OK, I'm confused here. You say you disagree, and then you go and agree with my point. That is exactly the way it would have to work under a Common Carrier system. If Viacom wanted a video taken down, they'd have to go after the person who uploaded it, not the site they uploaded it to. And the "safe harbor" law is what establishes the extralegal recourses of the "guilty until proven innocent" DMCA takedown system. Get rid of that and you fix the entire system.
Did you seriously not just read what I wrote at all?
Yes, I want the so-called "safe harbors" gone! The term is an Orwellian abuse of the language. They do nothing useful for the Internet. They do not keep anyone safe, and they don't protect anyone from liability; they actually create liability that would not exist in their absence, to say nothing of the extralegal abomination that is the DMCA takedown system--which is an intrinsic part of the "safe harbors." Why would any Internet user want to keep them around?!?
We need to repeal the DMCA in its entirety. It is the foundation that all digital copyright abuse these days is built on, and contrary to some claims, (even by otherwise-knowledgeable people like Mike who really ought to know better,) it does nothing good to help promote the growth of the Internet, but holds it back instead.
You frequently hear that the "safe harbors" in the DMCA help to promote the Internet and protect useful sites like YouTube from liability, but this view is completely inconsistent with reality. In the real world, the "safe harbors" establish massive chilling effects and create liability.
Just look at YouTube. What are they being sued for by Viacom? Liability due to violating the DMCA's safe harbor provisions.
Look at Veoh. They recently won their case, but only after they'd been sued into bankruptcy and their business shut down. What were they sued for? Liability due to violating the DMCA's safe harbor provisions.
Look at Megaupload. They bent over backwards to comply with the DMCA and go the extra mile to stay on the content industry's good side, but when they went and tried to launch a service that would have directly competed with the recording industry, what legal doctrine did the industry use to get Megaupload raided and shut down? Liability due to violating the DMCA's safe harbor provisions!
If the DMCA did not exist, there would be no safe harbor provisions to violate, and no liability therefrom. Internet services would operate under Common Carrier doctrine, which gives them no liability whatsoever as long as they treat content fairly.
This is the same legal doctrine that other carriers of content originated by other people work under, such as UPS and FedEx. Have you ever heard of them being sued for delivering something that was illegal? If YouTube was operating under Common Carrier, they could have laughed Viacom out of court instead of ending up in a long, protracted lawsuit.
The DMCA does nothing to help the Internet. It is evil and corrupt from beginning to end, and does not need to be fixed or reformed, but repealed in its entirety.
Wasn't Uber discredited once it was revealed that they're:
1) run by an Objectivist
2) who engaged in heavy price gouging during the Hurricane Sandy emergencies
3) which is blatantly illegal on top of being despicable? (But exactly what you'd expect from an Objectivist.)
Could someone please explain why the name of Aaron Swartz keeps being invoked as a reason to fix all this stuff? (Please note, I'm not saying that it doesn't need to be fixed.) Everyone keeps going on about how Aaron killed himself over his prosecution in the MIT case, and so therefore we need to fix things.
Everyone seems to agree on this point: Aaron committed suicide. Aaron killed Aaron, not anyone else. Whatever else the prosecution may have done, killing him and "making it look like an accident" isn't something the prosecutors have been accused of, even by the whacked-out conspiracy theorists. (At least, not that I've seen.)
Isn't that supposed to be regarded as de facto evidence that the guy was mentally unstable? People get prosecuted unfairly all the time, and most of them do not kill themselves over it. Did I miss a memo somewhere? Is there an official double standard in place where that only applies if the mentally unstable person in question is not a celebrity who advocates a cause that you support?
If we want to fix bad laws, why not just fix them for the sake of fixing bad laws? Isn't that a worthy goal in itself?
Exactly. This is the underlying problem behind a lot of the issues discussed here on Techdirt. "Do you wanna get sued?" should never be something that can be used as a chilling effect.
When someone honestly and legitimately feels that they are in the right, but is still afraid to defend themselves in court because they might be ruined anyway, the system is fundamentally broken. We need a way to address that, as a higher priority than playing whack-a-mole with the symptoms that this disease causes in our society...
Liable for configuring a load balancer on TPB. Wow.
For the non-technical among us, this is almost exactly equivalent to the cops busting the contractor who installed the revolving door at an illegal brothel, and holding him liable for what was going on inside.
Being unaware of "something" does not make you stupid. But being unaware of something that has a huge impact on your field of expertise, in which you are looked to as a leader and one of the highest experts in the world? To be willfully unaware of something like that is just plain stupid.
Gates: Innovated a grand total of one original idea in his entire career. Anyone remember Microsoft Bob? (If not, remember Clippy the "helpful" paper clip? Imagine an entire shell full of characters like him. That's Bob.) Everything else, from DOS and Windows to Office and Internet Explorer to their programming tools, was either purchased from a real innovator or blatantly (and badly) ripped off from another product.
Jobs: Began by copying Xerox's innovation, but actually did build some new and useful concept on the foundation they laid. (Which Microsoft immediately went and produced a bad ripoff of. See above.) Never managed to get anywhere with his products because he and his company insisted on too-tight control of everything and making life too difficult for developers. And as soon as he actually got a little bit of power in the marketplace, he went waaaay off the deep end and instituted policies far more evil than anything we ever saw coming out of Microsoft. I suppose that could count as an innovation...
Zuckerberg: Began by breaking into systems, but that's OK, because he later ended up stealing from his employers who hired him to create a site, taking their design--which was essentially just a MySpace ripoff--for his own. He then proclaimed privacy irrelevant by royal fiat, participated in a massive act of securities fraud when he took his company public (for which no one was ever prosecuted that I know of) and screwed investors out of billions while padding his own pockets considerably.
Like they say, hindsight's 20/20. I'm having a hard time seeing why these people shouldn't have been prosecuted for their early crimes and prevented from going on and causing further harm. Can someone come up with some examples of guys who actually contributed in a positive way?
While many in the tech community like to complain about the entire DMCA, it's important to remember that some of the DMCA was actually quite good: setting up things like clearly defined safe harbors that separate platforms and services from the actions of their users was a necessary step in creating the web that we know and love today.
Please don't perpetuate that lie. The DMCA, and especially the "safe harbor" provision, did nothing to encourage the growth of the Internet. The "Safe Harbor" provision is an Orwellian mis-naming if there ever was one, as it does nothing good for the Internet; all it does is expose sites and service providers to greater restrictions and greater liability in return for a promise of safety that, as we see with the Megaupload case, isn't worth the paper it's printed on if the bad guys really want to make you stop causing trouble.
If there had been no Safe Harbor, at some point someone would have sued some website over hosting infringing content. They would have replied with a defense that they operate under Common Carrier doctrine, and have zero liability to do anything whatsoever about the data they handle, and so the plaintiffs can go screw themselves. And they would have won, and it would have set a precedent. (And it would have done so back before the rise of wireless devices and cable modems consolidated power in the hands of companies that don't want to operate as common carriers, so today the network neutrality problems they're causing for us would never have come along in the first place.)
The DMCA took that away from us, and between the "Safe Harbor" and the legitimization of DRM, directly set up every bit of copyright abuse that's been used against the Internet ever since. There is nothing good about the DMCA, and it needs to be repealed in its entirety.
Wow, awesome link. I knew the USPS was a lot better than the reputation some people are trying to smear them with, but this is a real eye-opener.
And you don't even have to be out in a rural area to benefit from them. I live in the suburbs, in a nice apartment complex, and USPS is the only package delivery system I trust. UPS, Fedex and all the rest consistently screw things up in ridiculous ways.
- Not finding my address.
- Not leaving things with the apartment manager when I'm not home.
- Presenting ridiculous lies about why my package didn't get delivered, such as "the driver needed a code to get in." (No he didn't, and he wouldn't have at any of the apartment complexes nearby either.)
- And worst of all, never delivering when I'm at home! The problem with only working "standard business hours" is that all of the standard businesses work the same hours. I do not understand how these guys can remain in business when their schedule is completely incompatible with that of so many of their customers! That's Service Industry 101!
By contrast, USPS has never once mis-delivered a package for me.
Please don't perpetuate that lie. The DMCA did nothing to encourage the growth of the Internet.
Most people, when they talk about the good that the DMCA supposedly did, point to the "Safe Harbor" provision, an Orwellian mis-naming if there ever was one. But the Safe Harbor provision does nothing good for the Internet; all it does is expose sites and service providers to greater restrictions and greater liability in return for a promise of safety that, as we see with the Megaupload case, isn't worth the paper it's printed on if the bad guys really want to make you stop causing trouble.
If there had been no Safe Harbor, at some point someone would have sued some website over hosting infringing content. They would have replied with a defense that they operate under Common Carrier doctrine, and have zero liability to do anything whatsoever about the data they handle, and so the plaintiffs can go screw themselves. And they would have won, and it would have set a precedent.
The DMCA took that away from us, and between the "Safe Harbor" and the legitimization of DRM, directly set up every bit of copyright abuse that's been used against the Internet ever since. There is nothing good about the DMCA, and it needs to be repealed.
I'd have to disagree with that. "All game manufacturers" do not deserve to succeed. No one inherently deserves to succeed, unless they achieve something worthy of success. I've seen plenty of crappy games out there that do not fall into that category.
That's part of the problem, in fact. Manufacturers (and producers and publishers of all kinds) have this really ugly sense of entitlement that goes like "we spent all this money and effort on this. It deserves to succeed, and we deserve to recoup our investment and turn a profit." And from that basic attitude stems a lot of the problems we see with copyright abuse.
So the sooner we can uproot that idea, the better off we'll be.