Poll Suggests Americans Of All Ages, Political Positions, Locations... All Hate SOPA

from the and-yet-it-goes-forward dept

Via Darrell Issa's Twitter feed we learn of a poll asking for people's opinion of SOPA. The results are pretty striking, in that the opposition is pretty universal, across pretty much every measure:
Now, to be clear: this is an online (or, rather, on phone) survey, and there are certainly questions you can raise about whether it's a representative sample of Americans. However, we've yet to see any real indication that the American populace is happy about this bill. Every single effort to get American people to speak out in favor of this bill has failed. Hollywood is spending a ton on advertising in favor of these bills, and yet it doesn't seem to be having any effect at all. Instead, tons of people are coming out of the woodwork against these bills. And the momentum keeps growing. Congress may keep trying to rush these bills through, but at some point they have to realize their constituents are not at all happy.


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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Ads

    Wtf is with the injected Safeway ads?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 10:52am

      Re: Ads

      Nevermind, I didn't notice they were attached to the screenshots. My bad. :/

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

      Re: Ads

      I wonder if he realizes how easy it is to edit the screen shots to crop out the ads, right on the phone, before sending them anywhere. Go to the photo in the photo album, hit the Edit button in the upper right, hit the cropping symbol, crop out the ad, and save it.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re: Ads

        You would crop them out you pirate ;)

        Maybe they asked him to leave them in when he asked if he could repost

         

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    Yogi, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Great

    If it's bad for America, it must be good for the RIAA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Number of studies that show that the majority of the people are against SOPA: 37123, uh, no, make that 37124, oops, I meant, 37125...

    Number of studies that show that the majority of the people are in favour of SOPA: OK, we had to dig deep, and we had to broaden the definition of "people" to include dogs, motorcycles and lawyers, but we managed to find 4!

    The only possible conclusion is that SOPA must move forward.

     

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      MrWilson, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:05am

      Re:

      Your numbers are way off. There's a very large percentage of the voting population that consists of green-faced gentlemen named Benjamin which is in favor of SOPA/PROTECT IP.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:13am

      Re:

      It's interesting that it's more accepted within the 40yrs+ category. Precisely the ones with the lowest level of knowledge and understanding of how the web works and how the youngsters are living today.

      But I digress. I'd say that there are $ studies that support SOPA. Interestingly the number you chose is in the same key on most keyboards.

      Oh dear, that was lame... But they do love the $ hahahaha

       

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        Dementia (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:00pm

        Re: Re:

        And I have to say that I am ashamed of my age demographic's response. You would think they would be the ones most aware of the necessity of free speech since they're the group that has used it the most over things like the civil rights movement.

         

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    Ninja (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:03am

    Pfft..

    Masnick and his FUD. Stop promoting piracy, chubby. The Americans don't know what's good for them. It is clear that that piracy costs quadrillions of dollars and trillions od jobs for the American Economy so SOPA is necessary.

    And I also have to buy my 20th yacht, I grow tired of my current model.

    /MAFIAAtroll

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Amazing...

    Why have our congress critters not realized how much this bill will blow up in their faces? When the s___ hits the fan, the least you could do is move out the way, not put the fan on maximum and drag everyone in front of it.

     

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      SomeGuy, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:16am

      Re: Amazing...

      Because over the last couple of decades we've trained them to believe that the American people are ambivalent and despite what they may SAY they won't really DO anything about it. And the few that do can be marginalized and demonized and the big machine keeps on running.

       

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      crade (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:22am

      Re: Amazing...

      If they do, it won't end, they will just rebrand it and try to slip it through quieter next year.

       

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    Sarah, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Shocking data visual

    Looking at these graphs and charts makes it impossible to understand how people can still be pushing for such an unpopular, unwise bill. But as we all know, Congress's greatest skill is the ability to obfuscate just about anything -- watch and be amazed as our elected representatives twist and reshape the data into something bewildering and inaccurate in support of whatever they want.

     

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    CanadianObserver, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    A Thought

    Politicians these days seem to rely on the masses forgetting about the bad things they do or support while in office. These 'forgetful' masses are then easily swayed by slick election campaigns funded by the large corporations that are behind many of the flawed legislation we are now seeing (SOPA is just one example).

    So, what can we do about this? Well, the internet does not 'forget' anything - so how about this approach? Create an image (I'm thinking of a red circle with a line through it containing the picture of a senator) and display these images prominently on various websites with subtext like "I'm working to censor the internet" or "I'm responsible for censoring the internet" or something like that. If the major players (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) got involved, I have to think it would put some major pressure on these politicians to rethink what they are doing.

    Just a thought...

     

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:30am

      Re: A Thought

      Fair enough but the internet doesn't yet get people to show up at the polls...

       

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      crade (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:31am

      Re: A Thought

      I'm thinking more of a site that does a good job of tracking and summarizing the actions of every politician, including where all their funding comes from, what they vote on and how they have voted, proposals, etc. Compared succintly against the electorates wishes as best as can be determined and summed up nicely in a "for the people" vs "against the people" scale :)

       

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        MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: A Thought

        The data is available on who voted what right now, but it's not really very easy to wade through. Additionally the sheer number of bills would make weighting difficult.

        It would be very difficult to create an unbiased website. Of course a bias, towards exposing corruption, might be a bias many could live with.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:32am

      Re: A Thought

      Please follow up on this once we find out all who have voted for this.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:41am

    "Now, to be clear: this is an online (or, rather, on phone) survey, and there are certainly questions you can raise about whether it's a representative sample of Americans. However, we've yet to see any real indication that the American populace is happy about this bill."

    A true masterpiece of "baffle them with bullshit".

    First off, any online poll is polluted because for the most part, the only people participating are those who have an interest. So right away, you aren't dealing with "the american public", but rather a subset of web enabled people who have an interest in SOPA.

    If anything, the 29% "support" number should be scary to those who oppose SOPA, because there is no grass roots campaign FOR SOPA going on... yet a third of people in the subset support it. Hmmm.

    Further, the second sentence is great. Your implication is that because the average American hasn't pronounced in a poll, it's somehow clear that there isn't any support.

    WOW.

    A true mastery of bullshit.

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      First off, any online poll is polluted because for the most part, the only people participating are those who have an interest.

      That is true and Mike indicated as such.

      If anything, the 29% "support" number should be scary to those who oppose SOPA, because there is no grass roots campaign FOR SOPA going on... yet a third of people in the subset support it.

      Yes that is scary. However, It could be that the majority of those people didn't "google" it as directed and based it off the name of the bill. After all who wouldn't want to stop piracy. Of course I am projecting onto those people.

      Further, the second sentence is great. Your implication is that because the average American hasn't pronounced in a poll, it's somehow clear that there isn't any support.

      Of course. If the people haven't spoken up about SOPA, we should just assume that they support the bill. I see no problems with that line of thinking. /sarcasm

      It is hard to gauge public opinion on the matter through a poll like this, but it is a good indicator of public opinion and if it is not enough to sway Congress's opinion, it should be enough to warrant further more scientific survey methods into public support for SOPA.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re: trololol

        He's just trolling. If TD has an article about Butterflies in the park on an afternoon picnic he'll manage to twist that to "OMFG Mike, /STOP/ promoting piracy! Think of the children!"

        Good sarcasm btw.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re:

        "That is true and Mike indicated as such."

        If it's true, why run with it? It's bullshit end to end, Mike knows it. Why put it up?

        "Of course. If the people haven't spoken up about SOPA, we should just assume that they support the bill. I see no problems with that line of thinking. /sarcasm"

        No, dumbass. If the people haven't spoken, we should ASSUME NOTHING. The absence of expressed opinion is just that. If 99% of Americans have said nothing, then they have said NOTHING. End. No sarcasm required. Making an assumption one way or the other is totally misleading, and total bullshit. Again, Mike knows this, but ran with it anyway.

        "It is hard to gauge public opinion on the matter through a poll like this, but it is a good indicator of public opinion"

        No it's not. It's a good indication that subsets of the population know how to "get the people to the polls". It's sort of like the Ron Paul online poll numbers. Everyone admits they are bullshit, because the Paul groupies are concentrating on them.

        Polls like this serve only to get in the way of reasoned debate. They don't add anything, and they certainly don't say anything about the public at large.

         

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          Dementia (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So the fact that it got over 7500 responses nationwide means its irrelevant? I don't think so. Even if it is (and was) done via a smartphone app, 7500 responses nationwide is a statistically significant number. Most nationwide surveys are considered relatively accurate with just over 1500 responses.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Another survey (which doesn't require an iPhone, and where every vote results in a letter being sent to your representative) can be found at:

            https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr3261/report#nation

            2% in Favor of SOPA
            98% Opposed.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 8:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yup, congrats. Did you know that when Janet Jackson's boob showed up on TV, the FCC got tons and tons of mail? They got thousands of complaints... it was like the whole country was upset. Then it turned out that almost all of the complains came from a single group, and very few others said a peep.

              Congrats. Poll the right people, you can get any result you like.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Polls like this serve only to get in the way of reasoned debate. They don't add anything, and they certainly don't say anything about the public at large."

          You mean the kind of reasoned debates where only one tech company is allowed to voice their concern over the bill? Meanwhile on the other side are countless (debunked) studies, several movie studios, several labels and a handful of "experts" (and by handful, I mean a lawyer here and an expert there) who all are pro-SOPA.

          I see, so your idea of "reasoned debate" is the kind where one side can do as it pleases and has an advantage and the other side is actively discouraged and prohibited from bringing more to the table.

          Ah yes, I can see how a poll like this which shows a small minority supporting SOPA would be upsetting.

          On to the next troll, please.

           

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          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Polls like this serve only to get in the way of reasoned debate. They don't add anything, and they certainly don't say anything about the public at large.

          I completely disagree. Polls like this should act as a springboard into more scientific study and polling.

          It makes for an interesting talking point that could lead to a more balanced debate as more people seek out more information.

          No, dumbass. If the people haven't spoken, we should ASSUME NOTHING.

          I completely agree with that. However, I have seen time and time again that those who are in favor of something that the general interested public is opposed to use that silence to their advantage.

          Take for instance the issue of an R18 rating for video games in Australia. The government there held a public submission process to gauge public opinion on the matter. When the overall majority of submissions came from pro-R18 crowd, the government decided that because the "silent majority" hadn't entered into the discussion, they should hold off voting on the issue while they try to coerce the "silent majority" to speak.

          The fact that so much public outcry over the issue of SOPA has come should be a good indicator of public opinion, not because the majority of people in a self selected sample oppose it, but that the majority after being educated on the issue oppose it.

          That seems to be the story I read most often. The majority of the US citizenry do not know that SOPA even exists let alone what it will do. Yet, when those same people learn about it, they immediately write to their Congressmen over their opposition.

          The fact that the same cannot be said of the Pro-SOPA crowd is quite telling.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I completely disagree. Polls like this should act as a springboard into more scientific study and polling. "

            What, you needed a poll to know that the users of mobile devices are against laws that might make it harder for them to enjoy pirated entertainment on their devices? I could have told you that without wasting people's time voting. It didn't add anything to the discussion, except to once again attempt to take a small subset, small percentage group and try to make it seem like "the american public". Think of it as sort of polling astroturf. It would be on par with asking attendees of a sci-fi convention if there should be more Star Trek on TV - and then saying "the american people want more star trek".

            "The fact that so much public outcry over the issue of SOPA has come should be a good indicator of public opinion"

            The vast majority of the public outcry appears to be mostly coming from a very few small areas, mostly lead by the EFF and friends. I don't see people picketing the street. I don't see independent groups popping up against SOPA. What I see is content grifters, middlemen, and other "user content" operators getting in a tizzy because they might actually have to pay for the content on their sites, or actually check to see if they have rights to it.

            I don't see the public on either side of this issue.

            "Yet, when those same people learn about it, they immediately write to their Congressmen over their opposition.

            The fact that the same cannot be said of the Pro-SOPA crowd is quite telling."

            Actually, it says nothing. Most people don't write is support of things, there is no outrage factor, no "we need to stop this shit!" mentality. There is nothing to motivate the troops. Those who support SOPA (or some variant of) are content that the government is doing it's job. It's not a huge motivational, rally around the flag issue.

            Further, let's be fair here: nobody likes MORE regulation. However, most of us accept regulation as the better alternative to lawlessness and disorder. We prefer stop signs and speed limits over lawless roads. We don't like to get a speeding ticket, but generally we understand the concepts at work and approve them. Nobody is going to get excited about speeding fines being raised. Most of us understand that it may need to happen to create more of a deterrent. But we certainly aren't building websites and astroturfing fake support groups to make it happen.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "What, you needed a poll to know that the users of mobile devices are against laws that might make it harder for them to enjoy pirated entertainment on their devices? I could have told you that without wasting people's time voting."

              Of course you could, because you mysteriously seem to believe two false things: that mobile phone users are particularly prone to piracy and that anyone who opposes this bill must be doing so because they want to pirate.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:13pm

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

                "Of course you could, because you mysteriously seem to believe two false things: that mobile phone users are particularly prone to piracy and that anyone who opposes this bill must be doing so because they want to pirate."

                Sorry, you draw the wrong conclusion.

                People who (a) browser on mobile devices, (b) visited a particular site, and (c) chose to vote in the poll are people who are "connected", more aware of technology, and more likely to have that "free and open internet" mentality, IMHO.

                I don't draw any conclusion about their support for piracy. Rather, I feel that these are people more likely to be touched by the scary "break the internet" type stuff getting talked about by groups like EFF and their associated groups and followers.

                I didn't mention piracy, why did you?

                 

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                  E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:38pm

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

                  No you didn't mention piracy, but you did call those opposed to SOPA "content grifters"

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 7:53pm

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

                  What, you needed a poll to know that the users of mobile devices are against laws that might make it harder for them to enjoy pirated entertainment on their devices?

                  Seems to me you did mention piracy, so again. Lying.

                   

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              E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But we certainly aren't building websites and astroturfing fake support groups to make it happen.

              Says the side that founded Creative America.

              The vast majority of the public outcry appears to be mostly coming from a very few small areas, mostly lead by the EFF and friends. I don't see people picketing the street. I don't see independent groups popping up against SOPA. What I see is content grifters, middlemen, and other "user content" operators getting in a tizzy because they might actually have to pay for the content on their sites, or actually check to see if they have rights to it.

              See, here you are belittling and dehumanizing the opposition. That is one of the more common tactics of those who wish to limit the rights of others. By making the opposition appear less human than allies, those seeking such limits can rally more support. After all no one wants to be seen as supporting drug cartels, child pornographers, terrorists and international copyright pirates.

              But the reality is far different. Those opposed to this legislation are not "content grifters, middlemen, and other "user content" operators". They are everyday citizens who love to use the internet to share and spread information. Under SOPA that ability to easily share information will hindered and threatened. These are people who have used the internet to build careers in not only web design and internet applications but also in creative sectors such as film, music, writing and game development. These people have used the internet to create success for themselves that was not possible 10 years ago. These people realize that under SOPA, this avenue of creative expression and career building will be threatened.

              Further, let's be fair here: nobody likes MORE regulation. However, most of us accept regulation as the better alternative to lawlessness and disorder. We prefer stop signs and speed limits over lawless roads. We don't like to get a speeding ticket, but generally we understand the concepts at work and approve them. Nobody is going to get excited about speeding fines being raised. Most of us understand that it may need to happen to create more of a deterrent.

              What exactly is the eminent threat that SOPA is to be preventing with its regulation? What threat to creativity is looming over the heads of content creators? The answer is a resounding "nothing". Game developers, film producers, musicians, writers of all stripes are succeeding quite well in the current climate. The only industries that are threatened are those legacy gatekeepers that used to control all aspects of creation and distribution. Their position has been threatened by the proliferation of the internet and that is why they need SOPA. The individual creators don't need it.

               

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              TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 9:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'd not take all that much comfort from these results. It's rather that you're reading into them what you want to see and interpret.

              As I say below, the most impressive part of these results for either side is their universality across regions, ages, income and political groupings which even for an opt in poll are rarer than hen's teeth. I'm willing to guess if you looked at ethnic groupings the results would be similar.

              In short, disastrous.

              All that said I'm sure there are polls going on right now of a far more scientific nature from all sides.

              Then of course, the trick is -- what are the questions, what order are they asked in and so on which can and do skew polling data.

              That people aren't picketing, marching in the streets and occupying over this shouldn't surprise anyone.

              And I do love your attempt to turn this into the good old "law and order" and visions of disorder and lawlessness. But that doesn't hold water either. It's been tried so often in these kinds of debates that it's just tiresome now and meaningless.

              The issue is more cultural and one of simple human nature than one of law and order. It's about extending the length and breadth of copyright far beyond it's original intent. Certainly far beyond any cultural use it once had. (And that use has been significant.) It's about extending patents to ridiculous extremes and to items and concepts that are far, far beyond the original intent of patents far beyond their cultural and economic usefulness.
              Seriously, patenting something as ethereal as a business process? Let's not even go into the horrid approval process of the USPTO. And the patent troll heaven of East Texas.
              And no, I doubt most of us approve of increased speeding fines when limits are artificially held to 55mph long after the optimum gas saving speed is no longer 55 and on roads built and designed for faster speeds in order to function correctly.
              For example I get far better mileage at 70 in my 2010 F150 than I do at 55. Even as astonished as I still am at the mileage that truck gets in comparison to what a F150 would have done even as recently as 15 years ago.
              So what, other than inertia and increased speeding fine income is there for (a) increasing the fine and (b) keeping an outdated speed limit that no longer does what it was supposed to do which is save gas?
              So while the concept that there should be a speed limit remains an agreed on facet of our North American culture neither the limit or increasing fines for exceeding it is a given as you seem to assume it is. We still agree that there's a cultural use for speed limits.
              But where we don't agree is that there is a cultural use for the perversion and corruption that copyright and patent law has become in recent years. Or an economic one for that matter.
              And where I certainly disagree is your notion that this is somehow a bad result for those opposed to SOPA/PIPA. It isn't, This was a poorly promoted poll so it didn't get tons of hardliners running towards it from either side.
              I'm not saying it's accurate in it's numbers but I AM suggesting it's reflective and what it reflects is very poor support for SOPA/PIPA.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 8:12am

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

                " It's about extending the length and breadth of copyright far beyond it's original intent. "

                Bullshit. It doesn't extend copyright at all, it doesn't increase it's breadth at all. Actually, all SOPA does is basically force companies to respect the existing copyright laws, and take away the back door that they have been driving their business models through for 10 years.

                Can you tell me where in SOPA that the length of copyright is extended?

                 

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                  TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 10:05am

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

                  Go look up the original copyright laws, the length and purposes of them. Current laws and the regime SOPA wants to go to are not only well beyond those purposes but twist them beyond recognition.

                  "Actually, all SOPA does is basically force companies to respect the existing copyright laws, and take away the back door that they have been driving their business models through for 10 years"

                  Ahh, the shibboleth again. On the minor point of length of copyright that's already been done and it keeps getting longer. So no, SOPA does not extent it, in that narrow sense.

                  As for "respect" for the laws. It may, just MAY, have an effect that way in the United States. But the bills and what law may be created from them ONLY applies to the United States.

                  OK, so you filter out the offending site on U.S. controlled DNS servers. No one else seems willing to follow suit on the globe so it makes a teeny-tiny dint in the "offending" company's business. And the site is still there by directly typing in the IP address.

                  If the domain name is registered with a registrar located in the United States is seized (with or without due process as in this instance it doesn't matter) you still get there by typing in that IP address octet. If the registrar is located outside of the United States the U.S. can't even do that. Extraterritorial application of U.S. laws, you see, and the U.S. can't do that and well knows that.

                  You cut off funding. As if, at some point, there won't be retaliation in the form of complaints from other countries about extraterritorial application of U.S. law and directly against the companies in question by simply telling them that "in our country you damned well will process these payments" while other funding avenues open up beyond American control.

                  So at best, at BEST, you cut off some "piracy" in the United States. I say "some" because all you accomplish is to push it underground. It'll still be there and more tempting do some to do as a way to "stick it to da man!" so it could very well increase. (My betting is that it will.)

                  And when it becomes a "stick it to da man" thing where's the respect for the law? Huh?

                  It ain't there. Even less than is there now.

                  It's the combination of bills like SOPA/PIPA and the corruption of the intent and purpose of laws like copyright and patents by extending scope and length of "protection" that has caused and will cause even less respect for and support of copyright and patents. (In this case, patents become collateral damage as if they're not damaged enough as it is.)

                  And it's the combination I'm talking about. So sorry it wasn't clear to you, although it would be crystal clear to a 5 year old.

                  Now then, just answer this direct question: How do SOPA/PIPA increase respect for copyright one iota?

                  (By the way, I DO support the concept and original intent of copyright and I would be very sad to see it go completely though it seems that it's becoming easier to say that it's time this concept was died and dumped off the nearest cliff.)

                   

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And we know how much you love reasoned debate

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 4:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, dumbass. If the people haven't spoken, we should ASSUME NOTHING.

          Need I point out that you're the guy who, on other threads, keeps insisting that the "silent majority" supports the bill?

          Yeah.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2011 @ 8:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Need I point out that you are the guy trying to smear everyone involved in SOPA, and running out polls that are clearly biased and aren't representative of much of anything?

            Yes, I think the silent majority supports SOPA - or at least doesn't object to it. But if the people haven't spken, you cannot (as you tried to do) draw a conclusion.

            Sorry Mike, but you failed so badly this time. You should see a doctor, I think you need medication for your anxiety about SOPA.

             

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              Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 9:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Strike 1) Mike didn't run this poll. Merely pointed to its results

              Strike 2) Mike pointed out that the polls weren't representative, but were noteworthy.

              Strike 3) Not objecting to != supporting. They haven't spoken up about it, because they haven't been told about it (because the news media is only just starting to run their stories). You drew a conclusion (that the silent majority doesn't object to the bill) based on no facts at all and accuse us of doing the same.

              I think it's you who failed. 3 strikes and you're out.

               

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      crade (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      This article is straight forward.. There was an online poll, here's the results.

      Your the one who thinks they need to add a crapload of their own speculation about how the results could be reinterpretted to mean that magic fairies and flying ponies are frolocking in SOPA land.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Let's run the same poll, only on Techdirt readers. That will represent the "american people" very well, don't you think?

         

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 9:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That would be a biased poll, there's no doubt. And what does that prove? Techdirt didn't run this poll AT&T did. Nominally counted as a SOPA supporter or at least neutral on the issue.

          And you can't say the questions were leading ones so you go after the fact it's an opt-in poll and the utterly amazing (secret?) fact that they're notoriously inaccurate. At least we agree on that. And I agree that it's not representative because it's not a scientific poll. See? We agree again!!

          What it is though is REFLECTIVE. I'd say highly reflective. That, once again, it's clear that the results show that across geographical lines, income, party, age and gender lines with every category you can think of opposed is rare. Like I've said, rarer than hen's teeth.

          (Though chickens are counted as the closest living relative of T-Rex which certainly DID have teeth and nasty ones at that.)

          What I'm gonna guess is that ANY poll that shows widespread opposition to SOPA you'll attack as biased in some way or another and obviously too many Techdirt readers were contacted as it couldn't happen any other way. Oh yeah, too many of the ignorant techies and tech companies too.

          Haven't you stopped to consider that it's possible that the majority of Americans might just be opposed to this?

          Nahhh, your tunnel vision prevents that as does your true believer support for the bills which doesn't allow for that.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

       

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      Richard (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      First off, any online poll is polluted because for the most part, the only people participating are those who have an interest.
      Right let's eliminate those who have an interest from the discussion - I guess that shuts out the RIAA, the MPAA, their affiliated companies and all the other content owners.

      I suspect you don't approve of that idea - only hte idea of eliminating interested parties who disagree with you.

       

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

      Re: If anything, the 29% "support" number should be scary to those who oppose SOPA,

      But I thought you said the figures were bullshit. So that must be bullshit as well. QED.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:53pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:41am

      Id say you are an expert at bullshit but not quite a master yet, don't worry AC you will get there

       

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      Loki, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

      Re:

      First off, any online poll is polluted because for the most part, the only people participating are those who have an interest. So right away, you aren't dealing with "the american public", but rather a subset of web enabled people who have an interest in SOPA.

      I deal with a large number of people on a daily basis (many of them the types of people who aren't going to participate in polls (or unfortunately vote under normal circumstances). Some of the people I deal with also deal with large numbers of people. A lot of times over the years polls surveys I see/hear simply don't match up with the "buzz on the streets" (for lack of a better term). I'd say this one seems to be close to what I hear from people when the topic comes up.

      If anything, the 29% "support" number should be scary to those who oppose SOPA, because there is no grass roots campaign FOR SOPA going on... yet a third of people in the subset support it. Hmmm.

      Actually most of the people I hear expressing support (or in most cases just ambivalence) towards these bills are people who general have no understand, interest or use for the internet and base their opinion of it mostly on the name "Stop Online Piracy Act? Sure that'd be a good thing."

      Much more telling for me, is that even among the numerous artist, musicians, writers, and other content creators I know, only about a quarter to a third of them support this bill as well. If several dozen actual musicians and authors tell me this bill sucks and Chris Dodd (with a well documented history of saying whatever someone pays him to say) says this bill is desperately need, I'm going to tell Chris Dodd to go sux it.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

        Re: Re:

        So you are saying that people who are against SOPA are intelligent, and those that oppose are ignorant?

        Got it.

         

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

      Re:

      Actually, for an opt in poll, and they ARE notoriously inaccurate, if I was a SOPA supporter I'd start to get seriously worried. They have tried, half heartedly, to get public support but i sure isn't showing there. Opposition is.

      And it's across age, political and regional lines which ought to be very worrisome to those supporting the bills. That's rarer than hen's teeth even for an opt in poll.

      It's not the numbers as much as the near universality of them that would be troublesome to me if I was in charge of a campaign to whip up support for these bills. I'd be asking what's taken them so long to do at least SOME PR work on it by anyone BUT Hollywood. Spread the word about fake drug sites and all that. The RIAA and the MPAA are probably the weakest link in any PR so shove them deep into the background for PR work because I'm sure that outside of parts of California that would backfire big time. They just aren't credible.

      And there's the PR problem. Like it or not Hollywood just isn't credible. They've cried wolf for decades and continued to rake in money while trying to plead poverty while claiming to be in it all for the creators. No one's bought that since the 20s when United Artists was born and blew the lid off that scam. (And later joined in the scamming.)

      29% is still only 3 on 10 and even if they show up to support supporters of the bill in November in, say, 40% numbers if those opposed do the same they're still outvoted 7-3, which is a substantial majority.

      I suspect opponents are more motivated to show up to the polls on this issue than supporters are, as well. Taking your point into account they were certainly more motivated to opt into the poll than supporters were.

      What's important from a polling standpoint is the breadth and width of the opposition to SOPA/PIPA. It's clearly not a case of one of these "mile wide and inch deep" opposition/support to an issue cases. It's deep and likely to remain so.

      My guess is that in a more scientific poll the split would be something like 60-40 or 65-35 against. And just as wide and universal. So not good for SOPA supporters in Congress at all.

       

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      identicon
      Tony Bacos, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 9:28pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:41am

      Actually these respondents aren't particularly interested in SOPA, so they don't have any built in bias. These voters use my app (Show of Hands) which poses 3-5 questions every day across a wide variety of topics. So their only biases are that they are iPhone, iPad, or android users and they like to do polls. I calibrate SoH responses against other traditional poll questions monthly, and am consistently within margin or error on the same questions.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 11:51am

    AC is right, the only people opposed to the bill are those who actually know what sopa does. People without internet, who are not affected by it and are clueless to its implications are clearly the people that we need to poll.

     

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    Walter Riker, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Poll re: SOPA

    I hope that your information is correct for the benefit of society and I hope that all remember who voted for SOPA (whether it wins or not) and remove them from office. We need future thinking people not in the pocket of anyone but the United States citizen who voted them into office.

     

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    Punmaster (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    What SOPA actually stands for...

    Show Our Politicians Allegiances

    Seriously - the only reasons that I can see for voting for this bill is either total dumbfounding ignorance, or to get the $upport of the entertainment industries.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    I Like that one ! Yes and show them allegiance with your wallet please as they love it.
    And I do think this will have the biggest backlash hopefully that will wake up even "Joe Normal".
    I do not know about you guys but my Dad came here after being in 4 different Concentration Camps.Most of his side of the family was wiped out.He came to the USA to be free.Even he will not like it when he sees that the Country is now "Censoring" the Population.That is not why he came here.He does not understand the Computer but he does know what happens when you Censor things.
    And some of you should think of all those kids growing up now who do understand Computers.............I would think by now there must be one of those in a lot of families around the Country.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Are you insane?

    What do the wants/needs/desires of the people have to do with anything? Only comunists think like that.

    Here in America we worship capitalism!

    The Jesus guy, we're going to have him arrested for practicing medicine without a license. And, don't get me started on how he illegally catered an affair and took money from hardworking capitalists.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re: Are you insane?

      And don't even mention that he peacefully resisted the corrupt entrenched powers of his time and that he was executed for just that!

      After all we just can't have things like non-violent resistance and opposition can we? How do you demonize that??

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    SOPA - Supporting Online Propaganda Agenda

    SOPA is the new 'high water mark' to determine who is towing the company line, and who isn't(political parties don't matter anymore, only the company...)

    Obviously if you aren't 'with us' you are 'against us' and one of those who's voice needs to be silenced so that we can show that we are all united in Supporting Online Propaganda Agenda (agenda and all words/sentences are copyright/trademark/patented by the **AA, any use that does not agree with our agenda is not allowed)....

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

      Re: SOPA - Supporting Online Propaganda Agenda

      ...and polls like this are the new "high water mark" in seeing which of the readers of techdirt has chugged down the most kool-aid. It's a horrible, non-representative survey with a poorly worded question (because Googling it bring up sites like Techdirt, rather than a straight explaination).

      It's bullshit end to end, you have to be swimming in the kool-aid to fall for it.

       

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    identicon
    johnny canada, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    When these bills pass the House/Senate at least you will be able to quote Star Wars


    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause."

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    So rich, middle age, republicans are driving SOPA, like so many other problems with the U.S.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Wow. What an unbiased and statistically significant survey. This changes everything.

    It's truly amazing that you'd put this thing out there as anything other than a further example of the ridiculous lies and distortions freeloaders and apologists will go to. It's not going to help you with people with IQ's above room temperature or Techdirtbag zealots.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    oops, "or" should be "just'.

    How about an edit function like they have on Ars?

     

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    cg15 (profile), Dec 19th, 2011 @ 5:17pm

    If they do, it won't end, they will just rebrand it and try to slip it through quieter next year.

    If they do, it won't end, they will just rebrand it and try to slip it through quieter next year.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Kevin, Dec 19th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

    This comment is neither for nor against SOPA / PIPA. I want to say that this survey shouldn't be used in debating the bill because of how it was conducted. It is known that in voluntary-response surveys like this one, the results are less accurate than they would be had the survey been conducted using random sampling. The reason is that someone has to care enough about the issue to be bothered to respond, so the survey over-represents extreme opinions. Because of that, this particular survey makes it difficult to tell what Americans truly think about the bill.

     

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    •  
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      Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2011 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      I think it does. When you look at all of the support against the bills, it is all negative. Look at opencongress, popvox, or Creative America vs Americancensorship.org mailing lists. No, the survey by itself doesn't say much. But given all of the outright disdain for the bills, it's pretty telling in how no one supports it but a select few.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Phil, Jan 1st, 2012 @ 7:02pm

    all hate SOPA

    "but at some point they have to realize their constituents are not at all happy."

    Since when did that stop a usurper? These people in Congress couldn't care less what the people want. Just so long as they can Gerrymander their districts and stay right in office, they will as they have for the past so many years do as they see fit and to hell with the people.

     

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