SOPA Gives Me Powers That I Don't Want

from the not-in-my-name dept

I've had the privilege of working in two completely different worlds. I worked in technology, employed by Google for six years where I started and led Google Apps for Businesses. Then, I shifted into the movie business by leaving Google and producing a full length movie, Dead Inside, in LA. Our movie hits the market this week -- at a very interesting time with the copyright bill SOPA being debated in Congress.

I was amazed when I learned about the details of SOPA. This bill gives powers to content owners to easily and freely hurt many tech companies and could even go so far as to shut them down completely. Reading this from an entrepreneur's standpoint I immediately go on the defensive and hate it. After reading through the full bill, I finally realized "Wait wait wait...I'm a content owner, I could use this law." This is when I got truly scared.

As a content owner I would have power to send a simple letter to a payment processor accusing a client of theirs of copyright infringement. If the payment processor doesn't cut off a business relationship with my target within five days, they could be dragged into a convoluted legal process. I don't need to consult with a lawyer to do this, which is great because I don't even have one. I certainly can send simple letters out in my free time between takes on the set though. This is too much power for a single movie producer to have and it's way too much for any one else to have. A large tech company could defend itself in court, but small startups don't stand a chance.

The fact that many tech companies are very small and overly susceptible to the impact a simple accusation could have under SOPA is lost on many folks. While I was in LA, people on our set asked me what I did in addition to working the movie. I told them that "some of my time is spent advising tech startups." While a typical response in the Valley would be "Oh wow, which startups?" I was surprised to hear back "Oh, what's a startup?" After discussing this, many people on our set did not understand that most large tech companies start as two guys in a garage with an idea. Their concept of tech companies only included large firms of the world like Google and Apple. Now I understood that when people look at these laws, the concerns of small companies might be ignored because in some minds its obvious that tech companies have large legal arms to defend themselves.

In reality though, most of the large tech companies that exist today were once very small and very fragile. If SOPA was in place, those companies would have never grown up, since the two guys in a garage would have required four lawyers to survive. Dropbox is a perfect example. Created by some college students, the company provides shared online storage space for a fee. Under SOPA, the company would have been cut off from its revenues as soon as a single accusation was made that it was hosting copyrighted material. As a small company this could have been crippling. Today though, I know that Dropbox is one of the most popular tools in the movie industry, since it allows easy sharing of new daily shots, music cues, draft movie posters and more. The innovative tech companies of the future will be extinguished before they have a chance to even get out the door.

With our movie finished and coming onto the market, I'm looking forward to using technology to get our movie out to the world. I want to work with startups that are coming up with new distribution methods. I want to see new abilities to connect with our future fanbase. I want to see more methods of movies getting crowdfunded so viewers get to have more of a say over which movies they want made. Any company that might start solving these problems though would be at risk under SOPA of getting squashed. While my movie could be the one which shows up on those new sites, I already have tools at my disposal (like the DMCA) to deal with it. SOPA allows me to have an easier time protecting my copyrighted material, but the cost is too great.


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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    SOPA is sooooo scary. Snore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    "As a content owner I would have power to send a simple letter to a payment processor accusing a client of theirs of copyright infringement. If the payment processor doesn't cut off a business relationship with my target within five days, they could be dragged into a convoluted legal process."

    Citation required. This reads like a wonderful Masnick style strawman.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

      Re: Search Engine

      How to find out more about things in 3 easy steps:

      1) Go to a search engine. (use your web browser)

      2) Enter the appropriate words into the text box, press 'enter'.

      3) Peruse the resulting page of links, clicking thru to some of them. read, comprehend.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re: Search Engine

        4) and read all the opinion pages with nothing to back them up, most of them pointing to Mike Masnick's stuff, EFF stuff, or other strawman factories.

        Keep going.

         

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          Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

          4) and read all the opinion pages with nothing to back them up, most of them pointing to Mike Masnick's stuff, EFF stuff, or other strawman factories.

          Heh. In other words, the majority of Google results are people expressing problems with SOPA, and your brain somehow manages to twist that into a point FOR the bill...

          The private right of action, which will indeed allow rightsholders to strangle websites with a mere letter, is not opinion. It's right there in the bill.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

            Marcus, the vast majority are in fact a very small, very vocal minority. Almost every post today, and every other post for a week on Techdirt has been SOPA this, SOPA that, and when you search, you find all the same people doing the same things.

            There aren't any facts out there, just strawmen.

            The other side I suspect is so freaking bafoozled by all the bullshit that they aren't even bothering to answer. It's such a crock of shit that pretty much nobody in Washington (except the wonderful Rand Paul) is stupid enough to buy it.

            Please Marcus, can you quote from the bill for us? Can you even give us a link to the FULL legislation anywhere? You know, the one you FULLY read?

             

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              Anonymous Poster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

              Click the "SOPA" link in the first paragraph of the column.

               

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              Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

              Marcus, the vast majority are in fact a very small, very vocal minority.

              [citation needed]

              Almost every post today, and every other post for a week on Techdirt has been SOPA this, SOPA that, and when you search, you find all the same people doing the same things.

              So Visa being against this, along with Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, a growing number of representatives, and groups that represent consumer interests is a small but vocal minority? What planet are you on?

              The other side I suspect is so freaking bafoozled by all the bullshit that they aren't even bothering to answer. It's such a crock of shit that pretty much nobody in Washington (except the wonderful Rand Paul) is stupid enough to buy it.

              And now, the new point of attack is Ron Paul instead of Darrell Issa, Lofgren, or anyone else. Beautiful!

              Can you even give us a link to the FULL legislation anywhere?

              That's easy

              SEC. 103. MARKET-BASED SYSTEM TO PROTECT U.S. CUSTOMERS AND PREVENT U.S. FUNDING OF SITES DEDICATED TO THEFT OF U.S. PROPERTY.

              (b) Denying U.S. Financial Support of Sites Dedicated to Theft of U.S. Property-
              (1) PAYMENT NETWORK PROVIDERS- Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph (5), a payment network provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after delivery of a notification under paragraph (4), that are designed to prevent, prohibit, or suspend its service from completing payment transactions involving customers located within the United States and the Internet site, or portion thereof, that is specified in the notification under paragraph (4).

              Wanna look less ignorant, chief? Stop taunting people to prove you wrong when you can't even find a copy of the bill.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                The full versions of the bill linked in the story are last month's version... potentially out of date.

                As for your "5 days or die", consider this:

                "Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph"

                Basically, just like DMCA, there is a right to respond.

                Would you care to dispute that, or are you sticking with the story that this is all one sided?

                 

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                  Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:32pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                  Would you care to dispute that, or are you sticking with the story that this is all one sided?

                  It is very one-sided. See, when the rightsholder sends a notice, only one portion must be included under penalty of perjury: the statement that they are the proper rightsholder or an authorized agent. The counternotice, however, places penalty of perjury on the "good faith belief that [the site] does not meet the criteria of an Internet site dedicated to theft of U.S. property"

                  So rightsholders can send letters to whomever they want, and face no penalties if they are wrong. Service providers, on the other hand, can only push back if they are ready to accept full liability, which as we know in reality nobody can even consider doing unless they have deep pockets and expensive lawyers.

                  You are probably going to say "that's exactly how it is in the DMCA" - which is true, except that the DMCA only requires them to take down specific infringing content. SOPA threatens their entire operation.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                    "So rightsholders can send letters to whomever they want, and face no penalties if they are wrong. "

                    Incorrect - the law provides for all sorts of penalties for fraud, for interference in commerce, etc. You cannot take any single law in a vacuum and think that it covers everything. False claims, especially those made with intent to hurt a business or cause it problems, would certainly be actionable - and potentially even criminal.

                    "Service providers, on the other hand, can only push back if they are ready to accept full liability"

                    Equally false. If their client says "I have the rights to it, and here it the proof", that would very likely fulfil the good faith requirements for the service provider, who is then off the hook.

                    Without knowing who the customer is, the service provider would certainly be taking more of a risk, and would have to act quickly to resolve the issue. Sort of like DMCA.

                    What it comes down to is that if they don't know their customer, and are unable to reach them to confirm rights or ownership of the content on the site, then they are taking the risk. Thankfully, Visa and Mastercard don't process for random people without knowing who they are, so they always have a site owner to deal with.

                    Thanks for playing "proving the point" Marcus, you did all the work for me!

                     

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                      kirillian (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                      As the newcomer to this site, I actually would like you to point us to your factual information. Specifically, I want to see cases where the followup actions that you speak of - those serving DMCA notices in bad faith being prosecuted.

                      I haven't seen a lot of news on that. To be honest, I haven't seen ANY news on that. I read a LOT more than Techdirt every day and don't always have the time to comment, but I've always felt the Techdirt community is pretty honest and good at weeding out the bad information from the good. As the Anonymous Coward, you are, honestly, burdened with the responsibility of providing the proof as our factual information is usually already cited. If you can't use the search engine, go somewhere else.

                       

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                      Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                      Without knowing who the customer is, the service provider would certainly be taking more of a risk, and would have to act quickly to resolve the issue. Sort of like DMCA.

                      There's no way in hell that's like the DMCA. You're giving the DMCA an injection of steroids in having the damages so punitive and so disproportionate as to inconvenience people from various walks of life. You accuse a foreign website of being a rogue and before they have a chance to respond, their site is taken down. There's nothing that says that various AGs, without talking to one another, can't just send the same letter with a different signature and causing more litigious problems.

                      Hell, the domain seizure takedowns took away hip hop blogs that HAD authorization to the songs and are still fighting the government! So your logic in saying this is like the DMCA only not is BS.

                       

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                      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                      Incorrect - the law provides for all sorts of penalties for fraud, for interference in commerce, etc. You cannot take any single law in a vacuum and think that it covers everything. False claims, especially those made with intent to hurt a business or cause it problems, would certainly be actionable - and potentially even criminal.

                      Yes - if it extended that far, other laws would come into play. Of course, until it becomes criminal, most small businesses simply wouldn't have the resources to pursue any kind of action - and many could be crippled by even a few weeks of being wrongly cut off.

                      Even still, none of that is very comforting when we've seen that companies like Viacom can accidentally claim that videos they themselves uploaded are somehow infringing. It seems pretty inevitable that a lot of letters are going to be sent in good faith but still be incorrect, and severely harm innocent businesses before the situation is rectified (if it ever is)

                      Equally false. If their client says "I have the rights to it, and here it the proof", that would very likely fulfil the good faith requirements for the service provider, who is then off the hook.

                      And yet, as you well know, having the rights to all content is NOT the only defence. Sites must not be dedicated to infringement and must not avoid confirming a high probability of infringement - a selection of unlicensed content by itself is not enough to prove either of those things. Even putting aside fair use (which of course you ignore) and assuming the content is infringing, if it's user-submitted content then that alone does not make the site a dedicated infringer.

                      It's amazing how you are already expanding the scope of the bill, even within your argument for why it isn't too broad.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                        Marcus you realize your expecting a reasonable honest argument from people who think the internet wayback machine is dedicated to infringment right? Just stock up on stamps and see how much money they can make when there are 1000s of complaints daily for universal.com et al.

                         

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                          Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                          Marcus you realize your expecting a reasonable honest argument from people who think the internet wayback machine is dedicated to infringment right?

                          I'm not really expecting a reasonable response... but it is a rather good way to get him to show his true colours, no? With every comment, he reveals what he really wants out of SOPA: no more anonymity online, no more fair use, no more safe harbours and as much secondary liability as possible.

                           

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                            Jeff (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                            which is ironic given that he is commenting on this site - anonymously...

                             

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                            Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                            Marcus, you have no idea what I want.

                            You on the other hand are clearly a prick.

                             

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                          David Evans (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:36pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                          One of the reasons I like Techdirt is that it attracts a better, more educated class of trolls. They're kinda cute.

                           

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                        btrussell (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 5:25pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                        "Even still, none of that is very comforting when we've seen that companies like Viacom can accidentally claim that videos they themselves uploaded are somehow infringing. It seems pretty inevitable that a lot of letters are going to be sent in good faith but still be incorrect, and severely harm innocent businesses before the situation is rectified (if it ever is)"

                        So Viacom uploads material to youtube, claims infringement, and until Viacom writes a letter claiming how they are rightful owners and is allowable, only then is youtube allowed back online?

                        Sounds Of Property Abuse or SOPA.

                         

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                      RobM (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:48pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                      "False claims, especially those made with intent to hurt a business or cause it problems, would certainly be actionable - and potentially even criminal."

                      See, "especially a business" just shows what this whole law is about. A business, not the public, not society, only business.
                      Open kimono there.

                       

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                  Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:45pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                  Basically, just like DMCA, there is a right to respond.

                  Which goes right out the window when you're a foreigner.

                  Again, you're ignoring the fact that there is nothing compelling an AG to show due process. All that's occurring is an accusation before everything is pulled.

                   

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              Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

              Sigh.

              Full text of the bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261:

              Relevant section to this debate: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c112:1:./temp/~c112nGQSns:e29080:

              So I guess I was wrong - it was section 103, not 104. YOU SURE GOT ME!

              Now, since you're insisting that the private right of action WON'T enable people to strangle websites with a notification, can you please explain how? It is, after all, exactly what the bill says...

               

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                hothmonster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                but everything these legacy industry companies do has to be approved by a board consisting of 6 kittens a unicorn and 4 puppies and a bird that says "i love you", and we all know a committee this cute would never use this bill for nefarious purposes

                 

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                  Major, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 4:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                  HEY HEY HEY ! Stop right here ! Unicorn ? thos bloody beast ripped my gladiator's left arm in a matter of a second ! How dare you call these hideous beast cute !?

                  Right i should have rolled higher on my D20 but man !

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

            The requirements for a legally sufficient notice would be far, far more than a simple letter.

             

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              Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

              There are certain legal requirements, yes, but they are not exactly difficult to fulfill.

              Keep in mind they don't need to hold up in court. They just need to be enough to make service providers cut your target off. So even if your notice is faulty, it will likely get you the results you want - at least when targeting small businesses and startups, who simply cannot afford to counternotice no matter how right they may be.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                Take a look at the proposed Section 103(b)(4). They are difficult to fulfill and subject to prosecution for perjury if they contain falsehoods.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                  Now prove that somebody wilfully tried to lie in any court.
                  Companies just say they made a mistake, just like Warner Bros recently did.

                  Besides they can keep doing it and nothing will happen unless somebody break into their servers and find definitive proof that they planned to go after someone and that will take years to prove, one just need to keep any company shut for a month for it to lose most of their customers and be forced to close their doors, how long again legal procedures can take?

                   

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                  Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                  So they're just as toothless as the penalties for sending false DMCA notices?

                  If you're insistent that no one would abuse the powers being given to private companies in this bill, why aren't there more explicit and significant penalties?

                   

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                  Rikuo (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

                  And what about if, amazingly, they are found guilty of perjury after a lengthy court battle? In the meantime, the business has been starved to death and has spent its limited resources on lawyers. So, even if they win, its still a Pyrrhic victory.

                   

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

          Yes, because the possibility of finding the full text of the proposed legislation just couldn't pass thru your ol' nugget eh?

          Thank you for demonstrating your abilities.

           

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            Atkray (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Search Engine

            He likes to tell others to look up citations while his comments are conspicuously missing them.

            The reason...if he keeps people busy doing basic research there are less posts for him to contend with.

            The level of stress he is under is evident in his posts for the last week.

            He is afraid.

             

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      Citation required.

      The private right of action. Section 104 of the bill, IIRC.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      I feel a bit dirty in kind of feeling what you are saying.
      Although I trust Mike after a few years of reading this blog (Hey, a guy has to make a decision sooner or later.), I can see where you are coming from.

      With that said, this did educate me more. And now I really am scared of this bill. Just an accusation is enough to kill a "target"? I find myself chaffing at the lack of due process. I don't want anyone's content infringed but, this really feels like, well, I live in some 3rd world dictatorship.

      I really do, honestly hope and pray that you guys pushing this thing do stop and think about long term consequences (i.e. 5 years down or more.) on what this could do to due process and related liberties. I just can't believe this is the only and "best" way to accomplish the goal of making infringers in to customers. I think I understand this is the simplest (I hope its not coming cheaply!) method but its so wide ranging in it's scope.

      And we all know that just as there is lawyers that make their sole living off of suing over IP/copywrite issues (I mean, even you guys have admitted some of them are bottom dwellers.) some one is going to abuse the holy crap out of this law so badly that even the RIAA is going to walk away.

      I suppose that I keep hoping that OOTB and company will post another rational comment that will reassure me that not all of my rights and my children's rights are being bought off.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

      Section103 (b) (1)

      ...for those of you that don't habla...

       

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      hmm, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

      Re: Idiot!

      Please crawl back into your OLD MAN Cave!

      Also under your new US NDAA/SOPA laws, your comment can be construed as "Terrorism" and you will be carted off to Guantanamo bay and probe in the ass for WIFI haha

      All jokes aside #SOPA is the STUPIDEST LAW in History!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    "In reality though, most of the large tech companies that exist today were once very small and very fragile. If SOPA was in place, those companies would have never grown up, since the two guys in a garage would have required four lawyers to survive. Dropbox is a perfect example. Created by some college students, the company provides shared online storage space for a fee. "

    [CITATION PLEASE!]

    More bullshit hard at work.

    Dropbox can easily avoid issues by knowing their customers, and not to hide those customers behind their "safe harbor".

    As for "big tech companies", let me assure you that, if X had not happened, Y would have. We might have a different landscape today, but there would be something there. The vacuum is too great.

    Remember too: long before there was DMCA that created all of these "business models" that hinge on safe harbours, there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made. Pay for membership porn dates back to 1994 or 1995 - selling access to content has been around a lot longer than youtube. The models evolve based on the laws at the time, and with SOPA, some things will change and new models will evolve.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

      Re:

      Remember too: long before there was DMCA that created all of these "business models" that hinge on safe harbours, there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made. Pay for membership porn dates back to 1994 or 1995 - selling access to content has been around a lot longer than youtube. The models evolve based on the laws at the time, and with SOPA, some things will change and new models will evolve.

      So everything was totally fine. But we needed the DMCA. Then everything was still totally fine. So now we need SOPA...?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        With DMCA, it isn't fine, Sorry to say.

         

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          Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I see. But by your own admission, before the DMCA, "there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made"

          So I guess the DMCA messed everything up, and really wasn't necessary at all then?

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yup, and if you pirated it, you would get your ass reamed out by a lawyer.

            DMCA messed up in the safe harbors, because it made all that content that was valuable and could be sold, and turned it into the free fodder to get people to check out Google ads.

            Safe harbors sound nice, but in the end they screw up more than they fix.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Another AC, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Alright, we convinced a troll! We all agree that the solution is to dump SOPA and get rid of the DMCA too!

              w00t!

               

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            •  
              identicon
              hothmonster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              yes because every company should be ultimately responsible for however customers use their products. I can't wait for Ford to get sued for every car crash, Nyquil to get sued for ever overdoes and so on and so forth. Lets not forget the cardealers and walgreen too, because like you say its just a simple matter of knowing your customers and being sure they have the proper intentions when they purchase/use your product.

              Now if you excuse me I have to go sue home depot because I stepped on a nail someone dropped on the sidewalk, fucking home depot selling their products to dangerous irresponsible carpenters.

               

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              techflaws.org (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yup, and if you pirated it, you would get your ass reamed out by a lawyer.

              Hey, look. The "reamed" guy is back, with a new Gravatar no less. We've been missing your bragging about Hotfile having been "legally reamed out". Doesn't look so good now that Warner had to admit to take down content they have no rights to, does it?

               

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    •  
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      Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      After reading this, I imagine SOPA as an elephant gun, and see businesses evolving because people go out and shoot down all the ones that aren't cute or fast enough.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Poster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      Remember too: long before there was DMCA that created all of these "business models" that hinge on safe harbours, there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made.

      So, by that logic, the DMCA wasn't necessary.

       

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    •  
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      thegadgeteur (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      Seriously, you're an incompetent idiot spewing incoherent and irrelevant BS. The big point Mike is trying to argue is that SOPA gives individuals and companies far too much power in deciding what can and can't be published online and removing legal discourse for falsely accused parties.

      "As for "big tech companies", let me assure you that, if X had not happened, Y would have. We might have a different landscape today, but there would be something there."

      The above paragraph is so utterly ridiculous I don't know how to even begin to talk to you about why it's wrong. Simply put, there wouldn't be any x OR y if SOPA (and future laws once we start down this slippery slope) are enacted. If I invent and begin running a company that uses a bleeding edge new technology or business model that simply makes an incumbent nervous, they can cry "IP infringement" and instantly get me blacklisted from the internet. And because I would be a small company starting out, I would lack the necessary funds to properly fight my case in court.

      Might want to take your MPAA/RIAA name tag off before jumping in this group again. It's clearly evident who you support.

       

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        gorehound (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        This SOPA is the most Un-American and Non-Constitutional piece of shit it is unbelievable but it is all true.And once you go this route you will never return to the freedom we are supposed to have.No not at all but after a while they will add more restrictions and more and more till we really are living in a World just like 1984 Orwell.

        I will want to know each and every name that signs these kind of bills and then I want them investigated to find out how much the MAFIAA ASSHOLES have paid them off.Because we all want to know how much money does it cost to sell out your Citizens and take their righful freedom away.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re:

        "The big point Mike is trying to argue is that SOPA gives individuals and companies far too much power in deciding what can and can't be published online and removing legal discourse for falsely accused parties."

        As I mentioned before, the law does not preclude civil action and even criminal action for false accusations, especially if they are made maliciously or with intent to harm a business /person.

        All that SOPA does is give the rights holders back their rights, which have been so painfully abused by the safe harbor provisions of DMCA, and significantly limit the ability for a site to hide behind the law, or hide anonymous users behind the law.

        " If I invent and begin running a company that uses a bleeding edge new technology or business model that simply makes an incumbent nervous, they can cry "IP infringement" and instantly get me blacklisted from the internet."

        Absolute, total, utter, and complete BULLSHIT, end to end. They make the claim, you dispute the claim, the service providers look at it, and if in good faith they think you are telling the truth, you keep going and the one making the complaint can take you to court if they think it has merit.

        Please stop with the bullshit. If you think this is what is happening, then you are actually more ignorant than most people here, and that says a bunch.

         

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          hothmonster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Right no large company abuses the DCMA because of the penelties. Which is why viacom was shut down after it was proved that they were sending employees across the street to upload shit to youtube so they could complain, and why WB is getting shuttered for the thousands of wrongful claims it just admitted to. Can you please point to one case of a major corporation being succesfully sued for false notification? No you can't I'm sure that because it never happens right?

           

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          Ed C., Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          All that SOPA does is give the rights holders back their rights, which have been so painfully abused by the safe harbor provisions of DMCA, and significantly limit the ability for a site to hide behind the law, or hide anonymous users behind the law.

          You have absolutely no clue about copyright, do you? The primary liability under copyright is the specific individual or organization that is directly responsible for the infringement. SOPA, however creates NEW rights, like the "private right to action", that was never part of copyright before. Placing such liabilities upon 3rd parties is a serious change to copyright law. And the real reason you hate the "safe harbor" provision is because it specifically restricts 3rd party liability.

          Absolute, total, utter, and complete BULLSHIT, end to end. They make the claim, you dispute the claim, the service providers look at it, and if in good faith they think you are telling the truth, you keep going and the one making the complaint can take you to court if they think it has merit.

          Right...except you likely won't get to depute it until after you get cut off, and unless you have ability to take the issue to court, they are very unlikely to risk the liability for restoring your service either.

           

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        •  
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          btrussell (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          How about giving back the public their rights?

          Public Domain. Ever hear of it? It is what copyright is supposed to benefit.

          Otherwise, keep your imaginary property to yourself.

           

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        •  
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          David Evans (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ok, here's a question...

          What incentive would a service provider have to *ever* evaluate such a claim in their client's favor, rather than in favor of the rights-holder (who can sue if they choose wrong)?

          The real issue is what happens before anything goes to court, because 'not going to court' is something that people are willing to go to great lengths to achieve, even if they're in the right.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Another AC, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      "there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made. Pay for membership porn dates back to 1994 or 1995 - selling access to content has been around a lot longer than youtube. The models evolve based on the laws at the time, and with SOPA, some things will change and new models will evolve."

      Come on. Are you seriously arguing that the only model that can make money is a paid subscription model? Despite all of the evidence to the contrary?

      SOPA looks clearly designed to explicitly limit the number of workable models to just those - it gives content creators massive powers to take down any model they don't like. Your constant denial of it doesn't make it false. And since you're going to ask for a citation, peruse this site, there are tons.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Paul Clark Saint John, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

      Re:

      And just how is it possible for the company to know whether its 100K customers? Do you have a magic wand? If you do, let me know. We can form a partnership. Every company is North America would love to know its customers. Marketing departments have been trying to do this for years.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

      Re:

      WTF?

      Google's first servers photo.
      http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQI25HhPHqZholygC1CW2LG4QNlipuTvXUCAPED97rXRxAnjqTfA w

      Apple I photo:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_I

      Quote:
      Dropbox can easily avoid issues by knowing their customers, and not to hide those customers behind their "safe harbor".

      Yah right that is why every content owner can easily avoid issues like piracy knowing their customers right?

      Quote:
      As for "big tech companies", let me assure you that, if X had not happened, Y would have. We might have a different landscape today, but there would be something there. The vacuum is too great.

      Then we can agree that content owners have nothing to fear because since the void is to great, they will get paid one way or another independent of piracy levels :)

      Quote:
      Remember too: long before there was DMCA that created all of these "business models" that hinge on safe harbours, there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made. Pay for membership porn dates back to 1994 or 1995 - selling access to content has been around a lot longer than youtube. The models evolve based on the laws at the time, and with SOPA, some things will change and new models will evolve.

      Don't forget those business only happened because there was no way to stop them from being there, the DMCA only came along to slow progress and increase liability which reduced the ferocious pace of innovation in those years.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      pyro, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      "Dropbox can easily avoid issues by knowing their customers, and not to hide those customers behind their "safe harbor"."
      [CITATION PLEASE!]

      "As for "big tech companies", let me assure you that, if X had not happened, Y would have. We might have a different landscape today, but there would be something there. The vacuum is too great."
      [CITATION PLEASE!]

      "Remember too: long before there was DMCA that created all of these "business models" that hinge on safe harbours, there was content online, it was being distributed, access was being sold to it, and money was made. Pay for membership porn dates back to 1994 or 1995 - selling access to content has been around a lot longer than youtube. The models evolve based on the laws at the time, and with SOPA, some things will change and new models will evolve."
      [CITATION PLEASE!]
      More bullshit hard at work.


      How does it feel with the shoe on the other foot? Google it if you're that damn concerned.

       

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      RcCypher (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      Incorrect. If this law existed in the late 90's Google would not exist today, nor would Amazon or ebay. The commercialization of the internet did not truly begin until late 1994 early 1995 with the dismantling of NSFNET restrictions.
      You call BS on almost every large tech company currently in existence being a small individuals operation in the beginning. Sorry but your flatly WRONG. Google was just a couple guys in a garage, you think the first time they linked to a bit of copyrighted material they would have been shut down, that is what SOPA is designed to do.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 5:57pm

      Re:

      "Dropbox can easily avoid issues by knowing their customers, and not to hide those customers behind their "safe harbor". "

      If entertainment companies "knew their customers" and didn't provide access to people who would just upload them illegally, they wouldn't have this problem in the first place! Why in the world do they let pirates purchase their products?!

       

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      Brendan (profile), Nov 18th, 2011 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      I don't think destroying user anonymity should be a prerequisite for safe harbours.

      Why don't we just issue internet licenses, and you will have to sign in to every website with that? You'd love it.

      But it won't happen. Go lick goat taint.

       

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      nasch (profile), Nov 25th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

      Re:

      Dropbox can easily avoid issues by knowing their customers, and not to hide those customers behind their "safe harbor".

      Just say it out right. What you want is to eliminate anonymity and institute 3rd-party liability.

       

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    You guys must be really getting scared.

    Or do you like wasting time at a site like this that has absolutely no impact? Because your presence shows otherwise.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      Umm, scared? Wake up, I don't work in the industry. I am just a guy expressing an opinion, getting more and more annoyed by Mike piling up the strawmen and bullshit.

      If you can't tell that this site has become a lobbying effort, you are ignorant. Mike, are you going to register as a lobbyist?

       

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      •  
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        IronM@sk, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Ermm.. This article wasn't written by mike. It was written by Derek Parham, a movie producer...

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re:

        Hmmm...you work for the industry of content-BS-owners then?

         

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        techflaws.org (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:17pm

        Re: Re:

        getting more and more annoyed by Mike piling up the strawmen and bullshit.

        Tough shit!

         

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        Prisoner 201, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re:

        Getting you annoyed is a surprisingly pleasant side effect of the otherwise incredibly rewarding work of defending basic human rights and the progress of humanity.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 6:09am

        Re: Re:

        I don't work in the industry

        So you spend all day defending idiots and you don't even get paid. I always thought it sucked to be you but now I know it sucks to be you.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    "With our movie finished and coming onto the market, I'm looking forward to using technology to get our movie out to the world. I want to work with startups that are coming up with new distribution methods."

    Finally, I have to address this piece of classic horse crap.

    If the new distribution models are good, they will successful. Legal services, that know their clients and provide services to those who follow the law, will flourish - more so because many of the illegal sites will either be out of business or unreachable. The clearing out of the pirates and the jackers that are out there leaves you a nice big open space to present your legal works to the world, and I am sure there will be services to do it.

    Nobody is breaking the internet, nobody is making impossible for someone to access your website, your content. It is however going to be harder for you to get people's attention when you cannot use pirated content to attract users, hoping they might see your product. Your product has to make it on it's own, using all these nice new modern tools of distribution, but it has to work without using someone else's content as a lure. If the models are good, they will win the day, and they will drive the dinosaurs out of business. But if the model only works by using piracy as a lure, it's very likely to fail.

    Having new powers doesn't mean you have to use them.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      Having new powers doesn't mean you have to use them.

      Wasn't there enough time on the trip from your home planet to read up on human nature?

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Poster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      Nobody is breaking the internet, nobody is making impossible for someone to access your website, your content.

      Yet.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Yet?

        That's it?

        Sorry, I call BULLSHIT.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Poster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Yet" is all there needs to be, for me.

          As the old saying goes, "the price for freedom is eternal vigilance". People must speak out against things that could remove or limit existing freedoms -- including one that I hold sacrosanct no matter what, freedom of speech -- to avoid having those things turn into "the norm".

          If we do not oppose SOPA now, it could become law -- and then SOPA will be "the norm". SOPA has the ability to cut into the rights of people to freely express themselves on the Internet in any number of legal ways without an adversarial hearing, and while I know it would face a legal challenge, if the Supreme Court upheld the law, it would be the end of the First Amendment on the Internet.

          SOPA represents everything that is wrong with giving the media companies the power to write laws and attempt to control technology far beyond their comprehension. SOPA needs to be stopped, and people need to speak out against it as often as possible to anyone who will listen.

          Do you really want to live in a world where any website in the world can be permanently erased by a simple form letter from the MPAA or the RIAA?

           

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          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I call bullshit on your calling bullshit. If no one is going to break the internet, then why the fuck does the law allow it. Why the hell don't they change the law to take those parts out? If the law didn't give the ability to violate human rights and break innocent tech, then there wouldn't be an argument.

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "more so because many of the illegal sites will either be out of business or unreachable."

          Bwahahaha.

          As a regular consumer and nice worker by day I am afraid of the chilling effects of this bill, and how it will damage the nicer parts of the internet.

          Now my alter ego who appears at 5pm each night with the simple addition of an eyepatch and parrot has no fear of his internet use being impeded. Most good pirate havens have contingencies for SOPA already in place.

           

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          techflaws.org (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 10:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry, I call BULLSHIT.

          Sorry, noone cares.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      I was willing to let you be a subject matter authority until the last line.

      So far, human history pretty easily proves your wrong on that point, Sir. And that is the very singular point that bugs me.

      Otherwise, I'm will to believe you know more about the movie biz than I do.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Another AC, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

      Re:

      "Nobody is breaking the internet, nobody is making impossible for someone to access your website, your content."

      More denial of facts. Pity.

      "If the new distribution models are good, they will successful. Legal services, that know their clients and provide services to those who follow the law, will flourish..."

      The larger point you keep missing is that people like you keep changing the law as soon as something comes up you don't like. It's great to hide behind your veil of benevolence, but people can see through it for what you really stand for.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      "Having new powers doesn't mean you have to use them."

      Well not needing to use them doesn't mean Viacom won't post its own content to any company that seems to threaten its market and get it shut down either. The door swings both ways, there are people that would never abuse this and there are large corporations drooling over the idea of being able to shut down any start-up that competes with them for nothing but the cost of postage.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Rekrul, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:16pm

      Re:

      If the new distribution models are good, they will successful. Legal services, that know their clients and provide services to those who follow the law, will flourish...

      Yeah, it's not like the entertainment industry ever tried to kill off a new technology out of fear, like the VCR or the MP3 player...

      Nobody is breaking the internet, nobody is making impossible for someone to access your website, your content. It is however going to be harder for you to get people's attention when you cannot use pirated content to attract users, hoping they might see your product.

      You mean pirate sites like YouTube and The Internet Archive? Yup, it'll be a great day when the MPAA/RIAA have the power to shut them down with just a single complaint!

      Having new powers doesn't mean you have to use them.

      Of course it doesn't! I mean just look at how much restraint the entertainment industry has shown in requesting copyright extensions. Or in sending DMCA takedown notices to YouTube. You'd think that they were actually having videos taken down for a few seconds of music in the background! And the various music royalty collection agencies are just being thoughtful of their members when they demand payment from people playing public domain music!

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      Define piracy first, I can declare anything illegal but is it?

      Your BS is just that friend, BS.
      SOPA does nothing to address the fact that people don't want you to serve them.

      Nothing you say or do will make me spend $0.01 on you or your pals let alone $1 or $10 or $20.

      Here is where I spent my time:
      http://www.blendswap.com/
      http://mimiandeunice.com/
      http://dangerdeep.sourceforge.net/
      htt p://www.jamendo.com/
      http://librivox.org/

      Now if you be so kind sod off, get out of my lawn kid, stop crying and go bother the person who tragically put you on this earth.

       

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      Gordon (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 6:31pm

      Re:

      Let me get this out there for you chew on.
      Piracy will NOT stop....let me say that again for you, slowly this time, piracy will N O T stop. Or to put it maybe better it won't be stopped by this bill.
      Long before there was the Internet there was the sneakernet. You had something I wanted I came to you or the other way round and I grabbed it from you.
      Another AC ( or maybe you ) You all look and sound alike on here on another post recently replied to a comment about this by saying that doing such would of course happen but that alone would slow down the flow....I call bullshit.
      It's a simple case of networking.
      I rip a film and pass it to all the members of my immediate family call it four people ( I'm the top of the pyramid ).
      Those four people then transfer the file to only four others each and so on down the line. How long do you think it would take that ONE ripped file to spread across the country if all were involved? Probably something like a month tops.

      Now, to your last full paragraph.

      -Nobody is breaking the internet, nobody is making impossible for someone to access your website, your content. It is however going to be harder for you to get people's attention when you cannot use pirated content to attract users, hoping they might see your product. Your product has to make it on it's own, using all these nice new modern tools of distribution, but it has to work without using someone else's content as a lure. If the models are good, they will win the day, and they will drive the dinosaurs out of business. But if the model only works by using piracy as a lure, it's very likely to fail.-

      Forgetting the fact that the Copyright comp.....Sorry "content" companies (damn I keep making that mistake) have repeatedly gone after people/companies for content that they had no rights over in the first place.
      If these studios actually USED the net the way it can be used they could be making money off of all this content and under write the alleged "pirate" sites couldn't they.
      Think about it this way. You release a film to theaters and charge an arm and a leg for it to be seen there (have to save the theater owners don't we), make tons of $$ of the box office slips.....wait.....then release the film on DVD and BluRay for the other arm and leg....wait about a year....and release it all over again but add some bullshit extras that could have been sold with the first run. DON'T put stupid FBI warnings and shit on the DVDs, I've payed for the fucking film I didn't pirate it. You're also going to charge twice as much for the DVD than I payed for the ticket in the first place. Why?

      Why aren't the content "makers" thinking about monetizing the net? They bitch and moan about others doing at their expense but don't even try to put forth a solid effort to do it themselves. Oh yeah some have tried but they were trash compared to the third party ones that have shown the studios how to do it (Netflix of course comes to mind) then go and try to punish them.

      I'm done, done giving MY hard earned money to you asshats. I have my network and it is ever expanding. It's a two way street out here in reality (everyplace that isn't Hollywood).

      No 2 cents for you.
      Sorry your not even worth that much.

       

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      JMT (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 6:51pm

      Re:

      "Legal services, that know their clients..."

      Is "knowing their clients" the AC catchphrase of the day?

      Are service providers supposed to background check every user the same way you want YouTube to view every posted video to check for infringement?

       

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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Automated Justice

    The Washington Times recently had an editorial concerning speed camera errors. Now one would not normally associate Speed Cameras with copyright infringement, but they are related in the sense that "due process" is being eliminated to (falsely) facilitate the justice for the sole benefit of the accuser. If the finger of blame is pointed at you, you have virtually no opportunity to refute any allegations. Go directly to jail.

    A Washington Times editorial writes: "Traditional law-enforcement duties are best performed by men, not machines. This is the case in Maryland, where speed cameras continue to pronounce the innocent guilty, regardless of mounting evidence that the measuring devices are faulty. ... In a May 24 letter, Mr. Warrington explained his interest in addressing reliability problems was not ensuring justice but “how we can optimize the productivity of our camera.”" (emphasis added)"

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    The Net treats the United States as a defect and relocates around it.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Private right to action is not a strawman, its in the bill. Are you trying to claim viacom wouldn't have shut down youtube years ago if the had the option? We both know that's bullshit, they still get hard thinking about. Sure now its owned by google and has the ability to stand up to corps like viacom but the next new big thing won't and that is a problem.

     

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    Chris Hoeschen (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Backfire

    The backers of this bill should be worried about the bill back firing on them. If it will be this easy then what is to stop someone from filing a complaint against Viacom or UMG? Sure they have high priced lawyers to defend themselves but get enough complaints and their lawyers will be working overtime to keep up.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Poster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Backfire

      They're not worried. The people this law was intended to crush can't afford lawyers, and if there's even a single pushback against their actions, they'll be flattened by a Big Media steamroller.

       

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

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      identicon
      Rekrul, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:19pm

      Re: Backfire

      If it will be this easy then what is to stop someone from filing a complaint against Viacom or UMG?

      The laws don't apply to the corporations that write them.

       

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

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    lavi d (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Awesome

    As a content owner I would have power to send a simple letter to a payment processor accusing a client of theirs of copyright infringement. If the payment processor doesn't cut off a business relationship with my target within five days, they could be dragged into a convoluted legal process.

    Well, that really cuts the feet out from under Anonymous, doesn't it?

    No more extensive, collaborative DDoS attacks - just accuse a website of copyright infringement, and down they go...

     

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      Prisoner 201, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 1:10am

      Re: Awesome

      Anonymous is going to have a blast with SOPA. Piss them off and your ISP, banner provider and payment processor will get hundreds of very legal looking SOPA letters.

      Remember, there is no running IP traces on snail mail.

       

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

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

    I'm sure to be /told/ that Mike is /for/ copyright, but that's only when it serves his purposes. As example of "new business model", Mike suggests that you give the movie away for free, then "sell scarcity", whatever that means.

    IF the movie is popular, you'll able to measure your success on The Pirate Bay. Remember, according to Mike, more it's pirated, more "exposure" you get, and the more income. So try to view infringement as advertising, not losses.

     

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      Jay (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

      Re: But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

      There are always other scarcities, such as DVDs, Tshirts, and other forms of media that can be created. You're not proving Mike wrong here, you're proving your own ignorance in the matter.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Poster, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

      Re: But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

      Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

      I'm not about to speak for Mike Masnick -- who, by the by, didn't write this column, if you'd have bothered to look at the byline -- but from everything I've read on Techdirt the past few years, Mike seems to oppose using the sort of thing that SOPA will make easy to do (using copyright claims to silence free speech).

      The DMCA already allows content creators some measure of copyright protection (even though it's godawful); SOPA would extend that protection to a level of anti-Constitutionality that has never been seen before in the United States. A website like the Internet Archive could go down in its entirety with a single form letter from the MPAA or RIAA; all that needs to be determined is if the site is "rogue" in some way.

      The MPAA and RIAA are fighting a losing war against piracy, and SOPA is their last-resort nuclear weapon. If it gets passed and withstands any legal challenges that will arise from its passing, SOPA will turn into Big Media's A-Bomb and allow media companies/copyright holders to lay down a path of destruction all over the Internet with the government's blessing.

      This isn't about "protecting piracy" or "siding with content thieves" or any of that buzzword bullshit. This fight is about protecting one of the most sacred laws of the United States of America -- the First Amendment -- from one of the most brazen and uncalled-for attacks upon said law in God knows how long.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re: But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

        This sums up how I feel.
        To the point!

        And secondly, why is this Nuke of a law so ok with you guys? You have families and children that will be affected by this sooner or later (Big blast radius.).

        We all know and realize that this is going to be abused. Sure it's not "yet" as pointed out before, but so far, every other law has been. Remember the rallying cry of "For the children!"?

         

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      identicon
      IronM@sk, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

      Re: But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

      Mike suggests that you give the movie away for free, then "sell scarcity", whatever that means.

      So now that you've admitted you're completely clueless as to what "scarce" and "abundant" goods look like and how they are affected in a true free-market economy, don't you think it's time to really educate yourself before continuing your nonsensical rants?

       

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      Atkray (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

      Re: But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

      You forgot the 100 mil.

       

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      JMT (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

      Re: But Mike opposes "protecting [your] copyrighted material".

      "...whatever that means."

      And finally you admit to what we all figured out months ago. Plain ol' IGNORANCE!

       

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

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    The big corporations of this world would like it so no move can be made without consulting a lawyer. No new technology developed, no new websites created, no new models for business without the express approval from a lawyer that everything will be legal and unassailable. Why? Because that's how they do business, because they can afford to.

    Why do you think the fines for infringement are so high? Because they were designed for one corporation to damage another corporation. They were never intended to be used on individuals for things like file sharing.

    All these laws do is make sure the only players out there are the big players. Wanna make a movie? Good luck making money with it without approval from the big players. They control the process from which someone makes money with movies. They aren't about to let some little upstarts come in and ruin their game.

    These corporations are nothing more than teams of lawyers, accountants, and marketers. The fact that they're piggy-backing on artists is incidental - don't let it sway your empathy. Artists will go on working whether it's for corporations or not.

     

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      David Evans (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

      Re:

      It's not consulting 'A Lawyer' anymore. That's already pretty sensible. But I've consulted 'A Lawyer' a few times. Often enough, they just shrug and say 'Yep, that might get you sued. I have no idea whether you'd win or lose. Either way it will cost you $LOL,LOL.00'.

      Any sort of certainty requires that you have your own steamroller.

       

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

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    identicon
    Paul Clark, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    So Here's The Game Plan

    Here is my solution:
    1. Form a limited liability company in the US.
    2. Sell 5000 shares for $1
    3. Scan the catalogues of the large media companies for content that they do not or no longer hold copyright.
    4. Solicit a legal document from the rights holder to represent them in the matter of their copyright being abused.
    5. Send letters to the various payment companies demanding that they no longer collect payments for the firms.
    6. Considering that most of the large media companies have material that they no longer hold the rights to and are still selling, this could get interesting. I wonder if any of it is being sold on Itunes :).

    I may have a new hobby.

     

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    Sinan Unur (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Repeating the Napster mistake is not good for anyone but a select few

    Those of us old enough to remember the Napster non-sense are still baffled by how many billions of dollars the entertainment industry was willing to give up to be able to stick with their old business models.

    When Napster first came on the scene, they could have moved ahead and co-opted it for mere pennies. They could have shut it down later if things did not work out. Of course, now we know things would have worked out and worked out very well indeed, for one simple reason: While the marginal cost of allowing one more person to download an MP3 is close to nothing, people are willing to pay at least a dollar for a genuine, high quality audio file.

    Nooooo, it would have been heresy for a bunch of lawyers to settle for a win-win solution. No sir! We must win and customers must lose even though what we win is but a miniscule portion of the dough Apple made with iTunes. Coincidentally, the inventor of the intarwebs was available to lend a sympathetic ear, and the stupid DMCA was passed with one significant "loophole" that allowed more win-win solutions to be developed: Safe harbors.

    Now, we are at a crossroads again. There is a win-win solution: The large content publishers with their stockpiles of cash can take chances on innovative startups and find new ways of making even more money. But, nah, the lawyer mentality balks at that. Someone must always lose. There can't be win-win.

    Therefore, we get SOPA (which actually means "stick" in Turkish ;-)

     

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Thought DCMA was supposed to fix all this, already.

    I'm sure SOPA will be just as effective.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    So Derek, what was the budget of your film? Got a distributor?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      "Got a distributor?"

      Yes, The Entire World.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Prisoner 201, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 1:21am

        Re: Re:

        This is what they don't understand.

        The entire world is literally a few keypresses away. No trucks or container ships needed. No local offices with warehouses. No vinyl breakage fees.

        They can not comprehend that they are not needed anymore. This makes them angry, because they feel like they are unjustly rejected, hurting their feelings of entitlement.

        Too bad that their stupid, ignorant tantrums are destroying the biggest tool of progress humanity has right now.

         

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

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    Chris Hoeschen (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Under the new law SOPA I hereby notify you of a domain that is dedicated to infringement and demand that you block access to and/or deny payments to anybody using this domain or any subdomains. The domain in question is .com

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    This guy makes Nina Paley look like Spielberg. The last movie his "star" was in had a budget of $10,000. His Production Designer has no credits and was also working in the wardrobe department. His mixer's last film was a whopping $50,000. The cinematographer is a former camera assistant who doesn't even have a single camera operator credit, much less a DP credit.

    An Executive Producer is generally what they call the investors in a film. Given that there are seven "Executive Producers" I can guarantee this guy's in the "movie business" like the guy who empties bedpans is a doctor.

    Masnick, you really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find this character. He's a nobody. He doesn't make his living in the motion picture industry and never has. Him suggesting that he somehow represents real filmmakers is an utter fraud. After he finishes getting fleeced on this film, he'll probably be done for good.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

      Re:

      Why do you hate artist so much?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re:

        Why do you hate artist so much?

        Artists? What are you talking about? I hate frauds, pretenders and poseurs... like this guy.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Artists? What are you talking about? I hate frauds, pretenders and poseurs... like this guy."

          Oh, so in that case you must really hate the entire movie and music industry.
          So I'll ask again, why do you hate artists.

           

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

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          The eejit (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Frauds, pretenders and poseurs, you say?

          Well, seeing as the MAFIAA have actually employed convicted fraudsters, embezzlers and corporate thieves...

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Prisoner 201, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 1:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh I see, you have to have a hundred million dollar budget to be a true artist.

          Artistic talent starts at that amount of dollars. Anything less is just a fraud, pretender or poserur, depending on what dollar bracket you are in.

          Because as we all know, all famous artists in history had budgets of $100M or more.

           

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Why do you hate artist so much?

        Artists? What are you talking about? I hate frauds, pretenders and poseurs... like this guy.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 3:54pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

      Wait he is trying to spend less then 100M on this movie? Well then obviously he is a hack.

      Its his first movie, which he states in the article, and he isn't backed by a major studio so sorry he can't get a lead actor with a multi-million dollar rate. Of course no movie without huge stars and a cinematographer without at least 20 projects under his belt has ever been worth anything. That's why they gave up on Sundance so long ago.

      Your attitude in the above post is all the reason I need to know your a completly ignorant asshole. He is honest about his experiece yet you invent some smokescreen and then judge his creation on its budget because only people who have 20' set aside for marketing should get a say in our laws right?

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:26pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

        Wait he is trying to spend less then 100M on this movie? Well then obviously he is a hack.

        Its his first movie, which he states in the article, and he isn't backed by a major studio so sorry he can't get a lead actor with a multi-million dollar rate. Of course no movie without huge stars and a cinematographer without at least 20 projects under his belt has ever been worth anything. That's why they gave up on Sundance so long ago.

        Your attitude in the above post is all the reason I need to know your a completly ignorant asshole. He is honest about his experiece yet you invent some smokescreen and then judge his creation on its budget because only people who have 20' set aside for marketing should get a say in our laws right?


        Masnick set up one of seven of the "Executive Producers" of a glorified student film as the spokesman for the motion picture industry. He's not. He's an investor or at best a hobbyist. Not a professional and not dependent upon the industry for his living.


        PS ....."all the reason I need to know your a completely ignorant asshole."

        Oh, the irony!

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

          "Then, I shifted into the movie business by leaving Google and producing a full length movie, Dead Inside, in LA. Our movie hits the market this week "

          so by clearly stating in the first paragraph that he left google and is working on his first movie he is misrepresenting things how? Way to chase demons that don't exist buddy.

          Once again the only peoples opinion who count are the studios that by the rights to things people like this guy make right? No small band or small budget movie producer has the right to have an opinion on the laws that will make it harder for small bands and small budget movies to make it without the backing of a major studio? You logic is sound.

          Its not ironic that your an asshole for complaining about a smokescreen that didn't exist and then attacking a man because his movie doesn't have a huge stars and 6 figure cameramen. You fight shadows you create and then discount anyone who can't throw 50 million at a project, your an asshole.

           

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          Jeff (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 5:03pm

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

          So by your attitude no new directors or producers can make anything worth merit? Only those "blessed" by assholes like you are entitled to millions from the rest of us schleps??

          No thanks - I'd rather watch rank "frauds, pretenders and poseurs" than anybody you've ever blessed...

           

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

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      Wow. I'll remember to point to this comment every time SOPA supporters say it's all about protecting the little guys in the industry.

       

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      btrussell (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 5:11pm

      Re:

      Was Spielberg born with 40 movies under his belt?

       

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

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    Chris Hoeschen (profile), Nov 15th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Would "felony interference of a business model" be consider dedicated to infringement? Will this bill be limited to only copyright? At some point would trademark be rolled into it as well? Wouldn't that be swell. Now someone who has a trademark dispute with another company files suit (in East Texas no less), goes to the ITC to get all imports barred, and then uses SOPA to deal the final blow; shutdown of the website and any CC payments.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 6:10am

    Think about the children! What will they watch if you can't pirate stuff?


    THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!

     

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


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