What Do MC Hammer & Tim Berners-Lee Have In Common? They Both Hate SOPA/PIPA

from the web-inventor-says-don't-touch-this-internet dept

As SOPA/PIPA supporters continue to insist that there’s either no anti-SOPA/PIPA sentiment, or that it’s just coming from Google, every day we see more and more evidence that that’s changing. Let’s start with Tim Berners-Lee — the inventor of the web. And he’s now come out against SOPA/PIPA. Then we’ve got MC Hammer, the rapper-turned-entrepreneur, who has been telling his 2.5 million Twitter followers to protest SOPA as well, noting that it would be “a terrible bill for writers, vloggers, artists, and musicians.” Indeed. That’s part of this debate that often gets overlooked. The big old gatekeepers like to pretend this is about helping the artists, but plenty of artists — including Hammer — recognize that what helps them is an open internet on which it’s easy to build new platforms and services. A locked down internet, where liability and expensive compliance costs are dumped on innovative companies won’t help artists at all. Instead, it will sink innovation by making it too risky. Either way, when you have such a diverse group of folks all coming out against the bill, how much longer can SOPA/PIPA supporters pretend there aren’t any criticisms of the bill?

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Comments on “What Do MC Hammer & Tim Berners-Lee Have In Common? They Both Hate SOPA/PIPA”

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anonymous says:

why doesn’t someone introduce a Bill that will do the exact opposite of SOPA/PIPA and all the other Bills that have already been introduced that tie down companies and people to copyright terms and conditions etc and make those that wanted these Bills start doing what everyone else in business has to do, ie, compete in the market place, whether it’s against similar companies, other countries, file sharers or so-called pirates? let’s then see who is opposed to doing that in Congress (showing those that receive contributions from these companies) and how much it’s fought against by those very companies. wonder how they would like that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

why doesn’t someone introduce a Bill that will do the exact opposite of SOPA/PIPA and all the other Bills

Why is copyright in the United States a one-way ratchet?

Why is that from the first Copyright Act of 1790 with a 14-year term, we have steadily ?progressed? all the way to life + 70 years?

Why has the scope of copyright steadily increased?

How come copyright in the United States is a one-way ratchet?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The copyright protections themselves serve the public by providing protections for creative projects so that they may become profitable. This leads to more creative projects which benefit society as a whole. Without these protections, fewer people would choose to create books, music, movies, television shows, games and other software, etc… Copyright serves the public by providing increased diversity and an abundance of creative works.

Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Umm, Ok, so please tell me how my copyright lasting 70 years after I am dead motivates me to make more stuff.

I can accept that having a copyright of a few years makes me want to make more things. This way I get more money, but as it is if I write a best selling novel and it keeps steady sales I can kick back and not make anything else. Why make new things if I can just roll in the money from my old work?

Even more to the point though is why would I give a damn about my copyright after I’m dead? You think I’m going to sit up after I have been dead ten years and go “Damn I need to get to work on that novel”

That Crazy Freetard says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The question still stands.

How does such a ridiculously long copyright term encourage content creators to create? Seems to me like it would encourage them to rest on their laurels(and royalty payments). I see evidence of the all over the place.

Fourteen years seems like plenty of time to profit from a creative work. Hell, we measure movies’ success by how they do in a weekend! Even seventy years is insanely long. We need a serious, retroactive copyright reduction. Way too much of the human experience is locked away in it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Even seventy years is insanely long. We need a serious, retroactive copyright reduction.

So let’s go back to the initial question in this thread: Why is that politically impossible? How come no one will even introduce a bill to do anything like that?

Why is copyright a one-way ratchet?

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Two words: entitlement culture.

Yup. Couldn’t have said it better myself. I love when the ACs call those of us who disagree with SOPA/PIPA entitled pirates. I certainly am not taking a part of culture and locking it away for life+95 years++. And I just disagree with SOPA/PIPA and government mandated monopolies — there are no government mandated monopolies in a capitalist society!

TheBigH (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

How does a creator benefit from copyright that extends beyond their death? Do you believe the deceased write books, code software or compose music? These indefinite copyright extensions only benefit people who want to be paid for other peoples’ work.

A limited copyright, so that the artist can make a living by creating works, is fair. But if the artist wants to keep getting paid, they have to keep working. Limiting copyright impels them to keep creating, as well as eventually opening up their work for others to build on and create from.

Creative projects are of little value if others can’t be inspired by them, build on them, improve on them and incorporate them into new and bigger things. Infinite copyright effectively forbids that, so it actually reduces the value of everything that is created.

Face it. The conclusion is inescapable. Infinite copyright suppresses creativity and benefits only middlemen and gatekeepers who contribute nothing. Everything that is created needs to eventually enter the public domain so that it becomes the property of everyone everywhere.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“fewer people would choose to create books, music, movies, television shows, games and other software”

This may actually be a good thing. *Real* artists don’t depend on pensions for their grandchildren to be available before they start creating art.

“Copyright serves the public by providing increased diversity and an abundance of creative works.”

Which works serve the public the best? The millions of works robbed from the public domain, sometimes retroactively after the artist’s death? The millions of others works out of print because they’re not profitable to corporations? Or the works only made legally available to 10% of the world’s population because the distributors (often not the artist) enforces regional restrictions?

Violated (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

What always makes me laugh in a sad way is that back when copyright was 14 years (or 28 years if they lived that long) then a person had to manually travel all over the US by horse and wagon to promote their works. Things moved very slowly what with publishing extra.

As transport has got faster copyright did not decrease to keep the same balance when it did increase instead. Now media can travel around the world in mere seconds but the span of copyright has got longer and longer and longer.

Obviously as distribution got faster allowing for vastly increased sales then so should have the copyright span decreased. You may claim that people live longer now but in the same regard living a longer and healthier life also means the ability to create more media to compensate.

Then in financial terms media under copyright should switch to public domain once the main bulk of sales is over plus a bit extra to ensure the profit point has passed.

So copyright currently being life plus 70 years makes no sense unless that answer is one of greed and control.

Violated (profile) says:

This article sounds to me like…

Who hates SOPA?
Completely everyone hates SOPA.

Everyone? Does Tim Berners-Lee hate SOPA?
Yes, completely everyone hates SOPA.

Does MC Hammer hate SOPA?
Yes, completely everyone hates SOPA.

Does Elon Musk hate SOPA?
Yes, completely everyone hates SOPA.

OK then. But does Jimmy Wales hate SOPA?
Yes, completely everyone hates SOPA.

Surely Ben Huh does not hate SOPA?
Yes he hates SOPA and he moved over 1000 domains away from GoDaddy in protest.

Completely everyone who is anyone HATES SOPA. Now knock it off.

Anonymous Coward says:


I think MC hammer realized that what the RIAA plans is quite simply to FORCE him to use their services and those of the big labels.

If SOPA/PIPA passes and he doesn’t they’ll simply declare him “rogue” and shut down websites as he creates them to sell his creations direct to the public.

Eventually with no income (they believe) he will be FORCED by financial necessity to use their gatekeeper services or live in poverty.

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