MPAA Tries Its Hand At Comedy With A Top 10 List In Favor Of Censoring The Internet

from the want-to-try-that-again dept

The MPAA has been sending around a sort of "top 10 list" to folks in Congress about why they should vote to censor the internet via PROTECT IP (PIPA). It's actually two different top five lists. The first is five reasons to vote for the law. The second is five reasons that "Google" is wrong about the law (as if Google is the only one complaining about the law -- which is pure hogwash). Of course, the ten reasons don't make much sense, and we figured that it might be helpful to shine a little of that reality light on the claims:
The PROTECT IP Act will preserve American jobs and encourage economic growth.
Internet piracy and counterfeiting puts millions of American jobs at risk. More than 10.6 million Americans depend on the copyright industries for their jobs. That’s about 1 in 10 private sector jobs in the U.S. And about 2.2 million Americans depend on the film and television industries for their jobs. Many of these Americans work behind the scenes in good paying middle class jobs.
Misleading in the extreme. First of all, as we've explained at great length over and over again in the past, "the copyright industries" (a made up term by the folks who support more draconian copyright legislation) does not mean that these people rely on copyright itself. Much of those jobs would exist with or without copyright. The myth here is that, but for copyright, those jobs wouldn't exist. Yet that's ridiculous. It assumes, a priori, that without copyright there would be no content creation at all. That's completely ridiculous. In fact, as we've seen, as copyright has been ignored, it's actually resulted in much greater output, and the size of these copyright industries has continued to grow and has outpaced the rest of the economy. Furthermore, using the exact same methodology as "the copyright industries," it actually can be shown that it's exceptions to copyright law that create even more jobs -- and thus the conclusion might be that copyright law should be weaker, not stronger.
Internet piracy and counterfeiting is a danger to consumers and national security.
Many websites dedicated to piracy and counterfeiting appear to be legitimate. Consumers looking for prescription drugs online have unknowingly purchased counterfeit goods such as tainted medicine. And the defense industry is very susceptible to counterfeit parts because many defense systems rely on electronic parts that are no longer produced by the original manufacturer. An Armed Services Committee investigation has found over 1 million suspect counterfeit electronic parts that were purchased for the defense supply chain.
Ah, the massive bogus conflation argument again. First of all, if counterfeit drugs are really a problem (and the data suggests that it's a very small problem), then craft legislation that targets just that. Don't lump it in with tons of other stuff that are not a danger to consumers. Ditto for military equipment. First of all, why is our military buying parts from "rogue sites"? Last I checked, the military, as a part of the government, had to buy from providers with a GSA contract, which are not easy to get. If somehow folks are buying around that, then that's an issue and let's deal with that. But lumping both of those, very narrow, and very limited, problems in with the much wider, but totally unrelated, issue of infringement online is dishonest and dangerous.
Internet piracy and counterfeiting funds organized crime networks.
Many organized crime networks engage in Internet piracy and counterfeiting. They often use the profits from this activity to fund other criminal enterprises that are violent and dangerous.
Bullshit. Seriously. This one is total bullshit. The argument has been entirely discredited based on a recent comprehensive study of the issue. From that SSRC report
Arguing that piracy is integral to [organized crime & terrorist] networks means ignoring the dramatic changes in the technology and organizational structure of the pirate market over the past decade. By necessity, evidentiary standards become very loose. Decades-old stories are recycled as proof of contemporary terrorist connections, anecdotes stand in as evidence of wider systemic linkages, and the threshold for what counts as organized crime is set very low. The RAND study, which reprises and builds on earlier IFPI and Interpol reporting, is constructed almost entirely around such practices. Prominent stories about IRA involvement in movie piracy and Hezbollah involvement in DVD and software piracy date, respectively, to the 1980s and 1990s. Street vendor networks in Mexico City--a subject we treat at length in the Mexico chapter--are mischaracterized as criminal gangs connected with the drug trade. Piracy in Russia is attributed to criminal mafias rather than to the chronically porous boundary between licit and illicit enterprise. The Pakistani criminal gang D-Company, far from "forging a clear pirate monopoly" in Bollywood, in RAND's words, plays a small and diminishing part in Indian DVD piracy--its smuggling networks dwarfed by local production.

The US record isn't more convincing in this regard. Jeffrey McIllwain examined the Department of Justice’s IP-related prosecutions between 2000 and 2004 and found that only 49 out of the 105 cases alleged that the defendant operated within larger, organized networks. Nearly all of these were "warez" distribution groups for pirated software--hacker communities that are explicitly and often fiercely non-commercial in orientation. McIllwain found "no overt references to professional organized crime groups" in any of the DOJ's criminal charges (McIllwain 2005:27). If organized crime is a serious problem in these contexts, it should not be difficult to produce a stronger evidentiary record.
But the MPAA fact sheet does not provide a stronger evidentiary record. It just repeats the bullshit.
Copyright protection encourages innovation and free speech.
Copyright protection laws have helped create the Internet of today, alive with free speech, innovation and commerce. Copyright laws in the U.S. uphold free speech while encouraging innovation by giving an economic incentive for artists and investors to create new content and distribute it on the Internet. And noted First Amendment expert Floyd Abrams has concluded that the PROTECT IP Act protects free speech.
Copyright protection, when done carefully may encourage free speech. When done wrong, it clearly limits and inhibits free speech. This is not a debate. Even the courts admit that copyright done wrong can and does inhibit free speech. That is our concern here. PROTECT IP is copyright done wrong. Floyd Abrams was hired by the MPAA to support PROTECT IP. Yet, well over 100 legal scholars, including constitutional experts like Laurence Tribe have said that it violates the First Amendment. The MPAA has yet to turn up anyone other than Floyd Abrams. And, even Abrams admits that these laws would censor protected speech -- he just doesn't think it's to the level that it's a problem.
The PROTECT IP Act provides needed tools to target criminals beyond the reach of current laws.
Foreign websites that traffic in counterfeit goods and stolen content are violating copyright protection but are often beyond the reach of our current laws. The PROTECT IP Act targets criminal behavior. Everyone engaged in legal commerce on the Internet should welcome this legislation.
There are other, better, ways to deal with the narrow issue of sites that are outside of our laws. The Wyden/Issa proposal, for example, narrowly targets that specific problem without all of the collateral damage.

Next up, are the anti-Google points, which repeat much of the above, but with a special anti-Google spin:
Google claims the PROTECT IP Act “threatens the ability for free speech.” Copyright law has promoted free speech on the Internet.
The PROTECT IP Act, like content protection law before it, promotes free speech. Content protection law has given us the Internet today, alive with free speech, commerce, and innovation. In fact, noted First Amendment scholar Floyd Abrams stated that the PROTECT IP Act upholds our First Amendment Rights. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has written, “The State Department is strongly committed to advancing both Internet freedom and the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights on the Internet. Indeed, these two priorities are consistent.”
See above for the Floyd Abrams crap. As for Clinton, she commented on copyright law in general, not the specific proposals under way. The two priorities can be consistent, but they can also be opposing. In fact, we've heard directly from multiple people within the State Department that they're very much opposed to these bills, and that they will undermine their internet freedom arguments.
Google claims that the PROTECT IP Act will be a burden to taxpayers. Criminals involved in Internet piracy do not pay taxes and the PROTECT IP Act will preserve American jobs.
Criminals who profit from piracy do not pay taxes. Internet piracy and counterfeiting puts millions of American jobs at risk. More than 10.6 million Americans depend on the copyright industries for their jobs. That’s about 1 in 10 private sector jobs in the U.S. And about 2.2 million Americans depend on the film and television industries for their jobs. Many of these Americans work behind the scenes in good paying middle class jobs.
Totally misleading. We already debunked the bogus jobs claim above, but more importantly, which sector of the economy has actually been creating new jobs these days? Tech. Facebook alone has created somewhere around a quarter of a million jobs itself, not by hiring, but through the companies that built off its platform. eBay has enabled over 750,000 small businesses to be built on its platform. Those people pay lots of taxes. Taking away and limiting the ability of the next generation of platforms to enable these new businesses and new jobs will significantly impact economic growth and taxes.
Google claims that the bill “is a trial lawyers dream.” The PROTECT IP Act is a nightmare for criminals.
The PROTECT IP Act provides needed tools to go after criminals beyond the reach of our current laws. It targets criminals who profit from trafficking in counterfeit goods and stolen content. Many organized crime networks make millions of dollars from Internet piracy and counterfeiting.
The bill is a nightmare for the entire internet. Its broad definitions mean that it will target significantly more than just the "worst of the worst." And when people tried to narrow the definition, the MPAA threw a hissy fit. That's because this isn't about going after the really bad actors. This is about the MPAA being unable to adapt and wishing to control new legitimate platforms as well.
Google claims the PROTECT IP Act “seeks to regulate the Internet.” The bill penalizes activity that is already criminal but beyond the reach of our current laws.
Foreign websites that traffic in counterfeit goods and stolen content are violating copyright protection but are often beyond the reach of our current laws. The PROTECT IP Act targets criminal behavior. Everyone engage in legal commerce on the Internet should welcome this legislation.
This is especially disingenuous. The bill works by putting massive compliance costs on tons of internet companies. Creating a startup is going to involve a huge legal budget. The fact that PROTECT IP only "targets" foreign sites, ignores that the mechanism for such "targets" is to use internet companies as cannon fodder. That's a problem.
Google claims the PROTECT IP Act is “a threat to our national security.” Site blocking techniques are already in use and the Senate Armed Services Committee has shown that counterfeiting is a threat to our national security.
Site blocking techniques are not new. They are currently used to combat all kinds of harmful behavior including spam, phishing, malware, viruses, and other forms of Internet crime, all without claims of Internet censorship or harm to the Internet. And, the defense industry is very susceptible to counterfeit parts because many defense systems rely on electronic parts that are no longer produced by the original manufacturer. An Armed Services Committee investigation has found over 1 million suspect counterfeit electronic parts that were purchased for the defense supply chain.
This is the craziest claim of all. Look at all of the credible people who have pointed out that PROTECT IP's DNS blocking will be a threat to national security. This includes Stewart Baker, the former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary and former NSA General Counsel. It includes Sandia National Labs, which is an expert in computer security issues, and it includes the freaking people who more or less built the DNS system. In all this time the MPAA has never brought out any expert who can argue to the contrary. The best it's done is have a guy from Hollywood claim he "doesn't agree" with these assessments.

The MPAA's arguments here are dishonest, disingenuous and downright dangerous. Because they don't want to adapt to a changing market, they've decided that collateral damage to security, the economy and innovation are no big deal. Hopefully those in Congress are able to see through the facade.


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    The eejit (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 7:49am

    Hrm.

    It looks like the MPAA vs. Google.

    I wonder how much dirt Google has on the MPAA? Probably lots. Oops! Google accidentally e-mailed all that dirt to everyone in the world.

    Your move, MPAA.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:19am

      Re: Hrm.

      I'm pretty sure Google has Ninja Attorneys (you know how geeks & engineers are...) which means the MPAA's lawyers will likely "disappear".

      Or, at least, I hope so.

       

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 9th, 2011 @ 8:35am

        Re: Re: Hrm.

        I'm pretty sure Google has Ninja Attorneys (you know how geeks & engineers are...) which means the MPAA's lawyers will likely "disappear".

        All they need is to borrow the Nazgul from IBM and they have it made. Gotta work hard to keep those with the rings in line...and they destroyed SCO.

         

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      Kevin H (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:34am

      Re: Hrm.

      That would be need to have a new level of awesome named after it. They could do the same for the corrupt politicians and lobbyists in Washington too. That might actually effect some real change.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    "Internet piracy and counterfeiting funds organized crime networks."

    If that's true we should legalize file sharing and take all the money out of their business. It's a security issue.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      Following that line of reasoning we should also legalize drugs...

       

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        Chris-Mouse (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 10:16am

        Re: Re:

        I don't have a problem with that.
        The 'war on drugs' is far worse than the problem it's supposed to solve.

         

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          I'mToo Scared Of The Internet, Dec 9th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But the "War on Drugs" have only lasted 40 years. You must give it time to work man! The "War on Terror" have only lasted 10 years, and have cost at least as much as the "War on Drugs" already, and it's merely gearing up! Just give it another thirty years and...
          Oh...

           

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        btrussell (profile), Dec 9th, 2011 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly!

        How many "gangs" are making money, killing, over alcohol?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:26am

    "Internet piracy and counterfeiting funds organized crime networks."

    If that's true we should legalize file sharing and take all the money out of their business. It's a security issue.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

    "as we've explained at great length over and over again in the past" -- Copyright is a focused privilege for those who create, NOT a grant of someone else's work to every Little Pirate who has a DVD drive.

    But as Mike does boilerplate, so too I present this:

    It's inarguable that YOU don't have the right to publicly distribute content that someone else has made. Inarguable. Yes, you can buy a movie DVD and make any number of copies for your own use on other devices, and will get no argument from me, so don't bother to complain that the MPAA doesn't like that. BUT if you distribute those files publicly, I'm forced to agree with the MPAA that you are STEALING. And yes, the MPAA defines "publicly" so narrowly that they don't want you to have pals in to watch it, but we all KNOW that "file sharing" with total strangers over the Internet IS making it public.

    Now, assuming that inarguable point is nailed down, it naturally follows that file hosts don't have a right to publicly distribute such content, either. For now, they've a legalistic loophole that should never have existed, in that if can even remotely claim they don't know for certain that files are uploaded without permission of copyright owner, they can continue to distribute them by the petabyte on over 800G/S bandwidth. -- That legalistic loophole needs to be closed, is all, and then you'll all be clear on the principle.

    ============================

    "Pssst! Hey, I got a movie. Didn't cost me a cent. Don't ask where it came from. -- Don't look at it! We'll lose safe harbor protection! -- So, now..." (Rubs hands and chuckles sleazily...) "How do we get money from it?" -- Mike's movie example in the "can't compete" piece where he disappears $100M "sunk (or fixed) costs" is EXACTLY the case for links sites and files hosts. Mike POSITS "FREE" PRODUCT so that he can then claim that only marginal costs matter. My analysis can be contradicted but never rebutted, because any honest evaluation inevitably leads to: his example works only by ignoring how the movie came to exist, otherwise he has to worry about repaying costs.

    It's no coincidence that "can't compete with free" is what exists with rampant piracy; "economist" Mike crafted his example as if instructions for grifters. Getting attractive products for free is the ONLY reason that links sites and file hosts have ANYTHING to draw eyeballs to advertising (and in the case of Rapidshare and others, to collect fees for Premium service). -- And to anticipate a standard weenie-ism: that you upload your projects to those hosts is at most decimal percentages of the petabytes, so irrelevant.

    Loss of FREE PRODUCTS is SOLELY why Mike is worried about SOPA. He has no lofty abstract concern for free speech, but for actual FREE MONEY. His grifter pals will soon be prevented from getting money by leveraging other people's expensive products: he wants the content producers to KEEP competing with the "free" outlets that use it to bring eyeballs to ads on the sites of pals.

    The symbiotic parasites of links sites and files hosts rely on stolen content. They maintain that "users" do all the uploading (not true, see link below), and that the file hosts KNOW NOTHING about the copyright status or even content of files, and in a brazen reversal state that they get too much material to check! -- Simultaneously, when suits their purpose, pirates here maintain that infringement is at such low levels can barely be detected.

    Grooveshark bunged staff bonuses 'for pirating music' http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/29/grooveshark_copyright_fail/

    It's definite that Mike's efforts here haven't stopped the increase of piracy. It's not cogently arguable that he wishes to stop piracy. Techdirt and its fanboys ALWAYS argue against copyright and to facilitate piracy, such as:

    ) piracy doesn't result in ANY lost sales, it even increases income because promotes the products, free advertising

    ) content owners / producers haven't actually lost anything by people sharing their content as digital files because still have their product whole

    ) if ALL of the movies on The Pirate Bay were obtained legally it would net Hollywood a mere $60M

    ) technology marches on and piracy can't be stopped

    ) producers who ignore or even promote piracy make out better

    ) studios need to "connect with fans" instead of worry about people getting the content without paying -- as if that isn't THE ESSENTIAL connection!

    ) products should be given away and money made from "scarcity", follow-on physical goods or services -- translation: sell Chinese-made T-shirts

    ) give away and pray is a valid business model

    ) the movie industry can be both crowd-sourced and crowd-funded (admittedly, so silly that it's only tacitly implied...)

    ) attempts to stop piracy with SOPA will have massive collateral damage to "free speech" on links sites and impose undue burdens on file host sites

    ) DNS blocking won't work at all -- OR, at times contradictorily in the same piece: DNS blocking WILL censor large swathes of the Internet

    ) enforcing copyright with SOPA will stifle what Mike inventively terms the "innovation industry" -- whatever called, it's definitely NOT a productive part of society, relies on being in middle to re-distribute

    ) IF Big Media gets what it wants, THEY'LL BE SORRY!

    ) Big Media is doing just great with record incomes, OR is on the verge of collapse and disappearing

    ) Big Media is propping up "outdated" business models because we can duplicate files endlessly, but WE have NO idea where those files come from or how they got on our computers, WE have NO duty to be moral and not STEAL work-products or even slightly reward whoever made them (because morality is outdated too: about its only mention on Techdirt is in the phrase "moral panics")

    ) a fundamental but thoroughly pernicious theme is that pirating products is a natural urge (it's here termed "sharing"), and is therefore moral because approved by self-interest (they even embrace "pirate" as if a positive term)

    ) deride studios as "gatekeepers" while promoting the rise of a new bunch of gatekeepers such as Google and Spotify -- fine, times change, BUT problem is that the new bunch largely relies on unethically "monetizing" products of the old bunch (recent products and the accumulated treasure of a century)

    ) along with above, Mike insists that the Internet allows new ways to "monetize" one's product, which is of course true, but he then stumbles over "Step 2", simply putting in question marks for someone else to fill in...

    ) Mike doesn't want to do away with RIAA / MPAA; he isn't against them AT ALL, only wants to show them how to increase their income (though that direct statement remains online only because I copied/pasted it in my comments)


    But Mike has had at least ten years to find the various industries a "better business model" and sell them on it. He presumably thinks about this every weekday. YET, hasn't produced a single idea that passes the laugh test. -- Instead, Mike actually BLAMES Big Media for piracy, reviles them for "dinosaur" methods in the new modern age of technology, utterly overlooking that copyright IS an artificial restriction precisely because COPYING HAS ALWAYS BEEN FAIRLY EASY -- COMPARED TO producing and promoting new and attractive material from scratch.

    Mike passes off standard advertising gimmicks / loss leaders as new because "on the Internet". As getting noticed in mass markets is always the crucial difference between unknown and popular, one might expect him to concentrate on how to rise from the noise. Instead, he trumpets a few examples, usually those that come to his notice only because of legalities, often already successful, and puts them out to tacitly imply that his notions work. But it's unrelated; he could equally well take credit for the sun rising each morning.

    Recently Mike put out his very own notion that DVDs of movies should be sold in the lobby (simultaneous theater and DVD release); he seems to simply block from consciousness that within an hour of first sale of such, the ripped files would be uploaded to all file hosts and torrented, in high quality, not via camera. That notion is near certain to reduce theater take to almost nothing on the second night: who'd go to a theater when your pal will let you see the hottest and newest movie on DVD for free? Here's the choice: pay big bucks to see a movie that you may not like after all, or toss a DVD in the player, definitely save money AND possibly a couple hours? -- Gosh, Mike, the "sell DVDs in lobby" notion is SO obviously silly that I must question your common sense to write it down in public!

    (Mike has even complained that a theater experience is lousy, AND that he expects it to be elegant for cheap! He and others follow through by saying to hell with theaters if can't figure out a way to make money -- while meeting demands for luxury at low prices! And making those teenagers keep quiet! Whew. Libertarian economics is always ruthless ON OTHERS while the drones spouting it view themselves as brilliant, creative, productive, and essential.)

    But back to that first-run movie content will be STOLEN. -- Libertarians are unable to see that bad actors even exist, just posit "perfectly competitive" conditions in a "free market" of meritorious and honest peers where no one would even consider making unearned money off what others have produced.

    You've studied this for TEN YEARS, college boy: NOW WHAT THE HELL IS STEP 2? Putting question marks there is below failure, simply incomplete. IF you were honest, you'd at least admit that the problem is intractable.

    IF you have a degree in anything, it's in /marketing/ Internet Pollyanna-ism to those hoping to get rich quick in mass markets. But whether brilliant or hacks, they're better off NOT wasting time here, just going out and DOING.

     

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:36am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      It's inarguable that YOU don't have the right to publicly distribute content that someone else has made. Inarguable.
      I'd argue it.

       

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        out_of_the_blue, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:49am

        Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

        @Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:36am

        It's inarguable that YOU don't have the right to publicly distribute content that someone else has made. Inarguable.

        I'd argue it.
        ------------

        OKAY, SO ARGUE IT. Takes more than three words, fanboy. I'll try to remember to check back, but when you fulfill my low expectations, don't complain that you can't "engage" me.

         

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          The eejit (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:55am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          Sony rootkit scandal.

          There. Three words that argue a point.

           

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          1. I have to right to any action that does not involve violence or the threat of violence against another person or his property.
          2. Content is not property.
          3. Distribution of non-property is not violence.

          Ergo, I have the right to distribute content as I see fit.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:17am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          Creation in no way means you should have control. You sell me a cookie. I can eat the cookie. Or I can chemically analyze it to find the exact ingredients. I can make cookies that are exactly the same as your cookies. I can make cookies that are similar, but with slightly different ingredients. Even though I bought the cookie from you, I can try to replicate and sell or give away exact copies of your cookies to others, or for my own use.

          Why should this be different for a different medium? I'm not taking away your cookies, I'm making virtually identical cookies and giving them away. And if you can't get anyone to pay for your cookies anymore, you need to figure out a different way to make money. Maybe you get people to hire you to come up with new and better recipes. Maybe you supplement your excellent recipe with excellent ingredients and sell premium cookies. Maybe you go with your reputation as the original and convince people that the original is a better brand to buy.

          You go and sue everyone in the world who eats the my free cookies, because lots of people like free cookies. You start making money by giving people something they want to buy instead.

           

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          ComputerAddict (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          Unless the content that was made was made in the Public Domain, or under a shareable Creative commons license, or a "Do whatever the fuck you want with it License", or falls under Fair use, or you get permission, or I run out of breath describing the ways in which you can legally share something.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          But you just said it was 'inarguable.' I mean you made it absolutely 100% clear in your original post that you were not interested in engaging in an argument over that point. Why else would you open with "it's inarguable" if not to deflect and marginalize future argument?

           

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      techflaws.org (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:37am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Tl;dr.

       

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:42am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Why do you come here every day just to hate on Mike? You have two choices in life: Find the thing you love and promote it, or find the thing you hate and destroy it. One of those lives is dismal and bitter and sad. I suggest you go find the thing you love. You're wasting your life here.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:57am

        Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

        "You're wasting your life here."

        Now, there's a statement that could be one letter shorter :)

        Actually, I wonder if he needs help. He used to make the occasional salient point among his rambling, and I preferred him to the AC idiots for that reason - he not only seemed to believe what he typed, but understood some of it and could occasionally provide food for thought. Recently, not only has his grammar and punctuation deteriorated (the infamous /slashes/), but he tends to go off the deep end into a number of conspiracy theories and baseless attacks.

        The above was certainly too long to be making any salient point, even if there is one (from previous experience, probably not, but tl;dr), but he now seems to have deteriorated into darryl territory. I predict another 6 months before his typing stops resembling the English language in any coherent form.

        Come on pro-copyright people, this is the best you have?

         

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          I-Blz, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 10:26am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          I'm pretty sure darryl has regressed so far as to have lost motor control, and, therefore, connote post anymore. I thank God for this divine blessing.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 5:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

            Unfortunately not; he's recently taken to responding to posts after they've been around for about a week in hopes no one will notice.

             

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      Vincent Clement (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:43am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      What was your point again?

       

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      Dave, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:44am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Pssst! Hey, I got a movie. Didn't cost me a cent. Don't ask where it came from.

      Pssst! Wanna buy a letter 'P'?

      Selling letters on a street corner. Now *that's* a sustainable business model.

       

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        Dave, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

        And yeah. All I got from your post was the memory of a Sesame Street skit.

         

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          out_of_the_blue, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          @ Dave, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:45am

          And yeah. All I got from your post was the memory of a Sesame Street skit.
          ---------------

          I'm not surprised. My expectations of the level of discourse here are never low enough to match the reality of you fanboys.

           

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            MrWilson, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

            What discourse? You have a habit of hit and run posts where you spout utter vitriolic nonsense after admitting to not even reading the article and then you won't respond to comments left by those who point out your non sequiturs.

             

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              MrWilson, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 4:13pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

              And your lack of a response in this thread serves as proof of my point...

               

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            Dave, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

            I'm not surprised. My expectations of the level of discourse here are never low enough to match the reality of you fanboys.

            If that makes you feel better. I'm more inclined to chalk it up to your utter disregard for logic, consistancy, narative flow, and punctuation. And your fixation on wanting to make $100million dollar movies. (Dude, what is up with that?)

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

            A treatise on discourse from Mr. 'My point is inarguable!' How quaint.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

            You should read your own scribblings sometimes, they are not even fit even for a bathroom wall.

             

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        Letter P, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

        Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

        The business of buying and selling letters is thriving in mary poppins

         

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      MAJikMARCer (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:00am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      This isnt about throwing away copyright but rather attacking proposed laws that are written too broadly and being supported by hyperbolic rhetoric and biased studies. As Mike mentioned, some of the issues are legitimate, so focus on those issues and take care of them. They need a focused laser guided missile, not an nuke.

      Let's pretend for a moment that the laws would be used to truly target real criminals, as they claim. There would still be collateral damage that could do tremendous harm to the tech industry, as well as those relying on it.

      Now I'm not suggesting that tech jobs should be saved instead of entertainment jobs, but it could be VERY easily argued that some of the entertainment jobs are simply disappearing due to the natural evolution of any industry when technologies improve/change. Thus while there may be losses in the entertainment industry, there will be greater gains in tech. The loss of these entertainment jobs will continue regardless of piracy or the introduction of these laws. But the loss of tech jobs due to the introduction of these laws is something that none of the supporters want to talk about or claim that these jobs are only there because of piracy, which is ridiculous.

      So again it seems that these laws either need to be refocused or it's supporters need to admit that it's true intention is to control the Internet (or at least a good portion of it) and hold the tech industry hostage.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:10am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Hell. if you can do it, so can I.

      /Engaging utopian dream sequence

      I say that it is INARGUABLE that every and any person should be free to spread culture and knowledge as far and wide as it is humanly possible. If our goal, as humans, is to attain the highest possible level of collective intelligence, then free culture and free knowledge is the goal we must pursue.

      /End utopian dream sequence

      And now I await your bizarre explanation of why we should remain in a cultural and technological dark age for the sake of a few large corporations.

      GO!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:28am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      " They maintain that "users" do all the uploading (not true, see link below), "

      If they have your material that they uploaded, and you can prove that, they lose all safe harbor status. If you can't prove it... well, too bad for you. You can still make them at least take it down. You CAN'T force the entire Internet to shun the site and force third parties to stop doing business with them just on your say so.

      How about an analogy with speeding? Probably more common than file sharing, and it can KILL. Is the solution an EMP device given to every driver so they can just shut down another car they don't think is following the rules of the road? Or a process where they can submit the license plate to gas stations who are then required to refuse to provide gas? No need to bother involving the police, I'm sure they have better things to do... if the other driver wants to protest, they can do that later, after they've lost their job because they can't drive to work.

       

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        Tim Edwards (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 10:37am

        Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

        "How about an analogy with speeding? "

        I would have to say that this is one of the better analogies for this proposal that I have read.

        Taking due process out of the equation can be a scary thing. I could only imagine that, as another AC said, the designers of PIPA/SOPA want to believe that we live in a "Utopian dream sequence" wherein at no time would a content creator (or anyone else for that matter) allow personal emotion to interfere with good judgement pull the trigger on some site merely because they don't like them.

        I think this is the reason so many find this to be such a problem. I don't think anyone here truly thinks it is OK to "Pirate" someone else's "work-product".

        Now as for the issue of morality, what is your definition of morally acceptable? I guarantee it differs from the next persons definition. As a matter of fact, what society deems to be moral changes very quickly. At one time it was wrong for any woman to show their legs above the knee while wearing a skirt, fast forward 50 years (O.K. a lot less, but lets use today as an example) and now if a woman doesn't show all her goods in public, we think she is a prude. This example is just one of any number of issues that at one time defined social moral standards that seem outdated and old-school to society today. There also arise moral differences between religious, ideological, and regional groups. The problem with asking about a groups "moral duty" is that mas idea of moral will not cater to everyone, so a sense of moral duty means nothing in a purely logical debate.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          I truly believe that it is ok to pirate someone else creation, the work no, but the creation the imaginary part that can be copied yes absolutely.

          Would I find it ok to someone to claim authorship of something he didn't do, no but that is for people to deal with it inside our own constraints and not any government, governments can't be trusted with that kind of power it will be abused and lead to censorship.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2011 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

          Actually the one's who show their goods in public are tramps, what kind of freaks do you hang around with?

           

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      RD, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:48am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      "Pssst! Hey, I got a movie. Didn't cost me a cent. Don't ask where it came from. -- Don't look at it! We'll lose safe harbor protection! -- So, now..." (Rubs hands and chuckles sleazily...) "How do we get money from it?" -- Mike's movie example in the "can't compete" piece where he disappears $100M "sunk (or fixed) costs" is EXACTLY the case for links sites and files hosts. Mike POSITS "FREE" PRODUCT so that he can then claim that only marginal costs matter. My analysis can be contradicted but never rebutted, because any honest evaluation inevitably leads to: his example works only by ignoring how the movie came to exist, otherwise he has to worry about repaying costs. "

      (rest of long, boring, factually vacant rant ignored)

      You know, as hard as you try with these specious, lying, misrepresenting tirades, you would think something interesting would come out of it. Instead, its click the "report" button, ignore, and move on to other comments. What a waste of air you are.

       

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      Karl (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:58am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Sorry if this is tl;dr, but verbostiy begets verbosity.

      Most of what you said is just smear tactics or outright lying, so I won't address that. However, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they spring from a complete misunderstanding of the points raised here. In fact, every one of them is a straw man (or fabrication), so I'll address those.

      Hopefully, you'll actually think about them, and not just ignore them, like you have every other time in the past. A man can dream, can't he?

      1) piracy doesn't result in ANY lost sales, it even increases income because promotes the products, free advertising

      Nobody said it doesn't result in ANY "lost sales" (a misleading term, by the way, since buying from a legal competitor is also a "lost sale").

      But there is no question that increased exposure leads to increased sales - both of the item itself, and of other goods or services. The question is whether the increased sales is greater, or less than, the "lost sales" due to piracy.

      And that is an open question, because none of the industry studies on piracy even consider increased sales due to wider exposure.

      2) content owners / producers haven't actually lost anything by people sharing their content as digital files because still have their product whole

      Straw man. This point is always raised in the context of whether infringement is "stealing." It is not stealing. The Supreme Court agrees - and they agreed for precisely this reason. That doesn't make it legal, of course, but it is not stealing.

      3) if ALL of the movies on The Pirate Bay were obtained legally it would net Hollywood a mere $60M

      It wasn't Mike that said this. He merely reported on the story. It also may be true; I notice that you did not provide a single shred of evidence (or even a guess) that it's not true.

      4) technology marches on and piracy can't be stopped

      Again, not a shred of evidence that this isn't true. The point, though, is not that "piracy can't be stopped." It certainly can - if we do away with technological advancement, free speech, and civil rights. The point is that taking the necessary actions to "stop piracy" result in problems that are orders of magnitude worse than piracy ever was, or could be.

      5) producers who ignore or even promote piracy make out better

      If producers "promote" content sharing, it's not piracy! If I download The Slip from NIN's website, I am not "pirating" anything. If I share a Corey Doctorow book over The Pirate Bay, I am not "pirating" anything.

      These - and many more - examples show that producers do make out better. Or, at the very least, they certainly can, if they do it properly.

      Why would you be against content producers making money?

      6) studios need to "connect with fans" instead of worry about people getting the content without paying -- as if that isn't THE ESSENTIAL connection!

      So, you're saying that fans buying your product is your "essential connection." That's absured. If your "essential connection" with fans begins and ends at the cash register, then you haven't "connected" with anyone. You're doing the opposite. You're living in an ivory tower.

      If you can do that, then good for you. Most can't, and never could.

      7) products should be given away and money made from "scarcity", follow-on physical goods or services -- translation: sell Chinese-made T-shirts

      There are all kinds of scarcities, none of which have to do with T-shirts (Chinese-made or not). For example, access to the musicians themselves, or the actual labor of the artists - say, writing works on commission. There are more... lots more.

      But if you're trying to make money on something that is an infinite good, you're probably in trouble. Not that it can't be done - look at bottled water - but it's not a very sustainable business model.

      8) give away and pray is a valid business model

      This is just an outright fabrication. Mike is on record saying, many times, that "give it away and pray" is not a valid business model. In fact, I think it was Mike who actually coined this term - in an article saying why it doesn't work.

      9) the movie industry can be both crowd-sourced and crowd-funded (admittedly, so silly that it's only tacitly implied...)

      Again, willfully misleading. Some movies can be crowd-sourced and crowd-funded. Nobody has ever said that all movies should be.

      And I have explicitly stated many, many ways that movie studios are making money right now that are not even remotely affected by piracy (ticket sales, synch rights, cross-promotional merch, toys, etc). Which you didn't respond to. Don't ask if you don't want the answer.

      10) attempts to stop piracy with SOPA will have massive collateral damage to "free speech" on links sites and impose undue burdens on file host sites

      It will impose massive collateral damage to "free speech" on every site with user-generated content, not just "link sites" or "file host sites."

      Also, seeing as most "link sites" and "file host sites" are 100% legal, why wouldn't this be a bad thing?

      11) DNS blocking won't work at all -- OR, at times contradictorily in the same piece: DNS blocking WILL censor large swathes of the Internet

      It will do both. It will not work at eliminating piracy, but it can censor large swaths of the internet. In fact, it already has - witness ICE's takedown of mooo.com, when 80,000 sub-domains were suddenly seized and accused of distributing child pornography.

      And, more to the point, according to internet engineers, it will make the 'net less secure, and more balkanized.

      11) enforcing copyright with SOPA will stifle what Mike inventively terms the "innovation industry" -- whatever called, it's definitely NOT a productive part of society, relies on being in middle to re-distribute

      "Not a productive part of society"? What are you smoking? The tech industry creates orders of magnitude more jobs than the entertainment industry. And you're a fool if you think that artists aren't helped tremendously by these industries.

      It's also ironic that the authors of the bill - the RIAA and MPAA - represent businesses whose entire purpose is "being in the middle to re-distribute." If you think that makes them "definitely NOT a productive part of society," then I won't argue.

      12) IF Big Media gets what it wants, THEY'LL BE SORRY!

      Obviously speculation, but likely true, given their history. Every emergent technology that "Big Media" has opposed, tooth and nail, ended up making them a lot of money in the end. On the other hand, every time they've had a "success," such as suing individual file-sharers, their business has gone in the toilet.

      And, of course, that's discounting the obvious fact that eventually, PROTECT IP will be used against Big Media themselves.

      13) Big Media is doing just great with record incomes, OR is on the verge of collapse and disappearing

      Since "Big Media" is a bunch of industries, they can both be true. The RIAA clients, for example, are not doing well at all (though the wider music industry is actually making more money). The MPAA clients, on the other hand, have been making record profits for the last decade.

      14) Big Media is propping up "outdated" business models because we can duplicate files endlessly, but WE have NO idea where those files come from or how they got on our computers, WE have NO duty to be moral and not STEAL work-products or even slightly reward whoever made them (because morality is outdated too: about its only mention on Techdirt is in the phrase "moral panics")

      This isn't a point, it's a rant. Yes, selling artificial scarcities becomes outdated when that artificial scarcity can no longer be maintained. That's not even debatable.

      As far as the "WE" stuff - who you callin' "we," white man? Nobody here ever said anything even remotely close to what you're saying.

      15) a fundamental but thoroughly pernicious theme is that pirating products is a natural urge (it's here termed "sharing"), and is therefore moral because approved by self-interest (they even embrace "pirate" as if a positive term)

      Well, since everyone in our society has been told since grade school that sharing is good, you can hardly blame people for think that sharing is, you know, good.

      And what, exactly, is your moral ground for stopping people from sharing things, "products" or not? I'm betting it has to do with "self-interest."

      Look, I recognize that there is an economic need for copyright in some form. That doesn't make copyright a moral imperative. The only opposing argument you've raised is that "I won't get paid," but getting paid isn't a moral virtue. In the extreme, it is nothing but greed, and most people don't think greed is moral.


      16) deride studios as "gatekeepers" while promoting the rise of a new bunch of gatekeepers such as Google and Spotify

      You don't know what a "gatekeeper" is. If you can get that same content from anywhere other than Google or Spotify, then they're not gatekeepers.

      For example: You can legally get a specific Aerosmith album from somewhere other than iTunes (like, say, Amazon). That means iTunes is not a gatekeeper. On the other hand, if you want to sell that Aerosmith album, you can't legally get it from anywhere other than their record label - including from the artists themselves. That means the record label is a gatekeeper.

      17) along with above, Mike insists that the Internet allows new ways to "monetize" one's product, which is of course true, but he then stumbles over "Step 2", simply putting in question marks for someone else to fill in...

      That's because there isn't a single "Step 2," but a vast number of them, and none of those "Step 2's" work for everyone.

      It's still an improvement over the past, when there was only one "Step 2" (e.g. record label deal if you're a musician), and that "Step 2" worked for almost nobody.

      18) Mike doesn't want to do away with RIAA / MPAA; he isn't against them AT ALL, only wants to show them how to increase their income (though that direct statement remains online only because I copied/pasted it in my comments)

      It's online because Mike wrote an entire article about it.

      Also, being against the RIAA/MPAA's methods doesn't mean you want them to fail, and not wanting them to fail does not mean you must support their methods. So, I'm at a loss to see why this is any sort of criticism at all.

      Now - are you actually going to address these points, or just slink into a corner like a whipped dog, and only emerge to bark after your masters have gone?

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 10:08am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      I have not, and will not, read your comment. If your subject line sums it up, let me reply:

      Nothing.

      Nothing needs to replace copyright. Everyone, from ordinary people, to large companies, would be able to freely use infinitely reproducible content, ideas, and expressions. Content creators will be able to adapt and make money by selling scarcities, official versions, and hundreds of other ways which we cannot yet imagine without relying on a crutch.

       

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      ComputerAddict (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 11:19am

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      I'll take on a few of these... Maybe others can too.


      ) give away and pray is a valid business model
      Mike has never said that Give it away and pray is a GOOD method. While he has applauded people who have tried it and succeeded, I have never seen him suggest this, and in most cases warns that it is a bad idea.

      ) the movie industry can be both crowd-sourced and crowd-funded (admittedly, so silly that it's only tacitly implied...)
      Yes, Crowd-sourcing is ONE way a person could fund a movie. Hey look Mike did come up with an Alternative afterall. If it doesn't work for you business, Please provide YOUR OWN UNIQUE PLAN that does fit your application. If you can't figure it out on your own, hire a consultant, there might be one here reading this site.

      ) DNS blocking won't work at all -- OR, at times contradictorily in the same piece: DNS blocking WILL censor large swathes of the Internet
      These can happen simultaneously. For people who are looking to download content illegally, someone somewhere will provide a simple tool, probably just a browser or javascript extension that anyone will be able to download in a minute. people who host these "rogue" sites" on a shared webserver will get thousands of other completely unrelated sites, like a family's photo sharing site, that use the same IP (typical for $3/month shared webhosting). People who are looking for legitimate content on those other completely unrelated sites, who wont think to google "File sharing hack tool", will no longer be able to see their grandma's latest hand knit scarf.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Here's my beef with this extreme stance on copyright etc.

      Let's say I go to a bar.

      The bar pays the RIAA x amount to play music in the bar.
      My friend and I go to the bar, and we start singing along with the music while sitting at our table downing a few beers.

      Is our singing considered a public performance? Are we chased down and forced to pay a license fee, just because we broke out in song? What about if I am standing on the beach, with no music, and start singing to a song in my head, with no music playing? Is THAT a public performance?

      It never has in the past. It's just a bunch of drunk chicks having a good time, or someone that is enjoying a beautiful moment and bursts into song.

      Youtube is the internet's bar, or beach, aka a person's personal time. People getting together to have a good time.

      However, the industry is now wanting to criminalize what typically in the past has been fair use/personal moments.

      If that is accepted, then what else will supposedly become the norm? I have to pay a license fee to sing in the shower? or in my car? Or go to jail?

      Don't get me wrong. Theft is wrong. However, copyright infringement is not the same as theft, and most of the definitions of what you consider to be infringement are nothing more than people sharing, as they would at a bar, club, ladies sewing party, church......

      Blue - Back to the 'first run movie content' statement. I have yet to see how you propose to deal with the people that are the first ones to start the chain of infringement....people in your own industry. What are you prepared to do to stop those people from releasing your movie before it even comes out? Those are the pirates that start the chain.

      Killing an ant one by one doesn't do any good if you don't go back to the source and wipe it out. (aka the people at the movie studio that actually HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CONTENT BEFORE ANYONE ELSE DOES.)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Sorry mate after reading the long thread from Mike I couldn't bring myself to read yours between you two is like reading Nietzsche and then going to the bathroom to read what is on the wall, one stimulates thinking the other stimulates laughter, but only if it is short and to the point.

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      "It's inarguable that YOU don't have the right to publicly distribute content that someone else has made. Inarguable. "

      Yes it is.

      I DO have the right to publicly distribute "content" that is covered both by copyright and the applicable Creative Commons License.

      I do have the right to publicly distribute open source documentation , all covered by copyright and the applicable license.

      I do have the right to publicly distribute source code for open source software, covered by copyright and, more often than than not covered by the GPL, Apache Public License, the BSD License among others,

      Furthermore I'm allowed, indeed encouraged in some cases to modify said content as I please and distribute THAT too.

      Even by the MPAA/RIAA's narrow definition of distribute. Oh, and by the way, if I make a copy of a DVD I'm as guilty of infringement as if I put it up on, say (only because they're the eternal whipping boy and what would the MPAA/RIAA do without them!), TBP and subject to the same penalties.

      I do have the right to copy material if the use is applicable under fair use/fair dealing and, at times, have been encouraged to do that to, mostly in the writing of academic papers where I can freely quote large expanses of material covered by copyright and cite it later.

      So it comes to pass that that your undeniable point (notice the proper English usage and spelling there?) is very deniable on any number of points.

      "Mike's movie example in the "can't compete" piece where he disappears $100M "sunk (or fixed) costs" is EXACTLY the case for links sites and files hosts. Mike POSITS "FREE" PRODUCT so that he can then claim that only marginal costs matter. My analysis can be contradicted but never rebutted, because any honest evaluation inevitably leads to: his example works only by ignoring how the movie came to exist, otherwise he has to worry about repaying costs."

      Oh, heck, your unmade and never will be made $100 million movie again. That HAD to come up sooner or later, didn't it? One point before I go on is that no investor in his or her right mind will invest $100 million in a movie proposed by a total unknown who has probably never shot a video on anything more complicated that his smart phone before but thinks he has an idea. Not gonna happen ever, not now, not in the past, not in the future WHETHER OR NOT copyright exists.

      As for the responsibility for recovery of your theoretical costs (and until you spend it they are theoretical), fixed, sunk, wasted, drugged or drank away or otherwise if you're the producer that's YOUR job, not Mike's mot mine, not anyone else's. Get that into your THICK HEAD!

      Now that I've cleared that away. Not to your liking because you're quite unimaginative and don't really want to think about things like that cause you seem to think you ought to be able to make your silly movie and expect to sit back and watch the money roll in. Doesn't work that way, never has, never will and free distribution (which is really what we're arguing about here) makes absolutely no difference. Make a crappy movie, blue, and you're gonna end up owing someone $100 million plus interest.

      "It's no coincidence that "can't compete with free" is what exists with rampant piracy"

      One more time PROVE that so called piracy leads to losses of sales in recordings or videos. As you consider it criminal I'll hold you to the test for a criminal conviction which is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and please note that "cause the MPAA/RIAA say so" or because "It has to!!!" The first isn't acceptable evidence it's called hearsay. The second is an opinion and isn't evidence either. As neither you nor the entertainment industry seem to want to accept that challenge I have to conclude you have no evidence other that falling back on "it has to be". On the other hand reputable studies tend, overwhelmingly, to conclude the polar opposite. Their methods can be repeated by another researcher and run again to see if the results are the same. They always are.

      What the entertainment industry claims is that they won't go into methodology due either to contract arrangements or, making the worst argument under the sun "it's a trade secret!"

      Regarding Rapidshare, I know this will disappoint you but a great deal of what they host there is original work. And so what that they charge for a premium download? If I want "pirated" work I know a few thousand places that don't. And Rapidshare does remove infringing content when notified. So much for that nonsense.

      Regarding advertising, what neither you nor the entertainment industry seem to grasp is that advertising appearing on a site is, most often, a cost item not a revenue generator. Do you have one iota of an idea how many click throughs it takes before you even begin to get revenue for Google Ads or any other ad server? Didn't think so. It sure as hell isn't going to pay the costs of hosting petabytes of content.

      As for what Grooveshark did or didn't do I don't give a damn. If that's the best argument you can come up with you still don't pass the "beyond reasonable doubt" test.

      As most of your point by point arguments make about as much sense as plunging my head into rapidly boiling water I'll select some of the "better" ones, at least in terms of comedy.
      ) studios need to "connect with fans" instead of worry about people getting the content without paying -- as if that isn't THE ESSENTIAL connection!
      Actually studios need to "connect with fans" regardless. One of the reasons for this is that they haven't, they've become far less creative and far less compelling and this didn't just start with the advent of widespread internet access. It started long before when, oh, let's say studios got the idea that doing two hour remakes of marginal TV shows such as Wild, Wild West which ended up not looking like the original at all which alienated the cult audience who didn't troop off to see it.
      (Meanwhile midnight showings of a movie widely considered to be one of the worst ever made -- Attack of the Killer Tomatoes --- continue to pack em into otherwise mostly empty multiplexes. A movie that's made it's backers rich simply through being horrible and rediscovered 20 years later where we could appreciate just how delightfully horrible.)
      One way or another if you have an entertainment product you have to connect with fans. If you don't they aren't interested, copyright or not. If you do they come and will pay for it copyright or not. A few thousand years of no copyright has proven the latter point irrefutably. 400 or so years OF copyright has proven the former. Is there something there that you can't get???????

      ) technology marches on and piracy can't be stopped
      Willful blindness on your part if you want to think differently. But by all means carry on. I'm not agreeing with that statement because I want copyright to cease to exist, far from it. I'm saying that because I'm a realist. (and a tech nerd, I'm guilty of that which I'm sure blackens my name with you but I consider that a gold star.)

      ) give away and pray is a valid business model
      NO ONE has said that. The closest it comes is give away and WORK is a valid business model. But then, even if you have a copyright it's still sell and WORK is a valid business model. A certain amount of prayer is needed either way. I suspect it's the WORK part that you don't want to have to do.

      ) DNS blocking won't work at all -- OR, at times contradictorily in the same piece: DNS blocking WILL censor large swathes of the Internet

      If you knew anything, anything at all about the architecture of the Internet you'd know those aren't contradictory arguments they're factual statements. If you want tutoring on that kind of thing I'm available. $200/hr.
      And no copyright hassles cause my out of class materials are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution License which essentially means "fill you boots, do what you want with this just make sure I get credit for my part somewhere here."

      ) enforcing copyright with SOPA will stifle what Mike inventively terms the "innovation industry" -- whatever called, it's definitely NOT a productive part of society, relies on being in middle to re-distribute

      If you mean tech industry which is what Mike was referring to I suggest you go back to grade 3 and learn what the word "productive" means. Your car runs the way it does because of the tech industry. You have your desktop, laptop, smartphone because of the tech industry, how phone calls are processed is because of the tech industry, you get to use ATMs and card swipes because of the tech industry, your shiny new LCD or LED tv is because of the tech industry, aircraft navigate using the products of the tech industry, airports can be as busy a they are without 747s having head on collisions in the sky because of the air traffic control systems which, in part or whole is because of the tech industry, weaponry is as accurate as it is now BECAUSE of the tech industry, your gas mileage in a vehicle is at levels considered impossible even 15 years ago BECAUSE of the tech industry and on it goes. Oh, and operations that were impossible or almost 100% deadly 25 years ago are routine now largely because of advances in the tech industry.

      If all that isn't productive output I have no idea what is.

      And should you think the entertainment industry is the only place that relies on respect for copyright for its existence it's the tech industry. Just look up how fiercely one company has fought another over copyright issues, how often people have been reminded of it in the tech industry all the way back to Bill Gates warning people about MS's copyright on it's version of BASIC back in the 1970s. Or look at Lotus v. Borland, an action that pretty much killed both of them and let MS walk right up the middle in office and productivity software or, more infamously SCO vs IBM et al. Compared to the tech industry the entertainment industry is a local bike club trying to go up against the Hell's Angels. (BTW, even MS has learned the need to "reach out to fans") It's hard in the extreme to think of anything the entertainment industry has done since the day I was born that is anything close to as productive as the tech industry have been since even 2000.
      ) Big Media is propping up "outdated" business models ...but WE have NO idea where those files come from or how they got on our computers...WE have NO duty to be moral and not STEAL work-products or even slightly reward whoever made them (because morality is outdated too: about its only mention on Techdirt is in the phrase "moral panics"); a fundamental but thoroughly pernicious theme is that pirating ... (..."sharing"), and ... moral because approved by self-interest (they even embrace "pirate" as if a positive term)

      Show me where Big Media isn't trying to prop up an outdated business model, that is until they've been dragged, kicking and screaming into a newer one. Let me see now, consumer open reel tape recorders were going to be the end for music, later cassette tapes were going to be the end for music, then CDs were going to be the end for music, then mp3 were somehow supposed to kill it off, DVDs were going to kill off movies, somehow. Recordable or tradeable media were always going to kill something or other off.

      Except....they didn't. Music sales exploded from the 1950s until the early 1980s before the anyone had a home internet connection and then they began a slow decline. As much as after punk and new wave were done Boomers lost interest in the corporate pablum being fed to us (not reaching out to fans). Sure country took off mostly based on county-rock acts of the 1970s but that was about it. Rap and hip-hop took off among the echo/millennium kids but they lack the numbers of we Boomers because, contrary to expectations, we didn't breed all that much.

      Of course, we Boomers have heard this "death of Hollyood" crud since we could remember, the first time I actually remember hearing it is when NBC started to broadcast colour TV shows. Mostly movies at the start, ironically. Apparently they were screaming blue murder when TV first appeared but you'd have to ask people older than me about that. Radio was supposed to kill off the record industry and music industry too after live performances left radio and radio started to play music. But they both continued to thrive. Then came cassettes, then came recordable CDs, then came recordable DVDs, then came dial up Internet, then came high speed Internet and one advance after the other RIAA and MPAA member companies howled at the top of their lungs that it was going to kill their industry. I've been hearing it for 60 some odd years, whether or not I can remember it. Yet they're still here.

      After 60 years of crying "wolf" you'll have to forgive me if I don't believe them now. And if I don't believe their self-serving propaganda about this being a respect for copyright issue ( and your even less coherent copying of that, or should I say plagiarism of that howling, speaking of "theft".)

      ) Mike doesn't want to do away with RIAA / MPAA; he isn't against them AT ALL, only wants to show them how to increase their income...

      Mike may not want to see them disappear. Personally I'd not cry a tear if they did. The sooner the better, IMHO.

      Then the cry about Mike showing them a better way. And back we come to that tired argument. As for the RIAA and the MPAA they KNOW the better way but they don't want to do that because it means relinquishing control over a carefully constructed distribution and release channel that profits only them, not the creators, not the artists, just them. And the book publishers are more than happy to jump onto that wagon. They've been dragged kicking and screaming into dipping their big toe in it. iTunes and Amazon for example. But they still don't want to go there because this time out they're the minnows and iTunes and Amazon are part of the Orca pod with Microsoft swimming into site to join them.

      "copyright IS an artificial restriction precisely because COPYING HAS ALWAYS BEEN FAIRLY EASY -- COMPARED TO producing and promoting new and attractive material from scratch." While I'm glad you admit the first part of that while I partially agree with the second part.

      First I hardly see Middle Ages monks blinding and crippling themselves faithfully, word for word, spelling mistake by spelling mistake copying scrolls as easy. Fairly or otherwise.

      And yes, the act of creating a story, novel, poem, play or screenplay is harder than mere copying particularly after the moveable type press appeared in Europe. But that doesn't change much. Somehow Shakespeare managed to own a theatre, write plays and sonnets and live extremely comfortably for the time without copyright. And this at a time when the critics of theatre, the audience, saw nothing at all wrong with maiming or murdering an actor or playwright who didn't please them. So let me suggest to you that he worked is ASS off even if Bacon wrote the majority of his works...he was still the front man for that little scam.

      All that said if copyright sticks to it's orgininal purpose of promoting "education" and protecting publishers from themselves by 3 or 4 of them issuing the same title at the same time, one of whom MIGHT have given the author something, and then guaranteed the creator payment free from creative accounting I'd have no problem with it. One thing it was NOT designed to become was a welfare program for the MPAA, RIAA or, if and when it comes to that, authors and their families.
      The social impact of a culture behind the walled, armed and protected walls of the MPAA/RIAA/Pubishers and blue's garden are incalculable in the long term.

      All this to protect, ahh, lemme see now, approximately 0.88% of the American work force. Far, far less than work in, say, the tech industry. And a collection of industries that, in a good year, contribute 0.1% of American GDP (aka wealth).

      I gotta ask if it's worth it. Not copyright as a concept which, in it's original intent, I fully support. But this application of it which I do not.

      You end with the following:
      "hey're (sp) better off NOT wasting time here, just going out and DOING."
      Strikes me that with all your whining about your still unmade movie that allegedly will cost $100 million to make and that no one will invest only because of piracy and that you're a total unknown. The latter is more probably true

      The doing part is downright laughable. I see nothing in all your whining and complaining that indicates you have the faintest idea of what work is. Entitlement for sure but work, no. More an unwillingness to work. Hint, if you make your blasted movie, copyright or not you're still going to have to promote it, sell it, "connect with fans", perhaps even sell Chinese made t-shirts (Canadian made ones are cheaper and of far better quality I should add, as I suspect are American ones, too if you'd just bother to look), do tours, do interviews with brain dead journalists seconded from the sports desk and all that boring stuff.

      Even more I'm willing to bet you've never sat down, written so much as a chapter of fiction, criticism, analysis or explanation of anything much less a movie. I've written lots of all of that but fiction and got great pleasure and sense of accomplishment from all of it and made not so much as a penny on it. That's not why I do it. I do it because I like to. No I love to. And yes, all my work is copyright along with my dandy little Creative Commons License as I believe that it's immoral for me as a Christian (Anglican) to wall in discussion of my faith in case someone just might want to copyright it. Copying seemed ok with Jesus, it was definitely alright with Paul so it's cool with me. As long as I get credit where credit is due. I wrote it.

      Not only that I learn from my research and analysis about my faith, the world around me and I learn about me, the person I often find I know less about than anyone else.

      Whether or not you want to believe it -- that's what motivates creative people. Just the urge to create, to put something where a nothing has been before, to scratch an itch and make something work where it didn't before. The urge to create, to make something better. Even if that something is me. (And you have no idea what hard work is until you give yourself that task.)

      It was that before copyright (or patents) existed. It will be that way long after copyright (or patents) have ceased to exist for whatever reason.

      I'm not confident that either has much of a future as they've been corrupted far beyond their original uses. So much so that they would be unrecognizable to those who first proposed them. Still, they're recoverable because the rot hasn't set in too far.

      Sadly, blue, there are people like you around who are determined that the rot set in and then determined to corrupt it further so the rot becomes toxic and fatal.

      I'm not sure that you're willfully ignorant, just plain old uniformed ignorant, just someone who automatically believes what "authority tells them", a combination of it all or intellectually dishonest as well as the above.

      Or that you get paid by the people you shill for.
      I doubt the last because you're the last person on earth I'd pay to propagandize on my behalf.

      As far as creativity goes one thing I do know is that you're LAZY. No wonder you don't know what work is. You'd rather cut and paste. It may not be piracy, it's plagiarism. And you do it horribly.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      Every now and then you post a post claiming that large posts make your head hurt and aren't worth replying to. Now this.

      Seriously, blue, is there anything we can do that would make you actually consider going away, based on how many times you threatened to do so?

       

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      Digitari, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:56pm

      Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      OOTB is a fucking freetard and ADMITS it
      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/12500917012/riaa-doesnt-apologize-year-long-blog-censo rship-just-stands-its-claim-that-site-broke-law.shtml
      ( I wish I knew how to embed here)


      HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    When I read MPAA in the title, I thought that I was going to get a chance to mock them...but after reading this, the challenge is gone.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    "They are currently used to combat all kinds of harmful behavior including spam, phishing, malware, viruses, and other forms of Internet crime, all without claims of Internet censorship or harm to the Internet."
    How well is this working?

    "And, the defense industry is very susceptible to counterfeit parts because many defense systems rely on electronic parts that are no longer produced by the original manufacturer."
    ... who has a patent therefore no one can legally make them.

     

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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    It's a top 5, all right. They copy and paste the very same (tired) arguments and throw Google into the sentence. Ridiculous.

     

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    Karl (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Tainted medicine is not an "IP problem"

    Consumers looking for prescription drugs online have unknowingly purchased counterfeit goods such as tainted medicine.

    I'd like to just point out one thing that often gets lost in these sorts of discussions. And that is that "tainted medicine" is not an IP problem, but a public health problem.

    An example. Say that some unscrupulous site is selling medicine marked as "prescription-level ibuprofen." Instead, it sells rat poison.

    What intellectual property laws has it violated? Answer: absolutely none. "Ibuprofen" is a scientific name for a specific drug; it is not intellectual property of any drug company (or anyone else).

    But by treating it as an "IP issue," you're casting a dragnet not for "tainted" medications, but for medications which infringe on Big Pharma's IP rights. These may be perfectly safe and healthy, as they include "grey market" drugs, and - most importantly - "re-imported" medication.

    Keep in mind that the White House is on record as supporting re-importation, as it makes legitimate, and often life-saving, medication cheaper to obtain for American citizens.

    So, PROTECT IP won't do much to keep Americans safer from "tainted" medication. But it will go a long way towards preventing us from obtaining the medication we need.

     

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    Beta (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    "The PROTECT IP Act provides needed tools to target criminals beyond the reach of current laws.

    This must be important, since it appears in three of the top ten. But it could apply to any proposed law. Think of anything you want to make illegal, or more illegal than it already is: marijuana, witchcraft, corruption, abortion, flag-burning, dog-fighting... Go down the Bill of Rights (a real top ten) and try to find one you couldn't argue against with this logic.

    I hope the Congressfolk realize that these really are the best arguments that anyone can come up with in favor of PROTECT-IP.

     

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    Antistar, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:40am

    Value vs litigation

    The reasons why people pirate/steal:
    - there's not enough value there to make people want to pay for it (mediocre content, incorrect delivery medium, bad pricing)
    - some values it so much that they want friends to experience it, hence contributing to building a franchise that good and services can be built upon it.

    My proposal to the MPAA:

    - save money on high tech effects and blockbuster movies and write GOOD, ORIGINAL stories. (seriously a Smurfs reboot?)
    - add value to your products above and beyond what can be pirated. Apple is a great example of this. Yes you can get a PC with better specs for cheaper, but they provide a perceived value that allows satisfied customer while building margin.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 10:35am

      Re: Value vs litigation

      I see your Smurfs reboot and raise you the Battleship movie. Y'know, the one where the alien spacecraft had peg launchers?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 9:55am

    "The MPAA's arguments here are dishonest, disingenuous and downright dangerous."

    I am not sure that yours are any better. You really feel you are right, but I don't think that the MPAA has a monopoly on one sided bullshit.

     

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      ComputerAddict (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      Fine, Mike's arguments are Dishonest? Post some sort of proof, preferably with a link back to source, prove him wrong.

      "You really Feel you are right" well that right there disproves the disingenuous claim. Defined as "Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating" [http://www.thefreedictionary.com/disingenuous]. Mike's statements are sincere. He doesn't mock the MAFIAA's arguements pretending they are correct.

      and as far as "downright Dangerous" I would also have to throw a [citation needed] sticker on that. How would keeping the status quo (not passing SOPA/PIPA) be 'Dangerous', and to who?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 10:43am

    Copyright protection encourages innovation and free speech.

    After reading that, I laughed for about a minute straight.
    ...Then I remembered that Congress is made up almost entirely of people stupid and/or greedy enough to do no research whatsoever and believe absolutely everything their campaign contribution buddies tell them.

     

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    Bengie, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Copyright

    Why not to enact PROTECT IP:

    1) Anyone who agrees with this is a child molester
    2) It will encourage puppies to be kicked
    3) Many kittens will die
    4) God says so
    5) Jesus did it: Jesus copied fish and bread to feed the masses
    [...]

    See, I can make up crap to.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 9th, 2011 @ 9:58am

      Re: Copyright

      On point 5, ootb will sentence you to various and sundry hells for saying that. And me to a few more after I say this.

      He didn't charge anyone for the bread and fish dinners he served. So He hung out with "freetards" and copyright haters! Therefore he deserved what the Sanhedrin and Romans did to him!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Politicians

    So I hear Donald Trump is going to mod the next Republican debate.

    I tried to find a place on his website to ask him to ask the candidates this question: What is your stance on SOPA/PIPA?

    Anyone know how to get this question asked?

     

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    John Allison, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

    Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

    I would suggest not replacing copyright.
    Certainly it needs changing somewhat, the current system does little, if anything, to guard the creator of a work. It has been hijacked by the media industries for the benefit of the media industries.

    I would put forward the suggestion that copyright should exist as a non transferable right for the creator of a copyrightable work for the life of the creator. The owner of the copyright then has the right to license others (e.g. publishers) to produce the works for distribution.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

      Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      That I CAN support.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:54pm

      Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

      That alone doesn't address the shortcommings of copyright that is an exclusionary mechanism that does great harm to the dynamics of a market.

      It harms small business, it harms small artists that depend on small business and it constrains the use of material that should be free to share, the solution for that was that it was supposed to be very short, not a lifetime.

      5 years with a 5 years extension that should do it.

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 9th, 2011 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re: Re: You haven't explained what could replace copyright.

        Although I do like the non-transferability part.

        I'd also add that what's in the public domain stays there. This would stop the likes of Disney from saying they have a copyright on things like Snow White. (A very very sanitized version of the original.)

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:36pm

    About counterfeits being sold to the US army here is some problems:

    - There is the type of counterfeit that is the whole package, meaning the whole product was copied and it is easy to spot, this kind is not a problem, security checks will notice it.

    - There is the type of counterfeit that is done by changing the package of the product again this is easy to spot, like somebody trying to sell an original Pentium II as a Pentium III.

    - There is the type of counterfeit that is refurbished original components that may or may not have problems, this is hard to detect.

    - There is the type of counterfeit that is the utilization of original parts taken from the dumpster of a factory, you know the bad parts that QC(Quality Control) rejected for one reason or another. This one is hard to detect too.

    - There is the type of counterfeit that is done by subcontractors of those parts, they are the same thing as the original they just don't pay the manufacturer. This one is hard to detect.

    Those are the facts about counterfeiting electronics, SOPA or laws like it don't address the problem in its entirety if they even address that fact that the government is not doing checks on their suppliers to begin with.

    In every factory I pass through they all have suppliers and they all have mechanisms to check what those suppliers do, if the government is letting counterfeits enter their supply chain this is not a problem of bad actors in the market, they will always be there is a problem on the mechanism to spot those things.

    Can't they just put a counter inside every microchip? put 5 tiny microdots in every piece of equipment that show up in a CT scan and for every year of use it blows up one then you can count how many years it was in use, you can do the same thing for rejected parts, every part tested and rejected should have a tiny mark that would show up in a CT scan, every critical part should not be allowed to be manufactured outside the eyes of the Army no matter how costly it is to do it yourself, there can't be a price on trust.

    This is a failure of the Army this is not something that need more laws, it is already a crime to sell forged equipment, it is already a crime to do what those people do and using the equivalent of harsh language is not going to stop any criminal or unscrupulous individuals or entities.

    Now it is telling that the MPAA is using those arguments because even they don't believe that their own claims are strong enough alone to make through congress then they try to hide behind other issues, this is like congress pork, they put the lesser issues together with other more important issues and end up passing everything.

    Counterfeits are a real problem one that has been going on for a long time and with already appropriate laws for it, so why the need for SOPA again?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    I question the need for copyrights at all.

    No other industry have those kind of protections and they are there aren't they?

    For such a vapid industry like the entertainment industry they should be treated like the fashion industry, no protections at all.

     

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      Jay (profile), Dec 8th, 2011 @ 11:17pm

      Re:

      That's because the copyright industry should not exist at all. It's too deceitful to help artists, instead usurped by middlemen that want to continue being gatekeepers.

       

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      I'mToo Scared Of The Internet, Dec 9th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

      Re:

      "No other industry have those kind of protections..."
      No, but the other industries don't have as lazy, incompetent and corrupt management as well. Thus they do better.

       

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