Dropping the SOPA

“Someone hacked my E-mail and put viruses on my computer”.
What I say: “Oh dear!”
What I think: “I’ve warned you over a dozen times to check the URL of a site before you blindly enter your information. You weren’t hacked.
Also, stop clicking every flashing link on those sketchy porn sites and installing the software associated with them. Holy shit. We’ve fucking had this situation 3 times now.”

“This only started happening since you put that program on here.”
What I say: “It probably wasn’t the program.”
What I think: “It definitely wasn’t the fucking program. That was Norton Anti-Virus. But thanks for the unwarranted blame. It feels really nice knowing that all of the free maintenance I provide is appreciated.”

“I turned that Norton program off because it kept asking me to update it. Also, I think SOPA is a good idea because pirates steal everyone’s bandwidths and hack it.”
What I say: “Could you get me another beer?”
What I think: “The internet is one of the greatest inventions ever conceived, capable of spreading information freely and inspiring creativity throughout the entire world… and now its fate is in the hand of people who have no idea how it functions nor capable of comprehending its value.”

 

Rather recently, a bunch of technologically-impaired jackasses who have been bought off by major media outlets who want to extend Chinese-level censorship all the way to the US had attempted to push a legislative abortion through congress. This legislation went by the name of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have allowed websites that link to copyrighted material to be shut down without a moments notice. The potential implications of allowing something like this to pass would have been devastating, as any site that accepts input or reads output would have been held liable for any copyright content displayed.

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas's 21st district and out-of-touch jackass, Lamar S. Smith

Allowing older people the power to make rules concerning things they have absolutely no working knowledge about is extremely dangerous. They only listen to the lobbyists in these situations, and ignore the myriad of major online websites and the expert engineers that run them that are opposed to it.
Oh, and if you want to see which political shills ended up taking money for the opportunity to fuck Americans, check out who’s been bought.
At the forefront is fellow named Lamar S. Smith, whose actions are so utterly divorced from the opinions of his constituents, that it is clear that the third of a million in bribe money was all that it took for him to sell out the entirety of America. Even when overwhelming numbers of people contacted him, disapproving of the act, and his own co-sponsor decided to wash his hands of this messy abortion, Lamar Smith kept pressing on, fueled by the money of the MPAA, RIAA, and every other company that would profit from inhibiting freedom. He doesn’t care about freedom, but rather cares greatly that major media outlets are going toupee him like a prostitute in order for him to fuck the public.

At it’s core, this is a noble idea being pushed by media giants who are slow to adapt. Releasing movies in 3-D is a clever way to keep people in the theaters, but so far no major studios have taken advantage of the speed and distribution that the internet provides. This has been seen with Netflix, but Netflix still needs to wait before the movies have had their theater run. Actual simultaneous distribution through the internet as well as theater releases is something that has yet to be tried. If it ends up like any of the other forays into distribution made by the studios, it would probably be riddled with ads, root-kits, and restrictions.

What does this mean for pirates?
Not much, to be honest. They had moved to Megaupload, which although based out of Hong Kong, was shut down on the pretense that they had servers in Virginia, thus there was enough proof to convince New Zealand to arrest all of them, including the shady Kim Dotcom. Now, all of Megaupload’s competition will gain traction and fill in the gap. Same thing happened with Napster, Limewire, E-mule, and will probably happen with Bittorrent.
It’s going to make it a little more inconvenient for a while, as people move back to IRC or usenets to find their downloads. Megaupload’s clones might feel a bit of a pinch, but can probably play a game of cat and mouse as they change names and shift from IP address to IP address.
We’ll probably see a rise in private-access servers, where you pay to access the copyrighted contents. The risk would justify the reward in these cases, and the servers could easily operate in countries that throw up giant middle fingers to US laws. In fact, take a look at the response from ThePirateBay.org, which have quite a history in telling American authorities that their laws don’t apply to Sweden, no matter how much they try.
This isn’t going to have the impact on drug distribution that taking down a kingpin would. This will be like stopping drunk driving by setting up a checkpoint. People will find ways around it.
Using the same drunk driving analogy, SOPA and – the House’s version – PIPA, would have given police the ability to shut down bars to stop drunk driving.

Since pretty much every single technology company was against the bills, they were able to fight back against the immense lobbying dollars of Hollywood by either shutting down their sites like Reddit and Wikipedia did, or raising awareness like what Google and many others had done. Senator Wyden(D-OR), who apparently the media companies forgot to pay off, had promised to filibuster the shit out of it before word of it had spread. Pretty much everyone who lives in Oregon and has ever used the internet should be proud of Senator Wyden right now. Admittedly, he has received about 100,000 dollars in campaign contributions concerning SOPA, but that’s greatly overshadowed by what all of the asshole proponents of this have received. Another one of the strongest fighters against SOPA was Jared Polis from Colorado, who held conversations on Reddit and is young enough to know how horrible internet censorship is.

 

This is a great infographic, but far too large and high of quality for this website. http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/01/sopa-protest-day-the-largest-digital-protest-ever-infographic/

At the moment, it looks like SOPA and PIPA have crawled back into the darkness to regain power before attempting to annoy mankind once more, but now we are now seeing two other laws showing up under the names of ACTA and the Protecting Children From Online Pornographers Act. Like the PATRIOT Act, the Protecting Children From Online Pornographers Act is a bill that has a title that is hard to vote against, but upon reading the actual bill, it is clear that it exists to strip away more freedoms and create fun new things like the TSA. It should have a more descriptive name, such as the “Fuck You And Your Freedoms Act” or “Give The FBI Permission To Spy On You Act”, as it would require ISPs to keep records of all of your online activities for the past year and a half, which would never possibly in a million years fall into the wrong hands and be used for malicious purposes. Never ever.
Yes, these bills would certainly give the government the tools and power necessary to stop piracy. We could stop crime if we didn’t require warrants and were able to strip everyone of their possessions for being suspected of a crime. That would make for a mighty fine deterrent.

I would most certainly download a car.

The argument for passing this laws is to fight piracy. “Piracy”, in this case, refers not to high seas violence, but is actually a clever means of marketing the concept of copyright infringement. “Piracy” sounds a lot scarier than “making copies of something that you don’t hold copyright to”, and so the MPAA and RIAA have pushed this word into the mainstream, using PSAs before movies that equate copyright infringement to stealing a car.
“You wouldn’t download a car”? Motherfucker, I wouldn’t just download a car, I would download multiple cars. Fuck, if they were reasonably priced and allowed me to drive them whenever I wanted, I would pay for the copies of the cars. I would do this all in a heartbeat, but I would never steal a car. If it were easy to copy cars, and buy them easily and for a price that is reflective for not requiring a distribution network, I would download more cars that I could use, and therein lies the problem with the RIAA and MPAA;
They are clinging to old business models, and rather than adapt, believe that the best course of action is to fuck everyone in the ass with restrictive laws.
We are seeing companies such as Hulu and Netflix which are doing a good job adapting to internet-centric distribution of media, and multiple TV channels that offer additional content via the web. Gabe Newell’s Steam distribution platform not only gives developers a larger chunk of the profits, but allows users to trade the games they purchase, download the games onto multiple computers, and influences people to buy more shit that they don’t need because it’s so damn easy. (I bought a goddam virtual hat! A virtual hat!

Shit, I’m not pirating the radio. That has advertisements in it.

What does this mean for people who operate websites?
God forbid you ever get caught with anything that can be construed as being under copyright, because your site will be fucking toast. Don’t think that hosting sites overseas will help you, as this legislation wants to stop people from accessing those sites as well.
90% of the sites on the internet have copyright materials on them. The only ones that don’t haven’t been updated in over a decade.

That’s cool. I didn’t really care about this free-speech thing anyways. It’s not like it actually exists unequivocally. The internet was a fun experiment, but it’s about time we destroyed it.

Why hasn’t the news reported on this much? Well, my dear, sweet, naive prince, the major news outlets are owned by major media outlets that have vested interests in passing this bill. Reporting the news comes second to making money, which is why any reports on this have been rather limited.
This is something that will be dismissed by those who have no concept of the issue. “Oh, it’s something technical. I think my grandson would be interested in it. It doesn’t affect me, because I only use Internet to Facebook myself”. Thank you. Thank you for destroying the internet.

This isn’t something that’s severity can be debated. This broadly defined law is horrible and isn’t so much focused on stopping piracy, as allowing censorship of the internet. There’s still the less-bad but still shitty ProtectIP which will probably be passed solely because people see it as a lesser of two abortions.

 

These bills are giant shit sandwiches, and when the successors of these bills pop up, they will be shit on a cracker. Both are shit, but when faced with a shit sandwich and shit on a cracker, the shit on a cracker suddenly looks a lot less shitty. As Americans, we don’t need to eat they shit that they give us. So, what can be done to stop things like this from happening in the future?
You can call up your senator, and hopefully others call as well. You will speak with someone working in the senator’s office who will then pass along your thoughts. With enough people calling up and voicing their opinions, telling the senators such as Lamar Smith that he should stop taking the lobbying dollars for the gain of a very limited group of people.

 

It’s hard not to talk about these bills without also talking about Orwellian 1984 futures or Nazi German. Those are cheap, but accurate shots at what is in store for America unless people are able to convince their representatives and congressmen to stop being greedy bastards and making laws that directly harm the American people and favor select groups. Just today, Kim Dotcom gets all of his seized property back after the seizure should have
We have to ask ourselves which we value more; our freedom of expression, or profit for the RIAA and the MPAA.

Those dicks are cunts, so they can go fuck themselves.

3 thoughts on “Dropping the SOPA

  1. From the great minds that brought you “let’s ban VHS” and “let’s ban casettes” and “let’s ban Rio MP3 players” comes another law that will be crushed once everyone finds out about it.
    Pretty much anyone who uses the internet knows about SOPA and friends, but thanks for the writeup anyways.

  2. i love this blog. now sopa is gone (temporarily!) so it is good news
    i will be looking forward your next post!

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