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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » SOPA and PIPA (Page 1)

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Author Topic: SOPA and PIPA
AchillesHeel
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I'm not sure why this doesn't have a thread yet, but you know its big when even Google is taking a side.

Here is a write up if don't know what is going on.

And here are the numbers for all the politicians you can call in regards to this.

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DDDaysh
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I almost started a thread about this the other day but then my internet went out (ha ha) and i forgot by the time it came back up. A friend of mine wrote an article about it for the huffington post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-ham/sopa-congress_b_1195598.html

It pretty much sounds like a terrible idea. I've written all my congresspeople, for whatever good that does. Lets hope it goes down!

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AchillesHeel
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I have called my politicians and I'm not really confident it makes a difference, each time it was a simple "I'll pass your message to the senator" and that was it. Yup, pass my message right along to John McCain who doesn't even use the internet.

I wonder how long until this becomes the "Banned websites checklist" thread.

Edit to add.
I just checked this list from DDD's link, as far as Arizonan politicians are concerned we're boned.

[ January 18, 2012, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: AchillesHeel ]

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ambyr
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I have called my politicians and I'm not really confident it makes a difference, each time it was a simple "I'll pass your message to the senator" and that was it. Yup, pass my message right along to John McCain who doesn't even use the internet.

It makes a difference. I mean, no, your eloquent words of protest are never going to be passed along verbatim to your representative. You won't be the individual voice of reason who turns the tide. But the aides are tracking the calls they get, and they're writing reports, and when they say, at the end of the week, "We've received 786 constituent calls, of which 59% were opposed and 41% were in favor"--yeah, that actually does get taken into consideration.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
I wonder how long until this becomes the "Banned websites checklist" thread.

http://ultrasurf.us/
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Stephan
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My local delegate voted to ban smoking in restaurants ONLY because his constituents wanted it. He said repeatedly he was against the ban, but saw what we wanted.
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Blayne Bradley
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Malice is indistinguishable from negligence.

But yeah, I think the most compelling explaination for the effort to try to rush these bills through is I believe, the fact that the internet doesn't recognize or respect the USA as a sovereign entity (or any nation for that matter) and that this effort can vaguely be seen as an effort to implement a "white listing" system similar to that implied in Ender's Game. In the book it was because of the existential threat of the New Warsaw Pact; here it is corporate interest driving it.

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Hobbes
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I e-mailed both my senators and my congressman, so at least I'll be added to the stats. Of course my congressman (one, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner) despite being, as far as I can tell, basically the congressional equivalent of Satan, already opposes it. I don't know much about my senators though... there's several other WI residents here so maybe they have a better idea.

Hobbes [Smile]

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AchillesHeel
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.... Al Franken is a sopa supporter... I just don't know what to think of that. I really don't.

You would think that a creative person like him would see that sopa/pipa is a freepass for big companies to ruin and ban smaller online businesses and places of free speech.

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Blayne Bradley
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHOZcHkvkvs&feature=g-all-u&context=G2294d16FAAAAAAAABAA
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Lyrhawn
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I thought I read something last night that said Obama would veto SOPA if it came to his desk, which should effectively kill it for now.

One of the problems with the discussion over SOPA has been that the two camps seem to be dividing along some pretty stark lines. It's being framed, by the media as well as regular people, as if one side wants everything to be free, and the other side wants the internet policed like we all live in China.

I think SOPA is a terrible idea, but I also think illegal downloading is wrong, and it's stealing. I got into a long argument the other day with someone who basically disagreed with the fundamental idea of intellectual property, and thought all ideas should be free to share without any protections, but I didn't know how to argue against someone who fundamentally disagrees with me at that level.

I don't know how to police it in a way that doesn't fundamentally alter the internet we know and love, but I disagree with those who think this behavior shouldn't be policed at all.

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Hobbes
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quote:
...but I didn't know how to argue against someone who fundamentally disagrees with me at that level.
Perhaps a discussion of the consequences if such a policy were realized?

Hobbes [Smile]

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Samprimary
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quote:
I got into a long argument the other day with someone who basically disagreed with the fundamental idea of intellectual property, and thought all ideas should be free to share without any protections, but I didn't know how to argue against someone who fundamentally disagrees with me at that level.
You let them move to the libertarian seastead and/or the anarcho-X banana republic capitaltopia project, should either one be realized, and let them report back on their findings?
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Aros
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The websites are down for both of my senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. I guess it doesn't help that Wikipedia will look them up for you and give you direct links to their contact pages.
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Aros
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We could only freely share ideas and IP if we could do so and still enforce commercial patents and copyrights.

Take drug companies, for example. They wouldn't put all of the money involved into development if they didn't have a window of exclusive production.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
quote:
...but I didn't know how to argue against someone who fundamentally disagrees with me at that level.
Perhaps a discussion of the consequences if such a policy were realized?

Hobbes [Smile]

I tried that. I talked about the importance of patent protections and copyright laws and he said that was all crap, that research and development would happen without any protections because universities do all the real work anyway, and they don't require outside funding. And artists should just suck it up.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
We could only freely share ideas and IP if we could do so and still enforce commercial patents and copyrights.

Take drug companies, for example. They wouldn't put all of the money involved into development if they didn't have a window of exclusive production.

That's exactly the example I used. The guy I was arguing with, as I said in my last post, claimed that Big Pharma just leeched off universities, who did all the real work and didn't really need any corporate money.
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Hobbes
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Then this issue isn't that you have such different beliefs but rather the issue is that he is an idiot.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Rakeesh
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*nod* He's either an idiot or flat-out lying. The only way to really dispute the idea that medical research doesn't just work out of universities would be to believe that the reported statistics on research are just lying, and then you get into conspiracy theory territory.

While it won't lead to a productive conversation, it is amusing, such as one man who told me that on the one hand we can't trust the media because they don't report on the super-engine auto companies have in secret or how 9/11 was an inside job...but also claims that it's obvious violent crime is up everywhere steadily in the country, because when you turn on the news what do you see?

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scholarette
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I wouldn't argue the need for copyright/patent but I do disagree with the implementation. For example, I don't feel guilt downloading books because I own them in paperback so why should I have to pay $10 to have them in my iphone? I got a few paperback books for Christmas and was kicking myself wishing I had instead got them for my iphone. Also, some of the pharmaceutical stuff is crazy. On one of my husbands drugs, it has like 13 years left before becoming a generic and at $400 a month, that is insane. The drug is just a tweak on another drug (gel instead of injection) so development should have been relatively (relatively being a key word there) small and it is a drug for a condition that affects a lot of people so the cost feels a lot more like gouging than protecting development to me.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
I got into a long argument the other day with someone who basically disagreed with the fundamental idea of intellectual property, and thought all ideas should be free to share without any protections, but I didn't know how to argue against someone who fundamentally disagrees with me at that level.
You let them move to the libertarian seastead and/or the anarcho-X banana republic capitaltopia project, should either one be realized, and let them report back on their findings?
Or just have them watch this video.
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SenojRetep
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The idea that universities "don't require outside funding" or even the more narrow "didn't really need any corporate money" are both based on a different model of universities than we have today. Grants from Pfizer or Lockheed Martin or Shell or <insert corporation here> have become an integral part of the modern American university (at least, within the technical colleges). Including other "outside" funding from federal grants through NSF, NIH, and various other government R&D agencies, I would guess a majority of most research universities' operating budgets are made up of "outside" funding (meaning non-endowment, non-tuition, non-direct government support)*.

I've often recommended the book Universities in the Marketplace by Derek Bok (former president of Harvard) as a good exposition on the ways in which universities have come to rely on outside funding, particularly corporate funding, and how it warps the university's role in society.

*Having written this, I realize that I don't really have a good sense for the relative balance of outside versus innate funding within, say, a moderately-sized state school. It could be that some universities would continue to operate quite well with no outside funding. But I believe the generation of IP would be considerably slowed as large research universities raised tuition, raided their endowments, and decreased the number of professors and researchers employed by the university.

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Strider
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I called my congressman and both my senators, and emailed them.

I also blacked out three of my sites today.

I've also in general cut out about 90% of my online piracy over the years, which I was pretty bad about in my early twenties. There are a few things I still am not perfect about. The model has also slowly changed and influenced my habits. I can now watch new tv on the network websites, I can watch old tv on netflix. I can watch movies on netflix or hulu or amazon instant play, etc...I can listen to music on pandora or spotify.

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Hobbes
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SR, if you're including things like NSF grants or state department grants for research then state universities are utterly reliant on them to survive, and basically all science-based research is funded this way (and none from the university itself). My father, in physics, pays his whole salary from the grants he gets for research, and then brings in several million on top of that in grants most of which goes to the university. The university ends up paying zero dollars for him or his research. Though many at least get paid for teaching I've met no one in the sciences or engineering who get any research money from the university itself. (I suppose you could say that they help pay by maintaining facilities, but the research grants pay for that and more, as most univerisities take at least hald the grant right off the top before the researcher can use it themsleves).

If you're talking specifically corporate money then in the fields I know of (mainly physics and structural engineering) it makes up maybe 5% of research budgets tops. I wouldn't be surprised to hear it's different in other fields but that's my experience.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
I got into a long argument the other day with someone who basically disagreed with the fundamental idea of intellectual property, and thought all ideas should be free to share without any protections, but I didn't know how to argue against someone who fundamentally disagrees with me at that level.
You let them move to the libertarian seastead and/or the anarcho-X banana republic capitaltopia project, should either one be realized, and let them report back on their findings?
Or just have them watch this video.
Yeah... no. It's a funny video, but it's not exactly persuasive.
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MattP
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quote:
Yeah... no. It's a funny video, but it's not exactly persuasive.
For most of us, most of the time, nothing is. [Smile]
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Dan_Frank
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How depressingly pessimistic! [Frown]

It may be true for most people, but it doesn't have to be.

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MattP
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quote:
How depressingly pessimistic!
It's just an observation, not pessimism.

quote:
It may be true for most people, but it doesn't have to be.
It's our natural state. One has to be trained to integrate rather than ignore new information that conflicts with existing views. If I could change one thing about public education, it would be to make training in logic and critical thinking a requirement with the same priority as english, math, or science.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
How depressingly pessimistic! [Frown]

It may be true for most people, but it doesn't have to be.

Even if this were true, if it is really only 'true for most people,' and there's a slim fraction of people for whom the truth of being a human being miraculously misses them, it still dooms the ideas that video is poking fun at.
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Strider
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Legislators are abandoning their support for these bills.

http://mashable.com/2012/01/18/pipa-sopa-abandon-bill/

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
How depressingly pessimistic! [Frown]

It may be true for most people, but it doesn't have to be.

Even if this were true, if it is really only 'true for most people,' and there's a slim fraction of people for whom the truth of being a human being miraculously misses them, it still dooms the ideas that video is poking fun at.
I'm confused. Or maybe not... I think your two points that

1) Cognitive biases are innate biological facts of being human and not irrational acquired memes which can be rejected...

2) Libertarianism/Anarcho-Capitalism/Free Markets only work if everyone is perfectly rational and free from cognitive biases at all times.

Am I reading you correctly? I disagree with you on both counts, if so. If not, could you clarify?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Legislators are abandoning their support for these bills.

http://mashable.com/2012/01/18/pipa-sopa-abandon-bill/

Hurrah!
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Blayne Bradley
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There was a online debate between some very important and smart tech guru's (the dude from G4TechTV for instance) and made some interesting and I believe saliant points that there is virtually nothing you can ever do to stop piracy and that any effort to try to police it is inherently contradictory and damaging to the internet.

If you look at even CURRENT copywrite law from the DMCA you'll see how bad it is already, there's very small paper thin due process as it is SOPA and PIPA aren't just bad implementations, they are exactly how any form of regulation of piracy will look like in the future, there's virtually no to little middle ground.

The problem has and always will be that 'pirates' provide a better service than the IP originators and piracy only goes away not through increased DRM and other protections but through artists and companies sucking it up and providing better service.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM

Here's a video from CynicalBrit about SOPA, if I can find the debate in question I'll post it.

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Legislators are abandoning their support for these bills.

http://mashable.com/2012/01/18/pipa-sopa-abandon-bill/

A handful have, but there are still several that support it. Enough that it's no given that it won't pass.
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King of Men
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I'm curious, is there anyone outside of the lobbying business who actually supports this? I've yet to see anyone who is not a corporate or political spokesperson say they think SOPA is a good idea.

On the issue of medical research, let's note you can't change a major thing like patent protection - not the same thing as copyright protection anyway - and then assume other things will be constant. For example, Big Pharma might, if they didn't get patent protection, try to rely on secrecy instead; that's what inventors did before patents, they didn't publish their results. Or, if the corporations got out of clinical research, universities might pick up the slack. It is true that currently universities do basic research on things like protein pathways; this forms the foundation of the clinical research that pharma companies do, but it requires a lot of work to make academic results into actual medicines. But this division of labour is not written into the structure of the universe, or even the US constitution. If pharma companies didn't do the clinical research, it seems possible that universities would fill the gap, getting paid in prestige - same as for their current basic research.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Legislators are abandoning their support for these bills.

http://mashable.com/2012/01/18/pipa-sopa-abandon-bill/

A handful have, but there are still several that support it. Enough that it's no given that it won't pass.
It doesn't have the majority it would need to pass and to override a veto.

This is more about making sure that if the bill should pass, it *is* vetoed, or has gone through significant enough changes that most concerns have been addressed. In the case of a veto, you want your senators and reps aware that you are not personally satisfied with the bill's content, and encourage them to either drop it, or suggest revisions. This is not a win/lose situation; some form of industry protection legislation is likely to pass at some point, but the question is how many inroads that will give private business into government regulation and free speech.

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Samprimary
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Yeah.

Ars Technica:

quote:
Members of the Senate are rushing for the exits in the wake of the Internet's unprecedented protest of the Protect IP Act (PIPA). At least 13 members of the upper chamber announced their opposition on Wednesday. In a particularly severe blow for Hollywood, at least five of the newly-opposed Senators were previously co-sponsors of the Protect IP Act. (Update: since we ran this story, the tally is up to 18 Senators, of which seven are former co-sponsors. See below.)
Given the horrendous quantity of pure bribery cash that groups like the MPAA have been hurling at congress to implement laws for themselves, though (it's really a lot of money) it is guaranteed that we'll get another go at this carnival of stupidity.
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TomDavidson
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I'm actually astonished by the stubborn idiocy of the Democrats on this one.
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Samprimary
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If you follow the money and see what their common 'arrangements' they have with organizations, it becomes less astonishing and much more straightforwardly understandable.

Still as completely idiotic, but straightforwardly so. Doesn't matter what we're talking about: pharmaceuticals, agribiz, or media — money buys votes.

Votes for very stupid things.


The pirate bay response:


quote:
INTERNETS, 18th of January 2012. PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would "do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear". He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.

Because of Edisons patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North american east coast. The movie studios therefore relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent. There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them - like Fantasia, one of Disney's biggest hits ever.

So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: "stole") other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they're all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations - it's all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules.

The reason they are always complainting about "pirates" today is simple. We've done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between eachother, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them). It's all based on the fact that we're competition. We've proven that their existance in their current form is no longer needed. We're just better than they are.


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Bella Bee
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Well, toady the FBI have shut down Megaupload and had people arrested all over the world. I guess this is where it starts.

Can't find a news link about it in English yet. ETA: Okay, here we go.

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Mucus
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quote:
On Weibo, joking about SOPA’s similarities to Chinese censorship was sensitive enough that some posts on the subject were almost certainly deleted (though it can be hard to know). But among those that survived, a commentator known as Dr. Zhang wrote: “I’ve come up with a perfect solution: You can come to China to download all your pirated media, and we’ll go to America to discuss politically sensitive subjects.”

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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by Bella Bee:
Well, toady the FBI have shut down Megaupload and had people arrested all over the world. I guess this is where it starts.

Can't find a news link about it in English yet. ETA: Okay, here we go.

And Anonymous has retaliated in a show of force I am a bit blown away by.

http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-doj-universal-sopa-235/

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Geraine
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Same here. This is probably the biggest and most ballsy attack by Anonymous yet. Shutting down the FBI website? Wow. The fact that they have the know how and power to do something like this scares me a bit. While I don't approve of them carrying out the attack, I agree with their reasons.

Anonymous basically just made an enemy in the US government. They may have only been a minor annoyance before, but I have a feeling the FBI isn't going to take this lightly.

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TomDavidson
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Shutting down the FBI website != shutting down the FBI. [Smile] It's less impressive than it seems.
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Rakeesh
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It's a symbolic blow, like Tom says. How seriously the FBI and the rest of the government takes it seems to be up to them at some point, but I have to wonder what resources they could commit to hindering or catching Anonymous now that they weren't already.

It's also a symbolic attack in the sense that it makes the government look foolish and inept in the eyes of many, and who wants that sort of organization with powers such as SOPA?

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Destineer
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Nice article, and entirely correct, to my mind.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/small_business/2012/01/sopa_stopping_online_piracy_would_be_a_social_and_economic_disaster_.html

quote:
There’s no evidence that the United States is currently suffering from an excessive amount of online piracy, and there is ample reason to believe that a non-zero level of copyright infringement is socially beneficial. Online piracy is like fouling in basketball. You want to penalize it to prevent it from getting out of control, but any effort to actually eliminate it would be a cure much worse than the disease.
ETA:
Another issue related to the "dead weight loss" he mentions is when there just isn't enough of an audience for an existing piece of intellectual property to be sold profitably. Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future will never be released on DVD, but thanks to Youtube I can revisit my youthful love of it for free.

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scifibum
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Based on the amount of dreck I see on Netflix and Hulu, I think a lot of that old stuff that can't muster the sales for a DVD release is still being legally licensed and distributed.
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Destineer
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But not Captain Power! You're talking to a guy whose recent Youtube viewings include StarCom: US Space Force, Inhumanoids and the failed pilot White Dwarf.
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AchillesHeel
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The power of the internet.
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Hobbes
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I got a form e-mail back from my senator (only one of them) explaining to me why PIPA is a great idea. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Hobbes [Smile]

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