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170 comments

Don't want (5, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310476)

I don't want an alternative, to SOPA, or ProtectIP. I don't want any new legislation and regulations and useless laws to keep an outmoded business model alive.

Re:Don't want (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310632)

I don't want a bill that goes off the concept of being extreme, then "compromise" on a "reasonable" bill. Our existing copyright, patent, and other IP laws have worked well for centuries before the DMCA and other rubbish.

What worked for the framers of the Constitution should work for us now. End of story.

Re:Don't want (5, Insightful)

The Raven (30575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310712)

While I personally disagree with most of the changes to IP that have happened over the past couple decades, this is a shortsighted view. The constitution is good, but imperfect; we cannot hold it as some holy document, unchanging, the word of our holy fathers who art in heaven, blah blah.

Most people, when they say 'Damnit, we should stop adding to the constitution!' really mean 'Damn, our government is huge and unwieldy, and I think it should be a lot smaller.' They just use 'follow the constitution' as a rallying cry to head toward what they really want (typically tighter fiscal policy and less government intrusion... ie, libertarianism). Please don't be 'most people'. The framers of the Constitution of the United States were unable to appreciate all the changes that progress has brought us, and there will be many changes that existing laws, even ones properly based on a constitutionally sound underpinning, do not handle well.

'Follow the Constition' is not the end of the story; it was the beginning.

Re:Don't want (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310946)

For some of us, "follow the US Constitution" means exactly that what it says. It doesn't mean it can't change. It means, "The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land and we cannot in good conscience call ourselves a country of the rule of law if we can't even make token efforts to follow the supreme law of the land."

I firmly believe that the people that worked so hard to craft such an amazing document realized that it was supposed to be a living document. They realized that times were always changing and the Constitution needed to change with it. That's why they proposed and adopted (and used 3 times for a total of 12 amendments during Thomas Jefferson's lifetime) Article V. Using that little tidbit they saw fit to include, we can make whatever changes we want so long as each state has the same number of Senators.

To tout the idea that the framers were unable to appreciate what the world would be like today is to truly underestimate the likes of Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison and their peers. While they may not have seen the likes of personal computers or the Internet or movies, they certainly saw the need to adapt and change. And here's a hint: the tool they envisioned to adapt and change was not the Supreme Court deciding that the meaning and intention of words written more than 200 years ago has somehow changed over time.

While I'm not answering the meat of your post, you started to drift in the "living document" direction near the end.

note: Not the same AC as above.

Re:Don't want (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311124)

was not the Supreme Court deciding that the meaning and intention of words written more than 200 years ago has somehow changed over time.

The problem here is that someone has to interpret those words, and the SCOTUS seems to have inherited that duty. Otherwise, who's going to interpret them? The words don't stand on their own; no English writing does. All natural language is open to interpretation, especially as different circumstances arise that this language is supposed to apply to.

But otherwise, I agree the Constitution should be followed, and honestly I don't know why anyone wouldn't agree to that. If your government doesn't even follow its own most fundamental laws, then the whole thing is a farce. If the law is bad somehow, that's why you have Amendments, though you do need to build a lot of consensus to pass an Amendment.

Re:Don't want (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311208)

The problem here is that someone has to interpret those words, and the SCOTUS seems to have inherited that duty.

Why? The US Constitution is one of the simplest substantial legal documents in the world. There are very few words which might require interpretation, and those are the very words which have been used to drastically increase the power of government. In this case, the copyright clause not specifying a duration but only saying 'a limited time'.

In other cases, the words are very clear, e.g. "shall make no law", and it's taken centuries of lawyering to turn that into "shall make no law except when we feel like it."

Otherwise, who's going to interpret them?

Juries don't need a gang of lawyers to tell them what the Constitution means, they can simply acquit if they feel the law is unconstitutional or immoral.

Re:Don't want (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311658)

The US Constitution is one of the simplest substantial legal documents in the world. There are very few words

You were doing perfectly right up to there. The Constitution demands interpretation precisely because it's so sparse. Broad principles need to be applied to highly specific circumstances for the law to be of any use. That requires interpretation.

Additionally, it's worth noting that many people who claim they're against interpretation are, when pressed, really just opposed to particular interpretations. We may safely assume you'd interpret the Constitution differently than how the various justices have done so over the last 208 years, but interpretation is inescapable.

Additionally, the more precisely and lengthy a legal document, the more it is wedded to the specific, precise, circumstances it was written to address. That will leave a lot less room for interpretation, but will require much, much, more frequent revisions of the letter of the law.

Re:Don't want (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312462)

I think we'd have a lot less problem with interpretation if the interpretation didn't tend to be list of exceptions and general watering down. For example the right to bear arms and Freedom of speech and expression. These are clear as can be but people who want to regulate guns make a deliberate effort to water that down despite knowing damn well that the rebellious government overthrowing freedom fighters fully intended that the people were entitled to own and bear literally everything that is allowed to the military so they could overthrow the government. The same with freedom of speech. Traffic laws, licenses, and other minor city ordinances were never intended to trump the highest law of the land. More importantly than that these were intended for these purposes, they clearly state this and any interpretation to the contrary is just the justices attempting to legislate what seems reasonable to them rather than the law.

Re:Don't want (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312508)

That would be back when the rifle was not yet widely available. It's clearly ridiculous to let people keep their own nuclear weapons and long-range bombers ready to fly now - weapons have advanced, and one person can weild far greater destructive power than was the case at the time. A line must be drawn, but it isn't clear where.

Re:Don't want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312612)

A little devil's advocate...

One could argue that it would be best to have those under the control of the people to begin with. The most efficient way would be to say that they are not used without congress's approval or as defense on our own land only if absolutely necessary (which goes to where to draw a different line of what is too heavy to use at home, or what would call for it to be used at home). "Absolutely necessary" would be defined as to ward of direct attackers who are attacking our own land (Pearl Harbor). Of course, congress is bought these days, so that won't solve much, but you could open up the ability to raise the validity of congress's approval in court each time that they approve anything.
 

Re:Don't want (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311656)

Agreed. Jefferson alone contributed so much to our country. We really should have build a statue for the guy. Like, a big one. Maybe the size of a mountain.

Re:Don't want (4, Interesting)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311858)

And here's a hint: the tool they envisioned to adapt and change was not the Supreme Court deciding that the meaning and intention of words written more than 200 years ago has somehow changed over time.

200 years? More like 16 years. Thomas Jefferson, the person whom you appear to hold in such high regard (by your mention of him twice in your post) disagreed with the result of the very first case of judicial review. He thought the Supreme Court was already interpreting the words of the Constitution incorrectly.

At that point, while most all of the framers of the Constitution were still alive, they could have chosen to create and pass an amendment to stop the Supreme Court from continuing to decide the meaning and intention of words written 16 years prior. They didn't. So while no one expected the Supreme Court to take on the job it did, no one (not even those founders you idolize) tried to stop them.

Re:Don't want (0)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311134)

The Constitution allows for changes. If you want a change, code it into the Constitution, like the various proposals to band gay marriage, since the Constitution under the "full faith and credit" clause already explicitly indicates that if one and only one state has gay marriage, then all states do.

Re:Don't want (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311998)

Well, in California, they did pass a State Constitutional Amendment to say Marriage is between one man, and one woman, but that wasn't good enough for those wanting Marriage between two people, as being between one man and one woman is "too arbitrary". Well, hell, I think marriage limit between two people is "arbitrary", I'd love marriage to include men, women and all sorts of furry (an non-furry) farm animals in any quantity. Hell, even farm animals might be too arbitrary.

Anyway the point being, even if you pass a Constitutional Amendment, there are people who will oppose it and try to usurp it, restrict it, limit it, ignore it ... and sometimes with violent intentions. And just remember, even if the Constitution allows for something, doesn't mean it is a good thing.

Which is why we should always be mindful of what the Constitution says, and make sure we act accordingly, or change it to suit the new reality. Otherwise, we are simply a country of arbitrary feelings that change with the wind.

Re:Don't want (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312520)

The constitution could be seen as saying that - which is why the republicans passed DOMA, a law which explicitly says that if one state has gay marriage then the others are free to ignore it and the federal government is specifically prohibited from recognising not just gay marriage but anything substantially similar to marriage. In theory a constutitional clause overrules a law, but in practice it's very difficult and costs millions in legel fees to even bring a challenge.

Re:Don't want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311544)

The constitution is good, but imperfect; we cannot hold it as some holy document, unchanging, the word of our holy fathers who art in heaven, blah blah.

There's a difference between unchanging, living and get-up-and-dance. Right now it seems to be doing the tango.

(typically tighter fiscal policy and less government intrusion... ie, conservatism).

Don't confuse (as many on /. do) conservatism with the country-club/neo-conservative Republican Establishment in Washington.

After all, if they were real conservatives, why would they need to rename themselves neo-conservatives?

Re:Don't want (4, Insightful)

bell.colin (1720616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311746)

These "Bills" do not amend/modify the constitution, they circumvent it.

Amending the constitution is fine, but there is right way to do it (constitutional convention,voting, state ratification, etc...), and there is the wrong way (adding legislation by re-defining common terms and trying to work around it because you know there is no way you can successfully modify it when you don't have the votes or issuing executive orders).

Re:Don't want (5, Insightful)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310736)

Our existing copyright, patent, and other IP laws have worked well for centuries before the DMCA and other rubbish.

What worked for the framers of the Constitution should work for us now. End of story.

To be fair, there's been a fundamental change in information technology of a sort never before seen in all of history since then.

The old laws aren't good enough anymore. Copyright, in particular, is in need of a serious overhaul.

What the authors of SOPA don't get, though, is that no law can make things go back to the way they were, unless that law breaks all the computers. New laws will have to accept the inarguable truth that, for many mediums, copies aren't worth anything anymore, that some other measure of worth is needed in order to encourage creative business models.

Re:Don't want (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311024)

The authors of SOPA do very much get that. This is why their law is a first step towards breaking all the computers.

Re:Don't want (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311140)

The old laws aren't good enough anymore. Copyright, in particular, is in need of a serious overhaul.

Wrong. The old laws were much better than the new laws, when it comes to copyright. We need to dump all the new copyright laws, and go back to the copyright laws we had back in 1800, where works were only protected for 17 years before passing into the public domain. This infinite copyright term we have now is BS and totally flies in the face of why copyright exists in the first place (it's supposed to be a compromise between creators and society allowing creators a limited time to profit off their work before society gets completely free and unrestricted access to it).

Re:Don't want (5, Interesting)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311558)

What he means is that things have changed such that rulings from 1800 are not *necessarily* good for today. The fact that the rulings of 1700 ARE better than what we have today is not so much because the Statute of Anne was perfect as much as because the Mickey Mouse Protection Act is insane.

To wit, authors of 1709 were turning a profit on books with only 14 years of protection. This at a time when few people could read, distribution was expensive, printing was expensive and "piracy" (in the form of book sharing) was running rampant.

And enforcement only implicated regulating publishing companies.

Nowadays companies claim to need 120 years of protection, at a time when consumption is widespread, copying and international distribution is practically free and even more convenient than asking a friend to lend you a copy.

Granted, P2P file sharing is more disruptive than book lending, but enforcement against that requires to essentially attach a police man to every device, watching anything that the citizens do, with all the implications to civil liberties that such implicates.

1800 laws certainly aren't good for these days, it's just that today's laws are even worse.

Re:Don't want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312624)

Granted, P2P file sharing is more disruptive than book lending, but enforcement against that requires to essentially attach a police man to every device, watching anything that the citizens do, with all the implications to civil liberties that such implicates.

I disagree that P2P is more disruptive than book lending, but that is a personal belief I don't have any data to back that, and won't argue, however the enforcement part is interesting...

Because attaching a policeman (be it virtual) to every device is the only way to actually enforce a status-quo with the historical growth in profits for publishers. (Don't fool anyone, this have nothing to do with artists/writers, they are workers like you and me, and considered as such) this is what they want. A virtual policeman build into any device, and outlawing of any device without such an entity, and make it a criminal act to even consider how to circumvent this system.

The DMCA was one step on the way, it criminalizes sharing the knowledge of how to circumvent it, even linking to that knowledge have been found to be criminal.

Reading the new rules only shows that this is the road decided on. It can't be made in one go, the good old frog and boiling water thing. So it comes in steps.

Re:Don't want (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312402)

The old laws were much better than the new laws, when it comes to copyright. We need to dump all the new copyright laws, and go back to the copyright laws we had back in 1800, where works were only protected for 17 years before passing into the public domain.

Most copyrighted works make most of their profits within the first few years after release.

Most infringing copies are also made within the first few years after a work's release.

I agree that the endless copyright term extensions are crazy, and that in a few cases for works that have truly stood the test of time they cause real problems, but the whole copyright term extension argument is mostly a red herring.

Re:Don't want (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312454)

How's it a red herring. The previous poster said "the old laws aren't good enough anymore"; I was just pointing out that the real "old laws" (i.e. the copyright laws that this country started out with a little over 2 centuries ago) seem good enough to me, it's all the new laws (i.e. laws passed in the 20th Century) that suck. And I was slightly mistaken about the copyright term, it was 14 years, not 17. Which is even better AFAIC.

Personally, if I was dictator for a day, here's how I'd revamp the copyright system: for registering your work, you get 5 years of protection for free (retroactive to when you created it). For more than that, you have to pay a fee for every 5-year extension. The first extension will be fairly cheap, maybe $1000. But it goes way up after that: $10k, $100k, $1m, $10m, etc. for each extension. This way, in our "digital age", copyrighted works will become public domain quickly, but still give a 5-year window to make some money on them. If you're still making money on something after 5 years, $1k will be a cheap investment for a 5-year extension. If your work is "Avatar" or similar, you can probably afford a bunch of extensions before deciding the geometrically increasing fees have gotten too high, giving you 2 or 3 decades of protection. And all these fees can be used to pay into the Treasury so we can keep taxes low (after we drastically cut the budget by massively shrinking the DoD and DEA budgets).

Re:Don't want (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312582)

Our existing copyright, patent, and other IP laws have worked well for centuries before the DMCA and other rubbish.

What worked for the framers of the Constitution should work for us now. End of story.

To be fair, there's been a fundamental change in information technology of a sort never before seen in all of history since then.

The old laws aren't good enough anymore. Copyright, in particular, is in need of a serious overhaul.

If one accepts copyright, yes, the advent of computers and wide-scale networking makes a need for new copyright law clear. But how sure are you the breakage is new, and not latent injustice merely rendered visible by IT?

Look at the history of copyright law -- it started with the London publishing industry lobbying for a law to reduce competition and increase profits, granting a publisher of any book perpetual control over it -- but exhibiting a level of backbone unheard of in modern American politics, Parliament cut it to a limited term, vested the newly-created rights (slightly less indefensibly) in the author rather than the publisher, and changed the justification from codification of a pre-existing "natural right" (like personal property) to a pragmatic deal -- stripping everyone else of their right to copy books they own, in exchange for the incentive (and the supposed increase it brings) to write new books.

(They didn't take the reduction lying down, and fought to have the perpetual natural right of creators to control their work (including to sell that control to a publisher) recognized in court, where it failed miserably, and in public opinion, where it was eventually rather successful, and is largely to blame for the series of extensions in US copyright law through the 20th century.)

Note that books are the oldest digital media, with lossless copying (so often attributed as one of the reason copyright law for "analog" data such as photographs and audio is not suitable for digitized versions of these, or fundamentally digital (e.g. computer code) works) -- note also that this law (Statute of Anne) was not created when copying books was hard (it seems so in our perspective, but it used to require literate slaves, or a dedicated workforce such as a monastery), but when it had just become much easier, thanks to the movable-type press (eliminating the other argument, that copying digital data, if not strictly free, is so much cheaper than other forms of reproduction as to make existing law unsuited.) In fact, it was exactly the same kind of reaction to prop up an old business facing threats from new technology as the DMCA and successors have been.

Then other content-distributing industries (concerning e.g. pictures, sound recordings, and printed-word other than books) piled on, as their wares became feasible to reproduce, demanding they be permitted to share in this scheme to profit from the new copying tech while preventing others from doing so. And when has a legislative body been able to ignore well-connected businessmen asking a mere reasonable extrapolation of existing law? With each step, we infringed a little more on the property rights of everyone (their natural right to, say, arrange their own silver nitrate on their own celluloid as they see fit), but nobody cared, since only a handful of nerds have a photography setup in their basement anyway. THAT is the key difference, the reason why the moral bankruptcy of copyright is finally exposed -- because since the cassette recorder, "ordinary" people have become financially able to have the same new copying tech as the content distribution industry, and they finally begin to feel the longstanding infringement on their rights.

Industry-promoted laws, for the industries' (and never for the actual creators') profits, right down the line -- how can anyone not on an industry payroll support this except "it's always been that way"? Don't cry for the modern content-distribution industries' impending demise if we abolish copyright; they are founded on three centuries of government oppression (small and unnoticeable to each person as it may seem) of the entire citizenry on their behalf, and deserve all the sympathy we offer a tyrant king cast down by his subjects. Don't cry for free software (as the GPL depends on copyright) -- good intentions can scarcely justify tyranny. ABOLISH COPYRIGHT!

Re:Don't want (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310826)

Without the DMCA there wouldn't be the Safe Harbor provisions that keep service providers from getting sued. Are you sure you want it abolished?

Re:Don't want (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311148)

Without the DMCA, there'd be no need for the safe harbor provisions. So yes, I *do* want it abolished (as well as abolishing the idea that "contrbutory" infringement exists, and statutory damages). Let them sue everyone for everything, and make them prove in open court what their actual damages are.

Re:Don't want (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310850)

"have worked well for centuries before the DMCA and other rubbish."

The beginnings of the current crisis predates the DMCA by about - ohhhh - 30 years, I'd say. Things started going out of kilter when the copyright laws started to be extended. And, let's blame Walt Disney and his company for much of that. In fact, I'll go further back, and say that things started to become unbalanced around 1950.

Since you point to the DMCA specifically, I would say that things started to accelerate downhill around the time that Microsoft stated that "This software is licensed, not sold." Without googling, it seems that at one point in time, one could actually "buy" a copy of MS Windows. Then with the next update to Windows, you could no longer "buy" it, you could only rent it, so long as you agreed to that stupid EULA, and understood that Microsoft owns everything on your PC - if not the physical PC itself.

Re:Don't want (3, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312328)

I don't want a bill that goes off the concept of being extreme, then "compromise" on a "reasonable" bill.

I'm willing to compromise, but here's my starting position:

Title 17 of the United States Code is hereby repealed. All rights and privileges formerly granted under this code are null and void. The United States hereby withdraws from the Berne Convention, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Any currently living executive or lawyer who is now or ever has worked for the RIAA or the MPAA or their foreign counterparts is declared outlaw, and the United States will pay a $50,000 bounty for their capture dead or alive.

Re:Don't want (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310776)

Then, I hope that you've been writing to the White House, as well as the house and senate. I have been, for years now. Both George Bush and Barack Obama have heard from me, repeatedly on the subject of internet freedom. All of my representatives, as well as a number of representatives that aren't my own.

This, and all similar acts, treaties, regulations, or whatever name it might go by, need to be shot down. I'm steaming over ACTA - a piece of shit born in secrecy, and jammed up all our orifices, despite any and all objections.

Re:Don't want (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311130)

No, they haven't heard from you. The person paid to glaze over the thousands of letters they get every day has heard from you and thrown your envelopes into the pile with all the other opinions that're the same as yours.

Not that you're wrong to voice your concern and/or opinion, but that's just how it is. The prez and reps are too "busy" to read/see the same thing day after endless day, so they're just going to get someone else to do that aspect of their job and then report back to them at the end of the week for decent pay.

Re:Don't want (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311374)

Then, I hope that you've been writing to the White House, as well as the house and senate. I have been, for years now. Both George Bush and Barack Obama have heard from me, repeatedly on the subject of internet freedom. All of my representatives, as well as a number of representatives that aren't my own.

This, and all similar acts, treaties, regulations, or whatever name it might go by, need to be shot down. I'm steaming over ACTA - a piece of shit born in secrecy, and jammed up all our orifices, despite any and all objections.

Step 1: Complain to politicians
Step 2: Complain about politicians
Step 3: ....
Step 4: Profit!!!

Re:Don't want (4, Insightful)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310962)

I have met scores of Music Business majors at my university. That's a four year bachelors degree which will run you around 50k. Thats a huge investment to make in an "outmoded business model".

Now I completely agree with your point, but it is important to keep in mind how powerful the lobbying of an entire industry on the verge of losing their careers can be. It's analogous to the entire health insurance industry drying up if a public option were introduced (And as we saw, it was defeated). So I guess what I'm saying is that if we don't have the robust safety nets in place to handle whole industries becoming obsolete, then we are going to constantly be fighting a bitter fight in congress as they each try to legislate themselves back into business. It's completely predictable, and frankly, understandable human behavior.

Re:Don't want (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311154)

Musicians have had careers for long, long, long before recorded music was invented: it's called "playing live". In fact, that's how a lot of musicians these days still make most of their money, because the profits from their studio records go straight to the record company, so the only way they make any real money is by touring. The business model for musicians hasn't changed that much since the Middle Ages.

Re:Don't want (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311214)

It's true, and I try to catch the artists I like (that still tour) whenever they come around. But I'm not talking about musicians, I'm taking about Music Business majors. They don't perform. Their entire career path depends on fitting in somewhere between the artist and the listener. And there are a lot more of them than you would imagine.

Re:Don't want (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311308)

Not a problem. I'm sure they can get a job doing something more useful to society, such as cleaning toilets.

Our society needs music business majors about as much as it needs buggy whip manufacturers.

Re:Don't want (2)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311612)

Yes but that won't happen quietly. The OWS movement is a perfect example of people who, according to the free market, should be cleaning toilets. But they don't see it that way. Likewise, the music business is becoming just as obsolete, except that they don't resist by camping out downtown, they resist by pushing legislation like SOPA and its' new alternative hard to the point of passing. This is dangerous, and requires us to have more than a indifferent attitude towards their plight.

In my opinion, most people who major in business do so because they don't really know what they want to do, and their family, school, and society tells them it is a viable option. Until the government stops giving loans to business majors, the problem belongs to all of us.

Re:Don't want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311560)

So it's like getting an MBA but focused on the music industry. A degree that's supposed to let you right into those jobs where the consumer hands up some money to the artist and you take a little slice for yourself for no reason.

The tears I'll shed for your friends wouldn't fill a thimble.

Re:Don't want (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311678)

It's analogous to the entire health insurance industry drying up if a public option were introduced (And as we saw, it was defeated).

How would the entire health insurance industry dry up?

Oh wait, the health insurance industry. I thought you meant the people who actually handle the important stuff, like doctors and nurses.

Let them die. The good employees can work for our equivalent of the NHS when we (hopefully) get it. A few of the companies can cater to the rich and powerful of the world who "want something better".

I can't think of any time where it has been good to protect a dying industry. If it can't learn to adapt then it shouldn't survive.

Re:Don't want (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312024)

You want to fix Insurance/medical industry ?

Simple fix ... ONE PRICE

Meaning that everyone pays the exact same price for every procedure, office visit, operation, surgery and band-aid. Not Medicare pays $50, but the guy paying cash pays $1500.

Re:Don't want (2)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312326)

With our current system, that's about as likely to happen as printer companies suddenly developing a standard, interchangeable ink cartridge.

Re:Don't want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312608)

it is important to keep in mind how powerful the lobbying of an entire industry on the verge of losing their careers can be.

Thank you for this pithy, succinct example of modern Western civilization's decadence. How far we've fallen in the past 100 years of "progress": if the beginning of the 20th century were like today, then the automobile would never have become popular due to entrenched buggy whip industry lobbyists "protecting the interests of their clients" by getting laws passed to stymie machinery produced on an assembly line.

Just imagine what the railroad industry would have done to the burgeoning road & air freight industries. I mean, they've *invested* in the old way of doing things, so it's completely understandable for them to resort to whatever scummy protectionist laws they can buy, right?

The moral fiber (or whatever the fuck you wish to call it) is gone from our society. This entrenched protectionism and the moral lassitude that gave rise to it must be reversed or our civilization will face decadence, decline, and eventual collapse.

Having a welfare state won't help, either. Do you believe that those recent music business grads, with their 50k worth of student debt, are the ones buying these protectionist laws? No, it's the megacorps that are crushing innovation. Somehow, I don't believe that having 99+ weeks of unemployment available for the "victims" of structural unemployment is going to factor even an iota in the decisions of the corporate execs. It's just patently irrelevant.

You want a free market? Let's have a free market. (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311282)

Laws are keeping the price of artificial property artificially high. Every other industry has their prices set by what the market will bear. The artificial property industry gets to set their prices wherever they want and have their non-sales bolstered by lawsuits and extortion.

This bill is a step in the wrong direction, albeit a smaller one.

If those guys hate it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310478)

...it must be a reasonable piece of bill, taking the GODMODE powers out of SOPA.

They got the acronym wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310508)

Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade = OPEDT, not OPEN.

So what are they really protecting and enforcing?

Re:They got the acronym wrong. (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310538)

It's Open Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade. The bolded letters is how they get OPEN.

Re:They got the acronym wrong. (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310950)

Who bets that they started with OPEN and fit the name around it?

Re:They got the acronym wrong. (3, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311170)

Unfortunately, that's the way most laws are these days. Just look at the PATRIOT ACT. You think they came up with the name and the acronym just happened to be those two words?

50 years ago, they never did BS like this in lawmaking. Not saying there was no BS in lawmaking, but this acronym stuff is way over the top.

They make record profits yet aren't happy (4, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310598)

Funny how the media industry has been raking in record profits, but they still feel they need this sort of legislation.

Search for clips from "The Simpsons" and other popular TV shows on Youtube. Notice you will find little to nothing. The DMCA works, and works well. There's no need for this crap.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310674)

The DMCA works, and works well.

Even when a time-sensitive parody, which is a legally protected fair use, gets taken down for the two weeks that it remains relevant?

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310842)

Maybe the parody creator should've sent a counter notice before the two weeks were up?

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310974)

In all honesty, this. If you actually own the work send a counter notice. If you've uploaded someone else's work cut your losses.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (2, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311250)

What?! Innocent until proven guilty!

You shouldn't have to send a counter notice, ever. That's one of the things that's so awful about the DMCA and related ilk. Takedown provisions circumvent due process in the eagerness to harass anyone accused of circumventing copyright. They are routinely abused to harass the innocent. They can be kept too busy defending themselves from accusation spam to do anything else like provide services to customers.

I didn't think OPEN was going to be any good. After skimming it, I know it's no good.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312564)

I've been in this situation before. I made a parody video. One that fit the terms of fair use perfectly. Non-commercial, not possible to mistake for anything official. It used 48 seconds of a 25-minute episode (a clip, set to very inapproprate music drawing attention to some campy visuals). Clearly parody. I put it on youtube, and some time later the copyright holder sent in the DMCA notice to have it pulled.

Now, I *could* file a counterclaim. But if I do that, then I invite them to sue me. That would be a Japanese company suing a British citizen under American law - the legal fees would take all my savings before they could even decide where to hear the case. If it did go to court, the amount of time I'd have to take off to attend would likely cost me my job as well. I'd be ruined, and that's if I *win*. The law favors the rich, and I am not rich.

Particually annoying, someone else has uploaded the entire episode in question to Youtube, and others have used far more material than I did to make AMVs, none of which have been taken down. I believe I actually offended someone at Shopro by insulting the studio's work, so I wouldn't put it past them to sue out of pure spite given half a chance. It's also the second strike on youtube - one more and they close down my account and pull all my videos, most of which are just demonstrations of video filters I programmed. And I can't easily open another account, as it's tied into the google ID now.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310998)

Why do they have to go to such lengths just to ensure that their videos don't get taken down seemingly at random? I'd say something is wrong.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311018)

Ok, let me rephrase. If you make a 40 minute long video called and it consists of you making trick shots with your buddies and it gets taken down, just sue them.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311070)

Yeah. That's a lot of effort to have to go through just because they send take down notices around seemingly at random. How about we just make it more difficult for them, the ones who are trying to inconvenience others, to take down the videos? It seems too easy right now (website operators are taking things down without question in fear of being sued if they don't), and there's too much of a chance for false alarms. That's what I think needs fixing.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311082)

Sue them back!

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (3, Informative)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310704)

I was generally of the position a few minutes ago that it's generally a bad idea to have the government step into the middle of what *should* be a private-to-private issue ("rights holder" vs "infringer"). However, in thinking about it I think there's actually a chance for the government to solve the problem that is the DMCA. Because the courts are all over the map in how the deal with these things, a DMCA takedown letter is basically a completely free shotgun approach that can be taken by an aggressive "rights holder", and as such they have things radically tilted their direction because it's not feasible or safe to fight bogus claims. However, if a single agency (with strong court oversight of course, assuming that's written in to OPEN somewhere but not looking forward to reading legistlatese that's comparable to patentese) has a set of rules they follow, and the shotgun approach used with the DMCA is forcibly redirected through it, there's a chance to reign in the probably millions of DMCA letters sent down to the 1000's that are legitimate. There's a (TBD) fee associated with filing a complaint, which should discourage the shogtun approach compared to DMCA takedowns, not sure if there are strong enough sanctions for filing invalid claims to deal with the RIAA and such who have deep enough pockets to shotgun entire lawsuits.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310954)

With imaginary property, teh government defines both "property holder" and "infringer". Private to private would be content protection measure vs. legal copying once it was broken.

Re:They make record profits yet aren't happy (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311376)

Republicans that have nothing of value to defend would argue that their taxes are being squandered on a system they don't use.... Shot down....

Issa Bad (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310600)

Anything coming out of Darrell Issa I just don't trust. His business career [wikipedia.org] was criminal, and his political career has been even worse [wikipedia.org].

But these congressmembers don't usually know anything about what's in legislation they support or oppose except what lobbyists tell them. Wyden usually seems to know what he's talking about. I don't know what's in it for Issa, but Republicans are so lockstep that getting one like Issa to support it is necessary if it's going to go anywhere in Congress. Especially when so many Democratic congressmembers are never going to protect actual rights to free speech/press when Hollywood's against it.

Re:Issa Bad (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310924)

So, your assertion of being "criminal" is a vague allegation of arson, and no suspect for that allegation named? Do you hold the Democrats to the same standards of contempt for their criminality? I doubt it.

Re:Issa Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311022)

Wow you linked to Wikipedia, the piece of shit website that ANYONE can edit at any time for any reason. You be da king of da geeks mon.

Re:Issa Bad (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311396)

Youre lucky that you probably won't be sued for libel in your bullshit guess at the truth about Issa. Get some facts. You sound like an idiot regurgitating foxnews lines.

Re:Issa Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311562)

Issa Bad, Meesa Good!

- Jar-Jar Binks.

Re:Issa Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312356)

Very bad.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/24/110124fa_fact_lizza

This story was very undersold. BTW, he's the "cop" in congress right now.

He also bought a bunch of cheap RE from a bank that he sought to "bail out". That's the most recent of his "alleged" behavior.

SOPA = shut up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310754)

Coincidence... I think not!

  (Greek) = shut up
http://translate.google.com/#auto|en|%CF%83%CF%8E%CF%80%CE%B1%0A

Bait & Switch (5, Insightful)

uutf (2432816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310798)

Propose something terrible that'll never go through. If it succeeds LOL. If it fails, then propose something not quite as bad to try to get people to say "well, it's not as bad as what they proposed earlier.." Rinse and repeat until you get what you want - eventually you'll sneak one past the people fighting against it.

Bait and switch! (3, Insightful)

theexaptation (1948750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310816)

Oh this tactic again.

Declare something misguided and extreme, see if anyone notices, if so compromise to something slightly less deplorable.

How about D none of the above?

I am sick of our government being purchased with campaign *cough*bribes*cough* contributions.

Re:Bait and switch! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310920)

Ron Wyden is known for defending consumer freedoms. If he's one of the people involved, it's not bait-and-switch.

Re:Bait and switch! (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311058)

Hm, this bill seems, on the face of it, to require foreign websites to obey US law or be shutdown/blocked/whatever they can get away with.

Check the fine print on "infringing websites", and what they can do to not be infringing....

Not sure how that defends consumer freedoms.

Re:Bait and switch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310928)

I am sick of our government being purchased with campaign *cough*contributions*cough* bribes.

FTFY -- A rose by any other name....

Re:Bait and switch! (3, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311190)

I'm not terribly worried... the internet has always been somewhat just beyond the reach of the law. IMHO the only thing laws like this will do is increase the technical sophistication with which the internet can function beyond the reach of the law. If it gets more people to set up encryption / anonymization services / distributed mesh networks / decentralized DNS / etc. to circumvent attempts at enforcement, then it will be a better internet for the effort.

People have always wanted to get rich for the minimum amount of work. Having a piece of paper that says every else has to pay them money for doing something completely arbitrary is the easiest way these days, especially when you can also convince everyone else to pay for enforcement. With digital distribution, these days are behind us, and are only going to get further behind us as we get into various forms of widget replicator machines.

Bravo for putting up a good fight for sitting back and collecting royalties on an empire of past contributions, with no promise of future contribution or worse yet stifling the contribution of others. Now bow out as the curtains close on that act.

Re:Bait and switch! (1)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312340)

The internet was always somewhere just beyond the reach of the law because laws always focused on taking down the illegal program or site through technical means. The most recent set of laws focuses less on technology, and more on financial backing, which has proven much more effective at censoring any program or website. You can get around DNS blocking, but you can't get around a site not having any way whatsoever to collect revenue. Ensuring no revenue will cripple websites in a way that none of your technological solutions can prevent.

Re:Bait and switch! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312574)

For that, you need help from the pirates. They've had a lot of experience at getting large amounts of data distributed on a budget of zero. That's why they invented P2P file sharing, and then improved it through several generations.

Re:Bait and switch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311524)

:P [centerforcough.com]

Doublespeak (3, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310926)

Typical use of doublespeak. The first version of the proposed legislation was so abominable that the Business Software Alliance couldn't even get behind it, so now they're re-introducing the law with a name that will be harder for people to oppose. If this version doesn't go through, expect another version of the same legislation under the guise of going after kiddie porn. You politicians are so damn predictable.

On the Plus Side (3, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311106)

This bill at least allows (even if it doesn't go so far as to require) that a free be charged to whomever makes the Copyright complaint, to pay for the investigation.

If the fee is set high enough, a lot of the shotgunning we see from the RIAA/MPAA types might be cut back significantly.

On the other hand, if it's set too high, small Copyright holders might find themselves unable to defend their own Copyrights....

Still No Good (4, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311126)

Sec 337A.(a)(7)(C)(i) (top of the third page of the PDF):

[an Internet site is not infringing]:

if the Internet site has a practice of expeditiously removing, or disabling access to, material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity after notification by the owner of the copyright or trademark alleged to be infringed or its authorized representative;

This still says that a claim is as good as a conviction in terms of requiring the removal of information, and that failure to comply with such claims is enough to cut off the air supply of the company.

We just had a story posted earlier today [slashdot.org] of a company that was closed down for an entire year without having done anything wrong except being falsely accused. We cannot simply shut down any company that the copyright cabal says we should, especially when they have proven time and again that their dragnets have a total disregard for accuracy.

Sorry Mr. Wyden, I love your work in general, but this is still far outside the realm of due process. I know; failing to support this may mean SOPA gets passed instead -- but the "less wrong" swindle has been pulled on us by these guys too many times for me to buy it anymore. I'm not going to support a law that proposes to shut down slightly fewer innocent businesses.

Misreading headline... (1)

wyoung76 (764124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311182)

Is it just me, or did anyone else misread the headline as "_Daft_ Alternative To SOPA Released"?

NFL jersey (0)

jersey123456 (2485408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38311320)

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Copyright is Bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311456)

Because it is in direct contradiction to freedom of speech. Because I am not allowed to repeat what another has said. If this enforcement trend keeps going. I like punctuation.

Re:Copyright is Bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38311908)

Copyright is flawed in many ways, but not at all in the way you're describing. There's nothing about copyright that says you can't repeat what another has said.

Rather than just arguing here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312086)

Why not make an account on the site and your concerns to the statements (and maybe an alternative to the legalese) that seem offending. They're at least giving us the ability to critique the draft on an article-by-article and definition-by-definition basis.

Greta and good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312494)

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Revision Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312618)

Wouldn't it be great if laws were written using high quality, open, revision control [github.com]?

The good folks at http://www.keepthewebopen.com have asked for our collaboration in helping them to write better legal code.

Fork at will!

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