The Plot Against Section 230 Is Being Run By Big Legacy Companies Who Failed To Adapt To The Internet

from the the-plot-against-the-internet dept

Last summer, we explained how it was not crazy to think that the narrative being pushed about internet companies and Section 230 was a manufactured narrative by Hollywood and other old legacy companies jealous of the success of new internet companies. Now, the NY Times has a detailed article on exactly that. It's about how a broad coalition of big, old, legacy companies are conspiring to punish Google and Facebook by convincing the media and politicians that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is bad.

The headline lists three companies: IBM, Marriott, and Disney. While that might seem like "an unusual constellation of powerful companies" -- as the article puts it -- there is a simple thing tying them together: all three failed to adapt to an open internet. And now they're trying to kill it.

Disney and its powerful trade association have fought to stop the law’s spread abroad.

Marriott has asked Congress to amend the law.

IBM has a plan to slim it down.

An unusual constellation of powerful companies and industries are fighting to weaken Big Tech by limiting the reach of one of its most sacred laws. The law, known as Section 230, makes it nearly impossible to sue platforms like Facebook or Google for the words, images and videos posted by their users.

We've discussed each of these companies and their motivations in the past. Disney, of course, is a stand-in for the MPAA and all of the big Hollywood movie studios. Indeed, while Disney led the copyright lobbying charge in the 80s and 90s, the company leading the way against the internet and Section 230 over the past decade has been Fox. But, of course, Disney recently bought Fox. Hollywood has been fighting against the open internet for years, and its lobbyists have been planting false narratives about 230 for years, and eagerly fan the flames at every opportunity. Their hope has always been to chip away at 230 to make Google and Facebook more vulnerable, and to force them to negotiate some sort of huge transfer of money.

Marriott, somewhat famously, has been screaming bloody murder about Airbnb for years, because it can't stand having competition that actually offers better service. Its hatred of 230 is because Airbnb has argued (though not always successfully), that 230 protects it from liability over user listings -- which, if successful, would block some of the laws Marriott and the wider hotel industry have been pushing to hinder Airbnb.

Finally, there's IBM. And while the article doesn't mention it, it's really IBM and Oracle teaming up here. Last summer we wrote about IBM's sad attack on 230, a law that it doesn't rely on. Once again, with IBM and Oracle, we see two giant, lumbering tech companies, that made bad bets on the internet, and rather than recognizing that they messed up, they're using lobbying and the political process to harm the competitors who built the products people actually want. Neither IBM nor Oracle rely on Section 230, since they don't run consumer facing internet services. Both bet that the enterprise market and data would be where the market was -- but it actually turned out to be in consumer facing services. In both cases, the bottom-up open internet has also enabled smaller enterprise focused offerings to chip away increasingly at the bottom of their markets.

A decade ago, we wrote about writer Andy Kessler's concept of political entrepreneurs v. market entrepreneurs. One of them builds better, more innovative products that increase consumer welfare and increase the overall size of the pie by making things people want. The other uses its enormous power and political connections to pass regulations that hinder competitors who have innovated. One becomes successful through building services that make money from happy customers. One makes money by creating a restrained market in which they can collect monopoly rents above and beyond what an open market would bear.

The latter -- the old legacy companies using lobbying to stomp out competition -- are a form of dangerous "unproductive entrepreneurship." It does not make the world a better place. It limits innovation and limits consumer welfare.

So the next time you hear about the "techlash" and the "problems" of Section 230, consider who actually stands to benefit from chipping away (or removing entirely) Section 230. It is not you or me. It is not those who rely on a wide variety of internet services to express ourselves. It is the legacy companies which have fallen behind, which have not adapted, and which are using their political will to try to suppress and destroy the open systems that the rest of us now depend on.

Filed Under: competition, lobbying, market entrepreneurs, political entrepreneurs, section 230, techlash
Companies: disney, facebook, fox, google, ibm, marriott, oracle


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  • identicon
    bob, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:10am

    Now which politicians are getting donations. That would be a good litmus test to know how much credence to give their talking points.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:21am

    If these companies had been attacked laterally by laws or regulations when they were young and growing up uncompetitive and eating their neighbors, they would have screamed bloody murder. It's the history of corporate America. They just want laws and free government support to benefit them. Now they just want to screw everybody to spite some big internet-era companies a little.

    I guess it's etter than taking over foreign countries to make a couple corpoarations happy, but not a lot.

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  • identicon
    MathFox, 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:48am

    Prediction

    Whether the dinosaurs succeed in their lobbying against section 230 or not, they will find in a couple of years that a new breed of technology company has evolved that does not depend on section 230 to out-compete them.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:37am

      Re: Prediction

      "Whether the dinosaurs succeed in their lobbying against section 230 or not, they will find in a couple of years that a new breed of technology company has evolved that does not depend on section 230 to out-compete them."

      Concur. I've said for many years now that every law designed to moderate the internet in ANY capacity only gives rise to a new darknet application circumventing said law.

      If 230 goes offline the applications which will be moving to the darknet, or be replaced by ones which are already on there, will be, among others, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. At which point the darknet will have become the new standard and governments all over will be facing the choice of no internet at all or one completely outside of their control.

      You'd think that by now, with some 3000 years or more worth of history to draw knowledge from, politicians would know better than try to regulate what people are communicating to one another. It never works, no matter how draconian the regime becomes.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:56am

    Roundabout

    Now there's an interesting twist. Mere communication by end use consumers is terrifying to these big companies. They get a little taste of control of their particular market, and then realize that that control is a bit of a smoke screen, as they are still dependent upon those same end use consumers. In their muddled way of thinking, getting those end use consumers to shut up will solve all their problems. Disney, give us Facebook money for letting your people talk about our products. Marriott, that AirBnB is stealing from our overpriced hotel products. IBM and Oracle learned that there are more uses for things they make than just big business customers. All three, the solution is to shut up end use consumers, which would be the effect of forcing liability on platforms.

    Of course they will deny that they don't want consumers to talk, they merely wish the destruction of those entities that they fear. That the by-product of consumers losing the seems inconsequential to them. I don't think it will be, inconsequential.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 11:57am

    The Rule of Public Benefit:

    Any law or regulation that benefits the general public will face opposition from corporations that want to exploit the general public for the private profit of already-wealthy executives.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:24pm

    So Torn

    I have a hard time determining where I stand on this. On the one hand, I would rather that all the media companies went out of business and no movie or TV show was ever made again than lose the internet. On the other hand, I once accidentally read YouTube comments and maybe we're better off without user participation.

    I say we compromise and outlaw both entertainment media and liability protections for everyone. Perhaps retroactively, so that Mike can be sued for this post because I have put the infringing numbers '36' and '50' in it.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:29pm

      I once accidentally read YouTube comments and maybe we're better off without user participation

      See also: Twitter

      (Remember, kids: When it comes to social media, the only winning move is “never use social media”!)

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      • icon
        tp (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:25pm

        Re:

        When it comes to social media, the only winning move is “never use social media”

        Social media was clearly implemented badly. The main problem that they couldn't solve was the problem of including real humans to the system. Right solution would be to keep computers pure and prevent humans from interfering with the technological solutions. Every time humans are inputting data to the system, your system is reduced to passing text strings around without ability for the computer system to understand what is being transmitted. This is clearly broken system and solution is to remove humans from inside our computers. When humans disappear, social media will be alot better place.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 5:37pm

          Re: Re:

          When meshpage disappears, the Internet will be alot better place.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:47am

          Re: Re:

          "Social media was clearly implemented badly. The main problem that they couldn't solve was the problem of including real humans to the system."

          What sort of bullshit are you trying to peddle now, Mr. Meshpage? Because you can't seriously believe what you're saying, can you?

          As any sociologist can tell you, "social media" has been perfectly implemented because in the end all it does is mimic - 1:1 - ordinary human interaction.

          "Right solution would be to keep computers pure and prevent humans from interfering with the technological solutions."

          That you actually claim to have programming skills and are capable of squeezing that sentence out indicates you're running on broken logic completely divorced from reality.

          You see, since computers do not possess actual cognition, in the end computers are still just machines which do as ordered by, yes, HUMANS. In other words, humans are intrinsic to the process of computing from the start which of course means the "technological solution" WILL BE FLAWED.
          And even if the "solution" is perfect, the demands of the human society said solution is programmed to handle changes dynamically.

          So I'm afraid there is not now and never will be any tech solution you can just set up and walk away from, any more than there will ever be a legal system where you can just create laws and then leave them be.

          "This is clearly broken system and solution is to remove humans from inside our computers. When humans disappear, social media will be alot better place."

          That actually left me speechless for a while. You are either advocating that humans abandon technological tools, or advocate that once a given type of tool has been invented, progress should simply stop.

          I hope you're just off your medication or deliberately trolling. I refuse to credit a member of homo sapiens sapiens with cognitive functions as broken as that.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:59pm

      Re: So Torn

      On the other hand, I once accidentally read YouTube comments and maybe we're better off without user participation.

      What about those who create the content on YouTube, they are users as well? There is a lot of great and educational content on YouTube created by its users.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re: So Torn

        I was obviously tongue-in-cheek with my comments.

        The only thing that bothers me about Section 230 is that we need it in the first place. It's like having a law specifying that you can't be charged with obscenity violations if a flock of birds spells out a rude word on your car with their poop.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:53am

          Re: Re: Re: So Torn

          "It's like having a law specifying that you can't be charged with obscenity violations if a flock of birds spells out a rude word on your car with their poop."

          • In Alaska it is illegal to be drunk… in a bar. Per state laws, a person who is already drunk may not “knowingly” enter a bar to drink more, or remain in the bar that got them drunk in the first place.

          • In the town of Goodyear, Arizona, it is unlawful to spit “in or on” any public building, park, sidewalk, or road. Offenders may be charged a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in prison.

          • Visitors beware: it is strictly prohibited to pronounce “Arkansas” incorrectly.

          • It is illegal to build, maintain, or use a nuclear weapon within Chico, California city limits.

          • A pickle cannot be sold unless it bounces.

          • We know that kids can be annoying but please remember that in Florida it is a felony to sell your children. You’ve been warned.

          Source - "Dumb laws"; Reader's digest editorial. I'm afraid that "dumb laws" as insane as the example you refer to, aren't exactly rare. And yet most of them started because there was, apparently, a legislator who saw a real need for them.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So Torn

            And yet most of them started because there was, apparently, a legislator who saw a real need for them.

            Not necessarily, a favorite political hobby is 'Doing Something to be seen Doing Something' after all, and as such I imagine more than a few of those stupid laws came about not because any of the politicians involved actually saw a real need for them, but simply to waste time and make it look like they were doing real work.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 2:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So Torn

              Well, I said "most of them" because I am, at heart, an optimist who thinks at least half the time a politician means well.

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:49pm

    If politicians think it's a good idea to hold organizations responsible for the actions of users, maybe we should start suing the government every time someone mails something bad through the post office.

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    • icon
      Nathan F (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 1:22pm

      Re:

      And car makers when a drunk driver plows into a crowd and kills a dozen people, or gun manufacturers when a mentally disturbed person goes full auto in a school and kills a bunch of kids.

      If a maker of a physical good can't be sued for the actions of a user, why should Facebook and Google be held responsible for the postings of users of their digital goods?

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:59am

        Re: Re:

        "...or gun manufacturers when a mentally disturbed person goes full auto in a school and kills a bunch of kids."

        It's probably a sign of the lack of actual thinking processes in the NRA that they aren't all raging in defense of section 230, for precisely this reason.

        There's always been a lot of corporate-driven hogwash in legislation but the assault on section 230 is about as toxic as it gets because it's no longer a bought law meant to provide <corporate entity A, B and C> with advantages. It's meant to jettison the fundamental ability for people in general to use the internet to communicate in the first place.

        The disturbing outcome if that succeeds is that both governments and corporations alike will lose every vestige of control when online communication then migrates to nodes outside of their control. At which point ANY attempt to control or moderate the internet AT ALL will have to be a full golden Shield project.

        And that's not a project which is possible if the society in question is even nominally democratic.

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 1:45pm

      Re:

      Hey, what a great idea. We could sue the PAC's for forcing us to put up with unrepresentative representatives. And we could sue lobbyists for paying our representatives to represent special interests instead of us. And we could sue our representatives for spending more time hobnobbing with fund raisers than giving legislation due consideration in our name. Now where will we get the money to fund all these law suits?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      You could have just stopped at "government".

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 12:49pm

    "Better service"

    I don't think that Marriott vs. Airbnb can be boiled down to something as simplistic as "[Marriott] can't stand having competition that actually offers better service."

    Whether you think it's a benefit of Airbnb or a flaw, the truth is that Airbnb, and those who rent rooms on the website, are acting as a hotels without being subject to most of the regulations that hotels have to deal with. And that, without those regulations, Airbnb can offer lower prices than a hotel can. And I don't blame Marriott for being pissed off about the double standard.

    That said, they're still asshats for taking out that anger on Section 230. They should be pushing for short-term rentals and hotels to be legally treated the same, either by loosening the regulations on hotels, or tightening them (and/or enforcing them, if regulations already exist) on Airbnb rentals.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:57pm

      Re: "Better service"

      I get the annoyance with gig economy, although the annoyance of the currently traditional businesses is merely and only self-serving. There are definitely issues with some of the gig economy and the businesses which reap the large profits by enabling or creating it. However, a lot of that is stuff that always happened, it's just happening at scale now.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 12:47pm

      Re: "Better service"

      Whether you think it's a benefit of Airbnb or a flaw, the truth is that Airbnb, and those who rent rooms on the website, are acting as a hotels without being subject to most of the regulations that hotels have to deal with. And that, without those regulations, Airbnb can offer lower prices than a hotel can. And I don't blame Marriott for being pissed off about the double standard.

      The same is said about the early car industry. In fact it's how the industry rose to prominence in the US. The electric train cars in the cities were run by electric utility companies and faced many laws and regulations that drove up the cost of their fares. When the car was invented, it didn't have the same level of regulatory costs as the trains, and could use that as both a marketing move to consumers and invest in bribes to corrupt government officials. That resulted in little regulations being passed for cars at the time and more importantly, trains being decoupled from their utility companies by anti-trust regulation. Leaving the newly formed train companies financially insolvent due to the cost of operations and regulatory mandates. The trains were also now vulnerable to car companies who would come in, buy them up, and shut down their operations so the car companies could have a "new" empty market to exploit.

      Now, the train industry of yesteryear had just as much of a right to be mad as the hotel industry does today. Do you think the outcome will change? Will who ever has the most bribe money will be enshrined as the new king and loved by all? Or will sanity prevail, and the new unregulated industry will thrive until it becomes big enough to have actual consumer benefiting regulations passed on it, the old industry whining the whole way? Given both history and the current political climate, my bet is on corruption. I'd prefer it not to be, but no sane person would believe otherwise.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: "Better service"

        You are overlooking the Impact of Google on customer relationships.

        Pre search engine, unless you had a direct recommendation from someone you trusted, you basically had advertising material to go on. That was an environment where regulation was required to protect the consumer.

        Post search engine, you can find independent reviews, and gain a good evaluation of the goods or services being provided. With Airbnb, Uber etc. it is possible to get independent reviews of the renter or driver you are about to do business with, and this greatly reduces the need for regulation.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 2:34pm

    Not much convincing involved

    Lets face it given the all consuming media conglomerates that already old own media and have similiar interests, there isn't much convincing to be done. Just giving orders really.

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  • identicon
    CharlieBrown, 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:01pm

    Not Helping

    How much of the press is owned by News Corp is not helping. There will be many anti-230, anti-Facebook articles and headlines, directly and indirectly, from this group. Ironically, they would have relied on 230 once themselves when they owned MySpace.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 4:14am

      Re: Not Helping

      It's not just news corp.
      Is it any wonder that corporate owned and operated media, calling its self news, would attempt to abuse said market position?

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  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 3:45pm

    Counterpoint.

    Just a counterpoint, couldn't Disney unrolling Disney+ and not lobbying for a term extension in 2018 be evidence that they are adapting and learning? I don't disagree that Disney is a copyright maximalist company, but I think those two developments show chinks in their mouse-shaped armor.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:26pm

      Re: Counterpoint.

      I wouldn't go so far as to give them that much benefit of the doubt.

      The RIAA, to its credit, eventually permitted streaming and the iTunes store, but this was all on top of a history of other activities which they stopped:

      • Publicizing how many settlement letters they sent out
      • Demanding money for ringtones based on pop songs
      • Suing home users based on dubious standards of evidence
      • Publicly going after filesharing networks, though to be fair a lot of the older ones mostly petered out of existence

      It's worth remembering that the iTunes arrangement only happened after the RIAA was dragged into the arrangement, kicking and screaming.

      Rightscorp is another example that comes to mind - the damage they did was, arguably, minimal compared to the headlines-grabbing shit the RIAA did, but the amount of money driving their efforts was significant. This is a company based on copyright enforcement (using equally shitty evidence standards) that was losing money for years, yet could still not only attract investors but managed to get the MPAA filing amicus briefs just to beg judges to rule favorably. (Granted one of those judges was Liam O'Grady. Statistically the company just needed time to suck on the right cock.) Eventually Rightscorp mysteriously passed on into the night, all without adapting and learning. Maybe the lack of actual money rolling in finally caught up to them.

      Point being, a lack of overt maximalism is not nearly enough to absolve Disney of the crappy karma they've accumulated.

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      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 3:26am

        Re: Re: Counterpoint.

        Great points! Also, at the start of podcasting, the RIAA went after podcasts that used their songs therein (I know this due to the nature and genesis of the Jonathan Coulton song "Podsafe Christmas Song" which you could download here (what happened is that the RIAA went after a podcast that used an Alvin & The Chipmunks Christmas song, so Jonathan Coulton made his own for podcasts to freely use).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

          There's a long laundry list of how the RIAA has tossed its tyranny around, and that's not even going into the actions of its incestuous international brotherhood, or the outrageous actions and statements of the people in charge on their thoughts about the viability, accuracy, and profit margins of their litigation engine.

          (As a side note referring to TAC's points, I wasn't actually aware Rightscorp was still a thing, only that they disappeared off the face of the Earth as noted by Torrentfreak's last known report on them. Five years running a loss and they still somehow attract investors. Mind you, the disappearance report did come some time after Torrentfreak confirmed that they had just brought Liam O'Grady to orgasm for the first time so it did feel odd that Rightscorp would suddenly close up shop. In retrospect it does sound more likely that Robert Steele is lying low so his misdemeanors go undetected.)

          Really, the only "adapting and learning" the RIAA has done is that crowing about your douchebag behaviors is a bad idea. Sure, Techdirt may have reported that they finally think asking for a copyright extension on top of life + 70/95 years is excessive. I don't think for a second that they regret escalating things to the level of nonsense we're seeing right now, even when it's their artists' bottom lines getting affected thanks to the "Blurred Lines" fiasco. They've been "mysteriously" silent about the implications for Katy Perry and artists et al. I use quotation marks, because that's how the RIAA and their ilk have always operated: stay silent, wait for another region like Europe propose shitty legislation like Article 17, then throw a whopping tantrum to demand its equivalent in the US.

          The RIAA is the child that kicks and screams until they get a cookie, then kicks and screams some more until they get another. If that child stops kicking and screaming when they get the 27th cookie that is not a sign of good behavior worth celebrating.

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      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 5:44am

        Re: Re: Counterpoint.

        Rightscorp is still out there, turning out notices based on their super secret black box (they violated a court order to allow review of).

        The **AA's had to pony up for lawsuits & find a Judge willing to accept that accusations are factual. Then they sued ISPs for not having or properly implementing "repeat infringer" policies. They they filed suit against all the other large ISPs.

        All you need is a magic black box pointing at someone & calling them a witch... and a court has ruled that is enough evidence to burn them at the stake.

        'Merika!

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:02am

      Re: Counterpoint.

      "...couldn't Disney unrolling Disney+ and not lobbying for a term extension in 2018 be evidence that they are adapting and learning? I don't disagree that Disney is a copyright maximalist company, but I think those two developments show chinks in their mouse-shaped armor."

      No, not really.

      Their main focus is still control über alles. They aren't concerned with keeping "Steamboat Willie" under control as much as they are in wanting to make sure that the only venue for entertainment the consumer can access in the future will be courtesy of Disney.

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      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 3:21am

        Re: Re: Counterpoint.

        They aren't concerned with keeping "Steamboat Willie" under control as much as they are in wanting to make sure that the only venue for entertainment the consumer can access in the future will be courtesy of Disney.

        But if they didn't want to keep Mickey Mouse under their monopolistic control how do you explain their lobbying for term extensions prior to 2018 when they gave up? I don't disagree that Disney wants control over all entertainment content not unlike the Devil wants all human souls. It's just that in 2018 they realized that if they were to lobby for another term extension there would be such a huge backlash that they'd probably lose (no doubt weary from the SOPA/PIPA fight), and didn't even bother to lobby for another term extension. If that's not a chink in Disney's armor, please tell me what is?

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        • identicon
          An Nitpicker, 5 Feb 2020 @ 10:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

          Simple: They wanted to control the Disney Princesses brand(s), and since quite a few of those are based on public domain characters, one of the major defense from other people copying elements from those works is the copyright of those adaptations. Now that they have firmly established that brand, they are less concerned about a competitor making their own brand of public domain fiction princesses. Besides, they can protect Steamboat Willie Mickey with trademarks, at least on merchandising. You can't use the modern design for the cover of a Steamboat Willie release without getting glared at by Disney.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 3:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

            ^This.

            Also, consider how many fish they have to fry. Term extensions, although nice, aren't really important since they have already perfected the way of extending derivative works in perpetuity if need be.

            What they really want control over isn't even their creations - it's their audience. In the end what copyright is all about is monopoly.

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            • icon
              Samuel Abram (profile), 6 Feb 2020 @ 6:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

              In the end what copyright is all about is monopoly.

              Copyright is, by its very definition, a government-granted monopoly over a work of authorship for a limited time (how long that "limited time" should be is up to debate, but I'm happy it's expiring once again, but we have to be extremely vigilant).

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 6:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

                "...how long that "limited time" should be is up to debate, but I'm happy it's expiring once again, but we have to be extremely vigilant..."

                Expiring?

                The way copyright law is written it's easy enough to extend the current terms indefinitely. Just look at the court decisions made around "continued production" and i think you'll find that even Steamboat Willie will remain protected until such a time that disney no longer can muster the effort of a bored clerk sending in a boilerplate form every five or ten years.

                Copyright law is, today, more broken than ever and the next major reform we're likely to see is when it finally gets abolished because no one respects it any longer or is willing to pay to have it upheld and reformed.

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                • icon
                  Samuel Abram (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 6:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

                  Expiring?

                  The way copyright law is written it's easy enough to extend the current terms indefinitely.

                  According to Eldred v. Ashcroft, that would be true. However, when the *AA's had the chance to do so back in 2018, for some reason they didn't. They didn't again last year. They could very well again, but as I said, we'll have to be vigilant.

                  Just look at the court decisions made around "continued production" and i think you'll find that even Steamboat Willie will remain protected until such a time that [Disney] no longer can muster the effort of a bored clerk sending in a boilerplate form every five or ten years.

                  "Continued Production"? You mean Disney remaking old shit into live action movies? I think that's how Disney thinks they're going to "renew their copyright" but I don't think it'll have much effect.

                  Copyright law is, today, more broken than ever and the next major reform we're likely to see is when it finally gets abolished because no one respects it any longer or is willing to pay to have it upheld and reformed.

                  I don't agree with copyright abolition but it does indeed need to be scaled back to an "opt-in" system where there are dual renewals because the "copyright über Alles" system we have now makes everyone a pirate and it's causing a lot of harm.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2020 @ 5:08pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

                    This is a continuation/reminder of the conversation we'd already had in another thread, but on the RIAA, but it wouldn't surprise me if the RIAA and Disney and other organizations that drove the mass litigation tsunamis in the early 2000s are mostly waiting and watching to see what happens.

                    The way things are in copyright lawsuits right now it's mostly Prenda clones tossing subpoenas at judges and praying the judge is dumb enough to let it stick. It's virtually no different from what the RIAA did: scare someone terrified enough to pay up, based on evidence that isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Aside from Rightscorp the AA's have been stone silent. I highly doubt it's a coincidence that they're not decrying low-level hacks trying to copy their tactics. Like the FBI's relationship with encryption they're desperately hoping for some dumbass judge to set them a favorable precedent.

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

                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Feb 2020 @ 3:10am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint.

                    ""Continued Production"? You mean Disney remaking old shit into live action movies?"

                    Among other things. There are plenty of levers to use. Another trick is to make a "sequel" of the work about to exit copyright protection and then claim it's an integral part of the title as a whole, instantly resetting the copyright clock.

                    With the copyright extension courtesy of Mickey Mouse, the DMCA, and the various added restrictions any copyright is indefinitely extendible as long as the rightsholder can be arsed to file the paperwork.

                    Why do you think the MPAA and RIAA stopped nagging about "forever less a day"? In practice they already have that.

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

  • identicon
    Dave, 4 Feb 2020 @ 4:38pm

    We keep saying "adapt or die", but these big, evil companies want to do neither, and screw all of us instead.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 6:26pm

    N/A

    Section 230: breathes.

    IMB, Disney, Graham, Biden, and most Legacy Companies: https://youtu.be/wTP_SdjD5ms

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Feb 2020 @ 6:29pm

    N/A

    Section 230: breathes.

    IMB, Disney, Graham, Biden, and most Legacy Companies: H E R A S Y .

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:19pm

    Maybe

    Maybe something good comes out of this. The internet becomes useless for public communication and we start turning away from it. We might begin to connect with people in the real world again.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:33am

      Re: Maybe

      We might begin to connect with people in the real world again.

      That is what the Internet enables, but on a world wide basis. It is particularly good at enabling the socially awkward to connect to other people, or people with interests not shared locally to find friends who share their interests.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Feb 2020 @ 1:51am

      Re: Maybe

      "Maybe something good comes out of this. The internet becomes useless for public communication and we start turning away from it. We might begin to connect with people in the real world again."

      You mean the world which didn't have global connections and consistently spawned wars with depressing regularity?

      Fact is, the only reason that we are - today - fairly safe living in the G20 is because all the other members are interconnected in business and politics. And this is all enabled primarily by the existence of the mass communications network of the internet.

      Similarly there's a lot to be said today about the ability to network across borders as a normal citizen.

      Of course that's a hypothetical to begin with, because the internet will not become useless for public communication. What will happen is that it may become useless for legal public communication and we'll all be chatting and posting on the darknet instead. Which is worse by far since that means we'll be next door to the drug peddlers, pedobears, shady arms dealers and assorted hate communities.

      Unless you actively try to roll technology in itself back and prevent people from owning computers and network connections, the internet is here to stay. It just remains to be seen in what form. Right now, today, law still means something online. Tomorrow it might not, if that law forces too many day-to-day activities into the darknet option.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 4:15am

      Re: Maybe

      Sounds like a personal problem.

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 4 Feb 2020 @ 7:51pm

    Disney

    First, they came for the copyrights...

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 4 Feb 2020 @ 9:59pm

    Cartels do all the corruption, while misleadingly projecting fingers at Google?

    Same shit they did with the EU copywrong directives.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2020 @ 5:26am

    hotels can start converting their high rises into apartments and get in on the airbnb game. They should leave some floors as hotel and start converting others.

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

  • identicon
    Greasy Bearded Blackmailer, 6 Feb 2020 @ 9:04am

    so...conspiracy, much?

    So, now you are saying that #if you push an unvalidated cnspiracy theory long enough

    re The Plot Against Section 230 Is Being Run By Big Legacy Companies

    then MSM might get off its ass and do the journalism and vindicate or validate your theory?

    Let me try that!

    Sound of gang stalking denialists hitting the conspiracy theory button next to the flag there

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 11:19am

      Re: so...conspiracy, much?

      Not pushing trusting those with major conflicts of interest and a history of similar acts isn't called being a conspiracy theorist, it is called not being terminally naivé.

      Even if they somehow turn out to be not involved it is perfectly wise to suspect them until it ruled out. The whole verification process starts with reasonable suspicion. Legacy companies lobby to try to retain power in the face of competition - it is about as surprising as a gang member dealing drugs.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2020 @ 10:07pm

      Re: so...conspiracy, much?

      When you have the likes of John Smith and Richard Bennett literally gloating in these sort of articles... it's not really a conspiracy any more, then, is it?

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Feb 2020 @ 6:28am

      Re: so...conspiracy, much?

      For that analogy to work you still need the plot against section 230 to involve a number of alphabet soup agencies, other parts of government, and, of course, israel.

      Your gang stalking hypothesis as presented otoh has half the western world actively involved in targeting selective individuals for no obvious reason and the other half of the western world actively concerned with covering up what the first half is doing. And has 4 out of 10 online commenters being actively engaged maskirovka plants posting on behalf of some intelligence agency.

      If what you usually proposed was simply that several mechanisms built for law enforcement have turned bullying and harassment into an endemic problem assisted by both active malice and casual ineptitude then you wouldn't have the problem with people flagging you.

      Meanwhile to get back to the topic at hand, the hypothesis that anti-section 230 lobbying is spearheaded by several vested private interests who find people's ability to comment freely disturbing their shady business models is both backed up by good evidence and limited enough in scope to make sense.

      So your posts about multiple countries and a dozen intelligence agencies all conspiring to stalk and bully individuals of little to no real importance to them are, quite rightly, not given much weight.

      In today's US of A, if half the organizations you usually mention wanted someone harrassed then it's lamentably true that they could simply pick up that individual (and any number of others) and quietly ship them off to Abu Ghraib v 2.0 from which they'd never emerge again. It'd probably take as much effort as getting a single senior executive to sign a boilerplate template and fill in the offending name.

      Neither the CIA nor the NSA nor the FBI go after individuals for shitz'n'giggles. They will, however, put undue trust in the list of terrorist and drug smuggler suspects onto which just about any John or Jane in law enforcement can see fit to place names.

      In order to get the treatment you need to be in a position to openly fuck them over or be a clear example to be used as a warning unto others. Which is why being a whistleblower sucks so damn much. And why ten thousand conspiracy theorists are still free to blog and comment as much as they like.

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

      • identicon
        Emmet Tills Ghost, 11 Feb 2020 @ 9:19am

        Re: Re: so...conspiracy, much?

        Well, if they would just stop calling it "lynching," or "racist activity"and go back to the term that helped me so much back then, which was

        "Night riding, by a group of liquored up local boys, just out havin' some fun, sewin' some wild oats, and revving their engines a bit in their community.

        A bit long winded perhaps, but more accurate and descriptive by your account, right? Doesn't do shit for the victims of those practices, but what the hell, go with it.

        Yeah. Scary Devil Monastery, your conservative approach to simply using the modern term for bizarre, organized, police/institution/NGO and community policing harassment, technological harassment, stalking and bullying that frequently ends in death of its victims, and other mayhem seems, um, a bit long winded.

        My approach, using the term that its victims use: organized gang stalking is less complicated to ramble on about for the stressed victims who seek justice.

        I mean, how about we go back to the days when rape was widely called well, that girl has always been sort of precocious and probably got what she deserved because she is always asking for it, cuz, look! Just look at the way she dresses to tempt the Devil out of folks?!"

        Yeah, your approach might have worked in earlier centuries (the dark ages through 1964), but here its just, well, out dated.

        So, re: "what you usually proposed was simply that several mechanisms built for law enforcement have turned bullying and harassment into an endemic problem assisted by both active malice and casual ineptitude then you wouldn't have the problem with people flagging you"

        is sort of like, um. tossing more straw under my ass, and telling me to stop provoking people with matches.

        Demonstrative speech has a distinct purpose in any contested dialectic space, and I find it odd that you reject the language of the victims of police brutality in my country.

        And that makes me ask: whats YOUR stake in it, and from Europe nonetheless, detached from these victims here in MY country?

        Like that AC above you, connecting hypothetical gang members (real or imagined) to drug dealing any more than connecting dirty cops or the CIA, or tossing out a few names of section 230 opponents as somehow evidence of a conspiracy is far more ludicrous than any evidence I have repeatedly presented here, including testimony from pro and con psychologists, linguists, and others.

        So, why do you hesitate on this point, SDM, from Sweden, much less concur with those two vexatious ACs who do nothing but manipulate, and perpetuate (police-like) stereotypes?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2020 @ 7:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: so...conspiracy, much?

          You calling SDM conservative - as in, one of the most disdainful TD regulars when it comes to religion - is the point where I know you've well and truly lost it.

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


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