I made a copy of this post a long time ago simply because it was a complete argument without holes, as to why Copyright Laws need to be repaired. I'm not even sure where I read it, although right here on TD is a good guess.
If it turns out that re-posting this comment somehow infringes on somebody's copyright, please forgive and delete.
Tice with a J,
May 21st, 2014 @ 9:23pm
In defense of pirates
There is an idea that, in my opinion, is very important in any discussion of copyright/patent/IP. The idea is this: "Content creators deserve to get paid for each and every use of their content". Whether that content is a song, a program, a design, or any other kind of information, the idea is that the maker of that information has a right to be rewarded for every use of that information.
This idea appeals to our notions of fairness, especially when you consider an analogous physical situation: the skilled craftsman, whom I will call "maker" because I'm a Doctorow fanboy. A very good maker has the power to make something that no one else can make, like a Stradivarius violin, and there's no way to get a violin like that without either buying it from Stradivarius or buying it from someone else who bought one... or stealing it, of course, but we have ways of preventing theft. The point is that the maker has total control of how many copies there are of what they sell, and whenever you see a copy in the wild, you can safely assume that the maker got paid for it.
Moving back to the realm of information, we still have skilled makers, making patterns of information that no one else could have made. We value what they make, and we want them to be rewarded, just as the physical makers are rewarded... and the information makers want to get paid, so our interests line up. So far, so good.
But now we run into trouble: information, unlike physical goods, is very easy to copy. It may take a genius to write a good book, but any common scribe can copy it. And then there are the copy machines. In fact, go take a look at all the books you own, and tell me: how many of them are copies? In my case, the answer is: all of them. I don't own any original manuscripts (unless you count my own writings, but I don't consider my jumbled piles of scribblings to be books). If I want to read something by, say, Edgar Allen Poe, I don't have to ask Poe to write me a fresh copy, nor do I have to deprive anyone else of their copy. I just need someone who'll let me make a copy of their copy. And whenever I see a copy of Poe's work in the wild, I can usually assume that Poe wasn't paid for it, since the vast majority of existing copies (including the one on my hard drive) were made long after his death!
Now, this offends our notions of fairness! "How can someone get something for free? Someone had to have lost something!", we think. And so we call copying "theft of intellectual property" or "piracy", because it feels like something got stolen. But this is wrong. Nothing has been stolen. No one's purloined a violin. Neither the maker nor the customers have lost anything when one customer makes their own copies and gives them away.
Now this is the point in the discussion where pro-copyright folks bring up sunk costs. It takes time, talent, and energy to make good content, just as it does to make a good violin. Surely the content deserves some protection, yes? But wait! Somebody moved the goalposts. "Sunk costs" didn't even come up when we were discussing the Stradivarius. Why bring them up now?
But more generally, sunk costs are irrelevant, for 2 reasons:
In fact, let me harp on that second point some more. Sunk costs were the justification for DRM. And what is DRM? It is the loss of control of your own computer. It invades your privacy and takes over your property. Snowden's leaks are only the latest reminder of how dangerous this sort of thing is. Crooks and elites are all too eager to gain control of our lives, and we shouldn't be giving them any opportunity to do so. That's why DRM is inherently bad (Why, Mozilla? Why?). I won't let anyone try to justify it with a sob story of how much it costs to make good cinema.
Now then, if DRM can't be justified on the basis of sunk costs, what can be justified? For the effects of copyright are in need of justification.
Remember the central idea, that content creators deserve to get paid for each and every use of their content (or at least, for every copy). The practical effect of this is to deny customers their freedom to communicate. They must either report to the creator for every copy they make and submit to a fine, or they must refrain from copying at all. This is a broad prior restraint on speech and press. Is it justified?
It gets worse. All manner of communication goes on in private, and all of it is potentially full of illicit copies. If we want to pay the creators for every copy, we'll have to either revoke the right to privacy in order to track down the copies, or we'll have to pass a blanket tax on private communication (in effect, assume that all people are guilty and punish them in advance). The current U.S. legal system has both the loss of privacy and the punitive tax. Are either of these justified?
In summary, the idea of getting paid for every copy is nice, but there's no way to implement it without compromising or abandoning other nice ideas, such as free speech, privacy, presumption of innocence, and secure ownership of personal property. That's a lot to give up, and for very questionable benefits, too.
That's why I have no qualms with "piracy", and I refuse to condemn the file-sharers. Not because they're heroic or anything like that, but just because they're doing nothing wrong. Copying, sharing, and ruining people's business plans are natural human activities, and no one has any business trying to outlaw them.
P.S. Given the opportunity, I would download a car. Wouldn't you?
"So what should we do about the Fascist threat?" That in a nutshell, is the five million dollar question. As far as I can tell, fascism always wins. It wins because the people behind this eternal business plan are all billionaires - people that everyone wants to be or be like, and who we thus do not allow ourselves to see as bad people. After all, we don't want to be, or be like, bad people, right. So they get a pass. We simply cannot believe that our heroes are trying to drain the nation and its people of their assets. After all, these are the people who already have everything one could want right. Add to that the simple fact that their wealthy status allows them the extra-legal privilege of buying their way out of any misdeed they are caught perpetrating, and the fact that they normally pay others - minions - to do the actual dirty-work, and you have the new "Untouchables". Due to their combined wealth, a fascist cabal controls the law by controlling the law makers. Politicians, notorious for accepting "Gifts" in return for creating legal loopholes in restrictive laws that billionaires can safely traverse to "get the job done", are lined up at the doors of these billionaires, begging to lend a hand in the destruction of their nation, for a price. But this is ALWAYS the way of things. If there is an exit from this mess we have built around us again, and the inevitable final exploitation by our own most influential citizens, history does not offer it. I think in fact that many if not most of the failed attempts at civilization in our past, (save a few natural disaster scenarios like buried by volcanoes), were due in fact to this very same situation - fascism - the wealthy attempting to take it all by subverting the law. It might help somewhat to note that Fascism is NOT a political aspiration. It is 100% commercial. It is the act of wealthy individuals, conspiring in secret, to take it all, by utilizing government as a weapon and a disguise. It simply works. If there is an answer to this recurring nightmare, we had better damn well start looking soon though. So far they have won every battle, simply because we refuse to believe who the enemy - who we all want to be or be like - is, and so we attack someone we don't like instead of the true enemy, making matters worse.
"...that will act to suppress both free speech online and the ability to communicate securely and privately."
But of course. A fascist regime cannot thrive and prosper as long as the public can conspire secretly against it via encrypted communications, and the ability to actually spy on every single citizen has been a fascist wet-dream since - forever.
This bill will kill many birds with one stone and open the USA to some serious legally-allowed exploitation and dissident-culling by the Trump Cartel and any billionaires (s)elected as POTUS who follow until the USA is a bankrupt hulk - wide open to invasion - and just another foot-note in history, which will of course be written by the billionaires.
And just in time too, what with many of the big US cities considering the notion of dismantling some of the extra-legal (read criminal) and secret police units and the criminally insane Police Unions that train and protect them, this bill will help put things back on track and let the billionaire's final solution get back in the saddle, before any real damage to the business-plan occurs.
And as long as its socially totally un-Cool to consider - let alone discuss - the idea that a fascist regime could actually take over the US government and destroy the USA from within, the Urn It Act should suffice to eliminate any real threats to the systematic transfer of the American economy into off-shore safe haven bank accounts by American billionaires and their foreign friends.
It IS happening here folks.
Wake up or kiss your American Dream goodbye.
You don't really think that these folks are actually interested in "serving" the public do you?
That is extremely naive.
The millionaire members of any fascist or corporate-owned state are solely and explicitly interested in turning the public into a money making machine through the re-writing and re-interpretation of laws that normally protect the public from the exploits of the rich.
The public serves them, until the public is empty, and then the fascists move on to the next victim state.
Fascism is a fatal social disease.
"... definitely not what Congress wanted to have happen when it passed Section 230 in order expressly to protect that economic vitality."
However, there are a large number of corporations, politicians and other criminal types who would absolutely love to see this idiocy written in stone, specifically in order to break the internet.
Hollywood and the Record Industry come to mind immediately.
Looks like a legal battle between dinosaur-money and the public-interest.
Given the present track record for the courts to get this stuff right, my bet is on the Dinosaurs getting their way. Again. And again.
After all, its just so damned hard to say No to Money.
Methinks that as long as everyone keeps "believing" that all of this stuff is caused by ignorance/incompetence, rather than willful, intentional malice, its just gonna get worse. And, from I've seen over the last decade, its just gonna get worse.
End the War on Drugs. Immediately.
After all, according to what we are learning these days, nobody is really waging any sort of "war" against the Drug Trade anymore anyway.
The Police have basically become employees of the Drug Trade, earning a far larger income from the Black Market than that which the public pays them. Exactly the same thing happened during the last moral prohibition.
This double income explains too, their recent Reverse Robin Hood assaults on the public, as their loyalty shifts towards the employer who pays the higher wage.
As the Drug Cartels collapse without a legally contraband product to sell, all the Drug Warrior Cops immediately lose their secondary employer and their second income, as the Drug-Trade based forfeiture laws lose their very reason for existence.
Lets face it. Ending the war On Drugs would be the biggest blow to organized crime since the end of the last phony political morality war - Prohibition.
Problem solved. No muss. No fuss.
And most of the bad cops - who are only in it for the extra income - would likely quit the force soon there-after, making room for employment of some actual crime fighters and investigators.
Then, while sanity is actively present, maybe we could also accept that the Drug Problem is a social and medical problem and not a criminal problem, and that its purported dangers are actually far more Hollywood Hero bullshit than Reality-based anyways.
Hey. I can dream, right. :)
The Game is a simple Get Richer Quicker Scam.
Its where the very wealthy alter the laws so that they can rob the nation blind, legally.
It doesn't matter if the scam does not last long because the wealthy are busily pulling in millions of US dollars every day and like all the rich-guy scams of the past, nobody involved in this Reverse Robin Hood scenario will suffer any consequences when and if the scam and its membership is busted.
They changed the laws of the land first and are thus not guilty of breaking any laws.
The peasants have had a good run and have accumulated a ton of nice things. Its now time for the lords of the land to legally reverse that trend and take all those nice things for themselves.
Call it Trickle Up Economics.
Fascism is not a form of government.
Its a business plan.
Feet to the fire.... methinks one's time might be better spent attempting to get We The Peoples' heads out of their asses.
One must realize that once a voting system becomes fully corrupt, the public threat of NOT VOTING for someone no longer has teeth.
Once the politicians know who will win and who will not, before the vote is cast, they can and will, do as they damn well please.
Exactly what we are seeing today.
You make it sound like the creation of their "claimed" moronic lack-of-filing non-system was a mistake they need to correct.
How could they realistically claim to need a legal loophole because of the horrid state of their record-keeping, if they don't convince the public that their record keeping ability is a complete disaster?
The simple truth however, is that they can and often do - for special corporate clients - search and retrieve thousands of documents in mere minutes, using their state of the art (tax-payer purchased) documents storage, retrieval and record-filing systems.
It is only the public-face of the agency that cannot find its ass with both hands, and that is 100% agency policy and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with their record storage and retrieval capacity.
If the claim was true, you would be seeing that agency begging for federal funds to update its technology, every two years, minimum.
As with almost every other branch of the American Fascist Government, bull-shitting the public, while shrugging off legal irritants that might benefit the public in some fashion, is now policy.
And why not? After all, like you, Americans mostly believe the bullshit their government and its agents spew, and besides, Americans no longer have the means to verify or dispute the claims anyway.
F.O.I.A. now stands for "Fuck Off Inquisitive Americans"
Ah, the inevitable growth of fascist control, as it continues to shield itself from the clutches of those it exploits, while insuring only that the millionaires making up its membership, thrive and profit at the expense of all others, by changing the laws of the land.
Keep up the great work America. Your continued ignorance of the situation you face and your determined failure to act in self defense, will insure the fascists succeed in bringing America to its knees financially from within, and thus create a perfect warning to the people of all other nations on earth.
We've never before actually witnessed and thus recorded, the process of national disintegration from within, at the hands of a nation's own wealthiest individuals, since it is they, the winners, who always write history.
Fascism. National Entropy.
Know that your sacrifice will aid those other nations who are watching your demise, in protecting themselves from the greed of those who are least in need, when the fascist millionaires use these same methods in their own respective nations.
Thank you Americans.
You do the nations of the world a great service.
You will not be forgotten.
As with so many other old truisms, this one is long overdue for an overhaul.
In today's fake news media, official misinformation and pure bullshit political forum, this is now the reality.
"Never attribute to stupidity, incompetence, or ignorance, that which can be better explained by malice, and attempted deception."
In fact, the only truism that still rings absolutely true, is the one so few actually utilize.
"Follow the money trail."
"The problem, of course, is that all the public screaming in the world has yet to shift the thinking of
net neutrality opponents in Congress..."
There, in a nutshell, is the real problem today, not just for Net Neutrality but for absolutely everything concerning law.
As long as its 100% legal for corporate crooks to buy politicians, and 100% legal for politicians to take bribes and do the bidding of their corporate benefactors by writing laws that help the crooks make more money and ending laws that interfere with the crooks' methods of making more money, this thing can only get worse.
No matter what the public does, it will have far less effect than giving politicians wads of money has, and even when the public succeeds, it will only be a temporary success, undone once the crooks raise the amount of each politician's "lobby", or legal graft pay-outs.
End "lobby" payouts - legalized bribery - and you will go a long way towards making things right again.
As long as it is up to the politicians to decide whether to end legal graft or not, nothing will change. They will NEVER choose to end the lobby fountain that constitutes a second income for doing corporate favors.
Damn, it would be ever so much nicer if there was a few ideas on how to fix the situation being aired here.
But, apparently, nobody has a single clue as to solutions because no two people can agree on what is actually amiss.
Why is that?
In a word; dis-information.
Dis-information is one of the major tools of Fascism.
Dis-information; otherwise known as lying, deception and outright bullshit, should be illegal.
In fact, it should be considered a form of treason, since it attempts to thwart the public's ability to make correct political and domestic decisions, allowing criminals to enter and hold political office, operate businesses and purchase/write reverse-able criminal friendly laws.
As long as you all just bicker over what is wrong, the bad guys keep winning and everything just gets worse.
Clue: EVERYTHING is wrong. The system itself, from vote to press is fucked and needs fixing. There is no single panacea for the current situation.
Then again, I suppose if ye all just keep beating each other over the head with personal slurs, you won't have to do a thing. It will be done for you by those who are making truck-loads of money from your confusion and inaction - the Billionaires and Millionaires of America.
And then, it will of course, be too late to do anything - which is the intended purpose of fascist dis-information.
<tl;dr> You are truly fucked.
Methinks if you take an honest look at just who is behind the profit side of the illegal drug economy, all this will make perfect sense.
The extremely wealthy love to invest their cash in things that show a good fast profit return. There is no better investment field than the illegal drug economy. Drugs are dirt cheap to make/grow. A dollar spent will return hundreds, if not thousands in return.
But the laws..... well, if you're law enforcement people are included in the profit side of the illegal drug economy too, then they have no reason to stop the drug trade, and thus no reason to target either the cartels, or their financiers.
On the other hand, since drug users have their "rights" stripped by the laws, they make the perfect target for law enforcement's reverse Robin Hood actions - for legal forfeiture-based theft by the cops, which leaves the users on the street to gather more stuff for later repeat forfeitures. A renewable resource!!
Once the cops can make a buck from the illegal drug economy, they become a part of that economy and will thereafter do whatever it takes to keep the ball rolling and the cash flowing in, which means actually protecting the drug economy financiers and the cartels.
In case you have not noticed yet, its also the wealthy who create the laws of the land.
This "problem", like most of the problems now facing the American people, has been manufactured by the American Wealthy, to provide a new source of tax free, unreported income, and has proven to be the most lucrative business model since War.
The problem however, is almost impossible to fix.
The American people are worshipers of the wealthy and will do nothing to reduce the ability of the wealthy to turn a profit, simply because they too want to be among the wealthy and want to make sure all of those extra ways and means of making money remain intact in case they too should some day become a member of the 1%.
Its the American Dream.
The American public is thus incapable of dealing with this problem in a sensible fashion and will continue to allow the billionaires to drain their wealth until as always, the fascists have shipped their host's wealth to their off-shore vaults and then migrate to take up residence in the next wealthy country. Shake and repeat.
Remember, Fascism is a for-profit business model, not a form of government.
I'm beginning to suspect that Hollywood is the directing force behind the American billionaire Fascist movement.
It is extremely amazing and quite amusing how well the Fascist political actors can portray both the Democratic and Republican Parties at the same time, and still keep most of the public fooled completely...
"You can fool most of the people all of the time and all of the people most of the time" is proving to be much more than an idle observation.
It has become a major business model as well as a fascist mantra.
"This is an agency boss who not only turned a blind eye to fraud and identity theft during the public comment period, but also apparently helped make up a DDOS attack just to try and downplay the massive, bipartisan opposition to his policies."
You might also note that somehow, Pai is able to simply give the middle finger to all attempts to investigate his crimes, without the slightest repercussion.
That's some serious (corporate) protection there. I mean hell, the man is immune to the law and nobody in power seems to mind.
Good thing there's no such thing as conspiracies huh.
Otherwise, one might get the notion that there is a concerted corporate effort world-wide, to destroy the internet as a means of anonymous public communications.
Anyone wanna cover my bet that Pai walks away from this mess unscathed, once the smoke clears and the internet is reduced to a selection of politically-neutered commercial walled-gardens at thrice today's cost to consumers?
I'd love to see his offshore bank accounts afterwards too. How much would you charge to do Corporate America's fascist dirty work, at this scale? :)
Looks to me like Mister Pai has been promised an end-game reward - a chalet in the Urals sort of thing, or a massive payment placed in a special off-shore account - if he can pull off the political-commercial desires of a couple of very friendly corporations, before a certain date. It also appears that he has been offered a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card, should he have to break any laws to get the task done.
But of course, as all Americans know, that sort of thing simply can't happen here in the land of Milk and Honey.
So... never mind. :)
I'm 68 come December.
Oblivion (pre-SteamDVD) Not controlled by Steam.
Skyrim and SkyrimSE
All controlled by Steam.
I hate being forced to allow privileged parasites to exist on my computer, just so Corporations can check my pockets for contraband. But so far, its the only way I can play these games:)
In my opinion, its this kind of "You don't really own what you buy." legislation that encourages people like me to search for "parasite-free" hacked versions of games on P2P networks.
Destroy the web...
They just want to fully control it, like TV.
Its far too big a cash cow for the protected Big Players, especially once they get rid of the little upstarts competing for their customers and their dollars through this and future legislation.
As with the War on Drugs, this is all about creating a false market shortage to raise prices, while eliminating small time competitors. After all, the Big Protected Players in this game are upstanding millionaire citizens, who will never be subjected to these laws.
But this move will indeed raise the cost of renting a child for sex, which will make the protected Big Dealers much wealthier, while eliminating the small dealer competition outright through legal web-site destruction.
And since most of the big players are actually members of federal/state government and CEOs of major corporations, it also gives the Big Players a nice list of perverts who they can blackmail should the need arise at some later date.
Blackmail is probably one of the fastest growing business models in the world today, because the victims always remain silent.
Is a crime that is never reported, actually a crime?
Of course, this law and those pending, will also eliminate a ton of websites that are not actually advertising any kind of "sex4rent" along the way, but that's just icing on the fascist cake.
Two things this law will not do, is protect children from sexual exploitation, or harm the real "sex4rent" industry.