#1 [url]

Dec 18 11 6:59 PM

From the Goddess Melxxxx from SW on the strongly "protectionist" aspect of this proposed Internet Censorship Bill .. This bears your closest attention if you are a foreign born cam model since it will essentially block all "foreign content" on American cam-sites.. and block American clients' access to the foreign based web-cam sites.. This is the end of off-shoring of the porn and Adult Video Chat Industries to Canada or Eastern Europe...Pay attention to this one Gals and Guys, Melxxxx is one fine analyst and seems to me to be "right on the money" in her description of where this Censorship Bill takes us if it's enacted.

The implications for the Global Economy - and Global Internet based services industries like Adult Video Chat - are devastating and in the end very, very scary.
Fight this Bill!



Re: Internet Censorship 

As of the latest revision a.k.a. 'markup', the SOPA law's provisions to block access to websites does NOT apply to US based websites. It only applies to 'foreign' websites accessing the USA. Well that's not entirely true, because it also appears to cover US based websites that have 'foreign' content.

In the first case, a claim of copyright violation against a non-US based website can result in US internet backbone service providers, US online credit card processors, US search engines, etc. being forced to 'block' the foreign website's domain / stop doing business with the foreign website. This would probably affect certain webcam hosts like StreamMate, since they are based in Cyprus. If a copyright violation claim were lodged against StreamMate, for example, US based camgirls could no longer access StreamMate's streaming video server to transmit their webcam stream. And while StreamMate could still operate with non-US camgirls, they would NOT be able to access US webcam customers.

Where 'foreign' content on a US based website is concerned, the same SOPA 'blocking' can also be implemented ... but it happens via the authority of the US Immigration and Customs Service. After receiving a complaint that a US webcam host site is retransmitting copyright violating content from a non-US source, US ICE is able to use their authority to 'seize property' to stop it ... in this case by 'seizing' the domain name of the US webcam host. ( and pointing it to a page that simply says that ICE has 'shut down' the website ).

It is noteworthy that certain provisions of the bill STRONGLY motivate US internet backbone providers, US online credit card processors, US search engines to 'voluntarily' act to 'block' websites upon the receipt of a first complaint. The reason for this is that the latest version of the SOPA bill grants 'immunity' to these entities if they act voluntarily. That 'immunity' will also extend to lawsuits brought by the 'blocked' websites for financial damages etc. Without 'immunity', those entities are potentially liable to be sued by Hollywood studios, US record companies etc. for the financial losses they are experiencing as the result of those entities 'facilitating' the ongoing copyright violations. Note that in 'real world' terms, no legal proof of actual copyright violation is necessary for these entities to 'voluntarily' take action to block a website for which a complaint was lodged. Also note that, if 'blocked' by the 'voluntary' actions of these entities, the 'immunity' granted under SOPA for voluntary action essentially leaves 'blocked' foreign based websites with no formal legal recourse to attempt to have the 'block' removed ( like requiring legal proof that a copyright violation actually took place ).

The industry scuttlebut I hear from business acquaintances is that, while the stated purpose of SOPA is to protect copyrighted material owned by Hollywood studios, US record companies, US mainstream adult video producers etc. ( and thus increase their profitability ), the unstated purpose is to legally 'protect' US internet businesses from foreign competition.

This is NOT about blocking 'adult content'. It is about blocking non-US based businesses ( i.e. webcam hosts based in foreign countries ), as well as blocking non-US based workers ( i.e. foreign camgirls working through US based webcam hosts ), from accessing US ( webcam ) customer dollars !

When I asked, one business acquaintance pointed out that the likely effect of SOPA will be much the same from a 'market' standpoint as the law passed to restrict importation of foreign manufactured ethanol into the USA, the law that restricts the importation of ( totally ) foreign manufactured vehicles into the USA etc.

I would also add that my business acquaintances are almost certain that the SOPA bill will pass and be signed into law very soon. The major supporters i.e. Hollywood, US record companies, labor unions covering workers in those industries, etc. are also all major political campaign contributors !!! In fact, the final SOPA hearing has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, in the hopes that testimony from opponents can be kept to a minimum due to the proximity to the Christmas holiday. And this final SOPA hearing will be the 'last chance' to change the provisions of the SOPA bill. So by the latter part of next week we'll find out exactly what sort of provisions will be included when the SOPA bill is voted on and potentially signed into law.


Re: Internet Censorship

So what exactly would this mean for USA camgirls broadcasting from USA based camsites?

First a disclaimer - the SOPA bill isn't in it's final form yet, and the opinions of my business acquaintances are a bit 'self-serving' since a couple of them stand to benefit financially if SOPA is passed. With that said ...

If SOPA goes down as predicted, it could very well result in complaints made against foreign based webcam host sites resulting in them being blocked from accessing US camgirls as well as accessing US webcam customers. Assuming that some 70% of all webcam customer dollars are actually spent by American customers, this would mean that whatever US webcam customer dollars that were previously spent on foreign based webcam sites ( and the camgirls working through those sites ) would stop flowing to foreign based webcam host sites. Instead some portion, if not all, of those US webcam customer dollars would be redirected towards the US based webcam host sites that the US webcam customers could still access.

Taken one step further, if complaints are also lodged regarding the 'foreign' content of US based webcam host sites, those US webcam host sites may be motivated to restrict camgirls working through their streaming video servers only to camgirls whose IP's are located within the USA. This could happen under SOPA itself due to the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes a 'foreign' website ( foreign ownership, servers located outside the US, content generated outside the US etc. ). It could also happen under the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency responding to complaints by de-facto preventing the 'importation' of non-US based camgirl video streams for 'sale' to US customers.

Taking a wild shot at running the numbers, this could essentially mean that US based webcam host sites will see an increase in total customer dollars spent ( thus earnings ), since they might have a de-facto monopoly on sales to US webcam customers as well as continued sales to webcam customers outside the USA. If the 'foreign content' restrictions were to take place in regard to US based websites, this could also mean that those increased US webcam customer dollars now being directed towards US webcam host sites would in turn only have to be split up among webcam girls located within the USA.

Or put another way, the SOPA and ICE restrictions could basically 'disconnect' non-US based webcam host sites, and potentially non-US based camgirls, from accessing 70% of the world's 'market' of webcam customer dollars that originate in America ... leaving those non-US based webcam host sites, and potentially non-US based camgirls, to only compete for the remaining 30% of total webcam customer dollars that originate from other countries besides America.


Does that also mean blocking foreign customers from US based cam sites?

The US based webcam host sites and US based camgirls would also still be competing with foreign based webcam host sites and non-US camgirls for that remaining 30% of 'international' webcam customer spending, since SOPA / ICE would NOT restrict 'outgoing' content from the USA only 'incoming' content TO the USA.

It's a good thing that I don't need to depend on camming anymore since I 'retired'. Down here way south of the border, if SOPA goes down as expected, it would mean that my access to paying webcam customers would be cut down to 1/3rd of what it is now ( by no longer being able to access US webcam customers ). In addition, it would mean that I would still face the SAME number of other camgirls competing against me, both US camgirls and 'international' camgirls, as I do now. And if the strip club business model can be used as a guide, the same number of dancers / camgirls competing for money from a customer base that is only 1/3rd of what it used to be could easily translate into some seriously 'down and dirty' competition !!!

Now the aftereffects of such changes are a bit more difficult to determine. When I asked one of my business acquaintances, he pointed out that in other cases involving 'protectionism' ... like the US ethanol import restrictions, the US import restrictions against ( 100% ) foreign vehicles, etc. ... the end result has been higher prices for US customers, higher profits for the US businesses thus allowed 'protected' access to US market customers by the US gov't, etc. But my business acquaintance also pointed out that these higher prices and higher profits didn't necessarily filter down to the 'workers' at those 'protected' US businesses. My business acquaintance also pointed out that there are some potential NAFTA overtones to the de-facto 'protectionist' trade restrictions resulting from SOPA ... perhaps meaning that the US gov't might not 'block' websites or potentially webcam girls located in Canada and/or Mexico ... but as the SOPA bill now stands this is not included.

we as adult performers don't win from this if it passes.

If by 'we' you're referring to US based camgirls, in point of fact you may wind up benefitting if SOPA goes down as expected. For a fact more webcam customer dollars will be flowing in your direction, since SOPA could prevent US webcam customer dollars from flowing to non-US based webcam host sites and potentially non-US based camgirls. But there is some risk that, given a 'protected' market toward US webcam customers, plus a somewhat monopoly position given the strong possibility that US camgirls may ONLY be allowed to work through US based webcam host sites, that existing business arrangements between US camgirls and US webcam host sites could quickly be changed ( i.e. percentage payouts reduced ). After all, if SOPA goes down as expected, those US based webcam host sites, like strip club owners, will be in a far stronger position to 'dictate terms' to those US based camgirls / dancers who ( still ) wish to work !

Again we won't actually know the final specifics of the SOPA bill until the end of next week ... meaning that all of this speculation is still subject to change.


Re: Internet Censorship


it looks as though we will effectively be cut off from us based cam customers as they will no longer be able to access certain sites. As it stands the bill would effectively place internet censorship on america. to us this might at first seem like oh ok, until you realize that this will effectively kill our traffic. it may also kill the sites we work on unless they are based outside of US juristiction. Those of us who do manage to continue working on none us based sites with none us based customers will still see a huge drop in traffic because customers could potentially lose google and other major search engines if those sites are forced to shut down which they very well maybe. Also us based payment processors will be affected, basically leaving us with limited payment options.

From a perspective of a 'way south of the border' camgirl, that was my take as well.

- no longer able to access US webcam customers, due to our non US based webcam host being 'blocked' at the US border, as well as potentially not being allowed to work through US based webcam hosts due to our video stream being 'blocked' at the US border.

- the potential pool of 'international' webcam customer money we'll still be allowed to access would only be 1/3rd as large as it is now, due to US webcam customer access to our non US based webcam hosts being 'blocked' at the US border ( with further blockage due to US based online credit card processors no longer being allowed to deal with our non US based webcam hosts )

- potential profitability / viability problems for our non US based webcam host sites, who potentially face higher bandwidth bills and higher operating costs due to the influx of non US based camgirls formerly working through US based webcam hosts seeking to continue working through our non US based webcam host sites, while also facing a huge reduction in the amount of total webcam customer money / webcam host revenues they can collect ONLY from remaining non US webcam customers.

- a further reduction in potential non US webcam customer traffic / customer money / revenues / earnings as the result of our non US based webcam host's domain being 'blocked' from search results on the major US search engines often used by non US based webcam customers to 'find' us.


if the US censors internet usage, our government will inevitably follow suit.

You are probably correct in speculating that the UK gov't might in fact respond by passing the same sort of internet restrictions to 'cut off' non UK webcam hosts and non UK camgirls from accessing the UK market, and to restrict UK webcam customer access to non UK based webcam host sites, in a similar attempt to create a 'protected' UK market. As with America, that would serve to benefit UK webcam hosts and UK camgirls in the short term. But with each successive country that erects such de-facto 'trade barriers', it worsens the situation for webcam hosts and camgirls located in other countries.

In fact, if the USA, the UK and the Western European countries were to all enact similar de-facto 'trade barriers', it would result in a ton of Eastern European, Russian, Asian, Mediterranean, and South American webcam host sites and camgirls with far too few remaining webcam customers / customer spending to allow for a viable business model. It's a simple fact that between the USA, the UK, and the Northern / Western European countries, you've covered some 90%+ of all worldwide webcam customer spending. But among those countries, you've only covered about 60% of all worldwide camgirls ! That would leave the other 40% of 'international' camgirls ( like myself ) attempting to compete for essentially no remaining webcam customer money ! And there's already a precedent for what's likely to happen in that scenario ... i.e. a major webcam host recently shut down it's Asian video streaming servers and 'fired' any of it's Asian camgirls who had less than 'stellar' rankings / paid webcam sales conversion rates !

My business acquaintance also pointed out the following ...


"(Financial Times) -- The managing director of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy faces the prospect of "economic retraction, rising protectionism, isolation and . . . what happened in the 30s", as European tensions again flared over suggestions in Paris that the UK's credit rating should be downgraded before France's.

"There is no economy in the world, whether low-income countries, emerging markets, middle-income countries or super-advanced economies that will be immune to the crisis that we see not only unfolding but escalating," Christine Lagarde said in a speech at the US state department in Washington. "It is not a crisis that will be resolved by one group of countries taking action. It is going to be hopefully resolved by all countries, all regions, all categories of countries actually taking action."

... in other words, there is already a rising trend toward 'protectionism' and economic 'isolation', to which SOPA is only a small additional part ! My business acquaintance also recommended that I do some research in regard to 'Smoot Hawley', which was a 1929-1930 US 'protectionism' law that ( supposedly ) catalyzed the Great Depression on a worldwide basis, and in it's aftermath, World War 2 ...



"Smoot-Hawley definitely set off a competitive global trade war that began even before the bill was actually law. By September 1929 the Hoover administration had received protests and threats of retaliation from 23 trading partners. Canada was the first to retaliate: in May 1930 the country raised tariffs on 30% of U.S. exports to Canada.

In the next few years from 1929-1933, as the Great Depression bit and as other countries raised tariffs to protect their own industries—or found alternatives to trading with the United States—U.S. exports would fall by 61%. U.S. imports fell even faster—by 66%. And total world trade collapsed, sinking by 66% from 1929 to 1934.

It’s the last part of this history that makes me worried about the global economy right now."

At any rate, circling back on topic, the highly probable passage of SOPA - without much mainstream media attention, and with very little understanding of it's potential implications by the general public - will undoutbtedly force major changes in the 'global' internet marketplace, where 'imports' and 'exports' can now just consist of an internet video / audio stream as well as physical goods. And while it is of prime interest in this SW forum, the adult webcam aspect is just a tiny part of a much bigger 'whole'. Whether the resulting changes due to SOPA are perceived to be good or bad depends on 'where you are sitting' . Personally speaking, I'm 'sitting' in the worst possible location !!!

Latest Up-date from Melxxxxx which is highly relevant for non US based cam models and studios..UL


Re: Internet Censorship


The US will not be able to access much in terms on non-us content, and so be cut of from non us customers.

This isn't exactly correct. Yes the US may not be able to access much in terms of non-US content if SOPA is enacted ... but that will mean that NON-US websites will be cut off from US customer dollars ( not the other way around, as you posted ). Non-US based customers will still be able to access ( and spend money at ) US based websites. Well, that will be the case unless / until their home country retaliates by blocking their access to US based websites ( as you mentioned in an earlier posting ).


Fortunately most of my cam customers are from the UK, my main site is none US based, and i get paid directly into my bank by a UK based processor. I'm hoping that means I'll be ok in the long run.

The big variable here will be how many non-US girls that are currently working through US based webcam host sites, after having their video streams blocked at the US border, will choose to migrate to your UK webcam host and start directly competing with you for your UK webcam customers. In theory this could mean that, within the span of a few weeks after SOPA is enacted, the total number of camgirls working through your UK based webcam host could triple, while the basic number of UK webcam customers patronizing your UK webcam host site would essentially remain unchanged. That's usually not a positive development in terms of future earnings potential.


However, things like C4S, and my back up sites/ side incomes will be affected, possibly personal websites too if they are .com?

Yes, legal precedent exists that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement can 'seize' the domain name of any site using the .com suffix, regardless of whether the ownership is US based or non-US based. In order to escape ICE jurisdiction, sites have to start using foreign country based tags like .uk or .de or .cy ! However, doing so will also push them near the bottom of search results on the major US search engines.


Does the US really want to be like China? It's fucking crazy!

From a purely financial standpoint, the answer is probably yes ! The 'powers that be' in the US would probably be very satisfied with a China-like trade situation in regard to internet 'sales' ... i.e. the US still providing US based 'product' for sale to the entire world, while blocking 'imported' products at the border to prevent their sale to US consumers in direct competition with similar US based 'products'. It's already happened with foreign produced ethanol, with ( 100% ) foreign produced vehicles, with foreign produced tires, with foreign produced steel, and a long list of other products. One of the few remaining areas where it has NOT already happened is 'tech' / internet products ... or, of specific interest to this thread, blocking foreign produced webcam video streams. And these sort of trade restrictions obviously aren't unique to China or the USA either i.e. the EU basically exists thanks to trade restrictions / regulations which favor domestic EU products over 'imported' products ... see http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/0...7655R920110706

From an economic standpoint, this really isn't a very big 'leap' beyond these other forms of 'protectionism' that have been taking place for years or decades. Granted that from an ideological standpoint that the de-facto change in interpretation of the role of the internet / web - from being a 'free exchange of ideas and information' medium to being an 'international delivery channel' for goods and services - won't go down very well. But ideology doesn't create US corporate profits or larger US paychecks or additional US jobs.


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#2 [url]

Dec 18 11 8:09 PM

A few weeks ago I saw a Television advert about combating online piracy.

Here is the proposed bill:

Stop Online Piracy Act
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"SOPA" redirects here. For other uses, see Sopa.

Stop Online Piracy Act

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R.3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. The bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.[2] Now before the House Judiciary Committee, it builds on the similar PRO-IP Act of 2008 and the corresponding Senate bill, the Protect IP Act.[3]
The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a felony. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.[4]
Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws especially against foreign websites.[5] Opponents say it infringes on First Amendment rights, is Internet censorship,[6] that it will cripple the Internet,[7] and will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech.[8]
The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on SOPA on November 16 and December 15, 2011. A vote is presently scheduled for Wednesday, December 21.[9]


The bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders against websites outside U.S. jurisdiction accused of infringing on copyrights, or of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.[4] After delivering a court order, the U.S. Attorney-General could require US-directed Internet service providers, ad networks such as Google and payment processors such as PayPal or Visa to suspend doing business with sites found to infringe on federal criminal intellectual property laws and take "technically feasible and reasonable measures" to prevent access to the infringing site. The Attorney-General could also bar search engines from displaying links to the sites.[10]
The bill also establishes a two-step process for intellectual property rights holders to seek relief if they have been harmed by a site dedicated to infringement. The rights holder must first notify, in writing, related payment facilitators and ad networks of the identity of the website, who, in turn, must then forward that notification and suspend services to that identified website, unless that site provides a counter notification explaining how it is not in violation. The rights holder can then sue for limited injunctive relief against the site operator, if such a counter notification is provided, or if the payment or advertising services fail to suspend service in the absence of a counter notification.[10]
The bill provides immunity from liability to the ad and payment networks that comply with this Act or that take voluntary action to cut ties to such sites. Any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement would be liable for damages.[4]
The second section increases the penalties for streaming video and for selling counterfeit drugs, military materials or consumer goods. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a felony.[10]

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, spoke out strongly against the bill, stating that "The bill attempts a radical restructuring of the laws governing the Internet," and that "It would undo the legal safe harbors that have allowed a world-leading Internet industry to flourish over the last decade. It would expose legitimate American businesses and innovators to broad and open-ended liability. The result will be more lawsuits, decreased venture capital investment, and fewer new jobs."[11]
Art Bordsky of advocacy group Public Knowledge similarly stated that "The definitions written in the bill are so broad that any US consumer who uses a website overseas immediately gives the US jurisdiction the power to potentially take action against it."[12]
According to co-sponsor Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Intellectual Property sub-panel, SOPA represents a rewrite of the PROTECT IP Act to address tech industry concerns. Goodlatte told The Hill that the new version requires court approval for action against search engines.[13] The Senate version, PROTECT IP, does not.[14][15]
A news analysis in the information technology magazine eWeek stated, "The language of SOPA is so broad, the rules so unconnected to the reality of Internet technology and the penalties so disconnected from the alleged crimes that this bill could effectively kill e-commerce or even normal Internet use. The bill also has grave implications for existing U.S., foreign and international laws and is sure to spend decades in court challenges. Fortunately, this is the House version of a Senate bill called the Protect IP Act (S. 968) that is very different. As a result, both bills if passed in something resembling their current states will have to be considered by a conference committee."[16]
Technical concerns
Open source software projects may shut down under this bill,[17] under a provision which the EFF believes targets Mozilla,[18] the browser used for about a quarter of all web searches.[19] Mozilla refused in early 2011 to pull the Mafiaafire add-on from its website, asking "Have any courts determined that the Mafiaafire add-on is unlawful or illegal in any way?"[20][21]
"It would cover IP blocking. I think it contemplates deep packet inspection" said Markham C. Erikson, head of NetCoalition, a group that includes Google, Yahoo and eBay. An aide to sponsor Lamar Smith said that the judge would decide what sort of blocking to order.[22] Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA wrote in a guest editorial for CNET that the proposed law targeted "only the illegal subdomain or Internet protocol address rather than taking action against the entire domain." (sic)[23]
Americans may simply switch to offshore DNS providers such as CloudFloor who offer encrypted links, said David Ulevitch, the San Francisco-based head of OpenDNS. U.S. entrepreneurs might also move offshore. "We can reincorporate as a Cayman Islands company and offer the same great service and not be a U.S. company anymore", he said.[24]
Andrew Lee, CEO of ESET North America, has expressed concerns that since the bill would require internet service providers to filter DNS queries for the sites, this would undermine the integrity of the Domain Name System.[25] On November 17, 2011, Ars Technica reported the appearance of a new anonymous top-level domain, Dot-BIT (.bit), outside of ICANN control.[26]
Edward J. Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, wrote in the Huffington Post that "Ironically, it would do little to stop actual pirate websites, which could simply reappear hours later under a different name, if their numeric web addresses aren't public even sooner. Anyone who knows or has that web address would still be able to reach the offending website."[27]
Bill targets more than infringing website
A Center for Democracy and Technology paper says that the bill "targets an entire website even if only a small portion hosts or links to some infringing content."[28] Answering similar criticism in a CNET editorial, RIAA head Cary Sherman wrote: "Actually, it's quite the opposite. By focusing on specific sites rather than entire domains, action can be targeted against only the illegal subdomain or Internet protocol address rather than taking action against the entire domain."[23]
According to A.M Reilly of Industry Leaders Magazine, under SOPA, culpability for distributing copyright material is extended to those who aid the initial poster of said material. For companies that use virtual private networks to create a network that appears to be internal but is spread across various offices and employees homes, any of theses offsite locations that initiate sharing of copyright material can put the entire VPN and hosting company at risk of violation.[29]
DNS blocking and filtering
The Domain Name System (DNS) servers, most often equated with a phone directory, translate browser requests for domain names into the IP address assigned to that computer or network. The bill requires these servers to stop referring requests for infringing domains to their assigned IP addresses.
Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat, whose district includes part of Silicon Valley, and who has called the bill "the end of the internet as we know it",[30] on November 17 released and posted to her website a technical assessment she requested from Sandia National Laboratories of the House and Senate bills. Neither would effectively control piracy and they would delay implementation of DNSSEC, her statement said, summarizing Sandia's response.[31] Sandia National Laboratories is an agency of the US Department of Energy that does nuclear, computer, and military research.
The Sandia letter mostly agrees with a white paper criticizing the DNS provisions of the Senate bill. It disagrees with the contention of harm to DNSSEC implementation because, it says, DNSSEC remains so far mostly unimplemented although the need for it is clear.
An editorial in the San Jose Mercury-News agreed with Lofgren's statement that the bill would mean "the end of the internet as we know it", stating, "Imagine the resources required to parse through the millions of Google and Facebook offerings every day looking for pirates who, if found, can just toss up another site in no time."[32]
Center for Democracy and Technology lawyers David Sohn and Andrew McDiarmid, in an article for The Atlantic, wrote, "In addition to domain-name filtering, SOPA would impose an open-ended obligation on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to prevent access to infringing sites...Preventing access to specific sites would require ISPs to inspect all the Internet traffic of its entire user base—the kind of privacy-invasive monitoring that has come under fire in the context of 'deep packet inspection' for advertising purposes."[33]
A white paper by several internet security experts, including Steve Crocker and Dan Kaminsky, wrote, "From an operational standpoint, a resolution failure from a nameserver subject to a court order and from a hacked nameserver would be indistinguishable. Users running secure applications have a need to distinguish between policy-based failures and failures caused, for example, by the presence of an attack or a hostile network, or else downgrade attacks would likely be prolific."[34] On November 9, 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that Operation Ghost Click had resulted in arrests in Estonia of the operators of a DNSChanger malware scheme that redirected users, in this case to counterfeit websites.[35] It had affected about four million computers, including many in large enterprises and at government agencies like NASA.[36]
There have been concerns raised that SOPA would harm the usefulness of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), a set of protocols developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for ensuring internet security. A white paper by the Brookings Institution wrote that "The DNS system is based on trust," adding that DNSSEC was developed to prevent malicious redirection of DNS traffic, and that "other forms of redirection will break the assurances from this security tool."[37]
House cybersecurity subcommittee chairman Dan Lungren told Politico's Morning Tech that he had "very serious concerns" about SOPA's impact on the Internet security protocol, DNSSEC, adding "we don't have enough information, and if this is a serious problem as was suggested by some of the technical experts that got in touch with me, we have to address it. I can't afford to let that go by without dealing with it."[38]
Detection considerations
Google voluntarily blocks child pornography using methods that begin by detecting fleshtones, said Google representative Katherine Oyama at the November 16 hearing, but does not know how to detect copyright infringement. Under current law, Google must rely on copyright holders to bring offending material to its attention.[39]
Legal concerns
According to some opponents, its requirements would overturn the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) process requiring copyright owners to submit notices of infringement to websites and ask for the infringing material to be taken down, legal observers say.[28] "If any website sets itself up in a way that does not actively log or monitor user behavior, a rights holder can always allege that the site is "avoiding confirming" the use of the site for infringement. That rights holder allegation is sufficient to put the website at major risk of losing access to payment and ad networks," said CDT lawyer David Sohn.[40]
Provider suspensions will likely target entire accounts, said the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the bill's provisions "grant them immunity for choking off a site if they have a 'reasonable' belief that a portion of a site enable(s) infringement, (and) give the payment processors a strong incentive to cut them off anyway."[41]
Law professor Jason Mazzone wrote, "Damages are also not available to the site owner unless a claimant 'knowingly materially' misrepresented that the law covers the targeted site, a difficult legal test to meet. The owner of the site can issue a counter-notice to restore payment processing and advertising but services need not comply with the counter-notice".[42]
Effect on web businesses
Harvard Business Review blogger James Allworth wrote, "Is this really what we want to do to the internet? Shut it down every time it doesn't fit someone's business model?" concluding that the bill would "give America its very own version of the Great Firewall of China."[43]
Christian Dawson, COO of Virginia-based hosting company ServInt, predicted that the legislation would lead to many cloud computing and Web hosting services moving out of the US to avoid lawsuits: "I see SOPA as a stimulus package for Asia and Europe and their Internet economies," he said.[44]
Conversely, Michael O'Leary of the MPAA argued at the November 16 Judiciary Committee hearing that the act's effect on business would be more minimal, noting that at least 16 countries block websites, and the internet still functions in those countries.[39] Denmark, Finland and Italy block The Pirate Bay after courts ruled in favor of music and film industry litigation, and a coalition of film and record companies has threatened to sue British Telecom if it does not follow suit.[45] Maria Pallante of the US Copyright Office said that Congress has updated the Copyright Act before and should again, or "the U.S. copyright system will ultimately fail." Asked for clarification, she said that the US currently lacks jurisdiction over websites in other countries.[39]
Goodlatte stated, "Intellectual property is one of America's chief job creators and competitive advantages in the global marketplace, yet American inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs have been forced to stand by and watch as their works are stolen by foreign infringers beyond the reach of current U.S. laws. This legislation will update the laws to ensure that the economic incentives our Framers enshrined in the Constitution over 220 years ago - to encourage new writings, research, products and services - remain effective in the 21st Century's global marketplace, which will create more American jobs. The bill will also protect consumers from dangerous counterfeit products, such as fake drugs, automobile parts and infant formula."[46]
Rights-holders see intermediaries as the only accessible defendants. “This is the last stand—the guys who have the pipes,” says Peter Mensch of Q Prime, which represents bands such as Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.[47]
Brooklyn Law School professor Jason Mazzone warned, "Much of what will happen under SOPA will occur out of the public eye and without the possibility of holding anyone accountable. For when copyright law is made and enforced privately, it is hard for the public to know the shape that the law takes and harder still to complain about its operation."[42]
Critics of the bill, including Google, have expressed concern about the bill's effect on provisions of the existing Digital Millennium Copyright Act which protect Internet companies that act in good faith to remove user-uploaded infringing content from their sites.[48]
Goodlatte added, "We're open to working with them on language to narrow [the bill's provisions], but I think it is unrealistic to think we're going to continue to rely on the DMCA notice-and-takedown provision. Anybody who is involved in providing services on the Internet would be expected to do some things. But we are very open to tweaking the language to ensure we don't impose extraordinary burdens on legitimate companies as long as they aren't the primary purveyors [of pirated content]".[49][50] The DMCA provision known as safe harbor protects YouTube[51] and other sites such as social networks hosting uploaded user material from liability, provided the sites promptly remove infringing material brought to their attention, removing "the risk that the few users among millions who post copyrighted material, libelous statements or counterfeit goods would subject the site to business-crushing legal liabilities."[52]
The MPAA's O'Leary submitted written testimony in favor of the bill that expressed guarded support of current DMCA provisions. "Where these sites are legitimate and make good faith efforts to respond to our requests, this model works with varying degrees of effectiveness," O'Leary wrote. "It does not, however, always work quickly, and it is not perfect, but it works."[53]
Etsy, Flickr and Vimeo all seem likely to shut down if the bill becomes law, the EFF warned.[41] YouTube is online today because it adheres to precisely the takedown provisions that the bill would alter.[54] According to critics, the bill would ban linking to sites deemed offending, even in search results[55] and on services such as Twitter.[56]
Jobs and the economy
On October 28, 2011, the EFF called the bill a "massive piece of job-killing Internet regulation," and said, "This bill cannot be fixed; it must be killed."[57]
Sponsor Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said, "Millions of American jobs hang in the balance, and our efforts to protect America's intellectual property are critical to our economy's long-term success."[46] Smith added, "The Stop Online Piracy Act helps stop the flow of revenue to rogue websites and ensures that the profits from American innovations go to American innovators."[46]
The MPAA representative who testified before the committee said that the motion picture and film industry supports two million jobs and 95,000 small businesses.[53] A study in early 2011 found that the internet created 2.6 jobs for every job lost to it and that "in the mature countries we studied, the Internet accounted for 10% of GDP growth over the past 15 years. And its influence is expanding. Over the past five years, the Internet's contribution to GDP growth has doubled to 21 percent."[58]
"Total U.S. commerce in 2008 (the latest year reported on) was about $22 trillion. Of this about $3.7 trillion was in the form of e-commerce, mostly over the Internet. Most of this (92%) was business-to-business," said Harvard University's Technology Security Officer Scott Bradner, citing census date in a discussion of the economic effects of net neutrality.[59] US Department of Commerce figures for the third quarter of 2011 show a 13.7 percent increase for e-commerce from the third quarter of 2010 and a total retail sales increase of 8.2 percent for the same period. E-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2011 accounted for 4.6 percent of total sales, according to the Commerce announcement.[60]
Startups and venture capital
Lukas Biewald, founder of CrowdFlower, stated that "It'll have a stifling effect on venture capital. The venture capitalists have been pretty vociferous opponents of this bill. If it's making investors nervous, that's bad for me and other startup founders. No one would invest because of the legal liability."[61]
Booz & Company on November 16 released a study finding that almost all of the 200 venture capitalists and angel investors interviewed would stop funding digital media intermediaries if the House bill becomes law. More than 80 percent said they would rather invest in a risky, weak economy with the current laws than a strong economy with the proposed law in effect. If legal ambiguities were removed and good faith provisions in place, investing would increase by nearly 115 percent.[62] The study was funded by Google and researched and written by Booz.
Counterfeit and misbranded drug industry
John Clark, spokesman for Pfizer, testified at the committee hearing that patients couldn't always detect cleverly forged websites selling drugs that were either misbranded or simply counterfeit. RxRights, a consumer advocacy group, issued a statement saying that Clark failed "to acknowledge that there are Canadian and other international pharmacies that do disclose where they are located, require a valid doctor's prescription and sell safe, brand-name medications produced by the same leading manufacturers as prescription medications sold in the U.S."[63] They had earlier said that SOPA "fails to distinguish between counterfeit and genuine pharmacies" and would prevent American patients from ordering their medications from Canadian pharmacies online.[64]
Bill sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) accused Google of obstructing the bill, citing its $500 million settlement with the DoJ of charges that it allowed ads from Canadian pharmacies, leading to illegal imports of prescription drugs. "Given Google's record, their objection to authorizing a court to order a search engine to not steer consumers to foreign rogue websites is more easily understood," Smith said at the hearing. "Unfortunately, the theft of America's IP costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs."[65] Shipment of prescription drugs from foreign pharmacies to customers in the US typically violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Controlled Substances Act,[66] whether or not the drugs or the pharmacies are legitimate.
Free speech concerns
Many proxy servers, such as those used during the Arab Spring, can also be used to thwart copyright enforcement and therefore may be made illegal by the act.[18] Some US-funded "internet in a suitcase" projects allow users in China to circumvent the Chinese government's control of DNS.[67] The Chinese program is technically very similar to SOPA provisions. Communication problems during Hurricane Katrina, the Fukushima earthquake and the Arab Spring have led to proposals of technology changes to enable ad-hoc emergency networks.[68]
On Time's Techland blog, Jerry Brito wrote, "Imagine if the U.K. created a blacklist of American newspapers that its courts found violated celebrities' privacy? Or what if France blocked American sites it believed contained hate speech? We forget, but those countries don't have a First Amendment."[69] Similarly, the Center for Democracy and Technology warned, "If SOPA and PIPA are enacted, the US government must be prepared for other governments to follow suit, in service to whatever social policies they believe are important—whether restricting hate speech, insults to public officials, or political dissent."[70]
The AFL-CIO's Paul Almeida, arguing in favor of SOPA, stated that free speech was not a relevant consideration, because "The First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks."[11]
On November 18, 2011 the European parliament adopted by a large majority a resolution that "stresses the need to protect the integrity of the global Internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names."[71][72]
Whistleblowers already risk punitive copyright lawsuits, no less ruinous because they are eventually decided in favor of the whistleblowers. Microsoft in 2010 served Cryptome with a DMCA takedown notice for a non-commercial handbook for law enforcement showing how to subpoena Microsoft user records.[73] Network Solutions shut down the site when its owner refused to remove the material. Microsoft eventually backed down.[74] Web hosts served with takedown notices[75][76] by Diebold in 2003 generally removed material about problems with the company's voting machines rather than argue[77] its constitutional protections.[78] Diebold eventually lost a precedent-setting case in court but this required more than a year of litigation.
CNET correspondent Larry Downes wrote, "A bill that was to target only the 'worst of the worst' foreign Web sites committing blatant and systemic copyright and trademark infringement has morphed inexplicably into an unrestricted hunting license for media companies to harass anyone foreign or domestic—who questions their timetable for digital transformation."[50]
Penalties for illegal streaming
An aide to bill sponsor Lamar Smith has said, "This bill does not make it a felony for a person to post a video on YouTube of their children singing to a copyrighted song. The bill specifically targets websites dedicated to illegal or infringing activity. Sites that host user content—like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter—have nothing to be concerned about under this legislation".
Lateef Mtima, Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice at the Howard University School of Law expressed concern with the bill's language, saying, "Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of the bill is that the conduct it would criminalize is so poorly defined. While on its face the bill seems to attempt to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial conduct, purportedly criminalizing the former and permitting the latter, in actuality the bill not only fails to accomplish this but, because of its lack of concrete definitions, it potentially criminalizes conduct that is currently permitted under the law."
Mtima continued, "The Senate version requires that a video has more than '10 performances', which legal experts say is equivalent to 'views'. In the House version, only 1 view is required. In the House version, the market value of licensing the work only needs to be $1,000 (a merely nominal licensing fee for any popular music) or greater to qualify as a criminal offense."[79]

The Stop Online Piracy Act was introduced by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and was initially co-sponsored by Howard Berman (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), John Conyers (D-MI), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Timothy Griffin (R-AR), Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Lee Terry (R-NE). As of December 17, 2011, there were 31 sponsors.[80]
The legislation has broad support from organizations that rely on copyright, including the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Macmillan Publishers, Viacom, and various other companies and unions in the cable, movie, and music industries. Supporters also include trademark-dependent companies such as Nike, L'Oréal, and Acushnet Company.[81][82]
Both the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce support H.R. 3261, and many industries have also publicly praised the legislation. On September 22, 2011, a letter signed by over 350 businesses and organizations—including NBCUniversal, Pfizer, Ford Motor Company, Revlon, NBA, and Macmillan—was sent to Congress encouraging the passage of the legislation this year.[81][82] Fightonlinetheft.com, a website of The Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (a project of the United States Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property Center[83]), cites a long list of supporters including these and the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Attorneys General, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Consumers League.[84][85]
On November 22 the CEO of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) expressed concerns about the bill, saying that "valid and important questions have been raised about the bill". He said that definitions and remedies needed to be tightened and narrowed, but "BSA stands ready to work with Chairman Smith and his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee to resolve these issues."[86][87]
In June 2011, former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry and former George W. Bush advisor Mark McKinnon, business partners in Public Strategies, Inc., were in a campaign which echoed McCurry's earlier work in the network neutrality legislative fight. McCurry represented SOPA/Protect IP in Politico as a way to combat theft on-line,[88] drawing a favorable comment from the MPAA.[89] On the 15th, McCurry and Arts + Labs co-chair McKinnon sponsored the "CREATE -- A Forum on Creativity, Commerce, Copyright, Counterfeiting and Policy" conference with members of Congress, artists and information-business executives.[90]

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."[91] "Issa said the legislation is beyond repair and must be rewritten from scratch," reported The Hill.[92] 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."[44]

Opponents of the bill include Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, AOL, LinkedIn, eBay, Mozilla Corporation, the Brookings Institution, the Wikimedia Foundation,[93] and human rights organizations such as Reporters Without Borders,[94] the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, and Human Rights Watch.[95][96]
On December 13, Julian Sanchez of the Libertarian think tank Cato Institute came out in strong opposition to the bill saying that while the amended version "trims or softens a few of the most egregious provisions of the original proposal...the fundamental problem with SOPA has never been these details; it’s the core idea. The core idea is still to create an Internet blacklist..."[97]
The Library Copyright Alliance (including the American Library Association) objects to the broadened definition of "willful infringement" and the introduction of felony penalties for noncommercial streaming infringement, stating that these changes could encourage criminal prosecution of libraries.[98]
On November 16, Tumblr, Mozilla, Techdirt, the Center for Democracy and Technology were among many other Internet companies that protested the Stop Online Piracy Act by participating in a so-called "American Censorship Day". They displayed black banners over their site logos with the words "STOP CENSORSHIP".[99] On November 22 Mike Masnick for Techdirt published a detailed criticism of the ideas underlying the bill, writing that "one could argue that the entire Internet enables or facilitates infringement", and saying that a list of sites compiled by the entertainment industry included the personal site of one of their own artists, 50cent, and a wide variety of highly successful legitimate internet companies. The article questioned the effect of the bill on $2 trillion in GDP and 3.1 million jobs, with a host of consequential problems on investment, liability, and innovation.[100][101]
The Center for Democracy and Technology maintains a list of SOPA and PIPA opponents consisting of the editorial boards of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, 34 organizations, and many hundreds of prominent individuals.[102]
In mid-November, Washington Post blogger Dominic Basulto, of Electric Artists and formerly Fortune and Corante.com,[103] drew parallels between SOPA and efforts by China, North Korea and Iran to limit internet access and saw an attempt "to push through new anti-piracy legislation by year-end that would benefit Hollywood at the expense of Silicon Valley".[104]
In December 2011, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales initiated discussion with editors regarding a potential knowledge blackout, a protest inspired by a successful campaign by the Italian-language Wikipedia to block the Italian DDL intercettazioni bill, terms of which would have infringed the encyclopedia's editorial independence. Editors mulled interrupting service for one or more days as in the Italian protest, or alternatively presenting site visitors with a blanked page directing them to further information before permitting them to complete searches.[105][106][107][108]
Computer scientist Vint Cerf, one of the founders of the Internet and Google vice president, wrote House committee chairman Lamar Smith, saying "Requiring search engines to delete a domain name begins a worldwide arms race of unprecedented 'censorship' of the Web," in a letter published on CNet.[109][110]
The European Union Parliament has made a statement opposing the act, particulary in reference to the ability of the US to seize domain names.[111]
On December 15, 2011 a second hearing was scheduled to amend and vote on SOPA. Many opponents remain firm on their opposition to the act after Lamar Smith proposed a 71-page amendment to the bill to address previously raised concerns. NetCoalition, who works with Google, Twitter, eBay, and Facebook, appreciated that Lamar Smith is trying to address the issues with the bill, but says it nonetheless cannot support the amendment.[112] Darell Issa, a Republican who proposed an alternative to SOPA, stated that Smith’s amendment, “retains the fundamental flaws of its predecessor by blocking Americans' ability to access websites, imposing costly regulation on Web companies and giving Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice broad new powers to police the Internet.”[112]
November 16 House Judiciary Committee hearing

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing about SOPA on November 16 2011. There was concern among some observers that the set of speakers who testified lacked technical expertise. Technology news site CNET reported "One by one, each witness—including a lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America—said they weren't qualified to discuss... DNSSEC."[38] Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, similarly said, "The techno-ignorance of Congress was on full display. Member after member admitted that they really didn't have any idea what impact SOPA's regulatory provisions would have on the DNS, online security, or much of anything else."[113]
Lofgren stated, “We have no technical expertise on this panel today.” She also criticized the tone of the hearing, saying, “It hasn’t generally been the policy of this committee to dismiss the views of those we are going to regulate. Impugning the motives of the critics instead of the substance is a mistake.”[114]
House cybersecurity subcommittee chairman Dan Lungren told Politico's Morning Tech that he had "very serious concerns" about SOPA's impact on DNSSEC, adding "we don't have enough information, and if this is a serious problem as was suggested by some of the technical experts that got in touch with me, we have to address it. I can't afford to let that go by without dealing with it."[115]
Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, who had wanted to testify but was not invited, stated, "The significant potential harms of this bill are reflected by the extraordinary coalition arrayed against it. Concerns about SOPA have been raised by Tea Partiers, progressives, computer scientists, human rights advocates, venture capitalists, law professors, independent musicians, and many more. Unfortunately, these voices were not heard at today's hearing."[11]
An editorial in Fortune wrote, "This is just another case of Congress doing the bidding of powerful lobbyists—in this case, Hollywood and the music industry, among others. It would be downright mundane if the legislation weren't so draconian and the rhetoric surrounding it weren't so transparently pandering."[116]
December 15 markup of the bill

Since its introduction, a number of opponents to the bill have expressed concerns. The bill was presented for markup by the House Judiciary Committee on December 15.
An aide to Rep. Lamar Smith has stated that "He is open to changes but only legitimate changes. Some site[s] are totally capable of filtering illegal content, but they won’t and are instead profiting from the traffic of illegal content.”[117]
Markup outcome
After the first day of the hearing, more than 20 amendments had been rejected, including one by Darrell Issa which would have stripped provisions targeting search engines and Internet providers. PC World reported that the 22-12 vote on the amendment could foreshadow strong support for the bill by the committee.[118]
The House Judiciary Committee adjourned on the second day and has scheduled a vote for December 21.[9]


You can thank all those, who conducted online copyright and pirating acts for this. That free movie, that free song, that "broken" computer software, and all those free content videos of porn everyone can access for free, for finding ways to circumvent paying for things because "it helps their fellow man".

You reap what you sow.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil...is for good men to do nothing
Edmund Burke(1729-1797)
Irish Philosopher,statesman

�With integrity, nothing else counts. Without integrity, nothing else counts.�

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. � Albert Einstein.

"To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle."


Quote    Reply   

#3 [url]

Dec 21 11 4:39 PM

cool.gif Do we have your attention yet?


Mythbuster Adam Savage: Anti-piracy bill would ‘destroy the Internet’
By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Topics: discovery channel ♦ google ♦ Mythbuster Adam Savage

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its sister bill in the Senate, the PROTECT IP Act, are not very popular right now, thanks in large part to a growing outcry from some of the strongest voices on the Internet, from the founders of Google, Reddit, eBay, Craigslist, Wikipedia and others. Now another, even more familiar voice is being raised to oppose the bills, which would mandate fundamental changes in the way the Internet operates.

Adam Savage, co-host of The Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters,” explained in an essay published this week by Popular Mechanics that the provisions in the anti-piracy bills would “destroy the Internet as we know it,” by giving content creators a club to whack entire websites based upon sometimes arbitrary claims.

“Make no mistake: These bills aren’t simply unconstitutional, they are anticonstitutional,” he wrote. “They would allow for the wholesale elimination of entire websites, domain names, and chunks of the DNS (the underlying structure of the whole Internet), based on nothing more than the ‘good faith’ assertion by a single party that the website is infringing on a copyright of the complainant. The accused doesn’t even have to be aware that the complaint has been made.

“I’m not kidding,” he emphasized.

Savage is the latest in a long line of high-profile geeks to come out against the bills, which are mostly driven by powerful interests in the entertainment industry. Critics say the bills are so vague that, even while they claim to be aimed at foreign websites hosting infringing content, they could be used to cause such work overflow for major website operators, they would have to fundamentally alter how they operate in order to continue.

In a recent speech, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that SOPA would essentially “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself,” adding that SOPA’s goal is “reasonable,” but that its “mechanism is terrible.”

“What they’re essentially doing is whacking away at the DNS system and that’s a mistake,” Schmidt explained. “It’s a bad way to go about solving the problem.”

Lobbyists for the entertainment industry insist that the radical changes to the Internet’s structure are necessary to prevent copyrighted material from being shared between sometimes hundreds of users at a time, which they claim costs movie studios billions of dollars every year, although that claim is not borne out by the facts.

Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
"Mythbusters' co-host Adam Savage, right, sits on a panel at Comic Con. Photo: Discovery Channel.
Click here to view the attachment

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

Quote    Reply   

#4 [url]

Dec 22 11 6:56 AM

The bill allows an accuser to shut down the Internet site of a foreign company based on accusation without presenting evidence in court. With its revenue crippled or interruped, the accused foreign company must mount a court battle in the U.S. to restore its Internet domain. It makes online billing companies and online advertising companies legally responsible for piracy that someone else has allegedly done.

Trainer, this bill has little to do with copyright and trademark infrengment. It is a power grab by fascist corporations that are contemptuous of due process and the U.S. Constitution. They think their greed supersedes the Bill of Rights and entitles them to have absolute power. Dingbats who voted politicians who are contemptuous of the legal process into office are responsible.

Quote    Reply   

#5 [url]

Dec 22 11 7:41 AM

Well Polar Bear, can we suppose that record companies, movie production companies and software companies fight piracy because they lose money from people "cracking" as they call it, and circumventing the legal purchase of their products?

Can we also suppose that copying or illegally recording video, audio and other media is copyright infringement that many people conduct to save money?

I have a friend who buys pirated movies, because it is cheaper than purchasing it from the company that made the original.

All these illegal activities, increase the price of the item that is illegally obtained. They just pass the costs to the consumer. Just like any company pursues criminal activity that causes these fascist corporations(as you describe) to lose money from individuals NOT paying the full price of the item(s).

Same thing can be said of avoiding paying taxes.

They are losing money while other make money in an illegal fashion.

I agree that politicians usually are clueless when enacting certain laws about things they know very little about.

The right way to go about preventing piracy and copyright infringement with enacting laws is to not only listen to just those greedy companies but also allow internet experts to provide the politicians with all the information to make a just and proper decision if this will create an uproar globally and affect people who earn an honest living using the internet.

They are going after the hackers and pirates who may have websites or use websites to link to illegal obtained material.

I always wondered why so many cam models use MFC banners that state copyright of MFC when so many pirates record their shows illegally anyway. It is so easy for the individuals who post those recording to remove those banners.

You might as well include all those women, who waste their time believing that those warning on their chat screens will stop pirates from recording stuff.

I also agree that making false claims and accusations against websites without any evidence will create a clusterfuck. But someone will end up paying the price in the end for it all. If this law is enforced, we both know where the added expenses to combat the piracy or pay for litigation to fight such claims, will be passed down to you and I,and everyone else,regardless.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil...is for good men to do nothing
Edmund Burke(1729-1797)
Irish Philosopher,statesman

�With integrity, nothing else counts. Without integrity, nothing else counts.�

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. � Albert Einstein.

"To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle."


Quote    Reply   

#6 [url]

Jan 2 12 12:41 AM

Happy New Year.. Our first post for 2012. I wish it was better news.


Congress Seeks Legal Framework for Internet Censorship

By Mike Ingram, World Socialist Web Site

01 January 12

wo bills aimed at establishing a legal framework for government and corporate censorship of the Internet are expected to be discussed in January when Congress returns from its winter break.

The first is the so-called PIPA, or Protect IP Act, introduced to the US Senate on May 12 by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. The second is the Stop Online Piracy Act, known as SOPA. This bill was introduced to the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 by Republican Lamar Smith. The bills are the latest bipartisan attempt to give the government the ability to shut down the Internet or parts of the Internet.

In the name of defending intellectual property and copyrights, PIPA would force US Internet providers to block access to websites deemed as enablers of copyright infringement, particularly those outside of the US. PIPA also requires advertising networks and financial transaction providers to cut services to domains found to violate the law. PIPA adds search engines and others to the list of providers that can be forced to comply with court orders.

The new bill includes a provision encouraging advertising networks and financial transaction service providers to cut ties voluntarily with domains it believes are "dedicated to infringing activities." PIPA promises immunity from liability for such actions as long as they are undertaken in good faith and with "credible evidence."

Furthermore, PIPA allows copyright and trademark holders to sue the owner or operator of a domain directly. Once a suit is initiated, the plaintiff can ask the court to issue an injunction or restraining order, effectively shutting down a site on the say-so of private individuals. Likewise, those individuals can also use courts to require cooperation from financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services.

If passed, SOPA will serve as what the Electronic Frontier Foundation has described as the US government and private corporation blacklist of sites. Provisions of SOPA include:

* Allow the US attorney general to seek a court order that would force search engines, advertisers, DNS providers, server hosts, and payment processors from having any contact with allegedly infringing websites

* Allow private corporations to create their own hit lists composed of websites they feel are breaking their copyright policies

* Give payment processors the power to cut off any website they work with, as long as they can provide a strong reason for why they believe a site is violating copyrights

Both bills claim to be aimed at protecting intellectual property and preventing online piracy and have received predictable support from the film and music industry. In fact they pose a serious threat to democratic rights.

While pandering to the intellectual property rights holders, politicians of both capitalist parties are seeking to introduce a legal framework which will allow the government to shut down entire domains, both in the US and internationally.

There is widespread opposition to this blatant act of state censorship. The domain registrar Go Daddy, which had been an early supporter of the SOPA bill, was forced to change its position following a boycott call posted on the social news site reddit.com. The tech web site macobserver.com reported December 26 that Go Daddy had lost over 72,000 domain names in five days.

In an "Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the US Congress" issued December 15, a group of 83 prominent engineers and inventors who had been instrumental in the development of the Internet protested against SOPA and PIPA, calling on Congress to reject both bills. Signatories to the letter include Vinct Cerf, the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocol used to transfer traffic across the Internet, and Paul Vixie, the author of BIND - the software used to run much of the Domain Name System.

Referring to their role in building the various parts that make up the Internet, the letter states, "We’re just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it."

The authors warn, "If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation. … Regardless of recent amendments to SOPA, both bills will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system (DNS) and have other capricious technical consequences. ... Such legislation would engender censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties’ right and ability to communicate and express themselves."

The letter continues, "These bills are particularly egregious ... because they cause entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under these proposals. In fact, it seems that this has already begun to happen under the nascent DHS/ICE seizures program."

In 2010 the Department of Homeland Security and its ICE security wing seized around eighty domains, including the popular BitTorrent search engine Torrent Finder. BitTorrent is a protocol which allows large files to be broken down into small chunks which can be distributed over multiple computers via a peer-to-peer networks and reassembled upon being downloaded to the user's computer. The protocol has long been the target of the music and movie industries despite its numerous other uses such as the distribution of free open source software. Wikileaks has also made available torrent files of its documents to be used in the event the site is shut down.

In February 2011, the Spanish web site Rojadirecta was taken down in an operation targeting streaming sites aimed at preventing illegal streaming ahead of the Superbowl.

The Open Letter continues, "The current bills - SOPA explicitly and PIPA implicitly - also threaten engineers who build Internet systems or offer services that are not readily and automatically compliant with censorship actions by the US Government. When we designed the Internet the first time, our priorities were reliability, robustness and minimizing central points of failure or control. We are alarmed that Congress is so close to mandating censorship-compliance as a design requirement for new Internet innovations. This can only damage the security of the network and give authoritarian governments more power over what their citizens can read and publish.

"The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry."

In fact, US Government claims to support a free and open Internet are the height of hypocrisy. In recent years, the US government has vastly expanded efforts to remove content from the Internet, including through the persecution of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. As part of its efforts against WikiLeaks, the Obama administration solicited the support of PayPal and credit card companies to block the ability of the organization to raise funds online.

The American ruling class, intent on pursuing a policy of endless war and social reaction, is deeply suspicious and hostile to the free flow of ideas and information. It is this hostility that at the root of the constant efforts to increase government control of the Internet.

Both the PIPA and SOPA Internet censorship bills threaten to silence the voices of America, posing serious threats to democratic rights, 12/28/11. (photo: ISyndica.com/flickr)
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#10 [url]

Jan 15 12 10:24 PM

Looks like this bill is blocked for now by opposition from the Obama administration.. We'll see how long that lasts - before he caves that is.


Victory for Internet Freedom: Obama Announces Opposition to SOPA, Congress Shelves Bill
By Steve Benen, Washington Monthly
Posted on January 15, 2012, Printed on January 15, 2012

Misguided efforts to combat online privacy have been threatening to stifle innovation, suppress free speech, and even, in some cases, undermine national security. As of yesterday, though, there’s a lot less to worry about.

At issue are two related bills: the Senate’s Protect IP Act and the even more offensive Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, both of which are generated intense opposition from tech giants and First Amendment advocates. The first sign that the bills’ prospects were dwindling came Friday, when SOPA sponsors agreed to drop a key provision that would have required service providers to block access to international sites accused of piracy.

The legislation ran into an even more significant problem yesterday when the White House announced its opposition to the bills. Though the administration’s chief technology officials officials acknowledged the problem of online privacy, the White House statement presented a fairly detailed critique of the measures and concluded, “We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” It added that any proposed legislation “must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet.”

Until now, the Obama administration had not taken a position on the issue. The response was published yesterday as part of the online “We The People” petition initiative launched by the White House last year.

Though the administration did issue a formal veto threat, the White House’s opposition signaled the end of these bills, at least in their current form.

A few hours later, Congress shelved SOPA, putting off action on the bill indefinitely.

    House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.

    “While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House,” Issa said in a statement. “Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote.”

It’s possible that a related version of SOPA could come back at some point down the road — though probably not this year — but for now, the push against the bill has succeeded beautifully.

Steve Benen is a freelance writer and editor of The Carpetbagger Report.
© 2012 Washington Monthly All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/153776/

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#11 [url]

Jan 20 12 12:40 PM

WTF is SOPA/PIPA?? This video explains the scope and impact of these proposed laws that were the target of Wednesday's first Internet strike by major web-content providers... The New York Times analysis of the significance of that strike is posted below.


The New York Times
January 18, 2012
In Fight Over Piracy Bills, New Economy Rises Against Old

WASHINGTON — When the powerful world of old media mobilized to win passage of an online antipiracy bill, it marshaled the reliable giants of K Street — the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America and, of course, the motion picture lobby, with its new chairman, former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and an insider’s insider.

Yet on Wednesday this formidable old guard was forced to make way for the new as Web powerhouses backed by Internet activists rallied opposition to the legislation through Internet blackouts and cascading criticism, sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers grappling with new media issues: Don’t mess with the Internet.

As a result, the legislative battle over two once-obscure bills to combat the piracy of American movies, music, books and writing on the World Wide Web may prove to be a turning point for the way business is done in Washington. It represented a moment when the new economy rose up against the old.

“I think it is an important moment in the Capitol,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and an important opponent of the legislation. “Too often, legislation is about competing business interests. This is way beyond that. This is individual citizens rising up.”

It appeared by Wednesday evening that Congress would follow Bank of America, Netflix and Verizon as the latest institution to change course in the face of a netizen revolt.

Legislation that just weeks ago had overwhelming bipartisan support and had provoked little scrutiny generated a grass-roots coalition on the left and the right. Wikipedia made its English-language content unavailable, replaced with a warning: “Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet.” Visitors to Reddit found the site offline in protest. Google’s home page was scarred by a black swatch that covered the search engine’s label.

Phone calls and e-mail messages poured in to Congressional offices against the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate. One by one, prominent backers of the bills dropped off.

First, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising Republican star, took to Facebook, one of the vehicles for promoting opposition, to renounce a bill he had co-sponsored. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who leads the G.O.P.’s Senate campaign efforts, used Facebook to urge his colleagues to slow the bill down. Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina and a Tea Party favorite, announced his opposition on Twitter, which was already boiling over with anti-#SOPA and #PIPA fever.

Then trickle turned to flood — adding Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Representatives Lee Terry of Nebraska and Ben Quayle of Arizona. At least 10 senators and nearly twice that many House members announced their opposition.

“Thanks for all the calls, e-mails, and tweets. I will be opposing #SOPA and #PIPA,” Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, wrote in a Twitter message. Late Wednesday, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, withdrew his support for a bill he helped write.

The existing bill “needs more due diligence, analysis and substantial changes,” he said in a statement.

Few lawmakers even now question the need to combat pirates at Web sites in China, Russia and elsewhere who have offered free American movies, television shows, music and books almost as soon as they are released. Heavyweights like the Walt Disney Company secured the support of senators and representatives before the Web companies were even aware the legislation existed.

“A lot of people are pitching this as Hollywood versus Google. It’s so much more than that,” said Maura Corbett, spokeswoman for NetCoalition, which represents Google, Amazon.com, Yahoo, eBay and other Web companies. “I would love to say we’re so fabulous, we’re just that good, but we’re not. The Internet responded the way only the Internet could.”

For the more traditional media industry, the moment was menacing. Supporters of the legislation accused the Web companies of willfully lying about the legislation’s flaws, stirring fear to protect ill-gotten profits from illegal Web sites.

Mr. Dodd said Internet companies might well change Washington, but not necessarily for the better with their ability to spread their message globally, without regulation or fact-checking.

“It’s a new day,” he added. “Brace yourselves.”

Citing two longtime liberal champions of the First Amendment, Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Mr. Dodd fumed, “No one can seriously believe Pat Leahy and John Conyers can be backing legislation to block free speech or break the Internet.”

For at least four years, Hollywood studios, recording industry and major publishing houses have pressed Congress to act against offshore Web sites that have been giving away U.S. movies, music and books as fast as the artists can make them. Few lawmakers would deny the threat posed by piracy to industries that have long been powerful symbols of American culture and have become engines of the export economy. The Motion Picture Association of America says its industry brings back more export income than aerospace, automobiles or agriculture, and that piracy costs the country as many as 100,000 jobs.

The House response, SOPA, was drafted by a conservative Republican, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, with the backing of 30 co-sponsors, from Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, to mainline Republican Peter King of New York. The Senate’s version, written by Mr. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, attracted 40 co-sponsors from across the political spectrum and cleared his committee unanimously.

Then the Web rose up. Activists said the legislation would censor the Web, force search engines to play policemen for a law they hate and cripple innovation in one of the most vibrant sectors of the American economy.

Mr. Smith, the House Republican author, said opposition Web sites were spreading “fear rather than fact.”

“When the opposition is based upon misinformation, I have confidence in the facts and confidence that the facts will ultimately prevail,” Mr. Smith said.

Google, Facebook and Twitter have political muscle of their own, with in-house lobbying shops and trade associations just like traditional media’s. Facebook has hired the former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart. Google’s Washington operations are headed by Pablo Chavez, a former counsel to Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and a veteran of the Senate Commerce Committee.

And for all the campaign contributions, Washington parties and high-priced lobbyists the old economy could muster, nothing could compare to the tentacles the new economy can reach into Americans’ everyday lives through sites like Wikipedia. Aides to Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, say he will press forward with a vote Tuesday to open debate on the Protect I.P. bill. Negotiators from both parties are scrambling for new language that could assuage the concerns of the Internet community, but expectations are that the bill will now fail to get the 60 votes to move forward — a significant setback.

“The problem for the content industry is they just don’t know how to mobilize people,” said John P. Feehery, a former House Republican leadership aide who previously worked at the motion picture association. “They have a small group of content makers, a few unions, whereas the Internet world, the social media world especially, can reach people in ways we never dreamed of before.”

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"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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