Aaron deOliveira's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the with-graphical-help dept

You?re all under arrest. Pick an acronym: SOPA / ACTA / PROTECT-IP / CFAA. The end result seems to be the same. You?re a criminal. This week on Techdirt has been a wild ride through the arguments about and the consequences of some drastic ideas.

The Department of Justice feels that lying online should be illegal. Not just being deceptive, but being inaccurate in the information you provide. The DOJ most likely won?t be trolling Plenty of Fish, but they can potentially use your Facebook profile as the starting point of a felony investigation. This also effectively makes being anonymous online illegal. Aren?t proxies effectively lying about your IP address? Accepting the DOJ?s interpretation of CFAA effectively turns Terms of Service into private laws. How many people does this criminalize?

Once you?ve been accused of one of these pseudo-crimes the burden of proof is then on you to prove that you?re not a criminal. Organizations and companies like GEMA think so. This outward pushing of liability continues to have chilling effects. The efficiencies and opportunities created by the Internet are now juxtaposed against massive liability. If your product can potentially be used by everyone, everyone?s actions are now your problem.

The scary part of the legal framework that SOPA and its ilk are promoting is that the death penalty they create also makes phishing and other forms of fraud indistinguishable from legitimate sites. This whole exercise is like blowing up a bridge to stop people from speeding across it.

Thankfully, people have been active in expressing their outrage at such egregious laws. I love the idea that government inboxes are flooded with 23,000 messages per hour. People can be innovative and disruptive and when they are, people listen. Several members of Congress have made statements against SOPA. These laws have even become election issues for people campaigning for office.

Be aware of all the ways that these laws could affect you. Be thankful that in the end the Internet perceives these laws as damage and routes around them.

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 “Aaron deOliveira's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

The graphic is incredibly misleading. You forget to (a) have a great big area for “safe harbor” content grifters… if you peeled back all the “layers”, they would be guilty as sin on basic copyright law.

As for “aiding” you have to remember that too many pirates and infringers play the “I ain’t hosting it” game. That bullshit means that the laws have to get tougher, to address the games they play.

Sucks to be a pirate.

MrWilson says:


Your logic doesn’t work and you conflate anything you don’t like with piracy.

Let’s use your logic elsewhere: “As for “aiding” you have to remember that too many murderers play the “I just work at the retail outlet that sold the kitchen knife to the person who stabbed their wife with it” game.

Obviously, retail employees are not liable for what customers do with the products they purchase. People who link to content that they don’t host that may be infringing in someone’s jurisdiction cannot be held liable as if they were hosting it.

If they aren’t hosting it, they aren’t liable for hosting it, period. You don’t need safe harbors for that, just common sense. Safe harbors just codified what was already logical, but necessary to be codified because IP maximalists’ lawyers will argue anything to get what they want. They’ve argued that home copying for back-up purposes is illegal, when it isn’t.

Anonymous Coward says:


“s for “aiding” you have to remember that too many murderers play the “I just work at the retail outlet that sold the kitchen knife to the person who stabbed their wife with it”

A totally bullshit argument, end to end.

It’s that type of logic that created SOPA – because you guys are too busy splitting hairs to give a shit about how your actions hurt people, hurt industry, and hurt your country.

Sad, sad people.

Anonymous Coward says:


Piss off. Stop trying to put words in my mouth.

If the recorded music industry has sunk by 58%, imagine what that does to employment, to the tax base, to the amount of money circulating in the economy. Quite simply, it’s gone.

Now, Mike would say “they are spending it elsewhere”, and he might be right – but if they spend it on stuff made in china, or cars imported to germany or japan, or what have you, the problem is the money is leaving the economy, plain and simple. As the US gets more and more of it’s goods from overseas, every purchase of those types of products instead of home grown IP is a negative.

It’s not simply, it’s incredibly complex. But when an industry is less than 50% of it’s size in 10 years, a whole lot of people are out of work.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if part of the who economic issues are as a result of everything that the internet has taken away from us all, of all the industries it has ruined, and those few success stories that seem to be mostly hoarding cash and not lubricating the economy. I would love to see the effect if Google actually had to put some of their hoard back in the economy each year… what would actually happen?

Anonymous Coward says:


you realize that google alone will likely have to lay off more people than the record industry has in 10 years if SOPA passes right ?, and we’re not talking over 10 years.

you maggits need to face the fact that the tech industry dwarfs the media industry, even when the media industry was at its largest.

Anonymous Coward says:


Oh wait, are the pirates suing mothers, babies, old people, the blind and the dead?
Are pirates wanting censorship powers?
Are pirates making billions of dollars in profits?
Are pirates protect for life + 95 years, with control over derivatives and special things like “non-literal-copying”?
Are pirates the one creating extortion schemes like pay up or else we sue?
Are the pirates the ones threatening business with fines if they don’t pay up and closing venues to other musicians?
Are pirates the ones that keep increasing ticket prices, driving other places to charge to pay bums that don’t do work?

Yah right pirates are a real problem I see.

Planespotter (profile) says:


A few months ago someone posted a glorious post that fictionalised the buyout of one of the Big Four (as was) recording companies by one of the founders of Google using his own personal fortune… boy I wish that would actually happen. It would appear that the only way we can get away from these dinosaur industries who have failed over the last 10+ years since Napster is to BUY THEM OUT!

Someone shout Sergey Brin and the other boys and girls of the new era and tell them to start buying these companies up.

Anonymous Coward says:


And the tool that enable companies and you idiots to outsource every American out of their jobs was IP laws stupid.

Copyright is a disease, like every other monopoly.
There is no IP there is only another West India Trade company trying to make money on the backs of every American again.

It was not the Asians or Europeans that did throw every American worker under the bus it was every fucker that holds a CEO position that don’t care where they manufacture something.

Without IP we would be in an open market where people could produce anything locally and don’t have to compete with others in other markets because they would be responsible for manufacturing their own shit, but we all would have an strong incentive to get together to share knowledge and promote progress so we all together go into the future not just a handful of bums like yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:


Sucks to be a pirate? Really?
I don’t get it, a pirate have a Tivo, can record any stream from internet, radio to TV or plastic disc with nothing to stop him from doing so or easy of detection, explain again how does it sucks for a pirate to be able to do that and be sure that he will never ever be caught?

On the other hand you have a class of bums that believe they are owned payment, even when they do no work at all, that can’t be productive, people who don’t work should never get money in return, a guy who goes to a bar an plays 8 hours straight should get paid, a bum that says it wrote a song doesn’t.

The guy who puts a theatre somewhere and is responsible for the maintenance of the building and have employees should get paid a idiot that says it produced a film shouldn’t or should get a one time payment and that is it, but somehow bums all over the place believe they are owned money.

More what is that crap of life + 95 years protection BS? and that ridiculous part on controlling “derivative” works or that even more absurd part of non-literal-copying BS?

I can’t believe people fall for that in this day an age is like people forgot what a monopoly is and how bad it really is.

Atkray (profile) says:


Perhaps if the words that came out of your mouth made sense people would stop trying to “put words in your mouth”.

You keep regurgitating your tired and debunked talking points over and over without addressing the topic at hand. It makes it very difficult to 1: follow you and 2: take you even remotely seriously.

On the personal side I hope your industry adapts and survives, but given the current course of criminalizing and prosecuting customers and potential customers you are on, I don’t see much hope.

note to ootb et al.

New talking point for the holiday season is “_____________ is down 58%” please reconfigure your spambots to reflect this change tyvm.

Anonymous Coward says:


The RIAA is probably doing a better job and destroying any goodwill that anybody would have towards them then any pirate would be able to do so.

Also a boom in wireless may bring also a boom in undetectable piracy everywhere.


Sucks to be a copyright holder LoL

G Thompson (profile) says:


What money circulating in the economy?

First you need to understand how much the Industries of Film, Television & Music [FTM] both Directly (value of labour and capital inputs minus intermediate inputs) and Indirectly (value of intermediate inputs that generate flow-on or indirect contribution via activity created within other industry sectors) actually contribute to a countries GDP.

Interestingly when you actually look at the percentage of contribution it is dependant on the country anywhere from 0.5% to 0.1% of GDP.

Yes that’s right it is normally less than (and even then thats a huge amount) .5% of the whole contribution both directly and indirectly to the Economy at large. On a world wide scale it’s around 0.02% in most G20 countries it averages around the 0.4% mark.

Then you need to look at laws that this Industry is trying to emplace for their own protection and look at what it could possibly (likely) do to the other 99.5% of the economy of any country or the world at large.

Lets see.. SOPA will slow down investment in the ITC sector which equates for anywhere from 1.5% to 4% DIRECTLY (dependent on country) which will absolutely equate to a loss of jobs, and more jobs lost than if the Recording Industry (a tiny subset of the Entertainment Industry) shrivelled up and died.

But hey, ya got to protect the less than 1%.. They are more important to anything than the rest of the economy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Why don’t we all call each other stupid and various other insults more often, it makes all of us sound so sophisticated, or was it intelligent discourse with the use of courteous debate, supporting data, sane counter-arguments, willingness to hear each other out etc. that did that? No, I’m sure the insults make us all sound much cooler and more knowledgeable about what we think.

Jay (profile) says:


You do realize both of those reports have been debunked?

Let’s start with the year 2000 data with its talking points:


– In 1999, the global sales of illegal music cassettes declined to 1.4 billion units.

I don’t think we even have to discuss cassettes since they have yet to kill the music industry.

– There were at least 60 million pirated CD-R units sold worldwide in 1999. Approximately 1 million seizures of CD-R discs were made.

Even with all of the seizures, this is a prime example of why litigation will not change people’s minds on where to get music. In 1999, people were already moving away from the CD and onto digital sales. Don’t believe me? Here’s study after study saying the same thing over the years about file sharing

– In 1999, the total value of the pirate music market was estimated to be approximately $1 billion, which was less than in 1998. The decline was attributed to lower prices for illegal recordings and a decline in pirated sales in countries with poor economic conditions, such as Latin America, South East Asia and Eastern Europe.

Pay attention to the note in this:

The value of pirate sales is calculated at local pirate prices, which fell in many of the high piracy regions ? particularly Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe. If legitimate prices were applied, the value would be much higher.

In other words, if you use American prices in Nigeria, then the “costs” of piracy are much higher. There’s nothing in the report from 2000 that says how they calculated the number of legitimate sites versus illegal ones. At the time, they had MP3.com and Napster and the RIAA sued them into the ground courtesy of Doug Morrison’s ineptitude as CEO. Hillary Rosen was told behind closed doors to get the music IP off of sites. And yet, the music sales continued to increase…

– South East Asia, the Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Brazil and Paraguay are currently a huge source of pirate CD production.

What the report doesn’t talk about is how Brazil was on the “watch list” of the USTR for not enforcing copyright. Arguably, each of these countries have high piracy because no one is willing to serve them. Brazil’s copyright laws have made the black market for games a lot more lucrative. People are not willing to spend $100 Real Dollars ($120 USD?) for a game. Hell, even when they have games at $60 USD, there’s a shortage unless people pirate. The same goes with movies and music where the higher prices have lead to more piracy. Further, there are NO indications of competitive pricing points. How much is a person’s time worth? How much is the product worth? Is the product priced too high? Nothing is indicated.

– There is a link between CD piracy and organized crime. This was evidenced by the arrests of a Russian crime ring by London police who charged them with credit card fraud and trafficking pirated CDs. According to the General Attorney of Naples, 100 Camorra gangs are involved in piracy in addition to drugs, firearms and extortion. In Dutch, police moved against a CD pirate ring, thought to be worth $50 million in US dollars, where firearms and large amounts of cash were also confiscated.

As it currently stands, there are no large scale terrorist or mafia organizations that engage in file sharing. The commodities of CD/DVD burners, large hard drives, and other cheap commodities makes copying worth a lot less than what criminals can get from venues such as drugs.

– Worldwide, there were a total of 34 million CD imports seized in the past two years. The IFPI did acknowledge, however, that several underground plants were forcibly closed in 1999.

And the money question: How much did it cost to destroy all of the product? How many plants were closed and how much did this affect the piracy game in the last 11 years?

Well, lets dig in. Link

The key point in the data is in these two paragraphs:

Trade revenues to record companies fell by 7.2% to US$17 billion, with the world’s two biggest markets, the US and Japan, making up 80% of the decline. The worldwide fall in revenues outside the US and Japan in 2009 was 3.2%. Physical sales fell by 12.7% globally.

There are key areas of market growth, however. Digital music sales rose by 9.2% to US$4.3 billion, more than ten times the digital market value in 2004. Digital channels now account for 25.3% of all trade revenues to record companies. In the US, digital sales account for nearly half – 43% – of the recorded music market. More than 30 countries saw double-digit growth rates in digital sales, and 17 markets, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Singapore, Sweden and UK, saw digital sales grow by more than 40%.

Have you seen it yet? People stopped buying albums and bought individually in 2009. The unbundling of the CD has already been done and copyright won’t bring that back. You can blame piracy all you want, but the CD is considered more as a commodity and not a necessity. What’s incredibly odd and misleading is the fact that they’ve had more money in revenue since filesharing came around. The money just shifted to digital.

And from my reading of it, it was only focused on music sales
Sorry, but the 2000 report is too vague and the 2010 report is riddled with inaccuracies. The fact is, more musicians are out now, than before. They don’t have the same measures of success as the RIAA was recording with their “make or break” system. You either made it to the top or you lay in a debt ridden heap by the recording labels that controlled everyone. As it stands, those two reports do nothing to help the case against piracy, merely show the weaknesses of those relying on the government with bad data.

Anonymous Coward says:


And that is important how?
If the industry had the balls they would restart their “educational campaign” after all, you idiots truly believe you are in the right and have the power of the law on your side, but for some reason are to afraid to sue people.

There are no one left that doesn’t know it is illegal in the US and still the majority of piracy that you can see is done in the open people don’t even try to hide it.

If you people want to create a police state you better work harder now, before people start being dependant of the web for work and health, then it will be a crapshot to try and kick people out of it. also internet coffee shops could become hubs for jobs and I want to see the what happens when the first one is shutdown because somebody used it to infringe on your crappy copyBS.

anonymous says:

i sincerely hope that SOPA/PROTECTIP fails. if it does pass, it wont take long to see what damage it does to the US and the internet. biggest problem i see if it fails to become law is, as with everything else entertainment/copyright industry related, not getting what they want first time round means they will just keep going, changing things a bit at a time, until they do get exactly what they want. it may mean trying to get into law a slightly ‘watered down’ version of SOPA to begin with, one that people say ‘oh, that’s not so bad.’ then after a while, back come the bits left out from the original. this type of plan works for them. we have seen it in various law-suits. when the verdict has gone in favour of the accused, there is appeal after appeal, until the verdict changes against the accused! it isn’t and never has been about anything except the control those industries are adamant they must keep, at all costs!

Michael says:

The music industry is down by 58%? From what, their peak?

In 2009, a mere 22 albums went platinum; in 2010, just 14 (and some of those were from the previous year). The majority of major labels’ profits come from album sales — there’s just no two ways about it. Stop releasing garbage if you want to generate long-term profit.

The labels cannot survive off of the back catalogs of lousy music by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, etc. and they know it. They live and die off their back catalogs of artists such as The Beatles, Chicago, Steely Dan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, et al. When the contracts expire in 2013 and the artists (finally) have the opportunity to reclaim their art, the major labels are going to go insane trying to do everything possible to stop them. That’s a large reason why they’re so desperate to regulate the internet, because they know that an open market is the most dangerous threat to their old-world business model, and if they lose their back catalogs, they’re finished.

Jay (profile) says:


I get tired of having to repost the same proof over and over again in every thread. IFPI numbers, year 2000 report, and then year 2010 report – and yes, it includes online sales.

Wow, are YOU a piece of work. You NEVER post the IFPI numbers, merely tell people that Google is your friend.

Well, people refuting the data is YOUR friend:

AC debunks you

Karl debunks you

Dark Helmet debunks you

And Karl comes to the same conclusions I have

Your argument is old, over, and done. Get it out the oven and stop cooking it.

Richard (profile) says:


If the recorded music industry has sunk by 58%, imagine what that does to employment, to the tax base, to the amount of money circulating in the economy.

It’s called the advance of technology.
The cost of copying has shrunk by several orders of magnitude since the mid 8o’s. To expect that change like that can happen tha and an industry which is built around copying can go on as if nothing had happened is naive in the extreme.

Look at employment in mining, steel and other old industries over the same period and you will see an even steeper decline in employment. Funny thing is – I never saw the recording industry manning the barricades for the miners, steelworkers etc. If you had done so then you might have some sympathy now – but as it is most people will just say “tough”.

anonymous says:

‘If the recorded music industry has sunk by 58%, imagine what that does to employment, to the tax base, to the amount of money circulating in the economy.’

do you think that the money has just fell off the planet, then? there is no change in the amount of money spent or the amount of tax the government(s) get. it’s just spent on different things. what you seem to think is that if a person ‘shares a file’, those it was shared with keep that money in the bank (earning nothing!). buying something else keeps the taxes rolling in, just not necessarily from the entertainment industries items. and, incidentally, those industries are renowned for NOT paying taxes themselves!

Dave (profile) says:


So I looked up the numbers here and it lists the contribution of the motion picture and recording industries to the GDP as 60 billion in 2010. It sounds like a lot until you compare it to the GDP as a whole, which is 14119 billion. So the GDP of those industries are only .42% of the economy as a whole.

What I found interesting, though, is that those industries, from 2000 to 2009 still saw an increase of 62%, while the US as a whole increase 47%. So in spite of (because of?) piracy, motion picture and sound industries still increased ahead of the curve compared to the rest of US industries.

So, there is no reason for our congressmen to listen to these “the sky is falling” morons, other than they have the biggest megaphone and lots of money to throw at them.

Rekrul says:


If you fall into a “safe harbor,” then what you are doing is entirely legal. Also, let’s try not to forget that the DMCA, which creates those safe harbors, is one of those copyright laws you’re talking about.

Technically yes, but it contains the safe harbor protections, which the entertainment industry didn’t want, so it doesn’t really count.

Butcherer79 (profile) says:


“Sometimes it makes me wonder if part of the who economic issues are as a result of everything that the internet has taken away from us all, of all the industries it has ruined, and those few success stories that seem to be mostly hoarding cash and not lubricating the economy.”

WOW, and you AC’s accuse Mike of ‘so much FUD’.

“I would love to see the effect if Google actually had to put some of their hoard back in the economy each year… what would actually happen?”

You mean like taxes? You might want to copyright that idea before governments worldwide think about taking some of everyone’s ‘hoard’ (or income)… No, hang on…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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 »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

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