SOPA talk, yo.

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Griffin
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:25 pm UTC

Seriously, let's not do this gain. No one else really cares about your absurd definitions and it's completely fucking irrelevant. Piracy is still illegal, whether it is stealing or not, and we can manage just fine without appeals to emotion based on conflation with other crimes, crimes it does not fall under in legal terms. Moreso, it is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Ixtellor - Stop. You obviously knew what you were doing when you said it, you were INTENTIONALLY TROLLING. Seriously. You said it just to stir shit up, and you know it. Just... stop. There is room for your opinion, but this is not the way to do it.

Hippo - Stop feeding the troll.

That said:
Likelyhood of that happening?

I think there's a decent chance of one or two of them doing it. All of them have come out heavily against it because they are sure it will hurt them, but none of them are particularly strong lobbyists - especially not compared to the entertainment industry, which pours a whole heckton of money into lobbying and has more years of experience than these tech companies have existed for. The question for these companies, I imagine, is whether or not this would actually help.
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The Great Hippo
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:36 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:If you owe Music Company X 99 cents for a song, and you don't pay... they lost 99 cents.
I'm just going to stop you here and assume that you know absolutely nothing about economies or how they work.

Even if I break into Music Company X and steal their 99 cent CD--an actual, physical, concrete copy of the song--they still have not lost 99 cents. They have lost a CD that they were hoping to sell for 99 cents. That is not the same fucking thing, and your assumption that it is... Jesus. Why the fuck are we even having this conversation?

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:I think there's a decent chance of one or two of them doing it. All of them have come out heavily against it because they are sure it will hurt them, but none of them are particularly strong lobbyists - especially not compared to the entertainment industry, which pours a whole heckton of money into lobbying and has more years of experience than these tech companies have existed for. The question for these companies, I imagine, is whether or not this would actually help.


I think it is probably more an issue of long-term confidence in the brand versus stopping SOPA that is the problem. I have a hard time imagining a situation where people in large numbers are suddenly asking their Senator/Congressperson/presidential candidate whether or not it is their intention to shut down Facebook is not going to derail the whole thing, at least until after the election. OTOH, if people start feeling that their favourite websites are not reliable, they may migrate to other options--Microsoft, for example, is a SOPA supporter and would probably be happy to accept any Google searchers to Bing affected by a service disruption there.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Randomizer » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:09 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Fun fact: Using the term "piracy" to refer to copyright infringement dates back to 1603.
I had no idea. I'd always heard the term as bootlegging (mostly referring to bootleg VHS tapes) before I heard people start calling it piracy.

Williks wrote:Presumably someone making copies of and distributing your diary would already be punishable under theft (how'd they get ahold of your diary or embarrassing poems if you never distributed them?) or privacy laws, no? I'm not a lawyer, but it doesn't seem like copyright law adds any additional security for these kind of situations.
It's just an example. I wouldn't want someone gathering up every forum post I ever made and publishing a book full of them, either. Or schoolteachers publishing their students' work without permission. Or the photo developer thinking they can sell calendars with the pictures I've taken just because they temporarily had access to my film. And so on.

If one person distributes ten thousand copies of a book through the pirate bay, and their exist five thousand legitimate customers who lend it to at least one friend, what's the appreciable difference in terms of how this affects the success of any given creative work? If, in the end, it's about making sure the artist get's paid then both forms of distribution will have affected the artist's profits (this is assuming no one goes out and buys a copy for themselves after downloading/borrowing one). Why then, is the former considered morally dubious, while the later is considered being a proper friend?
Because in the former, 1 copy has been purchased, but 10,000 copies exist, while in the latter, 5,000 copies have been purchased and 5,000 copies exist. If you think one Harry Potter book set will satisfy the needs of everyone who wants to read it, feel free to set up an exchange to pass the books around as efficiently as you can so that everyone has a turn. However, the writer is banking on that that one copy will be insufficient to satisfy everyone, and that a good number of people will want their own copies and she can hence sell a good number of them. But if someone else is making illegal copies, the writer can't sell those, can she?

As far as making illegal copies as a "try before you buy" - if you think that a product doesn't provide enough information to make a purchasing decision, you are not obligated to buy it. It would behoove companies to try to provide that information, but if they don't know how to market their products, it's their loss. Anecdotally, the other day I saw a video in the store who's cover looked interesting, but because they didn't even put one sentence describing what the film was about on the back (just that it supposedly had good reviews), I did not have enough information to purchase it and so I did not. If someone were to tell me what the movie was about, I still would not get it because I'm irritated at the company for being too idiotic to describe their product.

Regarding library ebooks - I would presume the libraries would do that in such a way as to not breach copyright. They are run by the government, which made the copyright laws in the first place, after all. Also, deferring to what paulisa said.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Ixtellor » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:12 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I'm just going to stop you here and assume that you know absolutely nothing about economies or how they work.


There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about economics than me, and several dozen'ish who know the math better. (having a degree in economics and not using it has made me forget... er all the math). I bet if you go back to 2008 and look for threads on the recession you won't find a single post that explains it better than me. Particularly when it comes to capital ratios. I would right more on the subject but I'm bogged down explaining libor rates and writing a thesis about the hiring structure at Moody's which caused them to misforcast the AAA tranch rated non-diversified CDO's. (Some of mortgage bundles were literally within the same zip code.)

Even if I break into Music Company X and steal their 99 cent CD--an actual, physical, concrete copy of the song--they still have not lost 99 cents. They have lost a CD that they were hoping to sell for 99 cents.


Since this is a science forum so, Lets try an experiment. Steal a CD and get caught, then see if the compensatory damages you are ordered to pay are at the cost of production or if your ordered to pay full retail compensatory. How enlightened will the Judge find your "cost of production" argument.

It will be fun to see if you calculate into your argument the overhead and transportion costs

But since you wont' do that, lets give you a lesson in "The law for dummies"

Compensatory Damages... not to be confused with punative or nominal damage.
Also include: "Loss of profit is another element of compensatory damages, allowing an individual to recover if such a loss can be established with sufficient certainty and is a direct and probable result of the defendant's wrongful actions."

Of course all this is assuming you understand all the componants of input costs... you don't...

The ridiculous lenghts you will go to, to justify piracy is boring and only demonstrates your serious lack of understanding in both economics and the law.
Lets be clear... the law is 100% on my side.
Your misinformed opinions about what is, and what isn't 'stealing' are the asinine ramblings of a clueless person. Go back to your philosophy classes and "A tree is never just a tree" lectures about the world and morality and leave the real world 'argument's to the adults.


Ixtellor

P.S. I see why your so eager to jump to personal insults... its so much fun when you don't have to look the person in the eye. It also levels the playing field for people who need google to make them seem like they know something. (hint: thats you)

P.P.S. holy shit, is that why your against SOPA because of the fear it will shut down google... it all makes sense now.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:28 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:As far as making illegal copies as a "try before you buy" - if you think that a product doesn't provide enough information to make a purchasing decision, you are not obligated to buy it. It would behoove companies to try to provide that information, but if they don't know how to market their products, it's their loss. Anecdotally, the other day I saw a video in the store who's cover looked interesting, but because they didn't even put one sentence describing what the film was about on the back (just that it supposedly had good reviews), I did not have enough information to purchase it and so I did not. If someone were to tell me what the movie was about, I still would not get it because I'm irritated at the company for being too idiotic to describe their product.


Out of curiousity, what is your position on DRM as far as this is concerned? Companies aren't required to disclose what type of DRM they use (and generally go out of their way not to), either on the box or in the EULA. Especially if you use Linux, it's pretty easy to run afoul of DRM protections even for legitimate usage since most of them assume you're using Windows.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:32 pm UTC

Ixtellor, seriously, fuck off. That's really all I can say to you at this point. And Hippo, stop being a bloody idiot - there is absolutely nothing you can say here that is going to "win" you that argument.

Are there any sites OTHER than Reddit that are definitely going to get involved in the blackout, that anyone knows about, or just rumblings?
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Williks » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:It's just an example. I wouldn't want someone gathering up every forum post I ever made and publishing a book full of them, either. Or schoolteachers publishing their students' work without permission. Or the photo developer thinking they can sell calendars with the pictures I've taken just because they temporarily had access to my film. And so on.

These are instances of people making money off of your work. I don't think you'll find anyone who thinks it's acceptable for companies to publish other people's work for profit without their permission. But this is entirely different than whether or not somebody gets to read a book or see a movie for free.
Randomizer wrote:Because in the former, 1 copy has been purchased, but 10,000 copies exist, while in the latter, 5,000 copies have been purchased and 5,000 copies exist. If you think one Harry Potter book set will satisfy the needs of everyone who wants to read it, feel free to set up an exchange to pass the books around as efficiently as you can so that everyone has a turn. However, the writer is banking on that that one copy will be insufficient to satisfy everyone, and that a good number of people will want their own copies and she can hence sell a good number of them. But if someone else is making illegal copies, the writer can't sell those, can she?

My example makes no assumption as to how many total copies were sold, only those that were obtained without payment reaching the creator. The point was only to contrast two situations wherein the end result is the same (somebody is getting access to a creative work without exchanging payment), but only one is seen as wrong. If the issue is that artists are not being compensated for their works, then it ought not matter whether that is due to internet piracy or through lending or any other means.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:58 pm UTC

Williks wrote:These are instances of people making money off of your work. I don't think you'll find anyone who thinks it's acceptable for companies to publish other people's work for profit without their permission. But this is entirely different than whether or not somebody gets to read a book or see a movie for free.

Look, you're focusing on all the irrelevant parts of the examples that Randomizer raises. I would also have a problem if people assembled any of those things and distributed them for free.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:07 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:I'm just going to stop you here and assume that you know absolutely nothing about economies or how they work.


There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about economics than me, and several dozen'ish who know the math better. (having a degree in economics and not using it has made me forget... er all the math). I bet if you go back to 2008 and look for threads on the recession you won't find a single post that explains it better than me. Particularly when it comes to capital ratios. I would right more on the subject but I'm bogged down explaining libor rates and writing a thesis about the hiring structure at Moody's which caused them to misforcast the AAA tranch rated non-diversified CDO's. (Some of mortgage bundles were literally within the same zip code.)

Even if I break into Music Company X and steal their 99 cent CD--an actual, physical, concrete copy of the song--they still have not lost 99 cents. They have lost a CD that they were hoping to sell for 99 cents.


Since this is a science forum so, Lets try an experiment. Steal a CD and get caught, then see if the compensatory damages you are ordered to pay are at the cost of production or if your ordered to pay full retail compensatory. How enlightened will the Judge find your "cost of production" argument.

It will be fun to see if you calculate into your argument the overhead and transportion costs

But since you wont' do that, lets give you a lesson in "The law for dummies"

Compensatory Damages... not to be confused with punative or nominal damage.
Also include: "Loss of profit is another element of compensatory damages, allowing an individual to recover if such a loss can be established with sufficient certainty and is a direct and probable result of the defendant's wrongful actions."

Of course all this is assuming you understand all the componants of input costs... you don't...

The ridiculous lenghts you will go to, to justify piracy is boring and only demonstrates your serious lack of understanding in both economics and the law.
Lets be clear... the law is 100% on my side.
Your misinformed opinions about what is, and what isn't 'stealing' are the asinine ramblings of a clueless person. Go back to your philosophy classes and "A tree is never just a tree" lectures about the world and morality and leave the real world 'argument's to the adults.


Ixtellor

P.S. I see why your so eager to jump to personal insults... its so much fun when you don't have to look the person in the eye. It also levels the playing field for people who need google to make them seem like they know something. (hint: thats you)

P.P.S. holy shit, is that why your against SOPA because of the fear it will shut down google... it all makes sense now.

It's probably already been said, but you know, 8 pages...

It's not stealing because it doesn't meet the legal definition of stealing. Stealing implies intent to deprive the rightful owner of the item, which does not happen when you copy that item. Other laws cover that, but they're not the ones that cover theft.

As for what a judge thinks about the distinction between production costs and retail prices, that has nothing to do with Hippo's statement. If the CD costs a cent to produce and they want to sell it for 99 cents, then by stealing it, the thief would be costing that company a cent. Because that's how much the company would have to pay to replace it. The thief's punishment would of course exceed the production cost of the CD because he still did a Bad Thing, but that has nothing to do with how out-of-pocket the company is. The only way the company would be out of pocket by the full 99 cents is if the thief would otherwise have purchased that CD at the full retail price, but there's no way to know one way or the other whether he would have or not, so you can't assume that.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Are there any sites OTHER than Reddit that are definitely going to get involved in the blackout, that anyone knows about, or just rumblings?


When I dragonmustang made the assertion that reddit set a date, I was assuming they would act as a Bellwether on this issue. The larger the organization, the longer it takes to make decisions that involve shutting down the website for a period of time.

I can say that my website with like 12 hits per week will have a partial black-out: retaining content pages (but no navigation pages for finding them). I am on the Board of Directors of a community cycling organization. I don't know if their website will be blacked out because I have not discussed it with the board yet (it is on the agenda for the board meeting in 28 hours). I mentioned that I am a member of the Pirate Party of Canada. They probably will not be completely blacking out their website because they will be in the process of electing a new board of directors during that time (starting the last 2 hours of the back-out window). I give it better than even odds that many of the big names will chicken out after computing how much revenue they expect to lose in a 12 hour outage. Google may even have service-level agreements to worry about that may impose substantial penalties for an outage.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Williks » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:40 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Williks wrote:These are instances of people making money off of your work. I don't think you'll find anyone who thinks it's acceptable for companies to publish other people's work for profit without their permission. But this is entirely different than whether or not somebody gets to read a book or see a movie for free.

Look, you're focusing on all the irrelevant parts of the examples that Randomizer raises. I would also have a problem if people assembled any of those things and distributed them for free.

They are absolutely relevant. If I post or speak something publicly, why should I expect control over those words? Why shouldn't somebody else be able to take those words and distribute copies of them? It's a different issue if someone intends to make money using your words. If you don't think it is, or if you're trying to make another point, then use different examples that don't involve somebody using other people's creations for profit.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

Williks wrote:They are absolutely relevant. If I post or speak something publicly, why should I expect control over those words?

Two of the three examples involved expression that was in no sense public.

Williks wrote:If you don't think it is, or if you're trying to make another point, then use different examples that don't involve somebody using other people's creations for profit.

As a matter of fact, two of the three examples themselves did not mention profit. They mention "publishing," which can certainly be done for free, and is still illegal if it involves copyright infringement.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Williks » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:47 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Two of the three examples involved expression that was in no sense public.

As a matter of fact, two of the three examples themselves did not mention profit. They mention "publishing," which can certainly be done for free, and is still illegal if it involves copyright infringement.

Obviously, it's illegal. That's not really up for debate.

One example mentioned public forum posts. Another mentioned a teacher publishing the work of one of their students. The final example specifically mentioned selling calenders. Admittedly I'd assumed profit in the second example. I'd argue the second is moreso troublesome due to the nature of a teacher-student relationship. It's a relationship that ought be built on trust and a certain level of privacy should be expected. I see it as being far more in line with someone publishing private emails without permission than anything at all like the distribution of commercially released creative works.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby dragonmustang » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Are there any sites OTHER than Reddit that are definitely going to get involved in the blackout, that anyone knows about, or just rumblings?


As far as I can tell, Reddit's the only major one that has gone official. Wikipedia's thinking about it publicly, but the debate is still ongoing, and I can only find rumors and speculation that the others are considering it.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby lucrezaborgia » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:12 pm UTC

It doesn't really matter what one's stance is on piracy. SOPA won't stop it. It's a law that can't even fulfill its supposed intention. Arguing on whether piracy is theft or not isn't gonna be the argument that gets people off the fence. It's definitely not the argument that will change supporters minds.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Malice » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:00 am UTC

Randomizer wrote:I wouldn't want someone gathering up every forum post I ever made and publishing a book full of them, either. Or schoolteachers publishing their students' work without permission. Or the photo developer thinking they can sell calendars with the pictures I've taken just because they temporarily had access to my film. And so on.


First off, you have no expectation that your forum posts are your own. They are publicly available on the internet. In fact, they've been "published" by Google's internet scrapebots, such that I can google "Randomizer" and find everything you've ever written on this forum all in a row. Although I can understand annoyance if somebody bound these in a book and handed them out on the street corner, I view it as being no different than somebody, say, publishing a book of George W. Bush quotes without his permission. By making them publicly available and open to copying by the processes of the internet, you've relinquished all right to stop other people from distributing (or, I'd argue, even profiting from) your words.

Your other two examples involve non-public situations which have an implied privacy (your teacher takes your work in order to grade it before returning it to you, your photo developer takes your pictures only to develop them), and fall under the situation where you show your friend a short story you wrote and he puts it in a book without permission, something which is (and should be) illegal.

Regardless, copyright does not exist to make authors feel comfortable; it exists to promote a full and open culture, where "full" requires that artists get paid for their work, and "open" requires that after a certain point they do not. Traditionally "a certain point" is x number of years after publication, mandated by law; pirates propose that "a certain point" is x number of people paying willingly, a number allowed to shift based on the quality and popularity of the work (not to mention the price point, distribution system, etc.).

If one person distributes ten thousand copies of a book through the pirate bay, and their exist five thousand legitimate customers who lend it to at least one friend, what's the appreciable difference in terms of how this affects the success of any given creative work? If, in the end, it's about making sure the artist get's paid then both forms of distribution will have affected the artist's profits (this is assuming no one goes out and buys a copy for themselves after downloading/borrowing one). Why then, is the former considered morally dubious, while the later is considered being a proper friend?
Because in the former, 1 copy has been purchased, but 10,000 copies exist, while in the latter, 5,000 copies have been purchased and 5,000 copies exist. If you think one Harry Potter book set will satisfy the needs of everyone who wants to read it, feel free to set up an exchange to pass the books around as efficiently as you can so that everyone has a turn. However, the writer is banking on that that one copy will be insufficient to satisfy everyone, and that a good number of people will want their own copies and she can hence sell a good number of them. But if someone else is making illegal copies, the writer can't sell those, can she?


Assume that 1 person distributes ten thousand copies of a book through Pirate Bay; of the ten thousand downloaders, half of them proceed to buy the book. There are also five thousand people who buy the book sight unseen, read it, and lend it each to one friend. Through the former process, the author has earned 5000 * (cover price); through the latter process, the author has earned 5000 * (cover price). In both cases, 10,000 people have read the book. Is there a moral difference between these two scenarios? Should the author care about which process happens? Should we listen to the author's preference?

As far as making illegal copies as a "try before you buy" - if you think that a product doesn't provide enough information to make a purchasing decision, you are not obligated to buy it. It would behoove companies to try to provide that information, but if they don't know how to market their products, it's their loss. Anecdotally, the other day I saw a video in the store who's cover looked interesting, but because they didn't even put one sentence describing what the film was about on the back (just that it supposedly had good reviews), I did not have enough information to purchase it and so I did not. If someone were to tell me what the movie was about, I still would not get it because I'm irritated at the company for being too idiotic to describe their product.


That's not just their loss, that's your loss, in the event that you would have really enjoyed that movie. Why the hell should the competence or incompetence of the marketing department be the end-all, be-all in terms of your enjoyment of entertainment?

Regarding library ebooks - I would presume the libraries would do that in such a way as to not breach copyright. They are run by the government, which made the copyright laws in the first place, after all. Also, deferring to what paulisa said.


The absurdity of copyright law has actually led to proposals that library ebooks "expire" (and delete themselves) after x number of reads, which is ridiculous, and only goes to show the stupidity of forcing artificial scarcity onto unlimited goods.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby lucrezaborgia » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:09 am UTC

Malice wrote:First off, you have no expectation that your forum posts are your own. They are publicly available on the internet. In fact, they've been "published" by Google's internet scrapebots, such that I can google "Randomizer" and find everything you've ever written on this forum all in a row. Although I can understand annoyance if somebody bound these in a book and handed them out on the street corner, I view it as being no different than somebody, say, publishing a book of George W. Bush quotes without his permission. By making them publicly available and open to copying by the processes of the internet, you've relinquished all right to stop other people from distributing (or, I'd argue, even profiting from) your words.


Merely having your words be public does not mean that they can't be under copyright. By your argument, web-postings of newspaper articles couldn't be copyrighted because they are public.

Either way, this still has nothing to do with SOPA being a shitty law.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:38 am UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:It doesn't really matter what one's stance is on piracy. SOPA won't stop it. It's a law that can't even fulfill its supposed intention. Arguing on whether piracy is theft or not isn't gonna be the argument that gets people off the fence. It's definitely not the argument that will change supporters minds.


I kinda want to pound this into people's heads, yeah.

It doesn't matter if SOPA even reduces piracy. Most people on the playing field think piracy is relatively bad in one way or another, albeit to different levels of 'moral wrongness'. That's not the point. The point is these "copyright holders" have long been known to abuse their position, since the DMCA, to take down stuff they just don't like. Additionally, SOPA forces the responsibility not only on the content uploader, but also on the website, ISP, web hosts, and other supporting web services. Regardless of what the copyright companies actually do, this means a vast increase of strain on all these factors that make up the internet as we know it (it's not easy to police the comments of even a single blog).

That's what people mean when they say it will "break the internet."
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:49 am UTC

Ixtellor wrote:There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about economics than me, and several dozen'ish who know the math better. (having a degree in economics and not using it has made me forget... er all the math). I bet if you go back to 2008 and look for threads on the recession you won't find a single post that explains it better than me. Particularly when it comes to capital ratios. I would right more on the subject but I'm bogged down explaining libor rates and writing a thesis about the hiring structure at Moody's which caused them to misforcast the AAA tranch rated non-diversified CDO's. (Some of mortgage bundles were literally within the same zip code.)
Wow. You have a degree in economics and you don't understand this distinction?
Ixtellor wrote:Also include: "Loss of profit is another element of compensatory damages, allowing an individual to recover if such a loss can be established with sufficient certainty and is a direct and probable result of the defendant's wrongful actions."
The bolded and italics bit are what you're missing.
Ixtellor wrote:The ridiculous lenghts you will go to, to justify piracy is boring and only demonstrates your serious lack of understanding in both economics and the law.
What? I've said I think piracy should be illegal, again and again. I... oh, Jesus. Fuck it. You're some sort of oblivious trolling bot fueled purely by the frustration and tears of the internet. You win, you magnificent moron.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby ShootTheChicken » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:52 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:It's not stealing because it doesn't meet the legal definition of stealing. Stealing implies intent to deprive the rightful owner of the item, which does not happen when you copy that item. Other laws cover that, but they're not the ones that cover theft.


Actually, it is stealing. Trust me. There's only like 4 people on the XKCD forums who no more about definitions than me.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:22 am UTC

Offhand thought: if we're going to start accusing people of pirating personal material online (i.e. "where'd you get that movie file from? is it legal?"), how will we be able to prove that we bought it? Most digital purchase receipts are just digital. Without some sort of body to validate these, it'd be hard to prove how 'legal' everything you have on your hard disk is.

I'm right, of course. There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science than me.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:51 am UTC

Steax wrote:Offhand thought: if we're going to start accusing people of pirating personal material online (i.e. "where'd you get that movie file from? is it legal?"), how will we be able to prove that we bought it? Most digital purchase receipts are just digital. Without some sort of body to validate these, it'd be hard to prove how 'legal' everything you have on your hard disk is.

I'm right, of course. There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science than me.


The answer is to write DRM into law and make it illegal to circumvent DRM.

I'm right of course. There are like 3 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science and law than me. (I'm ranked 5th in definitions fwi)
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:16 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Steax wrote:Offhand thought: if we're going to start accusing people of pirating personal material online (i.e. "where'd you get that movie file from? is it legal?"), how will we be able to prove that we bought it? Most digital purchase receipts are just digital. Without some sort of body to validate these, it'd be hard to prove how 'legal' everything you have on your hard disk is.

I'm right, of course. There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science than me.


The answer is to write DRM into law and make it illegal to circumvent DRM.

I'm right of course. There are like 3 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science and law than me. (I'm ranked 5th in definitions fwi)


Curses, you (4/182771)*100%!

But hasn't the government always been trying to force DRM? I recall an article about how they had lobbyists walk up to various online stores.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:49 am UTC

More seriously:

Malice, the stuff we write here is (rightly, imo) covered in part by copyright laws, except insofar as we've ceded them in the agreement we made when creating our account.

You can publish a book from thousands of posters on the internet for a variety of fair use reasons, but you can not, for example, publish a book that is just the content of a story one person published online.

In actuality, stuff you've written on line is considered "published" most of the time, by you, and thus is more protected, legally, than stuff you've kept completely private. By putting it out to the public as your own work, you have declared copyright on it (right or wrong that may be).

I'm not really sure where you are coming from when you argue artists and authors on the internet should not need to be paid for their work, and, in fact, others can profit off their work without their consent, simply because people can access that work publicly.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Malice » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:23 am UTC

Eh, fair enough. I was trying to think through analogy, which was a mistake.

Anyway, how about that SOPA? >>

Apparently there's a way now to simply bypass SOPA entirely, assuming it gets passed. The plugin acts as an alternate DNS for sites known to be blocked, and new sites can be added via crowdsourcing if the block list expands.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:39 am UTC

Steax wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Steax wrote:Offhand thought: if we're going to start accusing people of pirating personal material online (i.e. "where'd you get that movie file from? is it legal?"), how will we be able to prove that we bought it? Most digital purchase receipts are just digital. Without some sort of body to validate these, it'd be hard to prove how 'legal' everything you have on your hard disk is.

I'm right, of course. There are like 4 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science than me.


The answer is to write DRM into law and make it illegal to circumvent DRM.

I'm right of course. There are like 3 posters on XKCD that no more about computer science and law than me. (I'm ranked 5th in definitions fwi)


Curses, you (4/182771)*100%!

But hasn't the government always been trying to force DRM? I recall an article about how they had lobbyists walk up to various online stores.


Well, its illegal to circumvent DRM as per the DMCA already. So yeah, you are somewhat right on that. I was implying stronger legalize regarding DRM however, like making it illegal to not use Trusted Computing Modules or something out there. As things are right now, DRM is more or less impossible to enforce on the PC platform. Circumvention is technically illegal, but its technically feasible because the code is in the clear. Something like a Trusted Computing Module would run signed and encrypted code at the hardware level. So the code would remain encrypted in RAM, making it difficult or impossible to reverse engineer.

Malice wrote:Eh, fair enough. I was trying to think through analogy, which was a mistake.

Anyway, how about that SOPA? >>

Apparently there's a way now to simply bypass SOPA entirely, assuming it gets passed. The plugin acts as an alternate DNS for sites known to be blocked, and new sites can be added via crowdsourcing if the block list expands.


1. Anti-circumvention is part of SOPA, so that plugin will be illegal as soon as the bill is passed. (EDIT: Anti-circumvention in DMCA has already had a chilling effect on the Computer Security field, as people don't want to talk or risk talking about a subject that might be construed as anti-DMCA. Similarly, will SOPA's anti-circumvention clause also cause a chilling effect?)

2. I don't know much about the first version of SOPA. But the most recent version asks for something closer to an IP ban. So I doubt that just an alternative DNS would help you out. (I know that PIPA only enforces a domain name block)

On the other hand, just using a Proxy (or proxy service, like Tor) would allow you to access blocked sites. Such is the technique used by Chinese Activists who want to pierce through the Great Firewall of China. Whether Tor (or onion routing in general) would be considered "anti-circumvention" is a legal question that should be brought up. The service will definitely bypass any ISP level block, but it is currently used for again... humanitarian efforts in spreading free speech in China. So the software has legitimate purposes, but might be considered anti-sopa and thus shut-down under the new law.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:59 am UTC

Since I'm not in the US and thus don't get much from its news, I found this Mashable article about how US news is ignoring SOPA interesting.

Media watchdog Media Matters found that most major TV news networks haven’t been giving SOPA prime-time coverage in any substantial terms. In a recently released report, the research organization discovered that “most major television news outlets — MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC — have ignored the bill during their evening broadcasts.”
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby lucrezaborgia » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:24 am UTC

Steax wrote:Since I'm not in the US and thus don't get much from its news, I found this Mashable article about how US news is ignoring SOPA interesting.

Media watchdog Media Matters found that most major TV news networks haven’t been giving SOPA prime-time coverage in any substantial terms. In a recently released report, the research organization discovered that “most major television news outlets — MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC — have ignored the bill during their evening broadcasts.”


The news here is too interested in the presidential election insanity.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby dragonmustang » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:07 pm UTC

lucrezaborgia wrote:
Steax wrote:Since I'm not in the US and thus don't get much from its news, I found this Mashable article about how US news is ignoring SOPA interesting.

Media watchdog Media Matters found that most major TV news networks haven’t been giving SOPA prime-time coverage in any substantial terms. In a recently released report, the research organization discovered that “most major television news outlets — MSNBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS, and NBC — have ignored the bill during their evening broadcasts.”


The news here is too interested in the presidential election insanity.


That, and I doubt many of the supporters of the bill want the general public to know about it just yet. The bottom of this article on techdirt gives a pretty good summary of possible reasons, including one that's not nearly as cynical as mine: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120108/00533117331/study-confirms-news-networks-owned-sopa-supporters-are-ignoring-sopapipa.shtml

Gray areas seldom make compelling news, especially when there's no political angle to take. Beyond that, I think the mainstream media silence is also explained by the outdated thought process that still believes that the Internet Is Not Real.


To be honest, I doubt motives are that pure, but it's nice to know there's a reason they could be. There have been a few shows that have mentioned it- that article points out a brief segment on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show that basically left Time Warner out of it, and Colbert had a small segment on his show in December. He didn't talk much, he just did one of those segments where he interviewed two people from opposing sides simultaneously, in this case Danny Goldberg (President of Gold Village Entertainment) and Jonathan Zittrain (Professor of internet law at Harvard). Though, if Colbert opposed it, I don't see him actually saying that outright- he works for Viacom.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

Steax wrote:Since I'm not in the US and thus don't get much from its news, I found this Mashable article about how US news is ignoring SOPA interesting.


They ignore all laws that are going to impact a statistically insignificant number of people. (unless your an attractive blonde girl who goes missing)

There are two potential outcomes:
1) SOPA impacts the internet in a meaningful way that most users see/experience. Sites being shut down, vicitims of false accusations, etc.

2) SOPA goes into affect and nobody notices outside of pirates, and an extremely small group of people who are victimized. (like any law)

The alarmists say its #1. So now you have 2 threads of group-thinkers who all believe #1.

Rather than clap themselves on the back, and say we raised concerns and Congress noticed, nope.. the law is bad and must go away. You continue to debate... amongst yourselves how evil it is. (I realize as the sole dissenter this must be very frustrating to not have everyone convinced how 'terrible' this law will be... based on your predictions... based on... false premises)

ShootTheChicken wrote:Actually, it is stealing. Trust me. There's only like 4 people on the XKCD forums who no more about definitions than me.


Awesome, I literally LoL'ed. ( I love the 'framing' of your joke)

lucrezaborgia wrote:It doesn't really matter what one's stance is on piracy. SOPA won't stop it.


1) Murder laws don't stop murder.
2) With laws weaker than SOPA, the Justice Deparment shut down 150 Major piracy operations. (not kids with stolen music, Major multimillion dollar operations). Anti-Piracy outfits, just want another tool to make them more affective at going after the biggest pirates.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Telchar » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:
Rather than clap themselves on the back, and say we raised concerns and Congress noticed, nope.. the law is bad and must go away. You continue to debate... amongst yourselves how evil it is. (I realize as the sole dissenter this must be very frustrating to not have everyone convinced how 'terrible' this law will be... based on your predictions... based on... false premises)

...

1) Murder laws don't stop murder.


Murder....laws.....aren't.....designed.....to.....stop....murder.....SOPAs.....purpose....is.....to.....prevent.....piracy.....
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:30 pm UTC

I love how you're saying "false premises" when all the historical evidence we've got is that companies abuse the power already. They've been linked to several times in this thread.

Ixtellor wrote:
lucrezaborgia wrote:It doesn't really matter what one's stance is on piracy. SOPA won't stop it.


1) Murder laws don't stop murder.
2) With laws weaker than SOPA, the Justice Deparment shut down 150 Major piracy operations. (not kids with stolen music, Major multimillion dollar operations). Anti-Piracy outfits, just want another tool to make them more affective at going after the biggest pirates.



1) For a second, lets assume that yeah, SOPA won't stop piracy. ....... so why are you supporting it again?

2) First, can I have a citation on that? Second, lets just pretend for a moment that these people are only interested in taking down pirates. Most "serious" pirating operations in the US are already out of play, being assaulted by lawsuits as it is. This leaves the small players (like blogs and forums) and foreign sites. SOPA proposes to stop the small guys by aiming for the ISPs instead (thus taking down a slew of them in the process) and to build a giant firewall and block off foreign sites deemed to be pirates. ... Plus a bunch of other powers provided by SOPA. So you're okay with the US corporation having basically the same power as the Chinese government?
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Jessica » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:34 pm UTC

So, ignoring the ixy problem...
I personally am quite against SOPA. But, the problem is that I'm not an American.

Is there really anything I can do about it? I mean, it's american legislation, and here in Canada, we have our own copyright battles to fight.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Game_boy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:42 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:So, ignoring the ixy problem...
I personally am quite against SOPA. But, the problem is that I'm not an American.

Is there really anything I can do about it? I mean, it's american legislation, and here in Canada, we have our own copyright battles to fight.


There wouldn't be a problem if American laws only affected America. But because all the key internet infrastructure/payment processor companies are under America's control, the rest of the world is affected. I don't think the US politicians realise that.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:So, ignoring the ixy problem...
I personally am quite against SOPA. But, the problem is that I'm not an American.

Is there really anything I can do about it? I mean, it's american legislation, and here in Canada, we have our own copyright battles to fight.


If enough Canadians wrote in to the government saying that they were concerned about possible effects of SOPA in Canada, I would expect that the government might discuss or, if they thought it serious enough, actively lobby against it or try to carve out a Canadian exemption. Well, maybe not our current government, but a hypothetical government that wasn't in the pocket of big business already.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Ixtellor » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Murder....laws.....aren't.....designed.....to.....stop....murder.....SOPAs.....purpose....is.....to.....prevent.....piracy.....


If... you... type... like... this... what.. you... say... is... true.

SOPA goes after Pirates AFTER they pirate. It doesn't use thought crime to shut down potential pirates.

SOPA is a deterrent in the same way Murder laws are a deterrent. Consequences for ACTUALLY committing the crime.

Summary: What you said is meaningless, because you made it up. The fact it is also untrue, should be really humiliating. I suppose the dramatic way in which you typed out your fictional premise, will lead some to believe your fictional premise. (you learn that from the Glenn Beck school of argument?)

Game_boy wrote:There wouldn't be a problem if American laws only affected America. But because all the key internet infrastructure/payment processor companies are under America's control, the rest of the world is affected.


There is no fundamental human right to the internet. If you don't like the way its being handled by the people that created it, then build your own. The impact over enforcment and disagreements of SOPA, should it go into affect, will be handled in international bodies.
Other nations will have ample, and legal, opportunities to react as they see fit. If they feel that the USA cutting off "Canadianpiracy.com" is an act of aggression they can react as they see fit, through trade, sanctions, G-20, or declare it an act of war.


There would be no problem equally if other nations would respect US copyright laws. You can argue they aren't good/fair, but it doesn't give people the legal right to ignore them.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:SOPA goes after Pirates AFTER they pirate. It doesn't use thought crime to shut down potential pirates.
SOPA allows prosecutors and plaintiffs to seek an injunction to prevent damages before and while they are happening, not to punish damages after they happened. This has nothing to do with bringing me in court to punish me and everything to do with securing the means to stop me mid-way through a criminal act. If I pirate your movie, then immediately shut my site down and never go on the internet again, SOPA can't touch me. If you murder me, then immediately swear off murdering for the rest of your life, anti-murder laws will still send your ass to jail.

Your example of murder laws is completely inapplicable. Did you read the article you linked?

EDIT: You know that this is called the 'Stop Online Piracy Act', right? Like, that's it's actual name? Hence, it's a means to try and stop piracy? So when you say 'well murder laws don't stop murder, so the Stop Online Piracy Act' won't stop piracy!', you sound like a blithering moron?

SECOND-EDIT: Fuck, why am I discussing this with someone who clearly has no idea what SOPA even is? Fuck.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:There would be no problem equally if other nations would respect US copyright laws. You can argue they aren't good/fair, but it doesn't give people the legal right to ignore them.


Actually, other nations are under no obligation to respect US copyright laws, or any US laws, for that matter. As I said before, jurisdiction matters: US laws do not apply outside of the United States, nor do any country's domestic laws apply on the international stage. According to the relevant international agreement on copyright, the Berne Convention, foreign copyrights are to be treated with the same rules as domestic ones. An American copyright is treated identically under Canadian law as a Canadian copyright; consequently, if Canada were to, for example, allow downloading of copyrighted works for personal use, then that rule would apply both to American copyrights and Canadian copyrights, as long as the downloading itself was happening in Canada. I'm not sure where you're getting this idea that American laws apply to everyone, everywhere, but it is categorically false.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby lucrezaborgia » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:SOPA goes after Pirates AFTER they pirate. It doesn't use thought crime to shut down potential pirates.


Since SOPA isn't law yet, we really don't know that, do we? DMCA has been used to censor sites and politicians who were for it swore up and down that wouldn't happen. The problem with laws like this is that there is little to no recourse if you don't have the money to fight the large corporations. Why do you assume that only criminals will be affected by this law? Why are we all conspiracy nuts to see the ways that this law could be misused?

Again, this law will not stop piracy. If China can't keep their firewall solid even with the backing of millions of human internet censors, what makes you think that this law will do anything to stop pirating?

What proof do you have that this law won't be misused?


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