Chris Dodd is obviously befuddled

Story: Hold Your Horses - We've Only Won a ReprieveTotal Replies: 39
Author Content
helios

Jan 21, 2012
4:52 AM EDT
So far, all we’ve won is one battle.

Yes, but it may in all likelihood be a decisive battle. Chris Dodd and his band of Techno-terrorists got their a$$es handed to them and they are in a state of shock. Sure, piracy has to be dealt with. As someone who visits one of those "rouge sites" from time to time, I wouldn't mind paying for the content I consume if it were offered, but it's not. So bend them in the neck. I'll continue to watch these shows until they either go offline or I'm offered a reasonable and timely way to see what I want to see. Waiting almost 6 months after the season finishes to get the DVD isn't reasonable to me. And you know what, I don't give a frack who doesn't like it. I plan to do more of it for no other reason than I'm not supposed to.

Here's the long and the short of it. A non-governmental organization tried to purchase a custom-built law that gave everything to their side and gutted the internals of the internet in doing so. They got spanked and spanked hard. They were all for ramming this down our necks when they thought they operated from a position of power but now that they see how shaky their foundation is, NOW they want to talk.

See Dodd wabble between anger and shell shock in a NYT article about his sound defeat. It also gives us some keen insight as to how they plan to approach this in the coming months or years.

http://tinyurl.com/7t8o6fr
jdixon

Jan 21, 2012
7:04 AM EDT
> Yes, but it may in all likelihood be a decisive battle.

I don't think so, Ken. It will be decisive when Lamar Smith and the others who originated the bill are sent packing. If they're re-elected when they run again, the battle will have been for nothing. They'll just wait till the smoke settles and try again.

Fear of losing their position of power is the only thing most of these people understand. Making it clear that proposing this type of bill will have the result is the only real victory.
helios

Jan 21, 2012
9:10 AM EDT
Making it clear that proposing this type of bill will have the result is the only real victory.

And that's my worry. I'm concerned that many of Smith's constituents who only became aware of this issue through our "Black Wednesday" will think, "OK, he came to his senses, he has my vote again." They won't take into consideration that he was "persuaded" to do this in the first place. They won't consider the fact that he took what amounts to bribes (in my mind) to get this done.

The reason I say it was a decisive battle is now, they've faced the wrath of the people and faced it on a level that shocked them. Even Dodd said, "This is a new day" when confronted with this stunning defeat. I equate this to the long-time boxing heavyweight climbing into the ring and finally getting a powerful roundhouse to the side of the head. He expected to take the opponent out in one round and found himself in the fight of his life. Lots of luck getting "eye of the tiger" out of your head for the rest of the day.

They are going to pass something along the lines of PIPA eventually, I have no illusions otherwise, and to be honest, that's fine with me as long as you don't rend The Constitution and you don't gut the infrastructure of the Internet doing so. Render unto Caesar and all of that. It's been a good run and if you don't have your music collection "digitally secured" by now, then as my dad would say, "that's a lick on ya."

Even if I define this as a decisive battle I don't think history will do so until it proves itself to have convinced the Movie and Music Industry to take a second look at their business model and adjust accordingly. As much as I disliked the way Steve Jobs did business, I have to admit that I loved his move with Itunes. That in itself should have pointed the way for the Music and Movie industry, but never underestimate the reaction of a frightened middle man. If the **AA's were desperate enough to try enacting this type of legislation, I won't underestimate them again.

I'm willing to bet they feel the same way.

dinotrac

Jan 21, 2012
11:20 AM EDT
@Ken --

I think you're right. I think it WAS a decisive battle, but a decisive battle doesn't guarantee victory in the war.

Sounds nonsensical, I know, but this is what I mean:

We flexed our muscles in a big way. We let the legislators know we are out here, we are watching, and that we talk to our friends.

We have sent one very big and loud message: The internet age means that you don't need cubic dollars to get the word out. That's a big message, too, because it's still votes, not dollars, that put people into office. Just ask Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.

Some serious, if unwieldy in the sense of herding cats, power there, but eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty.
zentrader

Jan 21, 2012
4:13 PM EDT
Bills will now be introduced, or amendments will be added to unrelated bills, that chip away at this. The money was paid and the masters expect results. An example of how crazy these people are, are the numbers they use. $500 million lost as a result of online piracy! This assumes that everyone who downloaded illegal material would have gone out and bought it if it was not available illegally. Numbers don't lie but liars use numbers, The reality is that virtually no one would have purchased the same item, so they have to do this without due process because it would be difficult to show that they were harmed.
tuxchick

Jan 21, 2012
4:22 PM EDT
Take a gander at 'Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure ' in the LXer queue. Glenn Greenwald says the feds already have the powers in SOPA/PIPA:

Quoting: But just as the celebrations began over the saving of Internet Freedom, something else happened: the U.S. Justice Department not only indicted the owners of one of the world’s largest websites, the file-sharing site Megaupload, but also seized and shut down that site, and also seized or froze millions of dollars of its assets — all based on the unproved accusations, set forth in an indictment, that the site deliberately aided copyright infringement.

In other words, many SOPA opponents were confused and even shocked when they learned that the very power they feared the most in that bill — the power of the U.S. Government to seize and shut down websites based solely on accusations, with no trial — is a power the U.S. Government already possesses....
djohnston

Jan 21, 2012
5:35 PM EDT
Quoting:It will be decisive when Lamar Smith and the others who originated the bill are sent packing. If they're re-elected when they run again, the battle will have been for nothing.


Better yet, when the lobbyists are sent packing. Yeah, like that's going to happen anytime soon. Our "votes" don't really matter, anyway. Can someone say "Diebold"?
caitlyn

Jan 21, 2012
6:09 PM EDT
@tuxchick: Considering how Glenn Greenwood uses the end of that article to defend the anti-Semitism at CAP I have a very hard time taking anything he says seriously.
tuxchick

Jan 21, 2012
6:23 PM EDT
Right Caitlyn, because when you disagree with one thing a person says then you have to dismiss everything they say.
tracyanne

Jan 21, 2012
6:31 PM EDT
Quoting:Our "votes" don't really matter, anyway.


Can anyone say Megauploads. And for anyone who feels this was justified "cos they are pirates anyway", when was the trial that convicted them?
caitlyn

Jan 21, 2012
7:17 PM EDT
It depends what they say. When you cross the line into defending racism, anti-semitism, or other forms of bigotry then, yes, it invalidates everything they say.

Most Western countries have laws that permit seizure of goods and materials of alleged criminals relating to the alleged crime. This isn't unique to piracy and it's a fact of life in most free countries. Oh, and yes, the action against MegaUpload was both legal and justified.
tuxchick

Jan 21, 2012
7:31 PM EDT
TA, exactly. Due process has been under attack for a long time here, and I don't see any reversals in sight. It started with the so-called drug wars, where suddenly the 4th Amendment was hand-waved away and police departments could seize cash and property on arrest on the pretext that they were the fruits of drug trafficking. To this day this has somehow survived, and quite a number of police departments depend on this as a source of funding.

Caitlyn, if you can't refute specific points then you have no argument.
tuxchick

Jan 21, 2012
7:35 PM EDT
I doubt that traditional copyrights are going to survive anyway. I don't know what the future holds, but infringement of digital media is too easy and too hard to stop. They can keep trying to clamp down, and make the penalties more severe, and the burden of proof ever-lighter, and extend copyrights to insanity and beyond. And it's not going to stop "piracy."
tracyanne

Jan 21, 2012
7:45 PM EDT
See also http://fossforce.com/2012/01/now-its-time-to-push-congress-r...

Quoting:Before PRO-IP, of course, there was the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), still in effect, that also allows government and copyright holders to take drastic action against web publishers without the need to bother with chores like proving a case or convincing a jury.

You see, while we’ve been busy not paying attention to our rights, our feudal lords have been busy taking them away from us. We keep forgetting that our rights aren’t something we can just take for granted; we have to fight to keep them each and every day. The loss of our precious freedoms goes far beyond IP. Since the end of the 1960s we have lost rights in every aspect of our lives.
gus3

Jan 21, 2012
9:13 PM EDT
Uh, no.

Even if Glenn Greenwald says one plus one is two, i'll wait for independent collaboration.
JaseP

Jan 22, 2012
10:11 PM EDT
As to this "loss" by the forces of tyranny, .... they lost the battle, are regrouping for the war,... But in the words of Admiral Yamamoto, "I fear all [they] have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
BernardSwiss

Jan 22, 2012
10:53 PM EDT
PS: A word in defence of Glen Greenwald.

If Greenwald is an anti-Semite or "supports anti-Semitism", then I'm a Microsoftie and a supporter of Microsoft's ethical standards and business practices.

I am in principle a supporter of Israel's continued existence (ever since in my youth the Munich Olympic Games made me aware that this was a "currant affair), but have over the years become steadily more and more dismayed by Israel's policy and behaviour, and equally dismayed over the irrational, strengthening taboo in North America against any criticism whatsoever of the same. And I especially resent the well-funded, politically-connected, highly orchestrated campaign to pillory anyone who questions the pervasive double standards in discussing Israeli-Palestinian-Middle Eastern matters.

I also note that the kind of criticisms made by Greenwald, CAP, and others are readily encountered in the Israeli media -- it is oddly enough much more acceptable to criticize Israeli policy and actions in Israel, than in America.

As most of my Jewish friends and acquaintances apparently feel much the same, I doubt this is some sort of indication that I or other critics must, by virtue of aforesaid criticism, be "anti-Semites" or somehow "support anti-Semitism".

cr

Jan 23, 2012
6:15 AM EDT
seen on Slashdot: There's also this move, a whitehouse.gov petition, afoot to further dethrone Dodd Almighty...
dinotrac

Jan 23, 2012
7:16 AM EDT
@Bernardswiss -

Quoting:equally dismayed over the irrational, strengthening taboo in North America against any criticism whatsoever of the same.


Criticizing Israel is practically a requirement for self-styled intellectuals on the Democratic party side of things. I sometimes think there would be even more except that many of them seem to think that "ungrateful murdering beasts" goes without saying. Not that any of them are anti-Semitic. They just hate all those people who live in Israel, regardless of race, creed, or religion.
skelband

Jan 23, 2012
2:22 PM EDT
This just in:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/23/mpaa_bribery_petitio...
dinotrac

Jan 23, 2012
9:30 PM EDT
@skelband --

Nice.
albinard

Jan 23, 2012
10:56 PM EDT
Total signatures just passed 25,000!
helios

Jan 23, 2012
11:29 PM EDT
Yep, at 8:31 PM on this date, refresh showed 25,011
tracyanne

Jan 24, 2012
12:57 AM EDT
People might also want to consider signing this petition https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petition-tool/petition/reduce-term-copyrights-maximum-56-years/MnXrd3xG
helios

Jan 24, 2012
11:20 AM EDT
Yes, there are a couple there of interest, including one that deals with Acta. At 18K plus change right now. Surprised it hasn't taken the ceiling out.
flufferbeer

Jan 24, 2012
10:19 PM EDT
@skelband and @tracyanne,

Great links, thanks!!! I suspect like helios, though, that Chris Dodd and the other diehard "band of Techno-terrorists" will just go into hiding for awhile in order to regroup and resurface at some later date. I wouldn't even be too surprised if the MPAA and RIAA are praying hard for some clear, U.S.-homeland piracy-racket to arise soon, so that their associated government people can do a HIGHLY-visible bust like that of Megaupload!

2c
tracyanne

Jan 24, 2012
11:28 PM EDT
Quoting:U.S.-homeland piracy-racket to arise soon, so that their associated government people can do a HIGHLY-visible bust like that of Megaupload!


Which would demonstatrate that existing laws are at least enough.
flufferbeer

Jan 25, 2012
3:32 PM EDT
@tracyanne. I hear what you are saying. With existing laws being enough to catch the one or two big fish, therefore, most of the smaller fish will fold-down and it won't be worthwhile to go after these.

OTOH, a big piracy bust on U.S. soil can also lead to an entirely DIFFERENT conclusion. If such a homeland big piracy-bust were to occur, then the MPAA and RIAA would come right back and say "Look, government people, we've caught a SINGLE big fish causing X billions of dollars worth of CLEAR damages to our copyrighted works. How MUCH MORE untold financial damages there probably is from all those smaller fish pirating our works!"

The MPAA and RIAA and thir big scary lawyers could then more accurately QUANTIFY in verifiable solid numbers their real and estimated financial losses to piracy both from the big fish and from the small fish. Therefore, in intent and in effect, the MPAA+RIAA could then push through to their associated government people that "existing laws are NOT at least enough". Then it becomes a Napster-like witchhunt all over again!! Just saying that they might try to clamor for this, not that they certainly will :/

-fb
tracyanne

Jan 25, 2012
6:31 PM EDT
A couple of articles worth reading on that subject.

Megaupload Details Raise Significant Concerns About What DOJ Considers Evidence Of Criminal Behavior
Quoting: Yesterday I wrote up a first reaction to the Megaupload case. Having spent some more time going through the indictment in much greater detail, I have some more thoughts and concerns.

First, it's important to acknowledge that the founder of Megaupload, who goes by Kim Dotcom, has a long history of flaunting flouting the law in a variety of ways. That makes him quite unsympathetic in a court. On top of that, there are certain claims in the indictment that, if true, mean it's quite likely that he broke the law. Whether or not the violations amount to racketeering & conspiracy is beyond any analysis that we're going to be able to do here. I would say that I would not be at all surprised if he's found guilty.

Where my concerns come in is in some of the "evidence" that's used to add to the overall indictment. To be clear, in a case like this, the issue is the evidence as a whole, combined to show intent and a general pattern to actions. So the allegations in the indictment don't necessarily mean that any individual action is, by itself, illegal. But, I still worry that some of the specific actions used to paint this picture are (1) potentially taken out of context, (2) are presented in a way that likely misrepresents the actual situation and (3) could come back to haunt other online services who are providing perfectly legitimate services.


Jonathan Coulton Destroys The Rationale Behind The Megaupload Seizure With A Single Tweet; Follows Up With Epic Blog Post

Quoting:Coulton said: "Any other musicians notice that ever since they shut down MegaUpload, the money has just been POURING in?")

And that's the crux of it, isn't it? The DOJ claims that Megaupload's infringement has cost copyright holders a half-billion dollars over an unspecified timeframe. And now that it's been shuttered, the money should start pouring in. But, of course, it won't. So, what then? First off, as Coulton points out, there's bound to be collateral damage.
BernardSwiss

Jan 25, 2012
8:13 PM EDT
@tracyanne

Thanks, I missed that one (Jonathan Coulton Destroys The Rationale Behind The Megaupload Seizure With A Single Tweet)

But it's a trend that despite the recent wake-up calls and glaringly "inconvenient" truths over the last few years (not just SOPA/PIPA, but Sub-prime mortgage/Credit Default Swap crises, Eurozone bonds, environmental reviews that clear extra-problematic pipeline projects through the nation's largest (and shallowest?) freshwater aquifer, any number of other examples -- take your pick) fact and reason are steadily declining as a factor in public discourse and public policy. Factoids, ideology and rationalization carry the day.

Clearly it's not the deepest insights, but the deepest pockets that generally prevail, and when by a minor miracle rationality and foresight carry the day, they complain the contest was rigged against them

Major Media Owning SOPA/PIPA Supporters Whine That They Had No Way To Have Their Message Heard

(That's even crazier than how the fossil-fuels industry is complaining that well funded, highly organized environmentalist campaigns are twisting the public process, bank-rolled by and in the service of foreign interests rather than the citizenry.)

If the media had any self respect, they would be openly amused at this nonsense. The fact that they aren't jeering at (and hardly even remarking on) this PR slant is quite telling.

tracyanne

Jan 25, 2012
9:26 PM EDT
@Bernard, there are several other really interesting articles linked to that one.

State Of The Union Address Highlights The Dirty Trick Of Hiding More Draconian IP Rules In 'Trade Agreements'

Quoting:One thing that anyone just becoming aware of these fights needs to know: the entertainment industry lobby is very, very good at what they do, and they never put all their eggs in one basket. While they love pushing for ever more draconian federal laws, they're always working multiple angles, including international trade agreements, laws in foreign countries and... state laws around the US, which they can then leverage to get other states to follow suit. If SOPA/PIPA really fails on the federal level, you'll see the same ideas pop up in all of those other places. In fact, we're already hearing stories of such plans in all three things, which we'll be covering in the days and weeks ahead.


The Tech Industry Has Already Given Hollywood The Answer To Piracy; If Only It Would Listen

Quoting:While many in the press have really enjoyed claiming that the SOPA/PIPA fight has been about Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley, we've been pointing out for a while just how silly that is. Months ago, we pointed out that it's a strange "fight" when one side (Silicon Valley) appears to give the other side all the weapons it needs to succeed (only to watch Hollywood then aim those weapons at its own feet). It's been pointed out time and time again that Hollywood has a habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth... and accusing it of piracy, when it later turns out to be the answer to Hollywood's prayers.


http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120125/03500717535/hollywood-astroturf-group-releases-ad-saying-it-needs-sopa-to-shut-down-megaupload-five-days-after-megaupload-is-shut-down.shtml

Quoting:CreativeAmerica, the astroturfing group that pretends it's a "grassroots" operation -- but which is funded by the major Hollywood studios and run by former studio/MPAA execs -- is amazingly inept at communicating with the public, especially considering these guys are supposed to be communications experts. Remember, this is the same group who, while fighting for stronger laws against copying, flat out copied the email of anti-SOPA activists, and changed a few words to push their own pro-SOPA message.

Their latest move is even more bizarre. The group is touting its latest slickly produced propaganda film, insisting that SOPA/PIPA are needed for a variety of reasons -- almost none of which are true. It throws out the bogus claim of jobs being at risk, even though the evidence shows otherwise. But where it gets totally ridiculous is that the video focuses mostly on Megaupload and Kim Dotcom/Schmitz. The point of focusing on Megaupload? To claim that it can't be reached under existing law. Seriously.
tracyanne

Jan 25, 2012
10:07 PM EDT
I've been reading through linked articles on Tech Dirt, related to SOPA/PIPA, and I found this paiece

The Promo Bay Asks Artists: Would You Rather Fight Piracy... Or Have A Billion People Know You Exist

Quoting:Tim O'Reilly coined the famous saying that obscurity is a much bigger problem than piracy -- and it seems that the folks over at The Pirate Bay have constructed a simple experiment to test this aphorism out. It's called The Promo Bay, and it's a system for letting content creators promote their works on the front page of The Pirate Bay in up to three countries of their choosing (for free, of course). Remember, The Pirate Bay gets a tone of traffic -- over 1.8 billion pageviews per month, apparently. If you're an up-and-coming artist who no one's heard of, at some point it has to be pretty tempting to turn that firehose in your direction... even if it means having works distributed for free. In fact, it seems like artists should be lining up for such a program just to get that kind of traffic. Of course, we've seen some artists do deals with The Pirate Bay before -- to great success. The new program just seems like a away of making that easier for artists... and doing it more often. But it really does seem to be a quick way of asking the obscurity vs. piracy question in a much more direct and very, very real manner.


Interestingly something like that was what I have been thinking about doing, once I get my tunes recorded. Put them on Pirate Bay, and "pirate" my own music. With links back to my own website, for anyone one who might like them enough to pay for them.
tracyanne

Jan 25, 2012
10:21 PM EDT
Here is an interesting story from a series of articles on the economics of abundance.

History Repeats Itself: How The RIAA Is Like 17th Century French Button-Makers

Quoting:"Shortly after the matter of cloth weaving has been disposed of, the button makers guild raises a cry of outrage; the tailors are beginning to make buttons out of cloth, an unheard-of thing. The government, indignant that an innovation should threaten a settled industry, imposes a fine on the cloth-button makers. But the wardens of the button guild are not yet satisfied. They demand the right to search people's homes and wardrobes and fine and even arrest them on the streets if they are seen wearing these subversive goods."
BernardSwiss

Jan 25, 2012
10:38 PM EDT
Apparently, it (uploading to Megapload) has been standard practice in some parts of the music business -- and even how they make money.

Quoting: Busta Rhymes Backs Megaupload, Says Record Labels Are The Real Criminals

There's a key point in all of this that we missed in our earlier analysis about paid accounts at Megaupload. In the indictment, the government seems to assume that paid accounts are clearly all about illegal infringing works. But that's not always the case. In fact, plenty of big name artists -- especially in the hip hop world -- use the paid accounts to make themselves money. This is how they release tracks. You sign up for a paid account from services like Megaupload, which pay you if you get a ton of downloads. For big name artists, that's easy: of course you get a ton of downloads. So it's a great business model for artists: they get paid and their fans get music for free. Everyone wins. Oh... except for the old gatekeeper labels.

In fact, this is part of the ecosystem, especially in the hip hop world. It's why the artists also support those hip hop blogs that the RIAA insists are dens of pure thievery. The artists release their tracks to those blogs, knowing they'll get tons of downloads -- and actually get money. If they do deals with labels, they know they'll never see a dime. Putting music on Megaupload is a way to get paid. Working with a gatekeeper is not.

And yet... Megaupload is the criminal operation? Seems like the actual artists know otherwise.

What Busta is pointing out is that services like Megaupload -- while it may be run by some sketchy individuals and probably crossed the legal line in some cases -- are actually a great new business model for artists, while also being the future of distribution. It's a great way to distribute, make money, and let fans get the works for free. And that's why the major labels are so freaked out by cyberlockers. It's not because there's so much infringement on there, but because it's a system whereby artists can get paid and can better distribute their own works to fans... without signing an indentured servitude contract with a label, which never pays any royalties.

Did Megaupload break the law? Perhaps. But it seems clear that the real fear on the part of the RIAA and the major labels is not so much about that. It's the recognition that such a distribution and payment system undermines much of their reason for existing, and takes away their ability to control artists. A smart label would learn to embrace these things. But we're talking about the major labels here, and so instead, they run to the US government -- who clearly knows nothing about the way modern artists monetize and distribute music -- and lets them try to paint a picture of just how "evil" services like Megaupload are.

But the artists know better.


flufferbeer

Jan 26, 2012
12:17 AM EDT
@tracyanne,

LOT of great links and quotes from you and now BernardSwiss! Though I think your main points in all this are steeply degenerating quickly. And you all were doing SO well up to this point.....

-fb
tracyanne

Jan 26, 2012
12:32 AM EDT
Quoting:Though I think your main points in all this are steeply degenerating quickly.


In what way?
flufferbeer

Jan 26, 2012
12:47 AM EDT
@tracyanne, My answer to this Q? In the way that I havent seen you actually MAKE or EVEN CLARIFY many points at all in just over a full day of quotes and links? From Jan 25 04:28 UTC to Jan 26 05:32 UTC.
flufferbeer

Jan 26, 2012
12:56 AM EDT
Although, I must say that all these links and quotes DO make a great reading list for those who want to slog through them all! :)

-fb
tracyanne

Jan 26, 2012
4:02 AM EDT
the point was information, which I think I achieved
helios

Jan 26, 2012
11:17 AM EDT
Yes you did TA....thoroughly.

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