Piracy is a problem. SOPA is not the solution. | webOS Nation
 
 

Piracy is a problem. SOPA is not the solution. 40

by Derek Kessler Wed, 18 Jan 2012 4:55 pm EST

By now you've likely encountered today's black bar on Google or the complete blacking out of sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, and WebOS Internals. It's all in response to something else you've likely heard of, being a denizen of the internet: SOPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act is like so many of the undertakings of the US federal government - a great idea, with horribly flawed execution. Currently still just a bill awaiting confirmation from the House Judiciary Committee, a companion bill in the Senate called the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (or PIPA)) has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee, though it has not been brought to a vote by the full Senate.

The idea behind both SOPA and PIPA is a simple and commendable one: target piracy enabled and facilitated by foreign (hosted outside of the United States) websites. There are plenty of tools for dealing with piracy committed by websites within the United States, including the generally well-thought-out and executed Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Foreign websites, however, fall outside of the jurisdiction of the US Department of Justice, leaving them few options.

The horribly flawed solution offered by SOPA and PIPA is to instead go after websites and ISPs within the US. Content producers from film producers to blogs to record labels would be able to secure a court order to force search engines to delist sites accused of facilitating copyright infringement, advertisers to cease serving ads to that site, for payment processors to cease business with the site, and for ISPs to block direct access to the site as well. The language of SOPA and PIPA is intentionally broad, giving great latitude to accusers and the courts in deciding what constitutes infringement.

It's worth clarifying that SOPA and PIPA are targeted only at international websites that facilitate the unlawful transmission of copyrighted content. Or rather, they're targeted at stateside services that could profit from traffic sent to those websites. Our problem with these bills is the way that they ignore the fundamental structure and operation of the internet. For a country that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom, SOPA and PIPA smell more look more like something that would come out of China or Iran.

Don't get us wrong here, piracy is a problem. Copyrighted material, from this blog post to the latest James Cameron film to the apps on your phone is made to provide a living to real breathing people. Sure, some people make ridiculously large piles of money off that content, but that doesn't make it any less wrong to steal it. In the end, that's what piracy is. It's stealing, it's just been made easier by the internet.

Piracy and the mission of webOS Nation are diametrically opposed. Ironically enough, we find ourselves diametrically opposed to SOPA and PIPA as well. Those that advocate for piracy as a means to "discover new talent" are ignoring the changed reality of modern word-of-mouth. Back in the day copyright infringement was difficult - you had to manually copy a cassette tape and physically deliver it to a friend to share that new AC/DC album. While some were willing to go through that effort, a lot of times it was just easier to recommend to your friend that they go and buy Back in Black. Today it's as easy as posting onto a forum a link to download the album free of charge.

We see this happen all the time with webOS developers. Some of the best and most popular apps for webOS smartphones and tablets have been pirated time and time again, made available online for anybody with an internet connection. This takes dollars out of the pockets of big publishing houses like Gameloft and smaller operations lie dots & lines and Inglorious Apps. It's not fair to the developers or the community at large.

SOPA and PIPA are a problem in that they address a 21st century problem with a 20th century attitude. If you haven't already, we urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators and urge them to vote against SOPA and PIPA. We want piracy to be stifled just as much as the next patriotic content producer, but it needs to be done right. That means taking the time to consult with more than just MPAA and RIAA lobbyists - those that serve the content, those that produce the content, those that provide access to the content, and those that consume the content all need to be involved. This is democracy after all.

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40 Comments

Its censorship that can EASILY be abused and makes us one step closer to China. That all it is and what it was intended for to make us see what they want us to see.

Co-Sign

Thanks for the post, Derek. It would have been better if it was not presumed that great ideas come from the federal government, though.

Piracy is NOT a problem. It is a symptom. The absolute wrong approach to this is not to make it harder to pirate, but to make it easier to obtain legally than illegally. Yes, I know it won't always be easy to do that, but you have to have a completely different outlook on the issue at hand. Making it harder to pirate only really punishes the people who are willing to pay. Every retail store has issues known as "shrink". These are acceptable losses that the stores build into their budgets. Of course they would want absolute zero shrink, but it's usually impossible to achieve. We have to realize that piracy is going to happen no matter what you do. All that you, as a content creator, can do is to make your content as easily accessible as possible, and at the most competitive price.

+1

Piracy IS VERY MUCH a problem. Especially if it's your content, music, movie, writing that is being stolen.

And there are a lot of people that fundamentally feel they have the right to have my work for free or profit from my work. That is wrong. If you didn't pay for it it's not yours. The fact that piracy will happen does not mean that it's not a problem.

If i make a song with my own money. What right to you have to use it without my permission.

It's just flat wrong that its' merely too hard to get content legally. There's thousands online stores selling digital content. There's netflix, blockbuster, and brick and morter stores selling physical content. People on torrent sites are not their because it's too hard to go to best buy and buy a $25 blu-ray. They are on Pirate bay because they don't want to pay $25 dollars. Hey i sympathize. But that doesn't make it right or not a problem. It's not their right. It's not a fair use. The problem is lots of people want it free. I understand why, but i'm not gonna act like it's right. If Derek writes this article i don't have a right to copy it without his or whomever owns the copyrights to the article's permission. There's no issue that it's too hard to get. it's right here on this website. I love free too but i'm not gonna lie about what stealing content is.

If piracy is so NOT a problem why don't we link to all the sites that have free webos ipks and and start asking developers if everyone feely sideloading apps is a problem because those sites exist full of bootleg webos apps. That's a problem. Just like a movie someone paid to make it and they deserve any profit

i'm not talking about whether sopa is right. i'm not talking about sopa at all. I'm talking about your first comment that Piracy is not a problem. I disagree. It is a problem

It doesn't matter if online piracy is a problem or not. It cannot be prevented and is here to stay - except by turning the entire internet into a corporate/government controlled entity without user contributed materials. This is what China, Iran etc has been trying to do, together with RIAA, MPAA et al. They have the same ultimate goal (re internet), a closed down and controlled environment.

"People on torrent sites are not their because it's too hard to go to best buy and buy a $25 blu-ray." They are there for a lot of reason, including not wanting to pay. Although numerous studies have proved that most people who pirate entertainment spend more than the average person on music and movies. Following that, what is more important is the "go to best buy"-part. Compared to online access it is much more inconvenient to go to best buy. Even more if there is no best buy in your town or country.

The main reason they are there, though, instead of on Netflix and others is that the media rights holders have been kicking, screaming and legislating against convenience instead of providing a decent legal and moral service. They missed more than a decade before they started to agree to an online distribution model. That decade facilitated a behavior that will take more than a decade to unlearn, especially as they are still not interested in providing a good experience (ie Spotify, Hulu, Netflix trying to expand into new markets, either into the US or out of the US).

They have created the situation where piracy is no longer a "shrinkage" situation (like Bales said) but a common phenomenon, practiced by almost anyone. Those fundamental mistakes will take a long, long time to rectify and must start with providing good, decent online services so that people will start learning legal and moral behaviors.

By the way, software companies have made some of the same mistakes, but have on the whole been much better in using the opportunities on the computer world. Not so surprising... Everything from filling stacks of 3.5" floppies, to CD's, to calling home activation and now cloud services. That is using the new capabilities instead of just trying to criminalize them. And that is why they are starting to diverge from the media moguls.

>They are there for a lot of reason, including not wanting to pay.

True, peoples emotions towards forking out for services might be the same reason ehy the industry is backwarding it's way into the changes needed.

Personally I do "a lot" of media purchase on-line, but it's mostly hardware. I like to have a CD/DVD with a cover that makes me feel I get "proper" value for money.

Buying digital content by just paying for a service without the solid just feels kinda wrong/awkward. That's why I probably won't ever sign up for a Spotify (or similar) subscription, cause in the end I have nothing to show for it ...

>If piracy is so NOT a problem why don't we link to all the sites that have free webos ipks and and start asking developers if everyone feely sideloading apps is a problem because those sites exist full of bootleg webos apps.

I'm curious to whom are using those sites, cause it would tell a little about peoples mindset and reasons.

I doubt it's a helping hand from app catalog enabled users to the people not being able to do app purchases cause of HPalms lousy business model in that regard.

The problem isn't with the idea of protecting the intellectual property of those who need protecting, it IS a problem with HOW the protection is done.

Remember, the idea of copyright is to help support authors, music artists, and movie studios(since you need an entire studio to make a movie) so that they can AFFORD to make a living entertaining others. As long as they make a reasonable amount of profit needed to continue funding their work, the system as a whole works. This is where things tend to break, because that concept is lost on so many people.

When it comes to music, if your favorite artists make enough money to live well and continue making music people enjoy, that should be far more important than if the record label continues to make money after the investment in recording studio equipment/labor has been covered, right? It should be about the artist, and making sure that person or people can survive long enough on their profits, as long as people are spending money to buy a copy of that music.

For software, you have many different types of software, from big budget stuff, to individuals who slap together code quickly to produce something useful. If the investment needed to MAKE something is high(it takes months or years to code with multiple people involved in the programming), that deserves a bit more protection to make sure that the costs of development are at LEAST covered by those who are buying the application.

There is also a huge change that has happened in the WORLD due to the technology to reproduce this content. Before the invention of the copy machine, it did take a lot of money to print a copy of a book for example. Now, anyone with one copy could make multiple printed copies for a fairly trivial amount of effort.

What many do not think about is that the layout, formatting of the text on the page, and so on had to be done by SOMEONE, so it's not just about the author. So, you STILL have the original author, then proofreading, then formatting it. All of that effort is one side, and then the cost to mass produce and distribute is in addition to that. Those who make illegal copies think only about the "cost of reproduction" which they are right, they are not stealing, but the costs to make the original work LOOK correct on a page or screen SHOULD be paid for.

So, fight to protect the people who deserve the protection, those who CREATE things that you want, but don't fight to protect those who "own" the things the product creators are producing. If the creators are being paid decently by the companies that pay them, then those companies also deserve protection as well, but not to the extent that the creators should be protected.

There are many issues with the topic that many just don't THINK about. In general, I agree with needing to protect the movie studios from piracy, primarily due to the number of people REQUIRED to make a movie. The overhead to make a movie is huge, from the large number of actors and coordination involved, to special effects, costumes, audio, makeup, and so on. You can NOT really compare that level of work to what a record label needs to put in to "produce" one song or album.

When a music artist produces a song, you have what, $100,000 at most worth of costs to record and master an entire album. From there, distribution is really fairly trivial in this day and age. Can you really compare that to the costs to film a movie in the first place, when the mass production costs close to the same?

Piracy is an issue, but letting the overly greedy music industry drive things is almost a crime, and that is what most people are REALLY against.

You can't make obtaining something legally much easier than "click this link and download it for free". Making it harder or more dangerous to pirate is really the only way to make it "harder" than going through a retail channel.

Still, piracy is with us for the long haul, as long as 1's and 0's can be passed from computer to computer. It doesn't matter how hard they try and fight it. Piracy changes the market, and it certainly outdates old-ways of making a living, but that's all part of our technological evolution as a species. Personally, I'd say we're all better off in a future where those 1's and 0's are free and openly available to anyone on the planet.

So you agree with Google and all the foundations that they generously fund. In a world where 0s and 1s are free and most art is now delivered in a 0 and 1 format, that probably means a pretty grim future for artists who wish to be financially independent and able to finance future works.

But in Google's world privacy is for pedos and anything that drives search engine traffic should be free. Particularly piracy as it accounts for a 1/3 of their traffic.

I love that you've taken my post and somehow twisted it to say I'm a pedo supporter.

The world is changing, but creation of content is changing too. You don't have to have a multimillion dollar studio to produce studio quality music today. CGI is similarly coming down in price and becoming more readily accessible. The old ways are dying but they will be replaced by an explosion of content the likes of which the world has never seen, assuming the internet is still free to distribute it.

Get with the future. It's a better place, if we allow it to be. Or, we can have some silly dystopian place with crazy bandwidth limits, no privacy, no free sharing of ideas, and handicapped freedom all in a misguided attempt to keep a 12 year old from sharing the new pink album.

yeah, I know what world I want to live in.

You misunderstood what i said, and here's what the CEO of your beloved Google has to say about privacy: "If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It."

Please spare me regurgitating the tired old Google talking points about how "the old ways" of artists being able to support themselves financially are over, and how the "explosion of content" that freeloaders like you troll for on Google will somehow make society better.

Complete fearmongering BS. Learn to think for yourself and support the rights of independent artists trying to eke out a living rather than multinational corporations trying to sell ads.

Where exactly are you getting "google" from my posts? Please cite your work, because I haven't used the word google or discussed them in the slightest. While your at it, how bout you show me where exactly in my posts I support the elimination of privacy, pedophiles, or giant multinational companies at the expense of independent artists.

Your arguments are totally silly and completely disconnected from what I saying. Either you are deliberately trolling or you have absolutely no idea wtf you are talking about.

Let me help you. In the two posts above this, I specifically explained that I am against the removal of privacy on the internet. I said the free WORLD internet is better off free of the regulations or morality of any single country. I explained that the free exchange of ideas, cheap capacity for creation of content, and ease of reaching an audience means there are MORE of those independent artists you seem to care about, all creating amazing content as we speak. And I explained that this is a GOOD thing, even if it means the death of old mega corporations who used to dominate these fields.

You want independent artists? Then maybe you should support the freedoms that allow them to exist. Yes, some people will pirate their hard work, but the work wouldn't exist in the first place (or at the very least wouldn't be accessible to you) if it wasn't for the same exact evolution in technology and free unfettered exchange of information you seem to be against.

I apologize if I've made this post too long for you to understand.

There are so many different ways to address the issue that your simplistic approach just isn't enough for people to take it seriously.

If you want to sing a song you heard, and then have your voice recorded and then sell it, that should be your right, you did the "work" to sing the song, record it, and distribute it. You should NOT have the right to DUPLICATE the voice/images of others and give it away, and that is where the fundamental problem with most of these copyright laws comes from.

Basically, you can't copyright a concept, so if you imitate the work of others, there should be no problem, but when you use technology to DUPLICATE the work of others without you putting in the effort to fully re-create that work, then you should not be allowed to do the duplication without compensating those who did the work.

With the Internet being what it is, in the future, you won't need to download programs, you will just run them off the server of whoever provides it, and that will be the solution to this problem. Software "publishers" will just have you running some remote access game client to stream the game from a central server, something like Steam but where the game code also exists on some remote hard drive on the Internet. It won't be about "anything online should be free", or garbage like that.

Piracy is a problem for me. More than half of all downloads for my apps have been pirated. Some inconsiderate jerk uploads my hard work, and some people just aren't willing to reward me for my hard work. Unlike the big media companies, I don't have millions to spend on lobbyists in Washington. Each time my app is pirated really hurts me.

But even if I had millions, I wouldn't even think of proposing laws like SOPA/PIPA. Such an unprecedented power grab with the purpose of censoring the internet is just completely unacceptable. The big media companies won't make it easy for users to access their content in the way they like best. They prefer that we continue overpaying for DVD's and Blurays. Even as services like Netflix reduce piracy, the big media companies are afraid of changing technology and will stop at nothing to prevent the power from changing hands, even proposing a breach of civil liberties. This is not the way. It's something we can't allow to happen.

As for me, I just ask that you who download people's app's and don't pay, especially for us webOS developers, throw us a bone. Just pay for our apps, and if you can't because of some ridiculous policy on HP's part, then just send us an e-mail. Don't just steal our work.

Keep asking the freeloaders to be fair, that's been working great for independent musicians struggling to earn a living. Music is cheaper and more accessible than ever, yet music sales are down 40% over the past decade.

Really, independent artists should look into tours and shows for making money today. The world changed for them.

You left out selling t-shirts.

I guess artists no longer have the right to be compensated for their works but app makers do.

Artists deserve to be compensated, but the problem is with the record labels. I don't want to give money to some record label, I want to give money to those who actually create what I want to use, watch, or listen to.

The only times I have used illegal copies of software, or illegally downloaded music have been when I was so broke, I couldn't afford it. Software that is priced so high that it is not worth the purchase price for people is its own issue($500 for an application you only need to use for a home project ONCE falls into that category).

Now, most WebOS software is in that $0.99-$5 range, so I REALLY can't see why anyone would be so cheap they would pirate it. I can fully understand a try before you buy from some people, but honestly, for inexpensive stuff, there is NO excuse for piracy of something you will use for more than an hour or so.

From that, you can even see how radio is how the music industry really took off, it provides that "try before you buy" approach to music.

Music sales as tracked by record companies might be down 40%. That has more to do with the RIAA being completely unable to adapt their business practices than it has to do with music sales.

Speaking for myself, I am tech-savvy and capable of pirating pretty much anything I want. Yet the ONLY stuff that I torrent is stuff that:

(1) I can't buy, because it's just not available for purchase, or

(2) Stuff that I already own, but want in a different format (e.g., PDF).

I believe most people are honest. If you ask them to pay a fair price for work they enjoy, and make it practicable for them to do so, they will do so, IMO. Generally.

Also, people tend to dismiss the positive effect that exposure has on sales of creative content. If I hear a friend's copy of some band's record, pirated or not, and I like the record, I'll buy it. That is not a "lost sale."

I'm not a defender of piracy. I fully believe that people should pay for content they use and enjoy. But this is an incredibly complex issue, and people on both extreme ends of the "piracy is wrong" spectrum are wrong.

There are many reasons people pirate that can be considerably reduced. In my school the one thing apart from iOS apps that are pirated most is software. The reality is that for students who simply wanted complete an assignment well, paying even five hundred dollars for Sony Vegas pro for the student discounted version is still out of reach. One may say that that is why the consumer version exists, the fact is that it simply is not capable, especially when one considers that it is only 32 bit. So the solution would be reduce prices further to students so that they are approachable, but not to the point that the companies make a vast loss.
Many also pirate songs and films because they have already bought the film on DVD or blu-ray and feel that's is unreasonable to pay another thirty dollars for a film to watch them on their Veers particularly when prices can be well over twice their north American counter-parts. The solution would be to then to bundle digital versions with physical releases, something that is beginning to happen.
Apart from market share there is a reason why Apple is making a vast quantity of money from apps, and that is ease of paying. On webOS in particular, one has to use a credit card, something that many including my mother are extremely reluctant to do. This has contributed to the fact that I have over 500 apps on my iPad while only 100 on the touchpad. An solution would to have perhaps universal gift cards that can replace credit cards, so that if there is a security scare, not too much is at risk.
Availability is also a large issue. Although there are legal reasons why it isn't so, there should be a worldwide online marketplace, so that Top Gear would o longer be the most pirated television show as a worldwide audience can view and purchase the show at the same time as in the UK. This issue has unfortunately even gotten myself to pirate a little, a person who tells my friendly buy Harry Potter for the Fifth time just so they can see it on their ancient DVD player, as for me it is unbearable not to have some games on my touchpad including Asphalt, Need for speed and Shrek Kart, all of which aren't available in Australia. I know it is wrong even if I have bought the games multiple of times on iPad and Mac, but I would pay many dollars for them, but I can't.

So, I hope I've covered the basics of pirating in my area as if these issues were resolved, I would be a much happier man

Agree with you. Implementing silly constraints preventing me from getting apps is contraproductive. Not allowing copies for personal use doesn't help either. In both cases I'll find a copy and while moving in that space I might get seduced by other stuff. Absolutely wrong of course, but just start to make it easier to obtain stuff.

As long as high earning company bosses think they can get away with contracts which prohibit access for other groups of people (e.g. in other countries) or preventing people to make a legal copy there will be piracy. It's a global world. People want what others get and if they don't get easy access to it they will find it in a illegal way. If they can't secure their investment legally by making a backup they will try to do that by other means. If it's harder to obtain and install a legal copy because I've to sell my sole in a 'license agreement', have to spend time watching lengthy copyright messages for the hundredth time which can't be skipped, why wouldn't I get a illegal copy which cuts all the ****

No, I'm not talking piracy straight, I'm just showcasing the frustration of many people trying to obtain legal material in a way they like to use it.

Hope the message is clear, just make it easier for people to obtain legal material and introduce pay models for different usage and make it possible for people to do what people are likely want to do with it.

I agree with everything in your post accept one thing. We are a Republic, not a democracy.

That being said, I whole-hearted agree that we need more representatives at the table than just the media lobby.

Hair splitting point taken.

Look at me split hairs about your word choice, when I can't even use the correct "accept/except." I hope you don't hold it too much against me. LOL.

Oh so you think it's just the media lobby that's "at the table?"

Tell that to Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, who are both kowtowing to the tech/search engine lobby that fights any against laws protecting content creators.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/googles-spreading-tentacles-of-infl...

The media corps have been busy mislabeling - but that doesn't mean we have to fall for it.
Piracy is *not* theft. It is copyright infringement. It is illegal and can be harmful - but it is not theft.

Theft takes something away. The original owner doesn't have the stolen thing anymore.

In the case of copyright infringement the original owner still has the product.
And the rightsholder only has a loss if the infringer would have otherwise paid for it - which is not always the case.

Many years ago (people still used floppy disks - including 5 1/4 floppies) I knew a guy who had copies of almost every popular (and many obscure ones) applications on disks. Including a lot of Mac programs.

Funny thing is - he didn't own a Mac. And he didn't use most of the remaining programs either.
It was some weird collecting thing for him.

Technically it was copyright infringement - but in practice most of the copies he made were irrelevant and didn't harm anybody - as he wouldn't have bought them (for tens to hundreds of $$ apiece) just to put them in a box.

No doubt software/media "piracy" inflicts some real economic damage to some corporations (but not necessarily to the economy) - but even if those bills would be able to stop piracy (and they clearly wouldn't) - sacrificing our rights and the common good of a thriving innovative and free internet would be too high a price to pay.

This is lobbying gone wild. Greedy corps buying politicians (which in an insane move has been made legal by providing corps with almpost complete personhood and combining that with the idea that money equals free speech - voila - legalized political corruption - the founding fathers spin in their graves) to further their own interests at the expense of everybody else.

Lessig on copyright:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVk77VQuPAY

Great anecdote there, I'm sure most thieves that download music and movies for free are just burning them to a blu ray disc and don't actually own a blu-ray player.

And we mustn't forget that only "corporations", not struggling independent musicians and filmmakers who finance their own work, are hurt by piracy and IP theft.

And there is to be no talk of the greedy corps reliant on piracy-driven traffic to boost their ad revenue, as they don't exist!

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/googles-spreading-tentacles-of-infl...

This is just stupid. Of course piracy is theft, which is defined as "unlawful taking." The idea that someone has to be deprived of their physical property for it to constitute theft is literally simple-minded.

If you sneak into a movie without a ticket, you have committed theft. "Theft by deception, to be exact." There is no requirement that physical property be taken ... there's no requirement that there be physical property at ALL. Embezzlement by EFT is -- I know, hard to believe -- still theft.

And yes, I am a lawyer.

This is what I mean by both extremes being wrong on this issue. Piracy apologists trot out this "piracy isn't theft" argument and -- as someone who definitely falls closer to them than to the hardline SPOA/PIPA supporters, it's just vicariously embarrassing in its dumbness.

Oh no... Somebody took money from the open bank vault. Let's blow up the roads!

Manny services are unavailable to many countries due ip address filtering or unwillingness of content provider to provide his services to other countries. Services that are available to those countries are more expensive than in US. Even if price is the same, people outside US and western countries have smaller average incomes for 80% - 90% than you. You ungrateful SOBs have bigger paychecks from social service than hundreds of millions of working people that are busting their asses for 10-12 hours working for some US or western company. So its not strange that people do not care about IP.

I have a major disagreement with one (relatively off topic) part of your post.

The DMCA is not well thought out and is not well implemented. According to the DMCA, when I take my paid for legitimate DVD copy of "Robin Hood Men in Tights" and put it onto my computer, bypassing the CSS (Content Scramble System, not to be confused with Cascade Style Sheets), I am officially a criminal because I had to use software that is illegal. Not only is this software technically illegal, it's illegal to even PRINT THE CODE.

Oh, and let's not forget, technically, if you're running Linux, BSD, or other various alternative Operating Systems, the only way to play said DVD is to violate the DMCA.

Oh, and all those iTunes songs that I bought way back when and then used FairPlay to break of their DRM so I could make MP3s or OGGs out of them? Yup, I was violating the DMCA.

I had no intention of pirating the media, I just wanted it to be accessible on devices or in ways that were not available.

Oh, and that video my friend posted to youtube of a party that he was at violated the DMCA enough that youtube took it down. Why? Because, for a whole three seconds you could hear a Michael Jackson song in the background.

Oh, and that Megaupload business between Diddy, Will.I.Am, Snoop, and Kanye making a song? Apparently, at least according to Universal, that song was a DMCA violation...and it actually was taken down because of the DMCA.

Don't go claiming the DMCA is well thought out or well executed when **** like this is flying everywhere.

Otherwise, excellent points on SOPA/PIPA. Also, it appears that SOPA itself is dead, however PIPA is still alive and kicking.

I had someone lift 38 images from my web site. When confronted,he said, and I quote, "if it's on the Internet, then it's free for me to take". He further pushed it by saying that the images were watermarked with my company name so I should be grateful that he was promoting me. In other words, there will always be douche bags who are too cheap to pay for for another persons intellectual property regardless of how easy or cheap it's offered. My personal feelings...go after the domestic thieves first and the branch out from there. It's not just the large companies that get ripped off. Give us smaller folks a bit more flexibility to take these thieves down as well.

People watch this.... THIS IS WHAT SOPE REALLY IS http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y7DkrsCCQ_A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8&feature=youtube_gdata_player

pleas educate yourselves before supporting SOPA it has nothing to do with piracy but everything to do with power and control...

All of the go dark or run protest messages this week seem to have worked!

http://news.yahoo.com/house-backer-anti-piracy-act-withdraw-bill-1637051...

Want to fix piracy? How about you step away from these horrible business models that are as old as TV itself. First off give the artists more money and stop taking it all for yourself. 2nd let TV shows movies be released the same time movies come out in theater. Sure less people will go to the theaters. But some of us still will because its a great place to take a date or even just to hang out with friends. Third stop making us pay horrible prices for no content. When I had cable I was paying 100 bucks for 200 channels, but then I had to watch 10 minutes of commercials for EACH show I wanted to watch. Wait so I just gave the cable company 100 bucks a month to provide TV for me now I have to watch ads too? No thanks I switched to on demand Netflix without ads thank you! all for just 8 bucks a month, but I don't get TV shows and movies immediately I have to wait, which sucks..

There are lots and lots and lots of people who feel that downloading copyrighted content and not paying for it is 100% Ok. That attitude has a HUGE negative impact on arts in America and around the globe. People need to recognize that and take action to change that culture - starting with individual action.