The Myth That SOPA/PIPA Only Impact 'Foreign Sites'

from the targeted,-perhaps,-but-the-impact-is-much-wider dept

One of the key talking points of supporters of PIPA and SOPA is that these bills "only target foreign sites," so domestic sites and companies shouldn't be complaining. Of course, for a while SOPA's private right of action was open to domestic sites as well, but that was removed in Lamar Smith's "manager's amendment." But it remains a total myth that these bills only impact foreign sites. They may target foreign sites, but the entire setup, compliance costs, and legal liability is applied to domestic sites and companies. The blacklisting remedies all require a variety of US companies to take significant and costly actions that will burden many startups.

The recent discussion by Reddit General Manager Erik Marin about why SOPA would lead to the end of Reddit highlights the point nicely.
If SOPA passes in anything like it's current form, it would almost certainly mean the end of reddit. It may not happen overnight, but we have a very small staff (~11, mostly engineers), and even dealing with DMCA stuff is a big burden for us. SOPA would make running reddit near impossible. And we have access to great lawyers through our parent company. I can't imagine how smaller sites without those kind of resources could even attempt a go at it if SOPA passes.
We've been trying to make this point for months, and the folks in favor of these bills just keep ignoring it insisting time and time again that this is just about foreign sites. Most of those people have never been entrepreneurs. They've never worked at a company where the threat of legal action is a BIG DEAL, that can massively disrupt operations (and cash flow). They don't realize that increasing liability, compliance costs and legal risks isn't just a nuisance -- it can force an entire business to shut down. We've talked about how these bills change things so that it's not just two engineers in a garage any more, but two engineers... who need a team of a dozen lawyers.

Considering that nearly all of the net job creation in the US comes from startups (pdf), to massively burden all of these companies with ridiculous compliance and legal costs makes no sense at all. It makes even less sense when you look at the details, and realize that the entertainment industry has actually continued to grow significantly over the past decade, contrary to the gloom and doom stories you keep hearing. Yes, a few of the big companies with big lobbying budgets have struggled with their own business model, but that's no excuse for massively hindering jobs and economic growth, messing with the fundamentals of the internet, and giving foreign regimes a blueprint on how to censor the internet in a way that the US can't complain.


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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:30am

    Startups do not make campaign contributions

    Considering that nearly all of the net job creation in the US comes from startups...


    Irrelevant.

    Startups typically do not make campaign contributions to Congressmen. Therefore, they do nothing at all to benefit the jobs that count.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:28am

      Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

      Except Masnick complains about Reddit, which then admits it employs exactly *11* people.

      That's some poor job creation there, Masnick.

       

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        A Guy (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:33am

        Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

        11 more jobs than would be there otherwise.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

          We're supposed to not enforce copyright law so there can be 11 employees at a meaningless website like reddit?

          lol

           

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            Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

            No. We're supposed to make it legal for all existing companies to kill off thousands of their competitors, not by out-performing them, but by accusing them of massive illicit copyright violations, without requiring any evidence whatsoever.

            You make it sound like the only result of this law will be that 11 employees will lose their jobs.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:05am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

              And you make it sound like Reddit will actually go under.

              But if Reddit is allowing their site to be used for blatant copyright infringement, then they *should* be shut down. If they can't figure out a way to make money legally, then they have a horrible business model.

              Their problem, not mine.

               

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                A Guy (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                They are making money legally. That's the point.

                 

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                Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                But even if they aren't, they can go down simply because somebody doesn't like them. There is no due process.

                Actually the real point of the article is that SOPA targets US sites even though its supporters claim otherwise.

                IFF Reddit is allowing their site to be used for blatant copyright violation, there are other means already in place to handle that legally, and some of them don't even violate the Bill of Rights.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                  hey can go down simply because somebody doesn't like them. There is no due process.

                  No they can't. That's a lie.

                  Why are you a liar?

                  Do you think lying a lot will have a lasting effect in the end? It won't.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:19am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                    Let me seee.... You accuse me, my site goes down, THEN I have to hire lawyers to get it back up? That isn't due process. That's a massive burden to show innocence that kills businesses that cannot afford lawyers. Stop trying to impress us with your ability to cover the facts. Most techies have a very sensitive bullshit meter.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:24pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                      A site doesn't go down until there has been a judicial review. It doesn't just disappear.

                      What a joke you people are.

                       

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                        A Guy (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:21pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                        You mean after a new startup would have to spend a huge portion of it's capital on lawyers instead of developing a good product/platform?

                        You are a joke.

                         

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                        Karl (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:20pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                        A site doesn't go down until there has been a judicial review. It doesn't just disappear.

                        That "judicial review" does not include any chance for the accused site to defend itself prior to being blacklisted. As far as the site (and the public) is concerned, it just disappears.

                        Furthermore, even that is true only of actions taken by the Attorney General. But those are not the only actions SOPA includes.

                        The "global DMCA" provisions allowed exactly such things to occur, all without involving any government agency. Those provisions have thankfully been removed, but Section 105 puts this ability back in the bill, and furthermore does it without any process whatsoever.

                        And, yes, ISP's are included in Section 105. So if that ISP wants immunity from liability for infringement, they would have to do exactly what the other commenters are saying: block the site merely on accusations from rights holders.

                        What a joke you people are.

                        Pot, meet kettle.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 1:51am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                          All bullshit.

                          The manager's amendment makes it quite clear that no American site would be taken down by SOPA.

                          You people are so addicted to stealing music and movies that you're freaking out about copyright law being enforced.

                           

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                            btrussell (profile), Jan 10th, 2012 @ 2:31am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                            Please discontinue walking upright. And anything else you do naturally. Including copying.

                             

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                    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:41pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                    says the shill for the industry who's been lying to the public for the last 50 years....

                     

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        Jay (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

        Hold the phone...

        You don't see the value in Reddit? A place for thousands or even millions of people to congregate and discuss topics? You don't see the value in that and pedantically look at how only "11" people are employed?

        Wow. Just... Wow...

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

          Masnick said *job creation*. Reddit employs *11* people.

          The internet by definition is a place where millions of people congregate and discuss. Infringing copyright is not necessary to that act.

          Go sell your FUD elsewhere, Freetardo.

           

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            Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

            You keep harping on 11 people, and are completely ignoring the larger implications in order to keep your pathetic argument alive.

            Go sell your FUD elsewhere.

             

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        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

        You reference one of Mike's articles that happens to use one small company as an example, while ignoring dozens of other articles that explain that this is just going to be one of thousands of others. That's some mighty selective quoting there, young padawan. The farce is strong in this one.

        The question isn't how many employees one company employs. The question is: why should this company be shut down in the first place? What is it doing wrong, exactly? How many other companies will be shut down for similar reasons? What effects will this have?

         

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

          Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

          And you're just regurgitating Masnick's FUD.

          If a website in *any way* relies on copyright infringement, then they have a BAD business model. Do you understand this concept?

           

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            Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

            But Reddit does not rely in any way on copyright infringement, but it is there. It will be impossible to keep up with the SOPA requirements and keep the website running.

            And Reddit's just an example, these dumb ass laws are going to damage thousands of legal companies costing hundreds of thousands of jobs.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:54am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

              If these companies have massive examples of copyright infringement on their sites, then THEY HAVE BAD BUSINESS MODELS.

              They're idiots that thought the law would never be enforced and they could skate forever.

              Tough shit.

              Figure it out like YouTube did, or get out of the way and let someone else do it legally.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                www.reddit.(anything other than a US domain)

                Problem solved!

                 

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            Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

            And you're just regurgitating the MAFIAA corporate line.

            If a website doesn't rely on copyright infringement today, all you have to do is redefine "copyright infringement" and tomorrow you can shut them down. That's not a bad business model.

            Besides which, you're starting with the assumption that any site that gets shut down must ipso facto be guilty of copyright infringement. SOPA gives everybody the ability to shut down any site for any reason whatsoever with no oversight, no due process and no negative consequences for the accuser. All you need to do is claim they're violating copyright; it doesn't have to be true.

            Your "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" defense is disingenuous at best.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

              SOPA gives everybody the ability to shut down any site for any reason whatsoever with no oversight

              No it doesn't. That's a lie.

              Why are you a liar?

              Do you think lying a lot will have a lasting effect in the end? It won't.

               

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                The eejit (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

                Actually, I agree with you.

                When a person does it on a website, that's thieving little shits.

                When Congreeefolks do it, or the MAFIAA, it's called good business.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re: Startups do not make campaign contributions

        No, they said approximately, and this ignores the THOUSANDS of sites and businesses that employee only a few people. A significant portion of the workforce is employed by 'small business.' Good of you to ignore that.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:35am

    SOPA will only impact 'Foreign Sites'.

    Yeah right, just how the PATRIOT Act was about terrorisms. Fucking fascist assholes and their contrived acronyms.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:38am

    A world without repost good guy gregs and rage comics. This is a disaster. Who do i lobby to stop this?

    Seriously SOPA and PIPA are F****D

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Apparently, it sounds like we are about to see a new spin.

    Driving home from work, I was listening to a morning show discussing the latest news China hacks into US Chamber of Commerce

    From the article:

    For more than a year, hackers with ties to the Chinese military have been eavesdropping on U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials involved in Asia affairs, authorities say.

    The hackers had access to everything in Chamber computers, including, potentially, the entire U.S. trade policy playbook.


    The problem? (quoting more or less as I remember it - and I wasn't totally clear if this was the opinion of the morning talk show, or of the USCOC) "Other countries censor some of the content they allow on the internet. We here in America just allow everything and anything onto the internet."

    This was followed up quickly with "America ranks near the bottom of countries for internet security"

    See, the implication here is that it isn't that the US Chamber of Commerce seems to have little understanding of how the internet works. It's the fact we don't censor enough.

    This make SOPA all the more important. By censoring the internet just a little bit, we can actually make it MORE secure. (Who knows if they have the gall to really try spinning it that way, but I for one will not be the least surprised if when they reconvene they try to add some provision to make this seem like not just an "anti-piracy bill" but a "cybersecurity" bill as well).

     

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      Planespotter (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      ...or the USCOC need to invest a bit more on securing their websites!

      Chinese hacking .GOV = Job Creation! FTW!!!

       

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        E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:09am

        Re: Re:

        The US Chamber of Commerce is not a government entity and does not have a .gov website.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          While you're technically correct, I suppose, here's a fun philisophical question: How much influence, interchangable Govt./USCOC executives/workers, policy writers, and campaign money does the Chamber of Commerce have to affect before they become a DE FACTO government entity?

          And if we decide in general that they already are, what does that say about our system?

           

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            E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Its kind of like teachers unions. While they are not a government entity, their pull on government education policy makes them pretty much makes them a de facto government entity.

            I guess the same could be said of the Chamber of Commerce.

             

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          Planespotter (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Please accept my sincere apologies from a poor British subject.

          Maybe they should rename themselves so that they don't appear to be part of the US Gov. Or I suppose that is the reason why they called themselves that. If they aren't .GOV why would they have the the entire U.S. trade policy playbook?

          Either way, spinning this like a Senator/Congressmen... the more we are hacked the more jobs we can create!

           

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            E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No need to apologize. The US Chamber of Commerce purposely deceives the general public into think they are a government agency. It is part of how they work. It is also how they can convince so many people into believing their tripe.

            The reason they have the trade policy playbook is because they "represent" just about every business in the US and need to know all trade regulations. I don't really think that any of that information is secret so I wouldn't really think that it is such a bad thing to have that hacked.

             

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      Jay (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      China's been great at embarrassing the US recently.

      Iran hacked a drone and took it down peacefully to dissect it.

      The US has no idea about cybersecurity and yet, their security was destroyed by a spy with a keylogger over a year. It's amazing how that works.

       

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        Another AC, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:05am

        Re: Re:

        I wouldn't give China so much credit - I suspect it's more U.S. ineptitude that embarrasses them than Chinese genius :)

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:04am

    There's a way to fix the problem of SOPA targeting non-foreign sites, insert and amendment into the bill that takes away US citizenship automatically (without a trial of course!) from anyone accused of violating SOPA! Problem solved! It'll even give the politicians a bunch of new illegal immigrants to complain about!

     

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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:04am

    "They don't realize that increasing liability, compliance costs and legal risks isn't just a nuisance -- it can force an entire business to shut down."

    I think that's an intended consequence.

     

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      noYards, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:06am

      Re:

      The "intended consequence" indeed.

      The big media corporations know exactly what they are doing. This has nothing to do with piracy, this is about giving big media corporation the power to put small start up competition out of business and force all IP creators to have to go through them.

      Just look for a second at the remedies for anyone who has their IP rights violated and how to access these remedies.

      Let's suppose FOX violates my IP rights. Being a small individual independent IP owner, how do I go about enforcing my IP rights against FOX? Will FOX take me seriously when I protest their IP violation? Will FOX's ISP send them a notice and remove their account if they don't act on it? Will the Banks, credit card companies, Paypal, et al stop processing payment for FOX? Will the DOJ give me an appointment to discuss taking FOX's domain name out of the root DNS batabase?

      Of course not ... but if FOX were to make up some BS claim that I was violating their IP, I would be instantly considered guilty and any and all of the above remedies would be applied against me without question, and I would be left to somehow prove my innocence, no doubt costing me every penny I owned in the process, and with little to no chance of success.

      So the obvious outcome to this can only one of two ways:

      1) We all realize how the big media corporations are playing us for "creative slaves" and make a run on the law makers and force them to end this fascism (merging of corporation and state,) or

      2) The corporations win, and we all are forced to sell off our IP rights to the media corporations for far less than what they are worth, as otherwise they will simply SOPA us out of business and steal our IP anyway.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re:

        Of course not ...


        Yes. Well, you must understand, FOX is a first-class citizen.

        You —at best— are a citizen of the second class.

        You might even be a citizen of the third class. Or perhaps a citizen of the fourth or fifth classes. Or maybe not even a citizen at all.

        So what's your complaint?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:32am

    Basically, it sounds like reddit has a bad business model. The costs of running the service legally are above the income. If this was a record label, Mike would be up their ass telling them to innovate or give up. Why fawn over this company?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:41am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:32am

      Because it's one of the largest social media sites in tech? Why should Reddit police its community on behalf of people who consistently deceive, chest and steal for the sake of a few dollars more?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:32am

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:32am

        It employs all of 11 people and the commentary reminds me of the stuff you see in YouTube comments sections.

        If the above two examples are the kind of "innovation" Masnick is talking about, they haven't brought anything to the table except the dumbing down of the world.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:32am

          > they haven't brought anything to the table
          > except the dumbing down of the world.

          And of course it's for you and people like you to determine for the rest of us which speech has value and which speech can be safely discarded and censored as valueless.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:32am

          You're painfully ignorant. It actually hurts, how ignorant you are.

           

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:44am

      Re:

      "Basically, it sounds like reddit has a bad business model. The costs of running the service legally are above the income."

      Basically, it sounds like you have the reading comprehension of my left testicle. The costs of running the service legally as of now are just fine. New laws destroying your business model, as opposed to the market doing so, doesn't make your business model bad. It makes the law stupid and artificial.

      "If this was a record label, Mike would be up their ass telling them to innovate or give up. Why fawn over this company?"

      As above, you have things mixed up. In one situation, the very nature of the goods is destroying the model. In this case, it's artificial legislation doing so. It'd be like taking a premier shooting basketball player and putting in a rule saying they have to shoot with their off hand and then telling everyone he's clearly a shitty player. No, you cut his nuts off and hurt the overall game in the process.

      (Sorry, I'm itching for basketball season, so I'm currently using the sport in every single analogy I can, even where the fit is....suspect.)

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re:

        Helmet, re-read the story:

        " It may not happen overnight, but we have a very small staff (~11, mostly engineers), and even dealing with DMCA stuff is a big burden for us. "

        Clearly, if DMCA is an issue that is slowing them down, you would think they would hire more staff. Clearly, if they think that using engineers to handle DMCA is the only way to do it, then they will have significant expense.

        Bad business model, it seems.

        SOPA is no more artificial than DMCA, which is what artificially created so many business models. You cannot call one out without the other. If SOPA is artificial, then get rid of all of those DMCA safe harbors and let's see who is left standing.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "SOPA is no more artificial than DMCA, which is what artificially created so many business models. You cannot call one out without the other."

          Hey, you've got a deal. Consider me calling out the DMCA as shoddy artificial lawmaking as well....

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Cool. So you admit that any business that depends on safe harbors to exist is a bad busienss model, because they are depending on a shoddy, artificial law?

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, the fact that safe harbors even had to be codified into law was stupid and unneccesary. To suggest otherwise means you don't want to hold people directly accountable, it just becomes a shell game more to do about how you can make the most money from lawsuits rather than any semblance of justice.

              But you ignored my larger point in your assertion about my feelings. Businesses having to change due to law rather than market doesn't make sense, barring obvious health concerns like cocaine (seriously? That was your analogy?). Labels models became obsolete due to the nature of the goods they were offering, not due to any artificial law.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:11am

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

                " Labels models became obsolete due to the nature of the goods they were offering, not due to any artificial law."

                Not entirely true. The nature of what they are offering is recorded music. The artificial law (DMCA) makes it possible for any tom, dick, and harriette to put up pirated copies of the material, and only have to take them down when notified. It created a huge business model based on avoiding liablity due to an artificial law.

                Further, because of the way existing laws are written, without a basis in current technology, it is possible for site owners to play shell games to avoid liablity, hiding files on THIS free host, linking to them on THAT public site, and so on. That too is artificial, because anyone with half a brain can see what is going on - but in purely legal terms, because of the way a law is written, they are "legal".

                The free market, if truly a market between competitors with their own competitive products, would see the label business continue to flourish, with sales via Itunes and potentially hundreds of other digital music retailers grow and grow. However, if they are forced to "compete" with people giving away the very product they are attempting to sell, then yes, they will fail in the long run.

                But unfair competition isn't the free market. We wouldn't tolerate or encourage people selling pirated movies on the street corner, why should be tolerate it online?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:19am

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

                  Because it,s showing the big studios how to sell to the masses. You CAN beat free as part of a larger business model. But you don't do that by treating everyone like cattle criminals.

                   

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:21am

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

                  "But unfair competition isn't the free market."

                  In a truly free market, there's no such thing as "unfair" competition. Only competition....

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:25am

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

                    Not true. If I run a fruit stand on a street corner, and my competition runs a fruit stand, we compete on products, price, service, etc.

                    Now, if the other fruit stand doesn't order any product, but just comes over and steals some of my product each day, then sells it for half the price I do, is that really fair competition?

                    If a record label pays for a band to record an album, and then tries to sell it, is it really even competition when someone makes copies of it and sells it for half the price, or worse, gives it away for free to try to get people to buy something else?

                    If you want competition, I am fine with it - but the competition has to bring their own products to the table.

                     

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                      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:28am

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

                      Once again you are comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended)

                      You are not losing product when people infringe on copyrights. You still have the ability to sell and succeed. Many artists are currently doing so and succeeding. Why should we force them out of work by making the way they do business illegal?

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:30am

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

                        Zach, yes you do lose when people infringe. If the potential market is "all of the population", and 50% of the people obtain the material for free, the potential market drops by 50%.

                        Potential sales are lost. It's not NOTHING, it's just harder to measure directly.

                        let's advance it further. If 99.9% of the people get a free copy instead of paying for it, can you tell me what the market is?

                        What happens when 100% of them get it for free? What is the market again?

                        I hate to disappoint you, but someone else giving away your product hurts business.

                         

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                          Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:38am

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

                          "Zach, yes you do lose when people infringe. If the potential market is "all of the population", and 50% of the people obtain the material for free, the potential market drops by 50%."

                          Seriously? Are you freaking new to business? No business' market is EVER "all of the population". NEVER. You're starting off from a point of such silliness that it's hard to even converse with you....

                          "let's advance it further. If 99.9% of the people get a free copy instead of paying for it, can you tell me what the market is?"

                          Depends on how much of that 99.9% was ever in your potential market to begin with. If those 99.9% were all people that would NEVER have bought from you for any cost at all, then you've lost nothing.

                          "What happens when 100% of them get it for free? What is the market again?"

                          It's wherever this business left it, begging for a beneficial reason to hand over their money.

                          "I hate to disappoint you, but someone else giving away your product hurts business."

                          I've said this before, but if your business revolves around a product that someone else has the capacity to give away for free, then you HAVE NO BUSINESS....

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:57am

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

                            if your business revolves around a product that someone else has the capacity to give away for free, then you HAVE NO BUSINESS

                            Only if such giveaways are legal.

                            Keep pretending we aren't talking about lawbreaking. We'll keep mocking and marginalizing you.

                             

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                              Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:13am

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

                              "Only if such giveaways are legal."

                              Thank you for making my point for me: the only restriction is the artificial one of law. The goods are reproducable at no cost, but we'll just write some words down saying don't do it, and suddenly we're in good shape?

                              I can see why you folks are losing this war....

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:36am

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

                                The only thing restricting me from kicking you in the balls until you pass out, is the artificial one of law.

                                I say we do away with it. There. That was easy. Now stand still...

                                 

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                                  Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:37am

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

                                  "The only thing restricting me from kicking you in the balls until you pass out, is the artificial one of law."

                                  You want to bet?

                                   

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                                  E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:50am

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

                                  Looks like someone is getting a little frustrated with being on the losing side of the debate.

                                   

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                                  A Monkey with Atitude, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:58am

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

                                  and my ability to punch 0.50" holes in your head in response....

                                   

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                          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:40am

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

                          If the potential market is "all of the population", and 50% of the people obtain the material for free, the potential market drops by 50%.

                          Except we know neither of those cases are true. A content creator's market never was and never will be "all of the population". All content is targeted at specific niches of the populace.

                          If 50% of your target market (remember it is not 100% of the world population) gets the product for free, it is your job to find a way to get them to pay you something. If they want an easy way to watch the movie online or download the song etc, it is your job to find a way to do that. That is happening now.

                          I recently watched one of Creative America's propaganda films on SOPA. In that film someone claimed that if you search for "Transformers Online" you get link after link of pirate websites. That is true. But my questions is why the first link in google is not a legal place to watch and/or get the film online. That should be the first priority of the film maker.

                          Potential sales are lost. It's not NOTHING, it's just harder to measure directly.

                          You are correct there. That is why innovation exists. So that you can figure out just what is being lost and how to capture those potential lost sales. No business can stand still and expect to keep making the same amount of money forever. They must change with the market or fail.

                          I hate to disappoint you, but someone else giving away your product hurts business.

                          Only if you never change with the market.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:53am

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

                            But....but... PIRASY!!!

                             

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                            Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:03am

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

                            Not to mention that of the 50% of the world that has allegedly stolen your work, many of them will buy it anyway.

                            Mike's quoted several reports that downloaders tend to be the best customers, and we've had several people right here in the comments come out and say, yes, last week I bought a copy of such-and-such that I downloaded the week before.

                            For that matter I've been known to buy a second copy of a product I liked in order to use it simultaneously on a second computer, even though there was no protection forcing me to do so. I decided I wanted to support the author because I liked the product so much.

                            I read several dozen webcomics regularly (about 60 total, not counting some that I've stopped reading for various reasons) and hardly ever spend a dime. Well, I don't have much of a budget, so no way I can really support them. But once in a while one of them offers something special to try to drum up money for rent, or to replace a broken computer or Wacom tablet, or art lessons, or whatever. Or they just offer something I particularly like. So I have a few T-shirts and books and even some artwork that I bought to help support the webcomics. Even though I was under absolutely no obligation to do so.

                            One webcomic artist has recently just said he needs about 10 extra quid a month for rent, hate to ask but could you guys help? And every month he gets about 5 times that from his readers. Just like that. Straight up donations. For a free webcomic.

                            So stop with the bit about anybody who gets a free download -- no matter how illicit -- being a lost sale when it's just another blatant lie.

                             

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                          Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 7:16am

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

                          Show me on a ledger sheet the number for "lost sales".

                          Until then, you can shut the fuck up.

                           

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                      btr1701 (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:03am

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

                      > but just comes over and steals some of my
                      > product each day, then sells it for half
                      > the price I do, is that really fair competition?

                      That's not competition at all. Your problem is that you apparently don't understand what the word 'competition' means.

                       

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                  E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:25am

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

                  The artificial law (DMCA) makes it possible for any tom, dick, and harriette to put up pirated copies of the material, and only have to take them down when notified

                  No. The DMCA placed liability for infringement where it belongs, with the infringer. It was not a new concept. It was codifying into law the protections that the Betamax ruling placed on tool providers. Without the DMCA, those protections would still be there, but there probably would be more lawsuits contesting that protection.

                  Further, because of the way existing laws are written, without a basis in current technology, it is possible for site owners to play shell games to avoid liablity, hiding files on THIS free host, linking to them on THAT public site, and so on. That too is artificial, because anyone with half a brain can see what is going on - but in purely legal terms, because of the way a law is written, they are "legal".

                  If the site owners were the ones uploading the infringing content, then they would be liable even without the DMCA. They are the infringers. Safe harbors protect tool creators from being liable for users of those tools infringements.

                  However, if they are forced to "compete" with people giving away the very product they are attempting to sell, then yes, they will fail in the long run.

                  Guess what, you would have to do that with or without the DMCA and SOPA. You have always had to compete with people offering your content cheaper or for free. There has never been a time where that was not true. Any real business would accept that truth, live with it and succeed despite that.

                  But unfair competition isn't the free market

                  Then why are you advocating for SOPA? SOPA is one of the worst attacks on the free market in US history. It threatens to destroy many of the tools that independent artists use to distribute their content all in the name of "protecting" those same artists. Why would we want a law on the books that harms their ability to get their content to their fans? That seems far more unfair than what we currently have.

                   

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                  Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 7:14am

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

                  And yesteryear the DMCA was touted as the be all end all of piracy. Even though back then ALL techs were saying: "no it isn't."

                  Today, we hear (from the same people that loved the DMCA) that the DMCA is a leaky boat, and a stupid law because it created an opportunity to pirate stuff (btw, no it didn't), and we need a new law to plug the leaks in the DMCA-boat, with the PIPA and SOPA laws.
                  And every Tom, Dick and Harry and their dog is saying: "no it won't work."

                  SOPA is not going to deter any piracy, it's only going to destroy the internet as we know it. It's going to make it impossible for the small entrepreneur to get a foot in the door. All those podcasters and live-streamers who use justin.tv and the likes legally are suddenly threatened, because the Big Media Companies need that space for their own infantile programming.
                  Talk about unfair competition.

                   

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              Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No. You've just mentioned the only good part about the DMCA -- the safe harbors. The DMCA on the whole is a terrible piece of legislation that causes undue burdens to legitimate businesses. And the safe harbors were only added at the last minute as a gesture towards those who realized how bad the rest of the legislation was.

              Reddit is not depending on a shoddy, artificial law as part of their business model. They're depending on the only good measure in that law to keep the shoddy, artificial law from killing off their company for no good reason, since they're not actually doing anything wrong, aside from offending you personally.

              And now you want to take away from us the only good measure of the DMCA and claim any subsequent failure is a poor business model. Yeah, it's a poor business model that can't survive being made explicitly illegal by a competitor for the sake of killing off its competition.

              Nice job twisting the facts around. You must live in an interesting world.

               

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          Jay (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Clearly, if DMCA is an issue that is slowing them down, you would think they would hire more staff. Clearly, if they think that using engineers to handle DMCA is the only way to do it, then they will have significant expense.

          You seem to fail to understand market failure versus governmental failure. They can survive with the DMCA because it specifically tailors the language narrowly so that Reddit isn't implicit in lawsuits.

          SOPA is no more artificial than DMCA, which is what artificially created so many business models. You cannot call one out without the other. If SOPA is artificial, then get rid of all of those DMCA safe harbors and let's see who is left standing

          Here's a better suggestion. Get rid of the DMCA, not just the safe harbors. Let's take it even further. Get rid of the Pro-IP, NET Act, and the Sonny Bono Extension Act. Let's see which industries survive on the free market. If you have no way to stop a copy, then by all means, make money based on the free market and licensing. Let's see who survives.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Here's a better suggestion. Get rid of the DMCA, not just the safe harbors. Let's take it even further. Get rid of the Pro-IP, NET Act, and the Sonny Bono Extension Act. Let's see which industries survive on the free market. If you have no way to stop a copy, then by all means, make money based on the free market and licensing. Let's see who survives."

            Jay, you get rid of DMCA, and you can toss Youtube out the window. It's done. No notices, just sue their asses off for every infraction. They would be shut down in days.

            Keep going from there. You tell me who do you really think in the web2.0 universe will survive?

             

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              E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If a company were to sue YouTube, it would have the same net effect as the DMCA's Safe Harbor protections. The court would rule that YouTube is not liable for the infringement of its users in the same way that Sony was not liable for the infringements of Betamax users.

              The DCMA safe harbors simply codified that ruling into law to avoid further pointless lawsuits against otherwise legal tools.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:28am

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

                Zach, wishful thinking. As Youtube republishes, re-presents, and combines the user submissions into a completed website (ie, they don't just let you see the video...) they would be considered a publisher no different from a magazine or a newspaper, and would be found entirely liable for what they choose to publish.

                Remember, it's user CONTRIBUTION, not user control.

                It's very different, and Youtube would die within seconds. Go back and review the Viacom lawsuit. Without DMCA, Youtube would not have had a leg to stand on legally.

                 

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                  E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:32am

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

                  Youtube has no editorial control over the content. They accept the content and display it in a user friendly fashion. They retain no control beyond that.

                  I don't know why you continue to misrepresent how YouTube functions by comparing it to a newspaper or magazine which both retain complete editorial control over what is published and what is not.

                  Once again you also misrepresent what the DMCA's Safe harbors are. They are not a new concept. They are codified case law from as far back as the Betamax ruling. seriously, read up on that ruling and compare it to the safe harbor provisions in the DMCA. You will find both to be strikingly similar.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:58am

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

                    AC's around here (and vast swaths of society) do not recognize individual accountability.

                    People are using a site to infringe, it's the site that must go, not the person.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 8:29am

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

                      Let's hold bus lines accountable for transporting people who've committed civil infractions. The bus owners, mechanics, and/or drivers must know that any one of their passengers are violation someone's unnatural rights somehow at some time in some place!

                       

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              Jay (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Jay, you get rid of DMCA, and you can toss Youtube out the window. It's done. No notices, just sue their asses off for every infraction. They would be shut down in days.

              You seemed so ready to throw out the DMCA safe harbors. Now you're saying that it will cause Youtube to be destroyed for every infringement. One doesn't follow the other.

              If you noticed, the other deals make statutory damages more harmful. I'm sure you can look up each act and see how they're out of proportion to the reality of infringement.

              What the repeal of each increased enforcement act would do is make infringement a misdemeanor as it should be. People won't face jail time but a fine for the infringement. The courts wouldn't waste time in dismissing the cases and would have greater flexibility in penalties instead of the $150,000 per damage of the current laws.

              Finally, you would increase the public domain by repealing the SBEA. Fair Use would increase, less incentive for the enforcement angle, more creativity, everyone wins. Oh, except the trade industries. They would still want control even though the world is against them.

               

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              JMT (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 1:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Jay, you get rid of DMCA, and you can toss Youtube out the window. It's done. No notices, just sue their asses off for every infraction. They would be shut down in days."

              Highly unlikely, but tell me, given how incredibly popular and useful YouTube is, how long do you think the companies responsible for killing YouTube would last. You don't think there'd be massive backlash against doing something so stupid?

              Companies that go all legalistic on copyright infringer (whether correctly or incorrectly accused) need to keep in mind the negative perception most people have of their actions. Whatever losses you think you're suffering, being despised by your potential customers is not a recommended part of a business model.

               

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        Anoymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re:

        I am dying to know. What is the reading comprehension level of your right testicle?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:44am

      Re:

      Miss that last paragraph? Basically, under SOPA, it sounds like most US citizens have a bad business model. Their costs of living legally will exceed their income.

      Ah, if only it applied to Techdirt's trolls and no one else...

       

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:54am

      Re:

      Bad business models are found out and eliminated through market pressures.

      Bad laws make previously legal activities and business models and make them illegal.

      Reddit is currently operating under a legal and a good business model. SOPA threatens to turn that business model illegal and costly. That is not market pressure.

      The record labels have a bad business model. They have failed to keep up with market pressures and are losing money. Those that do make money right now are keeping up with market pressures. You do not need laws in this instance, just innovation.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:59am

        Re: Re:

        losing potentially earned money. It's still debatable if they are actually losing money.

         

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          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is true.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Even more debateable is if SOPA will do anything to make them more money. Signs point to NO.

          Just watching them paste money all over politicians for this pointlessly damaging legislation throws their business acumen into serious doubt.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:38am

        Re: Re:

        "Bad laws make previously legal activities and business models and make them illegal. "

        The laws are the reason why there is no longer cocaine in Coca Cola. They had a great business model before. Do you think that the laws that made them change are "bad", because it outlawed a previously legal activity?

        Sorry Zach, your logic fails.

         

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          Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The laws are the reason why there is no longer cocaine in Coca Cola. They had a great business model before. Do you think that the laws that made them change are "bad", because it outlawed a previously legal activity?

          If we're talking about the early stages of a now-endless "War on Drugs," then yes, I do think that the laws that made them change are bad.

          This argument doesn't help your case much. In fact, it seems to hammer home the point that Zach was making. Bad laws affect previously legal business models. And any comparison between SOPA and our anti-drug "strategy" kind of gives you an indication of where SOPA is probably headed: a never-ending, ever-escalating "war" that can't be won and that turns thousands of decent citizens into criminals.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > a never-ending, ever-escalating "war" that
            > can't be won and that turns thousands of
            > decent citizens into criminals.

            ...and which costs the Treasury billions in useless enforcement every year.

             

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          Jay (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry Zach, your logic fails

          He's correct in his assessment. Your analogy is flawed. Coca-Cola was using the coca leaves for an elixir at first. They found it made a great tonic and eventually moved into making a drink. How about Listerine used to create the problem of fighting bad breath? The law wasn't used to club Coca-Cola over the head. They found a good market and changed with consumer demand.

          What is occurring is how much the law is affecting regular business. Let's take the anti-streaming aspect of both bills:

          Gamers will be affected if they can't use blip.tv, justin.tv, Youtube, or Ustream for potential copyright infringements. The platforms for their expression will be affected immensely.

          Musicians won't be able to put up remixes on Soundcloud, Youtube, or their personal websites.

          Movie buffs won't be able to express their interests in different movies or make remixes on the same platforms as described above.

          Currently, all of these actions are legal under the law and Fair Use. With SOPA, the platforms are directly attacked, taking away the services that benefit the creative communities we have.

          So effectively, what once was legal will be illegal under SOPA.

           

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      •  
        icon
        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:17am

        Re: Re:

        Kind of an ex-post-facto law, then, isn't it?

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      The company is running legally and will continue to do so if PIPA and SOPA don't pass!

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re:

        And SOPA won't affect Reddit any more than the DMCA already does. Masnick is just posting more of his daily lies and FUD.

        If Reddit can't make enough money to hire people to deal with their DMCA notices, then they have a very weak business model.

        And that's their problem, not mine.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 6:58am

      Re:

      The opposite actually, Big Content cant pay for their business model so they are forcing others to pay it for them.

       

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      noYards, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      Could very well be that reddit is allowing all kinds of pirated IP on their site. Hell, maybe even every post on reddit is pirated IP ... so then in a democratic and free country it is up to the accusers to prove guilt, and not up to the authorities to punish the accused until they prove themselves innocent.

      So how do you defend America turning into a fascist puppet for media corporations, even to the point of forgoing due process in the name of protecting an old outdated business model? Or are you saying that rule of law and the long established principles of a free and democratic nation are no longer important in the face of putting media corporations to the trouble of proving their accusations?

       

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    •  
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      btr1701 (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      > Basically, it sounds like reddit has a bad
      > business model. The costs of running the
      > service legally are above the income

      Not right now it's not. That's the whole point of the article-- that passing SOPA would increase costs for legal businesses to the point where the businesses cannot be sustained.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:24am

    On the domestic front it seems to me that should SOPA, Protect-IP, or some other similarly directed bill pass into law, its effect would be relative minor across the spectrum of startups in all sectors of our economy. Yes, some that are based in large measure upon business models that depend upon the use of the content of others would incur a somewhat larger, but inderterminate in scope, burden for compliance over and above all other legal burdens that currently pertain (and many of these burdens have nothing to do with content).

    While I happen to subscribe, for the most part, to the view that "due process" and "censorship" are largely red herrings since to a large degree the processes outlined in the bills are generally in accord with longstanding principles of law as articulated in the Federal Rules of Civil/Criminal Procedure, it is by belief that these bills have a more fundamental underlying purpose, and it is not the dismantling of the DMCA (though I readily admit my belief that the DMCA could use a "tune up" to reflect just how much circumstances have changed since its enactment in 1998).

    My view is that a significant impetus for the bills can be tied back to Universal v. Sony, and specifically the "staple article of commerce" test articulated in the decision by the court having incorporated a patent law doctrine into copyright law. The patent law doctrine was crafted to address a particular set of circustances that simply to not fit into copyright law.

    Again, just my view, but one should not overlook Universal v. Sony in the discussion.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      There is a lack of discussion about the other side: What new business models would come as a result of a SOPA or ProtectIP in the US?

      First, let me say that I think that "naked hosting" (ie, hosting where an individual rents server space to host a domain, files), that are directly accessible in the format chosen by the renter, without any interference from the "host" will be found legal. The basis in law would be the question of activities by a legal renter of a business place or residence, and the liablity of a property owner. That is to say, you lease a domain, you obtain "naked hosting", and then you set up a website or whatever and entirely control the content. No "file hosting", no "video hosting", no "lockers", but an actual host where you decide 100% what is seen when people access your files - and you pay for the hosting. That is a model that will be for me entirely legal and without any more liability than currently exists for the hosting companies.

      Example: Artist cooperatives. Rather than just letting anyone upload whatever to a website, I could see a situation where artists form cooperatives to operate a website shared only by those artists, under a combined contract with various liability clauses and such. I could picture companies writing and selling software to support these types of cooperatives.

      Example: more low dollars hosting for files and information. When "downloader pays" file lockers become a legal landmine, they will disappear pretty rapidly. They will need to be replaced for people who actually had a valid reason to share files with people. Services that allow you to easily set up file hosting, and charge the file owner for costs to keep the file online will spring up again all over.

      The issue is that many people here are as attached to the "web 2.0" business models as the record labels are apparently attached to their old models as well. Nobody seems to want to look past their "it's working, I like it" mentality. It's too bad that Techdirt isn't working to look forward, but rather to fight every change along the way. More and more, Mike Masnick comes off with the same mentality as the label bosses in this regard.

       

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        identicon
        jason, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re:

        Really? You'd take the sites (YouTube, Facebook,...) that have arguably changed the world (Arab spring?) offline because their currently legal business models impinge upon the ability of rich U.S. companies to sell plastic disks? Really?

        If that is the world you want to live in, fine. If you can't see the benefit of social media (which is largely based upon free hosting of content), fine. Good luck with that.

         

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        AJ (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 8:47am

        Re: Re:

        "Example: Artist cooperatives. Rather than just letting anyone upload whatever to a website, I could see a situation where artists form cooperatives to operate a website shared only by those artists, under a combined contract with various liability clauses and such. I could picture companies writing and selling software to support these types of cooperatives."

        LOL. Perfect description of a "dark net" The problem is, you want to decide which ones are legal and which ones are not. Doesn't work that way, and it never will... the technology is out, you cant put it back in the bottle.. you can pass laws making millions of people criminals while destroying the best tool for sharing information ever created.... but you still can't unring the bell.... what you can do however is create a culture of people that fucking hate big business and wrap entire movements around destroying it, even if it is self destructive of them.... but you guys really don's seem to care about any of that... I truly don't understand this mentality....

         

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      •  
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        Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re:

        ...and because I don't like what your artists' cooperative site does, I issue a take-down notice on your ass. It costs me almost nothing. The fact that it's entirely legal and hosts no content not owned by its users is entirely beside the point; I don't actually have to prove anything. I just claim you're in violation and poof, you lose your domain name and any funding.

        Now you have to go to court to prove your innocence, and pay legal fees out of your own pocket.

        You win; you prove that you're legal. The courts are happy, the lawyers are smug, and you, while considerably poorer, are feeling self-righteous as you contact all the payment companies and the domain registrar to get your stuff back. One or two are reluctant but you fax all the court documents to prove your innocence, so they switch you back on.

        The next day my friend George, who also doesn't like your business, issues a take-down notice....

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well Jeffrey, I don't personally know you, but I happen to be named George. So about your example, I would gladly issue a take-down notice against the Anonymous Coward you're speaking to.

          Now, I'm aiming this bit at the AC you're speaking to, why would I do this?

          Well, why not? I can. That's reason enough. I don't know you, I don't know what business model you have. But guess what? If SOPA isn't the big bad boogeyman like it's being made out to be by Mike and the rest of us freetarded thieves, you've got nothing to worry about, right?

          Or do you?

          Or perhaps I should say the following instead. If you aren't doing anything wrong you have no problem with being forced to defend yourself, your website, etc AFTER THE FACT. You should be able to do so readily. Right?

          Now per SOPA, this is perfectly acceptable and legal. I can issue said take-down notice and have you cut off from your website, your payment processors, etc all at essentially the drop of a hat/snap of my fingers (although I'd never do the latter, because I can't actually snap my fingers for some reason). In fact, there's pretty much nothing you can do against me in return, as long as I act in good faith in issuing the take-down notice. I saw something on your website I felt was infringing, I acted accordingly. You can try and prove otherwise, but it's pretty tough to say I issued the take-down with malicious intent. In fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any evidence/proof of that. So I'd walk away kosher. And you'd be out your legal fees from being forced to defend yourself after the fact.

          But hey, it's all good, right? As long as we stop someone with this bad (potential) law. Despite that being completely impossible to do (even if aiming ONLY for the "casual" infringer).

          Now tell me, after said example and explanation, do you still 100% support this? And can you say with 100% certainty that it is a reasonable law to ALL?

          If so, wow. Right on, man. If someone calls me out on being wrong and can present proof of how I'm wrong, I'll man up and admit I'm in the wrong. If someone can point out what Jeffrey and I did to you, and you still think you and the law are in the right, well... wtf are we wasting our time here for? You and Jeffrey and myself. You won't change your POV no matter what, so why even try and have a rational, reasonable, logical discussion with any of us here. You're an extremist and that's that. The rest of us can see the problems and acknowledge them and are willing to discuss any/all issues, but if you aren't willing to do the same, then there's no point to any of this back and forth BS. In which case, good day.

           

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      •  
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        CD (profile), Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 9:08am

        Re: Re:

        Now with this statement...."No "file hosting", no "video hosting", no "lockers", but an actual host where you decide 100% what is seen when people access your files - and you pay for the hosting."

        Exactly how will you be able to create either of your examples. Without hosting "FILES" you cannot have a website displayed. What if I want to allow "VIDEO HOSTING" or "STORAGE SPACE"? I get to "...decide 100% what is seen when people access [MY] files - and [I] pay for the hosting."

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      The DMCA is already used in abusive ways. SOPA would further enable that kind of abuse, it's practically built-in. Neither has penalties that have any teeth for those that do or would abuse them.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Julia O'Dwyer, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Rogue Sites

    So are there no "rogue sites" in the US?

     

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