Do We Really Want To Hand Over Control Of The Internet To A Group That Sued A Dead Grandmother

from the just-saying dept

Via Julian Sanchez, we get the best-titled story we've seen yet concerning SOPA. Written by Kevin Fogarty at ITWorld, it reads:
Best idea of 2011: Give control of Internet content to group that sued a dead grandmother
It's a must read, highlighting the insanity of SOPA -- while also being pretty funny:
Supporters aren't willing to talk compromise, claim not clamping down on speech as well as piracy will "crush" artists and other creators of content, and appear, with good evidence, to be doing the bidding of SOPA's financial backers, who no interest in the public good and a bottomless reservoir of shameless self-interest they believe is more important than the liberties protected by the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

On the positive side, that's not even a third of the Bill of Rights, so accusations that SOPA supporters are willing to crush the Constitution to line their own pockets are clearly exaggerated by at least seven Rights.
Elsewhere, it describes, quite accurately, that this is about control and misplaced blame:
The RIAA and the intent of SOPA itself stems from an irrational rage that the world has changed and unquestioned belief that the change is the fault of the industry's customers, who should be made to pay for the self-inflicted misfortunes of the record industry....

So…how do you feel about giving the same people the power to command that agents of federal law enforcement agencies give up on drug runners, kidnappers, terrorists and spies in order to shut down web sites and confiscate domains for simply being accused of having offended members of a group willing to sue a dead grandmother and grill a 10-year-old girl to discover who from outside the house was spoofing her address in order to download a song 10-year-old girls don't listen to, at an hour they're not generally awake?
We're seeing more and more widespread recognition of what a joke SOPA and PIPA are... but with it, we're hearing people believe that the bill is so crazy that there's no way it can pass. Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth. Inside the beltway, where common sense goes to die, the thinking remains that these bills have a pretty easy path to becoming law. And that's what should scare you most of all.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:30pm

    Defensive

    So, the whole "dead" thing was her defense?
    I hope they made her estate pay up!
    /sarc

     

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      identicon
      Machin Shin, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:50pm

      Re: Defensive

      Finally a new surefire defense. That insanity defense was starting to wear thin after all. Now if only we can get more crooks to take this "dead" defense.

       

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      •  
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        vancedecker (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re: Defensive

        It's part of the agenda along with activist judges designed to subvert the rule of law in this country.

        Apparently now, according to Techdirt editorial cabal, that it's okay to commit a crime, as long as you are dead.

         

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        •  
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          Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Defensive

          WONT SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE ZOMBIES!

           

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          The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Defensive

          We need a special anti-dead police unit, that specializes in voodoo rituals and other necromantic practices to bring those who seek to escape the long arm of justice by failing to live, back to an adequate state of un-death, so that they can be sentenced and entombed. Er, imprisoned...

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    How exactly would they "control the internet"?

    Lies and FUD will be mercilessly mocked and snickered at...

     

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    •  
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      ComputerAddict (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      Because SOPA allows private citizens (AKA Corporations under the Citizens United Bill, aka the RIAA, MPAA) the right to accuse and seize websites they dont like.

       

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    •  
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      Nastybutler, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:16pm

      Re: The moron I'm replying to

      Lies and FUD will be mercilessly mocked and snickered at...

      In that case: *snicker* I wave my private parts in your general direction. Your father was a hamster and your mother smells of elderberries. *snicker* Now go away before I taunt you a second time.

       

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      identicon
      anonymous, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:02pm

      Re:

      'How exactly would they "control the internet"?'

      by getting every site they dont like shut down, either by accusations of infringement (whether true or not) without those sites being allowed 'due process' or by continuing to sue sites that are deemed legal but run out of money to pay for further litigation and therefore cant put the sites back up on the net. basically, an 'internet carte blanche', a win-win situation for the entertainment industries.
      why dont all the big internet industries, ISPs, Search Engines, Security Firms etc join forces and lobby/protest together? united they stand, divided they fall.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:48pm

        Re: Re:

        You're a buffoon. This is all lies and FUD.

        Are you seriously so addicted to content that the idea of having to pay for it turns you into a bozo?

         

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        •  
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          TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 7:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I hate to tell you this but Bozo The Clown made far more sense than you do. Consistently.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "This is all lies and FUD."

          ...and yet you people won't back up this regular claim with any discussion of the facts and why people are mistaken. I wonder why people don't take you seriously?

          "Are you seriously so addicted to content that the idea of having to pay for it turns you into a bozo?"

          Ah, that's why... one sentence featuring all the usual moronic fallacies... assuming that the only people concerned are those who consume the corporate content you worship, assuming that only "pirates" can be against SOPA, assuming that nobody who is anti-SOPA can be a paying customer *and* ad hominems top and bottom to complete the idiot sandwich!

           

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          techflaws.org (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 2:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you seriously so addicted to content

          No, that's just some looney coporate masters who think anyone is willing to shell out 60 bucks to see a movie first. Sad.

           

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          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Are you so seriously addicted to being the worlds largest anus that it turns you into a bunghole?

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:51am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:50pm

      Had you just left it at the question you may not seem obnoxious or a shill.

       

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  •  
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    vancedecker (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Are you all Doctors now?

    You seem to all be lawyers here at Techdirt, but now you've obviously seen fit to add physician to your schtick as well.

    How do you know for a fact that this 'grandmother' was dead?

    If the infringement happened while she was still alive then it makes legal sense to continue the case. If precedent is allowed to be established, simply because someone died, then how would that serve the public interest?

     

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      Machin Shin, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Are you all Doctors now?

      Indeed it does make perfect sense to sue a dead person. I mean think of it. You get to go to court without worrying about then being all annoying and defending themselves. Plus putting them away for life will be a breeze.

       

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        vancedecker (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

        If the case was started while she was alive* and then dropped simply because she is dead, that could establish de facto precedent.


        *I say alive only because, it was never proven that she was or was not alive, or that she was dead for that matter. For all we know she could have moved after receiving a foreclosure notice.

         

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          Machin Shin, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

          Ok, it could set a precedent. So what? It would set a precedent that it is pointless to go after people after they have died. You really think this will become a common method us filthy pirates turn to?

          "Come on and sue me! I will just drop dead and ruin your court case! That will sure show you!"

           

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          Planespotter (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

          Funny, the RIAA seemed to be quite clear that she was dead... or at least whoever speaks to the press on their behalf was.

          The Recording Industry Association of America admitted that Walton was likely not the smittenedkitten it was after, blaming the mixup on the time it takes gather information on illicit file swappers.

          "Our evidence gathering and our subsequent legal actions all were initiated weeks and even months ago," said RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy. "We will now, of course, obviously dismiss this case."

           

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          •  
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            The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

            That was too much trouble for the stupid wanker to research. And I think his head just exploded in rage.

             

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          BigKeithO (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

          Awesome argument. It makes total sense to sue dead people, you wouldn't want to set a precedent that suing dead people is pointless now would you?

          Genius.

           

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

          Oh she was dead, alright, Right there on the couch, eyes half open, jaw slack, greenish smelly drool coming from her mouth and other orifices while the neighborhood dogs were sniffing around and looking at her like they do when they find something that just MIGHT be good to eat,

          Oh yeah, blue lips and nails and that sort of thing.

          This all overlooks that SOPA supporters haven't come up with a new definition of "life" that will be one of the first things filtered out because the RIAA will have a copyright on so downloading the PDF would be considered piracy.

           

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 3:10pm

        Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

        "Plus putting them away for life will be a breeze."

        Until they start to rot...

         

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    •  
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      Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:07pm

      Re: Are you all Doctors now?

      Maybe the RIAA can hire this guy., he's covered wars..you know...

       

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    •  
      identicon
      A Monkey with Atitude, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Are you all Doctors now?

      for someone that "supports" law and order, you really don't seem to care if the Bill of Rights (which is supposed to trump all) gets hammered...

       

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  •  
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    Aaron (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

    We must find away to get the ALA, EFF,Google, at al together to make to make big noise about SOPA and PROTECT IP, we need to find a way to flood the TVs, the Radios, the print media, and even the roads about this. We need to make it legal to hunt RIAA/MPAA/other lobbists who get lawmakers to make laws the directly violate the constitution and our natural rights. (props to :Lobo Santo in www.techdirt.com/articles/20111213/03334517064/big-entertainment-companies-issuing-wrongful-youtube- claims-public-domain-works.shtml for the idea)

    We need to make it known that this abuse of the First Amendment will not stand, we will not sit by and just have "nerd rage", we need to strike fear somehow in to those who think that big media has all the rights (and I am a free market supporter).

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:05pm

      Re: We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

      +1 insightful.

      It's for their own good, after all. Lacking a natural predator to offset their present population explosion we're really looking at a total ecological collapse predicated by the invasive "lobbyist" species.

       

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      •  
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        TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:30pm

        Re: Re: We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

        I suggest we genetically modify the tiger, also a species at risk, so that it recognizes genus lobbyist as delicious food and acts appropriately while recognizing homo sapiens as friends who dearly love to scratch their ears, pet and stroke them and surrender 9/10ths of their bed to them like they do with the domestic cat.

         

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          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re: We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

          It's a lot simpler to cut off their heads.

           

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          identicon
          Ed C., Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

          They'll probably also develop a taste of the genus media executus after the species promises the tigers t-bones in exchange for exclusive contracts, which are then retained due to undisclosed fees, issues endless takedowns and lawsuits, claiming that the tiger's own personal videos infringe on Sigfried and Roy, or just poking the tigers with sticks for giggles, simply because they can't comprehend how anything they do could ever have personal consequences.

           

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  •  
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    Keith_Emperor_of_Penguins (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:01pm

    Maybe that dead Grandmother can pay for the song she downloaded, directly to the dead artist in the afterlife. Considering they still get copyright protection long after musicians die, it makes the most sense.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      Yes, but such an ethereal transaction between Grandma and the countless screaming souls that she has wronged will prevent the Associations from getting their just reward for protecting those dead artists' collective interests. To ensure true equity in the division of Grandma's heavenly treasures, the major decision makers of the Associations will need to be present, on-site, in the afterlife.

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:44pm

        Re: Re:

        Regretfully Granma's in heaven while the Associations are in the 7th ring of hell as described by Dante though the devils are trying to find somewhere worse as the Associations and their bought and paid for politicians seem to be enjoying the company of Nero, Caligula, Attila The Hun, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Napoleon and Jack The Ripper far too much as they swap stories and give each other advice.

         

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          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, we're building a tenth circle, just for them, and it has been great fun designing it. Dante lacked sufficient imagination for this, but not us.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Loki, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    The RIAA, an organization that:

    Along with the MPAA, Disney, ect.) pushes for perpetual copyright extension to infinity (so that, in theory, my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can financially benefit from work they had nothing to do with, but that in reality most of that money will go to whatever company I am forced to assign my copyright to).

    Spend massive amounts of money lobbying for laws that block as much real competition as they can manage.

    Sue (along with MPAA and such) companies they can't get outlawed, hoping to keep them tied up in litigation long enough they go out of business anyways.

    Buy into website they can't find ways to sue (try finding independent stuff on MySpace or eMusic anymore with all the major label crap plastered all over the front of the site, you have to go digging to the backs of these sites now to find it).

    Pay radio stations under the table to pay exclusively their content (every couple of years at least one major label seem to get busted for Payola) - then turn around and work hard to impose high licensing rates (which would effectively get them exclusive music for free as their licensing schemes would just funnel their payola right back to them).

    File mass lawsuits and send out bulk settlement offers (pretty much a form of extortion, considering how many of those lawsuits have proven to be bogus, any way you look at it). After all, you gotta pay for those campaign contributions, lawsuits, and payola schemes somehow.

    Force musicians to relinquish their copyrights (again, little more than a form of extortion, given how effectively they have worked to roadblock all other avenues to success), and then sneak text into bills causing those same musicians to forfeit some of those copyrights altogether (and rewarding the person responsible with a $500K a year job) - even if the actions were later rescinded.

    It's not so much that I stopped believing the argument that copyright infringement was theft, it was that the people making the argument was so dishonest, so much bigger criminals that their opinions/ideas became essentially meaningless.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    RIAA: I'm ready to tell you my secret. I... I sue dead people...

     

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    CJ (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    RIAA in the news...

    For immediate release

    After successfully raising the dead... The RIAA rest assured us; "they will be going after zombies next". The RIAA firmly explained; "NO one is above, or below "our" law."

    #News at 11

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Dan Scott, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    FIGHT THE BLACKLIST (This Blacklist Is An Agent-Provocateur's Dream)
    If this dangerous "Blacklist legislation" is passed by Congress, Agent Provocateurs to censor free speech will only need publish text at targeted Websites that constitute (copyright infringement). Websites that have large numbers of posted comments and information could not possibly investigate every posting to avoid being shutdown by the Justice Dept.

     

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    Colin, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

    This is how the zombie apocalypse begins: the **AAs attempt to raise the dead in order to sue supposed infringers. Things get out of hand. It happens.

     

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      identicon
      Filmmaker, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 5:16pm

      Response to: Colin on Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

      @Colin Please say you'll let me use that idea for a film!

       

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        identicon
        Colin, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 7:46pm

        Re: Response to: Colin on Dec 21st, 2011 @ 2:03pm

        Only if you pay me every time a) it's shown, b) it's mentioned in passing, or c) the trailer that is released for promotional purposes is embedded in a blog.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Ezekial Stoltzfus, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    So if you aren't going to hold someone accountable for downloading music or movies to their IP address, How do you suppose you do it? I don't know of any other way to identify the person who downloaded it short of doing a forensic analysis of the hard drives in the home that the IP address points too. I don't give a shit if the person who has the internet account did it, his son, wife, grandmother, or some random person in a car along the curb did it. It was downloaded to that IP address and the owner of the account should be the one to pay. If you're too stupid or unwilling to properly secure your wireless network then you can consider it a stupid tax. Her estate should pay every penny.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      cool story bro, you know there are some apps that let you enter any wifi ?

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:07pm

      Re:

      It as actually the curb that downloaded the songs.

      Either that or the telco crew there the day she died allegedly splicing the cable while they used every wifi in the area to clear out everything on the Pirate Bay.

      Oh, and don't put too much faith in forensic hard drive analysis. There's lots of utilities around that will wipe hard drives clean. Almost all Linux distros come with at least one of them as part of the standard 'Nix suite of utilities and you can find stuff for Windows at legit downloads sites. If you want even more assurance of a clean wipe there are utilities on SourceForge that do just that. Technically it's not all that hard to do, it just takes a lot of time.

       

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      In the interest of brevity, you're an idiot troll, and should have your ass beaten.

       

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    identicon
    Nord, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Why does everyone always think old grandmas are always totally incapable of doing anything wrong or illegal. Ive seen plenty of grandmas on the crime blotter in the paper and on shows like cops doing bad things. But every time there is an article about piracy its always sarcastically stated that the RIAA is always chasing down old Grandmas like they couldnt have possibly downloaded a music torrent. Next is "They couldnt possibly carry a bomb on a plane, they should never be searched" Its always the people that you least suspect that do things!

     

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      Killercool (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 3:50pm

      Re:

      protip: changing your username doesn't change your IP identifier.

      Unless you are multiple people trying to make a point completely opposite of your stated point, ie. IP addresses are useless as personal identifiers, and are circumstantial evidence at best.

      If so, kudos, man, kudos.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 10:23pm

      Re:

      While I don't think that old grandmas are incapable of doing anything wrong or illegal, I certainly think that dead ones are.

       

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    identicon
    SimonTek, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    The govt doesn't understand how a business works, so they make it harder to open one. They don't know how the net works, so they make issues.
    They know how politics works, and is afraid to hamper is. (Term limits, one project per bill). Looks like business as usual in washington.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 5:10pm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2011 @ 8:23pm

    Too bad, that (a) nobody is "giving control of the internet" to anyone, and (b) nobody ever explained why granny had high speed internet, a wireless connection, and allowed her granchildren to download.

    Nice try Mike, but it's just another bullshit hit piece against SOPA, full of half truths and misleading OH MY GOD claims!

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 21st, 2011 @ 9:19pm

      Re:

      Actually, if you read the article Mike links to she wouldn't allow a computer in her house so it's unlikely in the extreme that she had a connection. To wit:

      "Once tried to sue a dead grandmother to extract what it felt was its rightful pound of flesh for files allegedly downloaded to a house in which the dead woman wouldn't even allow a computer to be installed."

      Do follow a link now and then before spouting off.

       

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    •  
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      techflaws.org (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:00am

      Re:

      Sad try at trolling, dude. Another bullshit hit piece against Mike and you fail as usual.

       

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      •  
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        The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:50am

        Re: Re:

        As much as he fails here, he is a gigantic success compared to his dealings with the opposite sex. Or maybe the same sex. I really don't care, unless it involves defenseless pets. Now that I think of it.................

         

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    •  
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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      Is that a twat I hear? Why, it certainly appears so. And all the admonitions about not being such a twat are obviously lost on you. So why don't you just sod off, you wanking twat of a troll?

       

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:59pm

    "I sue dead people...

    Walking around like regular people. They don't sue each other. They only sue what they want to sue. They don't know they're damn dirty thieves..."

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Arto Bendiken, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Inside the beltway, where common sense goes to die

    As someone once wrote, no man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

     

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