Hollywood Star Ashton Kutcher Says 'SOPA Is The Problem, Not The Solution'

from the speak-out-speak-up dept

We've been pointing out that more and more people, whom the MPAA and US Chamber of Commerce pretend to be representing in their please to pass SOPA and PIPA, are actually very much against the bill. The latest is famed actor Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher, of course, isn't just an actor but has spent a fair amount of time in the entrepreneur/startup world as well, both working on startups himself and (more prominently) investing in a bunch of startups. He's also a very active user of a variety of online platforms. So he definitely has experience both with the "Hollywood" side as well as the "Silicon Valley" side -- though, he's obviously much more well known for his Hollywood success.

Either way, he's come out extremely strongly against SOPA and shows that he really gets the issues here. The key point that he makes, which we've been trying to get across for many months, is that SOPA works by putting tremendous compliance costs and liability on tech companies and startups:
Forcing social media sites and ISP's responsible for users content is amazingly burdensome and costly. SOPA will create economic problems for Internet start-ups which will be an additional negative side effect. This may cause a slow down in the Internet economic sector, which is providing real jobs and innovation for the US economy.
He points out that while the DMCA may not be perfect, it does mostly work for takedowns of infringing content, and that it doesn't make sense to add liability to service providers. Furthermore, he admits that SOPA supporters are correct that the DMCA process doesn't always work for foreign sites, "but SOPA as it is written causes more problems [than it] solves."

Separately, he recognizes how ridiculous it is to put technological choices in the hands of judges, rather than technologists:
Moreover, what is most shocking, is SOPA's idea of giving judges determination of Internet DNS. The bill suggests DNS administrators remove bad actor domains on judges orders; thus breaking the fundamentals of the Internet. It is a disastrous precedent to have Congress legislate Internet DNS control.
He points out that his colleagues supporting SOPA may be "well-meaning people," but that they "fundamentally don't understand how the internet works," and that what comes out is a "bad and confused" attempt at regulating the internet.

Finally, he points out that SOPA's actual result will be to do the exact opposite of what it claims to want to do, since its methods of enforcement will harm the economy. He closes with a call to action:
I don't support SOPA and I believe we all need to call and write our Congress to help them know we want a No vote on SOPA.
Indeed. It's fantastic to see someone like Ashton Kutcher speaking out so publicly on this issue. Yet, you can rest assured that the MPAA, US Chamber of Commerce and the politicians pushing this bill will, once again, pretend that they're supporting SOPA to help people like Ashton Kutcher. Yet, he's making it clear, this is not the kind of help that the industry wants or needs.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:11am

    Ashton Kutcher is a douche who apparently possesses zero intellectual curiosity.

    If he did, he would have read the latest revisions to the bill, gotten some information from sources other than hysterical tech-lobby jokers like Mike Masnick, and wouldn't have put his foot in his mouth like this.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    Amazing, you hate everybody who doesn't support your masters. Go fuck yourself, shillhole.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    BenAdam, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Ah yes, wisdom from the mouth of Penn State commentor Ashton K. Regardless of one's stance on SOPA, having Ashton Kutcher support your case is pretty weak.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:22am

    I don't think much of Kutcher, personally. He does, however, have a rather large fan base (many of whom aren't all that technical minded). A handful of tweets from him about anti-SOPA sentiment is likely to add a lot more backlash to this bill than it already faces.

     

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

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Ashton is a cheater

    A serial cheater who condones stealing. Not helping the cause.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Yeah, I guess the "Feed the Children" Foundation should really be worried.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Well, he seems to be a reasonable businessman, even if I think he's a raging douche. I think they should be listening to all businesses on this, and coming to a reasoned response, rather than just taking the money and "facts" from one small aspect of business and treating them like a Holy Text.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    And if it comes from the same incorrect assumptions about the bill that are peddled here, it won't make a difference.

    You people are forgetting something: millions of people could protest this bill but if they're complaining about something that isn't actually in it, just some bs spewed by Masnick and his buds to drum up fear, the net result will be Congress ignoring the complaints, because it's obvious the protesters have been had, and have no idea what they're protesting.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re:

    Yup. I can't help but think that his support for SOPA is in about the same level... he will oops and take it back at some point.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, because listening to the concerns of the creators of the internet, venture capitalists and tech industry entrepreneurs is a waste of time and effort.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    ZeeBat (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re:

    Oh. OK. Get that shit passed then. I grow tired of stinted technological progress anyhow. Nothing like a good shove.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:35am

    Huh, looks like this post is really scaring someone if they had 4 negative posts not really focusing on the article and saying the usual (But that's not what SOPA does) spiel.

    While I'm not fond of Kutcher, yeah, he knows what he's talking about. It's silly to put tech related issues in the hand of non tech folk, people who support SOPA have to realize at least that right?

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re:

    "It's silly to put tech related issues in the hand of non tech folk" Very much so. The problem is the people behind SOPA are as far from tech as possible. Fire with fire i guess.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Re:

    Yes, Congress clearly gets it, it being technology and the internet. That's why they speak so technically and accurately about the subject in their talking points about the bill.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Ashton is a cheater

    The definition of ad hom: this right here.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:41am

    One of the many issues that intrigues me about the arguments presented by the opponents of this and virtually all other legislation associated with the internet is the constant attempt to portray labels/studios as something materially different from VCs. It's "content vs. tech". Its "legacy vs. new". It's (fill in the blank).

    The truth be known, having worked with both groups I find that but for the "product", these groups are significantly more alike than they are different, with the primary difference being the laws upon which they rely to secure their investments, for without these laws investments are much more problematic. In a very simplistic way to try and draw an analogy, labels are VCs as to music, studios are VCs as to movies, and private capital investor groups are VCs as to yet another type of business venture.

    In each case they are the source of investment funds, for without such funds money-intensive ventures would have a very difficult time getting off the ground.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    I actually read his blog post on that very issue, of Penn State, and it seemed pretty sincere. Not sure why it should be held against him.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    I'm at the point where I'm rooting for this bill to past. Finally industry shills like you will have your own internet to play in, while the nerds (no longer a pejorative) will simply create ways for the public to interact with the rest of the world.

    This bill will do nothing. I've already written a program that bypasses the blocks that it will put into place. And I'll be honest, it wasn't difficult. CS 201 level of programming. So go ahead and do your worst. Like always the techno geeks will be here to fix it. You cannot win.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    They revised the bill so that 'content rights holders' can no longer request court orders to force payment processors and search engines to delist a site without an adversarial hearing and have shifted the burden of the costs of such actions onto the content rights holder?
    They revised the bill so that proactively applying the above remedies without a court order will incur significant liability instead of indemnifying?
    The revised the bill so that DNS filtering will no longer be attempted?
    Well that is excellent news. Where can I read these revisions? I'll wait here while you look it up, you seem to have a foot caught in your mouth.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re:

    That. Those who followed the SOPA mark up know that the amendments do little or nothing to help and the ones that could fix serious problems were rejected by Watt, Lamar and the likes.

    Ashton is right and it's refreshing to see an insider against SOPA. I wonder how long MAFIAA will ignore their own 'protected' artists...

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Machin Shin, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, They can ignore the protesters and go ahead and cram this through. I can promise you though that things will blow up in their faces when the protesters just sit back and watch the net crash. There is also this dangerous boiling point they are fast approaching where people will stand up and say enough is enough. There is a limit to how many bad laws you can force on the public before the system snaps.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Ashton is a cheater

    Who was deprived of the information stolen?

    Pro-tip: no one because copyright infringement isn't stealing.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    "the net result will be Congress ignoring the complaints"
    As usual. It's not like they are going to start representing their constituents now.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re:

    Oh please. If the notions are so wrong, why does everyone other than the music and movie industry lobbyists support it?

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Second opinion

    I think I'd like to hear what Kutcher's dad has to say about the issue.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    Technology brought new revenue sources for the MAFIAA. MAFIAA fought and screamed against them till they started making money and went like "oh, it ain't that bad...". Except that now we have imbeciles in the Government and they are actually listening to the retards at MAFIAA scream and whine and killing great and innovative solutions that could.. GASP... generate more revenue to the MAFIAA.

    Human being doesn't learn, they repeat the same mistakes in cycles.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Because obviously only the MPAA and RIAA and their lackies know whats best for everyone. Duh.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    JaseP, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re:

    And this is why all the recent media productions have been original, thought provoking, exciting and well written and produced?!?! No rehashing going on... no recycled stuff from 20-30 years back?!?! Yep, their hard(ly) earned money has been well spent.

    About the only positive thing in recent years has been the advancements in special effects in movies. But many of them are produced on open source software platforms, which will be harmed by this legislation (by patent trolls trying to block the downloading of open source software, protected by bogus patents they rammed through the system). But, even the special effects are partiality to blame for the dumbing down of movie content. If you have no talent as a writer or director, just wow 'em with glitzy special effects.

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    mike allen (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:03am

    I certainly that if the STUPID laws pass and the internet hurt that the people of the USA rise up and hurt congress.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    grumpy (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:06am

    Re:

    A heartfelt "yippee-ki-yay, motherfscker" would actually be extremely on-topic.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    grumpy (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re:

    Bugger. Missed. Should've been placed one comment higher. My timing is peccable today...

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    MRK, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    Perhaps you could write a coherent counter-argument instead of spouting profanities and personal attacks?

     

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

  33.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: Ashton is a cheater

    He's not condoning copyright infringment anyway, he's just against SOPA. Which I think he is allowed to be, despite whatever celebrety gossip is trendy at the moment.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

    Re:

    Hooray for ad hominems instead of addressing salient point raised!

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

    I think that the thing that bothers me most about this, and writing your representative and senators is absolutely no help. They are hell bent on destruction. No one really owns the internet. So how is it so easy to police it. Let these agencies continue to do what they have done for years with the laws that are already on the books. It has worked in the past. If they think this is going to stop the problems they claim then they really don't have a clue as to what is happening.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    bjupton (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re:

    Look, if those other businesses wanted to be listened to, they should have voted the last time a Congressman had a fundraiser.

    Who are these Un-American businesses who don't support voting rights?

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    demented, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:37am

    I'm sure that Kutcher is passionate about stopping SOPA. After all, if twitter dies, how will he annoy the masses?

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re:

    I think the last original film was Jacob's Ladder, but I might be wrong.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re:

    You are just a troll who does not care about losing your freedom.So you are not only a douche as you name called but you are a traitor to our Constitution.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re:

    You've written a program that uses proxies? How innovative!

    /sarc

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What a douche you also are.

    The internet isn't based on your childish piracy sites, and will do more than fine without them.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This law doesn't target piracy sites. It hopes to take out the piracy sites by targeting the legal third parties, the advertisers, payment processors, search engines, things that don't really have anything to do with the piracy sites. It's also open to easy abuse with little or no punishment for those who do. So, it can easily be used to target things that have nothing to do with piracy.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    What a Totally Epic Mental Schism ... In what universe do you live?

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I know you are being sarcastic but you do make a good point. "Congress clearly gets it, it being technology and the internet." I had a discussion about this at a luncheon in DC last month. Politicians fear the internet, it allows people to know what they are doing outside of controlled broadcast media channels. One of their greatest fears is a YourPolitician.com site that pulls together everything they have done. Voting records, stands of various subjects, who funds them, like a CIA factbook for politicians.

    It is a game changer that would change the nature of politics.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And how exactly SOPA will end the pirate sites?

    LoL

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    I'm so glad Ashton Krutcher rang in on this, he's such a expert on copyrights and technology. /sarcasm

    In related news, Paris Hilton thinks stem-cell research might be icky.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    According to you clowns, reddit, facebook, wikipedia, etc. will be disappeared; so you're saying the pirate sites are fine?

    LOL

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re:

    The large majority of VC funded startups tank as well. There is, unfortunately, no algorithm I know of that is able to pick only winners.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    why the fuck is our govt so set on this bill? oh yea, lobbyists (aka legalized bribing).

    don't our lawmakers have better things to work on say.. fixing our horrible economy, reducing unemployment, actually working for the people?

    if this passes, we just revert back to our old school ways and in turn i will pirate the shit out of everything. i'm not a pirate and a rather large digital media consumer too. grrrr!!

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    athe, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    I have a feeling...

    That his character may meet a similarly grisly end as Charlie's if he keeps this up...

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Re:

    You know, I think he probably did and, like many others, concluded that they don't change a damned thing.

    And hearing you, of all people, accuse ANYONE of lacking intellectual curiosity is hilarious!

    Something must have hit home, though cause you sound a bit peeved. Are you starting to realize that Denial is not just a river in Africa?

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 3:46pm

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

    Well, seering as FaceBook pirates all your personal info, as well as your history and tracks your movements...

    I'm pretty okay with FB disappearing.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re:

    The tweet heard round the world, and then his decision to let grownups run his twitter account for him make him not very relevant. As just prior he had appeared at an event crying about how children were being sexually abused by adults and then blindly putting football before looking at the why... and now grownups run his account.

    The pissing contest with he and his soon to be former wife against experts who disagreed with their pet experts on serious issues did not help.

    While I am glad for him creating more exposure on the topic, given the flaws of the person reporting it could be damaging not helpful. It is nice to have more people see the issue, but part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop and him to do something asinine to get the focus back unto himself.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    TheBigH (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:13pm

    Re:

    Your fear and desparation are amusing.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    One suggestion, ... If it's a remake, rehash, typical "buddy film," "chase film," action movie with plot holes an aircraft carrier could navigate through, or cheesy romantic comedy with a funny male protagonist and straight-woman sassy love interest who warms up to him,... PASS.

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Amy Strickland, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 11:30am

    You may not like Ashton...

    ...but the media companies who want this Bill won't let this issue even touch TV news. At least people who follow him will look-it-up and become aware of it.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Wowser, Jan 1st, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    Re: Re:

    That would be the case if he was for SOPA

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Jake Mcguin, Jan 2nd, 2012 @ 9:27am

    As a business person it makes perfect sense for tech people to NOT regulate the internet. It would be a little like having Wall Street regulate itself. And we all know how that went. People outside of a paradigm usually do a better job. They are already "outside of the box".

     

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

  59.  
    icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), Jan 3rd, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re:

    Go back under your bridge, troll!

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This