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wizard gynoid

the problem is not what the intent is (as interpreted by you) but what it *can* conceivably be used for. laws like this can be abused by intrusive government agents and agencies to trample on the liberties our forefathers fought and died for. examples of this are all around you. open your eyes and your mind and you might see them before it is too late.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

No they can't, because we have a liberal, democratic government that has produced a law that has conditionalities and definitions and defenses written within it, and we have a system with adversarial defense.

You geeks all see laws like code -- executing literally and viciously without recourse. But law isn't like code. Law is has to be interpreted by courts. Law contains within it the remedies and definitions that prevent its abuse. You think with the binary thinking of geeks instead of understanding how organic systems work with Congress, the judiciary, and the executive in the checks and balances system.

The invocation of an edge-cased-based notion that a law "might" be misused is specious. It's vapor. It's fiction. I don't see anything in this law that is inherently abusive. What I see is a lot of outrageous lying about it and a lot of self-interested incitement of hysteria.

free movies

The freedom of spreading information around the internet should not be barred by any goverenment or country, that's one of the most beautiful things in the internet, it allows total freedom of speech.

Prokofy Neva

So free movies at looks like one of those pirate sites, it's streaming the 3D Puss in Boots, for example. I doubt that it has a license to do that.

Crime needs to be stop. Stopping crime is not censorship.

cube inada

congress looking to control crap content for a crap criminal community conscience... CC luv from CCC.;)

thanks for the readers digest of the law... i really had too but really am too tired too read the whole magilla...

maybe ill be surprised... but the pop culture trusts more in Jobs than jobs... and for that, it deserves to die.

oh just to be wasnt "real" sean parker saying that line, it was the "virtual" sean/justin timberlake/parker aka- Sorkin- who spoke it in the film.... but it was the most "grokked" line of the movie...

living online has created a generation of zombie borgs... with pretty avatars.

Daniel A. Shockley

"No they can't, because we have a liberal, democratic government that has produced a law that has conditionalities and definitions and defenses written within it, and we have a system with adversarial defense."

That is amazingly naive. Government agencies, especially those related to law enforcement, stretch the bounds of law all the time. And, because of various issues regarding immunity, agents and officers know that they will most likely get, at worst, a slap on the wrist for abusing their power. The police Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, who pepper-sprayed women who were peacefully protesting, lost 10 vacation days for his assault on civilians (see for more). Officers who have abused civilians in recent protests haven't even been covered by the traditional media - do you believe they will be disciplined in any way for their attacks? The federal government is no exception to stretching the boundaries of their power - see almost anything related to "homeland security" in the past ten years. Read about abuses of the Patriot Act, specifically.

Even when the courts might offer some level of redress for citizens who suffer at the hands of overreaching government officials, that process involves delay and large expense. The fear of this process can lead to chilling effects, where people avoid behavior and speech that is probably protected out of fear of retaliation or abuse.

This country has a history of granting more power to government to circumvent our rights, with promises that restrictions will keep that power from being abused. Then, everyone in the media acts surprised when the government inevitably abuses that power, ignoring the restrictions. You are either ignorant of history (and basic human nature regarding power), or this entire article is a deliberately intellectually dishonest attempt to support the content industry in a breath-taking power grab.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

No, Daniel, it's amazingly accurate. I have a lot more experience comparing foreign countries to my homeland than you may have, and I respect this country's system of checks and balances which actually work pretty well.

Yeah, I can recall a government agency that stretched the bounds of law recently -- the FCC, under the Obama-appointed chairman, who got checked and balanced in a court case later which then forced him to climb down from the technocommunist "net neutrality" stuff. So yeah, it's very important to curb aggressive executive agencies. In fact we've seen too much aggressive executive agency action under Obama that is in fact part of the reason why we saw so many Republicans fight to get back into the House -- and succeed. And even now, whenever Obama doesn't get his way with some lefty program, he cries "Congress blocked me" (although Congress is democratically elected as much as he is) and *voted* to curb his unrealistic and extreme programs, i.e. the too-costly job programs. So he puts executive agencies into motion to "compensate".

I'm really having a hard time crying very hard for pepper-sprayed demonstrators. I speak as someone whose own son has been pepper-sprayed needlessly by NYPD police in a schoolyard fight and who regularly has blogged and spoken out about excessive force of the NYPD.

That's because I've also gone and witnessed three OWS actions and saw how much they outrageously provoke police, by sharp contrast to marches I took part in myself in the 1960s and 1980s. These people don't know the rules of civil disobedience and have very crazy notions of the over-extensiveness of the First Amendment -- which in fact can be lawfully

Given that the prominent leftist civil rights attorney Ron Kuby is on the job with the pepper spray case, I have absolutely no doubt that Office Bologna is going to face as much litigation and adversarial defense as he deserves -- and more.

I'm also mindful of abuses of rights in the name of the Patriot Act like foreign renditions to certain torture -- these are issues I've actually worked on, probably unlike you.

I don't have an aversion to the term "homeland security given the real existing threat of terrorism.

Of course you're all over the map here, and the only thing you haven't mentioned is the latest OWS hero shown everywhere with his bloody head. Of course, that before that he was alleged to throw batteries at the police, and try to take flip off a policeman's riot helmet puts it into context, eh? Like a lot of the context you're missing on your other stories.

This country doesn't have a history of "granting more power to government to circumvent our rights, with promises that restrictions will keep that power from being abused." Russia is the kind of country that has that setting -- we have the opposite, a history of people constantly limiting power and taking back power.

And what's needed now is to take back power from pirates and their enablers in Silicon Valley in the name of in fact the First Amendment for content creators, took, and for people's livelihoods.

SOPA doesn't require the future good will of implementors as the language of the law has restrictions as to definition, and restrictions as to types of defenses.

The breath-taking power grab was made by Google, Facebook, Twitter et. al. Your friend Google doesn't even pay its taxes, shifting its revenue abroad to Ireland and manipulating its cash flow so that it doesn't pay taxes in this country. That never bothers people like you.

I'm as intellectually honest as a heart attack. The rule of law has to be established over the Internet. The government has ceded too much of the power of the Internet to rapacious and greedy private companies like Google and Facebook. Human rights have to be kept in balance.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

BTW, I've noticed before that the worst sort of person for justifying the lawlessness of the Internet is somebody who has an engineering or computer science degree and works as a coder, and then later gets a law degree and harnesses it to the big IT companies.


Catherine, the fact of the matter is the corporations you feel deserve protection wish to compete by legislation rather than actually competing. The reason you see educated specialized individuals with background in the fields directly effected by this law defending "lawlessness" of the internet, is because they are the few that actual understand what the internet physically is. You act as though comparing the technical implementation required by this act to China is ridiculous, when it is in fact identical technically. Censorship by corporation is still censorship. Your claims that this law couldn't or wouldn't be used against minor infractions is based only on your own emotional perception of how society works. The RIAA has sued individuals many times in the past and generally claim thousands of dollars per song/movie downloaded. Virtually any link to any website containing copywrited material WOULD be enough to trigger the law. I'm sorry, but your hopes and dreams don't outweigh the fact that the wording of the law allows for a website like facebooks domain to be pulled if ANY user posts copywrited and facebook does not remove it fast enough. I am certain you have no understanding of how much overhead it would take to actually enforce a policy in which this requirement was necessary, and the devastating impact it would have on existing web sites. You are the one that should be ashamed of yourself, you are too ill informed on this subject to be taken seriously.

Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

No, legislation is what makes a free market able to stay free and not be overrun by criminals -- vandals, hackers, pirates, etc.

Just as past forms of communication -- sea shipping, the railroads -- fought pirates and highway robbers, so this new form of communication -- the Internet -- will do the same thing. It's all normal.

I don't think there is anything really SO special about the Internet that any educated person not in a technical field can't understand it. I've studied how it works for years and I grasp the basics. It's not rocket science. Geeks are gas station attendants.

It isn't the same technically, because technology doesn't occur in isolation; it is a human artifact run by humans in contexts. Again, geeks don't mind a regime that prevents links to malware; they can do the same exact thing with pirate sites but they won't for religious reasons.

I don't have an "emotional" perception of how society works -- I have grounded experience unlike many of the young Internet-bred. The cases are also available to see on the Internet.

In fact, when we get a universal law of this nature, it would prevent an RIAA or individual law firm arbitrarily trying to cobble together cases using this or that law against this or that random infringer. SOPA defines piracy and how to fight it better than any individual lawsuit. So it's all good. The RIAA lawsuit scare stories never persuade me. Some of them, when scratched, although hyped as stay-at-home moms, etc. are in fact massive piraters; others, even if unfair, had remedies. That IS how our society works, and we're NOT China.

It's not true that "any link to any website containing copyrighted material would trigger the law." All law enforcement has to start with complaints. As SOPA itself says in the text -- read it! -- it doesn't envision prior censorship or monitoring, it envisions response to complaints (as DMCA works now.) And all law has to start with probably cause, and human intelligence looking at the situation. The naked eye, if it comes to that, will distinguish between a tumblr blog and a massive piracy site.

Now, because of the inadequacies of the DMCA, software is used to try to find infringement -- precisely because there hasn't been a strong legal tool to universally fight piracy.

There is NO SUCH WORDING in this law that says ALL OF FACEBOOK can be shut down. Are you able to read? Read the law and *please do* try to find ANYTHING saying that. You won't. Instead you will see precise definition and defense as I've outlined here. Not only do I have understanding of the overhead of shutting down an entire site -- I have read the law which allows for a defense that says "economic hardship" and "technical infeasibility". In fact, most infringers will cleverly hide behind those defenses and only the really blatant pirates may get curbed with this law, which will be insufficient, despite all the scarifying about it.

I'm as informed as anyone, and I've bothered to study the law, and of course I already followed First Amendment jurisprudence and knew that there was no way you could gin this up as a "free speech" issue -- as Floyd Abrams explains properly.


Speaking of SOPA, there was an entertaining and informative exchange on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show between NBC's Attorney Richard Cotton and Alexis Ohanian of Reddit:

My favorite quote was by Alexis Ohanian/Reddit: "SOPA will *obliterate* the internet!" (You can almost hear the chuckles)

Chris Hayes was wrong however about CNN being the only news agency reporting on SOPA prior to his show. Fox News' Judge Napolitano's "Freedom Watch" hosted a panel last week in which all the participants denounced SOPA (about 3:15 in):

Apparently no one on the Fox panel actually read the bill:

"Stop Online Piracy Act - Authorizes the Attorney General (AG) to seek a court order against a U.S.-directed *foreign* Internet site committing or facilitating online piracy.."


Just in from the tweakersphere:

@rupertmurdoch Rupert Murdoch
Seems like universal anger with Optus from all sorts of normal supporters. Maybe backing pirates a rare miscalculation by friend Axelrod.

@rupertmurdoch Rupert Murdoch
More pirates. Whole entertainment ind employs 2.2 million ave salary 65 g. Good jobs and expanding foreign earnings. Made in America, too!

1/16/2012 @ 1:00 am EST


You seem to forget that the US has been trampling on civil liberties for practically all their history. Economic policies in Chilé, Brazil and Argentina in the '70's and '80's. The invasion of Iraq for oil and other bullshit. Nixon commiting felonies, dropping nukes on Japan etc. The US are bloodthirsty, money hungry, capitalism supporting war criminals. You're insane if you think that will ever change.

the end of the world

At this time I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming again to read more news.

womans freebies

Yo bros !! The name is SOILA LAWSON. I belong to Grand Prairie.
My age is 43. I might take night schooling in The Hyper Military
School of Young Education in Harrisburg. I have a job as
Corporate librarian. I like Animals/pets/dogs.
My daddy name is Jeff and he is a General. My mummy is a Paralegal.

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