Viacom Exec: 'Everyone Knows A Rogue Site When They See One'? Except He Doesn't

from the are-they-serious? dept

There’s apparently a bit of a debate within the American Bar Association over its position on SOPA/PROTECT IP. As you can imagine there are lawyers on all sides of the debate. However, some folks involved in the copyright and trademark legislation committees put forth a motion for the group to “support” the proposed laws, leading to some pretty strong push-back from a lot of lawyers (including those who were involved in crafting the DMCA’s safe harbors, who see the attempt by SOPA to undermine all of that work as pretty nefarious). Some of those involved in the debates have been sharing some of the back and forth, and among the discussions is an absolutely stunning email from Michael Fricklas, the general counsel of Viacom, and the driving force behind that company’s billion dollar lawsuit against YouTube. Think of that as you read the following statement:

In the field, it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re using a domain that is dedicated to infringing material. If you choose to speak there, I suppose your speech is at risk until you choose to move it elsewhere. I don’t think there is a first amendment right to speak on a site that is engaged in pervasive copyright infringement (assuming that there are plenty of places to speak).

It’s this single statement that, I think, encapsulates the key point of disagreement between those who support SOPA/PIPA and those who don’t. Those on the “stronger enforcement” side always seem to assume a “you know it when you see it” definition of “dedicated to infringement.” We hear this all the time when we talk about the possible unintended consequences of such laws or ICE’s domain seizures or other attempts at greater, more draconian enforcement efforts. One group insists that “it’s obvious” what’s infringing and what’s not. Sometimes they’ll even point to a particular file, as if that “proves” that it’s easy to tell what’s infringing.

But reality isn’t so simple. Let’s take Fricklas and YouTube as an example, since he’s so sure that “it’s pretty easy to tell” when “you’re using a domain that is dedicated to infringing material.” After all, according to Fricklas’ own lawsuit, YouTube qualifies. If SOPA were in place half a decade ago, Fricklas wouldn’t have filed a lawsuit. He would have just declared YouTube as “dedicated to theft of U.S. property” under the definitions in the bill (“enabling” and “facilitating” infringement? check! did Youtube “avoid confirming a high probability of the use” of the site for infringement? perhaps. check!). Then he’d send notices that would have effectively killed YouTube, forbidding advertising or payment processors to do business with the site. While YouTube could counternotice, there’s no requirement for ad providers or payment processors to ever take it back, and, in fact, the incentives are there for them to just avoid doing business with anyone accused.

So, Viacom gets to kill YouTube, because in Fricklas’ mind, it’s “it’s pretty easy to tell” that YouTube is “dedicated to infringing material.” There’s just one problem. Back here, in reality, determining what is and what is not dedicated to infringing material is not so easy. It’s so confusing, in fact, that Fricklas and his team realized just before the case started, that some of the videos they were suing over, claiming they were infringing… were actually uploaded by Viacom directly. You see, it turns out that it’s not so easy to tell. And, perhaps, Fricklas believes that Viacom shouldn’t have rights to free speech on platforms like YouTube, as he implies in his statement, but the law doesn’t quite work that way. And that’s why Viacom was soundly trounced in its lawsuit against YouTube.

The best legal ruling I’ve seen that does a wonderful job explaining this comes from an Australian court, rather than a US court. In the iiNet case, the judge explained:

Regardless of the actual quality of the evidence gathering of DtecNet, copyright infringement is not a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. The Court has had to examine a very significant quantity of technical and legal detail over dozens of pages in this judgment in order to determine whether iiNet users, and how often iiNet users, infringe copyright by use of the BitTorrent system. The respondent had no such guidance before these proceedings came to be heard. The respondent apparently did not properly understand how the evidence of infringements underlying the AFACT Notices was gathered. The respondent was understandably reluctant to allege copyright infringement and terminate based on that allegation. However, the reasonableness of terminating subscribers on the basis of non-payment of fees does not dictate that warning and termination on the basis of AFACT Notices was equally reasonable. Unlike an allegation of copyright infringement, the respondent did not need a third party to provide evidence that its subscribers had not paid their fees before taking action to terminate an account for such reason.

Copyright infringement is not a straight yes or no question. It involves “a very significant quantity of technical and legal detail.” It’s easy for people to declare that “it’s obvious.” But the reality is that it’s very rarely obvious. That’s why there are supposed to be full on adversarial hearings to determine this kind of thing so that, as in the iiNet trial, all sides can be heard, rather than imposing a sort of death penalty based solely upon a one-sided accusation. Because, all too frequently, we discover that the “obvious” infringement in the accusation turns out to be anything but obvious.

We’ve already seen it in the US numerous times with ICE’s itchy trigger finger. Remember how ICE seized a blog based on claims by the RIAA that it was “dedicated to infringement.” Unfortunately, the evidence showed that every song used as “proof” of such infringement, was actually sent by authorized representatives (and one came from an artist who had no connection to the RIAA at all — not that it stopped the RIAA from declaring it infringing).

What seems “obvious” is rarely as “obvious” as it seems.

But it’s this stunningly hubristic belief that it’s “obvious” and that the nuances and details of copyright law aren’t important, that drives folks like Fricklas to support laws with tremendous unintended consequences. No one denies that there’s no legal protection for infringement. But, we want to make sure that when we stamp out infringement that’s all we’re stamping out. Tragically, having folks like Fricklas telling us that “it’s obvious” as to what’s infringing and what’s not and suggesting that we can trust them to always get it right is not particularly compelling, given their dreadful track record on the subject to date.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: viacom, youtube

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Viacom Exec: 'Everyone Knows A Rogue Site When They See One'? Except He Doesn't”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
216 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

All nice, except for one problem, he is correct when it comes to YouTube, at least in it’s original form.

They used content without permission, they operate as a “DMCA or bliss” business, and don’t consider the sources of their content. Only due to intense pressure did they do things like establish limits on the lengths of videos, and start to be proactive about certain types of content.

Youtube is the model for almost every “user content” site out there.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No. You don’t understand the reasoning here. If some publisher somewhere at some time shortchanged an artist, it means that all publishers, studios, managers and everyone else are corrupt and bad for the artist. The only solution is for the artist to give away everything for free and sell t-shirts.

So if Viacom uploaded one video, it means that all of the other revenues that Big Search kept are all a-okay.

rubberpants says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

No. You don’t understand the reasoning here. If some consumer somewhere at some time downloaded a copyrighted file, the means that all digital lockers, streaming services, and blogs are pirates and bad for the content industry. They only solution is for the government to pass more laws to restrict what people can do on the Internet.

So if one person pirates a movie, it means that all of the other speech on the Internet is okay to restrict.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Horse manure. No one says that blogs are bad. And the content industry are relatively happy with streaming services like Netflix. If people are pointing to the digital lockers, it’s with good reason.

The same guilt-by-association happens all of the time in meatspace. If a street corner gets known for drug dealing, everyone is suspect and the smart people stay away. So what’s wrong with applying the same principle in cyberspace where places like Pirate Bay openly proclaim their main purpose is to help people get content without paying the content creator?

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I think you’re the one missing the point.

SOPA supporters insist that it will only censor infringing speech. Viacom (one of the companies empowered by SOPA) has demonstrated that they cannot in fact identify infringing speech, and are more than willing to attack speech through all available legal means without confirming its status.

So it is clear that SOPA will be used to censor non-infringing speech.

Thus it is bad law.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 There is no such thing as infringing speech.

Speech is when you express your own opinions. I realize it’s hard for the couch potatoes around here to imagine having an opinion that can’t be downloaded for free, but real people actually have them and real people actually express them.

Copying someone else’s creation is not an act of speech.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 There is no such thing as infringing speech.

Speech is found all over the place on YouTube, and not just in the videos. With SOPA in place, Viacom could have shutdown all of YouTube — videos, comments, and other speech — simply because Viacom didn’t realize that Viacom authorized the uploading of Viacom’s content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Viacom has only proven that they are a large company, and sometimes different departments do different things.

To be fair, if the massive piracy and infringement was brought to a reasonable level, Viacom likely would have the time to actually investigate the remaining cases in more detail.

It’s a firehose or infringement, I am not sure what Viacom should be liable because they messed up a few examples, against tens of thousands of positives.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

To be fair, if the massive piracy and infringement was brought to a reasonable level, Viacom likely would have the time to actually investigate the remaining cases in more detail.

It’s a firehose or[sic] infringement, I am not sure what Viacom should be liable because they messed up a few examples, against tens of thousands of positives.

So in the meantime, while we’re waiting for this magical day when infringement is brought to a reasonable level, world peace is achieved, and the whole world holds hands and sings John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ together (after paying performance royalties, of course), we should give Viacom a tool to destroy possibly innocent websites and businesses, knowing that they will do so without time for adequate investigation?

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

And the content industry are relatively happy with streaming services like Netflix

Overvaluing their content does not equate to happiness with Netflix.

If some consumer somewhere at some time downloaded a copyrighted file, the means that all digital lockers, streaming services, and blogs are pirates and bad for the content industry.

Right, just like someone somewhere recorded to a DVD recorder. That means ALL DVD Recorders (and VCRs) using the same copy techniques are bad.

So what’s wrong with applying the same principle in cyberspace where places like Pirate Bay openly proclaim their main purpose is to help people get content without paying the content creator?

Because they seem to want to take the highway, the curb, the store owner, the trucks, their grandmothers, and anyone associated with the drug dealer, and not the drug dealer himself. He’s just left to go across the street while the police fight about everything on one side of the street.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

If a street corner gets known for drug dealing, everyone is suspect and the smart people stay away.

If a street corner gets known for drug dealing, what doesn’t happen is that people are legally prevented from hanging out on that street corner, or that everyone on the corner gets arrested. What does happen is that the corner gets extra attention from the authorities. The only people that are “smart” to stay away are those who wish to avoid that extra scrutiny.

That is not what happens with the proposed legislation. In this analogy, that legislation is equivalent to preventing access to the street corner at all, which is a clear violation of the rights of innocent people.

IronM@sk (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Only due to intense pressure did they do things like establish limits on the lengths of videos…

Which, like DRM in music and software, serves no purpose but to piss off it’s users. Because of this, I can’t upload my racing/gaming footage in one piece if it’s longer than 15mins. It also means I can’t watch most others gameplay footage without having to search YT for the other pieces. That’s just fucking annoying.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

How long do I wait until they realize this? A year? Twenty years? Meantime I can’t upload my videos.

Seems there’s a chicken-and-egg problem here — I can’t prove my innocence without first uploading my videos, and I can’t upload them until I’ve proven my innocence.

Apparently, according to you, I’m guilty of copyright infringement because I haven’t uploaded any too-long videos yet. Because if I weren’t an infringer Youtube would have recognized that and released my account by now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s a little harder then you think. Here are all the requirements straight from YouTube:

1. You create original videos suitable for online streaming.

2. You own or have express permission to use and monetize all audio and video content that you upload?no exceptions. (notice how there is no fair use exception never mind a tolerance for infringement thats not “chronic” which doesn’t go to say YouTube should tolerance infrequent infringement)

3. You regularly upload videos that are viewed by thousands of YouTube users, or you publish popular or commercially successful videos in other ways (such as DVDs sold online).

4. Please note: all uploaded videos are subject to the YouTube Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

No, youtube didn’t use content without permission. People uploaded content to Youtube without permission. and Youtube didn’t initially have the resources to police the content to your satisfaction and neither they, nor any service provider, has those resources even today.

“Only due to intense pressure did they do things like establish limits on the lengths of videos”

So, thanks to ridiculous copy protection laws, everyone is forced to limit the length of uploaded videos or they must jump through legal, TOS, and other hoops to circumvent that (ie: contact Youtube or fill out forms or wait for Youtube to ‘realize’ that we aren’t going to infringe or what have you). This is a perfect example of copy protection laws stifling innovation and harming consumers and this is the sort of things that safe harbors ought to protect against.

“and start to be proactive about certain types of content.”

So they weren’t (and probably still aren’t) as proactive as you would like them to be. An early service provider can only do so much and service providers in general can only do so much.

and why should Youtube be responsible for policing the content that IP holders should be the ones responsible for policing? Why should they bear those costs and that burden and pass those costs back down to consumers (be it in the form of a less innovative service or otherwise).

“Youtube is the model for almost every “user content” site out there.”

and you practically admit that such a law would likely have negatively impacted Youtube from the outset, for no good reason, and the consumers and content creators (since pretty much anyone that posts their vids on youtube is a content creator) are the ones to suffer. But who cares, because the legacy parasite middlemen that contribute nothing are the only ones that matter.

bob (profile) says:

Well, let's give up on all laws then.

It’s often pretty difficult to tell if a murder, rape, arson or any crime was committed. So let’s just punt and give up.

Here’s how it will work in practice. 99%+ of the sites that are shut down will disappear and only the only people who will notice will be the cheap couch potatoes who can’t bring themselves to pay for content. The cockroaches will just scurry away when the light turns on.

Now let’s say someone with substantially non-infringing gets caught in the net. They can send their lawyers and maybe we’ll hear something from the legal system in ten years. We’re still waiting to hear the legal status of the widespread infringement by YouTube at its conception. Who knows if we’ll ever have a legal resolution to the book infringement.

If Google isn’t brought down by these lawsuits, I’m sure they can just hire a few more lawyers and drag it out another two or three decades.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

i will bite then
“It’s often pretty difficult to tell if a murder, rape, arson or any crime was committed. So let’s just punt and give up.”
there is a diference and i hope you as a logical being can see it and that is that those follow a proces of serching evidence which the content industrie are not willing to do, if they where willing to prove it we wouldn’t have this laws
“Here’s how it will work in practice. 99%+ of the sites that are shut down will disappear and only the only people who will notice will be the cheap couch potatoes who can’t bring themselves to pay for content. The cockroaches will just scurry away when the light turns on.
Now let’s say someone with substantially non-infringing gets caught in the net. They can send their lawyers and maybe we’ll hear something from the legal system in ten years. We’re still waiting to hear the legal status of the widespread infringement by YouTube at its conception. Who knows if we’ll ever have a legal resolution to the book infringement

cool to know, but 99% of the sites barely make enought to earn the host cost so i don’t know how after killing them they will go to court and prove they are inocent, but is ok if big media can ear a few bucks

“If Google isn’t brought down by these lawsuits, I’m sure they can just hire a few more lawyers and drag it out another two or three decades.”

if that happens i think google will buy the mmpaa and the riaa and be trought with it ๐Ÿ™‚

Jason Still (profile) says:

Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

You’re right, copyright infringement and murder are INCREDIBLY SIMILAR! And since the solution to stop infringement seems to be “skip the legal system, I say they infringed so they automatically lose their hosting, domain names, etc” the same solution will clearly work with murder. We’re going to save millions in court costs! What method of execution would you prefer when I notify the authorities that you may have murdered 77 people?

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

But this law doesn’t skip the legal system any more than a traffic ticket skips the legal system. The websites aren’t turned off because you say 77 files are on them. Nope. The cybercops actually do a bit of research before they issue the ticket.

People can always appeal and they will.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

But this isn’t a traffic ticket. It’s closer to shoplifting and when that happens, the cops drag you away in cuff and you’re stuck in jail. It usually only takes one witness from store security to start the ball rolling. The trial comes on down the road.

If you’re lucky enough make bail, you can’t leave town lest you try to flee. Trust me. Every day, average criminals have much harder than having your DNS disconnected.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

I chose a traffic ticket to show that we frequently let a single person, a cop in this case, make a quick decision about someone’s guilt. Then,if there’s any argument, people can ask a judge to check out the evidence.

A traffic ticket is not as serious as infringement and so if we treat traffic matters this way, why not treat infringement?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

and that is quite simple in a traffic ticket a person is identified by the car, his licence and other paper or in the case of a trafic camera with a picture of the car plate and the person that is at the wheele

but in a computer world the ip of a person is not set to anyone and anyone can use that ip so thats the big diference of it

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

You better do some more research before you fire up your P2P engine. IP addresses are usually pretty close to a license plate. They’re assigned to specific addresses for specific blocks of time.

Pot – meet kettle.

Read the police guidlines on digital evidence and you will see that and IP address harvested by a piece of (faulty – ALL software is faulty) software falls so far short of evidence as to make you a fool for even suggesting its use.

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

“I chose a traffic ticket to show that we frequently let a single person, a cop in this case, make a quick decision about someone’s guilt.”

Holy crap could you miss the point by less than a mile?

The officer makes no such decision about guilt whatsoever, in fact, he doesn’t even possess that power!

Hell, even the bottom of the ticket where you sign says that you are not admitting guilt.

You suck even at trolling, WTF!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

“But this isn’t a traffic ticket. It’s closer to shoplifting and when that happens, the cops drag you away in cuff and you’re stuck in jail. It usually only takes one witness from store security to start the ball rolling. The trial comes on down the road.

If you’re lucky enough make bail, you can’t leave town lest you try to flee. Trust me. Every day, average criminals have much harder than having your DNS disconnected.”

Obviously, you’ve never known anyone who has shoplifted. Here’s what happens, the store security (usually) catches you. At this point, they take you to a separate office (usually the security office). At that point, the store security guards call the cops. You then wait around for them to show up. When the cops show up, they take a statement from the store security. They ask you questions. They start their written report. More often than not, the cops will issue you a citation (a.k.a. A TICKET). Why? Because more often than not, what you shoplifted wasn’t worth that much to begin with. Usually, if you shoplift, it’s stuff you can easily conceal and carry. Thus it’s usually less than $500 of merchandise. Thus they give you a ticket, and spare themselves the paperwork of having to actually lock you up. You are then photographed (for store security purposes) and escorted out by the police. At which point you’re told to never come back again. You then walk off, literally scott free (minus the ticket, obviously).

You are NOT dragged away in cuffs (unless you actually resist arrest). You are NOT stuck in jail (unless you give them a reason to lock you up, resisting arrest would be one such reason).

It does take one witness to get the ball rolling. But they have to catch you red handed. I.e. They need to have proof you did steal. Either a security cam recording of you pocketing something or find a cd/dvd in your pants or something. “I saw him grab a cd and look around with shifty eyes” WILL NOT fly with a cop.

Thus, NO trial comes down the road. Unless you count the municipal court where you take your ticket to. And even then it’s just hand over your ticket, plead “no contest” (or you can say “guilty” or “not guilty” if you want), agree to pay the ticket (either then and there all at once or in payments if you can’t do the former) and move on with your life.

Bob, sorry to say, but you are SEVERELY misinformed.

I should add, how do I know all this? I have a relative who is in law enforcement, a relative who practices law, and a few friends who are what you would call “shady” and have been caught shoplifting. My knowledge is firsthand. Yours is speculative (I would assume. But it’s reasonable to assume that. Shoplifting is considered a “minor” offense. Which is why your dragged away in cuffs, locked up til trial thing is completely false. Only someone with no knowledge of how things work would say that.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

No I’m not full of it. Because like I said, here it’s not a big deal. EVERY SINGLE TIME THE PERSON WAS GIVEN A TICKET AND LET GO.

This wasn’t a record store, these are stores like Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Hot Topic, etc.

Heck, in fact, a few of the stores DID NOTHING. Beyond say go up to people say “I saw what you did, put it back and get out of the store and never come back.” I was actually in a Hot Topic awhile back with some friends and I was like “well that’s weird” when I heard them tell some kid that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

No, you are misinterpreting what I said just to make a claim that I am not actually saying.

I said “here it’s not a big deal”. As in, shoplifting while a crime is LESS SERIOUS of a crime than murder and shootings and home invasions. I live near the border in Texas. There are three Mexico/U.S. bridge crossing points within a 30 minute drive of each other. All are major crossing points locally. We, in case you aren’t aware, have a huge drug problem to deal with. Including violence over control of the drug trade and violence between the criminals and police officers. Violence so bad, that there are literally days where the local news stations will interrupt broadcasts to warn people to stay indoors if they are in cities that are near the bridges/extremely close to Mexico. Because bullets can cross the river quite easily, it’s not that big. We also have cartel members come over and get into firefights with the cops. There was a recent one just last night a few cities over from me. Sheriffs, state troopers and local city police got into a huge gun fight with cartel members.

Dealing with more pressing issues like that tends to be a bigger priority for local law enforcement than arresting a person for shoplifting a cd or movie. Hence, locally, they tend to give tickets for things that, because there are other things to attend to.

Oh, and in relation. You know how DHS and ICE are seizing websites? Well, locally, those same two agencies had taken to doing raids at stands at local flea markets where pirated dvds were sold. And while that is a problem (AND NO ONE IS SAYING OTHERWISE, unlike the FUD you spread or your wild claims about this site, FYI THE ONE FUCKED IN THE HEAD IS YOU, not the rest of us who can put things into perspective properly) for someone like you. Local residents were upset and the news did a report on it. How those two agencies rather than help assist with the drug problem and cartel violence were essentially wasting manpower to stop a few people selling dvds. They actually stopped conducting those raids after that. Because there are more pressing concerns.

Or actually, I believe they still conduct those types of raids at the flea market, but they don’t send entire teams to handle it like previously. Those teams they’d send before are now raiding drug and gun stash houses. Now they just send a guy or two to deal with the dvds.

See, this is putting things in perspective. There are MORE SERIOUS problems in this country than someone getting a movie/cd through shoplifting. (Downloading said movie/cd is even less a serious matter. But unlike the former, shoplifting, it is NOT actually theft. Try and put your bias aside for a moment to make the distinction. And don’t put a spin on what I say. You ACs always do that, I don’t like it.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Geez you’re f*cking thick aren’t you?

No one said, crime isn’t crime. I sure as heck didn’t. What I originally said, that you spun into something else was “here it isn’t a big deal”. Which I then went on to explain why locally it isn’t seen as a big deal. I didn’t even say the crime, shoplifting, wasn’t being prosecuted. What I said, which you seem to still be missing, is that it isn’t prosecuted as in “go directly to jail, do not pass go, etc”. It is a minor offense for which they give you a ticket. Why? Because there are more pressing concerns.

How are you not getting this? Look, try this, take your head and remove it from your rectum. You’ll get my main point.

Moving on, locally, the citizens (you know the people who pay taxes and who the government and authorities are supposed to look out for) have spoken up, and deemed that there are more serious threats/concerns. Which the authorities have taken heed of and acted accordingly in regards to. No one is ignoring anything or saying this or that WILL NOT be prosecuted. They’re just putting matters in perspective and putting the more important/serious crimes on the top of their “to take care of” list.

I’m not going to bother replying again. If you don’t get what I’m saying or insist on putting a spin on every goddamn thing I say, that’s your problem. Obviously you’re not intelligent enough to get what I AM actually saying, thus you’re not intelligent enough to keep conversing with. NO I AM NOT INSULTING YOU. I am saying if you don’t get it now though then you won’t later. And thus, see ya!

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Why let’s turn to the Interwebs to see if these claims are true:

Why here’s a pirated video of Rudy Guiliani’s daughter after she was arrested for shoplifting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm8AztHXZIk

And here’s a video of a girl crying when her mom is arrested for shoplifting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPokHbHYC5M

And here’s a random story:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/08/glendale-family-arrested-in-alleged-shoplifting-incident-at-sears.html

Do your research. That may be what happened to you, but it’s all a toss up. If you want to roll the dice, be my guest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Hmm. Okay, so people got arrested according to those videos. You are aware you aren’t held indefinitely right? You are released on bail and then show up on your court date. If that. Sometimes they take you in and release you when they give you your ticket.

It’s all different. But locked up until trial. Sorry. Doesn’t happen. In fact, that doesn’t happen EVER. Even in murder cases, you’re allowed to post bail. And you are free. Until your court date, and assuming you are determined to be guilty at that point, then and only then are you sentenced and locked up for quite awhile.

So either way, you’re still wrong.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

The legal system is not involved at all. All the copyright owner, or purported copyright owner, has to do is send in a DMCA style notice to any and all ad provider, payment processor and ISP that may be involved in the site and the site is effectively cut off from the world.

Sure the site can send in a counter notice, but there is no obligation for the ad/payment/ISP entities to reconnect service. At least not until a court says they have too. But that only happens after irreparable harm has already happened to a non-infringing but accused site.

So yeah, wonderful process. Guilty until proven innocent. Ask the Salem witches and the targets of the inquisition, That always worked in the past, why not now.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Again, how is this different from the real world? If the store security calls the cops about a shoplifter, the cops arrest that person and put them in jail. The trial comes later. But by your token, simply keeping Jerry Sandusky away from kids is calling him guilty until proven innocent.

Cops arrest people all of the time when they have some evidence. Often it comes with no warning. The trial comes later, often much later. Why should the infringers have it any differently from the drug dealers, the shoplifters, the con artists etc?

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

It’s not even an issue. They’re still free. They just lose some DNS listing. They can still walk around. They don’t need a judge’s permission to travel. They don’t need to surrender their passport. They don’t need to beg their family memberse to put their house at risk.

Getting nabbed by SOPA is much better than being arrested and posting bail.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Regardless of whether or not other things were going on that justified ICE in taking down dajaz1, the reasons the agent gave were all bumpkin, which shows they don’t do their research. If they had, and there were other songs they were distributing without authorization as you claim, then it should have been easy for them to use those songs as reasons rather than the ones they listed, which were not valid.

That being said, I’d like to seem the evidence you have that dajaz1 was distributing content in an unauthorized manner. Keep in mind that just listing a copyrighted song they were distributing isn’t enough to prove they were doing it without authorization, and keep in mind that I won’t be easily swayed considering how the evidence I’ve seen so far has been in dajaz1’s favor.

IronM@sk (profile) says:

Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

It’s often pretty difficult to tell if a murder, rape, arson or any crime was committed. So let’s just punt and give up.

So you admit, by your sarcasm, that having to prove guilt before passing sentence is so bothersome we should just go back to the days of witch burning and lynching? Nice.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Nope. When every other criminal commits a crime, they’re arrested and put in jail until the trial actually occurs. Do you think the cops up at Penn State sat around and said, “Gosh, TechDirt posters might get upset if we do anything to Jerry Sandusky before we have a trial. So let’s wait a year or so until the trial is over before we pry the guy away from the kids.”

Nope. Every single criminal from the murders down to the parking scofflaws is arrested or cited first and given a trial afterwards. The cops do a good enough job collecting evidence that most plead guilty. Cars are routinely locked up with boots when people don’t pay their tickets. No judge is in the loop.

So why should the infringers be given the extended spa treatment?

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

So sorry to sneeze in your salad, but you should read 506(a)1C before continuing to “make available”. That’s all it takes to be guilty. A, B and C are OR clauses.

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#506

If you would like more:

“The most recent amendment to criminal copyright infringement was the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 (NetAct) which made it a felony to reproduce or distribute copies of copyrighted works electronically regardless of whether the defendant had a profit motive. “

http://www.unc.edu/~unclng/copy-corner66.htm

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

I see 3 situations where copyright infringement is a criminal offense:

(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;

(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or

(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.

A) says that the person needs to be making money, or at least attempting to make money.

B) says the total value of the infringing works needs to be more than $1000

3) says it must be done prior to the commercial release of the product with full knowledge of that.

In none of those cases is your average citizen going to commit a criminal offense. The average person using bittorrent or youtube is not seeking a profit. The average person is not going to make available $1000 worth of product available. The average person is not going to have access to the prerelease product.

So I will take my lashing and admit that yes the user doesn’t have to make money, but the people who are convicted of criminal copyright infringement are not your average crop of people. That is why Thomas-Rasset was being tried in a civil trial and not a criminal trial.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Except, everyone arrested and tried has an opportunity to seek bail that allows them to go free while on trial. There is no such process under SOPA for an accused site. They are tried sentenced and punished by the purported copyright owner long before the justice system gets involved.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

No. They can sue to get their site back. They can sue for wrongful prosecution. You can always sue.

I’m sure the courts will look quite favorably on any legitimate First Amendment case. They’ll just turn up their nose on the idea that helping people find pirated material is “expressing an opinion” or “petition the government for redress of grievances.”

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

The problem is that is not how justice works.

The accuser should always be the one who has to prove their side, not the defendant.

Additionally, this is not about making the process in some way equal for both sides. SOPA is about forcing the defendant to have to exert more effort in proving innocence.

Justice: Innocent until proven guilty.

Injustice: Guilty until proven innocent.

Justice: Good

Injustice: Bad

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

So the victim isn’t part of this equation? Is that justice? You’re basically arguing that we should let Jerry Sandusky roam free and hang around the playgrounds until a trial and all of the appeals are completed.

The victim should be part of the equation. And so should the rest of society. I like it when everyone pays their fair share of a movie’s creation costs. It’s not fair to me that some sleezy P2P clowns get to watch it for free.

The fact is that everyone has a stake in a free marketplace that rewards creators for their effort.

I don’t think there’s any injustice in shutting down a rogue site and waiting for a trial. It’s just like an arrest.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

I don’t think there’s any injustice in shutting down a rogue site and waiting for a trial. It’s just like an arrest.

Yes, just like an arrest. An arrest without the prospect of bail. You know, that thing the Eight amendment protect us from.

I don’t know about you, but I like my Constitutional rights the way they are. I prefer to have justice play out in a fair and partial way.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

So the victim isn’t part of this equation?

What victim? The copyright holder? I don’t feel an ounce of sympathy for their plight.

And so should the rest of society.

Yes, but not behind a jail cell because of faulty accusations.

I like it when everyone pays their fair share of a movie’s creation costs.

What kind of crap is this? Why am I paying for a movie I don’t want to see? I pay for movies that I want to see. The creation costs are not a concern of mine.

It’s not fair to me that some sleezy P2P clowns get to watch it for free.

Too bad, they get to see it for free on Youtube, Hulu, or a few other places at zero marginal cost.

But if the movie makers were smart they would be getting paid by optional means. Which is exactly what is occurring without this SOPA act.

The fact is that everyone has a stake in a free marketplace that rewards creators for their effort.

If the government is interfering with that marketplace, it is no longer free!

It’s just like an arrest.

Cardiac arrest maybe, but you continue to ignore the fact that this is all an accusation in your rant against piracy.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

You seem more than happy to force the artists and creators to go through a long, drawn out legal process to STOP infringement. Heck, we’ll be lucky to get any resolution from the Viacom lawsuit in 5-10 years. What’s wrong with making both sides jump through some hoops?

Because freedom of speech is sacrosanct. Artificial content monopolies are not. The burden has fallen exactly where it should.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

I want to laugh hard right now that is why I will ask you to show where copyright is “enshrined” in the constitution LoL

Congress can grant a time limited monopoly to encourage it doesn’t say “it must grant” anything, and so copyright is the interpretation of that.

Copyright could last 30 seconds and it would be constitutional still.

Dave (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Freedom of speech is an afterthought

Wow. Holy freaking wow. If nothing else will do it, this *alone* is enough to demonstrate the levels of self-righteousness and feelings of entilement enshrined in the persons and organizations that make up the legacy content industries.

Let’s take away your freedom of speech (that you’ve been using quite a lot today) and see how much like an afterthought it feels like then.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Actually, artificial monopolies are enshrined in the constitution. Freedom of speech is an afterthought

I… uh…. um… wow.

Artificial monopolies are permitted by the constitution. And despite the word “Amendment”, it might interest you to know that those things are generally considered to be a bit more than fucking afterthoughts.

As a Canadian who appreciates a lot of things about America, I’m always saddened when I meet an American who actually understands and respects one of his own country’s best qualities less than I do…

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

To continue from my other comment,

A site shouldn’t have to sue in order to get back in business. They should first be convicted of illegal activity before losing their site. That is how real justice works. Innocent until proven guilty.

Like I have said before, even with all the flaws of the DMCA, one thing it did right was putting the liability on the actual infringer and not the tool the infringer used. Another thing it did right was the notice and counter-notice process. That is much like the bail process of the current justice system. an Infringer is accused, the video is taken down (arrested), the accused posts a counter-notice (bail), the video is brought back and then it goes to trial.

SOPA throws all that out the window and under the bus.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Wrong. In the real world, shoplifters are arrested based on the accusation of one guard at a store. Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t mean that nothing happens until a trial. It just means that people shouldn’t “presume” things about the accused until the trial is over. In reality, simply being arrested is often a pretty harsh punishment.

I’m not saying the legal system is fair, I just don’t know why the infringers should be treated so much better than the shoplifters.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

It’s worse than what you even make it out. In the shoplifting case you can at least show that you had nothing on you, or that you have a receipt that shows you paid for the item. Those options don’t exist with SOPA; someone accuses you and you get the boot. You can try to counter notice, but you’ll still probably be without any payment processors, ads, and without DNS resolving your domain.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

And by the same token, an artist shouldn’t have to sue to get back in the business of actually collecting payment.

You might as well insist that the government give the P2P site owners a trip to a spa. You seem to forget that there are real taxpaying content creators who are also part of this. They hate to watch these so-called “sharing” sites ruin their businesses and hurt their ability to provide health insurance for their workers.

It’s not just about shoulder rubs for the infringers.

Dave (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

See, I used to support copyright. I thought we just needed reform. People like you convinced me that we can never have a working and reasonable copyright system. You are not reasonable. And you never will be. Every concession is met with more demands. The only option is not to concede. Death to copyright.

MrWilson says:

Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

“It’s often pretty difficult to tell if a murder, rape, arson or any crime was committed. So let’s just punt and give up.”

Non sequitur #1: the slippery slope

Just because one type of violation of law is difficult to prove doesn’t mean that other types of violations of law are difficult to prove and doesn’t mean that other types of violations of law should be ignored. Further, there are quite a few people who would prefer copyright laws be weakened or eliminated. I doubt there are all that many people who would actually oppose keeping murder, rape, and arson illegal.

Also, the event of a murder is usually easy to prove. There’s usually a body.

Rapes can be reported by the victim (but aren’t always, unfortunately).

Arson can often be determined by fire investigators.

These things aren’t as difficult to prove as copyright infringement.

“the only people who will notice will be the cheap couch potatoes who can’t bring themselves to pay for content.”

This statement is as inane and dubious as “it’s obvious when you see a rogue site.” Please provide some form of evidence to support your assumption that the majority of copyright infringers are A) cheap, B) couch potatoes, and C) don’t pay for content.

“Now let’s say someone with substantially non-infringing gets caught in the net. They can send their lawyers and maybe we’ll hear something from the legal system in ten years.”

This statement assumes that the person who is innocent, but accused of infringing is able to afford lawyers and a protracted legal fight just to be cleared of wrong doing and to support their free speech rights. You are actually supporting the notion that people who don’t have much money should not be free from unfair persecution simply because they don’t have much money. Where does it say in the Constitution that the 1st Amendment only applies to you if you have the money to afford lawyers to defend yourself in court?

You also seem to be pretending that only big companies like Google will have their “rogue sites” taken down. Sure, Google can defend against crazy lawsuits like the one brought by Viacom, but Google isn’t the only one out there that will be accused of running a “rogue site.” There are millions of independent websites run by people who aren’t in the top 1% that will likely be accused of being “rogue sites” under the provisions of this bill – people who can’t afford and don’t have the time to defend against such accusations, regardless of whether they are innocent or guilty of the accusations leveled against them.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

I will bet you that 99% of the people who are running the sites that are shut down will run and hide. They won’t even show up in court to defend their sites.

So how’s this for a plan. Instead of actually shutting down the site without warning, the owners are given 72 hours to appear in court and ask for a trial. I bet this would take care of 99% of the problem.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Well, let's give up on all laws then.

“Bob put forth a reasonable solution.”

Reasonable. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I think mandated due process by law is necessary, much less reasonable. The chance of due process that hinges upon some form of inevitably unreliable communication within a 72 hour period, including travel time for the defendant to actually get to whichever court holds jurisdiction, sounds like due process according to the Vogons. “Your website demolition has been on display at the local courthouse for 72 hours. There’s no use complaining now!”

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

“I will bet you that 99% of the people who are running the sites that are shut down will run and hide. They won’t even show up in court to defend their sites.”

I agree that many would not show up for court, but it wouldn’t necessarily be because they are the dirty pirates you assume they are. Unless the site owners have substantial financial resources at their disposal a lot of free time, they will likely not be able to afford to go to court. Having to go to court is itself cruel punishment. Sure, Google can hire lawyers and the CEO never has to leave his office. An independent site owner might have a day job from which he cannot take time off in order to defend himself in court. He also can’t afford to pay a lawyer to fight on his behalf.

What part of that seems fair to you? But of course it probably all seems perfectly fair to you because you like to believe that only “bad guys” and “pirates” will be accused under this bill and they deserve whatever they get. And if the innocent are caught up in it, it’s worth it to protect the Viacom CEO’s outrageous salary, stock options, and golden parachute.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

You see that is exactly why this law is so bad, 99% of the people don’t have the means to go after such matters and will let it go, as 99% of the business accused probably will just choose not to pursue those things further and just let it go, so instead of creating the next Youtube, Amazon, Google or whatever people will just let those business opportunities die and with them future markets that could have spawned something.

What if publishers where hold accountable to whom they publish photographs from, what if a photographer is accused of a crime, should anyone who business with him be hold accountable and liable until the courts decide anything, banks wouldn’t be able to do business with him, credit cards would be forced to stop doing business with him, if it was a musician or an actor or a writer?

Would there be journalists? I doubt it the world doesn’t work that way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Sorry there would be no paid actors, musicians, photographers, writers or journalists if those rules applied to them too, there would be though a lot of freelancers people with a passion about what they do that would never give it up, no matter how hard things get, those are few and far between but they do come along and they will be waiting for the market to get sane again.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

It’s often pretty difficult to tell if a murder, rape, arson or any crime was committed. So let’s just punt and give up.

Not give up, but on the other hand, we also don’t (or shouldn’t, anyway) make the laws so draconian that innocent people get punished as collateral damage. There is no crime greater than wrongly stripping people of their rights.

Our system of laws is based on this principle. We tolerate the fact that some criminals go unpunished because to get them all would require that we live in a society that is no longer free in any real sense of the word and where innocent people are unjustly prosecuted.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

and since when does a private complaint for a civil problem have to do with crime rates?

Should my neighbor down the floor from me move because he plays loud music? or is it legal for me to just beat the crap out of him? Or should I just call the RIAA swat team to take the bastard down for public performance?
How in the world have we arrived to this twisted place? Are we going to let the shills in threads like these bring us further down the road to fascism? Jesus, fucking authoritarian assholes are really pushing it.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Well, let's give up on all laws then.

It’s often pretty difficult to tell if a murder, rape, arson or any crime was committed. So let’s just punt and give up.

Good idea. Automatic death sentence for anybody accused of any of the above. After all, it’s too much trouble to actually study the evidence and hold a trial.

Think of all the money we’d save! No more niggling issues about habeas corpus and due process and the like.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So…you argue about Youtube’s bad business model. Are we now in agreement that the entire problem about copyright infringement, with regards to the digital age, is actually a business model problem?
Also…understand this. If SOPA had passed years ago, then Youtube would have been killed silently, all without going through court, without so much as a single shred of evidence being presented. I thought that only courts could declare you to be a criminal? Where’s the “honest market forces” if they’re being prevented to work in the first place?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

No, youtube would still be there. They would have only allowed non-infringing videos.

How would that even be possible when there exist many videos that you can’t tell are infringing?

YouTube, or anything remotely like it, would be legally impossible. It’s not a business model problem, it’s a problem of a minority of people wanting to suppress an avenue of speech for their own personal profit.

The greed you speak of is that of MPAA, RIAA, etc.

Modplan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I wouldn’t be surprised with the way that Warner Bros abused the tools Rapidshare gave them, filing notices for content they don’t have the copyright to, and including content that clearly was not infringing.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/warner-admits-it-issues-takedowns-for-files-it-hasnt-looked-at.ars

Though I’m not taking your word for anything, considering how little fact is contained in everything else you say.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Rent seeking is perfectly upstanding and it's great for society!

I like rent seeking. It allows old people to retire by building up something worth renting. It helps foundations and institutions create endowments by buying something that’s worth renting.

Do you know that Cooper’s Union in NYC provides free tuition to poor kids who want a college education? Do you know how they do it? They own the land under the Chrysler building and they charge rent. Rent!

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Rent seeking is perfectly upstanding and it's great for society!

Excuse me sir, but your ignorance is showing. Shouting out loud to the world that you don’t actually know what certain terms mean is not usually the way to gain credibility. Rent-seeking is not another term for getting paid rent money, despite that being where the term originated.

bob (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Rent seeking is perfectly upstanding and it's great for society!

Sure it is. Just because a bunch of loons in the Ivory Tower have decided to use “rent seeking” as a perjorative that’s just twp or three clicks away from “child molester” doesn’t mean that it’s automagically true.

Rent seeking is the basis of our jobs. A laborer gets paid because the company wants to seek rent on the product. A home builder gets paid because someone wants to either rent a house or pay the rent in one fell swoop called ownership.

I don’t think the loons can make any distinction and indeed your wonderful Wikipedia admits this: “Critics of the concept point out that in practice, there may be difficulties distinguishing between beneficial profit-seeking and detrimental rent-seeking.”

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Rent seeking is perfectly upstanding and it's great for society!

Rent seeking is the basis of our jobs. A laborer gets paid because the company wants to seek rent on the product. A home builder gets paid because someone wants to either rent a house or pay the rent in one fell swoop called ownership.

Try being a homebuilder in a world where homes can be infinitely and freely replicated, and see how much rent people are willing to pay.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Rent seeking is perfectly upstanding and it's great for society!

Rent seeking is a term that was coined by a Anne Krueger for a concept defined by Gordon Tullock. You can argue about whether or not they are a loons and whether or not they are in ivory towers, but if you’re going to reply to someone who has used the term, it doesn’t help you’re credibility to use a different definition than the one intended, especially simply because you think it was defined by a loon.

And rent-seeking is not the basis of jobs. If you had read the wiki article you would know this. A laborer adds value by converting raw materials into a product. A home builder adds value to land by building a home. These aren’t examples of rent-seeking.

And just because it can be difficult to delineate what is and is not rent-seeking in practice, does not mean that it’s a failed or false concept.

out_of_the_blue says:

More legalistic nit-picking. Most of the time, "obvious" is true.

So your position is that because /every/ case of infringement isn’t obvious, or accurate, that /none/ can be, eh?

Listen, Mike. Skim through Rapidshare, Megaupload, Filesonic, and so on, then try to tell me most files there aren’t /obviously/ infringing.

By the way, most disturbing new trend is that file lockers now require letting Google run Javascript for a captcha. Pretty much proves to me that the Google is profiting from copyright infringement, besides making it ever more difficult to escape their tracking.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: More legalistic nit-picking. Most of the time, "obvious" is true.

Fail. Complete fail.
Javascript is developed by Netscape Communications Corporation and the Mozilla Foundation. Netscape is a subsidiary of AOL. Neither Netscape, Mozilla or AOL are a part of Google in any way shape or form. They may do business with Google, I don’t know if they do or do not, but they are completely separate entities.
Plus, your last paragraph is laughable. It only proves Mike’s point about second and third party liability. Now you want Google to be held liable for the actions of others simply for putting up a captcha? (which is false by the way, as I said above) Real world analogy: a storage shed business is investigated and the guy who built the locks for the sheds is also held liable…wait what?

bob (profile) says:

Re: full lawyer employability act (flea)

Actually, there will be very, very few. 99.9% of the sites won’t even bother to answer any complaints. They probably wouldn’t even bother to waste the time to show up in court. THey’ll just take their lumps and move on.

I’m sure that the only people contesting the last ICE take down are Big Search and Big Hardware. The only other people willing to take these cases to court are the stoner law professors.

slopoke (profile) says:

On another note.

“If you choose to speak there, I suppose your speech is at risk until you choose to move it elsewhere. I don’t think there is a first amendment right to speak on a site that is engaged in pervasive copyright infringement (assuming that there are plenty of places to speak). “

This is what scares me. He seems to think that it’s just fine to stomp on free speech as long as there’s somewhere else you can go to do it. You’d think a lawyer would understand the First Amendment even if he doesn’t seem to grasp IP law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike, I also have to give you credit for mixing apples and oranges and trying to throw up as big a cloud of smoke to mask all those lovely mirrors.

The iiNet information is nice, but hardly relevant to websites. Rather, it is an indication of individual user behavior from an ISP standpoint, and not in any way related to publication on a website. It is all about determining the uses of a particular protocol at a technical level, and has nothing to with operating a website or choosing to publish illegal content.

Nice try, but just not relevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike, you and I both know that if the infringing site is not stopped immediately they will simply direct their traffic to another site. Pulling the plug on the site is the only way to stop the infringement. You also know that there are sites specifically dedicated to distributing pirated content. These are the sites that will be targeted, not YouTube.

I am sure you are also aware of the YouTube’s dirty little secret, in its early days it has been alleged that they were fully aware that pirated content was being uploaded to their site, but ignored the infringement because of the traffic that the pirated content brought in.

This is how business is done, you procure supplies, in YouTube’s case – video content. Then you package and distribute the content. You don’t turn a blind eye while knowing people are transferring stolen property to you – well unless you are in organized crime. If you can’t afford the content you partner with one of the studios.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ignoring that what you said isn’t true, let’s assume that it is. SOPA means that you can make YouTube liable (instead of its users) just the same as we make the builder of the streets that the hijacked truck was on liable. It means the maker of the cars that the mobsters used liable. It means the gun makers or knife makers or crow-bar makers could be liable.

surfer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

if the asshats at the MAFIAA had their way, there would be no Intellectual Property in existence that they did not have a copyright on..

to promote the science and arts, my ass, over 300 remakes in the pipes, just because they own the copyrights on the presentation, and they think they own the ‘idea’..

like I have said before, if you change art beyond 30%, it’s new art, so, removing the unwanted content (read commercials), an hour show becomes a 41 minute show, with ringtone intro, and credits.. that’s 24%, so we cut the ringtone and credits and that’s 30%, valid for a new copyright, according to their guidelines.

can’t wait until United Artists, RIAA, and Warner Bros are alleged ‘rogue sites’ and taken down for ‘theft of US Intellectual Property’…by some kid in his basement in Iceland, let them pass this bill, the internet will bypass the censorship, and only damage legitimate businesses, you (US) let the bankers destroy your economy, why not the internet, technology will only come up with something bigger and better that they cannot legislate away. Rinse, Repeat.

MPAA RIAA sucks says:

anal leakage

The day will come when content producers get their wish and all their content is digitally locked away. Then they’ll want the laws changed because no one gives a shit about their stuff. It will happen. I give you the example where newspaper publishers wanted Google to stop indexing their sites. After Google complied and their site traffic dropped significantly, they wanted the laws changed to force Google to index them. What a joke! Please can Apple lead the way and start buying music companies. Then we can end this charade.

darryl says:

They did not assign copyright to those works

Unfortunately, the evidence showed that every song used as “proof” of such infringement, was actually sent by authorized representatives

Did they happen to send the copyright of those songs as well Masnick ???

Of course not, just because you got a copy from an “official channel” does not mean that official channel has assigned you any COPYRIGHT to that work.

When you purchase a CD, you purchase the conent, not the copyright.

Again, Mike, and bit of truth and honesty would be good here from you,,, if that is possible.

Anonymous Coward says:

News has hit Torrentfreak and Ars Technica on how Warner Bros. admitted to issuing takedowns on content they had no copyright over, as well as legal content.

It’s absolutely precious how IP maximists can justify large corporations are too big to be liable for purposefully fucking up on takedowns, while claiming the size of consumer communities is no excuse for being unable to police mountainous volumes of content. What a crock of shit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You were dropped on your head as a kid, weren’t you? Was that what set you off on your greedy little ways?

Learn to read, you fucking worthless parasite:

“Cyberlocker traffic was estimated to account for 7.2 percent of all traffic, with a sizable 73.2 percent being deemed illegal.”

Modplan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Learn to read, you fucking worthless parasite

Says someone who spends his time insulting people on the internet over a bunch of hippies who want things for free.

Of course, we should always trust studies from content companies explicitly asking for these laws, the same ones who are unable to identify infringing content from legitimate.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/warner-admits-it-issues-takedowns-for-files-it-hasnt-looked-at.ars

https://twitter.com/#!/ericgoldman/statuses/10648206062

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/119827/

Jay (profile) says:

Re:

Amazing…

Based on ONE tracker, I’m supposed to believe that this says most content is deemed illegal, and ignore the more nuanced view that shows how the industry is to blame for it all. Ready to try to change the subject again because you’re going to lose this exchange.

For example, in the more than five years since the first short films arrived on Apple’s iTunes Store, the company has yet to bring movie rentals and downloads to more than a handful of countries in Europe (Britain, Germany, France and Ireland), as well as Canada, Mexico and Japan. Netflix streaming only arrived in Canada in September and has yet to surface anywhere else. And Amazon’s video-on-demand service hasn’t even gone beyond the United States. yet.

But let’s ask David Price how he feels about availability of legal content:

I think the availability of legit content in the US may be one reason why infringing use is lower in the country than elsewhere worldwide: the US has Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD, Vudu, streaming content from the tv networks, etc. This level of availability just can’t be found elsewhere. Further, the content in the greatest demand online is that which originates from the US — television shows and films in particular — which often take a while before they appear in other countries.

Well whaddaya know? The more legal channels, the less piracy. Did someone already research that?

Oh wait…

Link

Want some more, chief? It’s fun making you look bad. ๐Ÿ™‚

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Well, let's give up on all laws then.

I chose a traffic ticket to show that we frequently let a single person, a cop in this case, make a quick decision about someone’s guilt. Then,if there’s any argument, people can ask a judge to check out the evidence.

When a cop writes a ticket, at least in California where I am very familiar with the process, they are in no way making any decision about someone’s guilt. They saw something that they thought was a traffic violation, and pulled over the individual to issue a ticket. It is the traffic court judge that determines guilt based on the incident (or in many cases, the individual who was ticketed who either agrees that they are guilty and pays the ticket, or determines that it isn’t worth fighting the ticket and pays off the ticket to make it go away.)

However, this is apples and oranges as to my knowledge, Congress has not yet given the entertainment industry authority to issue citations for violations of traffic laws (or violations of copyright.) A police officer has received training and has the experience to do so, and is held accountable for their actions. I have yet to see the entertainment industry go through a rigorous 10 month training academy on how to prosecute infringements or be accountable for their actions in this…as I suspect if they were, they’d be far less aggressive as they could lose their livelihood and go to jail for malicious prosecution and civil rights violations over some of the current issues.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Well, let's give up on all laws then.

Please read your own link…your link disagrees with you.

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Where in the Constitution does the Constitution specifically state Copyright or artificial monopolies? I got challenged on this once…and I was just like you…”it says it!” But then I read the Constitution and the link you provided among other links I found and realized that at no point within the Constitution does it actually say Copyright or define artificial monopolies. It just gives Congress the power to do so…which AC points out.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

More than 13 million hours of video were uploaded during 2010

Users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full-length films every week

More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years

– from http://www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics

Based just on those stats thousands of users would have to upload EVERY song and EVERY movie produced in a given week. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that 100,000 people didn’t try to upload the Smurfs movie, so there must be a lot of original content on youtube.

But you go on listening to the voices in your head which have convinced you that youtube is an agent of Satan.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, let's give up on all laws then.

No you have to make a profit. That law has always been read as A & B or A & C.

The big problem has been that some judges see the money you save by not buying the product as “private financial gain” and since you can sue in civil matters for $150,000 per work all works are valued at more than $1,000, again according to a few idiot judges.

In reality criminal copyright infringement is very rare and bob is an idiot with no understanding of the law, the arguments surrounding copyright, or the problem with this bill.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop ยป

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...