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Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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Old 12-29-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
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Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

I wanted to start a discussion about this bill here because it could profoundly impact everyone here on The Warpath. SOPA could cause a significant change to how we browse the internet in general and be particularly devestating for online forums, YouTube, Facebook, and Google. This bill essentially takes due process away from the site owners and starts us down a slippery slope that could lead us even farther down the internet censorship rabbit hole.

On the surface, most people would not object to stopping piracy. I respect intellectual property and think that the owners of that property should get a fair price for their goods. I feel as if many of the media-based industries are pretty far behind the curve, which contributes to the piracy -- but that subject is for another day.

The real issue comes with the fact that a site owner is going to be held liable for everything that happens on their site. For instance, if someone started posting links for illegal Redskins gear, live streams for the games, YouTube videos with the skins in it -- Matty is responsible. His site will get shut down and he has no real recourse to get that reversed. It requires either ridiculous amounts of moderation or mods having to approve every post before it is allowed through. Please think of Mrs. Smootsmack. She would never see her husband again!

If they are found in violation they will be removed from the DNS servers. That means if thewarpath was in violation, you would be forwarded to a page saying this site is suspect if pirating. However, instead of typing The Warpath: Redskins Fan Site you typed The Warpath: Redskins Fan Site The Warpath would still come up. Thus this would make 3rd party DNS servers the norm.

My explanation was far from eloquent, if you're interested in reading more about it Toms Hardware did an excellent write up of how it would affect their site. If this topic hits a sensitive spot, like it does for me, I suggest you reach out to your politicians. Many of us are outraged by this and GoDaddy took a huge hit because of their support of this bill, that they were both responsible for helping to draft and coincidentally exempt from the ramifications.

Save Tom's, Stop SOPA
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:26 PM   #2
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Reminds me of all the regulations surrounding the performance of copyrighted music in public. Will you be required to get an annual Web-posting license similar to my music performance license from BMI and ASCAP?
When at a party, folks get upset when they bring me some music they have and want it played but I have to refuse them because I don't know its pedigree and I have not paid the royalty fees on it. I can see where you will be faced with similar issues involving the material that is posted on your web site.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Online piracy is here to stay. Sure they'll start with the websites but eventually movie studios and record companies are going to want to move on to individuals who download music and movies. I'm glad that a good amount of Republican Senators and Congressman oppose the bill seeing as how they currently have a lot of seats in both houses.

The sad thing though is that the studios and record companies charge way to much for their products. Hence the appeal of piracy. They said back in the 80's when CD's first came out that the price would eventually go down as the cost of production decreased. Some 10, 15 years later companies are still trying to get $14 or $15 for a CD.

An HBO series single season on DVD cost something like $40 or $50 and anywhere from $60 to $80 on Blu Ray. Companies are trying to get $15 or $16 for a single movie on DVD and now are trying to squeeze more out of legitimate companies like NetFlix for the rights to other movies. ITunes had a great model for legitimate music downloads. People could buy 2 songs for $2. Then the record companies got greedy and pushed for the price to be raised. Now you have people downloading 1 song for $1.29 instead of 2 for $2. And worse then that the record companies now realize that in the digital age artist need them less and less.

I'm all for capitalism but the studios and record companies brought this on themselves and are now getting this ass kicked in a true free market system. And the ironic thing to is that piracy has increased exposure. People that wouldn't watch a TV show before because they had no idea what was going on could get caught up with previous episodes and then watch the current episodes with commercials. Musicians that they never heard of that get bunched with theme based torrents suddenly get noticed by illegal downloaders. And believe it or not a lot of people that download music illegally will go back to itunes and purchase legitimate versions of the songs they download.

Bottom line though is that this is censorship and an extension of the Patriot Act that will lead to more and more basic liberties being taken away.

Ironically if this gets passed VPN sales will probably end up going through the roof.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

It's amazing the amount of corruption in this law
ATT, Comcast Distribute Piracy Software-SOPA - Politicol News


Quote:
CNET and Download.com were the principle distributors of piracy software like Kazaa, Bearshare and Limewire, with each downloaded hundreds of millions of times. Not only that, but they literally provided instructions on how to download songs, even going so far as to recommend what copyright material to download and providing links to it on their sites.

The issue? CNET is owned by CBS/Viacom, one of the chief supporters of SOPA. The allegation in the video is that all these media companies, from Viacom to Time Warner to Disney, let consumers run wild with this software for years, and now get to step back saying “look at all this piracy!” when it’s their sites that distributed the software to illegally download content for decades. – Forbes

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has expressed opposition to the bill, as well as Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX), who joined nine Democrats to sign a letter to other House members warning that the bill would cause "an explosion of innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation."[80] "Issa said the legislation is beyond repair and must be rewritten from scratch," reported The Hill.[81] Issa and Lofgren have announced plans for legislation offering "a copyright enforcement process modeled after the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC) patent infringement investigations."[29]
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:59 PM   #5
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Well, if this bill passes, life is gonna suck way more exponentially.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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Originally Posted by mooby View Post
Well, if this bill passes, life is gonna suck way more exponentially.
I don't believe it will pass. Granted it's a very real threat.

SOPA opponents may go nuclear and other 2012 predictions | Privacy Inc. - CNET News

Ironic seeing who is writing this article but nonetheless it brings up a good point. Anyway bottom line is that Google alone could be enough to stand up to the 120 or so other companies trying to get SOPA passed. You can then go on to include the likes of Twitter, YouTube (owned by Google), Linkedin, EBay, Amazon, and Yahoo among others that will start their own push to oppose the bill assuming they haven't already. IIRC Facebook has opposed the bill participating in a letter to what I believe is a Supreme Court justice but Zuckerberg has remained publicly neutral.

Is Facebook Selling Out The Internet? | Techdirt

Quote:
In newspapers across the country today, a who's who of massively successful entrepreneurs are asking Congress not to pass SOPA or PROTECT IP. On the list of people signing:
  • Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, Opsware, and Andreessen Horowitz
  • Mitchell Baker, co-founder of Mozilla Firefox
  • Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
  • Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square
  • Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch
  • David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo
  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
  • Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post
  • Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube
  • Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive
  • Elon Musk, co-founder of Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX
  • Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist
  • Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
  • Biz Stone, co-founder of Obvious and Twitter
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikimedia
  • Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter
  • Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo
Quote:
That said, there is one name that's oddly missing: Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook did already come out against the bill, but Mark's name is not on here. Given the list of other names on here, there's no doubt he was asked, but for whatever reasons has chosen not to speak out. In asking around, it appears that he made the decision not to stick his neck out on this one, even as the company agrees that SOPA is bad.
Not to mention the majority of people don't like the idea of turning the internet into a legal minefield where clicking on the wrong site can result in litigation or termination of internet service. Plus keep in mind that parents have limited control of what their kids do online.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:05 PM   #7
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Basically says that messing with technology, one of the last competitive advantages for the US economy and a major catalyst for job creation is foolish. Also they would take major job creators like Google and Yahoo which would be bumped down in popularity in favor of offshore search engines that aren't censored and can't be blocked by SOPA.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:58 PM   #8
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

when computers used cassette to store data, games were pirated over radiowaves. you can't stop piracy... you can push it to anonymous proxied and fully encrypted networks running 3rd party dns, but you don't want to do that. Cause then you loose your ear to what's really happening, and people with aims far worse than downloading an mp3 can ride the new wave of the 2nd internet everyone is invisible. SOPA let's terrorists win :P


I mean, the last round they told isps they had to keep their logs for 2 years, so guess what happened? they stopped keeping logs of anything.


before photoshop was widely pirated, people had to learn it at work while being paid, now they come in with the skill set, so its easier to run photoshop in your business since the talent is widely available and the business HAS to be on the up and up.

for games its less clear, but plenty of studies show that the biggest music pirates spend the most money on music, people that pirate software wouldn't use it/buy it wasn't free, and piracy of TV, music, and books tends to lead to increased sales. I think games are the only place where companies really lose out, and that's why most PC games now are designed for consoles (ie xbox) in mind, cause the PC profit margin on non java/flash/mmos just isn't there (part of that is due to DRASTICALLY increased budget requirements on a tier 1 title though).

blah blah blah DMCA sucked, SOPA sucks, and you can't make good legislation from a bad concept.

slightly offtopic, so sorry, but it seems like every 3 years some other awful tech laws comes down the pipes that only seems to make sense to people who have no idea what the internet is or does and that LOTS of people and money is is involved in the current e-commerce system they're trying to severely cripple.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:50 PM   #9
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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when computers used cassette to store data, games were pirated over radiowaves. you can't stop piracy... you can push it to anonymous proxied and fully encrypted networks running 3rd party dns, but you don't want to do that. Cause then you loose your ear to what's really happening, and people with aims far worse than downloading an mp3 can ride the new wave of the 2nd internet everyone is invisible. SOPA let's terrorists win :P
That's the funniest thing about this whole bill. It does everything but stop piracy. Heck it barely puts a dent in it. All the while screwing up everything else to appease Hollywood and the dying record industry. Stupid Hollywood. First they force us to sit through terrible movies now they want to mess up the internet.


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for games its less clear, but plenty of studies show that the biggest music pirates spend the most money on music, people that pirate software wouldn't use it/buy it wasn't free, and piracy of TV, music, and books tends to lead to increased sales. I think games are the only place where companies really lose out, and that's why most PC games now are designed for consoles (ie xbox) in mind, cause the PC profit margin on non java/flash/mmos just isn't there (part of that is due to DRASTICALLY increased budget requirements on a tier 1 title though).
PC games are less popular for developers because of their impracticality. Granted piracy reduces the appeal but it's such an unstable market. Someone buys a gaming machine it becomes obsolete in 2 or 3 years if they're lucky. Meanwhile PS3 and 360 will have had a lifespan of around 10 years when it's all said and done. Developers get more time to familiarize themselves with the platform and when they finish the product they have a good idea as to what to expect when it comes to sales.

The more ambitious titles like Crysis and Battlefield I believe are basically R&D for the next generation of consoles all the while getting a chance to produce sales. Theres also stuff like WOW but those are more niche markets that have excellent revenue models.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #10
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

the highest margin PC games are MMOs or flash/java "app" type titles (like minecraft).
WoW makes over 5mill profit per MONTH last i heard and minecraft has sold like $10mill worth or something insane.

ID, valve, and epic have basically moved from game producers to engine producers, so any sales on their "demo" products is just gravy.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:30 PM   #11
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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Originally Posted by Dirtbag59 View Post
Online piracy is here to stay. Sure they'll start with the websites but eventually movie studios and record companies are going to want to move on to individuals who download music and movies. I'm glad that a good amount of Republican Senators and Congressman oppose the bill seeing as how they currently have a lot of seats in both houses.

The sad thing though is that the studios and record companies charge way to much for their products. Hence the appeal of piracy. They said back in the 80's when CD's first came out that the price would eventually go down as the cost of production decreased. Some 10, 15 years later companies are still trying to get $14 or $15 for a CD.

An HBO series single season on DVD cost something like $40 or $50 and anywhere from $60 to $80 on Blu Ray. Companies are trying to get $15 or $16 for a single movie on DVD and now are trying to squeeze more out of legitimate companies like NetFlix for the rights to other movies. ITunes had a great model for legitimate music downloads. People could buy 2 songs for $2. Then the record companies got greedy and pushed for the price to be raised. Now you have people downloading 1 song for $1.29 instead of 2 for $2. And worse then that the record companies now realize that in the digital age artist need them less and less.

I'm all for capitalism but the studios and record companies brought this on themselves and are now getting this ass kicked in a true free market system. And the ironic thing to is that piracy has increased exposure. People that wouldn't watch a TV show before because they had no idea what was going on could get caught up with previous episodes and then watch the current episodes with commercials. Musicians that they never heard of that get bunched with theme based torrents suddenly get noticed by illegal downloaders. And believe it or not a lot of people that download music illegally will go back to itunes and purchase legitimate versions of the songs they download.

Bottom line though is that this is censorship and an extension of the Patriot Act that will lead to more and more basic liberties being taken away.

Ironically if this gets passed VPN sales will probably end up going through the roof.
Really so if I decided to sell my 2004 Ford Explorer for $16,000 and because I have asked too much it will be my fault if someone just steals it.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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Really so if I decided to sell my 2004 Ford Explorer for $16,000 and because I have asked too much it will be my fault if someone just steals it.
Is the Ford Explorer something you yourself mass produce for the masses? Do you earn money related to it in thousands of other ways besides selling it in one form to consumers?
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:14 PM   #13
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

if you ask for 30% over value you're going to have a hard time selling it, especially when other people are offering it for free. I don't know how you got to there from that post though fd.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:14 AM   #14
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

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Really so if I decided to sell my 2004 Ford Explorer for $16,000 and because I have asked too much it will be my fault if someone just steals it.
You're talking about outright theft with your Ford Explorer example. I think Matty posted this, or something like it, a while back.


Either way it's apples to oranges. And on top of that regardless of your feelings on piracy, as stated before this law does little, if anything to reduce piracy. Forget stopping it, it barely reduces it. All while screwing up the rest of the internet and crippling the last major competitive advantage for the US economy. Everyone should be opposed to this law, not just people that use torrents.

For the most part it boils down to a lot of hollywood big wigs and technologically illiterate politicians with little or no understanding on the inner workings of the net trying to control something they can't. And the sad part is, if the CNET example I posted earlier is legit, the studios that are spearheading this law are the same ones that gave us the damn software to begin with.

Lucky for us reason is likely to win out but the fact that this proposal has gotten as far as it has is disturbing.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #15
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Re: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Theft is theft you guys just don't want to call it that because you fell its OK to do.

So using that example I guess you don't have a problem is someone slips you a fake $100 bill. After all the original is still in the hands of the owner.

Last edited by firstdown; 01-03-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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