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Thread: SOPA and PIPA

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    Bronze Party-Goer Amantine's Avatar
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    Default SOPA and PIPA

    Hey, everyone,

    I was just wondering what's this community's take on the SOPA and PIPA bills that are being discussed in the US Senate, particularly from a fanartist's perspective. After all, fanart and fanfic could be considered copyright infringement.

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    and her haircut. Nina's Avatar
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    Can somebody explain me these laws? I've heard about it and noticed some sites going black yesterday. But it's not clear to me how far these laws go. I think downloading files (videos, music, games, software) with copyright is a delicate subject because it's hard to decide where the line lays between privacy & freedom and the rights of the creators. But from what I heard SOPA & PIPA go much further, it will be the end of sites like ONTD and That Guy with the Glasses (& other internet reviewers). And sites like YouTube & Wikipedia will have to delete a lot of their database.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post
    Can somebody explain me these laws? I've heard about it and noticed some sites going black yesterday. But it's not clear to me how far these laws go. I think downloading files (videos, music, games, software) with copyright is a delicate subject because it's hard to decide where the line lays between privacy & freedom and the rights of the creators. But from what I heard SOPA & PIPA go much further, it will be the end of sites like ONTD and That Guy with the Glasses (& other internet reviewers). And sites like YouTube & Wikipedia will have to delete a lot of their database.
    The issue is that the idiots who wrote this law know practically nothing of the internet and how it works, resulting in them thinking that it would do one thing (just fight piracy), when it would do a lot more than that.

    One key clause is a part that would allow for China-like censorship and website blockage within the US, whereby the ENTIRE site's ISP would be blocked automatically if even just ONE link to an illegal or copyright-infringing site were posted--which WOULD spell the end for all fandom and social networking sites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, LJ, Youtube, etc, since obviously people post links and such all the time on such places.

    Even stuff like fanvideos or photogalleries of screencaps, maybe even fanart could be targeted. And the irony is that many of the very proponents of this bill are guilty of copyright infringement themselves, as Rachel Maddow pointed out last night on her show--Roy Blunt took a random picture of his state for his official Twitter background for instance without ANY permission from the photographer. They are completely ignorant of what they are truly dealing with...
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    i find this whole bill stupid, we should have the right to have freedom of speech, but it's like whoa what's that, it feels like we aren't aloud to even have that or say what we want to say or do what we want to do without the congress wanting to butt in, i mean what are we doing that is so bad we are just doing Fan stuff like any other person does, but if this bill passes we can say bye bye to all that, which sucks!!!! if you ask me i have a Facebook and if they get rid of that how will i be able to keep in touch with the friends that don't have my number, and i have some friends here to it would suck if this stupid bill passes cause we might not ever get to talk to one another again, i just hope this bill doesn't pass because i like going on youtube and watching other peoples videos and listening to music, and with the copyright infringement stuff the people who own it puts it up why are they whining about it, if the people who owns the stuff that is being put on the internet and wants it up then they have the right to have it on the internet, i personnel like looking up videos on youtube i love trying to find shows on there without Youtube i wouldn't have found out what Buffy was and i wouldn't have wanted to buy all the seasons of Buffy the vampire Slayer, because then i wouldn't have fell in love with the show, or have met fans that like Buffy the vampire slayer as much as i do.
    Last edited by Touchofgrey; 20-01-12 at 04:57 AM.
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    and her haircut. Nina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherrilina View Post
    The issue is that the idiots who wrote this law know practically nothing of the internet and how it works, resulting in them thinking that it would do one thing (just fight piracy), when it would do a lot more than that.

    One key clause is a part that would allow for China-like censorship and website blockage within the US, whereby the ENTIRE site's ISP would be blocked automatically if even just ONE link to an illegal or copyright-infringing site were posted--which WOULD spell the end for all fandom and social networking sites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, LJ, Youtube, etc, since obviously people post links and such all the time on such places.

    Even stuff like fanvideos or photogalleries of screencaps, maybe even fanart could be targeted. And the irony is that many of the very proponents of this bill are guilty of copyright infringement themselves, as Rachel Maddow pointed out last night on her show--Roy Blunt took a random picture of his state for his official Twitter background for instance without ANY permission from the photographer. They are completely ignorant of what they are truly dealing with...
    Oh my.... that's horrible. How are the chances at the moment? Will it pass?


    Thanks for explaining it by the way.

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    I think it's completely crazy what they are trying to make into a law here.

    Just one day, where nobody buys anything entertainment that they came in contact with via copyright infringement and the industry would see what an incredible amount of money they would loose, if this became actually reality.

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    Well, the one day action by Wikipedia and other sites (point of interest, our former host domain, www.buffyworld.com, joined in the protest -- no shooting script access for a day) appears to have been effective as about half of SOPA's Senate sponsors withdrew support.

    Basically SOPA (PIPA is bad, but is much more defensible for accomplishing a similar goal) is a pure statist power grab -- I personally feel the intellectual property issues were completely pretextual to allow the state to wield unilateral power to shut down undesirable sites, networks, and forums. After all, who's to say they might not have a confederate post copywritten material on your site just as a way to bootstrap a reason to shut it down?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post
    Oh my.... that's horrible. How are the chances at the moment? Will it pass?


    Thanks for explaining it by the way.
    As currently written it is dead in the water--Obama said he would veto it in its current form, and any form that would involve the level of censorship it entailed, while also many of the Congressmen sponsoring the bill have no changed their mind after the wave of protests and office calls, etc, thank goodness. (Pretty unprecedented response too). They say they are working on rewriting it now, although it'd be better to start from scratch with people who know the internet heavily involved if they're going to do it at all...

    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    Basically SOPA (PIPA is bad, but is much more defensible for accomplishing a similar goal) is a pure statist power grab -- I personally feel the intellectual property issues were completely pretextual to allow the state to wield unilateral power to shut down undesirable sites, networks, and forums. After all, who's to say they might not have a confederate post copywritten material on your site just as a way to bootstrap a reason to shut it down?
    Eh, I have to disagree--if it were a "statist power grab" then Obama wouldn't have said he would reject the legislation as long as it included the censorship-creating parts, etc. It comes down to the Hollywood/Big Entertainment industries special interest groups lobbying, using the "jobs are being threatened!!11" excuse....
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherrilina View Post
    As currently written it is dead in the water--Obama said he would veto it in its current form, and any form that would involve the level of censorship it entailed, while also many of the Congressmen sponsoring the bill have no changed their mind after the wave of protests and office calls, etc, thank goodness. (Pretty unprecedented response too). They say they are working on rewriting it now, although it'd be better to start from scratch with people who know the internet heavily involved if they're going to do it at all...


    Eh, I have to disagree--if it were a "statist power grab" then Obama wouldn't have said he would reject the legislation as long as it included the censorship-creating parts, etc. It comes down to the Hollywood/Big Entertainment industries special interest groups lobbying, using the "jobs are being threatened!!11" excuse....
    The mechanism is what makes it statist, not the policy. SOPA empowers the Department of Justice to name URLs as defendants and shut them down with no process whatsoever for the owners or operaters, and all they need to do it is one instance of infringement. That is a level of power that is metaphysically guaranteed to be abused.

    I don't think this President is uniquely inclined to wield such power if he had it, either. Statism of this scale is hardly partisan anyway; at one point both Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz were supporting SOPA while Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Nancy Pelosi were opposing.

    Newest story on this is that former Sen. Chris Dodd, now a major lobbyist for movie studios, is the one leaning on the President to endorse SOPA and PIPA. There are a lot of $100k a plate donor dinners by a lot of Hollywood "1%ers" at stake, is the implication. So we'll see. But, as noted, it's still losing sponsors, so hopefully it's not going anywhere.

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    Here is a good video that explains it in simple terms, I found on a friends facebook.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXhIktkK78s

    basically no more fanart, fanfic, or fan anything!

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    I'm against SOPA as well, but my reason is different from any mentioned in this thread.

    We have an opportunity here to re-examine the notion of "intellectual property" and to fundamentally improve the patent and copyright laws. SOPA's minimum-thinking thinking approach just puts new muscle behind old ideas.

    So-called "intellectual property" is not endorsed by any religion, nor is it based on any principle of abstract morality or rooted in human nature in any way. Patents and copyrights are monopolies granted by governments. As citizens, we have every right to ask whether these monopolies serve the public interest, and to abolish or re-design the whole system if we think it can be improved.

    That's just what we should do.

    The present system creates great wealth for a handful of executives and performance artists, while it impoverishes the people who actually make new ideas, including writers, composers, scientists and engineers.

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    The market theory of intellectual property protection is pretty well time and economy tested -- that the key to obtaining a robust and vital public domain of intellectual property still requires protecting the right of artists and inventors to profit from their labor (which has been up until somewhat recently an uncontested fundamental, individual human right in western philosophy) to give proper incentive to them to practice their skill.

    I find the idea that IP laws "impoverish" writers and artists for instance when it's only by the existence of IP laws that they can profit by their work at all bizarre to say the least.

    I'm in favor of sound protection of intellectual property rights, I just don't support totalitarianism. SOPA is the classic rocket launcher solution to a mosquito problem of piracy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingofCretins View Post
    The market theory of intellectual property protection is pretty well time and economy tested -- that the key to obtaining a robust and vital public domain of intellectual property still requires protecting the right of artists and inventors to profit from their labor (which has been up until somewhat recently an uncontested fundamental, individual human right in western philosophy) to give proper incentive to them to practice their skill.
    I'm sorry, but you learn a little history here. The following is from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, dated 1813:

    "It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even an hereditary right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."

    Dont' forget that Mr. Jefferson himself was both an author and an inventor. He was speaking the truth as he saw it, on the basis on his uncorrupted common sense, even against his narrow self-interest. The only reason we feel any different is that we've been brainwashed by relentless propaganda from moneyed interests. In this country, it seems organized money will beat organized people every time.

    Before I go, I must ask a few questions. Who is the wealthiest writer in the US, and how much money does he have? If you know the answer, including the number, don't you think it's bizarre?

    Or, what was the most important invention of the post-war era? Was it not the transistor? Do you know who invented it? If you do, how much money did he make from it? If you know the answer, don't you think there is something wrong with an IP regime that lets something like that happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwestern Watcher View Post
    I'm sorry, but you learn a little history here. The following is from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, dated 1813:

    "It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even an hereditary right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."

    Dont' forget that Mr. Jefferson himself was both an author and an inventor. He was speaking the truth as he saw it, on the basis on his uncorrupted common sense, even against his narrow self-interest. The only reason we feel any different is that we've been brainwashed by relentless propaganda from moneyed interests. In this country, it seems organized money will beat organized people every time.

    Before I go, I must ask a few questions. Who is the wealthiest writer in the US, and how much money does he have? If you know the answer, including the number, don't you think it's bizarre?

    Or, what was the most important invention of the post-war era? Was it not the transistor? Do you know who invented it? If you do, how much money did he make from it? If you know the answer, don't you think there is something wrong with an IP regime that lets something like that happen?
    Look, at the outset, I should make clear, I don't even take seriously the idea that Jefferson would support the preposterous notion that the entire concept of intellectual property is null and void. If there's anything you should take from that passage by Jefferson as relevant to the market theory of IP, it's that the limited time for which these rights are secured is in context "the occupation" of which Jefferson spoke, after which man relinquishes the property. In the study of law, it's not the first time I've seen that text bastardized just as badly out of sorts as his "wall of separation" letter to the Danbury Baptists has been over the years. It's also not an accident that the Constitution that Jefferson himself helped craft included -- amongst its list of limited and finite powers, expressed side by side with the importance of that to declare war -- the power of Congress "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (emphasis added).

    It's here that I should point out that where Jefferson spoke in his letter of "ideas", neither copyright nor patent law protect either. Copyright is a protection of forms of expression; patent is the right to exclude others from practicing an art you've conceived of. Both are legally temporary, with the much more powerful monopoly, patent, being the shorter duration. So Jefferson spoke true (and probably precisely) that, no, you can't keep other people from having an understanding and holding an idea once articulated. You can keep them, however, from profiting by their expression of that idea that was not of their own conception.

    I honestly don't know or care who invented X or if they profited by Y amount by it. If they sucked at selling on their rights or advocating their rights, their problem, not mine. What I do know is that the commitment of time and life to the creation of anything from a great sculpture to a couch with a reclining seat are not undertaken by people in lieu of other livelihoods for the means solely of enriching the world, no matter what people like to fantasize for themselves. One need only look at the difference in output of new art and science from societies in which the right to profit by one's labor is protected vs. where the notions of individualism and private property (and, necessarily, intellectual property) are refused. Kremlin Kola, anyone?

    It would genuinely be a waste of time to attack horrible legislation like SOPA and PIPA under the pretext of adopting some property-less and intrinsically collectivist view of copyright and patent, pretty much guaranteeing that everyone out there trying to come up with the idea that will make them their fortune throws away their soldering iron.
    Last edited by KingofCretins; 20-01-12 at 11:47 PM.

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    I was clearly misinformed because I thought the law was only to secure copyright to authors but now I see that they wanna block the entire web and that is wrong. I mean, so if the law passes, does that mean that this site, for example, ceases to exist?

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