The SOPA/PIPA Protests Were Not Pro-Piracy... They Were Anti-Crony Capitalism

from the time-to-realize-that dept

Larry Lessig has an excellent article over at The Nation, that puts the events of January 18th into perspective. He talks about the Supreme Court's Golan ruling, which rejects the idea that copyright is really limited in any way under the Constitution:
The Supreme Court, however, reversed that finding, crafting an opinion that all but guarantees Congress a constitutional “free ride” within the copyright field. Only two justices dissented—Justice Breyer, who had dissented in Eldred, and Justice Alito, to his credit as a conservative originalist. The rest were happy to signal to the copyright bar: Constitution time is over. Pay no attention to that puzzling clause at the core of the Constitution’s enumerated powers. The hint that it would be as vigorously defended as other clauses was now officially rejected. We had tried. And we had lost.
But, as he noted, at the very same moment the Supreme Court was granting copyright maximalists and their lobbyists free reign over expanding copyright, something very different was happening out in the free world: it was rejecting those same laws:
That new generation is now responsible for the extraordinary victory achieved on January 18. After months of rallying activists of all stripes, including liberals and conservatives, technology companies and free software activists, the protest against SOPA and PIPA achieved critical mass. With the support of the traditionally non-activist Wikipedia, the Internet community staged a powerful and effective shut down of critical parts of the web, awakening millions to the fight that had been brewing for almost a year. That fight didn’t try to affirm any “right” to “pirate” anyone’s work. Instead, the anger in this battle was about the extremism of Hollywood’s response. It was fair and true to say that this statute would effect a kind of “censorship” unknown in the history of the Internet (at least in the United States). That fact was a critical motivation to fight it.
And it is that final point that many in Hollywood still fail to understand. They positioned this whole battle as if it was about the right to enforce laws on a lawless internet vs. those who wanted to pirate. But pretty much everyone can see through that facade. And, as we've said before (and will say again), this was never about just this bill. You can see that in the continued focus of people on other efforts by these industries to push through bad policies -- such as ACTA and TPP. No, this was a rejection of crony capitalism -- an attempt by one industry to push through laws that solely benefit some of its biggest players, at the expense of everyone else. But the real question, as Lessig lays out, is whether or not this movement can expand to really make that point clear:
The (Internet) giant has stopped this craziness—here and now. But the challenge is for the giant to recognize the need to stop this craziness generally. We need a system that is not so easily captured by crony capitalists. We need a government that is not so easily bought. And if only the giant could be brought to demand this too, in the few moments we have before it falls back to sleep, then this war—this “copyright war,” this war that Jack Valenti used to call his own “terrorist war,” where apparently the “terrorists” are our children—will have been worth every bit of the battle.
It's a key challenge, and one that I believe the internet community is up to tackling. But it's going to take quite a fight against those who are entrenched in power already.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    alysha, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    con law

    use this for the current event due next class

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Faith

    At the moment, my optimistic faith in humanity is swelling with pride, temporarily eclipsing my cynicism and experience...

     

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    Loki, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    While the internet is indeed a powerful tool, and many of those most affected by the content industry's effort us it regularly, I don't see this as an "internet community" issue. I personally know more than a few people who protested (signed petitions, called, whatever) who use the internet rarely or not at all. Because in the end, it wasn't even really about the internet, much less "piracy". One does not even have to use a tool to be appalled by abuse of power or crony capitalism.

     

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    bob, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

    Big Search, Big Piracy and Big Hardware spent heavily to shut down SOPA. The big search engines already are worth more on the stock market than the big content companies. THis was a sumo match between businesses and the principles were only pawns in the game. Get a clue.

     

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      Kevin H (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

      Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

      Funny thing is Big Douches, still don't get it.

      Here is a letter from another one: From Mark Amodei (R)-NC

      Thank you for contacting me about your opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), commonly known as SOPA. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

      Internet piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods amount to the pick-pocketing of American businesses, to the tune of $100 billion annually. This translates to millions of American jobs lost or threatened at a time of double-digit unemployment. Nevada-based IGT, the industry's leading manufacturer of gaming machines, sees its technology routinely looted by Chinese criminals. Such theft endangers the livelihood of thousands of our neighbors. While I am not inclined to turn to regulation as the solution to every problem, I will not sit idly by when American jobs—including thousands in Nevada—are threatened by foreign pirates.

      H.R. 3261 would prevent foreign criminals from profiting off their theft of America's intellectual property. To be clear, the bill only pertains to foreign websites that are based overseas or are foreign-owned or operated, i.e., only those websites not reached by current U.S. law. Therefore, the bill does not apply to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, eBay, YouTube, personal blogs, e-retailers based in this country, or other popular domestic websites. Those sites would continue to be governed by existing law.

      It would empower the U.S. Attorney General to seek injunctions in court against foreign websites whose primary purpose is trafficking in counterfeit goods and services and pirated, U.S. copyrighted content. Persons or companies victimized by such foreign websites would be able to seek court injunctions, but not monetary damages.

      With respect to the injunctions, courts could order search engines to refrain from linking to the infringing portions of offending foreign websites and/or order third-party payment processors or advertisers doing business with that site to terminate the business relationship. Such remedies may only be ordered after full evidentiary hearings that meet the legal standards and the burdens of evidence applied in all federal cases requesting injunctions.

      A prior provision that would have required Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to the infringing portion of a site—an action ISPs already use to block access to child pornography sites, malware, spyware, and viruses—has subsequently been removed from the legislation.

      I would never support any piece of legislation that intentionally undermines the First Amendment and the founding documents of our Republic, which "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." This bill targets only illegal conduct that violates the protected expression of Americans, not protected speech itself, and would only curb such illegal conduct through due process in courts of law.

      Since it was referred in October to the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, my colleagues and I have worked in a bipartisan manner with the intellectual property industry to refine the legislation in order to best protect American businesses, workers, and consumers, while eliminating unintended consequences. Based on these efforts, I have come to believe that it is possible to target foreign criminal websites and preserve the freedom of expression and enterprise that makes the Web the social and economic engine of our time. The recent manager’s amendment to the legislation, along with the decision to remove the controversial Domain Name System blocking provision, significantly narrows the scope and impact of the bill, reflects collaboration with the entire spectrum of parties, and has increased industry support, while ensuring the protection of American innovation and jobs.

      I appreciate your concerns and will keep them in mind as we continue to work on this issue. Please be assured that I will support any well-founded changes to such legislation as the process continues.
      I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to apprise me of your opinions and hope that you will contact me again should you have any further comments or concerns. If you would like additional information on my activities in the House, please visit my website, www.Amodei.house.gov or also at facebook.com/MarkAmodeiNV2.

      In closing, please know that I consider it a privilege to serve and represent you and your family in Congress

      Here is a link to an image of the document.

      http://i.imgur.com/VbJlq.jpg

       

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      BeeAitch (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

      Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

      You must be a blast at parties:

      Crowd:"Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to you..."

      bob (screaming at the top of his lungs over the song): "NONE OF YOU GET IT! THIS ISN'T A CELEBRATION OF YOUR BIRTHDAY, IT'S A DENIGRATION OF EVERYONE ELSE'S BIRTHDAY! OPEN YOUR EYES, PEOPLE!"

       

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        Togashi (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 8:13am

        Re: Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

        Not to mention his outrage at their infringement of copyrighted material. Did they pay their licensing fee to sing that song? I didn't think so.

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

      Why you continuing to ignore the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE who fought against these bills.
      You make the same mistake as Hollywood and just think of big companies. You don't think of the average independent net'izen.

       

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        bob, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

        Re: Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

        All pawns. I bet 99.9% never read the bill. They were just against "censorship." But it's an insult to say that shutting down a pirate site is "censorship." If the government stops you from expressing YOUR opinion, that's censorship. It has nothing to do with you copying someone else's opinion. Sheesh.

         

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          jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

          Ya know, the reason piracy is illegal is because of copyright. Perhaps the easiest way to end piracy is to just change the law so it's no longer illegal?

           

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          Greevar (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

          That's the problem. You're naive enough to think this will only target "pirate" sites. It won't. It's the legislative equivalent to a nuclear bomb and the MPAA/RIAA get access to the big red button.

          You also don't really have a proper grasp of what the first amendment protects. It protects the right of every free human being to communicate with others without restriction on what that message may contain. Like it or not, the internet is a communication medium. And as a communication medium, what people do on it is protected by the first amendment. Censoring certain kinds of information being communicated is censorship.

          Sharing files on the internet is communication and it is therefor protected speech. It reaches truly epic levels of stupid to think that sending a copy of Avatar is any different in terms of communication than sending any other document over the internet. The last time I checked, the Constitution takes precedent over any laws that are passed. They don't call it "the supreme law of the land" for shits and giggles. The first amendment overrules copyright, even if bunch of stuffed shirts tries to claim it doesn't. If I want to transmit the entire Monty Python's Flying Circus collection over the internet, I have the right and the ability to send that communication. The fact that you don't like it has little to no bearing on that.

          You best get used to it. It's not going away.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

          >All pawns. I bet 99.9% never read the bill.

          Neither did most politicians, and that didn't stop them from supporting it. If pawns can't protest the bill, why can pawns support the bill?

           

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          Anonymous 314159, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

          "Silencing you because I don't like what you say is censorship. Silencing you because I can make more money that way is copyright. They're totally different! The profit motive makes it OK." -- Mimi and Eunice, Censorship vs. Copyright. (emphasis in original)

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

      Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

      They are worth more on the stock market because the make more money. For evey dollar they spent the content companies spent 10 more. Your arguments are tired and worthless prehaps you should put them behind a paywall bob.

       

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      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

      Re: Oh come on-- they were just pro-other cronies

      Got a clue. What have you got, besides way too tight panties?

      Actually, I think the blackout may have made money for the websites who participated (with the exception of Wikipedia who don't necessarily benefit economically from page views).

      Think about it. Some netizen finds a grayed out or blacked out page and tells all their friends, who go looking at that webpage. Hmmm, more page views.

      This responsible citizen stuff might go into more than one business plan in the future.

      Mike, is traffic up? I noticed that Ron Wydens post on Saturday beat the number of comments for several weeks by a longshot, 261 as of now.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    The problem will always be the same: No matter how you want to frame it, the anti-SOPA protests end up being pro-piracy.

    Nobody showed up and said "here is how you fight piracy without X or Y that we don't like", you just all fought the idea from end to end.

    You have to remember that when you push for something, you push for all that comes with it. Going against SOPA means you were pushing on the same side as the pirates. Sorry if you don't want to accept who your partners are.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

      Re: Ahem

      "False dichotomy"

       

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      That Crazy Freetard (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

      Re:

      The reason no one was suggesting how to fight piracy is because it's not our problem. Stop asking other people to solve your problems for you.

       

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      DandonTRJ (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

      Let's break this down real quick.

      No matter how you want to frame it, the anti-SOPA protests end up being pro-piracy.
      Just because you fight for due process doesn't mean you fight for all those who will receive it.
      Nobody showed up and said "here is how you fight piracy without X or Y that we don't like", you just all fought the idea from end to end.
      Nobody marshaled reliable evidence to demonstrate piracy is a problem that required new tools to fight.
      You have to remember that when you push for something, you push for all that comes with it. Going against SOPA means you were pushing on the same side as the pirates.
      About as a dumb a sentiment as the Bush-era classic, "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists."

       

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        Charles, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

        Re: Let's break this down real quick.

        As much as I hate to agree with single minded people, he has a point... out of all the people who oppose the bill, no one is coming up with a solution.

        Now I'm not saying SOPA is a good idea, its not. I do think that the internet is going to have to find some feasible way to hamper piracy. The fact is that if governenment is passing laws to control it, piracy is a problem... not the problem that government makes it out to be, but a problem that is causing them to stick their nose into something they shouldn't.

        And lets be honest, I would rather the internet took fighting piracy into its own hands, apposed to a 70 some year old congressmen who doesn't understand computers make the rules.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:24pm

          Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

          The point is the laws against it are only made because they are bought by those who refuse to accept change without regard for anyone else's well being. Their profits have steadily increased in spite of piracy yet they claim it is hurting everyone in their industry.

           

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            Charles, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

            And I'm not saying your wrong about that either. However, I don't see this ending until something is done about their excuse for causing problems i.e. piracy... That or we need people in office who aren't just their for the money... fighting piracy sounds a lot more realistic :P.

            I've seen file sharing websites that do very well while at the same time taking a very hard stance on piracy. While it can never be removed completely, it is entirely possible to push it far enough away from the rest of the net that laws like this wouldn't be called into question.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

              Why is piracy our problem to solve for them? In fact, where is the proof, the solid, undeniable evidence, that piracy is even a problem? We see plenty of evidence that despite their cries of theft and huge losses that they are making more money today than ever before! So until they can prove there really /is/ a problem, we will continue to deny them any extra laws to fight it.

               

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          ken, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:13am

          Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

          opponents came up with amendments to the bills, all shot down by supporters because of lobbyist money. The Open IP act is proposed, rejected by Sopa supporters. The SOPA/PIPA supporters will do anything to appease the loobyist who fund their campaigns. Greed and control were the underlying factors of these bills

           

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            Charles, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

            That's why I say the internet needs to make a stronger stand. Does a file sharing site really need a law to tell it how to remove piracy. A lot of piracy could be stopped by some sites just having a stronger policy towards piracy, I know that sounds over simplistic but I've seen it done quite successfully.that engines.

            My point is that we can't just wait around and expect that legislators are going to make the right choice. They aren't going to listen to our ideas and at the most we can only stop them from passing bills for now, but unless the internet as a whole steps up to do something we are fighting a losing battle.

             

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              btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

              First, you have to believe piracy is a problem.

              I personally think it is free advertising.



              You want me to fix something that isn't broken?

              If it is broken, could you please identify what is broken?

              War on drugs - you think more laws will help?
              What do you propose we do about it?

               

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          ken, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:13am

          Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

          opponents came up with amendments to the bills, all shot down by supporters because of lobbyist money. The Open IP act is proposed, rejected by Sopa supporters. The SOPA/PIPA supporters will do anything to appease the loobyist who fund their campaigns. Greed and control were the underlying factors of these bills

           

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          frosty840, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:23am

          Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

          The solution is, and always has been "Sell us the things we want at a price we're willing to pay."

          What people are seeing is Hollywood lobbying for draconian legislative action not to protect their profits, which seem to be increasing despite anything pirates do, but to protect their price points.

          It is possible to create a system which serves content cheaply, easily and fast. We already have that system, because the pirates built it. They actually built it several times, having it knocked down and building it right back up again.

          What we don't have is a way to make it legal, or to make it send its income to the producers of original material.

          Those are the problems that need solving. Everything else is cronyism and monopolism.

           

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          Joe Publius (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:12am

          Re: Re: Let's break this down real quick.

          I feel that piracy is a big issue*, but the reality is that when it comes to digital goods, customers have been telling businesses for a while now what they are tired of laws and tools meant to stop pirates but only serve to penalize and inconvenience paying customers.

          As customers, all we've ever wanted were affordable goods that are convient to use. The signs have always been there, if they chose to pay attention.

          The fact that the **AAs and Congress are saying that Google is responsible for stifling SOPA/PIPA when it really was a popular protest about an overreaching law proves that even when they're told what's wrong they refuse to listen.

          *I really don't think that piracy is a big issue, but it seems to help to phrase things that way.

           

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        Al Bert (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

        Re: Let's break this down real quick.

        The point has nothing to do with the validity of arguments, but their marketability. There are a lot of voters out there who have little or no understanding of the internet, copyright, copyfraud or the issues surrounding SOPA and the like. These people can easily be sold on the idea that yes, a false dichotomy exists. There are people that are sold on a false political dichotomy, and these are the same self-corrupting television media outlets that were slanting their reporting in this exact manner on Wednesday.

         

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      Melissa Ruhl (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re:

      The issue is not so black and white. See, for example, this article from last week on Techdirt http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120123/03464717508/tech-industry-has-already-given-hollywood-answ er-to-piracy-if-only-it-would-listen.shtml

      "The tech industry keeps sending Hollywood the tools it needs to save itself... and Hollywood keeps "waiting" for some miraculous savior, while missing all of the tools it's been offered to save itself:
      All I can think is: we gave you the Internet. We gave you the Web. We gave you MP3 and MP4. We gave you e-commerce, micropayments, PayPal, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, the iPad, the iPhone, the laptop, 3G, wifi--hell, you can even get online while you're on an AIRPLANE. What the hell more do you want from us?

      Take the truck, the boat, the helicopter, that we've sent you. Don't wait for the time machine, because we're never going to invent something that returns you to 1965 when copying was hard and you could treat the customer's convenience with contempt."

      Further, many people think, myself included, do not think the current copyright system is supporting the artists or the creators. Something needs to change and SOPA/PIPA weren't the answers.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      Wow, you must like to see the world in black and white. Welcome to reality, it doesn't work like that. Being anti-SOPA and anti-piracy is not mutually exclusive.

      SOPA does not and will not solve piracy and if you have read and COMPREHEND some of the articles that Mike has written, he HAS suggested how to fight piracy. In fact I will quote him right now "Piracy Isn't The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem" http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101220/00032812332/piracy-isnt-problem-bad-business-model-is-prob lem.shtml

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

        Re: Re:

        "Welcome to reality, it doesn't work like that. Being anti-SOPA and anti-piracy is not mutually exclusive. "

        The question is what side of the debate you stand on. Do you stand next to the pirates, the child pornographers, and so on, or do you stand on the side of law and order? You pick your side, just remember who is standing next to you.


        "In fact I will quote him right now "Piracy Isn't The Problem, A Bad Business Model Is The Problem""

        You can quote him all you like. His suggestions for business models are generally "bend over and take it in the ass like a big boy". Those aren't solutions.

        When you try to tie Mike to any of the business models, he disclaims ownership and waffles like mad. He doesn't want to pinned to anything that fails.

        It's easy to say "bad business model", but without a replacement that can push 10 billion a year, nobody is lining up for the alternatives.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Talk about waffleing and not getting pinned to what one says is pretty rich coming from an ac who posts here daily.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe they should spend more time on making a model that their customers like instead of worring about paying their coes 40 mil bonuses. Sorry its not 1980 anymore they don't get to control all distribution streams anymore. But let's hold back progress because if we don't the rich might stop getting richer.

           

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          btrussell (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          CHILD PORN ALERT!

          The above believes pics of kids are sexually stimulating.

          REPORTED!

           

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          Anonymous, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Due process is a part of law and order.

           

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          Benjo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not provocative enough to be a troll, not persuasive enough to convince anyone to believe what you are saying, and not funny/interesting enough if your posts are actually supposed to be heavily sarcastic or satire.

           

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          Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The question is what side of the debate you stand on. Do you stand next to the pirates, the child pornographers, and so on, or do you stand on the side of law and order? You pick your side, just remember who is standing next to you.


          I guess that depends... If the pirates and the child pornographers are standing on the side of due process, constitutionality, and against censorship then there is a good chance that they may be standing next to me. Does that mean that those of us who agree with these notions support child pornography simply because someone who does also supports this view? You'd have to be a willfully ignorant douchebag to think that to be true... oh wait...

          I know this is going to come as a shocker, but sometime people agree on certain issues and disagree on other issues. Weird right?!?! See in the real world people get to form their own opinions based on their values and experiences instead of just being told what to think like happens in politics and the industry. Take for instance the collective failed abortions that constitute the show Jersey Shore. I could think of no people more unlike myself, but if they took a stance against censorship and SOPA/PIPA then that would mean we have something in common. But it would just be that one thing and wouldn't change how I feel about them in general, meaning I still wouldn't cross the street to piss on them if they were on fire.

          I also don't understand how you could so grossly misspell Big Media (thanks bob) as "law and order", but yeah... FTFY

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Due process isn't an absolute. It doesn't mean that you can keep committing the crime over and over until completely convicted and all appeals to the supreme court completed. If you are a drug dealer selling illegal drugs from your car, your car, the drugs, and all that goes with it are seized when you are arrested. You don't get anything back until much later (and you surely won't get the drugs back).

            "I know this is going to come as a shocker, but sometime people agree on certain issues and disagree on other issues. Weird right?!?!"

            I understand that completely. But what happened with SOPA was that the people who needed it to go away the most (pirates and others who profit from poor copyright enforement / weak laws) snuck in with you "due processors" and started pushing. In the end, all that happened is that pirate sites got another life, leeching off of your stand for due process.

            You may not support them, but they rode along on your parade float and benefited from your efforts. Congrats, the world is a better place for it, right?

             

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              Benjo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Congrats, the world is a better place for it, right?"

              Yes, for everyone.

              There's no compelling evidence that SOPA/PIPA would have actually benefited the entertainment industry in the long run, or would have actually made it harder for pirates / child pornographers to conduct business.

              Good luck trying to regulate something highly adaptive that you have almost zero understanding of.

               

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              Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The world is absolutely a better place for a piece of draconian legislation that championed censorship to be dead and buried. Hitler himself could have opposed these bills and in this one instance I would have agreed with him.

              You're basically saying that both John and I are against censorship, but since John beats his wife I shouldn't be against censorship for fear of being thought of as a wife beater. I personally am not so shallow that I would reconsider my beliefs based on the perception that I would be associated with someone who believes the same but whose unrelated beliefs are unethical/illegal. Apples and oranges... grasping at straws

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Due process isn't an absolute. It doesn't mean that you can keep committing the crime over and over until completely convicted and all appeals to the supreme court completed.


              So are you saying that people are guilty until proven innocent?

              I do not in any way endorse dealing drugs, child pornography, or any other immoral activity that you any or may not compare piracy to in an effort to produce a knee jerk reaction.

              However, I can, and will defend anyone's right to due process whether they are guilty or innocent. Just because you are accused of, or charged with a crime does not mean that you are automatically guilty.

              No matter how heinous the crime you are accused of, the moment that you are not accorded due process is the moment tyranny wins.

              Yes it isn't easy. Yes criminals get away, but I would much rather let a guilty man go free than an innocent man be sentenced.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:25am

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

                "So are you saying that people are guilty until proven innocent? "

                No, I am saying that, as is often the case, evidence is taken, illegal enterprises shut down, and the evidence held while due process is ongoing. The meth lab in the trailer next to yours that got shut down was shut down BEFORE trial. Why aren't you up in arms about them not getting due process? It's because it's part of due process.

                It's the same reason why someone caught with an unlicensed firearm doesn't get to take it home while they fight the charge in court. The weapon is locked up.

                Due process doesn't means that law enforcement cannot take action until a final judgement is reached.

                You guys really need to learn more about how the justice system works. Stop paying attention to Mike's whining, and actually learn something.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:38am

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

                  These issues are not as cut and dry as your examples. What about the users who used MU for legitimate purposes? What about the moooo.com users.

                  Sopa was more like me telling the cops that you carry a firearm illegally and then they seize your house and place of business while they figure out if you even own a firearm.

                  A guy with a firearm is a single person caught in the act. A methleb obviously has no legal uses. Their is no meth lab not dedicated to making illegal drugs. Quit trying to compare apples to oranges.

                   

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                  Gwiz (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:47am

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

                  It's interesting that the examples you list all involve the safety of the public as basis for seizures. That element seems to be missing with copyright infringement seizures.

                  You also mention seizures for preservation of evidence, but in most of domain name seizures only the domain name was affected, not the actual data.

                  The other very, very important element you simply leave out would be the potential of collateral damage of protected speech. Seizures involving speech are supposed to be held to a much higher standard.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:01am

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

                  Lets take a look at the examples you have given to back up your point of view.

                  The meth lab in the trailer next to yours that got shut down was shut down BEFORE trial. Why aren't you up in arms about them not getting due process?

                  There are no legal uses for meth, and I agree with you. The meth lab should be shut down before the trial to prevent more addiction to the drug and/or death from the drug.

                  It's the same reason why someone caught with an unlicensed firearm doesn't get to take it home while they fight the charge in court. The weapon is locked up.

                  Again, I agree with you. The weapon should be locked up to prevent the person using the gun to injure or kill another person.

                  The thing that confuses me is how can you equate meth labs (with no legal uses, and potentially lethal consequences) and unregistered guns (also with potentially lethal consequences) with Megaupload?

                  Megaupload offers a service that does not have potentially lethal consequences. It is not a public safety issue, so why compare it to cases that are?

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:46pm

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

                  Running a meth labs and possession of an unlicensed fire arms are exactly like copyright infringement. I mean there's an affirmative defense to all three of these charges right? No? You mean there's no analogue of fair use for meth labs and unlicensed fire arms? Certainly then all three of them are public safety issues if left unchecked? Again the answer is no? You mean there's no public safety issues with infringing content?

                  In light of these facts, what the fuck were you on about trying to act like all three were the same or similar in any way?

                   

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                Simple Mind (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:16am

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

                I do endorse dealing drugs. It isn't immoral. Drug dealer isn't forcing anyone to do anything against their will.

                 

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              ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Due process isn't an absolute. It doesn't mean that you can keep committing the crime over and over until completely convicted and all appeals to the supreme court completed. If you are a drug dealer selling illegal drugs from your car, your car, the drugs, and all that goes with it are seized when you are arrested. You don't get anything back until much later (and you surely won't get the drugs back).

              I am so happy you aren't a police officer or someone in authority. The world can sleep better knowing your shoot to kill, let God sort them out attitude isn't something they have to risk. Our system of law states that every time a person is arrested for committing a crime, they get their chance in court, and I hate to break it to you, but there are quite a few folks who get arrested, brought down to the station and booked, and then released on bond, only to be caught again committing a crime before they even get their day in court. Just recently a guy here where I live was arrested three times for DUI before he got to court for his first case. And yet, that is the way the system works. He like everyone else gets due process.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're so right, due process can't be an absolute because if it were an absolute that would mean it also applies to the guilty. What we need to do is just assign guilt to people before the trial starts so we know who gets due process and who doesn't.

               

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          Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "His suggestions for business models are generally "bend over and take it in the ass like a big boy". Those aren't solutions."

          How would you know? Big Content has not tried them yet. And when others do (Netflix for example) they go batshit crazy and double the cost to Netflix.

          Got anything actually relevant?

          Now, where's that report button...

           

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          Alex Austin (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          >> The question is what side of the debate you stand on.
          There are a lot more than two sides to the debate.
          >> Do you stand next to the pirates
          They're providing a needed service that a few startups (Spotify, Netflix) almost provide
          >> the child pornographers
          They exist because it's still a good, if disgustingly immoral business. The easiest way to stop child pornography is to ban the existence of children, but that's not going to happen.
          >> and so on, or do you stand on the side of law and order?
          Law and order exists at the will of the populace. When morality and law become disjointed, it's time to change the law.
          >> You pick your side, just remember who is standing next to you.
          Again, there are so many sides to the issue you could wind up standing next to someone you don't agree with.

          >> You can quote him all you like. His suggestions for business models are generally "bend over and take it in the ass like a big boy". Those aren't solutions.
          So, you haven't seen the examples of artists actually using some of these suggestions and being successful because of them?
          http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20111213/04081117065/
          http://www.techdirt. com/blog/casestudies/articles/20110217/01444113148/
          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100903/04294 010890/

          >> When you try to tie Mike to any of the business models, he disclaims ownership and waffles like mad. He doesn't want to pinned to anything that fails.
          [ citation needed ]

          >> It's easy to say "bad business model", but without a replacement that can push 10 billion a year, nobody is lining up for the alternatives.
          The music industry didn't appear overnight, and the new models aren't going to either. They are however growing, despite RIAAs attempts to make it not so.

           

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          Al Bert (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There needs to be a godwins law for mention of child porn, but i'll play your game.
          If a rapist of children and puppies were to say he felt murder was unethical, it would not be wrong to agree.
          If you think that morons might easily be misled into thinking the association invalidated the claim, you're right to suspect. If you took it upon yourself to think the association makes the assertion universally incorrect, you're one of the morons.

           

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            btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "There needs to be a godwins law for mention of child porn..."

            I've been working on it. But I am not getting much support. It did die down for about a month though(the mentioning of child porn).

            I said child porn doesn't exist because of the definition of porn. We don't have child porn, we have pedophiles.

            I was countered with gay porn. What is gay porn?
            Am I gay because I would watch two women going at it?
            Or is two women going at it targeted at gays?

             

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          Gwiz (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 6:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Do you stand next to the pirates, the child pornographers, and so on, or do you stand on the side of law and order?

          My stand is with the preservation of the Constitution of the United States of America. My stand may at times align with one, both or none of your so called "sides". Where do you stand?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 6:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's easy to say "bad business model", but without a replacement that can push 10 billion a year, nobody is lining up for the alternatives.

          Here's a legitimate thought: Perhaps in this brave new world, where content is merely a click away (i.e. it has become commoditized), you're going to have to accept the reality that you will never again make 10 billion a year. Now we have an economy where a million people are making $1000 a year.

          Wake up and smell the new economy. In 40 years, there will be no big business anymore, and the entertainment industry is no exception.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 6:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            $10,000 a year.

            Math skills are the last to wake up in the morning...

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As long as there is demand, and as long as there is a viable business model, there will be content sales.

            Further, without some method by which to monetize content, most of the producers just wouldn't do it, and certainly not on the scale that it has happened.

            What does it mean? No Star Wars (too expensive), and then as a result none of the other movies made using the camera motion and green screen techniques developed as part of the Star Wars process.

            No Avatar either. So 3D animation and live character integration might be set back 10 years.

            More importantly, all of the derivative movies that use the techniques developed in these blockbuster movies wouldn't exist. The cheap software you have today to do all these magic tricks to your videos wouldn't exist, because nobody would have paid to develop them in the first place - or they would be developed much more slowly, and might never make it mass market.

            Bad business models are when you don't realize how you make money, or what is required to make it happen. Cause and effect is very important.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Oh, I fully agree that there will be content sales. There just will never be 10 billion in content sales to a handful of players. There will be 10 billion in content sales spread across a million very small players.

              And another point you're right on: There will be no more Avatars. Big-budget blockbusters will be the first casualty of this move to a cottage-industry of entertainment. But you're being disingenuous if you think that smaller players won't innovate and push technological boundaries. In fact, they will have greater leeway to push those envelopes because their risk exposure is much smaller.

              If evolution has taught us anything, it's that small, organic, broad-based projects will result in greater, and more robust growth and diversity than fewer directed-growth projects (i.e. lots of tiny changes is healthier than a few big changes).

               

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              btrussell (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 10:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "So 3D animation and live character integration might be set back 10 years."

              You'll never sell pirates on 3D. You need two eyes to watch them.

               

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          Austronymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 5:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The question is what side of the debate you stand on. Do you stand next to the pirates, the child pornographers, and so on, or do you stand on the side of law and order? You pick your side, just remember who is standing next to you.


          I'm sorry, but you loose right there for trying to bring child porn into the argument when it's about greedy big businesses trying to keep a strangle hold on their empires as said empires are being fastly eroded by the advancements of technology and the businesses whining and trying to enforce bullshit laws that do nothing but whitewash the walls of their self-destructing castles.

           

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      Michael (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

      Re:

      It is easy to accept we're on the same side as pirates in this. The mistake this article addresses is a generalization that we are only fighting for piracy.

      It is not our responsibility to show up and say "here is how you fight piracy without X or Y that we don't like." Nor is it our responsibility to police the Internet on behalf of legacy institutions.

      It is still wrong to burn the entire forest down just because there are some pirates in there.

       

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      The eejit (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

      Re:

      I do. It's really fucking simple. Let me break it down into small chunks for you:

      Do not treat - An order to not act as though

      your customers - the people who actually buy stuff from you

      like criminals - like people who commit real crimes.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re:

        They aren't customers if they aren't buying. If they are taking the content without paying for it, they are criminals, like it or not. You can look at it as shades of grey on how bad it is or isn't, depending on your personal views, but in the end, it is against the laws of the US and almost every other country in the world.

        Let me make it easy for you:

        Don't act like a criminal, and you won't get treated like one.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Don't make laws that criminalize basic human behavior. Exhibit A: the internet.

           

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          Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ever hear of test driving a car? Many people on this site have mentioned that they tried something out, and then bought it.

          I read about Paul Coelheo (see link below for a recent comment) a year or more ago. It might even have been on Techdirt. Anyway, he was having a problem with Russian sales (he is Brazilian). So he got hold of a digital Russian translation and put it on the torrents. His sales went from a few to like 10,000 a week. Thats paid sales, digital or otherwise.

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120123/11385017516/paulo-coelho-sopa-pirates-world- unite-pirate-everything-ive-ever-written.shtml

          These are facts. What have you got?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            When you are buying something that costs a good part of your yearly salary (or more), "try before you buy" is a valid way to do things. However, it should be noted that without exception, test drives of cars are done in a controlled environment, with limited access, for limited time, and with limited resources. You cannot take the car and drive it for however long you want, finally deciding a few years later if you will buy or not. You get a short trial period on which to form an opinion.

            Buying a house? You get to check the house out, you get to visit, you get to look at it all, you get to spend some time, send in inspectors, etc. But you don't get to move in for free for a few years to see if you like the neighborhood.

            So no, you don't get to download a movie, watch it, give it to your friends, watch it again, and then finally decide if you want to buy it or not. You don't get to go into a restaurant and eat dinner, and then decide at the end if you want to pay or not, or perhaps go next door to sample their food too.

            Test software? Adobe will give you 30 days to try out their software. That's right, gratis, no charge, fully functional for 30 days. So many packages from different companies are available as trials, games too.

            The argument of "try before you buy" is pretty much bullshit end to end. It's justification for all the piracy done in the same of "seeing if it is any good", with most of them never paying even as they continue to enjoy the product.

            How Mr Coelheo decides to market his stuff is his business, and I respect him for it. However, let's make it clear - without piracy, putting his stuff on torrents would have been meaningless, because few people would have P2P software installed. Basically, he depended on the infrastructure of piracy to do business.

            Moreover, there is no proof that a decent Russian translation, with perhaps a single chapter sample would not have accomplished the same OR MORE. Without comparative data, there is no way to say that the torrent route was better than anything, except not having a translation.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 1:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Two issues here:

              When you're selling a 'product' that can be infinitely duplicated at zero cost then there's really no strong argument that anything is lost if someone enjoys and indefinite trial period. Unlike food at a restaurant where the restaurant is now out the food they gave you that you didn't pay for there's nothing lost there.

              It is factually incorrect to argue that 'most of them never paying even as they continue to enjoy the product.' Studies have debunked this argument time and again with actual data that shows clearly that 'infringers' actually spend more on entertainment than their non-infringing counterparts. They are, in fact, the best customers and the biggest infringers at the same time. It's a false dichotomy you're trying to draw where one can be only one or the other. Here's one such story: http://www.heise.de/tp/blogs/6/150152

               

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          The eejit (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And what if I'm treated like one for buying? Sony's PS Vita has accounts linked to a two-part key on both the memory card AND the Vita hardware. So, if you want to change accounts, you have to format the PSV to a blank state.

          See also, the Origin beta by EA: which was monitoring what software you were running (thankfully, that was removed). See also, Ubisoft's horrendous Gamew Launcher program, which matched heuristics of upwards of 50% of all AV software to start with.

          So again, it's really fucking simple: Do not treat your paying customers like criminals

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 1:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If they are taking the content without paying for it, they are criminals, like it or not."

          Factually incorrect. There is a much higher bar for criminal copyright infringement then simply accessing content without paying for it. The laws of the US and almost every other country in the world literally looks at this issue with shades of grey on how bad it is or isn't. Penalties vary wildly based on the manner and volume of infringement. Low volume, non-commercial infringement is a crime only in very extreme cases. One one can even be exempted from penalty completely in many cases. Hell, even murder is shades of grey under the law. Almost nothing is as black and white as you're claiming copyright is legally.

          Let me make it easy for you:

          Don't conflate criminal copyright infringement with infringement in general just to support your absurd position that copyright is a black and white issue.

          Furthermore content production companies don't make distinctions between customers and criminals. Paying customers who have never committed a crime in their lives get DRM locks on their devices, digital content, and plastic discs. Stop pretending this shit only affects the criminals.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

      So if I am against unlimited incarciration of american citizens without due process I am pro-terrorist?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

      Re:

      The problem will always be the same: No matter how you want to frame it, the anti-SOPA protests end up being pro-piracy.

      The problem will always be the same: No matter how you want to frame it, the pro-copyright laws end up being anti-human nature.

      From the earliest days of painting figures on cave walls, to stories told around to campfire, to the ancient Greeks and Romans, to Shakespeare, and on and on, humans have been creating and sharing content with other humans.

      Compared to the tens of thousands of years that humans have freely shared culture with each other, the idea of middlemen using a government-granted monopoly to lock up culture created by others (copyright) is a relatively new one - and one that will not be around for too much longer. Rage against it all you want, but human nature eventually wins out every single time.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Nobody is stopping you from telling stories around the camp fire. Nobody is trying to stop human nature. That's all bullshit.

        It reads like and EFF talking points memo. I think Mike writes them.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But they are trying to stop human nature. It's redundant.

           

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          Michael (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

          I'm beginning to see the problem here

          Today, people don't spend very much time talking around communal fires. The campfire has expanded to encompass a lot of new places. Story telling is done by recordings.

          A wonderful technology has been built around the use of electricity -that's what lightning is made of!- it allows you to easily record and play back all the stories you like. You can send them far away with a tele-vision system! You can look up other stories on something build from a world wide web!

          Best of all, nobody is stopping you from playing stories around a television, or on your long-term electronic storage devices. No one is going to stop human nature. That would be bullshit.

           

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          techflaws.org (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think

          Doesn't look like you do.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Careful with that fruit. I'd wash it first, it was hanging awfully low and it's probably got a fair amount of dirt on it.

             

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      Pixelation, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

      Re:

      "The problem will always be the same:" You won't get it. No matter how you want to frame it, the anti-SOPA protests are just that...anti-SOPA. Keep trying to add a stigma to it, it won't change.

      "Nobody showed up and said "here is how you fight piracy without X or Y that we don't like", you just all fought the idea from end to end. " You obviously haven't been reading. Time after time alternatives have been suggested. You just don't like it because it requires new ways of thinking and work, something you apparently abhor.

      Nice straw man. Crawl back under that rock.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

      Re:

      So when you push for SOPA, remember that you're also pushing for suing children, grandmothers, homeless people, dead people, printers and iguanas. You're also pushing for the destruction of the public domain, and copyright that lasts forever minus a day.

      And when shills like you come and tell us "those things have nothing to do with the issue I'm talking about", we'll just have to say, "sorry if you don't want to accept who your partners are". Thanks for playing.

      Chubby.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:00pm

      Re:

      "Going against SOPA means you were pushing on the same side as the pirates"

      If you're not an apple then you are by definition a banana.
      Logical thinking at its finest.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Bengie, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

      Re:

      The KKK like white people. If you like white people, you must be part of the KKK.

      I love your logic!

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:51pm

      Re:

      Copyright infringement (alias "piracy" in your slang) is not a significant economic problem. The vast majority of infringers are under-served potential customers. The experience of services like Hulu and Spotify prove that. The under-served customers have decided to make their own arrangements. It is the absence of legal alternatives which drives them. Sure, there are people who hate the content provider's guts and refuse to pay. Sure there are people with no money who cannot pay, such as many teenagers. All those other people are few in number compared to the under-served customers.

      If you are a provider of content, it is worse than useless to antagonize your under-served customers. That gets them going to alternative suppliers. Infringement is like the safety valve on a steam boiler going off -- it's bad, but nowhere near as bad as a boiler explosion. Infringement is a signal that the content providers are leaving money on the table. Find some way to pick up the money. Serve your customers. Customers who are being served well will gladly give you money. Under-served customers will do things you do not like. Learn the lesson.

       

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    •  
      icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

      Re:

      Nobody showed up and said "here is how you fight piracy without X or Y that we don't like"


      Isn't that exactly what Senator Wyden did with the OPEN act?

       

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    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:50am

      Re:

      Nobody showed up and said "here is how you fight piracy without X or Y that we don't like"

      And why should they do anyone else's jobs?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:42am

      Re:

      "No matter how you want to frame it, as long as you frame it as a dichotomy with 'good guys' and 'us' on one side and 'bad guys' and 'you' on the other side, the anti-SOPA protests end up being pro-piracy."

      FTFY.

      It's absolutely hilarious that you don't even seem to notice the irony in literally opening the sentence where you very specifically frame the issue into a positive light for Big Content with 'no matter how you frame it.'

       

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  •  
    identicon
    John Thacker, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Alito isn't an originalist (and neither is Breyer)

    Justice Alito and Breyer are the most pragmatic justices on the Supreme Court. What that means is that they frequently eschew bright lines in favor of taking individual circumstances into account. This can produce results that are less protective of liberty in some cases (the two tend to be okay with restricting certain types of speech because it's really violent, or with not allowing people to confront lab techs because that's a lot more annoying than confronting police officers, etc.)

    Here, however, it led them to restrict copyright. The rest of the Court definitely disliked the idea of effectively never-ending copyright, but it's difficult to find explicit words against it in the Constitution. So they didn't rule against it. Justice Breyer and Alito are far more comfortable "knowing it when they see it," and it is true that from a common-sense perspective what's been happening on copyright is ridiculous. It's just harder to point out exactly why it's illegal.

    Justice Alito is not an originalist. He's mocked Scalia's orignialism in several opinions (and at oral argument) now.

     

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  •  
    icon
    jakerome (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Mr. Masnick, go to Washington!

    We need a new Senator in California. Who better to fill that role?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Easy for Lessig to try and spin things as a positive--he obviously needs something positive to grasp onto after having his arguments about the unconstitutionality of copyright laws shut down AGAIN. Hey, he got two votes. I'm sure that makes him feel better than he would if it had been unanimous.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    Supreme Court out of touch

    I'm seriously thinking that our Judges need term limits. With a system that is constantly changing, how can they ever be trusted with copyright law if they've never had to deal with them?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Michael (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Supreme Court out of touch

      How about some kind of education system? Too bad we've been cutting support for elderly college tuition.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Jay (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:05pm

        Re: Re: Supreme Court out of touch

        They get educated on copyright by the MPAA and RIAA...

        I wish I could make this up, but just think about the problems this causes.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Michael (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Supreme Court out of touch

          This is depressing. How to you appeal to an objective source in the presence of groups like the MPAA and RIAA?

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

      Re: Supreme Court out of touch

      Think of them as Nine Black Robed Morons in a Hurry!

      Term limits? Maybe. How about a recall referendum?

       

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      •  
        icon
        Jay (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

        Re: Re: Supreme Court out of touch

        Hmmm... That actually has possibilities...

        I would say there would have to be a set immunity though. Perhaps they get 5 years free, but afterwards, they're eligible for the referendum at any time.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    the protests were pro freeloading freelards who were freeballing my freedoms.

    you pirates need to own up to the fact that you can't freeball me forever

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      the question is actually about which side you freeloaders stand on, do you stand on the side of freetards, richard stallman, communists, terrorists, hitler, nazis Or do you stand on the side of MPAA superheroes, jesus, MPAA superheroes who are also jesus with giant freedom-induced erections, puppies, rainbows, ponies, and rainbow ponies?

      you can keep saying that being free as in freedom or however you freeballers like to put it is the answer but what kind of answer is it if it can't push 10 billion a year and lock the country down with favorable legislation? The way you're putting it you're acting as if they have to take a hit to their profits in order to satisfy your freetarded mentality that states that SOPA and PIPA were not the best bills to every grace this planet.

      YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

        Re: Re:

        Then go away. I am sure some mental hospital will take you on, and your Big Content masters will foot the bill.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re:

        "Freeballers"? Wow, I think darryl might have competition.

        Incidentally, Jesus was the first person to be guilty of "making available".

        http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/532

        Nice try though.

         

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      •  
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        Jeff (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

        Re: Re:

        I give you a 8/10 for that effort. Use of "free" in orginal contexts and ontologies. Creative linking of Stallman, with freetards and nazis!

        All in all a very good effort. Your troll skills are improving; however, you should throw in a few misspellings to indicate either a stunning lack of education or pure un-adulterated, mindbogglingly, foaming at the mouth fury.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:57pm

        Re: Re:

        then fuck off no one wants you here anyway

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re:

        I don't know if I want to be seen as anti-rainbow ponies, I might have to seriously reconsider my political positions.

         

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    •  
      icon
      Al Bert (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:37pm

      Re:

      Why of course I can freeball forever.
      Just ask your mother.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Any Mouse (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 3:35am

      Re:

      So, remind me again... Who are you that I should even care about your nonsensical statement of nonsense?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

    There is no such thing as "crony capitalism" there's only capitalism.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

      Re:

      Maybe in your mind. What there is of it.

      Paraphrasing Criss Dodd "Can't you stay bought?".

       

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      •  
        icon
        Al Bert (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

        Re: Re:

        devil's advocate here:
        The comment does not necessarily mean to imply justification for "all's fair in love and capitalism". It's possible (though the sentiment isn't seen here as often) that it's to imply cynically that capitalism itself is inherently corrupt and without greater merit.

        I could be wrong, but i've been around enough neo-marxists to be able to identify that snark.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:51pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

      Yup. Crony capitalism only exists under the banner of Communism, right?

      Oh wait...

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 30th, 2012 @ 5:25pm

        You apparently don't even know what communism really means eversince it became a loaded word by the Red Scare/McCarthyism/Cold War propaganda. Also Communism has never been attempted nor existed, all the other so called "Communist" countries (a oxymoron actually since it's supposed to be worldwide like capitalism is today) are either state capitalist or deformed worker states.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    TDR, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:38pm

    So, bob, if your position is so firm, you should have empirical, non-entertainment industry data to back it up. Like the kind Mike has provided here at TD for many years now showing that the maximalist position is an absolute joke. Still, feel free to present any if you can find something. Or admit you're just a Big Shill for Big Content that has utterly no comprehension that Big Law can and often is unethical and badly written and should rightfully be challenged when that occurs.

    *crickets*

    I'm waiting!!!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      "Mike has provided here at TD for many years now showing that the maximalist position is an absolute joke"

      Actually, all the Mike has proven is that the "maximalist" position gets in the way of his business models. I haven't seen much else.

      What I have seen is an industry that creates the content, the tv shows, the movies, the music, and the books that the public demands, way far above whatever else is out there. I don't see Marcus Carab on TMZ... but I sure do see a lot of Madonna.

      Mike's gripes and grumbles are all aimed at the fact that his business models won't work if there is copyright, they won't work if there are patents. He doesn't want to reward people who come up with new ideas and new expressions, he wants to reward the derivative people, who will take an existing product or expression, modify it slightly, and claim it as their own.

      He doesn't want to reward the architects and builders, he wants to reward the guy who puts the number plaque on the building.

      It's hard to argue with Mike, because he has created his own warped reality that is immune to any real logic.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Gwiz (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, all the Mike has proven is that the "maximalist" position gets in the way of his business models. I haven't seen much else.

        A closed mind sees only what it wants to see.

        What I have seen is an industry that creates the content, the tv shows, the movies, the music, and the books that the public demands, way far above whatever else is out there. I don't see Marcus Carab on TMZ... but I sure do see a lot of Madonna.

        Actually, that means nothing. A quick look into TMZ shows they are owned by Ehm Productions in Burbank and are listed as an entertainment promotion company. They know which side their bread is buttered on.

        Mike's gripes and grumbles are all aimed at the fact that his business models won't work if there is copyright, they won't work if there are patents. He doesn't want to reward people who come up with new ideas and new expressions, he wants to reward the derivative people, who will take an existing product or expression, modify it slightly, and claim it as their own.

        Most of the business models I have seen Mike put forth would work with or without copyright actually. As for the whole derivative part, don't forget that is exactly what Hollywood does. It's very rare for Hollywood to actually have an original idea for a movie.

        He doesn't want to reward the architects and builders, he wants to reward the guy who puts the number plaque on the building.

        As someone who works in the sign business, that seems reasonable to me. (j/k)

        I've never seen Mike argue anything remotely close to that.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:58am

        Re: Re:

        Someone asks for real evidence and you post no less than six paragraphs of ad hom story time. What are we supposed to do with this narrative? Read it, conclude Mike is crazy, and then inexplicably conclude that since Mike is crazy you must be right? No, that's not how it works. I'm still waiting on actual evidence that backs up what you are spewing.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    This Impending Crisis-- and the Last Impending Crisis

    One error that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg fell into, in her Eldred and Golan opinions, was that of assuming that the increasing span of copyright over time justified no limits to copyright, that it simply made invalid the expressed reservations of the Framers. It was essentially the same error that Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had fallen into in 1857. They both mistook a cancer for a natural growth.

    If you look at Benjamin Franklin, Printer, of Philadelphia, the kind of printing press he had was substantially the same as the printing presses which Gutenberg and the Englishman William Caxton had in the fifteenth century. That is, it was a wooden table, with an overhead beam, and a massive helical screw thread. The press came with a quantity of lead type, which Franklin knew how to cast. Printers set type by picking letters out of a many-compartmented box with a tweezers and placing them in a composing stick. Franklin used his own press to be his own author, editor, and publisher, printing newspapers and books. It wasn't quite like having a blog, but it was close.

    What happened after Franklin was that the primal press was superseded by a rotary steam-powered press. Type was eventually cast, not by hand, but with a Linotype. Printing became capital-intensive, dominated by a new kind of princely newspaper owner, someone like James Gordon Bennett. Writers wrote things, and submitted them, and sub-editors, working from the owner's general directives, decided whether or not to publish these things. The pieces which were approved were taken to the composing room, and set in type, which was fitted into giant pages. The flat type chaises were used to steam-cast cardboard mats, which were then fitted into curved molds, and used to cast curved lead plates which would be fitted into the drums of a rotary press. It was Fordism, basically. This was the technological condition in which copyright got extended over and over again.

    When movies came along, the production process was basically similar to the newspaper production process in its industrial orientation, naturally hierarchical and authoritarian. Resistance to copyright developed as new technology began to take writers and publishers back towards the technological conditions of Benjamin Franklin.

    As I noted previously, the instructive analogy is that of slavery. The first blacks arrived in Virginia in 1619, sold by an English ship whose crew did not want to answer questions. Recent research indicates that they were pirates who had captured a Portuguese slave ship, carrying slaves from Angola to Brazil, but this was not known at the time. The Virginians placed the blacks in indentured servitude, on the same basis as white indentured servants, that is, they had to work seven years to gain their freedom, and an essential kit of tools to set up on their own. However, over the course of the next couple of decades, the blacks gradually became slaves outright. However, through the eighteenth century, slaves tended to escape to the frontier, and to be absorbed by the white frontiersmen. This was the situation on the eve of the American Revolution.

    There is an interesting book, T.H. Breen's _Tobacco Culture_, which explores the economic mentality of those of the Founding Fathers who came from the South, people like George Washington. Slaves were primarily used to grow export crops, and the most notable of these crops was tobacco. In the 1760's, George Washington was learning by experience just how unprofitable tobacco growing was. A planter could work ever so hard-- and still wind up deeper in debt to a London merchant. Washington was expressing ideas similar to the "dependency theory" of the German-American-Chilean Marxist economist Andre Gunder Frank in the 1970's. One contributing factor to the American Revolution in the South was that it meant a debt holiday for distressed planters. Whatever they owed in 1776, it was not until about 1790 that they were obliged to pay up. Washington's critique of tobacco implied that slavery, apart from being unjust, was an economic mistake. The question was how to disentangle oneself from the mistake, and the Founding Fathers were leaning towards a gradual system. The importation of slaves was to cease after 1808, and arrangements would somehow be made to free and/or resettle the slaves who were already here. The expectation was that as more free settlers came from Europe, and no more slaves were brought in, it would eventually be feasible to simply absorb the blacks, in the way that this was happening in the territory which would become West Virginia.

    However, a few years later, Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin. Cotton, which had previously been uneconomic, went through a boom, based on slave labor. The smuggling of slaves into the country became rampant. Ordinary white men in the South, people like the Lincoln family decided that they could not live with slavery. When slaves provided the labor, providing the labor became something that slaves did, and ordinary white men, who worked with their hands, were increasingly likely to be treated like slaves. So they left, to Ohio, or Indiana, or Illinois. From 1820 onwards, there was a gathering crisis between slave and free states. The problem was that slaves felt the same way as the Lincoln family. They tended to escape across the Ohio River, or the Mason-Dixon line. The slaveholders of the South demanded increasingly drastic measures to prevent this, such as the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. In response, ordinary white men, who felt they had shared economic interests with the slaves, formed resistance organizations such as the Underground Railroad.

    The last straw was the Dred Scott case, in 1857. As the servant of an Army officer, Dred Scott had worked for years in the North, in Minnesota, and claimed his freedom on that basis. The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, rejected Scott's claim, and ruled, in effect, that all the states of the North were slave states. Taney was a Marylander. At the time, slavery was collapsing economically in Maryland. Maryland farmers were shifting to crops which did not require field labor, and, according to their natures, were either freeing their slaves, or "selling them south," that is, shipping them down to the "cotton belt" of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. Baltimore was increasingly full of free blacks, who were setting up as small businessmen of one kind or another: barbers, cab drivers, street vendors, and so on. In Taney's decision, there was an element of desperately attempting to uphold the collapsing social order around him. Of course, what happened was not the restoration of slavery, but the path to war. John Brown in Kansas, the Harpers Ferry raid, the election of Lincoln, the Confederate Secession, the Battle of Shiloh, and the Battle of Gettysburg. In the end, on the top of Little Round Top Hill, on July 2, 1863, slavery, as represented by troops from Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas, would be confronted by the 20th Maine Regiment, commanded by Col. Joshua Chamberlain, a peacetime college professor.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

    When copyright was originally created it was a matter of civil law not criminal law and remained that way until the last few decades when the special interests twisted it into a criminal matter.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

      Re:

      The specific culprits currently are the NET Act and the PRO IP Act. If we can repeal those two, most of the statutory damages and civil asset forfeiture laws will go out the window.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:36pm

    It's a key challenge, and one that I believe the internet community is up to tackling. But it's going to take quite a fight against those who are entrenched in power already.

    "I admit, today this hope seems like a pretty far-fetched dream. But I can assure you that a decade ago, the idea that millions would have rallied to stop Hollywood from pushing an “anti-piracy” bill through Congress was also little more than a dream.

    A dream that hundreds of activists have now made real."

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Al Bert (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 12:01am

      Re:

      "I never would've thought those shop owners would've been so brave as to go against the will of the mob. I'm hopeful that this will be a real shift of power."

      In unrelated news, a deli burned to the ground on Thursday.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Gothenem (profile), Jan 31st, 2012 @ 6:26pm

    Candian Bill

    Canada is set to pass a bill just as bad as SOPA/PIPA. Bill #C-11 is actually worse, as people can have their Internet Access terminated by ISP's without any sort of Due Process.

     

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


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