You don't seem to have stressed enough the disgrace of Paramount Pictures.
They did not have any moral authority to pull Team America from theaters. In a crucial moment of solidarity that had to be upheld, Paramount trashed it.
And they used copyright law to do so. That is a rather significant finding, I would think, and I can't believe it's been so easily glanced over.
What we have here is a textbook example of copyright being used to suppress freedom of expression. On a vast political and dialectical scale. That showing of Team America was a crucial act of defiance in the face of the censorship of another film, and it was wrecked by a pathetic claim of ownership of expression on an already 10 year old movie.
Good post. And all Garcia really did was conclusively demonstrate how mixing the separate and unrelated issues of copyright and defamation into the same legal sphere leads to all kinds of stupidity, such as this.
It's a philosophical defeat for the copyright believers.
Personally, I think that if fuckers are sending death threats to her in the full knowledge - the full knowledge that these fascists must have - that she was dubbed over and did not actually say what it appears, yet still continue to intimidate and frighten her, all the separate copyright provisions in the world are not going to protect her.
She needs to take the side of people like Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and say that an attack on her is an attack on everybody who wants to treat Islam with the same levels of criticism as any other religion.
You know what's really revealing? The MPAA must surely be aware of the question of VPNs. It must have crossed their minds. Someone within must have surely raised the issue if their serious intention is to limit the piracy of creative goods.
Surely, they should be saying things like "this is how we are going to counter VPN re-routing, X, Y, Z..." but they don't. They never say things like that.
Either they don't know about VPNs, which is not possible, or they know about VPNs and are unwilling to say anything about them since they know that they can't really be stopped.
It would have been far better if Google remained defiant and continued to run the news feed without paying. One of the necessary things you have to do when threatened like this is to say that the freedom to express trumps all else, even in the face of bad laws that must be disobeyed. Because such a stand would have also helped the cause for their competitors, who also have been affected by this copyright policy presumably.
If it makes the copyright squad look that more ridiculous by bitching over quotable paragraphs then all the more for it. Any impending stupid lawsuits may have even prompted calls to reverse the copyright policy.
There are legitimate criticisms of Google that need to be addressed. Its tax dodging, its dangerous monopolistic tendencies, its censorship in some cases (there's a valid point to be made in this situation that Google's closing down of news feeds in Spain over a silly copyright squabble resembles censorship in some form), and its overall capitalist elitism.
So to see copyright fools like these perform the equivalent of Basil Fawlty going mental and hitting his car with a tree branch over and over in a serious attempt at getting it working again as a means of attacking the corporate giant is pathetic on all fronts.
Illegal downloaders do not download because there are pirate websites available. The opposite is the case.
Pirate websites are available because there are illegal downloaders who download. As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply. This goes for all black markets with a majority. It is the same with the war on drugs: space has just been created for the next dealer to come along.
People are no doubt going to think that this is a blow against piracy. On the contrary, there must be a stupendous number of pirate sites who have been BEGGING for this shutdown to happen, so that they can get more traffic and hence more ad revenue.
As long as people do not fail in finding a pirate copy of whatever they seek online, piracy will never be eliminated. Who here really thinks their ability to find a pirate copy has been dented?
Let me list the prohibition comparisons accordingly:
Lack of product regulation Alcohol: higher concentrations of alcohol per drink. Drugs: higher concentrations AND other drugs mixed in per drug with no accountability. Prostitution: STIs can be high, no rights for workers, and human trafficking becomes worse not better. Piracy: no need to include MPAA/PEGI ratings, lack of quality and high risk of viruses.
Criminals gain power through untaxed profits Alcohol: Al Capone. Drugs: The drug cartels of Mexico. Prostitution: The costs are high and the taxes are zero. Piracy: Kim Dotcom, corporate pirates in China, and to some extent Google - the biggest tax dodger of all.
Catching criminals only causes vacuums to be filled Alcohol: underground brewers persist. Drugs: ridiculously easy to start cannabis farms in one's own home to fill the gap caused by the latest drug bust. Prostitution: No indication of sex drive being inhibited in the slightest. Piracy: international nightmare where proxies will get to bad state actors, no matter how many times a node is removed.
Corruption between the law enforcers and criminals Alcohol: cops usually bribed to turn a blind eye. Drugs: cops either plant drugs on innocents, or the CIA indirectly funds dealers. Prostitution: Clients and servers are better protected depending on how high up their are in office. Piracy: toleration of Megaupload for 2 years (the length of time the FBI claims the spying went on) and no real practical chance of going after Google - usually Google does lobbying in politics, never mind Microsoft or Apple.
Malicious salaries are dependent on the prohibition Alcohol: salaries for cops, prosecutors, politicians, lawyers, judges, prison officers, prison labour. Drugs: same as above, including the lobbying from pharmaceuticals to keep the war on drugs going so that profits from their approved profitable drugs are not undermined by competition. Prostitution: Corruption from rich pimps, and more justification for police salary. Piracy: Lawyers, lawyers, and more lawyers. (A question for Mike Masnick if he is reading: does he know of any other legal framework that is as ridiculously complicated and reactionary as copyright legalistion, besides say, tax codes? If not, the case for Occam's Razor becomes much stronger still.)
Stupidity all round Alcohol: This should be in the "drugs" category. Drugs: In the U.K. we have police clamping down on "legal highs". You heard this right. Police are hostile towards something they are openly admitting is legal as if to change the definition of the word, except of course the "legal highs" of class A category that are called alcohol and tobacco. Prostitution: It is perfectly legal to pay for watching sex and get someone else to do the dirty work for you (pornography) yet no outrage over the exploitation of these "sex workers" seems to take place in quite the same way. Piracy: http://i.imgur.com/FqiWdrU.jpg
And these are the reasons why the piracy prohibition is arguably worse than prohibitions on drugs, alcohol or prostitution:
Most enforcement comes from lawyers, not police. Which sort of puts a dent on the realistic power an artist has, no? Why the fuck would you first call your lawyer if your car was stolen? Unions can only depend on international treaties to protect their works which rogue states do not apply by. Artists have neither the time nor the resources to watch over the planet for piracy, let alone cut through the layers of internet anonymity to work out who is doing the infringing. Artists have neither the time nor the resources to learn every spoken language on the planet in order to determine if their works are being pirated in another language. States have neither the tine nor the resources to go running around after every website. Artists are encouraged to invest lots of risky labour into a philosophy that cannot realistically protect them. It is the equivalent of a state abolishing its hard-copy currency for digital JPEG money and expecting it to work without any of the prohibitionist problems above. Infringement through derivative works is arguably thousands of times greater than infringement of full works, and the profits to be made there are huge - this kind of infringement is even harder to get through the courts if the artist can even afford the legal fees. This is not JPEG dollars - it is as ridiculous as JPEG pennies.
Have I made it clear how fucking stupid this is, yet?
What we need is an abolition of the "ownership of expression" mentality and a moving forward towards a payment of artists via assurance contracts. This way artists can put their foot down about how much they are worth and in a way that does not infringe on anybody's freedoms. If corporations can set up their own simultaneous payment system where all their workers are paid at the end of each month, I am sure it cannot be that difficult for artists via Patreon for example. There is nothing noble in getting artists to invest in this current system of empty promises.
Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best one.
I shall skip past my contempt for the many creators' unions getting together to side with the censor instead of the free expression. It better be obvious to everybody here which side you ought to take between religious murderers and movie makers.
And I shall skip past the unions' paranoia and conspiratorial attitudes towards Google, which is surely driving this babble.
What we have here is a foregone conclusion. The more the unions protest about separation of copyright principles from defamation principles, the more they put the nail in the coffin over the stupid argument that copyright and defamation should be one in the same thing.
I say let them dig this trap for themselves. The attempt to square this circle and insist that there is no other way to defame an artist without infringing on a copyright will surely lead to upending the law and forcing lawyers to separate the two concepts whether they like it or not.
Maybe then we will finally get the whining about blasphemy over creative works to stop. Maybe Aerosmith will stop bitching about the "degrading" nature of YouTube remixes. Maybe the Beastie Boys will realise there are other routes to stopping the implication that they are involved with a corporation they don't agree with that doesn't rely on copyright. Maybe then there will be "I will not be defamed!" comments on Facebook when the company uses pictures for advertising purposes instead of some useless copyright disclaimers. Maybe then people will get some fucking common sense.
Then again, perhaps not. Fools like these always want to have it both ways.
The root fallacy here is that defamation should have nothing to do with copyright and should be handled in a different legal sphere. It is NO argument in support of copyright to say that without copyright, defamation of an artist would go unpunished.
I hear drug dealers mix hard drugs with soft drugs without the user's knowledge in an attempt to get them addicted, and that harm comes from lack of regulation due to prohibition.
That's what you get with copyright, too. With the malware and viruses going on.
Dealers also don't have to check for I.D., just like pirate websites with 18-rated movies.
Dealers also get filthy rich due to not paying tax, just like Google.
Dealers are prone to gang fights, and Kim Dotcom was found armed with a shotgun.
And as with Al Capone, the state sure seem to have a hard time netting Kim Dotcom, considering how both pay money for everyone to turn a blind eye. Perhaps they ought to get him on tax mistakes.
You see how prohibiting a majority black market makes things worse?
Imagine if, hypothetically, the United States were to abolish its currency and replace everybody's money with money made out of JPEG image files, in some deluded attempt to "ease the flow of transactions". Run with this thought experiment - it will be worth it.
The state would effectively have the "copyright" to this JPEG currency in order to control interest rates and inflation and so on - as well as making the thing fucking work. According to the theory of artificial scarcity put forward by most economists, this should work. After all, when you add artificial scarcity to anything its value should go up... right?
Well imagine this actually being put into practice (assuming it makes it past the first day without crashing the country). Imagine all the cheating that would inevitably take place. The ordinary layman would hit CTRL-C and CTRL-V on his keyboard and send many of these pirated JPEGs to anyone he can meet on Skype, Facebook, Twitter. Pirated JPEGs would flood the internet, just, well, in general. Huge corporations would be able to get away with more and manipulate the total value of the currency. Pirated JPEGs would be stored and traded overseas under the hands of crooked traders. International states would pull all the strings of the US. The working class would be investing their labour for worthless gain.
Now imagine that, in the face of total fury from the citizens, the state were to deny that the system itself is the problem - rather, lack of enforcement of the system is the problem.
They would then proceed to demand national malware packages to watch over computers to make sure unauthorised copies were not created (Digital Rights Management). They would, in the face of such nonsense failing to stop a single thing, insist that it was still necessary to protect the property rights of all the state's citizens, regardless of the contradictory evidence. They would insist "websites have just got to be blocked..." "channels just need to be monitored..." "other countries just need to sign treaties with us THEN they'll give a damn and stop!" "all we got to do is negotiate with China better!" They would send police officers to take down domains hosting counterfeit JPEGs regardless of how many times they will pop back up (which, give them credit, is still much better than having lawyers running around the planet).
They would cite evidence of such reproducibility being unheard of in the 1700s to support their claim that it should likewise be the case in this day and age. They would cite studies saying how "at least our GDP went up". They would rant "how ELSE are you gonna protect the property rights of workers?" "What about defamation and libel - surely that's relevant somehow?" "Don't you realise that terrorists support some of these cartels?" As they also likewise show how the Taliban profit from the prohibited black market heroin crop.
This is my new example of why I am a copyright abolitionist, because I cannot imagine how it could be refuted (along with the pro-assurance-contract theory to protect artists). Though I am of course, open to rebuttals that I cannot anticipate. Everything the pro-copyright side complain about with regards to piracy can pretty much resemble the above scenario: all the corruption, all the futility, all the lost labour, all the international black markets. If there is piracy corruption with Google, they've only got themselves to blame, because it is exactly what you would expect if you were to take seriously a commodity with the same de facto protection as JPEG dollars. Corporations would screw it up for everybody else, and pull law enforcement into corruption. Maybe that explains why Google gets let off the hook so often...
"Artificial scarcity" requires law. When it requires law, it better work. Otherwise it is merely a "deterrent" (a conservative concept that is not something to be proud of even if you could prove it to work - a society that says "because the law says so" doesn't make that society more moral and only buries something more sinister in the sand) and/or a ridiculous prohibition system that is laughably stupid in the eyes of any sensible criminal.
Everybody knows what the implications would have been had 2D printers been able to print genuine-looking money. All currencies across the planet would have crashed. But, thankfully, the technology did not get that far and currency organisations stayed ahead of the game.
One of the uncomfortable truths about laws is that they are only as good as you can realistically enforce them.
Uninventing uncrackable encryption is like uninventing the nuclear bomb. You can't do it.
Mainstream encryption can be sabotaged as much as agencies like. But the unsabotaged stuff will always still remain discoverable. The only real people to "blame" are mathematicians for opening this Pandora's box (and no I do not think they should be blamed - if they weren't going to discover uncrackable encryption, somebody else would have, probably under an authoritarian regime).
As long as this is true, bad actors will use unsabotaged encryption.
Re: It just isnt special to be gay anymore, sorry.
Ah yes. Here come the contrarians.
"Men have been oppressed, too!" "Black people being racist is a problem, too!" "Gays can be dickheads, too!" "Disabled people still have the ability to be offensive!" "Minority X think they are above criticism all because we say so and/or a few bad actors and THAT DESERVES OUR FULL ATTENTION AND RESOURCES. Am I cool yet? Am I polemical?! Where's MY column in the papers?! Bloody biased media! They should 'step aside' for my freedom of speech! I won't be corrupt at all, nope!"
And other euphemisms by ten million idiots. It's pissing me off and I hope some people in here will agree. There's been a lot of this and especially in particular gaming circles lately, and it infects Reddit all over: the idea that exceptional circumstances such as the above ought to be given equal attention by human rights groups even when they are stretched enough on funding as it is, and if you don't agree you are a biased media person of some sort.
There is such a thing as prioritization. If anything, human rights groups ought to be doing MORE for defending minorities in the face of anti-internationalist stupidity, such as women's rights, gay rights and many other rights for those in the Islamic world - taking the sides of those who fight fascism in particular. Muslims are oppressed every single day by fascist thugs in the Middle East such as ISIS, yet we think Muslims living in the secular West must be the most oppressed kind of Muslims on the planet due to Fox News fearmongering or whatever and therefore that's where all our focus should lie. It's enough to make me sick and shows complete ignorance of the wars people have to endure because of the scum of the Earth who will strip them of any and all liberty. Frankly, there is much more at stake.
And comments like this one are examples of what I mean: stressing how the problem is not the brutal treatment of gays in Russia or the fact that the Apple CEO should show no shame in standing up to bastards, rather the fact that they are just too loud and too proud. Well how MEAN of them! I did not realise the condition of your ears took precedence here! YOUR idea of equality is clearly far superior. And clearly "no one cares who you sleep with anymore" is enough of a warrant to stop caring about gays in general - at least, I can't see any other way of interpreting that statement. They've apparently done all they can and they should shut up regardless of the treatment some of their comrades still endure on the other side of the planet.
"Contrarians" is the right word to describe such a swarm of wannabe polemics who all think they are unique. When really they can't look outside their fucking windows.