Very good! I'm glad someone posted on this issue! Its bills like this that are destroying the internet as we know it and replacing it with a censored and government controlled place where the internet as a whole gets fucked!
This post has been edited by H3R3T1C: 01 December 2011 - 10:11 AM
I've already mailed my representative and senators. Not that I think they'll do anything, since my neighboring district's representative is the sponsor of that bill, but they need to know that they're wrong.
I read the actual law before reading the "summary" and the "summary" gets it all wrong, to the point that either they are idiots or they are liars. And in terms of reporting, the difference is inconsequential. So, here is a breakdown of "A List Apart" errors (or lies).
1) Not technically an error, but worth noting that they believe that online piracy shouldn't be stopped. So right there, they have a problem with the purpose. The fact is that without patents and copyrights in place, what incentive is there to make original things and works of art in this world of mass production?
2) They make the claim (and they put the phrases in quotes) that this would cause a shut-down of sites that are ďcapable ofĒ or ďseem to encourageĒ copyright infringement. I read the law and those phrases put in quotes do not appear anywhere in the law, so why the quotations? In fact, the only sites that could be blocked and denied financial access were sites that are specifically intended for online piracy. Nothing about sites that encourage copyright infringement. That would be pointless anyway, as those are protected by the First Amendment.
3) Throughout the article, they make the assertion that a corporation would have the power to shut down the offending website. The only thing a corporation would have the right to do is petition the court, and even then only if that corporation has the copyright. Then the offending website is contacted and given 5 days to take down the copyrighted work. If they don't, then AND ONLY THEN can the court contact ISPs and financial institutions for them to be blocked - and even that has restrictions, as that requires another hearing.
4) The reference of Facebook and Bing having to police all of its accounts - which may or may not exist already anyway - is not in the law. In fact, sites that have financial contact and ISPs only have the duty to act when told to by the courts. It's repeated many times in subsections marked NO DUTY TO MONITOR. Interesting that the article claims in this case something that is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the law actually says.
5) It makes a passing reference to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine for having concerns for copyright issues, but this is a bad example. The IAWM does take things down from it all the time because of copyright issues, with more frequency than YouTube.
So what does the actual law do? It requires ISPs to block websites that are intended to facilitate online piracy - not just sites that make it theoretically possible. It also makes it illegal for businesses to advertise online piracy services and sites, as well as provide financial services for them. Many places do this now on their own (don't believe me? google "child porn"). The activities that these sites do are already illegal (another requirement of getting shut down), so there's no freedom being lost here, except for the dubious freedom to steal.
Theoretically impossible? I suppose you've never been to high school, where it is "impossible" to get to blocked sites. Put up a hurdle, it'll be jumped, a wall and it will be tunneled. You cannot and will not stop people from getting anything. How well is that working on the Child porn front? It still happens (even to my personal disgust I must add...) and it can't be stopped. It's like a hydra, cut off one head and two will spawn in its place.
There are lines of securityexperts and hacking professionals that say otherwise, and I rather doubt you have the same qualifications...
Heck, it's not like Google, Facebook, and the biggest names in technology are against it or anything...
Lemur: Let me start by asking a question: did you read the bill in question? Not the analysis, not the theories, not the editorials, but the actual bill itself? Because I did, and it is very dry and looooong. It clearly subscribed to the theory that you shouldn't say in ten words what you can say in a thousand.
I'm not being snarky; that is a serious question. It seems that many people are only commenting on what other people have said about the bill, making commentary and opinion a matter of third & fourth person accounts. I recommend reading the thing for two reasons. 1) Because why should I be the only person to suffer? and 2) Because that way, whether you agree with me or not, you can show me where you see my errors in the law itself. My opinion of SOPA is based solely on the bill itself, not on what others have said about it, and I urge that on everyone. Now, as to the 5 points:
1) It may or not be presumptuous, but I think it is a key to understanding the point of view. Many (I would say most, but I can't back up that gut feeling) on the Internet are of the belief that online piracy is a good thing and that, further, it is the fault of the producers of works that they are pirated. Those who feel that way are going to be biased against any type of protections on principle.
2) The issue between Viacom & YouTube proves my point. Viacom is claiming that YouTube is knowingly allowing people to violate the copyrights Viacom owns - with YouTube resources. If Viacom is correct (and really, I don't know enough to comment on the merits of this specific case), then YouTube SHOULD be held accountable for it.
The argument would be the same as Viacom claiming that people were stealing money from them and putting it in boxes in YouTube's offices, and YouTube is knowingly allowing it.
Now, as for Twitter's response to Universal Music, again, proving my point. Universal Music does not want its copyrighted music to be shared by Twitter, and they are complying. Is Universal being petty and foolish? Yes, they are. But they have the right to be.
The comment about them threatening to shut down radios makes no sense; already, radio stations can only play what is given to them. This is part of the deal. (Part of the reason is because songs played over the radio are considered "free use" songs; that is, they can be used, royalty-free, in any non-commercial format.) I remember a controversy years ago when a local radio station had, as its most popular song, a duet sang between a popular musician and a Japanese singer. The problem was that the song was not released in the U.S. The DJ announced the "cease and desist" order he got and stated that that night would be the last time he would play the song - because it was #1 request that day.
3) For a website to be shut down, first the site has to be notified it is in violation. Then, if the content is not removed AND a judge (not the head of EvilCorp) determines that it is harboring copyright violations, then it is shut down - but again, going back to Viacom vs. YouTube, that lawsuit has been going on since 2007 and YouTube is still around.
4) What I said was that, contrary to many people's misconceptions, the sites are not required to be monitoring their sites for copyright violations and are only required to act when informed about it - and that is what the bill states. If I am missing something in the NO DUTY TO MONITOR sections, please show me.
5) Really, the Wayback machine was a tangent, but the original article mentioned it as though it helped its case, when it did not.
I'll add a point 6.
6) SOPA is very clear about its targets - sites with the primary purpose of committing piracy. So Facebook would not be affected, as its primary purpose is not piracy. Flickr would not be. BitTorrent? Maybe. 4shared? Yeah, probably.
Now, as for the child porn sites, no, you can't stop all child porn sites. You also can't stop all murders, rapes, robberies, wife beatings, or many other societal ills. That doesn't mean you don't try. All you can do is make it very, very hard. Now, the child porn sites do get shut down. Their sites get blocked by ISP providers. The people using them get arrested. It doesn't stop all of them, but it stops a lot of them, and really, that's all you can hope for. So, it's not kill one and two heads replace it, but you kill all the heads you can get and while some will get away, there are fewer heads around than before.
Now, as for your beginning, I won't deny it. I have been lurking here for a while, and made this account simply because I had an opinion I cared enough about to share. Not really convenient - more inconvenient than anything, but I had the time.
I completely agree with Fergurg. That bill is long and boring. I didn't read the whole bill, more like skimmed till I found something interesting.
I don't believe this bill is going to do anything. It is a scare tactic to remind people that not everything is free just because it is on the internet.
Laws like this are already in effect. This law is just to speed up law suits, like the YouTube/Viacom law suit, that will come to the same conclusion anyway. Like child porn sites, this only affects sites hosted in the US.
I also agree with Fergurg that the final decision is made by a judge not "EvilCorp" LOL.
I have seen many of my programs on torrent websites and to me its like free advertising. I actually know of one person who bought my software after first pirating it to try it out.
It could potentially destroy the purpose of a free Internet.
One attempt to govern the Internet will lead to another and so on and so on...
Eventually there will be systems in place to check everybody's actions and constantly restricting the access.
Internet + Rules, Laws and Governing Bodies = Fail
It could potentially destroy the purpose of a free Internet.
If by "free internet" you are talking about freedom of speech, that can never be taken away because of the first amendment. If by "free internet" you are talking about information being free, this bill cannot destroy that purpose because that has never been the purpose of the "free internet".
P.S. This is not a bill to govern the internet. This is a bill to govern copyrighted material. The material that is deemed free by it's creator will always be free.
This post has been edited by UziTech: 03 December 2011 - 11:21 PM
Through new legislation the copyright industry is trying to gain unprecedented control over the Internet. Very worrying plans that need to be stopped, but there is also something to learn from. Perhaps we should be grateful that the copyright industry, in their distorted sense of entitlement to the world, are pointing out crucial weaknesses that need to be fixed.
If this was even to ever remotely pass, there would be almost no lasting effects because the net will, and always will find ways to route around damage and censorship.
Security research company and prominent antivirus software vendor Kaspersky Lab has announced its intent to withdraw from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) because of the Alliance's support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, also known as H.R. 3261).
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) are the software industry's two biggest trade groups. Since both groups have strong anti-piracy stances, neither directly opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act. Both expressed interest in working with Congress to design the law.
"Kaspersky Lab is aware of the public controversy and debates sparked by the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Kaspersky Lab is occasionally mentioned in the discussion as a member of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which supports the SOPA initiative," a statement from the security company said on Monday. "Kaspersky Lab would like to clarify that the company did not participate in the elaboration or discussion of the SOPA initiative and does not support it. Moreover, the company believes that the SOPA initiative might actually be counter-productive for the public interest, and decided to discontinue its membership in the BSA as of January 1, 2012."
I've just read over it, not fully, but for the most part.
And yes, it isn't as bad as some people make it out. But I do see some of the areas where it creates wiggle room to shut down certain sites I personally do enjoy (and not for illegal purposes).
I'm still against it though. And I'm against it for one big reason.
Fuck yo' regulations!
Several of the people who are behind this bill hypocritically are attempting to enforce regulations on certain systems they themselves deem necessary, despite wide spread opinion against it. While at the same time preach de-regulation on the corporate front, allowing corporations to perform unethical actions.
It's a matter of my ideology and my principal that I'm against such a bill. Even if my stance is bull-headed... I am being intentionally bull-headed in my opinions in counter to the bull-headedness of many others.
Lamar Smith (writer of this bill) is anti-regulation. He has even gone about recently creating the "Regulatory Accountability Act" which were require federal agencies to more thoroughly examine new regulations before enacting them. While at the same time creating SOPA despite the fact that several sponsors have openly admitted that they don't actually understand the underlying technologies, that it will change the face of the internet, and experts even informing Lamar himself that it may infringe on protected speech rights but is to be expected (... yeah, saying that its justifiable collateral damage essentially):
Despite its regulatory actions that restrict the rights of citizens of this country. And is also for the "National Defense Authorization Act", anti-immigration, health-care reform, etc etc etc... all things I do not agree on, and I personally consider as 'citizen regulatory actions'.
So yes... I'm a bull-headed, opinionated, ideological individual standing head-strong against bullshit like this which comes from a pool of individuals who are also ideological as well. I usually have been actually rather moderate at times and ever willing to compromise to opinions like these that I don't agree with... but fuck them, I'm just tired of them, and they can eat my fat dick.
New version - OPEN... ars has a good run down on it... I'll need to digest it over lunch.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) have released a draft of OPEN: Online Protection & Enforcement of Digital Trade Act, intended as an alternative to SOPA/PROTECT-IP. Unlike SOPA's disgustingly blatant rent-seeking, which was such an over-the-top abuse of the legislative process that it did not (and could not) support a principled or even intelligent conversations about it, OPEN provides a useful starting point for a sensible conversation that could actually lead to acceptable compromises.