Rikuo's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the holiday-season-edition dept

Hey, fellow Techdirtians or whatever adjective you want to call yourselves. Longtime reader Rikuo here. Iíve been following Techdirt for the better part of two years now, and was sure surprised to have been asked to write the Favorites list for Xmas week. Once I stopped jumping and shrieking in pure fanboy excitement (and after the court injunction ordering me to never do that sort of stuff again), I sat myself down and decided to get serious.

Monday was a serious day for some, and a jawdropper for others. Daniel Castro from the ITIF (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) just three weeks ago responded to SOPA/Protect IP critics by saying that DNS filtering works because some other countries do it. Well, thanks to the good folks at Public Knowledge, you learn that itís alright for the United States of America to adopt practices from some of the worst authoritarian regimes on the planet. And here I thought "land of the free" actually meant something.

Two other Monday articles caught my eye: the first was about how ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was adopted by the EU Council, however, it was really by a collection of ministers in a meeting discussing agriculture and fisheries? Wait, what? What do fish have to do with a treaty about copyright?

The last Monday article was by our own Julian Sanchez, about how SOPA will be abused. This prediction was arrived at by looking at what the entertainment industry has done in the past and what they continue to do today. A very good read, as it really drives home the point that these companies are already abusing the DMCA. And having tried to block technological innovation in the past, they will certainly continue to do so in the future.

Tuesday had three articles that interested me. The first is about UK singer, Dan Bull, releasing his latest music video on YouTube. Even though he's in the UK, he'd still be affected by SOPA. Dan Bull relies on user-content-generated-sites to release his media but the entertainment industry would like to shut them all down (or at least limit them), given half a chance. Once thatís done, this artist, unless he got picked up by a label, would have no easy way of distributing his music.

The second article for Tuesday was about successful photographer Trey Ratcliff. Heís another member of the growing example of artists who succeed in the digital age despite the copyrights on his work regularly being infringed. In fact, he's worked it into his business model. What I found most amusing about the article were the responses from some people, who continue to state that these examples don't matter. We here at Techdirt are offering proof but these people willfully stay blind.

The last Tuesday article was about the death of Veoh, a video sharing website that, despite being perfectly legal, was killed financially in a bogus copyright lawsuit from Universal Music Group. Under the original version of SOPA, you wouldn't need a lawsuit. Just a stern letter to the payment processors and you get the same result. If you can already kill a legal website dead by overburdening it with lawsuits, why bother pushing for all this extra legislation?

Come, Wednesday and I hear about Gilberto Sanchez who has been sentenced to a year in prison for uploading the unfinished workprint of X-men Origins: Wolverine. Despite the fact no harm has been proven and despite the fact that uploading a workprint does NOT equal uploading a full finished movie, Fox still pushed for his imprisonment. All this will do is drive further resentment against copyright law, as people ask themselves why such a harsh punishment?

Again with the superhero movies, as the Dark Knight Rises movie trailer has gone viral. Now, people in the marketing division of Warner Bros want this video to be seen by as many people as possible, so as to entice more people to see the actual movie. However, the lawyers are a different breed and have sent Rob Sheridan a notice for daring to embed the video. So what... are we NOT allowed talk about the movie?

My last favorite Wednesday article would have made me chuckle if it didn't piss me off so much. The YouHaveDownloaded tool has been used to find out that IP addresses belonging to the RIAA have been used to infringe copyright. The RIAA has been too quick to say that it could have been a third party at fault, a defense that it never allowed anyone else to use during its infamous P2P lawsuits.

I came home from work Thursday and saw that Julian Sanchez had been hard at work, showing us how SOPA will enable censorship beyond that of copyright infringement. What truly amused and dumbfounded me were the commentators who still insisted that dajaz1.com was rogue and illegal, when clearly the government couldn't make such a case. Talk about a complete disconnect from reality.

Reddit General Manager released a statement showing how SOPA still impacts domestic sites. Even if it were true that SOPA would only ever be used against foreign sites, the logistical nightmares of censoring them (and the penalties for failing to do so) would fall on US companies.

I came home from work on Friday, booted up my browser and first place I went was Techdirt, where I learned that pretty much everybody who was listed as supporting SOPA have demanded to be taken off the list. Turns out, they were never asked whether or not they supported SOPA, or in GoDaddy's case, were facing a massive boycott from their customers. So SOPA supporters...where is this massive support you've been crowing about? Are SOPA critics still limited to pirates and thieves?

I'd like to thank Mike for giving me the opportunity to write this article and the Techdirt community for just being that awesome. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Hey Rikuo!

    You're so fine You're so fine You blow my mind ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    something something something SOPA.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

      Re:

      Something something something Dark Side.

      Your point?

       

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        darryl, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 6:57pm

        Re: Re:

        you cant work it out ????

        the writter is not responsible for the readers inability to comprehent or understand...

        in other words if you are stupid dont blame the person you cannot understand !!!... that would be something a stupid person would do !!!

         

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          The eejit (profile), Dec 25th, 2011 @ 12:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I substituted Dark Side for SOPA. Nothing changes. The fact that you cannot understand that is, well, remarkable.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2011 @ 9:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If darryl could understand anything it would be a remarkable medical breakthrough. It would revolutionize brain death treatments offering brain dead patients new ways of resurrecting their dead brains.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            REALLY !!!!! is that what you did ?????? WOW...

            we'll DERRRRR

            eejit is right !

             

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    I read this on my phone, you got the dead space of Christmas eve where there will be few comments. Sorry about that. Great post though.

    David

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 4:17pm

     

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Crowdsourced List of SOPA Supporters

    Via: /. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/12/24/0035250/crowdsourced-list-of-sopa-supporters/
    Fraser Cain writes "GoDaddy listened to reason, and reversed their position on SOPA. Here's a crowdsourced list of every other company supporting SOPA with web address, Twitter feed, contact emails and phone numbers. Perhaps they should be contacted to find out if they still fully support SOPA, or have changed their mind."
    Of course, GoDaddy has just dropped their public support of the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA. But, they still support the Senate version of SOPA, called PIPA or PROTECT-IP.

     

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    darryl, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 6:26pm

    Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

    can an edition be a department ?

    And here I thought "land of the free" actually meant something.
    welcome to the real world buddy....

    (land of the free as long as you are white and rich)

    I does mean something, just to to anyone who lives in the US of A.... never had.

    "Home of the Brave". hahah,, I bet you believe your constitution is ment to "protect the people" too !!!!!

    but if you believe America is such a perfect place that is great, because it probably means you will not ever bother to go anywhere else.

    which is also good, because for 1) you will continue to believe the US is 'just right', and 2) the rest of the world would rather you right where you are.. and certainly NOT where WE are !!!

    Really the only thing the US is capable of doing is being big and stupid enough to not only take themselves down, but also to drag entire other countries down with it..

    It's funny in a sad kind of way that the only group that seem to not be able to work that out, is America..

    Two other Monday articles caught my eye: the first was about how ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was adopted by the EU Council, however, it was really by a collection of ministers in a meeting discussing agriculture and fisheries?

    Agriculture and fisheries are TRADE, so yes it most certainly should be discussed by ACTA, BTW copyright is TRADE as well, and Counterfeiting as well.. so you would expect ACTA Councils to discuss TRADE and Counterfeiting would you NOT ???

    What else would you EXPECT them to talk about ???? FFS


    ALso, do you honestly believe there are ANY laws or rules that are not abused ? it is usually that abuse that prompts the introduction of the law in the first place.

    Do you think there would be a law about how fast you can drive your car if no one ever drove their car above a safe speed ? of course not.. if there is no abuse, there is no need for a law to stop that abuse.

    Sure, if you introduce a law saying you cannot drive over a certain speed, some people will ignore that law and drive fast anyway, if they do there abuse if a breach of the that law, and there is therefore a mechanism to deal with that abuse.

    IF there was not law about how fast you could drive, you would be able to drive very fast, and not be in breach of any law.

    Laws are created to make that abuse not acceptable, and to provide a mechanism to stop that abuse.

    IF that abuse never occurred in the first place there would not be a requirement to introduce a law.

    It is BECAUSE of the abuse that the law is introduced, because YOU steal files and copy things you dont have the copyright for, you force laws to be introduced.

    It's your OWN DAMN FAULT, if you did not abuse the system, there would not be a problem, therefore there would be no requirement for new rules and laws to be introducted.

    Thank yourselves....

    You made the bed, now you have to sleep in it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 7:18pm

      Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

      But that's what beds are for, you know, to sleep in them. So, yes, I would like to thank myself for making a bed, sharing with others how to make beds, and then sleeping in that made bed.

      Sleeping in a bed that I made feels really comfortable. Thanks darryl!

       

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        Lauriel (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 8:36pm

        Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

        Sharing the bed you sleep in can be kind of fun too. ;)

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 8:18pm

      Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

      Your comments on the first quote suggest you know this is a horrible law supported by horrible people, and your defense is "Welcome to the real world, kid..."

      *facepalm*

      ...you would expect ACTA councils to discuss trade and counterfeiting, would you not?
      (I think you meant EU councils, not ACTA councils, as ACTA is the act passed, not the council... If you didn't, sorry for the mistake.)

      Well, yeah, EU councils would. However, the specific council (Agriculture and Fisheries) who discussed it have no reason to do so. If you had a company specializing in cakes, which contain sugar, which are carbohydrates, would you push for or argue against a law that concerns beef in a meeting that was exclusively about pastries?

      If it was discussed in a council about trade in general, you would expect them to do so, but not specifically agriculture and fish.

      ALso, do you honestly believe there are ANY laws or rules that are not abused ? it is usually that abuse that prompts the introduction of the law in the first place.

      Do you think there would be a law about how fast you can drive your car if no one ever drove their car above a safe speed ? of course not.. if there is no abuse, there is no need for a law to stop that abuse.


      Wait, so the abuse of a law preempts the existence of that law? What? Were the lawmakers looking for a new thing to impose limits on?

      About your "If there is no abuse" statement, assuming you're talking about a new law to stop the abuse of a preexisting law... That's a conditional statement, meaning there is a converse: "If there is abuse, there is a need for a law to stop that abuse." Assuming you're allowing "law" to be switched with "amendment", this is what the rejected amendments to SOPA were about: A need to stop prevent that abuse of SOPA.

      Also, all of your comment mistakes "abuse of the law" with "[insert bad thing here]". "Abuse of the law" is using legal loopholes (of which there are many in SOPA) to do something most people consider immoral and wrong.

      Also, the main reason laws in the US even exist is that they're supposed to protect the people and their unalienable rights. If a law benefits a few at the cost of many (such as SOPA, which benefits music labels at the cost of the internet and everyone who uses it), it shouldn't exist. (When you take that reason into consideration, a lot of laws shouldn't exist, but that would fall under your "Welcome to the real world, kid" argument.)

      It is BECAUSE of the abuse that the law is introduced, because YOU steal files and copy things you dont have the copyright for, you force laws to be introduced.

      It's your OWN DAMN FAULT, if you did not abuse the system, there would not be a problem, therefore there would be no requirement for new rules and laws to be introducted.

      Thank yourselves....

      You made the bed, now you have to sleep in it.


      First off, let's assume that Techdirt really is a site writhing with the worst pirates of them all. Despite what you may think, this is hypothetical and not true, and is only assumed for the sake of argument. Let's also assume that copyright infringement is theft. It isn't, by the way. (Let's also assume that you're mistaking "abuse" with "breach".)

      We force laws to be introduced when we "steal" files? The only thing forcing the laws to be introduced are CEOs of music labels (the few) who've realized that their wallets aren't overflowing and want to censor the net (the many) in response.

      Let's also assume that piracy is "abuse of the system" (one of the few points of yours I sort of agree with, if by "system" you mean "internet"). Even if pirates didn't copyright infringe, the music label CEOs (the few) would still realize their control of musicians' works (musicians being part of the many) were slowly disappearing, and to prevent that, they would need to nuke the internet (the many).

      "You made the bed, now you have to sleep in it"? Actually, it's more like this:

      Internet engineers made the bed. Pirates found a way to do something music labels hated with the bed. Music labels, in response, want to burn the bed down and force everybody to sleep in the remains. If they get their way, the pirates will still slip out and sleep somewhere else.

      This is like if there were a few people in a city who were up to no good, so some other people want to stop them. The problem is, their solution is to nuke the city, which happens in such a way that the people up to no good were spared from the fate that befell everyone else.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 8:30pm

        Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

        No, no... This is darryl. Any tortured logic he tries to shove on us he actually believes. He really is just that big an idiot.

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Dec 25th, 2011 @ 1:13am

      Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

      "but if you believe America is such a perfect place that is great, because it probably means you will not ever bother to go anywhere else.

      which is also good, because for 1) you will continue to believe the US is 'just right', and 2) the rest of the world would rather you right where you are.. and certainly NOT where WE are !!!"

      Darryl...I don't live in the US. Have never visited it. I don't WANT to visit the US, not while it has things like the TSA and if it passes, the NDAA.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

        Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

        wow Rikuo, that sounds like the ultimate excuse for ignorance !!!.

        So everything you know about the US and its laws and way of life is all 'hearsay' !!!

        let me guess, you get all your information from Masnick !!

        I wonder if you have ever left your own country at all ?

        BTW: for the record yes, I have lived and worked in the US, travelled on the New York subway, been to the bronks, been to the twin towers and the empire state building, ive even had breakfast at Tiffanies.

        Ive also met at least one US president, how many have you met ?

        why are you then so upset at US laws, if you dont even live there, and are not living under those laws ?

        I note you did not actually say where you are from, but it must be perfect there right ?

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Dec 26th, 2011 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

          Ignorance:
          noun
          the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

          Hmm...don't count myself ignorant. I'm widely studied and was counted a child prodigy, so, you fail there. You basically made an assumption.

          As for everything I hear about the US...I'm trying to understand your mindset here. The way I understand it, from what you wrote, is that if I, a foreigner, hear something negative about the US, its hearsay, because to you, the US is the greatest country in the world. There are a few things that scare me, and close-minded patriotism is one of them.

          I do not get all my information from Masnick. In case you haven't realized, I don't think he's done an article on the NDAA. I got my information on that from elsewhere. As for his articles on the TSA, I call that keeping others informed. His articles are backed up and sourced, so its not like he's making shit up.

          You got one thing right, I've never left my country. Never had the opportunity. Doesn't mean that my comments about not wanting to visit the US aren't valid. In terms of human rights violations and bad laws, I rank the US in the same vein as Saudi Arabia and Iran. I wouldn't want to visit those countries, because there's an excellent chance I could be arrested and imprisoned/killed for something crazy. In SA and Iran, it would be because I insult Mohammed, while in the US, if the NDAA passes...well, the military wouldn't need to charge me with anything.

          As for how much you've travelled...I don't give a shit. I've met my own country's leaders and wasn't impressed by any of them. So what if you met "at least" one US president? Are you somehow implying that you're too thick to realize that you may have met more than one?

          As for why I'm upset at US laws...only a fool like you wouldn't be able to understand or comprehend the fact that for better or worse, the US is the most powerful country in the world, and often exports its laws elsewhere. US officials have drafted copyright and other laws in other countries, such as Spain. If SOPA passes, all of my favourite websites, all completely legal under the DMCA, would either be blocked outright or have to be massively changed. Even though I'm not in the US, I can't avoid being affected by US laws.
          And no, my country is not perfect. Never said or implied that it was. Just because my country isn't perfect, doesn't mean that I don't have the right to criticize the US.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2011 @ 11:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

            Rikuo, I think the guy was just trolling you. And badly at that. Anyone who's been to "the bronks" would know that it's the "BRONX".

            That and the "breakfast at Tiffanies" thing kind of give him away.

            He's an idiot, to be ignored.

            Or a bad troll, to be ignored.

            Just fyi.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2011 @ 10:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

          Who cares you met a president while serving coffee.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2011 @ 4:45am

      Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

      Merry xmas for ya and a happy new year.
      Here is my gift to you.

      Johannes Brahms - Lullaby

      Nighty night, have good dreams.

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 25th, 2011 @ 11:57am

      Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

      Angry much, darryl? And on Christmas Eve, no less. A nice big lump of coal in both socks for you, laddie.

      As for where ever you DO like, I pray it isn't Canada. Well, outside of Toronto, anyway. You'd fit in perfectly there. Total ignorance of the rest of the world and a perfectly smug attitude about living in the place the universe rotates around. You'd be perfect there.

      Most Americans I know ARE perfectly aware that a misstep by their country can take the rest of the planet down with them. If not 2008 proved that to them.

      "Two other Monday articles caught my eye: the first was about how ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was adopted by the EU Council, however, it was really by a collection of ministers in a meeting discussing agriculture and fisheries?"

      I guess you missed the part of the story that pointed out that that committee is a place where Eurocrats do things they'd rather not let anyone know they're doing. You know, unpopular stuff like ACTA. It's not gone anywhere important yet as the EU parliament hasn't voted on it yet and, politicians being what they are and wanting to hold onto their seats have no doubt noted it's unpopularity and will vote accordingly. Hopefully enough of them to drop the smelly thing into the trash where it belongs. As for whatever else they talk about it's things like giving Spanish and Portugese fishermen the "right" to mine the Grand Banks and Georges Banks off Newfoundland, the Maritimes and Maine which means Canada wastes time and money chasing them out and busting a few boats and tossing their captian's sorry asses into jail. Nice lot that committee that it can't bother with International law while the EU bleats on endlessly that everyone else has to.

      Which leads to a nice seg into your screed on, I assume, copyright. Tucked nicely into driving laws.
      The thing about driving laws is that high speed collisions tend to KILL people, running down pedestrians tends the have the same result (some seem to be begging for it by stepping into traffic without looking or wearing dark clothing on dark, stormy nights but that's another story) and a vehicle at high speed landing in one's living room is a major shock to the system.

      In the case of copyright it's become so corrupted by "special interest groups" and two in particular that it no longer serves any purpose of rewarding creative folk and serves only the interests of the MPAA and RIAA.

      That, and to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been killed by infringing on a copyright. PERHAPS denied a small bit of income, at worst. But their life has never been taken as a result as it can, and too often is, taken in a motor vehicle accident.

      And no, it's not as simple as you state it. Civil law, such as copyright, is intended to solve a problem as much or more than make something illegal. And it's solution always has been in a civil process of making the infringed party "whole" as a result of the infringement. (Not whole as you would think of it but whole in legal terms that a settlement has been made and an award given.)

      Law also requires respect by the monopoly holder towards their market and even you in your wildest nightmares can't possibly believe that Hollywood has shown that recently. Say the last half century or so. As is the case with most disputes "it takes two to tango" so respect needs to flow both ways or respect for the law which makes the monopoly possible in the first place is lost. It's at that point that the citizenry, market if you prefer, removes the consent that made the law possible to begin with.

      That's the point you miss and always miss.

      And no, I don't share files that belong to others without their consent or outside of their license or outside of much of anything else. And I don't STEAL files by breaking into someone's machine and removing it from a drive so stop with the steal bit already. It's infringement, not theft.

      SOPA/PIPA isn't my fault or the fault of anyone here. It's a result of greed, need to control and a total lack of respect by the holders of some copyrights to abuse that privilege that society has allowed them. If ANYONE has abused the law it's the MPAA and RIAA with the help of legislators and not only American legislators.

      I'm quite comfortable in my bed.

      Your obvious anger and blaming tells me you're not very comfortable in yours.

       

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      RD, Dec 25th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

      Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

      "Agriculture and fisheries are TRADE, so yes it most certainly should be discussed by ACTA, BTW copyright is TRADE as well, and Counterfeiting as well.. so you would expect ACTA Councils to discuss TRADE and Counterfeiting would you NOT ???"

      Yes! Because they absolutely MUST trample all freedoms and rights, do anything possible, to stop the dastardly Counterfeit Fish market, and the abomination that is known as the P2P Agriculture market. These are RAMPANT problems that must be stamped out ASAP because they are costing 11.2 TRILLION dollars and 400 BILLION jobs. Can't have little johnny eating fake fish or file-shared produce.

      "What else would you EXPECT them to talk about ???? FFS"

      I'm gonna take a wild stab and say...."agriculture and fisheries", just like they claim they were supposed to be doing.

      You are a truly astonishing piece of work.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2011 @ 4:20am

        Re: Re: Merry Xmas, lets hope santa sent you a blank CD and a downloaded song for crissy.

        The reason behind darryl's insistence for the relevance of agriculture and fishery to ACTA is because darryl is an activist against the making of illegal copies of bread and fish.

        He's going against Jesus Christ. The original filthy pirate.

         

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    btrussell (profile), Dec 25th, 2011 @ 1:57am

    Merry Christmas Mike!

    And to everyone else, who also help to make this an excellent site. :-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2011 @ 10:41am

    A movie to watch on this xmasThe Friendly Ghost (1945).

    Casper scaring of a banker who came to foreclose a house.

    Did people know that IMDB has jumped on the bandwagon and is putting up videos of movies, shorts and anything they can get their hands on?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Its obvious that land of the free means dirt of the free not internet of the free or even government of the free. Gosh.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 29th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    well Ricuro, you've had your 15 seconds of fame, how did it work out for you ?

    Life changing ? can you feel the power flowing through you now ? do you think you 'made a difference' ?

    and you got it wrong as well.

    the US is "the home of the freetard" and "the land of the brain dead", but you would never know as you admit you have not even been there, (have you ever looked it up on a map ?).

     

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