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White House Responds To SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the clogging-a-series-of-tubes dept.

Piracy 517

eefsee writes "The White House today responded to two petitions with a statement titled 'Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet.' They note that 'We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.' In particular, they cite manipulation of DNS as problematic. But overall the statement is clearly supportive of anti-piracy efforts and lays down this challenge: 'So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don't limit your opinion to what's the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what's right.' So, what's right?"

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517 comments

Protecting rights (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699770)

But overall the statement is clearly supportive of anti-piracy efforts...

There's nothing wrong with being supportive of anti-piracy efforts. People deserve to get paid for their work. Those efforts, however, shouldn't undermine technological infrastructure. The White House's statement is overall a condemnation of the legislation, but it does allow leeway for Obama to sign an amended bill that addresses the most pressing concerns.

Given past positions, it will be interesting to see how Slashdotters respond to the question in the submission. Allow me to quote from a recent comment in a GPL discussion:

It annoys the minority of businesses who feel entitled to the free labor of strangers and don't want to give anything back. You see, some people are childish and the most visible mark of childishness is a sense of entitlement. This causes them to feel somehow cheated if you place a few conditions on code that is otherwise free, that no one is forcing them to use if the conditions don't suit them.

The comment was modded up. When it's a case of a GPL violation, the violators who feel entitled to the free labor of strangers are childish and entitled. But in an article on the Pirate Bay, suddenly it's all about demonizing the evil RIAA and MPAA, and piracy is just a cultural revolution that sticks it to the evil corporations--the artists who aren't getting paid don't even enter into the discussion, probably because of the guilty feelings it would inspire to be reminded of the reality of the situation.

The point being that there probably should be an attempt made to hinder online piracy in some way. We can't just let it spiral completely out of control, to the point where it's no longer lucrative to produce anything. Part of the reason the console platform became so appealing to game developers is the reduced amount of piracy compared to the PC platform. In other words, they can actually make money from their work, money that is used to make more games. You can't have a functioning long-term economy in which people never get compensated for anything; people are trying to make a living, and they use the income to produce more contributions to society. If your boss withheld your paycheck and told you that the code you wrote is now theirs free of charge because "information wants to be free," you'd sue for the wages and win. But if the code you wrote is included in a game, and the game appears on Pirate Bay, downloaders will happily pirate it and never even dream of spending a time, and they'll justify it until they're red in the face.

The most common one they use is that it's "free advertising"--that pirating games leads them to purchase games. Correlation doesn't equal causation, however, and the fact they buy games as well as pirate them simply suggests that they like games so much that they acquire them by any means possible, and when they can't pirate, they buy. Either that, or they buy to resolve their feelings of guilt. When Louis CK offered his video for download [slashdot.org] , he made an interesting comment in an NPR interview [npr.org] :

"And a friend of mine who does torrent stuff a lot says that when torrent users do buy something, they act like they're doing the greatest thing ever. ... They're saying, 'I bought something today. I paid for it. And I didn't steal it. I'm the greatest person alive.' "

I've noticed this attitude as well. It's very, very annoying.

I'm probably risking a lot of downmods here--if there's anything Slashdot seems to dislike more than comments about Slashdot, it's comments that are anti-piracy. But I have karma to burn, and I felt like starting the conversation anyway.

It isn't that complicated (5, Insightful)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699840)

If the economy depends on the imposition of artificial scarcity on an abundant good, then the terms have to be reasonable.

20 year copyright term limits are very reasonable. The current term limits + options to extend are absolutely unreasonable, and they drive people to rebellion.

Also, while it is true that a punishment should be a deterrent to crime, the punishment must also be within the order-of-magnitude of actual damages in order to be just. The current punishments are outright ridiculous, and they also drive people to rebellion.

Make fair laws and enforce them fairly, and watch the people happily fall in line.

Re:It isn't that complicated (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700058)

I think expecting collateral damage to be minimized is reasonable.

I hate DRM because of the inconvenience it causes people who aren't actually pirates.

If you want to nuke a castle you don't lob a stink bomb at it.

Re:It isn't that complicated (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700116)

20 year copyright term limits won't stop a bit of piracy. Copyright itself is simply untenable in the digital era.

Solutions (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700132)

This.

A part of the solution is to be less draconian in punishment and more successful at catching people. Violating copyright is something that should basically be a traffic offense, and instead the law literally makes every American a felon.

A part of the solution is to establish reasonable protections. Copyright terms have been extended periodically since the first copyright act was passed in 1790 or so. It is insane--nobody, and I mean nobody, is making a decision about whether to invest based on potential profits fifty years from now. While perhaps extended protection is fair for works that have never turned a profit or where the profit is not significant compared to the labor involved, it certainly is not justified once fifteen years have passed and a work has earned a 1000% return. We need something more just than the current blanket number of years.

A part of the solution is international relations. If a foreign nation doesn't enforce a reasonable copyright law, we dredge up some sanctions or incentives if they are cost-justified. This makes it so that it will be in the other nation's interest to enforce copyright law. If we can't pay them enough from profits to make it a net gain for them to enforce copyright law, then economically speaking it shouldn't be enforced. (Obviously unless transaction costs of the incentive structure are too high, but that's a relatively narrow range of profits).

Re:It isn't that complicated (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700180)

The current term limits + options to extend are absolutely unreasonable, and they drive people to rebellion.

Yeah, the kids are running their BT peers ragged downloading 20 year old movies and TV shows. Or maybe the fact that the terms are so long somehow breeds this sort of amorphous, diffuse resentment that causes them to copy movies for free when they know they'd rather pay for them. Yeah that's what it is, it's really an elaborate social protest movement.

Either that, or they just do it because they can. One of those.

Re:It isn't that complicated (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700188)

Also, while it is true that a punishment should be a deterrent to crime, the punishment must also be within the order-of-magnitude of actual damages in order to be just. The current punishments are outright ridiculous, and they also drive people to rebellion.

Are the punishments that rediculous?
When copyright is 120 years or life + 70 years, maybe $XY,000 per infringement is proportional.

/That said, life+70 & 120 years roughly translates to "fuck you and your kids"

Re:It isn't that complicated (5, Insightful)

Elbows (208758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700208)

20 year copyright term limits are very reasonable. The current term limits + options to extend are absolutely unreasonable, and they drive people to rebellion.

I mostly agree with you, and I definitely favor shorter copyright terms. But I doubt that 20+ year-old works make up a significant chunk of online piracy. People are largely downloading recent movies, games, and music, and limiting copyright to 20 years probably won't put much of a dent in it.

Re:It isn't that complicated (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700214)

This isn't just law and order.

It's a war against piracy.

Let's call a spade a spade here and see it for what it really is.

And after doing that, we can see DRM for what it is, as an ugly weapon that causes craploads of collateral damage.

Re:Protecting rights (5, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699856)

When it's a case of a GPL violation, the violators who feel entitled to the free labor of strangers are childish and entitled.

The reason for the existence of copyright owners is to increase the pool of work available to the public (see; e.g. the US constitution [wikipedia.org] ). Copyright exists because it is believed that without it people would create fewer works and that would limit the benefit to the public. GPL authors are directly, though their license, putting out works which the public can use for free and with no usage restriction and copying and distribution restrictions limited only to a lack of restriction. You cannot make a direct comparison.

Re:Protecting rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700066)

I never thought about it in these terms, thanks.

Re:Protecting rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699864)

You are not comparing like transgressions. Many of the anti-RIAA/MPAA posters that you cite would also agree that selling copies of illegal software, or using them in a business environment, is not okay (which would be the equivalent of a business using GPL code). It's only mildly less dishonest than calling piracy "theft", and it will continue getting you in arguments with people with whom you might otherwise find common ground.

Re:Protecting rights (5, Insightful)

darpified (698235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699884)

Part of the reason the console platform became so appealing to game developers is the reduced amount of piracy compared to the PC platform. In other words, they can actually make money from their work, money that is used to make more games

So EA, Activision, Ubisoft, etc... Never made any money off of PC games so far? Not that I condone or give a shit either way as far as piracy is concerned, I do give a shit when half-cocked laws created by corporations and their pet politicians are enacted that are to the detriment of the nation. Sure online piracy is bad and could possibly hurt the profit margins of these companies, but this law is so far on the other side of sanity that it's obscene. The middle ground is where it needs to be, but that point was crossed long ago, back before Mickey Mouse (and the associated copyrights,trademarks, yada-yada) became effectively permanent.

Re:Protecting rights (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699918)

-the artists who aren't getting paid don't even enter into the discussion

You're right, they should be a part of the discussion, but not in the way you imply. Artists get paid next to nothing by those greedy bastards and piracy does next to nothing to hurt their non-existent paycheck.

The real question here is not how to stop piracy, but how to make the payed-for product more desirable. The game has changed and so must the strategies involved.

Re:Protecting rights (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699958)

There is overwhelming evidence to show that piracy leads to an increase in sales. It doesn't make sense to dispute that anymore.

Given that taking copies doesn't cost anyone anything nor deprive anything from anyone, yet can lead to further contributions to society, it only makes sense.

Instead of being greedy and focusing on piracy which is ultimately a good thing which is also inevitable, why not focus on healthcare or something useful?

Re:Protecting rights (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699980)

But in an article on the Pirate Bay, suddenly it's all about demonizing the evil RIAA and MPAA, and piracy is just a cultural revolution that sticks it to the evil corporations--the artists who aren't getting paid don't even enter into the discussion, probably because of the guilty feelings it would inspire to be reminded of the reality of the situation.

I think you will find that if the artists were getting paid properly for their efforts and so much of the money wasn't going to line the pockets of middlemen, there wouldn't be nearly as much "demonizing".

It also doesn't help that those middlemen are stretching the law to its limits in an attempt to extort even more money from people (private copying levy, law suits, threats, paying off governments for new laws, etc).

The media world is changing and a lot of new artists are now finding that having their work copied is actually helping them in the long run. The artists get better and cheaper publicity (word of mouth) and more money (by bypassing the media companies that try and dictate what the customers should buy) and we all get a richer experience and greater variety in entertainment.

Re:Protecting rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699992)

You typed all of that in one minute?

IMHO it's a generation thing. There are people, like me, who will never ever pay for recorded entertainment again. We're jaded. From more than a decade of seeing what is technically possible and still having to jump through hoops to get everything working, only to be told that format shifting is illegal, we've learned that the music and movie industries as they are must die to make way for the future. Younger people, who've grown up with music readily and legally available online, are much more open to paying for recorded entertainment. If the industry doesn't screw up their game with them, they're all set. Us oldtimers will be just another bump in the road. It's not like the RIAA is inexperienced: They've seen the sky fall many times, and they've always survived the copying bastards who were about to kill music. They never needed draconian laws or unbreakable copy protection in order to survive, and they don't need them now. So that's my answer: Stop focusing on the people who copy. They are, we are, a lost cause. You've thoroughly driven us away. Instead focus on the people who will pay you for the convenience. Leave the law alone. If you focus on the wrong people and on stopping them from doing what we'll do anyway, you'll lose customers (not us; the paying people) and breed enemies, even among the paying people.

I for one have found enough ways to get my fix legally, and I'm still not paying. Block the Pirate Bay, make the Internet a legal minefield, turn your customers against you: I STILL won't pay you, but you're salting the earth where you should be sowing instead.

Re:Protecting rights (4, Interesting)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700022)

The problem is that "intellectual property" is not property and should not be afforded any property rights protections. It seems this government is much more interesting in protecting IP rights than real property rights. They don't have a problem going all over the world punishing people for violating drug patent rights but at the same time violating the real property rights of the people in New London to steal their real property and transfer it to Pfizer.

The basic reason there are property rights is because property is scarce. If you take my car I don't have a car. Simple. The concept of IP is so confusing for so many people is because IP is not scarce. I can have an idea and share it and yet I don't lose the idea. Also the enforcement of IP rights always violates people's real property rights. The laws punishes me for using my computer (real property) for copying someones IP. So to enforce this it means the person with the IP owns some part of me and my computer to prevent me from using it.

The IP laws have to go the way of slavery. Companies and people have to compete in the marketplace with real products not imaginary ones.

Re:Protecting rights (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700028)

There's nothing wrong with being supportive of anti-piracy efforts. People deserve to get paid for their work.

No they don't. Not without an agreement/contract.

Re:Protecting rights (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700036)

Part of the reason the console platform became so appealing to game developers is the reduced amount of piracy compared to the PC platform.

And the other part is that consoles are generally plugged into much bigger monitors than PCs. The general public, composed of people who aren't geeks, is thought to be unwilling to plug a PC into a television even if it means they'll get Hulu for free and a bigger selection of games from indie developers.

Re:Protecting rights (3, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700038)

"The comment was modded up. When it's a case of a GPL violation, the violators who feel entitled to the free labor of strangers are childish and entitled."

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If Apple (used as an example only) rips off some piece of Linux and then slaps DRM on it and sells it as part of their mono-culture protected by lawsuits and patent trolling, then they ARE "childish and entitled," even if you oppose copyright. They are childish and entitled by their own standards, if not by some higher concept of consistency. What you'll never see on slashdot is a story about GPL-using developers suing BSD developers for copying parts of code over in a way that is maybe not 100% kosher, which is a much more comparable situation to what the copyright industry engages in daily.

Re:Protecting rights (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700046)

People deserve to get paid for their work. Those efforts, however, shouldn't undermine technological infrastructure.

Why is the technological infrastructure, or rather, a particular group of people's vision for how the infrastructure should work, more important than people getting paid for their work? The important point is that you have a right to stop people making a copy of your work, at least the law the way it is now, but you don't have a right to expect the Internet to work a particular way. Your assertion basically is that an enumerated, Article 1 power of the United States Congress should be enforceable as long as it doesn't conflict with RFC 1034. Where does that rule come from exactly?

Re:Protecting rights (4, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700092)

The point being that there probably should be an attempt made to hinder online piracy in some way. We can't just let it spiral completely out of control, to the point where it's no longer lucrative to produce anything.

You see, the problem with copyright supporters is that they believe this to be true. I don't think it will. I know plenty of people buying their music from Amazon or iTunes. And they are tecchies. It's just more convenient. It took them 10 years, but they made something easier that pirating.

And this is the key point. Because nobody is going to stop piracy. It is crazy to think so. Because stopping piracy means stopping privacy. Because pirating is just communicating.

Show Me the Data (2)

jmactacular (1755734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700120)

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response"

People like to focus on right and wrong, but no one is scrutinizing whether a "legislative response" is EVEN NECESSARY at all. Show me data, independent verifiable data of the "losses". The GAO has already concluded:

"Three widely cited U.S. government estimates of economic losses resulting
from counterfeiting cannot be substantiated due to the absence of underlying
studies."

Source: www.gao.gov/new.items/d10423.pdf

As reported by Ars:
http://ars/ [ars] technica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/us-government-finally-admits-most-piracy-estimates-are-bogus.ars

This industry over blows perceived threats of technology, just as it did with the VCR and the MP3 player. The solution is innovation, not legislation or litigation.

Re:Protecting rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700164)

Enjoy your downmod. Not because I agree or disagree or care but because you have karma to burn.

Licensed for Use in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700182)

There is the reverse, too. When someone can't buy, they pirate. Anyone who imports also counts as pirate. THEY DO NOT HAVE A VALID LICENSE.

Re:Protecting rights (5, Insightful)

Trails (629752) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700228)

The problem with the RIAA and MPAA is that their terms aren't reasonable. These two organizations and their member orgs have been dragged kicking and screaming into the new millennium. Their failure to offer reasonably priced compelling legitimate options is what makes the piracy faction so large and so gleeful.

You know what kills piracy? Netflix and Spotify, not SOPA.

They are right and we need a clear answer (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699774)

This is absolutely right. It's not enough to be negative. We have to clearly state a future in which the rights of copyright owners are much more limited and are determined by their duty to increase the public domain.

Not enough. (4, Insightful)

pclinger (114364) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699804)

This simply is not enough. From what it sounds like, they'll sign the bill as long as the DNS portion is removed. This will still kill many user-generated content websites on the Internet.

Re:Not enough. (2, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700076)

No, you're misunderstanding the statement. It's saying, we'll sign anything with the DNS portion removed BECAUSE NOW WE SEE CONGRESS IS ALREADY REMOVING IT. This statement would have been even blander had it been issued just a few days ago. Obama will sign anything he's handed. He does little, changes nothing. His people will try to put a good spin on whatever trash happens under this continuation of the Bush presidency. This document is another example of that.

I'm not sure whether at heart he's a Republican who knows he can only get elected as a Democrat, or whether he read the constitution and decided to only what is expected of a president in that document, as opposed to a modern presidency. Either way, I really feel for his staffers and especially the people fighting to get him re-elected. They know he's crap. They can see, very clearly, that the man is the worst failure as a president we've had in modern times. But we've got to re-elect him, because a Republican might be even worse. Besides, the situation makes them look like fools. So they defend his actions with vigour, when his actions (or really, his inaction) has given us 4 more years of Bush policies domestically (with, bizarrely, LESS restraint from above) and just about everything the Republicans in congress want.

Have you read the rest of the responses to the petitions on this site? One after another, they say (essentially) "Thanks for sending us your petition. We're ignoring it."

Every single response. Without exception. Not one response hints at any willingness to change or reconsider based on the petition. Zero.

They really should say, "Thanks for your petition. You're asking us to do something. We don't do that. We let congress do whatever it does, we let the agencies do whatever they do, we back down whenever there's pressure, we make promises, break then, then shift our language to pretend we delivered rather than admit we failed. We are a sorry excuse for a presidency."

The one thing they seem to have effective at (at least according to Nader, who sometimes is on the money and sometimes seems completely off) is strong-arm the whole party into not challenging him in a primary. They do machine politics well. They just don't seem to know how to govern.

Re:Not enough. (0)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700242)

Remember, Obama is in the MAFIAA's pockets.

How do you think so many of their attorneys got jobs in the DOJ?

The POTUS and Congress will do (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699806)

Whatever their lobbyists tell them to do. Nothing more.

They site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699820)

"they site manipulation of DNS as problematic"

Good god, who is reviewing these things?

Re:They site (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699872)

I just kinda assumed it was a poor attempt at being punny

Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699824)

I believe it's 'cite', rather than 'site', in this case.

I'll tell you what's right (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699826)

Impeach NObama!

Re:I'll tell you what's right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699954)

Do the world a favor and kill yourself, you brain-dead piece of subhuman waste.

Re:I'll tell you what's right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699998)

Actually, since there's a very good argument for the assassination of bin Laden being a war crime, there's a very good case for impeaching Obama...

Just sayin', bro.

Re:I'll tell you what's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699986)

there's building a significant list of USian Presidents who should be impeached ... and put on international trial for Crimes Against Humanity ...

Re:I'll tell you what's right (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700084)

On what grounds? I'm open to idea.

However, I don't think utter incompetence is available.

Next step (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699830)

Let's ban 192.168.*.* and 10.*.*.*

Re:Next step (2)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699950)

Hahaha.... I'll just set up my network on 172.16.1.x. Muahahahahaha!!

Two internets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699834)

1 for low bandwidth and full freedom communications
1 for high bandwidth and silly piracy prevention stuff in there to download big software / media

What's Right. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699866)

What is right, is the community itself, polices the piracy traffic. Before the government steps in. The purpose of the government is to do the big jobs the little guy can't. So in suggestion to stopping online piracy.

-Sites that offer illegal software, movies, videos, photos, should be reported to the hosting company.
You can usually find out which company is hosting the site, by simply running the ip through WHOIS website.
Than checking the location, and services in that location, and than calling up the providers and reporting.

BETTER YOU MAKE THE EFFORT, than Big Brother

-Making a repository of sites that are considered malicious, and contain malware, wyrms, trojans, keyloggers.
Allowing users to manually add sites to the fire wall for extra security.

It comes down to simple common sense. If we can not police ourselves, someone else will do it for us.

Re:What's Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699916)

Sites that offer illegal software, movies, videos, photos, should be reported to the hosting company.

The problem is that sites that offer content that infringe copyright, also offer a lot of content that does not too, most of which are submitted by users.

Re:What's Right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699964)

And are quite possibly legal in the jurisdictions in which their servers are located.

Re:What's Right. (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700150)

There's nothing wrong with what you're proposing, but you're saying it because you think we need to keep things in line to keep government out.

First, you're far too late, and second, acting out of fear will cause us not to use the headroom we have. It will make us repressive in an aim to avoid a hand of government.

This only makes sense because there's a vacuum of sense. The laws are corrupt and insane, the legal system predatory and rigged.

If we had decent laws, we could follow them. We could use all the space allowed us by law. Right now we have little space already, and nowhere and nothing is truly safe.

We need change in government, not a self-censorship regime.

It's not my job to figure out what's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699876)

I don't know what would be right. I'm not a lawmaker, and I'm not really in the business of doing other people's jobs for them. Why should I be bothered with figuring out what's right? The right thing to do should, ideally, hardly impact me at all since I only rarely pirate anything, so I wouldn't really give two fucks about its passage (aside from the times when I can't find an out of print movie/book/album for less than a hundred bucks if at all, at which point I'll just scrunch up my face and go, "Aw, nuts.")

What's Right (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699878)

What's right is to stop passing legislation to bandage up the entertainment industry's ancient, bloated, rotting business model. Make it easy for people to buy music/movies/tv shows inexpensively-- and without DRM-- and the problem will solve itself. As long as pirating a movie is 100x easier than buying a Bluray and sitting through hours of previews and FBI warnings, piracy will continue despite legislation. Give us real digital copies of movies for sale, not DRM-infested WMV files that we can only play on one Windows machine with Internet access. Give the people what they want and they will empty their wallets in your direction.

Citizen Rights or Corporate Rule... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699892)

First, Do No Harm. Instead of answering and responding to Citizen's, Obama's response was to attack Citizens again, by refusing to hold the bar at a higher level and insisting we are going ahead ... 'So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don't limit your opinion to what's the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what's right.' So, what's right?" the answer of course, is to hold the bar right here, and in fact raise it to where Citizen's have Rights and Freedoms, and Corporations are limited in their ability to harm Citizens, or infringe upon a Citizen's Rights and Freedoms.

what's right: technology vs politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699904)

What's right is to get the lawyers and politicians out of the job of trying to define how the internet should work.

It was made by engineers and scientists, and worked great for decades before the politicians became aware of it and stepped in to "fix" it.

It didn't need fixing. It needs to be driven by technology, not by politics.
 

Re:what's right: technology vs politics (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700154)

What's right is to get the lawyers and politicians out of the job of trying to define how the internet should work.

In some sense you are right. Unfortunately that's just not the way the world works, and the people who are spreading the idea that it could work that way are basically tricking you into being passive and being walked over. There's always going to be someone who doesn't like something. That person is always is always going to claim that whatever you want to do is the spawn of the devil and causes cancer (not to mention the risk to the children). There will always be some politician somewhere who either becomes convinced or just sees the issue as a way to be different and/or get publicity.

The only way to handle this; the right way to handle this; is to have multiple sides on the debate and your own politicians in there. Even if their point of view is very similar to the NRA's point of view; there should be no restrictions on the use of internet systems whatsoever; they can be very effective.

It didn't need fixing. It needs to be driven by technology, not by politics.

Politics are simply the way that people deal with the allocation of resources on a large scale. Once the internet becomes worth money then it can no longer exist in a vacuum. The decision to protect internet connectivity centres means the decision to let people get raped and murdered elsewhere since the police officers used for protecting the internet centres aren't available for other work. The decision not to sales tax Amazon whilst taxing local businesses means a transformation of local economies. The decision to let things be driven by technology is politics. It's good politics; probably; but it's still politics. Until we technologists accept that we will always be at the mercy of the "military-industrial" complex which fully 100% understands politics.

Looking grim. (5, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699908)

So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here?

I really don't understand why further regulation is needed here to protect the rights of the content owners. Are there not copyright laws in effect? Don't they already have the ability to take down sites (with a certain amount of due process), sue for damages, etc?

I often see the use and positive impact of regulation (not dumping raw sewage in the river, etc) - but I still don't follow what exactly the need really is to provide more control to the corporations over the net (I absolutely understand their desire for it, but not any valid reason why there should be any further corporate control allowed).

The timbre of this administration remains the same. It gave away health care by inches to the corporations until they were able to declare "we win! [politico.com] " while trying to look like they were actually fighting. And now they're doing the same with the 'net, as far as I can tell: putting on a dog and pony show, but preparing to hand the show over to those paying the lobbyists.

Offshore (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700082)

Don't they already have the ability to take down sites (with a certain amount of due process), sue for damages, etc?

Not if a site is hosted and operated offshore. For example, AllOfMP3 operated with a license valid only in Russia, and from the perspective of U.S. law, it was selling infringing copies.

namecoins: a DNS controlled by everyone (0)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699912)

Namecoins should be able to help here: a decentralized DNS with its own currency for registering DNSes (which already proved to be useful as bitcoins). Nobody will be able to block some DNS if you bought it with namecoins, because this DNS is yours, right in your wallet.dat. And everyone who installed a namecoin based DNS client can use it. All DNS names are stored with transaction data within namecoin block chain. This blockchain is copied on thousands of client's PC connected in p2p network. This blockchain is encrypted with 60 PetaFLOPs/sec processing power, which makes them really safe! (namecoin difficulty is now 463897, compare that with PFLOPS used for bitcoin for example on bitcoinwatch).

No government will be able to stop namecoins, just like it's impossible to stop bitcoins. Well it's even better for namecoins. Bitcoins could theoretically be restricted by passing laws prohibiting banks to cooperate with mtgox. Namecoins on the other side do not need exchange with USD for DNS functionality to be working. Such exchange of course will be good, but you can buy namecoins using bitcoins on bitparking exhange, or mine them on slush's pool (the biggest namecoin/bitcoin pool). Domains are really cheap, you should be able to afford one for you just after few days or weeks of mining (depending on your power), or - since you can buy bitcoins now on mtgox without any problems, and because namecoins are really cheap, you can buy your own domain for less than 0.50USD. That is today's prices.

Anyway, I think that namecoins is the wave of the future to save us from any kind of censorship.

http://www.bluishcoder.co.nz/2011/05/12/namecoin-a-dns-alternative-based-on-bitcoin.html [bluishcoder.co.nz]
http://mtgox.com/ [mtgox.com] - get bitcoins BTC here
http://exchange.bitparking.com/ [bitparking.com] - buy namecoins NMC here
http://bitcoinwatch.com/ [bitcoinwatch.com]

sure that's blatant ad. But I think namecoins are really going to help here.

How will it scale (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700196)

All DNS names are stored with transaction data within namecoin block chain.

If it's anything like the Bitcoin that I've seen before, Namecoin is like the pre-DNS method of passing /etc/hosts around to everyone. How will this scale up to tens of millions of domains?

War on Drugs^WPiracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699914)

I see in our future, another war... the war on piracy. This war will be very similar to the war on drugs... and will be just as much a failure. The companies that benefit the most from the "war on drugs" are the pharmaceutical companies and private corporations that support law enforcement tools and methods (including privatized jails).

The companies that will benefit from the "war on piracy" will be the big content companies and private corporations that support law enforcement tools and methods (including privatized jails).

Hmm...

Abolish IP (4, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699924)

Abolishing IP is what's right. Simple as that.

Re:Abolish IP (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699994)

And in one fell swoop you abolish the entertainment industry.

Re:Abolish IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700062)

Is that so bad? Have you SEEN Jersey Shore?

That said, entertainment will still exist, it will just come from more varied sources with fewer money men sucking up the majority of the profits without providing any actual value.

Re:Abolish IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700096)

Wrong.... you mean Hollywood and "Pop" music would disappear.
And considering that its 90% CRAP or recycled old material, thats a good thing!

Re:Abolish IP (5, Interesting)

Fusselwurm (1033286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700100)

And in one fell swoop you abolish the entertainment industry.

So what. Industries that weren't profitable anymore have been lost in the past, yet somehow the world continued without them. And actually, it wouldnt even been lost; only the part of it that does the content copying (ie distribution) would be lost. Artists would still make music, give concerts, paint pictures and do movies. Budgets will be reduced, but heck... the whole point of the entertainment industry is, well, entertainment, and I for one probably would feel quite entertained on lolcats and self-produced music alone ^^

Re:Abolish IP (3, Interesting)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700110)

There is an old saying. If there is a will, there is a way. Maybe the current entertainment industry needs to die before the next can be born. Certainly, we've already seen what can happen in software with open source, a model which has slowly made some progress into other areas.

In any case, I do not value entrainment more than free speech and the right to communicate and share ideas. Maybe you should reconsider your stance if you do.

Re:Abolish IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700140)

Great!

Re:Abolish IP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700006)

Actually that's not what's right. People who create should be able to profit from their creation. That is both necessary and good for society and for individuals. The problem isn't IP, it's that we have tilted the playing field way too far towards middle men holding IP rights for vast stretches of time, at the expense of society as a whole.

What's right is something much more limited. Such as copyright lasting for 5 years, after which works revert to the public domain. People creating software, music, works of literature, should have that time to make a living from their work, but we shouldn't have the kinds of RIAA/MPAA abuses we see today. Just because the latter extreme is wrong doesn't mean the former extreme is right. The best moral solution is somewhere between the extremes.

Re:Abolish IP (3, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700088)

I can't tell if you're trying to be ironic or not, what with your sig....

Moving towards agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699926)

"Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders."

So, if we were to collectively respond, what would we suggest instead? Since the message here indicates that opposing the idea completely won't work, what can we suggest that they might actually agree with?

Actions vs Words (1)

fatwilbur (1098563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699960)

I'm curious, has any of these petitions resulted in anything besides a form letter response from a head of some department, as obviously the task of writing a response but doing nothing rolled down 4 levels of bureaucracy?

What was the point of this site anyway? What good is a petition of there's no action or even a vote as a result of it?

PAY FOR CULTURE, SWINE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699962)

If it weren't for pirating children in poor families would never be able to be even one-tenth of cultured as some bratty rich kid who might buy all of his media.

Just because you don't have the money to, or just because you're not willing to blindly throw money at a product which you're not "allowed" to know the actual content of until you purchase it...

I mean, Jesus, I'm so sick of people making the frustratingly mild defense that "Well artists need to get paid, too!" It's an over-saturated market that doesn't require any real cost of production.

I WILL NEVER PAY TO HAVE YOU ON THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE

I WILL NEVER PAY FOR YOUR PRODUCER'S EXECUTIVE RAISES

I WILL NEVER PAY FOR YOUR ADVERTISEMENTS

Make art for the sake of making art, not money, fucking hacks.

This all plays into the open source movement--why don't people try making money off WORKING, rather than ROYALTIES? It's completely FUCKED beyond imagination.

Re:PAY FOR CULTURE, SWINE (1)

spectro (80839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700104)

This all plays into the open source movement--why don't people try making money off WORKING, rather than ROYALTIES? It's completely FUCKED beyond imagination.

Because royalties are a form of passive income and a key to build wealth. It's the best keep secret of rich people including lawyers and politicians. They all invest in forms of passive income and have a vested interest in protect their way of life.

Re:PAY FOR CULTURE, SWINE (3)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700240)

If it weren't for pirating children in poor families would never be able to be even one-tenth of cultured

Then the problem isn't piracy. It's that the popular culture can be made non-free. Ideally it'd be possible to work around this by creating works and distributing them under a license for free cultural works [freedomdefined.org] . But the RIAA labels, MPAA studios, major professional and collegiate sport leagues, and other publishers of non-free popular culture collude with the traditional media (largely radio and television) to keep free works off the air. And no, the general public is unlikely to switch to Internet radio because a smartphone capable of receiving Internet radio is much more expensive per month than a dumbphone and an FM radio, nor to Internet TV due to monthly download caps that MPAA-affiliated ISPs such as Comcast have started to impose.

the real problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699970)

am i the only one that sees this as censorship, and isnt too worried about the piracy implication? they could shut down say a website bashing politicians and giving news to nerds, just because some people talk about piracy on it...

Re:the real problem (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700080)

You mean like how UMG took down the megaupload video?

The Coast Guard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38699978)

should handle piracy.

What is right: (5, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38699990)

Abolish copyright. We gave it a 200 year trial, and it has not served its purpose of making artists self-sufficient. Instead, it has only further entrenched the patron model by giving the patrons legal teeth, handing our culture over to corporations and the insanely rich. Further, we're seeing more and more that free speech and copyright are completely incompatible. It's time we decide which we care more about: a fictitious emotion-backed economic system, or basic human rights.

What's Right? Abolition of copyright! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700002)

Nothing less is satisfactory. Copyright and patent monopolies are a cancer growing in western civilisation. We need to excise them before it's too late.

oh ok. (2)

australopithecus (215774) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700008)

>ask yourself, what's right.

... what is right is to think about how technology has given people NEW rights that could be considered inalienable under many definitions, and that existing methods of revenue generation for media companies might have to change to accommodate these new paradigms.

Victim card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700014)

The victim card is worn out. It can't be used any longer.

The right thing to do is to stop SOPA, PIPA and other nonsense laws.
Patents should live for 10 years only.
Copyrights should live for 10 years also. The copyright reform should be retroactive, too.

A bricklayer gets paid once for the house he builds. Why does a musician get paid many times? Why doesn't the man who is helping build motorways get paid for every car which drives there?

Re:Victim card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700040)

Can you infinitely replicate a house?

Re:Victim card (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700122)

No. But if you could, house builders would try to pass legislation to make sure you couldn't. If replicators were invented tomorrow, the current train of thought would make them illegal.

How to fix the bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700020)

1. Add a provision where evidence MUST be provided & stored, and made retrievable by the accused -- in a manner that cannot be forged (or is too expensive to forge.) The accused must be notified via email after evidence is collected but at least 24 hours before the site is shutdown.

2. If a non-political site is taken down without sufficient evidence, the accuser must pay the site owner no less than $10,000 per hour of downtime within 30 days of the shutdown, and interest should be at the same rate as the average VISA & Mastercard rate (excluding credit unions) charged to consumers in the country of the operator. There should be no barrier for Joe Sixpack to collect (he should have to spend thousands in legal fees to collect.)

3. If a political site is taken down without sufficient evidence, the accuser must be criminally charged with "harming freedom of speech" which should be a felony with a minimum sentence of 6 months in prison.... in addition to paying the fine stated in #2.

You get the idea...Give them a way to legitimately take down pirates, without turning USA into China or North Korea.

Re:How to fix the bill (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700134)

On number 3, what about simply charging them with perjury if they submit a false complaint?

You know, the same kind of perjury you swear under when you make a counter-notice under the dmca?

Funny fact: Testify got its name from the original penalty for perjury. If you got caught you got castrated.

Infinity minus one day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700026)

The length of copyright must be changed.

--
Anonymous

A (slightly) more sane approach to enforcement (1, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700030)

I support copyrights as originally described in the Copyright Act of 1790, of 14 years plus 14 years. With that in mind, if we were really interested in strengthening copyright provisions, below is a much more reasonable approach than SOPA.

The DMCA, despite all its faults restricting fair use, also provides a loophole for copyright violators. Remember when Google was going to buy YouTube, everyone was saying that Google was opening up itself to untold copyright liability? What the public didn't realize is that Google had read the DMCA and determined they could leave copyrighted videos up on YouTube as long as -- until -- the copyright owner complained.

To fix this loophole, the proper solution is not domain seizure, but rather civil penalties. Google/YouTube should pay a copyright clearing house for video downloads between the time of original posting and the time of DMCA takedown. Then Google/YouTube can decide whether it's more cost effective to have turks screen videos before posting or to risk the copyright fees.

Re:A (slightly) more sane approach to enforcement (3, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700112)

Youtube should only be liable if they obstruct copyright holders.

Damages are on whoever uploads the damn thing.

A happy middle ground might be to require Youtube to fork over any ad revenue they collect on the video.

Pricing is too high? (2)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700042)

It would be a lot easier to address piracy if the entertainment industry wasn't making money hand over fist.

Nobody has a problem with them making a profit... even a big profit.... but when they pay an A-list star $25 million to act in a movie and still make enough money to fund private jets and private islands... well let's just say maybe the price should come down.

Clearly technology has put a whole new aspect into capitalism with respect to entertainment... after all even with piracy Hollywood is raking in huge bucks.... but it is also cutting off a revenue stream by forcing some into piracy. But not all: some folks pirate just because they can.

Re:Pricing is too high? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700098)

Indeed - piracy seems to be the token "witch" in this witch-hunt trying to figure out why sales are decreasing (even while profits are increasing).

One might say that society in general is responding to big content with market-pressure to reduce prices and even out the market for content. Content is easier to obtain now than it ever has been. It's amazingly easy for an independent artist to produce and distribute his/her content. This is what the big content guys are missing - their business model is bursting, and they are looking to pass laws to prevent it from happening. The fact that their shitty content has been trivialized down to "eh, I'm not paying that much for that crap" irritates them to no end.

Re:Pricing is too high? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38700152)

I do not hardly consume; in their view I do not exist has nothing to do with me being a voter. I will consume nothing when I stop violating copyright. It is not piracy and allowing that label makes it appear as if you are stealing something. It is not stealing it is copying without permission plain and simple. If I can't copy I just won't buy it; I can still read and borrow from the library until they stop those.

That will happen, they already stop audio books or PDFs on CD, or ebooks and they sometimes get to charge the library more for a copy of something because its going to be loaned out; like they do for rentals. It will get worse because this is all about investors and endless growth at some point they will be starved for growth and blame libraries and campaign for a few decades then take those down, like they did with copying and all their failed attempts to limit our technology to stop copying. Hell, Japan and others had DVRs and DVD recorders ahead of the USA because of the movie industry (especially the latter.)

Obama's point is a shot across the bow. (3, Informative)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700052)

This is a warning. We have to come up with competing systems to address the problem. Simply saying "do nothing" isn't going to work. They're going to pass something. And if we offer them nothing to pass they'll just take what the RIAA gives them and run with it.

It's very important that the EFF amongst others come up with some alternative... Or we're boned.

What's Right? Repeal the DMCA and ACTA (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700168)

'So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don't limit your opinion to what's the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what's right.'

Easy -- repeal the DMCA and ACTA, don't pass SOPA, PIPA, or OPEN, roll copyright back to, say, 50 years, and give that a ten year test run while we do some serious data gathering and analysis.

Most of our copyright law over the past 15 years has been "The sky is falling" stuff. Wild overstepping of the balance between copyright holders and the interests of the public. We are spending an enormous amount of money doing a lousy job of protecting something that might not need protecting, and might not work any longer. We have very little data on the cost/benefit of all this enforcement, no research on alternatives, what data we do have shows extremely poor correlation between enforcement and increased revenue, does not consider the cost of new business models foregone, and the data that we have that claims to show the cost of infringement is based on the wildly inaccurate theory that every infringement is a foregone sale.

The right answer, if you are a copyright supporter like me, is to ease back to something that the public will be less likely to revolt against while we do some serious objective research on the problem. The right answer is to find out how we can fund the progress of science and the useful arts under this new reality. Copying does not cost any money any more. That is a fundamental change that we need to adapt to. Copyright was invented based on a premise that is no longer true. Failing to consider the new reality and research how to adapt to it is as stupid as Krushchev insisting on Communism. Nice theory, except it does not work.

We need to think about that and come up with a solution, not just fire wildly into the dark. None of the legislation over the past 15 years has made a hint of a dent in infringement. Same thing we've been saying ever since the DMCA was just a twinkle in the RIAA's eye. These laws cannot work, mathematically speaking, because reality has changed. We need to stop the wishful madness and think of how to turn free copying into a win. Seeing as how it is a massive boon to society to be able to reproduce things for free, that shouldn't be too hard. We are making this harder than it needs to be.

The Problem Isn't With SOPA (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700172)

It's with the fundamentally broken intellectual property infrastructure that supports it. Copyright was originally designed so that artists could make a living with their art, and then after a while the work would go into Public Domain and be free to all thereafter. Patents were originally designed to encourage inventors to innovate. Corporate interests have subverted the workings of both. And the USA happily does its best to spread this cancer to the rest of the world.

We need an IP law overhaul in thus country and around the world. We need to balance the rights of the artists who create the works and rights of the societies that support them as well. What we don't need to do is guarantee some parasitic corporation a free lunch for all eternity at the expense of both the artists AND everyone else. We also need to eliminate the perception (real or imagined) that since it's the parasitic corporation that makes the campaign donations, they're the ones who still end up making the laws. Such an idea is toxic to our democracy.

This is why we need a Pirate Party here in America. Who wants to start one?

So many 100's of millions of $$ (4, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700184)

wasted on paying off politicians instead of setting up a distribution channels/websites that makes all music, movies, written works available to customers world wide at digital media price.

Gimme movies at 4$ with out DRM and I'll buy 20 per month instead of downloading them for free where at the end you don't get a penny from me

"So, what's right?" (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700210)

First, do no harm.

So, what's right? (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700218)

My right is:
Don't buy their music CD's
Don't buy their movie DVD's or Blue ray
Don't buy DRM'ed media/software
Don't go to their movies
Go Indie!

Not much there (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700224)

Seems pretty buzzword-laden to me. For me the issue is how these promises are broken in administration policy elsewhere. Let's look at the bolded points:

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.

Sounds almost libertarian. Support for the First Amendment (to the point of even "guarding" against possible infractions of it) and support for "dynamic businesses". I can't help but notice their support for "dynamic businesses" vanish when it comes to taxation policy.

the term also ignores that the law in question is basically trying to create rent-seeking opportunities for businesses that couldn't survive in a free market. I wouldn't call those sorts of businesses "dynamic".

We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.

Such as creating backdoors for law enforcement and hackers who target Iranian nuclear facilities? A concern that only seems to be selectively worried about when campaign donors need some laws passed.

That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders

My take is that SOPA was not this "sound legislation" but rather a power grab by certain content providers. Nor do I see how "new legal tools" in the US provide for legal problems outside the US. The jurisdiction issue gets in the way. To give an example, China isn't going to stop blatant and widespread copying of software just because laws are passed in the US. So there's no compelling need to pass the laws in question.

We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.

The bizspeak gets rather dense here. And these goals are so easy to subjective interpret as you will.

I propose as a voluntary measure, driving out of business via boycotts any content creator or internet platform provider that runs their business at the expense of the functioning of the internet and free exchange of knowledge. I suggest as "best practices", no compromise on the Constitution and to block or disobey any law or regulation that would illegally constrain the freedoms granted by that Constitution. That fits in quite nicely with this quote above, but obviously that isn't the interpretation that the administration is looking for.

Ultimately, I see this sort of response as what to expect when the administration is doing something harmful for its base and trying to sugar-coat it.

How about the OPEN Act? (1)

guises (2423402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700236)

Many people here are saying that we need to get away from DNS as it is now, use Namecoin or some other distributed method. That's great for the long term, certainly something we should work towards, but for the moment there doesn't seem to be too much that's wrong with the OPEN Act as an alternative to SOPA. It gives no power to private organizations, it combats piracy without censorship, and the *IAAs hate it - that can only be a plus. So the White House is looking for a positive answer to the question, why not that?

bullies (1)

eudas (192703) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700238)

Simply coming back with "ok, we get the message - you don't like SOPA. But i don't hear you jackoffs coming up with any better ideas, do I?" is bully psychology. it is a sorry attempt to rephrase the conversation as "well, do you prefer A or B?"

but that's not the issue. the issue is, "does this problem need to be solved at all?"

because if we simply accept the choice between horrible implementation that infringes on our rights A and horrible implementation that infringes on our rights B, we're not actually thinking about all of the possibilities. maybe piracy, ultimately, is better for the public than either choice A or choice B.

just a thought.

Right (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38700246)

So, what's right?

Laws that serve the people. Really, you need that spelled out?

Put strict limits on lobbyism, campaign contributions and the rights of large corporations. Don't fix the symptoms of a bad system, fix the system.

Oh, and fix the tax laws. The USA once revolted with the slogan "no taxation without representation". It's high time to reverse it: No representation without taxation. If a corporation wants to dodge taxes, fine. But make it very, very illegal for tax-evaders to influence politics.

And finally, (and yes, you need all three) re-introduce the death penalty for corporations. Come up with a good way to take down a corporation so taking it down does minimal damage to society. Then do it on the appropriate crimes. Like endangering the economy - if Al Qaida had done 10% of the damage that greedy speculators have, you guys would have bombed Afghanistan and everything within a 1000 mile radius into near-earth-orbit.
 

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