US Chamber Of Commerce Continues Duplicitous Campaign To Conflate Counterfeit Drugs With Copyright Infringement

from the disgusting dept

The more I end up learning about the US Chamber of Commerce and their blatantly dishonest lobbying campaigns, the worse and worse that organization looks. They seem to have no limits in the depths to which they'll stoop to pass bad legislation that favors some of their biggest supporters. We've pointed out in the past how one of the favorite tactics of supporters of PROTECT IP is to conflate counterfeit drugs with copyright infringement despite the two things being completely different and unrelated. But, as long as supporters of stricter copyright laws can toss in some claims about how "without this, people die!" they can get what they want. So, here's the US Chamber of Commerce putting out a propaganda video about someone who died from bad counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and using that as a reason to support PROTECT IP.

I've said all along that I agree that counterfeit drugs are a real problem (though, it should also be noted that I'm only talking about actual counterfeit drugs, not grey market or parallel import situations -- even though many wrongly lump these together). And I would have no problem with actual efforts to go after real counterfeit drugs. But the fight against real counterfeit drugs is totally unrelated to the issue of copyright infringement, and it's not just cynical, but disgustingly exploitative of the US Chamber of Commerce to use victims of counterfeit drugs to helps pass a law that is really meant to deal with copyright infringement. It's like saying to the woman in the propaganda video, "hey, your friend died to protect Hollywood from having to deal with online innovation." Disgusting.
I'm all for stopping fake drugs. But "fighting rogue websites," isn't about stopping fake drugs. It's about helping the entertainment industry block innovation they don't like and don't want to adapt to.

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  • icon
    Hulser (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 11:22am

    FightOnlineTheft?

    All you have to do is get to the end of that video to see the deception involved. The entire video is about the tragic death of someone who took counterfeit drugs, but what's the address of the site they show you at the end? www.FightOnlineTheft.com. Wait, what? What does theft have to do with anything in that story? Even if you fail at basic IP law and think that theft is the same thing as infringement, there's still no relation to almost all of the content of that site and what happened to this woman's friend. In fact, I can't find anywhere on the site where they even bother to claim that PROTECT IP would have helped in this tragic case.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 11:51am

    First it was the children, then it was children being molested, then it was terrorists, and now its apparently women(notice they still choose a socially sympathetic demographic) getting killed by 'bad drugs'(drugs is already a heavily laden term in our country)

    the real question is, what can we do about it?

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  • icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 11:55am

    I must admit I'm confused. If I was going to sell fake drugs, I would sell sugar pills. It seems really absurd to put things like lead and other relatively expensive heavy metals in fake drugs. Am I missing something?

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  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:08pm

    I sympathize with this woman for her loss and want to give her the benefit of the doubt for thinking she really is doing something that will help prevent what happened to her friend.

    That said I cant help but harbor a hope that others will pick up on this and use it to turn the general public against PROTECT IP.

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  • identicon
    Simon, 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Perfectly healthy but buying drugs?..

    Sounds like someone had an upper/downer issue, and an un-sypathetic doctor..
    Perhaps someone can the world a favour and force feed the arsenic,lead and titanium dosed drugs to her girlfriend.

    What a load of crap..

    small print: This video was brought to you by big pharma.

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    • icon
      keiichi969 (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      I doubt a doctor was involved.

      I started looking into the case, and while she died from the toxic materials in her medications, its what medications they were that was interesting.

      She had Alprazolam (RX only: US (C - IV) and Canada), Acetominophen (Tylenol), and Zolpidem (RX only: US (C - IV), Not approved in Canada).

      So, she was ordering controlled prescription medication from the internet, and not only that, one she couldn't possible have a prescription for. Sounds like she was self medicating




      PROTECT IP isn't going to save us from stupidity, people.
      That story didn't even pass the sniff test.

      Remember, only doctors and licensed personnel (nurses, pharmacists in some areas) are allowed to prescribe medication. No reputable one would do so online with no medical history or ever seeing a patient. Online pharmacies offering drugs without prescriptions are illegal, and probably counterfeit.

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      • icon
        Any Mouse (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 6:38pm

        Re: Re:

        Had to really look to find out the lady who died was in Canada. So... PROTECT IP wouldn't help her TWICE, since, you know, it wouldn't have even applied to her in the first place.

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  • icon
    Karl (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Counterfeit drugs

    Hey, kids! Let's play a little game of trivia.

    Take a look at a list of domain names seized by ICE.

    Guess how many were selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals?

    The correct answer is not a single one of them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:23pm

    OK, let's talk to that woman. Maybe we can convince that she is being horribly manipulated. The CoC is acting in a horrendous manner. Let's make sure this blows up in her face. I found her snail-mail address and her phone number. Who wants to get in on drafting a letter? (If anyone can help find her email, that would be nice) She is an independent childcare worker. She is a member of the "Mayor Council".

    http://www.reinbeck.org/govt/officials.html

    I started a google docs letter. Post your gmail username here and I will share with you.

    PS: I swear, if you go off and prank/lulz her you are a counterproductive idiot.

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  • icon
    Tom Landry (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:34pm

    Of the woman dying had nothing to do with the outrageous prices that Big Pharma charges for drugs that are even well past their projected profit curve.

    Further, SIK has been ordering overseas meds for several years. Trust them when they say that these operations want repeat business and to put heavy metals and other shit that kills the user is counterproductive to say the least. They're not stupid.

    This ad reminds me of the old BS story of some neighborhood maniac putting razor blades in apples on Halloween. I guarantee that a few major pieces of this story were omitted.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Good luck fighting big pharma.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Assuming this isnt an actor....It is unfortunate that her friend died and I am sympathetic about that part.

    But notice how she states she bought drugs off the internet and goes on to explain how she ordered everything using the internet. Im curious about what she's not telling us. What drug was it...benzos...painkillers...

    And the sad part is that sheeple eat this stuff up all day long.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:30pm

    One question: Is the US Chamber as bad or worse than the NYT's paywall idea? We know how much you hated that one, and how much it turned out not to be anywhere near as horrible as you claim.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Guess Mike never read the bill, specifically Section 5(b).

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      Guess Mike never read the bill, specifically Section 5(b).


      I never said the bill doesn't target these sites. It does. But if you want to target these sites write a bill that JUST targets these sites, rather than lumping everything else in with it.

      And, seriously, give up this bullshit line of attack. Of course I read the bill, and you know damn well what it's designed to do and how sneaky and underhanded this line of propaganda is.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 3:11am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, politicians, make sure you write the bill so it doesn't affect my precious piracy sites, ok? That's just not fair.

        You are such a slimy loser, Masnick.

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        • icon
          The Devil's Coachman (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 4:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          And you're such a whiny pisspot, you schmuck. Now STFU and GTFOH, before one of your neighbors tires enough of your relentless screeching to do something to you.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 4:05am

        Re: Re:

        And, seriously, give up this bullshit line of attack. Of course I read the bill, and you know damn well what it's designed to do and how sneaky and underhanded this line of propaganda is.

        Perhaps now you understand how some people feel about using specious free speech and due process claims as a Trojan horse for freeloading.

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    • icon
      PrometheeFeu (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      It's called PROTECT IP for god's sake! If it was about protecting consumers from fake pharma it would be called PROTECT CONSUMERS FROM LEAD IN PILLS YOU BUY ONLINE. (a gold star to anyone who can come up with a good retronym for this)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:33pm

    The current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvanian Avenue does not like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce either, Hmmmm, Interesting.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:40pm

    What you miss is that the USCoC represents all kinds of businesses victimized by rogue site operators. Whether medicines, watches, golf clubs, designer goods and yes movies and songs. They have to consider all of the member companies issues and don't just pimp for content companies. Fact is, content companies are victimized too, but nobody dies. Unless if from boredom of a lousy movie. The non-content companies probably represent a larger constituency of the CoC so I doubt that they are running the show.

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    • icon
      Jay (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 8:37am

      Re:

      That's a lot of FUD you have there...

      "What you miss is that the USCoC represents all kinds of businesses victimized by rogue site operators."

      Rogue site operators is a misnomer. The stated position of most pharmaceutical companies is to find ways to limit foreign (read: cheaper) drugs from entering into the US.

      Canada had cheaper drugs. Guess what? They'll be labeled a rogue site. Brazil tries to make a pharmaceutical company. Not only will they be blackballed by the USTR on the 301 watchlist, but they'll have to watch out for Protect IP stopping any funding from helping them. They aren't victimized, the US companies don't want to compete.

      "They have to consider all of the member companies issues and don't just pimp for content companies."

      The do it anyway. They just have extra paradox absorbing crumple zones in stock.

      " Fact is, content companies are victimized too, but nobody dies. "

      Nope, see above.

      "The non-content companies probably represent a larger constituency of the CoC so I doubt that they are running the show."

      Misnomer, and misleading. The CoC does all it can to buy judges in state courts, work for mandatory arbitration laws, or do many other shady business dealings in order to have their agenda manifest in a variety of ways. It's not about just the "non-content" industry, it's about pushing everything to benefit all constituents with the least amount of resistance.

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  • icon
    FormerAC (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Chamber of Lobbyists

    Don't let the respectable sounding name fool you. The US Chamber of Commerce is a lobbying organization, nothing more.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Now I understand that opposing PROTECT IP is opposing the fight against murderers! We need this law now!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 2:41pm

    The common denominator between the interest of those the CoC represents in this bill is that the are getting victimized by rogue site operators. Why would you force a rogue site bill to be chopped up unless it's simply because you believe a content only bill will be easier to defeat. Pharma, hard goods and content all share a common problem with these sites, I don't think anyone is trying to pull a fast one by including content. On the contrary, pulling a fast one would be trying to exclude them from coverage under the bill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 3:58pm

      Re:

      Why would you force a rogue site bill to be chopped up unless it's simply because you believe a content only bill will be easier to defeat.

      Because (1) only an idiot or a lobbyist would classify all of the problems as "rogue sites." It's not. In some cases they're facing competition. In some cases they're dealing with counterfeiters. In some cases they're dealing with technological innovation these companies don't like. It's just a creation of you and your buddies that you can lump them all together as "rogue sites." I love how you refuse to deal with the fact that Universal Music considers one of its top selling artists' own site as a "rogue site." (2) The way to deal with each of the issues these companies deal with is very, very different.

      Pharma, hard goods and content all share a common problem with these sites, I don't think anyone is trying to pull a fast one by including content.

      Bullshit. The problems they face are totally different.

      The problem for the content industries is a business model problem. It's not a health problem at all.

      It's sick and disgustingly dishonest to lump one industry's failure to adapt to a changing business model in with the actual issue of fake drugs.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 4:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Bullshit. The problems they face are totally different.

        Perhaps. But a large part of a solution; putting foreign-based rogue sites out of business, seems totally similar.

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        • icon
          Karl (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 9:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But a large part of a solution; putting foreign-based rogue sites out of business, seems totally similar.

          Ah, so I guess even though the crimes are done by different types of people, for different reasons, and doing different types of harm to different sections of society (most of which are not the public), the "solution" is exactly the same.

          Sounds good. So, why don't we try that on, let's say, child pornography?

          Oh, wait - because it's unconstitutional.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 4:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ah, so I guess even though the crimes are done by different types of people, for different reasons, and doing different types of harm to different sections of society (most of which are not the public), the "solution" is exactly the same.

            The vehicle is rogue sites. The issue is intellectual property. But, yes the harm can be greater, as in the case of the woman who died. Most of the companies are "public" as in owned by shareholders so I don't know what the "not the public" comment is about. But the law protects IP owners whether an individual or corporation equally.

            Sounds good. So, why don't we try that on, let's say, child pornography?

            Oh, wait - because it's unconstitutional.


            Read the bill Karl. It allows an order to be served on US-based payment processors, ad networks and search engines to stop rendering service to rogue sites. No constitutional issues there. Those sites will still exist, can still operate and be accessed. Just not enabled by those US based assets listed above. The case you cited had absolutely nothing to do with the remedies proposed by Protect IP. Other than that, you're spot on.

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            • icon
              Jay (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 7:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The vehicle is rogue sites. "

              Poorly defined.

              "The issue is intellectual property."

              Broadly defined to mean drugs, music, and movies.

              " Most of the companies are "public" as in owned by shareholders so I don't know what the "not the public" comment is about."

              Ah, so you're going to involve those that represent the public such as KEI to the meetings from now on. Oh, no? Then there's a problem where the public is underrepresented.

              "But the law protects IP owners whether an individual or corporation equally."

              That's funny, because it did a bang up job with Andy Baio, the recipients of DMCA requests, and all the little people it crushes and turns into "pirates" for using legally owned music, movies, and games.

              " It allows an order to be served on US-based payment processors, ad networks and search engines to stop rendering service to rogue sites. No constitutional issues there. "

              And yet, Rojadirecta disagrees, and before the NET act made statutory penalties so egregious, Jammie-Thomas would have been charged with a misdemeanor. Has that stopped those "pirates?" Have the high statutory damages acted like any sort of deterrent as the RIAA/MPAA or anyone else expected them to act?

              And by the way, all you're doing is making Bitcoin that much more valuable along with Flattr. It's weakening the American services, not strengthening them.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 3:32pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "And yet, Rojadirecta disagrees,"

                Familiarize yourself with the Protect IP Act and the facts of the Rojadirecta case.
                Rojadirecta didn't have payment processors, advertising denied them. It's OK to be hysterical but you should at least know what you should be hysterical over.

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                • icon
                  Jay (profile), 27 Jul 2011 @ 5:02pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Familiarize yourself with the Protect IP Act and the facts of the Rojadirecta case."

                  Seeing as how Karl has a better write up that you've yet to respond to, I'll take it that you're just trying to be misleading about PIPA and move on.

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            • icon
              Karl (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 3:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The vehicle is rogue sites.

              When you lump together sites selling counterfeit controlled substances; sites selling counterfeit consumer products; music promotion blogs; forum sites where users share and discuss music and movies; and search engines - well, then, your definition of "rogue site" is so broad, it could cover any site on the internet.

              Each kind of website has different First Amendment issues. Each kind of website is guilty of violating different kinds of laws (some of which are not criminal, but civil). Most of these sites are not making money directly from infringement.

              The issue is intellectual property.

              Not in this story. Here, the issue is public safety. Drugs are a controlled substance, unlike most things under trademark or copyright. You don't need FDA approval to make a handbag or write a song. And as with all controlled substances, the safety issues are entirely separate from the IP issues.

              The medication didn't kill her because it infringed on Big Pharma's IP; it killed her because it was unregulated. The woman would have died, even if she took counterfeit generic medication. In fact, if it was counterfeit generic medication, PROTECT IP would have had no effect whatsoever on the site that sold it.

              And not only do you act like all products covered by IP are the same, you act like all types of IP are the same. It is not. Copyright, patents, and trademarks are governed by completely separate laws, with different reasons for existing. Trademark infringement, for example, does not arise from the Constitution. And patent infringement, unlike copyright or trademark infringement, is never criminal.

              Lumping them all together is a huge mistake.

              Most of the companies are "public" as in owned by shareholders so I don't know what the "not the public" comment is about.

              "Public" means "the general public," i.e. "all citizens, IP holders or not." You know, the people who are the only stakeholders in copyright and patent law. IP is designed to serve the general public, not a company's shareholders. If you want to look at it in terms of "consumers" and "producers," IP laws are designed to serve consumers.

              It has the same meaning, for example, as in "public health and safety." The thing that is not affected by fake handbags or musc blogs, but is affected by unregulated medication.

              Read the bill Karl. It allows an order to be served on US-based payment processors, ad networks and search engines to stop rendering service to rogue sites. No constitutional issues there. Those sites will still exist, can still operate and be accessed.

              I have read the bill. Apparently, you have not. Yes, it allows everything you just mentioned - and it allows those actions to be taken by any IP holder, not just the Attorney General.

              It also encourages ad networks and search engines to take these actions against sites they suspect might be an infringing site, without ever being notified by the Attorney General or any IP holder. They face no liability if they're wrong.

              Additionally, the Attorney General can force DNS's to stop resolving the domain name, blocking the website worldwide. In essence, it's encouraging the kind of "seizures" that ICE have been doing lately, which have a huge amount of First Amendment concerns.

              It is this part of PROTECT IP that is likely unconstitutional under CDT v. Pappert.

              And even if this was not it the bill, there would hardly be "no constitutional issues there." Since this law targets websites, which are specifically an instrument of free expression, the law would have to pass the O'Brien test to be constitutional. The fact that it would pass with some categories of sites (e.g. "commercial speech" sites) and not others (e.g. user forums) speaks to how broadly, and uselessly, a "rogue site" is defined.

              Furthermore, it's only after these actions have been taken, that accused sites are allowed to defend themselves. If they are innocent, then tough shit for them. The can be "unblocked" after a court hearing (which takes many months, if the seizures are any indication), but they must suffer any lost income, or loss of speech rights, that happen in the meantime. In no case are innocent sites allowed to get a single penny in damages.

              This raises the additional spectre of lack of due process.

              There might also be "restraint of trade" issues, especially since the affected sites were not actually found guilty under any court before being blocked by ad networks and search engines. That's not my general interest, though.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 4:42pm

        Re: Re:

        It's sick and disgustingly dishonest to lump one industry's failure to adapt to a changing business model in with the actual issue of fake drugs.

        You have a vastly distorted of the power of the content industry within the CoC. Content likes the bill, but ain't driving the bus. The bill is seen as having a positive impact many member businesses of the CoC. Do some benefit more than others? Sure. But that's the way with virtually any bill supported by the Chamber.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 3:23am

        Re: Re:

        IP is IP. You just don't like the fact that music IP is being protected along with pharma IP. Poor baby.

        And 50 cents' site IS rouge; his forum was a cesspool of people illegally uploading leaks and then providing links to them.

        You are the most shameless piracy apologist on the net, but too much of a little man to admit it; that much is obvious to anyone that can read.

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  • icon
    aldestrawk (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 2:48pm

    a bit of deception

    Glenda Billerbeck's letter on the FIghtOnlineTheft website is either deceptive or just ignorant. She writes:

    "The worst part is that Marcia’s death could have been prevented had the government been given the tools to root out online counterfeiters. That is exactly why I support the efforts in Washington to enact legislation to cut off these sites from the U.S. market, such as the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968), that was introduced last May."

    Well, Marcia Mooty was living in Canada at the time, so how would a U.S. law have prevented her death? If Glenda was truly conscientious about preventing this again she would have mentioned what this article did"

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=a16c39c9-0cc7-468f-a3d0-c1fe022649c3

    "Marshall Moleschi, registrar of the College of Pharmacists of B.C., said any B.C. pharmacy selling drugs online must publish its name and address on its site -- and the college's phone number, which people can call to verify the site is legitimate."

    I imagine their might be a similar way to do this in the U.S., or is there? At any rate since it appears that most online pharmacies used by Americans are Canadian, the same method of calling to verify can be used by Americans.

    "The biggest customers for online Canadian pharmacies are Americans, who pay high prices for many drugs."

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  • icon
    Rowan (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 3:56pm

    The worst part about this awful attempt at re-framing the issue is that the person who introduced PROTECT IP also is in support of a separate bill that would have directly addressed the counterfeit pharma issue.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110520/02012914349/senator-leahy-supports-bringing-drug s-canada-also-banning-such-sites-internet.shtml

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 3:59pm

    Well, Marcia Mooty was living in Canada at the time, so how would a U.S. law have prevented her death?

    Because the major payment processors, ad networks and search engines are based in the US, then US laws ordering these companies to stop rendering service would starve these websites out of business. What good would a Canadian law do to shut down the rogue sites unless they're located in Canada?

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    • icon
      aldestrawk (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 5:55pm

      Re:

      The woman who died thought she was doing a transaction with a Canadian on-line pharmacy. I don't think Canada is intending on shutting down all their on-line pharmacies. Even if the PROTECT IP act is passed and denies these pharmacies the majority of their customers, who are Americans, there will still be a market for on-line pharmacies in Canada. At the very least, those people, like Marcia Mooty, who live in remote places with no easy access to brick and mortar pharmacies. A rogue pharmacy, posing as a Canadian pharmacy, may hope to do a lot of business with Americans. Even if that market is eliminated by this new U.S. law doesn't mean that such rogue pharmacies will entirely disappear. Are you suggesting that U.S. law can control what happens on the internet completely outside of the U.S.? Canada does have its own top level domain (.ca) and that rogue pharmacy may have been using it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 6:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Are you suggesting that U.S. law can control what happens on the internet completely outside of the U.S.? Canada does have its own top level domain (.ca) and that rogue pharmacy may have been using it.

        Only to the extent that they can be starved out by being denied US payment processors and ad network revenue. Also removal from US search engines will help. None of these steps will necessarily eliminate these predators but will help. I don't know Canada law, but assume they have ways to deal with these companies with .ca domain names.

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        • icon
          Jay (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Do you really believe that piracy will be "starved out" by less access to American financial goods, or will the effect of competition equate to similar alternatives being made outside of the US?

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        • icon
          Any Mouse (profile), 27 Jul 2011 @ 2:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm pretty sure our Canadian friends use Google.ca, which wouldn't be affected as much as you think it would.

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  • icon
    Rowan (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Also, take note that commenting on the video has been disabled. Ha.

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    • icon
      Karl (profile), 22 Jul 2011 @ 8:19pm

      Re:

      Also, take note that commenting on the video has been disabled.

      Yeah, interesting that. I posted a comment there not an hour ago, pointing out the fact that none of the sites seized by ICE were for selling counterfeit drugs. I also called them using a personal tragedy in this way "sickening."

      I'm guessing that I'm not the only one. As it turns out, rating is also disabled for the video, and it wasn't before. Perhaps that was because out of all the votes it got, not a single one was a "Like" vote.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jul 2011 @ 5:53pm

    Well, technically, the rogue websites that sell rat poison as aspirin are not infringing on the pharama's formula IP. Unless they also put rat poison in their pills.


    I'm guessing that the woman who died order a medication by trade name. That would be an IP issue I believe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 2:24am

    disabled comments, disabled ratings,
    hardly any followers, fresh profile....

    that does say enough does it not ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 4:48am

    The USCoC is so FFOS

    They are, quite simply, a criminal enterprise founded solely to further the nefarious and mendacious interests of their members, primarily by buying members of various legislative bodies. If their children knew what they do for a living, they'd murder them in their sleep.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gamosnakes, 23 Jul 2011 @ 8:37am

    It's pathetic the lengths some of you will go to justify stealing. The bill doesn't expand copyright law. Read it. It requires third parties to stop doing business with sites that are foreign owned and profiting by selling U.S. Copyrighted works. Sorry if you will have to pay to watch movies or listen to music. If you despise the content industry and what they stand for, you should boycott them, not steal from them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Jay (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 10:46am

      Re:

      It's a vague bill used to stop US companies from competing, lacks judicial overview, and has been shown to considerably rub the Constitution the wrong way. The CoC loves to conflate the issues above, and the government will use it to bully smaller companies and people who dare to talk back against it.

      Yes, I'm against this bill that's anticompetitive just because major entertainment companies don't want to put out products to serve customers. It expands copyright law based on allegations of copyright infringement. It expands the Attorney General's office and that of ISPs and service providers into copyright cops. It destroys communities while ignoring the very fact that pirates make good secondary products consumers.

      "Sorry if you will have to pay to watch movies or listen to music. "

      And this is why I watch Youtube for music. Free. Of charge. Along with Netflix or ebay for movies cheaper than $20.

      "If you despise the content industry and what they stand for, you should boycott them, not steal from them."

      That's just it. No one is stealing anything from them. They don't want to make their own streaming service, it's their fault. The more legal services they make, the less piracy comes into play. That's a well known fact with all of the reports. If you gave people Napster and licensed (instead of sued people for) content for a decent price, people would use it. Same with Spotify. It's not stealing. They can make a copy. Nothing in the rules books of economics says that a digital copy equates to a lost sale. The industry still has potential profits, if they would look for it. Instead, they pay people to conflate the infringement/theft angle so people continue not to understand the problems of copyright, patent, and trademark issues in the digital era.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 3:53pm

      Re:

      It's pathetic the lengths some of you will go to justify stealing.

      This video conflates public safety issues with IP issues, and exploits a personal tragedy in order to push through legislation that will be used to shutter music blogs and user forums (whether commercial or not).

      It can't get much more pathetic than that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 4:35pm

    "This video conflates public safety issues with IP issues, and exploits a personal tragedy in order to push through legislation that will be used to shutter music blogs and user forums (whether commercial or not)."

    It exploits a personal tragedy to prevent further personal tragedies. The fact that it makes stealing music harder is not exactly a reason to not try to prevent further deaths like this. Is getting free content so important that you'd oppose a law that could also save lives? That is truly pathetic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 4:55pm

      Re:

      Is getting free content so important that you'd oppose a law that could also save lives? That is truly pathetic.

      My issue is not about "getting free content." It's about doing away with due process and free speech. And no, I'm not about to give up either of these things willingly, even if it would "save lives."

      Which it likely wouldn't. As the ICE seizures show, the "rogue sites" would likely be about copyright infringement or counterfeit consumer goods. Not one of the "rogue sites" seized by ICE were a threat to public safety.

      Furthermore, "infringing medication" does not always mean "fake medication." It could also apply to e.g. generic drugs, or "parallel imports" of perfectly legitimate drugs. Far from saving lives, this aspect of PROTECT IP would harm lives, by blocking access to safe and affordable drugs.

      See this article in Yahoo! news for details about that.

      PROTECT IP has nothing to do with public safety. It would likely not have prevented the tragedy in this video. But the CoC trots out this story, in a cynical attempt to play at the heartstrings, to get a law passed that will protect its business interests at the expense of the general public.

      That is pathetic. It is exactly the definition of FUD.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Karl (profile), 23 Jul 2011 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re:

        It is exactly the definition of FUD.

        And, I just went to the website - FightOnlineTheft.com.

        They lay out even more FUD than this. Example:

        From fake pharmaceuticals that kill, to the theft of movies and music that put people out of work, to identity theft and malicious viruses, these sites break the law and prey on unsuspecting consumers.

        Not only are they conflating public safety issues with "theft" of movies and music, but they also conflate it with "identity theft and malicious viruses."

        Despite the fact that neither identity theft, nor computer viruses, have anything whatsoever to do with intellectual property.

        And neither could be classified as "rogue sites" under PROTECT IP - which says nothing at all about either identity theft or malicious viruses.

        The whole site is FUD, FUD, and nothing but FUD. It is truly sickening.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2011 @ 6:49pm

    "Despite the fact that neither identity theft, nor computer viruses, have anything whatsoever to do with intellectual property."

    Really? You don't think that illegal music sites also provide a side order of virus with your music? And that these sites in Russia that take your credit card info ever sell it to identity thieves? Goober, you are a rube of the first order. Whatever you do, don't venture beyond farm.net. You'll be eaten alive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 24 Jul 2011 @ 2:23am

      Re:

      You don't think that illegal music sites also provide a side order of virus with your music?

      Let me put it this way: none of the sites ICE seized were even accused of hosting viruses or malware.

      The sites that "distribute" infringing content are not sites that distribute malware. Why would they? Most "pirate" sites are community-driven.

      On the other hand, entities that distribute viruses and malware target any type of software that is popular at the moment. You can just as easily catch them by using Word, Outlook, or Adobe Reader as you can from The Pirate Bay. The latest trend is malware that poses as "security" software. (Of course, the software is not "counterfeit," but wholly fictitious, so no IP violations occurred, and PROTECT IP will do nothing to stop them.)

      And it's not as if IP holders are innocent, either. Remember the Sony XCP DRM? That was malware - and as it happens, it was also an IP violation (since they used GPL code).

      You could say the same for many "copy protection" schemes as well - for example, in the mid-2000's Waves' audio plugin software required DRM that would freeze your computer and result in BSOD's. It got so bad, that the prevailing opinion among commercial audio engineers was "buy the software, use the crack."

      In fact, to the average consumer, "copy protection" is not much more desirable than a virus. That is part of the reason people pirate: the pirated copy is often superior to the commercial product.

      And that these sites in Russia that take your credit card info ever sell it to identity thieves?

      99.9% of infringing websites do not sell content. For example: none of the sites ICE seized for copyright infringement actually sold music or movies. As far as I can tell, none asked for any credit card information for any reason whatsoever.

      And none of those sites - not even the ones that sold counterfeit goods - were even accused of giving credit card info to identity thieves. Not in the affidavits that I've been able to read, at least.

      Even if they did, that wouldn't be an IP violation, it would be fraud. Fraud is not even addressed in PROTECT IP, and sites that commit it would not be considered "rogue sites" under that bill.

      So, if you want to go after identity thieves, then write a bill going after identity theft. If you want to go after distributors of viruses or malware, write a bill that goes after viruses or malware.

      None of that is even addressed in PROTECT IP, because that's not the purpose of PROTECT IP. The purpose of PROTECT IP is solely to go after IP violations, which - I cannot stress enough - have nothing to do with credit card fraud, viruses, or public safety.

      Whether you know it or not (and I suspect you do), you are doing nothing but spreading FUD. It is laughable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Gamosnakes, 24 Jul 2011 @ 6:27am

    It's pathetic the lengths some of you will go to justify stealing. The bill doesn't expand copyright law. Read it. It requires third parties to stop doing business with sites that are foreign owned and profiting by selling U.S. Copyrighted works. Sorry if you will have to pay to watch movies or listen to music. If you despise the content industry and what they stand for, you should boycott them, not steal from them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TDR, 24 Jul 2011 @ 7:05am

      Re:

      Let me put it to you this way: sharing (that is, infringement) is addition, not subtraction. One copy plus one copy equals two copies. No loss occurs, and both parties benefit from what is shared. 1+1=2. The first party still has their content, and the second has their copy as well. Sharing is creation, not destruction.

      Try to get past the divide by zero error in your head and you may be able to understand this simple concept. I know you're likely paid not to, but some things are worth risking your job over, and a job like what you have - being a paid shill - isn't one worth keeping. Clear your conscience and risk believing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 24 Jul 2011 @ 5:15pm

      Re:

      The bill doesn't expand copyright law.

      Yes, it does. This is not how copyright works right now. Even preliminary injunctions against infringers can only happen after a hearing, where affirmative defenses can be raised. To do otherwise is prior restraint.

      Furthermore, the outright blocking of all financial transactions has never been meted out as punishment for copyright infringment.

      Things work slightly differently in regards to criminal (rather than civil) infringement - but this bill is not about criminal infringement.

      Also, pay close attention to 6(c):
      RELATIONSHIP WITH SECTION 512 OF TITLE 17. — Nothing in this Act, and no order issued or served pursuant to sections 3 or 4 of this Act, shall serve as a basis for determining the application of section 512 of title 17, United States Code.

      Translation: 17 USC 512 is now an affirmative defense that can only be raised after the site has been blocked and blacklisted. In essence, PROTECT IP renders 512 toothless, since a site that is in full compliance with 512 can still be considered a "rogue site."

      Under the current law, if websites qualify, 512 prohibits any actions that are not covered in 512(j). That section limits injunctions to disabling user accounts and access to infringing works; and it completely prohibits ex parte injunctions.

      Of course, PROTECT IP also does away with due process, since the allegedly "rogue sites" have no chance to present a defence before their domains are seized and the finances are blocked. Because web sites are, by definition, primarily engaging in speech activities, it also means that this is possibly prior restraint.

      So, yeah, I'd say it "expands" copyright law quite a lot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    rxrightsadvocate (profile), 25 Jul 2011 @ 7:19pm

    Thjere

    I agree that counterfeit drugs are a problem. But as this post suggests many “wrongly lump” counterfeit drugs with “parallel import situations.” The PROTECT IP Act's overarching language fails to distinguish between the “good guys”--the licensed, legitimate pharmacies that require a doctor’s prescription to order medicine--and the “bad guys”--the rogues who sell everything from diluted or fake medicine to narcotics.

    If PROTECT IP is enacted, Americans could lose access to safe, affordable prescription drugs from Canadian and other international pharmacies. RxRights is a national coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting and protecting American consumer access to sources of safe, affordable prescription drugs. The Coalition is encouraging consumers to take action now by sending letters to Congress and President Obama urging them to oppose the PROTECT IP Act in order to protect access to affordable medicine. For more information or to voice your concern, visit www.RxRights.org.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jacob (profile), 27 Jul 2011 @ 11:53am

    I would imagine that if people are buying counterfeit drugs off of the Internet, it's an indicator that we have problems with healthcare and restrictive pharma patents, driving consumers to seek out cheaper, less reputable alternatives. It's a pity the government sees the solution as treating the symptoms, and not the root cause.

    You don't, if you want your patient to live, put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. You only do that if you want to support a big business like Johnson & Johnson.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daryl, 15 Oct 2011 @ 4:58am

    IP Protect

    What is more sad is that she probably had to buy the overseas drugs because our healthcare system sucks!

    No one orders medicine from a website without having to send a RX and believes that they might not get what they are paying for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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