Being Concerned With Free Speech Implications Of PROTECT IP Does Not Mean You Think You're Above The Law

from the oh-come-on dept

Wow. In the legacy entertainment industry’s latest “you’re either with us or against us” mentality, it appears that expressing concern about the free speech implications of bills like PROTECT IP means you’re a horrible, horrible person. Both the MPAA and RIAA are quite upset about Eric Schmidt coming out against PROTECT IP and saying that the impact on free speech would be disastrous. Both responses are so sickeningly disingenuous, it really makes you wonder how out of touch they are.

Let’s start with the RIAA’s statement:

“This is baffling. As a legitimate company, Google has a responsibility to not benefit from criminal activity. In substance and spirit, this contradicts the recent testimony of Google’s General Counsel that the company takes copyright theft seriously and was willing to step up to the plate in a cooperative and serious way.”

Um. Except that nothing in what Schmidt said actually contradicted Kent Walkers speech, nor did he say they don’t take copyright infringement (not theft guys) seriously. He was expressing very legitimate concerns about the free speech implications.

On to the MPAA’s statement, which echoes the RIAAs, but is a little more fleshed out:

In April, Google senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker testified before Congress that ‘Google supports developing effective policy and technology tools to combat large-scale commercial infringement.’ That?s exactly what the PROTECT IP Act is designed to do — it creates a narrowly-drawn, carefully constructed solution to the threat to American jobs and America’s economy, a solution that protects and strengthens our right to free speech. As constitutional law expert Floyd Abrams wrote, ‘[c]opyright violations are not protected by the First Amendment.’

This is really shameful how the MPAA twists the debate. First of all, the PROTECT IP does not effectively combat large-scale commercial infringement at all. That’s just wishful thinking. The actual infringement will continue. Second, there is no evidence that it will support American jobs or the economy. In fact, the reverse is almost certainly true, as these kinds of laws will harm large parts of the internet that enable new jobs.

But the really sickening part is the Floyd Abrams quote. While it is entirely true that copyright violation is not protected by the First Amendment that’s not what Schmidt or anyone else raising these issues are concerned about. No one — not Schmidt, not us — is arguing that copyright infringement is protected by the First Amendment. We’re saying that this tool will be used against non-infringing and perfectly legal speech. And that’s not a theoretical concern. We’ve already seen it happen multiple times with the existing ICE domain seizures, in which blogs and sites that were not violating the law were seized.

That’s the concern.

Furthermore, as Schmidt made clear in his statement, he was also noting that once you justify the censorship of some speech just because you’re trying to stop infringement, you open the door to much more censorship of speech. Traditionally, the First Amendment caselaw has been clear: if you’re going to strike against illegal speech, you have to very narrowly focus on just that speech. PROTECT IP does not do that. It casts a wide net. But, once you have that door open, saying that it’s okay to shut down some legitimate speech in an effort to stop some others, that will only expand.

Is Eric Schmidt really suggesting that if Congress passes a law and President Obama signs it, Google wouldn?t follow it? As an American company respected around the world, it?s unfortunate that, at least according to its executive chairman?s comments, Google seems to think it?s above America?s laws.

Oh, come on! Of course that’s not what Schmidt is saying and the MPAA is being obnoxiously disingenuous in suggesting otherwise. He’s not saying they’re “above America’s laws.” He says that the RIAA/MPAA-written laws should not be above the Constitution. That is, these laws should not violate the First (or in other cases the Fourth) Amendment. By saying that Google would fight, he doesn’t mean ignore, he means challenging the Constitutionality of these laws in court.

Sad that the MPAA has so little actual substance behind its arguments that it’s forced to blatantly mislead like that. Typical, but sad.

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Companies: google, mpaa, riaa

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Comments on “Being Concerned With Free Speech Implications Of PROTECT IP Does Not Mean You Think You're Above The Law”

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225 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Pure Spin

Schmidt said Google would “fight it” in reference to the law, and not do “requests” or “discussion”.

I don’t believe he was saying Google wouldn’t follow court orders and injunctions, just the crap that ICE or the RIAA/MPAA might ask them to do outside of the law (i.e. the mafiaafire scandal). The PROTECT IP Act has a provision for third parties to shut people down with shady out of court accusations, maybe he was referring to not doing that as well.

The corporation he chairs is not going to blatantly break the law if this passes. If an injunction comes in maybe they’ll push hard for a stay but that will be the most that they’d do.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Here we go again:

“This is really shameful how the MPAA twists the debate. First of all, the PROTECT IP does not effectively combat large-scale commercial infringement at all.”

Interesting conclusion about a law that hasn’t been yet enacted much less enforced.

“That’s just wishful thinking. The actual infringement will continue.”
Yes, dedicated freelaoders will be able to continue to get something for nothing.

“Second, there is no evidence that it will support American jobs or the economy. In fact, the reverse is almost certainly true, as these kinds of laws will harm large parts of the internet that enable new jobs.”

There have been a number of studies in the US and abroad about job loss due to digital theft. Love to see your study on why the reverse is true.

“But the really sickening part is the Floyd Abrams quote. While it is entirely true that copyright violation is not protected by the First Amendment that’s not what Schmidt or anyone else raising these issues are concerned about. No one — not Schmidt, not us — is arguing that copyright infringement is protected by the First Amendment.”

Here’s a real question I don’t know the answer to. Are foreign operators entitled to free speech protection? Inasmuch as this bill targets only foreign actors are they entitled to any Constitutional protection?

“We’re saying that this tool will be used against non-infringing and perfectly legal speech.”

Why would this tool be any more subject to abuse than any of the other laws on the book that first require a judges order before implementation?

Mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There have been a number of studies in the US and abroad about job loss due to digital theft. Love to see your study on why the reverse is true.
Yes, studies funded by content industries, where content companies are asked to estimate how much they lose a year to foreign piracy. Great studies.

Here’s a real question I don’t know the answer to. Are foreign operators entitled to free speech protection? Inasmuch as this bill targets only foreign actors are they entitled to any Constitutional protection?
Hey, you got one piece right. Domain siezure only applies to non-domestic sites. How about search engines? How about links from domestic blogs?

One last thought: if the US can censor the internet, why can’t France or GB? We’ve seen that France and Great Britan both issue super-injuctions, what would stop them from deciding that reporting on a certain French offical is illegal? Or some British football player? Logically, they should be able to take out the entirety of our news system. After all, it’s against the law in their countries…

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“There have been a number of studies in the US and abroad about job loss due to digital theft. Love to see your study on why the reverse is true.

Yes, studies funded by content industries, where content companies are asked to estimate how much they lose a year to foreign piracy. Great studies.”

Feel free to cite apologist studies. Do you reject every study whose conclusion calls into question your moral imperative to freeload?

“Here’s a real question I don’t know the answer to. Are foreign operators entitled to free speech protection? Inasmuch as this bill targets only foreign actors are they entitled to any Constitutional protection?

Hey, you got one piece right. Domain siezure only applies to non-domestic sites. How about search engines? How about links from domestic blogs? “

Read the bill. There are no seizures.

“One last thought: if the US can censor the internet, why can’t France or GB? We’ve seen that France and Great Britan both issue super-injuctions, what would stop them from deciding that reporting on a certain French offical is illegal? Or some British football player? Logically, they should be able to take out the entirety of our news system. After all, it’s against the law in their countries…”

Once again, even 1st Amendment scholar Abrams, and Lord High Apologist Masnick both agree that infringing content isn’t covered by the First Amendment. France and Britain, like China are autonomous countries. If France chooses to block US news stories about their pervert IMF banker so what? That’s a matter for the French people in French courts.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re right, but wehat’s more concerning is that you’re giving nationsd, such as North Korea, the tools to become a dictatorship and point ot the US and say, “well, they do it, why can’t we?”

And that’s a very big concern. I know that the Chinese Government is in awe of how far you have fallen as a nation in such a short time, too.

techflaws.org (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you reject every study whose conclusion calls into question your moral imperative to freeload?

No, only those that use a badly flawed methodology like the ones you seem to be refering to. It’s kinda weird tough that you think these results would impress anyone. I also doubt pulling ad hominems out of your ass won’t win over anyone either to your way of “thinking”.

anonymous says:

Re: Re: Re: @Buck Lateral

“Once again, even 1st Amendment scholar Abrams, and Lord High Apologist Masnick both agree that infringing content isn’t covered by the First Amendment. France and Britain, like China are autonomous countries. If France chooses to block US news stories about their pervert IMF banker so what? That’s a matter for the French people in French courts.”

Bad analogy – try this one.
France was making fine wines while the ancestors of any current American wine producers were still living in Europe. France decides that American wines are ripoffs of the real thing and after secret deliberations – at which only French wine makers are present – permanently and definitively removes all American wine producers from the internet.

btw “their pervert IMF banker” tells me a lot more about you than it does about Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

xenomancer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Why would this tool be any more subject to abuse than any of the other laws on the book that first require a judges order before implementation?”

Funny that you ask that. I believe something similar is often asked of internet protocols and determination of copyright infringement.

I would ask why this ^^^^^^ tool is anymore subject to abuse than other shills, but I save questions like that for passover.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Interesting conclusion about a law that hasn’t been yet enacted much less enforced.”

The existing laws are abusive enough (ie: 95+ length copy protection lengths) and they’re already abused enough. Anyone who wants to expand these abusive laws is selfish and likely wants to expand them just to abusive them due to their selfish nature.

“There have been a number of studies in the US and abroad about job loss due to digital theft.”

What studies? Asking the opinions of IP maximists? That’s not a study.

“Love to see your study on why the reverse is true. “

You’ll just ignore it. and job creation isn’t an end of itself, aggregate output is. Digging a hole and filling it back up is a job but it doesn’t produce anything beneficial.

“Here’s a real question I don’t know the answer to. Are foreign operators entitled to free speech protection? Inasmuch as this bill targets only foreign actors are they entitled to any Constitutional protection? “

What does it matter, shouldn’t we be encouraging their free speech? Why should we be hypocrites and tell them, “do as we say, not as we do”.

“Why would this tool be any more subject to abuse than any of the other laws on the book that first require a judges order before implementation?”

The other laws on the books are already abusive. This is just an expansion of those abusive laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

First of all, you people need to stop with the “95+ year” copyright law meme; we know that’s not why you’re here to argue ๐Ÿ˜‰

I doubt you know any indie label employees that don’t have jobs anymore because kids get their music from MediaFire for 19 bucks a month instead of paying the band/small label.

But I personally know many.

Stop talking about things you have no clue about. And stop trying to defend the indefensible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“First of all, you people need to stop with the “95+ year” copyright law meme;”

Why? Its evidence for the nefarious nature of these laws.

“we know that’s not why you’re here to argue ;)”

I’m here to argue that IP laws need to be abolished. What’s your point?

“I doubt you know any indie label employees that don’t have jobs anymore because kids get their music from MediaFire for 19 bucks a month instead of paying the band/small label.

But I personally know many.”

You people need to stop with the “but jobs” meme because we know that’s not why you’re here to argue.

First of all, musicians hardly ever got much money through CD sales, they almost always got most of their money through concert ticket sales. The record labels are the only ones who made money through CD sales and if anyone loses money due to piracy it’s the record labels, not the musicians. So piracy hasn’t really ever cost them anything, if anything, it helps promote the music and many musicians don’t mind their works being pirated and have expressed that opinion.

You pretend that piracy is the reason why they don’t have jobs. The fact is that the record labels produced fewer music related jobs than what the Internet helps to produce now, since now people don’t have to go through the record labels anymore to gain recognition and market their works (not to mention that the record labels often didn’t even pay many of their artists what little money they owed, only to the big artists). Being a musician is an exception no matter what and musicians are rare with or without piracy. To turn around and blame everything on piracy is disingenuous.

“Stop talking about things you have no clue about.”

Techdirt readers know what they’re talking about, you’re the one who has no clue what you’re talking about. Yet you’re here talking about things you have no clue about. Hypocrite.

Scratch that, you’re just dishonest. Most IP maximists are.

“And stop trying to defend the indefensible.”

Stop telling others not to do that which you are doing, especially when those others aren’t the ones doing it. Hypocrite.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The 95+ year copyright extensions do personally affect me. I am deprived of art that rightfully should be public domain by now.

I have every right to argue about them.

What I’m trying to defend is quite defensible. You make too many assumptions because you see infringement under every bush and behind every tree. Nobody could possibly have any other use for the Internet than infringement. There couldn’t possibly be any other reason YouTube is successful.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:2 So you and your friends are failed musicians. That proves only one thing: you suck.

No, no. It wasn?t musicians the poster was claiming had been put out of work, but ?indie label employees?. You know, the people who run the record labels that take all the money from recordings and give essentially none back to the musicians?

Can you hear this? It?s the world?s smallest ?freetard? violin.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Buck “Shill” Lateral writes: “Are foreign operators entitled to free speech protection? Inasmuch as this bill targets only foreign actors are they entitled to any Constitutional protection?”

I would say, that if free speech is a good idea at all, it should be afforded to all. It’s a right, not a privilege, after all. If we, the US citizenry, allow you, the shilling PR flackery, to redefine free speech as a privilege, then freedom of speech is just something to be taken away as punishment when the citizenry misbehaves. Oh, wati… that’s what the horribly-named PROTECT-IP bill appears to do.

You may make it illegal, but you’ll never make it unpopular. Your PR will come back to haunt you. Mark my words.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Good idea or not, US Constitutional rights aren’t guaranteed to everyone in the world. By the way, the usual apologist argument is that we have no business trying to force US laws (whether the USC or Constitution) on other countries. But the PROTECT IP Act doesn’t even do that. It allows orders to be served on US search engines, US payment processors and US ad networks. So even under the tortured theory that foreign web sites are somehow “entitled” to free speech rights, (even if they are infringing and wouldn’t be protected anyway) they are still free to exercise those undeserved “free speech” rights as the only thing that is cut off is the money and easy recognition of their name by US search engines.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually, the Constitution tells the government what it can do. The Bill of Rights tells it what it can’t. Both documents regulate the government, not individuals. Recent rulings allowed habeas corpus for foreign combatants held by the US. If an illegal alien gets arrested he has Miranda rights, right to speedy trial, etc. But it only applies in instances where the government exercises sovereign powers. That’s why the government can’t seize a foreign website. It has no standing to impose its laws. For the same reason, Yuri the Pirate has no Constitutional free speech claim because his speech is beyond the reach the US government (if it was within reach, Yuri’s infringement would negate a free speech claim) So PROTECT IP Act orders follow to US enablers.

There’s no viable legal or Constitutional basis to challenge PROTECT IP. Evidence of is seen in the ICE takedowns. Those sites either stayed down or popped back up with foreign domain names, out of reach of US law enforcement…. for now. PROTECT IP will actually leave the”free speech” rights in tact. They can still offer their infringing wares, just not with the aid of US payment processors, search engines or ad networks.

Let me make a prediction for you. This fight is going to go the same way as you middle school dodgeball games. Remember those?

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You do believe freedom of speech is a privilege to be taken away as punishment for bad behavior. Shame on you, sir, for your un-American ideas.

Freedom of speech is a natural right of all humans, preserved by watering the liberty tree with the blood of free men. Shame on you for demeaming the memory of those who kept tyranny away.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Nice sidestep.

“Actually, the Constitution tells the government what it can do. The Bill of Rights tells it what it can’t.”

Absolutely correct, but you conveniently left off the most pertinent part:

Actually, the Constitution tells the government what it can do to all individuals in the world. The Bill of Rights tells it what it can’t do to all individuals in the world.

I know you want to ignore this simple fact, but that does not make it untrue: The Constitution of the US applies to all human beings, not just Americans.

Anonymous Coward says:

First Amendment

I would actually say that copyright violations absolutely can be protected by the First Amendment. Not always, of course, but that’s where fair use is born from. The RIAA and MPAA like to pretend that fair use is this extremely limited concept that is codified in the law and can go no further than that, but that’s just a lie. I also believe that the only reason they codified it was in an attempt to limit it, instead of actually giving guidance to judges. Thankfully judges have ignore it when dealing with the various new technologies with some notable exceptions. Of course, those exceptions always seem to occur when there aren’t powerful corporate interests. If You Tube hadn’t been bought by Google (which I thought was a terrible purchase when they did it because of the liability), it would have been shut down. I wish to believe that it’s because corporations are the only ones who can afford lawyers as good as the RIAA and MPAA, but frankly I think it’s just because the courts don’t want to go against corporate interests.

SD says:

Hey Michael O?Leary (MPAA)

I bet you would say the same thing about the new environmental bill called the “Stop The Film Use Act”.

Within one month of it’s passing, it would ban all use of film stocks in America due to phony pollution concerns.

It may be news to you but PROTECT IP isn’t even passed, so it doesn’t belong in the category of “America’s laws” just yet.

Put the brakes on your spin machine before Google shows you how lobbying is really done.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

But that’s only in CD sales, right?

There’s more musicians working now than ever before, if I understand correctly. But cite something to the contrary so I can look for myself, please.

Also, the movie studios, the other part of piracy, the main part of piracy now, have been having record box office year after record box office year.

So, to you, I have to say: put up or shut up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No

Although box office revenue is up, overall movie revenue is down due to the decline in DVD sales. If you adjust for inflation, theatrical revenue has been declining, off and on, for years.

Also, U.S. stats say fewer musicians are working.

I’m not addressing the bill described above – just pointing out that you’re wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No

“(Update: January 2010)

Over the last few years, the number of musicians and singers has increased significantly.”

http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/qc/job_futures/statistics/5133.shtml

Also see

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=127434

But that’s besides the point. I don’t want the government to artificially create more musicians. I want the free market to determine where labor should be directed. Artificially directing more labor towards musicians directs labor away from other sectors of the economy which reduces aggregate output in those other sectors (and aggregate output is the whole purpose behind having an economy, so that we can have things, jobs are useless if they don’t produce useful stuff, it’s like digging a hole and filling it back up). Not that music isn’t important, but the free market is perfectly capable of creating music without government intervention. If the government is to artificially direct labor towards any sectors (and hence away from other sectors) it should be towards sectors other than music. For one thing, we need more doctors.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No

“Although box office revenue is up, overall movie revenue is down due to the decline in DVD sales.” (I’m assuming this is true).

and why is that my problem?

Why is the government trying to make that my problem by forcing me to abide by all these laws, forcing various service providers to comply with these laws (laws that often require them to be psychic to know what’s infringing and what’s not) and hence to pass the costs of complying with those costs back down to me, and by using my/our taxpayer money to enforce those laws (taxpayer money that could be spent producing more marginally relevant jobs elsewhere in the economy)?

Why has job security suddenly become the governments job?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No

Also, part of the reason DVD sales maybe declining is because people now have more alternative forms of entertainment. People now have Facebook, Twitter, etc… people only allocate a limited amount of their time towards in-home entertainment (and the proportion of their total in – home vs out of home entertainment likely stays about the same) and so diverting some of their entertainment time towards Facebook, Twitter, and other online forms of entertainment will naturally divert entertainment time away from watching DVD’s.

So DVD sales will naturally fall. Theater sales haven’t decreased much because Facebook, Twitter, etc… don’t draw much attention away from peoples out of home entertainment, so since that stays about the same, theater sales stay about the same. People tend to desire a balance between in-home entertainment and out of home entertainment.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Also, the movie studios, the other part of piracy, the main part of piracy now, have been having record box office year after record box office year.”

So are you saying that taking something that belongs to a successful business is OK? That’s interesting.

Maybe the record box office comes from the fact that it’s kind of hard to sneak into movie theaters.

“So, to you, I have to say: put up or shut up.”

About the kind of argument I’d expect from someone whose avatar looks like it has an extra chromosome. I assume it’s a good likeness of you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“So are you saying that taking something that belongs to a successful business is OK? That’s interesting. “

It’s not taking in the sense that they’re losing anything that they’re rightfully entitled to. No one is rightfully entitled to a govt enforced monopoly.

“Maybe the record box office comes from the fact that it’s kind of hard to sneak into movie theaters.”

Isn’t that kinda the point? People often go to the movies for the experience. Such an experience is a scarcity that can be sold. Techdirt readers believe there is nothing wrong with charging for movie theater entrance.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“isn’t that kinda the point? People often go to the movies for the experience. Such an experience is a scarcity that can be sold. Techdirt readers believe there is nothing wrong with charging for movie theater entrance.”

Don’t make me laugh. This is all about freeloading and an exaggerated sense of entitlement. People illegally download and stream movies and TV because it’s easy, free and low risk. Legally downloading and streaming copyrighted content could be a scarcity that could be sold (more widely) too, if it was not competing against free or a price point that doesn’t actually include the production costs.

And what’s with this monopoly shit? Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros, Fox, Disney, NBC/U- they all compete. Throw in the mini-majors, independents etc. How’s that a monopoly?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“This is all about freeloading and an exaggerated sense of entitlement.”

It’s not us that have a sense of entitlement, we have a natural right to copy as we please. No one is entitled to the air we breath, but everyone has a right to it.

However what no one is entitled to is a government imposed monopoly, and such is not something that anyone has a natural right to. Those who have a false sense of entitlement are those who think the government owes them monopoly privileges when it in fact does not. These laws do not exist because anyone is entitled to monopoly privileges, the founding fathers recognized that they are not, they exist only to promote the progress.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You copy the creative output of others and refuse to compensate them for their time and investment. I don’t see how you have a moral (or legal) defense for that. Air is a natural resource, not creative output of human beings. Are you so desperate to freeload? It’s entertainment for Christ’s sake. Not food, not medicine nor any kind of necessity. Yet you feel entitled to take it for free.

I guess that you have adulterated the term “monopoly” as a substitute for copyright. The founding fathers put copyright protection in the Constitution because they realized that in order to promote creation, creators need a period of exclusive use in order to profit from their innovation. Funny how you apologists jump up and down waiving your copy of the Constitution about due process and free speech and when it comes to Constitutional provisions for copyright seem to have a convenient memory lapse. That’s called hypocrisy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“I don’t see how you have a moral (or legal) defense for that.”

I don’t need one, just like I don’t need a moral defense to breath air or drink water. Not everything needs a moral defense.

“Air is a natural resource, not creative output of human beings. “

and?

“Are you so desperate to freeload?”

IP doesn’t exist to stop freeloaders, it exists to promote the progress. If the law is designed to stop ‘freeloaders’ by impeding on my natural right to copy then this law should be abolished.

If you view something as freeloading then simply don’t release your work to the public. But don’t expect others to spend the time and effort and money to enforce and abide by your monopoly desires. Forcing others to incur the expense and inconvenience of enforcing your business model is freeloading. Copying one another is not freeloading.

“The founding fathers put copyright protection in the Constitution because they realized that in order to promote creation, creators need a period of exclusive use in order to profit from their innovation.”

They thought that it would promote creation, but notice how they did not put it in the constitution because to prevent ‘freeloaders’ from freeloading. It was to promote the progress and expand the public domain. The founding fathers were very skeptical of IP but eventually thought it was OK if it be very limited in nature. But what we have now is nearly as limited as what the founding fathers had (ie: length, coverage, penalties of infringement vs penalties of falsely claiming privileges over something one has no privileges on, IP being opt out and potentially requiring a psychic to know what’s infringing, etc…).

“Funny how you apologists jump up and down waiving your copy of the Constitution about due process and free speech and when it comes to Constitutional provisions for copyright seem to have a convenient memory lapse. That’s called hypocrisy.”

The constitution does not provide anyone with copy protection laws, it provides congress with the ability to grant these laws if it chooses to, but only to promote the progress and they can only last a limited time. Congress doesn’t have to grant these monopoly privileges if it chooses not to and I urge congress not to.

and the founding fathers were very skeptical of IP laws and I think their initial skepticism was correct. The constitution got this wrong and I think the constitution should be modified in this regard to explicitly ban IP laws federally and to put a reasonable blanket limit on copy protection lengths on a state level so that states have the freedom to pass such laws if they chose but the lengths shouldn’t exceed a reasonable and specified number of years.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

It’s like, if you spend a million dollars building a bridge on public property (or digging a hole), don’t get mad when others walk over it. Don’t like it, then don’t build your bridges on public property.

Likewise, don’t want your content used by others, don’t do anything that will give the public access to it. Don’t broadcast it on public airwaves for starters.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Imagine I spent a billion dollars building an air filter that effectively cleans the air of greenhouse gasses. Now I claim that the air is cleaner and so everyone that breaths and benefits from this cleaner air thanks to me needs to pay me money. Is that a valid claim?

Even if the air is cleaner as a result of my invention, what I spent on it is my problem, not anyone elses. I don’t care if you spent a million dollars cleaning the air, polluting it, etc… you can’t then turn around and charge people for breathing such air.

What you spend on something is your problem, it’s not anyone elses. Don’t make it anyone elses. These monopoly privileges are just that, a privilege, not a right, and you have no right to them. Society grants limited privileges in exchange for more creative output but society is not obligated to grant such privileges, such grants are a privilege that society optionally grants. I, as a member of society, demand that the government remove these privileges. Hopefully enough other members agree with me to get these privileges removed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Legally downloading and streaming copyrighted content could be a scarcity that could be sold”

So it’s a bad thing that the air we breath isn’t a scarcity that can be sold? Should the government monopolize that too?

Just because making something artificially scarce means it could be sold doesn’t mean it should be made artificially scarce. Copy protection laws don’t exist to make things artificially scarce just because doing so makes them sellable, it exists to promote the progress and to expand the public domain. The whole point of having markets with buyers and sellers is to provide us with goods and services, if we can get those things at no cost then there is no reason for such markets to exist.

This is just selfish mentality on your part, but IP maximists are generally selfish so I don’t expect any better.

“And what’s with this monopoly shit? “

The government grants monopoly power to copy privilege holders over what it is they’re selling.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Are you actually so stupid that you do not recognize a different between air and a motion picture. How much money was investing in creating the air, how many artists and technicians worked to create it? You’d better PM the Lord High Apologist and ask that he grant you use of a better example.

Sorry about your monopoly/copyright issues. Get in you time machine and talk to the founding fathers about it and maybe they;ll take it out of the Constitution for you. There are all kinds of substitutes for a given film. Some even legitimately free. Why not enjoy those instead of freeloading? Because tis is what the debate is all about. You are just too fucking cheap to pay for the latest Transformer movie so you steal a copy instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Actually, the copyright clause is not a mandate but a power that congress may optionally grant under the condition that the power only be for limited times.

The founders understood that while a limited monopoly(james madison actually used that word for such grants) might be useful to promote progress, they were not something you had an absolute right to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“Are you actually so stupid that you do not recognize a different between air and a motion picture.”

I understand the difference between air and a motion picture. But your argument is that

“Legally downloading and streaming copyrighted content could be a scarcity that could be sold”

The point here is that this is irrelevant. Just because something is could be a scarcity that could be sold doesn’t mean it should be a scarcity to be sold.

“How much money was investing in creating the air, how many artists and technicians worked to create it?”

I don’t care if you spent a million dollars digging a hole at the beach, that gives you no right to perpetually prevent others from walking over that hole and to use the laws to do so.

What money you spend on something isn’t my problem, it’s your problem, and I don’t want you to make it my problem by making service providers incur all the costs of abiding by your (almost) arbitrary IP requirements and forcing them to hire a qualified psychic to tell them what is and what isn’t infringing (because those costs will come back down to the user), forcing others to go through the inconvenience of abiding by your requirements and trying to determine what is and what isn’t infringement (with no requirement on the privilege holders part to facilitate the process of helping us know by opting in for example, hence shifting that burden onto others to magically know), and forcing taxpayers to pay for the costs of enforcing these laws.

“You are just too fucking cheap to pay for the latest Transformer movie so you steal a copy instead.”

Calling it stealing is a lie, why should anyone take the opinion of a liar seriously?

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“You are just too fucking cheap to pay for the latest Transformer movie so you steal a copy instead.”

“Calling it stealing is a lie, why should anyone take the opinion of a liar seriously?”

Parse words all you like douchebag. Taking something of value from someone else is stealing. Most rational people view it as such.

You and the hysterical zealots like Masnick are outstanding examples to help make the case in front of the people actually VOTING on the matter. The apologists and freeloaders are off the deep end with their rhetoric. “It’ll break the internet”, “It will violate free speech (in Russia?)” “It’s not stealing” “they can’t stop us” It’s the MPAA/RIAA’s fault” etc, etc. If any of you think your rantings are resonating with Senators and Congressmen you’re mostly wrong. Zoe Lofgren and Ron Wyden are pretty much all you’ve got, and are both light-weights. There’s a few fencesitters, but once they are handed the articles and comments from the Techdirtbag insane asylum and other Unibomber-esque forums, they run to the other side of the issue as fast as they can. Masnick is already regarded as a buffoon and a figure of fun on the Hill. The overwhelming number of lawmakers are already supporting. That’s why COICA went out of committee 19-0 last Congress. Everyone’s on board. So please keep pumping the looney tunes, it will only serve to make the vote more one-sided than it will already be.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“Taking something of value from someone else is stealing. Most rational people view it as such. “

Then you are disingenuously conflating two different definitions of the same word. One definition, making a copy, does not deprive the person being copied from what it is that’s being copied. There is nothing immoral about this definition of the word. The second definition, taking something and depriving someone else of it, is immoral.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

“”Taking something of value from someone else is stealing. Most rational people view it as such. “

“Then you are disingenuously conflating two different definitions of the same word. One definition, making a copy, does not deprive the person being copied from what it is that’s being copied. There is nothing immoral about this definition of the word. The second definition, taking something and depriving someone else of it, is immoral.”

It’s these sorts of tortured responses that proponents of PROTECT IP love to cut out and send to Senators. You use pseudo-intellectual words like “conflating”, while posing absurd arguments.

To address your argument, while you can contend that a copy doesn’t equal a sale. Perhaps not in every case, but certainly some. But the point you ignore is unjust enrichment. By making a perfect digital copy of a motion picture that is offered for sale without paying the creator, you are getting something for nothing.

This is why you people have no traction with lawmakers. You refuse to acknowledge that there is something wrong with what you do. Then you bulwark you bullshit premise with hysterical Constitutional arguments and specious due process claims. This is why no one but crackpots like Wyden and Google employees like Lofgren take you seriously in Washington.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

“To address your argument, while you can contend that a copy doesn’t equal a sale. “

No, a copy is not a sale. If you mean that a copy does not equal a lost sale, even if it does equal a lost sale, that doesn’t make it wrong. Opening up an ice cream shop next to someone elses Ice cream shop may cause the first mover to lose sales but that doesn’t make it wrong.

“Perhaps not in every case, but certainly some.”

Which makes it no less wrong.

“By making a perfect digital copy of a motion picture that is offered for sale without paying the creator, you are getting something for nothing. “

and you breath air and are getting something for nothing. There is nothing inherently wrong with getting something for nothing. The purpose of IP is not to prevent people from getting something for nothing, it’s to promote the progress and to expand the public domain so that more people can get some’thing’ for nothing’. The founding fathers understood this. If IP is about preventing people from getting something for nothing then it should be abolished. Making people pay for things for the sake of preventing people from getting something for nothing does not make good law.

“This is why you people have no traction with lawmakers.”

Lets see how much longer voters keep these lawmakers in office.

Lawmakers are not the ultimate authority of morality. Just because they maybe bought by corporate entities does not make them so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

and it should be noted that the German pirate party is the sixth largest party in Germany. The German police seized their servers for bogus reasons in an effort to stifle the party before elections but it only served to expand their recognition. The party expects this upcoming election to gain them more representation than ever before which might even move them up a few places. and the party is starting to make leeway into the U.S. as well, with Florida recently becoming the second state to have an officially recognized pirate party. I remember reading somewhere that they are expecting like three more U.S. states to have one soon enough as well.

If our politicians don’t get their act together and start making our IP laws more reasonable (instead of attempting to expand them), they will find themselves out of a job.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

(and when the party makes its way to my state, I will be sure to register as a member. I will actually start following our states U.S. senator and congressmen election reps and start voting for them too, something I haven’t done up to date. Our current politicians would be wise to pay attention).

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

You really go to absurd lengths to justify your freeloading:

“”To address your argument, while you can contend that a copy doesn’t equal a sale. “

“No, a copy is not a sale. If you mean that a copy does not equal a lost sale, even if it does equal a lost sale, that doesn’t make it wrong. Opening up an ice cream shop next to someone elses Ice cream shop may cause the first mover to lose sales but that doesn’t make it wrong.”

Did the owner of the second shop rig a line to the ice cream machine of the first and siphon off his product and sell it for pennies on the dollar compared to the actual owner of the ice cream?

“Perhaps not in every case, but certainly some.”

“Which makes it no less wrong”

Which makes it no less right.

“By making a perfect digital copy of a motion picture that is offered for sale without paying the creator, you are getting something for nothing. “

“and you breath air and are getting something for nothing. There is nothing inherently wrong with getting something for nothing. The purpose of IP is not to prevent people from getting something for nothing, it’s to promote the progress and to expand the public domain so that more people can get some’thing’ for nothing’. The founding fathers understood this. If IP is about preventing people from getting something for nothing then it should be abolished. Making people pay for things for the sake of preventing people from getting something for nothing does not make good law.”

Nobody invested millions of dollars creating air. No one owns air. And no one can do without air. Its entertainment you cheap fuck. If you can’t afford to pay the creator, then do without.

“This is why you people have no traction with lawmakers.”

“Lets see how much longer voters keep these lawmakers in office.”

This is an enormous joke. This administration has more affinity for the netroots than any other in history and really don’t give a shit about abetting continued freeloading and digital theft. Things will get worse for you, not better in subsequent elections.

“Lawmakers are not the ultimate authority of morality. Just because they maybe bought by corporate entities does not make them so.”

Maybe not, but they are law m-a-k-e-r-s.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

“Maybe not, but they are law m-a-k-e-r-s.”

Yes, they even make self referential comments about being law-makers. Too bad they do not follow the laws they supposedly write. Who actually writes the laws? Lobbyists do, and I have read accusations that a large number of your elected representatives do not in fact even read the laws that they sign on your behalf. I suppose that means they should be called law $igner$.

I eagerly await your adolescent response in which I am accused of stealing things. I find it interesting that anyone who disagrees with your opinion is assumed to be guilty of criminal activity. It is almost as if there were a law which stipulates disagreement with you is a criminal act. I’m sure the imaginary property industry pundits would find such a law irresistible.

abc gum says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

“I’ve only characterized the behavior as stealing”

You have accused others of stealing without any evidence to support your claim. Why do you lie about it?

“I let people know that they’re piracy apologists”

If they disagree with your manifesto, they are by default guilty of stealing. Try reading your own crap dude.

“You are just a numbskull”

Yup, that is a real good rebuttal. Way to go – you win. LOL

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

I would suggest, in the future, forget directing insults at me as I have yet to find any insult that fails to make me laugh. It sort of seems counter productive on your part. If you feel you want to waste time directing your anger issues at me, that is fine, as I said I think its funny. I just feel you should probably devote more effort to coming up with a solid response versus verbal attacks that really just make everyone here think you are trying to over compensate for personal issues.

As for whether or not I get insulted, I really do not care either way. I am just trying to offer you some constructive criticism and a view into how I think you are perceived as a result of your actions.

On the other hand, if this is just a tactic to make people think those who support the PROTECT IP laws are ignorant and throw insults around as a cover, nice strategy. It is working.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

“claiming that lobbyists write the bills and lawmakers blindly sign them.”

He’s being 100% accurate.

Link

“The sheer magnitude of the Act itself was noted by Michael Moore in his controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11. In one of the scenes of the movie, he records Congressman Jim McDermott alleging that no Senator read the bill and John Conyers, Jr. as saying, “We don’t read most of the bills. Do you really know what that would entail if we read every bill that we passed?” Congressman Conyers then answers his own rhetorical question, asserting that if they did it would “slow down the legislative process”.”

Leahy is doing the exact same thing with the Patriot Act now. Not allowing it to be debated but just to have the laws passed “for national security purposes”.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

Dear Mr. Buck Lateral,

You have the right to make your views known and I do not contest that right, however, please keep in mind you lose credibility when you resort to cursing and/or making fun of people you do not agree with. You may think you are a defender of justice but this type of action is synonymous with school yard bullying. In the future I recommend you take this into consideration before clicking submit. Thank you for your time and have a good day.

Bnesaladur

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Wonderful, to the point arguments, Mr Lateral. Insults that a teenager could love.

No, I’m not saying “taking something that belongs to a successful business is OK.” Context, man, context is everything. Also, reading comprehension helps.

The statement was made that “all sales” were down from when Napster started, to when Limewire was shutdown. I merely pointed out that wasn’t true, that even the most pirated things (I’m told), “movies”, haven’t caused a drop in sales.

Concentrate, “buck”. There’s lots to be learned here, and you’re missing the point by trying to spin for the search engines.

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Well this is what you said:

“But that’s only in CD sales, right?

There’s more musicians working now than ever before, if I understand correctly. But cite something to the contrary so I can look for myself, please.

Also, the movie studios, the other part of piracy, the main part of piracy now, have been having record box office year after record box office year.”

How does a company’s revenue or profitability affect the discussion over whether illegally appropriating its intellectual property is right or wrong?

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Like media storage, for example. The RIAA has claimed that:

a) 7″ is killing the industry;
b) 8-track is killing the industry;
c) VHS/Betamax is killing the industry;
d) MTV is killing the industry (WTF?);
e) CDs are killing the industry;
f) DVDs (the video kind, not the versatile kind) are killing the industry.

And yet, here it still is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

god, you’re a real moron, aren’t you?

The RIAA had nothing to do with VHS or DVDs and record labels embraced or INVENTED the other tech you mentioned.

Just stop already. You’re not convincing the world of anything other than that you’re a lying, moronic freetard.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“The RIAA had nothing to do with VHS or DVDs and record labels embraced or INVENTED the other tech you mentioned.”

Hahahahahahahahahhahaa

*deep breath*

bwa-hahahahahahaha!

Wow. The mere idea that you can spew such obviously incorrect and factually wrong information shows just what kind of an industry shill you are. Wow.

NONE of those were “invented” by the RIAA/MPAA, and as a matter of fact its the EXACT OPPOSITE. They did everything they could to KILL all of those. ALL. To say otherwise, and worse to LIE blatantly about how they “embraced” these shows you are a total plant here to spread misinformation.

-MP3 invented by Fraunhoffer Labs, Germany. Embraced by Diamond who put out a Rio mp3 player which was SUED BY THE RIAA to get it pulled from the market. There are DOZENS of stories like this JUST around the mp3 tech where the RIAA used lawsuits to PREVENT the tech from spreading.

CD – James Russell invented the compact disk in 1965. James Russell was granted a total of 22 patents for various elements of his compact disk system. However, the compact disk did not become popular until it was mass manufactured by Philips in 1980. SUED by the music industry in its first incarnation. They later, grudginly, went along ONLY when they realized they could jack the price of an album up 60% (from about $10-12 to 16-18), a move which they PROMISED (and I have the article from 1983 to prove it) that prices would come down to about $6-8 “in a few years” due to the tech being so much easier to make than LP. Guess what happened? Right.

And the BIG lie: VHS. Invented by JVC after seeing Beta (invented by Sony) succeed in the marketplace. Beta was SUED by, you guessed it sparky, the MPAA and movie industry. They LOST by the way, and the head of the MPAA said “‘I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.’ Jack Valenti said this in 1982 in testimony to the House of Representatives on why the VCR should be illegal. He also called the VCR an “avalanche” and a “tidal wave”, and said it would make the film industry “bleed and bleed and hemorrhage”. So what happened to the movie industry? Lets see….it died, right? Its gone, right? Right.

So, you are not only wrong, you are a blatant liar as well.

Jeni (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

That’s nasty to call someone a liar and a moron…no wonder you use “anonymous coward”.

But I had to laugh at “freetard”. Then I thought, “hey, good name for a web site!”

Then I went one step further and popped “freetard.com” into my browser. Lo and behold, someone already has a web site up and running with that domain name! LOL!

Oh but wait! I had an idea that “copied” someone’s already implemented idea!! OMG AM I A CRIMINAL NOW?

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Quake meet boot ...

What about all the other things that facilitate infringement?

Routers that route infringing packets to their destination?

ISP’s that provide connections?

Major Internet backbones that carry infringing packets?

Electric utilities that provide the power to facilitate infringement?

Your old “facilitating” infringement is getting tired. Lots of innocent parties “facilitate” infringement. “Facilitating infringement” is just a code word for “we want everyone else to have liability and stamp out piracy for us”. Nevermind that even the content owners seem unable to identify which bits are infringing or not.

I want infringement to stop. I really do. I just don’t want to punish innocent parties. Go directly to the infringers.

Does a CDROM drive facilitate infringement?

Does an mp3 player facilitate infringement?

Does a walkman cassette tape player facilitate infringement?

Does a VCR facilitate infringement?

Does the US Post Office facilitate infringement?

Do backpacks facilitate infringement?

buck lateral (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Quake meet boot ...

Visa processing payments for a website that is dedicated to infringing content facilitates infringement. Adsense monetizing websites dedicated to infringement facilitates. Search engines that guide people to websites dedicated to infringing facilitate infringement. Those are the areas the law would affect, and only those that are foreign-based.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Quake meet boot ...

The part that Buck seems to forget is that this will make Visa, Mastercard, and Diners weaker in other countries because they will be forced to stop their influence.

Then you will have more competitors such as Flattr come up as alternatives.

All he sees is the US isolationist policy, not the ramifications.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

> What stops this from being abused in a similar way?

Why would you want to stop Protect IP from being abused in a similar way to bogus DMCA takedowns?

Think of the artists that need to get paid!

You must be a pirate.

Next you’ll start thinking people should be able to communicate freely and unmonitored. You’ll start saying the RIAA should not be able to get a subpoena to search service providers, or even your home, based on a gut feeling that you might be a pirate.

/sarc

Anonymous Coward says:

The MPAA and the RIAA...

…are liars.

That’s really all there is to it. There’s no point in parsing their statement; they’re ALL lies. They will do say ANYTHING in order to keep the money flowing to their executives.

The artists get none of it, of course. It’s all about the boundless greed of their executives, and their personal wealth. So it’s hardly surprising: these are people who would pimp out their own children if they could profit by doing so.

Josh Taylor says:

Question is: What happens if MPAA and RIAA urges Congress to add an amendment to make it mandatory to have DRM Thought Police Chips implanted in the brains of American Citizens in case they sing, quote think of, remember? It could happen anytime.

There are two freedoms, physical freedom is to sin, rebel, and worship money, financialism, and materialism, and spiritual freedom is to serve the Savior of the World. Physical debt isn’t the problem, spiritual debt is. The way to cancel your spiritual debt is to invite the Lord’s Son into your heart.

Please read John 3:16.

Daemon_ZOGG (profile) says:

"..solution to the threat to American jobs and America's economy"?

HA! Here is a partial list of those responsible for the loss of US jobs and US economic down-turn: The industry lobbiests, all of the financial institutions that were bailed out after 2008, all of the “Bernie Madoffs” out there, corporate off-shoring of jobs, the last 5 Presidents including the current one, a corrupt Congress that will take a bribe at the drop of hat AND doesn’t even bother to read most of the bills it votes on. The RIAA and MPAA philosophy is analogous to “David Koresh and the Branch Davidians”. }’P

Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, I know a ton of people who have NEW jobs at new companies and new (smart) labels, that have those jobs BECAUSE of what the internet allows.

Because of pirating?

Can’t wait to hear this one.

And the buggy whip meme? Please spare us irrelevant analogies; do you have an analogy that involves lawbreaking?

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What does lawbreaking have to do with it?

> Because of what the Internet allows.

The internet allows lots of lawful things that create new jobs. What is so difficult to understand about that?

Example: artists connecting with fans and avoiding the major labels.

That was a lot harder or impossible to do before the Internet.

How is lawbreaking relevant?

But then it would be out of character for pro IP people to not call people names or assume the worst.

Shon Gale (profile) says:

The real thieves the RIAA and the MPAA always try to justify their theft and their enrichment off the sweat of the real creators by making up stories about how much they contribute to the economy and jobs. Sales really must be down because the economy really sucks and a lot of people are out of a job. Funny, I never thought my job relied on their sales. That’s no stability at all! I want out of that system!

buck lateral (profile) says:

I would suggest, in the future, forget directing insults at me as I have yet to find any insult that fails to make me laugh. It sort of seems counter productive on your part. If you feel you want to waste time directing your anger issues at me, that is fine, as I said I think its funny. I just feel you should probably devote more effort to coming up with a solid response versus verbal attacks that really just make everyone here think you are trying to over compensate for personal issues.

As for whether or not I get insulted, I really do not care either way. I am just trying to offer you some constructive criticism and a view into how I think you are perceived as a result of your actions.

On the other hand, if this is just a tactic to make people think those who support the PROTECT IP laws are ignorant and throw insults around as a cover, nice strategy. It is working.

Good. Insults should make you laugh at some level. Glad you’re not like some of the thin-skinned, Nancy boys that fly into a rehearsed nerd rage.

There’s been a lot of punches thrown by both sides. Your side has suggested the MPAA guy quoted in the article is a child molester and fucks farm animals. Hardly examples of class and refinement.

The PROTECT IP minority seems to be monopolizing the term “douchebag” and “apologist” but frankly if you put the diatribe before the decision makers, the infringing side of the debate has fallen way short on the free speech and due process issues. The arguments that infringing is not stealing and somehow OK plus all of the Ted Kacyzinski talk makes you guys look like crackpots.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The only onw flinging insults directly are those two or three people (of which you are one) who insist that there’s nothing wrong, that infringment is stealing. It may not be legally right, but that does not mean it’s immoral.

I honestly do not grok why you cannot get this. I PAY for my music, or get it free and donate directly to the artist. I would rather donate than pay those actual thieves and contract-breachers over in Big Music.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re:

First off, while I do disagree with you on some level I appreciate a argument that both sides can express their opinions without throwing around insults as their primary argument. I think this was a well written post and you are right, both sides have been spending a lot of time tossing around criticisms that seem hardly relevant and in cases such as the MPAA guy being called a child molester, probably completely made up (and if it isn’t it is still not relevant to the argument at hand.) On behalf of those on my side who don’t post but agree with me, I still hold my view but apologize for any lies and excessive insults, realistically some will come out but we can at least try to be civil otherwise we get nowhere, used from the people in my camp.

Again it is true too much diatribe goes before the decision makers. As for infringing, my personal opinion is as follows. People who create products should be compensated thus; however, for one, attempts to hinder technology can be counter productive as well. For instance, laws have been pushed to ban torrents and that is simply a bad idea. Many legitimate uses for torrents exist, for example World of Warcraft updates, although I do not play the game it does have a large player base. For myself I need torrents for any large download or I simply can not download it, for example Open Office and any linux distro, both of which are distributed free of charge.

Secondly if a problem is occurring with the current system one can look at it two ways, spend lots of money on lawyers to fight the problem or look at ways to adapt so the problem works in your favor. For example, I know a guy in a band and they post download links to all their songs and lyrics on their website. It has encouraged people to try their stuff and it works for them. People are willing to give money to things they feel are worthy of it. That is the basis of fund raising. Instead of arguing that they shouldn’t have to fund raise consider that any time you go to work you are fund raising for yourself, if you are not worth the money you are demanding you will not get paid. In short, quality of the products are declining while costs of the products and quantity of products are rising, all this in a declined economy. The math does not add up.

Something has to be done to help ensure that the creators of the products get paid but something also has to be done to ensure it is a good solution for all parties involved, including the purchaser, current laws/constitutional rights, and the technological backbone supporting the whole structure. Any law has to take the whole picture into account. I simply do not feel that is the case, I think both sides have major and minor proponents ignoring certain aspects. I also feel that the average citizen is being largely ignored by their governments in favor of major corporations bottom line. I think for most people that is one of the biggest problems.

As for the definition of infringing, it is not stealing, it is a breach of contract. Theft is larceny, which is different. But both are illegal. Stop trying to convince people otherwise and focus more on showing people how infringement hurts people, and please try and keep it realistic if your side will. I would also like contracts that are simple for the average consumer to read and understand.

Thanks Buck Lateral for your time, I expect a intense rebuttal ๐Ÿ˜‰
Take care,

Bnesaladur

Buck Lateral says:

Re: Re: Re:

@Bnesaladur

Sorry to disappoint, but I have no intense rebuttal. Yours is a balanced, reasoned position that I have little to disagree with.

I do not agree that torrents should be summarily banished. As you note, they can provide a legitimate service. Unfortunately, they’re often misused by freeloaders.

I think we’re seeing positive change in business models of entertainment delivery. I get that people are frustrated by the slower pace of development by the legitimate outlets than the illegal ones, but I still don’t see that as justification for infringing. It’s entertainment for Christ’s sake. It’s not water, food or medicine. Mankind could survive without and having to wait a bit to watch the latest movie hardly excuses the behavior. As far as price goes; I really like caviar. But the price is so high that I seldom can afford it. So I simply don’t consume much. I substitute other things.

Regarding the stealing discussion. The flip side of the coin is unjust enrichment. People are getting something of value without compensating the owner. Does the owner lose a portion of his inventory when someone wrongly acquires a perfect digital copy? No. Do all of those illegal copies represent a lost sale? No, but clearly some do. The term stealing is admittedly an oversimplification, but still largely accurate particularly emphasizing the unjust enrichment facet.

Thanks for the civil discussion. Not quite as lively as the usual WWE Smackdown but probably more productive.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

@Buck Lateral

I’m glad we could have this discussion as well.

As to it being entertainment, I think this points to a deeper problem within our society where people are more willing to pay for what they find fun than what they need. On the flip side they are more willing to fight for what they find fun than what they need. I still feel more work is needed before closing the debate and it is nice to be able to actually HAVE a debate for once as opposed to a primitive flinging of digital feces.

As for caviar, I have yet to try it but I do like expensive scotch so I hear you there. Hopefully we as a society can work together and come to a reasonable solution to this whole thing, but I doubt it. Either way we still have caviar and scotch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Take care.

Howard the Duck (profile) says:

YouTube

I made a family video and posted it on YouTube. It’s been taken down by NGrooves for infringement. I created the background music with Acid Pro, (which I purchased), using non-commercial licensed loops that I paid for. I did not do any revenue sharing deals on this video, as it was only shots of my family over the years. Tell me, am I a freeloader? Am I a freetard? Is that theft? How much did my actions cost the music industry? You have been arguing about the music and movie industry like there is only one scenario. Is there such a thing as fair use? Can the little guy be affected negatively by broad protections designed to stop infringement and protect legacy business models? Yes. It’s really sad that it’s come to this. I hope there is such a thing as karma, and I adore Google for standing up.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re: YouTube

Just a second, I missed something here. What were the terms of the agreement under which you purchased those “non-commercial licensed loops”? Therein may lie your problem. Either way it is worth looking into. I still find it frustrating that these kind of events happen but it is worth looking into so you can get your movie back up.

Anonymous Coward says:

thanks eejit...

… but no one is talking to you. Since you have appointed yourself as
Howard The Dork’s spokesman though maybe you can answer whether he has explored the appellate process. Also what personal loss does he suffer? His goofy video can’t be seen for a few days while this is sorted out?

My guess is that the problem stems from posting entire copyrighted music tracks on his YouTube video. I’d guess that would be about the same as buying music and posting it online anywhere else.

Howard the Duck (profile) says:

Re: thanks eejit...

They came with Sony’s Acid Music program. I also bought Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 10. I created the background music with LOOPS from the content that came with the program. Your guess is incorrect. My guess is that it matched some copyrighted track closely enough to be construed as infringement. I’d guess that this will happen again and again to others that do the same thing. I’m sure that will not promote innovation or creativity.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re: thanks eejit...

I understand your frustration as I have had conceptually similar events happen to myself. Unfortunately, at least for now, all you can do is write to your governmental representatives (and keep it fairly civil), the media (like you have done here), and take the appropriate legal actions. It sucks. Nevertheless if you do feel strongly enough about it to follow through, your actions may help bring about change for the better.

Anonymous Coward says:

@Jay

Jay, each Senator has a staff that is full of lawyers. Those lawyers do the legwork. They draft, they consult with peers on other senatorial staffs, they brief the boss, they get feedback and instructions from the Senator. The word used was “blindly”.

Your suggestion was that the lawmakers have no idea what the bills does, nor the implications of the vote is baloney. how do you think the markup and debate takes place if no one knows what the bill says?

Jeni (profile) says:

Re: @Jay

And all of that is part of the larger problem.

We “hire” 2 Senators per state. It’s THEIR job to read, learn and most of all, LISTEN to what the constituents in their districts/states want and vote accordingly.

The do not do that, nor do they read the bills they pass. How can anyone not see the serious problem with that – and the ramifications that follow?

All the excess lawyers, assistance etc. etc. should be unnecessary. They are a burden on the taxpayers and have no interest in the will of the people. (Only in their taxpayer funded paychecks.)

Jay (profile) says:

Re: @Jay

“Your suggestion was that the lawmakers have no idea what the bills does, nor the implications of the vote is baloney. how do you think the markup and debate takes place if no one knows what the bill says?”

Then why is it that the main ones not wanting to debate the bill are the ones that “drafted” them, namely Leahy and Reid? Why is it that they want to hurry and push it through on dubious grounds rather than in the open?

The political process is very time consuming and debates usually take years of legislation. And it was confirmed when the Patriot Act was first drafted, no one had time to debate it, merely vote yes or no. And guess what the majority party did?

Now, compare this to Mitch Glazier (slipped in words to a bill), or now Judge Beryl (influential on the Patriot Act, the Net Act, DMCA, etc)

Come on man, read the bill. Pay particular attention to the 2 minute Youtube at the bottom.

Buck Lateral says:

Re: Re: @Jay

I don’t know much about the Patriot Act history. Are you saying there was no significant debate when it was introduced? Wasn’t this a vote on extending the term? I’m not sure you can debate the contents of a bill that’s already law in the context of a vote to extend it’s expiration. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on parliamentary procedure could weigh in and I don’t have time to do your homework for you on this one.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: @Jay

I’m discussing both parts. It wasn’t discussed when it was first made 10+ years ago, nor does the majority want to discuss it at this current time (namely Reid and Leahy).

What’s incredible is that you missed the TD article about the current status of the Patriot Act…

Perhaps instead of trying to say it’s me that should do some homework, you need to do some research?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 @Jay

“Wasn’t this a vote on extending the term? I’m not sure you can debate the contents of a bill that’s already law in the context of a vote to extend it’s expiration. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on parliamentary procedure could weigh in and I don’t have time to do your homework for you on this one.”

Jay, my point was my lack of knowledge on parliamentary procedure and whether one can debate the merits of a bill already enacted into law when the vote is simply to extend it. I don’t know, nor particularly care. Feel free to engage others from the black helicopter crowd on the issues surrounding the extension of the Patriot Act. Out of caution, be sure to wear your tin foil hat so as not to reveal your opposition to the NSA, DIA and CIA who are doubtlessly interested in your subversive activities.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 @Jay

And yet again, the snide remarks really aren’t necessary. I’ve only told you what you wanted to know.

Legislators don’t really look at all of the bills that hit their desk. That was the point I was making. Ironic that lobbyists do tend to know more about the laws they want to pass, than the senators who bring the bill up in legislation.

Howard the Duck (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: @Howard

I appreciate your civility, thanks. I could use public domain music, (hopefully not finding out the video has been taken down again because the tune was really not public domain), but I spent hours using the 5 to 10 second long commercially licensed loops that came with my software, to craft a background sound that was timed closely with the video. You cannot find this song anywhere on the web. I created it myself using Sony Acid, and no one is making money from the 5 minute ditty I created, including myself. The only thing I could do differently is change the video to private on YouTube, then email the link to everyone in my family. Unfortunately, others – friends I forget to add to the email list will never see it, and that makes YouTube less useful to me. Thanks for your advice and response, because nice is a rare thing on the threads.

Buck Lateral says:

@Bnesaladur: Always nice to engage in civil discourse, even when we passionately disagree. The markup is on Thursday, so I anticipate a new round of acrimonious debate here on Techdirt that evening. Be careful where you put your scotch relative to your monitor as I’m pretty sure the digital shit will be flying. Hopefully you’ll have come to your senses by then and I will be able to graciously accept your lavish apology.

Buck Lateral says:

@Pierre: Seems like I offended you with the comment about the sexual predator. Too bad. We’ll see how he likes it when the shoe is on the other foot after he’s convicted.

My example addressed a specific comment by someone else. So I’m interpreting yours as an analogy for removing infringing sites from the DNS.

There are lots of obvious flaws. First of all, those American wines cost money to produce. So French wines are not competing with free. Second, as American wine producers are legitimate, static enterprises there are remedies at law for any claims against them. Third, France itself has laws regarding infringing content. Fourth, France would only be able to banish American wine producer from French search engines. American wine producers websites would still exist, as will those rogue websites.

Other than that, your example was flawless.

Call me Pierre if you wish says:

Re: Re:

“My example addressed a specific comment by someone else. So I’m interpreting yours as an analogy for removing infringing sites from the DNS.”

The article and Mr Schmidt’s comments concerned removing sites from the DNS – apologies for being on-topic

“There are lots of obvious flaws. First of all, those American wines cost money to produce. So French wines are not competing with free.”

It was a hypothetical example but in reality there are plenty of sites selling rip-off items which also cost money to produce. Louis Vuitton is not competing with free.

What is the relevance of ‘Free’ here? Only an RIAA/MPAA shill would think the discussion only concerned ‘Free’. Unless, of course you are thinking of free as in speech as opposed to free as in beer. Nah – if you thought that way you could only support Mr. Schmidt’s comments.

“Second, as American wine producers are legitimate, static enterprises there are remedies at law for any claims against them.”

Remember – as you mentioned above – this concerns removing sites from the DNS. Is there any evidence that the sites recently cut off by removal from the DNS had the chance to answer their accusers? The remedy at (bought-and-paid-for) law did not demonstrate much due process.

“Third, France itself has laws regarding infringing content.”

Absolutely. And your point was?

“Fourth, France would only be able to banish American wine producer from French search engines. American wine producers websites would still exist, as will those rogue websites. “

Here is where you seem to be the most confused. Both the article and Eric Schmidt’s comments concern removing sites from the DNS. Even you mentioned it above. I could also point out that Google is not a registrar and does not manage a top level DNS. Contrary to the RIAA and MPAA bogus comments quoted in the article, Google could not place themselves above the law because to do so they would have to be able to manage a top level DNS. However they are at liberty to see the bigger picture and fight by legal means (lobbying, publicity campaigns) to oppose a law they believe to be oppressive and unconstitutional. Taking a lesson from the RIAA/MPAA school of commentary I am curious to know how the many brave American soldiers facing death in foreign countries feel. Is preservation of the freedoms enshrined in the constitution as important to them as is maintaining the cash flow into the MPAA/RIAA and the companies they represent? I think we should be told.

Back on topic – These sites would disappear globally. Just like the rogue websites, American wine producers would have to re-register under a different domain name and spend time and money returning their web presence to its original level. I understand Firefox has a handy add-on for that.

Here I should declare an interest. I am probably more respectful of copyright than most people. If I really want to listen to commercial music I listen – occasionally – to the radio. I run Linux from choice and despair when I meet people – all Windows users – who tell me they have Terabyte disks full of downloaded movies (and expect me to be impressed). It’s only because I find your attitude so appalling that I am bothering to write this. That’s not intended to be a personal attack – just my opinion.

But what annoys me even more is the American attitude that their law overrides anyone else’s. Whether it is black ops in Pakistan or removing a foreign business from the internet because they annoy an American corporation.

I was hoping you might stop to think how you would feel if a foreign country could unilaterally remove an American company from its source of income, but perhaps I over-estimated your imagination.

If your gut response is “that could never happen because America owns the internet” then watch while the rest of the world routes around the speedbump called America.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

The senate must just be tired of hearing about this and want to move on to other laws. I am upset with certain precedents being set that may negatively influence domestic and foreign laws in the future, notably the lack of proof required before enforcing action and the ability to issue lawsuits against sites registered and based in other countries with the attempt to force said countries to comply with American law.

The first is a dangerous precedent in that the legal system is based on innocent until proven guilty and a law like this could allow websites to compete with their competitors by suing them to shut down their websites. I think a monetary penalty to plaintiffs that use this tactic and come up short needs to be in place to help prevent that.

The second is simply a matter of diplomacy. If I tell you that you have to comply with my house rules despite not being a part of my house, you may retaliate in kind. Potentially causing problems for all, like downsizing the internet from the world wide web to a country by country basis. Right now, onc example is, if you need something that you can’t find in country, you can use eBay to get it from wherever the product is. If such a situation were to occur, that could be no longer the case.

In closing, I think this law feels like a attempt to curb a problem that the lawmakers are having trouble fighting and are swinging wildly to solve. The problem with that is that while you may solve it, you cause a lot of collateral damage. I can understand that I guess, the US government has a history of not caring about collateral damages, simply calling it acceptable losses and sweeping it under the nearest rug.

Back to work now, hehe, afk for a few hours.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“The senate must just be tired of hearing about this and want to move on to other laws. I am upset with certain precedents being set that may negatively influence domestic and foreign laws in the future, notably the lack of proof required before enforcing action and the ability to issue lawsuits against sites registered and based in other countries with the attempt to force said countries to comply with American law.”

Hard as it may be, I’m going to try not to splatter digital shit in your scotch. Regarding the lack of proof required, I point you to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The protections afforded every civil litigant are operative under Protect IP. I don’t understand how that is insufficient or how you can assert that these rogue sites are somehow entitled to better protection under the law. And though it may negatively impact on foreign infringers, the enforcement actions are taken against American companies that enable the websites. Not the sites themselves. Those rogue websites are perfectly free to operate, albeit without using US-based assets to enable them.

“The first is a dangerous precedent in that the legal system is based on innocent until proven guilty and a law like this could allow websites to compete with their competitors by suing them to shut down their websites. I think a monetary penalty to plaintiffs that use this tactic and come up short needs to be in place to help prevent that.”

You really must have finished the bottle of scotch before writing this. Innocent until proven guilty is a concept in criminal law, not civil law. Again, it’s as though you’re oblivious to the fact that a judge must first be convinced that the website is “dedicated to infringing activity”. That is actually quite a hurdle. There has to be a good face effort to notify the website owner too. Finally, a countersuit is an appropriate avenue against someone bringing trumped up charges, but because a judge examines the evidence and first determines that the site is dedicated to infringing activity, it’s unlikely a countersuit would be entertained unless the accuser flat out manufactured the evidence.

“The second is simply a matter of diplomacy. If I tell you that you have to comply with my house rules despite not being a part of my house, you may retaliate in kind. Potentially causing problems for all, like downsizing the internet from the world wide web to a country by country basis. Right now, onc example is, if you need something that you can’t find in country, you can use eBay to get it from wherever the product is. If such a situation were to occur, that could be no longer the case.”

I have a hard time seeing how hard feeling over denying US payment services and US ad support to rogue websites enrages legitimate governments to the degree that they go North Korea on us and batten down all of the hatches. I don’t think international governments are so committed to piracy that they flip the boat over it. Makes no sense.

“In closing, I think this law feels like a attempt to curb a problem that the lawmakers are having trouble fighting and are swinging wildly to solve. The problem with that is that while you may solve it, you cause a lot of collateral damage. I can understand that I guess, the US government has a history of not caring about collateral damages, simply calling it acceptable losses and sweeping it under the nearest rug.”

I’m having a hard time envisioning the collateral damage. Again, it has to be a website dedicated to infringing content. That’s a fairly high standard. The very occasional website that has a mix of infringing and non-infringing content knows what he’s got and will have to make a decision on which way to go. By and large these rogue websites are simply criminals looking for a way to make money selling the property of others. These aren’t dissidents or activists. No political speech will be curtailed. It’s merely entertainment, stolen entertainment and the entire uproar is about those freeloaders outraged about it being harder to continue to get something for nothing.

“Back to work now, hehe, afk for a few hours.”

Hope you have a nice hangover!!!

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Well, you raise good points and seem to believe it will not be manipulated for the worst and I admire that. I have a hard time with viewing things in that light and perhaps it colors my views.

As for criminal vs civil, I will admit I do not know everything about the differences but I do know the FBI has utilized the Patriot Act to bypass the need for a warrant while investigating copyright cases, which would imply criminal rather than civil. As far as protection under law goes, I believe in equality and am primarily worried about that going in decline. Honestly when the FBI uses a act designed to protect the citizens from terrorism to investigate civil cases, what does that say about what to expect?

To the next part, I have already covered the copyright link to criminal law so let us discuss the judge being convinced. I made these claims based on my own suspicion that the judges will rule in favor of the plaintiff in that regard, especially since this “good faith effort” really only applies if the defendant has an American address listed. HINT: if the site is not operating out of the states, they probably do not have one. If the address does not exist the AG may commence an “In Rem” action, essentially, just shut it off as there will not be a defendant. The rest of the comment is based on how the internet works, not commitment to piracy that is at issue.

EXPLANATION OF DNS AND IP (if you do not like technical details you may want to skip this paragraph): You punch in http://www.insightcommunity.com and your browser request is transferred to the DNS server your IP settings are programmed to ask. This DNS server then sends back the appropriate IP address, in this case you might get “208.53.48.254”. Next your browser will connect you using this info. The law really doesn’t stop anything. It is easy to find the IP and type it in yourself, in fact I have given you the IP for insightcommunity, try it, it took me seconds to find. Really all the law does is allow the judge to disconnect the domain name from the IP in some DNS servers but there are thousands you can program you IP settings to ask. The problem lies in the fact that if other countries start following suit with similar laws you may have to keep changing your DNS settings any time you want to view sites from a different area which will be confusing for a lot of people. It is easy but if you are unfamiliar with it, it can be confusing.

As for the infringing content standard being fairly high? Don’t make me laugh. Time and again cease and desist notices have taken down content from YouTube and various other websites that is not infringement. The reaction is to ask question later, meaning time and again people are penalized simply because someone else was not paying attention to what was going on. Sure it happens in other areas everyday but that doesn’t make it right.

As for these websites being devoted to making money selling the property of others, that is blatantly false. They might make enough to operate the site from advertising but the product is free, that is the issue. It is not a question of do I pay twenty bucks for the CD here or ten there, its do I pay twenty bucks here or get it for free. It is an economical no brainer, 100% off. And yes some of them do it as activism and/or as a political platform so that is incorrect as well.

The cost of production is down, pass that on to the consumer. The other issue I have is the some inability to find certain music or movies because they are too old but they are still copyright because it lasts 99 years or whatever it is anymore. Some infringement is just a last resort, so make it easier to acquire old works.

And no, no hangover, just a long day. Thanks anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

“As for the infringing content standard being fairly high? Don’t make me laugh. Time and again cease and desist notices have taken down content from YouTube and various other websites that is not infringement. The reaction is to ask question later, meaning time and again people are penalized simply because someone else was not paying attention to what was going on. Sure it happens in other areas everyday but that doesn’t make it right.”

You can’t really compare DMCA notice and takedown to a US attorney appearing before a judge and making a case that a site is “dedicated to infringing activity” can you? That’s bullshit and you should be ashamed for trying that weak shit with me.

“As for these websites being devoted to making money selling the property of others, that is blatantly false. They might make enough to operate the site from advertising but the product is free, that is the issue. It is not a question of do I pay twenty bucks for the CD here or ten there, its do I pay twenty bucks here or get it for free. It is an economical no brainer, 100% off.”

Many of those sites make money selling subscriptions or accept payments for faster downloads. Then of course, there’s the ad revenue. Bottom line is that the rogue site has no moral basis to make a dime on the work of others.

“And yes some of them do it as activism and/or as a political platform so that is incorrect as well.”

They steal and monetize the property of another as activism or a political platform. A pity you weren’t around to defend the Weather Underground after the Brinks robbery with that theory.

“The cost of production is down, pass that on to the consumer. The other issue I have is the some inability to find certain music or movies because they are too old but they are still copyright because it lasts 99 years or whatever it is anymore. Some infringement is just a last resort, so make it easier to acquire old works.”

At last, a lucid point. I agree that it’s difficult to find some vintage movies. however, I have never found that a good enough reason to become a freeloader. It’s not like you were starving and took a loaf of bread- You wanted to watch “Abbot & Costello Meet The Mummy” and couldn’t wait. A piss-poor excuse in my book.

“And no, no hangover, just a long day. Thanks anyway.”

You misunderstand, I was wishing one on you. Soon you’ll likely be paying for more of your content, so you should begin developing a taste for Cutty Sark, the bong water of scotch. Thanks for letting me slap you around so. I look forward to our next meeting. Cheers!

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re:

lol, bong water of Scotch, I like that (the comment not Cutty Sark).

You misunderstand my basis for my arguments, I download things like Open Office and Linux while I am working to save money to get further training with network security because I want to become a network forensic investigator. I deal with network problems both as a hobby and for a living where I deal with an ISP with account setups and maintenance including onsite work, dealing with people and the internet is my job, I hear peoples problems. I also have an interest in politics so I do my democratic civic duty in voicing my opinions. I pay for my movies and music, mainly dealing with indie artists because I support their business models. Its not about getting free music, I don’t care about that, its about the network and the politics and what I see as fraudulent uses of various laws, and laws that seem built for whoever has the most money not whoever got the most votes. I have said it before, I support supporting the artists, though I do not give a damn about the RIAA/MPAA who I think have become more concerned about themselves than the artists and thus counter productive.

In the end perfection is delivering a quality product cheaply and efficiently in quantity while maintaining the economic ability to continue doing so into the future. Cheaply and efficiently in quantity means digital transmission over an unhindered internet. Quality relates to that but also means having artists worth paying to produce their works. Maintaining the ability to continue into the future means they get paid enough to be able to carry on their work in, wait for it, the future. I do think most, though not all, of the entertainment world gets paid way to much and some of that money should be put in places like food production and all things medical, you know, things we actually NEED to survive.

Buck Lateral says:

@Masnick:

The Protect IP Act’s 1st Amendment issues has been thoroughly vetted by the leading constitutional scholar in the country. Yet you somehow think you know better, or he has somehow sacrificed his impeccable reputation in order to satisfy a client’s objectives?

Interesting how you claim these rogue sites don’t make much money and in another breath oppose cutting off access to US-based ad and payment processing services.

I definitely take issue with the this. There are non-US payment processors and likely non-us ad networks. Granted that they are less convenient but a determined rogue operator has alternatives. I’d also guess that the terms of service of US operators have a passage or two about prohibitions related to infringing activities.

Finally, please explain how the disappearing of a site that is dedicated to infringing activity from Google, and cutting off ad revenue and payment processing “tramples over peoples rights”.

Still waiting for a proposal on a alternative plan to curtail infringement by foreign-based rogue sites.

Buck lateral says:

Presumably some readers that might otherwise read the original articles on Techdirt.com would now read them on my site, Techdirt.org or Techdirt.bz. And since ad revenues are often dependent on traffic, the existence of my site may erode the Techdirt.com readership or some of the growth it might have experienced will be siphoned off by my rogue site. Again, with ad revenue indexed to readership or the number of clicks an ad gets from my site, Masnick’s revenue would be negatively impacted. How is that right? These articles are his intellectual property, he researched, he wrote them- not me. I am taking them and using them to earn money for myself. Where I come from that’s stealing. Who am I to make money on the fruits of his labor? As misguided as he is, he obviously works hard keeping current on the issues and churning out numerous articles on issues that matter to readers. Advertisers want to connect with these readers. I didn’t do anything more than set up a website and take his stuff. Voila, I make money on Masnick’s work.

That is simply wrong.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

@Buck

Number of products produced, nor overhead, should affect the law. It is either one way or the other and the fact that Mr. Masnick is exercising his constitutionally protected right to freely express his opinions in regards to a law he views poorly constructed should not cause him to be regarded as a joke anywhere. In fact I doubt that it does, at least not in policy circles, perhaps in the “people who don’t agree with Mike Masnick” circles. Many people have views one way or the other on countless topics and complain to there friends but never really make their views known, these people are the ones that should be regarded as a joke for not doing their civic duty as part of a democracy.

As far as credibility is concerned Mr. Masnick has both a bachelor’s and a masters degree, both focused on business, from Cornell University, which is consistently ranked top 15 world wide. It is public knowledge and since his posts as Mike Masnick, rather than as a obsolete football play, we can easily know this with a little research. He also is a CEO of a company that is based upon the very views he has, and it works. We do not know who you are Buck, and in anticipation of you bashing me for saying that, yes you don’t know who I am either, but we do know Mike and his credentials.

Anonymous Coward says:

@Bnesaladur: I have no issue wit Masnick blathering away. It’s his right and I can either ignore it or not. But Masnick is a zealot. And for the most part, serious people on both sides of an issue hate zealots on either side because they make any sort of detente, much less compromise impossible. Watch and see what the Tea Baggers do to the Republicans. They’ll be far more damaging than the Moral Majority or the Right-To-Lifers. Google and the astroturf groups it bankrolls at least have a sense of what can be accomplished without ending up with shit on their faces. They distance themselves from extremists like Masnick because any perception of allegiance makes their whole side look like screwballs instead of players in the policy game.

You don’t know who I am and I don’t care who you are. Masnick has a nice pedigree but in the end his zealotry works better for my side than his, And that suits me just fine.

Jeni (profile) says:

Re:

“Watch and see what the Tea Baggers do to the Republicans.”

Oh, kind of like last November’s elections? ? ?

“Google and the astroturf groups it bankrolls at least have a sense of what can be accomplished without ending up with shit on their faces. “

IDK…lawsuits ’round the World kind of seem like a bit of poo on their “faces” but maybe that’s just me. (Source: http://jurist.org/paperchase/2011/05/google-responds-to-paypal-trade-secrets-lawsuit.php)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Jay, I don’t know how you inferred that I have a crusade against Google. I simply pointed out that they fund a number of so-called “public interest” groups that do their bidding under the guise of a grassroots movement. That’s hardly unique to Google.

I actually believe that free speech can co-exist with copyright protection. I don’t believe that free speech extends to a website that takes the copyrighted content of others and monetizes it for personal profit. Cutting of their sources of revenue seems like just desserts to me. I also don’t believe that adding a small amount of legal content inoculates an infringer whose primary focus (and revenue) is derived from the copyrighted works of another.

And good luck with your personal crusade for freeloading. PROTECT IP will pass. It’s not a magic bullet. dedicated freeloaders will still be able to get something of value for nothing while crowing about their free speech rights. If that’s what it takes to convince yourself it’s OK to get something of value for nothing, so be it.

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

You’ve gone on and on (and on and on) about how Google is X, Y, and Z. They’re a publicly owned company and unbeknownst to you, they don’t control any company. There’s been plenty of examples of the EFF, CDT, etc going against Google, and yet here you are again, making this a personal thing with Google.

Free speech could coexist with copyright if there were some flexibility with it. You’re again, being dubious as you always will be. You can’t say for one second that “no one should profit from others” because there’s plenty of ways that people do.

DjStevePorter profited in a number of ways. He turned this into this. A DMCA takedown on this makes NO sense. When you’re discussing the international market, the main problem has been availability. If there were legal alternatives in other countries, piracy would be less likely to occur. But again, you ignore this for some bigoted opinion that somehow a copyright owner NEEDS to enforce a copyright instead of finding a way to make money. Just another example of infringement: Joffrey, family man. This takes two different elements, combines them to become a new expression. That’s what our society does, it takes elements and finds new ways to make them work. PIPA doesn’t allow that at all. It’s basically a Youtube takedown for domains. And since it’s coming out that the govn is afraid of actually trying this in court, I wouldn’t be all too amazed if more judges come out against these types of things.

As has been told to you, time and time again by others, there’s no personal crusade for freeloading. You’ve used that excuse and it’s bone dry. I pay for what I support. This, I support.

This, I support. These are artist funded projects that basically show quite clearly that laws impeding the rights of society do not need to be passed. Of course you want politicians to make this legislation. It helps your bottom line by making copyright about the middle men that profit from it.

Of course you want PIPA to pass, it does absolutely nothing to show why enforcement of copyright will make the holders more money. And you’ve yet to explain why free speech concerns (ie, the prior restraint issues of the current domain seizures) have yet to come up. I doubt you ever will. You’ve been pointing fingers at the strawman group (pirates) for so long, I guess it’s always easier to see people as that other than underserved customers.

PIPA may pass. But the consequences of that bad ruling will flourish. What’s absolutely amazing is how you think that the buck stops with the law. We’ve already seen how the DMCA, the Sonny Bono, the NET Act, and all other forms of enforcement have failed to bring the results that you seem to cherish so greatly. The free speech concerns will continue to be brought up with PIPA, and I’m sure you’ll go right on ignoring them as you always do in order to blame piracy, freeloaders, and those who see the growth of the authoritarian state as all too important.

Eric Schmidt brought up valid concerns and I’m inclined to agree. Mike brings up valid concerns and you call him zealous. No one is doing any attack on people but you. Grow up. The argument is how the law is being used for impeding free speech. The discussion is how PIPA and inefficient government litigation is inane and unnecessary to actually assist creators. You keep trying to make this a spacious argument that people are “freeloading”. This doesn’t help artists get paid, and claiming that your backers want to help them, while they look out for their own interests is the problem here. Not the internet allowing people to communicate.

With that, I’m done with this thread.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Two sides from what I can tell. Those pushing for passage of Protect IP and those who oppose its passage. The people on the sidelines are spectators, so yeah- two.

Branding you a nutjob happened well before I knew who you were. LIe the saying goes one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

The bill is going to pass. We’ll we see about the impact on both piracy and free speech.

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