1005: "SOPA"

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby RecursiveRecursion » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:26 am UTC

neoliminal wrote:Having trouble with reading Wikipedia today? Maybe you need this:

http://simple.wikipedia.com

On an unrelated note the image of the black hat guy in the background is brilliant.


http://en.wikipedia.com/?banner=0

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby unus vox » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:39 am UTC

Where's SirMustapha to claim that this is an unoriginal and trite appeal to the masses, in order for Randall to simply garner undeserved praise?
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Randomizer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:58 am UTC

Khaba wrote:I've been a bit too busy to follow the SOPA/PIPA thing in incredible detail - how would these bills prevent Randall or any content owner from allowing their work to be shared, as he implies in the caption?

That's what I was wondering. Randall releases his comics under a creative commons license, which allows people to post them to their websites without infringing copyright (under most circumstances, eg non-commercial use). So, those websites couldn't be taken down for infringing copyright as posting his comics does not infringe. Secondly, either Randall himself or someone authorized by him to act on his behalf would have to be the one to use SOPA/PIPA to have the website(s) hosting his content taken down. So, either he needs to explain (perhaps in his blag) how/why his fans would not be allowed to post his work under these acts, or he needs to change his presented reason for being against SOPA/PIPA to something that's easier to understand the logic of.
Last edited by Randomizer on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:59 am UTC

unus vox wrote:Where's SirMustapha to claim that this is an unoriginal and trite appeal to the masses, in order for Randall to simply garner undeserved praise?


SirMustapha isn't really a troll, AFAIK. He dislikes most of the recent comics, but he also said he liked a few of them. My sixth sense tells me that SirMustapha likes this comic. :)
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby unus vox » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:03 am UTC

BytEfLUSh wrote:
unus vox wrote:Where's SirMustapha to claim that this is an unoriginal and trite appeal to the masses, in order for Randall to simply garner undeserved praise?


SirMustapha isn't really a troll, AFAIK. He dislikes most of the recent comics, but he also said he liked a few of them. My sixth sense tells me that SirMustapha likes this comic. :)


I agree. But he's a grumpypuss sometimes. :)
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:11 am UTC

unus vox wrote:
BytEfLUSh wrote:
unus vox wrote:Where's SirMustapha to claim that this is an unoriginal and trite appeal to the masses, in order for Randall to simply garner undeserved praise?


SirMustapha isn't really a troll, AFAIK. He dislikes most of the recent comics, but he also said he liked a few of them. My sixth sense tells me that SirMustapha likes this comic. :)


I agree. But he's a grumpypuss sometimes. :)


Well, we can both agree on that. :)
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Bharrata » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:54 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:
Khaba wrote:I've been a bit too busy to follow the SOPA/PIPA thing in incredible detail - how would these bills prevent Randall or any content owner from allowing their work to be shared, as he implies in the caption?

That's what I was wondering. Randall releases his comics under a creative commons license, which allows people to post them to their websites without infringing copyright (under most circumstances, eg non-commercial use). So, those websites couldn't be taken down for infringing copyright as posting his comics does not infringe. Secondly, either Randall himself or someone authorized by him to act on his behalf would have to be the one to use SOPA/PIPA to have the website(s) hosting his content taken down. So, either he needs to explain (perhaps in his blag) how/why his fans would not be allowed to post his work under these acts, or he needs to change his presented reason for being against SOPA/PIPA to something that's easier to understand the logic of.


Here's his most recent blag post...

xkcd.com is registered with GoDaddy. This is an artifact of my registering my own domains nearly ten years ago, back when I was completely new to making websites.

I’ve always been a little uneasy about having all my domains with them, since they’ve got a long history of screwing over domain owners, but never got around to doing anything about it. A little while back, as the SOPA thing blew up, I poked davean, the xkcd sysadmin, about whether it was time to make switching to someone more geek-friendly a priority.

He’s also wanted to switch away from GoDaddy for years (and recently met with the reddit folks to chat about SOPA stuff). He’s periodically done surveys of the alternatives, but—strange as it sounds—he’s actually had trouble finding an affordable registrar with the feature set we needed. In particular, he said he had trouble finding any that support IPv6 Glue and DNSSEC via a control system that doesn’t rely on filing and waiting on support tickets, which he says (and I quote) “freaks me out” as a means of handling registrar stuff (he’s very much an xkcd.com/705 style of administrator). The ones that did offer those features tended to be a little too high-priced for our large number of domains.

We’ve had a number of alternatives recommended in the past week or two, but none have quite satisfied davean’s criteria. If you know of any registrars that might work for us, you can email us at contact@xkcd.com and he’ll take a look.

We’re being cautious about how we handle this switch, since GoDaddy has seemingly been obstructing transfers in a way that can leave the sites trapped in limbo. But don’t worry—it’s in the works!

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Randomizer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:14 am UTC

Yes, I checked that. It was posted on December 31, 2011, says he's trying to quit GoDaddy and that he dislikes SOPA, and does not answer my question at all.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:49 am UTC

MitraSmit wrote:Does anyone else read the title text as 'I'm getting drunk as hell now'?
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby BentFranklin » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:50 am UTC

Well done Randall!

Anyone who wants to learn a whole lot more should visit the epicenter of SOPA/PIPA resistance.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:50 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:
Khaba wrote:I've been a bit too busy to follow the SOPA/PIPA thing in incredible detail - how would these bills prevent Randall or any content owner from allowing their work to be shared, as he implies in the caption?

That's what I was wondering. Randall releases his comics under a creative commons license, which allows people to post them to their websites without infringing copyright (under most circumstances, eg non-commercial use). So, those websites couldn't be taken down for infringing copyright as posting his comics does not infringe. Secondly, either Randall himself or someone authorized by him to act on his behalf would have to be the one to use SOPA/PIPA to have the website(s) hosting his content taken down. So, either he needs to explain (perhaps in his blag) how/why his fans would not be allowed to post his work under these acts, or he needs to change his presented reason for being against SOPA/PIPA to something that's easier to understand the logic of.
All you need to understand is that Randall makes all his money online - he has no offline bricks and mortar store or anything - and SOPA, in some of its forms, allows for websites to be removed from the net on a guilty until proved innocent basis, with payment processing revoked on the same basis.

It wouldn't be Randall invoking SOPA, it could be anyone with a grudge. The problem with some forms of SOPA is how broad it is - there is little in the way of protection - of oversight and checks and balances built in.

Fortunately, due in part to these kinds of protests from websites all over the net, some of the most draconian parts are being removed, and some oversight and checks and balances added in, but it's still the opinion of most that SOPA is still way too abusable and it's better for it not to be passed.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby chiggerfruit » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:32 am UTC

elasto wrote:
Randomizer wrote:
Khaba wrote:I've been a bit too busy to follow the SOPA/PIPA thing in incredible detail - how would these bills prevent Randall or any content owner from allowing their work to be shared, as he implies in the caption?

That's what I was wondering. Randall releases his comics under a creative commons license, which allows people to post them to their websites without infringing copyright (under most circumstances, eg non-commercial use). So, those websites couldn't be taken down for infringing copyright as posting his comics does not infringe. Secondly, either Randall himself or someone authorized by him to act on his behalf would have to be the one to use SOPA/PIPA to have the website(s) hosting his content taken down. So, either he needs to explain (perhaps in his blag) how/why his fans would not be allowed to post his work under these acts, or he needs to change his presented reason for being against SOPA/PIPA to something that's easier to understand the logic of.
All you need to understand is that Randall makes all his money online - he has no offline bricks and mortar store or anything - and SOPA, in some of its forms, allows for websites to be removed from the net on a guilty until proved innocent basis, with payment processing revoked on the same basis.

It wouldn't be Randall invoking SOPA, it could be anyone with a grudge. The problem with some forms of SOPA is how broad it is - there is little in the way of protection - of oversight and checks and balances built in.

Fortunately, due in part to these kinds of protests from websites all over the net, some of the most draconian parts are being removed, and some oversight and checks and balances added in, but it's still the opinion of most that SOPA is still way too abusable and it's better for it not to be passed.


Any parody or joke of anything copyrighted in any of the xkcd comics could lead to its seizure under SOPA. For example, the Movie Narrative Charts poster? Any one of the production companies could file a complaint and have xkcd taken down without due process. These forums are probably full of users posting copyrighted images or other content. Under SOPA, all present and future submissions on the forum would have to be screened (which is VERY labor intensive), otherwise xkcd would be under legal risk. It's also why you won't be seeing any more memes or websites heavily based on user generated content (e.g. YouTube, Newgrounds...) if SOPA is passed.

But of course, it'll prevent us from torrenting movies from here, right?

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Randomizer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:21 am UTC

Oh, I can see why Randall would hate SOPA (I've been reading the SOPA thread, so I have some idea about what it does). I meant that the particular argument he presented was either flawed or needed further explanation, as it did not make sense to me as is.

elasto wrote:It wouldn't be Randall invoking SOPA, it could be anyone with a grudge. The problem with some forms of SOPA is how broad it is - there is little in the way of protection - of oversight and checks and balances built in.
From what I understand, you're not allowed to shut a site down for infringement unless it's your property being infringed. So if "anyone with a grudge" can shut down a site that shares his content, he should explain this, because it's not immediately apparent.

chiggerfruit wrote:Any parody or joke of anything copyrighted in any of the xkcd comics could lead to its seizure under SOPA. For example, the Movie Narrative Charts poster? Any one of the production companies could file a complaint and have xkcd taken down without due process. These forums are probably full of users posting copyrighted images or other content. Under SOPA, all present and future submissions on the forum would have to be screened (which is VERY labor intensive), otherwise xkcd would be under legal risk. It's also why you won't be seeing any more memes or websites heavily based on user generated content (e.g. YouTube, Newgrounds...) if SOPA is passed.
That would get XKCD itself shut down, not (directly) prevent others from sharing his work. "If I make a parody someone might shut me down" is a different argument than "If this passes you can't share my work". Now, he might say, "If my site gets shut down for having a parody, anyone who displays that same parody could also potentially get shut down", but... ok, odds are that's the reason, but he didn't say that, nor was it obvious that that is what he would specifically be implying.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:59 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:That would get XKCD itself shut down, not (directly) prevent others from sharing his work.

Yeah. You're still not quite getting it.

If you had a website, would you risk showing xkcd if it was known to make parody comics that might risk your entire website getting shut down? Just like xkcd would have to pre-vet forum posts or risk legal liability, so everyone mirroring xkcd comics would have to pre-vet them. And many might not have the time, and hence would choose not to - which, had SOPA been in force when xkcd was born, might have meant xkcd not growing so big so fast, which might have meant he couldn't have made a living doing it.

In other words, it would not take someone invoking SOPA on xkcd to hurt its growth - simply the existence of SOPA would likely have cost Randall income - hence the reference in the post after this to SOPA having a 'chilling effect' on the net.
Last edited by elasto on Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:08 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Cranica » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:02 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:From what I understand, you're not allowed to shut a site down for infringement unless it's your property being infringed. So if "anyone with a grudge" can shut down a site that shares his content, he should explain this, because it's not immediately apparent.


In theory, yes. In practice, even under the DMCA, bogus takedown requests are a common way of shutting people up for one reason or another. See http://www.geekosystem.com/dmca-is-already-broken/ for details on just a few cases of such abuse. From personal experience, some random guy identifying himself as "Habsro, Inc." managed to pull down every My Little Pony episode from YouTube, something that the actual owners (Hasbro) had no interest in doing; the existing laws put the burden of proof on the defendant and the new ones even more so.

Randomizer wrote:That would get XKCD itself shut down, not (directly) prevent others from sharing his work. "If I make a parody someone might shut me down" is a different argument than "If this passes you can't share my work". Now, he might say, "If my site gets shut down for having a parody, anyone who displays that same parody could also potentially get shut down", but... ok, odds are that's the reason, but he didn't say that, nor was it obvious that that is what he would specifically be implying.


Any site that hosts user-generated content would have to be extremely careful about such content under SOPA. So, for instance, if I wanted to share one of Randall's comics on Facebook, I likely wouldn't be able to because of fear of liability on their end (it's simply not possible to check copyright status on literally hundreds of millions of images).

These bills allow a lot of nastiness even under the letter of the law, but like the DMCA, the greatest danger is in their enormous potential for abuse without penalty. They require sites to police themselves to an insane degree to avoid liability, encourage or require (depending on who you ask) ISPs to monitor their users invasively, extend existing abuse-ready provisions in the DMCA, threaten DNS security, etc etc. There's a legal term, "chilling effect", which refers to the ability of the threat of a law to inhibit the exercise of a right that the law could not legally block directly.



Frankly, the only people I've seen support SOPA thus far are those who (think that they) stand to reap financial gain from its passing - basically, the MPAA and friends and the legislators they support. I used to be staunchly anti-piracy almost across the board, but after this bullshit, I'll never speak up again against someone pirating a major film. The bastards dug their own graves here, and I hope they rot in them.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Scars Unseen » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:37 am UTC

www.theoatmeal.com/sopa is a pretty amusing protest. And yeah, the biggest danger about this piece of legislation has nothing to do with the legislation itself(though there's plenty of fault there as well). None of this would be nearly as big an issue if it weren't for the fact that in America, he who has the most legal funds wins. It doesn't matter who has what right if a company can make you bankrupt yourself trying to defend that right. This is why oppressive laws cannot be allowed to pass. No one with an interest can afford to contest them in court, so one third of our entire system of governmental checks & balances is excluded from the process. Even when someone does make headway in the courts, the company involved will settle out of court in order to avoid a precedent, so nothing changes.

It is for this reason that I will oppose any law that restricts freedom of the individual for any reason. I don't care if companies lose money. I don't care if pirates run rampant(like this would stop them anyway). The pirates will take care of themselves and adapt to anything, and big media will continue to struggle against the modern world at our expense. I care only about those that do not have the power to exploit, manipulate, and abuse our legal system to get what they want.

Geez... this got me riled up enough to post. Stupid Congress...

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby amorya » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:27 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:From what I understand, you're not allowed to shut a site down for infringement unless it's your property being infringed.


Ah, but what proof is required that (a) the property is yours, and (b) that there's infringement going on?

If the law doesn't require due process before shutting something down, who distinguishes between my letter claiming to be writing on behalf of George Lucas and someone who genuinely is?

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby khaighle » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:44 pm UTC

Way to be behind the curve, Randall. The rest of the Internet has cared about this for months. Do you get all your news from the Wikipedia main page?

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby addams » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

Scars Unseen wrote:www.theoatmeal.com/sopa is a pretty amusing protest. And yeah, the biggest danger about this piece of legislation has nothing to do with the legislation itself(though there's plenty of fault there as well). None of this would be nearly as big an issue if it weren't for the fact that in America, he who has the most legal funds wins. It doesn't matter who has what right if a company can make you bankrupt yourself trying to defend that right. This is why oppressive laws cannot be allowed to pass. No one with an interest can afford to contest them in court, so one third of our entire system of governmental checks & balances is excluded from the process. Even when someone does make headway in the courts, the company involved will settle out of court in order to avoid a precedent, so nothing changes.

It is for this reason that I will oppose any law that restricts freedom of the individual for any reason. I don't care if companies lose money. I don't care if pirates run rampant(like this would stop them anyway). The pirates will take care of themselves and adapt to anything, and big media will continue to struggle against the modern world at our expense. I care only about those that do not have the power to exploit, manipulate, and abuse our legal system to get what they want.

Geez... this got me riled up enough to post. Stupid Congress...


Yeah. And; Who has more legal weight than the governments themselves?

The government took me to court. I was ordered to shut my go daddy web site down.
The Judge was nice. He looked at my web site and chuckled. It was a little funny.

They 'had' me on two words. (Long fricking story.)
The Judge told me, "Hey. It is no big deal. Shut your web site down and fix those two words and then put it back up again."

Nice guy. Seemed reasonable to me.
I shut the site down and started to edit it.

There came a knock knock knocking at my kitchen door.

Two big men were at the door. They said that they wanted to talk to me.

They said, "This is a one hundred year old building. A trained eye will always be able to find fault with it. If, you reopen your business on Monday; Friday you will be in court, again. Think about that!"

Then, they left and I thought about that. I started going through my books. I started a new hobby. I started reading the last line of many of my books, before, I threw them away. Sometimes I read the first line, too.

xkcd and other forums like it get away with what they do, because, we are no bodies and what we think and do does not matter.

Yesterday, I missed Wiki. Tomorrow, xkcd could be gone.

The US frightens nearly everyone. We would all miss the internet so much.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascading_ ... r_networks

No. I do not think that that bunch of %&*#$@! would break the internet on purpose. But; What a bunch of clods!

They might, as many before them have, in a fit of self-righteousness, break a thing that they think that they understand and do not. Taking down related sites all at one time can make one Hell of a mess. As the other nodes on the Planet attempt to keep up there could be failure after failure.

Can you imagine such a world? It would be a world without a reliable internet for weeks and weeks while the Europeans and the Asians work around a Black Hole. Would not really be a Black Hole. It would be more like a quiet grassy place where the people could see Jack Ass on T.V. But not xkcd on the internet.

Well?! It could happen. The internet is cool and all, but, it has a weakness or two.

Yes. The United States much of Canada and some of Mexico could go dark. Really dark. The electronic infrastructure is connected to the internet.

There is no fire wall that will protect from a large walking failure. Right?
A walking failure or walking cascade is like a fire. It will use up all available fuel. Right?

Or; Am I, just, so bored and angry that I wish them an interesting time of it. Powerful people are already doing this stuff. What real difference will the bill make? A mess. It could encourage almost know something people to reach far beyond their abilities.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Belial » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:48 pm UTC

khaighle wrote:Way to be behind the curve, Randall. The rest of the Internet has cared about this for months. Do you get all your news from the Wikipedia main page?


...Yesterday was the date of the coordinated protest.

And you're super surprised that on the date of the coordinated protest, acts of protest were coordinated?

You...uhh...aren't so good at this, are you?
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby userly2 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:06 pm UTC

I appreciate the opposition to SOPA, and yes it is a horrible infringement on the First Amendment.

However, where is the opposition every time our other Constitutional freedoms are assaulted... especially the freedoms some of you disagree with. Picking and choosing which freedoms you want to keep opens it up for things like SOPA to pass (you set a precedent). Just remember this when our president (R or D) oversteps the bounds of office (whether in your favor or not), when anti-gun legislation is introduced, or when more taxes with no direct representation for The People are up for vote. Every Constitutional freedom is precious and opposing any of them because it doesn't pertain to you personally is arrogant, selfish, and simple-minded.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Gumbril » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

userly2 wrote:I appreciate the opposition to SOPA, and yes it is a horrible infringement on the First Amendment.

However, where is the opposition every time our other Constitutional freedoms are assaulted... especially the freedoms some of you disagree with. Picking and choosing which freedoms you want to keep opens it up for things like SOPA to pass (you set a precedent). Just remember this when our president (R or D) oversteps the bounds of office (whether in your favor or not), when anti-gun legislation is introduced, or when more taxes with no direct representation for The People are up for vote. Every Constitutional freedom is precious and opposing any of them because it doesn't pertain to you personally is arrogant, selfish, and simple-minded.

The Constitution itself is modifiable, and a lot of people would prefer to live in bondage. They are more neurotic than selfish.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Cranica » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:16 pm UTC

Certainly, userly, we should be doing this sort of thing every time our freedoms are violated against our constitution. Hopefully, we'll remember this come the next time; even if we don't, though, yesterday was a remarkable day for the internet and for the common people of the world as a whole. The web is a powerful force now, and it's nice to see that muscle being flexed for good.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby robh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

Assuming this sopa thing passes, whats to stop americans from using a european dns server to get around any blocks? If nothing, does sopa do anything at all other than put a massive thorn in the sides of webmasters everywhere?

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby melociraptor » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:53 pm UTC

I love that in order to see the secret message of this comic clearly, Randall has made it necessary for us to make a copy of it. ;)

[First post, hello :)]
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby A_of_s_t » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:16 pm UTC

@maniexx wrote:
Wnderer wrote:What sites are protesting SOPA today? So far I found xkcd, google, duckduckgo and wikipedia. Yahoo, bing, dogpile and wolfram-alpha aren't showing anything.

Also, -----.com :oops:

I have to say, I was really surprised when I saw it.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby vector010 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

robh wrote:Assuming this sopa thing passes, whats to stop americans from using a european dns server to get around any blocks? If nothing, does sopa do anything at all other than put a massive thorn in the sides of webmasters everywhere?


Actually, if you read the SOPA provisions it allows the US to move against foreign agencies that violate the terms of, or attempt to subvert SOPA. So, using European DNS servers would just mean the US would start taking action against European DNS servers under SOPA.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:19 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Netzach wrote:Why do these laws have such ridiculous names? In Swedish "sopa" means "a piece of garbage" and "pipa" means "to squeek" amongst other meanings.


Well, in (brazilian) Portuguese, "sopa" means "soup" and "pipa" means "kite". I believe that the people in charge of said bills carefully researched for acronyms with random meanings in as much languages as possible.

There's more. :) In Greek, apparently, "pipa" means "blowjob". In Dutch, "pipa" is slang for "gun" (possibly originates from Africa, but I can't find a source for that).
Last edited by W3ird_N3rd on Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:25 pm UTC

vector010 wrote:
robh wrote:Assuming this sopa thing passes, whats to stop americans from using a european dns server to get around any blocks? If nothing, does sopa do anything at all other than put a massive thorn in the sides of webmasters everywhere?


Actually, if you read the SOPA provisions it allows the US to move against foreign agencies that violate the terms of, or attempt to subvert SOPA. So, using European DNS servers would just mean the US would start taking action against European DNS servers under SOPA.


Furthermore, the gov't already can remove websites from DNS servers located in the U.S. And it has done that in the past.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby W3ird_N3rd » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:57 pm UTC

Cranica wrote:In theory, yes. In practice, even under the DMCA, bogus takedown requests are a common way of shutting people up for one reason or another. See http://www.geekosystem.com/dmca-is-already-broken/ for details on just a few cases of such abuse. From personal experience, some random guy identifying himself as "Habsro, Inc." managed to pull down every My Little Pony episode from YouTube, something that the actual owners (Hasbro) had no interest in doing; the existing laws put the burden of proof on the defendant and the new ones even more so.

Now you would think it would stop there, "funny" guys taking down movies that, indeed, are copyrighted. But downright corruption is also included.

There is a video on the web, "Die Wahrheit über HD+" (the truth about HD+). It shows a critical view on the German pay-TV system called "HD+". It criticizes all it's DRM and how you pretty much hand over your remote control to the media companies. The video does not infringe any copyrights, it just explains why HD+ sucks and why you should not buy it.

HD+ was obviously not happy about it, as they took it down: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by HD PLUS GmbH.". (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwT83FXau2k)

When I saw that, I felt quite a WTF.
Frankly, the only people I've seen support SOPA thus far are those who (think that they) stand to reap financial gain from its passing - basically, the MPAA and friends and the legislators they support. I used to be staunchly anti-piracy almost across the board, but after this bullshit, I'll never speak up again against someone pirating a major film. The bastards dug their own graves here, and I hope they rot in them.

I feel the same way. I generally don't support piracy as I don't believe piracy in itself to be the solution for the whole copyright problem. Slowly but surely, big media companies break down every single shred of respect they ever had.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Athe » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:06 am UTC

Meh, piracy is like a guerrilla war. Difficult to find, troublesome to stamp out. The only real way to win a guerrilla war is to burn everything to the ground. nowhere to hide, but everything is destroyed. The internet is going to look like scorched earth, well, only if the bills pass. Personally, I don't have a problem with piracy. The media moguls will always survive. By the way, can we own the sound of one hand clapping? The specific order of molecules crashing into a specialized biological mechanism? The specific cascade of electrons and chemicals that are thoughts? Now, I'm sure this has been said somewhere, but has everyone contacted their reps? Senators? Call 'em, email 'em, HELL, SNAIL MAIL 'EM!

(Also, HOORAY FOR COORDINATED PROTEST!)
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:22 am UTC

If anyone doubts how damaging SOPA could be for the infrastructure of the net, just look at the Megaupload situation occuring right now.

This is a Hong Kong based server run by New Zealanders, and the US has shut it down without a trial even occurring. Sure, I am certain that it had material that infringed copyright on it, but people used it for legitimate uploading and distribution too. Anyone who did so has now lost access to their legitimately owned material. And, note, this is occurring without even recourse to SOPA itself but only its predecessors.

I have important files stored on DropBox and precious pictures and videos of my kids stored on Picassa. I am certain that some are distributing material that infringe copyright there as well. What if those get shut down without a trial too? (It's important to note that Megaupload complied with DMCA takedown requests removing links to copyright material just as I imagine Dropbox and Picassa do)

Taken to an extreme, we are looking at the whole concept of Cloud Computer being rendered unsafe and that's not even the worst of it.

type "filetype:torrent mission impossible" into Google search and you'll get a thousand results back all of which likely infringe copyright. So is Google engaged in 'assisting copyright theft' and hence liable to be shut down without a trial under SOPA?

Where does it end is the point. Yes, legislation can achieve a few wins against the bigger infringing sites, but that'll just fracture the providers. It won't stop people who want to pirate pirating because it will remain the easiest thing in the world. Poorly written legislation has far more potential for downside than upside and that's why so many legitimate online businesses who derive no income or benefit from piracy object to SOPA.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:26 am UTC

Great work defending the future of the Internet, not to mention helping me calibrate my monitor's gamma setting.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby BytEfLUSh » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:33 am UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Great work defending the future of the Internet, not to mention helping me calibrate my monitor's gamma setting.


GOOMHR (R as in Rhomboidal). I just bought a new monitor and the picture seemed kind of weird. First thing I did was to load this comic and realize that the hidden stuff was much more visible than it used to be. Though, I didn't calibrate my monitor based on the comic, it was just a trigger that made me do that Windows 7 calibration wizard thing. :)
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby Jez » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:36 pm UTC

Sopa I an overuse of copyright protection; basically making the internet a police state run by corporations, it would make youtube clips where someone posts an "edited version of a family guy scene" illegal.


They already are illegal. Fox haven't given you permission to play around with something they invested thousands if not millions of dollars in developing.

Any parody or joke of anything copyrighted in any of the xkcd comics could lead to its seizure under SOPA.


Parody is protected in US copyright law - hence Weird Al and co don't actually need permission in order to do what they do. That's different to international treaties and most western copyright law mind, but since it's only US law that's applicable here... If you redrew black hat guy with a yellow hat as an obvious joke against xkcd, randall wouldn't have a case in the US. If you nicked randalls drawing and recoloured it yellow that's copying and randall would have a case (unless he'd licensed it otherwise).

The media moguls will always survive.

Please explain all the failing independent record labels, independent studios, independent artists... I'm sure you have some sort of lengthy problem with RIAA, but SOPA is also gaining support from A2IM - which member of them are you going to accuse of being too rich to fail, a horrible money grabbing bastard or whatever other at least partly messed up reasoning you have to hate the major companies?



I don't actually support SOPA, its wording is too vague and leaves it open to abuse. I just cannot stand the vast majority of people who shout righteously online who think that piracy's fine because the only people who suffer can take it. Trust me, it's not the rich suits that suffer at the end of the day. Piracy is theft and given things like netflix, spotify etc are all available at low to no cost with higher quality media I really don't see the point. OK maybe not everything is on there, but that's a vicious cycle and another story.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:25 pm UTC

Jez wrote:Please explain all the failing independent record labels, independent studios, independent artists...


... and the invisible pink dragons.

Jez wrote:If you nicked randalls drawing and recoloured it yellow that's copying and randall would have a case (unless he'd licensed it otherwise).


Ah, so you never ever heard of Creative Commons, and/or never read those words at the very bottom of xkcd's front page, huh?

Way to build your reputation, man.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby madaco » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:43 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Jez wrote:If you nicked randalls drawing and recoloured it yellow that's copying and randall would have a case (unless he'd licensed it otherwise).


Ah, so you never ever heard of Creative Commons, and/or never read those words at the very bottom of xkcd's front page, huh?


now its possible that they haven't, but I don't think that their message implies that.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby bigjeff5 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:01 am UTC

Jez wrote:They already are illegal. Fox haven't given you permission to play around with something they invested thousands if not millions of dollars in developing.


You can't make that blanket statement, because there are in fact a number of uses which Fox absolutely despises and would never condone, yet are nevertheless completely legal. Many of the Family Guy videos are indeed illegal, but many are not. That's why Google can't just do a search for "Family Guy" periodically and remove everything - a lot of it is completely legal.

Parody is protected in US copyright law - hence Weird Al and co don't actually need permission in order to do what they do. That's different to international treaties and most western copyright law mind, but since it's only US law that's applicable here... If you redrew black hat guy with a yellow hat as an obvious joke against xkcd, randall wouldn't have a case in the US. If you nicked randalls drawing and recoloured it yellow that's copying and randall would have a case (unless he'd licensed it otherwise).


The provisions in SOPA would allow the RIAA and MPAA to ruin the website that hosted the parody financially by cutting off all credit processing long before a judge could rule such a parody "Fair Use". That's why people are so damned scared of it.

Please explain all the failing independent record labels, independent studios, independent artists... I'm sure you have some sort of lengthy problem with RIAA, but SOPA is also gaining support from A2IM - which member of them are you going to accuse of being too rich to fail, a horrible money grabbing bastard or whatever other at least partly messed up reasoning you have to hate the major companies?


Not everybody likes weird shit. Please explain why so many artists and small business owners oppose SOPA (I'll give you a hint - it ain't because they make lots of money on record sales, that's for sure - artists generally owe money to record labels even after selling hundreds of thousands of copies).

I don't actually support SOPA, its wording is too vague and leaves it open to abuse. I just cannot stand the vast majority of people who shout righteously online who think that piracy's fine because the only people who suffer can take it. Trust me, it's not the rich suits that suffer at the end of the day. Piracy is theft and given things like netflix, spotify etc are all available at low to no cost with higher quality media I really don't see the point. OK maybe not everything is on there, but that's a vicious cycle and another story.


SOPA isn't just bad because it is vague. The provisions in it are absolutely insane. They would literally break the secure DNS spec, DNSSEC, which is critical for protecting internet communications. It turns the legal doctrine of "innocent until proven guilty" on it's head, and it does so with no oversight or due process of the law. Worst of all, it wouldn't even hurt piracy all that much.

It's sort of like Viagra. Viagra was developed to fight pulminary hypertension, but it turns out it had a wicked side effect that was incredibly consistent - raging boners. Today Viagra is prescribed far more often for erectile dysfunction than pulminary hypertension, because boners are a lot more profitable. SOPA is like Viagra, except instead of fixing erectile dysfunction it will break the internet as we know it.

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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby J Thomas » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:43 pm UTC

Jez wrote:Please explain all the failing independent record labels, independent studios, independent artists... I'm sure you have some sort of lengthy problem with RIAA, but SOPA is also gaining support from A2IM - which member of them are you going to accuse of being too rich to fail, a horrible money grabbing bastard or whatever other at least partly messed up reasoning you have to hate the major companies?


Probably no single explanation works for everything, but here's a general explanation that covers a lot:

They don't make enough money because they don't make enough sales.

To get sales they need first for their potential customers to find out about them, and to want their products, and to pay for them. But small record labels, independent studios, and independent artists tend not to be heard of at all because they don't have giant advertising budgets and they don't have their own distribution channels and they don't have deals with radio stations, newspapers, etc. They are competing for your attention against an integrated media system owned by a few big corporations.

If you got exposed to them maybe you wouldn't like them. But mostly, you'll never know because you'll never find out they exist. For a small company, internet piracy is free advertising, provided their name and URL are there. It's zero variable cost. People find out about them. Getting paid is still a problem, but it's the problem they face after they get past the first two barriers.

SOPA is officially about solving the third problem -- making sure you pay for what you get. For that purpose it only helps corporations who can afford giant lawyer fees.

Unofficially, SOPA lets companies who have clout shut down the internet sites that small competitors could use to get attention.

For all I know there might be independents who support SOPA -- I haven't much heard of them but it's possible. Unless they're getting paid well to support it, they're being stupid.

I don't actually support SOPA, its wording is too vague and leaves it open to abuse. I just cannot stand the vast majority of people who shout righteously online who think that piracy's fine because the only people who suffer can take it. Trust me, it's not the rich suits that suffer at the end of the day. Piracy is theft and given things like netflix, spotify etc are all available at low to no cost with higher quality media I really don't see the point. OK maybe not everything is on there, but that's a vicious cycle and another story.


The "property is theft" argument applies here. US society has a consensus that we should have patents and copyright so that people can afford to create more original stuff. But the way we've done that is intellectually dishonest and self-contradictory. It results in ridiculous situations. So for example, TV sitcoms get sold to advertisers, who give them away for free so that people will watch their ads. But the copyright belongs to somebody. After the show has aired the advertiser is better off if it is widely pirated so that more people will want to watch the next one. The more attention the show gets, the better off the advertiser is. What sense does it make to let the advertiser's *competitors* shut down pirates on his behalf?

The natural course of events is, if I hear somebody whistle a nice tune, I can whistle it too if I want to. We have some weird idea that we can use the legal system to stop the spread of memes so that the official creators can get paid for them?

We can't go back. Something like 12% of US GDP depends on copyrighted entertainment. If we stopped selling people stories to take their minds off their miserable real lives, a lot more of them would take up hard drugs. We're stuck with the system we have. But SOPA would make it even worse.
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Re: 1005: "SOPA"

Postby SirMustapha » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:It's sort of like Viagra. Viagra was developed to fight pulminary hypertension, but it turns out it had a wicked side effect that was incredibly consistent - raging boners. Today Viagra is prescribed far more often for erectile dysfunction than pulminary hypertension, because boners are a lot more profitable. SOPA is like Viagra, except instead of fixing erectile dysfunction it will break the internet as we know it.


A more fitting analogy is to think of SOPA in terms of the H1N1 scare: it became very interesting and profitable to go "you're gonna ALL DIE!" instead of displaying all the facts. It's a scare tactic: you frighten the hell out of people to justify overpriced medicine and all that. SOPA is all about the piracy scare tactic: you try to convince people that "piracy" is the biggest evil in the galaxy to justify, well, any crap you want to do. Some people buy it.


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