OK, So SOPA And PIPA Are Both On Hold: Where Do We Go From Here?

from the just-the-beginning dept

There is a rather odd atmosphere within the parts of the online community that fought so hard against SOPA this week – relief that all that work seems to have had an effect, mixed with a certain disbelief that for once the outside world sat up and took notice of the tech world's concerns. Amidst all the justified back-patting, there is a temptation to celebrate the fact that both SOPA and PIPA are "delayed", and to move on.

As Lauren Weinstein points out in an excellent, monitory blog post entitled "Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War", that would be a big mistake:

you might be tempted to assume that the battle is over, the war is won, and that -- as Maxwell Smart used to say -- "Once again the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, the forces arrayed in favor of Internet censorship are not only powerful and well funded, but are in this game for the very long haul indeed. A day of demonstrations to them, as annoying as they may be to these censorship proponents in the very short run, are in the final analysis more like a single human lifetime compared against the centuries.
So the question then becomes, how can a fast-moving industry that is easily distracted by cool hardware and pictures of cats hope to match the lumbering but unswerving attack of the copyright dinosaurs?

One of the key problems is that few within the Internet world know much about how "DC" – the inner circle of US policy-making – really works. One person who does is Christine Paluch, as she explains in this post seconding Weinstein's warning about "The Long War":

Here in DC the long war is not some analogy, it is a way of life. This is a town of strategists and researchers who often lay intellectual groundwork for legislation that gets put into place long after they have moved on to another issue. I should know this, I was one of the researchers, and I worked on a few major issues involving regulatory policy, specifically labor and employment, environmental issues, consumer product safety, and healthcare. It is not very often that somebody sees their work used in laying the groundwork for historic legislation, but the work of me and my fellow researchers was used in a few pieces of historic legislation. It was a part of the long game, one that took over 5 years to completely play out, and I was only there for part of it. I was already left the campaign by the time the legislation went through congress.
She also has some very useful advice for the geek world she now calls her own ("Somehow I was roped in by technologists and they have assimilated me into their development processes"):
in my honest opinion it needs to go beyond a simple censorship campaign, and have a much broader focus. What [Weinstein] is citing is a defensive campaign, but from my own experiences, the best campaigns are not just defensive, but also strategic and proactive. I also think it needs to focus on broader goals for science and technology as well, as I think the SOPA and PIPA campaign are part of a larger pattern that needs to be addressed.
In other words, the tech world really needs to think big on this. The rest of the post is well-worth reading for its information about some of the details of DC policy making; but the central message is very simple:
SOPA and PIPA should not be the end, but rather the beginning. This is the best advice to making technology a larger and permanent force in DC as somebody who at one point was part of this system.
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Too true

    There's another bill in the works--wish for the life of me I could remember the name--which will quietly revamp the laws and suddenly require your online identity to be entirely provably you... as well as making several new things felonies.

     

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      gorehound (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:54am

      Re: Too true

      I will now agree that the Tech Industries need to get together and stand up for the Freedom of the Internet,the changing and fixing of the broken patent system, and the fixing of the broken copyright laws.
      At this point what could the Government do or the Big Content Industry do without TECH ?

      And yes this Censorship Battle has only begun.I kept saying over and over SOPA/PIPA/OPEN = WAR

       

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        bob, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re: Too true

        Dude. Where have you been. You're just a pawn in a battle between the sumo wrestlers. Big Search and Big Piracy knocked down Big Content this time, but don't expect that to last forever. Why? Because you love big budget movies and no one is going to sink $100m+ into a movie and know that some cyber locker is going to make a fortune selling faster download speeds to watch it. Nope.

        And patents? Big Search is filing them like crazy. Don't think they won't use them either against anything that threatens to make them Little Search.

        Get a clue. SOPA has nothing to do with freedom for you. Fighting SOPA has everything to do with ensuring freedom for Big Search and Big Piracy.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: Too true

          Big Internet is destroying our freedoms.

           

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Too true

          We don't have a troll all day and we get this? Common Bob, you can do better then that.

           

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          crade (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Too true

          "no one is going to sink $100m+ into a movie and know that some cyber locker is going to make a fortune selling faster download speeds to watch it. Nope. "
          ? Umm... not that it really matters, but I'm pretty sure this argument is not correct.. They have been doing this for a while.
          Also putting funny labels like Big Search and Big Content won't make any difference, it isn't who they are that matters but their actions. When "Big Search" is the one (by their own admission even) buying legislation for their benefit at the expense of others instead of "Big Content", then I will be fighting them.

           

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          btrussell (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Too true

          "Because you love big budget movies and no one is going to sink $100m+ into a movie and know that some cyber locker is going to make a fortune selling faster download speeds to watch it. Nope."

          They are already doing this for how long Big Bob?

          "Piracy" can't be as Big Bad as they Big Claim or they would have Big Quit making movies Big Years ago.

           

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      David Evans (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:54am

      Re: Too true

      I think you're referring to the White House's "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" (NTISC)

      It's so much harder to fight these things when they don't have catchy names.

       

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: Too true

        Found it:
        OPEN-Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act

        There's a few terrifying tidbits buried in that sucker.

         

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:12am

      Re: Too true

      Can someone summarize this thing for me in a way that can be read. So far all I'm getting is a standardized online identification method, not something Techdirt or Facebook would be forced to implement. Kinda like the HIPPA rules, but for banks and the like.

       

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        el_segfaulto (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:27am

        Re: Re: Too true

        That's what I got out of it too. As far as I could tell nothing nefarious, just another centralized ID implementation like OpenID. As long as it isn't required to actively use the internet, I wouldn't worry too much.

         

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        Rich Kulawiec, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re: Too true

        Sounds good, doesn't it?

        Except...it's already been completely pre-defeated. It won't work. See "several hundred million bots" and think, for ten seconds, about what the operational impact of that situation is on ANY attempt to create an online identity system. (And in the following ten seconds, consider this: The Bad Guys already have some motivation to create bots. Even with that limited motivation, they've been wildly successful. What will happen to that motivation if any of these boneheaded ID initiatives goes into effect?)

        The people pushing it either (a) don't know this -- in which case they are ignorant or (b) know this but don't care -- in which case they are lying.

         

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Too true

          I didn't say it would work, I didn't even say I would sign up for one (I'd avoid it like the plague), I just don't think there was anything nefarious in NSTIC.

          OPEN on the other hand, I still have to read that to see how bad it is, but I'm already against it.

           

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            Rich Kulawiec, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Too true

            I see your point -- but: how long do you think it'll take from "we could do this" to "we must do this" to "you must do this"? There is a great distrust of the very important Internet principle of anonymity amongst those in power, and they will seize any opportunity they can to erode it. Whatever the bogeyman du jour is -- infringement, terrorism, bullying, etc. -- it will be seized upon as justification for attempting imposition of a mandatory identity scheme.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Hmm, sounds complicated. I think I'll just go to watch some funny cat videos or something...

    Just kidding.

    Seriously though, a lot of the supporters that got us this far are gonna be like that. We're all kinds of boned.

     

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    Brian Schroth (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    A more accurate way of framing it than "we won this battle, now we've won the war" would be "hey, after losing 50 battles in a row (DMCA, SBCTEA, etc) we finally won 1!".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    She's right
    With legislation you're either the movers or the moved.
    Up until and including now the internet has been the moved, with the only level of influence the tech community has been having is to have some effect on how far were being moved.
    But all the moves are in the wrong direction, tech needs to step up and put the legacy industries onto the backfoot for a change, and then keep them there.

     

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    John Doe, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    It took millions to overcome a handful

    As I mentioned in another post today, it took millions of people to overcome the legislative efforts of just a handful of lobbyists and industry moguls. Since it is so very easy for the handful to mobilize, they will be back and they will get craftier in their next attempt. This major imbalance in power is the root of much of the problems in this countries government.

     

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

      Re: It took millions to overcome a handful

      Thanks for pointing that out. Even the Founding Fathers recognized that. It's why Thomas Jefferson said "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

      He knew that keeping freedom was always going to be difficult, but was definitely worth the fight.
      God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

      --Thomas Jefferson

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    The Offensive

    The only way to make this work is a comprehensive campaign for freedom. One of the major political parties could latch onto that and have a whole generation of voters. If the Republican leadership had brains they'd ditch the religious conservatives and latch onto the freedom types before it's too late and they lose the whole generation. You can tell they may already be testing those waters. The Democrats tested that the last Presidential cycle, but that seems to have resulted in mass disillusionment.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:48pm

      Re: The Offensive

      If the Republican leadership had brains they'd ditch the religious conservatives and latch onto the freedom types before it's too late and they lose the whole generation.

      Oh geeze, I feel dirty now after realizing there is a way for the Republicans to get my vote, even if its entirely theoretical.

      The Democrats tested that the last Presidential cycle, but that seems to have resulted in mass disillusionment.

      Yeah, that's what usually happens when you don't follow through on promises to change things and go back to the old corrupt system and even fail using that to get much done.

       

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    But how

    I think they're expecting too much, too fast. It's one thing to get people to E-Mail and call, it's another thing to get them to put down the video game and keep their eye on politics.

    If you want strategy, then here you go. Work with human nature. If they want to be lazy, let them do nothing. The next step? Well... I don't know, that's where the Think Tank comes in, but we have a good first step.

     

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      Suja (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:01am

      Re: But how

      yeah good luck with that

      the sheeple's gotta have their ... whatever big MAFIAA star is making movies/songs right now

      you try and talk them into boycotting they probably won't even know what the word means, nor find the cause "important" enough to support, heck, they probably WANT to give them money because they've been long since brainwashed by the piracy propaganda

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:06am

        Re: Re: But how

        Even so, 8,000,000 people can make a huge dent.

        We can do it, but one thing we need to do is not fall back on the "sheeple" idea. It provides a scapegoat for those who are on the fence. We need to pull them over.

         

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          Suja (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:27am

          Re: Re: Re: But how

          one thing we need to do is not fall back on the "sheeple" idea. It provides a scapegoat for those who are on the fence.


          i agree

          i've been turned quite sour from years of trying to gain support to things ("oh my that's so horrible! well, gotta go, the superbowl's on!") & hitting dead ends at every turn

          We need to pull them over.


          and that's something i have no idea how to do, most of the time they seem pretty happy to kick back and eat some popcorn as the struggle goes on, for every sheeple out there's one person who genuinely don't want to get involved with it

           

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            Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: But how

            The same way we got the Internet to band together, we show them exactly how these laws can affect them and that they can do something about it.

            That last part is important. They think that they can't do anything about it, so they don't. We just need to show them that they can do something, we've proved it today.

             

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              JatHead, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: But how

              That last part is important. They think that they can't do anything about it, so they don't. We just need to show them that they can do something, we've proved it today.

              Couldn't agree with you more.
              It's the most important thing in this fight and people must be continually reminded that a single voice can change the world.

               

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      David Evans (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:12am

      Re: But how

      I've had my eye on politics and these kinds of bills just for the last fifteen years or so, but I know they keep coming back with this toxic stuff year after year.
      There's an inherent problem with the 'long game' in that the 'protest' side of any movement mostly wants to be left alone, and invariably - absolutely invariably - gets tired of the fight first. For us fighting these kinds of battles means taking time out of the life we've already got, for the pro-legislative side it's just a day in the life. Wrangling the public is what they do. There's a reason that guys like Lamar exist.

      One of these tech groups or freedom groups is going to have to actually draft legislation that does these things we always suggest and yell about. Fixing Copyright. Fixing Patents. Codifying internet rights and freedoms in no uncertain terms. And we're going to have to get behind that effort and do all this over again.

      SO... anybody got a bill? The sooner the better, or everybody's going to have forgotten this skirmish.

       

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        JarHead, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

        Re: Re: But how

        I'm feeling optimistic today.... Hmm, is it something I drank?

        As Chronno S. Trigger said somewhere else in this comment section, the important thing is getting people to realize that anyone of us can effect change. This is an important point to be grounded as if our 2nd nature.

        Yes for us fighting is taking time from our normal lives. But if (and a big if) everyone of us knows that whatever we do have impact, it'll take just a little spark to re-ignite a similar movement like last Wednesday, or maybe bigger.

        So I think a group of dedicated motivators is also needed alongside with a balanced bill proposal.

         

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        Gary, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 2:50pm

        Re: Re: But how

        I think for one that the EFF might be able to help.

         

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      crade (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re: But how

      I think whoever wrote your post is mistaken. MPAA/RIAA is not the source of the problem. They are just *one* of the ones currently playing the role of legislative manipulator. The real source of the problem needs to be traced to why we have this role and why it is such a prosperous one.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re: But how

        One step at a time. We just need to give the others something to worry about, and the MPAA and RIAA are vary large targets.

        We can't do it all at once, as has been said, we need to think strategically. Fighting a war on multiple fronts is not strategic.

         

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        Bill Price (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: But how

        MPAA/RIAA is not the source of the problem. They are just *one* of the ones currently playing the role of legislative manipulator. The real source of the problem needs to be traced to why we have this role and why it is such a prosperous one.

        Isn't it obvious: The Big Government has been allowed to arrogate to itself the power to determine who prospers and who fails. So long as Big Government is allowed to go beyond enforcing honesty in dealings, Big AnythingElse will find it easier to corrupt the governors than to make themselves useful.


        The US reached that stage long ago. The only possibility that I can see is Jefferson's observation, quoted above — take the power away from Big Government. I don't know how to do that, except by Jefferson's prescription, but Big Government also protects itself by whatever force it thinks it needs and can get away with.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    I think the biggest thing from all this is the activity that the "tech" and internet activists have produced.

    And it was, at least for now, successfully.

    Realising that they can indeed have an impact and have their voices heard is probably a huge morale boost that is unlikely to be the most important thing to come out of this.

     

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    Stephan Kinsella (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

    or at least radically restrict its scope and term and expand fair use. copyright is the disease. SOPA is the symptom.

     

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      Suja (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:09am

      Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

      good luck with that too

      copyright is more than a disease, it is a religion, of which there are many MANY zealot fanatics & fandumb sheeple who've been bullied and/or pressured into going along with it

      from the MAFIAA to the control-freak artist, it is maintained by some of the most unbelievably rude, disrespectful, egotistical & self-entilted spoiled brats i ever had the misfortune of knowing


      it isn't just a disease it is a self-repairing, world-eating cancer, of which i know no cure, perhaps the secret lies with the people behind it, and of that i know no solution for either


      i believe a good step towards a solution would be to create content sites that go by creative commons (specifically CC-BY-SA) where people who are into free content have a special place to go, right now there is none and that is a huge problem

      cannot take on this disease head-on, nor it's masters, but we can dissolve it slowly by making our own copyright free corner of the net

      i would very much like to make such a site, but i don't think anyone would join it, so until i see support or interest i won't say no more on it

       

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        bob, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

        Keep talking that way and the average American will start loving SOPA. Why? Because copyright protects everyone equally. That means that businesses don't rip off the artists and just take their work. It means that corporations treat the little guy with some respect. Oh, I know the big guy usually wins, but imagine what it would be like if a big corporation could take your music, your art, your writing and pay you nothing. Why that's what they would do.

        So while you imagine it's going to lead to some Shangri La where you can just download $100m movies for nothing and it will all be way cool, you're wrong. The $100m movies will be replaced by cat videos from YouTube and the artists who are actually able to work as artists will need to get regular jobs.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

          They can still work as artists.

           

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          Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

          "That means that businesses don't rip off the artists and just take their work"

          I can name a few musicians where that has already happened. They sign up to an RIAA label who claim copyright over their music in exchange for a contract. The small print abuses them far more than copyright law ever would.

          Then later another music company buys out their label. The former business is dead so contacts null and void BUT they transferred the ownership rights to the new company. Ergo the artists no longer get paid when their music is sold.

          The artists would actually love our copyright reform when it would say every musician has a shared ownership right by default which cannot be sold or given away. You create it then you share the reward.

           

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            jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

            This has happened to Robert Fripp with King Crimson, and he's been in a legal fight for years about it. Be blogs about it sometimes.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

          >Keep talking that way and the average American will start loving SOPA. Why? Because copyright protects everyone equally.

          To paraphrase a popular trolling phrase these days, hahahahahahahaha

           

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          btrussell (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

          "That means that businesses don't rip off the artists and just take their work."

          That gave me a Big Laugh, Big Bob. Bigger than ROFLMFAO!

           

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          Bill Price (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 10:19am

          Re: Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

          Because copyright protects everyone equally.


          "The majestic equality of laws forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread."
          - Jacques Anatole I. France (Jacques Anatole Thibault)

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

        Re: Re: We need to ABOLISH COPYRIGHT

        I'm a musician, and I'd be in. I'm not the only one, either. You'd be surprised how many of us techies are also musicians with talent. I bet there are plenty of folks good at the other arts, as well. It's actually a pretty big movement. I believe Radiohead released one of their albums online with an *optional* donation of any amount. Panera Bread had an experimental store (not sure if it's still open, but it was doing well last I checked) that also operated purely off of donations, so those strapped for cash could literally eat for free. OpenSource is just the beginning. People are ready to start sharing. We are tired of living in our little isolated forts of security.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    The next big initiative should be in the field of online privacy. Our laws would never allow the government to record and catalogue the sort of data private companies maintain on individuals, the fact that it rests in private hands is even worse. Not just from a security standpoint, but also because these private companies cooperate with the government by sharing your information without so much as a warrant.

     

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    Dood, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    I say a few things need to happen

    First I think the net neutrality discussion seriously needs to come back. We've seen so many new laws and recent supreme court rulings pro big business and anti consumer/citizen. With this latest threat of copyright being used to attack the fundamental values of the internet, it's time to define those values and protect them with a modern day bill of rights. It's essential we maintain a free and open internet. I think the US could repair it's image in the world and maintain greater authority over the internet if they lead the way maintaining free and unfettered access to information. Standing up for free speech and championing that image around the world.

    Second the RIAA/MPAA are right. We do share a common consensus that piracy and intellectual property theft are an issue. If they will finally adapt, change, and develop new business models they can make more money then ever. A real discussion with the tech sector and the public about how to address piracy. No one is unwilling to have this conversation except for them. I work in both the tech sector and content creation sector. Network engineer/musician.I understand both sides. It's a shame the RIAA/MPAA have taken this stance of them vs the tech sector. No one in the tech sector has a problem with their argument. But I think most people in my industry are relatively smart, able people. But they understand the importance of free speech and over regulating the internet.

    Protecting free speech should be the #1 concern of our Congress at all times. If there is even a remote chance a new law may abridge the constitutional rights of a citizen it should be closely examined and put through peer review. Congress is there to represent us and maintain the constitution/bill of rights. The rights of the people should always be the first concern of any new law. So when we see a new bill come that attacks the very foundation of those rights we all resoundingly said no way. Congress is going to do even more damage to their image if they pass this bill in any form. The furor is there and I don't think any revision of this bill will work now.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:53pm

      Re: I say a few things need to happen

      The problem has been that "democracy" was re-defined to mean corporations.

      It is used as an economic term (double-speak) meaning "freedom for corporations to operate" - no enviromental laws, overtime, child labor or that from local governments. This is what the U.S. applied to trade agreements.

      Go back and read a few speeches - I became aware of this double-speak under Bush Jr.

      But this gave a whole new meaning whenever anyone talks about policy and democracy - they aren't talking "majority rules" and "voting". This economic policy was re-imported domestically.

      Using phrases including trigger words like "democracy" is exactly HOW they have gotten measures accepted in the U.S.

      Everything is a soundbite that will fit into a headline. Those who don't do well - fail. The Dems are a perfect example.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    One of the best new tools we have is that with Google's 7 million signatures is that many of these people will have selected to continue to be updated by email, keeping people who normally wouldn't pay attention in the loop when rapid action is needed. This also applies to the other lists that were compiled with similar options to continue to be updated by email.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    It may not be over, but....

    Now the government sees EXACTLY why they need some way to regulate the flow of information over the internet.

    There was just no way in the past that there was a way to mobilize millions of people to call one another and then call their reps in DC. Social networks are one way to spread information but they are terribly limited when trying to reach the masses. As we all got to witness, all it took were a few VERY popular sites to direct a fraction of their traffic toward DC.

    I think Google, Facebook, and Wikipedia just figured out that they really don't need to conform to the DC pay to play game. Why donate a million dollars when you have the eyes and ears of a million voters?

     

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      Rich Kulawiec, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

      Re: It may not be over, but....

      Facebook was conspicuous by its absence from the blackout. Coward Mark Zuckerberg apparently was unwilling to give up so much as a single day's worth of revenue -- never mind that he, personally, makes more in an hour than most of us will in a decade -- in order to support the Internet.

      Many sites -- MANY! -- who are struggling to get by made the sacrifice. They answered the call. Facebook did not.

      We need to remember this. Zuckerberg does not deserve a voice. He does not deserve a seat at the table. He was tested and found wanting.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

      Re: It may not be over, but....

      I think this scared them. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a push for MORE control over the internet and that can easily happen through various regulatory changes that aren't a matter of public policy or debate.

      That's how the banking laws were changed to benefit the few. Bush didn't need laws to change regulations. Most of them didn't need a congressional audience either. Just a flexible legal department.

      As it is, trade agreements don't need public oversight - ACTA. That's more poweful than the president.

      The trick is to engage the public in a meaningful debate when 99% of their information sources are backing SOPA / PIPA.

       

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        Bob Dickson (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 1:53am

        Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

        Exactly right. This will scare Washington, and we can expect that they will find excuses to try to control the Internet even more.

        I think the best action we could take would be a very strong offensive against all of the areas which have been used against us in recent decades. I have no idea how to organize to get enough support behind it, but if we could keep the bad guys busy fighting our offensive, they would have less time and energy to spend on their offensives, and maybe we'll even win back some of what has been taken from us.

        I said all the areas which have been used against us. Hang onto your seat.

        This offensive's goals should include:

        - Abolish copyrights and patents, including cancelling all existing ones.

        - Prohibit any court from enforcing provisions of existing contracts which require payment (or other actions) that were agreed to in order to license copyrights or patents.

        - Outlaw DRM in any form, hardware or software, with a corporate death penalty for any company that tries to sneak DRM into a product.

        - Require publishing of programming specifications for all hardware products.

        - Completely separate the companies who provide telephone, cable, Internet backbone, and/or Internet access service from any other business, with a corporate death penalty for any company that tries to evade this.

        - Require the companies in the previous point to offer access to their physical plant, as once was required (CLEC), with a corporate death penalty for any company that obstructs or otherwise unfairly competes with companies taking that offer.

        - Eliminate all restrictions that restrict local governments or associations from providing Internet service.

        - Probably something to whack the cell phone companies, but I don't know what would best promote improvement for the users of the cell network. Perhaps establishing a single standard would be part of it.

        - Repeal the rights-trampling parts of the Patriot Act.

        - Sharply reduce the personhoodness of corporations, and reestablish that they must, by law, operate in the public interest. Explicitly repudiate the notion that the only purpose is to increase shareholder value.

        - Devise a way to force all lobbying to take place entirely in the open, and remove contributions from the process entirely. Making your or your company's desires known and pointing out the public benefits that would result is valid. Buying legislation is not. I don't know how to do this, but someone else might.

        No doubt there are goals that should be in the list that I'm not thinking of right now.

        As I already said, I have no idea how to organize to build support for this very large effort. I hope someone does.

        Some might point out that abolishing copyrights undermines the GPL. True, but wouldn't what we win be worth it?

        To those who might say we cannot do some of these things because of existing treaties, trade agreements, or the like, I say ignore them. Treaties get ignored when they no longer align with national interests. Similarly to those who might say we would face other forms of international opposition. We should tough it out. Our rights are at stake.

         

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          Stephan Kinsella (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 5:40am

          Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

          Bob, some of your proposals are good, like abolishing patent and copyright. but many of the others are unjust, because they requier the state violating property rights---such as forcing people not to use DRM. The very reason to oppose patent and copyright is that they are unjust and violate property rights. The criminal state itself is the reason we have these laws. It makes no sense to oppose the unjust, anti-property laws the criminal state has imposed on society, and to also advocate that same criminal state impose yet more property violations on society.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 9:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

            "Criminal state"?

            "Violate property rights"?

            "Unjust, anti-property laws..."?

            "Impose yet more property violations on society"?

            Seems to me you have a propensity for getting "drunk on your own wine".

             

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            Bob Dickson (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 9:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

            Stephan, your logic escapes me. It seems to me the property rights that DRM protects are the ones that eliminating patents and copyrights eliminates. So how can you want to protect them?

             

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              Stephan Kinsella (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 9:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

              Bob, if i release a DRM encoded file, the state has no right to stop me from doing it. I do not violate people's rights by releasing it. Take it or leave it, right? What am I not making clear.

               

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                Bob Dickson (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 1:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

                Stephan,

                Oh, I don't know. How about I raise some cows, milk them, and sell the milk, but to get a little better price I add a little melamine, to make the milk test like it has higher protein content? The state has no right to stop me from doing it? I'm not violating people's rights? Take it or leave it?

                Okay, that example is a little over the top, but I think it very clearly establishes that the state certainly does have a right to tell you to stop doing certain things. There are numerous safety-related regulation about what you must do or must not do in making your product. There are implied warranty and fitness for purpose laws, that tell you what you must do or must not do when making your product.

                DRM prohibition would be related to the laws about products being fit for purpose. DRM prevents things like making backup copies, moving files from one device to another -- things which a reasonable person would expect to be able to do with the products. In hardware it prevents some kinds of customizations or repurposing that ought to be routinely possible. So the state has a good reason to protect individual buyers' rights by prohibiting DRM. If you don't want to produce a DRM-free product, that's not violating your rights. Take it or leave it. (How does it feel to be on the other side of that?)

                 

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                  Stephan Kinsella (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 12:07pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

                  "Oh, I don't know. How about I raise some cows, milk them, and sell the milk, but to get a little better price I add a little melamine, to make the milk test like it has higher protein content? The state has no right to stop me from doing it? I'm not violating people's rights? Take it or leave it?"

                  As long as you disclose it it's not a violation of rights. If you fail to it could be fraud or some other tort.

                  "Okay, that example is a little over the top, but I think it very clearly establishes that the state certainly does have a right to tell you to stop doing certain things."

                  No it does not. In fact the state is criminal and the only thing it has a right to do is disband. In any case, at most, the state ought to enforce only laws that prohibit action that actually violates individual property rights.

                  " There are numerous safety-related regulation about what you must do or must not do in making your product."

                  They are all illegitimate.

                  "There are implied warranty and fitness for purpose laws, that tell you what you must do or must not do when making your product."

                  Yes, and slavery was also legal at one point. What the law is does not prove what it should be.

                  "DRM prohibition would be related to the laws about products being fit for purpose. DRM prevents things like making backup copies, moving files from one device to another -- things which a reasonable person would expect to be able to do with the products. In hardware it prevents some kinds of customizations or repurposing that ought to be routinely possible. So the state has a good reason to protect individual buyers' rights by prohibiting DRM. If you don't want to produce a DRM-free product, that's not violating your rights. Take it or leave it. (How does it feel to be on the other side of that?)"

                  It is violating your rights. State force is being aimed at someone to threaten then to refrain from peaceful conduct that does not violate anyone's rights. It's pure aggression.

                   

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                    Bob Dickson (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 3:12pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

                    Stephan, I don'tknow what planet you're from, but it appears you and I are so far apart that we can't have a meaningful discussion about this.

                     

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                      Stephan Kinsella (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 3:17pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

                      Yes, because I have principles and believe in property rights and talk about things realistically and coherently. You act faux-shocked that some people are actually anti-state and libertarians and have principles. Shirley, you have encountered such people before.

                       

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                btrussell (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 2:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

                People will want to buy the file, they won't want to buy DRM or pay for developing something that has no benefit to them.

                So, you can add it but, good luck with the customers.

                 

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

          So we should replace their draconian legislation with our draconian legislation? I don't like your ideas.

          I think what we really need is open and public discussion where everyone, including the public, is invited to participate, instead of legislation written behind closed doors and pushed through with hopes nobody notices.

          There is a point of compromise in every debate where all parties can agree. Tech companies are willing to work with content companies, and the government should force them to work things out, not play to the highest bidder. And the government must represent the general public, not the corporations.

          The easiest fix is to remove all money from the equation. I don't know if even that is possible though.

           

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            Bob Dickson (profile), Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 2:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It may not be over, but....

            Well, Jupiterkansas, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. I'll admit that the corporate death penalty might verge on draconian, but I'd claim that most of what I suggest is merely taking back rights that have been stolen from us over the years. Is *that* draconian? I don't think so.

            Note also that nowhere did I say that my "draconian" laws should be written behind closed doors and pushed through, hoping no one notices. That's one of the tactics of the content industry. I didn't say we should do that.

            That word "compromise" is a funny word. Put aside for the moment that the content industry has shown precious little propensity to engage in it, in the sense that you mean. But you know, there is another meaning of "compromise". Look at dictionary.com's 6th meaning: "to expose or make vulnerable to danger, suspicion, scandal, etc.; jeopardize: a military oversight that compromised the nation's defenses." In that sense, the content industry has been compromising our rights all along, and I, for one, am fed up with that kind of compromise. I guess I'm an odd guy -- whenever I hear people calling for a compromise on these matters, my first thought always is that the content industry has already compromised a lot of our rights, and I don't want them doing any more of it. Funny language, English is.

            Anyway, I want no compromise between giant content companies and giant tech companies that divvy up our rights between them, leaving none for us. And I don't want the government pushing for that. I want the government to protect the little guys' rights.

            Interesting that your last point is about removing money from the process. Did you make it all the way to my last point? You and I certainly seem to be on the same page as far as that issue goes, and if you calmly consider what the other things I suggested actually would mean, should a miracle occur and they ever were enacted, I think you would conclude that you would agree with a lot more of them than you initially seem to.

             

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    fb39ca4, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:32am

    I never finished reading the article because I got distracted by the pictures of cats and the cool hardware.

     

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    Juan, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:32am

    You go to the ballot box

    and you make sure that anybody supporting crap like this is thrown out of office face first and never seen in politics ever again.

    That's where we go. We keep it up. We remind our government that We the People matter, and not what some $1000 suit wearing Hollywood studio exec thinks.

    Enough is enough.

     

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    Cary, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Fire with Fire

    To win a fight like this, you can't just be against a couple of bills. We need to form a coalition/lobby group of our own and author bills we can support.

    Bottom line, DC doesn't know how to talk to a person much less negotiate with one, they only will speak with representatives of people, be that congress, senate or a lobby.

    Surely one of the well financed organizations who were against these bills can stand up a webpage and grass roots lobby organization that fights for the openness of the internet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    "Switch to C-SPAN covering the U.S. Congress and it's a completely different picture. You can't see it, because they don't allow the camera to pan around, but the hall is empty, people coming to speak just to C-SPAN--they're not speaking to each other--all of the activity of negotiation and deliberation is done outside the chamber; there's no deliberation, so you just have to ask, "Why did we create a Congress?" The framers didn't sit down and set up a Congress so they could imagine these 535 independent contractors all arbitraging fundraising opportunities. If that's what the institution is, then let's just shut it down."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111224/01031317187/jack-abramoff-explains-return-invest ment-lobbying-22000-is-surprisingly-low.shtml

    Why don't these lobbyists discuss these issues in Congress openly for the public to see? Why do these discussions often occur elsewhere behind closed doors?

    We need to be proactive. The government-industrial complex has already managed to regulate cable and broadcasting against the public interest through govt established cableco and broadcasting monopolies. Not only must we ensure that the govt doesn't do to the Internet what it has wrongfully accomplished outside the Internet, we need to proactively undo the publicly detrimental cableco and broadcasting regulations that already exist and ensure that, to the extent these communication channels are regulated, they are regulated in the public interest (which isn't happening now).

    We need to be more proactive and repeal the existing IP laws that are against the public interest (like copy protection lengths, among many others), along with many other existing anti-competitive laws that are socially detrimental (like govt established taxi cab monopolies).

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    It's hard for technology to find ways to help Hollywood when Hollywood keeps fighting them at every turn.

    I don't think they'll be happy until they can say, "You want to embed videos on your blog? Then pay up a licensing fee that will cover any copyrighted use." They've already done it with streaming radio. They want everything online to be licensed. They'll use the performance rights fees payed by restaurants and bars as a template.

    Once the licensing fees are in place, they can slowly raise them until the only people that can afford to be online are the big players. It's the only way they'll maintain the revenue streams of the past.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    No it's NOT Thinking Big

    There are at least three things that need to be articulated. And as an aside Ron Paul, at last nights Republican, finally presented a clear concise description of what it means to be Libertarian. That is that the (Federal)laws we pass must be within the context of the constitution, not based on whether we believe the proposed law is good or bad.

    The Public Relations theme that needs to be present is to restore Copyright to its original intent. The basic problem is that copyright/patent law are complex, many people only have casual knowledge and are easily swayed by sound-bytes.

    1. Piracy is one sound byte. It is easy to sway people that piracy is wrong because it is theft. A simple Motherhood statement. At last night's Republican debate the CNN moderator prefaced his remarks what the loaded language that piracy is theft. So one challenge is how to convince the public that the contents industry's definition of piracy is wrong.

    2. Static concept of Copyright is another sound byte. Like piracy it is easy to casually assume that the copyright law has not been changed and is somehow deficient. Consequently it is easy to fall for the need for stronger copyright to protect the poor starving artists. What is seldom expressed, but seems to be vaguely recognized,is that copyright has been getting stronger and stronger and stronger with each iteration. The challenge is how to explain this massive "Land-Grap", so that the public realizes that the content industry is "stealing" from them.

    3. The law is another misused sound byte. The content industry claims that it has the law on their side. Since they bought the law, I guess that they do. But this is an opportunity in the sense that the law is meant to serve society, not a special interest group. Furthermore, when a law is not reflective of social norms it is ignored. Civil disobedience in the form of piracy is one example. The challenge is how to make the public aware that these industry sponsored laws are an anathema to liberty.

     

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      bob, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

      Re: No it's NOT Thinking Big

      Get a clue. Libertarians believe in property rights. They know that removing property rights creates deserts. And so you think you can talk Ron Paul into destroying copyright and creating some communist Shangri-La? Dream on.

       

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      Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

      Re: No it's NOT Thinking Big

      1. Preface everything with "fair use". That is already a concept that people understand and you can use it in sentences like "It would become fair use to change the law in this way" and "fair use copyright"

      2. The people already get the abuse that Copyright does when they only need to read around. To be honest then I did promote some advanced SOPA/PIPA concepts myself which did go around and put fear into people. I could not even say myself if it was true but the theory fitted the facts. Terms like "land grab" are those which work best.

      3. Everyone hates big brother and corrupt politics. To be detached from that and instead from the Interwebz seems quite a bonus. A few memes would soon convince them.

       

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    Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:33pm

    Reservation

    Well if anyone knows how to reform Copyright laws then go ahead and book us a room in Congress.

    I am just not sure we would be welcomed to start writing new laws and then those MPAA/RIAA bunch would only seal the room and start a fire. "Lets cut the copyright span down to 30 years. Do you smell smoke?"

    Maybe what we just did may have impressed them enough. SOPA and PIPA were on fast track for easy passage then only in a short span of time over 6000 websites mobilized over 8 million voting Americans to have these bills shot down.

    It is not hard to miss that those same 8+ million plus can swing election votes. These same people would sure as hell welcome a few branches in the tree of Copyright to be pruned.

    Most of us do not have a problem with copyright in terms of stopping commercial exploitation but we want them to adapt to this new market with lawful services.

    The span of copyright does need to be reduced and then the Public Domain sure as hell need a lot more respect than what it is given. This is not the crap leftovers but a public resource of ideas and enjoyment.

    Congress has for too long been the Copyright Fortress and abuser of the world. We can understand their reasons but it is not like we welcome what they do. Clearly more people mobilize against the abuses of Copyright as each day passes.

     

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

      Re: Reservation

      Lawrence Lessig has some good ideas. Let's start with him.

       

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        Rich Kulawiec, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

        Re: Re: Reservation

        Agreed. I don't always agree with Lessig, but he's a damn smart guy, he understands the law better than any of us, and he is definitely one of the very first people who should be involved.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    What the blackout did was educate the public a LITTLE more about how these laws affect their daily lives. Most of the "news" is controlled by people who back SOPA/PIPA and the public hasn't heard or thought much about things like "fair use" and "public domain" assuming it would always be there. Why wouldn't they?

    Without public outcry, the blackout would have failed. The first step is to keep the debate open and in front of the public so they aren't caught so clueless about what's going on.

    That's gonna be hard when most people are living lives that have nothing to do with the inner workings of the internet and their news comes from sound bites or headlines off readers. Issues like SOPA/PIPA aren't "entertainment" and cause most folks to fall asleep.

    Apathy is the real enemy.

    The blackout worked because it was a novelty. It won't be as successful the next time.

    I was surprised that most of the lobby money came from TV and Cable - followed by entertainment. They control the "news".

     

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      Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

      Re:

      If you want to see SOPA, PIPA and this Copyright fight as entertainment then go to Imgur.

      In fact I will show you one...
      http://imgur.com/gallery/4096B

      Impressed yet? People do create some wonderful things to reflect developments. Then right there you have "fair use" copyright infringement which is used to "create"

       

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        Jeff (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

        Re: Re:

        that's awesome!

        I laughed! I cried!

         

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          Violated (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Now people can see why I love Imgur. Raw creation in a social group simply to entertain each other. No desire for money or Copyright when it has its own fun reward.

          You can also see that they do have news photos including about Congress so it is educational. Photos are linked to sites like Reddit to increase viewers.

          That one photo does wonderful things showing that we can all stand together to protect the Internet.

           

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    Yartrebo, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Where to go Next

    Perhaps it would be good to take aim at an existing piece of offensive legislation (ACTA comes to mind), and lobby to repeal it with the same force as we lobbied to stop SOPA and PIPA?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    What the blackout did was educate the public a LITTLE more about how these laws affect their daily lives. Most of the "news" is controlled by people who back SOPA/PIPA and the public hasn't heard or thought much about things like "fair use" and "public domain" assuming it would always be there. Why wouldn't they?

    Without public outcry, the blackout would have failed. The first step is to keep the debate open and in front of the public so they aren't caught so clueless about what's going on.

    That's gonna be hard when most people are living lives that have nothing to do with the inner workings of the internet and their news comes from sound bites or headlines off readers. Issues like SOPA/PIPA aren't "entertainment" and cause most folks to fall asleep.

    Apathy is the real enemy.

    The blackout worked because it was a novelty. It won't be as successful the next time.

    I was surprised that most of the lobby money came from TV and Cable - followed by entertainment. They control the "news".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Think tank policy papers are often the germination of future law and governmental policy. With all the various think tanks in and around Washington DC it would be difficult to discover all of them in simple online searches. I do not know of any one place where they can be found, though I will admit I have not looked for one. Christine Paluch is correct in that the formulation of policy is generational, the long view. This goes back to the Fabien's and Progressives of the prior two centuries.

    Make no mistake we need to take the fight to them directly and in the open, don't let them use the rules for radicals against us, or in the end we are doomed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:16pm

      Re:

      That was very informative. Average 50's mom and pop could read that and not understand what all the fuss was about.

      And that is the problem.

       

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        William, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Send it to Congress, POTUS, Murdoch (he shouldn't speak) anybody who is making the decisions. Many people disallusioned with Congressional representation so they don't vote or just don't care as long as they get their e-mail. We need our own popular lobby and make this a political platform. If Congress thinks we will vote they will be more careful to listen. If they continue to harm small business it could bite them. So let's start controverting the claim that only Google is opposed and show the Censors the full list of opposition. I know Smith stays bought but how can he defend against so much bad PR. As usual you can take almost all the rhetoric and turn it around to find the truth of the Censors ambiguation. Almost everything they say is the opposite of what we know is correct. If it means money in the pocket or for re-election then our Congress people will listen. At least a little.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:16pm

      Re:

      That was very informative. Average 50's mom and pop could read that and not understand what all the fuss was about.

      And that is the problem.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    There have been question how to fight back against Hollywood. The conclusion so far has been: nothing can be done other than boycotting their products. However you can take the fight much further while staying within the boundaries of the law.

    The only way to fight them is by hurting their income. By boycotting alone is not enough. You have to actively discourage others from funding MPAA and RIAA.

    You can start by going to bedbugregistry.com or bedbugreports.com and mark all theaters near you as having bedbugs.

    Go to yelp.com or googlemaps and write negative reviews citing bad customer service and linking to people being arrested for filming short segmets of a movie: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/01/AR2007080102398.html

    You can also go to rottentomatoes and imdb and give negative review to the recent blockbusters.

    Be proactive, find other websites where you can use rating tools and reviews to discourage people from shelling out their cash to MPAA and RIAA.
    Make an impression that going to the movies is not safe and a waste of time. Make it uncool to buy CDs and DVDs from the big name media stores. Create memes, like "every time you buy a CD a kitten dies". Or whatever sticks.

    If enough people join this form of protest against MPAA and RIAA there will be a significant and noticable impact on their income. We have the tools to show our displeasure and it's about time we start using them.

     

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    Dan Laget, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    THE GREAT BLACKOUT of 2012

    I first learned about SOPA and PIPA a few months ago. The prospects of thwarting the efforts of behemoths like Disney and CBS seemed dismal at the time. Everyone assumed these bills were a slam dunk and we would all have to bow, once again, to the power of multinational corporate greed.

    I blacked-out all of my websites. The few hundred visitors that frequent them seemed to support the effort. I lost only one subscriber from my mailing list. I salute the subscriber who left because that person exercised the right that I was fighting for the right to get uncensored information and to choose for him/herself what to do with that information.

    Defeating SOPA PIPA pales in comparison to what is an historic event; THE GREAT BLACKOUT of 2012. The blackout was a demonstration of the FIRST EVER TRULY FREE PRESS - internet bloggers, website publishers , search engines, social networks, classified advertising, and the average day to day guy with a Facebook page in unison took down the what is arguably one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington the music and film industry.

    Whether you support or oppose SOPA PIPA you should be in awe of what has happened in the last three days.

    This is a demonstration of what can be done by those willing to stand up and be counted.

    This is democracy at its finest.

    Long live the people.

    Dan Laget
    The Campus Herald

     

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    Simple Mind (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Hello? Large pink elephant visible!

    Hollywood admits to buying politicians and legislation.
    Senator admits to being bought.
    Lobbyist angry paid for politicians not falling into line.
    No one else says anything.

    Unless we fix this fundamental problem with the way the govt works, sopa and pipa type legislation will keep coming at us until we drown in it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:20pm

      Re: Hello? Large pink elephant visible!

      Why not set up a site to do what they do - Colbert style and form a superpac for tech industries. Make it a little satirical, and serious. But entertaining enough that makes people think.

      I have no doubt that there is a public.

       

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    RobShaver (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    Here's where I thing we should go from here ...

    Rather that working against what we don't want, why don't we start working together for what we do want?

    I'd suggest that we need a concerted effort to get real changes in the IP laws in the USA. How about making fair-use a well defined right just to start?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

      Re: Here's where I thing we should go from here ...

      That's been done and Hollywood rejects it.

      You can only make a deal with someone willing to deal and so far they haven't. Was the debate open while writing SOPA PIPA? Offers were made and turned down.

      When they have been willing to deal - they have backslided on every agreement. Just listen to the mentality. They feel entitled to earn a living from everything the public sees and hears. It's truley astounding elitism.

       

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    William, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    OK, So SOPA And PIPA Are Both On Hold: Where Do We Go From Here?

    Seems to me we should push to have Congress members (especially on the committees) to be Internet savvy. No more "I don't know how it works" comments. Seems like Congress is just as outdated as Mediawood. Also my pet peeve, what does it matter if more American jobs might be lost? Corporate America moves thousands of jobs overseas every year. Not to mention the H1B and over visa abuses. I do care about jobs and there is no evidence that net jobs are lost. This is just another specious argument to prop up bad legislation.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

      Re: OK, So SOPA And PIPA Are Both On Hold: Where Do We Go From Here?

      No jobs are lost. Most people spend the money on other things. Concert and live performance revenue is way up (and usually controlled by the band).

       

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    William, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:15pm

    Another suggestion

    If as claimed America is dependent on small business to create jobs and cash flow than this can be used as a banner to support a thriving Internet that doesn't exclude Mediawood. Support America, support small business on the Internet. Show them eBay, Paypal, Yahoo, google etc, make a list of all the businesses that started and grew up on the Internet, include revenue and jobs maybe.

     

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