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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Speaks Out On SOPA

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the everyone's-a-critic dept.

Censorship 188

natecochrane writes "Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee called for Americans to protest SOPA and PIPA, laws he says violate human rights and are unfit for a democratic country. Sir Tim's condemnation came on the day an editorial in Australia's leading broadsheet newspapers pointed out that although the laws ostensibly applied to U.S. interests they could overreach to impact those in other countries."

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The Joke's on Them (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751642)

"an editorial in Australia's leading broadsheet newspapers pointed out that although the laws ostensibly applied to US interests they could overreach to impact those in other countries."

The laws were written specifically for that purpose. They have clauses that (supposedly) prevent them being used on US sites and site owners. What's left? The rest of the world!

That's why it disgusted me every time I saw someone overseas saying to get this junk off their news sites because it didn't apply to them.

Re:The Joke's on Them (-1, Offtopic)

AgeOfEmpires (2556080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751700)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Signed by, Several old school Slashdot users

Re:The Joke's on Them (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752102)

It doesn't apply to me. If the US block access to my site from the US, it doesn't affect me in the slightest. They could block access from the US to every site in my country as far as I'm concerned. Now, maybe it affects *someone* (I'm sure some companies would lose US import monies, but I'm equally sure the US would lose just as much in reverse), but until the EU even begin to consider similar laws that I get a say in, there's nothing I can do for you at all. I can agree with you or not. It makes no difference. Holding your service/data to ransom until you've rammed it down my throat doesn't help your cause.

So that's why *I've* complained about sites doing stupid SOPA blackouts - they've denied me access to content I want to see because of some political motive that I have no control over at all, and that I have to find ways to bypass. Sound much like SOPA itself?

Just because your country are doing something stupid doesn't mean that somehow involving me or assuming I'll just agree with you will make me feel strongly enough to take up your cause. SOPA is a stupid idea. But it's not MY stupid idea. And it won't affect me or my sites or my use of the Internet or my income in any way whatsoever.

In actual fact, the SOPA blackouts just made me find alternate sites and avenues to the content I would normally use. They actually *helped* me not be reliant on people who think their service is there to push their own political agenda instead of being a service. As soon as you "personalise" the service that much, I lose interest in it because it's more about personality and your beliefs than anything to do with the service they are providing.

Also, I don't need politics (especially foreign politics) spoon-fed to me by websites who assume I don't understand and that I'll just agree with them because they have inconvenienced me. Whether or not I do understand or even sympathise, that's one way to royally piss me off.

I equate the SOPA blackouts with the London Tube strikes - I may or may not agree with the underlying cause, but inconveniencing me and holding me to blackmail until I agree with you will make me NOT agree with you just out of principle. The DMCA was similarly fucking stupid, but nobody protested then and if you had, I'd have had the same opinion - I don't care because it doesn't affect me or my country, and I can't affect a foreign political system in any way (Fuck, I can barely affect my own!).

Sure, we have our own versions of some laws and THAT'S worth my interest but even people/sites/organisations in my own country trying to enforce their opinion on me through such actions is extremely counter-productive. I'm not stupid and, I'm afraid, I knew of ten times more important laws that got passed silently without any protest but I knew about them and they didn't get made public. Even those where people tried to make them public, the general populous had no concept of them and they were hidden in the news under celebrities being pregnant and politicians revealing details of their sex lives.

Publicity stunts to raise awareness are one thing but this is no more worth it than, say, the fact the US is still keeping prisoners in captivity without charge a decade after their arrest, in inhumane conditions and subjecting them to torture. SOPA, in comparison, is like preaching to a heart surgeon in the middle of an operation that hospital waiting rooms sometimes have chewing gum stuck to the bottom of their seats.

Don't shove your politics down my throat. And don't interrupt my productivity for the sake of "awareness" when I was aware of it before and am more concerned about a lot more important things than whether the US turns itself into a country like China. In some ways, it may do us all a favour if the US just forces itself off the net entirely by misusing these powers and making other countries build replacement, non-US, infrastructure.

Re:The Joke's on Them (5, Insightful)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752184)

Except when the blocking mechanism is to remove say slashdot.org from DNS.

Re:The Joke's on Them (4, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752700)

Mesh networking is a proven technology that has no central point of failure. This is a site full of outraged nerds.

So... get off your ass and help render the Internet obsolete. The problem isn't the politics. The problem is the infrastructure, and the solution is ready, waiting to be deployed.

Re:The Joke's on Them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752652)

So the blackouts affected your productivity? Then you might be interested in the fact that if those websites get taken down with SOPA or PIPA, it will likewise affect your productivity, therefore these laws *do* affect you, and your whole logic breaks down.

> In actual fact, the SOPA blackouts just made me find alternate sites and avenues to the content I would normally use.

Yes, I am afraid that's exactly what non-US people will have to do. So I guess the blackouts pushed you towards doing what needs to be done ;)

> They actually *helped* me not be reliant on people who think their service is there to push their own political agenda instead of being a service.

Actually, the "service" e.g. Wikipedia offers centers around a highly political cause itself, namely free access to knowledge. You like to treat "service" and "politics" as different things, but in this case, they aren't.

Re:The Joke's on Them (4, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752764)

Would you like your site to be removed from Google Search?

Google is a US-based company, you know.

Re:The Joke's on Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752866)

I really want to make a reasonable response here that address your remarkably self-centered, isolationist view of the world, but I just keep typing "you are a moron." But here goes.

  I think it's great that your site(s) have zero US based users of which a DNS block wouldn't affect in the slightest. And I'm glad that in your tiny world no one has the right to try to make a positive political change and that they should really be more aware of your feelings when they want to consider this a potential course of action in the future.

And then you mention foreign policy and the US detention/rendition policies. Wow. Very relevant here. And an award winning simile. You can shove your displease of America and all of our sites that make you 'productive' up your ass.

Re:The Joke's on Them (5, Informative)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752152)

The SOPA was written to address "US-based interests", i.e. it specifically claims to go after only US-directed foreign websites, to prevent US-based people from seeing those foreign websites.

(Defn: "US-directed" means that the site hasn't taken steps to prevent US people from seeing the website, or other nonspecified reasons. "Foreign website" means a domain name which is registered by a non-US registrar, or an IP address which comes from a non-US block).

But the US doesn't have jurisdiction over foreign domains/websites. So, in that absence, it's US-based companies who have to act:

* US-based ISPs have to take measures to prevent their customers from "accessing" those websites 5 days. It's not clear what measures must be taken, but they include at a minimum blocking DNS lookups.

* US-based search engines have to remove hyperlinks to those foreign domains/websites within 5 days

* US-based ad brokers have to cease serving ads to those foreign domains/websites within 5 days

* US-based payment companies have to cease processing payments for those foreign domains/websites with 5 days

Moreover, any US-based service which bypasses this censorship -- TOR, Mafiaafire, free and open DNS servers -- will be shut down by the courts.

Re:The Joke's on Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752278)

That's why it disgusted me every time I saw someone overseas saying to get this junk off their news sites because it didn't apply to them.

It doesn't apply to them in the same way that China's web censorship of foreign content doesn't apply to those outside China. People outside of China aren't that outraged that China is blocking them, for some reason. Why is it so different now that the US is threatening to block foreign sites? Is it because the general feeling is that it's par for the course for China? I'm not trying to troll, I'm just curious.

Re:The Joke's on Them (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38753030)

That's the part that just makes me mad. They're counting on the "it's only those dirty foreigners!" clause to keep voters from being annoyed, with the idiotic assertion that rights of foreigners are worth less.

"Sir" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751666)

"Sir" Tim Berners-Lee - if he were a REAL "sir" he'd be a musician, reality TV star or an actor - not some dipshit techie!

Let's not denigrate the meaning of a knighthood!

All somehting or another the Queen!

WHy yes, I've had a few. Why do yo ashk?

It's Still Not a "Right" Per Se... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751676)

...but SOPA is still bad.

Internet access is somewhere between telephone service, and freedom of press. It's not entirely a "human right"

Additionally access to private networks is not precisely anything that private organizations or individuals should be forced to share. nor should htey be prevented from connecting. ..in the end, answer me this, is flipping a light switch a human right? who's switch is it?

Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (5, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751678)

Father of the web? Wait 'till Al Gore hears about hears about this poser!

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (5, Informative)

johanwanderer (1078391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751702)

Father of the web? Wait 'till Al Gore hears about hears about this poser!

Web != internet

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751758)

I hear if you say his name three times into a mirror, you get a 25Mbps fiber-optic connection.

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751808)

[citation needed]

I tried it and it didn't work. I tried it more than once and it still didn't work.

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751940)

<quote><p>[citation needed]</p><p>I tried it and it didn't work. I tried it more than once and it still didn't work.</p></quote>

Ahh but that's because you didn't do it in a starbucks.... on the summer equinox...

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752090)

I better not do it then, I'd hate to lose half my bandwidth.

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752716)

pfft... you don't have a failover router, What type of geek are you?

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752078)

I tried it and turned into Michael Keaton.

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752174)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee...Sir Tim Berners-Lee...Sir Tim Berners-Lee...
Sir Tim Berners-Lee...Sir Tim Berners-Lee...Sir Tim Berners-Lee...
Where is my 50Mbps connection?

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752386)

You have it, what no one told you? You have to share it with everyone else who said it.

Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751772)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence. GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Re:Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752300)

With what othe rmammal did he mate with to father the web?

Sunshine (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751694)

I hope it does pass, I waste far too much time on the Internet.

Violates human rights? (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751716)

Let's have a little perspective, shall we?

Re:Violates human rights? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751778)

Right to a fair trial, etc. More like legal rights than human rights, but still important.

Re:Violates human rights? (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751790)

Freedom of communication, speech, association, congregation are not human rights?

Re:Violates human rights? (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751948)

you don't loose those rights if the internet or heck even telephone / paper / radio disappear today, though I have the ability to distinguish between rights and methods of exercising them

Re:Violates human rights? (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751970)

A limitation on the means of exercising a right is a limitation on the right. Saying you have the right to free speech, but not the right to exercise that right is silly.

Re:Violates human rights? (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752054)

no I am saying SOMEHOW the citizens of the united states exercised their right to free speech without the internet, the interinet is a tool, a method, not a right

quit being an alarmist

Re:Violates human rights? (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752104)

Why *shouldn't* the internet be a right? Is there some compelling reason we should restrict our civil liberties instead of expanding them to meet the reality of today's world?

Re:Violates human rights? (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752168)

So is the News Paper, or a Cell Phone! If you limit some people from using these tools, while allowing others, your limiting people's free speech! The Government doesn't own the Internet, no more than they own my Computer, so they need to get their greesy hands off!

Re:Violates human rights? (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752242)

ok your right, the basic human right to not be a child sex salve while also being mutilated or in mass genocide based on race or religion is equal to not being able to watch spoony riff a movie

apparently you people dont know the difference between human rights and rights of citizens

Re:Violates human rights? (3, Insightful)

smartr (1035324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752528)

So if we shut down television, radio, and all digital networks - we haven't violated free speech, because people can still speak. If we ban printing presses, we haven't violated free speech because people can still speak. If we ban all writing and recordings, because recorded information allows piracy, we haven't violated free speech because people can still speak. If we ban words and ideas, we haven't violated free speech, because people can still speak. If we ban speech entirely, we haven't violated free speech, because we can still use grunts and gestures. We don't need to be more advanced than dolphins, that's why we should only use grunts and gestures.

Re:Violates human rights? (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752692)

Do I have the right to THINK? I mean, what's the point in Free Speech if you can express yourself freely. If the Government Censors the Internet, we might as well be living in Iran. Isn't this why our Founders created the Bill of Rights? If the Government could have limited the Internet, they would have done it Long Ago! It's obvious they are looking for loopholes to get around this.

Re:Violates human rights? (4, Insightful)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752902)

So as long as you have one method of exercising a right, all others can be removed? Then I can deny you the use of a specific method of communication, and not have that considered a limitation of your right to free speech and/or association. What's to stop me throwing you into solitary confinement. That's not an infringement of the right to free speech, as long as you are allowed to scream your protests ... where no one will hear. Sorry, but you not only need to be free from interference in exercising your rights, but also in exercising them effectively, i.e. you have to be allowed to scream where others can hear you. In the modern age, that means the right to publish on the internet. I too am not saying internet access is a right. But I am saying that selective or discriminatory limitation of access to the internet is a violation of the right to free speech.

Re:Violates human rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752170)

Then spending money is tantamount to speech.

IF you declare it to be a sacred ritualistic sacrement, building nuclear bombs is a form of expression and therefore a protected right.

Detonating a nuclear bomb sends a message. Let's not curtail free-speech, shall we?

The right to bear arms has more to do with the right to defend one's self, than to own guns. By that logic, I deserve a B-52 stratofortress, a fleet of drones, a stealth bomber, and a nuclear submarine, all under my individual sovereign command. How else can I defend myself from the private corporations that manufacture these objects? They can possess them (at least ostensibly, in whole or in part, prior to transferring ownership to other organizations at the time of purchase), so why can't I?

Re:Violates human rights? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752212)

Your rights end where mine begin is why you can declare nukes free speech. What's more, money was deemed to be speech by the supreme court. That's why PACs can collect and spend as much as they want on campaign adds etc.

Re:Violates human rights? (3, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752096)

Freedom of the press is specified in the first amendment specifically because it was the method of exercising free speech beyond the reach of your voice. It specifically refers to the device, the printing press, and in concept all devices and methods of spreading speech. That concept of freedom of the press would equally apply to internet access as it is the modern medium of mass communication.

Re:Violates human rights? (4, Insightful)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752254)

"Tell me, Mr. Anderson... what good is a phone call... if you're unable to speak?"

No rights were violated, they just took the means to exercise them...

Re:Violates human rights? (4, Insightful)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751936)

The problem is The Internet is rapidly becoming the best way to get The Word out.

i can see in our lifetimes as different government services go online it becoming almost impossible to do anything of real value without being online somehow.

we are even now seeing places that have job applications only online and some jobs also require you to already have a phone with text messaging.

wanna be forced offline (because you have been blackballed due to being a dirty thieving pirate) in a world where business offices either 1 have 5 hour lines just to see anybody 2 are only open Mon-Wed from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm (with a semi random 45 minute Lunch) 3 some combo of both

And yet... (5, Insightful)

echo_kmem (982727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751794)

All these voices coming out against these Bills, yet the Congress and Senate still push as if they really have a shot.

Re:And yet... (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751826)

They do "have a shot". We the people get no real say in what bills get passed or not. Best we can do is vote the current person out of office, at which point they get a cushy job in the industry they represented and a new industry spokesperson takes their place.

So long as corporations are "people" (which if they are, wouldn't buying stocks be slavery?) and money is "free speech" there's not much we can do about it.

Re:And yet... (0)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751974)

Best we can do is vote the current person out of office

Naw, we can also shoot them, if you do so you may end up dead or in prison, but yea, we can also shoot them.

Re:And yet... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751986)

Wouldn't solve anything as the next one will be just as bad. The system breeds corruption, punishing the corrupt is addressing the symptom and not the cause.

Re:And yet... (2)

Karlb (87776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752134)

Indeed. It's almost impossible to fight corruption with common sense and logic, hopefully, collectively, we can seek to threaten the wallets of those who propel the state (I don't specifically mean just the USA).

I see the frist stage of the campaign against these bills as awareness, then potentially a subsequent stage being boycotts of the products which pro-sopa companies produce. Whether even this would be enough remains to be seen, combined with other strategies though it could well be.

Re:And yet... (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752202)

It's almost impossible to fight corruption with common sense and logic

OTOH, there are always Rocket Propelled Grenades or ...

Chuck Norris!

Re:And yet... (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752228)

Bad news. Chuck Norris is a christian fundamentalist & republican.

The brothers MacManus solution (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752198)

So all you would have to do is begin hunting each and every one of them down (while keeping out of the hands of every TLA in the world since the FBI CIA DOD BSA ARC and their international counterparts would all be looking very hard for you).

Bonus points if you do some sort of prayer before you "redact" one of the critters.

Re:And yet... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752724)

It wouldn't solve anything if it were a one-off occurrence. If shooting corrupt politicians happened all of the time, then politicians would at the very least try not to appear corrupt. Arresting and imprisoning them would probably work just as well.

Re:And yet... (4, Insightful)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751988)

Don't be so quick to resort to the usual (and frankly, warranted) pessimism. Yesterday may have been a pivotal moment when the power of the technical community was finally realized. Multiple senators dropped their sponsorship of PIPA. My senators' phone lines were busy all day long. While it's certainly a possibility that everything will return to business as usual, we finally saw a glimmer of the numbers of the masses overwhelming the influence of the money of the few. We have so few other avenues left, so we might as well see if this can effect real change.

Re:And yet... (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752024)

We'll know next week when it gets voted on. But even if the bill's get defeated, they will just be tweaked and resubmitted. This will be an ongoing issue that will require massive amounts of vigilance. Many bills are not even read before being voted on. If SOPA/PIPA get renamed "the blankets and apple pie for war orphans" bills we may be in trouble.

Re:And yet... (4, Interesting)

rmstar (114746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752002)

They do "have a shot". We the people get no real say in what bills get passed or not. Best we can do is vote the current person out of office, at which point they get a cushy job in the industry they represented and a new industry spokesperson takes their place.

I do not think that is correct. We the people do get a say in what bills get passed or not. Please do not underestimate it. Defeatism and apathy are the best allies of those that want to take away our freedoms.

We the people do have power. Not absolute, but we have it, and when we use it we end up having an influence. Voting is one part of exercising power, and protest (like the blackouts) another. Raising consciousness of the issues and our power is another.

Re:And yet... (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752722)

Your pessimism and apathy does LOADS to fix a percieved issue. Way to discourage people from trying to make a difference. I suppose instead of writing to congress, youd feel better writing to Google and Wikipedia to tell them that they wasted their time yesterday during the blackout.

All this, of course, ignores that Congress and the whitehouse have ALREADY backpedeled on SOPA [arstechnica.com] and that its sounding dead in the water at this point. But yea, the people can make no difference at all, keep telling yourself that.

Re:And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752740)

Best we can do is vote the current person out of office, at which point they get a cushy job in the industry they represented and a new industry spokesperson takes their place.

Unfortunately. If things go as usual a whole lot will be voted right back in because it is always the 'other' representatives voted by 'other misinformed' voters that are the problem. If anyone wants anything to change you have to look at specifically you who voted for in the last election.

Re:And yet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751856)

What do you mean? It isn't like protesting actually affects the laws that get passed.
It isn't like that people will stop voting for these "representatives".

Re:And yet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751858)

People in positions of power is incredibly quick to dismiss "the lower people" if that fits their interests. They don't have a shot, they have all of them.

Re:And yet... (3, Funny)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751908)

That's how the House and Senate currently work- they intoxicate themselves with money, so that they are sufficiently blinded to consequences. It's pretty similar to beer goggles.

Analogy:

A lobbyist and Congressman are out at a bar. The lobbyist sees a girl he wants to bang, but her ugly friend is with her. To get the good looking girl, the lobbyist buys the Congressman drinks until beer goggles are worn. After that, the lobbyist gets his way.

  • Beer = money
  • Good looking girl = SOPA (favorable to his interests / pocketbook)
  • Ugly girl = us getting fucked by our representatives

Re:And yet... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751976)

That's because they're already as good as passed. At best, the blackout thing will force them to change the name. There's an anti-"child pornography" bill coming up. If SOPA fails, or only passes without the DNS provisions, they'll just be added to the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act [govtrack.us] . Except rather than calling it "copyright infringement" they'll call it "protecting our children."

The battle's already as good as lost. About all the blackout did was piss people off. So now instead of being mad about SOPA, they're mad about not being able to access the Wikipedia for a day, and they're mad at "a bunch of nerds who are upset about laws that will stop them from stealing stuff."

Did you watch any of the news about the Wikipedia blackout? All of it put SOPA in a positive light and accused Wikipedia of being "too political."

The battle's lost. The people don't care. They're just mad at the websites that went on strike, NOT the law they went on strike over.

Re:And yet... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752424)

"have a shot"?

I hate to break this to you, but they can create any legislation they want. What you ( or I ) want is really not relevant, nor do we have any control over what they do. Even if they cross Constitutional lines in the process and the president signs it, the law still stands until the supreme court feels like hearing it, and if they strike it down.

Sure, we can try to vote them out, after the damage has been done..

Lobying money (4, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751812)

All that money spent on paying of politicians says one thing to me. We don't want to give people access to movies and music. If this wasn't the case the movie studios and music companies would have used that money to develop online distribution websites. How hard would it have been to take all the works you have copyrights to and set up a site where people can buy them and download them.

Re:Lobying money (3, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752120)

Indeed.

But that's how it goes with dinosaurs. They are way too big and have way too much invested in the way they've always done things, that when times change their first instinct isn't to adapt, but instead to send out the lawyers and lobbyists and stop it.

Rather than find new ways to profit in the new reality of media and data, they've stuck with their mindset of media as a physical thing that one person at a time owns.

Most importantly, I think there is a lack of rational viewpoints and thinking. No one is trying to come up with a solution that accomodates all needs. Both sides are full of extremists and it's getting us nowhere.

Personally I think people have the right to make money off their product. The fact that a copy of something "costs nothing" doesn't mean anything if the first copy cost several million dollars and you are "sharing" it with several thousand strangers. I also tend to disagree with this entitled "if I can't have it the way I want at a price I want, I'll steal it" attitude.

That said, I think the media industry goes way too far. They want to control what you view, how you view it, what you view it on... and they abuse the law as a standard practice. They want to inhibit all progress in how we use media because the old way is so damn profitable. They want to sell us something and include a list of unreasonable restrictions. If I buy something, I should own it and be allowed to do whatever I want with it.

Carrots (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752420)

They just want a very expensive, very desirable carrot, when each time it lands in your hands it can be snatched away. They want this carrot to be so desirable that you want to try and get it again anyway. It doesn't matter what this particular carrot represents, music, TV, whatever. Even if your favorite indie production became massively popular overnight, someone would pop up and try to exploit it. Once something becomes popular enough, someone will try and turn it into such a carrot.

It's easier to buy up the content producer's rights than try and control the content producer, and it's easier/cheaper to do that than to put time, effort, and thought into coming up with something people will want. It's just clear that this method of making money is reaching an extreme point.

If you just wanted to set up a content directory and distribution medium, where any of the content could disappear and show up on a competitor's directory and distribution medium if they didn't like the terms, then they would have to be truly competitive. If they can perpetually retain some exclusivity on popular content, then it's a much more stable profit bearing resource.

Re:Lobying money (1)

Brain-Fu (1274756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752520)

Such distribution sites DO exist for music (the iTunes store, Amazon.com, and others). You even get some choices for the format, and non-DRM-encumbered MP3 is an option.

Such sites don't exist for movies mainly because the industry controllers don't want movies to ever exist in a non-DRM-encumbered format. They don't mind streaming movies so long as the data gets deleted as it is being watched...though even then they refuse to relax their grip on the copyrights, each studio requiring special contracts with any provider rather than just subletting to whoever is willing to pay.

By maintaining control of a desired commodity, they can make more money in the long run. So we have the eternal push for copyrights that never expire and draconian enforcement measures....paid for by us...to protect them.

It is not fair, just, or even reasonable. But artificial scarcity rarely is.

Re:Lobying money (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752844)

The company that I rent DVDs from just switched its streaming service over to Silverlight from Flash 'to prevent piracy' because the movie studios required this as a condition of making their work available. This means that I can no longer use it on the machine connected to my projector (running FreeBSD, but could easily be running one of the embedded Linux distributions that various media centres use), nor can I watch it on my TouchPad. I could, however, download pretty much anything that they have available on their streaming service from various illegal sources, without DRM, and watch them online (e.g. copy them to my TouchPad to watch while on the train).

They have lowered the value of the service that they offer me, for no benefit. Want to fix the system? Pass a law that says DRM XOR Copyright. If you, or your authorised distributors, use DRM, then you don't get any protection from copyright.

only solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751862)

the only is for IT companies move out from USA. hey, you can evade taxes all around the world! not sure if the hollywood accounting is possible everywhere but i doubt it would take long for the entertainment industry to find a way to make no profit.

Again democratic != liberal democratic (4, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751884)

Increasingly, "democracies" are passing all sorts of stuff which is repugnant the tradition of liberty:

-Panopticon street cameras in England
-Patriot Act in the US
-Web censorship and the RIM affair in India

What's needed is an emphasis on "liberal democracies", democracies that promote (classical) liberal values.

Re:Again democratic != liberal democratic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752674)

Good luck with that idea in a country where the majority think "liberal" means "God-hating gun-banning mandatory-abortionist communist who will force men to marry other men".

Re:Again democratic != liberal democratic (2)

goldspider (445116) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752858)

You'll find there are plenty of self-described "liberals" in Congress who support these bills.

Meanwhile, on FOX... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751890)

Meanwhile, Fox network stations were spinning the blackout to make it sound as if SOPA protesters were "misinformed".

Unfit for a Democratic County (5, Insightful)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751900)

This is an extremely fitting description of why the bill shouldn't passed, considering that it will put us under the same umbrella as Iran, China, and Syria...at least when it comes to the DNS blocking part of the bills and internet censorship in general if SOPA/PIPA are passed

Re:Unfit for a Democratic County (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38751952)

it will put us under the same umbrella as Iran, China, and Syria Well that would be two things the USA and Syria have in common: censoring the Internet, and murdering people for crimes they commit as a child. What an exclusive club.

Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (4, Informative)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 2 years ago | (#38751942)

This just came out yesterday......

"For the past several months, Sen. Rand Paul has opposed and led the charge against both the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Yesterday, Sen. Paul issued the following statement.

"The Internet, as we know it, has had a profound impact on job creation, the global economy and prosperity. It has accelerated wealth creation and facilitated a more connected world. But the Internet's development is based on the free flow of information, innovation, and ideas, not central government control," Senator Paul said.

"Both PIPA and SOPA give the federal government unprecedented and unconstitutional power to censor the Internet. These bills enable the government to shut down websites that it deems guilty of violating copyright laws. While we support copyright protections, we are also concerned about websites being shut down without their day in court, and making innocent third parties bear the costs of solving someone else's problems."

Sen. Paul concluded, "I will not sit idly by while PIPA and SOPA eliminate the constitutionally protected rights to due process and free speech. For these reasons, I have pledged to oppose, filibuster and do everything in my power to stop government censorship of the Internet.""

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752206)

Ah, so they'll just pass it during one of the Republican debates.

At least they have a time table on when to pass it, they just need to wait until some time before Ron Paul drops out of the race or the pointless debates.

So they've safely got until Super Tuesday to quietly pass PIPA while Ron Paul is busy campaigning.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752230)

Rand Paul != Ron Paul.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (5, Funny)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752352)

That's just what people who read a lot of Ayn Ron want you to believe.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752252)

Rand != Ron. They are two different senators.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752390)

Actually one is a representative, the other is a senator.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752416)

Is he allowed to primary out Mitch McConnell? That way he would hold both Kentucky Senate seats and get two votes.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752476)

Sorry to be the cynic, but I am truly surprised that a senator knows the words due process. It has been trampled on by the US and a lot of other countries(not to exclude anyone) for more than a decade in all aspects of the law.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752734)

You should get to know the family. Ron and Rand Paul are the two most principled people in the United States government! Don't take my word for it, start with YouTube.

Re:Senator Rand Paul Promises PIPA Filibuster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752948)

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/01/venn-ron-paul
Ron Paul is not an ally worth having.

His thinking the US is a democratic country... (5, Insightful)

spagthorpe (111133) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752100)

...is his first mistake. Once you realize that the country is run by corporate overlords, it all makes perfect sense.

I expect this round of the bill will get shot down. Then someone will attach it as a rider to some BS terrorist or child pr0n bill later in the year with little media coverage.

Re:His thinking the US is a democratic country... (1)

modernzombie (1496981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752146)

+1 Sad truth

Democratic? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752208)

Who said USA is democratic country?
Last time i checked, actually in the only legal document that has the right to do it, the Constitution, it says REPUBLIC.

Of course the result would be (1)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752246)

The .com, .orgs etc will get moved out of US control.

Let them block .us all they want.

They want to "DRM" or "Steam" the Entire Internet (2, Insightful)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752288)

People who continously argued over the years that game DRM services like Steam (or SecuROM, or EA newcomer "Origin") were "harmless" anti-piracy measures or even - gasp - "just great, so easy to use!" can now rejoice. Once SOPA/PIPA, and then SOPA/PIPA 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 get passed, using the ENTIRE INTERNET will VERY MUCH become like being permantently trapped in a walled garden like Steam, or iTunes. Today's "wild" internet will then, over the years, become a distant memory, like 8 track tapes or Polaroid film. Of course 50% or so of the internet's population will then walk away from the NET entirely, because there's nothing interesting on it anymore. And content companies/dotcoms/stock markets will now PANIC that people are LEAVING the internet. But that shouldn't stop a nice bill like SOPA or PIPA and EVEN STRICTER LEGISLATION THAT WILL ALMOST SURELY FOLLOW THEM. Go on. Pass these stupid bills. See what happens to the Internet as a result.

Re:They want to "DRM" or "Steam" the Entire Intern (1, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752788)

I'm sorry but I don't think I'd group Steam in with SecuROM on the scale of things that people thought were harmless anti-piracy measures. Even Origin, which is shitty, is basically a copy of Steam with shitty customer service. SecuROM is a shitcake topped with diarrhea. Ubisoft always on is shit. Steam and Origin are actually pretty fair compromises. I get to download my games anywhere, I can share my Steam account with trusted friends for them to try out games, and all I have to do is get online once in a while to activate the games (it has offline mode if you need it).

The only bumps I've hit usually have nothing to do with Steam and have everything to do with the shit that the publisher puts there on TOP of Steam...such as *cringe* Games for Windows Live or...hey...SecuROM.

So now the celebrities are weighing in... (-1, Troll)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752634)

"Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee called for Americans to protest SOPA and PIPA

So, now that the day of the grassroots astroturf campaign has passed, the celebrities start jumping on the bandwagon. Who will be next? Sally Field? Anthony Bourdain?

Re:So now the celebrities are weighing in... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752966)

Ugh... I really hope this was meant sarcastically. Sir Tim Berners-Lee is not a "celebrity". He is the current director of the W3C. He works as a professor at MIT and he was the first to get HTTP protocol to deliver documents across servers on the internet (i.e. the "world wide web".) Educate yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee

inevitable...? (2)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752654)

This SOPA/PIPA is only a symptom of a deeper underlying problem we have in the world today. There is a massive disconnect between the people who pass the laws and the people they're supposed to represent. They have been bought many times over by the private interests who changed the laws for their selfish benefit at the expense of the people.

Sure, I am against SOPA as much as you are, but SOPA is only a symptom. SOPA isn't what will kill you: it's the underlying disease that's ravaging your world. The disease is eroding your freedoms and soon you will be too weak to fight back.

Re:inevitable...? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38753042)

It's only a disconnect insofar as Congress has discarded even the appearances of being part of a government of the people, for the people and by the people, and has basically declared itself interested only in what large corporate interests want. I think we're only a few decades away from a legislative branch about as functionally useful as China's National People's Congress, a rubber stamp for whatever the board rooms of Corporate America tell it to enact.

Aristocratic Titles (0)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38752884)

Aristocratic titles are also unfit for a democratic country, Mr. Berners-Lee.

Re:Aristocratic Titles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38753056)

Unless his title gives him an extra vote, I'd say it has no more bearing on a democratic country than, say, a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Democratic, really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752986)

People keep referring to the USA as a democratic country. Sure, you've got a president 'n' all, but with things like DMCA, FTA and now SOPA and PIPA ... when will you admit that it's nothing more than a commercial oligarchy?

Basically American politicians are idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38752996)

While the America might be good at technology, the American politicians are complete idiots and can't be trusted to make thoughtful decisions. They are throwing their weight around and endangering the Internet for everyone. With the Internet in the hands of idiots, we should use our tech skills to:

1) re-engineer the DNS system / domain name system to make it distributed and peer to peer.
2) make an international body (which can't be bullied by America) to oversea the domain names.

Or if that can't be done - we should start a new Internet completely.

TED talk about SOPA history and effects... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38753094)

I think some people need to see this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LEb_D2SD3k

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