I'm back LOL. How do you guys feel about SOPA and PIPA?

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I'm back LOL. How do you guys feel about SOPA and PIPA?

  • Okay so the question is in the subject and I would like to get the forums opinions. I have been following the news on them for a while but most people didn't know it even existed until today because of the Wikipedia blackout as well as Google, reddit, craigslist, and others making today an awareness day of sorts. My personal opinion is long but I will try to quickly sum it up. If this post gets a good discussion going I will be more than happy to go more in depth.

    Personally I think the bill's are a good idea in theory and what they strive for is a good thing. The problem is the bill's are far to broad and could lead to censorship of the internet and give big companies the power to enact such censorship. The biggest problem here is no bill or law could stop or prevent piracy. The internet is huge and no one or group can possibly police it. Piracy is here to stay. It is one of the many cons that comes with being connect to the whole world via an internet connection.

    The only other question I have is why in the heck is our government (I know some of you on the forum are not american but I'm just saying) so obsessed with using acronyms to name all of our bills? We're like fifth graders trying to find a way to remember a saying or quote. I feel it is quite embarrassing when you think about it. 

    Finally do you think that congress (i.e the Senate) is out of touch with technology? Personally I think they are. What do you think could be done to fix this or can it be fixed?

    I kind of feel like I'm giving a survey but I'm not and that is not what I'm striving for. I look forward to the discussion that will probably proceed. Keep it clean and peaceful guys LOL.



    [edited by: Alex W at 4:53 PM (GMT -5) on Wed, Jan 18 2012] Changed to discussion.

    GMC Sonoma, JVC KD-A95BT, 2 Pioneer TS-D601P in doors, 2 Pioneer TS-G4644R in dash, 2 JL W3v2-D2 10 inch subs, Lightning Audio B4.250.2, Soundstream TX1.1300D

  • IANAL, btw ...

    From what I've read - SOPA is a terribly written bill - I'm not familiar with PIPA - but I assume that is the Senate version of the same bill or vice-versa?

    To understand SOPA - let's look at how the Internet really works now.  (I've had some experience in this part of it).  Let's say I own a website and I put some copyrighted material on my webpage for download (an .MP3 file for example).  Under current statutes, most likely I would eventually get a letter from the RIAA's lawyer with a "Cease and Desist" letter.  Typically, I would take the file down at that point and all would be well - or if I was outside the US (specifically if my web domain was outside the U.S.), I could probably ignore it.  Alternately, I could fire back a letter from my attorney stating that the file was released to the public domain and I had the right to post the file and I'd be glad to provide documentation or they could take me to court over it and lose if they want to.  Now in theory, they could subpeona how many times the file was downloaded, attach a $$$ value to the file, assume that every one of those downloads was a unique download and furthermore, that every one of those people would have paid full price for the MP3 if I hadn't hosted it on my site so the copyright holder lost $$$ per file time "XX" number of downloads plus summary and punitive damages and court costs.  But it rarely ever comes to that.

    Now how does SOPA change that.

    Here's the theory:  I, as a web user could go to Crutchfield.com and notice that they have a user manual for a Pioneer stereo online and that manual is copyrighted (certainly) and they MIGHT NOT (they do) have permission to host it.  I can then file a complaint with the Justice Department and based on my complaint, DOJ could remove/block www.crutchfield.com until the issue was resolved.  Crutchfield would then have to protest to DOJ and show documentation that they did have permission to display the manuals and were not in violation of the copyright.  At some point DOJ would review the case and decide it was okay and Crutchfield's site could be unblocked.  However - this is the government, not an individual, so I doubt Crutchfield's lawyer's would be able to sue for lost revenue during the 6 months to 3 years the site was down.

    Now www.crutchfield.com is a fairly straight-forward issue.  I'm not sure who DOJ notifies when the take the site down.  Obviously for crutchfield.com it's Cructchfield, but for www.joe'spizza.freehost.com - is it the admin for freehost, is it the owner of the pizza company, his webhost?  And a large company will have lawyers to defend this, but a support blog or political forum or help group or your neighborhood subdivision website probably will not.

    BIG teddy
    Piracy is here to stay. It is one of the many cons that comes with being connect to the whole world via an internet connection.

    Sad, but almost certainly true.

    BIG teddy
    The only other question I have is why in the heck is our government (I know some of you on the forum are not american but I'm just saying) so obsessed with using acronyms to name all of our bills? We're like fifth graders trying to find a way to remember a saying or quote. I feel it is quite embarrassing when you think about it.

    That one is simple - Bills are often mis-named (Obamacare or the Patient Affordable Care Act - which is neither), b/c congressman (correctly) feel that if you knew what the bills REALLY did and that they voted for or against it, you might not re-elect them.

    BIG teddy
    Finally do you think that congress (i.e the Senate) is out of touch with technology? Personally I think they are. What do you think could be done to fix this or can it be fixed?

    Of course.  Elect smarter Congressmen ... Devil

    Anyone else have suggestions?

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Very good and well detailed response. I also would like to ask Crutchfields opinion on the bill seeing how as in your example could be affected by the bill. If anyone from Crutchfield would be willing to get in on the discussion and inform us of the companies stance I would greatly appreciate it. The list of companies that are in support of the bill is dwindling day by day and the list who oppose is growing exponentially hour by hour.

    GMC Sonoma, JVC KD-A95BT, 2 Pioneer TS-D601P in doors, 2 Pioneer TS-G4644R in dash, 2 JL W3v2-D2 10 inch subs, Lightning Audio B4.250.2, Soundstream TX1.1300D

  • To be honest, most of what I posted I got from a segment of Erick Erickson's (www.redstate.com) show.  (Not that I usually listen to him, but of congressional bills, he tends to cover the issues pretty well.

    I would like to know Crutchfield's stance as well, but I would be highly surprised if their attorneys allow them to comment in a public (even their own) forum about it.

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Uh oh. Politics.

    My wife accuses me of discussing politics with all the subtlety of a train wreck (hard to believe, I know, given the tact and delicacy with which I approach other topics).

    Anyway...

    I agree with TigerHeli. SOPA is vaguely worded (intentionally) and would allow entire websites to be blocked upon the mere accusation that a single item infringed upon someones (more likely some large corporate entities) copyright. The problem with that, quite apart from the obvious ramifications for smaller members of the Internet community, is that access to content that is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution would also be blocked. That is intolerable and it is unconstitutional.

    What is also unconstitutional, and frankly appalling, is the idea that the accused would be censored on nothing more than an accusation and silenced until they could prove their innocence.

    PIPA essentially gives the DoJ power to force financial transaction providers, Internet advertising services, ISP's, and search engines to stop financial transactions with any site considered to be infringing upon copyrighted material. If that isn't a chilling effect, I don't know what is.

    The risks the bills present to individual civil liberties and free speech far outweigh any benefit (except to the corporatocracy) that might come from them.

    SOPA and PIPA need to be defeated. I have informed my representatives in congress that I will actively oppose any politician who supports these bills. To paraphrase Phil Zimmermann, doing so is simply a matter of good civic hygiene.

    There are many organizations fighting SOPA/PIPA. This one in particular carries a pretty big stick. I've been a "card carrying" member for many years.

     



    [edited by: Alex W at 9:45 PM (GMT -5) on Wed, Jan 18 2012]

         RESIma

  • BTW, welcome back BIG T, and thanks for the props.

         RESIma

  • Alex W

    BTW, welcome back BIG T, and thanks for the props.

    No problem Alex.

    Now just some info for those of you reading and have no clue what we are discussing here. Here is a link to a video that explains in good detail the possible and likely outcome of SOPA and PIPA. Just in case anyone who doesn't like to read you can listen to a summed up outcome if these bills are passed. Here is another really good video too which gives some very good facts and an opinion from someone across the pond (an outside looking in view). Also americancensorship.org gives some good info on the subject (Don't try to visit it today because it just like many other sites participated in today "blackout"). 

    Oh and BTW for those of you who didn't know or had heard about the Mega Upload fiasco about a month back it is a prime example of what could happen if SOPA is passed (Link to article on Mega Upload). The website was shut down because it hosted copyrighted materials in the same way other sites like Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, and even Crutchfield could be. Just because they unknowingly hosted copyrighted materials. Say Joe Blow posts a thread or even a post here on the forums that contains copyrighted material. The company that owns the copyrighted material can file a complaint about it and have Crutchfield shut down in a matter of hours. Or even if something is just said something bad about a product, but did not have express written permission allowing the products name to be used, could cause the site hosting the comment can be shut down. 

    Tiger in regards to Crutchfield possibly not commenting on it because of legal reasons I would at least like to know they saw this thread and would just tell us they can not comment on it for what ever reason. I think I may email Bill with a link to this thread and ask his opinion and we shall see what happens.

    GMC Sonoma, JVC KD-A95BT, 2 Pioneer TS-D601P in doors, 2 Pioneer TS-G4644R in dash, 2 JL W3v2-D2 10 inch subs, Lightning Audio B4.250.2, Soundstream TX1.1300D

  • BIG teddy
    so obsessed with using acronyms to name all of our bills?

    It's so if the bill passes, they can all celebrate with Sopa/pipa's, that tasty Mexican dessert.  (Okay, okay, not a punny subject).Devil

    I probably need to formally state that my comments above and below are strictly my own opinion and do not reflect my employer or Crutchfield's views on the subject.  Long discussion below:

    Okay, I decided it might help to "flesh out" my SOPA example a little bit.  BTW, this is a real example.  (Although I won't name actual sites).

    The .mp3 song example above is pretty cut and dried.  Consider the following:

    One of my previous hobbies was arcade games and at one time, I was collecting images of classic arcade games (Pac-Man, Asteroids, BattleZone, etc.) and editing them to remove the background and replace them with either a black background or a white background.  See www.klov.com for something similar but not my example.

    The images were mainly for personal use, but I figured someone else might want them so I built a webpage for them and an arcade site volunteered to host them for me.  The unedited images usually came from E-bay and I credited the seller on the webpage that I made.  Also the images were free to download, so nobody made a profit from this.

    Now - let's say I have an image of a BattleZone cabinet that I edited.  Who owns copyright to this image?

    • Me?  Well, yes - I edited the image, so I hold partial copyright to it and could complain if someone else posted it on their website (if I wanted to).
    • The person who took the photo?  Certainly, and technically, I probably needed their permission to use the image - if I knew who they were.
    • The owner of the game and the person that was selling it? - Probably.
    • The owner of the warehouse where the game was located when it was photographed? - Maybe.
    • The manufacturer/designer of the game?  Almost certainly - but who is that?  It WAS Atari, but they sold the arcade business to Midway Games.  Midway I think kept the pinball portion of Atari but sold off the arcade portion.  I think the computer games portion is still around - might have been sold to InfoGrames, but I don't think that division owns the arcade game rights.  SOMEONE owns or owned the copyrights to the arcade portion of the business, but it would be hard to track down.


    How did this work pre-SOPA?  In reality, I was at very little risk.  I didn't charge anything for the images, and I didn't own the site that hosted them.  (And the hosting site was not U.S.A-based.)  As I recall, the site owner said he got a few C&D letters (and threats of $10,000 fines).  That would have gotten me to take the site down, but I think he ignored them and nothing happened.  I think I did change a couple of images on the site that someone complained about to other images.

    How could this work after SOPA?  Okay, as I understand it - ANY of the people mentioned above could complain about the site hosting copyrighted information.  For that matter, I think just a visitor to the page could complain that they THOUGHT the page contained copyrighted information.  That probably wouldn't take down the entire domain, but it would probably be enough to get the BattleZone page taken down (not just the cabinet image, the entire webpage).  At that point, I could either hang it up and leave the page taken down - or try to argue to get it put back up - but my options are limited here:  First off, I would probably need to hire an attorney or take time off work to represent myself, or both.  Secondly - the legal standing is pretty thin - I don't have rights to that image, really.  I could offer to take that image down and replace it with another image - but I probably wouldn't have rights to that image either, so I'm not sure that argument would go over well.

    And copyright law is so vague that I'm really not sure what it would take to not be in violation of copyright in this case.  Most likely, I would need to find the company that currently holds Atari's rights and get them to send me a picture of one of their games (that they no longer have) with a letter stating that they gave me rights to modify and use their image, not-for-profit, as I saw fit.  (And even then, I think the original members of Atari Corporation or it's heirs could legitimately argue that when they sold the game copyrights, they almost certainly didn't sell the rights to host images on a website (which would be inarguable since the WWW didn't exist at the time they sold the rights) so they could say that that agreement violated their rights.

    The above is just one simple example, but probably 98% of all websites contain SOME similar perceived copyright violation.  That is why SOPA is so dangerous and why it needs to be re-written or stopped.

    Personally, I haven't written my congressman yet, I thought they had the good sense to oppose it and it would be dead before it got a vote, but apparently they aren't.  I will be contacting them today!!!

     

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  •  

    I wanted to let you guys know that we have certainly seen the thread. I’ve been following your comments here, as well as several other conversations about the bills online. I also wanted to let you know that Crutchfield, as a company, does not have an official stance on the SOPA/PIPA bills.



    [edited by: Jeff Kitchen at 11:14 AM (GMT -5) on Thu, Jan 19 2012]

  • TigerHeli
    It's so if the bill passes, they can all celebrate with Sopa/pipa's, that tasty Mexican dessert.  (Okay, okay, not a punny subject).Devil

    LOL!  you're hilarious! 

    pretty frightening bill tho... how are we suddenly required to pay ppl to police the internet?  and who says america needs to be in charge of it?  we're great, but this legislation is over-reaching to about 90% of the planet (and the big violators are in other countries anyway, and they won't care).  piracy is, indeed here to stay.

  • When considering the ramifications of these bills it is important to take into account that they would almost certainly make forums like this one a thing of the past, given that the entity hosting the forum and their ISP could be held accountable for any post that contained anything (words, image, whatever) that may induce someone or something to claim copyright infringement.

    Consider that copyright attaches regardless of whether a formal copyright is claimed and you can see how fubar the situation could become.

    Also consider the abuse of copyright law regarding software development, and how many companies exist not to create but to sue those who do and you become aware of the certainty of a cottage industry emerging based on litigious extortion (think SCO).

    And, think of the chilling effect the legislation would have on independent, non-biased reviews and on competition in the free market. Imagine a large company that makes an expensive digital audio cable that purports to dramatically improve the sound of digital audio playback by replacing the foam dielectric with soft French cheese. Let's call our imaginary company Brie Cable...no wait...Munster Cable, that has a nice ring to it. Now let's imagine that a review of Munster Cables new Cable de Vosges ($400 per inch, available only through select audio emporiums and fine delicatessens) appears on a web site and that the review includes quotes from Munster Cable claiming that "the cheese-filled Cable de Vosges produces an aromatic listening experience that is soft in texture yet intensely flavorful". Now let's imagine that our reviewer, after bench testing Cable de Vosges and performing double-blind listening tests with a cross-section of listeners, cannot substantiate Munster Cables claims and finds Cable de Vosges audibly indistinguishable from the budget-priced UBC (Un-Bent Coathanger) Cable available from a small (and equally imaginary) competitor, let's call them Dungaree Cable. If Munster Cable were the type of company that would use litigation to gain a competitive advantage, they may be inclined to use claims of copyright infringement to prevent the article from being published. Now, let's extrapolate a bit and imagine that Dungaree Cable quotes or links to the review on their web site. What would our imaginary industry giant do then? Would the consumer benefit? Even if the president of Dungaree Cable were a skillful litigator, could his company survive being knocked of the web for an extended period of time while it defends itself against a spurious accusation of copyright infringement? The mind boggles.

    The above scenario is entirely fictional. Any similarity to any person, corporation, cheese or French administrative region is purely unintentional. No one is responsible for the content of this post. It is the sole property of the Interwebs and may be quoted, copied, cut, pasted, misrepresented, taken out of context, modified, translated, transcribed or included in the Linux Kernel by anyone who chooses to do so, without prior approval from anyone. At least as far as I would be concerned if I had any say in it. Which I don't.

    Oh well, we'll still have satire. Or will we?



    [edited by: Alex W at 2:50 PM (GMT -5) on Fri, Jan 20 2012]

         RESIma

  • Alex W
    Let's call our imaginary company Brie Cable...no wait...Munster Cable, that has a nice ring to it.

    from this point on, i just couldn't stop laughing... UBC???  =D

  • Unbent Coat Hanger...an allusion to claims the fictitious manufacturers of esoteric cable may make about the hypothetically more realistically priced offerings from the equally fictitious Dungaree Cable.

    If they existed.

    Which they don't.

         RESIma

  • oh sorry, i didn't mean that to come off as a question... but perhaps a question of how on earth such comedy is allowed on this forum!  i was DONE when i read that part!  my roomy came down like "what is the matter?"  cuz my side literally had split in two.  funny stuff, especially in regards to the urgent severity of the OP.

  • i guess Tiger originally jacked the thread towards comedy, but i got a giggle and couldn't ignore giving him props... can't look at this post again tonite... my diaphram is too sore!  and BTW the company you referred to is muenster cable (i'm a cheez whiz).  thanx for bringing tears to my eyes!