It Is Both Ridiculous And Dangerous To Make Domain Registrars Liable For Content On Domains

from the terrible-terrible-ruling dept

Going back more than five years, we've been warning about the dangers of moving copyright enforcement down the stack, away from the actual hosting companies deeper and deeper into infrastructure. This was, of course, part of the goal of SOPA -- to make infrastructure companies liable for infringement, and to force them to shut down entire sites. But that's exactly a key part of our concern. Infrastructure players have only a single remedy: shut down an entire site, including anything that's not infringing, to deal with claims (never adjudications) of infringing content. And yet, legacy copyright companies have been going after domain registrars for years.

We were particularly troubled by a ruling in Germany back in 2014 saying that a registrar could be liable for infringement on a site using a domain from that registrar. And while it's taken years, it appears that that ruling has now been upheld by a higher court.

The quick details: Universal Music went after a domain registrar, Key-Systems, in Germany because it had registered the domain name for a torrent site H33t.com. The court forced the registrar to kill the domain, and on appeal that ruling has been upheld, with a specific ruling that a domain registrar can be liable for infringement on a site:

The Higher Regional Court of Saarbrücken concluded Key-Systems can be held secondarily liable for the infringing actions of a customer if it fails to take action if rightsholders point out “obvious” copyright infringing activity online.

This means that, if a site owner is unresponsive to takedown requests, Key-Systems and other registrars can be required to take a domain name offline, even when the infringing activity is limited to a single page.

Some may argue that the impact of this is limited, as the ruling notes two things: first, that liability only applies to a registrar that does nothing in response to notices of infringement, and second, that it applies to "obvious" copyright infringing activity. And that may limit some of the damage of such a ruling, but it opens up a ton of other questions. Are domain registrars now expected to police the content on domains they register? Because that's often way outside of their areas of expertise, and like most such companies when put in that position, they will default to shutting down (or threatening to shut down) websites, rather than actually taking the time to understand the details and nuances (is it fair use? is most activity on the site non-infringing? etc).

Second, while many people seem to think that copyright infringement is always "obvious," it is rarely the case. Yes, there are some cases where it could be described as "obvious," but copyright is very specific and often very much dependent on context. And given how frequently we see people claim copyright infringement where none actually exists, you have to worry about what happens when copyright holders start claiming "obvious" infringement over things that are anything but obvious.

There are two key points here. Somehow, we went from a world in which copyright infringement was something that could only be determined by a court reviewing all of the facts (also known as due process) to one in which all that matters are mere accusations. And, second, by passing off the policing function to infrastructure players rather than the actual (potential) infringers and their hosts, all they have is the nuclear option of completely removing sites from the internet. That's a dangerous combination and one that will undoubtedly lead to significant levels of censorship.

It's pretty incredible that two industries -- the film and recording industries -- who used to pride themselves on their support of free speech, are now two of the leading industries pushing for vast censorship regimes of one of the best engines of free speech ever created.


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 12:34pm

    Somehow, we went from a world in which copyright infringement was something that could only be determined by a court reviewing all of the facts (also known as due process) to one in which all that matters are mere accusations.

    "Somehow"?

    We know exactly how it happened: the DMCA got passed, with its guilty-on-accusation-alone takedown system, and then it stuck around long enough to become a precedent.

    The silver lining to this is that this also means we know how to fix it: repeal the DMCA and do away with extralegal takedowns and contributory liability. Place copyright liability under the aegis of CDA 230 alongside everything else; it was a stupid exception to carve out in the first place. Return to a system where infringement can only be determined by a court reviewing all of the facts (also known as due process).

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:54pm

      Re:

      Without the DMCA, infringers would just be sued into oblivion. Internet providers would not have protection and would not be able to exist (unless we surrendered Hollywood and the music industry to them).

      Unchecked piracy shifts control over the entertainment and publishing industries from creators to pirates and big internet coporations.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:07pm

        Re: Re:

        Manifestly incorrect. In the absence of the DMCA, CDA 230 would protect providers and platforms from the actions of people using them. DMCA just opens the door to force the platforms to act on the behalf of the legacy publisher bullies.

        DMCA can go away. So can copyright, as it is currently. Those things would be excellent steps towards a reduced-piracy future - but given your closing line, you're unlikely to agree or even argue this in good faith. Be nice to be proved wrong, but my expectations are looooooooooow.

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        • identicon
          cpt kangarooski, 28 Dec 2018 @ 5:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, the safe harbor at 47 USC 230 expressly does not cover copyright infringement. The safe harbor at 17 USC 512 for copyright infringement is necessary, just seriously flawed.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 6:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What is even more seriously flawed is the idea that an industry can demand a site removed from the Internet by accusing them of having infringing material on the site, and getting an unrelated party to do that for then. What is more, they cannot be trusted with this power, and the will use automated tools, and and let those order the removal without the any human checking for actual infringement.

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            • icon
              Bergman (profile), 5 Jan 2019 @ 7:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              On the 'bright' side, if you ever discover content you created being used without being licensed by a company and they laugh off your attempts to get them to pay up, you can nuke their entire internet presence by DMCAing their registrar.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 3:27pm

        Re: Re:

        The DMCA is a US law.

        The court ruling is in a German court.

        The DMCA is not valid in Germany.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 12:52pm

    'It's pretty incredible that two industries -- the film and recording industries -- who used to pride themselves on their support of free speech, are now two of the leading industries pushing for vast censorship regimes'

    have said this same thing here many times and always been shouted down. everything just about that happens in courts almost in every country is centered around giving everyone else less control of everything but more control of everything to the entertainment industries. they want full control of the Internet and not only will they not stop trying to get it, they are going to get it and that will be within the next 12 months! we wont have any say in the matter because governments, security services and courts everywhere are doing whatever they can to help them get this control! when a country is now introducing a bill to make an ISP liable for copyright infringing material uploaded by customers, how long do you think it's gonna be before the USA, UK N Z Aus Canada and everywhere else will be forced by the industries to do the same? and all because a few 80+ year old pricks cant bear to lose control of or money from their media but wont adapt to the change in times!!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 1:04pm

      Re:

      The film and recording industries prided themselves on having the loudest voices, not on free speech. They just claimed it was free speech when they weren't the only voice in the room.

      This is the end game of looking for the best ways to shout others down and force people into the industry approved methods.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:55pm

        Re: Re:

        These industries created millions of jobs and bring in trillions in export dollars to the US.

        Congress likes that money and so do most citizens.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:57pm

          These industries created millions of jobs and bring in trillions in export dollars to the US.

          So what?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2018 @ 8:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Except that most citizens don't see it. The RIAA and MPAA hold onto that money and pay Congress to extend copyright to infinity.

          Ask yourself: how does John Lennon's corpse holding onto the copyright incentivize him to create content?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 8:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "These industries created millions of jobs and bring in trillions in export dollars to the US."

          As does the tech industry, but that doesn't stop them from deliberately trying to undermine it. Why should industries that by definition do nothing specifically useful be exempt?

          "Congress likes that money and so do most citizens."

          Yes, and it would be nice if those citizens actually got that money. Unfortunately, the industry loves to stop anyone else getting that money, hence the term "Hollywood accounting".

          If you're going to try defending the entertainment industry with tales of taxes and employees being paid properly, you really need to do some reading on the subject.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "These industries created millions of jobs and bring in trillions in export dollars to the US."

          ... and therefore they are to be given free reign over the entire population because they say so.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 4:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Thing is they will never take full control of the Internet let alone force people into the industry approved methods.

        They are not going to get it let alone within the next 12 months!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      Be fair. It's not just the entertainment industry that's pushing this. It's anyone who's unscrupulous enough to want to take advantage of false accusations against speech. Much of the actual abuse has been not against people who REPEATED their speech (infringers or fair users) but people who SAID THINGS ABOUT THEM. So sleazy companies--or sleazy politicians--want to prevent their reputation following them. Hence the close relationship between "right to be forgotten" laws and copyright fascism. In the U.S., the copyright fascists are riding high, while "right to be forgotten" proposals are explicitly forbidden by the Bill of (real) Rights. So the "want to be forgotten" creeps dress up in "income of the artiste" costumes and go all Don Quixote at the windmills.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re:

        In the end they will never take full control of the Internet and when he said it will happen in 12 months he said that same thing 12 months ago.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:59pm

      Re:

      "they want full control of the Internet and not only will they not stop trying to get it, they are going to get it and that will be within the next 12 months!"

      You said that 12 months ago... and they will never get full control of the Internet.

      They wont get it!

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    • icon
      flyinginn (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 5:23am

      Re:

      True that. But the notion that there is some haemorrhage of funds is laughable. I'm old enough to remember the Payola scandals when the same content providers bribed DJs to give their hits more free air time. Now, I've just had to permanently remove a public domain transport safety website because of copyright trolling. I despair. Legislators appear totally illiterate, regulators suborned, and courts dedicated to excessive enforcement of bad law. I hope someone wakes up before the entire WWW becomes the shopping channel.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 1:09pm

    I'm starting to think the future of freedom of speech online lies with Tor hidden services.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 1:55pm

    It should be limited to injunctive relief at least for the first strike or two.

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    identicon
    L Seedy-Screen, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:00pm

    Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicted.

    It's pretty incredible that two industries -- the film and recording industries -- who used to pride themselves on their support of free speech, are now two of the leading industries pushing for vast censorship regimes of one of the best engines of free speech ever created.

    First, "incredible" is an absolute, and the notion of an impossible can't be qualified with the adjective "pretty"; industries are not "who's", that's a collective noun, nor can such noun "pride themselves" any more than can a rock, nor is (apparently) teh internets an "engine": it's medium at most. But except for that your sentence is cromulent enough that one can puzzle out that you as usual reach for a wrong equation of "free speech" and "it's okay to steal copyrighted content".

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      identicon
      L Seedy-Screen, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:05pm

      Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicted.

      they will default to shutting down (or threatening to shut down) websites, rather than actually taking the time to understand the details and nuances (is it fair use? is most activity on the site non-infringing? etc).

      SO? That is only likely to happen after accused. You're trying to make a literally paranoid case that copyright holders will be taking down EVERY site for NO cause.

      It's "logical" only to you who have equated "free speech" with "FREE copyrighted content".

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:09pm

        Any site that cannot afford the legal bill associated with fighting copyright holders in court over an accusation of infringement—regardless of whether the accusation is true—would most likely cave to the demand of a shutdown. Better to cut the losses and run than to fight and end up in the poorhouse regardless of the outcome.

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          identicon
          L Seedy-Screen, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicted.

          Any site that cannot afford the legal bill associated with fighting copyright holders in court over an accusation of infringement—regardless of whether the accusation is true—would most likely cave to the demand of a shutdown.

          SO? -- I already stated that you pirates are paranoid and believe that copyright holders will be shutting down sites REGARDLESS whether any copyrighted content on them. -- That won't happen, kid. It's another of your "now imagine if" excuses.

          Now take a site doesn't host such content (and get income from selling access) because it's been declared illegal and enforcement mechanisms have been put in place to shut them down. Who loses in such case besides pirates who are already engaged in illegal activity and why should non-pirates care?

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:33pm

            I already stated that you [copyright infringers] are paranoid and believe that copyright holders will be shutting down sites REGARDLESS whether any copyrighted [works] on them.

            Given the fact that powerful copyright holders have resources that a regular jackoff does not, copyright holders could shut down a fair number of sites with the threat of a lawsuit. It is not paranoia when we have seen major corporations file false DMCA claims and government institutions seize domains/websites at the behest of those corporations.

            That won't happen, kid.

            You cannot make such a guarantee.

            Now take a site doesn't host such content (and get income from selling access) because it's been declared illegal and enforcement mechanisms have been put in place to shut them down. Who loses in such case besides pirates who are already engaged in illegal activity and why should non-pirates care?

            For me to answer this question with any accuracy, you will need to specify what you mean by “such content”.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:57pm

              Re:

              Not all copyright holders are rich and powerful.

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

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:01pm

                That is why I specified with “powerful”.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 4:51pm

                Re: Re:

                The potential for being an asshole to the innocent is still up there, though. Just like yours, Johnny boy!

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 9:23pm

                Re: Re:

                Behind a lawyers boilerplate, nobody can tell you're poor and weak, unless they call your bluff.

                How many bluffs can you afford to call? Quantity has a quality of its own.

                And... What if it isn't a bluff? Or isn't a bluff this time?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 11:59pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Bring it on old man

                  So far you’re 100% bullshit so I’ll take my chances you’re still a fat, impotent, rambling, idiot, full of nothing, but lies, and empty threats. Protip champ: You gotta be able to back up your your words with actual actions at least one time for anyone to take you even a little bit seriously.

                  And we all know you can’t.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 5:41pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            I already stated that you pirates are paranoid and believe that copyright holders will be shutting down sites REGARDLESS whether any copyrighted content on them

            You know, this might have been a valid point if ICE wasn't found to be shutting down thousands of sites, keeping them on ice (pun intended) for several years, then releasing them again at no penalty or punishment whatsoever.

            I'd like to shut down whatever business you're running and prevent you from working for several years, then restore your processes, not get punished, and watch you flounder with no income from what you do. You'd like that wouldn't you blue boy?

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 1:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicte

            "SO? -- I already stated that you pirates are paranoid and believe that copyright holders will be shutting down sites REGARDLESS whether any copyrighted content on them"

            Presumably because we - not infringers by the way, regardless of your lies - are aware of things called facts and history, where the liars you worship have done exactly that thing.

            Once again, your position is only supportable if you utterly misrepresent reality.

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          • icon
            techflaws (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 2:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicte

            "I already stated that you pirates are paranoid and believe that copyright holders will be shutting down sites REGARDLESS whether any copyrighted content on them. -- That won't happen, kid. It's another of your "now imagine if" excuses."

            Hey jackass, what about ICE holding sites hostage for years on the behest of copyright holders?

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        • icon
          flyinginn (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 5:27am

          Re:

          Not just depth of pocket - many sites are sponsored or affiliated to charities or other orgs which (correctly or not) feel they cannot run the risk of negative publicity from high profile litigation defence.

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        identicon
        L Seedy-Screen, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicted.

        > Somehow, we went from a world in which copyright infringement was something that could only be determined by a court reviewing all of the facts (also known as due process) to one in which all that matters are mere accusations.

        Umm, no. Went from copying and distribution of valuable works being difficult (besides socially unacceptable) to current milieu in which file hosts and torrents and streaming sites are common, and in which the creators aren't getting all due rewards, IF ANY. Ease of copying doesn't change the morality. Nor does anything which you pirates will assert change either morality or clear law. You want FREE content to fill your empty heads and you've become criminals to get it, as have those which run commercial-scale sites to illegally profit from what others have made -- which is WHY the court has so decided.

        This is not a "free speech" problem, it's a THEFT problem. Not difficult to understand once remove your deliberate attempt to re-cast it as entirely different: pirates esp at commercial scale do not have rights; creators do.



        Already dealt your other "key point".

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        • icon
          Mason Wheeler (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicte

          pirates esp at commercial scale do not have rights; creators do.

          Accused pirates still have the right to Due Process. Ignoring this is really not helping your attempts to claim the moral high ground.

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          • identicon
            Flyinginn, 31 Dec 2018 @ 5:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicte

            Right to Due process? Well, technically. You have the right to spend several thousand $$ arguing that the alleged infringement doesn't exist, if you have several thousand $$ hanging around and don't feel like buying peace for a few hundred $$. The availability of due process is not a big help when there is no handy tool to determine whether an image in a 3rd party document linked to your site is infringing or properly licensed. You can find yourself arguably infringing while totally ignorant about the supposed infringement, with no motive to infringe, and unable to determine whether an infringement has even happened because the report which contains the stock image was provided and linked more than 20 years ago.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicte

          I’ll let others handle the rest of your prattle, but I did want to say something about this:

          [authors] aren't getting all due rewards, IF ANY.

          No one is owed or entitled to a “reward” for publishing their work. If you believe otherwise, congratulations—you’re likely a wealthy corporate executive.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've pred

            Expecting legal protection that is guaranteed by law used to not be an "entitlement."

            Pirates need to be locked up since they are costing big internet companies a fortune, causing tremendous harm. The alternative is to dismantle copyright protection and we can't have that.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 4:10pm

              Expecting legal [restrictions] that [are] guaranteed by law used to not be an "entitlement."

              Expecting to reap a “reward” (i.e., make a profit) just because you published a work, however, is entitlement.

              [Infringers] need to be locked up since they are costing big internet companies a fortune, causing tremendous harm.

              Two things.

              1. Prove this “tremendous” harm exists. (And please provide the necessary citations required for verifying your evidence.)

              2. If you truly believe copyright infringers of any scale and type require jail sentences, how certain are you that you have never once, in your entire life, committed that crime and thus deserve jail time of your own?

              The alternative is to dismantle copyright protection and we can't have that.

              Ah, yes, the “one extreme or the other” dichotomy. Never mind that someone could conceivably come up with a better-balanced copyright law that takes both copyright holders and the public into account—nope, the only solutions are “lock up the infringers” or “destroy copyright” and literally nothing else~.

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 5:11pm

                The dishonest person's kryptonite

                Prove this “tremendous” harm exists. (And please provide the necessary citations required for verifying your evidence.)

                It's amazing how quickly(and consistently) some people scamper off when presented with two simple words, 'Citation Needed'. Almost as though they're just making shit up and even they know it.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 8:02pm

                  The evidence asked for in such requests are details; chumps like our troll brigade prefer to deal in vague ideas instead of specific facts…and hope everyone ignores their doing so.

                  Look at the chump I replied to: He mentions the idea of “tremendous harm”, but not only does he use “harm” instead of a more specific word or phrase (e.g., “loss of revenue”), he also avoids defining “tremendous” in a way that would let us measure his idea of “harm” against real-world facts. “Tremendous harm” can mean anything he wants it to mean.

                  It is a bullshitting tactic on par with Donald Trump’s overuse of vague platitudes such as “the best [x]” or “very [x]”. We may all be guilty of doing it every once in a while, but when you are conscisous of how it works, you can both stop yourself from doing it (as much) and see others using it to bluff their way through arguments where they are in way over their heads.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 6:52pm

                    Re:

                    Easy to prove if the pirates would be honest. All of you that have illegally copied and stored and used a movie, or a game, or a song, sign below with your phone number, Email and physical address, along with your social security and/or passport number.

                    Easy if liars were honest. Difficult only in this den of thieves.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 10:16pm

                      Re: Re:

                      Agreed, it'd be easy if you chucklefucks would submit your IP address harvesting technology for third-party verification as ordered by judges and make sure they're actually accurate. Instead of running away like cowards every time your evidence is called into question.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 12:08am

                      Re: Re:

                      What’s your real name bro?


                      Oh that’s right you are a shit ass hypocrite.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 12:31am

                        Re: Re: Re:

                        Personally, I don’t think I have copied or stored a single illegal work. That is, a copyrighted sing, or game, or book or movie that I did not pay for. I pay Apple for licenses for music and books and games and movies. I look at UTube for variety to sample things I have not bought. Not one illegal piece of copyrighted work in my collection. That’s how normal and honest people live. We don’t steal from others because it is morally wrong and also illegal with prescribed penalties and fines to dissuade the unsure that may be temped to infringe on the rights of others.

                        What this site always seems to ignore is that these laws are first and foremost to protect content Creators. The rest of the gibberish about “trolls” and “mean corporations” is just silliness. As a society, we want our people to create, and we try to encourage them to benefit monetarily from their creations. As a society, we want to slant the playing field in favor of those industrous few who create real value, and against those lazy jerks who steal from others.

                        Free everything means low quality everything. That’s why corporations give away the low quality stuff and charge money for the high quality stuff.

                        We don’t need more big rich corporations that buy their way into a market with their huge marketing budgets. We need more individual artists and engineers and writers and musicians and programmers to create great things, and we want to encourage them. That’s the point of copyright law.

                        The rest of copyright criticism is just crap by the heaping teaspoon mixed in with vile guttural obscenities, which this site is well known for.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 2:52am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          What this site always seems to ignore is that these laws are first and foremost to protect content Creators.

                          Copyright laws have always been about the needs of publishers. The abuse of the DMCA and contentid harm a lot of real creators in an effort to further enrich publishers, and the few creators in that they are currently pushing.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 4:53am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Horseshit.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 4:58am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            What a stupid argument. Where did the publisher get the content? From space aliens? No. From the author, and for a fee, and often for a percentage. Are you extremely ignorant or just a fucking liar?

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 5:25am

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

                              When you consider that publishers accept less than 1% of all new works, and use copyright to gain control over those works, copyright is for publishers. Keep the day job has been standard advice for even published authors from way before the Internet existed.

                              Also consider that more than 500 hour of new content is uploaded to YouTube per minute, a lot of which will never get the the creators paid for their effort. The so called content industry is is in control of a very small part of human creativity, while thinking that they are the only important part.

                              The publishers were a dam in the way of creators finding an audience because they controlled access to limited production facilities for physical copies. The Internet has bypassed that dam, enabling anybody to self publish and try to fond an audience. Piracy is the drum they beat while trying to get laws passed that will enable them to dam up the Internet.

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

                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 7:04am

                          I don’t think I have copied or stored a single illegal work. … Not one illegal piece of copyrighted work in my collection.

                          Think about how much stuff you look at on the Internet in a given day. Think about how many copyrighted images you may have viewed in that day. but if your browser’s cache contains even a single copy of a single copyrighted image for which you did not have permission to create a copy (or if you saved a copy for offline viewing), congratulations—you’re an infringer, Harry.

                          The point is this: Given the nature of copyright law, a person will inevitably infringe upon someone else’s copyright, even accidentally, at some point in a given day. Even people like you, who act all high and mighty because you do not illictly download copyrighted works, cannot escape this fact.

                          As a society, we want our people to create, and we try to encourage them to benefit monetarily from their creations.

                          Reminder: Creating and publishing a work is no guarantee of that work generating income. It is a crapshoot for everyone.

                          As a society, we want to slant the playing field in favor of those industrous few who create real value, and against those lazy jerks who [knowingly infringe upon copyrights].

                          This sounds like apologia for copyright laws that favor massive corporations (and their ownership/consolidation of major pieces of shared culture) than support for independent artists.

                          Free everything means low quality everything.

                          Prove it.

                          We don’t need more big rich corporations that buy their way into a market with their huge marketing budgets. We need more individual artists and engineers and writers and musicians and programmers to create great things, and we want to encourage them. That’s the point of copyright law.

                          Try telling that to the corporations who have used their power and influence to make sure copyright law favors the interests of said corporations rather than serve copyright’s original point.

                          The rest of copyright criticism is just crap

                          I take it that, when you say this, you take no issue with attacks on Fair Use, false DMCA claims, the use of copyright to silence someone (which is literally government-backed censorship), or copyright trolling such as the Prenda debacle. If you truly see no problems with those abuses of copyright law, you might want to check your hands—they might be covered in the bullshit you’ve been shovelling.

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

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2019 @ 1:43am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "Personally, I don’t think I have copied or stored a single illegal work. "

                          So, you admit that it's possible to inadvertently do such things? Interesting...

                          "I look at UTube for variety to sample things I have not bought. Not one illegal piece of copyrighted work in my collection"

                          Huh, interesting phrasing. So, what you're saying is that you knowingly view infringing material on YouTube, but you think you're morally superior because you did that rather than download them. Hmmm...

                          "We don’t need more big rich corporations that buy their way into a market with their huge marketing budgets"

                          Then, why is your entire schtick to defend them, even when the activities you defend actively harmful to both independent artists and the public as a whole?

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 4:25pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Bullshit mr “I doth protest too much.” You admit to watching You Tube which according to you copyright fanbois is 100% infringement. All that “sampling” is just copyright infringement plain and simple. Wait let me guess though. It’s not infringement when you do it. That’s the saddest thing about you fanbois you’re all bad liars and worse hypocrites.


                          So again what’s your real name?

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

                    • icon
                      That One Guy (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 12:51am

                      On the off chance you're being serious(which I doubt)...

                      The (accused) copyright infringers aren't the ones making claims of 'tremendous harm', and as such have no burden of proof to meet, that's all on the ones making those claims.

                      If the 'harm' really is so bad then it should be trivial to demonstrate it, yet neither the original comment nor yours has any such evidence in it, and as such both can be dismissed out of hand as utterly baseless(at best) until such evidence is presented.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 2:14am

                        Re: On the off chance you're being serious(which I doubt)...

                        Absence of evidenence should not be mistaken for evidence of absence.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 3:35am

                          Re: Re: On the off chance you're being serious(which I doubt)...

                          The two are mistaken only by the weak minded and/or disingenuous.

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

                          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 5:10am

                            Re: Re: Re: On the off chance you're being serious(which I doubt

                            What I heard recently is that Techdirt, along with Red Hat, are under investigation by the US Department of Justice. The investigation centers on both of them being financed by Chinese companies like TenCent with the intention of stealing US technology and undermining US law. Anyone else hear that? I heard it from 2 separate sources.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 11:15am

                          Re: Re: On the off chance you're being serious(which I doubt)...

                          It's easy to show via Bayes theorem that absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.

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

                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 2:16pm

                          Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                          It should be when one makes a claim and then refuses to provide evidence to support it, and would you look at that, still no evidence.

                          Why, it's almost as though you have no evidence, and the more you refuse to provide it the stronger the case for that grows.

                          Either provide the evidence to support the claim, or admit you have none. Anything else is a dishonest waste of time to address, and can be neatly sliced to ribbons with Hitchen's Razor.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 6:15pm

                            Re: Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                            I invoke Sherlock Holmes. When you eliminate every other solution, the solution that remains is the correct solution.

                            Consider this question: Who does Techdirt advocate FOR? Clearly, they advocate AGAINST copyright law, patent law, individual ownership of IP, the laws that allow inventors and authors to protect their works, and the American people and system of justice.

                            All of these is advocacy FOR the Chinese. They are the ones that actually benefit from Open Source. Look at the numbers! They are efficient, totalitarian, ruthlesss and disingenuous. Their aim is clear, world dominance, with support from anti-American forces like Techdirt.

                            Prove that you don’t take money from the Chinese to advance their globalist takeover of the free world at the expense of American Patriots.

                            You can’t because you do.

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

                            • icon
                              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 6:53pm

                              You made the claim that Techdirt advocates for, and takes money from, Chinese interests. Your claim requires evidence, which is not vague notions of “these positions are proof” (or willful misinterpretations of Techdirt’s positions in re: copyright). Provide the evidence or be dismissed without further argument.

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

                            • icon
                              That One Guy (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 7:35pm

                              Re: Re: Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                              No evidence, just doubling-down on dishonesty and delusion, in a laughably bad(and obvious) attempt to shift the subject and burden of proof?

                              Hitchens' razor it is then.

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

                            • icon
                              PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2019 @ 1:34am

                              Re: Re: Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                              "Who does Techdirt advocate FOR?"

                              The public.

                              "You can’t because you do."

                              No, they can't because it's logically impossible to prove a negative. Why don't you present the evidence that supports the claims you make about people?

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 5:09am

                              Re: Re: Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                              Open source and creative commons recognizes that creators build on the works of others, and it is only fair to let others in turn build on their works. This has the advantage that it maximizes creativity, and avoids the concentration of power in the hands of a few corporations.

                              Strong copyright and patents allow corporations to grab the works of others and exercise control over society to maximize their profit. Also that control more often that not means that those with new ideas are blocked from developing them themselves because they need the base of protected works to build on. this results in one or two corporations controlling a market, as the biggest buy out the smallest, and concentrate their control.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 4:29pm

                              Re: Re: Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                              “Prove that you don’t take money from the Chinese to advance their globalist takeover of the free world at the expense of American Patriots.”

                              You first bro

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 4:34pm

                              Dune

                              I invoke the Amtal rule. Now you must face me knife to knife to prove the veracity of your lies. Or run away like the liar you are.

                              May your knife chip and shatter

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 6:03pm

                              Re: Re: Unless you're TRYING to shoot yourself in the foot...

                              Whined the John Steele fanboy.

                              Your definition of copyright enforcement is harassing the weak for ransom money and fleeing when you get called out on it.

                              You only have yourself to blame for your reputation in the gutter.

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

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2019 @ 1:36am

                      Re: Re:

                      I do love the times when you resort to outright slander that's unsupported by any evidence that exists outside of your own head - and then pretend you're the morally superior one. The level of cognitive dissonance to even consider this as a valid argument is quite impressive.

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

                      • icon
                        Toom1275 (profile), 5 Jan 2019 @ 12:30pm

                        Re: Re: Re:

                        For all Jhon whines about libel on Techdirt, a major portion of anything even remotely close to that is all his own. (with the lion's share coming from dumb-name-of-the-day)

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 8:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've

              "Pirates need to be locked up since they are costing big internet companies a fortune, causing tremendous harm. The alternative is to dismantle copyright protection and we can't have that."

              This is satire - right?


              On a side note - it occurs to me that when the term "pirate" is used, it only implies an accusation of copyright infringement, not a court ruling. As far as I know, we do not lock up those accused of civil infractions.

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

              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 6:49pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I

                Better to just cut off their hands for being thieves. That might dissuade them and their criminal friends.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 10:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the w

                  Execution was already tried several centuries ago. Newsflash, it didn't work.

                  You lose again, John Smith!

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2018 @ 6:07am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going t

                    Have you heard of the code of Hammurabi? That worked well.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 8:37am

                  Be careful what you wish for—you never know if you might be in the position to have your own hands cut off, given how easy it is to accidentally infringe upon someone else’s copyright.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2019 @ 2:06pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the w

                  "Better to just cut off their hands for being thieves. That might dissuade them and their criminal friends"

                  Again - as far as I know, in the US we do not cut off body parts of those accused of civil infractions.

                  Perhaps you would be better served in a country in which such practices were allowed.

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

            • icon
              techflaws (profile), 30 Dec 2018 @ 9:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've

              "The alternative is to dismantle copyright protection and we can't have that."

              Says who?

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

            • identicon
              Loftwork, 31 Dec 2018 @ 4:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've

              We've been through this before. Content providers swore blind that allowing video and audio taping would ruin the industry. It did nothing of the sort. My own experience is that since it's increasingly difficult to hear what I'm buying before I buy it, there's no point wasting the money. Back when internet radio like Live365 could pay royalties pro rata and survive on a shoestring, I bought a lot of CDs. Not anymore. Corporate greed is what's killing the market, if anything.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 31 Dec 2018 @ 2:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I

                If you (rightly) don't care to buy before you try, perhaps give Bandcamp a look. In almost all cases you can listen to entire albums, often several times at that, before spending a cent, and it's where I've been getting all my music as a result the last few years.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything I say is lies

        Sup liar.


        Why you still darkening this doorstep?

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:06pm

      I know those words, but that paragraph makes no sense.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        L Seedy-Screen, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicted.

        I know those words, but that paragraph makes no sense.

        Stoned as usual, eh?

        Since you're down to admitting plain incomprehension, I'm out.

        Now you can ad hom and "hide" as you kids euphemize censoring.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:29pm

          Now you can ad hom and "hide" as you kids euphemize [moderation].

          Well, if you insist…

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicte

          I mean, you're the one calling everyone else "kids" - regardless of actual age or maturity level. That's rather ad hom in and of itself.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 4:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: You are truly a sad sack of shit.

          The saddest thing about you blue. Other then being the poster child for cognitive dissonance. Is the base level of projection you constantly display.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:31pm

      Re: Gee, kids: everything is going the way I've predicted.

      Aww, you've discovered a thesaurus.

      Next, please work on reading comprehension.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 2:30pm

    Registrars are a dying service. this very specific issue will sort itself out in 10 years. It's Certificate Authorities I'm most worried about in this stack.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:44pm

      Re:

      Plenty of new websites are registered all the time.

      Certificate signings however are being drastically centralized to Let's Encrypt.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2018 @ 3:44pm

    Really a disturbing day for the Internet and Germany.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2018 @ 6:10pm

    Can we..

    Put them all in jail for prosecuting persons for something that ISNT A LAW???
    Thats persecution, and I think that is against the law..

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

  • identicon
    Robert Beckman, 28 Dec 2018 @ 8:52pm

    This is a great idea

    It's a great idea for those who issue location identification information to be liable for the alleged activities at the addresses they issue. But this shouldn't just be electronic addresses, it should be physical addresses too.

    Henceforth, any allegations of criminal activity at any physical address should result in the immediate arrest (or SWATing) of the local elected officials.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 10:49am

      Re: This is a great idea

      Can we include those Youtube posts of police in Police stations Beating the persons inside??
      Or the one where the Cop Pull his 'TAZER' and blew a hole in a kids head??
      How about a few Documentary on WHO is doing WHAT to whom..
      Its proof of a crime and conspiracy...but no one is using it to file complaints..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2018 @ 5:31am

    It used to be "Heil Hitler!" the Germans spouted being lead blindly by some jackass full of himself and wanting to control the world.
    Now it's "Heil Media!" instead, relying on blind faith that the bullshit they're being fed has a oh-so-faint hint of maybe-truth to it when it's nothing but lies and slander by some fucktard wanting to line his pockets with All The Money(tm)(c)(r).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 8:12am

      Re:

      "relying on blind faith that the bullshit they're being fed has"

      Speak for your self Biff. Not everyone is like you. Many people read multiple sources of "media" and filter out the obvious bullshit.


      "nothing but lies and slander by some fucktard wanting to line his pockets"

      This sounds a lot like our fearless leader.

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

  • icon
    flyinginn (profile), 29 Dec 2018 @ 5:35am

    Just asking for a friend, but does this mean the motor vehicle licensing agency will in future be responsible for all traffic offences committed by cars it registers?

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

  • identicon
    WrongTShirt, 30 Dec 2018 @ 2:41am

    Copying is theft

    The idea that copying someone else’s work is not theft is upside down and backwards. The fact that computers and digital storage make copying easier does not lessen the crime of stealing someone else’s property.

    And I would also remind you, nothing is free. If you can’t compete with free, it means you can’t compete with someone that has deeper pockets, which, of course, is often true. We want competition, competition is good. If only the rich compete, the rest of us suffer.

    We want the starving artist, having slaved over his work, to succeed, not fail in the face of those who are better funded. Copyright helps the artist.

    Pointing out the exception and ignoring the rule is just stupid, kids.

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

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 4 Jan 2019 @ 5:04am

      Re: Copying is theft

      The idea that copying someone else’s work is not theft is upside down and backwards. The fact that computers and digital storage make copying easier does not lessen the crime of stealing someone else’s property.

      My computer copied this text in order to display it. I then copied it so I could reply. You still have access and use of it. Theft?

      And I would also remind you, nothing is free. If you can’t compete with free, it means you can’t compete with someone that has deeper pockets, which, of course, is often true. We want competition, competition is good. If only the rich compete, the rest of us suffer.

      Congratulations, your cognitive dissonance is working as intended. So much contradiction...!

      We want the starving artist, having slaved over his work, to succeed, not fail in the face of those who are better funded. Copyright helps the artist.

      Your art is worth what the market says it's worth. If the artist can only make money by pretending only he can make copies of his work, he deserves to starve. You're also pretending that copyright, in and of itself, provides an income. That's not how copyright works. Ever. Copyright depends on people being willing to pay for the product. If nobody wants to buy it the artist starves despite his labour.

      Pointing out the exception and ignoring the rule is just stupid, kids.

      There is no exception to my points. Nobody is obliged to purchase something just because somebody slaved over it. I'm not a fan of Game of Thrones so I don't buy GoT stuff. Oh no, the poor artists!!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2019 @ 9:03am

      Re: Copying is theft

      The idea that copying someone else’s work is not theft is upside down and backwards.

      Actually it is the idea that copying can be controlled that is backward,and indeed for most of human history copy other works was both the norm, and the way that ideas were spread. The idea that the author has a copyright is only about 300 years old, and makes some sense where copies are made by batch processes, so that the copies to meet the expected demand are all created before the first one is sold, and if two people of companies try to meet the same market for the same work, one or both will suffer a financial disaster due to unsold copies.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2018 @ 11:20pm

    If Calexit happens, it is possible that California could quickly break into 3 countries, one of them being the Republic Of Silicon Valley.

    Internet companies in the Republic Of Silicon Valley would have only obey Silconian law, if that happened. They would not be subject to the laws of California, Jefferson, or the remaining United States.

    This would SESTA and FOSTA uneforceable, if the Republic Of Silicon Valley came into existence, as Google, YouTube, and others would be in the Republic Of Silicon Valley, and US laws would not apply there.

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


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