Hollywood Star Ashton Kutcher Says 'SOPA Is The Problem, Not The Solution'

from the speak-out-speak-up dept

We’ve been pointing out that more and more people, whom the MPAA and US Chamber of Commerce pretend to be representing in their please to pass SOPA and PIPA, are actually very much against the bill. The latest is famed actor Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher, of course, isn’t just an actor but has spent a fair amount of time in the entrepreneur/startup world as well, both working on startups himself and (more prominently) investing in a bunch of startups. He’s also a very active user of a variety of online platforms. So he definitely has experience both with the “Hollywood” side as well as the “Silicon Valley” side — though, he’s obviously much more well known for his Hollywood success.

Either way, he’s come out extremely strongly against SOPA and shows that he really gets the issues here. The key point that he makes, which we’ve been trying to get across for many months, is that SOPA works by putting tremendous compliance costs and liability on tech companies and startups:

Forcing social media sites and ISP’s responsible for users content is amazingly burdensome and costly. SOPA will create economic problems for Internet start-ups which will be an additional negative side effect. This may cause a slow down in the Internet economic sector, which is providing real jobs and innovation for the US economy.

He points out that while the DMCA may not be perfect, it does mostly work for takedowns of infringing content, and that it doesn’t make sense to add liability to service providers. Furthermore, he admits that SOPA supporters are correct that the DMCA process doesn’t always work for foreign sites, “but SOPA as it is written causes more problems [than it] solves.”

Separately, he recognizes how ridiculous it is to put technological choices in the hands of judges, rather than technologists:

Moreover, what is most shocking, is SOPA’s idea of giving judges determination of Internet DNS. The bill suggests DNS administrators remove bad actor domains on judges orders; thus breaking the fundamentals of the Internet. It is a disastrous precedent to have Congress legislate Internet DNS control.

He points out that his colleagues supporting SOPA may be “well-meaning people,” but that they “fundamentally don’t understand how the internet works,” and that what comes out is a “bad and confused” attempt at regulating the internet.

Finally, he points out that SOPA’s actual result will be to do the exact opposite of what it claims to want to do, since its methods of enforcement will harm the economy. He closes with a call to action:

I don’t support SOPA and I believe we all need to call and write our Congress to help them know we want a No vote on SOPA.

Indeed. It’s fantastic to see someone like Ashton Kutcher speaking out so publicly on this issue. Yet, you can rest assured that the MPAA, US Chamber of Commerce and the politicians pushing this bill will, once again, pretend that they’re supporting SOPA to help people like Ashton Kutcher. Yet, he’s making it clear, this is not the kind of help that the industry wants or needs.

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Comments on “Hollywood Star Ashton Kutcher Says 'SOPA Is The Problem, Not The Solution'”

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el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m at the point where I’m rooting for this bill to past. Finally industry shills like you will have your own internet to play in, while the nerds (no longer a pejorative) will simply create ways for the public to interact with the rest of the world.

This bill will do nothing. I’ve already written a program that bypasses the blocks that it will put into place. And I’ll be honest, it wasn’t difficult. CS 201 level of programming. So go ahead and do your worst. Like always the techno geeks will be here to fix it. You cannot win.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They revised the bill so that ‘content rights holders’ can no longer request court orders to force payment processors and search engines to delist a site without an adversarial hearing and have shifted the burden of the costs of such actions onto the content rights holder?
They revised the bill so that proactively applying the above remedies without a court order will incur significant liability instead of indemnifying?
The revised the bill so that DNS filtering will no longer be attempted?
Well that is excellent news. Where can I read these revisions? I’ll wait here while you look it up, you seem to have a foot caught in your mouth.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You know, I think he probably did and, like many others, concluded that they don’t change a damned thing.

And hearing you, of all people, accuse ANYONE of lacking intellectual curiosity is hilarious!

Something must have hit home, though cause you sound a bit peeved. Are you starting to realize that Denial is not just a river in Africa?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The tweet heard round the world, and then his decision to let grownups run his twitter account for him make him not very relevant. As just prior he had appeared at an event crying about how children were being sexually abused by adults and then blindly putting football before looking at the why… and now grownups run his account.

The pissing contest with he and his soon to be former wife against experts who disagreed with their pet experts on serious issues did not help.

While I am glad for him creating more exposure on the topic, given the flaws of the person reporting it could be damaging not helpful. It is nice to have more people see the issue, but part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop and him to do something asinine to get the focus back unto himself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And if it comes from the same incorrect assumptions about the bill that are peddled here, it won’t make a difference.

You people are forgetting something: millions of people could protest this bill but if they’re complaining about something that isn’t actually in it, just some bs spewed by Masnick and his buds to drum up fear, the net result will be Congress ignoring the complaints, because it’s obvious the protesters have been had, and have no idea what they’re protesting.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I know you are being sarcastic but you do make a good point. “Congress clearly gets it, it being technology and the internet.” I had a discussion about this at a luncheon in DC last month. Politicians fear the internet, it allows people to know what they are doing outside of controlled broadcast media channels. One of their greatest fears is a YourPolitician.com site that pulls together everything they have done. Voting records, stands of various subjects, who funds them, like a CIA factbook for politicians.

It is a game changer that would change the nature of politics.

Machin Shin says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah, They can ignore the protesters and go ahead and cram this through. I can promise you though that things will blow up in their faces when the protesters just sit back and watch the net crash. There is also this dangerous boiling point they are fast approaching where people will stand up and say enough is enough. There is a limit to how many bad laws you can force on the public before the system snaps.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This law doesn’t target piracy sites. It hopes to take out the piracy sites by targeting the legal third parties, the advertisers, payment processors, search engines, things that don’t really have anything to do with the piracy sites. It’s also open to easy abuse with little or no punishment for those who do. So, it can easily be used to target things that have nothing to do with piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Huh, looks like this post is really scaring someone if they had 4 negative posts not really focusing on the article and saying the usual (But that’s not what SOPA does) spiel.

While I’m not fond of Kutcher, yeah, he knows what he’s talking about. It’s silly to put tech related issues in the hand of non tech folk, people who support SOPA have to realize at least that right?

Anonymous Coward says:

One of the many issues that intrigues me about the arguments presented by the opponents of this and virtually all other legislation associated with the internet is the constant attempt to portray labels/studios as something materially different from VCs. It’s “content vs. tech”. Its “legacy vs. new”. It’s (fill in the blank).

The truth be known, having worked with both groups I find that but for the “product”, these groups are significantly more alike than they are different, with the primary difference being the laws upon which they rely to secure their investments, for without these laws investments are much more problematic. In a very simplistic way to try and draw an analogy, labels are VCs as to music, studios are VCs as to movies, and private capital investor groups are VCs as to yet another type of business venture.

In each case they are the source of investment funds, for without such funds money-intensive ventures would have a very difficult time getting off the ground.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Technology brought new revenue sources for the MAFIAA. MAFIAA fought and screamed against them till they started making money and went like “oh, it ain’t that bad…”. Except that now we have imbeciles in the Government and they are actually listening to the retards at MAFIAA scream and whine and killing great and innovative solutions that could.. GASP… generate more revenue to the MAFIAA.

Human being doesn’t learn, they repeat the same mistakes in cycles.

JaseP says:

Re: Re:

And this is why all the recent media productions have been original, thought provoking, exciting and well written and produced?!?! No rehashing going on… no recycled stuff from 20-30 years back?!?! Yep, their hard(ly) earned money has been well spent.

About the only positive thing in recent years has been the advancements in special effects in movies. But many of them are produced on open source software platforms, which will be harmed by this legislation (by patent trolls trying to block the downloading of open source software, protected by bogus patents they rammed through the system). But, even the special effects are partiality to blame for the dumbing down of movie content. If you have no talent as a writer or director, just wow ’em with glitzy special effects.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think that the thing that bothers me most about this, and writing your representative and senators is absolutely no help. They are hell bent on destruction. No one really owns the internet. So how is it so easy to police it. Let these agencies continue to do what they have done for years with the laws that are already on the books. It has worked in the past. If they think this is going to stop the problems they claim then they really don’t have a clue as to what is happening.

Anonymous Coward says:

why the fuck is our govt so set on this bill? oh yea, lobbyists (aka legalized bribing).

don’t our lawmakers have better things to work on say.. fixing our horrible economy, reducing unemployment, actually working for the people?

if this passes, we just revert back to our old school ways and in turn i will pirate the shit out of everything. i’m not a pirate and a rather large digital media consumer too. grrrr!!

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