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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2012, 14:43 
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Hey guys, I didn't take MI down today frankly due to time constraints. But I want to let you know about SOPA and PIPA, two acts that are going through Congress right now. These two acts could kill the internet as we know it, or at the very least, strangle the very innovation that we strive for. A lot of this is taken from Gaming Bus, because I wrote that page that's up today, but the information still describes MI. Please take some time to read it.



Under SOPA, any site which might contain copyright infringing material could be blocked from search engines or have legal action taken on them. This includes any site that has fan art, trailers, screenshots, or even streams. YouTube, Facebook, Google, and message boards (like us) are currently immune from this action, but they won't be under SOPA. This will happen without due process and threatens net neutrality. Anyone who uses Fair Use provisions as detailed in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Act of 1976 has a stake in this fight every bit as much as we do, especially given the punishments outlined. Put another way, we could be labeled as felons for putting up potentially "infringing" material. That means we lose the right to vote because we have a Fire Emblem banner or because we have Pokemon-themed emotes.

I support measures to prevent piracy and intellectual property theft, but SOPA goes too far. This bill overreaches to the point that the U.S. government will have power over something that, quite frankly, it shouldn't have power over. The legal possibilities are frightening: The bill would allow court orders to impose a mandatory censor on search engines, forcing them to remove any pathways to the infringing web sites; and it would force domain name registrars to take down the infringing domains. Furthermore, the bill seeks to allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to mandate that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must block subscriber access to the sites in question by preventing domains from resolving the correct IPs. This means that the default DNS servers provided by your ISP could be censored on mandate by the DOJ.

SOPA will do absolutely nothing to stem the tide of piracy. Instead of going over the Internet, piracy will go back underground to UseNet and other services. It will not stamp out piracy. As always, it's going to be law-abiding citizens that pay the price for this; and as Nick Holland of Venturebeat points out, the companies pushing for this aren't interested in any of these details.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you should be appalled. Educate yourself. Learn who is supporting this bill. Take action. Contact the companies backing this and tell them it's not okay. The Entertainment Consumers Association is a good source, and they even give you an option to take action. Go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's letter of protest, enter your zip code, and send a message to your representatives. Let them know we are not alone in this battle. If you'd like to use other means, feel free to use the U.S. Government's Write Your Representative service. Instead of introducing draconian measures, why not fix the measures already in place? Congress has a habit of shelving legislature when it meets public opposition, only to vote on it when focus has been shifted elsewhere. The industry faces a real danger with this legislature, so pressure must be continually applied until both are dead.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, please be on the lookout for similar laws in your own country and feel free to petition the State Department. Recently, Spain passed the Sinde Law, which will force ISPs to block web sites that a new government body, called the Intellectual Property Commission, has decided infringes on copyrights; and their government has shown a blatant disregard for the will of the people and a classist approach to governing that renders us as nothing more than proletariat that can be ignored. Be aware of what is going on in your country and reach out to the aforementioned groups if you hear of anything. We can--and should--reduce piracy, but measures like these are not the way to go.



Thank you for your time.



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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2012, 15:04 
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From what I've heard of SOPA, it seems roughly equivalent to dealing with a house fire by drowning the whole city.



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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2012, 15:53 
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Well put.
Personally, I don't see how anyone could support internet-aimed legislation that has been almost entirely formulated, reviewed and voted upon by people born and raised before the internet was "a thing". I tell you what we need is one of these: Pirate Party.



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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2012, 12:40 
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The more I read about SOPA, the more it becomes apparent that the people behind it don't understand the internet, and are trying to base their legislation on principles that are totally incompatible with the way the internet and the communities on it function. Normally I'm not a politically motivated person, but the SOPA bill is so badly thought-out, and so far-reaching in its effect, that no-one who uses the internet can ignore it.



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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2012, 21:14 
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There was a clip on The Daily Show yesterday of 5-10 senators all saying, "I'm not enough of a NERD to understand this..." "We need some to get a NERD in here..." "I don't really understand this, I'm just not a NERD...". Garrrhghgh.


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2012, 21:54 
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Didn't one of the guys behind it admit at one point that he didn't know anything about the internet, then immediately go on to say "...but I'm right and the experts are wrong"?

I just... can't get my head around the amount of arrogance that would take.



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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2012, 23:49 
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I've read Part of the Act (SOPA, which is the Spanish Word for "Soup", I believe, and also an Anagram of the Spanish for "Toad"); the first few Pages, but it is an unbelieveably long and dry Piece of Writing which I cannot fathom bothering to write. It is far too heavy-handed for my Liking, in addition to being a terrible Read. Further, though I support Intellectual Property Rights, I don't think this will help protect them; it shall, hopefully, get a nice shiny Veto when it reaches the President's Desk.

On a more positive one, the White House does seem to be opposed to it. I may "write my Representative" (who is apparently Mel Watt) in a bit, though he apparently staunchly supports it (meaning I know for whom I won't be voting come Election Time).



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 11:27 
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[QUOTE=Albert Clare;206951]I've read Part of the Act (SOPA, which is the Spanish Word for "Soup", I believe, and also an Anagram of the Spanish for "Toad"); the first few Pages, but it is an unbelieveably long and dry Piece of Writing which I cannot fathom bothering to write. It is far too heavy-handed for my Liking, in addition to being a terrible Read.[/QUOTE]
Did you seriously just critique the literary worthiness of a bill in the US Congress?
[QUOTE=Albert Clare;206951]Further, though I support Intellectual Property Rights, I don't think this will help protect them; it shall, hopefully, get a nice shiny Veto when it reaches the President's Desk.[/QUOTE]
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No, but seriously: that's what we all said about the Defence Appropriation Bill with its "Infinite Detention" bit.



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 11:52 
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[QUOTE=Zeth;206966]Did you seriously just critique the literary worthiness of a bill in the US Congress?[/quote]
Yes, I did, though I actually have something of a Reason — if I find it difficult to read, so must most ordinary People; this bothers me, because it feels more opaque (and confusing) for it.

[QUOTE=Zeth;206966]No, but seriously: that's what we all said about the Defence Appropriation Bill with its "Infinite Detention" bit.[/QUOTE]

Well, at least I made you laugh; I guardedly guess it may get a Veto, but I hadn't paid much Attention to Politics until the Uproar over this Bill, and so don't feel terribly confident in this.



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 20:24 
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The president would do like he did the NDAA and sign it "with reservations." While I'm glad both SOPA and PIPA have been shelved, it won't be enough for me until they're both dead.



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 20:54 
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Yeah, to be blunt I don't particularly have any confidence in Obama being able to stand up against anything.

Saddly, I'll more than likely end up voting for him again, because he's looking more sane than the republicans.



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 21:05 
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Apparently it's been pulled, but there is now a Protect Children From Online Predators act in the works which can/will have this glued onto it and get it passed by way of no one wanting to sound like they're supportive of The Predators.

Bastards.


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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 21:27 
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That sounds even worse. :(



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 21:40 
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Hm. Where'd you see that? I wasn't able to find anything on it. Sounds... yeah, sounds worse than SOPA or PIPA or ACTA by themselves.



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PostPosted: 20 Jan 2012, 23:05 
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A bit of Documentation, please, if you have it. I don't mean to call into doubt that it exists, mind, but would like to see where you read it for myself.



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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2012, 00:47 
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Admittedly I found out about that one through Reddit. Here is a link to an article about it: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/the-legislation-that-could-kill-internet-privacy-for-good/242853/


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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2012, 01:45 
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Thank you.



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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2012, 02:48 
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Oh, that. That hasn't gone anywhere since like, July of last year. But I suppose that could be the new focus, if Lamar Smith really wants to invoke our wrath again...



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