An Open Letter To Chris Dodd: Silicon Valley Can't Help Hollywood If You First Cripple It With Bad Regulation

from the misdirection-or-a-step-in-the-right-direction? dept

Dear former Senator Dodd:

It was refreshing to hear your recent speech, in which you suggested that there really isn’t a “Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley” fight, and that the two sides need to work together to help create the ecosystem where both can thrive. It?s hard not to agree with that assertion, absolutely. There isn’t a fight between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, and there never has been. Every new technology that Hollywood has decried as being terrible has eventually turned out to be a massive boost to Hollywood’s profits and ability to make, promote, and distribute its works. If that’s a “fight,” then it’s an odd one, in which we in the tech community keep providing all of the weapons Hollywood needs to succeed… only to see you frequently aim them at your own foot before finally working out how to use them properly.

So when you say, “‘those who would pit’ Hollywood content creators against those in Silicon Valley who create technology ‘in a manufactured conflict more reminiscent of the Beltway chatter I learned to ignore on my last job,'” we in the tech community agree and celebrate that sentiment. The real debate isn’t between our two “sides.” It’s between old and new — whether there will be a level competitive playing field that enables our country’s continued progress and job creation, or a market regulated so as to protect incumbents.

Unfortunately, the timing of your claim and the statement itself were odd, coming as they did on the very same day as some members of Congress introduced SOPA, which the MPAA was heavily involved in crafting. After all, despite numerous attempts to be a part of these discussions, we in the internet industry were denied any opportunity to even look at, let alone provide input on, the draft of a massive bill that would fundamentally change the nature of how the internet functions. As you well know from your decades of distinguished service in government, not circulating drafts of such laws or seeking input from those you seek to restrict and regulate is, to put it mildly, highly unusual.

That certainly did not strike us as being in the spirit of “cooperation” you put forth last week. The day after your comments, a group of us — venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, artists and innovators alike — all went to Washington DC to talk to elected officials, to express our grave concerns about the bill. Consider the thoughtful comments of one of us on the trip: Fred Wilson, an investor in Twitter, KickStarter (which has helped artists raise millions of dollars online), Indeed.com (a Texas-based job search engine), and many other services. In discussing the trip, he argues that this bill is the very opposite of cooperation.

At every turn during the trip, we were told that your lobbyists were working overtime to discredit the concerns of us in the internet industry, and to keep us away from the table as you sought to completely upend the legislative framework that allows the internet to thrive. How are we to work together to create all of those wonderful new opportunities for your industry to create, promote, distribute and monetize, if you are fundamentally blocking our ability to do so?

We can’t build those tools for you if you restrict us by massively regulating the internet, making it much, much harder for new startups to form or receive investments. A bill like SOPA creates so much liability that it would be impossible for two engineers in a garage to build the next great startup unless they also had a dozen lawyers sitting with them. We can’t help the artists and creators who were in our group with the new platforms they rely on, if these new innovative startups don’t even bother starting. We can’t help the users and participants who want new and convenient and legitimate access to content, as well as ways to make their own content. At the end of the day, both Silicon Valley and Hollywood work best when we focus on creating and providing what our consumers want. So, in many ways, we are in the same business.

I’m happy you can see that there’s no conflict. Now, let’s prove that by actually working together. If it’s true that you believe that there’s only a “manufactured conflict” between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, why don’t we get together and work this out between us? Prior to this bill being introduced, no one from the internet side was invited to negotiate, or to review the legislation. We suspect the larger internet players would be happy to sit down with you, and can say for certain that the group of us who went to DC last week would be happy to represent investors and startups in such a conversation.

Why don’t we start by throwing out SOPA and PIPA and talking about how we in the internet industry can (and already are) building the next set of weapons for you to succeed in the modern world. And let us help show you how to work those weapons, so you don’t point them at your own feet first.

Let?s work together not only to help one another, but also to help artists, innovators and entrepreneurs alike. You have an open invitation to come to any of our offices and discuss this whenever you want, or we’re happy to meet you anywhere in Silicon Valley, NY, LA or anywhere else in this country where amazing new technology and services are being created. But let’s keep the conversation out of Washington DC, so we can focus on getting something done, rather than another round of “manufactured conflict.”

Sincerely,

Mike Masnick, Floor64
Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures
Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures
Bijan Sabet, Spark Capital
Heather Gold, artist/creator
Dennis Yang, Infochimps
Derek Dukes, Dipity (and new stealth startup)
David Ulevitch, OpenDNS
Josh Mendelsohn, Hattery Labs
And the other entrepreneurs, creators, innovators, artists and investors who came to DC last week to express our concerns about SOPA/PIPA.

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Comments on “An Open Letter To Chris Dodd: Silicon Valley Can't Help Hollywood If You First Cripple It With Bad Regulation”

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164 Comments
John Doe says:

Re: Re:

Citation needed.

The business Mike talks about are not pirates and don’t condone piracy. They are platforms that can be monetized by even the smallest individual to the well established artist. The other main issue here is fair use. IP law is so lopsided and out of touch with reality now that a mother who posts her baby dancing to a Prince song could become a criminal if PROTECT IP is passed. Do you really think a large fine or jail time is warranted for that?

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The bill is focused on pirates and nothing else.

Those “pirates” have contributed more to the economy than those “leeches” who head the trade industries.

Everyone is aware of how much lying Mike Masnick will do in order to deride this bill, but it’s important to realize that everyone knows what joke he is and no one takes any of his bs seriously.

Translation: “There is a very real chance that this bill shall not pass and there goes my Christmas bonus.”

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The bill is focused on pirates and nothing else.

Clearly you haven’t read it. Under the bill, YouTube, Craigslist, EBay and many others would be “pirate” sites.

So, sure if you want to redefine the entire internet you now rely on as “pirates” then you’re right. But if, like most people. you don’t consider those sites pirate sites… well, then you recognize the bill has serious problems.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“The bill is focused on pirates and nothing else.”

Clearly you haven’t read it. Under the bill, YouTube, Craigslist, EBay and many others would be “pirate” sites.

So, sure if you want to redefine the entire internet you now rely on as “pirates” then you’re right. But if, like most people. you don’t consider those sites pirate sites… well, then you recognize the bill has serious problems.

You’re a big chubby joke, Fudboy. The bills target foreign websites. The companies you listed are US companies who are subject to current US law related to infringing. This is why your Apologist Tour 2011 was a flop. Everyone knows you and your merry band of douchenozzles were spreading manure around the halls of Congress.

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

ebay.co.uk -> Linked to ebay.com
amazon.co.uk -> Linked to amazon.com
Google.xx (where “xx” denotes country) -> Links to google.com

Foreign websites that can be used to take down the whole thing. And remember that a considerable number of people make a living out of selling secondhand stuff on eBay and Amazon. You want to suck out millions of dollars in actual harm to people all over the world? And yet Ebay, Amazon and Google are the parasites…

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You’re a big chubby joke, Fudboy. The bills target foreign websites. The companies you listed are US companies who are subject to current US law related to infringing. This is why your Apologist Tour 2011 was a flop. Everyone knows you and your merry band of douchenozzles were spreading manure around the halls of Congress.

And… someone hasn’t even read SOPA. First section, involving the AG targets foreign sites. Second section, on the private right of action targets any sites viewable in the US, including domestic sites. And under the definitions in the bill, YouTube, Craigslist, Ebay and many others all fit under the definition provided for “dedicated to theft of U.S. property.”

And that’s why our tour was not a flop. Because we read the bill. And you didn’t.

Come back and apologize if you’re even remotely intellectually honest. Admit you don’t know wtf you’re talking about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Actually Mike, you were a flop.

Craigslist and eBay do not “fit under the definition provided for “dedicated to theft of U.S. property.””

You know this full well, yet you insist on telling lies about it, day in and day out on this blog.

Why are you lying about this so much?

Are you out of bullets? Do think that if you tell enough lies about the bill that maybe some people will protest it?

That’s some really desperate behavior, Mike.

Have you seen a health care professional recently?

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Craigslist and eBay do not “fit under the definition provided for “dedicated to theft of U.S. property.””

Because you say so? Where’s your proof?

You go on and on about how this is dedicated to rogue sites, then, by the definitions given, you’re scaling back your insistence by just saying it doesn’t fit the definition. So how does it not fit it when everything shown proves otherwise?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Jay, you can make that judgement summarily without even working hard.

CL? Let’s say there are 10 million new ads a day. Let’s say that 10,000 of them somehow lead to pirated software or other overt violation of the law. It’s pretty simple to say that CL is not “dedicated to theft”, it is incidental to their business.

Ebay? Same thing. There are tens of tousands of transactions a day for legal goods, or for goods sold in good faith. A small percentage are not (and Ebay works hard to block those bad actors). It is clear that Ebay isn’t dedicated to theft, it is incidental to their business.

Now, let’s take Roja. Their business is indexing sports feeds, and they have absolutely no rights to any of those feeds. It is clear even in the most cursory of looks that their business is dedicated to the obtaining of services without payment, or without rights. It doesn’t matter where the content is hosted or originating from, they exist only to make sure you can find it.

The difference is clear – it’s why a search engine like Google is fundamentally different from a torrent search, because the vast majority of what it torrents alone are illegal.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

CL? Let’s say there are 10 million new ads a day. Let’s say that 10,000 of them somehow lead to pirated software or other overt violation of the law. It’s pretty simple to say that CL is not “dedicated to theft”, it is incidental to their business.

You’re answering your own common English definition of dedicated to theft. Not what’s in the law. That’s where you’re mistaken.

Ebay? Same thing. There are tens of tousands of transactions a day for legal goods, or for goods sold in good faith. A small percentage are not (and Ebay works hard to block those bad actors). It is clear that Ebay isn’t dedicated to theft, it is incidental to their business.

Again, the law is not about what is “incidental to one’s business.”

You really ought to read the law. It makes you look less foolish.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Actually Mike, you were a flop.

Frankly, if that was a “flop” then I hope to always flop so badly, given what’s happened in the past few days since my trip. I won’t reveal it, since you clearly don’t know, but let’s just say that my trip was anything but a “flop.”

Craigslist and eBay do not “fit under the definition provided for “dedicated to theft of U.S. property.””

Let’s try some citations. I already explained directly whee in the bill they do..

You know this full well, yet you insist on telling lies about it, day in and day out on this blog.

Again, prove me wrong. Under the definition in SOPA, Craigslist and eBay clearly would qualify.

Why are you lying about this so much?

What good would lying do here?

Are you out of bullets? Do think that if you tell enough lies about the bill that maybe some people will protest it?

Um. I’m telling the truth and it’s because I’m scared of what people like you are about to do to the internet, through your own cluelessness.

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Nah, Mike. You are wrong about EBay. I’ve considered starting a class action lawsuit against EBay more than once, but the fact is, it is not “dedicated to copyright infringement” so it has never occurred to me, and will never occur to me to report EBay to ic3.gov .

EBay is merely an unwitting “fence”, and only sometimes. Occasionally, it does a Lord-Nelson/Telescope-To-Blind-Eye imitation, but I challenge anyone to say that it is “dedicated” to copyright infringement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: FTFY

The bill is focused on destroying the internet and nothing else. Your FUD is laughable.

Everyone is aware of how much lying Anonymous Coward will do in order to support and defend this bill, but it’s important to realize that everyone knows what joke he is and no one takes any of his bs seriously.

Sorry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The business Mike talks about are not pirates and don’t condone piracy. They are platforms that can be monetized by even the smallest individual to the well established artist. The other main issue here is fair use. IP law is so lopsided and out of touch with reality now that a mother who posts her baby dancing to a Prince song could become a criminal if PROTECT IP is passed. Do you really think a large fine or jail time is warranted for that?

This is pure, unalloyed FUD. Go to the law and cite the provision you claim will land this mother in jail. This is why no one takes the opposition seriously. You are for the most part, alarmist fear-mongers wildly throwing around totally false claims like this piece of shit.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yes, according to folks who support the bill, like the person above, the world would be a better place if we didn’t invent the record player, radio, the cassette player, the cd, the vcr, the mp3 player, the internet itself and many other innovations his industry now relies on. Because they were unable to figure out how to profit from them immediately, we all should have stopped innovating.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Funny. Because you completely ignore the whole of his rebuttal.

Is it not true that the movie industry originally fought to block the production and sale of home recording devices (VCR)?

Is it not true that the movie industry fought to block the introduction of the television?

Is it not true that the music industry originally fought against the radio and even recorded music itself?

The music and movie industries are fighting now against the internet and the companies that made it a success. Will the out come today be any different than the outcome of the previous examples? I don’t think so.

But since you brought it up, the Pirate Bay is innovative. It is based on one of the most powerful distributed delivery systems in the world, torrent. This allows for content creators to deliver their product to fans without having to pay for costly hosting and bandwidth services. The pirate Bay is a handy way of finding such content. I use it and several other torrent search sites to find a number of free software, music, movies and games legally.

By blocking it, the legacy industries are making it more difficult for me and others like me to find and download free and legal content.

Jeff (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

no… but the point that you ignore so completely is the MPAA/RIAA tried to ban each of those items – after they had been introduced. So now the content industry is trying to do the same – to the internet. Enforce the laws we have – don’t saddle us with this crap and make a huge swath of the internet “illegal” just because the OVERLORDS at the MPAA/RIAA or whatever, think that it should be.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Nope they are trying to have any website that they “accuse” of infringement closed down, which could be directly via the host/provider or indirectly via payment processors… there will be no Judge, Jury or Trial, just them poiting a finger… and once the first site falls, and that may well be deserving, they’ll get a taste, and they’ll push the bounderies, further and further..

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Unfortunately, the result this time is already different. For one, the innovations are important to much more than just luxury entertainment this time, and for two, they are powerful enough now to buy DC and change the law a whole shitload to get what they want now. They are trying to hurt us a lot more this time and they are succeding.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You forgot a colon there:

Strawman: The Pirate Bay isn’t an innovation.

I agree, that is a great example of a strawman.

For example, if I tell someone: jailing innocents is wrong! And someone replies “murderers aren’t innocent!”, then that’s a strawman, because murderers weren’t mentioned as part of innocents. But you’re implying I was talking about murderers, instead of innocents.

Good work. A+.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh Mike, you are so funny when you are angry and defeated.

A better business model is just that, a better business model. A model that says “give it all away, and hope to sell something else” isn’t a business model, it’s crap. It’s converting a multi billion dollar a year music industry into gimmie for jackasses trying to sell “scarce” t-shirts (apparently nobody checked my closet… scarce my ass!). It’s stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.

Worse yet, because it is predicated on the occassional idiot making a purchase, it doesn’t take very much for the model to fail. Losing 1 sale kills the support money to pay for thousands of freeloaders. It doesn’t take long for the “business model” to be shown as what it really is, a free lunch with a $5 porta-potty on the side.

There is no desire to stop invention, there is no desire to stop innovation. But it truly isn’t innovative to give away someone else’s product and act like you have a new business model. That’s just a joke.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Oh, and since some hypocritical pirate douchebag decided to censor it since it contained the truth, here it is again:

“Oh Mike, you are so funny when you are angry and defeated.

A better business model is just that, a better business model. A model that says “give it all away, and hope to sell something else” isn’t a business model, it’s crap. It’s converting a multi billion dollar a year music industry into gimmie for jackasses trying to sell “scarce” t-shirts (apparently nobody checked my closet… scarce my ass!). It’s stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.

Worse yet, because it is predicated on the occassional idiot making a purchase, it doesn’t take very much for the model to fail. Losing 1 sale kills the support money to pay for thousands of freeloaders. It doesn’t take long for the “business model” to be shown as what it really is, a free lunch with a $5 porta-potty on the side.

There is no desire to stop invention, there is no desire to stop innovation. But it truly isn’t innovative to give away someone else’s product and act like you have a new business model. That’s just a joke.”

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

See this is the problem. The legacy industry has no idea what scarcity is. If you were to take their word for it, selling scarcity is the same as selling t-shirts. If that is your idea of scarcity, then yes you will likely fail.

However, in the real world, scarcity is a huge range of things. On one end you have merchandise and on the other you have public performances.

In the music industry it is the concert. They don’t have to be huge, they can range from home performances to parties to stadium concerts.

For the film industry it is theatre runs.

There are other ways of creating scarcity. Take NIN for example. When he sold his Ghosts album, it was a tiered sale. On one end, you could get free MP3s of the first of four disks. On the far end you could get a boatload unique extras with the album. That end sold out faster than most people could log on to buy the rest.

So in the end, scarcity works, but only if you do.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The business models that you support are trying to sell something that’s infinite as a scarcity. It’s not working.

The bill has transformed into censorship, plain and simple. It looks to remove legal platforms in order to give control to smaller industries of the economy.

Quite frankly, if the industries truly believe that $20 DVDs are the future of the industry, they’ve learned nothing in the last 20 years.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

ah the good old “i don’t understand how money works” argument. I think it’s time to give up and accept that the time of innovation is done and a snail’s pace grinding to a halt is our future. There is no reasoning with our masters and the weapons have evolved to the point that a small group can put down the whole electorate if they want. The priviledged have done it, we just can decide to live as slaves or kill ourselves on their machineguns.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Your money is digitized by your bank.”

Lol. I love it when the trolls just out themselves as morons who don’t even understand the basic concepts being discussed.

“If it’s all just infinite, then you won’t mind me while I help myself to your money.”

Yeah, sure. Just show me how I can copy it so that I still have the same amount in the bank after you’ve finished, and it’s all yours.

If you can’t think of how you can do that, you’re one step closer to understanding why your analogies fail.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

. A model that says “give it all away, and hope to sell something else” isn’t a business model, it’s crap.

Which Mike has never said anyway, but do go on with your failure in comprehension.

It’s converting a multi billion dollar a year music industry into gimmie for jackasses trying to sell “scarce” t-shirts (apparently nobody checked my closet… scarce my ass!).

Yes, an industry that has contempt for consumers and new players to the game that could actually make them more money. Topspin has made money on the scarcities you mocked. Jamendo has a great relationship with its artists. And yet when talking about any RIAA represented artist, I find the same problems. Eminem had to sue his label for his money. 50 Cent is a dirty pirate as defined by the RIAA. Joss Stone has talked openly about how her label was mad that she made new music. Let me say this again: Her label was pissed at Joss Stone for creating new music on her own time when she had already made an album. We’ve heard the horror story of Courtney Love’s problems with labels. And the fact is, I know for a fact there were quite a few bands that were only together because their label paid them to be together.

Then we go to the enforcer side. The ASCAP, BMI, SESAC section. What good do they do when they don’t even scout out the new talent, but make it harder for a band to have a locale to play in? Most of the bands I know sell the CDs as a scarcity in a concert. It sure as hell works for them to have money to go to Mexico instead of the ASCAP fail train that disproportionately pays the top 20% of artists in the US. And this criticism of the newer ways for artists to be heard is worse, how? Because a label makes less money while the artists make more? Perish the thought that treating the artist better means more money in the interim.

Worse yet, because it is predicated on the occassional idiot making a purchase, it doesn’t take very much for the model to fail.

I guess Radiohead and OK Go prove you wrong. Not to mention websites like Wikipedia, TVTropes, and KnowYourMeme.

Losing 1 sale kills the support money to pay for thousands of freeloaders. It doesn’t take long for the “business model” to be shown as what it really is, a free lunch with a $5 porta-potty on the side.

Don’t you just love it when someone comes up with the thoroughly debunked reference to the 1:1 causation? By all means, show how that’s happened when artists make more money through Soundcloud than through Universal. Prove that this business model isn’t working when there’s plenty of Kickstarter projects that prove you wrong.

But it truly isn’t innovative to give away someone else’s product and act like you have a new business model.

People share the music with others. Nothing is lost through that sharing. Someone might check out the artist and become a fan. A movie watched by more than one person can have people selling products to it. And quite frankly, if you believe that the movie or music is just the end product with no work in there, then you’re doing it wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You don’t work in the industry so you are talking out of your ass.

Fact: everyone- musicians, producers, engineers, etc has way less money because you fuckers rip us off.

We are finally getting law enforcement to do their job and bust you.

Now quit whining, you greedy little scumbag.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Fact: everyone- musicians, producers, engineers, etc has way less money because you fuckers rip us off.

Musicians being ripped off? Are you Sure? Shirly, you are mistaken

Let’s see… Successful Producers… Hmmm… You must have forgotten about DJs… Girltalk, OCRemix, and people that enjoy Minecraft. Shirly, you’re not getting it yet…

Then you talk about engineers and I know that you’re and I quote:

talking out of your ass!

Because if there’s one you should know, it should be Paul Vixie. So what did Paul Vixie, one of the early creators of the internet had to say?

Ultimately there are two ways to modify DNSSEC data. You can either strip off the signatures in which case your modified response will be ignored, or you can just drop the query and never send a response at all. The trouble with these as lawful mandates is that they’re indistinguishable from what evildoers will do. There’s nothing in the DNSSEC protocol to say “this is a lawful insert or modification, you should accept it.”

“Say your browser, when it’s trying to decide whether some web site is or is not your bank’s web site, sees the modifications or hears no response. It has to be able to try some other mechanism like a proxy or a VPN as a backup solution rather than just giving up (or just accepting the modification and saying “who cares?”). Using a proxy or VPN as a backup solution would, under PROTECT IP, break the law.

I have a special concern about this since we will have to implement backup plans in the BIND validator. which we will not do if PROTECT IP passes. and without this kind of backup plan, DNSSEC itself will never be commercially viable.”

So good Shirly, you are wrong on your accounts. You’re wrong about how pirates are ripping them off when they’re making money on the internet. You’re wrong about law enforcement doing a much needed job, because if anything ICE is already in the hot seat with their immigration tactics now. To have them trying to enforce copyright law would be asinine. They would fail miserably, as they’ve done oh so well with the Mooo.com domain.

Now, you see your little bridge there? It’s calling your name, Shirly. No meal time for you.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

First things first, it’s funny how that Peelism is locked behind the UK firewall of BBC when you want to watch it.

Also, take notice of this artificial scarcity:
Available since today with 7 days left.

Top this off with selective showings of the damn show instead of allowing me to either download it or play it with another less proprietary format.

If you want to get your point across with Pete Townshend, PLEASE do it without an annoying paywall.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

and you’re a fucking idiot if you think that radio is more important than the internet for getting your music heard these days… ffs, I buy music from Finland from bands that only get played on Finnish radio stations because I downloaded an album via bittorrent and then found that I could get their back catalogue and pay them directly via Paypal.

What year do you think it is? I’ll tell you Toto this isn’t Kansas and it isn’t 198″fuckin”2 that’s for sure!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I just reread this and this is seriously some of the dumbest shit you’ve ever posted Masnick. Are you sure you couldn’t have ignored the real issues or fit a few more lies in there?

The bill is about piracy. I know you adore piracy and steal all your music and movies, but you’re just going to have to think about paying for them in the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Nope. Not new laws, just just lubriciously one-sided enforcement of the old ones in a manner that removes all judicial over-site that have been on the books since the country was founded, because we all know the books from back then were written specifically about movies, cds and the internet. (Oh and this stuff wasn’t really on the books back then but I am a clever mix of willfully ignorant and stupid)”

FTFY

RobShaver (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Remember that the Boston Tea Party was really against the East India Company … a corporation. I believe this subject and the Occupy Wall Street (and the world) are really all the same struggle. We’ve turned over too much control to corporations who now exert too much control over the US and other governments.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This was when the US was a colony of England. However, King George III was pretty much an tyrant during his reign. Of course, there were Loyalists that loved him in the colonies, but it was a 1/3 split of people that liked him, hated him, and were neutral.

Long story short, this culminated into the Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773). The tea was taxed and the colonists didn’t want it. Boston officials refused to return the tea, so colonists destroyed it by throwing it into the harbor. Wiki has this to say:

Protesters had successfully prevented the unloading of taxed tea in three other colonies, but in Boston, embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain. He apparently did not expect that the protestors would choose to destroy the tea rather than concede the authority of a legislature in which they were not directly represented.

Gotta love how bureaucrats don’t think about consequences until they occur and bite them in the end.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If your business model relies on illegal behavior to make the profits you seek,

Dear Stalin,

It doesn’t – it just needs not to be hampered by a totalitarian enforcement regime and a dsefinition of “illegal” that has been distroted out of all recognition.

yours – the rest of the world,

and by the way stop impersonating me, identity theft is a crime.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Circular arguments

“If your business model relies on illegal behavior to make the profits you seek, you need to find a new and better business model.”

A tautology! If YOU guys make useful technology illegal, then it will be illegal.

Should it be? That’s the discussion in which we’d like to be included, both here and at the congressional level. Join us someday…or just spew BS, whatever.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Circular arguments

A tautology! If YOU guys make useful technology illegal, then it will be illegal.

This is a totally key point… I should have brought it up earlier, but glad you did. They keep saying “well, it’s illegal!” but that’s only based on the laws they write.

So when they say we shouldn’t worry about “legitimate” sites getting in trouble, that’s meaningless. If they write the laws such that Craigslist, eBay, Twitter, etc. are no longer legitimate, then they’re “right” technically, but wrong morally and fundamentally.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So the tech companies make money from the freetard economy. What was the weight of the tech companies in the US again?

10 – AT&T $165bn
6- Google $177bn
4- IBM $194 bn
3- Microsoft $202bn
1- Apple $337 bn

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/10/ten-most-valuable-companies-america_n_923752.html#s326813&title=1_Apple

I don’t see any MAFIAA related companies there unless Chevron, Exxon Mobil, WalMart, P&G have entered the entertainment business and I’m really uninformed =D

Berkshire Hathaway must have something from the entertainment dudes inside their conglomerate but I sincerely don’t think it matters.

I get the feeling we should have all content to be free and this should be mandated by law because the freetard economy moves America =D

That’s 1 bn too much techie for you, MAFIAA.

Jeff (profile) says:

Dear Mr. Masnick et al.,

Considering I am a god, and you are just peon – I have only two words for you SUCK IT! I AM YOUR LORD AND MASTER!!! In what universe do you ever, for one micro-second think I would listen to the drooling, pirate-loving, free-loading, job-stealing, scum and villany you represent??? Puleeez – when you can contribute millions to my bank account, then, and only then will I listen. Until then, as your LORD AND MASTER, I order you to consume every last scrap of everything my industry graces your greedy, grubby hands with. Now get off my lawn you damn kids!

for those who are SI (Sarcasm Impaired) — This is a complete work of sarcasm… mildly so…

A Guy (profile) says:

I think I know the problem… Did you remember to bring the appearance fee? After all, the entertainment lobby paid their appearance fee, and therefore got face time with the legislators.

It’s only fair that in our capitalist society, the legislators time, which is a scarcity, will not be given away for free.

After all, if they actually did the work of the American people and stood up for our Bill of Rights all the time, what would be our reason to buy?

out_of_the_blue says:

Oh, noes! Mike's gone all "open letter" on a /former/ Senator!

You need to give up this blogging schtick and bottle that chutzpah. Many people NEED just a bit of bravery, and we could bring the rest of the country back to reasonable. But YOU just squander it in useless variations of sappy idealism.

“We can’t build those tools for you if…” — What an ODD phrase. Are you building tools for former Senator Dodd, or the gov’t, or WHO? At best you lost the thread of the argument.

BUT I don’t agree that you or your pals in the “internet industry” are actually building anything. There’s a lot of money that can be /scraped/ via advertising, sure, but there’s very little obviously /added/ value in online retail. Just because retailing has become more computerized doesn’t mean that products come out of the blue. You’re just trying to find ways to grift off those who do produce content — plus a gaggle of those who want to enjoy content without paying. That’s what SOPA will probably ruin, by cracking down on linking to and hosting infringing files. And it’s about time.

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Oh, noes! Mike's gone all "open letter" on a /former/ Senator!

Who do you work for OOTB… actually no need to be specific, just roughly tell us, what sort of industry… I tyhink we’ll find it helpful is we can say “license collection society”, or “dinosaur legacy distribution” when we see you posting.

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Oh, noes! Mike's gone all "open letter" on a /former/ Senator!

OK, you ignorant moron, time to set some things straight, such as your (in)ability to post ridiculous comments based on the totalitarian world YOU wish to live in and the rest of us FEAR living in. The very platform that you are having this discussion on – you know the website you loathe but visit daily to spew forth unrealistic crap about how everyone on the internet is a thief and a pirate – is exactly what they are talking about preserving. I’m not sure if you rode the short bus to school or had to wear a helmet your entire childhood but obviously someone didn’t get the attention they needed as a child and now you seek it here, a place where you virtually disagree with everyone else. I’m guessing that setting is far more familiar to you than anything else – negative attention beats no attention, right?

Claiming “BUT I don’t agree that you or your pals in the “internet industry” are actually building anything.” is fundamentally incorrect just by the mere presence of your comment here on TD, which would not appear had “nothing been built”.

There is a reality, whether you acknowledge it or not – it’s still there. Your perception, being what it is, lost it’s comedic value several weeks ago.

I can only wish that those who are blind to the unfortunate possibilities under this incoherent legislation are the first ones to suffer from its enforcement.

I want to see the tears on your face while they slam the jail doors on you, while you cry “But that’s not what the law says! This isn’t how this is supposed to happen! How am I suppose to know that clicking on a link would land me in jail?! It’s not fair! I’m not a thief!”

Then I want to buy the sound track from the film footage that comes right after you hear that deep, husky voice in the back of your cell say “Hey Paytard, you look mighty cute in them overalls! Let me show you what a Donkey Punch is…” so I can put it on YouTube.

Trick or treat!

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Oh, noes! Mike's gone all "open letter" on a /former/ Senator!

My god…do you actually believe the “internet industry” hasn’t built anything? Whether or not what it has built is profitable is a different matter, but there is a LOT and I do mean a LOT this industry has done.
Google, Facebook, Amazon and Ebay are the three best examples.
Google does search, Google Maps (and Street View) all at no cost to the consumer, while raking in the billions from advertising.
Facebook has allowed, when last I checked, FIVE HUNDRED MILLION people to communicate with each other, all at no cost to the consumer. (We’ll ignore the privacy concerns for the sake of this comment).
Amazon is the best online retailer. They sell thousands of products I want either not sold in physical stores in my country, or if they are, only in specialist shops and thus are much more expensive. (Should Amazon pay the people using the Amazon website to sell their stuff? After all, according to you, Amazon profits off of other people’s content)
Ebay allows any one person to sell his/her stuff with anyone on the planet. No more trawling the local Buy and Sell magazine, nope!

And lest people think I’m forgetting, the actual ISPs themselves, who’ve built this great tool for communication.

But no, Ootb. You actually support a law that would DESTROY all of this, all without having to go to court, and with no recourse for the onslaught of inevitable false accusations. With what you’ve written above, you’ve proven yourself, once and for all, for the scum you truly are. I found your comments entertaining and insightful before, but if the only thing you can say is “durrr, dey iz evil pirates, they must be jailed”, and that you keep ignoring the massive problems we keep pointing out with ridiculous laws like these…well then, I dunno.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Oh, noes! Mike's gone all "open letter" on a /former/ Senator!

Mike’s gone all “open letter” on a /former/ Senator!…

“We can’t build those tools for you if…” — What an ODD phrase. Are you building tools for former Senator Dodd, or the gov’t, or WHO? At best you lost the thread of the argument.

As most people recognize — though you clearly do not — Chris Dodd now heads the MPAA, which is Hollywood’s main lobbying group. The only “oddity” is in your ignorance.

Sarah W. says:

Re: Oh, noes! Mike's gone all "open letter" on a /former/ Senator!

How about the tool you are using to post your opinion to the world, right now? They built it. *YOU* are the “you” in his letter. And so is anyone else, including those you mentioned, who uses the amazing technology of today.

And so am I. I’m also an artist, who has a lot better chance of getting her work out to the public if legislation like this doesn’t put the power to decide what’s seen and heard back into the hands of our illustrious former gatekeepers in the Entertainment Evilstry. I want my freedom and I want my internet. Better to put my work online and have a chance build a fan base than to never be seen at all unless some publisher or producer takes a chance on my work.

The new bill is the equivalent of saying that because one child on the playground says another child took his toy, the playground will now be shut down until further notice, and possibly forever; even though the claim that a toy was taken has not been investigated. Eventually people won’t bother building playgrounds anymore, and then none of us, whether we were behaving ourselves or not, will get to play.

Anonymous Coward says:

Dear copyright cartel

You know, you’ve never actually invented anything. You didn’t invent the movie projector, the record player, the cassette player, the DVD player, the MP3 player, the Internet…we did.

We’re the techies.

We invented them because we’re the smart ones, not the slow learners like you.

But we know about you. You were the big dumb kids, lazy, fat and stupid. You still are.

And you need to realize that while, back in the day, you had the edge because of your size and strength, now we have the edge, because we’re smarter than you.

Way smarter.

So if you don’t back off, if you force us to engage in this fight: we will fuck you up.

Sincerely,
the techies

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dear copyright cartel

no, no, no… you see what you create is small, tiny, minute… compared to what we techies offer the whole of humanity, the revenues we collectively generate you and the entertainment industries disappear into nothing, you just about appear as small blip down there on the bottom of the bar chart.

Creative content was given away free or at minimal cost for centuries before it got all fucked up by managers, accountants and shareholders… who’s to say that it won’t happen again?.. not that us techies care, we can help you or we can go do something else, this is the digital era.

The Incoherent One (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dear copyright cartel

Your generation and type of artist/content (slow thinking 3 toed sloth) would die off. You would be replaced by the far faster thinking artist/content creator who adapts to what tools are now available, and would work with us techies to further their reach even further. Darwin had it right. Its evolution. Either you will learn to adapt to what the conditions are, our you will simply cease to be.

Signed-
Those who have waited patiently.

Beech (profile) says:

@ AC #51/53…

Yes. The bill is about piracy. Gold star for you. BUT BUT BUT, the bill is not FOCUSED on anything. It uses vague terms which are wide open to interpretation. So, while lobbyists are pushing this through as “being about piracy” once its passed they’ll use their huge piles of money on lawyers to use courts to have it reinterpreted. I mean, look at the lists of proposed “rouge sites” craigslist? sears?

This is like saying a wild new censorship bill is about “stopping child porn.” You can’t vote against it because that would mean you like child porn. Then once the bill is enacted, the filters and blocking mechanisms in place, all of a sudden the entertainment industry is suing to have sites on their no-no lists blocked too.

Anonymous Coward says:

For all of you rubes who continue to refuse to believe that your so-called “advocacy groups” aren’t bought and paid for shills for their Google masters, I offer the following:

“The Register: Google Buzz Settlement Pays ?organizations that are currently paid by [Defendant] to lobby for or to consult for the company?.
October 31, 2011 Chris Castle

The Register has a great recent article about the latest Google debacle, the Google Buzz class action settlement (see also Robert Levine?s piece in Bloomberg, ?Google?s Spreading Tentacles of Infuence?). The article notes that the Google settlement involved ?cy pres? payments to ?independent? groups often called ?watchdogs? like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Apparently, the selection process of the groups to receive millions in cy pres payments was a two step process. The first list of cy pres largess was objected to by the Electronic Privacy Information Center for an interesting reason as the Register notes:

?Amongst the groups that failed to squeeze its snouts into the trough was EPIC, which complained that the selection process favored ?organizations that are currently paid by [Defendant] to lobby for or to consult for the company?.

To say the least, that?s an interesting description of the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which both hit the jackpot, receiving $1m each.?

So there was a first cut at the cy pres process and when EPIC objected, the judge modified the settlement to include EPIC and at least one other lucky beneficiary:

?In addition to EPIC?s ticket on the gravy train, Judge Ware managed to find $500,000 for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Why that particular faculty? It?s anyone?s guess, but quite coincidentally, the Honorable Judge Ware is a lecturer at Santa Clara University.?

You?ve probably never heard the term ?cy pres?. It is vulgarized French that has come to describe an ancient legal doctrine that first arose in application to wills and was a doctrine that allowed a court to comply with the intent of the deceased as nearly as possible when to do so directly would not be legally possible or practicable.

But the direct contemporary translation in class action practice would be more like ?snout in trough.? The cy pres process is an inside way for groups to raise essentially free money. I?m not sure of the tax implications, but I?d be interested to know if cy pres contributions are taken as a deduction for liability losses.

For example, the ubiquitous Samuelson-Glushko legal clinic at Berkeley received contributions from The Dennis v. Metromail Cy Pres Fund, The Supnick, et al. v. Amazon, Inc. and Alexa Internet Cy Pres Fund, The UCAN v. Financial Services Companies Cy Pres Funds and the Zadeh Cy Pres Fund. Oh, and the Google Buzz Cy Pres Fund.

They?ve done this before.

Now imagine this scenario. A corporation that thinks itself above the law gets caught doing something illegal to potentially millions of its customers. Big liability, bad for the balance sheet. What to do? The corporation can avail itself of the class action process.

But wait, you say. Class actions are supposed to be the heroic actions of white knights protecting consumers, right? True. But if you think that, you clearly have not been to the Temporary Autonomous Zone known as the Northern District of California with its locus in San Jose, the capitol of Silicon Valley and home to People Who Are Smarter Than We Are.

So just go with me on this and hear out my interpretation of a class action in modern times, which will get back to ?cy pres?, I promise. The corporation who has done the bad thing calls a class action law firm. They say, how about you find you some class representatives, sue us, we will do a prepackaged settlement, we?ll pay you some millions, pay the class representatives some walking around money (and maybe some non-cash goodies?like oh say stock options?we can keep between us), and then we can dump a bunch of money into the pockets of people we like through the cy pres. And then we get a class settlement that will apply to all of our customers not before the court so we can close off any liability because no one pays attention to these things and probably none of our customers will opt out of the class. Sounds good? Big money, not a lot of work? Kind of like Google Books, but without the messy scanning.

But wait, you say?there?s more. We have heard of a ?prepackaged bankruptcy? in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which is a plan for financial reorganization that the bankrupt company drafts alongside its creditors (represented by its creditors committee, a group that are designated as the good fiduciaries of all creditors, or all of its creditors) that everyone agrees will be the winning plan once the company enters bankruptcy. The prepackaged plan must also be voted on by shareholders of the soon-to- be bankrupt company before the company files its petition for bankruptcy.

Note?the essential aspect of the prepackaged bankruptcy is that it has some efficiency benefits, but it does one thing that is often overlooked. It very often guarantees that the management that drove the company into bankruptcy will still be in control when the company comes out of bankruptcy.

Now see how the analogy works in class actions, remembering that Google spent a lot of time learning how to twist the class action process on its head during the Google Books litigation. How would you blunt the class action from someone else?s sword into your shield? Get an agreement among the class action lawyers, potential class representatives (like a potential creditors? committee), and file the action in your home town where people don?t think you?re evil.

Then reach a quick class certification, a quick settlement agreement, and make sure you funnel money through the class action to all the groups that are likely to challenge you (through the cy pres process).

The settlement, however, applies to all members of the class, most whom probably have no idea what is happening, that they have a claim, or that there?s anything they can do about it. In fact, only 578 class members opted out. In case anyone is interested, there is a list of their names at buzzclassaction.com (see Exhibit A).

So see what may have happened: Google knows it is exposed to a class action by all users of Google Buzz. Somehow, class action lawyers find Google. Largely silent class representatives are identified and certified by the court. A settlement is reached?less than a year after filing, rather quickly in my curbstone point of view?and then large payments are made to ?watchdogs? and to counsel. And perhaps most importantly?any member of the class who has not opted out of the settlement?and as we saw in Google Books, Google is all about opting out?is prohibited from pursuing a claim against Google. And what consideration was paid to the class members for giving up these valuable rights? Nothing. Zero. Zip.

Presto chango?Google limits its liability to chump change, lawyers make money, cy pres recipients make money, the class gets zero.

Google justice if I ever saw it.

I don?t know that this is what happened, I?m just guessing. But it sure looks like it?s worth a second look. Whether or not it was premeditated, the result is the same.

To be continued.

Here are the cy pres recipients (Settlement at p. 6):

? (a) American Civil Liberties Union $700,000

(b) Berkeley Center for Law & Technology $500,000

(c) Berkeley Law School, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic $200,000

(d) Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University $500,000

(e) Brookings Institution $165,000

(f) Carnegie Mellon, Cylab Usability, Privacy & Security Lab $350,000

(g) Center for Democracy & Technology $500,000

(h) Electronic Frontier Foundation $1,000,000

(I) Indiana University, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research $300,000

(j) Stanford, Center for Internet & Society $500,000

(k) YMCA of Greater Long Beach $300,000 [that well known hotbed of privacy watchdogs]

(l) The Electronic Privacy Information Center $500,000

(m) The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Santa Clara University $500,000

(n) Youth Radio $50,000″”

Anonymous Coward says:

Dear America,

Feel free to regulate your tech industry to death. Ensure that your best and brightest leave for other more tech-friendly shores. Make them realize that as bad as working for, say, China is, working for the United States is worse.

Please, strangle the goose that lays your golden eggs, and return to being the ignorant parochial bumpkins you were, previously.

Sincerely,

The other 95.5% of the world.

AJBarnes says:

Deja vu?

Isn’t this the same Christopher Dodd that many say should be in jail for his complicitness in the Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac meltdowns? The one that is accused of corruption, greed, avarice and graft? And, if so, isn’t his apparent pimping for the MPAA suspect? Has he been purchased yet again by corporate greed and is he going along with them to line his pockets further?

Enquiring minds want to know!!!

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

Mike Masnick writes, “A bill like SOPA creates so much liability that it would be impossible for two engineers in a garage to build the next great startup unless they also had a dozen lawyers sitting with them.”

Mike, are you saying that business startups are necessarily virtuous, even if their profitability depends upon ripping off authors and musicians and actors…. because it would be “too hard” for them to respect other creators’ copyrights?

Are you therefore saying that authors, creators, musicians ought to embrace being ripped off, because other people need to rip them off in order to make a quick buck?

There are things that your fantasy guys in a garage could do.
1. Terms of Service that people read. Every vital paragraph ought to have to be checked, and there ought to be a timer, so robot checking didn’t work.

“Who has time/who can be bothered to obey rules,” you might say. Or perhaps you want to tell me that reading rules stifles innovation?

2. When a person wishes to upload a file large enough to possibly be an entire work (e-book, movie, magazine etc) a pop-up should appear, asking the uploader to verify that they WROTE this work personally.

The pop-up might also involve a legal disclaimer with the same info used on a counter-DMCA, which could be stored in advance, and which the uploader would have to agree would be shared with any DMCA claimant.

This would save a lot of time. It would educate a lot of innocent and deluded folk who mistakenly assume that they own the copyright of any e-book or i-movie they snagged from a pirate site.

It would also provide a clear chain of good faith proof by those garage guys, and if Joe Dirt were on record as having claimed to have personally written the entire works of Harlan Ellison, Clive Cussler, Nora Roberts, also of JK Rowling, also John Grisham, also of twenty-five Elloras Cave anthologies, and the entire collected works of Terry Pratchett, it might be fairly easy for those two garage guys to decide what to do in the event that someone were to point out that Joe Dirt couldn’t possibly be telling the truth.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

Mike, are you saying that business startups are necessarily virtuous, even if their profitability depends upon ripping off authors and musicians and actors…. because it would be “too hard” for them to respect other creators’ copyrights?

No. I’m saying that it’s idiotic to blame a tool provider for the fact that some percentage of its users might infringe. And that there are tons of perfectly legitimate companies that would be declared “dedicated to theft of U.S. property” under the ridiculously broad definitions in this bill.

Are you therefore saying that authors, creators, musicians ought to embrace being ripped off, because other people need to rip them off in order to make a quick buck?

No. I’m saying that there are all sorts of business models and new services they can use to make more money. But those new services won’t start under SOPA.

1. Terms of Service that people read. Every vital paragraph ought to have to be checked, and there ought to be a timer, so robot checking didn’t work.

Nothing in SOPA says this would make any difference.

2. When a person wishes to upload a file large enough to possibly be an entire work (e-book, movie, magazine etc) a pop-up should appear, asking the uploader to verify that they WROTE this work personally.

What if it’s public domain? Or fair use? Or they are a representative of the creator?

Honestly, that suggestion makes no sense at all. And “size of file” as a determinant makes no sense.

Either way, such a checkbox requirement has no impact under SOPA.

This would save a lot of time. It would educate a lot of innocent and deluded folk who mistakenly assume that they own the copyright of any e-book or i-movie they snagged from a pirate site.

I’ve never seen these people you claim think they own the copyright on such files.

You don’t seem particularly familiar with the law in question here, so I’m curious as to the basis for your suggestions.

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

Mike,
When you say, “What if it’s public domain?”… the problem is, the general public doesn’t seem to understand what “public domain” is.

People think that an in-copyright work is “public domain” or “public domained” if they can find it on a “file-sharing” site.

How do you suggest that the “public domain” problem is addressed?

What do you do about people who untruthfully describe an in-copyright work as “public domain” when it isn’t?

What do you do about sites like Scribd that have a default setting that all works uploaded to their site are “Creative Commons Licensed” unless “the author” chooses a different description?

The “author” is usually an anonymous user, and they don’t care that they are falsely describing a copyrighted work as “Creative Commons” when it is no such thing.

I know that SOPA doesn’t address these things. My comments were in response to someone who wanted to talk about the way things ought to be, and you took them out of context.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

“When you say, “What if it’s public domain?”… the problem is, the general public doesn’t seem to understand what “public domain” is.”

Well done, you’ve just identified one of the major problems associated with copyright. What was once a relatively straightforward process and should be easy to identify (is the work over X years old? If so it’s public domain, if not it’s copyrighted) has become a quagmire, a maze where even lawyers can get confused.

So, why not agree with those of us who say that this needs to change? Why side with those who would rather destroy public access to cultural history in the name of a dollar?

“What do you do about people who untruthfully describe an in-copyright work as “public domain” when it isn’t?”

There are legal channels available for that, whose use will be much more straightforward if the definitions of copyright are streamlined. At the moment, it’s very easy to become legitimately confused and post something that should be in the public domain, but isn’t due to some arcane legal manoeuvres.

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

Same response. The general public does not know what “FAIR USE” is. Possibly, you don’t know what “Fair Use” is.

In most cases, it is NOT “fair use” to post an entire, in copyright work on a file sharing site.

As for your comment about never seeing anyone who claims they own the copyright…. just look at the standard welcome page on 4shared, or Scribd.

What do you think people understand by “my stuff” or “my collection”? “My” implies ownership. The Terms Of Service require users to post only their own copyrighted content.

Look here:
http://torrentfreak.com/top-10-largest-file-sharing-sites-110828/

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

4shared is a Cyberlocker. It claims a monthly rate of 55,000,000 (fiftyfive million) unique visitors and 2,500,000,000 (is that two-and-a-half billion?) page views. A MONTH.

Sites like this need to be encouraged to NOT host infringing content. Their business model is sloppy. It does not pay to follow a law that contains loopholes. It does not pay to enforce TOS, so they mostly don’t.

They put up the verbiage, do untold harm to small business pesons (authors), and if the author happens to find out that their copyrights are infringed, and sends in a DMCA, then they remove the individual file.

But, it has already been “shared” through their services with others, and any file can be re-upped.

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

Let’s talk about your “tool provider” analogy.

The current law says that OSPs must respond to 1) DMCA notices and 2) red flags.

Most OSPs ignore anything other than DMCAs.

So, they are NOT providing a tool that meets all the requirements under the law. If a car manufacturer sold a car with a handbrake but no working footbrake, and as a consequence, drivers broke the law by driving through traffic lights or crashing into property, I think we’d blame the tool provider.

OSPs have no duty to monitor their sites, but they DO have a duty to remove infringing content once they are made aware that it is there.

That’s not really working out so well. Scribd does a reasonable job, so it is possible.

rowena cherry (profile) says:

Re: Re: Could engineers in a garage start a business without ripping off creators?

“No. I’m saying that there are all sorts of business models and new services they can use to make more money. But those new services won’t start under SOPA.”

But why should we?

Let’s take the flood of abuse as read, also all the comments about buggy whip manufacturers.

Look at Dexter Haygood on Simon Cowell’s X-Factor as an example. Dexter was voted into the mentoring program because he is really, really good at singing like James Brown. That’s his talent. It’s what he does best and what he likes to do.

Why should he have to sing a sexually ambiguous pop song?

Maybe he could make more money if he offered new services, and adopted a business model involving bells, whistles, tassles, dancing girls and imitation military costumes, but you are expecting a good old dog to learn new tricks.

So far, for authors, I haven’t seen any helpful suggestions from pirates on how authors could make more money while giving away their writing free.

“Write better, write faster, add graphics, add music…” simply adds cost, complexity and is possibly mutually exclusive.

Your ilk want writers to be buskers. I suspect that better quality music is recorded in recording studios than in laybys on highways.

Daniel Scheinhaus says:

"The internet needs to be more like television or else the job creators won't succeed."

What an awful notion! That we should turn the internet into a barren desert like TV is a horrible suggestion. There’s little we learn from TV. What’s happening in the world – Zero. What’s happening in our own country – Zero. If it wasn’t for public television we’d even not hear any decent music or see decent productions of anything. And even that source is timid when it comes to informing, a basic function that TV should provide.

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