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The Internet Censorship Electronic Frontier Foundation Government United States

MPAA Dismisses COICA Free Speech Concerns 300

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-worry-about-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The EFF has gone into detail about why it opposes 'The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,' or COICA. It has the potential to give the Department of Justice the power to shut down any domestic website, or block any foreign website it so chooses, setting the stage for Internet censorship in the United States. Addressing the free speech concerns, MPAA chief Bob Pisano dismissed the First Amendment issues, saying '...the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means.'"
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MPAA Dismisses COICA Free Speech Concerns

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  • Mr. Bob, (Score:5, Informative)

    by MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) * <myfirstnameispaul@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:54PM (#34262162) Homepage Journal

    I would like you to review the text of the 1st Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Please take note that the first word of the amendment is Congress and is followed by the absolute term "...shall make no law..." This means just what it states.

    I also feel it would be helpful for you to review the writ [wikipedia.org] of habeas corpus [wikipedia.org] to better understand the Suspension Clause [wikipedia.org]:

    Aritlce I, Section 9, Clause 2 The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

    Of course, I already know your rebuttal: Murphy's Golden Rule [murphys-laws.com].

    • Re:Mr. Bob, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bugi (8479) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:27PM (#34262604)

      Please also review the 14th amendment and the concept of due process.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dougmc (70836)

      Please take note that the first word of the amendment is Congress and is followed by the absolute term "...shall make no law..." This means just what it states.

      Actually, thanks to the Supreme Court, it doesn't mean just what it says.

      It now applies to the states and local governments as well, not just to Congress.

      • Re:Mr. Bob, (Score:4, Informative)

        by eleuthero (812560) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:56PM (#34262900)
        um... not just thanks to the Supreme Court--this was a reasonable interpretation of Amendment 14 (the "Equal Protection Clause," specifically).
        • Re:Mr. Bob, (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) * <myfirstnameispaul@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:27PM (#34263130) Homepage Journal

          The evidence does not support this theory. Read Government by Judiciary [amazon.com] by (liberal) Raoul Berger [wikipedia.org]. In it you'll learn that the purpose of the Equal Protection Clause is to give freedmen the right to enter contracts, to own property, and to sue. The Supreme Court may have twisted the meaning to suit their own purposes, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of Berger.

      • Actually, thanks to the Supreme Court, it doesn't mean just what it says.

        It now applies to the states and local governments as well, not just to Congress.

        More precisely, the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, which expressly applies to the State by its own plain language, imposes essentially the same requirements on states depriving people of rights, including but not limited to those specifically protected against federal action by the Constitution, as the 5th Amendme

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dracos (107777)

      Also, since you are obviously a Constitutional scolar, which of the several Amendments guarantees corporate profits or states that the Congress shall act to protect said profits?

      • The Constitution grants Congress specific powers. Anything beyond the stated powers is beyond Congress's purview.

        Article I, Section I All legislative powers herein granted...

        • by squidfood (149212)

          The Constitution grants Congress specific powers.

          Devil's advocate: those do in fact include copyright.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            Yes. And there is a specific rationale stated for granting the Congress the power to create copyright.

            It is not meant to make people in California richer.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            Devil's advocate: those do in fact include copyright.

            They also include operating the Post Office. That doesn't mean Congress can pass a law requiring the Post Office not to carry your mail if you're a member of the Pirate Party.

  • Editors!!! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dthief (1700318)

    the power to shut down any domestic, or block and foreign website it so chooses

    Editors of /. take a little time reading what gets posted

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:57PM (#34262218)

    After all, BUSINESS is America's business. And as we all know, if it's possible for a law to be repurposed to protect the profits of a private tyranny, it will happen.

    Bob Pissant and his friends need a smack in the head for trying yet another corporatist stunt.

  • Bloodsucker (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:57PM (#34262228)

    Addressing the free speech concerns, MPAA chief Bob Pisano dismissed the First Amendment issues, saying '...the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means.'"

    Well, of course he would say that. The reality is that the First Amendment was not intended to be dismissed so lightly by a cartel composed entirely of bloodsucking leeches.

    • Re:Bloodsucker (Score:4, Insightful)

      by countertrolling (1585477) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:12PM (#34262422) Journal

      That's right. It was intended to be dismissed by a totally submissive public. Mission Accomplished...

    • Re:Bloodsucker (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Katmando911 (1039906) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:04PM (#34262942) Homepage

      Addressing the free speech concerns, MPAA chief Bob Pisano dismissed the First Amendment issues, saying '...the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means.'"

      A comment like that makes me want to break into this guys house and "steal" all of his stuff so that he can learn the meaning of the word.

      • Re:Bloodsucker (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @08:25PM (#34263600)

        Addressing the free speech concerns, MPAA chief Bob Pisano dismissed the First Amendment issues, saying '...the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means.'"

        A comment like that makes me want to break into this guys house and "steal" all of his stuff so that he can learn the meaning of the word.

        Yeah. And if he keeps it up, he may find himself on the unemployment line, just like the ex-CEO of BP talked himself out of a job. They aren't even trying to make their rhetoric sound palatable anymore. "Your much-vaunted 'free speech' means nothing to us, and if we can destroy it in order to regain control of content distribution, we will. So, here's a hearty 'Fuck YOU!', America!" Now, that's exactly how you would expect a bunch of foreign-owned corporations to think ... I'm just surprised they're being that open about it. Well, they aren't: it's their paid mouthpieces (the RIAA and the MPAA) that are spewing this garbage on their behalf.

        So, the next time you buy a DVD with Sony, Time Warner, Vivendi, Viacom or the name of any of the other major studios printed on the side, remember who you have to thank for it. This is no longer about shutting down torrent sites or suing file-sharers. This is about the ongoing destruction of the Supreme Law of our Land by foreign influences. Remember that when the Feds start blocking your favorite Web sites because some lawyer at the "Justice Department", or some member of Congress who just had his infidelity exposed, has them blacklisted.

        Remember also that the top slots at the Justice Department are filled by ex-RIAA attorneys. They aren't going to fight this for you, they're not even going to register a complaint. This is about as direct an attack on the Constitution as we've seen in recent years. And yes, even if signed into law, it may very well be eventually struck down, but this is how they operate. Remember, they always ask for something completely unreasonable, fully expecting to fail, and then they ask for a law that is somewhat less obnoxious (but still awful) but which seems positively benign in comparison.

        • Re:Bloodsucker (Score:4, Interesting)

          by omglolbah (731566) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @02:22AM (#34265692)

          Why would I ever buy a DVD? The last one I bought had a new idiotic 'mangled index' DRM scheme requiring me to get a patched dvd player to play it....

          Until I get a workable online distribution system for movies I'll just spend my time doing something else.. Like playing games or *gasp* borrowing dvds from friends. Hell, here in Norway I'm legally allowed to make copies of media for close friends and family. DRM doesnt matter, I'm allowed to break it :D

          So... fuck you RIAA and MPAA, I'm not giving you any more money until you cut this shit out.

    • by PinkyGigglebrain (730753) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @09:25PM (#34264102)
      Would you please not call them "bloodsucking leeches". Leeches are actually very useful, unlike the *AA.

      _
  • He's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IBitOBear (410965) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:58PM (#34262240) Homepage Journal

    And the ??AA is stealing our cultural legacy. They deserve no constitutional or legal protection.

    Stop Draconian Restriction Mechanisms whether they are technological or political.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @05:59PM (#34262260) Homepage Journal

    You can't steal from corporations.

    They aren't people.

    They can't be drafted.

    They can't be executed.

    They never serve a day in jail.

    Thus, stealing only occurs when you steal from people.

    No matter what the Supreme Court says.

    P.S.: Revert to the original patents and copyrights in the original Constitution if you want us to respect them.

    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:21PM (#34262530)

      More importantly, as not all copyright holders are corporations, violation of copyright protections is not theft. It is not stealing. It is not burglary, it is not piracy.

      It is violating copyright protections.

      And as far as that goes, neither the Copyright Acts or 'The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act' are permitted to run contrary to the First Amendment, regardless of it's purpose.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770)

      Yes, like stealing from business owners and stockholders. Which is what you're doing when you steal from companies. You can pretend you're ripping off just Bill Gates when you pirate Windows, but he is "people" too. Plenty of employees have gone to jail for crimes committed for the company, most often the CxOs. Plenty business owners trying to hide behind their business have gone to jail for their crimes. Maybe more get away with crap than they should, but that damn well true of real people too.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by windcask (1795642)

      You can't steal from corporations.

      So if I jack a business vehicle off company property, I'm in the clear, then?

      They aren't people.

      Yes, they are, according to http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202439349140 [law.com] .

      They can't be drafted.

      But they can be given military contracts, can't they?

      They can't be executed.

      Tell that to AT&T. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Bell_System_divestiture [wikimedia.org]

      They never serve a day in jail.

      No, but their board members and CEOs sure as shit can. http://www.enrontheplay.com/ [enrontheplay.com]

      Thus, stealing only occurs when you steal from people.

      No matter what the Supreme Court says.

      Corporations are established by people and jointly owned by people. You steal from them, you steal from their board

      • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:30PM (#34263166) Homepage Journal

        The courts say they can take away your constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable search while flying too.

        Doesn't mean they're right.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by windcask (1795642)

          Oh man, don't take me back to that topic. I'm going to be doomed to 0-start posts and negative karma for life...

        • Given enough planning you can take a bus, drive your car, take a boat, or ride a train (whatever's applicable). By electing to fly you are granting them the temporary authority to grope and scan. You haven't been denied rights. Refusal of one should NOT result in using the other as punishment.

          This Bill will grant the policing agencies authority to punish without due process. This isn't about protecting us from terrorism or a local insurgency that threatens the security of the nation. This is about givi

  • by Dalzhim (1588707) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:00PM (#34262276)

    ... that if their proposed legislation attacks free speech as a consequence of trying to fight piracy, then they haven't engineered said legislation properly. He is right that the first amendment isn't a shield for those who steal and any sane legislation wouldn't change that fact.

  • Way to miss the point!

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:02PM (#34262310)

    Addressing the free speech concerns, MPAA chief Bob Pisano dismissed the First Amendment issues, saying '...the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means.'"

    That's how Mr. Pisano "addresses" free speech concerns? By dismissing them? I have news for you, bub ... you aren't speaking for the Founding Fathers when you mouth that garbage. The reality is, the First Amendment was not intended to be dismissed so lightly by what are essentially foreign-owned criminal cartels illegally extending their influence into our Federal Government.

    • by cyber-dragon.net (899244) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:19PM (#34263060)

      essentially foreign-owned criminal cartels illegally extending their influence into our Federal Government.

      The problem is they are doing it legally. It's up to the people to fight it and convince politicians it's not in their best interest to accept **AA party lines or BS, and that we don't want it.

      • essentially foreign-owned criminal cartels illegally extending their influence into our Federal Government.

        The problem is they are doing it legally. It's up to the people to fight it and convince politicians it's not in their best interest to accept **AA party lines or BS, and that we don't want it.

        I wouldn't be too sure of that. The problem is, the people most able to call them on it (Congress and the Justice Department) have already been coopted. But you're right though: this is an issue where We the People had better take a stand.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Indeed. We'll just dismiss "privacy concerns" when we break into your bedroom while you fuck your mistress (or... whatever you call a male "mistress" as the case may be), Mr. Pisano. I'm sure you'll understand.

  • This goes way beyond the potential for censorship (though that is, indeed, egregious). What about the violation of due process?
  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:04PM (#34262336) Homepage

    "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

    Bob should just say this again, but replace VCR with Internet.

    I'm sure glad the MPAA is here to tell me what the Founding Fathers intended!

    • I'm sure glad the MPAA is here to tell me what the Founding Fathers intended!

      Where's my "Scroll of Resurrect the Founding Fathers" when I need it? Actually, it is the role of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to decide what the Founding Fathers intended. Although, it would be interesting to see what Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would think about Bob Pisano's opinions.

      Jefferson: "This dick-brained piece of shit is trying to wield power using our Constitution!?!"

      Franklin: "Dude, we must have like totally fucked up when writing that bastard."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JesseMcDonald (536341)

        Actually, it is the role of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to decide what the Founding Fathers intended.

        Their self-appointed role, which just happens to be a major conflict of interest. In what other area would anyone permit an agreement as important as the U.S. Constitution to be interpreted entirely by one side—and worse yet, the side whose powers that document was specifically intended to strictly circumscribe? Separation of powers or not, in the long run that effectively amounts to handing the federal government a blank check.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) *

      "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

      Bob should just say this again, but replace VCR with Internet.

      I'm sure glad the MPAA is here to tell me what the Founding Fathers intended!

      Replace "Internet" with "any technology that we don't happen to like."

  • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:05PM (#34262350)

    Well, it is true. The 1st Amendment of the US allows for ... let me look it up...

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

    Okay, so the part about religion doesn't apply unless there's an esoteric branch of Hinduism that allows for the reincarnation of bits as MP3s.

    Freedom of speech...really, when you get right down to it, when you download music, that's a form of censorship. You're taking money away from the MPAA, and that's money they use to bribe congressmen and senators and presidents. How can they redress the Government when they don't have any money?

    For freedom of the press, how important is it to be able for the media to access the Internet? You have newspapers and television and radio. Admittedly, half of those are official government propaganda machines and the other half is owned by media conglomerates, but the idea is still there.

    Assembly? For online stuff? Come on, it's not like you could use something like twitter to tell the outside world about how things are going in your country.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:21PM (#34262526) Homepage

      Assembly? For online stuff? Come on, it's not like you could use something like twitter to tell the outside world about how things are going in your country.

      Not to mention the Internet as a place to assemble, as in meet like-minded people. And unlike demonstrations and other mass gatherings that they have some semi-legitimate grounds of public safety, rioting and so on to regulate it, there's very few excuses to stop people from "assembling" online. True, many of these "sign this" or "join this" don't amount to much by themselves but it makes people realize they are many and maybe could force change.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:09PM (#34262384) Journal

    Pisano is correct in saying "the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means."

    He is incorrect in saying that all traffic coming from a site hosting an infringer is the result of stealing, nor is he correct in saying that a conviction for theft is necessary before this law shuts down a site (it requires only a request for a preliminary injunction), nor that the law even restricts its scope to actual theft (it applies if the site is merely to linking to another site that may or may not already be accused of thieving).

    At the point where Pisano guarantees that not one innocent person will have their data cut off from the net for even one second, and can prove it with the text of the bill that accomplishes his goals while doing that, then he may claim he's stopping theft without abrogating the First Amendment.

    • Well said.

    • by guruevi (827432) <evi AT smokingcube DOT be> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:16PM (#34263022) Homepage

      Pisano is INcorrect in saying "the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means". The First Amendment was/is intended as a shield for any US Citizen irrespective of their means. The First Amendment still applies to people that have committed a crime.

      • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @08:04PM (#34263466)

        Pisano is INcorrect in saying "the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means". The First Amendment was/is intended as a shield for any US Citizen irrespective of their means. The First Amendment still applies to people that have committed a crime.

        Yes. You may not be able to vote ... but you can still speak. The fundamental problem here is that law enforcement and the courts have, quite unreasonably in my opinion, failed to connect the dots. Information published on the Internet is still speech, even if the communications technology did not exist in the Founder's time. This attempt to create a false dichotomy between online activities and traditional physical activities is a smoke screen, no more and no less.

  • by h4rr4r (612664)

    His name is Pisano? Next I will hear his middle name is Guido. The MPAA is like the MAFIA jokes are starting to look rather realistic.

  • Counter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peacefinder (469349) <[alan.dewitt] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @06:28PM (#34262616) Journal

    Copyright law was not intended as a shield for those who censor, irrespective of the motive.

  • Big Tobacco also dismissed that nicotine was not addictive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQUNk5meJHs).

    Does it really surprise you that mega-greed industry representatives will lie through their teeth to try and rake in more profits? Yeah, go after individual files and links, that's fine, but to think that taking and entire site offline, won't at some point violate someones free speech is embarrassingly full of shit.
  • The movie people will have a hard time squaring this with the First Amendment.

    You can't shut down a speaker in the future for unlawful speech acts committed in the past--unless you convict the speaker of a crime. Even then, the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause imposes limitations. This idea comes from Nesson's (self-promoting) arguments in the Tenenbaum case.

    You also can't have speech laws that selectively target movies and music.

    If I was a file sharer, I would add a meaningful political message

  • No one likes a COICA blocker.

  • by Rivalz (1431453) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:26PM (#34263118)

    Dear Supreme Court,

    Based upon the willful actions of the MPAA they have stolen my rights away.
    I respectfully request that a immediate injunction is placed on their website, lawyers, and letterhead.
    I furthermore request that all assets and IP be transferred to me from hence forth to compensate for damages suffered upon my intangible asset of known as rights.
    I also request compensatory damages in the amount of 25 trillion dollars be paid to FRAA to be distributed to each of the 310 million American Citizens at a rate of 79,000 per infringement ( based on the tenabaum case of 79k per song infringement awarded. )

    Sincerly,
    FRAA
    Free Rights Association of America

  • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:28PM (#34263136)

    I think what is really needed is legislation that outlaws this sort of attempted perversion of the words "theft" and "stealing".

    Once we've put a stop to that perversion, the rest of Big Media's FUD campaigns will abruptly end. Since digital media by its very nature can be replicated endlessly with virtually no material cost, exactly what is being "stolen" here? NOTHING! Sure, packaging has material costs, but the "pirates" (infringers) aren't getting that packaging, are they? The cost of producing the "art" contained in the digital file was incurred ONCE, and the expectation of recouping those expenses is SPECULATIVE; the price of the packaging is a guesstimate, based on a hoped sales volume to result in some net profit. What if simply no one actually buys the package, even in the absence of "piracy"? There would have been no "theft" by this perverted definition, yet they still lose their shirts and don't get the desired profit. There's not a shred of certainty that denying people the ability to copy digital media will guarantee an equivalent increase in actual PACKAGING sales, so that argument is also FUD.

    • The cost of producing the "art" contained in the digital file was incurred ONCE, and the expectation of recouping those expenses is SPECULATIVE;

      This is exactly right, but you failed to take it two steps further and find negative consequences of free copying that no one on Slashdot will ever agree to. If musicians find that they always lose in their speculation that enough people will pay for their art to cover the one-time cost of producing it - due to everyone copying it for $0 and not paying them - then they will stop bothering to speculate at all and they will have to go do something else to make money. And society loses by losing an artist.

      • by macraig (621737)

        Musicians don't "lose". No one has ever actually PROVEN that so-called piracy affects sales. What the **AA have claimed as proof isn't proof at all... it's FUD. There is of course credible evidence that hints that even the exact opposite may in fact be true: that piracy is an unintuitive form of free advertising that has actually been increasing sales... or WOULD BE if they had been selling the art in a fashion that people now want. It's possible that without the extra exposure that piracy engendered th

      • And society loses by losing an artist.

        No disrespect intended to artists, but (largely due to copyright) we already have far more "art" than we need—quite a bit of which barely qualifies as mediocre entertainment just a way to stave off boredom for a while. Certainly the end of copyright would lead to fewer artists, full-time or part-time. Those who remain will do so because (a) they want to, regardless of the degree of compensation; or (b) because they are good enough to attract the notice of individuals or organizations both desiring the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        Boy am I tired of refuting these bald faced lies. Forgive me if you've only swallowed them.

        If musicians find that they always lose in their speculation that enough people will pay for their art to cover the one-time cost of producing it - due to everyone copying it for $0 and not paying them

        That's a complete and utter fallacy that's been disproved time and time again. Studies have shown the "pirates" spend more money on music than non-pirates. A study done by a book publisher to find out how much revenue he

  • by mmaniaci (1200061) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @07:31PM (#34263182)

    "We're DOOOOOoooooooooooooomed [youtube.com]!"

  • Pisano? Sounds like paisano to me! They really are the MAFIAA!
  • "the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means."

    And steal was not intended to describe theft of imaginary things.

  • "MPAA chief Bob Pisano dismissed the First Amendment issues, saying '...the First Amendment was not intended as a shield for those who steal, irrespective of the means.'""

    The first amendment was intended to protect the speech of all US citizens, weather criminals or not. Even Criminals still retain their first amendment rights. I would argue however that Lobbying groups and large corporations are NOT US citizens and the idea that free speech extends to them is an abomination. The American people need to ris
  • Stealing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @08:43PM (#34263710)

    What are they stealing? Certainly not the product itself, as they're merely copying that and depriving no one of it. Merely having the product itself, then, is irrelevant.

    He must mean "potential profit," then. For one thing, basic logic states that for you to be able to steal something, it must first exist (potential profit doesn't exist). Second of all, if it was possible to steal potential profit, everyone in existence would be 'guilty' of doing so. You 'steal' potential profit merely by choosing not to give someone your money for whatever reason or by interfering with someones flow of profits. This effectively means that not buying a product from a store, for example, means that you 'stole' potential profit from the store. The store would have had more money if you would have given it to them and therefore would have been better off, which means, like a 'pirate' apparently does to artists (going by their logic), you have 'harmed' a legitimate business, and as such, people.

    Artificial scarcity is bad. Don't blame the 'pirates' (who aren't taking anything or harming anyone) for a system that has been broken since the beginning, as this is merely putting the blame on someone who has nothing to do with it. You might as well blame everyone in existence. Instead, try to fix this broken system. But we all know that won't happen, as that would interfere with their flow of profits.

    Also, they never described how (going by their logic, of course) websites that merely talk positively about 'piracy' (but don't contain any torrents or copyrighted materials) are 'stealing'. Funny, that.

  • What I want to ask the MPAA is:
    "Copyright law has existed since long before the movie industry even existed and has always contained clear guidelines for what you do if you believe someone has copied your copyrighted works without your permission. What does the MPAA believe is wrong with the existing law and why do they think new laws are required?"

  • "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

    Seriously though, this is EXACTLY why all traffic on the internet should already be onion routed, encrypted, and otherwise anonymized and secure.

    Fuck the US government, and fuck the other totalitarian regimes that are as bad or worse (I'm looking at YOU, China!). And also fuck the corporations that own and operate said puppet governments.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday November 17, 2010 @09:07PM (#34263924)

    Here is why:

    1) The democratic congress is a lame duck congress. They are looking for new jobs. They have nothing to lose, and the senate is still democrat controlled.
    2) The democratic party has a long standing unspoken agreement with the entertainment industry. (Much like the GOP has a similar agreement with big oil, and big biz.)
    3) The incumbant congress wont pass up on the windfall that this gives them; With one side of their mouth, they would state that they would never propose such legislation, with the other they will happily enforce and use said legislation. Such action has been the de-facto norm for at least 2 decades now.
    4) The supreme court will bend over backwards to support this measure, and pull the constitution through a knothole backwards to make it fit, for similar interest reasons.
    5) The government in general LIKES the idea of draconian IP protection, BECAUSE it makes an end-run around that nasty first amendment; AND because the US has pretty much NO real tangible goods exports in the world market other than food stuffs (which as the 2nd world rises to prominence, is becoming less and less profitable.), and as such, it sees the handwriting on the wall if it doesnt take drastic measures to keep a firm grip on the reigns of invention and ideas. "IP" and "Patents" are just about the only profitable things left in the US, and they go bye-bye if corporations leave. The corporations use this fact to control the US government. This is what it means by "Too big to fail."-- it means that the government cannot afford to have them go under, because if they did, the government wouldnt have anything to replace the income/bargaining power in the world market with.

    Thus, even if this bill is shot down, it will be reintroduced silently as a rider, and passed later.

    The ONLY way to make this bill NEVER pass, is if a French Revolution-style mob descended upon Hollywood, while simultaneously, on the other side of the country, another angry mob did the same in DC. The people have no power in this matter; they have delegated it to government, and government is complicit in the crime. You cannot expect to get justice from a corrupt constabulary. That leaves ONLY vigilante-ism.

    As the founding fathers demonstrated, the intrinsic power of the people, is the power of the people to revolt. That's the reason for the second amendment, and the reason for much of the rhetoric of Jefferson and Co. in the federalist papers. Voting is a proxy for that power, to channel it into a less destructive force for change in government. However, when voting has been rendered useless, the only recourse left is violence.

    So, unless you think you can organize such a revolt, (or even a passive one, ghandi-style,) this bill will pass, the MAFIAA *WILL* get what it wants, and we WILL get bent over the barrel by both them AND our government, and we will be ridden, and ridden, and ridden.

    [Note: For those that think that violence never solves anything, Tell me-- what power do you think you as a voter have over a lame-duck congress, which is demonstrating that it doesn't care about your interests? They are going out the door anyway, and your vote does not have the power to put them in jail, or to stop them in any way.]

    Welcome to the USA-- Where everyone is equal, but some 'persons' are more equal than others.

  • Of course the First Amendment isn't meant as a shield for those who steal. That's what the FOURTH amendment is for, with those pesky search and seizure provisions. The First Amendment is meant as a shield for those who infringe copyright.

  • They refuse the validity of any laws they didn't write themselves.

    As such, the 1st Amendment is meaningless to them.

    Especially since they feel free to define anything except forking over your life savings to them for merely existing in the same universe as their product as "theft".

  • They have more than enough of our money already and they know it. Look at how easily they spend it on lawyers and politicians! They have recognized long ago what we are all failing to see. Our society has become addicted to media. It enables us to shut down our brains which is not such a good thing. So many of us are unable to enjoy the simple things in life. We cannot even laugh at something funny without a laugh track to tell us when we should laugh.

    And it's not as if we don't have a clue already.

  • And copyright law was never intended to be used by billion-dollar corporate entities for extortion against ordinary citizens. Nor to bankrupt them with million dollar judgments. But you do it anyway. Hypocrisy much?

    He also needs a primer in the difference between "stealing" (a criminal offense) and "copyright infringement" (a civil offense). But what do you expect, he's the chief of the MPAA. Clearly not a job that requires any kind of intelligence.
  • Someone should bring copyright in to the conversation - the whole limited time (14 years in the first bill) "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" bit seems to have been forgotten.

  • If it comes down to blanket censorship of websites simply to cater to the MPAA and RIAA why not respond in kind by black holing the content providers no one is required to forward DNS...if they want to make sure no one can get their content...we might as well assist in making that happen.

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud

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