SOPA / PIPA / MPAA / ACTA - MegaUpload affects YOU

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SOPA / PIPA / MPAA / ACTA - MegaUpload affects YOU
« on: June 17, 2009, 09:28:01 PM »
HADOPI Copyright Law To Get New Set Of Teeth With Additional Law

,----[ Quote ]
| The Sarkozy government will implement a law aimed at promoting legal online
| downloading in the coming months despite being prevented from cutting off the
| internet access of alleged three-time offenders, according to official
| sources. Meanwhile, the government has already begun preparing a new law that
| would restore penalties this time decided by a judge rather than by the newly
| created HADOPI commission. This would conform to a constitutional ruling on
| the HADOPI law.     

New Zealand tries to revive 3 strikes law

,----[ Quote ]
| The New Zealand government is still working hard — on behalf of the corporate
| movie and music cartels. And at taxpayer expense.
| It’s trying to find another way to implement the now thoroughly sullied Three
| Strikes plan, the fact French efforts have just been shot down in flames
| notwithstanding. 


Second chance for French net bill

,----[ Quote ]
| A controversial French bill which could disconnect people caught downloading
| music illegally three times returns to parliament on Wednesday for debate.

Hadopi : l'UMP, parti pirate !,-parti-pirate-!_a178735.html

As Sarkozy Pushes Three Strikes, He Pays Up For His Own Copyright Violations

,----[ Quote ]
| Now, you might hope that this would cause Sarkozy to rethink his stance on
| copyright infringement. Instead, it looks like his political party has simply
| agreed to pay up and make the issue go away, while still pushing for the
| three strikes law. It sounds like they paid about 30,000 euros, which is a
| lot more than the single euro that Sarkozy's party initially offered (yes,
| seriously). No word on whether or not this counts towards the number of
| strikes on Sarkozy's internet connection.

Political Hypocrisy: French President Sued for Copyright Infringement

,----[ Quote ]
| This may very well become the most ironic stories of 2009 in the copyright
| debate. The CBC is reporting that French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been
| sued by an independent band for copyright infringement.

Is Nicholas Sarkozy One Strike Towards Losing His Internet Connection?

,----[ Quote ]
| The latest is that French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, a big supporter of
| setting up a three strikes law in France, is being accused of violating
| copyright law himself.

British Government Violates Copyright

,----[ Quote ]
| As much as I utterly despise the entire premise of Intellectual Monopoly,
| this is about violating the principles of a Free License, and if it's good
| enough for the British government to violate our civil rights in the name of
| Intellectual Monopoly, then it's good enough for the Free World to protect
| its "property" (in fact Freedom) too…

UK government stole website theme

,----[ Quote ]
| NUMBER 10, the UK Prime Minister's website, is apparently built using a
| design it nicked.


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New York Times Insists on Spreading Copyright Cartel Propaganda
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 09:29:17 PM »
NY Times 'Corrects' False Article About Pirate Bay Appeal... Still Gets It

,----[ Quote ]
| On Monday, however, some of our readers noted that the NY Times had "updated"
| or "corrected" its story. However, the really amazing thing? Even after
| realizing that it got the story wrong, it still hasn't gotten the story
| right. Instead, they changed the first sentence from: "A Swedish court has
| denied the appeal of four men convicted of violating copyright law.... "
| into "A Swedish court has said that the judge who presided over the case of
| four men convicted of violating copyright law for their involvement in the
| Pirate Bay, an Internet file-sharing service, was not biased against them."     

Swedish Court Contests Bias Claim in Pirate Bay Case

,----[ Quote ]
| A Swedish court has said that the judge who presided over the case of four
| men convicted of violating copyright law for their involvement in the Pirate
| Bay, an Internet file-sharing service, was not biased against them, The
| Hollywood Reporter said. In April a court in Stockholm ruled that Frederik
| Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde, the three founders of the
| site, as well as Carl Lundstrom, who provided financing for it, had aided
| acts of copyright infringement.     


750,000 lost jobs? The dodgy digits behind the war on piracy

,----[ Quote ]
| First, the estimate of 750,000 jobs lost. (Is that supposed to be per year? A
| cumulative total over some undefined span? Those who cite the figure seldom
| say.) Customs is most often given as the source for this, and indeed, you can
| find press releases from as recently as 2002 giving that figure as a U.S.
| Customs and Border Patrol estimate. Eureka! But when we contacted CBP to
| determine how they had arrived at that imposing figure, we were informed that
| it was, in essence, a goof. The figure, Customs assured us, came from
| somewhere else, and was mistakenly described as the agency's own. This should
| come as no great surprise: CBP is an enforcement agency, whereas calculating
| the total loss of jobs from IP infringement would require some terrifyingly
| complex counterfactual modeling by trained economists. Similar claims have
| appeared in Customs releases dating back at least to 1993, but a CBP
| spokesperson assured us that the agency has never been in the business of
| developing such estimates in-house.

Harvard professor challenges RIAA anti-piracy campaign

,----[ Quote ]
| A Harvard law professor has opened a new front in the battle between the
| Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and alleged music pirates by
| challenging the constitutionality of a statute being used by the industry
| group to bring lawsuits against alleged copyright violators.


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RED ALERT! EU proposal for ACTA DESTROYS the First Amendment
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2010, 10:58:21 AM »
EU proposes ACTA require criminal sanctions for inciting, aiding and abetting infringements
,----[ Quote ]
| KEI has learned that the European Union has
| proposed language in the ACTA negotiations to
| require criminal penalties for "inciting,
| aiding and abetting" certain offenses,
| including "at least in cases of willful
| trademark counterfeiting and copyright or
| related rights piracy on a commercial scale."
In other words: If you - intentionally or unintentionally - encourage somebody to engage in piracy, you are a cyberterrorist.

Offline Sebastian

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Re: RED ALERT! EU proposal for ACTA DESTROYS the First Amendment
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 06:02:32 PM »
It's heartening to hear somebody reads the endless spoutings of the EU. I suppose it all depends on what they consider a 'commercial scale'. Something that ought to be taxed perhaps? Oh the irony.... :-X
There is hope, but not for us...


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A 15 year-old schoolboy with a taste for BitTorrent went to trial yesterday after downloading and sharing 24 Hollywood movies. The case, however, has a worrying twist. Rather than being hunted down online by an anti-piracy company, the teenager was turned over to the police by the head teacher at his school. The prosecutor says he had no choice but to take action.

In March 2011 the IT department of a Gothenburg school investigated the issue of a virus which apparently came from a student’s computer.

During a closer examination IT staff found that the student had 24 Hollywood movies stored on his hard drive. The 15-year-old boy in question had obtained them from two Swedish torrent sites – and

Ultimately the school’s head teacher learned of the IT technicians’ discovery but rather than deal with the issue in-house, she chose to drastically escalate the matter – by calling in the police. Now, five months after the alleged offenses, the boy is on trial in Sweden.

“Our policy is to always notify the police if we have suspicion of a crime,” the head teacher told “It is not our job to investigate, it’s a matter for the police.”

The investigation was led by the International Public Prosecution Office in Stockholm and the trial began in the Gothenburg District Court yesterday. Prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad, a veteran of such cases, says this trial is a record-breaker – no-one this young has ever been prosecuted for file-sharing violations.

“If I find that I can prove a crime, I have to prosecute. I do not consider the person’s age or whether file sharing has occurred on a small or large scale,” Ingblad says. “By contrast, his young age, of course, is important in terms of what punishment he will be sentenced to.”

Although Ingblad says he will press for the teenager to be sentenced as a juvenile, the punishment for copyright infringements still run from fines to two years in jail.

“Politicians and copyright monopolists alike have been promising solemnly to never send the police after the entire younger generation,” Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge told TorrentFreak. “Here, we can see for ourselves how much those promises were worth. The politicians who let this happen need to be kicked out of office.”

During the hearing the boy admitted downloading movies such as The Fighter, The Mechanic, The Social Network and Scary Movie 4, but said that he had no idea he was uploading them to others at the same time.

“It’s paradoxical,” says Inglblad. “The thousands of small users who are online to download a single movie is a prerequisite for the entire system to work.”

“To prosecute one of them is of course just scratching the surface. But if you want the legal download services to work there must be at least a small chance you will get caught if you download illegally, even if you are young,” he says.

Rick Falkvinge sees the situation somewhat differently, in that sharers should not be subjected to criminal trials but rewarded, and that hopefully attitudes in the future will change.

“If the government should interfere at all with people sharing culture, it should be in the form of medals to those who share the most,” he told us.

“It is of poor comfort for a 15-year-old in a criminal court that the laws will have changed to prove him right and dignified several years later. In the meantime, he has the full moral support of pirates all over the world, from San Francisco to Sydney,” he concludes.

Offline MonkeyPuppet

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  • aut libertas aut mors

Let that be a lesson to ya, kids... set your torrent, or other file-sharing, app to NOT make files available for others.  Criminality in file-sharing cases hinge primarily upon the intent to distribute or the act of distributing copyrighted works.

Oh, and for f**k's sake, kids, use a competent bug killer and firewall like Comodo... or stop playing with fire.

Income Tax: Shattering The Myths
w w w . original intent . o r g

The 1911 in .45 ACP... don't leave home without it!  Safety first!!


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Let that be a lesson to ya, kids... set your torrent, or other file-sharing, app to NOT make files available for others.  Criminality in file-sharing cases hinge primarily upon the intent to distribute or the act of distributing copyrighted works.

Oh, and for f**k's sake, kids, use a competent bug killer and firewall like Comodo... or stop playing with fire.

Trust no one.


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Ron Paul Comes Out Against SOPA; Saying No To The Great Firewall Of America
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 10:54:35 PM »
It appears that more and more members of the House are realizing just how bad SOPA is. Joining Reps. Issa and Bachmann, who had previously spoken out about SOPA, a group of ten House members have signed a letter opposing SOPA. The letter was organized by Rep. Anna Eshoo, the leading Democrat on telco & tech -- but whose committee was not involved in the crafting of this bill for reasons that only make sense if the purpose of the bill was to regulate the internet without input from the industry being regulated.

The letter makes the same points many of us have been raising about SOPA. It's way too broad, does not accurately attack the problem it's trying to address, and will create massive liability for the internet & technology -- one of the few sectors growing today, and which has contributed a tremendous amount to economic growth over the past decade. Basically it makes the simple point: stifling the growing tech industry, to appease a Hollywood that refuses to adapt, is no way to go about managing an economy.

Among those who signed onto the letter are Ron Paul, showing that he continues to be internet savvy and recognizes that regulating the internet is a bad, bad idea. Others who signed on include Reps. Jared Polis, Mike Doyle (the man who introduced Girl Talk to Congress), Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, Lloyd Doggett, Mike Honda, George Miller and Zoe Lofgren (who's been a vocal opponent to these attempts to stifle innovation from day one). We too often speak about politicians who aren't representing the best interests of the public, but it's great to see more and more elected officials recognize that SOPA is a gross overreach by a few big companies who don't want to adapt to a changing marketplace. Kudos to the Congressional Reps here for taking a stand and protecting jobs and innovation.


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An Explosion of Opposition to the Internet Blacklist Bill
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 11:21:02 PM »
On the eve of the House Judiciary Committee's hearing on the Stop Internet Piracy Act—where five witnesses will appear in favor of the bill to just one against—a broad group of tech companies, lawmakers, experts, professors, and rights groups have come out against the bill.

The statements, written by people from a variety of backgrounds and political persuasions, incorporate many of the same broad themes: SOPA will threaten perfectly legal websites, stifle innovation, kill jobs, and substantially disrupt the infrastructure of the Internet.  Here is a small sample of what they had to say:

A veritable Who's Who of tech giants—including Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, AOL and Mozilla—explicitly came out against both SOPA and PROTECT-IP in a letter to the ranking members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees:

    Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of web sites. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written…

A bipartisan group of ten Congress members, including Republican Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul and Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren, signed a letter expressing their opposition to the bill:

    The impact on new businesses and startups, particularly small businesses, will be…detrimental. For example, venture capitalists will be hesitant to invest in new Internet-based businesses if they fear their money will be tied up in litigation…At a time of continued economic uncertainty, this legislation will result in fewer new businesses, few new investments, and fewer new jobs.”

A group of over 100 distinguished Intellectual Property law professors updated their original letter from earlier this year about PROTECT-IP and expressed that the SOPA would not only hurt the economy, but is unconstitutional:

    SOPA is a dangerous bill. It threatens the most vibrant sector of our economy—Internet commerce. It is directly at odds with the United States’ foreign policy of Internet openness, a fact that repressive regimes will seize upon to justify their censorship of the Internet. And it violates the First Amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union wrote a detailed letter to the Judiciary Committee outlining their objections to each provision of SOPA and expressing the significant free speech concerns. They concluded:

    [T]he bill is severely flawed and will result in the takedown of large amounts of non- infringing content from the internet in contravention of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution…. SOPA enables law enforcement to target all sites that contain some infringing content – no matter how trivial – and those who “facilitate” infringing content. The potential for impact on non-infringing content is exponentially greater under SOPA than under other versions of this bill.

Dozens of groups from the international human rights community signed onto a letter to the House Judiciary Committee explaining how SOPA would destroy Internet Freedom worldwide:

    Through SOPA, the United States is attempting to dominate a shared global resource. Building a nationwide firewall and creating barriers for international website and service operators makes a powerful statement that the United States is not interested in participating in a global information infrastructure. Instead, the United States would be creating the very barriers that restrict the freeflow of information that it has vigorously challenged abroad.

The Global Network Initiative, a diverse coalition of organizations ranging from human rights groups to academics, investors, and technologists, urged Congress to re-examine the bill with an eye towards balancing infringement prevention against surveillance and censorship concerns:

    It is critically important that Congress avoid measures that could erode free expression norms in a way that would set dangerous precedent for other countries considering similar measures, and make it more difficult for companies everywhere to resist surveillance and censorship demands that infringe upon individual rights.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which comprises over 2,000 American technology companies, delivered a straightforward message about the disastrous consequences of failing to properly tailor the scope of the bill:

    Our message today is simple: Don’t kill the Internet with SOPA. We strongly oppose counterfeiting and piracy. But solutions must be smart and targeted to get the bad guys without ensnaring legitimate innovators.

Another letter, signed by many public interest groups including EFF, Public Knowledge, and New America, notes that SOPA represents a major step backwards, from the perspective of user privacy and security:

    Current enforcement mechanisms were designed to avoid the countervailing harms of conscripting intermediaries into being points of control on the Internet and deciding what is and what is not copyright-infringing expression. As drafted, SOPA radically alters digital copyright policy in ways that will be detrimental to online expression, innovation, and security.

[ulr=]Please make your voice heard alongside this diverse coalition: Oppose the Internet Blacklist Bills![/url]


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Americans, your protests aginst SOPA is gaining some international traction
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011, 10:10:22 PM »
Just so you Americans know, your protests aginst SOPA is gaining some international traction.

Yesterday, a bill called SOPA was the subject of a hearing before the US Congress. The bill is perceived as the first genuinely threatening Internet censorship system, and has been met by fierce protests.

If you thought COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act) was a serious threat, SOPA is even worse.

The legislation may in fact be passed. If it is, the Internet and free speech will never be the same again. Many of your favorite websites will be forced to go off-line. The Act contains some serious restrictions to Internet freedom, such as blocking websites and the threat of imprisonment for normal users.

Blocking websites

US authorities can order Internet service providers to block websites that they believe contain infringing links posted by users.

Risk of imprisonment

Streaming copyrighted material that would cost more than USD 2,500 to license is considered an offence and carries a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment, even if you are a completely non-commercial user who records a popular song, for example, and uploads it to Facebook for your friends.

Chaos for the Internet

Thousands of websites that are currently legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) will be subject to new and extremely serious threats with legal consequences. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that people who try to monitor security on the Internet will no longer be able to trust the data integrity of the domain name system, DNS.

The legislation requires Internet service providers to filter DNS queries for “offending websites” and make these websites inaccessible. This conflicts strongly with DNSSEC, the protocol that was introduced to prevent unauthorized changes to DNS. This has been widely criticized, and Google claims that by using methods for DNS filtering by law, US efforts to make the Internet more secure will be meaningless.

Furthermore, the regulations will give Internet service providers immunity so that they can block websites that they think conflict with current legislation without any judgment on the matter, or based on any government order. Allowing Internet service providers to block websites that are not necessarily breaching any law will probably lead to unexpected consequences.


  • Guest
Security companies that support SOPA: McAfee, Kaspersky, and Symantec.
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2011, 12:39:53 AM »
After writing a rather lengthy and somewhat firey post on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) yesterday, I realized this morning that I didn’t know Microsoft’s position on the matter. As I edit our Microsoft channel, I immediately sent off a query to the company concerning the Act.

To my surprise it took some time to hear back, and when I did get word the response was ‘no comment.’ Obviously intrigued, I dug into the issue. As it turns out, ‘no comment’ is Microsoft’s official position on SOPA. The company has made no noise at all on the issue, other than what I would wager is a rather conspicuous silence.

But Microsoft did support the pre-SOPA Protect IP Act, something that SOPA did draw on heavily for its roots. To quote the official page on the House website: “The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) builds on the Pro IP Act of 2008 and the Senate’s Protect IP Act introduced earlier this year.” So we have Microsoft supporting the intellectual ancestor of SOPA, but that’s certainly not enough to say that the company supports SOPA outright.

We can, however, show that it does. And somewhat disingenuously, if I may. You see, Microsoft is a major player in the Business Software Alliance, along with Apple and 27 other companies. And the BSA supports SOPA. This is from a recent BSA bulletin:

    The Business Software Alliance today commended House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for introducing the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261) to curb the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.

Yeah, how about that. In short, Microsoft is using a front group to throw its support behind SOPA, while publicly saying and doing nothing, thus avoiding our rancor and displeasure. Well, no, that won’t do at all.

The following list is every single member of the Business Software Alliance. Each of them is complicit in supporting SOPA unless they publicly distance themselves from the BSA on the issue. As the companies are, presumably, dues paying members of the BSA, they are financially supporting the enaction of SOPA.

    * Adobe
    * Apple
    * Autodesk
    * AVEVA
    * AVG
    * Bentley Systems
    * CA
    * Cadence Design Systems
    * CNC Software – Mastercam
    * Compuware
    * Corel
    * Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation
    * Dell
    * Intel
    * Intuit
    * Kaspersky
    * McAfee
    * Microsoft
    * Minitab
    * Progress Software
    * PTC
    * Quark
    * Quest
    * Rosetta Stone
    * Siemens PLM Software, Inc.
    * Sybase
    * Symantec
    * TechSmith
    * The MathWorks

To learn more about SOPA, and why you should be afraid of it, head here.


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Senator Al Franken Is A Co-Sponsor Of The Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 05:31:49 PM »
(click View Co-Sponsors under Senator Patrick Leahy's picture to see the list.)

There's been much written about Protect IP/SOPA but if you need a quick primer on what it's all about and why it's so potentially dangerous, here's an excellent short video:
I fully expected see my Senator, Dianne Feinstein on the list of S.968 co-sponsors but Al Franken? The same Al Franken who's a champion defender of net neutrality?

I thought there must be a mistake so I called Senator Franken's D.C. office and asked how this could possibly be. The staffer who answered told me (paraphrasing) that "The Senator is against online piracy and believes piracy hurts American jobs". I pointed out that this is an extremely flawed bill that can lead to the kind of internet censorship found in countries like China and Iran. I expressed my extreme disappointment in the Senator's position.

Maybe you'd like to do that as well:

Senator Al Franken
DC Office
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5641

Here's a form from Demand Progress that you can use to automatically mail a letter to your Congresspeople.

Offline Constitutionary

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Re: Senator Al Franken Is A Co-Sponsor Of The Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2011, 05:43:13 PM »
It'll die in sub-committee !!!!!!!!!    8)


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Dianne Feinstein is cosponsoring S.968, the senate version of SOPA which will censor the Internet

Offline Geolibertarian

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Dianne Feinstein is cosponsoring S.968, the senate version of SOPA which will censor the Internet

Yet how many of the so-called "liberals" in California who claim they're "opposed" to Internet censorship will reward this filthy rich old hag by voting to reelect her?

If their track record is any indication, the vast majority of them will.

Then, when they end up getting the very police state policies they insisted on voting for, they'll actually have the nerve to complain! ::) (An Open Letter to Democratic and Republican Voters)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison


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Ignores All Criticisim Of SOPA/PIPA, Claims Any Complaints Are Trying To Justify Stealing

Hilary Rosen, of course, spent many years as the CEO of the RIAA. And while she hasn't been in that job since 2003, she presided over the Napster lawsuit and the beginnings of the Grokster lawsuit. I believe she left just before the RIAA started suing individuals for file sharing. She also appeared to have second thoughts about the strategy she led while in charge of the RIAA. However, this comment suggests otherwise.

Thinking analog has been the major problem that the RIAA (and MPAA, among others) have had for a long, long time. Rosen's big mistake when she was in charge of the RIAA was that she kept thinking analog. Isn't it time, perhaps, that she started thinking digitally?

But, even more to the point, it's getting ridiculous how many people defending SOPA/PIPA are doing so using this logic. They brush off all of the specific concerns, the highlights of problematic language, and they conclude "why are you justifying theft?" Of course, that's ridiculous. Beyond the fact that "theft" and "infringement" are very different (don't get me started), nothing in anyone's complaints about SOPA or PIPA have anything to do with "justifying" infringement. In fact, in the post that was being discussed, we clearly noted that infringement is a problem. We just disagree that PIPA and SOPA are reasonably, or even effective, solutions.

It's really quite ridiculous to lay out in such great detail all of the problems of the bill, only to have someone -- and someone who is partially responsible for the mess the record labels are in today -- brush off the entire thing by falsely stating that we're "justifying stealing." Unfortunately, this kind of "debate" is all too common. It seems that almost no one is interested in actually discussing the problems of the bill. They just insist that if you highlight problems in the bill you're trying to justify something.


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Support For Censoring The Internet Begins To Crack
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2011, 12:26:07 PM »
Writers Guild Realizing That SOPA Goes Too Far; Union Support For Censoring The Internet Begins To Crack
Supporters of SOPA have been trying really, really hard to pretend that this bill is a "jobs bill." They keep touting the "union support." They try to downplay that the bill is really designed mainly to protect the big Hollywood studios from having to innovate (while their execs take home record salaries and the industry itself brings in record box office revenues). But it appears that the unions -- even those representing content creators -- are realizing that supporting legislation that props up the giant gatekeepers isn't in their best interests either. The Writers Guild of America West recently made the rounds on Capitol Hill to talk about a number of issues. On the list? How SOPA will do more harm than good:

    On the House side, Keyser and Barrios met with Reps. Henry Waxman, Howard Berman, and Janice Hahn. They thanked Waxman for his strong support of Guild issues and discussed concerns with the recently introduced Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Because Berman is a co-sponsor of SOPA, the pair discussed their concerns with the bill’s implications for competition and an open Internet. Although the WGAW strongly supports combating piracy, the competition, First Amendment, and due process concerns the bill creates must be addressed.

It seems that the folks who represent content creators are recognizing that SOPA goes against their own best interests as well. By setting up a system that props up the gatekeepers, rather than encouraging new tools and services that help content creators directly, laws like SOPA don't actually help the creative community at all. It's nice to see that WGAW recognizes this, and don't be surprised if other groups of content creators start realizing the same thing pretty quickly.


  • Guest
So how much does it cost to buy off America's Internet freedom?
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2011, 11:55:08 PM »
Summary: I’m not saying we’re being sold out for mere chump change. But I am saying that each time we look at this bill, we find something else that just ain’t right.

I want you to remember these names: Lamar Smith, Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Marsha Blackburn, Mary Bono Mack, John Carter, Steven Chabot, John Conyers, Jim Cooper, Elton Gallegly, Robert Goodlatte, Tim Holden, Peter King, John Larson, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Lee Terry, Melvin Watt, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, John Barrow, Steve Scalise, Ben Luján, Judy Chu, William Owens, Karen Bass, Ted Deutch, Ben Quayle, Tim Griffin, Dennis Ross, Alan Nunnelee, Thomas Marino, and Mark Amodei.

These congress-critters are the sponsors of the completely unacceptable Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as SOPA. If SOPA manages to pass (and the Internet is effectively gutted), these are the people to blame.

The sad part is that these people are representing the entertainment industry’s interest for chump change. According to a report by the Knight-Batten Award-winning nonprofit MAPLight, the 32 sponsors of the bill received just under $2 million in campaign contributions from the movie, music, and TV entertainment industries.

To put that in perspective, this weekend’s box office take for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (you can’t make this stuff up) took in $23 million in just one weekend. So, for less than a tenth of the take from Alvin and the Chipmunks, our congress-critters have let themselves be influenced by a historically and unendingly regressive group of trade organizations.

By the way, if you calculate up the contributions the tech industry has made to these same 32 “lawmakers,” you’ll find the total to be $524,977 — one fourth the amount contributed by the entertainment industry.

Despite all the cries from tech experts throughout the United States, Congress is still doing its best to pass SOPA. Is there a correlation? Are our elected representatives paying four times more attention to the entertainment industry compared to us in technology? You be the judge.

By the way, don’t forget a few other stories I recently ran about SOPA, including how the bill’s architects suddenly found themselves employed in cushy positions by the lobbying groups behind SOPA.


  • Guest
Internet giants seriously considering 'nuclear option' to stop SOPA
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2011, 02:57:29 PM »

Opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act won an important, but temporary, victory this month when the House Judiciary Committee hit the pause button on the disastrous legislation. Despite this, as Nancy Scola details, the fight is far from over and SOPA is still favored to pass.

One major tactic that might truly derail the bill would be if the biggest websites in the country were to temporarily shut down their services and instead inform visitors of the dangers of SOPA. Remarkably, it now appears as though a coalition made up of fifteen online titans is seriously considering doing exactly that:

    When the home pages of,,, and their Internet allies simultaneously turn black with anti-censorship warnings that ask users to contact politicians about a vote in the U.S. Congress the next day on SOPA, you'll know they're finally serious.

    True, it would be the political equivalent of a nuclear option--possibly drawing retributions from the the influential politicos backing SOPA and Protect IP--but one that could nevertheless be launched in 2012.

    "There have been some serious discussions about that," says Markham Erickson, who heads the NetCoalition trade association that counts Google,, eBay, and Yahoo as members. "It has never happened before."

The NetCoalition is made up of AOL, eBay, Facebook, foursquare, Google, IAC, Linkedin, Mozilla, OpenDNS, PayPal, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo! and the Zynga Game Network. If all of these websites were to act simultaneously, both national commerce and the day-to-day life of the majority of Americans would be disrupted with an anti-SOPA message.

Whether even that dramatic move would stop SOPA is impossible to know, but at the very least it would mean that SOPA and PIPA would no longer be niche issues that relatively few Americans have heard about. While nothing would be guaranteed, sunlight can sometimes be the best way to stop bad legislation.

Please, send an email to your member of Congress, asking him or her to oppose SOPA.

Offline Kilika

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Re: Internet giants seriously considering 'nuclear option' to stop SOPA
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2012, 05:12:01 AM »

ESA voices support for SOPA legislation

by Tom Curtis
January 3, 2012

The Entertainment Software Association today announced its support for the proposed "Stop Online Piracy Act," a highly contentious bill that would allow the U.S. government and copyright holders to seek court orders against any website that hosts copyright-infringing material.

While companies like Nintendo, Sony, and EA reportedly revoked their initial support for SOPA, these companies are still part of the ESA trade association, meaning that as long as the ESA supports the legislation, its members technically support it by association.

The ESA's list of members includes many of the biggest industry players, including Nintendo, Sony, Electronic Arts, Konami, Capcom, and much more.

Outspoken indie developer Nathan Fouts, whose work includes Serious Sam Double D and Weapon of Choice, criticized the ESA, noting that "as long as the ESA is still listed [as a supporter], the game industry as a whole is supporting SOPA."

In its own statement, the ESA said, "As an industry of innovators and creators, we understand the importance of both technological innovation and content protection, and do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. Rogue websites -- those singularly devoted to profiting from their blatant illegal piracy -- restrict demand for legitimate video game products and services, thereby costing jobs."

"Our industry needs effective remedies to address this specific problem, and we support the House and Senate proposals to achieve this objective. We are mindful of concerns raised about a negative impact on innovation. We look forward to working with the House and Senate, and all interested parties, to find the right balance and define useful remedies to combat willful wrongdoers that do not impede lawful product and business model innovation."

In June 2011, the ESA won a landmark case for the game industry, during which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that video games are protected by the First Amendment, and are thus not to be subjected to government sales regulation.
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US Threatened To Blacklist Spain For Not Implementing Site Blocking Law
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2012, 11:41:44 PM »
In a leaked letter sent to Spain’s outgoing President, the US ambassador to the country warned that as punishment for not passing a SOPA-style file-sharing site blocking law, Spain risked being put on a United States trade blacklist . Inclusion would have left Spain open to a range of “retaliatory options” but already the US was working with the incoming government to reach its goals.

United States government interference in Spain’s intellectual property laws had long been suspected, but it was revelations from Wikileaks that finally confirmed the depth of its involvement.

More than 100 leaked cables showed that the US had helped draft new Spanish copyright legislation and had heavily influenced the decisions of both the government and opposition.

Now, another diplomatic leak has revealed how the US voiced its anger towards outgoing President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero last month upon realizing that his government was unlikely to pass the US-drafted Sinde (site blocking) Law before leaving office.

In a letter dated December 12th and sent by US Ambassador Alan D. Solomont to the Spanish Prime Minister’s office, the US expressed “deep concern” over the failure to implement the SOPA-style censorship law.

“The government has unfortunately failed to finish the job for political reasons, to the detriment of the reputation and economy of Spain,” read the letter obtained by El Pais.

Racing against the clock in the final days of the government, Solomont had one last push.

“I encourage the Government of Spain to implement the Sinde Law immediately to safeguard the reputation of Spain as an innovative country that does what it says it will, and as a country that breeds confidence,” he wrote.

But along with the pleas came the stick.

In the letter, which was also sent to Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde after whom the law is named, Solomont noted that Spain is already on the Special 301, the annual report prepared by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) detailing ‘trade barriers’ based on intellectual property issues.

Solomont’s threat was that should Spain not pass the Sinde Law (described by some as the Spanish SOPA) then the country would be degraded further and placed on the Priority Watch List. This serious step would mean that Spain was in breach of trade agreements and could be subjected to a range of “retaliatory actions”.

In the event Zapatero’s government left office without passing the law, but the incoming Partido Popular (People’s Party) were quickly pressured by the US to take the necessary action.

In another media leak it’s now been revealed that American Chamber of Commerce in Spain chief Jaime Malet wrote a cautionary letter to incoming Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. He warned of the potential flight of foreign investment from Spain and urged him to take action on the protection of intellectual property once in office.

“[The law's] lack of approval before the elections has been a blow to the country’s seriousness in this matter of such importance,” said Malet, while urging Rajoy to “to retrieve the consensus reached.”

Rajoy’s government quickly responded and fully implemented the legislation within 10 days of taking office.


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Offline MonkeyPuppet

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Re: SOPA Quickly Losing Support
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2012, 12:41:51 AM »

Video description:

Stop Online Piracy Act, also known as SOPA, would allow the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites they see as engaging in infringing activities, to be blocked by ISP providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks all without a court hearing or trial. Now in the last 24 hours we have politicians from Michelle Bachmann and Darrell Issa all the way to Nancy Pelosi, are injecting themselves into the SOPA debate. And Wired is reporting that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith a Republican from Texas expressed concern.

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Offline ekimdrachir

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Re: SOPA Quickly Losing Support
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2012, 12:49:49 AM »
I hope SOPA crawls into a hole and disappears forever.

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EA, Nintendo And Sony Electronics Never Supported Anti Piracy Bill - SOPA
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2012, 01:17:31 AM »
EA, Nintendo And Sony Electronics Never Supported A Bill The Internet Hates*
30 December 2011
, by Matt Lynley (Business Insider)
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SOPA / PIPA / MPAA - MegaUpload affects YOU
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2012, 06:11:45 PM »
Former presidential candidate Al Gore has joined conservatives at the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform in expressing reservations about controversial Hollywood-backed copyright legislation.

Gore actually went a bit further than the Republican-affiliated groups: in a now-deleted YouTube video of a speech at a CareerBuilder event, the ex-veep warned that proposals to levy an Internet death penalty against allegedly piratical Web sites "would very probably have the effect of really shutting down the vibrancy of the Internet." (See CNET's FAQ on SOPA.)

It wasn't clear whether Gore was talking about the House of Representatives bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, or the Senate bill called Protect IP, and the YouTube video was listed as "removed by the user" by noon PT today. The debate over SOPA in the House Judiciary committee is expected to resume this month; a Senate floor debate on Protect IP will begin on January 24.

CareerBuilder refused to provide details on where or when the event was, citing Gore's famously restrictive contracts associated with his paid speeches, and did not respond to a question about why the video was removed. (Gore tried to bar the press from his speech at the 2008 RSA Conference, even though the room was filled with camera- and iPhone-toting security geeks.)

"Under our speaker contracts, we're not able to comment," Jennifer Sullivan Grasz, CareerBuilder's vice president for corporate communications, told CNET today.

Unlike many issues that roil Washington officialdom, copyright isn't especially partisan: support and opposition to SOPA and Protect IP comes from both major political parties. SOPA's author is Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favorite House Republican; the politician behind Protect IP is Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

Gore didn't exactly say he opposed the legislation, but did say that "anything that would serve to threaten the vibrancy and freedom of the Internet in the future, I'm against."

SOPA, of course, represents the latest effort from the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and their allies to counter what they view as rampant piracy on the Internet, especially offshore sites such as It would allow the Justice Department to obtain an order to be served on search engines, Internet service providers, and other companies, forcing them to make a suspected piratical Web site effectively vanish. It's opposed (PDF) by many Internet companies, users, and civil liberties groups.

In other SOPA and Protect IP news:

    The Online News Association announced yesterday that it opposes SOPA and Protect IP: "We encourage our members to contact their representatives in Congress and ask that they, too, oppose these bills." This follows last month's similar announcement from the American Society of News Editors.

    Even though GoDaddy has, as CNET reported last week, switched from supporting to opposing SOPA, some customers are still leaving. TwitchTV said yesterday that "we've officially moved all our domains off GoDaddy."
    An analysis from Media Matters, a left-leaning advocacy group, says that the legislation has "received virtually no coverage from major American television news outlets during their evening newscasts and opinion programming."
    Mitch Glazier, senior executive vice president at the RIAA, wrote a critique of the OPEN Act that opponents are positioning as an alternative to SOPA. Glazier said that a patent case involving Apple and Kodak using a process envisioned by the OPEN Act took 33 months to decide (on the other hand, that was a contested patent case, not an uncontested copyright case, which would be far speedier).

    The Cato Institute's Julian Sanchez took a look at Hollywood's claims about the economic benefits of SOPA, and concludes they're wildly exaggerated.

    MPAA chairman Chris Dodd told Bloomberg TV that at least now "no one is arguing about whether we ought to deal with these rogue criminal foreign sites that steal American jobs and products," which, he said, is an improvement. He called charges leveled by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that the legislation is un-American "insulting."
    Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment attorney affiliated with Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society, noted that SOPA and Protect IP target U.S.-based Web sites as well. Supporters "say that the bills only affect foreign infringing sites like The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload," he wrote. "Unfortunately, they're wrong."


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White House says NO to SOPA, PIPA - So it "says"
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2012, 05:41:52 PM »

Saturday marked a major victory for opponents of proposed anti-piracy legislation Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), which would target foreign-based websites violating U.S. copyrights.

House of Representatives bill SOPA and its Senate counterpart PIPA are designed to punish websites that make available, for example, free movies and music without the permission of the U.S. rights holders. Opponents of the bills, however, worry that the proposed laws would grant the Department of Justice too much regulatory power. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has called the measures "draconian." Other Internet giants who oppose the bill include Facebook, eBay, Mozilla, Twitter, and Huffington Post parent company AOL.

The White House on Saturday officially responded to two online petitions, "Stop the E-PARASITE Act" and "Veto the SOPA bill and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information," urging the President to reject SOPA and PIPA.

The statement was drawn up by Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff. They made clear that the White House will not support legislation that disrupts the open standards of the Internet.

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet," the statement read in part.

The White House statement went on to say, however, that the Obama Administration believes "online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy" and that 2012 should see the passage of narrower legislation that targets the source of foreign copyright infringement.

The letter also highlighted the following four 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. [...] We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. [...] 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 [...] 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.

This is not the end of the debate, the White House statement emphasized. "Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation," the letter also read.

Following the release of the White House's statement, SOPA sponsor and House Judiciary Chairman (R-Texas) Lamar Smith issued a statement of his own.

“I welcome today’s announcement that the White House will support legislation to combat online piracy that protects free speech, the Internet and America’s intellectual property," Smith said, according to The Hill. "That’s precisely what the Stop Online Piracy Act does."

On Friday, CNET reported that Smith said he will remove from the bill one of the most hotly contested provisions, Domain Name System requirements. Previously, SOPA had called for DNS blocking of infringing websites.

On Thursday, PIPA author Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) said that "more study" was needed to asses the bill's DNS-blocking provision.

The White House's statement condemned DNS blocking in regulatory efforts and said that it "pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk."

A House Oversight Committee hearing on SOPA's DNS-blocking provision had previously been scheduled for January 18. However, according to Tech Dirt, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-California) said that the hearing will be postponed for the time being and that the focus now should be placed on the Senate's PIPA bill, which Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has committed to moving forward in the next two weeks.

UPDATE: The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have each released a response to the White House's position on SOPA and PIPA.

Michael O’Leary, Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and External Affairs for the MPAA said the following in a statement emailed to the HuffPost:

    While we agree with the White House that protection against online piracy is vital, that protection must be meaningful to protect the people who have been and will continue to be victimized if legislation is not enacted. Meaningful legislation must include measured and reasonable remedies that include ad brokers, payment processors and search engines. They must be part of a solution that stops theft and protects American consumers. [...] On behalf of the 2.2 million Americans whose jobs depend on the film and television industries, we look forward to the Administration playing a constructive role in this process and working with us to pass legislation that will offer real protection for American jobs.

In the same email, Mitch Glazier, Senior Executive Vice President of the RIAA, said, "[L]egislation is of no benefit, nor will we support it, if it allows the leading Internet companies to direct law abiding consumers to unlawful and dangerous sites."

David Hirschmann, President and CEO of the Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, reiterated the Chamber's strong support for both SOPA and PIPA. "The Administration's main concern, centered on DNS issues, has already been addressed by both Senator Leahy and Representative Smith. We also applaud Senator Reid, Senator Leahy, and Representative Smith for their commitment to move forward with pending legislation through an open and bipartisan process," Hirschmann said.


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SOPA Is Baaaack!
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2012, 01:02:24 AM »
hat didn’t take long.

A few days ago the news broke that the pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was put on hold until consensus was reached.

Although the announcement was rather vague, some news sites and blogs declared SOPA dead, or “shelved,” or erased from history.

Wishful thinking, because today SOPA is back in full force.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith just announced that the SOPA markup is expected to continue next month.

“To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America’s intellectual property, we will continue to bring together industry representatives and Members to find ways to combat online piracy,” Chairman Smith said.

“Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February.

“I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property.”


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Barbara Boxer Co-Sponsored PIPA and received 571k
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2012, 01:53:05 AM »
Barbara Boxer Co-Sponsored PIPA and recieved $571,000 from the entertainment industry in 2010.
Phone    202-224-3553
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Offline egypt

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Re: Barbara Boxer Co-Sponsored PIPA and received 571k
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2012, 02:08:50 AM »
According to Barbara Boxer "Your Voice Counts"

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Senator Boxer testified at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee hearing on the need to strengthen child abuse laws in the United States.

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Offline Femacamper

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Re: Barbara Boxer Co-Sponsored PIPA and received 571k
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2012, 08:13:42 AM »
They're gonna try and tag this on to some anti-pornography bill now. Talk about hypocrites: they run the prostitution rings!


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Re: Barbara Boxer Co-Sponsored PIPA and received 571k
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2012, 10:05:56 AM »
They're gonna try and tag this on to some anti-pornography bill now. Talk about hypocrites: they run the prostitution rings!

Oh and they'll get that passed for sure - after it's for the safety of the children. I'm not for porn but we all know they will abuse or change the laws.


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In wake of SOPA blackouts, Senators Franken and Klobuchar still endorsing PIPA
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2012, 11:34:47 PM »
In wake of SOPA blackouts, Senators Franken and Klobuchar still endorsing PIPA

Yesterday’s ‘SOPA blackout’ was cause enough to close the curtains on major websites like Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing for extended periods of time — up to 24 hours in some cases. Google, craigslist, Mozilla and many others leveraged their reach to inform the masses of congress’ radical plans to legislate, control and censor the global Internet in name of piracy.

But the heightened awareness – or lack thereof – failed to reach Minnesota’s own Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar who are co-sponsoring SOPA’s sister bill, PIPA. Though SOPA has been halted in the House (for now), PIPA is still alive and has the ability to inflict a crippling blow to Minnesota’s startup community if passed on January 24th.

Over 50 prominent tech investors have declared that “PIPA will ultimately put American innovators and investors at a clear disadvantage in the global economy,” while innumerable entrepreneurs from around the world have spoken up in regards to what they see as a threat.

Following Wednesday’s protests, key senators who once supported PIPA have backtracked, including those from Missouri, Florida, Utah, Arkansas and Maryland.  An increasing number from both the House and the Senate are now openly vocal against PIPA and SOPA.  Much of this opposition is coming from states with a less vibrant entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem than Minnesota’s; in other words, they even have less to lose in the event that PIPA or SOPA become codified into law.

Amongst those political opponents is Minnesota’s own Rep. Keith Ellison who outwardly participated in yesterday’s blackout to show his solidarity in the fight to block SOPA and PIPA from advancing.

“The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act would devastate free speech, Internet innovation, and job creation,” said Rep. Ellison.

In a statement to TECHdotMN, Franken spokesperson Ed Shelleby said, “Sen. Franken has heard the concerns that many Minnesotans have voiced over the past few days about the PROTECT IP Act, and he believes we need to reach a compromise that will both keep the Internet free and open and protect American jobs.”

Yet Franken still remains a co-sponsor of the legislation in current form.

Klobuchar, on the other hand, has not returned numerous requests for information over the past few days, and remains supportive until otherwise indicated.

Minnesota’s two politically engaged tech organizations — the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) and MOJO Minnesota (a co-op created to “fuel entrepreneurship and innovation in MN”) have not commented specifically on Franken & Klobuchar’s cosponsoring of PIPA, but did generally note:

“MOJO is against this legislation.  While we support intellectual property rights, SOPA/PIPA would impinge on basic functions of the internet and websites.   That some people misuse content does not justify the harsh penalties these proposed laws would impose.  There are adequate means under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to alert a website owner of infringing content.  So we hope the proposed laws are not enacted,” said Ernest Grumbles on behalf of MOJO.

“Although I know a few of our members have articulated specific positions on SOPA and PIPA, it’s not something we have weighed in on as MHTA. Our involvement in federal affairs is usually coordinated through TechAmerica, the leading technology trade association.  MHTA happens to be the local office for TechAmerica…here are some links to their recent comments on the legislation,” said Communications Director Andrew Wittenborg.

Senator Al Franken: MN office: (651) 221-1016; DC office: (202) 224-5641; email

Senator Amy Klobuchar: MN office: 1-888-224-9043; DC office: 202-224-3244; email


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I'm sure Franken wouldn't be supportive of Hollywoods $94 million dollar support effort. Sellout ... Everyone needs to send him a pizza to let him know it's his lest meal from the taxpayers...

Offline Trainwreck

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Red Alert

The internet is being hit hard. This time it's disguised as an anti child pornography bill.


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Ever heard of ACTA? If not, start worrying
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2012, 11:18:12 AM »
ACTA is one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an agreement secretly negotiated by a small "club" of like-minded countries (39 countries, including the 27 of the European Union, the United States, Japan, etc). Negotiated instead of being democratically debated, ACTA bypasses parliaments and international organizations to dictate a repressive logic dictated by the entertainment industries.

ACTA would impose new criminal sanctions forcing Internet actors to monitor and censor online communications. It is thus a major threat to freedom of expression online and creates legal uncertainty for Internet companies. In the name of trademarks and patents, it would also hamper access to generic medicines in poor countries.


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SOPA, PIPA Stalled: Meet the OPEN Act
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2012, 10:43:51 PM »
SOPA and PIPA may have been put on hold -- thanks to possibly the most contentious uproar seen on Capitol Hill and in the tech world ever -- but other legislation was introduced this week to combat online piracy.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) introduced H.R. 3782, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, the same day as an Internet protest when a number of high-profile websites such as Wikipedia went dark. Issa says the new bill delivers stronger intellectual property rights for American artists and innovators while protecting the openness of the Internet. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has introduced the OPEN Act in the U.S. Senate.

OPEN would give oversight to the International Trade Commission (ITC) instead of the Justice Department, focuses on foreign-based websites, includes an appeals process, and would apply only to websites that "willfully" promote copyright violation. SOPA and PIPA, in contrast, would enable content owners to take down an entire website, even if just one page on it carried infringing content, and imposed sanctions after accusations -- not requiring a conviction.

According to Issa’s site KeepTheWebOpen, which elucidates the bill in its entirety and asks for people to comment on it, “If the ITC investigation finds that a foreign registered website is ‘primarily’ and ‘willfully’ infringing on the IP rights of a U.S. rights holder, the commission would issue a cease and desist order that would compel payment processors (like Visa and Paypal) and online advertising providers to cease doing business with the foreign site in question. This would cut off financial incentives for this illegal activity and deter these unfair imports from reaching the U.S. market.”

OPEN has received support from technology giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others, but the Motion Picture Association of America complains in a statement (PDF) that the bill goes easy on Internet piracy.

Hollywood’s staunch and powerful support of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the House, and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) in the Senate is much maligned. In fact, one influential Silicon Valley investment firm says Hollywood is dying and it plans to help kill it by funding startups that will compete with movies and TV.

“The people who run [Hollywood] are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise,” reads a post on Y Combinator’s website, which also argues that files-haring isn’t going to be what kills movies and TV, better ways to entertain people will.

Regardless of what investment firms, technology companies, Hollywood or Washington think, piracy isn’t going to go away and the future of an open Internet is still not secure with SOPA and PIPA merely tabled and not entirely abandoned.

And ironically, in the midst of all the debate and tumult, the United States government on Thursday took down MegaUpload and charged its New Zealand operators with piracy. The action “demonstrates why we don’t need SOPA in the first place, points out PCWorld’s Tony Bradley.

In retaliation for the government’s action, the hacker group Anonymous is claiming responsibility for attacks that have felled websites run by Universal Music, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Recording Industry Association of America.

Clearly, this quarrelsome issue will not be cleared up any time soon, but OPEN might be a good alternative to bring people closer to being on the same page.


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75 law professors signed this letter to Obama to halt ACTA.
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2012, 10:58:21 PM »
A month after the US signed the ACTA treaty, over 75 law professors signed this letter to President Obama calling for a halt to ACTA.

October 28, 2010


President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Obama,


As academics dedicated to promoting robust public debate on the laws and public policies affecting the Internet, intellectual property, global innovation policy and the worldwide trade in knowledge goods and services, we write to express our grave concern that your Administration is negotiating a far-reaching international intellectual property agreement behind a shroud of secrecy, with little opportunity for public input, and with active participation by special interests who stand to gain from restrictive new international rules that may harm the public interest.


Your Administration promised to change the way Washington works.  You promised to bring increased truthfulness and transparency to our public policy and law, including the Freedom of Information Act.  You promised that wherever possible, important policy decisions would be made in public view, and not as the result of secret special interest deals hidden from the American people.


Your Administration’s negotiation of ACTA has been conducted in stark contrast to every one of these promises.  In the interest of brevity, we’ll focus here on the three principal ways in which your Administration’s negotiation of ACTA undercuts the credibility of your previous promises.


First, ACTA’s negotiation has been conducted behind closed doors, subject to intense but needless secrecy, with the public shut out and a small group of special interests very much involved.  The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has been involved in negotiations relating to ACTA for several years, and there have been drafts of portions of the agreement circulating among the negotiators since the start of negotiations. Despite that, the first official release of a draft text took place only in April, 2010. And following that release the USTR has not held a single public on-the-record meeting to invite comments on the text.  Worse, in every subsequent meeting of the negotiating parties, the U.S. has blocked the public release of updated text.  The U.S. often has acted alone in banning the distribution of the revised text, contrary to the strong majority view of other negotiating partners to promote public inspection and comment. Because the negotiations have operated on a consensus basis, the U.S. vote against transparency has been dispositive.


This degree of secrecy is unacceptable, unwise, and directly undercuts your oft-repeated promises of openness and transparency.  Rather than seeking meaningful public input from the outset, your Administration has allowed the bulk of the public debate to be based upon, at best, hearsay and speculation.  Yet, ACTA is a trade agreement setting out a range of new international rules governing intellectual property; as the G-8 called it, a “new international framework.”  It is not (the claims of the USTR notwithstanding) related in any way to any standard definition of “national security” or any other interest of the United States similarly pressing or sensitive.  The Administration’s determination to hide ACTA from the public creates the impression that ACTA is precisely the kind of backroom special interest deal – undertaken in this case on behalf of a narrow group of U.S. content producers, and without meaningful input from the American public – that you have so often publicly opposed.


Second, the Administration has stated that ACTA will be negotiated and implemented not as a treaty, but as a sole executive agreement. We believe that this course may be unlawful, and it is certainly unwise.


Now that a near-final version of the ACTA text has been released, it is clear that ACTA would usurp congressional authority over intellectual property policy in a number of ways. Some of ACTA’s provisions fail to explicitly incorporate current congressional policy, particularly in the areas of damages and injunctions.[1] Other sections lock in substantive law that may not be well-adapted to the present context, much less the future.[2] And in other areas, the agreement may complicate legislative efforts to solve widely recognized policy dilemmas, including in the area of orphan works, patent reform, secondary copyright liability and the creation of incentives for innovation in areas where the patent system may not be adequate.[3] The agreement is also likely to affect courts’ interpretation of U.S. law.[4]


The use of a sole executive agreement for ACTA appears unconstitutional.[5] The President may only make sole executive agreements that are within his independent constitutional authority.[6] The President has no independent constitutional authority over intellectual property or communications policy, the core subjects of ACTA. To the contrary, the Constitution gives primary authority over these matters to Congress, which is charged with making laws that regulate foreign commerce and intellectual property.[7] ACTA should not be pursued further without congressional oversight and a meaningful opportunity for public debate.


The USTR has insisted that ACTA’s provisions are merely procedural and only about enforcing existing rights. These assertions are simply false. Nearly 100 international intellectual property experts from six continents gathered in Washington, DC in June, 2010 to analyze the potential public interest impacts of the officially released text. Those experts – joined by over 650 other experts and organizations – found that “the terms of the publicly released draft of ACTA threaten numerous public interests, including every concern specifically disclaimed by negotiators.” The expert statement notes that:


·         Negotiators claim ACTA will not interfere with citizens’ fundamental rights and liberties; it will.[8]

·         They claim ACTA is consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); it is not.[9]

·         They claim ACTA will not increase border searches or interfere with cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines; it will.[10]

·         And they claim that ACTA does not require “graduated response” disconnections of people from the internet; however, the agreement encourages such policies.[11]


Academics and other neutral intellectual property experts have not had time to sufficiently analyze the current text and are unlikely to do so as long as there is no open public forum to submit such analysis in a meaningful process. Rather than create such a forum, the USTR has released text accompanied by the announcement that the negotiations are finished and the time for public comment, which was never granted in the first instance, is over. This is not meaningful, real-time transparency, and it is certainly not the kind of accountability that we were expecting from your Administration.  We know enough to know that ACTA’s provisions are of significant interest to the general public, because they touch upon a wide range of public interests and are likely to alter the substantive law governing U.S. citizens.  It is clear that before ACTA negotiations proceed further, Congress must be involved.


Third, and finally, we are concerned that the purpose that animates ACTA is being deliberately misrepresented to the American people.  The treaty is named the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”.  But it has little to do with counterfeiting or controlling the international trade in counterfeit goods. Rather, this agreement would enact much more encompassing changes in the international rules governing trade in a wide variety of knowledge goods – whether they are counterfeit or not – and would establish new intellectual property rules and norms without systematic inquiry into effects of such development on economic and technical innovation in the U.S. or abroad. These norms will affect virtually every American and should be the subject of wide public debate.


Our conclusion is simple: Any agreement of this scope and consequence must be based on a broad and meaningful consultative process, in public, on the record and with open on-going access to proposed negotiating text and must reflect a full range of public interest concerns. For the reasons detailed above, the ACTA negotiations fail to meet these standards.


While you cannot go back in time, you still have the opportunity to allow for meaningful public input, even at this late date.  Accordingly, we call on you to direct the USTR to halt its public endorsement of ACTA and subject the text to a meaningful participation process that can influence the shape of the agreement going forward. Specifically, we call on you to direct USTR to:


1.       Signal to other negotiators that the U.S. will not sign ACTA before the conclusion of a meaningful public participation process and another round of official negotiations where public participation is encouraged;

2.       Hold a meaningful open, on-the-record public hearing on the draft text, the results of which will be used to determine what proposed changes to the agreement the administration will propose;

3.       Renounce its position that the agreement is a “sole executive agreement” that can tie Congressional authority to amend intellectual property laws without congressional approval and instead pledge to seek congressional approval of the final text;

4.       Consider reforms to the USTR’s industry trade advisory committee (ITAC) process that would allow for a wide range of official advisors;

5.       Propose new language for the creation of the ACTA Committee that would require open, transparent and inclusive participation that takes into account the viewpoints of other stakeholders, including inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations, in line with the principles of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s development agenda.[12] 




Brook Baker                                                         

Northeastern University School of Law


Derek E. Bambauer
Brooklyn Law School


Mark Bartholomew

University at Buffalo Law School


Barton Beebe                                                       

New York University School of Law                 


Yochai Benkler                                                     

Harvard Law School


Heidi Bond
Seattle University 


Denis Borges Barbosa

Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro                                                     

James Boyle                                                           

Duke University School of Law                           


Annemarie Bridy                                                   

University of Idaho School of Law


Dan L. Burk

University of California, Irvine


Diane Cabell
Berkman Center, Harvard University                 


Michael A. Carrier

Rutgers Law School-Camden


Michael Carroll

American University Washington College of Law


Colleen Chien
Santa Clara University School of Law


Andrew Chin                                                       

University of North Carolina School of Law


Margaret Chon

Seattle University School of Law


Susan Crawford
Cardozo Law School


Prof. Michael Davis
CSU College of Law


Alexander S. Dent
The George Washington University   


Alex Feerst
Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society


William Fisher                                                       

Harvard Law School                                             


Sean Flynn                                                             

American University Washington College of Law


Dave Fagundes

Southwestern Law School


Jon M. Garon
Hamline University School of Law


Michael Geist

University of Ottawa School of Law


James Gibson

University of Richmond


Shubha Ghosh

University of Wisconsin School of Law


Debora J. Halbert
University of Hawai`i at Manoa


Robert A. Heverly
Albany Law School of Union University


Cynthia Ho

Loyola University of Chicago School of Law


Dan Hunter                                                           

New York University School of Law                 


Peter Jaszi                                                             

American University Washington College of Law


David R. Johnson

New York Law Schoo


Amy Kapczynski

UC Berkeley School of Law


Alex Leavitt

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Lawrence Lessig

Harvard Law School


David Levine

Elon University School of Law


Jake Linford

Florida State University College of Law


Michael J. Madison
University of Pittsburgh School of Law


Mark McKenna

Notre Dame Law School


Hiram Meléndez-Juarbe

University of Puerto Rico Law School


Gabriel J. Michael
The George Washington University


Viva R. Moffat
University of Denver College of Law


Michael R. Morris
University of Edinburgh


Tyler Ochoa

Santa Clara University School of Law


Kevin Outterson

Boston University


Dr Luigi Palombi

Australian National University


Frank Pasquale

Seton Hall School of Law


Malla Pollack
co-author, Callmann on Unfair Competition, Trademarks, and Monopolies
(formerly Univ. of Idaho)


Kenneth L. Port

William Mitchell College of Law


David G. Post
Beasley School of Law, Temple University


Srividhya Ragavan
University of Oklahoma College of Law


R. Anthony Reese

UC Irvine School of Law


Jerome H. Reichman

Duke Law School


Betsy Rosenblatt

Whittier Law School


Patrick S. Ryan

University of Colorado at Boulder


Pam Samuelson

UC Berkeley School of Law


Jason M. Schultz

UC Berkeley School of Law


Susan K. Sell

The George Washington University


Wendy Seltzer

Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy 


Jessica Silbey
Suffolk University Law School


Brenda Reddix-Smalls

North Carolina Central University School of Law


Christopher Sprigman

University of Virginia School of Law


Elizabeth Stark

Yale University


Katherine Strandburg

New York University School of Law


Talha Syed

UC Berkeley School of Law


Deborah Tussey
Oklahoma City University School of Law


Jennifer M. Urban

UC Berkeley School of Law


Jonathan Weinberg

Wayne State University


Darryl C. Wilson

Stetson University College of Law


Jane K. Winn

University of Washington School of Law


Peter K. Yu

Drake University Law School


Diane L. Zimmerman

New York University School of Law


Jonathan Zittrain

Harvard Law School