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Author Topic: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.  (Read 10435 times)

JNiles

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2011, 04:03:10 PM »
I haven't read the text of the bill, so please bear with the vague generalizations I am going to make instead.  Our (American) legislative branch is a select group of people who like being in charge, like to extend their authority by passing laws, and don't know/care about the consequences of their actions.  They will try whatever they think they can get away with... the only limits are the fact that they get in each other's way, and perhaps the occasional fear of massive demonstrations/civil disobedience.

Personal anecdote: In 1995, when I was a graduate student, someone introduced a bill that would tax grad student tuition waivers; you get them by being a research assistant or teaching assistant.  Grad students are by nature poor, so the net effect would be some of them would have to quit.  The labor they save the faculty (research, office hours, grading papers) would be dumped in the faculty's lap.  Now, why would anyone tax them specifically?  It's untapped revenue, I guess.

Fortunately, the bill went nowhere, but bad bills are proposed all the time.  They are supposed to die in committee, but if everyone follows their party leader, any bill can conceivably go through, including this one.  Waiting for the Supreme Court to strike it down is the last line of defense- it shouldn't be counted on.

The usual tired response to this nonsense is "elect better representatives".  But the cartels we call "political parties" are not interested in quality control, only loyalty, and are well-equipped to hammer down any independent candidates that pop up (I do not belong to a party myself).  Nothing stops a candidate from lying about their intended goals, then selling off their influence once they get in office.  We don't have a national-level recall mechanism, and 2 or 6 year terms are plenty of time to do some damage.

Of course, this is not a problem unique to us- but since this bill apparently relies on the muscle of the American government and the payment companies that are based in the US, it's worth mentioning.  Other countries can pull the same stunt if the right people are put in place- I am in particular amazed that it's possible for an outside group of internationals to replace the prime minister of a European nation.  So much for national sovereignty.

The TARP thing is a particular sore spot for me- the public seems to have a gigantic blind spot when it comes to financial matters and very large numbers.  Support for TARP boils down to 2 things:
1. Trust us, we know what's best for you.
2. If we didn't do it, things would be much worse off than they are.

- neither of which is provable.  Our state representatives largely opposed it at the beginning, then reversed course (at least enough to aid in its passage).

Back to the original post and the links referenced by it- I'm sorry to see that the sponsor is from Texas- as it's not my state/district, I don't get the pleasure of voting against this politician.  I suppose contacting one's local representative is the next best option- it doesn't require demonstrating and it doesn't get one teargassed.

I do have one small hope - the public loves its entertainment, and messing with that entertainment is the surest way of annoying it (Look at the outcry over Netflix).  Everyone knows what Youtube and blogs are- perhaps going beyond the occasional DMCA-video yanking will get their dander up.  Can we at least have our bread and circuses?



Setsuna

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2011, 04:41:40 PM »
I haven't read the text of the bill, so please bear with the vague generalizations I am going to make instead.  Our (American) legislative branch is a select group of people who like being in charge, like to extend their authority by passing laws, and don't know/care about the consequences of their actions.  They will try whatever they think they can get away with... the only limits are the fact that they get in each other's way, and perhaps the occasional fear of massive demonstrations/civil disobedience.

Personal anecdote: In 1995, when I was a graduate student, someone introduced a bill that would tax grad student tuition waivers; you get them by being a research assistant or teaching assistant.  Grad students are by nature poor, so the net effect would be some of them would have to quit.  The labor they save the faculty (research, office hours, grading papers) would be dumped in the faculty's lap.  Now, why would anyone tax them specifically?  It's untapped revenue, I guess.

Fortunately, the bill went nowhere, but bad bills are proposed all the time.  They are supposed to die in committee, but if everyone follows their party leader, any bill can conceivably go through, including this one.  Waiting for the Supreme Court to strike it down is the last line of defense- it shouldn't be counted on.

The usual tired response to this nonsense is "elect better representatives".  But the cartels we call "political parties" are not interested in quality control, only loyalty, and are well-equipped to hammer down any independent candidates that pop up (I do not belong to a party myself).  Nothing stops a candidate from lying about their intended goals, then selling off their influence once they get in office.  We don't have a national-level recall mechanism, and 2 or 6 year terms are plenty of time to do some damage.

Of course, this is not a problem unique to us- but since this bill apparently relies on the muscle of the American government and the payment companies that are based in the US, it's worth mentioning.  Other countries can pull the same stunt if the right people are put in place- I am in particular amazed that it's possible for an outside group of internationals to replace the prime minister of a European nation.  So much for national sovereignty.

The TARP thing is a particular sore spot for me- the public seems to have a gigantic blind spot when it comes to financial matters and very large numbers.  Support for TARP boils down to 2 things:
1. Trust us, we know what's best for you.
2. If we didn't do it, things would be much worse off than they are.

- neither of which is provable.  Our state representatives largely opposed it at the beginning, then reversed course (at least enough to aid in its passage).

Back to the original post and the links referenced by it- I'm sorry to see that the sponsor is from Texas- as it's not my state/district, I don't get the pleasure of voting against this politician.  I suppose contacting one's local representative is the next best option- it doesn't require demonstrating and it doesn't get one teargassed.

I do have one small hope - the public loves its entertainment, and messing with that entertainment is the surest way of annoying it (Look at the outcry over Netflix).  Everyone knows what Youtube and blogs are- perhaps going beyond the occasional DMCA-video yanking will get their dander up.  Can we at least have our bread and circuses?


I'd note that there's another 21 sponsors, but that doesn't change my perspective from an outsider. Basically there's a lot of people to aim at if you want to make things move.

I've been following the progress of the RIAA and the MPAA for years - the actions they've taken have been rather curious, some of them more successful than others. I guess I just reveal myself to be someone older than anyone has much business being, at least in my line of work.

My concern is the fact that the SPOA isn't actually anything particularly new - it's from my count about the seventh bill to show up in the last five years. You had other bills including a bill that had 5 streams having you liable for six months jail in a couple of states (Alabama I think?) which were supposed to be just about 'offending people' but when you dug a little deeper... copyright infringement was one of the listed triggers. I'm not ENTIRELY sure the status of that bill though, I think it sort of got stalled and sent to inertia hell, but I may be wrong.

The only thing dramatic about it is the fact that they've made it an end run, and this time around, a quite dramatic end run, by not attacking only internally (which they have rights to attempt although I question if a republic is served by people being permitted to throw lots of cash at elected politicans) but by using the US by what amounts to economic warfare in the first instance. (Generally it's better to try diplomacy before you direct violent action.)

It would, in effect, have civil actions actioned by government, and consequently, it's a huge danger. That and it would sound stupid at first glance, but it wouldn't surprise me if a war sparked over it.

It would be funny to find out WW3 started over Mickey Mouse though... Well, if it wasn't for the fact there's a non zero chance of turning a few countries into glass parking lots anyway.

I guess I've been on the trail for a long time, and if nothing else, I've seen a lot from them. It all doesn't work (otherwise I don't think we'd even be having this discussion at all since this site would more or less would not exist and I'd probably be taking up a career in scamming at a major bank instead) but some of it certainly does.

All I ask is that action is taken that this particular piece of stupid is sent back where it belongs (Unless you believe that corporations should be permitted to use government to enforce their will), and suggest that any future acts of stupid are dealt with so we don't have to worry about it later.

Unfortunately, as more famous and smarter people have pointed out - the price of freedom is eternal viligance. It really does suck when everyone forgets that one.
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Setsuna

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2011, 08:49:39 AM »
Thought I'd drop an update.

http://www.stopcensorship.org/

I will quote from the website:

There's a good chance this legislation will pass – but Senator Ron Wyden is a steadfast opponent, and he says he'll try to block it by filibustering if it comes up for a vote.


So much for the unlikely folks. I'd pay attention.
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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2011, 04:47:55 AM »
Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. I'm really upset that something like this could be law soon. I've spread the word to all of my friends, a lot of whom are streamers and self-content creators, which is why I was interested in getting started with the whole process. Needless to say, my friends are as angry about this as I am. I hope that all of the people who are voicing their displeasure with this potential law will be enough to KILL IT.  >:(
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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2011, 12:26:01 PM »
Well, I brought this to another site, one that would be hit more than us. It seems bills like these have tried to get passed as a law and keeps rejected every time. Besides, even if the majority would approve of it, the President can say "no" to it and it won't pass. That move is called a veto. And since Obama doesn't approve of this, well yeah.

Setsuna

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2011, 12:37:28 PM »
Well, I brought this to another site, one that would be hit more than us. It seems bills like these have tried to get passed as a law and keeps rejected every time. Besides, even if the majority would approve of it, the President can say "no" to it and it won't pass. That move is called a veto. And since Obama doesn't approve of this, well yeah.

Actually Obama hasn't taken a formal decision to say he'd veto it. He doesn't like it but he didn't say he'd veto it outright.

The other problem is that the above statement's incorrect - there HAS been several major instances where 'stupid IP law' has snuck by. Mostly in state law, and the DCMA itself. (There's also other political cases where money was straight out rammed down throats until they voted the right way, so to speak.)

It's one of those things you tend to find in politics - People with money really like pushing money onto representatives to try to find a way in, no matter what it takes. We've seen it in Australia with a few politicans. A good example is how we're negociating with the international treaty concerning copyright - It reads like a laundry list for IP holders, and strangely enough no one's talking about it and it's due to be signed after negociations are complete.

And essentially it's a IP control thing. It'd be really useful for them if the law DID pass and it doesn't change QUITE all that much in the US. It'd just suck for everyone else outside the US in particular, including where I live (Australia) and Japan, since it would extend all copyright laws via economic strangulation around the world, regardless of what the native populations think.
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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2011, 12:55:37 PM »
I believe there's a due process on the veto and on voting overall. Think this: If he says he'll veto this before the vote, then that would defeat the point of having the voting in the first place. It would scream "dictator" all around (and the government there is a democratic, after all) because he'll be unfair. Also, what if he'll never have to use this and the majority vote ends up to the opposition? I think it's more in the practice of power in why most people, the president included, is silent about it.

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2011, 06:38:52 AM »
I believe there's a due process on the veto and on voting overall. Think this: If he says he'll veto this before the vote, then that would defeat the point of having the voting in the first place. It would scream "dictator" all around (and the government there is a democratic, after all) because he'll be unfair. Also, what if he'll never have to use this and the majority vote ends up to the opposition? I think it's more in the practice of power in why most people, the president included, is silent about it.

I'd also like to take the other side of politics - He's perfectly entitled to decide the money being offered to him for support for the bill is worth loss in public support.

Popular opinion isn't the only thing that determines if you'll stay in office. In the US, you sort of have to spend a lot (and I mean a LOT) of money to keep there.

And it doesn't help a lot of the backers are media and entertainment. You don't want to be quite at the wrong end of THAT stick...
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Sev

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2011, 09:40:53 AM »
Time for an AMERICAN'S opinion on all this. Barack Obama got to White house on the nickles and dimes given to him by everyday Americans like myself. He's been offered money plenty of times in the past and has almost always turned it down.

 And trust me he may have not officially taken a position but if that bill landed on his desk he'd veto it. In which case the ENTIRE process would have to start over again until you can get over 2/3s of congress to agree on it. Which 2/3s of congress hasn't agreed on anything since choosing to enter WWII.

 Also please have some faith in the American people even if this bill somehow passed and was signed we'd probably go on a Piracy streak and break it so much it'd be unenforceable like the law in Texas that says you have to be 18 to play Pinball. Prison's are crowded here as it is so I'm pretty sure after a few years, no MONTHS the law would be to expensive to enforce and just dropped naturally.

 The worlds not as corrupt as it may seem to some of you. The People are ultimately the ones who decide weather or not a law is followed or not. Cause if people actually obeyed every single law there would be no drunk drivers but America would have never even been formed. We're lawbreakers at heart. We'll either kill it before its signed or break it till the Govt changes it back.

Classic example the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. This law made Alcohol illegal in the US but was actually repealed a few years later because of the HUGE crime spike it caused. Keep in mind this was an AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION of the US which pretty much dictates how the our Government functions. This also meant that the Law had TOTAL support by Congress and the President. These same people ended up adding ANOTHER amendment stating that the 18th Amendment was "hereby repealed"

It may get a bit rough but trust me we will kill this SOPA thing one way or the other. Have faith people.

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2011, 11:15:59 AM »
We'll have to believe in you, because simply put, we don't get any other choice in the matter. Okay, apart from invade the United States of America with soldiers and conquer the place, and I somehow don't see THAT one happening either.

Remember, most of the effects of the SOPA aren't on US citizens - Most of them extend across the world, because they were designed that way to strike people who they wanted the law to focus on. Which is... well, from the readings I've gotten of the law, just about everyone else, period.

Thing is, we DON'T get any say in the matter. Those most affected by the new law are not in fact US citizens or even remotely related to the US in any shape or form.

It wouldn't be such a big thing until money get siezed arbituarily by court order. (And I mean it in the truest sense - the US does not have juristiction over say China's intellectual property laws because of simple soverignity. There's something called diplomacy that should be tried instead.)

Wars have been started over less. World ones, in fact.

Like I said, YOU can fight it, sure, but you don't rely on international transactions that are based in a third country (namely the US), so if an order was issued to sieze money, you'd just move to another bank and transact locally if things ultimately don't go your way.

People in other countries that seek to transact internationally are stuck with Visa, Paypal or Mastercard as their primary money clearing houses. I live in Australia, which is an island. I'm FORCED, by every definition of the word, to transact internationally, either directly importing, or via every item I buy locally, as the businesses here have to get their transactions cleared.

You can probably figure out what happens if businesses find out that they've been fingered as potential sieves for what the US deems IP infringable activity. Remember a court order isn't the minimum requirement, a statement in good faith is enough to make the requests to start freezing money.  They're going to be very scared and concerned about the risks (real or percieved) if they deal with anything remotely resembling a relation to an IP.

You could, for instance argue importing R1 games is an infringement of IP law due to the fact this breeches the licencing agreement of a branch based in Australia. Even if you get scenarios where an imported game in the US is HALF the price of the same game in Australia.

In effect, you could enforce monopolies by proxy, even if the country in question explcitly prohibits it by threatening to destroy the ability of any other bodies to trade internationally. And that's just the tip of it.

Sounds stupid (and it is), but I am NOT kidding when I say that Sony Australia actually tried to argue that in the courts (Back in 2005, from memory, so they've been wanting it for a while, but I'm quoting them surprisingly). Thankfully they lost that Australian Federal Court case... but what makes you think the US base couldn't mount the same argument?

(If you're wondering, currently they CAN'T because of the fact that traditionally, you'd have to mount the case in the country on the side you believe is infringing. This law permits them to get around that by making the US legally able to action on it via compelling all financial transactions to be frozen.)

It doesn't seem quite that dangerous until you consider scenarios like that, and that's why I have a big stake in it - I've seen corporates in action, and I know what they've tried historically and recently. I'd like to believe, but this is politics - If democracy is two wolves and a sheep arguing what's for dinner, I'd like to be a very well ARMED sheep just in case, if nothing else. Stick saves only work every so often.

As I said (and I'm not kidding) you would in effect be declaring economic war on everyone else on the PLANET on behalf of media companies in the US. It's not something done lightly, if nothing else, and people ARE going to be pretty worried about such a movement, considering we've gotten far enough to have, what, nearly 20 senators showing up to sponsor the action and having to bring it up at all. (Which is 1/5th or 20% of the senate outright.)

And it's why I'd be careful, even with all the professed support against it - the only way I'd (And a lot of people around the world) would be very comfortable with the whole situation is if we KNOW that the bill is dead in the water, shot in the head three more times just to be sure, thrown into an incinerator and posted up as an example of things you should NEVER, EVER DO AGAIN.

Because like I said, the law is utterly crazy, and that's with me being incredibly generous.

Time for an AMERICAN'S opinion on all this. Barack Obama got to White house on the nickles and dimes given to him by everyday Americans like myself. He's been offered money plenty of times in the past and has almost always turned it down.

 And trust me he may have not officially taken a position but if that bill landed on his desk he'd veto it. In which case the ENTIRE process would have to start over again until you can get over 2/3s of congress to agree on it. Which 2/3s of congress hasn't agreed on anything since choosing to enter WWII.

 Also please have some faith in the American people even if this bill somehow passed and was signed we'd probably go on a Piracy streak and break it so much it'd be unenforceable like the law in Texas that says you have to be 18 to play Pinball. Prison's are crowded here as it is so I'm pretty sure after a few years, no MONTHS the law would be to expensive to enforce and just dropped naturally.

 The worlds not as corrupt as it may seem to some of you. The People are ultimately the ones who decide weather or not a law is followed or not. Cause if people actually obeyed every single law there would be no drunk drivers but America would have never even been formed. We're lawbreakers at heart. We'll either kill it before its signed or break it till the Govt changes it back.

Classic example the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. This law made Alcohol illegal in the US but was actually repealed a few years later because of the HUGE crime spike it caused. Keep in mind this was an AMENDMENT to the CONSTITUTION of the US which pretty much dictates how the our Government functions. This also meant that the Law had TOTAL support by Congress and the President. These same people ended up adding ANOTHER amendment stating that the 18th Amendment was "hereby repealed"

It may get a bit rough but trust me we will kill this SOPA thing one way or the other. Have faith people.
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Setsuna

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2011, 01:26:53 AM »
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111216/11102617108/sopa-markup-runs-out-time-likely-delayed-until-2012.shtml

It's been a while on the topic, but I'd pay just a little attention for a couple of reasons.

Not sure what to say here - the article topic is slightly misleading, because of the fact that they kicked up the hearings for another 3 days (Until the 21st.)

So where are those stalwart defenders, exactly...?
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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2012, 05:04:33 AM »
...Well, it seems we might all have to say farewell? What do you guys think? Everyone around me is pretty much kissing the internet goodbye.

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2012, 06:44:52 AM »
Just as a heads up, try going to (US) wikipedia today.

The leagues of students working off Wikipedia will be crying.

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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2012, 11:00:48 AM »
http://judiciary.house.gov/news/01172012.html

Apparently Representative Lamar Smith would like to point out that simply put, he doesn't care about the protests.

For those people who 'Believe everything will come out in the wash', I have one question to ask of you.

... Are you REALLY REALLY SURE?

I dunno about you, but I'd be just a little uncomfortable when some people are willing to literally, during some big movements (namely Google, Wikipedia and a whole bunch of other people getting in on saying how stupid it is) to put up the middle finger and go 'So what you going to do about it?'

(Yes, writing this hurts. But a day of pain is trivial compared to this.)
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Re: The Stop Piracy Online Act and im@s requests/recording.
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2012, 11:36:11 AM »
i wish the states had a similar system we have in Switzerland

If the government makes a new law people don't want to accept you have 100 days to interveine. If you do so you have a few months time to collect 50'000 signatures (currently about 5 million people are entitled to vote). And if you are able to gather the required number of signatures, a public vote is forced whether the law will really come into effect or not

so i don't think something like the SOPA would have a chance here (in fact the government recently said themselves "there is no need for more anti piracy laws").
i wish the USA had a democratic system nearly as good as they want to make the world believe... (which includes more than just 2 major parties, not everything is black and white)