Google Points Out That PROTECT IP Would Be A 'Disastrous Precedent' For Free Speech

from the good-for-google dept

While there have been a a couple of politicians speaking out against the very questionable PROTECT IP Act, we hadn’t heard much from various companies that would be seriously impacted by the law. Thankfully, they’re starting to speak up, starting with Google. Eric Schmidt warned that passing PROTECT IP would set a “disastrous precedent” for free speech, and that Google would fight against it passing, and suggested the company would fight the law in court if it did pass:

“I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems,” he said. “So, ‘let’s whack off the DNS’. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say ‘I don’t like free speech so I’ll whack off all those DNSs’ — that country would be China.

“It doesn’t seem right. I would be very, very careful about that stuff. If [the UK government] do it the wrong way it could have disastrous precedent setting in other areas.”

Of course, the problem here is that those in favor of PROTECT IP don’t seem to understand the technology that they’re regulating. So they don’t realize that they’re trying to create a “simple solution to complex problems,” and don’t recognize that they’re effectively breaking the internet and infringing on free speech rights. It’s not because they don’t like free speech. It’s because they don’t understand what they’re doing, and lobbyists for the entertainment industry insist this is needed to “fight piracy.” The problem is that this won’t “fight piracy” and will have massive unintended consequences. It’s good that Google is willing to make this an issue.

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Comments on “Google Points Out That PROTECT IP Would Be A 'Disastrous Precedent' For Free Speech”

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151 Comments
:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

It's worse than that:

Those in favor of PROTECT IP have constructed a mental image of “how the internet works” and they believe they understand it.

I’ve seen this many times. I’ve had customers on the phone telling me I was wrong when I was attempting to explain to them the functions of the system they were using which I had designed!

Plus, I’ll bet you almost every person invested in their pigheaded wrongness has faith–they obviously have no problem holding in their head a nonsensical belief for which there is no evidence…

Anonymous Coward says:

“the problem here is that those in favor of PROTECT IP don’t seem to understand the technology that they’re regulating.”

The bigger problem here is that these laws are partly intended to restrict free speech. After all, the legal system outside of the Internet already does a good job of restricting free speech (ie: despite the fact that our current IP laws are absolutely indefensible, an IP critic such as MM would never be allowed to express anti-IP opinions on public airwaves, but the corporations that wrongfully monopolize those airwaves are quick to express pro-IP propaganda).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The laws outside the Internet are purposely intended to restrict free speech, and they do, and these laws are no different. Politicians aren’t lifting a finger to correct all the broken laws outside the Internet for a reason, because they don’t disapprove of them, and if they approve of laws that wrongfully restrict free speech outside the Internet then it stands to follow that they approve of laws that restrict free speech within the Internet too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“No it doesn’t.”

The U.S. govt and the FCC made the same claim back when the FCC started regulating public airwaves. “It won’t kill free speech, it won’t reduce peoples ability to communicate over these platforms, we’ll make sure of it. We’ll ensure a minimal amount of competition, we’ll make sure the necessary broadcasting licenses are sufficiently easy for anyone to attain”. That turned out to be a lie. This is too.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Baloney.”

IP criticisms over public airwaves hardly exists, if at all. That’s despite the fact that our current IP laws are absolutely indefensible.

“Ask Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or that Alex guy, the conspiracy nut. They spew their nonsense and their listeners are free to call in and do the same.”

Saying that some speech is permitted is different than saying that free speech is permitted.

and that’s part of the point. Speech that reasonably criticizes our absurd IP laws are censored and replaced by insanity instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“All you jokers have been able to come with are silly doomsday FUD scenarios.”

Except for those silly FUD doomsday scenario are already reality. Copy protection lengths last insanely long and they keep getting retroactively extended to the point that nothing ever enters the public domain anymore. The constitution says that these things are to last a limited time and that these laws are only to promote the progress, but that no longer seems to apply and the courts have ignored the constitution and have effectively made copy protection lengths last forever (minus a day). Content can die in history, never to be seen again, before having the opportunity to enter the public domain. There are also a ton of other things wrong with these laws. The only FUD here is that art, music, and innovation will somehow cease to exist (or be slowed down) without IP laws and that IP laws are somehow needed serve the public interest or else ….

The USPTO rubber stamps patents without any indication that it even reads any of them. The govt grants a monopoly on almost everything it can (ie: taxi cab monopolies) and the necessary free speech outside the Internet to bring attention to these unacceptable monopolies doesn’t exist because the government wrongfully grants monopoly power over broadcasting spectra (and cableco infrastructure use) and hands that power over to corporate interests, interests that only express pro-IP propaganda without allowing any criticisms to be broadcasted whatsoever, despite the fact that these IP laws are completely indefensible. These doomsday scenario are already real and the govt just wants to seek to do to the Internet what it did to everything outside the Internet. After what it wrongfully did to everything outside the Internet, why should I believe otherwise?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“There is no monopoly.”

Yes there is.

“Go look up the definition of monopoly some time.”

Single seller, exclusivity, etc… IP = monopolies.

“A person is free to distribute their art any way they wish.”

Sure.

“But how it’s done is their choice, not yours.”

It’s their choice how they distribute ‘their’ art. Once they distribute it, it’s also my choice how I redistribute it.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Here's A Different Perspective

Google shows its true colors?
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 by Sandra Aistars

Google?s chief executive Eric Schmidt today said his company would challenge legislative efforts to shut off access to websites like Pirate Bay that traffic in pirated and counterfeit goods, even if they were passed by Congress and signed into law by the President of the United States.

In a rhetorical retread of the sky-is-falling cries from Google-supported, so-called ?consumer interest groups? who line up to oppose copyright enforcement efforts, Schmidt reportedly raised the specter of free speech limitations as the basis for his position.

But the self-interested hand-wringing is a bit much given Google?s history of reaping the benefits of doing business in China for years while censoring content at the Chinese government?s behest.

Where rogue websites are concerned, Google profits from ad placement no matter whether the content is licensed or not. Given a recent study showing nearly one-fourth of the internet bandwidth globally is consumed by exchange of infringing content, it is only reasonable to assume someone at the Google campus is counting the potential lost eyes on ads and calculating the financial impact on the company.

Indeed there is even publicly documented history of Google knowingly and purposefully working with pirate websites to increase traffic to such websites and profits to Google from the Sponsored Links/Adwords programs. In conjunction with the settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the major Hollywood studios against Luke Sample, Brandon Drury and their companies for operation of subscription based websites devoted to helping consumers find and download pirated copyrighted works, Sample?s Affidavit was filed by one of the defendants testifying to the fact that Google worked directly with the illegal website to drive traffic to it and increase Google?s revenues from its participation in the sponsored links program. In fact, Google?s ad teams even made suggestions designed to optimize conversion rates by using keywords targeted to pirated content ? such as suggesting downloading films still in theatrical release, that obviously were not available yet in any authorized format for home viewing.

Passing laws these days is an arduous process and the fact that a bipartisan majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee, not to mention 42 U.S. state attorneys general, have looked at the approach and endorsed it, should be indication that numerous behind-the-scenes legal minds have looked at the language and determined it passes muster.

As Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) pointed out at a news conference last month, the Judiciary Committees considering this issue are experts in first amendment and due process issues. ?It doesn?t do any good to pass legislation that doesn?t stand up. We?re not doing this to feel good,? he said.

Perhaps the Google view is that a mere threat of non-compliance will somehow scare off officials eager to defend American creativity and American jobs. But the strident statements smack of corporate imperialism, and ? delivered across the Atlantic in London ? are a far cry from the tone Google?s General Counsel took while testifying back home in America before the House Judiciary Committee a mere six weeks ago.

No matter how Mr. Schmidt tries to dress up opposition to copyright enforcement efforts as altruistically motivated, one can?t help but look to Google?s checkered history on aiding pirate websites in marketing their content, and wonder where the truth lies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Here's A Different Perspective

So basically, a huge article about how the industry has set up a “with us or against us” line in the sand.

If you’re going to blame Google for treating all customers equally, might as well blame ICANN for letting anyone take a domain name.

And LOL at trying to connect P2P traffic to ad views. Downloading a summer blockbuster has the same page hits as viewing a news article – Using up 10000x the amount of bandwidth means diddly-squat for ad revenue.

Pirate websites don’t even rank on the highest traffic websites. They’re hardly major players when it comes to Google Ad Revenue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: But... But... Piracy

I’m from The Copyright Alliance and you don’t have a written contract to copy and paste that entire article here or even link to it. Mike Masnick is now required to remove ALL of your previous comments on Techdirt pursuant to the PROTECT IP Act. You may contest these accusations in court after the comments have been removed. GOOD DAY SIR!

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: But... But... Piracy

The scary thing here, is that your “sarcasm” wouldn’t actually be sarcastic at all if PROTECT IP was passed. Your comment wasn’t exaggerated one bit. If it is passed, a complaint of infringement can be made, and your registrar, hoping not to be sued, would under duress remove the content, and you can only protest AFTER your speech has been silenced.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: But... But... Piracy

Mike Masnick is now required to remove ALL of your previous comments on Techdirt

Your sarcasm didn’t go far enough.

The current (still pending) bill allows private parties to “suggest” sites that are “dedicated to infringing content.” If Techdirt got on that list, then not only would the ISP be required to block the entire site, credit card companies would be prohibited from dealing with Techdirt at all.

It is a horrible, horrible law. It’s a recipe for abuse by folks like Righthaven, who would threated a “PROTECT IP action” unless you pay them $5000 up front, for “IP” that they don’t even control in any way.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Here's A Different Perspective

Hilarious. So you copy and paste an entire article from a *LOBBIEST* who was one of the main backers of the bill, and you consider that convincing?

In the meantime, why would you infringe on the Copyright Alliance’s copyright like that? Do you have a license to repost it elsewhere?

Why is it always the maximalists who are caught infringing?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Here's A Different Perspective

Mike what are you getting worked up about? Buck lateral’s just doing what everyone else does on the internet and showing us something that caught his/her eye and wants to prove a point…by copying the article, which as we all know will not hurt the author in any way shape or form.
Although I do find it hilarious myself. I note that buck doesn’t say where s/he got it, or link to the article. That’s self-censorship, almost as if s/he’s practicing living under the repressive regime that PROTECT IP would bring about…except what I just said doesn’t make sense considering s/he copied the article”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes I do, but you apparently don’t.

Saying that pirate sites are the 90th most visited sites is different than saying that their Google or search engine referral rates ranks 90. In fact, the stats would seem to indicate otherwise, “The fraction of visits to the site referred by search engines is about 18%”

That is, the majority of people who visit the site visit not from search engines queries.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Saying that pirate sites are the 90th most visited sites is different than saying that their Google or search engine referral rates ranks 90. In fact, the stats would seem to indicate otherwise, “The fraction of visits to the site referred by search engines is about 18%”

That is, the majority of people who visit the site visit not from search engines queries.”

Facts seem to have a quieting effect upon the cow-herd.

notRICHartist (profile) says:

NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Stop hiding behind the tired free speech meme. Google makes tons of income from its advertising on websites the contain stolen or illegal goods. Try as they might, they cannot continue to cry “free speech” every time there are legitimate questions raised about their business model. (Seems the FDA and company are taking notice of this too). Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Also, I should note that the victims of piracy aren’t just the major corporations (ie studios, etc.). More important, and something that this website seems to regularly overlook, is the negative effect that content theft is having on the not-so-big companies/artists/individuals.

Google’s repeated cries of “free speech” remind me of a fable involving a little boy who cried “wolf” one too many times.

Any Mouse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Yes, Free Speech is a meme. Tell me, why are you even an American? The 1st Amendment is one of our most cherished laws (right behind the 2nd, I’d imagine), so it’s a meme that’s lasted over 300 years. Yet you seem disinterested in it. Hell, even Europe understands the importance of such a thing. Stop wiping your ass with MY RIGHTS. The government, I fear, is going to find out just what the 2nd is for soon enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

You seem to think that by Google censoring links it will make the problem go away. There’s tons of search engines not under jurisdiction of U.S. law that will still contain those links, and sites will still be directly accessible.

Free speech may be a meme in the middle east, but it’s been a right in the United States for 222 years. Should I listen to the Constitution, or your shill account that was born 5 minutes ago?

More importantly this is no guarantee that people will buy more of your shit. If it does pass, don’t ever reveal your identity because people who support this will be boycotted, and that’s a promise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

hypocritical liar.

btw, when is Masnick going to post his receipts for his mega-gig music collection? You, Masnick, and I know that if they’re real purchases, they’re tax write-offs. So seeing as he’s the biggest piracy apologist on the net, proof should be close at hand.

Since he is weaseling out of his debt to a charity that helps musicians get health care, we really need to start questioning these type of statements from him.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Any Mouse -> “So, because I have no interest at all in your product (note, I do not ‘pirate’ and I do not purchase label music), you should have the power to remove my rights? “

AC -> “hypocritical liar.”

Not only is this an unsupported allegation, but it is also an immature response – or, maybe you’ve been drinking.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Who cares? It’s not like you’re paying now.

Oh, brother.

“A study released this week by Jupiter Research reports that about 34 percent of veteran file swappers say they are spending more on music than they did before they started downloading files.” (2002)
Study: File sharing boosts music sales

“Digital music research firm The Leading Question found that they spent four and a half times more on paid-for music downloads than average fans.” (2005)
Downloading ‘myths’ challenged

“A newly study commissioned by Industry Canada, which includes some of the most extensive surveying to date of the Canadian population on music purchasing habits, finds what many have long suspected (though CRIA has denied) – there is a positive correlation between peer-to-peer downloading and CD purchasing.” (CRIA 2006)
Gov’t Commissioned Study Finds P2P Downloaders Buy More Music

“researchers monitored the music download habits of 1,900 web users age 15 and above. Over time, the study found that users who downloaded music illegally from P2P file-sharing sites like BitTorrent ultimately made ten times as many legit music purchases than the law abiding users.” (BI Norwegian School of Management 2009)
Study finds file-sharers buy ten times more music

Can we please retire the old “pirates aren’t customers” myth?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Stop hiding behind the tired piracy meme. The RIAA/MPAA companies make tons of income, even though there are some websites that somehow have physical stolen goods on them. Try as they might, they cannot continue to cry “piracy” every time there are legitimate questions raised about their business model (Seems the FDA (Food and Drug Authority) and company are taking notice of this too)….wait, the FDA are taking notice of this? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Also, I should note that the victims of piracy aren’t just the major corporations (i.e. studios etc). More important, and something that this website seems to regularly show to hundreds of thousands of dedicated readers, is the positive effect that file-sharing is having on the not-so-big companies/artists/individuals.

The entertainment industries repeated cries of “Piracy” remind me of a fable involving a little boy who cried “wolf” one too many times.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Total bullshit.

The people that are most hurt by piracy are small and independent record labels and musicians.

They aren’t part of the RIAA; they don’t have a team of employees to send DMCA notices, post spoofed files or viruses to the pirate sites, etc..

Stop trying to defend the indefensible. It just makes you out as a horrible and immoral person.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

“The people that are most hurt by piracy are small and independent record labels and musicians.”

False.

“They aren’t part of the RIAA; they don’t have a team of employees to send DMCA notices, post spoofed files or viruses to the pirate sites, etc..”

[citation needed]

The smaller labels are actually the ones that experiment. You’re trying to slander some good bands there, bucko.

“Stop trying to defend the indefensible”

If you really are still using the piracy meme some more, please go out and do your own research into it. And please, read some of the research that has come out, that no one has yet to dispute. What’s incredibly wearing is when people come here, say “blah de blah”, but then have nothing but some anecdotal evidence that has no correlation to the causes and effects of technology use in the 21 century.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

You must be new here:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091101/2005096753.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100503/1254559290.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110204/23401312975/japanese-government-study-shows-anime-piracy-could-boosts-sales.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090119/1943093458.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100122/0921257872.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110413/01433513878/new-study-shows-many-artists-think-file-sharing-helps-not-hurts.shtml

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080804/1534311886.shtml

I didn’t even have to leave this site! God knows what I’d find if I went to Google.

I wonder what my chances are of getting held for moderation with all these links… ๐Ÿ™‚

Darryl says:

Re: Re: Re:6 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

good for you if you are willing to except mike’s “proof” as all you need.

As for the amount of work you have done I would consider it to be around ZERO.

After all, are you not pointing to someone elses work who in turn in pointing to someone elses work? As said that is how it works.

So what what work, (or critical thinking) did you undertake ?

You might of taken some effort, but you producted no work. Your efficiency is zero as well.

If you only proof that you can provide is the parroting of Mikes statements which are parroting someone elses statements (after considerable distortion). Then that is really no proof at all.

And I do not need any proof that you are demeaning to someone possibly new to the site, because you think you know better because your only source of knowledge is filtered through Mike ‘brain’.

I guess its far easier than using your own.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

good for you if you are willing to except mike’s “proof” as all you need.

Mike isn’t giving proof, he’s discussing the proof given by others. You know, like we are right now.

As for the amount of work you have done I would consider it to be around ZERO.

My point (it was that thing that wooshed over your head when you pretended to read what I typed) was that the AC asked for proof (instead of just looking for it himself) and I was so kind as to give him a place to start– and it was then commented that all I posted were techdirt links. Since the links to the actual studies are in every article I posted, it seems reasonable that I would wonder exactly how much work I should do to educate our anonymous friend.

After all, are you not pointing to someone elses work who in turn in pointing to someone elses work?

..and you would have me… cut and paste the entire studies into this blog? Is that what you’re suggesting?

So what what work, (or critical thinking) did you undertake ?

I never claimed critical thinking; I can’t make the guy think about the data, I can only show him where it is. I *did* however search for the applicable links and post them in one spot so he could read at his leisure– which is work, albeit a minimal amount.

If you only proof that you can provide is the parroting of Mikes statements which are parroting someone elses statements (after considerable distortion). Then that is really no proof at all.

You know, the guy that posted that talking to you IP Maximalists is a worthless endeavor just might be onto something. Ignoring the libel in the flat out lie that you claim Mike considerably distorts the data, he actually links to the data he’s talking about so it would be quite easy to call him out on it with specific instances (of which, I can’t help but notice, you have none) thus causing him to lose credibility. Now, on the other hand, if some semi-anonymous person comes here and starts spouting off anecdotal ‘evidence’ of how the sky is falling there a good reason to suspect the truth may be distorted. Hence, why we always say “[Citiation needed]”.

And I do not need any proof that you are demeaning to someone possibly new to the site, because you think you know better because your only source of knowledge is filtered through Mike ‘brain’.

I think I know better because I actually click through to the links and read from the source. You should really try it sometime.

Chris in Utah (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Ah yes the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debate. Lets Vilify each other(raises hand guilty) so nothing meaningful comes from the discussion.

Point here was that proof right wrong isn’t the issue the issue is the proposes effect (if any) and the fallout (if any) is leading to (if any) results… rather than solutions to free-market non-interference any time soon.

Sad it takes 3 little pics for someone to release there work for ANY use including commercial and it only takes one to give someone a monopoly on it. OH and and that monopoly is implied whether we want it or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

“The people that are most hurt by piracy are small and independent record labels and musicians.”

The people lobbying for these laws the most are the RIAA and the MPAA so they are likely the ones ‘hurt’ most by ‘piracy’.

You, on the other hand, have no evidence to suggest that your statement is true.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

The people lobbying for these laws the most are the RIAA and the MPAA so they are likely the ones ‘hurt’ most by ‘piracy’.

Does make you feel better to think that?

Are you a smaller person?

You, like Masnick, are guessing about something that is a remote concept/reality to you.

I’m not.

I don’t expect people like you to understand, but if you’re going to take advantage of artists, karma is going to deal you the nastiest hand you’ve ever experienced.

Just a heads up, bud.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Oh? Defending the indefensible? I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, because if you are, look at what you’ve written. You somehow think it’s okay for the RIAA to send VIRUSES to the “pirate sites”. Last I heard, dealing in computer viruses was 100% illegal. Same with the spoofed files, I’m sure: I’d love for that to be shown in court, with the defense’s lawyers shredding it apart in that the file the RIAA is suing over, was put up themselves.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Yes, which is why there’s a propaganda campaign going on in the Capitol. Go to Open Secrets, search by company, then looks at bills like COICA and PROTECT IP. go on, I’ll wait.

When epoepl refuse to adapt to new technologies, that’s capitalist Darwinism at work (alos known as free-market). Sadly, those who aren’t innovating are litigating, thus pissing off a considerable portion of the public.

indieThing (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Please, don’t start trying to ingratiate yourself with us indies, most I know don’t want to associate ourselves with closed minded IP maximalists like yourself.

The only people benefitting from these clutch of new laws coming our way, or already here (in the UK), are the gatekeepers.

We’re doing our best to escape from those, that’s why we’re indies. We also don’t like that our civil rights are being eroded in many small but progressive ways.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Can’t help but notice that you never, not once, link to anything supporting your arguments that piracy hurts indie artists. All you have are your claims, and the people debating you link to plenty of sources over time. It is pretty apparent to anyone new to the debate that you have no proof and are just spewing junk.
Most all I ever here from you is “doesn’t count / FUD / lies” That means you have nothing to back you up and you are a liar. If you had stuff to back you up you would have cited it and rebutted with actual facts. Something I never see you guys do.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

My stance is that it’s wrong to do something illegal in order to stop something else that millions of people don’t really see as illegal. And spoofing? What about entrapment?
Entrapment is illegal too.
The RIAA does plenty to harm artists. It only selects a few to promote, the vast majority being given no help whatsoever, whereas, if you go independent, you have all the opportunities in the world to make yourself famous. What about the Limewire v RIAA lawsuit? The RIAA sued over its client’s tracks being downloaded, yet when the dust had settled, it pocketed the entire ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in damages. Not one of their artists got a cent. If some organization says it will protect my copyright and sue for me in the event of infringement, I better expect to see some of the damages won.
Plus, I demand an immediate apology. Douchebag indeed. I didn’t call you any names.

Chris in Utah (profile) says:

Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

/sarc
Free speech is a meme! Wow, informed memebase!

Google is to monitor all sites it.. I cant even sarc this.

What is it in there business model exactly? I wonder where the smoke is because the other half of that is your actually inhaling it through your anus.

Small business effect? I really want to see how much more copyright does from even considering a new business in a model based on transformative works verses say a big company considering a new venture and then tell me who has the resources to actually get it done.

Cry of free speech? Yes please tell me when.. oh thats right history writes the story of the victors not the ones killed, skinned and quartered. Because nobody wants to think about that right? Normalcy Bias. 100k of them get out of Germany the other 400k get slaughtered thinking, “Nah, cant happen here”. Thanks but I’ll take the 100k route every time.

I don’t even need Murphy’s law for this one.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Try as they might, they cannot continue to cry “free speech” every time there are legitimate questions raised about their business model.

No legitimate question has been raised about Google’s business model. The question was raised that the ProIP bill has the ability to cause chilling effects on free speech. Are you suggesting that merely linking to so-called illegal content being a *felony* won’t have a chilling effect on free speech? How could you ever link to anything? A link is just a pointer. You could link to a cute fuzzy kitten one day and the same link, without any action from you, could be a Metallica song. BAM, you’re a felon, welcome to the inability to vote or carry a firearm. Do you still think this is a good idea? If so, please post a link to this on your blog or facebook page and I’ll change it to something else tomorrow, maybe a revisit of two girls, one cup.

More important, and something that this website seems to regularly overlook, is the negative effect that content theft is having on the not-so-big companies/artists/individuals.

The ones that are more impacted by their obscurity than the “theft” they can’t lose because no one knows about them? Seriously? There’s a good reason you’re a not rich artist, my friend. Oh, and it’s not theft.

As a side note/rant, so many “poor artists” come to this blog and cry about how piracy is hurting them and they almost *never* link to an example of their art. If I was an artist I would pimp myself out at anyone whose eyeballs/earballs I could grab. Why no link to your art?

Huph (user link) says:

Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

The ones that are more impacted by their obscurity than the “theft” they can’t lose because no one knows about them? Seriously?

I think piracy hurts independent artists in a more indirect manner. It’s not that a low-level musician can’t compete with free, it’s more that they can’t compete with Led Zeppelin (for instance). This is a bit circuitous, but I think it’s a point that needs to be brought to light. If the only music that was available for free, legal or not, was from independent artists, then I think you would see a massive flourish in culture. But, when a new artist can’t even compete with big label bands by undercutting them, it makes it hard to entice listeners to new stuff.

I’m thinking of it kind of like a physical store: say a Led Zep album is for sale at $12.99. My album is definitely not as good as any Zeppelin album, so I would choose to offer my album for less, maybe so cheap that hopefully a buyer couldn’t resist (low enough that maybe they wouldn’t care if they ended up disliking the album). In internet terms, I would offer my music for free, and hopefully people would bother to check it out since it would involve no risk on their part. But, when every amazing album ever made is basically available for the same price, and you “have” to sell at that price too, it can make it hard to set yourself apart in a simple manner. Think about knock-off brands that populate grocery store shelves, their entire selling point is that they’re cheaper than name-brand. That’s it. That’s their model. They’ve no need to offer some sort of different value to a customer. Often, they blatantly tout the name-brand you should compare them to.

The current situation seems to lead to merchandise like big box sets and elaborate packaging that ends up costing the consumer more, when really I think independent artists would rather just sell the music for a reasonably low price. And I think most listeners are a little tired of having “junk” taking up space in their homes (I am, at least).

I don’t think the current scenario is necessarily bad on the whole, just that it’s not the wonderland for indies that it’s sometimes made out to be. I certainly don’t think laws need to be passed to protect legacy models. This is just something that kind of bothers me about trying to thrive artistically in the current musical climate. Led Zeppelin’s discography being so easily accessible is awesome for culture as it relates to Led Zep. It may not be all that good for the band itself.

(Obviously, Led Zeppelin was just a choice. You could insert Radiohead, Arcade Fire, or any other “name-brand” band into my musing)

As a side note/rant, so many “poor artists” come to this blog and cry about how piracy is hurting them and they almost *never* link to an example of their art.

That’s not totally true. Some posters’ names are links to their music/art/blog/whatnot (Some of us who aren’t IP haters even post it all under CC licenses, too, plug plug). I prefer that to actually pasting links at the end of posts, which would be pretty annoying, and already happens enough across the rest of the internet.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

It’s always refreshing to have an opposing point of view that isn’t “omg pirates are thieves!”. For that, I thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m thinking of it kind of like a physical store:

This is your first logic mistake. Whenever (ever!) you try an equate scarce goods to infinite goods, it’s broken. (Admittedly, I’ve done it on several occasions!)

My album is definitely not as good as any Zeppelin album

If your music isn’t as good as another band’s music then don’t blame piracy for when I pick it over yours– blame your lack of talent. This is how the market should work. The current system can be gamed; You can, as you said, try and sell your music at a lower price than a more talented band or you can dump tons of money into marketing to “sell” a mediocre band. In a world where music isn’t sold, but used as marketing, only good music will survive because music will be consumed based solely on its own merits. Surely this is the ideal situation, yes?

I don’t think the current scenario is necessarily bad on the whole, just that it’s not the wonderland for indies that it’s sometimes made out to be.

I slightly disagree. I think that at the present time a forward-looking, talented artist could make a killing for exactly the reason you stated above– you would undercut the competition drastically. You should also factor in the goodwill you’d gain by legally allowing your music to be shared. Of course, this doesn’t help an artist with no talent– which is what I feel the *real* fear of piracy stems from. (perhaps, subconsciously) I emphasize at the present time because I foresee the level playing field in the future so the goodwill will evaporate (it will be normal) and it’s hard to undercut ‘free’. So many business models that will work today *can* bank on the goodwill of the fans for not attacking ‘pirates’. (or, even better, intentionally sharing their music for free) Strike while the iron is hot, and all that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Some posters’ names are links to their music/art/blog/whatnot

I said many, not all, and I specifically said the artists that come here and wail about the evils of piracy. Then again, maybe I answered my own question– perhaps those artists are so afraid of ‘lost sales’ (and they think everyone here at TD is pirates) that they don’t want us to know about it. Who knows.

I’ve saved a link to your site to Springpad, my cloud brain of choice, and will check it out. I encourage you to make an account here and participate in more discussions– it gets old only hearing “nu-uh!” and “you’re all thieves!” from people who disagree.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

Oh, now it’s “content theft”? I thought it was “IP theft” or “copyright theft”.

Try being just the slightest bit truthful and use the proper term: copyright infringement. Infringement on the right to make copies. If you do, someone might take you seriously.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NO, IP PROTECT would be distasterous for Google's profits

There are already laws in place that prevent Google from assisting in the distribution of pirated content. Google doesn’t make its ad revenue from pirated content, at least not any appreciable amount. It probably loses far more revenue in the costs of policing and taking down links to pirated content than anything it gains. Google already makes a lot of effort to remove pirated content from its search engines. To say that Google benefits from such content is disingenuous at best.

Atkray (profile) says:

Content Theft

If you don’t want me to access your content then keep it off my interwebz. If you put it on the internet then I am accessing it not stealing or even infringing. If you don’t want me to access your content then keep it off my interwebz.

Seriously, “Artist” or “Creator” or even “Inventor” shouldn’t be a job/profession. They are hobbies. If you somehow mange to get people to drop some change in your guitar case I’m happy for you but you are not entitled. Quit expecting others to subsidize your artistic endeavors.

When I write code I want to share, I share it for the joy of knowing someone might enjoy or benefit from it not because I might get some money for it. If I don’t want to share it then I don’t.

Dave (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’ve tried to find some middle ground on the whole IP thing. I’ve even tried reasoned discussion with IP extremists. You know what I found? You. In fact I found you(1000). I found people so blinded by their self importance and feeling of entitlement that reasoned discussion is impossible. Any hint of anything short of the most extreme policies imaginable is theft. Any discussion that even dares to suggest that their is such thing as “fair use”, that the public is a stake holder in how copyright legislation should written is met with disdain and vitriol.

So I’ve come to a conclusion. It is impossible to have a reasonable copyright. Completely and utterly. I’m not saying that their aren’t reasonable ideas on how copyright should be. I’m saying that any attempt to create one will fail. Because of you. You will subvert anything even vaguely, through 30 feet of dense fog, resembling balance. You will cry “think of the artists!” “we won’t ever be able to create anything unless we have complete control!” “a vote for fair use is a vote for theft!”

Here’s the upside. In our wonderful day of anything can be copied, copyright is completely voluntary for private citizens like myself. If I feel like supporting an artist I will! I can’t be forced to! It’s a great, liberating feeling. I spend money on entertainment all the time, but never because I give a damn about your precious copyright.

So copyright will get evermore dictatorial, and will totally eliminate any good that it could ever have represented in the past, and at the same time will matter less and less and it is all your fault.

TL;DR: Copyright sucks because copyright supporters are self indulgent ass-hats incapable of reasoned discussion. I don’t care about copyright, and soon no one else will either.

BTW, I’ve gone ahead and typed up your reply to my post, too (no need to thank me. Copy all you want): You are a dirty rotten thief who only wants free stuff you big poo-poo head. May fiery hell rain down upon you for all eternity, you thiefy thief stealer guy.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I believe I’ll start linking to this post because it’s the most sensible one in regards to defenders of copyright.

But just as a reference point, here’s some other information in regards to copyright.

I’m sure defenders will ignore it, but it’s good for clarifying what frustrates the copyright debates:

Stephen Kinsella – Intellectual Freedom and Learning versus Patent and Copyright

Lawrence Lessig – Do Copyright Laws Stifle Creativity?

Is Intellectual Property Even Necessary? The Case For and Against Piracy

Eric Schmidt – CEO of Google discusses Intellectual Property (My, how things change…)

Rethinking IP completely

EMI mad at Joss Stone for making a new album

Is Piracy the Real Problem? (3 minute video showing the breakdown of profits with the CD era.)

RIAA training video regarding piracy (showing how the RIAA tries to have law enforcement pursue their copyrights by dubious means. Want to know? Only 2 minutes long, worth a look

Against Owning Information

There’s more, but that should get you started on the various ways copyright is a complex issue.

Anonymous Coward says:

I see the trolls are out in force on this one. As was mentioned earlier, you can’t talk to them, reason with them, it’s like talking to a wall, you can’t make a dent.

ARSTechnia has a good article where the report is being turned in on a study.

Among them is one telling point, working in the US as well as the UK. They seemed to have coined a term….lobbynomics as the method of determining the validity for the next in the line of succession of laws steadily coming out. One doesn’t get dry on the page before the next one is coming down the pipes. The report recommends the changing of the way of determining the need for new IP laws by getting rid of lobbynomics and in it’s place to start dealing with facts. Not the puff piece facts but real ones.

Darryl says:

"simple solution to complex problems"

What would you prefer ? a complex solution to a simple problem ?

you have 3 options

NO solution – ie it’s still broke

A Simple solution – the ideal solution to any problem.

A complex solution – In which the solution might be more complex than the problem, and therefore more problematic.

There is a 4th option, that is to not have a problem in the first place that requires a solution.

But its silly to claim that a simple solution is a “BAD” thing.

Assume you are about to crash your car, but you have several solutions that you can use to avoid that crash.

what would you do ? the simple solution of applying the brakes, or the complex solution of trying to make your car fly ?.

Or to try to jump out of the car, run faster than it, and chop down the tree you are about to hit.

If you do not choose the simplest solution you die.

That is if you consider this ‘problem’ to be complex in the first place, that would indicate your own lack of understanding of the problem.

Al E. says:

Re: "simple solution to complex problems"

Daryl, you think you’re clever, but you’re the opposite. Almost everyone, on both sides of the issue, understands what is meant by the complaint “simple solution to complex problems” … EXCEPT you. Here’s a complex problem: crime. Here’s a simple solution: “Off with their heads!” What exactly is the problem with that? It’s simple, really, and yet you seem unable to grasp it.

DannyB (profile) says:

Mike, I respectfully disagree

> It’s not because they don’t like free speech.
> It’s because they don’t understand what they’re
> doing, and lobbyists for the entertainment
> industry insist this is needed to “fight piracy.”

They either:
1. DO UNDERSTAND what they are doing, or
2. They don’t understand, and therefore just DON’T CARE about free speech (because the issue has been made plain more than once to replies of “I just don’t see it”, “I just don’t get it”, etc.)

Whether it is (1) or (2), you then cannot say that they like free speech.

Of course, the fact that I am saying this means I must be a pirate, a piracy apologist, or a piracy lover. Or something. (Criminal? Terrorist?)

rxrightsadvocate (user link) says:

PROTECT IP could harm public health

Glad to see that Google is taking a stand on this. This new act is a serious threat to public health. It moves far beyond COICA?s potential blacklist of pharmacy websites. It would categorize all non-U.S. based online pharmacies as a risk to public health despite the fact that countless Americans are only able to afford their needed medications because of the savings available through safe, legitimate Canadian and other international pharmacies. Find out how you can take action to protect access to safe and affordable prescription drugs at http://www.RxRights.org.

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