248 Comments

Summary:

A new copyright bill proposed in the House would give governments and private corporations unprecedented powers to remove websites from the internet completely, on the flimsiest of grounds, and would also force internet service providers to play the role of copyright police or face penalties.

Many internet users in the United States have watched with horror as countries like France and Britain have proposed or instituted so-called “three strikes” laws, which cut off internet access to those accused of repeated acts of copyright infringement. Now the U.S. has its own version of this kind of law, and it is arguably much worse: the Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced in the House this week, would give governments and private corporations unprecedented powers to remove websites from the internet on the flimsiest of grounds, and would force internet service providers to play the role of copyright police.

To recap a bit of history, the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA is the House version of a previous bill proposed by the Senate, which was known as the PROTECT-IP Act (a name that was an abbreviation for “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property”). That in turn was a rewritten version of a previous proposed bill that was introduced in the Senate last year. Not wanting to be outdone by their Senate colleagues when it comes to really long acronyms, the House version is also known as the E-PARASITE Act, which is short for “Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation.”

Copyright holders win, free speech and an open Internet lose

What it really is, however, is a disaster for the internet. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes in a post on the proposed legislation, the law would not only require ISPs to remove websites from the global network at the request of the government or the courts (by blocking any requests to the central domain-name system that directs internet traffic), but would also be forced to monitor their users’ behavior in order to police acts of copyright infringement. Providers who do not comply with these requests and requirements would be subject to sanctions. And in many cases, legal hearings would not be required. As Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said of the PROTECT-IP Act:

At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet.

In effect, the new law would route around many of the protections in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including the “safe harbor” provisions (a number of law professors have said that they believe the proposed legislation would be unconstitutional because it is a restraint on freedom of speech). The idea that ISPs and internet users can avoid penalties if they remove content once they have been notified that it is infringing, for example, wouldn’t apply under the new legislation — and anyone who provides tools that allow users to access blacklisted sites would also be subject to penalties.

In addition to using what some are calling the “internet death penalty” of removing infringing websites from the DNS system so they can’t be found, the proposed bill would also allow copyright holders to push for websites and services to be removed from search engine results and to have their supply of advertising cut off — and would require that payment companies like PayPal and ad networks comply with these orders. If you liked what PayPal and others did when they shut off donations to WikiLeaks, you’re going to love the new Stop Online Piracy Act.

Creating a firewall around the internet, just like China

According to Techdirt, which has been a vocal critic of the bill and its predecessors, the new legislation would create a “Great Firewall of America,” similar to the firewall that the Chinese government uses to keep its citizens from accessing certain websites and servers that it deems to be illegal. Techdirt’s Mike Masnick notes that the new bill actually expands the range of websites that could be targeted by the bill: the previous version referred to sites that were “dedicated to infringing activities” with no other obvious purpose, but the new law would allow the government to target any site that has “only limited purpose or use” other than infringement (by the government’s definition).

The bottom line is that if it passes and becomes law, the new act would give the government and copyright holders a giant stick — if not an automatic weapon — with which to pursue websites and services they believe are infringing on their content. With little or no requirement for a court hearing, they could remove websites from the internet and shut down their ability to be found by search engines or to process payments from users. DMCA takedown notices would effectively be replaced by this nuclear option, and innocent websites would have to fight to prove that they deserved to be restored to the internet — a reversal of the traditional American judicial approach of being assumed innocent until proven guilty — at which point any business they had would be destroyed.

That might make for the kind of internet that media and entertainment conglomerates would prefer, but it would clearly be a much diminished version of the internet we take for granted. Opponents of the bill have set up a website to try and convince voters to reject the legislation and tell their congressman not to support it. Embedded below is an interview that Senator Wyden did at the recent Web 2.0 Summit about his views on the PROTECT-IP Act and why it needs to be stopped:

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr users Stefan and Kevin Dooley

  1. The only things more ridiculous than these laws are the God-awful acronyms…

    “You don’t want to support e-parasites, do you Senator? Take our word for it. Sign here.”

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  2. This just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

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    1. Ryan Portsmouth Friday, October 28, 2011

      You got off easy, my heart just cut a hole in my chest and jumped out screaming!

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    2. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

      Shayn, what in the world ever gave you the idea that it is perfectly acceptable to steal someone’s else’s work, research and time?

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      1. Charles, what in the world ever gave you the idea that this issue is as simple as that?

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      2. no one person should hide their light… as longa ss you are credited it should be shared… if I sign my name to it THAT’S a problem! Most people are concerned with censorship not getting credit for sharing information or exprssing opinion. What happened to free speech in the US of A? I thank my luck in never moving there! We are so much better off in Canada: human rights and reccession as well as open access to what really happens news wise…

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      3. Charles, you really don’t comprehend this legislation at all, do you?

        Did you even bother to read the article?

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      4. Charles: this law is a double edged knife. The one side being seen and commented on is the posting of unlawful content(aka Movie Rips, Game ROM’s, etc.). This I can see but this is not the way to do it. The side not reflected on is that towards users who want to show off their achievements in games, and even make videos from them. Let’s Plays, User Made Music Video’s, and even user made Trailers for Movies & Games are affected by this law as they contain copyrighted material. These are the people that are getting screwed over for freedom of speech as this is what they have to say. This will affect how the Internet runs beyond what they say they, but ultimately turn things into two sides. There will be to good, ordered, boring side of the web that is without creativity as ideas can not be free if the means to convey them are limited. Then the dark side, with all its illegal black market movies, music, and games will be harsh environment as when things escalate, they will start nailing the users of such content to the unfair law for trying to be free of mind.

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      5. thats not what shes saying, this act will give the govt and corporate elites power to completely control what goes thru the internet.

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      6. You’re so laughably ignorant I don’t know why people have bothered respond to you.

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      7. David WhiteDevil Alsberge Monday, October 31, 2011

        Seriously, do you want anyone else telling you what website you may or may not visit, or even to make that website invisible to you. That’s like having someone decide you’re no longer allowed to see your neighbors house. Why would ANYONE give someone else that right. That’s the same as censorship.

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      8. Charles, what is it exactly that you oppose about freedom of speech?

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      9. you must want a dictator

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      10. Charles, what in the world ever gave you the idea that copyright holders deserve a parallel justice system where the normal rules of guilt and innocence do not apply?

        This legislation is a recipe for DNS fragmentation and dark nets which are going to make the problem much worse.

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    3. I think that’s hot.

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    4. Random Disclaimer Monday, October 31, 2011

      You could throw up on me….

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  3. Since the House version is even worse than the Senate one, I guess we can assume the House is more bought/corrupt than the Senate?

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    1. Unfortunately the government understands all too well the power of the internet as well as their ultimate powerlessness to control it. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any true democracy. As we as a country continue to slip toward government control of everything we hold dear, those in control of information access essentially are in a position to ultimately control how people think and act. The death of the internet is essential to their long term plans.

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      1. Very well stated….and I agree!

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      2. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, freedom to steal others work is not.This is not a free speech issue. This bill has no provision to inhibit free speech. I HAVE read the bill carefully, you do the same and then quote me the exact references that inhibit free speech. I wait patiently………..

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      3. Agreed. So what do we do about it? I say change congress by voting agains the incumbent senator and representative in the next several election cycles.

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      4. George Orwell said it all. Meanwhile, while we were obsessing with the government becoming big brother, we didn’t even see the corporations assuming the role.

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      5. GB, don’t forget to vote out the top incumbent in 2012 – President 0bama.

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      6. vesey, this means that any site can be shut down with a specious claim of infringement, thereby censoring speech and the flow of information.

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    2. It’s more Republican… but, same thing, yeah.

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  4. Why are we so protective? Putting up walls instead of bringing people together. More proof that the government does not get internet culture. The internet is greater than any national boarder or institution. If anything we must actively try to separate the two.

    http://www.whoisdanfonseca.com

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    1. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

      Dan, how would you feel if I snuck into your home and stole your computer, your sound system and a few other things. After all, don’t I deserve to have what you worked to get? If you think that this is a bad idea try changing places with the various authors, writers, poets and artists who have had their work ripped off.

      Charles Arnold

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      1. Any artists who’s work should be valued in any way will far more likely side with free speech than profits.

        I’m so tired of hearing about the artists who are suffering because of copyright infringement. They’re suffering because of the contracts they signed with their greedy parasite major labels. Very little profits from record sales goes to the artist. They make their money by touring, selling merch, and selling use for advertising.

        Also the terms are so broad in this bill any website could be taken down.

        Do some research because your comment is stupid.

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      2. Daniel Robbins Friday, October 28, 2011

        Charles, though this was directed at a different person, I feel obliged to reply. How would I feel? Bad. How would you feel if you started a company, and then the government came in and blocked off access to the building without warning? This is essentially the power that the government will have if this bill passes. Sure, they will be able to protect the work of authors, writers, poets, and artists on the internet, but they will also be able to shut down entire websites and businesses according to their own vague criteria. This is unconstitutional because it is doing so without proper due process in a judicial court of law. These businesses will be guilty until proven innocent. These businesses will have their freedom of speech and freedom of expression taken away, which is something I am sure writers/artists would not appreciate. What if the government claimed that a writer’s hard work appeared too similar to another’s work? That writer could have his hard work instantly destroyed, if his work is only stored on his personal weblog. The list of problems goes on and on…
        -Daniel

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      3. Also remember that theft of something physical etc is criminal law, while copyright violations is civil/contract law in general (ie. breaking an agreement). Nothing in digital form has an actual tangible value as it is purely information, hence the ease by which the legal processes get blurred

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      4. Michael Yunkin Friday, October 28, 2011

        This ridiculous argument ignores Fair Use, which has slowly been eroded thanks to politicians who make laws that either a) they don’t understand; or b) they’ve been paid to act contrary to the express intention of the Constitutional basis for IP law.

        Aside from the problem of penalizing people who may or may not have even done anything (surely you’ve seen the hundreds of stories about little old ladies who’ve never even HEARD of bittorrent being targeted by file sharing lawsuits), there’s the obvious problem of outright abuse. Imagine this scenario:
        Anonymous decides that Charles Arnold is a moron. So they get his IP address and send a flurry of takedown notices to Mr. Arnold’s internet provider, who is then obliged to cut off his internet under the 3-strikes law.

        This is what you’re arguing for, genius. There’s a reason legal action requires government review and involvement.

        This has nothing to do with people stealing — anyone who wants to do that can easily just share files through a secure proxy.

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      5. Derrick Harris Friday, October 28, 2011

        I have to agree w/ Michael Yunkin (but I distance myself from any personal attacks). Unless those court orders are issued only after some sort of legal proceedings where both sides present evidence, we run the risk of shutting down sites and censoring search engines based on allegations.

        I think this is a problem with the DMCA, too. I complain, and a service provider must remove content or risk legal action. But copyright claims aren’t always cut and dry, especially with the presence of defenses such as fair use.

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      6. As an artist/writer I’d be outraged that my work was stolen.

        But that’s not the issue here. I suggest, Charles, you get acquainted with the actual subject before making a fool of yourself.

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      7. Charles, we know where you are going with this, but your argument is straight out of 1998. What we need to do is come up with a scenario that allows profitable sharing. The article is pointing out a system that will sabotage many new-age marketing efforts. While I appreciate your motives against sharing, take a look at what is going on in countries where iterations of these rules have already come into play.

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      8. Everytime someone prevents me ripping my DVD and putting it on my webserver, its like the MPAA has walked into my house, stolen my disks, and computer. This law will be grand theft of everyone in America and prevent us from coming out of recession.

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      9. I love how mr Charles Arnold here attacks anyone who may disagree with this bill on some random mindless quote about people being stolen from and never once mentions or defends the fact of what this bill will cause. People need their money protected, as if they aren’t still making more than enough to live Luxuriously, that may be true but this is not the way to do it. He is either a raving moron supporter or more likely someone who has major stakes in the hollywood industry

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      10. Charles Arnold is clearly mentally deficient, please don’t feed the troll.

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      11. Let’s assume you’re a car dealer. What if I stole a car from your lot in the middle of the night, and when you opened shop in the morning it was still there? No, I didn’t return it, I took a copy of it. You still have a car, and now I have one too.

        If everyone had what they wanted/needed, it would seem we have reached a more idealized society. The reason it doesn’t is that you didn’t make money on that car. Without copying it, I would have never bought a car from you anyway, but because I copied it from you, you assume I stole your profits.

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      12. Peter Hawkins Monday, October 31, 2011

        poets?

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      13. @Miles: That argument is a little flawed. Technically, it is lost profits, because that car dealer spent money to obtain that vehicle. You’re basically getting that car at the expense of the car dealer, which, if he/she didn’t spend money on it to begin with, then you’d have nothing to copy.

        As for the overall issue – I think we all want to see artists benefit from their works and continue to do their trades, but we don’t like the corporations that they sign up with, which lead to bills like this where little thought is put into it. It’s funny because the internet allows the artist to sell themselves without any sort of label or gallery or what not now, so why do they keep going with along with them?

        This bill is more for the retention of those companies, not the artists. You don’t need those companies to be successful now, and I think that’s what they really fear.

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      14. Charles…I really hope you’re a troll

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      15. If you snuck into my house made a copy of everything and left, I’d be fine with that. You have to look at how other governments have been abusing their similiar laws to understand what is really going on here.

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      16. Easy guys. Love all the comments but somehow I feel as though we are getting a little hostile. Yikes!

        That being said, I simply do not feel comfortable with the idea that the internet and the ISPs are rooted in ANY national government. In true technology character, the internet is moving power all over the place. The ones in power, national governments, are simply trying to hold on it even if they are doing so poorly. That is why I’d like to see more separation between the two. The question then arises, if my own thoughts make sense, who will watch over the internet? Who will have the power? The people? Just one perspective and idea here…

        A note of scientific research, it should be public by default.

        http://www.whoisdanfonseca.com

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      17. Charles, how would you feel if you were banned from accessing the internet because you downloaded a copyrighted picture?

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      18. Heather Ferreira Tuesday, November 1, 2011

        As a produced motion picture director and screenwriter, allow me assure you that if your writing examples seen here are in any way reflective of your actual skills in crafting literature, you are in no copyright infringement danger whatsoever.

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      19. Stephen Triebl Monday, November 7, 2011

        Charles, what youre talking about goes back to the napster era of internet enforcement. I can understand the theft of other peoples work. We are talking about The internet and its core meaning. The internet’s main purpose in today’s world is to bring people together and share thoughts and ideas. This bill is guided by people who probably do not use the internet like their younger generation. In a nut shell, this bill will close down fan sites expressing their interests, original user based material that inadvertently contains copyrighted material. I meana baby video was pulled off youtube because some song was playing in the background. This bill will give the government power comparable to giving the keys of a 747 to a 5 year old. They just have no idea what it is they are dealing with let alone what powers would be regrettably be given to them.

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  5. So much for free market. What’s more free market than the internet?

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  6. Shayn Baron is HOTTTTTTTT!

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  7. Rule #1: Never vote for Republicans.
    Rule #2: See rule #1.
    Look you elected all these crazies to congress, you can fire them. This is just another ridiculous bill from a virulent anti-intellectual, anti-democratic (small d), anti-constitution, anti-bill-of-rights, right wing. Don’t let them silence you. Don’t let them take away your right to vote. Vote them out now, while we still have a chance.
    Again — see rule #1

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    1. The wholesale assault against the Bill of Rights comes from the left, not the right.

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      1. Love how people are so ignorant, with how they vote. You want change well guess what? Our change is coming in the form of Socialism. Thank you Left wingers for making our Founding Fathers spin in theire graves. I myself prefer less government. Can’t imagine why anyone could support this, then try to blame the Conservative Party.

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      2. Incorrect, Lynn (and Melissa). This isn’t socialism at work, it’s fascism– work of the far right.

        And the founders leaned left themselves. They would have been right at home with Occupy Wall Street.

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      3. Texrat, you are woefully ignorant of basic political ideology, like most of the Useful Idiots of the Left. There are only two sides to politics – Government, and No Government. Authoritarianism, and Libertarianism. Left, and Right.

        The single overarching goal of the Left is to expand government, and thereby the authority it has over people. They hide it behind language like “fairness” and “equality” and “redistribution”. But there is only one way to enforce any of these ideals – through the power of government. And in order to empower government, you must expand its authority and reach. Every time the Government increases its power, the People lose more of their liberty. Go back and reread history now understanding this, and you will see exactly why Socialists (be they Soviet Socialists or National Socialists) are firmly planted on the left.

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    2. Marco Massenzio Thursday, October 27, 2011

      er… you perhaps may have not noticed, but there is a …wait for it… Democrat president – and the Senate… drumroll… yup: is controlled by Democrats.

      If anything, the left (of any shape and form – from the Soviets, to the Chinese, to the European Communist parties) have always the ones pushing harder against freedom of speech and thought – but then again, sir, expecting you to be able to read and understand history and politics, is asking too much of your intellect.

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      1. @Marco & Lynn…It doesn’t matter who’s in control of what. All politicians get up in front of the public and push their political hot buttons, then offer up vague promises to assuage their fears in order to get elected. Once their in Congress, they just collect their bribes from whatever special interest group or lobby, and enact legislation that usually makes things worse, not better. Right or Left, it doesn’t matter. Middle America gets screwed, and they retire fat dumb and happy. The only way anything changes if one party has a super majority push their fringe agenda down our throats. Real world compromise doesn’t exist, and the treat of filibuster looms over every piece of legislation. Right or Left, it doesn’t matter. So, why don’t we all stop pointing fingers at the other side, and instead demand the same type of flawlessness from our own political party that we demand from the other side.

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      2. Also incorrect Marco. In general, the Left pushes for freedom, the Right clamps down on it. Progressive vs Conservative.

        Communist leaders tend to wear leftist “clothing”, but that’s as far as it goes. In reality they corrupt leftward ideals by combining them with fascism.

        How ironic that you insult others for allegedly failing to comprehend history, while spouting nonsense propaganda crafted by neocon spinmeisters. Is intellectual honesty “asking too much of your intellect”?

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    3. The bill was sponsored by two liberal Democrats and two moderately stupid Republicans. You actually appear to be more virulent and anti-intellectual. But I also oppose all aggregations of Federal power – which has expanded exponentially with a liberal president.

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      1. Granted that Obama has continued the same sort of heavy-handedness and Federal expansion that Bush enjoyed, but saying that Federal powers have expanded *exponentially* is hyperbolic. It’s been linear– increasing too much IMO (and overdue for a significant decrease), but linear nonetheless.

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    4. See, the problem with this statement is the belief that there is essentially a defining difference between Democrat and Republican. There isn’t.

      Electing ANY public official is like gambling. They’re all for sale, and the question isn’t whether they’re corrupt and self-serving; it’s HOW corrupt and self-serving they are.

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    5. American Voter Friday, October 28, 2011

      Rule #3 make sure you know your facts before vilifying the someone/Republicans. The bill is being brought forth by both parties idiot – The new House bill is sponsored by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21], and co-sponsored by the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. John Conyers [D, MI-14], and a hearing is already scheduled for November 16. Expect this to be given priority rush treatment – as was the Senate bill (note the “D” and “R” next to their state is what party, not the “Rep” which stands for “Representative” – as in House of Representatives! Demagoguery is so transparent and preys upon uninformed folks like yourself.
      P.S. – I am not a Republican either rather an informed Independent voter.

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    6. Back @ you – “Look you elected all these crazies to congress, you can fire them.”

      This is the same lame line that’s used everytime either party introduces some dumb a$$ bill. Look, the truth is all politicians are completely worthless. They are power mongers who have no productive talents so they all coherse in making sure the rest of the country follows their rules. It’s asinine! To hell with all of ‘em.

      I wanted to be sure I said that before someone else copyrights it.

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      1. Bret Mattingly II Tuesday, November 1, 2011

        Amen.

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    7. Ok, Republicans? Really? If Democrats want bigger Government and ulimately socialism, who do you think controls how you think and how to use the Internet then?

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    8. You need to start thinking for yourself instead of letting the dumb liberals do it for you. Liberals are running this country and we’ve never been worse off, especially with unemployment at record highs. If it weren’t for the right wing not only would we all be speaking russian or german, but the slaves would have never been freed. Go ask how the Canadians like giving half their paychecks to the government, or how they like being turned down at the emergency room.

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      1. Incorrect. Liberals have been too chickenshit for years to run anything. The rank opportunists are in charge, and their agenda transcends the labels we have traditionally applied.

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      2. We Canadians like paying taxes just fine. Sure, we grumble about it, but by and large we understand that shared sacrifice helps us maintain our social democratic state. We rather enjoy having the same high standard of living found in all those other socialist hotbeds you’ve probably only heard about but never visited like, say, Scandinavia.

        Coincidentally, we also enjoy worry-free access to medical care. You might be asked to wait when you arrive, but that’s only because someone in worse shape needs more urgent care. Part of that whole “social fabric” business, you see.

        Good luck with your wars, corruption, and unbridled free market capitalism. Believe it or not there are plenty of us foreigners rooting for you folks.

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      3. I’m a Canadian, and i’ve never heard of anyone being turned away from an emergency room, and the amount of money from my paycheck that goes to the government is negligible – and much of it goes to employment insurance and the canadian pension plan. which i am happy to pay into. if we have a higher income tax rate, it’s because our health care system is free, and was recently voted by canadians as the thing they are most proud of about our country.

        point being, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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    9. Hate to generalize but 999/1000 times this kinda stuff is introduced by Republicans.

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      1. Democrat’s ideals are worse. It’s just that all of the crazies and retards decide to side with Republican ideals, where they don’t belong at all because they don’t think for themselves.

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    10. I wish it were that simple. Unfortunately, the only person who can and will stop this legislation is Ron Paul. Otherwise, both the Dems and Repubs are bought and paid for. I just swallowed my pride and registered Republican so that I could vote for Dr. Paul in my state primaries.

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    11. Your rule #1 is flawed.

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    12. That’s weird, this bill is sponsored by left-wing Democrats… if it ever makes it to 0bama’s desk, I wonder if he’ll sign it… Hmmmm. 0bama will run off to Hollywood for another fundraiser to figure out which way to go…

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      1. James, you are woefully ignorant of politics.
        Left and Right define economic policies (Socialist= Left, Capitalist= Right), but there is another element- Authoritarian v Libertarian. (Stalin represented Left/Authoritarian, Hitler Right/Authoritarian). This is something the knee-jerk Right still doesn’t get: just because it’s anti- Liberal doesn’t mean it’s pro-democracy Libertarian.

        I do understand this is just too complex for the one-dimensional thinking of the Tea Party “Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare” mindset.

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  8. EPARSITE; ‘against’ is a preposition.

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  9. YES SHE IS…

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  10. Good luck enforcing this!

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    1. The government doesn’t need “luck” – they have power.

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    2. Who is up for setting up and internet petition? We will see how many people feel that the government is speaking on their behalf in this case. I do not see this in the same spirit the constitution was written, Do you?

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      1. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

        Then, Joe, you have no concept of how our Founding Fathers thought.

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      2. Just start the petition. The work will take care of itself after that. It’s time for a revolution!

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    3. Brent Hinckley Tuesday, November 8, 2011

      They don’t need to be effective, all they need to do is fail to justify more funding. Ultimately this is a jobs bill at the expense of freedom, a mortgaged future, and further ‘justified’ state theft.

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  11. Jennifer Colley Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Tards

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  12. This is a hysterical, paranoid take on the legislation.

    The headline is hilarious, since it’s completely false.

    This won’t affect free speech in the slightest. It’s codifying electronic theft, just as e-banking is codified.

    Something must be done to combat piracy. America leads the world in creativity, yet 15% of that is lost to raw theft, according to the most recent data. A 1 in 6 theft rate is unsustainable. It must be stopped.

    Signed,
    a leftist libertarian artist

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    1. Ryan Portsmouth Friday, October 28, 2011

      There is a couple of things that you’re not understanding Ray, after reading the proposed legislation, the first is this legislation will give the ability for any trademark holder to have your entire website shutdown if you place a negative review on the trademark and you don’t get to comment or even know about the problem until it is too late.

      So for example if you wrote a review on “Coke” and said that “Pepsi” is better, the Coca-Cola Company could then without warning have your website shutdown because you’re not authorized to use the word “Coke” as it is trademarked, now imagine that review is on wordpress.com or blogspot.com, in fact for me using the word “Coke” or “Pepsi” for that matter in this comment this entire website could be shutdown for unauthorized use of the protected name, how many millions of bloggers, readers and average non-infringing people will be effected?

      The staff that run gigaom.com could be left without jobs, Googles BlogSpot division could be shut down, then there is the impact on people sharing images on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I hope you don’t like social networks and you can bare the responsibility for so many people being left unemployed.

      And before you say that I’m taking it too far, I didn’t write the legislation, all I can tell you is this is the power it gives.

      All of this so you can make 15% more money, every business has theft and we deal with it. The company I work for has had products copied that are under patent but there is nothing that can be done about that due to the Chinese government not prosecuting international patent infringement. When we attempted to take it up we quickly realized we couldn’t win even though we had the law on our side, so what did we do? We did what any reasonable person would, we got back to work and didn’t look back.

      At the end of the day the honesty system needs to come back and people need to play fair. Compromising the welfare of others for 15% isn’t a good solution even for a “leftist libertarian artist” as you put it. For any decent law abiding citizen regardless of what side of the fence you sit on this is not the answer.

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      1. It’s not about 15% more money… Though being asked to accept a 15% theft rate is absurd.

        The issue is this: look at where your mind went. Hysteria. You really think that gigaom will be shut down, or that brands will demand nullification for mentioning “coke” or “pepsi”? Get a grip.

        The protection of free speech is WRITTEN IN THE BILL.

        Literally, all the act does is force compliance upon mass distribution networks. It’s an act of political purpose that hurts no one but those that think it’s their god-given right to watch movies for free because they foolishly think that everyone in Hollywood is rich.

        It has taken 10 years to get to this point. To respond, “But then they’ll take away our free speech” is to misunderstand the bill completely. It’s about getting the cable companies and other high-speed providers to police themselves with some basic degree of common sense. They haven’t so far, this is the outcome.

        It would be a lot better if there were intellectually mature headlines and analysis of ways to improve the bill. The hysteria is f*cking nonsense.

        Share
      2. Ray and Charles, in your legislative cheer-leading zeal you completely fail to recognize the undermining of due process involved here.

        But it’s okay unless it negatively impacts you, right? Just wait– if passed, it will.

        Share
    2. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

      Mr. Burns, my compliments and complete agreement with your sentiments.

      Charles Arnold

      Share
    3. Ray,

      Frankly your full of shit. The internet has increased the profitability of creative works. Youtube alone is a billion dollars of added value in the US economy and THIS BILL would snuff it out and through the country into a deeper recession. Furthermore, nobody takes advantage of artists and steals from them more than Recoord and Movie companies. If both industries would be destroyed, artists, and especially American artists, would profit tremendously as all their works would be available to them instead of Time Warner.

      Secondly, any business deals with lose, even lose through theft. Do you even have a CLUE what retailers deal with in theft?

      Share
    4. What’s unsustainable is the absurd notion that Corporations are “people” (yet can’t be arrested and jailed for committing crimes, nor executed when they commit murders), and/or that money is “speech.”

      Share
  13. Christopher Michael Durden Thursday, October 27, 2011

    If it passes, either it will pass because people are too stupid to acknowledge the factors involved, or it will pass because congress values making money over the rights of it’s citizens. This act interferes with privacy, freedom of speech, and due process, therefore violates our constitutional rights. If it passes, Rem “It’s the end of the world as we know it” and it won’t be the first time congress stoves a big stick up the arse of Americans.

    Share
  14. Praveen Kumar K J V S Thursday, October 27, 2011

    What is this nonsense. Its totally stupid. For eg. how can ISP’s play the role of copyright police, if they Highway authorities lay roads, then should they play the role of
    narcotics police preventing smuggling on their roads. Then even book shops should play the role of copyright police, reading through all the pages of infinite books they sell to check there is no copyright infringement.

    Share
    1. Your analogy doesn’t work. Without a viable alternative, consumers cannot access the internet without an ISP – the same companies bankrolled by the MPAA, the RIAA and other relics of the analog age. If people have no choice but to play by their rules, what else can we do?

      Do a search for “decentralized internet” and check out how some MIT scholars and other computer scientists are working towards offering a viable alternative to the system we’re stuck with for now.

      Share
  15. Marco Massenzio Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much incensed about this legislation about the next man, but I have a suspicion that most of my rage is directed at the sheer stupidity of it all – more than at its blatant assault on freedom of speech and due process.

    I presume most people here understands the concept of replication and distributed systems – so, unless the US Congress also dictates the construction of a ‘Great Firewall’ of blocking and filtering proxies (and good luck with that) the easiest way to circumvent all this pointless crap is to just host such websites outside the US, set up DNS resolvers equally outside the US and then arrange for a bank of proxies that will circumvent any restriction imposed (remember, the ISPs can only cripple _their own_ DNS servers, but can’t legally block traffic to a given IP – and even if someone stretched this legislation to encompass this… et voila, dynamic IP addresses come to the rescue).

    Bottom line: folks like myself accessing whatever the hell we want and fancy accessing – foreign organizations (any guess as to their likely nationality? :) minting money to provide such services and ‘pirates’ continuing to enjoy unfettered access to the Internet.

    US Corporation on the other hand are likely to be massive losers, along with American workers as well as the hapless, hopeless computer illiterates (the Occupy idiots spring to mind) being either cut out from innovation or having to pay through their nose to the Hollywood paymasters.

    So perhaps, on second thoughts, this is not as bad as it sounds :)

    Share
  16. This will bring on the rise of open DNS servers. They may block it within their own system. But there is nothing stopping you from using another DNS server that takes you to the goods.

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  17. Once again, politicians attempting to legislate the technically impossible. How they can be caused to understand that what they want to do, can’t be done, is a question which needs answering urgently.

    Share
  18. Here it comes — the Patriot Act for the internet!

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  19. You can’t complain, you voted for these corrupt politicians, wake up America, get out of your slumber like state.

    Share
    1. We didn’t vote for them, they were put into power. I believe South Park states it best, you get two options a Turd Sandwich or a Giant Douche.

      Share
  20. Here it comes — the Patriot Act for the Internet.

    Share
  21. They’re trying their hardest to force countless people like me to have to resort to physical acts of crime that cause damage, rather than non-crimes of “piracy”, since it’s a ghost theft. (Anything I take that’s good I buy first chance, anything else I never would have bought in the first place.)

    First I have no access to full, no-cost healthcare I require prior to being able to work. That isn’t provided. I’m not given aid, told I’m not eligible. Now, if they take away the ONLY thing that keeps me from losing it- gaming, to escape my hopeless reality, well… it strikes me that I won’t have anything to do but go look for trouble on my way out the door. Perhaps a co-ed or three before I give up on the other choice: staring at a blank wall every minute of every day of every month of every year.

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  22. Try it in India and China and ur servers will crash

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  23. A DNS server isn’t hard to create. If passed this law would just cause the creation of thousands of private DNS systems, and encourage more widespread use of encryption. It has no real teeth with regards to piracy, its main target of concern, and therefore would only serve to disrupt small internet startups and stomp on free speech.

    This proposed law only serves to illustrate the ignorance of lawmakers regarding technology. If they truly understood the problem, they would realize that there is no solution. The minds that enable the amazing technologies of the web are the same minds that bypass all restrictions on creative content. You can’t out-hack the hackers, and they don’t care about your stupid laws.

    Share
  24. “Economic Creativity”. The companies behind the acts, pushing the politicians, just want more money. That is what this is all about. As if they don’t have enough. Large corporations are a menace to society. All they want is power, control and money. In the end, through acts like these, we will end up in an animal farm like dystopia. You can guess who the pigs are and who the dogs. I myself feel like a little lamb…

    Share
  25. They might not succeed but they will spend a lot if tax dollars trying, what is the definition of ‘futility’?

    Share
    1. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/futility

      Futility n
      1. The quality of being futile; ineffectiveness; uselessness
      2. a trifle or frivolity.

      It’s true. This may stop those who know next to nothing.
      But for those of us who know, this legislation will do nothing.

      Share
  26. This would be a wet dream for the Church of Scientology – shutting down any critic and terrorizing your neighborhood.

    Share
  27. Power = Money = Control = ? … is in any combo a vicious circle, with vicious having more than one meaning.

    Taking a broader perspective look at the act, it is not as harmless as it looks. Let me clarify.

    When you look at it closely and with a wider view, it is history repeating itself for the n-th time.

    It is just the establishment trying to maintain control, trying to protect the elite. There are many examples to be found in history and this is no exception. It targets the “digital” where as in the middle-ages is was “print” that was targeted.

    It looks much like an desperate act to control society and keep it from changing, thus protecting the ones in power. That is fundamentally un-democratic at least. Could it be that legislators start to fear the sheer power that the ‘free internet’ has ? Just look at the recent history in the Middle-East and how the “open” internet actually toppled whole governments and societies in literally months ?

    The fact is that “Occupy Wall-Street” starts to spread and that “Social Networks” and “open internet” is used to spread these new ideas. Surely this is considered a threat to the current establishment and they will fight it with any means available …
    Even if it means turning ISP’s into unofficial and potentially even unlawful cops.

    V for Vendetta.

    Share
    1. If this bill passes… The government will have picked the wrong fight.

      “People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.” -V

      Share
  28. Power = Money = Control = ? … is in any combo a vicious circle, with vicious having more than one meaning.

    Taking a broader perspective look at the act, it is not as harmless as it looks. Let me clarify.

    When you look at it closely and with a wider view, it is history repeating itself for the n-th time.

    It is just the establishment trying to maintain control, trying to protect the elite. There are many examples to be found in history and this is no exception. It targets the “digital” where as in the middle-ages is was “print” that was targeted.

    It looks much like an desperate act to control society and keep it from changing, thus protecting the ones in power. That is fundamentally un-democratic at least. Could it be that legislators start to fear the sheer power that the ‘free internet’ has ? Just look at the recent history in the Middle-East and how the “open” internet actually toppled whole governments and societies in literally months ?

    The fact is that “Occupy Wall-Street” starts to spread and that “Social Networks” and “open internet” is used to spread these new ideas. Surely this is considered a threat to the current establishment and they will fight it with any means available …
    Even if it means turning ISP’s into unofficial and potentially even unlawful cops.

    Peter

    Share
  29. I hope the pople uf the US repeal, destroy and oppose this unforgiving bill as it plays to the private interests rather than the public good, and if passed, it will only signify that the government is really for sale (has been sold) and it does not represent the people, only the “rich people”.

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  30. New turn in US politics – becoming more like china and russia.

    Share
  31. Wouldn’t that also work in reverse though; if an individual had their content infringed upon by one of the entertainment behemoths or even a govt website, that individual could have THEM shutdown…though with no requirement to prove it in court, I’m sure the behemoths will be given a pass. This law has less to do with piracy and more to do with an attempt at govt censorship under the guises of copyright law. One of the few places left that our Corporatocracy doesn’t control is the information highway…that is about to change.

    Share
  32. Wouldn’t that also work in reverse though; if an individual had their content infringed upon by one of the entertainment behemoths or even a govt website, that individual could have THEM shutdown…though with no requirement to prove it in court, I’m sure the behemoths will be given a pass. This law has less to do with piracy and more to do with an attempt at govt censorship under the guises of copyright law. One of the few places left that our Corporatocracy doesn’t control is the information highway…that is about to change.

    Share
  33. new trun in US politics

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  34. Read the legislation, you will find that this guy exaggerates or lies about most things and the part that is true makes sense.

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  35. They can bail out a unconstitutional system like wall street and banks, can’t stop bickering long enough to fix anything important like the economy, housing market,etc. But internet piracey it’s whats important? This is like the steroid thing ask over again waisting time and money smh

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  36. Brandon Broze Friday, October 28, 2011

    When will these copyright hawks LEARN? YOU CAN’T STOP THE PROGRESS! This is a losing battle. You’ll NEVER stop so-called “copyright infringement” no matter how many people you lock up or whose Internet access you kill. So why bother trying? Find a BETTER approach, like requiring the bigwigs to actually compete in the marketplace with us.

    Or… I dunno, maybe ALLOWING us smaller people to compete WITH the bigwigs or something like that? After they’ve made substantial profits off their tv shows, music, etc., why should they STILL be the only ones who have a right to upload, use, sell, etc. it? There’s no reasonable argument for such restrictions.

    Share
    1. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

      Brandon, perhaps we won’t be able to stop the piracy but at least this might cut it down. My question to you, Brandon, is who are you calling bigwigs; exactly who are you referring to? It certainly isn’t the thousands of us who aren’t rich, who aren’t powerful, but who are working writers who are just trying to feed our families? But no, we see our work, work that we hoped would provide us with a few hundred buck per article, posted on a public site, without any credit or even finding some thief’s name attached. Great going Brandon, another example of I want what I want it and I want it now and I want it for free and to hell with whoever I’m stealing it from.

      Share
      1. Charles, your a Time Warner troll. My question to you Charles, is who is a thief. Is it your daughter and your son who share movies on their ipad? Is it your wife who borrows a Disney picture to put in an email? Should they be jailed and then their internet providers punished? Should all the internet providers be proxies for Time Warner?

        Charles, go do something important, like fight against Drunk Driving by shutting down GM when it makes cars for drunks.

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  37. Brandon Broze Friday, October 28, 2011

    Why are they so damn afraid of people “stealing” or “pirating” with regards to copyright??? STAND UP TO THE CORPORATIONS AND TELL THEM TO F*CK OFF here! The extreme anti-piracy stance is rooted mostly in greed, esp. from the corporations’ standpoint. Of course, it’s not like “piracy” EVER caused a major media corporation to go out of business, so what are they so afraid of??

    After all, the people who PRODUCE the vast majority of ‘pirated’ shit ARE THOSE SAME WEALTHY CORPORATIONS! Of COURSE they have to exist in order for there to be ‘pirated’ shit, so it’s impossible for us to pirate them out of existence, in a way.

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  38. Brandon Broze Friday, October 28, 2011

    But Congress and the big media corporations want none of it. They’ll keep fighting and pretending like there’s a chance in hell they’ll win

    Bitching and whining about “piracy” is pretty pointless, if you ask me. IT’S NOT GOING AWAY ANYTIME SOON! DEAL WITH IT.

    Share
  39. Brandon Broze Friday, October 28, 2011

    In the end, is it REALLY worth it for anyone to get their panties in a bunch about copyright infringement? At the end of the day… who cares? How many people are ‘hurt’ by it? 5? come on

    Congress has more important things it should attend to, like job creation. This is nothing more than a distraction.

    Share
  40. John Williams Friday, October 28, 2011

    Solution: Alternative DNS bridges that are virtualized and can route traffic from real to virtual (unfiltered) IP addresses; ISP’s would not be able to inspect the packets and therefore could not be liable for their content.

    Don’t like IP? Could be an opportunity for altnet…

    Share
  41. Mommy state

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  42. If only they would show the same zeal protecting us from spam, physhing and other related crimes. We know who they serve now ;)

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  43. L. Bradley LaBoon Friday, October 28, 2011

    Even if they disable DNS lookups for a site, you could still access it via its IP address if you know it.

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  44. More good reason to support EFF and use your brain and not “political” tests to make decisions. Anyone doing so is merely doomed to mediocrity. If people would stop trying to divide America and put their minds to solving problems, we’d have solutions to the problems by now. As long as people care more about gay marriage than employing people, that won’t happen; as long as people care about silencing websites and the Internet versus taking care of millions of starving and poor American children at home, that won’t happen; As long as people show that their only concern is political power versus actually using their god-given brains to conceive solutions to the problems – we are doomed as a nation. We deserve it for our arrogance of advocating this sort of idiocy and forgetting what we once were, a nation not afraid of freedom and free speech. Now we are the nation of idiocracy come to life.

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  45. The first ‘corporate entity’ to go after people on the Internet? “The Onion” – This is like a bad dream, a poorly constructed horror novel, or just more millionaires trying squash free speech.

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  46. wow .. it’s 2011, get with the times and find new ways of generating/protecting revenues. Get real!

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  47. This seems like it’s going too far. Free speech is greater than copyright laws in my opinion.

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  48. This seems like it’s going too far. Free speech is greater than copyright laws in my opinion.

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  49. wow..it’s 2011. Get with the times and find new ways of generating/prootecting revenue. If its on the web, then it’s free media. Learn to keep it off or deal with it already. Better yet, go after the 12 year olds that are unknowingly uploading .. isn’t that easier!?

    Share
  50. US Politicians (the Circus of Fools) are incompetent and corrupt. This law makes my assertion self-evident.

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  51. Dale Albrecht Friday, October 28, 2011

    People who pirate software and music really don’t have much moral authority to complain about this.

    If you walked into a retail store and tried to leave with books, software or music you didn’t pay for you would be arrested. No doubt the arresting officer would be amused by your ranting about freedom of speech as he drove you to jail.

    Share
  52. Wow, talk about police state. Why don’t you just slap an ankle bracelet on me.

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  53. What if someone in the US pretends that there is a copyright infringement on a site hosted in the US but worked from e.g. the UK? How would the UK citizen be even able to prove his innocence and rescue his business if the US-gov and even private companies can basically do what they want?

    Share
  54. Emily Herrick Friday, October 28, 2011

    “…legal hearings would not be required”? As in….no fair trial? But a corporation is still a “person”?
    Is this why hollywood and government shouldn’t interbreed?
    Who’s the president, again? Ronald Reagan?

    Share
  55. ConcernedTorrenter Friday, October 28, 2011

    The government is just pushing everything out of our country, certainly looks like it.

    Share
  56. Sign an open letter to oppose this on Votizen & let your elected officials know!
    https://www.votizen.com/m/cwdirm/

    Share
  57. Veronica Patron Friday, October 28, 2011

    This is definitely worth a new action item for RiotPlanner.com

    Share
  58. What about the rights of talented writers, singers, movie producers, artists? Copywright scammers are costing the US billions in revenue every year, not to mention the loss of thousands of jobs.

    All I hear are crybabies and people talking about loss of internet freedom.

    Many of you would cry bloody murder if someone went to your workplace, copied what you do, did it for cheaper and you lost your job. Oh wait, its called “out sourcing”.

    I am at a lost of natural talent for singer or art but if I relied on that for a living and lost it because of some violators of copywright laws I would ashamed of a government who did not protect my rights.

    Share
  59. Something I think we should all keep in mind is that the older crowd that either did not grow up with this technology – or – couldn’t “grasp” it as it became available – are dieing off. In no way am I trying to be harsh. It is simply a fact that we are witnessing a younger version of, both, the House and Senate beginning to occupy the available seats. These individuals, for the most part, did not grow up in a bubble. We are seeing more and more that these people have websites of their own – some of which are actual businesses – and let’s not forget their spouses and extended family members. My point is this : Just like the infinite wisdom of “all things obama-care”, this, too, can – and will – be repealed, overturned, dismantled, squashed, abolished, and/or flat out made to go away should it ever be voted into law in the first place.

    Think for a moment of all of the special interest associations and connections that our elected officials are con external to. Are we to really believe that THEIR “freedom of speech” (and anything associated with it) well EVER be allowed to be trampled on?!?? I think not.

    All in all, I have more faith in the process than that. It may get bumpy from time to time – but I truly believe we are all going to be just fine!

    Sincerely and without hesitation,

    Max

    Share
    1. I agree with you, but it is not the process of this system that I believe in. I believe in the power of the people.

      To think that those in power care in the slightest about us as people is foolishness. To them we are numbers in a catalog, cattle, livestock, nothing more. It’s an endless repetition of history, it’s always been the same story.

      But we’re a lot smarter and stronger than we’ve ever been before, and we’ve got numbers on our side…

      Share
  60. It’s nice to see that fear-mongering is still going strong. I’m not denying that SOME of this stuff is bull, but piracy is piracy.

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  61. Anyone know the HR # assigned to this bill in Congress?

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  62. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

    As a writer and author who has had his work stolen many times, I support this legislation. When I found a site that had stolen and republished 56 of my articles and reported it to the FBI there was no response. When ThemeStream was a paying site where writers could supplement their income, pirates went in and stole literally thousands of articles, taking food out of our mouths and bankrupting the site. I am more than sick and tired of the “I am entitled to anything I want and there is no reason in the world I should have to pay for it” mentality that I find so terribly frequently on the internet. Now, when I publish something on the internet I know that, should some low-life steal it, there is something that I can do.

    Charles Arnold

    Share
    1. yes I do understand your pain of losing your works to others that won’t pay a single cent. but think of this charles. what if you make something and the corporate giants then decide that you are “pirating” since to them ANYBODY who doesn’t sign a publishing contract is a “pirate” and your personal work is taken down? THEY call into question or label project gutenberg a infringing site! and thats just 1 example! why support a regime that in the end WILL bite the hand that feeds it?

      Share
      1. Charles…. time to answer this man’s question. I notice you keep avoiding the trickier questions, choosing to argue like a child, bleating on about theft all the time instead of actual engaging in a dialogue.

        Share
      2. Stop feeding the troll. Ignore him and his foolishness, and he’ll go away.

        Share
    2. Not to worry, Charles, I’m not interested in the porn you write.

      Share
  63. we will all have to route and spoof our IPs behind Sweden now.

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  64. Are you f*cking me? Let me guess, no more wikileaks or anything of the like. No more DIY websites that help users make a cheaper version of something. Why the hell are they so worried about this? Shouldn’t they instead aim this towards child pornography?? Millions of children are being abused, raped, and taped then put online for very sick people to masturbate to… “No problem” says the government. But if I want to use my freedom of speech and show people how to put Mac OSX on a PC, my site could be shut down and I could be further monitored? Does this seem a little ass-backwards to anyone else?? “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini

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  65. @Charles Arnold – Your arguments in favor of this bill are astonishingly bad. But you are at least -consistent- and not all over the place. You must work for one of the companies that will benefit heavily from this passing. Let me put this into perspective: Do you like watching YouTube videos? I sure do as do most Americans. Is there illegal content on there? Sure. Does stuff get taken down when the copyright holders request it? Yes. Will you get sued if you wear the wrong pair of pants by the clothing manufacturer if this bill passes? Absolutely.

    The only guarantee you wouldn’t get sued on YouTube is if you were stark naked in a whitewashed room. But no one wants to see you naked. And you’d probably get arrested for doing a “public performance while nude without a valid license.”

    This bill is overreaching in its authority and sponsored, not by the people, but the corporations who will benefit. E-PARASITE is great name if I ever heard of one. It will suck the life out of the Internet. Our legal system is killing us ordinary folk – we need fewer laws on the books, not more. If this law passes, we won’t even be able to have little comment sections like this one on most sites because of potential copyright infringement issues…no matter how unintentional. So you won’t be able to talk to me any more and I won’t be able to talk to you. It will kill all social media sites, YouTube, every forum, and every commenting system. Exactly the way the average government wants it – though one would hope our government was “above average”. Put that in your thinking cap for a while. Similar to DMCA, there are so many ways this law will be abused. Have we learned nothing?

    As a software developer, there are people who pirate my commercial products. I DON’T CARE! Here’s why: Anyone who wants to get support for my products has to be in my system. If they aren’t, they don’t get support. It works. Also, I’m constantly innovating new stuff that people want, so the software pirates are always several steps behind me. In addition, a lot of pirated software have viruses and other malware embedded into the pirated codebase because the pirates want to get keyloggers onto your computer so they can steal your identity/money. You have to be a blundering moron to pirate software.

    Similar things can and are being done for other forms of digitized IP. Of course, it would be far simpler to instill a standard set of morals and common sense into Americans than trying to make laws like this.

    I don’t want to be “protected” by any government. Let me fend for myself.

    Share
    1. Charles Arnold Friday, October 28, 2011

      Well, guest who won’t even reveal your name, I am a free lance writer; I don’t work for any corporation, just whoever I can sell a piece to. As for whether or not I watch YouTube, no, I don’t. Of course you assume that I do because you do and you seem to believe that you have a right to steal my work and the work of thousands of other writers like me who are just trying to make a living. Why thank you so much for doing your best to add all of us to the unemployed.

      Share
      1. I’ve looked into the porn you write, Charles. Copyright infringement is the least of your worries- it’s that what you write is crap.

        Share
  66. ok, so whats next? Are they going to close down public libraries? People read books, watch dvd’s etc for free. How is this different from doing the same over the internet?

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  67. The internet will be in shambles. If only we had a savior. Help us, Shayn Baron, help us!

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  68. to all the people. if this passes my voice your voice and everybody’s voice will be henceforth SILENCED! how would you like to be told that this site with NO trial will be henceforth SHUT DOWN? that is what is at stake.WAKE UP CHARLES and others YOUR VOICE will be censored ALL for 1 reason RIAA/MPAA PROFIT!

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  69. The freedom of the internet is closing? No way! Politicians should have to get off from touching the digital/internet section. This is ridiculous! They are IT blind.

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  70. Pretty simple solution. Vote. Get rid your state to vote out the representatives that passed it. Then make sure you know which candidates are for/against it. Get the one that’s willing to revoke it, in. Otherwise keep writing in some guy that will

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    1. It’s amusing that you still seem to believe that the people in control care in the slightest about the process or the constitution…

      Share
  71. Freedom gave the US innovation and rapid growth over the last 60+ years, fear and ignorance of the current generation is going to kill both. I still cannot believe you accepted not just one, but TWO patriot acts. USA, under the Patriot Act (1) is now the most, legally, repressive country in the world. You must all be so proud.

    Share
    1. Conservatives can’t stand innovation. It’s inherent in the word “conservative,” so suppression of innovation goes hand-in-hand with inhibition of freedom of speech, except where “speech” means “money.”

      Share
  72. There Hearing is on November 19th. I recommend we get at least 500 people to show up at the hearing and fight it.

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  73. For these conservatives, “big government” is an inherent evil when it helps the unfortunate, attempts to give everyone an equal chance, protects the environment and so on; however, for them, “big government” is good when it is about mass surveillance and maintaining an empire through massive military operations across the globe.

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  74. The way the proposed bill is written, it would even make it possible for Apple to shut down websites belonging to mom-and-pop shops that use the forbidden fruit in their logos. Scary!

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  75. The way the proposed bill is written, it would even make it possible for Apple to shut down websites belonging to mom-and-pop shops that use the forbidden fruit in their logos. Scary!

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  76. Slightly amusingly and very unintentionally accurate, “sopa” in Swedish means a piece of garbage.

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  77. busted mirror Monday, October 31, 2011

    So I buy cable from Comcast and invite a friend over to my house to watch it…but wait he’s not allowed as that would be pirating cable for which he didn’t pay…right? BS!

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  78. matt cutt's fan club Monday, October 31, 2011

    Internet is a proper noun

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  79. Joseph Keable Monday, October 31, 2011

    If they want a fight they’ve deffinatly got one, am I right hackers?

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    1. i herd u liek mudkipz

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    2. Not a hacker, admire those who are, but solidarity with that!

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  80. If a self serving minority get control of the internet, then the last remaining freedom ; the natural birthright of every person, will be lost.

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  81. Josh Chiriboga Monday, October 31, 2011

    Without evening knowing the full extent of this law, it looks like nothing more than the hostile government attempt to control the public. This is the government attempting to silence the media that they cant control. I hope this bill does not pass and firmly believe that any vote for this is a vote against the freedom of speech. I got a better idea why doesn’t congress just pass a burn the Constitution bill and get it over with. While I’m at it why don’t we dissolve congress clearly all we need is Obama’s executive orders.

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    1. As far as I can tell, if we did that, then there would be literally zero US Gov’t lol, since Obama does not appear to give any orders. He only lightly refers to things such that no one doubts his existence.

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  82. I’m all for this! It paves the way for other, similar laws like having Berretta, Smith and Wesson, Banelli and other gun manufacturers establish their own para-military security forces to police gun ownership. We can also have the Public Library systems in each state form their own court system to dish out justice each time someone gets an idea from a book.

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  83. They will use this internet kill-switch to bring down sites that organise protests.

    Keep up the good work citizens of America.

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  84. Is this still the USA …. This bill attacks freedom, infringes on the privacy of those who are not pirates and is unconstitutional as it violates the basic premises that our country is founded on… there has to be a better way to stop copyright infringement without sacrificing our freedom and privacy

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  85. Light of the World Monday, October 31, 2011

    I’m so glad Congress is doing so much to help the internet with this wonderful bill, please keep up the good work :D!

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  86. Michał Gancarski Monday, October 31, 2011

    The funny thing is, copyright holders won’t win anything. A broken business model is broken, no matter how protected by law it is.

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  87. Seig Heil new world order: http://goo.gl/f4pXo

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  88. HEY! Don’t like your business competition? Accuse them of copyright infringement and get their website pulled!

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  89. The light blue links are nigh invisible and take away from the text as I skip over them.

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  90. https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/hr3261

    Popvox is a great and easy way to tell your politicians how you feel about this bill!

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  91. Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you, to stop what you’re doing and listen…

    I quoted the movie Anchorman in this post. So under these proposed laws, this website would be forced to delete this post.

    Now do you see how ridiculous this is?

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  92. Couldn’t you just post copyrighted material on any site just to get it shut down?

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  93. Antoine Prince Monday, October 31, 2011

    PROTECT-IP act. LOL

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  94. Corporations have been stealing ideas and inventions since the start of the Industrial Revolution. This legislation only protects these corporations. The People are never protected by any legislation, only the elite are.

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  95. Alright, let me settle a claim that I’ve seen multiple times throughout these comments. This claim, something along the lines of “How would you feel if your art/writing/films were stolen? You’d be furious!”, is not true. As a writer/film maker and a video game programmer (I like to keep busy), I would gladly allow my work to be distributed across the internet. Why? Because those who download it would not have bought it anyways. When they do download it, there is a %50 chance that they will end up buying it, as my numerous associates have (and they usually are not the buying type). This bill, if you read the article, essentially gives the government god-like powers over the internet. The don’t like a site? Take it down. Also, with this bill Youtube, NND, and hundreds of other sites would be taken down. Wiped from existence. With the latest pushes from Facebook developers, that site won’t be far behind.

    So, quick recap. I’d gladly have my work distributed. This bill would give government ultimate power. Game over, man. Game over.

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    1. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect us.

      It is /never/ over, friend.

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  96. Why couldn’t we set up an alternate top level domain structure with servers in Iceland, New Zealand, etc? Why are we crying over the idiocy of our elected officials? We are smarter than them. Let’s fix the problem.

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  97. Lots of “ifs” and “mights” in this article. Very little on the likelihood the bill will pass. Meh.

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  98. Really Congress! Congress is not behind this. Follow the paper trail and you will find out who really benefits in the end. And it’s not the 99%

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  99. This will not kill the internet, just create DIFFERENT opportunities. Ride it.

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  100. The government has declared war on the Internet?
    They picked the wrong fucking fight.

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  101. You could simply use p2p DNS service such as namecoin to bypass the blockade, being decentralised there is no single shutdown point

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  102. This may be either the begining of the end to the Internet as we know it, or the begginging of a more descentalized web, not dominated by US/EU content.

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  103. this bill will only serve to destroy our right to express ourselves. yes it is intended to stop piracy, however, how long will it be before the gov’t tried to assume control over what we can and cannot read, post, or say? just look at how the media is controlled in places like north korea. is that what you really want? strike this bill down, kill that b*tch, we all gotta do something before this gets out of control. Giving the gov’t control over what we can and can’t say on the web is basically asking to be censored. how long before all our discussion forums are shut down? if the gov’t passes this, then how long will it be before we can’t express our views on that gov’t? if they don’t like what we say, they can just shut it down…how ‘American’ is that? how about all you peeps that get $$ thru click-thrus? we’re all screwed if this bill isnt’ stopped. Why let these fools (who think the dvd slot is a coffee tray) control something they don’t understand?

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  104. Syntara Sarych Monday, October 31, 2011

    Oh now, esteemed Republican majority members of the House, should you attempt to get this kind of Nazi-like information obstruction actually passed, I hope you realize you will be obstructing free trade; you know…like free market capitalism for all? Do you know ANYTHING about how web hosting services work? I find that suspect, myself. With the little free web hosting services, it’s not very complicated to manage; not much traffic, and other things that won’t really affect a majority of folks engaged in free tradc. Try to shut down just ONE web site that is hosted by a for-a-fee MAJOR web hosting service and it will shut down the whole hosting service itself. No way around that. Many, many of your corporate interests are privately hosted at one of these major hosting services. What will they think if you get this thoughtless thing passed and you or another of your corporate interests try to shut someone down. The net result might be metaphorically like all of you guys standing in a circle together and simultaneously relieving your bladders on each other.

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  105. Just get a von service. They can’t watch you and they can’t stop you.

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    1. Victorian Order of Nurses? How would that help? They only know how to treat you if you are ill.

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  106. Y U NO LIKE INTURWEBZ?

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  107. Anonymous needs to get involved in this.

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  108. Wow, seems like another step away from the memory that used to be “land of the free”.

    I’m all for protecting the copyrights and giving due credit where the credit is due.

    I just have a huge problem with the Bush-like republican credo to torture and kill – websites this time – since “with little or no requirement for a court hearing, they could remove websites from the internet and shut down their ability to be found by search engines or to process payments from users.”

    I guess that cases like Facebook, suing TeachersBook for copyright infringement as if they owned the word “book” will be an everyday event. Of course that this will just be the beginning… perhaps after a while we could change our name to the Cuban States of America.

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  109. Beginnings of Communism

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    1. Communism is state ownership and/or control of commerce. This transfers control to corporations, thus capitalism.

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      1. communism is the overcoming of state control by the force of Spirit

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  110. ؟؟

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  111. People from dictatorship countries such as Egypt are commenting on YouTube videos of police use of force against recent economic-inequality protesters, saying that they are surprised to learn that the USA had also become a dictatorship. Something like this plan for Internet control will seal that deal. USA is or is on its way to becoming a dictatorship? Seems like an Alfred Hitchcock film. Sadly, if we listen very hard, that Twilight Zone music plays in the distance but is slowly approaching. =(

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  112. I love this conversation. One more socially democratic overture that Congress will conveniently overlook in favor of controlling speech for profit. Praise be to the great oligarchy by and for the lobbyists!

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  113. Okay you know what, ridiculous congress people! – I fully dare you to succeed in passing this. The passing of this would be an all out declaration of full-scale war – the people versus those who passed this bill and benefit from it. And just as I am certain that I continue to draw breath into my body, you.will.lose.that.war. Destroying the middle class, taking away the American dream for almost everyone, foreclosing on our homes, and supporting the interests of the power and corporate elite of which you are an integral part, and then removing our freedom of speech through with the, in effect, removal of Internet as we know it – Well, ONE’s GREATEST MOST FEARED FOE IS HE WHO HAS NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE. Try it. We dare you.

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  114. Steven W Johnson Monday, October 31, 2011

    While we’re at it, why not shred a woman’s right to vote, kill off all the liberals, burn a whole bunch of books, and legalize slavery – oh and torch of few of those naughty MOSQUES to!

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  115. Maybe it’s time for more people to start using Freenet.
    http://freenetproject.org/

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  116. Frankie Lenetti Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    I know how to stop this from happening!!! OCCUPY WALL STREET!!

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  117. The scariest part is that the government will now police what is on the internet…this is NOT about intellectual property or copyright infringement….it is about censorship….how long will websites with anti-government content stay up once there is a law that gives them the power to shut it down? This will be the beginning of the end of free speech.

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  118. With all of the real problems that face this nation, this is something Senate chooses to focus on, more corporate boot-licking? Really now, is anyone really surprised? I smell more prison overcrowding in our future.

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  119. Some people need a license to own and operate a BRAIN..HELLO, JUST SAYIN

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  120. This is why riots break out but now the looters wouldn’t want to steal computers lmfao

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  121. Overall to me, the approach consisting in targeting pirating centers and not monitoring end users flows is the right one.
    However their should be public judicial procedures and trials leading to these decisions, but it is clearly doing things the right way (compared to monitoring end users usage as is done under the hadopi french law).
    And when you read the pirate bay answers to legal threats for instance :
    http://thepiratebay.org/legal
    Frankly this “geeky” procedural nerd “you are idiots we have only links and not data” mindset, while selling of tshirts or cofee cups to “save the world” is just plain boring.
    More on this below, but mainly in french :
    http://iiscn.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/piratage-hadopi-etc/
    Overall it’s time to get over this “the internet is a virtual world new frontier or whatever” stupid mindset, the internet is a tremendously important thing now, and used as a media for a major part (but not only, we could talk about “the technical infrastructure” in general in fact), but it is also an integral part of today’s world or reality, considering it as “above the law” is grotesque to say the least. But a law needs public procedures and trials, otherwise it is just plain and simple police operation.

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  122. The first amendment is dying. Slowly but surely our constitution is being shot full of holes.

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  123. We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, hold the following changes to our Constitution to be necessary for the global economic balance of wealth to be maintained:

    The 28th Amendment:

    1. No law shall be enacted which enables taxes owed by any citizen to be deferred from the national trust.

    2. No law shall establish the rights of corporations to donate money to any campaign.

    3. Elected officials shall swear to their campaign promises. Election processes shall include an option to remove any elected official by the popular vote of their constituents should those promises not be kept.

    4. No law shall establish money as free speech, and a limit on campaign budgets for each office will be set, decided two years prior to every election by popular vote and which shall reflect a reasonable advertising campaign utilizing television networks, radio and internet outlets.

    5. No corporation, entity or person, including the government, shall charge more than 5% interest, nor pay more than 5% interest, to any party for any amount of debt regardless of type.

    http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/8868/ows28thamendment.gif

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  124. effing aholes. I plan on retaliating in every way possible. It’s worth the price. Not only does this curtail creativity but they can now shut down Twitter or Facebook if Occupiers or any other group annoys them. I consider them worthless facists. They are the minority, we are legion.

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  125. Irrelevant. Congress (or FBI or anyone for that matter) cannot quite control expression (and stealing) on the internets. Taking sites down on copyright violations is structurally infeasible, the authorities don`t have the resources. Keep party guys.

    infiniteshelter.com

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  126. To do something about this, sign the petition here:
    http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/sopa/?source=fb

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  127. There is another aspect to this problem that is very corrosive to the whole convention of value regarding intellectual property types involving anything that can be turned to bytes or pixels.

    The value that once flowed to something like authorship has been destroyed because access to publishing is no longer a scarce resource. That scarcity was what drove compensation.

    What ever are we to do when there is a vast amount of what has become ‘content’ is made and offered by people for free as a hobby.

    This has devastated commercial photographer rates, turned music artifacts into glorified sonic business cards to support live performance and utterly undermined value to writers who want to be paid for reproductions of their work such as a book.

    When people give away content and it turns out to be as compelling or as useful as any that once had monetary value it’s over.

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  128. Gobblement gobbling up the Internet.

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  129. Welp, looks like it’s back to the old Internet-less way of stealing things: Copying the music to another tape. Seriously, you can make bootlegs of almost anything easily, and all this will hurt is the creators of the content. Basically, a creator or company can say that a work is either infringing upon copyright, or is derivative. Sure, it’s no good to take full works and copy them for your own sale. An editorial cartoonist just resigned due to his plagiarism of another cartoonist, and the paper didn’t notice that the strips were copied until the second one hit the papers.

    And if you like parody artists like Weird Al or the Fump, well tough. Companies (especially ones like the RIAA) want this so that Fair Use laws can be destroyed.

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  130. After reading the first two paragraphs, I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn’t April first.

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  131. I’m sorry but no matter how many of these pieces I read, I just can’t square myself with Intellectual Property theft.

    I am supposed to be outraged that websites can’t make money by stealing content that someone else has created? Really?

    I’m sure the government will respond to this as recklessly as it responds to everything else; maybe we should have put an end to it before they had to get involved.

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  132. omg, instead of trying to stop real crime and violense, they are trying to stop online theft? that rediculous! I bet they are only worried about it because it hurts peoples wallets. thats all that damn government cares about! they dont care about peoples rights or safety

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  133. One of the scariest things I’ve seen in a long time… Do these people even understand what it is they are talking about here? The consequences of such a law would be enormously damaging in ways we cannot even begin to imagine!

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  134. I was reading a book about technology, artistic license and such about six months ago. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the title or the author. (It was a library checkout, so it wasn’t part of my consciousness for an extended time.)

    But the author’s point was relevant to this whole matter. There has always been a tradition of “fair use” — where, say, if you’re writing an article, you can quote a pertinent passage from another book or article, as long as you give it proper and thorough credit (rather than claiming it as your own work).

    Such “fair use” would be completely outlawed under the act in question, at least as far as I can make out from this article.

    Not clearly defining what uses would be permitted is also illegal, at least according to past court decisions. (Remember the old obscenity cases of the late-’60s and early-’70s? The anti-obscenity laws at the time left it vague as to what was or was not permitted. The courts struck down such laws on those grounds — you have to make clear what is or is not permitted.) Of course, the pro-business slant of current courts, including the Supremes, suggests that excuses and loopholes may be found.

    It’s probably also illegal to make Internet Providers and webpage hosts responsible for policing content that goes on their webpages and over their lines.

    It’s all too similar to the copyright extensions just passed in Europe, so the Disney people can collect on Mickey Mouse for another seventy-five years. I, myself, am not interested in Mickey Mouse, so they can have him. But I am interested in free speech and “fair use.”

    Steve

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  135. @John: It’s not about “intellectual property theft.” It’s about fair use. It’s also about pre-censorship, which, of course, the government — any government, of any political persuasion — would favor. (The powers-that-be would love it if we could be dissuaded from expressing any dissident ideas. Under this proposed law — as under the so-called PATRIOT act — pre-censorship would become the rule.)

    And what, exactly, is “intellectual property,” anyhow? I’m considered an intellectual, and I have hardly any property at all! :)

    Steve

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  136. Christopher Dorn Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Um. If it’s digital it can be copied. Exact replica. I can’t take your painting or craft and replicate it instantly. 1’s an 0’s or coding in programming language can be made to look like a movie, but it just 1’s and 0’s. You can’t copy-write a series of numbers and letters. That is just how it is. It can be instantly replicated. The funyn thing is American pirateware is way behind other countries. Guess where the quickest and best pirated software comes from? Not here