SOPA talk, yo.

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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Ghostbear » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:42 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:However I cant make up my mind on whether or not the people in question should be in any legal trouble? Are they free to host US content all over the world as long as it isn't in the US and when they do slip up and host something here the owners of the material only recourse is to shut down the servers based in the US?

I can't remember who it was, but someone earlier in thread mentioned (and you did reply to it, but I feel it's worth bringing back up) the example of something entering the public domain in Canada, but still being copyright protected in the US. In that case, the material is still "owned", going by your current question, it would lead to the US owners being able to impose their ownership in Canada. That seems quite preposterous to me, which makes me ask: why does ownership of the material matter in this case? Ownership of IP is a weird and fuzzy realm- if you write a book, ownership of it is going to be split, in various ways, between yourself and each of your publishers (in many cases, one for each country you publish in). "Ownership" doesn't, and shouldn't, allow people to apply their local laws across the globe.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby mousewiz » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:45 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:However I cant make up my mind on whether or not the people in question should be in any legal trouble? Are they free to host US content all over the world as long as it isn't in the US and when they do slip up and host something here the owners of the material only recourse is to shut down the servers based in the US?

Someone else in this thread mentioned the Berne Convention. It is my understanding that participating countries should treat the copyrights of others in the same way they treat their own copyrights. So they are free to host US content all over the world as long as they are obeying the copyright laws of the hosting country while they do it.

If they host any copyrighted content in the US, and do not obey US copyright law while doing so, then they are breaking the law in the US. At this point I see nothing wrong with the US trying to have them extradited to have a US trial.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:48 am UTC

Ownership of IP is a government granted and government enforced monopoly. Outside of the countries that enforce that monopoly, you do not actually own it. So yes, its the right of those countries to have whatever laws they want in regards to that.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby dhokarena56 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:06 am UTC

Sigh.

I have only the following thought to comfort myself: the lobbyists in support of SOPA are wearing machine-manufactured clothing.

We may not see the light at the end of the tunnel for years. But buckle up, gentleman, for we shall see it, and they shall applaud us and curse their memories.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:52 am UTC

So how effective was that blackout? ProRepublica tracked it happening. Via TechCrunch:

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That's outdated because the count is now 26 support and 100 opposing, with another 38 leaning towards no.... Or the other page shows 63 support and 122 opponents. I don't know how they differ.

PIPA support is still dangerous, however, with 37 supporting, 22 opposing, and 6 leaning towards no.

Still, the before-and-after is striking.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby dragonmustang » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:55 am UTC

Guess the internet getting angry in an election year is pretty effective...

And Anonymous just went nuts on DoJ, MPAA, RIAA, and a bunch of others: http://gizmodo.com/5877679/anonymous-kills-department-of-justice-site-in-megaupload-revenge-strike
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:17 am UTC

Apparently the media moguls are infuriated that Obama is not doing or saying what they paid him to do. The staggering sense of entitlement in these quotes is just mind boggling.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/exclusi ... acy-stand/

“Jim explained that this notion that the Hollywood community will continue giving regardless of its business interests has to be taken into consideration. The message was, ‘Don’t expect Hollywood to show up and say ‘Who do I write the check to’ anymore.”

The moguls are reminding Obama et al that, in the words of one studio chief, “God knows how much money we’ve given to Obama and the Democrats and yet they’re not supporting our interests"
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:27 am UTC

I read a similar article the other day- it actually makes me wonder if, deep down, part of this was devised by republicans to try to drive a wedge between Obama and two of his best donor bases- Hollywood and the tech industry. It's probably far too much of a conspiracy thing, but that is the outcome- and it is worth mentioning that SOPA (the worse of the two laws) was championed primarily by a republican.

As I said, probably a bit too much conspiracy, just an observation of how it worked out.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby dragonmustang » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:29 am UTC

Griffin wrote:Apparently the media moguls are infuriated that Obama is not doing or saying what they paid him to do. The staggering sense of entitlement in these quotes is just mind boggling.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/exclusi ... acy-stand/

“Jim explained that this notion that the Hollywood community will continue giving regardless of its business interests has to be taken into consideration. The message was, ‘Don’t expect Hollywood to show up and say ‘Who do I write the check to’ anymore.”

The moguls are reminding Obama et al that, in the words of one studio chief, “God knows how much money we’ve given to Obama and the Democrats and yet they’re not supporting our interests"


Excuse me while I puke.... They just don't get it, do they?
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:31 am UTC

Oh, they get. They paid good money for this legislation, and now it's not going to go through. They've been robbed, and by god do they fucking hate crooks. And now Obama is just another crook - taking their money and not giving them what they feel the deserve in return.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Metaphysician » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:14 am UTC

Griffin wrote:Oh, they get. They paid good money for this legislation, and now it's not going to go through. They've been robbed, and by god do they fucking hate crooks. And now Obama is just another crook - taking their money and not giving them what they feel the deserve in return.


This is hilarious. Are they actually openly bitching that Obama may not be delivering on the bribes?

Holy shit the actual article is so over the top. This is the first time I've ever seen a meltdown where the elite are throwing fits over the president taking into account the will of the people as well as their own standpoint. It's pretty clear from the quotes that they expect rubber stamps for their legislation in return for their campaign contributions. This is amazing. I'm laughing uncontrollably right now.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Magnanimous » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:49 am UTC

Metaphysician wrote:
Griffin wrote:Oh, they get. They paid good money for this legislation, and now it's not going to go through. They've been robbed, and by god do they fucking hate crooks. And now Obama is just another crook - taking their money and not giving them what they feel the deserve in return.


This is hilarious. Are they actually openly bitching that Obama may not be delivering on the bribes?

Holy shit the actual article is so over the top. This is the first time I've ever seen a meltdown where the elite are throwing fits over the president taking into account the will of the people as well as their own standpoint. It's pretty clear from the quotes that they expect rubber stamps for their legislation in return for their campaign contributions. This is amazing. I'm laughing uncontrollably right now.

I almost started laughing too. Hopefully this teaches people that bribes aren't always worth it...
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Randomizer » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:58 am UTC

The quotes are unattributed, they just say "Hollywood moguls", except for one quote they say they got off of a twitter feed from Rupert Murdoch. Who did these people actually talk to? Who do they define as a "Hollywood mogul"? Did they pull the quotes out of thin air?
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:16 am UTC

Роберт wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:In this segment, she very clearly speaks favorably about SOPA. Contrast her with Dodd or other clearly anti-SOPA players (The video right after my first link).

I can't watch videos at work, but the way you've worded that seems to suggest that you're calling Dodd an anti-SOPA player. How in tarnation does that work?

I think by pro-SOPA, KnightExempler means pro the SOPA protests. (I.E, anti-SOPA.) So I think he's saying the opposite of what he means.


Yes, thank you. I've been saying the opposite of what I meant to say...

I'll go shut up now. I guess I'm just tired :-(
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

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

Maddox makes a good point on this. http://maddox.xmission.com/
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:47 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Maddox makes a good point on this. http://maddox.xmission.com/


As usual, Maddox is too pessimistic for my tastes. Almost everyone agrees that Piracy is a problem, and I'm sure we are all willing to work together to craft a solution. The OPEN act apparently is a better starting point, keeping the general provisions / punishments of SOPA, but adds a number of improvements to help prevent abuse.

http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/20 ... d-pipa.php
The OPEN Act differs in that it would make the International Trade Commission (ITC) the agency responsible for fighting online piracy. The ITC already handles all cases involving foreign imports that are accused of copyright infringement, so it would seem a more natural fit for dealing with foreign websites, according to Issa and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the bill’s other main co-sponsor.

Under OPEN, once the ITC receives a complaint that a foreign website contained pirated material, it would be obligated to notify the website of the complaint — a key provision missing from SOPA, where no notification is required.

Further, if the ITC decides a complaint was legitimate, the agency could only force U.S. advertisers and payment companies to cut-off business with the foreign website, NOT search engines or Internet Service Providers, as had previously been required by both SOPA and PIPA. The OPEN Act also narrows the definition of what can websites can be targeted, saying that only those foreign sites that have “a limited purpose” aside from piracy or are clear piracy centers can be considered.


This is a good starting point for compromise. Without blocking out Search Engines or ISPs, the censorship issue is more or less removed. Sure, it sucks that advertisers and payment companies are cut off, but some punishment needs to be dealt out if the bill is to have any effect. Actually notifying the alleged rogue site also adds a bit in due process, but I admit that I haven't read the OPEN act. Furthermore, focusing on US Advertisers and US Payment companies means that the international issue is minimized. The US will respect foreign sovereignty (Non-US sites that work with non-US customers will be the least affected)

We can bitch and moan about "shitty bills" all day, or we can turn a new page and begin to think of an honest solution to the problem. We've all agreed that something should be done about Piracy, so lets start at OPEN. I haven't fully read the bill yet, but I prefer this productive approach over trying to ruing the careers of politicians because of a single issue.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Qaanol » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:08 am UTC

Sockmonkey wrote:Maddox makes a good point on this. http://maddox.xmission.com/

It feels odd for me to say it, but Maddox is right.

A boycott against one or two of the major companies that backed PIPA/SOPA/DMCA/ACTA/etc. has the potential to send a strong message about public opinion on intellectual property.

I think Disney is the most viable target, on account of its prominent roll in getting copyright laws to the draconian place they are now. For the boycot, I say not any subsidiaries, just Disney itself: movies, theme parks, and merchandise.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Randomizer » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:44 am UTC

I just emailed Maddox saying I was in favor of a Disney boycott (his email is at the bottom of the page, and there's lots of companies to choose from if you'd prefer to suggest a different target). Like Maddox says, these two bills won't be the end of it.

I really like Disney. They have wonderful cartoons. As a fan, I think I could write a fairly convincing letter to them explaining my position. And if I have to go without their movies... I guess I can take one for the team.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:09 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Almost everyone agrees that Piracy is a problem, and I'm sure we are all willing to work together to craft a solution.

You've said multiple times in this thread and others something along the lines of "almost everyone", and I take issue with it; nowhere near "almost everyone" that I interact with, or has posted here, or that I hear from, thinks piracy is a problem that needs a legislative solution- either because they feel it isn't a problem or they feel it's a problem not can be solved in any acceptable manner through legal action. I don't think we need to do a damn thing to punish or prevent piracy from a legal standpoint. To me, all of these bills- even the one's that aren't as toxically shitty as SOPA- are a hammer looking for a nail. Studies detailing the effects of piracy on businesses are mixed at best, and overall provide no consistency for the doom and gloom numbers. It might be an overall net negative, sure- but the evidence I've seen over the years provides no clear picture of something having a major negative impact. Some studies show a positive effect, some show a neutral, and some show a negative. Not all of those studies are perfect, but so long as I ignore the horrible BS paid for by the RIAA/MPAA/similar groups, no overall conclusion seems to rear its head in amount that I'd be confident in. Countries with weaker copyright protection laws (to my knowledge that includes: the entire rest of the planet) haven't all imploded into a death spiral because of it.

In short, maybe it is a problem, but it's not something we need to be wasting time trying to fix legislatively. I don't think any good (as in, with no or practically no room for abuse) law can be crafted to "solve" piracy. If such a law could be crafted, i do not think it would necessarily be worth passing. Saying that we need to do something about piracy is, to me, a big part of the problem why we end up with them attempting to pass laws like this: any copyright law passed in the US is going to be one that the major media companies will have their tendrils buried deeply in. Doing nothing is something I very much believe is a better option than doing something, because doing something has so little potential upside to it, while having so many ways it can be fucked up.

I can't think of a previous law attempting to prevent or lower piracy that hasn't made things worse overall: why should we keep trying for more?
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Sockmonkey » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:26 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:I think Disney is the most viable target, on account of its prominent roll in getting copyright laws to the draconian place they are now.
Ultimately this is why I don't give a shit about the morality of pirating. They don't care about morality or protecting artists either. Just their bottom line.
Maddox may be depressing but he's right. The thing that scares me is that the one thing that can fight this and most of the other crap out there - information - is so easy for the jerkwads to corrupt just by spouting their own propaganda all over the place untill there's so much chaff out there that most people have no way to know what's actually happening.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Soralin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:44 am UTC

Griffin wrote:Apparently the media moguls are infuriated that Obama is not doing or saying what they paid him to do. The staggering sense of entitlement in these quotes is just mind boggling.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/exclusi ... acy-stand/

“Jim explained that this notion that the Hollywood community will continue giving regardless of its business interests has to be taken into consideration. The message was, ‘Don’t expect Hollywood to show up and say ‘Who do I write the check to’ anymore.”

The moguls are reminding Obama et al that, in the words of one studio chief, “God knows how much money we’ve given to Obama and the Democrats and yet they’re not supporting our interests"

Hmm, I wonder if anyone could be charged with bribery for this. I mean, bribery has been de facto legal for a long time now, because people have figured out the legal loopholes to work around it. But it's been de facto legal for so long now that people may have forgotten that they needed those loopholes, or what those loopholes were exactly, and inadvertently walked into an area where the law still applies.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:55 pm UTC

Randomizer wrote:I just emailed Maddox saying I was in favor of a Disney boycott (his email is at the bottom of the page, and there's lots of companies to choose from if you'd prefer to suggest a different target). Like Maddox says, these two bills won't be the end of it.

I really like Disney. They have wonderful cartoons. As a fan, I think I could write a fairly convincing letter to them explaining my position. And if I have to go without their movies... I guess I can take one for the team.

I read his article and scanned his list of companies for things that I could boycott. The ones that come to mind for me would be :
Nike, Marvel, Visa and Sony.
I can see myself avoiding buying Nike brand shoes, they're overpriced anyway, or telling my friends to avoid Marvel. This does mean a lot less movie theaters/rentals and more pirating to make up for it.
What is everyone else's plans for boycott?
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:
Griffin wrote:Apparently the media moguls are infuriated that Obama is not doing or saying what they paid him to do. The staggering sense of entitlement in these quotes is just mind boggling.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/exclusi ... acy-stand/

“Jim explained that this notion that the Hollywood community will continue giving regardless of its business interests has to be taken into consideration. The message was, ‘Don’t expect Hollywood to show up and say ‘Who do I write the check to’ anymore.”

The moguls are reminding Obama et al that, in the words of one studio chief, “God knows how much money we’ve given to Obama and the Democrats and yet they’re not supporting our interests"

Hmm, I wonder if anyone could be charged with bribery for this. I mean, bribery has been de facto legal for a long time now, because people have figured out the legal loopholes to work around it. But it's been de facto legal for so long now that people may have forgotten that they needed those loopholes, or what those loopholes were exactly, and inadvertently walked into an area where the law still applies.

It certainly doesn't help their case to openly announce that they donated money in exchange for laws being passed.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:25 pm UTC

PIPA is apparently being delayed "until there is wider agreement on a solution". I would suggest that this means it is delayed until after the elections.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Dauric » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:32 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:PIPA is apparently being delayed "until there is wider agreement on a solution". I would suggest that this means it is delayed until after the elections.


Nah, just until everyone isn't looking at SOPA/PIPA anymore. In that regard the months leading up to November are likely to be when the supporters will attempt to ram it through, when the public is looking at the campaigns and personalities of the elections and some congressthings are back in their districts defending their offices.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby marky66 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:48 pm UTC

Great, I forgot to actually click 'submit' yesterday and now everyone has gotten back on topic. So I'll spoiler it:
Spoiler:
Regarding the extradition, in my mind there is little difference whether you actually touch a country's soil or merely exert some influence on the electrons inside a server that is on their soil. In either case you have entered sovereign territory, and if you commit what they deem a crime, you can be held responsible. By using the hosting services of another nation, you effectively agree to a contract* that you'll abide by their laws.

*Unless your country and the other one don't agree on whether you can legally enter contracts. That gets a little stickier.

If someone in the lawless sovereign island nation of Markyland hacks into a bank in Yourhometown, USA and steals all your money, are you you going to be content with the Feds saying, "well, in Markyland that is not illegal, so there was no crime?"

As for another proffered example, if you post something the Chinese don't approve on a server in China, yes they should have a right to prosecute you. If you posted it in Canada and someone else copied it to China, then I would agree that China does not have a legitimate beef with you.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby folkhero » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Nah, just until everyone isn't looking at SOPA/PIPA anymore. In that regard the months leading up to November are likely to be when the supporters will attempt to ram it through, when the public is looking at the campaigns and personalities of the elections and some congressthings are back in their districts defending their offices.

If Wednesday showed us anything, it's that Google and Wikipedia have the ability to make everyone look at something at the same time. I'm not sure why they wouldn't be able to do that again in the months leading up to November.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:PIPA is apparently being delayed "until there is wider agreement on a solution". I would suggest that this means it is delayed until after the elections.


I would assume that would mean until after they get their pro-SOPA/PIPA campaigns and commercial oomph out.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

And then they can start insulting the public when the public doesn't respond, accusing them of stealing the commercials by watching them and then not writing in support for the bills. :P
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

I wouldn't be surprised at all if they start jabbing at every piracy-facilitating online company, suing as many as possible, and making claims of multi-billion dollar losses for each one.

Remember, this is from people who say "5 million jobs are threatened!" when they actually mean "we have 5 million people in the industry."
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:11 pm UTC

And when they actually only have one twentieth of that. (There are only about 360 thousand people in the industry, last I checked. Was the evidence for that posted in this thread? I think thats where I got it.)
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:48 pm UTC

I pulled the 5 million quote from memory of another article, but this Forbes article gives a clear number from sen. Harry Reid: 2.2 million.

And if that doesn't make the perspective clear, Lamar Smith pulls out more numbers:

American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60% of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs.


I wonder how many of the "intellectual property industries" are those that went dark in the protest.

Of course, he continues to show his blatant stupidity:

The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store. It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.


In other news, I just found out that last month European politicians have descended into the battle, with this very clear statement:

We ask you to vote against SOPAand PROTECT IP and to work with us on effective laws, which enable a fair remuneration of artists and creators online, without violating fundamental rights or fragmenting the free and open internet as we know it.


Full letter here.

SOPA looks down, but not beat.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:32 pm UTC

I pulled the 5 million quote from memory of another article, but this Forbes article gives a clear number from sen. Harry Reid: 2.2 million.

The man is a liar who will say whatever he thinks he can get away with. What do you expect?

http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs038.htm

Actual number: around 362 thousand, as of 2008

Meanwhile, employment only in support of the top six SOPA opponents (Google, Cisco, Facebook, and a couple others I can't remember) is around 6 million.

Good to have a real grasp on the difference in scale, I think, and how few people we benefit with these sort of actions, compared to the people we hurt.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:55 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Good to have a real grasp on the difference in scale, I think, and how few people we benefit with these sort of actions, compared to the people we hurt.

It's also useful to keep in mind who the people on both sides are. After all finding a reasonable solution gives a general yet intangible benefit to society as a whole; accepting SOPA/PIPA has specific remunerative consequences for the people that decide which approach to take.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:14 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:You've said multiple times in this thread and others something along the lines of "almost everyone", and I take issue with it; nowhere near "almost everyone" that I interact with, or has posted here, or that I hear from, thinks piracy is a problem that needs a legislative solution- either because they feel it isn't a problem or they feel it's a problem not can be solved in any acceptable manner through legal action. I don't think we need to do a damn thing to punish or prevent piracy from a legal standpoint. To me, all of these bills- even the one's that aren't as toxically shitty as SOPA- are a hammer looking for a nail. Studies detailing the effects of piracy on businesses are mixed at best, and overall provide no consistency for the doom and gloom numbers. It might be an overall net negative, sure- but the evidence I've seen over the years provides no clear picture of something having a major negative impact. Some studies show a positive effect, some show a neutral, and some show a negative. Not all of those studies are perfect, but so long as I ignore the horrible BS paid for by the RIAA/MPAA/similar groups, no overall conclusion seems to rear its head in amount that I'd be confident in. Countries with weaker copyright protection laws (to my knowledge that includes: the entire rest of the planet) haven't all imploded into a death spiral because of it.

In short, maybe it is a problem, but it's not something we need to be wasting time trying to fix legislatively. I don't think any good (as in, with no or practically no room for abuse) law can be crafted to "solve" piracy. If such a law could be crafted, i do not think it would necessarily be worth passing. Saying that we need to do something about piracy is, to me, a big part of the problem why we end up with them attempting to pass laws like this: any copyright law passed in the US is going to be one that the major media companies will have their tendrils buried deeply in. Doing nothing is something I very much believe is a better option than doing something, because doing something has so little potential upside to it, while having so many ways it can be fucked up.

I can't think of a previous law attempting to prevent or lower piracy that hasn't made things worse overall: why should we keep trying for more?


While I agree that the MPAA / RIAA are a bunch of turds, I've made my point clear where I stand on the piracy issue. Professional pieces of software get pirated all the time, and people excuse themselves because of the price ($500+ for Video Editing software, going up to $4000 or so for 3d Studio Max). However, by pirating you overall harm the legitimate pieces of software that are tailored for you.

Take for example the Blender community. As an open source product, their model is to give away their 3d Modeler for free. Its a decent piece of software, harder to use than 3D studio max but certainly has its uses. By pirating 3D Studio Max, you are not only hurting the company (and arguably "stealing" $3,500), you fail to participate in the free communities like the Blender Community. From feature requests, tracking bugs, finding new uses of the software and so forth, the Blender Community benefits when people use their software. Basically, there is a product and a willing community waiting to accept you if you don't want to pay the exorbitant amounts of money that Audodesk charges for 3D Studio Max.

Certainly, copyright infringement is not necessarily as wrong as other wrongs, and IMO, the country's current situation overly enforces copyright. But just taking the high-cost products hurts everyone. The developers of 3D Studio don't get the money they righteously deserve, and the programs designed for hobbyists that are at a lower price point suffer as they don't get customers. (Or in the case of Blender... which is free... they suffer from one less member in their community). With literally free software floating around, it is very hard to see how anyone can defend acts of piracy towards Computer Programs.

For most applications, you've got an Open Source alternative. Why pirate Photoshop when you can legally use The Gimp? Why pirate 3d Studio Max when you can use Blender? Why pirate Windows when you can use Linux? And if you feel that the costly program is superior to the open source alternative, then why didn't you pay for it? The worst choice in all of this is to just pirate the software, since if you participate in the free software communities... those free tools will improve. Much like how Linux is going toe-to-toe against Windows in the server market (ex: Wikipedia and Google use Linux IIRC), and Linux on Cell Phones is the most popular platform (Android), if you truly believe in freedom of information and free software, then you should support the free software movements.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Malice » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:01 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:For most applications, you've got an Open Source alternative. Why pirate Photoshop when you can legally use The Gimp? Why pirate 3d Studio Max when you can use Blender? Why pirate Windows when you can use Linux? And if you feel that the costly program is superior to the open source alternative, then why didn't you pay for it?


Speaking as a young professional, the jobs that I apply for are not looking for experience with "the open source equivalent", they're looking for experience with Photoshop. Yet people just starting their careers are often not in a position to make a large investment into the software they need to learn in order to obtain employment. Piracy is often the alternative.

There are also related cases where there may not be an open source equivalent--as far as I know, for instance, there is no open source video editing software on par with Avid or Final Cut. (I think there's a wonky Linux one? Not everybody should have to run Linux in order to have a career.)

I'm in favor of open source and all that; but given the stranglehold expensive software can have on niche job markets, it seems cruel to blame people for pirating it so they can learn and get a job. In fact, from the prospective of the expensive-software designers, without this form of piracy, their business models might not be tenable.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Webzter » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:if you write a book, ownership of it is going to be split, in various ways, between yourself and each of your publishers (in many cases, one for each country you publish in). "Ownership" doesn't, and shouldn't, allow people to apply their local laws across the globe.


Granted, my experience isn't a blanket statement of the publishing world, but for the two tech books I've written, I retained copyright over the material I created. This included my words and diagrams. Of course, my diagrams were crappy and were redone by the publisher before going to press. They retain copyright over those diagrams as well as the cover artwork. However, I did grant the publisher exclusive publishing rights for both print and electronic editions.

When the parent company of one of those publishers went out of business, the publishing rights were nullified per the contract on one of the books (another publisher picked up publishing rights on the other). As I always retained the copyright, I'm free to re-release the first book in any manner I choose now, excepting the cover art and re-rendered diagrams.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Webzter » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:16 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Speaking as a young professional, the jobs that I apply for are not looking for experience with "the open source equivalent", they're looking for experience with Photoshop. Yet people just starting their careers are often not in a position to make a large investment into the software they need to learn in order to obtain employment. Piracy is often the alternative.


http://www.howtogeek.com/95257/software ... fographic/

I found this while looking for anything indicating if software piracy helped sell copies. There are a few stats in the infographic. I had a hard time finding much in the way of third-party studies on the positive and negative affects of software piracy.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Griffin » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:43 pm UTC

I agree with most all of what KnightExamplar says, with a few caveats, but first let me address Malice -

Speaking as a young professional, the jobs that I apply for are not looking for experience with "the open source equivalent", they're looking for experience with Photoshop. Yet people just starting their careers are often not in a position to make a large investment into the software they need to learn in order to obtain employment. Piracy is often the alternative.


As a young professional myself, I think its good to keep in mind that most companies don't give a damn about the specific tools you've used as long as you can get the job done with the tools they have. Sure, some (few) companies might reject you out of abject stupidity because you've done your work in something other than photoshop, but even though most will put "photoshop" on their list of requirements, they use it as a "generic" term, and in my experience its very rare for them to reject someone who's experience is close. It's usually just a matter of knowing how to present it - you don't write "5 years experience with GIMP" in your resume, because many people don't know what GIMP is. That's the whole point of the signal word, it's well known. You write "5 years experience with photo editing software like Photoshop", because GIMP falls into that category and they know how they're supposed to take what they've read.

Alternately, most of these expensive software companies offer their software at an extremely reduced income to those wishing to learn it but not using it professionally, though you often have to do a bit more work to get that.

Your second point is better, but is a problem for the same reasons KE already noted. However, I don't have an easy solution - tragedy of the commons and all.

No, back to KnightExamplars post:
While I do agree with you about the proper course of action, I also think copyright should be dialed way, way back. Things move a lot faster nowadays - if anything, copyright should expire quicker than ever. I think 7 years is more than long enough for most IP to expire, especially software IP.
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Re: SOPA talk, yo.

Postby Steax » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:24 pm UTC

The feasibility of using open-source tools in place of their counterparts fluctuates wildly based on what you're doing. It may be okay to substitute photoshop with GIMP for a banner ad designing company, but not okay in parts of the world of web design (some developers refuse to work with anything that isn't a "well-layered psd"). Some companies are all about PSDs. As a user of both 3dsmax and blender, I think it's enough to say that they have very different workflows, and it'd be unfair to compare them in that way. It's very circumstantial. Consider very simple things like a company using Git and a person only knowing SVN. It'd be foolish to claim expertise in Git. I know a bunch of people who demand that their staff use Coda. Or some other text editor with collaborative features.

That said, since there still are cases where you can't replace an expensive application, I think the argument stands. But well, that's what education is for, right? You should have access to the tools of your trade when you learn it in formal education.

In other news, most international news is now repeating "the web has won" and "SOPA is dead". What do you guys think about this? Is it okay to pat everyone on the back now, and bolster their confidence in the collective's power, or should everyone stay on full guard, being impossible to rally everyone again multiple times if they keep pushing a similar bill?
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