Do We Really Want To Hand Over Control Of The Internet To A Group That Sued A Dead Grandmother

from the just-saying dept

Via Julian Sanchez, we get the best-titled story we’ve seen yet concerning SOPA. Written by Kevin Fogarty at ITWorld, it reads:

Best idea of 2011: Give control of Internet content to group that sued a dead grandmother

It’s a must read, highlighting the insanity of SOPA — while also being pretty funny:

Supporters aren’t willing to talk compromise, claim not clamping down on speech as well as piracy will “crush” artists and other creators of content, and appear, with good evidence, to be doing the bidding of SOPA’s financial backers, who no interest in the public good and a bottomless reservoir of shameless self-interest they believe is more important than the liberties protected by the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

On the positive side, that’s not even a third of the Bill of Rights, so accusations that SOPA supporters are willing to crush the Constitution to line their own pockets are clearly exaggerated by at least seven Rights.

Elsewhere, it describes, quite accurately, that this is about control and misplaced blame:

The RIAA and the intent of SOPA itself stems from an irrational rage that the world has changed and unquestioned belief that the change is the fault of the industry’s customers, who should be made to pay for the self-inflicted misfortunes of the record industry….

So?how do you feel about giving the same people the power to command that agents of federal law enforcement agencies give up on drug runners, kidnappers, terrorists and spies in order to shut down web sites and confiscate domains for simply being accused of having offended members of a group willing to sue a dead grandmother and grill a 10-year-old girl to discover who from outside the house was spoofing her address in order to download a song 10-year-old girls don’t listen to, at an hour they’re not generally awake?

We’re seeing more and more widespread recognition of what a joke SOPA and PIPA are… but with it, we’re hearing people believe that the bill is so crazy that there’s no way it can pass. Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth. Inside the beltway, where common sense goes to die, the thinking remains that these bills have a pretty easy path to becoming law. And that’s what should scare you most of all.

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Companies: mpaa, riaa

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Comments on “Do We Really Want To Hand Over Control Of The Internet To A Group That Sued A Dead Grandmother”

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anonymous says:

Re: Re:

‘How exactly would they “control the internet”?’

by getting every site they dont like shut down, either by accusations of infringement (whether true or not) without those sites being allowed ‘due process’ or by continuing to sue sites that are deemed legal but run out of money to pay for further litigation and therefore cant put the sites back up on the net. basically, an ‘internet carte blanche’, a win-win situation for the entertainment industries.
why dont all the big internet industries, ISPs, Search Engines, Security Firms etc join forces and lobby/protest together? united they stand, divided they fall.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“This is all lies and FUD.”

…and yet you people won’t back up this regular claim with any discussion of the facts and why people are mistaken. I wonder why people don’t take you seriously?

“Are you seriously so addicted to content that the idea of having to pay for it turns you into a bozo?”

Ah, that’s why… one sentence featuring all the usual moronic fallacies… assuming that the only people concerned are those who consume the corporate content you worship, assuming that only “pirates” can be against SOPA, assuming that nobody who is anti-SOPA can be a paying customer *and* ad hominems top and bottom to complete the idiot sandwich!

vancedecker (profile) says:

Are you all Doctors now?

You seem to all be lawyers here at Techdirt, but now you’ve obviously seen fit to add physician to your schtick as well.

How do you know for a fact that this ‘grandmother’ was dead?

If the infringement happened while she was still alive then it makes legal sense to continue the case. If precedent is allowed to be established, simply because someone died, then how would that serve the public interest?

vancedecker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

If the case was started while she was alive* and then dropped simply because she is dead, that could establish de facto precedent.

*I say alive only because, it was never proven that she was or was not alive, or that she was dead for that matter. For all we know she could have moved after receiving a foreclosure notice.

Machin Shin says:

Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

Ok, it could set a precedent. So what? It would set a precedent that it is pointless to go after people after they have died. You really think this will become a common method us filthy pirates turn to?

“Come on and sue me! I will just drop dead and ruin your court case! That will sure show you!”

Planespotter (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

Funny, the RIAA seemed to be quite clear that she was dead… or at least whoever speaks to the press on their behalf was.

The Recording Industry Association of America admitted that Walton was likely not the smittenedkitten it was after, blaming the mixup on the time it takes gather information on illicit file swappers.

“Our evidence gathering and our subsequent legal actions all were initiated weeks and even months ago,” said RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy. “We will now, of course, obviously dismiss this case.”

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Are you all Doctors now?

Oh she was dead, alright, Right there on the couch, eyes half open, jaw slack, greenish smelly drool coming from her mouth and other orifices while the neighborhood dogs were sniffing around and looking at her like they do when they find something that just MIGHT be good to eat,

Oh yeah, blue lips and nails and that sort of thing.

This all overlooks that SOPA supporters haven’t come up with a new definition of “life” that will be one of the first things filtered out because the RIAA will have a copyright on so downloading the PDF would be considered piracy.

Aaron (profile) says:

We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

We must find away to get the ALA, EFF,Google, at al together to make to make big noise about SOPA and PROTECT IP, we need to find a way to flood the TVs, the Radios, the print media, and even the roads about this. We need to make it legal to hunt RIAA/MPAA/other lobbists who get lawmakers to make laws the directly violate the constitution and our natural rights. (props to :Lobo Santo in for the idea)

We need to make it known that this abuse of the First Amendment will not stand, we will not sit by and just have “nerd rage”, we need to strike fear somehow in to those who think that big media has all the rights (and I am a free market supporter).

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

I suggest we genetically modify the tiger, also a species at risk, so that it recognizes genus lobbyist as delicious food and acts appropriately while recognizing homo sapiens as friends who dearly love to scratch their ears, pet and stroke them and surrender 9/10ths of their bed to them like they do with the domestic cat.

Ed C. says:

Re: Re: Re: We must fight for our rights (to parttty)

They’ll probably also develop a taste of the genus media executus after the species promises the tigers t-bones in exchange for exclusive contracts, which are then retained due to undisclosed fees, issues endless takedowns and lawsuits, claiming that the tiger’s own personal videos infringe on Sigfried and Roy, or just poking the tigers with sticks for giggles, simply because they can’t comprehend how anything they do could ever have personal consequences.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, but such an ethereal transaction between Grandma and the countless screaming souls that she has wronged will prevent the Associations from getting their just reward for protecting those dead artists’ collective interests. To ensure true equity in the division of Grandma’s heavenly treasures, the major decision makers of the Associations will need to be present, on-site, in the afterlife.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Regretfully Granma’s in heaven while the Associations are in the 7th ring of hell as described by Dante though the devils are trying to find somewhere worse as the Associations and their bought and paid for politicians seem to be enjoying the company of Nero, Caligula, Attila The Hun, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Napoleon and Jack The Ripper far too much as they swap stories and give each other advice.

Loki says:

The RIAA, an organization that:

Along with the MPAA, Disney, ect.) pushes for perpetual copyright extension to infinity (so that, in theory, my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can financially benefit from work they had nothing to do with, but that in reality most of that money will go to whatever company I am forced to assign my copyright to).

Spend massive amounts of money lobbying for laws that block as much real competition as they can manage.

Sue (along with MPAA and such) companies they can’t get outlawed, hoping to keep them tied up in litigation long enough they go out of business anyways.

Buy into website they can’t find ways to sue (try finding independent stuff on MySpace or eMusic anymore with all the major label crap plastered all over the front of the site, you have to go digging to the backs of these sites now to find it).

Pay radio stations under the table to pay exclusively their content (every couple of years at least one major label seem to get busted for Payola) – then turn around and work hard to impose high licensing rates (which would effectively get them exclusive music for free as their licensing schemes would just funnel their payola right back to them).

File mass lawsuits and send out bulk settlement offers (pretty much a form of extortion, considering how many of those lawsuits have proven to be bogus, any way you look at it). After all, you gotta pay for those campaign contributions, lawsuits, and payola schemes somehow.

Force musicians to relinquish their copyrights (again, little more than a form of extortion, given how effectively they have worked to roadblock all other avenues to success), and then sneak text into bills causing those same musicians to forfeit some of those copyrights altogether (and rewarding the person responsible with a $500K a year job) – even if the actions were later rescinded.

It’s not so much that I stopped believing the argument that copyright infringement was theft, it was that the people making the argument was so dishonest, so much bigger criminals that their opinions/ideas became essentially meaningless.

Dan Scott says:

FIGHT THE BLACKLIST (This Blacklist Is An Agent-Provocateur’s Dream)
If this dangerous “Blacklist legislation” is passed by Congress, Agent Provocateurs to censor free speech will only need publish text at targeted Websites that constitute (copyright infringement). Websites that have large numbers of posted comments and information could not possibly investigate every posting to avoid being shutdown by the Justice Dept.

Ezekial Stoltzfus says:

So if you aren’t going to hold someone accountable for downloading music or movies to their IP address, How do you suppose you do it? I don’t know of any other way to identify the person who downloaded it short of doing a forensic analysis of the hard drives in the home that the IP address points too. I don’t give a shit if the person who has the internet account did it, his son, wife, grandmother, or some random person in a car along the curb did it. It was downloaded to that IP address and the owner of the account should be the one to pay. If you’re too stupid or unwilling to properly secure your wireless network then you can consider it a stupid tax. Her estate should pay every penny.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It as actually the curb that downloaded the songs.

Either that or the telco crew there the day she died allegedly splicing the cable while they used every wifi in the area to clear out everything on the Pirate Bay.

Oh, and don’t put too much faith in forensic hard drive analysis. There’s lots of utilities around that will wipe hard drives clean. Almost all Linux distros come with at least one of them as part of the standard ‘Nix suite of utilities and you can find stuff for Windows at legit downloads sites. If you want even more assurance of a clean wipe there are utilities on SourceForge that do just that. Technically it’s not all that hard to do, it just takes a lot of time.

Nord says:

Why does everyone always think old grandmas are always totally incapable of doing anything wrong or illegal. Ive seen plenty of grandmas on the crime blotter in the paper and on shows like cops doing bad things. But every time there is an article about piracy its always sarcastically stated that the RIAA is always chasing down old Grandmas like they couldnt have possibly downloaded a music torrent. Next is “They couldnt possibly carry a bomb on a plane, they should never be searched” Its always the people that you least suspect that do things!

Anonymous Coward says:

Too bad, that (a) nobody is “giving control of the internet” to anyone, and (b) nobody ever explained why granny had high speed internet, a wireless connection, and allowed her granchildren to download.

Nice try Mike, but it’s just another bullshit hit piece against SOPA, full of half truths and misleading OH MY GOD claims!

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually, if you read the article Mike links to she wouldn’t allow a computer in her house so it’s unlikely in the extreme that she had a connection. To wit:

“Once tried to sue a dead grandmother to extract what it felt was its rightful pound of flesh for files allegedly downloaded to a house in which the dead woman wouldn’t even allow a computer to be installed.”

Do follow a link now and then before spouting off.

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