Rikuo's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week
from the holiday-season-edition dept
Hey, fellow Techdirtians or whatever adjective you want to call yourselves. Longtime reader Rikuo here. Iíve been following Techdirt for the better part of two years now, and was sure surprised to have been asked to write the Favorites list for Xmas week. Once I stopped jumping and shrieking in pure fanboy excitement (and after the court injunction ordering me to never do that sort of stuff again), I sat myself down and decided to get serious.
Monday was a serious day for some, and a jawdropper for others. Daniel Castro from the ITIF (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) just three weeks ago responded to SOPA/Protect IP critics by saying that DNS filtering works because some other countries do it. Well, thanks to the good folks at Public Knowledge, you learn that itís alright for the United States of America to adopt practices from some of the worst authoritarian regimes on the planet. And here I thought "land of the free" actually meant something.
Two other Monday articles caught my eye: the first was about how ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was adopted by the EU Council, however, it was really by a collection of ministers in a meeting discussing agriculture and fisheries? Wait, what? What do fish have to do with a treaty about copyright?
The last Monday article was by our own Julian Sanchez, about how SOPA will be abused. This prediction was arrived at by looking at what the entertainment industry has done in the past and what they continue to do today. A very good read, as it really drives home the point that these companies are already abusing the DMCA. And having tried to block technological innovation in the past, they will certainly continue to do so in the future.
Tuesday had three articles that interested me. The first is about UK singer, Dan Bull, releasing his latest music video on YouTube. Even though he's in the UK, he'd still be affected by SOPA. Dan Bull relies on user-content-generated-sites to release his media but the entertainment industry would like to shut them all down (or at least limit them), given half a chance. Once thatís done, this artist, unless he got picked up by a label, would have no easy way of distributing his music.
The second article for Tuesday was about successful photographer Trey Ratcliff. Heís another member of the growing example of artists who succeed in the digital age despite the copyrights on his work regularly being infringed. In fact, he's worked it into his business model. What I found most amusing about the article were the responses from some people, who continue to state that these examples don't matter. We here at Techdirt are offering proof but these people willfully stay blind.
The last Tuesday article was about the death of Veoh, a video sharing website that, despite being perfectly legal, was killed financially in a bogus copyright lawsuit from Universal Music Group. Under the original version of SOPA, you wouldn't need a lawsuit. Just a stern letter to the payment processors and you get the same result. If you can already kill a legal website dead by overburdening it with lawsuits, why bother pushing for all this extra legislation?
Come, Wednesday and I hear about Gilberto Sanchez who has been sentenced to a year in prison for uploading the unfinished workprint of X-men Origins: Wolverine. Despite the fact no harm has been proven and despite the fact that uploading a workprint does NOT equal uploading a full finished movie, Fox still pushed for his imprisonment. All this will do is drive further resentment against copyright law, as people ask themselves why such a harsh punishment?
Again with the superhero movies, as the Dark Knight Rises movie trailer has gone viral. Now, people in the marketing division of Warner Bros want this video to be seen by as many people as possible, so as to entice more people to see the actual movie. However, the lawyers are a different breed and have sent Rob Sheridan a notice for daring to embed the video. So what... are we NOT allowed talk about the movie?
My last favorite Wednesday article would have made me chuckle if it didn't piss me off so much. The YouHaveDownloaded tool has been used to find out that IP addresses belonging to the RIAA have been used to infringe copyright. The RIAA has been too quick to say that it could have been a third party at fault, a defense that it never allowed anyone else to use during its infamous P2P lawsuits.
I came home from work Thursday and saw that Julian Sanchez had been hard at work, showing us how SOPA will enable censorship beyond that of copyright infringement. What truly amused and dumbfounded me were the commentators who still insisted that dajaz1.com was rogue and illegal, when clearly the government couldn't make such a case. Talk about a complete disconnect from reality.
Reddit General Manager released a statement showing how SOPA still impacts domestic sites. Even if it were true that SOPA would only ever be used against foreign sites, the logistical nightmares of censoring them (and the penalties for failing to do so) would fall on US companies.
I came home from work on Friday, booted up my browser and first place I went was Techdirt, where I learned that pretty much everybody who was listed as supporting SOPA have demanded to be taken off the list. Turns out, they were never asked whether or not they supported SOPA, or in GoDaddy's case, were facing a massive boycott from their customers. So SOPA supporters...where is this massive support you've been crowing about? Are SOPA critics still limited to pirates and thieves?
I'd like to thank Mike for giving me the opportunity to write this article and the Techdirt community for just being that awesome. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.