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Internet Censorship Bill

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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby John Kramer » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:42 pm

GreenMtn! wrote:Pirating a movie isn't theft. It's copyright infringement. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just that they are significantly different.


Good point. The courts have distinguished between theft and infringement. Boils down to the same thing in my opinion, but you are correct that I used the incorrect terminology. Point to you sir.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby Urban Cohorts » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:14 am

John Kramer wrote:Who cares that stealing is illegal and just flat out wrong, it's their fault because they charge so much, right? It isn't the criminal's fault they chose/choose to steal, this is the land of excuses now, so it has to be someone else's fault. You know, someone making $20K per year is rich compared to someone on welfare, so does the "it's ok to steal from the rich" still apply in that situation, or is it only your definition of rich that it is ok to steal from?


People steal and commit all sorts of "immoral" acts. These things are highly situational and subjective. I could site a hundred examples from each socioeconomic group of doing such things, but it would all end up being the same- people do things that aren't "right" for the benefit of themselves all the time.

As for the land of excuses-

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid= ... m&hl=en_US

We really live in the land of the rich. Always have, most likely always will. I'm not a big fan of either the extremely wealthy (because they ultimately control everything, and always have) or the extremely poor (because they tend to take advantage of handouts that deserving people could use). I see this every single day having to deal with MassHealth. People on state funded insurance driving a Lexus, talking on a iPhone, and putting various narcotics (that 9/10 people are either addicted to or sell) into their coach purses.

John Kramer wrote:You know, someone making $20K per year is rich compared to someone on welfare, so does the "it's ok to steal from the rich" still apply in that situation, or is it only your definition of rich that it is ok to steal from?


I think we all know what rich is. I understand that things are relative, but we need to start the comparison from the TOP. And the wealth divide in this country is the highest it has ever been. I'm not against wealth disparity, but when the middle class shrinks to practically no one (the ongoing trend in the US), that is when major problems (revolutions) start to occur IMO. Numerous examples throughout history.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:08 pm

If you want to talk about growing socioeconomic inequality, there's a thread for that.

John Kramer wrote:Someone uploads a movie prior to the theatrical release which allows everyone to download and watch it before it releases, which costs the studio no telling how many millions of dollars. And the studio is just supposed to shrug at the "inconvenience" of not being able to get it stopped?


I don't think the entertainment industry really has an enlightened understanding, for a lack of a better term, as to why piracy exists. People not wanting to pay to go to the movies vs. downloading/streaming the movie for free is part of it, but I see it as a symptom to a greater problem. That very problem within the industry lies in the fact that they're slow and/or too resistant to change their business model when that very model is being disrupted.

Fact of the matter is, people are willing to pay for content; it's more convenient to buy than pirating for free. When studios/content providers limit distribution to more traditional ways (i.e. theater, DVD, cable/satellite, regional DRM zoning), then people want to take the path of least resistance to consume that content. The music industry struggled with this years ago when people preferred to download/purchase individual songs rather than albums. People tend to want to see films on an on-demand basis especially with the technology available but with catalogs on streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, et. al. being limited, people will seek out other avenues to watch what they want to watch. What the studios, the networks, and the powers that be must realize is digitizing content for the masses to consume isn't necessarily a zero-sum game.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby Tavish » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:40 pm

John Kramer wrote:Not at all, but I don't subscribe to the theory that if "everyone" is doing something illegal, that there's no point in enforcing the law or finding ways to prevent the law from being broken in the first place.

I don't subscribe to the theory that it is the government's job to protect a business model that is failing. I didn't agree with it when they bailed out companies when the meltdown happened and that was with companies that would have affected just about everyone. I'm even more against it when the bailout is just to keep the companies profits high. Passing laws to protect a failing business model is the same concept as just handing cash over to the company.

I also don't subscribe to the theory that enforcing laws, such as copyright laws, is impossible in the internet. Perfect protection and zero cases of copyright theft? Of course not, but it can certainly be enforced a whole lot better than it currently is.

Sure the enforcement of copyright infringement can be improved. Any illegal activity could be greatly reduced with the right amount of sacrifice of freedoms. It is a balancing act of how many liberties are willing to be given up in order to protect specific interests. In the case of SOPA/PIPA type legislation the main focus is pitting one industry (entertainment) against another (technology). Neither will be satisfied with the outcome, but if the government was smart they would err on the side of promoting the growth of the technology sector which is stands to lose magnitudes more in revenue and jobs than the entertainment industry should due process be removed.

And last, I don't subscribe to the made up theories about what people mistakenly think their rights are, or the rights they invent out of thin air. There is no "due process" as you mentioned earlier when it comes to stopping someone in the middle of an illegal act. They can have all the "due process" you like once the illegal act has been stopped.

So due process is a made up right but copyright is not? Shutting down "collaborators" via SOPA type legislation doesn't stop the illegal act. It simply makes for more innocent bystanders with no legal protection.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby John Kramer » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:09 pm

Urban Cohorts wrote:People steal and commit all sorts of "immoral" acts. These things are highly situational and subjective. I could site a hundred examples from each socioeconomic group of doing such things, but it would all end up being the same- people do things that aren't "right" for the benefit of themselves all the time.


So again, because lots of people break a law (or any other "immoral" act), that makes it ok? I remember hearing the "if everyone else jumped off a bridge....." talk when I was a wee little tyke. Are we not teaching that anymore? Now the mob mentality dictates right and wrong, legal and illegal?

As for the land of excuses-

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid= ... m&hl=en_US

We really live in the land of the rich. Always have, most likely always will. I'm not a big fan of either the extremely wealthy (because they ultimately control everything, and always have) or the extremely poor (because they tend to take advantage of handouts that deserving people could use). I see this every single day having to deal with MassHealth. People on state funded insurance driving a Lexus, talking on a iPhone, and putting various narcotics (that 9/10 people are either addicted to or sell) into their coach purses.


That's a whole different discussion, but anyone who is worried about what anyone else's financial worth is has quite a few problems. To relate it to this discussion, I don't care if the movie companies profit in the trillions, it's none of my concern (or business for that matter), and it certainly doesn't make it ok for me (or anyone) to steal from them.

EDIT TO ADD - If we were discussing people stealing an overpriced necessity in an attempt to save their lives, then I might stipulate that there is some blame on the part of the companies involved (and possibly the government), but we are talking about a luxury item here. No one will live or die if they attend or don't attend a movie.

I think we all know what rich is. I understand that things are relative, but we need to start the comparison from the TOP. And the wealth divide in this country is the highest it has ever been. I'm not against wealth disparity, but when the middle class shrinks to practically no one (the ongoing trend in the US), that is when major problems (revolutions) start to occur IMO. Numerous examples throughout history.


Again, different discussion, but wealth divide isn't a valid excuse for breaking the law.

The Artful Dodger wrote:I don't think the entertainment industry really has an enlightened understanding, for a lack of a better term, as to why piracy exists. People not wanting to pay to go to the movies vs. downloading/streaming the movie for free is part of it, but I see it as a symptom to a greater problem. That very problem within the industry lies in the fact that they're slow and/or too resistant to change their business model when that very model is being disrupted.

Fact of the matter is, people are willing to pay for content; it's more convenient to buy than pirating for free. When studios/content providers limit distribution to more traditional ways (i.e. theater, DVD, cable/satellite, regional DRM zoning), then people want to take the path of least resistance to consume that content. The music industry struggled with this years ago when people preferred to download/purchase individual songs rather than albums. People tend to want to see films on an on-demand basis especially with the technology available but with catalogs on streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, et. al. being limited, people will seek out other avenues to watch what they want to watch. What the studios, the networks, and the powers that be must realize is digitizing content for the masses to consume isn't necessarily a zero-sum game.


I agree. It would help the movie industry quite a bit to have all new releases available from the get go on some sort of streaming downloadable platform. And I agree that they are not moving in that direction fast enough. Still doesn't make it ok to break the law though, and steps do need to be taken to enforce those laws. I said earlier that I don't like the current language of SOPA, so I'm not defending that particular bill, just acknowledging that steps do need to be taken to combat the illegal activity.

Tavish wrote:I don't subscribe to the theory that it is the government's job to protect a business model that is failing. I didn't agree with it when they bailed out companies when the meltdown happened and that was with companies that would have affected just about everyone. I'm even more against it when the bailout is just to keep the companies profits high. Passing laws to protect a failing business model is the same concept as just handing cash over to the company.


The bailout is complicated, but on the overall I didn't agree with it either. If a business fails, it fails. So we agree there. The difference here is that we're talking about people breaking the law and costing companies billions. And you think that's ok, the government shouldn't try to stop it, it's the companies' fault other people are breaking the law. Doesn't really make any sense.

Sure the enforcement of copyright infringement can be improved. Any illegal activity could be greatly reduced with the right amount of sacrifice of freedoms. It is a balancing act of how many liberties are willing to be given up in order to protect specific interests. In the case of SOPA/PIPA type legislation the main focus is pitting one industry (entertainment) against another (technology). Neither will be satisfied with the outcome, but if the government was smart they would err on the side of promoting the growth of the technology sector which is stands to lose magnitudes more in revenue and jobs than the entertainment industry should due process be removed.


Sacrifice of freedoms? What freedoms? Are you seriously making up a "right" to illegally download someone else's copyrighted material? Anyone with a toolbar has their internet history tracked, traced, and sent to a third party. On top of that, haven't you seen this?:

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240105197/US-approves-ISP-data-retention-bill

So what's the big deal?

There is no battle here, the only thing "technology" loses in all of this is the ability to host illegal content (and profit from it). How many of the little people (make-up, hair, cameramen, etc) have lost their jobs, taken pay cuts, or are underpaid due to the billions lost to piracy?

So due process is a made up right but copyright is not? Shutting down "collaborators" via SOPA type legislation doesn't stop the illegal act. It simply makes for more innocent bystanders with no legal protection.


Shutting down collaborators makes committing the illegal act more difficult. Do you leave your front door or car unlocked? No? Why not? Because locks, alarms, etc, make it more difficult for a criminal to break the law. Doesn't make it 100% safe, and I said earlier it wouldn't perfectly stop piracy, but it would help.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby Tavish » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:07 am

John Kramer wrote:
Sure the enforcement of copyright infringement can be improved. Any illegal activity could be greatly reduced with the right amount of sacrifice of freedoms. It is a balancing act of how many liberties are willing to be given up in order to protect specific interests. In the case of SOPA/PIPA type legislation the main focus is pitting one industry (entertainment) against another (technology). Neither will be satisfied with the outcome, but if the government was smart they would err on the side of promoting the growth of the technology sector which is stands to lose magnitudes more in revenue and jobs than the entertainment industry should due process be removed.


Sacrifice of freedoms? What freedoms? Are you seriously making up a "right" to illegally download someone else's copyrighted material? Anyone with a toolbar has their internet history tracked, traced, and sent to a third party. On top of that, haven't you seen this?:

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240105197/US-approves-ISP-data-retention-bill

So what's the big deal?

There is no battle here, the only thing "technology" loses in all of this is the ability to host illegal content (and profit from it). How many of the little people (make-up, hair, cameramen, etc) have lost their jobs, taken pay cuts, or are underpaid due to the billions lost to piracy?

I don't know, nobody knows. It is sort of like asking how many people who pirate a movie would have paid to see it in the theater if it wasn't available to download. What we do know that there is nothing that can be done to completely stop piracy and that the tools these companies already have are doing a pretty good job at taking out some of the largest players in the piracy game. Those tools might not work as perfect or in a timely of a manner as they would like, but thems the breaks. It sucks for the entertainment industry that not every country has the same laws as the US regarding their copyrights. But giving them the power to shut down or block the revenue of legitimate sites without giving the site a proper chance to defend themselves is unacceptable collateral damage in order to defend the rights of the entertainment industry. If regulating other legitimate businesses into extinction is their only way of survival then maybe it isn't an industry worth saving.

You are trying to twist my argument into something that is completely different than what I stated. I have never argued for the right to commit copyright infringement. The collaborators in this case are companies that are perfectly legitimate businesses that create vastly more revenue and jobs than the entertainment industry can even begin to touch. The collaborators that you are talking about are not Megaupload or RapidShare or even some of the other less popular and less obvious file-sharing networks like DropBox or even AWS. These types of measures could destroy companies like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google, Tumblr, and Flicker along with the companies that depend upon these services for their own well-being.

So due process is a made up right but copyright is not? Shutting down "collaborators" via SOPA type legislation doesn't stop the illegal act. It simply makes for more innocent bystanders with no legal protection.


Shutting down collaborators makes committing the illegal act more difficult. Do you leave your front door or car unlocked? No? Why not? Because locks, alarms, etc, make it more difficult for a criminal to break the law. Doesn't make it 100% safe, and I said earlier it wouldn't perfectly stop piracy, but it would help.

No I don't leave my front door unlocked, but I also don't shoot my neighbor just in case he might break into my home.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby John Kramer » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:17 am

Tavish wrote:I don't know, nobody knows. It is sort of like asking how many people who pirate a movie would have paid to see it in the theater if it wasn't available to download. What we do know that there is nothing that can be done to completely stop piracy and that the tools these companies already have are doing a pretty good job at taking out some of the largest players in the piracy game. Those tools might not work as perfect or in a timely of a manner as they would like, but thems the breaks. It sucks for the entertainment industry that not every country has the same laws as the US regarding their copyrights. But giving them the power to shut down or block the revenue of legitimate sites without giving the site a proper chance to defend themselves is unacceptable collateral damage in order to defend the rights of the entertainment industry. If regulating other legitimate businesses into extinction is their only way of survival then maybe it isn't an industry worth saving.


If the current punishments and measures don't work well enough to prevent the law from being broken, don't things have to move forward with tougher punishments and more ways to catch the criminals and/or prevent the damage done by them? Every other facet of law works that way, why not this one?

You are trying to twist my argument into something that is completely different than what I stated. I have never argued for the right to commit copyright infringement. The collaborators in this case are companies that are perfectly legitimate businesses that create vastly more revenue and jobs than the entertainment industry can even begin to touch. The collaborators that you are talking about are not Megaupload or RapidShare or even some of the other less popular and less obvious file-sharing networks like DropBox or even AWS. These types of measures could destroy companies like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google, Tumblr, and Flicker along with the companies that depend upon these services for their own well-being.


I have no need to twist your words, none at all. You mentioned "freedoms", and I couldn't help but laugh since we're talking about the internet, not the United States of America. Even then, any and all "rights" you (or I, or anyone) think you have are conditional. Seriously. Really think about that. All rights, every single one of them, can be forfeited and/or taken away.

Anyway, to get back on topic, don't these "legitimate sites" have a responsibility to make sure they and their website aren't breaking the law? In other words, shouldn't Megaupload have done everything in their power to ensure there was no copyright infringement happening on their site? I mean they own and operate it, aren't they responsible? And shouldn't the wronged have a faster way to put an end to their illegal activity, since every second counts and adds more money into the "loss" column?

Many of the sites you listed were built on copyright infringement, their "legitimate" use is a tiny fraction of their business. So honestly I could care less if they get shut down. A legitimately run replacement site will emerge to fill the need (if there is one) after their demise.

No I don't leave my front door unlocked, but I also don't shoot my neighbor just in case he might break into my home.


If you came home and someone was burglarizing your house, would you shoot them in the act? That is more accurate, as Megaupload was shut down in the act of sharing copyrighted information. I don't like the language of SOPA, it needs to be re-written, but that's all they are gearing at. Being able to shut them down faster, and while I don't approve of the current bill, I do support legislation to enable the government to act faster against criminals.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby The Artful Dodger » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:36 am

John Kramer wrote:Still doesn't make it ok to break the law though, and steps do need to be taken to enforce those laws. I said earlier that I don't like the current language of SOPA, so I'm not defending that particular bill, just acknowledging that steps do need to be taken to combat the illegal activity.


The unnerving thing is the MPAA and the SOPA proponents will try to rebrand the bill and make it more subtle to avoid wide scale public uproar with similar implications attached for the Internet as a whole. Even if it does, the MPAA and their financial clout in Congress will keep rebuffing their efforts to the point people will be exhausted to keep protesting.

Like Tavish said, a piracy/IP bill is unnecessary when the DOJ can shut down and indict the infringing site owners, like in the case of Megaupload.

John Kramer wrote:There is no battle here, the only thing "technology" loses in all of this is the ability to host illegal content (and profit from it). How many of the little people (make-up, hair, cameramen, etc) have lost their jobs, taken pay cuts, or are underpaid due to the billions lost to piracy?


I'm not convinced piracy is as costly to the entertainment industry as you may perceive it to be or the industry folks might lead others to believe. Piracy has been a problem for decades now, just through different mediums comparing now and then. In the 80's, the conduits were the VCR, tape recorder, and bootlegged CCTV. Over the last decade-plus, it has been the Internet and it just so happens to be a more dynamic, convenient distribution medium.

There are more factors at play to explain declining box office returns now than say 15 years ago and perhaps has more to do with changing consumer habits. People are more likely to go to the movies for must-see big-budget films best experienced in the theater (i.e. Avatar) but would probably wait until a relatively low-key, highly acclaimed film is released on an on-demand basis. Perhaps it has to do with a growing dissatisfaction with the quality of mainstream music and films. Perhaps the entertainment industry has milked the most out of its traditional business model and could potentially go the way of the newspapers, who knows.

Also, the "little people" such as production assistants generally aren't that well paid to begin with and/or are hired on a temp/contract basis. On top of that, the Writers Guild has a history of participating in union strikes against the studios over the residuals of video cassettes, and more recently, DVD's and new media. The mentality in Hollywood is online piracy is the main culprit to all this (and in fact the film industry launched an annoying ad campaign about this a few years ago) and such a mindset has been ingrained since to an unhealthy extent.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby AussieDodger » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:08 am

The Artful Dodger wrote:There are more factors at play to explain declining box office returns now than say 15 years ago and perhaps has more to do with changing consumer habits. ........................ Perhaps it has to do with a growing dissatisfaction with the quality of mainstream music and films.................


This is a huge part of it IMO.
So many of the biggest and most hyped movies now are for lobotomised people who love explosions and shiny colours.
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Re: Internet Censorship Bill

Postby zepfan » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:29 am

This guy's a little obnoxious but seems to make a good case suggesting some of the companies that are lobbying for SOPA are the same ones that mass distributed the pirating software and encouraged people to download copyrighted material.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J75Nwf9QcZM
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