MPAA: To Save Free Speech, We Must Broadly Censor Free Speech

from the say-again? dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about a thought-provoking article by Zeynep Tufecki discussing how some people were deliberately trying to use the open "marketplace of ideas" to effectively attempt to poison the marketplace of ideas. Also mentioned in that article was an excellent Yale Journal Article called Real Talk About Fake News by Nabiha Syed, which raised similar issues, and wondered if we needed a new framework for thinking about free speech online. We later had Syed on our podcast to discuss this further. Both Tufecki and Syed were raising important, thought-provoking issues that were not at all like the usual attacks on free speech -- because neither was an attack on free speech. Instead, they were attempting to protect free speech by pointing out that the way we often frame these discussions may not be the most effective way of thinking about these issues -- and that might actually lead to the silencing of voices.

This has certainly spurred many more thoughtful discussions on these topics. But... it won't surprise you that some are now looking to exploit this open discussion in their own way. The MPAA recently filed some comments with the NTIA, and what's striking about them, is how they appear to be co-opting the language of Tufecki to attack free speech online, and push for legal changes that would lead to massive censorship. But, in doing so, they claim these changes are necessary to "protect" free speech. The MPAA's VP Neil Fried also put out a somewhat snarky blog post about the filing, in which the MPAA insists that CDA 230 and DMCA 512 must be changed because "the status quo does not seem to be working."

Is that so? CDA 230 became law in 1996. DMCA in 1998. Let's take a look at how movie box office revenue has been over the years since (2018 numbers are projected based on tickets so far):

I don't know, Neil, but it sure looks like Hollywood is doing just fine under these conditions. But, the MPAA has basically invested so much of its identity into the idea that infringement is an existential threat, that it has to keep going with it. Remember, this is the same organization that insisted the VCR was going to be "the Boston Strangler" to the movie industry -- and that was said in Congressional testimony just four years before home video revenue surpassed box office revenue. So, the MPAA does not exactly have a credible track record on claiming that the threat of piracy is a real problem for the industry. But, it just can't let things go.

So now it's trying again with this comment to NTIA. And I find it notable that it appears to be trying to co-opt the framing that Tufecki used in order to argue for a regime that would stamp out free speech online:

Responsible businesses refusing to facilitate such activity are not squelching speech. They are not stifling speakers wishing to communicate ideas, but thwarting culprits engaged in malfeasance. In fact, curbing such illicit activity promotes free expression by creating a safer, virtual forum where individuals feel comfortable to engage and communicate. In this sense, it is leaving lawlessness and bullying unchecked that is chilling free speech.

But, of course, a large part of the problem is that the MPAA's entire framing here is simply incorrect. It claims that platforms have no incentive to clean themselves up -- which is laughable when you consider just how far various internet companies have bent over backwards to try to appease everyone complaining about the crap on their platforms.

Many of the platforms are not living up to that bargain, shielded behind the broadly interpreted limits on liability that ensure few if any consequences, and failing to apply the same innovation to address internet harms that they do to other areas of their business.

This statement has zero basis in reality. Of course all of the major internet platforms regularly moderate content, and these days are under tremendous public pressure from basically all sides, to "do something" about content deemed dangerous. In fact, the worries about over-censorship from this kind of pressure and motivation is already well documented. Hilariously, the MPAA pretends that the platforms don't have much incentive to do anything -- which ignores all of the pressure from their own users, the media, politicians and more.

Bizarrely, later in the filing, the MPAA admits that platforms are, in fact, moderating content heavily (something that it spends pages insisting isn't happening). Yet, when it does so, the reasoning is equally perplexing:

The rebuttal is often that there is a risk that efforts to combat illicit conduct online will be overbroad, and inadvertently chill speech. But the platforms appear increasingly willing to curb things like hate speech. As odious as such speech is, it is quintessentially expressive. Efforts to combat it are fraught with challenges of under- and over-inclusiveness. Such activity is more susceptible to a chilling speech argument than attempts to curtail clearly illicit conduct, which present a brighter line.

So... let's get this straight. The platforms have no incentive to get rid of illegal content on their platforms -- even though all of them do so. And, to prove that there's no problem with overbroad censorship, we'll point to the fact that they do the kind of moderation we previously said they don't... and then admit that that moderation itself is chilling speech. Incredible.

The MPAA seems so wedded to its desire to take away the DMCA safe harbor and the CDA immunity provisions that it really doesn't care that no mainstream platform is eagerly courting "illegal" content. But, in order to undermine the open internet, and push for one in which all things must be licensed, it has to keep up the charade that platforms encourage illegal behavior and refuse to deal with it. And it's adopting the language of those who were trying to have a more serious conversation about dealing with bad actors online. It's the ultimate troll move.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 7:44am

    "It's the ultimate troll move."

    As if TD doesn't have expertise dealing with trolls ;D

    No seriously, the MPAA and its sister letter soup outfits are rotten to the core. Sooner or later we'll hear of them ripping off the artists they claim to protect while trying to screw everybody else, including the artists.

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      John Smith, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:21am

      Re:

      Not all artists are part of the big outfits.

      I'd still like to know why others should control distribution of my work, or how my refusal to involuntarily lower my price or give away free content justifies stealing my work.

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re:

        "...justifies stealing my work."

        How sure are you that someone is 'stealing' (aka taking copies, original still in place) your work? How do you know? If you have some viable ability to know, then is it 1 or 2, or even 10 or 100, then so what? If it is thousands, then you might reasonably conclude that there is value to your work.

        If the purveyors of the most expensive thingamajig (margin) in the world find that they are not moving enough product (traffic) guess what they do? They lower their price, and work to let people know (if it is true, or even if not true they make the effort) that their quality is better than other thingamajigs and therefore worth more. They might keep their price at above all the others, but still lowered, or they might set their price at 90% when compared to others, or something else, but they don't just let the status quo remain and scream at the thingamajig marketplace about how unfair is it that their product isn't moving.

        "...how my refusal to involuntarily lower my price..."

        Are you sure your not just being stubborn? Would it not be better to try some market testing to find out if your sense of the quality of your work is not just in your mind? The market speaks, can you listen?

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          John Smith, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It would promote infringement to point to the infringing sites. If I claim any number of pirated copies that distracts the discussion to my work versus whether or not it should be okay to steal someone's work.

          The well known repositories had works which were pirated milliosn of times. My work as appeared numerous times on these sites, even with the copyright information stripped and replaced. Enforcement is already dead thanks to cases like Perfect 10, where Visa was held not to be contributing to infringement even when they processed payments after being put on notice, because they were not the "original pirates."

          The DMCA has immunized the intermediaries, who smugly say "sue the actual infringers," so when copyright holders do this, they are then accusd of "picking on the little guy." Might as well abolish all copyright protection so everyone is on a level playing field, just like we might as well abolish all defamation law so that the targets of defamation don't have to hold their fire when responding.

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          Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "...justifies stealing my work."

          AAC - I think John must mean that the RIAA is stealing his work, setting the prices charged, and controlling the distribution.

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          • icon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 11:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Not so sure. He referred to his own refusal to involuntarily lower his price. In addition, his comments elsewhere seem to point to books he has written, which would have nothing to do with the RIAA. None of which means he isn't really really confused and conflating more than one thing.

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        cpt kangarooski, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re:

        I'd still like to know why others should control distribution of my work

        You’re saying pirates (or facilitators) prevent you from distributing your work, because they control distribution? Or do you mean that you lack de facto control of your work’s distribution yourself?

        If the former, I find that doubtful but it’s possible — sometimes people sign bad contracts that give away their copyrights in self-harmful ways. I’d suggest contacting a skilled lawyer to see if there’s anything to be done. This is also useful if someone fraudulently claims to have the copyright to your work.

        If the latter, see below.

        or how my refusal to involuntarily lower my price or give away free content justifies stealing my work.

        I think you mean your refusal to voluntarily lower the price.

        Anyway, copyright is similar to real property in that it operates on a consensus basis. For example, if I claim to own the Brooklyn Bridge people will disagree and think I’m a kook. If I try to block it off or put up a tollbooth, I’ll get arrested because there are enough people who disagree with me that they can stop me, using force if need be.

        But if i can convince them to side with me, I do own it. Or if I can muster more force than they can, that works too. After all, there’s a reason why the bridge is owned by the City of New York and not the Lenape people who lived in that area long before any Europeans did.

        Copyright is similar; it’s an artificial right, rather than anything inherent (in fact as its a form of censorship of others, it’s inherently opposed to the natural right of free speech). It may be granted or not as society and the government empowered by the consent of the people deem it appropriate. And its bounds and powers are likewise arbitrary and up to what people will tolerate and deem appropriate.

        So your copyright is fundamentally premised on other prople’ respect for it. Legal enforcement is limited by what the law will permit and in practice by what’s feasible. Clearly it’s not working too well for you. So if you want people not to pirate your work, it’s up to you to convince them of that. Put those authorial powers of persuasion to work. But remember that just as you’re acting out of self interest so too is your audience of actual and would-be pirates — you need to get them to agree that their best interest is not to pirate even in the absence of meaningful enforcement.

        Good luck!

        You may wish to compare the situation to the drug war and Prohibition— people genuinely felt that controlling others was a good idea, but damn if people just ignored the law anyway en masse to the point that Prohibition was repealed and the states (and some countries) are legalizing drugs. It could be that the best option for everyone is that some piracy is legalized and you just have to suck it up or give up being an artist. And maybe society would be better off with piracy and without you.

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          Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 1:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nah. Just change the copyright. Like - there's no need for it to apply after the death of the creator. Also - 5 years should be enough incentive to create new stuff.

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          Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 2:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What a fantastic and outrageous writer you are. You are advocating lawlessness and chaos, where no one has “legitimate” ownership rights that others would defend on their behalf. In your world view, force is all that matters, as per your example of the bridge. You live outside the constraints of law, country, morals, ethics, religion, history or common sense.

          Good for you to write so well and to ignore so thoroughly the lessons of history the rest of the world has learned. You are a credit to your anarchicst cause, you may even find some weak minded converts.

          Oh yeah I forgot this is the best place ever for weak minded idiots that you could convert. Are you their Grand Pooba here? Do you wear the Wizard Robes? Any more anarchist insight you have to share? You are fascinating, really. Please elaborate more examples to educate us.

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            cpt kangarooski, 8 Aug 2018 @ 5:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What a fantastic and outrageous writer you are. You are advocating lawlessness and chaos, where no one has “legitimate” ownership rights that others would defend on their behalf.

            Quite the opposite. I am saying that if you want other people to defend your claim to ‘ownership,’ you need to convince them that it is in their own best interests to do so. But this is tricky — copyright inherently takes away from the public, which otherwise would be free to copy, change, and share creative works at will, which are all popular activities. So you need to show that giving all that up and vigorously protecting copyright will somehow leave them better off. This can be done, but the more extreme the level and duration of copyright protection, the harder it is. Eventually it becomes impossible.

            So while I’m not averse to there being some copyright law that restricts the public, I think that more compromise is needed to make it less restrictive and more palatable.

            The reason being, if a law runs too contrary to people’s norms of behavior, they’ll just break it. We saw it with Prohibition. We still see it with drugs. Hell, we see it with speeding and jaywalking, where most people will agree that the laws have a justifiable basis but are nevertheless inconvenient to follow.

            Laws that are uniformly broken are bad, not necessarily because of their actual subject matter, but because they engender disrespect for other laws. (Again, look at Prohibition— people felt it was okay if they themselves drank and were supplied with drink, and this led to massive corruption, organized crime, murder, etc.). Is copyright so important that we should risk the public’s respect for otherwise viable laws? Is it so important that we should enforce it with a vengeance to deter infringement?

            I think not, with regard to copyright. Better to pare it down so that it matches up with what most people find acceptable. Such as allowing individuals to pirate at will if in a non-commercial fashion, but still prohibiting those who would profit from piracy. This, I feel, is the best strategy to preserve copyright and respect for the law while also not continuing down the current path of having a nation of lawbreakers.

            So anarchy? It’s an interesting idea to me, but not one I’m advocating here. I’m just interested in reasonable copyright reform.

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              Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 6:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I like your writing too, you are a little more coherent, but seem to be cut from the same cloth. You are advocating on behalf of pirates that steal other people’s lawful property. You are saying if there are enough pirates, then the law is useless. You are saying that piracy, and breaking the law, are convenient solutions for those who don’t care that they are breaking the law, so the general public should accept this lawbreaking.

              Fascinating. Are you thoughts limited to copyright? Patent law, too? Because it makes life inconvenient for lawbreakers, it should also be abandoned?

              So are advocating for the law-abiding to give up their rights to the law-breaking because there are a lot of law-breakers. Hmm... Don’t we have a whole country and legal system set up for that kind of change? Is breaking the law because it is convenient enough to justify abandoning the law? It’s really not convenient for me to pay for that condo on the beach, or that Ferrari, if enough people just take them then is it ok?

              Are you an anarchist that believes if enoug people do something then it is ok? Have you abandoned the concept of a political and legal system? If not, what structure are you advancing? Strength in numbers? Mob rule? Or something that takes into account what people actually think and actually want, like a system of laws and legally elected representatives that form and enforce them. I can’t follow your logic, can you speak more plainly about when you would simply abandon black letter law and when you would not.

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              • identicon
                cpt kangarooski, 8 Aug 2018 @ 8:40am

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

                I like your writing too, you are a little more coherent

                Thanks.

                You are advocating on behalf of pirates that steal other people’s lawful property. You are saying if there are enough pirates, then the law is useless. You are saying that piracy, and breaking the law, are convenient solutions for those who don’t care that they are breaking the law, so the general public should accept this lawbreaking.

                I would disagree with the use of the terms ‘steal’ and ‘property,’ but setting that aside, what I am saying is that the general public consists largely of pirates already. It’s not simply a matter of acceptance of other people breaking the law, it’s that virtually everyone breaks the law l themselves and has for some time now. And that the people breaking the law — which is to say nearly everyone — doesn’t view it as wrong or justifiably illegal. This happens at all levels of society; people pirate software, visual art, movies, music perhaps most of all, and plenty of other stuff. I personally have it on excellent authority that a number of US Senators were pirating music some years ago. Attempts to rein in piracy are universally met with complaints because they’re obviously ineffective yet manage to be annoying.

                What I am saying is that as a general rule, the government should not attempt to control society’s norms of behavior. If basically everyone, through their actions, appears to be okay with at least some piracy, then the law should conform to public behavior and legitimize it. Piracy in forms that are not widespread or which are still viewed by the general public as being inappropriate should still be prohibited, on the other hand.

                We’ve seen attempts by the government to act in a paternalistic manner and force different behavior down the throats of the public. It never goes well. Sometimes it is necessary — such as with desegregation. Usually it is pointless — such as with Prohibition or ‘soft’ drugs or gambling.

                Which do you feel copyright is? I think it’s the latter, at least to the extent that it prohibits otherwise infringing activity engaged in by natural persons not acting commercially.

                This should be addressed by legislators, who can reform copyright trivially, and who could legalize much of the innocuous piracy going on today. But until it is, we should expect that people will pirate anyway. I don’t like living in a nation where nearly everyone is routinely engaged in committing federal felonies. But I blame the government for making things illegal when it was unwise to do so, rather than the people who are engaged in these crimes.

                You say that I am trying to justify breaking the law. But you’ve got it backwards. I am saying that the massive amount of illegal activity, and the innocuous form it takes means that the law itself is unjustified.

                It’s really not convenient for me to pay for that condo on the beach ... if enough people just take them then is it ok?

                It’s called adverse possession and there’s a system in the law to handle it. Basically, if you take it over like it’s yours for long enough, and aren’t stopped, the law takes it away from the prior owner and gives it to you. Try googling it.

                Are you an anarchist that believes if enoug people do something then it is ok? Have you abandoned the concept of a political and legal system? If not, what structure are you advancing? Strength in numbers? Mob rule? Or something that takes into account what people actually think and actually want, like a system of laws and legally elected representatives that form and enforce them.

                I think that the actual behavior of the majority of Americans is better than any opinion poll or lobbying for what the policy of the government ought to be and what laws it ought to have on the books. Most Americans are pirates and feel pretty good about themselves. It is therefore incumbent on Congress and the President to legalize piracy to the appropriate extent. And until they do, no one should be surprised at how prevalent and unstoppable piracy is, and attempts to extinguish it should be viewed as wrong. Straightforward enough for you?

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                  Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 9:18am

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

                  Straightforward if perhaps totally misguided. You are generalizing societal behavior without anything but anecdotal evidence. “Most Americans are Pirates”. I don’t believe that is a fact. Did you just make that up?

                  You are ignoring the impact of piracy on content owners, and the obvious affect it continues to have on content creators. You are sweeping your arms across hundreds of years of history and law and saying that because you perceive people are breaking the law routinely (without any evidence at all), it should be abolished.

                  Do you account for the possibility that there are views other than yours? Have you thought about throwing the baby out with the bath water? Are you interested in other opinions or recitations of historical fact to counter your claims? Have you considered that you are advocating socialist beliefs and values to the detriment of an entire society? I understand you feel good about yourself, is that enough justification to break any law you desire?

                  Is there any limit to your logic, or is it pretty much “anything goes” if it makes sense to you, and you believe people are already doing it and feeling good about it? How about lynching, a lot of people felt good about that, Big numbers, actually, and they felt really good about themselves after a good lynching. Burning witches, that was fun, everyone joined in and had a hell of a good time, community service, after all. Muslims enjoy stoning gays, that’s pretty popular and well received. Would you advocate those cultural trends as well? Or just copyright? Why is copyright so special to you? Patents too, or just copyright? I’m still at a loss to understand your position.

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                    Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 9:42am

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

                    I just have to add that you remark about “adverse possession” is telling. Come to Corpus Christi and try to “adversely possess” my condo on the beach. Boom. Problem solved, and totally within the law. Castle Doctrine. I’m not saying you should be shot for being a Pirate, but maybe you hand should be cut off. No, that’s not right, that’s old law. You have to pay, that’s it, pay with money for your criminal act of theft. Black letter law. Tell me again why you should not? Because a lot of people do it? You write so well, but argue like a grade schooler. “Johnny and Billie do it all the time, you can’t punish me for it, it’s not fair!”. Really?

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                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Aug 2018 @ 11:05am

                      Tell me again why you should not?

                      Because copyright infringement is not theft.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 11:37am

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

                      “Most Americans are Pirates”. I don’t believe that is a fact. Did you just make that up?

                      I believe it’s likely. Viewing infringing material on a computer is itself an infringement if it’s present for more than a momentary duration. See Intellectual Reserve, Inc. v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Inc., 75 F.Supp. 2d 1290 (D. Utah 1999); Cartoon Network, LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 536 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2008). And of course ordinary copying, creation of derivatives, distribution, and public performance and display are prohibited under 17 USC § 106. And infringement is a strict liability offense — doesn’t matter how careful you were or what your intent was of what you did or didn’t know — if you infringe, you infringe, period.

                      So how many people view material that’s been put up unlawfully, much less share it themselves. You think every meme on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or 4chan was properly licensed not only for the original person who posted it but for the people who viewed it, copied it, changed it, or shared it? Not to mention people who share music or video (including in gif form). Or students who copy a little too much from sources when writing papers? Or musicians who sample without getting permission (common among folks who haven’t made it yet)?

                      So I’m comfortable saying most Americans are pirates of one stripe or another.

                      In fact, if I were to post something here illegally, say, that silly “dash” poem with the real litigious author, you’d infringe when you reloaded the web page and it wound up in your computer’s memory. You’d be liable even though I caused it to happen. That’s how crazy our copyright law has become.

                      You are ignoring the impact of piracy on content owners, and the obvious affect it continues to have on content creators.

                      No, I just don’t care. The two equally important goals of the public are first, more works are created and published, and second that the public be unrestricted in their enjoyment and use of them. Authors are just the means by which we get works, much like we need chickens to get eggs or cows to get milk. In an ideal world, eggs and milk would just appear when wanted, out of thin air. So too with creative works.

                      Until that happy day arrives, we generally trade off one against the other; that’s what copyright is. It’s voluntary surrendering of some freedom to use and enjoy works to encourage the creation and publication of more works. But this is only a good deal for the public so long as they get more than they give up. Longer terms and broader copyrights require giving up more. But are we really getting more in return? I doubt it. The one study touching on this suggests we are not. (This is Pollock’s famous study on ideal copyright durations. If memory serves he came up with a figure of about 17 years)

                      This is not to say I want to abolish copyright; I don’t. I think it’s a very clever idea. I just want to see it reformed so that it provides the most public benefit for the least public cost. If this means fewer authors will be able to make a living, I am okay with that.

                      Do you account for the possibility that there are views other than yours?

                      Sure. I love to see people discuss how we can optimize copyright to best serve the public interest and there are many opinions on how to do it. (Including abolition, from some). But I don’t much care for the suggestion that we should have copyright at the net expense of the public. Why would anyone (who doesn’t personally stand to gain from it) support that?!

                      Have you considered that you are advocating socialist beliefs and values

                      Copyright is inherently socialistic. It exists due to a market failure for the creation and publication of works, and involves society giving up some of its rights for its own betterment.

                      Is there any limit to your logic, or is it pretty much “anything goes” if it makes sense to you, and you believe people are already doing it and feeling good about it? How about lynching, a lot of people felt good about that, Big numbers, actually, and they felt really good about themselves after a good lynching. Burning witches, that was fun, everyone joined in and had a hell of a good time, community service, after all. Muslims enjoy stoning gays, that’s pretty popular and well received. Would you advocate those cultural trends as well?

                      Like I said, sometimes it’s important or government to bigfoot its people and force their norms to change. But it’s rare and shouldn’t be done lightly. Copyright is not important enough to merit it any more than its okay for Singapore to have people beaten for chewing gum.

                      Or just copyright? Why is copyright so special to you?

                      I’m a copyright lawyer. Copyright law is deeply interesting to me.

                      Patents too, or just copyright? I’m still at a loss to understand it,

                      Patents too. Ordinary people shouldn’t get in trouble for practicing a patent such as playing with a cat using a laser pointer or playing in a particular way on a swing set. Let commercial entities worry about that stuff.

                      But at least patent infringement isn’t criminalized.

                      I just have to add that you remark about “adverse possession” is telling. Come to Corpus Christi and try to “adversely possess” my condo on the beach

                      Mmm hmm. Before you bought your condo, did you pay for a surveyor to independently survey the unit and the building and grounds to make sure it was all within the correct lot? Suppose that a careful survey revealed that your unit was actually trespassing by five feet into an adjoining parcel of land. The owner of that land, once made aware of this, refuses to sell, and demands that the five feet of ttrespassing condo be demolished and that you pay him money damages.

                      Still think adverse possession (which would clear this up by giving you — or the condo organization or whatever — ownership of the underlying property that was erroneously used) is a bad idea? It’s been a staple of US property law since forever because it’s useful in certain cases. You clearly haven’t read up on what it is.

                      Meanwhile, I note that you’ve provided no arguments other than implicitly that things should never change and that copyright is perfect. So unless you have something of interest to say, I think I’m done here.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 12:58pm

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

                        Well, good, I’m glad you are done with your rather empty anarchist arguments. The US remains the richest country in the world, in large part by motivating creative people to produce valuable works and keeping ownership of those works to themselves. That is a historical fact and an economic reality. Yup, try your adverse possession in Texas and boom! You are still dead.

                        Steal other people’s work and swish I still chop your hand off. No, that’s Not right. I empty your wallet for the public good (and your own good since you don’t know better). In your case, maybe some criminal prosecution might be cheerfully voted in by the jury, since everybody hates lawyers (until they need one).

                        \Until that sad day when someone might need your misguided services, I hope you stay alone and uninightened regarding ethics, the public trust, the intent of the law, and the US constitution. Dream your anarchist dreams, wander about wondering why people don’t just share everything willingly, and (like others here) imagine a perfect state where crime is not required and everyone is happy to “adversely posses” everything. The rest of us will support each other in building a better country, and do our best to educate future generations that stealing is wrong, no matter how many sillly examples you use to justify it.

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                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Aug 2018 @ 1:37pm

                          Pop quiz, hot shot: Have you ever downloaded an image off the Internet that you did not first create?

                          Congratulations, you can chop off your own hand; by your own self-expressed definition of theft, you are a thief because you stole something that did not belong to you.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 7:13pm

                            Re:

                            What saves my hand, Stephen, is common sense, something that seems in terribly short supply in this socialist den of raving lunatics. Wow, that attorney was something, no? No Ruth’s or Ethics at all. Take the bridge. Take the condo. Take the music. Have it. Force is the ultimate determinate of Rights. Another insane nonsensical anarchist, just like you.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 10:15pm

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

                      I thought you lived in Massachusetts, Hamilton.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re:

        infringing on*

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

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    identicon
    John Smith, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:17am

    Section 230 chills free speech because it leaves those who exercise the right defenseless against internet mobs and defamation that the ISPs refuse to enforce. Rather than abolishing libel laws, which would allow the targets to respond in kind, only the criminals have access to the wapons.

    The DMCA chills free speech by eliminating the financial incentive to create quality content, or to even support a writer's point of view. Rather than abolish copyright law, which would allow everyone to use whatever is created by anyone, only the pirates have the benefit of stealing content.

    As many sites, including this one, have noted, enforcement is not working, which means an "alternative legal model" is necessary, rather than the pirates (thieves) who would rather see theft decriminalized or outright legalized by an impotent enforcement mechanism.

    Criminal libel laws are likely to resurface now that sympathetic and powerful people are being targeted.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:31am

      Re: Section 230 chills free speech

      I'd just like to point out that Section 230 doesn't prevent anyone from defending themselves from defamation. It just keeps the focus on the actual speakers, instead of the platforms they use.

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

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        John Smith, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re: Section 230 chills free speech

        Just like the RIAA says go after the actual infringers,, but when they do...

        If someone is judgment-proof or uses an anonymous remailer to defame someone, it winds up archived and searchable by people far removed from the original conversation. Libel law was never designed for "more speech" to be the only "defe4nse" against someone weaponizing the search engines against someone who is already at risk from vigilantes who believe the lies.

        Courts can't even order a search engine to remove a statement already ruled libelous by a court. Might as well abolish all libel laws then. They're useless.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Section 230 chills free speech

          Courts can't even order a search engine to remove a statement already ruled libelous by a court.

          Courts cannot demand the impossible, the search engines do not host or publish the statement, and if it is removed from where it is published, it disappears from the search engines.

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

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        John Smith, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re: Section 230 chills free speech

        Just like the RIAA says go after the actual infringers,, but when they do...

        If someone is judgment-proof or uses an anonymous remailer to defame someone, it winds up archived and searchable by people far removed from the original conversation. Libel law was never designed for "more speech" to be the only "defe4nse" against someone weaponizing the search engines against someone who is already at risk from vigilantes who believe the lies.

        Courts can't even order a search engine to remove a statement already ruled libelous by a court. Might as well abolish all libel laws then. They're useless.


        You mean like the woman who lost her job because a serial killer lied about her to her employer?

        Emploeyrs who are that stupid should be imprisoned.

        There are internet mobs who are hired to defame targets of wealthy people who can then link to the defamation as if they had no hand in creating it. Anyone can pay a judgment-proof individual from an obscure country to seed the search engines with lies.

        In fact, we now have "reputation blackmail," where Russians e-mail white-collar professionals in the US, threatening bad reviews or lies if the ransom isn't paid, and many pay this ransom.

        Other countries do just fine without Section 230. American libel precedent was gutted in that distributor liability has been ruled invalid. Most notably omitted from the discussions on 230 i9s that the US Supreme Court has yet to rule on its constitutionality. I was told by high-level attonreys that this is deliberate, that the courts want the internet built out before they clamp down. Seems we're about at that point.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Section 230 chills free speech

          American libel precedent was gutted in that distributor liability has been ruled invalid.

          Why should Twitter be held liable for a defamatory statement that was not personally published or written by a Twitter employee? Why should Twitter have to vet every statement made through its service, which would bring the entire service to a halt and ruin everything that makes the platform what it is today?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Section 230 chills free speech

          Hey gramps repeating yourself don’t make you any less wrong.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      >Mr. Smith, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

      Jokes aside, I can't determine a coherent thread in this statement. Every sentence seems to be a mash of multiple thoughts put together. Given your desire to post the same statement in reply to multiple comments, I would question if you are one of those deep learning AI chat bots that is beginning to fail.

      But the gist of your post seems to be: Laws are bad, because criminals don't obey them! Lets make more laws!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:00am

        Re: Re:

        At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.

        I dunno, I like the part where he accidentally makes a halfway-decent argument for abolishing copyright!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      I want to make sure you are not pulling a POE on us - So are you saying you want to eliminate 230? If so, why?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      You literally just lie.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:51am

      Re:

      This entire comment is more confusing than the second half of Lost.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      >The DMCA chills free speech by eliminating the financial incentive to create quality content, or to even support a writer's point of view.

      If your only incentive is to write for money, then your opinions are already suspect because you will write what gets you the most income.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 3:29pm

      Re:

      I don't know if I should give you a funny vote or flag this....

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:29am

    the MPAA, like the rest of the various elements of the entertainment industry, are interested in two things only, they are:

    getting as much money as possible for doing as little as possible, even when that means screwing their own artists to get it

    and not just keeping the control they have atm, gained by bribery and corruption on a massive, almost world wide scale, but getting and keeping the control of the Internet, which is being gained. bit by bit, court ruling by court ruling, issued by the very people that have been involved in the 'massive bribery and corruption' that has happened world wide and wont stop until the Internet is totally fucked up and is able to be used by no one other than industries such as this, for their own purpose and the people have to pay to use it but only how these industries say! there wont be any way then of finding out what the fuckers have done now to screw us, which is a great fear they have!!

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  • icon
    mr. sim (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:29am

    here's a radical idea to save free speech.

    we take away a corporations right to sue individuals for copyright infringement and make it so they can only sue other companies for infringement.

    and we put a one million per mistake penalty of something is either fair use or they issued a claim on an IP they don't own.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:39am

      Re:

      I think corporations should be able to sue individuals. If you actually infringe on a copyright (not mistakenly, but purposefully) then you should be punished accordingly. Now saying the current punishments are too harsh for individuals and too lenient for corporations? There I would agree.

      I think misuse of the DMCA should come with extremely stiff penalties. Including but not limited to, revoking protections for that trademark or copyright if the abuse is substantial and ignores court orders to stop.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      Wasn't that the original intent?

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2018 @ 2:56am

        Re: Re:

        --Wasn't that the original intent?--

        No, it never was. It's important to remember that when the original guild of stationers requested to reframe Queen Anne's religious-political censorship tool into what is now known as "copyright" the intent was always to consolidate control over copying and distribution with middlemen distributors. The authors/creators are not now and never were intended to benefit from copyright.

        Which is why a number of the founding fathers were reluctant to sign intellectual property into the US constitution and why that amendment is one of VERY FEW which can be repudiated by one single act of congress.

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

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    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:45am

    Funny, there’s most certainly been a bunch of actual free speech censorship happening the past 48 hours, but it hasn’t come from the RIAA.

    I wonder why we haven’t heard about it here on Techdirt... hmm

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:46am

      Re:

      (It's probably because you don't know what free speech is)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 9:52am

      Re:

      If you are talking about Mr. Snake Oil salesman. Then there are no free speech issues in that case. None at all.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      If you are referring to the Alex Jones/InfoWars situation…

      Moderation is a platform operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Discretion is you saying “I won’t do that there”. Censorship is a government saying “you can’t do that anywhere”.

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

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        Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:26am

        Re: Re:

        The RIAA isn’t a government agency, is it?

        And Alex Jones hasn’t been the only recipient of Twitter’s ban hammer- there were more politically motivated bans thrown down yesterday.

        The point is, this just shows how silly Mike Masnick’s continuous attempts to vilify a trade group that advocates for artists are; his obsession isn’t with free speech, it’s with wanting to take away protections for artists.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That trade group doesn't advocate for artists, they advocate for gatekeepers. To wit, how many artists are directly members? How many gatekeepers?

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The RIAA isn’t a government agency, is it?

          No. But if it's using the government to shut down speech, that's very much a 1A issue.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 11:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Alex Jones hasn’t been the only recipient of Twitter’s ban hammer- there were more politically motivated bans thrown down yesterday.

          So what? The operators of a privately-owned platform are free to boot people for not adhering to a specific political orthodoxy. StormFront cannot be legally forced to host “Black Lives Matter” speeches any more than Twitter can be legally forced to host Alex Jones. (Incidentally, Alex Jones’s Twitter account is very much active and visible, so maybe get your facts straight before you post.)

          this just shows how silly Mike Masnick’s continuous attempts to vilify a trade group that advocates for artists are

          The MPAA does not advocate for individual artists; it advocates for the studios and the interests of studio executives. That those interests sometimes align with those of individual artists is coincidental.

          his obsession isn’t with free speech, it’s with wanting to take away protections for artists

          [citation needed]

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 11:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your point is incoherent.

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

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    John Smith, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:03am

    Not that anyone cares, but my work ahs been pirated well over 100 million times.

    An entire publishing niche was ruined by an organized piracy site which can't even be sued (try it and you'll learn why), and which enjoys full cover from the judiciary. The pirates themselves seed the piracy site with their own "books" that are marketing material, used to attract "whales" to high-priced "premium" content (let's say this is about selling real estate as an example). Meanwhile, they use the piracy to collect valuable "live" names that are then rented out as a mailing list to other "internet marketers." Marketing copy doesn't benefit from copyright protection so they are amused.

    By destroying the value of how-to books (like how to invest in real estate), this serves to starve those who provide value to the masses, leaving only the high-priced "premium" content as viable, since 2,000 people paying $1,000 each is a lot more than 200 million people paying zero. Competing against them is impossible because to do so, one would have to break the law and risk prison, something these pirates seem to simply not fear.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:10am

      Re:

      Your entire post, when read as such, makes no sense at all. Are you okay? Do you have brain damage?

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      "but my work ahs been pirated well over 100 million times."

      Wow, you must be really famous and your posting here under a pseudonym, but are really famous under a different name.

      Or your lying.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re:

        That is not just really famous. That is the third or fouthth bestselling book of all time famous.
        So either he is literally more famous than Tolkien, he is a crappy boy, or he handles he MPAA statistics department.

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      • icon
        SteveMB (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 11:41am

        Re: Re:

        "John Smith" must be a pseudonym for Shiva Ayyadurai, who counts each download of e-mail software that fails to acknowledge him as the original inventor as an "infringement".

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:17am

      Re:

      By destroying the value of how-to books (like how to invest in real estate), this serves to starve those who provide value to the masses, leaving only the high-priced "premium" content as viable, since 2,000 people paying $1,000 each is a lot more than 200 million people paying zero. Competing against them is impossible because to do so, one would have to break the law and risk prison, something these pirates seem to simply not fear.

      And yet there is more public access to good how to information than ever before in history. It's almost as if the market shifted under you, you were unable to adapt, and now you're upset that the world doesn't appreciate whatever you brought to the table. Meanwhile, many, many others have adapted and are doing quite well. Maybe you should learn from them.

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

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      You cite a specific site which 'can't be sued' for infringement and 'try it yourself', but don't name the site so we could. Your description as organized piracy eliminates most of the well known 'pirate' sites, which generally host no content and have no control over what content uses their trackers.

      You cite that you know your work has been pirated over 100 million times, but give little evidence to how you arrived at that number.

      You state that marketing copy doesn't benefit from copyright protection, but this seems to have no bearing on the infringement of your works, which you do not name.

      Overall, its a very interesting proposition of a business loop much as Steam sees with the BS Asset flip shovel ware being fed to bot farms to mine for steam trading cards. I would love to hear more about this scheme in detail and how you uncovered it, and see your documentation. It sounds fascinating.

      Things like how to invest in real estate or DIY instructions have value, but as Mike said, it appears the market shifted. Such information is primarily fact based. Once you hit a certain point, other people can easily post the core of the work online with a desire to stick it to the man and it be non infringing, as much of the meat of the content is fact based. Anything fact based gets limited copyright protection, because while you can protect the expression, you can't protect the facts conveyed. Using the real estate investing example, its capital investing. Its going to discuss initial capital (loans, in this case), ROI, long vs short term investing. How To identify markets with positive growth. Undervalued properties. Depending on the market targeted, maybe renovating low value properties to maximize ROI. Probably going to discuss cost of ownership factors.

      Without having ever invested in real estate, I could probably discuss most of the how to information. An expert likely has value in including copyright protected personal insights. But given your comments about refusing to lower your price and forcing you to work with low price points and locked down services, I expect you have overvalued those insights in an age in which anyone can publish the facts accompanying those insights.

      This is not to say that piracy is justified, but that studies show that enforcement actions against websites and individuals might not provide the best ROI to providing a better service and convenience at the price the market is willing to bear.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 11:53am

      Re:

      "Not that anyone cares, but my work ahs been pirated well over 100 million times."

      lol.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      [citation missing]

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 12:45pm

      Re:

      Hey gramps you gonna be really mad if you ever accidentally wander into a library instead of a Golden Corral.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:18am

    As a natural right, the only "protection" free speech needs is to be left alone.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:35am

    Thats great and all.

    Dear MPAA,

    You raise some very thought provoking points, however did you have a English license to file this?

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

  • icon
    David (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:46am

    Who gets to decide?

    The problem with censorship is nobody is qualified to decide what should be censored. Everyone has their own agenda which skews their view of what is acceptable and what isn't. Almost every time censorship is imposed by a government, it creates more problems than it solves.

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

  • identicon
    Joseph Sanchez, 7 Aug 2018 @ 12:30pm

    Weak argument

    It is fascinating that you do not interpret the MPAA's action that Tufecki and Syed's arguments are erroneous. What the MPAA is doing is exactly what critics of their articles suggested would happen, because their legal reasoning was erroneous. This is what happens all the time with legislation and the reason we need healthy debate at all levels. Legislative actions often have unanticipated side effects and detrimental consequences.

    The jury is probably still out on this one, but at least you could have realized that this is another legitimate interpretation of what is happening: their argument could be unsound and erroneous.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 Aug 2018 @ 2:27pm

      Re: Weak argument

      It is fascinating that you do not interpret the MPAA's action that Tufecki and Syed's arguments are erroneous. What the MPAA is doing is exactly what critics of their articles suggested would happen, because their legal reasoning was erroneous. This is what happens all the time with legislation and the reason we need healthy debate at all levels. Legislative actions often have unanticipated side effects and detrimental consequences.

      As far as I can tell, neither Tufecki nor Syed were asking for specific legislation. They were asking people to consider the framework under which we think about free speech online in order to better understand it, and how to deal with various challenges to it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 2:07pm

    apple store crushes MPAA/RIAA

    apple revenue 1H18, $16B in mobile games. Not music, not apps, not subscriptions to apple services.

    Mobile games running on iOS.

    Half of 2018 and this one facet of only one company's game business beats MPAA movie business for the year.

    Add in all the other platforms, consoles, game companies and MPAA is not a significant percentage of anything. The RIAA is not even to their meager levels.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 8:00pm

    Ti

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 8:54pm

    Do you see what is happening?

    Wow, people much more accomplished than I am are being censored on Techdirt now. Eloquent speakers with real experience in creating valuable content are contributing here. And Trump’s popularity numbers are rising. Even with Black Lives Matter activists storming into people’s weddings (can you believe that) Trump’s popularity among the black community has doubled since the election. And the hatred for Techdirt is increasing.

    Do you America Hating Democrats and Foreigner Socialists understand? The biggest applause Trump gets at his rallies are about the Fake Media. Americans hate you, and the more you silence people, the more you push your bullshit agendas, the more they will despise you. Totalitarianism will never work in America.

    You created Trump, and you will create the next Trump. The more extreme you become the more extreme your opposition will become. And since many of you aren’t even in America, and your opposition is both armed and experienced, you are operating on a fatefully flawed assumption - that spewing socialist bullshit paid for by globalist assholes will work in America. It will not. You are creating your own worst nightmare, and it is happening all around you. Take notice.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:37pm

      Re: Do you see what is happening?

      A lier, a fraud, and a racist walk into a forum.

      Hi Hamilton

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2018 @ 10:50pm

        Re: Re: Do you see what is happening?

        True insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results, loser.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Aug 2018 @ 2:53am

      Not even trying to hide your violent fantasies any more, huh?

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 2:58am

        Re:

        Americans invented the most successful armed terrorism in history, and thereby created the most perfect and prosperous nation ever founded. Long ago, we used violence to achieve those ends. Now we vote, and we will continue to use voting to refine and improve our most perfect and prosperous nation.

        Within limits, of course, those limits being the US constitution and the Federalist Papers, which I wrote.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Aug 2018 @ 3:02am

          Violent and delusional.

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

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 3:07am

            Re:

            Come on Stephen, you knew what I meant. I am a documented member of the Hamilton Society, an honor passed down generation by generation to male members of Alexander Hamilton’s blood family. You understood that, right? When I said “I” wrote them, I was speaking on behalf of the Hamilton Society, which has secretly voted me their Grand Poobah and issued me the Wizard Robes. Understand now?

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

  • icon
    DerekCurrie (profile), 8 Aug 2018 @ 6:48am

    Customer-As-Criminal

    It's more of the same old MPAA customer abuse. All hail our corporatocracy overlords who love us so well. :-P

    What these clowns accomplish is more resolve for retribution, creating and encouraging media piracy. Congratulations. Mission FAILed.

    What works better? Respect and other forms of positive reinforcement. Psych 101. Apparently, they flunked out.

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

  • identicon
    me, 8 Aug 2018 @ 7:15am

    The Music industry is a cancer

    It needs to die so music itself can flourish, thus the MPAA and the RIAA and like groups need to go as well.

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

  • identicon
    Internet Reputation, 8 Aug 2018 @ 2:53pm

    uuhoikl

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2018 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Roach's Rights

    Behold. The mystery of Out Of The Blues real identity is revealed. And it’s as underwhelming as expected.

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

  • identicon
    Wnt1, 17 Aug 2018 @ 1:45pm

    The peculiar institution of "intellectual property" is closely related to that which held entire humans to be chattel property. The idea that the songs in a person's head, or his potential actions, can simply be declared illegal to act upon, as a means of generating "property", is similar to slavery.

    In some cases - like patents on biotechnology - the comparison to slavery is brutally clear. People die horribly because the disease they have, which might have been treated, is not curable because the right to use a certain technology to *look for* a cure is being treated as a speculator's asset. Simon Legree was not so cruel.

    In the case of Hollywood movies, it would seem to make little difference. At least a fifth, probably more, of their budgets are paid by propagandists - product placements, foreign countries or U.S. states that want to pay to look good. But the effect has been to make it so that no one mocks a movie's or TV series' idyllic dictatorship properly. The people are huddled in little forums, scarcely able to express their simplest fanfic dreams. And maybe those lost dreams matter sometime.

    Nowadays, people have matured their view of slavery; their masters in Hollywood even let them dream of "Django Unchained". In old times, people would talk of compensating slave-owners and a gentle transition, but now the appeal of a Nat Turner approach is universal, simply wiping away an idiotic system in one fell swipe. It would surely be dangerous and irresponsible to suggest that such an approach would be improper in any related situation.

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


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