth parties" to infringement are informed and potentially liable.. That seems fair. Cut off the money is a good tactic.

    But if will ignorance by advertiser / agency becomes simply another dodge by avoiding being informed? Then SOPA is needed to simplify the process for the OWNER of the content.

    Multiple cooperating thieves requires new measures in law.

     

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  21.  
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    I-Blz, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re:

    Hey, guess what? Instead of saying NEITHER will break the internet, how about saying BOTH will break the internet, eh? Because, under these bills, the internet, in its entirety, is in danger of being attacked by trigger-happy lawyers, one way or another. Your fan site has official pictures? Gone. You sell garage kits and kitbashes for a living? To bad. One of the thousands of registered users of your site (ala Facebook, Google+, Youtube) posted a video of their baby dancing with our song in the background? Adorable, but now your entire website, along with everyone else's membership to it, is now eradicated unless you can say that you don't deserve litigation. Also notice: unless YOU say you don't deserve litigation. As in, guilty-until-proven-innocent, the exact opposite of THAT DOCUMENT THAT CONTAINS OUR RIGHTS AS CITIZENS. (Btw, only the first and last sentences were supposed to be condescending in any way, shape, or form. Cheers!)

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re:

    "I am not a tech guy. I'm simply responding to the public arguments of the piracy apologists and freeloaders. Anti-circumvention measures are covered in SOPA and are broadly defined. As stated elsewhere, this bill won't do much to stop hardcore freeloaders like yourself, so there's no need for the nerd rage."

    I love how you started the comment. "I am not a tech guy." So by your own words, you have no idea what you're talking about, yet you claim the internet won't be broken. At that point, you should just stop.

    The public arguments aren't made by piracy apologists and freeloaders, you're overlooking various experts and scholars and lawyers words on the issue. Most of whom have said they have no problem with a bill to stop piracy, as long as it's done in a manner that will work and not hinder innovation or free speech. This bill is not written as such.

    As I pointed out already, just ignore the "freeloader" thing and focus on the experts who are saying this bill is (to put it bluntly) "f*cked up". That alone is enough, or should be enough, to make you stop and think.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Locking up or blocking parts of the world that Big Media deems is unacceptable is not a solution.

    It's only the part of the world that is stealing US product.

    Tell you what, lets make this something we can all vote on?

    Sure. As soon as SOPA passes I'll get right on passing a Constitutional amendment that allows every American citizen to vote on the passage of every single bill before it gets signed into law.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re:

    "I am not a tech guy. I'm simply responding to the public arguments of the piracy apologists and freeloaders. Anti-circumvention measures are covered in SOPA and are broadly defined. As stated elsewhere, this bill won't do much to stop hardcore freeloaders like yourself, so there's no need for the nerd rage."

    I love how you started the comment. "I am not a tech guy." So by your own words, you have no idea what you're talking about, yet you claim the internet won't be broken. At that point, you should just stop.

    Well I have certainly spoken with tech guys that understand this and haven't gone "Chicken Little" like so many of you.

    The public arguments aren't made by piracy apologists and freeloaders, you're overlooking various experts and scholars and lawyers words on the issue. Most of whom have said they have no problem with a bill to stop piracy, as long as it's done in a manner that will work and not hinder innovation or free speech. This bill is not written as such

    There have been a parade of legal scholars including Floyd Abrams and the Attorneys General of nearly every state who've come out in support of the bill and/or given it a clean bill of First Amendment health. As far as the so-called innovators and entrepreneurs go; I heard the same bullshit when the DMCA was enacted. They've continued to innovate and grow jobs- although to a large extent creating low wage jobs in foreign countries and importing foreigners on work visas.

    As I pointed out already, just ignore the "freeloader" thing and focus on the experts who are saying this bill is (to put it bluntly) "f*cked up". That alone is enough, or should be enough, to make you stop and think.

     

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  25.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    PIRATES HAVE BROKEN THE INTERNET. They broke the TRUST.

    Copyright is the basic principle that whoever paid for content (in time / brains / money) OWNS the content.

    Society has long had that codified into law precisely because copying is always easier than creating from scratch. The level of "technology" doesn't matter.

    But you pirates here sometimes directly state that because you have a DVD recorder, you should be able to copy someone else's music and movies and distribute them to anyone. -- That's flatly criminal according to common law. Just because there aren't criminal penalties in statute doesn't make it non-criminal. Just because Mike and you guys come up with endless legalisms that get around the clear intent of copyright doesn't mean that you're operating legally. Just because thieves co-operate to split up the operation (for a particular legal loophole), doesn't mean they're operating legally or ethically.

    SO YES, you're all going to get SOPA. Even I will. (Some are misled by the hoopla and nerd rage here, when the few hundred Congress people are already in pocket. Still looks to be on rails, just as military detentions was.)

     

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  26.  
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    dcee (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm lost now, you say "infringe" then "stealing"...

    Are you confused, or trying to confuse?

    Who knows.

     

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  27.  
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    AJ (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    "The target is the soft middle. People who infringe because it's so easy and almost completely free of consequences. "

    LOL.. this isn't going to change.. a simply browser plugin has fixed this.

    "until VPN and encryption are put on the table as part of the next cyber-security/terrorism bill that is."

    Get rid of online commerce altogether? Good luck with that!

     

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  28.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    "I am not a tech guy."

    Given the complete lack of knowledge you've demonstrated just here in this thread about how any of the technology works, how many people use it for legal purposes, nor the actual consequences of what you call for, no shit...

    Maybe you should work out how it works in reality before you try legislating.

    "hardcore freeloaders like yourself"

    Ah, the us vs. them tactic, ignoring anything close to reality as long as you can dismiss the valid complaints of others with an insult. Don't you tire of that? Don't you want to actually engage in conversation above grade school level?

     

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  29.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Hmmm...

    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    "nerd rage"

    out_of_the_blue, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:36am

    "nerd rage"

    Is this a common phrase somewhere? Somewhat suspicious if not...

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re: PIRATES HAVE BROKEN THE INTERNET. They broke the TRUST.

    I understand your desire to have this bill. I think we all get it.

    I just don't want a loss of liberties and freedoms to protect a business type. Really that's what it boils down to.

    I feel that content producers deserve to get paid for their efforts but not at the loss of my or my children's freedoms.

    And before you call me any names, I do pay for the media I use. Always have. No matter how hard Big Media has made it for me to buy/pay for what I want. And they do make it unbelievably difficult.

     

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  31.  
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    Joseph Kranak (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    If Copyright infringement is theft

    Since copyright maximalists love to compare copyright infringement to theft, let's compare second party liability in copyright infringement to that in theft. If I go rob a bank at gunpoint is the gun store owner liable in any way? That would seem to me tantamount to second party liability. Well what about the gun manufacturer that sold the gun to the gun store that sold it to me? Third party liability. What about the company that sold the metal used to make the gun? It's hard to see liability at any level, in fact.

    Certainly there are some cases of second party liability, such as if some accomplice drives me to the bank robbery. But that's only if he is directly and complicity involved. If he's a cab driver, and I'm just a fare that he doesn't know is involved in robbery, then he has no liability, even though he could be said to be benefitting from the theft. And if I use public transportation to get to a bank robbery, the government running the transportation system will certainly face no liability.

    The question then is if neither the gun store owner nor the cab driver is liable for my bank robbery, why would youtube, or the advertisers that pay youtube?

     

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    The eejit (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And the US has a long and storied history of stealing from non-Americans, too! In fact, that was one of the founding principles of an independent America, alongside unfair taxation and the common people lacking a voice in how their country was run.

    But apparently history isn't important enough: only profits matter.

     

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  33.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Got a link to conversations?

    Because we have right here.

     

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  34.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re: Yes, Mike, the Internet enables symbiotic infringement.

    But whoever pays the freight and who collects money off infringing material is still logically at fault. -- And by the way, you keep relying on statute, where in common law and common sense, just because a crime is split up into parts doesn't make it legal.

    Wait, if we are using common sense for a basis of this discussion, your first sentence doesn't pass the sniff test.

    Yes, the one paying the freight might be liable, because they are legally responsible for the contents of the shipment. But, the part about "...who collects money off infringing material is still logically at fault." is crap. We don't hold USPS or Fedex or UPS liable because you shipped a kilo of coke to someone. And we certainly don't hold the independent contractor truck driver hauling your package for Fedex liable, even if they make money off of your illegal delivery.

     

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  35.  
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    rubberpants, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Re: PIRATES HAVE BROKEN THE INTERNET. They broke the TRUST.

    Yeah, it's illegal but how aggressive should be we in enforcing it?

    There has never been more content, higher quality, and higher profits in entrainment then there is right now. What more do you want?

    Speeding is illegal as well. Should we enforce it at all costs? No one would argue that. Why? Because we've accepted that some level will occur, that stopping it would require resources out of proportion to the benefits and would stifle transportation and commerce.

    SOPA is nothing but the fruits of rent-seeking middle-men giants that believe millions invested in lobbying congress to try and buy a more favorable business environment is worth a shot.

     

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  36.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:25am

    Re:

    It is, sadly. Apparently, "nerd rage" is for people who don't know how to Internet.

     

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  37.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re: If Copyright infringement is theft

    Because of FREEEEEEEE!

    (only half-sarcastic, it seems)

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So if those using 'colored' internet don't want to sit at the back of the bus, and instead want to sit anywhere on the bus with the rest of the 'non-colored' internet users, they shouldn't be allowed to, "Because it's the law"?

    It sure wasn't the law 5 years ago, just because it's easier for the corporate interests to change the law than their business model, doesn't mean that the rest of the 99% need to accept it.

    If the majority of the people are breaking the law (the 'soft middle' that was referred to), then perhaps it's the law and not the people that are the problem? No amount of enforcement or education is going to change what we all learned (or should have learned) as humans back in kindergarten (those of us not in the copyright/legal professions anyway), I'm only including the 'relevant' parts:

    Share everything.
    Play fair.
    Don't take things that aren't yours.

    Now some may claim that the third one of these 'supports' copyright, but note that it says "TAKE" not "SHARE"... Taking something from someone deprives them of having that something, sharing a copy of something with someone allows us both to have that something.

    The one that the corporate interests have forgotten is the "Play fair"... Buying laws that make the majority of your 'customers' criminals is not playing fair, so don't be surprised when your customers decide not to play fair with you. Most of us want to do what's right, but when we have 'wrong' done to us, our natural reaction is to do 'wrong' back to the one who did it to us. Since we don't have the power/funds as individuals to buy our own laws, how do most people 'wrong' the industry who has done them so wrong over the years? They share everything they can with everyone who wants it.....

    Now if we could just get the corporate interests to stop trying to take our rights away (and no, they are not 'sharing' our rights, they just want to take them away so that we no longer have them, there is a difference between taking and sharing....)

     

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  39.  
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    Trails (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    " until VPN and encryption are put on the table as part of the next cyber-security/terrorism bill that is."

    This is such a moronic statement it reveals how clueless you are about technology and how amazingly ill-equipped you are to even comment on this stuff.

    The amount of encrypted traffic is substantial, and you, you mental midget, are dependent on it, even if you are too vacuous and disconnected from the world around you to know it.

    Ever bank online? Ever use gmail? Ever use Skype? Ever get a radiological exam or blood test? Ever buy anything online? Ever buuy anything with a credit or debit card? Ever use an ATM? Those all use encryption. The number of business dependent on encryption is massive.

    Not only is it a bad idea, it's not possible. I'm not a cryptographer by any stretch, but I can write basic cryptographic software with trivial ease, certainly stuff that you and your ilk couldn't crack, and would take the NSA a decent 10 minutes. The actual crypto geeks in the world will setup encryption that can run circles around anything I can produce, the algos are not secret, and those guys will make it impenetrable.

    Please you idiot, threaten to take away encryption. Propose a bill for it, do it now, and watch the backlash erode the last misguided vestiges support you morons have in the world.

     

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  40.  
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    Trails (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re:

    "I am not a tech guy."

    No shit?!?!

    If you're a self-avowed non-tech-guy, why in the world are you on here spewing your uninformed stupidity about TECHNOLOGY?

    Shill much?

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Right now, if payment processors or ad networks suspend an account, the account holder can go to court for damages. SOPA gives them immunity from that.

    TRY reading the actual bill.

     

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  42.  
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    Trails (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Re: PIRATES HAVE BROKEN THE INTERNET. They broke the TRUST.

    "Copyright is the basic principle that whoever paid for content (in time / brains / money) OWNS the content."

    Wrong. Copyright is a time limited monopoly on distribution/reproduction in order to attempt to incentivize creation.

    "Society has long had that codified into law precisely because copying is always easier than creating from scratch. The level of "technology" doesn't matter."
    Wrong again, see above.

    "But you pirates here sometimes directly state that because you have a DVD recorder, you should be able to blah blah blah blah, strawman, conflation, ad hominem attacks, etc..."
    Um, ya, been discussed with you several times.

    "SO YES, you're all going to get SOPA. Even I will. (Some are misled by the hoopla and nerd rage here, when the few hundred Congress people are already in pocket. Still looks to be on rails, just as military detentions was.)"
    So no, not likely. This has become more than nerd rage, the anti-SOPA movement has gone mainstream. Claiming it is inevitable is like claiming the Titanic won't sink.

    I also love that your comment's subject, replete with the all-caps of repressed rage and frothy shouting, has nothing to do with your post.

    That being said, let's look at it. "PIRATES HAVE BROKEN THE INTERNET. They broke the TRUST." What trust is this you speak of?

    Further, pirates never broke the internet, as evidenced by the fact that while copyright infringement has gone up, legitimate net usage has blossomed. Anecdotal evidence exists too; the "Arab Spring", uprising in Iran, the explosion of the middle class in places like India and China.

    What SOPA seeks will damage this growth, and more importantly force it underground. The real damage though will be to the legitimacy and credibility of the US gov't.

    The rules in SOPA will be ignored, derided, and detested. The growth will continue, but the world will leave the US behind. It won't stop the next YouTube, it will just stop it in the US.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    RE

    I think the content providers should also be held liable, they make the stuff that is shared therefor it is there own fault the the content is online for the "freetards" so for every "pirate" the content industry takes offline an industry website should also be blocked.

    there would not be Piracy if it was not for the content providers..

    Start at the source, not the symptom or even better ban all IP content from the web, ALL of it.......... only open source and free content should be allowed

     

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  44.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    I'll just add a couple of objections to your demonstration of rampant ignorance.

    If it's casual "infringers" you may have a point about DNS, but only maybe.

    Minor things like always on B to B systems depends on accurate DNS to even function well or at all as well as cryptography and VPN. You wanna break that, too, do you?

    Every voice call you make on a cell or on landline is routed through the internet until the person at the other end answers. So that needs accurate DNS, too. Unless, of course you want to stop that. If you do then be prepared to pay a lot more to telcos and cablecos for all the copper and fibre they'll need to install to get around the broken DNS system. In fact the switch you get your dial tone from runs it's internal network on TCP/IP protocol, the same one the Internet uses. Still wanna break DNS?

    (I know this after 35 years of installing, repairing and designing business voice and data, backbone voice and data systems, not to mention video and satellite so I do know something of what I speak. Not to mention installing switches and ensuring they work with the myriad of equipment around them on the digital and, sometimes, bit level.)

    The DNS system is NOT repeat NOT the soft middle. Anything but. It's critical to the function of the Internet. If you believe anything else you are a moron in an incredible hurry.

    I've said this before but it bears repeating it's IP maximalists like you who don't even get the PURPOSE of copyright and patents who are gonna be the death of them not infringers. There is still some widespread support for both concepts out there but it's declining fast. And you and the RIAA, MPAA and things like SOPA and IP PROTECT that are the root cause of that decline not piracy.

    And no one, I hope, is fool enough to want to ban or restrict cryptography and VPN just to protect the entertainment industry from damages it can't even PROVE. An industry that contributes 0.1% of GDP to the United States. But you're willing to take down the rest of the economy to do that. And believe me that's what a ban on cyrptography and VPN would do. Aren't things bad enough the way we are after the bankers have had a go at the world? I guess not.

    And even you admit that it won't go one bit towards stopping piracy/infringment. It'll make what's largely casual not into something where a massive profit can be made and once you drive it underground by passing a pointless, unenforcable law against cryptography and VPN that'll bring in the same "I gotta bigger gun than you do" crowd that run the drug trade for all the good prohibition on certain drugs has done.

    Before talking about just who is causing the decline in respect for IP laws take a good look in the mirror.

    It's you.

     

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

  45.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Yes, Mike, the Internet enables symbiotic infringement.

    But whoever pays the freight and who collects money off infringing material is still logically at fault. -- And by the way, you keep relying on statute, where in common law and common sense, just because a crime is split up into parts doesn't make it legal."

    Infringment is NOT repeat NOT a crime. It's a civil offense. Get that firmly hammered into your brain.

    Notification of the alleged infringement (note not proven and still not proven) is exactly what was missing here. And it cost the infringing site money they paid to the ad agency not the other way around. (All of $17 a month but still you have the flow of money going upstream instead of downstream.)

    So SOPA is not needed to simplify anything. A simple email would have done it followed, if necessary for whatever passes as a registered letter these days, must how it's ALWAYS been done.

    And just what multiple co-operating thieves are you talking about? Oh, you mean infringers not thieves because infringing isn't a crime it's a civil offense.

    Still, no new law is needed. Will ya read the article again and the analysis. The original ex parte award was overturned precisely because the plaintiff never DID bother no notify the defendant before hauling it off to court.

    Now again, who are these multiple, co-operating "thieves" you speak of. Evidence and some semblance of proof, please. And please don't point at Google Ads, search engines and such things. All it shows it you haven't a clue what you're talking about.

    (sigh)

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    IronM@sk, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Re:

    So if the "break the Internet" claims are true, why is my Internet still working?

    Way to be deliberately obtuse.

     

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

  47.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:05pm

    Re: PIRATES HAVE BROKEN THE INTERNET. They broke the TRUST.

    The accusation that because people here are opposed to SOPA, for a large number of reasons, they are automatically pro-pirate or, illogically, pirates ourselves is getting a little old. Not only old, but inaccurate.

    "That's flatly criminal according to common law." The Common Law and Civil Law are not Criminal Law. Never have been, never will be. Both are disputes between citizens. Criminal Law is a dispute between the sovereign vs an individual. (In the US it's referred to as The State vs Joe Blow. In a constitutional monarchy like Canada it's Regina vs Joe Blow.) The concepts are entirely different. Which is why there's a different test to determine guilt. In criminal law it's the well known "beyond a reasonable doubt" which is a very high bar to set.

    In civil and the common law the test it known as "balance of probabilities" Let me put it this way, say, Joe Blow, my neighbour after I've asked him repeatedly and very nicely (I am Canadian, after all and we have a series of "nice" genes unless we're playing hockey or fighting a war when we suddenly seem to turn them all off.) One day the dog drags himself home with a fractured skull and Joe Blow sues me for damaging his valuable property, a purebred mutt. I turn around and sue him for damages for the loss of face and my annual best flower garden awards every year since he got the thing because he lets his dog dedicate, urinate and dig in my garden despite repeated requests not to. Neighbour A sees Joe's dog go into the garden, hears the beast yelp in pain and half running half dragging itself back to Joe's yard. A short time later he sees me come out of my back yard wearing my steel toed boots. Neighbour B says she saw me go into the back yard shortly before the dog yelped and came out wearing my steel toed boots. Neither one has seen anything else.
    My defense in court is that the dog was butted by a deer protecting its fawn. Neither deer nor fawn was seen. Even though we have trouble with deer getting into yards from the bush behind us all. The vet has been unable to determine what struck the dog. We're both found liable (guilty) and I have to pay for the dog's vet bill and ongoing treatment and he has to pay for my plants that the dog dug up even if most of my neighbours don't recall seeing the dog there all that often. So how did this happen? It couldn't in a criminal case because there is no evidence to move the case from "yeah, I probably did it" to "Yah, I probably did it but we can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt". And yeah we can't prove Joe's dog damaged my award winning flower bed even if that can't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt" but we are sure that's probably true too. The decisions were made on that, on balance of probability I injured Joe's dog and Joe allowed his dog to muck with my flower bed. So we both get an award and neither of us is any happier than we were before the whole thing began.

    Though the whole thing is long forgotten now, Joe and I often share a beer on a hot summer afternoon, his dog figures he owns my garden now and guards it from everyone and everything except my cat.

    The moral, blue, is be careful what you (and SOPA) wish for. The bar to jump over is much, much higher that it is in the common law or civil law. Right now you can accuse sites of being pirate sites and only have to prove "balance of probabilities". A much, much lower bar that criminal law's "beyond a reasonable doubt" as criminal law and civil and common law are built to do different things. And one involves the full power of the state.

    As far as copyright goes, it's not a "Society has long codified..." thing. It's actually a recent innovation first appearing in 1709. 302 years is not "long codified into law" and certainly it did NOT appear because creating a story is hard to do. Read it. They don't mention "copying is always easier than creating from scratch" or words to that effect in the preamble to the statue or anywhere in the law and regulations pursuant to it. Anyway, copying is plagiarism not piracy.

    Humans have been writing stories for the 6000 some odd years since writing was developed in the ancient world. So 302 years is not, by any stretch of the imagination, long. We are also a creative, story-telling and curious and inventing species and have been as long as humans have been on the earth, say 100,000 or so years. All without copyright.

    Telling stories helps us make sense of the world around us. It entertains and educates us. It opens new possibilities and new worlds to us. With or without copyright we'll keep telling stories. Story-tellers won't stop telling or writing stories just because copyright vanishes. Inventors won't stop inventing should patents disappear. We have an incurable urge to find a better way to do something and we'll scratch that itch till we do. Always have, always will.

    Bear in mind that should the worst happens and copyright vanishes you and other IP maximalists can take a good long look into the mirror and while you cry in your shaving creme and remember that you, NOT piracy killed it because the broad citizenship and society finally got fed up with ever restrictive and eternal copyright for the benefit of the few (certainly not the majority of authors or artists) and should it take patents with it you can thank yourself for that too because the rest of us got tired of you crying wolf.

    We'll see what the United States gets from this. Election year and all that, you see. I'm not saying COPA won't pass or some version of it won't get through the House and Senate and be signed into law. But I wonder about the debate leading up to it and not just here.

    As you're willing to break the Internet to do it. Are you equally willing to live through an extended recession and recovery to do it? I guess you must be.

    Pirates, in the meantime, have broken nothing. Not trust not anything. If anyone has broken trust it's the RIAA, MPAA, the publishers associations and the politicians they've bought.

    And out_of_the_blue.

    Ta ta.

    I do hope one day you learn a little about law, economics and the internet. Right now you have the understanding of a Grade 4 student. Make that Grade 3.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Y'know it's funny, but not a single ISP- not Verizon, not Comcast, not ATT- has come out and said that DNS blocking represents a problematic technological hurdle. Obviously you know something they don't.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Y'know it's funny, but not a single ISP- not Verizon, not Comcast, not ATT- has come out and said that DNS blocking represents a problematic technological hurdle. Obviously you know something they don't.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 1:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    >Well I have certainly spoken with tech guys that understand this and haven't gone "Chicken Little" like so many of you.

    So, your conversations with tech guys makes you more qualified to comment on the subject as opposed to tech guys who disagree with you? That's your point?

     

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  51.  
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    AJ (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 6th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Do you blame them? They don't want their name anywhere near anything that has to do with DNS blocking. I'm betting they're starting to figure out the benefits of being just a dumb pipe.

     

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  52.  
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    icedtea (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    This kind of thing makes me wonder whether or not our lawmakers are seriously trolling the world just to see what kind of nonsense they can get away with. If you don't commit an offense, you shouldn't be held liable. Laws holding ad networks and advertisers liable for the mere possibility of others linking to infringing content would make businesses very hesitant and cautious about doing any kind of advertising online. In this kind of down economy, anything that would put a lockdown on commerce is completely irresponsible. Right now some of the most common methods that businesses use to promote their products to consumers include search ads, Facebook ads (whether directly through Facebook or through the dozens of 3rd party companies listed at BuyFacebookFansReviews), content ads and various display networks, and other forms of social media. Putting a massive potential legal liability on all of these activities makes this very risky for businesses and is not something that I think is in any way reasonable. Regardless, I am encouraged somewhat by seeing how much public outcry there has been against this and I think even the most dim-witted politician has seen where the people re-electing them stand on this issue.

     

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


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