RIAA Totally Out Of Touch: Lashes Out At Google, Wikipedia And Everyone Who Protested SOPA/PIPA

from the new-tone? dept

Remember all that talk of how the supporters of SOPA/PIPA were "humbled" by the protests of January 18th, and how they had learned their lessons about trying to push through a bill without actually involving the stakeholders? Remember the talk of how they hoped a new tone could be found in the debate? Yeah. Apparently someone forgot to send that memo to RIAA boss Cary Sherman, who has taken to the pages of the NY Times to lash out at those who fought against SOPA/PIPA, chalking the whole thing up to a massive "misinformation" campaign by Google and Wikipedia. The whole thing is chock full of ridiculous claims, so we might as well go through it bit by bit.
THE digital tsunami that swept over the Capitol last month, forcing Congress to set aside legislation to combat the online piracy of American music, movies, books and other creative works, raised questions about how the democratic process functions in the digital age.
Why yes, it did raise questions about the process by which the RIAA and MPAA write bills to regulate other industries without even letting those the bill would regulate have a seat at the table. It also raised questions about the way the RIAA and MPAA have successfully expanded copyright law in their own favor sixteen times in the last 35 years, by playing the moral panic game over and over again... and keeping any hint of reality out of the debate. What it showed was that the tools of communication finally allow the public speak up and that the users of the internet simply won't accept the RIAA and MPAA's version of protectionism and crony capitalism any more. But somehow, I don't think that's what Sherman meant...
Policy makers had recognized a constitutional (and economic) imperative to protect American property from theft, to shield consumers from counterfeit products and fraud, and to combat foreign criminals who exploit technology to steal American ingenuity and jobs.
Oh gosh. So much pure crap in a single sentence it's difficult to know where to start. First of all, copyright is not property. It's a government granted monopoly privilege over information. That's very different. Also, it's not theft when someone infringes... it's infringement. Using such bogus language has been the way that the RIAA has induced moral panics for years, but part of the point of the protests was that the public simply isn't buying it any more. Repeating the same tropes over again is just sad.

Next, there is no "constitutional imperative" to pin secondary liability on innocent parties, to massively expand the nature of copyright law and the nature of enforcement. The only constitutional issue is that Congress has the right -- but not the requirement, to create copyright and patent law if (and only if) it promotes the progress (of science and the useful arts). That's got absolutely nothing to do with SOPA and PIPA, and it's ridiculous and obnoxious to suggest otherwise.

Conflating copyright infringement with counterfeiting, as he does right after that, is a cheap trick that we've discussed countless times. Counterfeiting is a very different issue from copyright infringement. If Congress wants to address "shielding consumers from counterfeit products and fraud," then they should debate a bill that's narrowly focused on that particular issue. But that's not what they did here. SOPA and PIPA were much more focused on issues that had nothing whatsoever to do with protecting consumers.

Finally, there is no such thing as "stealing ingenuity or jobs." Those are things you cannot steal.

The RIAA may have been a master at creating moral panics in the past, but doubling down on the same failed strategy after it's been exposed is just kind of sad. I know Sherman has been at the RIAA for ages, but it's time to get a new playbook. The moral panic strategy in which you lie, conflate different issues, and present some massive problem without any evidence is simply not credible any more.
They knew that music sales in the United States are less than half of what they were in 1999, when the file-sharing site Napster emerged, and that direct employment in the industry had fallen by more than half since then, to less than 10,000.
What they might not have known -- because the RIAA never wants to admit this -- is that the overall music industry is growing, not shrinking. Sure, the dollar value of music sales has shrunk, and perhaps it's because of file sharing, but the overall music industry -- including things like concerts, licensing and publishing -- has continued to rise, quite significantly. More importantly, these are the parts of the business where artists actually keep a much larger percentage of the money -- meaning that artists are significantly better off today than they were in the past, contrary to what Sherman and the RIAA will tell you.

Furthermore, it seems pretty clear that much of the decrease in music sales has to do with the unbundling of the CD, and the fact that people aren't forced to buy an $18 CD just to get the one or two songs they want. Overall, music transactions have grown tremendously.

Even more important? The amount of music that is being created has exploded over the last decade. And, in the end, that's the key point of copyright law. It's supposed to encourage more creation of new content, and that's happening at an amazing rate. The RIAA's real problem is that a significant and growing portion of that is happening entirely outside of the RIAA labels.

Finally, notice the careful use of "direct employment" rather than overall employment. That's because he's only talking about those employed by the major record labels -- which, at just 10,000, is a tiny blip. I'm actually kind of amazed he'd use this number, since it shows the ridiculousness of the MPAA's claim of 19 million jobs at stake. They're not. The RIAA is concerned about just the employment of a very small number of companies who simply refuse to adapt to a changing marketplace. Companies like Google, Facebook, eBay and others have created millions of new jobs over the last decade. And we should be worried about 10,000 jobs from a few giant conglomerates (many of which are owned by foreign companies or investors) because they refuse to adapt? Wow.

Meanwhile, what the data really shows is that those who are actually involved in the creation of entertainment (not just gatekeeper roles like the RIAA) are seeing continued growth -- especially among independent artists, who have grown by over 43% in the past decade.

Somehow Sherman left that part out.
They studied the problem in all its dimensions, through multiple hearings.
This is just flat out lying. There were no Congressional hearings on PIPA. At all. There was one hearing on SOPA -- in which the deck was completely stacked 5 to 1 in favor of the bill, with the "1" against being Google -- and not anyone representing the wider interests of the public, technology or the internet. To say that Congress studied the problem is simply false. In fact, I know this for a fact, because over the past few months I've met with dozens of members of Congress in both Houses, discussing these issues, and was told, repeatedly, that they had never seen or heard the basic numbers I was providing (despite the fact that most of them come from the government itself).
While no legislation is perfect, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (or PIPA) was carefully devised, with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate, and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA), was based on existing statutes and Supreme Court precedents. But at the 11th hour, a flood of e-mails and phone calls to Congress stopped the legislation in its tracks. Was this the result of democracy, or demagoguery?
Both PIPA and SOPA may have been "carefully devised," but they were carefully devised by the MPAA, which handed the final bill to the politicians who introduced them. They were not carefully devised with the public in mind. Separately, the idea that these bills were stopped "at the 11th hour" is again a lie from someone who is hoping that people weren't paying attention. From the moment the predecessor of these bills, COICA, came out, there was a growing movement of internet users, innovators, legal experts, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and many, many others speaking out against these bills. This continued to grow and grow as more people learned of the problems of these bills. The idea that this was some magic 11th hour outbreak of interest is historical revisionism.
Misinformation may be a dirty trick, but it works.
And the RIAA and Cary Sherman should know, as they've been experts in misinformation for decades, including in their support of SOPA and PIPA, which was very carefully planned out. Was there some misinformation on the other side? Sure, but most of that came from two factors: (1) The fact that the initial version of SOPA was such a massive and complete overreach, that even once the details of that bill were trimmed back, not everyone who had been made angry by the original bill realized this. Yes, it was too bad that not everyone realized what changes Lamar Smith made in December, but it's pretty ridiculous to claim that was part of a "misinformation campaign." Most of those claims were based on what the MPAA and RIAA had supported in the original bill and would have loved to have seen in the final. (2) The fact that there were millions upon millions of everyday people who spoke out against the bill. When that happens, some people are going to exaggerate or report false information. But the key arguments were absolutely true.

And, really, the misinformation coming from the other side was different. It wasn't because of miscommunication, it was the direct and planned out strategy of the MPAA, RIAA and US Chamber of Commerce to directly mislead Congress and the press by presenting information in a manner that was flat out false.

And if we're going to talk about misinformation campaigns (hey, he brought it up), should we take a look at the campaign by the RIAA to declare MP3 players illegal? Should we talk about their attempt to take away artists' rights by having a Congressional staffer sneak language into a bill overnight that would eliminate an artist's right to reclaim copyrights (done by the guy who is now number two at the RIAA and who joined the RIAA just months after doing this). Should we talk about the misinformation campaign against internet users, ISPs and just about anyone who didn't fall into line with the RIAA's view of the world concerning the internet?
Consider, for example, the claim that SOPA and PIPA were “censorship,” a loaded and inflammatory term designed to evoke images of crackdowns on pro-democracy Web sites by China or Iran.
No, censorship is the accurate term for what occurs when you shut down protected free speech. And that was the major concern. And it was made by well over 100 legal scholars, including by some of the most respected legal scholars in the country. Even the big legal scholar that the pro-SOPA forces rolled out admitted that SOPA and PIPA would cause protected speech to be censored.

And it seems pretty damn hypocritical of Sherman to go on and on claiming that "censorship" is the wrong word, when he's the one using "theft" for infringement -- a direct falsification, unlike the use of censorship which is the proper word, as made clear by all those legal scholars.

And, yes, comparing it to China and Iran was completely reasonable, because the method put forth by PIPA was identical to the method used to censor the web in those countries. It wasn't "misinformation." It was a very accurate concern.
Since when is it censorship to shut down an operation that an American court, upon a thorough review of evidence, has determined to be illegal? When the police close down a store fencing stolen goods, it isn’t censorship, but when those stolen goods are fenced online, it is?
Okay, speaking of misinformation... shutting down a store is one thing. Shutting down a website that involves all sorts of speech is completely different. And the courts have directly discussed this distinction many times. When a shutdown involves speech, different standards are used. Why Sherman would ignore that... well, that just speaks of the "dirty trick" of a misinformation campaign. Should we discuss the case of dajaz1? The website that was completely censored (yes, censored) by being taken down on the RIAA's say so, despite the fact that the copyright holders and labels were providing that site with the music. Should we talk about how that popular hip hop blog was completely shut down for over a year based on the RIAA's misinformation? Should we talk about how that site wasn't give its day in court? Should we talk about how the censorship lasted for over a year and all of the traffic and earnings that site lost out on because of the RIAA's misinformation? Should we talk about how, after the US government effectively admitted its mistake and gave back the domain (over a year later) without ever filing any charge, the RIAA (rather than apologizing) continued its misinformation campaign by insisting the site was guilty?
Wikipedia, Google and others manufactured controversy by unfairly equating SOPA with censorship. They also argued misleadingly that the bills would have required Web sites to “monitor” what their users upload, conveniently ignoring provisions like the “No Duty to Monitor” section.
More blatant misinformation. The concerns about these bills were raised by millions of internet users -- not companies. Google and Wikipedia jumped on board late in the game. Yes, their participation in the January 18th protests helped drive the point home, but they were stragglers in this debate, hardly the ones who "manufactured" anything. The protests were driven very much by people, not companies. Anyone suggesting otherwise has no idea what happened and is either ignorant... or conducting a blatant misinformation campaign.

As for the "no duty to monitor" part -- this is another part of the bill that was blatantly dishonest. It included statements about how there was no duty to monitor... but then left open the possibility of liability or compliance costs for not doing enough, or not being proactive. Specifically, it would say things like, internet companies would be required to take "reasonable" steps to block access, but the only way it's determined what's "reasonable" is in court. So sites that want to keep themselves out of court might just go all the way to monitoring, just to protect themselves. It's a sneaky legislative trick -- one that Sherman is quite familiar with. Declare that the bill doesn't require something, but word the rest of the bill in such a way that sites feel compelled to do it anyway.
The hyperbolic mistruths, presented on the home pages of some of the world’s most popular Web sites, amounted to an abuse of trust and a misuse of power.
Oh, man. Don't make me laugh. Once again, this is coming from Cary Sherman -- the master of mistruths himself. And he's really claiming that Google and Wikipedia informing the world of a dangerous bill is an "abuse of trust"? Really?!? I'd argue it was the exact opposite. It was an effort to build trust. The public trusts Google and Wikipedia to look out for their best interests, and this was a way that those sites did so -- after many, many people had raised their own concerns about these bills.
When Wikipedia and Google purport to be neutral sources of information, but then exploit their stature to present information that is not only not neutral but affirmatively incomplete and misleading, they are duping their users into accepting as truth what are merely self-serving political declarations.
Oh, come on. Seriously? Has the RIAA or Sherman ever stated anything in a completely non-misleading way? Has it ever made a public statement that wasn't a self-serving political declaration? To accuse others of doing what the RIAA has perfected over the years is just ridiculous.

As for the use of "neutral" here, it's a perfect example of how Sherman is being disgustingly and obnoxiously dishonest. Wikipedia's content is created from a neutral point of view, but that doesn't mean that as a community they can't speak out on an issue of interest. And the use of "neutral" in connection with Google is a clear shot at the whole net neutrality issue, which again is wholly unrelated to what happened here. To pretend that either company have used "neutral" in a manner to mean that both should shut up and stay mute as the RIAA teamed up with the MPAA to reshape the technological and legal framework of the internet is flat out preposterous.
As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because “old media” draws a line between “news” and “editorial.” Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact.
Actually, that's not true. Creative America, the astroturfing group set up by the MPAA, had tons of commercials in favor of SOPA and PIPA running on TV. Separately, while cable news totally ignored the SOPA/PIPA debate for a while, it wasn't because of any "line" between news and editorial. We heard from multiple journalists employed by some of the largest cable news channels saying that they were directly stopped from covering the SOPA/PIPA fight, because the higher ups didn't want to give any publicity to the large and growing opposition.

The TV networks might not have "actively supported" the bills in terms of their coverage... but that's because (as Sherman well knows) these bills were sure shots. From the moment they were introduced, they were expected to sail through Congress. There was little need to promote their position. Instead, the networks "actively" suppressed any news of the opposition. And when Chris Hayes at MSNBC finally broke ranks and did the first major story about SOPA/PIPA... he gave the large majority of the time to NBC Universal General Counsel Rick Cotton, who used the time to spread a long list of misinformation.
The violation of neutrality is a patent hypocrisy: these companies have long argued that Internet service providers (telecommunications and cable companies) had to be regulated under the doctrine of “net neutrality” because of their power as owners of the Internet pipes. But what the Google and Wikipedia blackout showed is that it’s the platforms that exercise the real power. Get enough of them to espouse Silicon Valley’s perspective, and tens of millions of Americans will get a one-sided view of whatever the issue may be, drowning out the other side.
Sherman is either ignorant or lying here. Net neutrality has nothing to do with not expressing your opinion. It has to do with the nature of the internet and whether an intermediary can flat out block access to someone else's services (kinda like what the RIAA/MPAA wanted to do via SOPA/PIPA). It's incredibly dishonest to suggest that net neutrality means you can't express your opinion.
The conventional wisdom is that the defeat of these bills shows the power of the digital commons. Sure, anybody could click on a link or tweet in outrage — but how many knew what they were supporting or opposing? Would they have cast their clicks if they knew they were supporting foreign criminals selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals to Americans? Was it SOPA they were opposed to, or censorship?
And here, Sherman flat out insults the millions of people who spoke out against these bad bills, insisting they were all misinformed. This is why the RIAA is in so much trouble, mind you. It assumes the public is stupid. It assumes its customers are stupid thieves. It never tries to understand what they want or what they're saying. If the RIAA had real leadership, it might actually try to listen to the public. But that's not how Sherman does business.
No doubt, some genuinely wanted to protect Americans against theft but were sincerely concerned about how the language in the bill might be interpreted. But others may simply believe that online music, books and movies should be free. And how many of those e-mails were from the same people who attacked the Web sites of the Department of Justice, the Motion Picture Association of America, my organization and others as retribution for the seizure of Megaupload, an international digital piracy operation? Indeed, it’s hackers like the group Anonymous that engage in real censorship when they stifle the speech of those with whom they disagree.
Anonymous is a tiny group of people, and many, many of the people who were against SOPA and PIPA condemned their denial of service campaign. It's dirty politics to try to smear all of those opposed to these bills with some vigilantes venting about the Megaupload seizure.

And while we're on the subject of Megaupload (hey, he brought it up), shouldn't we be discussing how it showed that SOPA/PIPA were unnecessary? Shouldn't we be discussing how, even if Megaupload was a bad actor, the indictment was dangerously broad in a way that is frightening tons of legitimate companies? Shouldn't we be discussing how many artists used Megaupload to store their own files, which are now lost? Shouldn't we be discussing how RIAA artists like Busta Rhymes spoke out in favor of Megaupload and against the RIAA's position? It seems like that would be a relevant discussion. Too bad Sherman won't get into that, huh?

Perhaps the issues around Megaupload aren't as clear-cut as Sherman's misinformation campaign implies?
Perhaps this is naive, but I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives.
Oh, come on. For decades we have been coming up with constructive alternatives in the form of new services to help you adapt and make more money. And the RIAA's standard response is to sue them.
The diversionary bill that they drafted, the OPEN Act, would do little to stop the illegal behavior and would not establish a workable framework, standards or remedies.
While I have my reservations about the OPEN Act, nothing stated here is true. It would actually cause tremendous problems for sites that truly are dedicated to infringement and does, in fact, create a framework for stopping those sites.
It has become clear that, at this point, neither SOPA, PIPA nor OPEN is a viable answer. We need to take a step back to seek fresh ideas and new approaches.
Now you say this? After flat out lying, attacking and insulting everyone who fought against these bills? That's not exactly a way to extend an olive branch.
We all share the goal of a safe and legal Internet. We need reason, not rhetoric, in discussing how to achieve it.
There have been plenty of wide open discussions on this from those opposed to SOPA and PIPA. The folks from the RIAA are welcome to jump into debates here on Techdirt. Or they can go onto Reddit where many of the debates are happening as well. While these are open and there may be some hyperbole mixed in, on the whole there are lots of reasonable points being made. The problem is that we have yet to see any reason, whatsoever, from the RIAA and MPAA. This NY Times piece is a classic example. Eleven paragraphs of pure rhetoric and misinformation... and then at the end, a plea for an end to such tactics? Sorry, but it might help if you actually started dumping the misinformation and nasty rhetoric yourself. Then feel free to join the rest of us on the open internet where these discussions are already ongoing.


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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Holy shit... your fulminations get nuttier all the time Masnick.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:09am

      Re:

      4 whole minutes between the article and your comment - haven't you guys resolved the latency issue yet? Or perhaps that latency is intentional to make it seem like you actually read the article...

      Having just read half the article myself, I know you couldn't possibly have read and digested the entire thing in those 4 minutes.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:11am

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      Nice try, Cary.

       

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        aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:49am

        Re: Re:

        Pfft, that's not Cary. That's Dodd or Smith chiming in. You can tell because they don't have an original thought, just spew forth whatever they're told.

         

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      sehlat (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      "Anonymous Coward," you have my awe and admiration. Four minutes from post to snide reply.

      There IS something to admire about somebody with what an author once described as "the twitch reflexes of a shark."

      Wow.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:27am

      Re:

      You have still yet to show me how our existing laws are not enough.....

      The whole MegaUpload thing proves that we don't need new laws.

      Show me where we need new laws.

       

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        Paul Hobbs (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, I would suggest that the MegaUpload thing (plus the ICE domain seizures) demonstrates that whatever laws are in place are immaterial - the government will do what it (or the MAFIAA) wants, and worry about the consequences later.

        He who pays the piper calls the tune. Up until a couple of weeks ago, the MAFIAA was paying the piper. I think that Congress is waking up to the fact that the likes of MPAA and RIAA may write nice big cheques at fund raisers, but they don't vote.

         

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      @NZN, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:59am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:02am

      I disagree...I thought Masnick did a good breakdown. More from me at moxytongue.com

       

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      Jeff, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:02am

      Riaa astroturfing thugs should find real work rather than lodging personal attacks while hiding in shadows. Cowards.

       

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      LC (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:05pm

      Re:

      Is it just me, or are more and more of anonymous comments such as this been springing up since the Jan. 18 protests?

      Industry shill methinks.

       

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    sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives. Virtually every opponent acknowledged that the problem of counterfeiting and piracy is real and damaging. It is no longer acceptable just to say no.


    He sounds like a spoiled child: mommy said "no ice cream", and a little brat demands cookies, because it is not acceptable to say no after such a refusal.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:09am

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      “ help come up with constructive alternatives. ”

      Repeal the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:01am

        Re: Re:

        Repeal all extensions of copyright.

         

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          Richard (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Repeal all extensions of copyright.

          Repeal copyright.

          FTFY

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 5:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Repeal copyright."

            No, not "repeal"..."revert"

            Take it back to the pre-1978 rules of 28 plus 28 (if you renewed), where you had to actually register a copyright and send two copies of the product to the Library of Congress, thereby creating a database of provable registrations that could be checked by anyone!

             

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        Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:54am

        Re: Re:

        That's kind of what I thought when Sherman said:
        We need to take a step back to seek fresh ideas and new approaches.
        Yes, Sherman is right. We need to take a step back to say, oh I don't know, maybe 1790, and start looking for fresh ideas and new approaches that don't involve monopolists.

         

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        Lachlan Hunt (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

        Re: Re:

        And repeal the DRM anti-circumvention clauses of the DMCA; and revise the notice and take down system to make it fairer and less prone to abuse.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Making copyright terms and durations even in the same realm of the compromise described in the Constitution would be a positive step towards making these people sound reasonable.
        Reasonable steps to protect reasonable copyrights would likely be better accepted by the majority of people.

         

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      monkyyy, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:12am

      Re:

      nah its more like a spoiled child who repeatedly hits the other children, and expects them to say sorry for calling him a jerk and expects them to be his friends w/o changing HIS behavior

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

      Re:

      "I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives. Virtually every opponent acknowledged that the problem of counterfeiting and piracy is real and damaging. It is no longer acceptable just to say no."

      When a 10 year old kid can download a movie and burn it and distribute it to his friends in the 4th grade, your business model consisting of owning rights to something after its been mass distributed has been made obsolete by technical advance. There's no way to legislate their obsolete business model back into relevance, I wish they would stop trying and just understand that they've lost the ability to control media post-release.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    How are you distinguishing a limited monopoly right from "property"?

    Copyright is a form of property. It's not real property; it's not personal property; it's intellectual property. These are reasonable uses of the term property, to the extent "property" means someone has exclusive rights to the thing you're talking about (whether a tangible plat of land, a tangible diamond ring, or an intangible musical work).

    Also, as you know, copyright applies to expression, not information. If you're going to quarrel about specificity of language, you should keep your own lexicon in order.

    Unfortunately, you and the RIAA/MPAA spokespeople are two sides of the same obfuscating coin.

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      No it is not property. It is a right. A monopoly right. Information is not and cannot be property. Primarily because it is infinite. You cannot claim ownership over something that can be infinitely created.

      Claim all you want that your monopoly rights are being infringed. However, it is completely dishonest to claim that something or som property is being stolen.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:33am

        Re: Re:

        Saying "no it's not" is not exactly a compelling argument. Also, copyright is not the same as information, so saying "information is not property" is really not relevant. Nor does any copyright cover "infinite" creative works.

        I think we agree that copyright consists of a handful of exclusive rights regarding an original creative work. So, how does that differ from "property"?

        For example, with regard to my real property, I have a bundle of rights regarding my house/land, as well as the physical items that constitute my personal "property"?

        Those rights are not unlimited however (just like copyright rights).

        Also, I agree that using the word "stolen" is misleading.

         

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          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I have a right to free speech under the first amendment. That does not mean I have "Free Speech Property". Rights are not property. You can have rights over property, but the rights themselves are not property.

          Claiming that copyright is property is not intellectually honest. As a creator of a copyrighted work, you can claim ownership of the original work and you have property rights to the original work. However, copyright extends only to the ability to copy that work. That ability to copy is not property. It is a right. Rights can only be infringed not stolen.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Rights are not the same as exclusive rights. I may have a right to walk in the park, but no right to exclude others from the park. I have no property rights in the park. This is similar to the constitutional right to free expression.

            In contrast, I have exclusive rights to my home. I have the right to exclude others from my home. This right is limited, though. For example, the fire department may have the right to enter or even damage my home in an emergency situation.

            You seem to have an adamant opinion about use of the word "property" to refer to a tangible object, and I'm wondering why you believe that is the only proper use.

             

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              Nathan F (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Hrm.. maybe because it is?

              a : a quality or trait belonging and especially peculiar to an individual or thing
              b : an effect that an object has on another object or on the senses
              c : virtue 3
              d : an attribute common to all members of a class
              2
              a : something owned or possessed; specifically : a piece of real estate
              b : the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing : ownership
              c : something to which a person or business has a legal title
              d : one (as a performer) who is under contract and whose work is especially valuable
              e : a book or script purchased for publication or production
              3
              : an article or object used in a play or motion picture except painted scenery and costumes

              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/property

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:13am

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

                "b : the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing : ownership
                c : something to which a person or business has a legal title
                ...
                e : a book or script purchased for publication or production"

                What makes you think those are limited to tangible things?

                Also, as long as we're just pulling from others' definitions:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property (specifically includes "intangible" entities).

                 

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                  ottermaton (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:23am

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

                  To quote your Wikipedia article:

                  "...intellectual property (exclusive rights over artistic creations, inventions, etc.), although the latter is not always as widely recognized or enforced."

                  You know why it's not "widely recognized or enforced"? It's because it's a made-up term, a sort of neuro-linguistic programming to get you to believe that ideas are some sort of property.

                  And you fell for it.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:47am

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

                    Who made up the term? You obviously know this, otherwise you wouldn't claim to know the motivations of the person(s) who made up the term, right?

                    I have not "fallen" for anything. I am well aware of the differences between real property, personal property, and intellectual property (as well as other claimed "proprietary" rights). They should not be treated identically, because they are not identical. That does not mean they should not be referred to as "property."

                    Nobody in this thread has really addressed why the exclusive rights relating to a teapot or land should be called "property" and the exclusive rights relating to, e.g., a musical composition should not.

                     

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                      Modplan (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:01am

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

                      Maybe because using the word property in reference to something that cannot be exclusively owned in the same way a teapot can is misleading and an attempt at attaching ideas about how one owns a teapot to how one can forbid someone from sharing an MP3 ripped from a CD you already bought, or from watching you bought with the "wrong" device.

                       

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                        Modplan (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:05am

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

                        *...from watching a DVD you bought

                         

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:40am

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

                        A teapot cannot be exclusively owned in the same way a plot of land can be exclusively owned, but they are both property.

                        Some ideas about personal property are reasonable to attache to real property. Some are not.

                        Some ideas about personal property and real property are reasonable to attach to "intellectual property." Others are not.

                        I think the reason people are distinguishing between intellectual property and other forms of property is because they don't like intellectual property. That's fine, but that has little to do with the definition of "property".

                         

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                          Modplan (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:50am

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

                          A teapot cannot be exclusively owned in the same way a plot of land can be exclusively owned, but they are both property.


                          So you're only argument so far then is to keep repeating that it's property because it just is. Fantastic.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:51am

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

                            I didn't think there was any dispute that both a teapot and land are properly termed "property".

                            Are we disagreeing on that now, too?

                             

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                          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

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

                          How can a teapot not be exclusively owned? If there is only one of them and I have it, I exclusively own it. If a manufacturer makes 1 million identical teapots and 1 million people each own one, they still have exclusive rights to the one they each own.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

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

                            Why are you ignoring "in the same manner as land"? Some ownership rights that apply to a teapot do not apply to land, and vice versa. The point I was making is that differences in the nature of personal property ownership rights and real property ownership rights are not sufficient to make one "property" and one "not property", so why are the differences in the nature of intellectual property ownership rights and ownership rights in other types of property sufficient to make one "property" and the other "not property"?

                            Also, the fact that you "have" a teapot does not mean you own it. A thief doesn't own the things he steals.

                             

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                              E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

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

                              I wasn't ignoring it. I don't see how the rights differ.

                              Ownership of a teapot: I am the only one who can use it unless I give someone permission.

                              Ownership of land: I am the only one who can use it unless I give permission.

                              Ownership of a teapot: if someone takes it from me, that is a crime.

                              Ownership of land: If someone takes it from me, that is a crime.

                              Ownership of a teapot: If someone damages it intentionally, that is a crime.

                              Ownership of land: If someone damages it intentionally, that is a crime.

                              Do you see where I am going with this? Teapots and land are both property under legal definitions. They both apply to physical objects with exclusive ownership rights.

                              Intangible objects and rights do not fall under those categories.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

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

                                Example of how personal property rights differ from real property rights:

                                No adverse possession for personal property

                                No taxes on ownership of personal property

                                What are these "legal definitions" you are talking about? Do you not think "intellectual property" is an accepted legal term?

                                 

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                      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:36am

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

                      Nobody in this thread has really addressed why the exclusive rights relating to a teapot or land should be called "property" and the exclusive rights relating to, e.g., a musical composition should not.

                      Because rights are not property. The teapot and land, those are properties. The "exclusive rights" to those properties are not the property themselves. This is what you are having such a hard time dealing with. You cannot separate the right to control the property from the property itself.

                      If I take your teapot, I have stolen your property. If I used your teapot without your permission (while not removing it from your presence) that is infringement.

                      When I copy your song without your permission, that is not taking your property. That is violating your right to control the copying and distribution of your property. You still have your property. You still have your rights. Its just that those rights had been violated. Those rights had been infringed.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:45am

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

                        "the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing : ownership"

                        Well, according to at least one dictionary definition given by one of your supporters, you are wrong.

                        Even accepting your linguistic distinction between the right and the property (which I do not necessarily accept), then the intangible work (e.g., the musical composition) is the property, and the property right is the right to copy, distribute, etc.

                        I agree that infringing the right does not deprive the property owner (or copyright holder, or whatever you want to call the person/entity) of the property, like it would in the case of a teapot, but do you think that is definitive of the term "property"?

                         

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                          E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

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

                          I don't see how that invalidate my definition of property. Is my copying your song denying you the right to possess the work? No because you still have it. Does it deny you the right to enjoy it, no it doesn't. Does it deny you the right to dispose of it, not it does not.

                          The work is your property. However because of its intangible nature, it is not the same as personal property. You do not actually own the work under copyright, just the right to control copying and distribution of the work.

                          We have defined certain property rights to tangible copyrighted materials such as paintings and other works of art. However, those property rights only apply to the actual work itself. Meaning, if you sell your painting, you no longer have property rights to the work, but you still have copyright to the work, meaning the person that bought your painting cannot make copies of it without your permission. If they do make a copy without permission, they have not violated property rights, only copyrights.

                          The sticky bit is when we try to apply property rights to intangible objects and ideas. A composition is intangible and infinitely copy-able. Because of that nature, we cannot apply traditional property rights to it as it has no physical properties. So the only control you can have on it is the control over how it is copied and distributed. And since that control is not property only a right, it can only be infringed.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

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

                            First, you said "rights are not property" and that definition included "the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing" as a definition of property. So, that single dictionary definition contravenes the "rights are not property" notion. That's why I mentioned it.

                            That said, I don't think relying on a single dictionary definition makes much sense here.

                            "The work is your property."

                            If you accept that (and I fully accept that it is subject to a very different set of property rights than, e.g., a teapot), I'm not sure we disagree about anything.

                             

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                              E. Zachary Knight (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

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

                              I think we do disagree. We disagree on what is property and what are rights and what is violated when someone infringes copyright. You seem to believe that it is some kind of property right which makes little sense. I say it is a violation of a right. Very different things under the law.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

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

                                First, if the work is property, and the right infringed relates to use of that property, I'm not sure why it is some sort of misnomer to refer to that right as a property right.

                                Second,how is it a "very different thing under the law" if a copyright is treated as a property right or not as a matter of terminology? Calling it "intellectual property" does not somehow make real property law apply.

                                Although, it is worth noting that some personal and real property laws *do* apply to copyrights, which I think further supports the notion that they are a form of property.

                                 

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                                  crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

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

                                  Property is something you own. The right to punch someone or prevent them from singing happy birthday or from writing a story about mickey mouse or whatever is not property. It's absolutely ridiculous to claim it is.

                                  The actual copyright itself may be treated as property, since there is only one and it is a real scarcity and can be traded, etc, but that is totally irrelevent to whatever intangible or concept the copyright covers.

                                   

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                                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

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

                                    Seems like everybody's conception differs. Zachary Knight says the intangible thing is the property, but the right isn't. You say the copyright (which is simply a bundle of exclusive rights) might be, but the intangible thing isn't.

                                    I'm interested in arguments, but simply saying a well-accepted view of property rights is "ridiculous" isn't really compelling.

                                     

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                                      crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

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

                                      Thats just it, it isn't a well accepted view. Property is an actual word, with an actual definition that doesn't include rights to control stuff, punch people or any other rights or concepts that aren't property.

                                       

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                                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

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

                                        Ok, I hate it when the posts get far over to the right on threaded view, so I'm going to respond with this wikipedia article on "property": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property

                                        It notes intangible property as a type of property. It also notes that forms on intellectual property are properly termed property under a traditional "effort-based" theory of property, while not accepted under other theories of property.

                                        So, you ought to know that many philosophical theorists and most jurists accept referring to IP as a form of property.

                                        Other's don't, but that doesn't mean you should just choose to ignore a common definition as if it doesn't exist.

                                         

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                                          Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

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

                                          What it means is that physical property have natural limits and constraints that make them acceptable to a large part of society and IP laws have no constraints that were impossible to track before and now are a problem to people and are starting to show the limitations that it really imposes on everybody and that is a problem that will be addressed.

                                          You may not like it, but any law that gives power to someone to infringe on others rights is not going to endure very long.

                                          A tea pot can have exclusive rights because it is one teapot others can't stop anybody from copying it or having their own teapots, which is exactly what IP laws try to do, they try to exclude everyone from owning their own teapot and that is not property that is theft, theft of public domain rights.

                                           

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                                      crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

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

                                      "Intellectual Property" may be a well accepted euphamism, but that is a whole different thing than it being well accepted that they are actual property.

                                      The copyright priviledge itself at least can be lost or sold or traded or something so it *kindof* acts like property in that sense. Trademarks and things that are covered by copyright make no sense at all to try to apply property rules to. No one I know thinks "Intellectual Property" is actually a type of property. I'm sorry that you don't find it "compelling", but it certainly does seem rediculous to me to think of someone being able to prevent people from singing a song as a form of property. Not only is it not well accepted, I know noone who actually thinks of those rights anywhere close to the same way they do actual property even if they do call it "Intellectual Property"

                                       

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                                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

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

                                        using the term "actual property" is not helpful when attempting to discuss what should propery be termed "property." It is circular rhetoric.

                                         

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                                          Chargone (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

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

                                          these things should really stop aligning further right LONG before they get down to 'one word per line' when in threaded view.

                                           

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                                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

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

                                            these things should really stop aligning further right LONG before they get down to 'one word per line' when in threaded view.

                                            Just quote properly, so people can figure out what you're responding to in flattened view.

                                             

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                                          crade (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

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

                                          Just telling it like it is. If all we are arguing is semantics of whether to call something a duck that doesn't act like a duck, walk like a duck or talk like a duck, I guess you can still call it a duck if you want, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a cow.

                                           

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                              Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

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

                              The fact that you are forgetting is that exclusive rights to physical things have very limited range and scope, IP on the other hand has no natural constraints and in fact violate others rights.

                               

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                                Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:49am

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

                                I'm not sure what you mean by "natural constraints" and I don't buy the "violates others' rights" bit, at least not without further explanation.

                                 

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                          Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:49pm

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

                          Well you cannot own a right to copy now can you?

                          Copying is not subject to property.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:50am

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

                            "Well you cannot own a right to copy now can you?"

                            Why not?

                            "Copying is not subject to property."

                            Not sure what you mean by that.

                             

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                      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:46pm

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

                      Here is the thing a teapot is an unique object I can exclude people from using that particular teapot however I cannot exclude others from using any other similar/copy of that teapot.

                      Now where copyright limits the ownership powers?
                      It doesn't it lay claims to everything in the universe, there are no physical constraints of time, place and so it can't be property simply because it violates others rights to ownership and creation.

                      If a musical composition was a teapot you would write it down and you could exclude others from seeing that composition you could not however stop others from copying it and excluding you from seeing theirs.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:51am

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

                        Why do you feel that the tangible-ness or physical limitation is inherent in a notion of "property"?

                        Shares in a business are generally considered property, but they are not tangible things.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

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

                          Ah, but they are. Shares in a business denote ownership of a piece of that business.

                           

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                      ottermaton (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:38am

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

                      Who made up the term?

                      IP maximalists. Duh.

                      You obviously know this, otherwise you wouldn't claim to know the motivations of the person(s) who made up the term, right?

                      Money. Duh.

                       

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              Jay (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Because "intellectual property" (the products made up of the mind) is not intellectually honest. It is an expression of an idea given a form. I can't control what people do with a song any more than I can control what people read from a library book or hear on the radio. The idea of singing or writing is something that can not be controlled. When I make a video about a cover song, the video expresses my interpretation of a song. When I make a game based off other copyrighted works, the same rules apply.

              How anyone can believe that a song can be owned, I've no idea. Personally, I can enjoy a song. But thinking that it's property is rather misleading.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:48am

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

                You never fail to befuddle, Jay.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:54am

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

                  I find it funny how my analysis is "befuddling" when maximalists can't figure out the difference between owning a CD and owning a song.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

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

                    Jay, I have never read a post of yours that had made any sense to me.

                    Others here I disagree with, but can comprehend. You are on a whole 'nother level.

                     

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                Dog On a Teflon Floor (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:33am

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

                Shout it from the mountain, Jay! I find it silly to claim ownership of an idea. Next thing you know there will be thought police...oh....wait a minute...

                 

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              Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If I buy a book, that copy of the book is mine. I have the right to read it, lend it to a friend, donate it to a library, burn it, interpret it as I wish, or resell it. The ideas expressed in the book no longer exclusively belongs to the writer or publisher. They shared them with me by selling me a physical copy of their expression. One that I may agree with, or disagree with. That expression is no longer theirs. If they want to keep the expression to themselves, then they should not publish the book. The book is mine, the expression is now in the wild. Something that is in the wild cannot be owned by anyone. So, claiming 'property' of the expression is a tortuous interpretation of the idea of property. The book is mine, the idea is now public.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

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

                The law contravenes what you said about the expression.

                That's sort of like saying once you unlock the door to the library, the copies of the book are in the wild, and you can't keep people from taking them, burning them, etc.

                Whether you can or can't as a practical matter, the law sure as hell says you can (in both the case of burning the physical copies and copying the intangible expression).

                 

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                  Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

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

                  Under your theory, once I read the book, I cannot discuss it, comment on it, or review it without violating the creators rights? If I can, then the expression is out in the wild. If I can't, then every book reviewer in the world is in violation of YOUR interpretation. And guess what, they aren't, not even by the publishers standards.

                  Your comment is about physical objects, the books in the library belong to the library, not me, and no I cannot burn that copy. If I buy a copy, then I could burn it, and there is no law that says I cannot. But if I borrow the book and read it, the expression is now in my head, and in the head of every other person that reads it. How you gonna give THAT back to the creator? Where is the law that says I cannot read a book I bought? Where is the law that says once the expression is in my head that I cannot make use of it. Is this fictitious law you refer to the same one that says Disney cannot use the expression of the Brothers Grimm? I know, that is how they want it now, when it applies to everybody else.

                  I want some of what you are smoking.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

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

                    "Under your theory, once I read the book, I cannot discuss it, comment on it, or review it without violating the creators rights? "

                    No, not at all. What gave you that impression.

                    "If I can, then the expression is out in the wild."

                    Not if "out in the wild" means that you can do anything you want with the expression (e.g., copy it in its entirety for commercial purposes).

                    Why would it have to be all or nothing?

                    "Where is the law that says once the expression is in my head that I cannot make use of it."

                    See 17 U.S.C. 101, et. seq. (It doesn't say you can't make *any* use of it, but it does say there are certain things you can't do with it without the copyright owner's permission).

                    My point about burning the books was simply to distinguish was is possible from what is legal.

                     

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                      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

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

                      There is a difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. In the wild does not mean copyright infringement necessarily. Nor does it mean plagiarism necessarily. It does mean that should I want to rewrite, lets say Catcher in the Rye in a more humorous style, then there is nothing anyone should be able to do about it. Once the genie is out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back in, even after three wishes, or much gnashing of teeth.

                      If someone wants to keep their expression as personal or intellectual property, don't publish it. Then it can be theirs forever. Once published...it's out there.

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

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

                        What does plagiarism have to do with this?

                        I'm having a hard time seeing how your comment is responsive to mine.

                         

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                          Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

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

                          "The law contravenes what you said about the expression."

                          Ideas cannot be copyrighted. The expression can. But once it is out there, it is going to be used, quoted, commented upon and copied in a different expression. There is no law against that, no matter what IP minimalists believe.

                           

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                            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

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

                            "But once it is out there, it is going to be used, quoted, commented upon and copied in a different expression. There is no law against that, no matter what IP minimalists believe."

                            Well, there is a law against some of the things you mention, under some circumstances at least. It's called the Copyright Act, and I cited to it earlier, but I guess if just saying it doesn't exist is good enough for you, we aren't going to progress much further.

                             

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              Laroquod (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Just because something is an exclusive right does not make it 'property'.

              The government has an exclusive right to make laws, but that does not make the law its 'property' -- in fact, the laws of the United States are automatically Public Domain -- and yet, only the government has the exclusive right to write or change those laws.

              Certain TV networks have licensed exclusive rights to record and broadcast sports games, and yet neither the events of the game, nor the team, nor the field, nor anything independently connected to the event is the network's property.

              I can make a contract with anyone that gives me the exclusive right to mow their lawn for a year. Does that mean that mowing their lawn is my 'property'? That doesn't even make any sense. Mowing a lawn is an action: it can't be owned, it can only be performed or not performed.

              Clearly, exclusive rights and property must be two separate things definitionally, because they can be granted and revoked separately, and have been many times throughout history, and that wouldn't be logically possible if they were synonyms.

              So your defence of the logic of using the word 'property' doesn't fly. Good attempt, though; better than most.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

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

                Very good points.

                So let's say an exclusive right is not sufficient to constitute "property" (although I would argue it is necessary). As you mention, for example, contractual rights are generally not considered property rights. Although I think certain FCC licenses are actually based on a notion of the airwaves being "property." I'm not an expert on that type of regulation.

                Anyway, that does not necessarily mean that "intellectual property" or referring to intangibles as "property" is a misnomer and improper use of the term.

                Obviously, lots of people (from lay people to judges to legal theorists) accept the use of the term "property" or "intellectual property" to refer to certain exclusive rights relating to intangibles.

                It's an interesting question why certain of these rights (or the intangibles they relate to) should be referred to as "property" or "property rights" and others should not, and I'm not quite sure what the dividing line is or should be.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

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

                  In thinking more about this, I think one potential distinguishing feature is whether the rights apply as against all comers, or merely a certain subset.

                  For example, contracts generally only bind those who agree to them (or those in privity with the signatories). IN contrast, property rights (whether real property rights, IP rights, or otherwise) are generally rights to exclude *anyone* from exercising those particular rights.

                  So, if an entity has an exclusive right from the gubment to, say, broadcast on a particular frequency, I'm not sure if it is a misnomer to refer to that as a form of property right.

                  A thought to consider, anyway.

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The reason that a copyright is different from property is because in the legal sense, theft requires that there be a damaged party. When you steal a physical object from someone you deprive them of their private property. Thus the person that you stole from becomes a damaged party.

              Copyright is different, because downloading a song does not deprive an artist or distributor of
              a)the song
              or b)the right to legally copy and sell that song to others.
              It does potentially deprive them of the revenue that you would have given them had you intended to buy the song. However this is a tenuous connection that has completely failed (so far at least) to show up in actual data. Thus when you illegally download a song it cannot be proven that there exists a damaged party. Which is why we have a seperate legal definition called infringement. Infringement, unlike theft, is an argument that can hold up in court.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

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

                Why do you think the definition of "theft" is relevant to the definition of "property"?

                You can trespass on my land without "stealing" it. Does that make my land not "property"?

                 

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                  Chargone (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:34pm

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

                  ... its relevant in that the distinction between 'infringement' and 'theft' is that 'theft' can only be applied to 'property' while 'infringement' cannot.

                  copyrights are infringed against, not stolen.

                  logic thus tells us that they are not property.

                  of course, using logic without common sense or sound reason is a good way to end up in a very stupid place and this argument really isn't enough in and of itself to prove anything one way or the other, despite my agreeing with the points made and conclusion reached.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:56am

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

                    "theft' can only be applied to 'property' while 'infringement' cannot."

                    Simply saying that doesn't make it true. It's a circular argument. Infringement can be applied to intellectual property (e.g., infringing a copyright). Only if you presume your definition of property (i.e., that intellectual property is not property) does your argument hold any water.


                    I have no problem distinguishing between theft and IP infringement. They are different things that should be treated differently.

                    But that is irrelevant to the definition of property.

                     

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                  Torg (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

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

                  I think we should push this idea. It would be interesting to see pirates accused of trespassing instead of theft. Add a fresh twist to the proceedings.

                   

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                  MeryR, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

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

                  And there in lies the distinction, I can infringe upon your privilege to copy something, without stealing your something, much as I infringe upon your rights to use land as you see fit by trespassing, you wouldn't call someone who walks illegally upon your land a thief would you? No, you'd call them a trespasser, that's where this is ultimately at, whether or not something intangible is property or not is somewhat irrelevant if you're using the right terminology for what is being done.

                   

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            mcsey, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I forget which paper I read that pointed out that if copyright were like every other right (right to bear arms, right to free speech etc...) it would be called right to copy and the Congress wouldn't have f'ed up the public domain so bad.

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "So, how does that differ from "property"?"

          Assuming that you're asking a genuine question, I would strongly suggest that you read the debate that surrounded US copyright law when it was first enacted. Much of it is on this very subject.

          The general consensus was that there was a danger that in establishing a limited monopoly they might accidentally establish a property right. This was viewed as a terrible thing. They wanted to make as clear as possible that not only was there no such thing as "intellectual property," but creating such a thing through law would have corrosive effects throughout society.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Got any particularly relevant links for me?

            Anyway, a "property right" need not be the sort of natural-law-based right the founding father were very concerned with. I mean, a leasehold is a form of property right, although it is necessarily temporary and subject to others' rights.

             

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      Machin Shin (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:23am

      Re:

      Well I want them to pick a side and stay on it. They like to say it is "theft" and that pirates "stole" the movie. Ok, so if someone grabs a $20 pair of shoes and walks out of Walmart can Walmart sue for thousands in "damages"?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re:

        You're probably going to have to identify who "they" are first.

         

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          Machin Shin (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They = *AA

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So what does the Walmart question have to do with them? Anyway, I agree that using "theft" and "stealing" language is imprecise and potentially misleading.

             

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              Machin Shin (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              What Walmart has to do with them is simple. If piracy is "theft" it should be treated as theft. Just like stealing an object from Walmart is theft.

              So downloading a movie is equal too stealing a $20 object. So the actions taken by the *AA should be limited to the actions available to Walmart for someone who stole an item.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:45am

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

                I see.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

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

                Indeed, it's always seemed to be completely insane how they always talk about 'stealing music' when people download songs and whatnot, and how radically different 'stealing' an mp3 is treated vs. stealing an actual CD.

                Steal a CD, and (I believe)you'd get a light fine, or even just a slap on the wrist from the judge if it's the first offense, nothing too insane. Download an mp3 on the other hand, and suddenly it's a criminal matter, and the fines start looking in the tens of thousands of dollars.

                Heck, you'd probably get in less legal trouble for literally holding a store up at anything short of gunpoint(add a gun and I believe that automatically bumps it up to a felony offense, and unless they slipped some new laws in when people weren't looking, downloading mp3's isn't considered a felony yet) than you'd get for getting caught downloading an album's worth of songs.

                 

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      MrWilson, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      "Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman argues that, although the term intellectual property is in wide use, it should be rejected altogether, because it "systematically distorts and confuses these issues, and its use was and is promoted by those who gain from this confusion." He claims that the term "operates as a catch-all to lump together disparate laws [which] originated separately, evolved differently, cover different activities, have different rules, and raise different public policy issues" and that it creates a "bias" by confusing these monopolies with ownership of limited physical things, likening them to "property rights". Stallman advocates referring to copyrights, patents and trademarks in the singular and warns against abstracting disparate laws into a collective term.

      Lawrence Lessig, along with many other copyleft and free software activists, have criticized the implied analogy with physical property (like land or an automobile). They argue such an analogy fails because physical property is generally rivalrous while intellectual works are non-rivalrous (that is, if one makes a copy of a work, the enjoyment of the copy does not prevent enjoyment of the original)."

      Wikipedia

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:36am

        Re: Re:

        That's nice. Is there a point to any of that?

        I've not argued that all intellectual property is the same as other forms of property in every way. I also agree that the term intellectual property can be used in a confusing manner.

        This is true for lots of terms, including terms such as copyright, trademark, and property themselves (which are often misused). That doesn't mean that all uses are bad/false/misleading/improper.

         

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          JEDIDIAH, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:25am

          Lies and spin.

          > That's nice. Is there a point to any of that?

          The guys that wrote the Constitution did not buy into this sort of rhetoric that tries to pretend that the exclusive right to distribute a book is anything like ownership of land or physical goods. They had very serious misgivings about ANY mechanism for creating and enforcing things like patents or copyrights. They viewed such things as subservient to the right to free speech.

          Copyrights aren't in the Bill of Rights for a reason.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:42am

            Re: Lies and spin.

            While we're discussing misleading uses of language, the "guys that wrote the Constitution" were not in monolithic agreement on this topic.

            Anyway, what does that have to do with my prior comment?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:59am

              Re: Re: Lies and spin.

              While there was a lot of very interesting discussion between the founding fathers, they all fundimentally agreed that it was a LIMITED monopoly so the work eventually ended up in the public domain. Their disagreement was on how long, if any, the LIMITED monopoly should be. All agreed it was to benefit society as a whole. None believed in the concept of exclusive "intellectual property".

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

                Re: Re: Re: Lies and spin.

                "None believed in the concept of exclusive "intellectual property"."

                How is a limited monopoly not "exclusive"? Since we're talking about definition of a term ("property"), it would probably help if you didn't just use the term itself in saying what someone did or did not "believe in."

                As it stands, I really have no idea what the point is you're trying to convey.

                 

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                  Chargone (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Lies and spin.

                  limited monopoly: the limitation is upon the monopoly
                  exclusive intellectual property: a single individual used a given idea and thus now owns it and no one else can use it in any other way for perpetuity unless it is sold to them by that individual. (or something to that effect).

                  entirely different concepts.

                  you seem to be failing at understanding non-simple plain English usage.

                   

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                    Chargone (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:44pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lies and spin.

                    or perhaps, more simply:

                    they're complete opposites.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:59am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lies and spin.

                    Your definition of exclusive intellectual property has no basis in reality.

                    Intellectual property refers to limited rights.

                    Why would you assume that "property" means no one else can use the property in any other way for perpetuity unless it is sold to them?

                    That's not true for real property, or personal property, or other intangible property.

                    Making up definitions =/= plain English usage

                     

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          MrWilson, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If what you got from that is that IP is just a different type of property like you had already said, you might want to learn some reading comprehension.

          "it should be rejected altogether"

          "They argue such an analogy fails because physical property is generally rivalrous while intellectual works are non-rivalrous"

          You're arguing that IP is property. Those quotes are arguing that it's not property. Mike is saying that it's not property.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You are oversimplifying those quotations. Not sure if that's a reading comprehension failure or a writing expression failure.

             

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              MrWilson, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How is quoting, "it should be rejected altogether" an oversimplification of the quotation? What part of "rejected altogether" doesn't mean that Stallman believes that referring to IP as property is a bad idea?

               

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      Copyright is a form of property. It's not real property; it's not personal property; it's intellectual property. These are reasonable uses of the term property, to the extent "property" means someone has exclusive rights to the thing you're talking about (whether a tangible plat of land, a tangible diamond ring, or an intangible musical work).

      Property is a tool for determining the best way to allocate scarce resources. It simply doesn't apply to a non-scarce resource, because there's no allocation question.

      It's a monopoly, not property.

      Also, as you know, copyright applies to expression, not information

      In theory. And in an ideal world it would. But as we've seen that's not the case at all in practice. And that's just one of many problems.

      Unfortunately, you and the RIAA/MPAA spokespeople are two sides of the same obfuscating coin.


      You might like to believe that, but it's bullshit. I back up what I have to say. The RIAA never has.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re:

        That property *can* be used as a tool to allocate scarce resources does not mean that is a limitation on the definition of property.

        This leaves aside the question of whether original works should really be viewed as infinite resources (I understand you can make infinite copies of a work, but making more original works requires an investment of resources, and this is the allocation of resources that copyright law is intended to address).

        "I back up what I have to say."

        BS. You constantly engage in the same type of misleading language that the RIAA/MPAA does, and treat any study, source, or third-party opinion supporting your stance as a definitive "debunking" of the oppposing view, just like the RIAA/MPAA uses poorly-constructed studies as arrows in their sling.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I always found it strange to label the works in the public domain as property. A funny kind of property that belongs to everyone.

          I have over 3.6 trillion copies of Moby Dick myself.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't think referring to works in the public domain as property makes any sense. I think I actually had that discussion with another commenter here recently.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But Moby Dick is an intellectual property. It belonged to Herman Melville, it came from his intellect, he made it, it was his.

              Copyright sure is confusing. It probably doesn't help that everyone has super-copying machines in their pockets.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:16am

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

                I would say that, once nobody has any exclusive rights to something, that something ceases to be "property"

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:36am

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

                  Who grants the exclusive rights?

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:39am

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

                    I'm referring to rights under the law, so that would depend on the jurisdiction we're talking about. In the U.S., with reference to a copyright, we're talking about Congress.

                     

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                JEDIDIAH, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:31am

                Mining Old Yeller

                Moby Dick is the product of the culture it was created in.

                It was not entirely Melville's.

                He didn't create in a vacuum.

                People just like to perpetuate this myth of the "lone inventor" in a crass attempt to help corporations accumulate more power.

                Melville benefited from the work of everyone else that came before him and a more constrained view of copyright.

                A scholar or enthusiast might even be able to lay out the complete pedigree of Moby Dick as some people can do for more modern works.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:39am

                  Re: Mining Old Yeller

                  Art is also nothing, and I mean fucking nothing, without an audience. Any artistic work belongs to the artist but it also belongs to the audience.

                   

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                    MrWilson, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

                    Re: Re: Mining Old Yeller

                    This is a significant point that is missed a lot. Art is a medium of communication. Without someone listening, art is just talking to yourself. If you want to talk to yourself, that's just fine, but when you publish a work, it's no longer yours. It would be like having a conversation with someone but insisting that they don't use any of the words you've used because you created them. Art is a language and while you might invent new words, the language was born of the culture you grew up in, not entirely of yourself.

                    As far as the entertainment industry is concerned, art is a profit-driven pursuit of no value unless it can make you millions. Ironically, many artists consider that definition to be mutually exclusive with art.

                     

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                Chargone (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

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

                or heads, for that matter.

                 

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              ottermaton (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So, it was once property (in this case Herman Melville's intellectual property) but once it moved into public domain it lost its property-ness?

              How does that make any sense?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:41am

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

                Makes perfect sense to me. How? Because someone having exclusive rights is the foundation of "property".

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:46am

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

                  Country A and Country B are side-by-side and you are standing on the border. An artistic work in Country A is in the public domain, while the same work is still under copyright in Country B.

                  So it's not property in one instance but take a step to the left and it's property, take a step to the right, property, left, not property, etc.

                  That's funny!

                   

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        Endtimer (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re:

        "Property is a tool for determining the best way to allocate scarce resources. It simply doesn't apply to a non-scarce resource, because there's no allocation question."

        Ok, let's try this. I'm a struggling artist working on an album. I buy a guitar to test out strings and chords to see what sound write, I obviously need either work or finance support while I work it out, and spend countless hours jotting down lyrics, fiddling with strings etc etc. After that, I have to either produce the album myself or let a record label do it. If I do it myself, I need to rent studio time and other musicians to play with me to get it recorded (or use home equipment, which costs lots of money and/or doesn't sound as good) I have to design a cover for my album and other artwork, or pay someone else to but for the sake of argument I'm THAT indie and do it myself, costing nothing but time. I start doing shows in seedy bars, get it played on local radio stations and finally it starts getting traction. My album’s a hit.

        Explain to me why the blood sweat and tears I put into my album should NOT be considered a valuable resource, and anyone should be able to download it for free without my consent.

        Note I'm not asking how many of the people who download will eventually go to my concert or buy my next album, I'm asking why they should be able to download them into the first place. Why I shouldn't have just as much right to the songs I spent months writing than the guitar I play them on.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There's a legitimate distinction between the musical work you create and the guitar you use to created it, in that it requires nearly-nonexistent effort to create nearly limitless copies of the work once you have created it, whereas that is not true for the guitar.

          However, you are right that copyright law is designed to aid the efficient allocation of resources used to create the work in the first place. Ignoring that expenditure of resources is silly.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Explain to me why the blood sweat and tears I put into my album should NOT be considered a valuable resource, and anyone should be able to download it for free without my consent."

          Nobody here is saying that the effort put into the album isn't a valuable resource.

          Also, aside from the small contingent of copyright abolitionists who comment here regularly, nobody is saying that anyone should be able to download it for free without your consent during a reasonable copyright term.

          What most people are saying is that people will download it for free and without your consent whether they should be able to or not, and you can't stop them. Also that when the reasonable copyright term ends, the public "owns" the work and everybody should be able to download it for free without your consent.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Nobody here is saying that the effort put into the album isn't a valuable resource."

            Well, Mike's comment regarding nonscarce resources could certainly be interpreted that way (or at least that he was ignoring that particular resource).

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's quite a stretch.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

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

                How else should his "non-scarce resource" comment be taken? Either he views that effort as a "non-scarce resource" or he is ignoring that effort as it relates to copyright law.

                 

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                  John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

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

                  The non-scarce resource means that once it's created, and infinite number of copies can be made with essentially no further resource usage. It is additive: each additional person who has a copy is not costing the producer any additional time, effort, or money.

                  It isn't a comment on the value of the effort to produce the work in the first place.

                  In terms of copyright law, that original effort is already ignored. Copyright protect is not predicated on the effort required to produce the material. The doodle I made just now in less than a second has just as much protection in law as the 1000 page novel that an author took years to write.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:52pm

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

                    "The non-scarce resource means that once it's created, and infinite number of copies can be made with essentially no further resource usage. It is additive: each additional person who has a copy is not costing the producer any additional time, effort, or money."

                    I understand that part.

                    "It isn't a comment on the value of the effort to produce the work in the first place."

                    Exactly. It ignores that part. Which was my point.

                    "In terms of copyright law, that original effort is already ignored."

                    I don't think that's true. Certainly, effort alone is not sufficient to bestow a copyright.

                    But there is no dispute that copyright is designed to encourage the progress of arts and sciences. In that sense, it is addressing allocation of people's original/creative efforts, trying to incent people to create and distribute works. Those efforts are scarce resources.

                     

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              Togashi (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A nonscarce resource can be valuable, just like a scarce resource can be worthless.

               

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, Mike's comment regarding nonscarce resources could certainly be interpreted that way (or at least that he was ignoring that particular resource).

              What?!?!? No. You are confusing price and value. There is tremendous value in creating abundant resources, and there are all sorts of ways to be compensated for that value. Arguing that because something is abundant it has no value is insane and totally uninformed.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 9:03am

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

                What? I never mentioned price at all.

                I am saying IP law is a tool used to allocate resources. You seemed to be saying the opposite, which, to me, appears to ignore the resources expended in creating, e.g., the invention or the creative work at issue.

                 

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          Beta (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Explain to me why the blood sweat and tears I put into my album should NOT be considered a valuable resource, and anyone should be able to download it for free without my consent."

          That's two questions. You consider your blood, sweat and tears valuable; I care only about the things you create with them. As for downloading without your consent-- why shouldn't I be able to? Let's try this: you sit in the park playing your precious song, and you demand that if I don't drop some coins in your guitar case I must cover my ears as I walk by, because after all you have the right to your song. I will not be impressed by your argument, I will not owe you money even if I like the song, and I will not give a tinker's cuss how much effort you poured into the writing of it.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            One traditional notion of property treats the blood, sweat and tears as very important to the resulint "property." See John Locke.

            Your analogy between forcing music upon someone and someone choosing to download a copy is pretty weak.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Not it is not, the music is a common resource, so playing the music make that instance yours, but if another guy goes there and plays the same tune that is his labor and he owns that instance.

              Just like a teapot I own, what I make with that teapot is mine I own it, but I cannot stop others from making something with others teapots.

              That is why copyrights are legal fiction they try to say that if somebody worked on something he owns every instance of that thing when he should only own just one instance and what others do after is owned by them because it is their labor.

              Was not that John Locke said?

              That nature produces nothing useful the real value comes from the work that is done to it, so if something is found in nature and worked by someone he should have property rights to it, music is like land and infinite land where anyone who grabs a piece and work on it can own it right?

              So copyrights for John Locke probably would look like a distortion of the concept of property since you give ownership to an entire piece of land to someone and you don't need to work the whole field to own it just a very tiny part and extract rent from others.

               

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          LC (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry to sound so cold Endtimer, but if I had to choose between:

          A. An America without copyright, where you would not releasing the work, or
          B. An America with extensive and Orwellian copyright legislation (like SOPA/PIPA) where you do release the work.

          Then I'm gonna pick A. Everytime. Sorry.

           

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        jem40000, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

        Scarce resources

        "Property is a tool for determining the best way to allocate scarce resources. It simply doesn't apply to a non-scarce resource, because there's no allocation question."

        Music is not a scarce resource ... Good, original music is and should have some level of protection.

         

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          Torg (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

          Re: Scarce resources

          Half of my iPod is filled with songs and music by artists who post their work freely on YouTube and Mediafire, with the occasional Bandcamp album if I find one particularly appealing. The other half was filled before I discovered that amateur no longer means pathetic, and I only rarely listen to stuff from that half anymore. Good, original music is not as scarce or as fragile as you seem to think it is.

           

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      Terry Hancock (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:03am

      Re:

      In addition to the other arguments made against this, I would like to add this:

      Using the term "property" to refer to intellectual monopolies causes a severe distortion of the debate for anyone who values private property, because "pro-intellectual property" positions are "anti-private property" positions. In other words, promoting intellectual property is only possible by violating the freedom of individual to be secure in their own private property.

      Since this leads to a complete hash in logical terms, the use of the concept "intellectual property" is at best extremely confusing and politically motivated, even if you believe (as I do) that reasonable compromises can exist.

      But in an honest debate we must acknowledge that state-granted monopolies on the use of information products must always entail a abrogation both of freedom of speech and of individual private property rights. Since these are both very serious things to violate, any such system has to be pretty limited to be reasonable. And that kind of reason is nowhere to be found amongst the proponents of "strong intellectual property" law.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re:

        "In other words, promoting intellectual property is only possible by violating the freedom of individual to be secure in their own private property."

        I don't agree with this. But on a more fundamental level, anyone who takes a position on something just because it fits a pre-conceived "pro property rights" personal they have constructed for themselves really ought to consider things in greater depth before taking a position.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          personal = persona

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I do agree and anyone who disagrees should take a look at how copyright works it isn't property is a legal fantasy trying to put some rules and giving the power to own the universe and exclude everybody who lives inside it from the use of something when real property only excludes others from the use of one instance and it is very limited in scope and range of that exclusion.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Also nobody cares what one may call a monopoly, it is still bad and nobody likes it, if you can't find a way to reconcile the law with the public view that law is null and void of significance and should end.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If for no other reason copyright can't be property by the simple fact that it can't be enforced at the public level, nobody take it seriously and as proven already pushes to try and make it so will be met with extreme prejudice by the public.

           

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      Beta (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

      IANAL (BIASTFLO)

      I mostly agree with AC on this one, but maybe we can clear it up a little with... logic.

      I own this teapot. Legally I may use it, transport it or smash it; no one else may do so without my permission. Someone could take it from me, either by stealth ("stealing") or force ("robbery"), but that would be illegal. I can transfer these rights to another if I wish. Everyone seems to agree that this can be called "property". (The propertiness of a teapot does not depend on the price of tea.)

      I own this land. I may walk around on it, or build on it. No one else may do so without my permission; to do so without my permission would be trespassing, and illegal. I can transfer these rights to another. I suppose someone could take these rights from me by falsifying documents-- I don't even know what that would be called. Everyone agrees that this land is my "property", (regardless of the fact that walking is free).

      I own 1000 shares of Union Carbide. I can't show them to you, because they're non-physical. Transporting them is a meaningless concept. I suppose they could be taken illegally, like land. They give me dividends, and the right to vote within the company. Everyone agrees: "property", (even when the shares pay no dividends).

      I am a citizen, and therefore have a vote in public elections. Non-physical. I cannot transfer this right to another. My vote is mine, but nobody calls this "property".

      I own this copy of "The Tempest", by Shakespeare. It's a physical book (or part of one). It's like the teapot: I may read it, burn it, sell it, make copies of it, whatever. Property.

      I own this copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It's like "The Tempest", except that I may not copy it (but it's still mine, just as the teapot would still be mine if tea were banned). Property.

      I have copyright on The Horse Thieves. I can show you a copy of the novel, but the novel itself is non-physical. I may make copies of the novel and sell them, but no one else may do so without my permission. To do so is infringement, and I suppose the right could be taken from me illegally, just like the shares of stock or the right to vote. (And to call infringement "theft" or "copyright theft" is just inaccurate, either careless or deceitful.)

      So should a copyright be called "property"? Lawyers may have a technical answer, and others may want it talked about a certain way, but personally I think that it's not property if it can't be transferred at will. I don't think copyright can be (really not a lawyer) so the concept of property doesn't apply (and whether a novel can be copied cheaply has nothing at all to do with it).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

        Re: IANAL (BIASTFLO)

        Your point about shares of a business is a good one. Intangible, but most (at least many) would agree that a business or shares thereof may be one's property.

        A copyright is about as easily transferable as many other kinds of accepted property (land). It must be done in writing (except when transferred to an heir by death), but that's not as much of a burden as other types of property transfers often require.

        I'm not sure if that should be the defining characteristic, though.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:57pm

        Re: IANAL (BIASTFLO)

        The concept of property to an entire field is not viable or desirable.

        Property is like a share of something it defines what you can do with that share, not the entire filed.

        Copyright is a monopoly on everything, owning a teapot doesn't exclude others from owning or copying a teapot, it excludes everyone from the use of one item, a very little piece of the entire system, copyright is an abomination because it tries to give ownership of the entire field to just one individual negating others the chance to produce their own, copy something or the use of anything that doesn't have consent and the scope of it is the entire universe, that can't be right, those things should be very limited just like their other counterparts in the physical world, fail to do so brings friction and can only end in big messy fight like we have today.

         

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      Zkoynz, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:17am

      Dude!!! This article is meant to use the tactics of Mr.RIAA against him. It is not a comprehensive, cited piece on property definition. It dosnt need citation bc it speaks to an audience that was apart of the movement. We know the truh and have done our due diligence. Anyone else reading should take the same time we all did during the fight to educate ourselves. While we are on the topic of defining "property," consider the following. If u steal a broom then the broom is physically gone and may take time, material, and toil to replace. A song or picture is infinitely duplicable with far far more ease. How can u apply the same regulations and punishments if there existence is based on completely different laws of physics and economy?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

        Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:17am

        With a few exceptions (e.g., Professor Goldman) I think I've done a lot more to educate myself on intellectual property than just about anyone who posts here.

         

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      bobroberts (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

      Re: copyright applies to expression, not information

      Fine then, you can't copyright any digital file, it's information not expression. Don't believe me? Make yourself a piece of art and store it as a file. Now open that file with a hex editor. Where did your picture go? All you is gibberish like 12A46F1B1C2259, there is no picture. Append a FLAC header to that file and your music player will play "music". Same with any number of other programs. In fact, you have to use the right program in the right way so that information is converted to your precious "expression". Praying on the lack of understand of 70 year old judges and legislators that majored in perspiration control and history is despicable, you should be ashamed.

       

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        Torg (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:05pm

        Re: Re: copyright applies to expression, not information

        And when you look at a painting, what you're really seeing is just a bunch of chemicals that reflect distinct wavelengths of light arranged in a way that they imitate what the artist wanted to portray. It's only when those arrangements are parsed by your brain that it becomes expression; before then it's just gunk on paper.

        I'm against current copyright laws, but this argument bugs me.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 9:08am

        Re: Re: copyright applies to expression, not information

        Expression in different forms does not cease to be expression.

         

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      michael smith (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:25am

      Re:

      A "plat" of land is not tangible property. It is real property, not personal property. Real property, or the ownership of land, is a legal concept. That's why they have deeds to real property. A dead is tangible. Real estate is not tangible - the real estate is merely described on the piece of paper called a deed in terms of metes and bonds. If there is a huge flood, or a giant earthquake, the "land" described on a deed can disappear and simply not exist anymore. You should try to grasp basic legal concepts before attempting to explain them to other people.

       

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    halley (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    I generally agree with the sentiment, but I want to clarify something.

    "The only constitutional issue is that Congress has the right -- but not the requirement, to create copyright and patent law if (and only if) it promotes the progress (of science and the useful arts)."

    No. Congress has no rights. Congress has powers. The Constitution itself does not spell out the rights of people, it spells out the limited powers and responsibilities of the government.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    _sigh_

    "As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero."
    -Vaarsuvius

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    There was (sort of) a hearing on PIPA

    minor squabble -
    Leahy used his Feb 16th hearing (entitled “Targeting Websites Dedicated To Stealing American Intellectual Property”) for the purpose of greasing the skids for PIPA. In that hearing, Leahy expressed his desire to rewrite COICA (i.e. as PIPA)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Policy makers had recognized a constitutional (and economic) imperative to protect American property from theft...

    Infringement is not theft!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    A vast majority of reader comments underneath that original article are flat-out anti-SOPA/PIPA and anti-old/antiquated media, so it seems that people are not misinformed, nor is this sentiment fabricated by Google and Wikipedia, but perhaps is the standard view on the subject. Good times, man. Good times.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Alternatives

    "I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives."

    Oh, how this argument drives me nuts. Aside from the obvious point that they have been coming up with alternatives, as Mike points out, there's another, equally important point:

    Why in the world should SOPA/PIPA opponents feel any responsibility whatsoever to come up with alternatives? We are opposing bad law. It is up to the people who want this sort of thing to come up with good law, not anyone else. If we do, that's nice of us but in no way is it our responsibility.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:32am

      Re: Alternatives

      Oh, how this argument drives me nuts.


      “If you're explaining—you're losing.”

                 ——Political proverb (traced to Washington, DC, USA, circa early part of 21st century)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:47am

      Re: Alternatives

      Ah yes, the old "we tried to beat you with this stick but you wouldn't let us - so now you must please help us to beat you with this stick!" ploy.

      NOT. OUR. PROBLEM. PAL.

      Jeez. My sofa has more business acumen than these dopes.

       

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      Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:06am

      Re: Alternatives

      Before we all agree on a solution we all need to agree on the problem.

       

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    Dranorter, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    This was pretty good; but probably going a bit far to go through it all like that. & it ventures into gratuitous bashing in a couple places.

    I sure hope people don't believe his Times article! But there are lots of people who will believe anything bad you say about Google so you never know. Plus, some of his er, falsities, are so bold I would have believed them had I not read this, even while disbelieving most of what he said.

     

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    Rick, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    One thing that seems to be missing from this debate - are there any *honest*, unbiased studies on losses due to copyright violations? The the real losses - not self-serving nonsense that assumes every violation is a lost sale, takes into account how many people do an illegal download and then go buy the album/movie, etc, etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Meanwhile in Canada......

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/02/07/this-bill-is-no-sopa/

    The Financial Post gives a music industry lobbyist a platform too....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    What they refuse to acknowledge is that user-generated content is vastly outpacing Hollywood's attempts to control it. And if they can't make money off of it, no one should be able to. It's a scorched earth approach that is yet another example of how disruptive technologies get repressed by established interests.

     

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      DannyB (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:39am

      Re:

      Automobiles must be preceded and followed by a man carrying a red flag to alert people to the presence of the automobile. We must pass laws to protect the public from these automobiles which makes noises that frighten the horses.

       

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    Anonymoose Custard (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Policy makers had recognized a constitutional (and economic) imperative to protect American property from theft, to shield consumers from counterfeit products and fraud, and to combat foreign criminals who exploit technology to steal American ingenuity and jobs.

    Oh, never mind that the Constitutional imperative is to "... Promote the Progress of Science and of the Useful Arts," not to "protect [...] property form theft." We must keep copies from being made at all costs!

    While no legislation is perfect, the Protect Intellectual Property Act (or PIPA) was carefully devised, with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate, and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA), was based on existing statutes and Supreme Court precedents. But at the 11th hour, a flood of e-mails and phone calls to Congress stopped the legislation in its tracks. Was this the result of democracy, or demagoguery?

    Well, the bipartisan support was the result of bribes and "campaign contributions," but we can ignore that! Those pesky kids with computers ruined everything!

    Since when is it censorship to shut down an operation that an American court, upon a thorough review of evidence, has determined to be illegal? When the police close down a store fencing stolen goods, it isn’t censorship, but when those stolen goods are fenced online, it is?

    Usually a thorough review of evidence is done by both the defense and prosecution, but what the defense doesn't know doesn't hurt anyone. Right?



    I feel ill.

     

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      Chosen Reject (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

      Re:

      While no legislation is perfect
      Agreed, no legislation is perfect. That's why we need to have lots of open hearings, take our time in discussing the legislation, look at all the possible ways it can be abused, look at all the unintended consequences and then balance those with the problems it solves. Even then, we need to be able to let the Judicial branch be able to strike it down or otherwise limit the problems it causes. Most importantly, the people need to be able to stop that legislation, whether through calling and writing before the legislation is passed (even in the 11th hour), or through repeal, or even through jury nullification.

      Under no circumstances should there be a rush to pass legislation, no matter how good its intent. There should be no reason why any industry should be allowed greater representation than the public.

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      Those pesky kids with computers ruined everything!

      Oh man, someone with talent (I wish my freehand skills were good enough) needs to draw a Scooby Doo cartoon like this.

       

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        SolEiji, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:39pm

        Re: Re:Gwiz (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

        Shaggy: Gee Scoob, take a look at what's on the intertubes!
        Scooby: Deres nwunthin' ther!
        Vulma: Jinkies, you're right! Someone's trying to pull off all the content from the internet! Who could be behind this?
        Fred: That's it gang, we're on the chase! To the Mystery Machine!
        *VROOM! Onto the information superhighway!*
        Fred: They say that a monster has been going around to servers unplugging everything.
        Daphne: Keep an eye out for anything suspicious guys!
        ????: Blargh!!!
        Shaggy: Yoinks, what was that!?
        Scooby: Wut whoa!
        *SOPA bursts out of the wall and starts chasing the gang all over the server room. Suddenly Scooby trips over some wires, bringing a nearby shelf of old hard drives down on the monster*
        Shaggy: You did it Scooby!
        Fred: Now let's see who the monster REALLY is! *Pulls off the mask* Lamar Smith?!
        Smith: Blast! I just wanted to ensue my bosses at the MPAA and RIAA could control all the content, ensuring everyone buys from them! I would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you pesty kids and your computers!

        X3 ...oh man, you're right, they really do need to make an episode out of this.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 1:10am

          Re: Re: Re:Gwiz (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

          SCOOBY-DOO and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Hanna-Barbera. (s12)

           

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    Robert (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Comments on NYT

    It's funny, the comments on the NYT post rip his arguments to pieces.

    I wonder if he even reads them (I seriously doubt it).

    Mike, you and rant and provide logic all you want. The readers here know this already. We don't have enough of the general public reading your debunking. General public folk don't go searching for things, they see whatever catches their eye, such as Sherman's post in the NYT, which many will read.

    The good part is that people who read Sherman's post might read the comments and see Sherman's arguments debunked. Maybe those people will be smart enough to let their MP/Congress-person/Senate Rep know the arguments of the RIAA/MPAA are not valid.

    Maybe then people will search, find TechDirt (among other sites) and really educate themselves.

    I am saying your voice needs an even bigger megaphone to be heard by the general population. Wouldn't it be great if people were redirected to TechDirt or TorrentFreak? If Anonymous is going to DDoS why not redirect to valid sources of information and debunking?

    I don't think it's censorship, it's just reinforcing half-duplex communication mode. You can't have half-duplex if the one device is constantly hogging the communication medium, leaving the other devices stuck in arbitration mode!

    Maybe some who can post on NYT could link to TechDirt?

     

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:09am

      Re: Comments on NYT

      Most NY Times articles don't allow comments. I'm amazed this one does.

      But the truth is the MPAA and RIAA get the New York Times as their mouthpiece. The New York Times should be doing the debunking. There wouldn't be a need for TechDirt if the New York Times just did its job.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    The sad thing is, how many readers are gonna read about this issue for the first time, with this slanted one sided approach, and take it at face value

     

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    Adam J, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    And last but not least of all, internet piracy is destroying our children! No, there's no evidence supporting this claim, but WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Anyone who is against PIPA/SOPA is a pirate and hates children! Oh and they love child pornography and fake medications! Oh and they lie too.
    C. Sherman

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    "The public trusts Google and Wikipedia to look out for their best interests"

    I wouldn't go that far. I trust Google to look out for its own best interests and I will side with Google only when I perceive that its best interests are in my/the public interest too.

    Wikipedia might be a bit more tricky but I wouldn't blindly trust them either. Not even the EFF, as much as I respect them, if they started advocating what I perceive to be socially detrimental policies I will oppose them too.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      "I trust Google to look out for its own best interests"

      and I trust all of those 115 websites that went dark much more than I would trust anything from RIAA/MPAA.

      DOH!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Am I the only one who's noticed that the RIAA just said the OPEN act is not a viable answer? Are they saying they're just going to let it die?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:03am

    Cary Sherman

    That is a sick rant by the head of the RIAA. This is just like a school yard bully going about abusing everyone and everything and getting their own way only to be stopped later by a higher power and punished. This bully then goes into a sulk and blaming everyone but themselves for their actions.

    Piracy is but a small problem to the RIAA compared to the Indie artists. It is those Indie artists who are growing strong in an independent open market and free distribution that are crushing the RIAA. If the RIAA want some honesty then start with DaJaz1 and how their own GLORIOUS ERRORS led to this year long avoidance of justice and due process. What would you call that if not "censorship"?

    He has a nerve moaning about the news media when even at the height of the SOPA/PIPA protests, blackout day, when they simply could not ignore the protests any more, then the likes of CNN and Fox wrote terrible articles. Those poor journalists could only say that the boss of their boss is a SOPA supporter giving a huge indication that they cannot write the honest truth without being censored or fired.

    Us die hard anti-"copyright abuse" people are very well informed to a whole host of issues. It was clear to see what the RIAA were up to and simply by spreading some core concepts to thousands of people they managed to rally the millions. We don't need no Internet gun fights. We will take down your ACTA the same way.

    Well let us recall that the RIAA is composed of little more than three huge music groups. The biggest of those is UMG and they are some very nasty people in my view.

    I can only conclude that Cary Sherman is out of touch with reality where even their own music labels and artists, who only want to embrace the advantages the Internet provides, are growing very disillusioned with RIAA... the technology and progress haters.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Hey Cary Sherman, how about you come on the good ol internet, to DICUSS you're misgivings, talk to the users about your proposals on what changes the internet needs, i cant fathom why you're type keeps using one sided media outlets, when the internet can provide you a two sided disscussion

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because “old media” draws a line between “news” and “editorial.” Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact. "

    Please, the RIAA/MPAA has a long history of abusing their government established broadcasting and cableco monopolies to advocate their one-sided position while denying opponents the opportunity to communicate criticisms and alternative positions.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101005/12204511290/why-won-t-universal-music-let-yo u-see-the-20-20-report-from-1980-about-how-the-music-industry-is-dying.shtml

    http://www.techdirt. com/articles/20091101/1818186751.shtml

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100727/10432810380.shtm l

    They have always been quick to abuse their government established monopoly power to distribute pro-IP propaganda while censoring criticisms. The only reason it's more difficult for them to get away with this now is because of the Internet's influence on the media. If the media tries to discuss SOPA, people will not simply believe the media anymore, they will look up more details about the bill on the Internet. and bringing more attention to the bill will likely make it more difficult to pass. The mainstream media's approval ratings are already at an all time low (at least I've seen this mentioned on the news a while back), so spreading misinformation and being one sided will also serve to further lower the media's approval ratings.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      (and the mainstream television media did run some pro-SOPA ads as well, as Mike has mentioned on the OP).

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      and, if anything, I see your quote as a tacit admission that you refused to discuss the matter on television because you have a conflict of interest in the matter. and if you have a conflict of interest in the matter then why should we believe that these laws are socially beneficial? If these laws are socially beneficial then why not allow both sides of the debate to be discussed on television? Why not allow someone like Mike Masnick to openly discuss the issue on television with whatever Hollywood spokesperson you would like to pitch against him. Is it because you know that your position looks bad if you allowed for such a thing? and so you were willing to abuse your government established monopoly power to censor this debate from television and radio? and yet I'm supposed to believe that you are somehow taking the moral high ground?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:50am

        Re: Re:

        The reason why the government established mainstream media has a moral (and what should be a legal) obligation to cover important issues from a balanced perspective (that is, allow a variety of opinions and criticisms to be discussed) is because they receive their monopoly power from the government. It is morally wrong for them to choose what issues get covered and what issues get ignored based on their self serving agenda (it should be illegal). and the government has no business granting them an unregulated (or a very loosely regulated) monopoly that allows them to abuse their monopoly power to support their self interested agenda. Either grant them a monopoly and regulate their monopoly in a way that forces them to act in the public interest or revoke their wrongfully granted government established monopoly power over cableco and broadcasting spectra and allow anyone to freely use these communication channels and to build their own communication channels. You can't have it both ways, granting an unregulated (or a poorly regulated) government established monopoly that allows self interested entities to abuse their monopoly power in their own self interest is unacceptable and should be illegal. The difference between Google/Wikipedia and the mainstream media cartels is that Google doesn't receive any monopoly power from the government and so they don't have a moral obligation to be balanced or to cover important issues (from a balanced perspective). and they shouldn't have a legal obligation to do so either. The mainstream media cartels on the other hand do have such a moral obligation and they should have such a legal obligation as well.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    "When RIAA and MAFIAA purport to be neutral sources of information, but then exploit their stature to present information that is not only not neutral but affirmatively incomplete and misleading, they are duping their users into accepting as truth what are merely self-serving political declarations."

    So, this is their new strategy, write truths about their own organisation then change the names around, classy, real classy

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because “old media” draws a line between “news” and “editorial.” Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact."



    Yes, i agree, the old way stinks

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      Yes, i agree, the old way stinks


      Majority in U.S. Continues to Distrust the Media, Perceive Bias”, by Lymari Morales, Gallup, Sept 22, 2011

      WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust and the 55% who have little or no trust remain among the most negative views Gallup has measured.

      [...more...]


      (Emphasis added.)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because “old media” draws a line between “news” and “editorial.” Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact."

      Old media only offers one side of a story, which is why i will never listen to them, ive had enough of you're spoonfed mentality, wondering if im being fed the truth or not, so ive decided NOT, by default.........well, until the internet confirms it with substantial info, proof, disscussions etc etc

       

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    Paul L (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Interesting comments from the RIAA

    I found this amusing on the RIAA site:
    "Editorial note: We have not included pieces below from the bills’ supporters (if you want those see here, here and here). This, rather, is a compilation of voices other than our own, that we think raise an important point."
    So they provide quotes that raise important points.. One of these "important points" that interested me was a quote from NY Times columnist David Pogue:
    "But it was a sloppy success; the scare language used by some of the Web sites was just as flawed as the Congressional language that they opposed."
    Since the RIAA sees this as an important point, and the quote states that the "scare language" was just as flawed as the Congressional language that they opposed, can this be interpreted as the RIAA admitting that their own language proposed in SOPA/PIPA was flawed?

     

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    Khory (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    Democracy?

    "But at the 11th hour, a flood of e-mails and phone calls to Congress stopped the legislation in its tracks. Was this the result of democracy, or demagoguery?"

    So a lot of people learned of this and chose to take the time to tell there Congressman to put a stop to it? And he's not sure if that's democracy? That is EXACTLY what democracy is supposed to be. The people make their wishes know to their representatives in Congress and that Congressman acts on their behalf like he was elected to do!

    This is what these folks are really afraid of. The internet gives people the ability to discuss things, get information, and speak out about it if they choose. They can make their voice heard to their elected officials instantly. Instead of seeing this as a boon to democracy they are scared to death.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:36pm

      Re: Democracy?

      "This is what these folks are really afraid of. The internet gives people the ability to discuss things, get information, and speak out about it if they choose."

      This is precisely why the entertainment industry must never be allowed to get control of the internet. It is not a broadcasting platform like they perceive it to be, but rather a communications platform, something they will always be willfully ignorant of.

       

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    ovvalsen (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    DMCA is *already* used as a censorship tool

    RIAA clown: "Consider, for example, the claim that SOPA and PIPA were 'censorship,' a loaded and inflammatory term designed to evoke images of crackdowns on pro-democracy Web sites by China or Iran."

    DMCA is *already* used as a censorship tool, so of course we will expect worst from a bill which go far beyond DMCA. Just a recent example, last week Michael Geist posted, "Transport Canada Issues DMCA Takedown Over On-the-Record Response"
    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6288/196/

     

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    mike allen (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Artists are making more money going it alone without the labels the RIAA do not like this and want to stop it.Copyright does not encourage innovation it creates a complacency as the artists sorry labels sit back and watch the cash grow, no need to create more music. Now RIAA trolls proove me wrong.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      I think questions like these are exactly the questions that need to be asked of them, to get their OFFICIAL stance on artists going solo

      Do you support it

      NO
      -Anti competetive, control orientated

      Yes
      -Any future laws/bills, should not affect solo artists, without them proving all by themselves, how hypocritical they are

      oh wait..............forget it, thinking about it, there not likely to respond

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Rebuttal Op-Ed

    Mike should submit his own Op-Ed article to the NYT to see if they would run it as a counterpoint and then do a follow up on whether they do or don't.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    "If Congress wants to address "shielding consumers from counterfeit products and fraud,"

    they would go after wall street,

    "but that's not what they did".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    This is to be expected for . . . .

    R.eal I.diots A.nd A.ssholes

     

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    Rich Kulawiec, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    No one's yet demonstrated that there's a problem

    That is: nobody has yet put convincing evidence on the table that a problem exists. There are people like the RIAA and MPAA jumping up and down screaming that there's a problem, but that is not evidence. There are scattered anecdotes -- which, properly collated, joined by others, and placed in context, might become evidence, but at present, they are not. There are "studies", but these fall into two categories: existing-but-fictional (those conducted by the RIAA et.al.) and nonexisting-and-fictional (those putatively conducted by the US government -- you know, the ones that the US government can't find).

    Until we are presented with convincing evidence backed by convincing arguments, there is no problem to solve. And once we are presented with those two things, then we must ask: how big is the problem? Is it large enough to merit an attempt to craft policy for a network with a billion people on it? Is it large enough to even merit our attention? Is the cost of attempting to solve it acceptable? What will be the impact of attempting to solve it? And so on.

    Albert Einstein is quoted (although, perhaps apocryphally), as saying that -- given one hour to save the world, he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem. That's incredibly wise (no surprise, given the source) and entirely applicable here. The RIAA et.al. would of course like to bypass this and salvage their failing business models by turning back the technology clock to 1955, but we must repeatedly and insistently demand that they rigorously prove the existence of a problem before we will even consider lifting a finger to solve it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    He condemns, claiming someone else for doing a certain thing, by doing that very thing.........boy, he must think he's godsgift, either that, or he assumes were stupid enough to beleive everything thats fed to us, becuase its de'facto

    Follow you're own advise, dont let job security affect how honest you can or cant be, and only then like anyone else, will you start seing support

    Once you have come across as a liar to internet users, when you speak they will see only lies.

     

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    Howard the Duck, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    NYT should be boycotted

    At least until they publish an opposing point of view from someone who "gets it".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Like it or not, what happened is that Google, Reddit, and even Techdirt made a lobbying effort to get a reaction. They spent money, cost themselves money, or gave "free" space worth thousands of dollars a day to lobby.

    What happened to Google and Reddit is that they have moved themselves from impartial "content aggregators" and moves into the realm of lobbying firms. They use their wide public exposure to push forward an agenda.

    They didn't get a majority of the people, they didn't even get a minority of the population on their side... but they certainly got some noisy people to make a big, fat stink about it.

    Even Techdirt spent a ton of money on the deal. If a paid post on Techdirt costs a company $1000 (like the case study things), then the multiple posts per day about SOPA are a huge amount of lobbying money. It would cost millions to get the exposure that was forced on the users of Google, Reddit and Techdirt.

    It sucks, especially for Google and Reddit who gave up their impartial standing in the community and took sides. Now can they really be trusted anymore?

     

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      rubberpants, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      That was the most transparent bit of concern trolling I think I've ever seen.

      FAIL

       

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      Noob, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:13am

      Re:

      lesser of the two evils

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:19am

      Re:

      Reddit is a community. Sure, it belongs to a corporation, but it's still just a community.

      What do community's do? They communicate.

      This ain't rocker science, people!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Reddit employs 11 people. Techdirt employs 0.

        Reddit and Techdirt lied about the bill because they love piracy and don't want any anti-piracy legislation to pass.

        It's also been suggested they were compensated by Google for their lobbying, as piracy is a major part of Google's business model.

        Please don't bore us with more bullshit pretending it's about anything other than that. Thanks.

         

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      Reddit is impartial? Since when?

      Google took sides by putting a link next to their logo? And the sheep just fell for it? If that's all it took to stop legislation, then Google would be writing all laws.

       

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      Todd (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      This is so obviously true. Now that Google and Reddit have lost their standing in the community and also lost my trust by standing up for my rights, I have no other option than to simply trust the RIAA instead. Thanks anon coward!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:12pm

      Re:

      >It sucks, especially for Google and Reddit who gave up their impartial standing in the community and took sides. Now can they really be trusted anymore?

      Ah, yes, just like the RIAA/MPAA can't be trusted because they took sides. Nobody's trusting them at all, just like you!

      Yeah, you're chubbily adorable alright.

       

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    rubberpants, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    They were actually planning on naming it the CENSORSHIP act originally, which stands for:

    Clearly Every Normal Supporter Of Recording Studios Hates International Piracy

     

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    Trails (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    Draft a Reply?

    Hey Mike, what are your thoughts on drafting a reply/rebuttal for submission to NYT?

     

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    Noob, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    matter of nomenclature

    if all else fails, they can simply wrap it up in some flavor of anti child pornography treaty

     

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    Zangetsu (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Maybe Mike should write the next Op-Ed?

    Who do we have to call to get Mike Masnick to write the rebuttal to this op-ed from Cary Sherman? I'll willing to call/write, I just need to know if it is going to be effective.

     

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    kevguy, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Regarding "The violation of neutrality is a patent hypocrisy: these companies have long argued that Internet service providers (telecommunications and cable companies) had to be regulated under the doctrine of “net neutrality” because of their power as owners of the Internet pipes. But what the Google and Wikipedia blackout showed is that it’s the platforms that exercise the real power. Get enough of them to espouse Silicon Valley’s perspective, and tens of millions of Americans will get a one-sided view of whatever the issue may be, drowning out the other side."

    Kinda like how they control what we watch, what we listen to and what we read.

     

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    Mark, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    NOT TRUE

    Actually my friends there is evidence that GOOGLE and all these other companies that would benefit from such Legislation have actually been FUNDING the Bills to get them passed- they're saying two different things. http://blog.experts-exchange.com/ee-tech-news/sopa-update-blackouts-pacs-and-a-little-bit-of-irony/

    Senator Orrin Hatch is the most outspoken advocate of Government regulation of the Internet. He thinks the Government should be destroying computers without due process.
    http://www.dethronehatch.com/orrin-hatch-is-no-friend-of-the-internet/

     

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      Trails (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

      Re: NOT TRUE

      What?!?! The experts exchange article you link to says nothing of the sort.

      "Microsoft, eBay, Google, GoDaddy, Yahoo and Amazon ... tens of thousands of dollars to none other than the authors and co-sponsors of SOPA and PIPA."

      Tens of thousands?!!? Wow, that's like enough for a car! A new one, like maybe a hyundai or something! From six huge tech companies, tens of thousands of dollars!!! In terms of lobbying money, that's peanuts, gimme a break.

      The article discusses that they may be regretting any campaign contributions they made to sopa/pipa sponsors, and does not even come close to implying, let alone supporting the notion that Google "funded SOPA".

       

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Hey Mike, where's your op-ed in the Times?

     

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    Leonidas, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    It appears that he is, in a manner of speaking, hiding behind the skirts of women shooting arrows at "the enemy" so when arrows come back he can feign moral outrage over the atrocity.

    He is accusing others of the behavior that he is guilty of himself. All in all, an amusing, contrived moral outrage. This is yet another mistake on their part. Not only in assuming their "enemies" are stupid, but outright saying so.

    In the end, I feel that the winds of change are blowing, in direct opposition to the legacy gatekeeper industries want.

     

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    Hmmm, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Major label market drops 50% compared to 10 years ago. Independent artists market grows 43% compared to 10 years ago.

    So really we're trying to destroy the internet, the Constitution, and criminalize the majority of the country for a margin that's really about 7% and less than 10k employee's. Then of course you have the +/- margin which typically runs around 3-5%.

    Who does this guy think he's fooling and even worse how the heck do we have people in office who are this gullible and stupid? Oh right, pay for policy.

     

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    Richard Bennett (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Senate Protect IP Hearing

    There's too much BS in this post to comment on all of it, so I'll leave you with two points.

    The Senate Hearing on Protect IP was held on Feb. 8th of last year, the witness statements and streaming video are here: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=e655f9e2809e5476862f735da166ae90

    Please correct your post accordingly.

    There is no reason to get all bent over specific job loss calculations. Copyright protection is asserted as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 27b. Quibble all you want over job loss but recognize that you're advocating denial of a human right when you argue against any meaningful enforcement of copyright.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

      Re: Senate Protect IP Hearing

      It would have been interesting to hear your thoughts about your first point, but since you didn't present any I'll skip to the human rights part. The section you cite reads:

      "1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

      2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author."

      Copyright law can indeed be used to further #2 (other mechanisms could too, so this doesn't make copyright law per se a fundamental human right).

      Copyright law can also be used to further #1, which is in many ways opposed to #2. In the US, as originally envisioned, copyright law struck a balance between these two opposing rights.

      Nowadays, copyright law has become so extreme and onerous that while it protects #2 better than ever, it does so by neglecting #1.

      The balance is wrong. With the law as it is today, you could, with equal truth, say that any attempt to strengthen and enhance copyright law also means you're engaging in the denial of a fundamental human right.

       

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      krusty-g (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

      Re: Senate Protect IP Hearing

      Job losses are a key point in all of this, but I agree we shouldn't quibble over a few thousand either way. The jobs created by the internet and related tech industries dwarf any number the content industry want to make up. So if it boils down to it it's pretty obvious which one to choose, right?
      "Advocating denial of a human rights" does sound terribly menacing doesn't it, but it's the same argument as "it's illegal so it's wrong". That declaration was originally written almost 70 years ago, a time where the impact on global freedoms and this interwebs couldn't have been anticipated (and a slight rewording would sort all that).
      You knew these things, and yet posted that, choosing to ignore a comprehensive debunking apparently loaded with BS but you're 2 big rebuttals were some minor technical niggle which I don't get the point of, and a "think of the children" plea.

       

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      dcee (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 1:34am

      Re: Senate Protect IP Hearing

      What the freaking hell? You really think that actually, right now, without things like PIPA/SOPA, there is no "meaningful enforcement of copyright"?

      Please, tell me that again without laughing...

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 3:58am

      Re: Senate Protect IP Hearing

      The Senate Hearing on Protect IP was held on Feb. 8th of last year, the witness statements and streaming video are here: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=e655f9e2809e5476862f735da166ae90

      As I told you on Twitter, that hearing was on the general issue and only had people on one side of the issue. It was not on PIPA because PIPA did not exist at the time. Lots of folks are against the general idea of piracy, but later came out against the specifics in PIPA.

      To conflate the two is typical Richard Bennett bloviating.

      Please correct your post accordingly.


      I correct errors. I was not in error.

      There is no reason to get all bent over specific job loss calculations. Copyright protection is asserted as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 27b. Quibble all you want over job loss but recognize that you're advocating denial of a human right when you argue against any meaningful enforcement of copyright.

      Richard, go back to pretending you're a well known engineering guru. When you enter debates that involve logic the fact that you have to go to pure logical fallacies is really sad.

      Let's me prove that this is a simple logical fallacy: if, according to you, any attempt to deny copyright enforcement is a denial of human rights... what would you say if a bill was proposed that said, simply, "to enforce protection of copyright, we shut down the internet."

      I assume that you are not so stupid as to think that this is a legitimate idea. But under your logical fallacy where "all copyright enforcement is protecting a human right," then you would have to support such a policy.

      It's possible to be against infringement and also be against stupid policies that (a) won't do a damn thing to stop infringement and (b) will have tremendous damaging unintended consequences.

      Seriously, Richard, you look super foolish when you make statements like this.

       

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      LC (profile), Feb 13th, 2012 @ 10:00pm

      Re: Senate Protect IP Hearing

      "1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

      2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author."


      This is S.27b of the UN's charter for human rights. While copyright can help with the rights granted in paragraph 2, at the moment this often comes at the cost of the right granted in paragraph 1. When copyright law was originally introduced, the rights in paragraph 2 were roughly balanced with the rights in paragraph 1. But because of the endless expansion of it by the usual suspects over the last 40 years it's no longer the case.

      Most importantly, NOWHERE in there does it grant copyright as a human right. As I said, copyright can be used as a tool to help grant paragraph 2's rights, but it's not the only way that could be done.

       

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    MAFIAA Shill, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Piracy is wrong

    This article is a load of lies and propaganda.
    Let's take it from the beginning and see why piracy is bad:

    First, copyright does not limit music. You're still free to make your own music, just make sure you don't use any of the instruments we've used in our own music already and you'll be fine. Also be sure to license the right to make music from us, because we've patented and now own the entire art of making music. But we're really flexible and arranging, we sell free licenses - for only $10 Million + 60% Royalties you can write your own song. For an extra $5 Million you can record it and for $15 Million you can sell it.

    Second, we at the MAFIAA are very generous as it is and we're disappointed that people think our music is too expensive or that we don't let people use excerpts of our songs for their Youtube videos.
    You see, there's a lot of stuff we're letting you have for free. For instance, you can call yourself a fan of any artist for free. Think about it: artists bring you happiness by letting you be their fans and by being role-models you look up to, so to be fair you should be paying them for that. Do you see us suing everyone who online says they're a fan of Ke$ha or Justin Bieber? No, and that's because we're not greedy people.

    Third, there's a hundred studies that show Piracy contributes to Global Warming. Since the Internet was invented in 2000, Piracy increased and the planet just got warmer.
    There's also evidence that piracy causes war and political instability in the world: the war in Iraq did not occur before Napster, did it? The government in Siria was not slaughtering people before the birth of Megaupload, was it? And Michael Jackson was alive and well until somebody invented P2P file-sharing!
    Piracy is murder and destroying the planet.

    Fourth, file-sharing is called piracy, like the pirates in Somalia who take hostages for money. So there you go, proof that file-sharers are working with terrorist groups.

    Fifth, pirates often defend piracy by saying that it let's you "try before you buy" and other lies. Don't believe that, it's nonsense. Not knowing what you're buying is part of the deal. When you go to Vegas and play the slot machines, you don't get to "try" and only pay if you win the jackpot. Why should it be any different with music or movies?
    There's also the argument that people just want to buy a song or two but are forced to buy the entire album. Well again, what's the problem? When you go to the grocery store you don't get to buy only half an egg, why should it be different with media?

    Sixth, if you download a single song without paying us you're a filthy pirate who smells like a mass grave in summer and even starving dogs would get sick from eating your corpse. You shot be shot along with all your family. Also you probably molest children on video with Bin Laden. Please buy our CD's.

    We plan on copyrighting the word "Music" soon, since we are the sole creators of musical art in the 21st century. All the amateurs who don't have a publisher because they suck will be forced to use the expression "Noise of no artistic value" to describe their work. You will also have to pay us licensing fees every time you say or write the word "Music©".
    So if you have come to realize why it's wrong to be a greasy pirate and want to enjoy real music© and fight against counterfeit noise of no artistic quality, please support us and write to your senator to tell them you stand with us on this issue.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:56pm

      Re: Piracy is wrong

      Wow. Based on the thick content of your text, you actually had me believing that you were serious...until I realized no MAFIAA shill would actually name themselves "MAFIAA shill." They'd hide behind the AC accounts and damn TechDirt for calling out their "truths."

      +1 interwebz

       

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    Torg (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    "with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in the Senate"
    This confuses me. I've seen it repeated in plenty of pro-SOPA pieces, but I simply can't figure out what kind of a world they think we live in where that is at all a relevant argument. Are people really only expected to protest bills that don't have support in the Senate?


    "That’s partly because “old media” draws a line between “news” and “editorial.” "
    I got a good laugh out of that one. Made my day.

     

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    Jim C., Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    You can say infringement instead of stealing if it makes you nahppy, and you can say you can't "steal" jobs if it makes you ahppy, but morally--and in legal effect, it is the same. The fact that you would rely on such a lame distinction says it all.

    If I am a musician (I am not) and you take my music instead of paying for it, I wouldn't give a darn what you clled it because it is the same thing in the end.

    Sooooo many excuses for not paying for something someone else worked to create...

     

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      Prisoner 201, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

      Re: Jim C.

      "Sooooo many excuses for not paying for something someone else worked to create..."

      No one here is advocating infringement.

      You on the other hand are making excuses for people making laws based on false concepts. Laws that will have an impact on hundreds of millions of people.

      In perspective your complaint is aggravatingly infantile.

       

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      crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      Do whatever you want! I'm not paying you and I'm certainly not forcing you to do anything you don't want to. Why would anyone need an excuse for not paying for something? My excuse is that I didn't ask for it and I don't want it. If you want people to pay you get something people want to buy.

       

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      crade (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      No offense, but if the cost of having your art exist is having to have my life and work assaulted by these sort of controlling, orwellian, facist laws, I'd much prefer you took whatever you are making and shoved it where the sun doesn't shine.

       

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    Steven, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Here's An Idea...

    You know what we could do... organize a day where we all send a letter to Every SOPA/PIPA supporter (MPAA, RIAA, television networks, etc.) encouraging them to hear us out. They don't want to listen to us (either that, or they just don't care). By doing this, they'll have no choice but to listen. Hopefully in the end, they'll get the message as to why we protested in the first place. This will wake them up for sure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Flabbergasted

    I am just floored every time I read almost anything from the RIAA or MPAA. I honestly don't know whether to fall on the floor laughing or call the DOJ to investigate them for perjury. Their disconnect with reality is so complete. It's like Orwell's newspeak; if they just repeat something enough times people will start to believe them. This group is a menace to society, because they are making our national I.Q. to go down so many points!

     

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    DinosaurHunter (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    He might as well have just written:
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I WANT MY MUMMY

     

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    Talvieno, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Wow.

    I wish I could rant in the NY Times

     

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    saulgoode (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    Time to reassess

    Of the 295 responses to the NYT article (made before comments were closed), I counted 11 that were in support of the article, three that were neutral, and 281 that soundly rejected Mr Sherman's position.

     

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    Anonymoose Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    "We heard from multiple journalists employed by some of the largest cable news channels saying that they were directly stopped from covering the SOPA/PIPA fight, because the higher ups didn't want to give any publicity to the large and growing opposition. "

    Was this covered in a separate post? If not, would you please do so? It seems pretty important, and I'd love to see a citation there.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

    What’s Next In The Kübler-Ross Five Stages?

    Denial—check.
    Anger—check.
    Bargaining...?

     

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    RedAnon, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    Go copy all of his things... Clothes, hair, house, and the content of his fridge. Give it to a homeless and tell Cary to complain... If he dares...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    Bottom line

    They're angry that they spent $104 million last quarter on lobbying and didn't get the laws they purchased.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    I'm sure protecting 1984 under copyright until 2044 will encourage a George Orwell, dead since 1950, to produce more.
    Rational countries have already released it to the public domain.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

    Perhaps this is naive, but I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives.

    Here's a constructive alternative:
    Quit. Give up. Go live in a cave on a mountain somewhere. Cut yourself off completely from society. Just go away, and never be heard from again. And take the rest of your flunkies with you.
    No one will ever steal anything from you ever again, because no one will ever see you again. And we'll all happily celebrate how dramatically you improved our lives by going away forever. Win-win.

     

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    hemo_jr, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:15pm

    Thank You Cary Sherman

    For showing us, again, the kind of liars and self-important scumbags were behind SOPA/PIPA/ACTA.

    And for kicking the hornets nest. People may have been settling down a bit after the successes of stopping SOPA and PIPA, but you sure know how to reinvigorate the enthusiasm.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Destroy the RIAA. Boycott them, and the MPAA, until they cease to exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

    Quote:
    Finally, there is no such thing as "stealing ingenuity or jobs." Those are things you cannot steal.


    Yes there is, pass a law like SOPA and you can steal jobs and ingenuity by locking up and excluding others from the market while assuring you can continue to produce those things elsewhere.

    - Good catch on the number of jobs, when it suits him he talks about the tiny direct jobs when it does not he talks about the indirect jobs assumption that includes everything from hookers to offshore employees of other companies.

     

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    Frumples McGrumples, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:30pm

    Like the evisceration, but will it do any good?

    Dear Mr. Masnick,

    So the chief spokesman for the RIAA is a petulant, whiny hypocrite - duh! I'm glad you took the time to write up this extensively thorough rebuttal to his BS. And I'm sure all the folks who would otherwise agree with him - I mean the 5-10 folks who read Techdirt AND would actually take anything that spouts from the RIAA douchenozzle seriously - will change their minds after reading it, or at least consider the issue.

    What's my point? Write an op-ed rebuttal to the NYT so the rest of the country is actually able to read it! 'Cause a tech news website is...well, there's a saying about choirs and preaching. You're not quite at the chief RIAA guy's level of PR clout, but you're no rando either. The NYT may very well take your op-ed, if it's written well enough.

    Shit like this can't go uncountered, and the country needs someone who can clearly and passionately articulate why Cary is just plain wrong and why it's dangerous to heed what people like him say. If it's not you, who else? I mean, you just wrote the damn thing basically...

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

      Re: Write an op-ed rebuttal to the NYT so the rest of the country is actually able to read it!

      Funny you say that, given that the NYT has this habit of putting things behind a paywall, so “the rest of the country” is not actually able to read it!

      Guess where much of the news came from about SOPA/PIPA, back when mainstream media was completely ignoring it? Why, right here on Techdirt, of course! Here is where “the rest of the country” was actually able to find out about it!

       

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    marvin nubwaxer, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    sopa/pipa going away

    not a chance of the content owners giving back. after all they own the catchphrase "i'll be back"

     

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    Aaron, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    I don't think they should incur such stiff penalties..

    Download a copyrighted song, get caught and pay $150,000.
    And that's only 1 song....

    are they trying to completely destroy a life?

     

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      Al Bert (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:05pm

      Re:

      Yes. Yes they are.
      It's not reasonable for them to assume that they'll get several hundred thousand or a few million from an individual. Their litigation serves two purposes:

      1: It's a public crucifixion. Organized criminals maintain control by threat of annihilation.
      2: It serves to erode the sensibility of caselaw. Throw that shit at the wall until anything sticks.

       

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    Condor, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

    The phrase "flat out" appears six times in this article. I support the message that you guys are trying to convey, and many points were heart-felt, but the writing could be a little more professional and specific. I am 99.96% opposed to SOPA/PIPA (and PCIP for that matter), but I couldn't help finding myself [hypothetically] arguing some of the loopholes you fellows have left in this argument. I'm not saying I could do any better (or even as good); but to the critic, this argument could be more compelling with further details and a more professional writing style. If such were the case, I would like to see it forwarded to positions of higher influence, as well as everyone else whom bills as such would affect.

    Proverbially speaking, interpretation of a law is as determinant as the law itself. As thus applies to virtually any argument.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:15pm

    Just letting you there is a typo... when you discuss dajaz1
    "Should we talk about how that site wasn't give its day in court?"
    given*

     

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    kandice, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:55pm

    why can't i access wikipedia without giving out all my information to third parties to "win an ipad" or blah blah blah??

     

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    Overton, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 11:41pm

    Follow the money

    1. Google fined $500 million for advertising on illeh=gal and counterfeit drug sites.
    2. Brin's wife give Wikipedia $500,000
    3. A few days later Jimmy Wales campaigns on wikipedia to shut it down for the day.
    4. Wikia Jimmy Wales commercial operation does no such thing.

     

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    brettster, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:10am

    More importantly, these are the parts of the business where artists actually keep a much larger percentage of the money -- meaning that artists are significantly better off today than they were in the past

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:25am

    What John Locke believed, was that anything found anywhere is nothing without labor, the fruits from that labor are the property of the person who realized that labor so if somebody uses some music to earn a living that is his property, if anybody uses that music also and works towards that goal fruits of his labor are his.

    I doubt very much that he would agree to let anybody who doesn't work(play the music) try and charge others from the privilege of doing so.

     

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    Rj, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:36am

    A

    Am I the only one who thinks this boils down to corrupt government and lazy people?I find it amusing that they call it stealing. I can't afford this stuff in the first place. Therefore they wouldn't have made money off me. But with honesty if I liked this so called stolen property enough,id support them. Not to mention,nit everyone can afford a thousand dollars of music movies and games per year

     

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    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 12:43am

    Comments are no longer being accepted.

    it says over at nytimes.com. I wonder why that is.

     

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    dcee (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 1:39am

    Mike, you need to send your rebuttal to the New York Times, maybe you'll be published in the reader's comments or something.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 1:58am

    We already know the government has everything it needs to get hose "evil digital pirates".. The government is also aware that it already has those powers which is why Megaupload was completely derailed in the same week we all started freaking out about SOPA.

    The problem here is our government. It is no responsible, it is not balanced and their actions are left completely unchecked. That in itself is a violation of our Constitution.

    We can't sue the government but we can overthrow it. Massive reform is needed in the FDA, Senate, Congress, DEA, our President, ATF, the damn list will continue to your fucking county. Not joking. And the corporations that fund this fucked up shit post their contributions to these people publicly.

    We know what's wrong here. It's not a technicality that's the issue. It's that the people of this country have no REAL power. We really don't. It doesn't matter who you vote for because it's just so bad. Just look at the track records of your state representatives and senators.. look at the patterns in your local government's offices and see that they're just playing fucking musical chairs together.

    Tribler will come out. There won't be any way to stop information from flowing no matter what you try to "own" in the virtual world; there's nothing you can do.

    Wikileaks has a bad rap. No reason to have it. "Recreational drugs" hae a bad rap now even though the majority of them were completely legal within the last 100 years in the U.S. People thhat rape, murder and torture other get less prison time than non-violent criminal offenders.

    Bradley Manning was put in solitary confinement.. nobody really cared after a while. They said Julian Assange was raping people, but we all know it didn't happen that way.

    STOP BELIEVING IN BIGOTRY, STOP THINKING THAT GROUP THINK MAKES ANY SENSE, START TO LOOK INTO YOUR OWN LIFE AND HOW THESE POLITICAL ISSUES HAVE DESTROYED OUR CULTURE, OUR QUALITY OF LIFE. YOU NEED TO CARE ABOUT YOURSELF AS A HUMAN BEING AND STEP UP TO THE PLATE TO END THIS MADNESS.

     

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    EH, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:59am

    Well,

    I am unlikely to take seriously a spokesperson for an industry who has been wrong on every single issue related to technology since radio was invented.

     

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    FM Hilton, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 5:19am

    Write it, Mike!

    If the NYT is as 'neutral' as they claim they are, you can write a rebuttal to all of the claims made in the article, and then some.
    You could also mention that your site was one of the prime points for the information that people read about the actual information about these laws.
    I'm sure they'd accept an guest editorial from one of sites that actually informed people about SOPA/PIPA, instead of the propaganda that was passed out as 'truth'.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 5:25am

    genius

     

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    Commodore, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 6:19am

    The other big problem I have with all of this, related to the "theft" fallacy, is their repeated use of terms like "lost revenue" and such.

    When you steal a pair of shoes, the business who had those shoes before you has lost revenue, because someone probably would have bought those shoes.

    When someone pirates a movie or a song, they probably would not have purchased that movie or song had pirating not been an option, thus this is lost opportunity, as in they lost the opportunity to sell the song or movie or whatever, usually because the failed to provide an adequate venue or adequate price.

    As long as they fight the public's want to get things digitally and conveniently and for a fair price, without crippling DRM or with limited redownloads, people are going to resort to piracy to achieve the convenience they seek, and the opportunity to make that sale will continue to be lost.

     

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    giggity, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:18am

    these groups are like symbiotic leaches on creators and internet users, can't get rid of them and they keep growing fatter and fatter

     

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    Tony P, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    They failed to adapt

    That is exactly what the labels did. In fact a lot of the music I purchased recently came from non-RIAA sources.

    They had the opportunity to adapt and grow but they decided that filing suit against people for infringement, and utilizing underhanded tactics was preferable.

    Plus they lost the distribution side. With a net connection you can upload your own music that you wrote and performed to iTunes and numerous other sites. And the money flows directly to you, not through some intermediary! Imagine!

     

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    Brian Arredondo, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    The people will win, leave the internet alone

    Being a former hacker/cracker that transitioned into the business world I find it important to share my view.

    1. Lets say a bill passed and the internet is now censored. Hackers/Crackers will get together creating a deep "underground" group of individuals who will always live in the free internet world. They would divide the internet into two groups, those who live by the censorship and those who are going to bypass it. Users will start using off-shore DNS servers and proxy servers to bypass censorship. What is scary about this is the security of the internet could decrease as the off-shore DNS servers may not be protected as well as the ones users currently use.

    2. Once the FIRST censorship bill passes, more will follow. It will be a snowball effect that will continue to grow making the internet harder and harder to get free speech. This is a step in the WRONG direction.

    Simply put, if the internet was ever censored, I will be making financial contributions to support a new free and open internet.

     

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    kurisu7885, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    I have absolutely no illusion that this would really have been used to fight real piracy.

    Farily certain that ,well, certain game publishers would use it to shut down reviews that are nothing short of excellent.

    And really certain the RIAA would use this as a mob tactic to shut down independents. Trent Reznor, Abney Park, Motorhead, The RIAA could file a bogus claim, have their sites shut down, and then send an agent to tell them that they can either starve or sign 85% of their revenue away.

     

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    Michael Martinez, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    RIAA Totally Out Of Touch: Lashes Out At Google, Wikipedia And Everyone Who Protested SOPA/PIPA

    The lying never stops with you anti-SOPA/PIPA people. Perhaps in your eyes it's okay to distort the facts and hide the truth from your readers but that's not okay with me.

    These bills never proposed shutting down Websites that were allowing casual abuse. These bills were clearly directed at foreign Websites that were created for the purpose of violating intellectual property rights.

    As matters stand right now, you and your fellow idiots are saying that it's okay for the US government to forbid American Websites to profit from stolen intellectual property rights but that it must not in any way protect American IPR interests against systematic parasitical practices from foreign Websites.

    Everything that SOPA and PIPA threatened is already forbidden under U.S. law. These bills make reference to existing laws that are being enforced today (and were being enforced before January 18) to protect intellectual property rights.

    No one has lost their freedom of speech under those existing laws.

    Everyone is still free to link to whatever they want to link to.

    And yet the U.S. Government has very effectively used those "despotical" tactics such as DNS blocking/filtering to take down child pornography Websites, terrorist Websites, and Websites that engage in other activities. None of you anti-SOPA activists have objected to THOSE takedowns with your pseudo-technical babble about how it doesn't work.

    It's unfortunate that so many people in the technical industries came out of the woodwork to protest laws they clearly don't understand. To claim that these methods -- which have worked fine for years without harming either the Internet or freedom of speech -- would destroy the online world as we know it is a crock of manure.

    The only real new aspect to SOPA was that it was going after the money. Google and other online advertisers make millions of dollars from the advertising that the foreign sites pay for and carry on their Web pages. Cutting off their advertising and their revenue (or at least a big chunk of it) would have choked many of these Websites into virtual death.

    And these laws would allow millions of American Webmasters to go after foreign scraper sites that are taking our content and using it to make money through the Google AdSense program.

    Sure, Google takes down violators that are brought to their attention, but if they were doing enough to fight these issues then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    SOPA and PIPA are not just about your cheap-assed free music downloads.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 8:22pm

      Re: RIAA Totally Out Of Touch: Lashes Out At Google, Wikipedia And Everyone Who Protested SOPA/PIPA

      "Billions lost to piracy"*

      *Claim made under the assumption that pirates would go out and pay to consume copyrighted media if it weren't available for free.

      THE biggest distortion of fact and hidden truth of the entire debate. Recording industry claims are all exaggerated by default!

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:32am

      Re: RIAA Totally Out Of Touch: Lashes Out At Google, Wikipedia And Everyone Who Protested SOPA/PIPA

      These bills were clearly directed at foreign Websites that were created for the purpose of violating intellectual property rights.

      Under an extremely broad definition. And the original SOPA bill did not limit it to only foreign sites. It was later amended to do so.

      Everything that SOPA and PIPA threatened is already forbidden under U.S. law.

      Not true. Enabling and facilitating are forbidden under PIPA, but not currently under US law. They may be evidence of lawbreaking under the inducement theory, but in and of themselves they are not violations of the law. But under PIPA they are.

      No one has lost their freedom of speech under those existing laws.


      Tell that to Dajaz1. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/08225217010/breaking-news-feds-falsely-censor-popular-blog -over-year-deny-all-due-process-hide-all-details.shtml

      And yet the U.S. Government has very effectively used those "despotical" tactics such as DNS blocking/filtering to take down child pornography Websites, terrorist Websites, and Websites that engage in other activities. None of you anti-SOPA activists have objected to THOSE takedowns with your pseudo-technical babble about how it doesn't work.

      Simply not true. The government cannot use such blocking in those cases, and does not do so. Look up the CDT vs. Pappert case.

      It's amazing that you accuse us of being misleading when you are the one who is lying. The government may take down such sites, but there is no law that requires DNS blocking for that kind of content. Because it would be a First Amendment violation. And that's why many of the same people who spoke up about SOPA spoke up about Pappert -- contrary to your claim that no one said anything.

      Why lie?

      It's unfortunate that so many people in the technical industries came out of the woodwork to protest laws they clearly don't understand.

      He says after getting the basic facts wrong.

      To claim that these methods -- which have worked fine for years without harming either the Internet or freedom of speech

      Again, Dajaz1.

      The only real new aspect to SOPA was that it was going after the money. Google and other online advertisers make millions of dollars from the advertising that the foreign sites pay for and carry on their Web pages. Cutting off their advertising and their revenue (or at least a big chunk of it) would have choked many of these Websites into virtual death.

      Not true. Recent Karaganis study showed that these sites make very little money. Meanwhile Google has been shown to cut off those sites very quickly. And as someone who has used Google adsense, I can tell you that no one clicks on those ads. They make no money.

      Besides, Google SUPPORTED a version of the bill that would have forced them to cut off advertising to such sites.

      So your whole argument is completely wrong. Again.

      You really have been brainwashed by folks who support the bill.

      And these laws would allow millions of American Webmasters to go after foreign scraper sites that are taking our content and using it to make money through the Google AdSense program.

      I run a site that has my content copied to TONS of scraper sites. And it does nothing to impact my income. Trust me, those sites barely make a dime. And if anything they alert more people to my content and people are smart enough to find it.

      Sure, Google takes down violators that are brought to their attention, but if they were doing enough to fight these issues then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

      Hahahah. Yeah, okay...

      SOPA and PIPA are not just about your cheap-assed free music downloads.


      Next time, learn something before you spew pure propaganda.

       

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    James Wallis Martin, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Want to change the RIAA, use your wallet

    Those who are opposed to the RIAA and the record labels behind the RIAA (Sony, BMG, EMI, etc...) need to exercise their right by expressing their displeasure with the RIAA by boycotting artists on those labels. There is plenty of music being produced by non-RIAA affiliated labels. (and frankly a good amount is better than the major labels - Ultimae Records and Cosmicleaf Records come to mind). Since SOPA and PIPA came about last year, I have refused to buy albums from the major labels that are part of RIAA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    american

    notice how he kept saying american interests. he's calling on your patriotism to back him up, covering the fact that the impact of this is worldwide.

     

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 4:14am

    We all share the goal of a safe and legal Internet. We need reason, not rhetoric, in discussing how to achieve it.


    I know! Let's legalize filesharing.

     

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    Pat, Feb 12th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Oh u

    "Perhaps this is naive, but I’d like to believe that the companies that opposed SOPA and PIPA will now feel some responsibility to help come up with constructive alternatives."

    I'm not surprised that the chief of the RIAA thinks that companies should be the ones coming up with legislation.

     

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