Can this legislation kill our web

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Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:01 pm

I get quite concerned when I see legislators getting involved in the Internet. In my view they don't grasp it well enough. (For example the you-can-SPAM act seems to have created our current flood of spam.)

Now I see moves in various countries which might shut down a lot of the web we work with every day.

The most obvious part is the SOPA and PIPA legislation in the US, but it goes further. I see some standing up to this:

http://bit.ly/Ax2qb6
http://bit.ly/xe7H0B
http://j.mp/yrPui6

I suspect old vested interests (RIAA, News limited...) being behind these moves. They didn't look forward and adapt to the Internet, and now, I believe quite deliberately, are trying to nuke it.

What other opinions on this? (It has direct relevance, many people might not need a validator, they'll be out of the web!)
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby Albert Wiersch » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:12 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks for those links. I read each one. I guess I won't be accessing Wikipedia tomorrow except to see what they are showing during the blackout.

It is indeed scary, and I found this pretty ironic:
Perhaps worse, EFF has detailed how this provision would also decimate the open source software community. Anyone who writes or distributes Virtual Private Network, proxy, privacy or anonymization software would be negatively affected. This includes organizations that are funded by the State Department to create circumvention software to help democratic activists get around authoritarian regimes’ online censorship mechanisms. Ironically, SOPA would not only institute the same practices as these regimes, but would essentially outlaw the tools used by activists to circumvent censorship in countries like Iran and China as well.


To me, it's pretty evident that those with the special interests and the money to back it up have far too much influence in Congress. In other words, Congress is looking out for the special interests (with the big bucks) more so than they are for the average citizen, and sadly not just in this case, but in others as well.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:39 pm

It gets quite easy to see who is part of the past and may be trying to stop the future, when these things happen.

There's a Reuters article which looks to me as though they're more past than future. To my eye they've spun the black-out of websites as a fail for the campaign. (Where it might turn out to be an important part of the battle.) It would be interesting to hear the discussion that decided the spin they would put on this. Likely that a significant factor was the opinion from Murdoch of News, who may be a major part of the problem.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/18/us-internet-protest-idUSTRE80H01U20120118

That report mentions a couple of "past people"one in Congress one in the MPAA.

One commenter says "Many of us who aren’t pirating software don’t want the fate of the internet handled by people who barely know their way around it". Politely put...
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby Albert Wiersch » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:33 am

For "memory's sake":

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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:42 pm

If anyone wants to read the SOPA bill it's here

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3261ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3261ih.pdf as a PDF

and here http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261: as text

And here's one analysis based on the text

http://mashable.com/2012/01/17/sopa-dangerous-opinion/

It's well worth reading some of it. It covers a wide range of things including selling medicines, doing "military" things... Some of these go outside the analysis I've read, which is mostly from the perspective of Internet companies. I imagine that people in other industries are having similar heart attacks when they see the crazy way this is being attempted. I agree that copyrighted works, brand names etc. should get some protection but not at the expense of our current civilisation. (Given that some copyrights should never have been issued, should be rescinded.) It's all in a state of flux and the old industries that don't adapt are going to go extinct. I hope they don't bring down decent folk as they thrash around in their death throes.

It's like the buggy whip makers union trying to take charge of the world and stopping the rise of cars and trucks!
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:20 pm

It occurred to me that there may be ways to influence the groups who are drawing up this legislation.

In this case the motion pictures guys (MPAA) and presumably the music guys (RIAA) may be important participants.

I got this:

MPAA’s members are the six major U.S. motion picture studios
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Universal City Studios LLC
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


So I guess that the MPAA is a closed shop without any real chance of new members. I presume the route to influencing them is via those corporations. Buy shares, contact them, avoid their products...

Eligibility for corporate membership in the Recording Industry Association of America, as described in the association's bylaws, is open to legitimate record companies with main offices in the United States that are engaged in the production and sale, under their own brand label, of recordings of performances for home use. Eligibility is not extended to companies that are currently engaged in, have within five years of application been engaged in, or are controlled by any person, firm or corporation which has within 5 years of application been engaged in the unauthorized creation, duplication, sale, importation, or other use of sound recordings in violation of state or federal law. The RIAA does not offer individual or associate memberships.


For the RIAA it looks more feasible to have a direct influence. If anybody here qualifies, has strong opinions, and is prepared to make the effort it is worth considering joining up with the RIAA to balance their perspective.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby Lou » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:30 pm

Mike thanks for the links - a tough read but worth it.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby Albert Wiersch » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:20 am

Well it good to know they are dead, at least for now.

SOPA Is Dead: Could It Come Back to Life?

Jeff Koch, a Political Science professor at SUNY, told Mashable that most bills fail. "[SOPA is] dead for the rest of the year. Especially in an election year; anything that generates this level of controversy," Koch said. "But there are bills that do come back," he added.


If they come back, then I hope they get it right by consulting people who understand the Internet and who don't want to burden innocent parties.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:06 pm

My take on the process is that it's fundamentally flawed.

Here's a couple of points:

1) Check campaign contributions for Lamar. You can see who gives. More interesting is the change in his fortunes in about 2006...

2) It seems that a lot of legislation is actually drafted by the lobbyists. Even changes have to go through them in some cases. It would be useful if that sort of detail was known to anyone who wanted to know.

If this is being driven by people who haven't adapted to, embraced and profited from the Internet. Who resent it. Who have money. Then I think it will come back, while they can still pay lobbyists. I reckon that many Newspaper owners, film and record companies would love to see things go back to an earlier era. They'd love to hog tie the Internet. (Heck some parts of it might even deserve to be hog-tied, but not all of it.) They'll be back.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:45 pm

I think that the SOPA / PIPA exercise was a waste of time.

The real evil is a thing called ACTA. It's a grey area, maybe unconstitutional in the US, where international law is made without going to elected representatives.

Seems to now be in full swing. Various governments around the world are now working for the MPAA and the RIAA.

There was the Megaupload strike (Kim Dotcom) where New Zealand is an agent of the old world that is trying to tear down the Internet. Now Holland is joining in http://j.mp/xDBQ8w.

For more about ACTA see http://j.mp/zayQyt. For the full text see http://j.mp/Am4VAB. The Japanese published this, maybe to howls of rage from those who worked on it! It's worth noting that the US trade representative and all the merry men who've been working on this thing since 2003 (or whenever) have tried to keep the details secret. There's a good chance that the details were actually drawn up by the MPAA, RIAA, etc.

If you look at section 43 you'll see that a lot of countries are already on board:

Code: Select all
Australia, the Republic of Austria, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, Canada, the  Republic  of  Cyprus,  the  Czech  Republic,  the  Kingdom  of  Denmark,  the  Republic  of  Estonia,  the  European Union, the  Republic of Finland, the French  Republic, the Federal  Republic of Germany, the  Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Hungary, Ireland, the Italian Republic, Japan, the Republic of Korea,  the  Republic  of  Latvia,  the  Republic  of  Lithuania,  the  Grand  Duchy  of  Luxembourg,  the  Republic  of  Malta,  the  United  Mexican  States,  the  Kingdom  of  Morocco,  the  Kingdom  of  the  Netherlands,  New  Zealand,  the  Republic  of  Poland,  the  Portuguese  Republic,  Romania,  the  Republic  of  Singapore,  the  Slovak Republic, the Republic of Slovenia, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Swiss  Confederation,  the  United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain  and  Northern  Ireland,  and  the  United  States  of  America.


I wouldn't be suprised if each country has been prevailed on to prove their manhood by making a prosecution.

These guys are operating outside normal laws. They're out of control. No idea how to stop them!

The sad thing is that there's some changes needed. The people who put this together however don't have a clue. They're turning all sorts of people into unpaid policemen. The tax paying public pays for all this. The bill should be added up and sent to the people behind this and their minions.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:02 pm

Nice one page analysis of ACTA

http://j.mp/yNEKDQ
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby eonplace » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:12 am

ACTA will never succeed. Its the dream of world corporates to put down the society they already control. A revolution will change things. And soon.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby MikeGale » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:16 pm

It seems that lawmaking by unanswerable trade representatives may have taken a knock. Maybe the EU and Australia are strangling ACTA.

See http://j.mp/MYVlY8 http://j.mp/MWc4tM

Unfortunately the anti Internet industries seem to have adopted a saturation bombing campaign, with several weapons systems. There's also this TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), which seems to have some nice little sections inserted by the dying industries. (A lot of talk about Phonograms which seems quaint, but is presumably designed to obscure what they're up to!)

Now we need changes that will bring silly patent wars to an end. (Patents were intended to protect original and unexpected ideas. A lot of software patents have been wrongly issued, the thing protected is obvious to people in the industry (maybe patent clerks are excessively ignorant in this regard!).)
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby Albert Wiersch » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:43 am

MikeGale wrote:It seems that lawmaking by unanswerable trade representatives may have taken a knock. Maybe the EU and Australia are strangling ACTA.

See http://j.mp/MYVlY8 http://j.mp/MWc4tM


Good news. :D

MikeGale wrote:Now we need changes that will bring silly patent wars to an end. (Patents were intended to protect original and unexpected ideas. A lot of software patents have been wrongly issued, the thing protected is obvious to people in the industry (maybe patent clerks are excessively ignorant in this regard!).)


Yes, I agree that it's getting ridiculous. Patents are suppose to create an incentive for innovation, but the current system has the opposite effect and stifle competition. I'm sure the patent attorneys love it though.
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Re: Can this legislation kill our web

Postby KimGon » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:02 am

Totally agree with you Albert! The recent Apple and Samsung patents war is really insane. Not really sure is this bringing any benefit to end users.
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