Author Topic: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?  (Read 9109 times)

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Offline sandman

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2012, 03:39:31 pm »
@ TheL

You are right, my friend. The laws don't make sense, and they will continue to not make sense as log as the people writing the laws don't understand the situation.
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Offline SimSim

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2012, 03:52:55 pm »
I'm sure some of the Congresscritters understand the situation. But Hollywood and the music industry can lobby and give far better campaign contributions than the average person can.

Offline DasFuchs

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2012, 05:06:29 pm »
I'm sure some of the Congresscritters understand the situation. But Hollywood and the music industry can lobby and give far better campaign contributions than the average person can.

i don't think they really do. For most people 30ish and younger, the internet means something entirely different than the 40 and older crowd, which is what makes up most of the politicians.
The younger groups sees it as information and recreation, the older group sees it as information and a bunch of things they don't understand or want to.
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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2012, 05:19:27 pm »
Soo...by the time our generation is old enough for government, we'll have what we've been waiting for now, which will be dragass compared to what latter generations will be wanting on their new Supernet or what-have-you.

SOPA is full of shit, because the media industry is largely full of shit, and Congress is pretty much all shit.  If you mingle Shit A with Shit B, the chances of the progeny NOT being shit are slim at best.
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Offline DasFuchs

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2012, 07:32:22 pm »
Soo...by the time our generation is old enough for government, we'll have what we've been waiting for now, which will be dragass compared to what latter generations will be wanting on their new Supernet or what-have-you.

SOPA is full of shit, because the media industry is largely full of shit, and Congress is pretty much all shit.  If you mingle Shit A with Shit B, the chances of the progeny NOT being shit are slim at best.

We already have what we want, the problem is it's going to be taken away. So by the time our generation gets into power, it'll be too late if this bullcrap passes.
Politicians have shown time after time they've got very little to no understanding or connection to the younger generations. hell, go to DC and ask Congress what kind of game Halo is. I'll bet more than half respond with something like "Some shoot'em up game my grandkids play.".
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Offline Osama bin Bambi

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2012, 07:37:12 pm »
I'm sure some of the Congresscritters understand the situation. But Hollywood and the music industry can lobby and give far better campaign contributions than the average person can.

i don't think they really do. For most people 30ish and younger, the internet means something entirely different than the 40 and older crowd, which is what makes up most of the politicians.
The younger groups sees it as information and recreation, the older group sees it as information and a bunch of things they don't understand or want to.

This. I think internet law will get better mostly when the children of the Internet age grow up and become politically active themselves.
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Offline Oriet

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2012, 09:03:12 pm »
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Is he now require to purchase the DVDs in order to legally watch it?

Not to view his own, prior recordings, no. Of course not. They were legally obtained. (Although the television industries are still attempting to find some way to prevent recording of live tv shows to a permanent medium...) If he were to download copies of those produced DVDs, then that would be piracy. If he were to share copies of his prior recordings with his friends, he is well withing his rights as long as he derived no compensation for them. it's not about making sense; it's about making legal sense.
Actually, such distribution is not legal under copyright laws, at least if copies are given instead of just watched/listened/enjoyed alongside them. Of course, this brings in yet another complexity of copyright; a person is free to lend their legally purchased copy of a song, movie, game, or whatnot, with a friend or family member, though they are not allowed to do the same with a legal recording/copy of such as it is considered to fall under distributing copyrighted material without permission even though the acts and intents are exactly the same.

(Oh, and try as media distributors want, there is no way to fully protect against something being recorded or copied, since as long as it is able to be watched/listened to said output can be recorded. This is a good part of why I see their futile attempts to reach that goal as silly, as it just doesn't conform to the reality of how technology works.)

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Everything I can find either directly states or heavily implies that there must be deprivation of something tangible in order to actually classify as theft.

The legal system in the USA (and damn near every other country with reliable electricity), has established that intellectual property IS, legally, "property." If copying it deprives the copyright holder of potential financial gain, it is theft in the eyes of the law. Although it is important to note that it is a form of theft that law enforcement is utterly ineffective at dealing with, and thus extremely reluctant to involve themselves with, forcing most individuals who believe themselves to be damaged by it to seek recompense and/or justice in the civil courts. This means such instances are almost always referred to as "copyright infringement" rather than "theft" because an individual citizen can not prosecute another citizen for a criminal offense, only for a civil one.
Looking even further into this than I previously had I still don't see it actually being classified as theft. The closest I've been able to get is here, with this one point:
No Electronic Theft Act (NET)

The United States No Electronic Theft Act (NET Act), a federal law passed in 1997, provides for criminal prosecution of individuals who engage in copyright infringement, even when there is no monetary profit or commercial benefit from the infringement. Maximum penalties can be five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. The NET Act also raised statutory damages by 50%.
Being that this is not really enough info to work from, I looked up the The No Electronic Theft ("NET") Act directly. The only instance of the word "theft" happens to be in the title of the act; larceny also does not appear in it. Instead it consistently calls it violation of copyright, including when it is about the intellectual property, and estimated monetary loss as a result of said infringement is also included.

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Probably the biggest problem with the whole issue is that no one, not the police, not the government, not the industries involved, the public, the consumers, the justice system, the lawyers, no one can agree on what, exactly, it is, how to deal with it, or even how you COULD deal with it.
This really is the whole crux of the issue, and why I want to make sure I understand it before coming to a solid conclusion of how it should (or even can) be handled.

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Which makes me think of a related conundrum. Do items that exist only as data have real world, legal "value?"

For instance, when legendary EVE Online super-villain "Bad Bobby" successfully defrauded an in-game corporation (their version of a guild) out of more than 850,000,000,000 ISK (their version of gold), was that "theft?" EVE is interesting in that ISK can be bought with real money without violating the TOS. You can buy PLEX (essentially 30-day game time cards) with real money and with in-game ISK, establishing a real-world exchange rate for ISK. At the time the scam went down, the .85 trillion ISK Bad Bobby made off with had a real-world cash value of $45,000 US. The ISK could (and likely was, there is little reason to suspect that Bobby, now the most infamous player in the entire game, would use that PLEX to keep his account going for more than 200 years...) be converted to PLEX, and that PLEX (remember it is acceptable in the EVE TOS to sell PLEX) then sold for real-world cash. Essentially Bad Bobby stole 45 grand worth of in-game money which he then certainly converted to cold, hard cash.

Was that theft? Did he take something of value? According to the law....nope, ISK had no legal status as a valued commodity. Does a World of Warcraft item that requires thousands of gold worth of materials and hundreds of hours to create have any intrinsic value? It's an interesting question. People pay money (wisely or not, I make no judgments) every day for downloaded items for games, many of them purely cosmetic. From the infamous horse armor in "Elder Scrolls Oblivion" to the vanity Batman skins for "Arkham City." (Which I will admit I bought myself in the Steam half price sale. Don't judge me, I had to have me some Old Batman violence.) Do these items, which have no actual existence, have value? Can you create value-tagged commodities without any actual resources?
I would say that it actually was theft as he did deprive people of their goods, even if they are virtual instead of physical, as would most people, as fraud is covered under the general definition of theft. That the court ruled it wasn't theft is actually a blow against anti-piracy bills/arguments that rely upon copyright infringement being a form of theft, as this went beyond just making a copy and outright deprived people of the digital "good". I really see no difference between an illegally obtained MP3, film, or game item, as all are forms of entertainment stored on digital medium, and consider all of them to have value (it took effort to create and is valued by people; has to be or else it would never sell), though I admit some value is difficult or impossible to assign a monetary figure to. As for that last question in there, well, obviously it must be able to be done, else companies that sell digital copies of games, music, etc would have to be charged with fraud.

(Was it the old Batman outfit like this one? If so I can fully see why you'd want it, as I would too.)

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A house has bricks and mortar and wood and wiring. There is a measurable expense in it's creation, a measurable collection of physical components with known, market-based values. Does a house in a game, which has no physical existence at all, also have "value?" There is certainly a market to base it on if it does. If that in-game house has value.....then would it be a crime to burn it down? Hell, for that matter time-investment has legal precedence as a value-adding factor.....if I spend weeks leveling a game character only to have my account hacked and the character deleted....can that be prosecuted as theft? Or is it just vandalism? Would the deletion of a two-hours-invested level 1 character be a lesser crime than the deletion of two-years-invested level 85? Would it be an 8760 times greater crime?
That there is a market for such things demonstrates that, at least to many people, it does have value. There is also that the time and effort put into creating something, including virtual goods, has value. If time and effort didn't directly correlate into value then a masseuse would have to be charged with fraud for charging money for something non-existent, as they do not create a physical object; since the idea of doing so is incredibly ridiculous and is properly spelt out in law, then so too must the creation and distribution of digital goods. As for what extent the crime would be... I have no clue. Part of it, I think, would also have to include how easily the victim can have their virtual good restored or otherwise recompensed. If all the company has to do is grab the info from a few days ago to fully restore the objects and characters on an account then it wouldn't matter if the character was 2 weeks old or two decades old, as you'd be looking at how long they are deprived of the character. If there is no backup to restore from and it must have the time and effort restarted from the beginning then there would be a difference in the crime, though I do not know to what amount.

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I feel as though it's directed at me.

Of course not, lass. The "you" I was using was a generic one. Rest assured the sandman knows how to have a conversation with a pretty young lady. ;)
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even though essentially everything is the same

It IS interesting that we draw distinctions between different TYPES of data. Music, movies, games, it's all just ones and zeros. If it's wrong to pirate one arrangement of binary, shouldn't it be wrong to pirate any arrangement?
The medium is the same, but the effort to produce the different types of data and what the different types of data are sold for (which doesn't correlate very well with the effort) are what should determine the severity of the crime. This, however, is and isn't how it's handled. Looking at the NET Act we get this:
1.    shall be imprisoned not more than 3 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution of 10 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of $2,500 or more;

2.    shall be imprisoned not more than 6 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense is a second or subsequent offense under paragraph (1); and

3.    shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000;
This means a person can get away with illegally copying/distributing 1 digital good that has a retail value of $900, but could get locked up if they share copies of 10 mp3s they legally purchased for $1 each. Kinda fucked up, ain't it?

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obviously you want multiple copies of the music but you don't want to pay for all of them.

LOL no, I just want the one copy. I'm just too lazy to cart that one copy around with me. Although now that I got the new smartphone, that's not really an issue anymore, and since I buy most of my music in digital download format now, anyway, it's not really an issue. Now that I have it all in one easily portable format, I no longer see a need for copies in different locations.

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I know our politicians do not want to even pretend to put that much effort in anything.

That's the problem. It's not a simple situation you can just throw a half-asses piece of legislation at. We're talking about an organization that put a guy who thought the internet was a "series of tubes" in charge of the committee on science and technology. They are utterly unwilling (or perhaps unable) to put in the effort necessary to really deal with this thorny problem.
I agree with all of this.
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Offline Smurfette Principle

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2012, 09:31:17 pm »

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Is he now require to purchase the DVDs in order to legally watch it?

Not to view his own, prior recordings, no. Of course not. They were legally obtained. (Although the television industries are still attempting to find some way to prevent recording of live tv shows to a permanent medium...) If he were to download copies of those produced DVDs, then that would be piracy. If he were to share copies of his prior recordings with his friends, he is well withing his rights as long as he derived no compensation for them. it's not about making sense; it's about making legal sense.
Actually, such distribution is not legal under copyright laws, at least if copies are given instead of just watched/listened/enjoyed alongside them. Of course, this brings in yet another complexity of copyright; a person is free to lend their legally purchased copy of a song, movie, game, or whatnot, with a friend or family member, though they are not allowed to do the same with a legal recording/copy of such as it is considered to fall under distributing copyrighted material without permission even though the acts and intents are exactly the same.

(Oh, and try as media distributors want, there is no way to fully protect against something being recorded or copied, since as long as it is able to be watched/listened to said output can be recorded. This is a good part of why I see their futile attempts to reach that goal as silly, as it just doesn't conform to the reality of how technology works.)

The strictest definition of copyright infringement does not allow even the lending of a book. If you allow anyone, anyone, to enjoy or experience a work of media that they have not themselves paid for, then you are breaking copyright law. Reading a newspaper on a newsstand without paying for it is technically pirating. Reading a newspaper someone left in a restaurant is technically pirating. This is why copyright law is so complicated and obstructive: so many things we take for granted are actually illegal. Even singing "Happy Birthday" illegal, for God's sake, and it's impossible to draw a line between what's protecting artists and what's being an anal-retentive, obstructive bureaucrat.

Offline Witchyjoshy

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2012, 09:58:34 pm »
Remember when copyright laws were actually meant to protect intellectual interest and not, say, dictate what people can do with stuff they've legally purchased?
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Offline sandman

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2012, 09:58:49 pm »
@Smurfette: And there's the real problem. When you get right down to it, with current technology, copyright laws are essentially unenforceable when it comes to lending material that was legally obtained.

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Offline DasFuchs

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Re: Internet shutdown to protest SOPA?
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2012, 12:01:47 am »

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Is he now require to purchase the DVDs in order to legally watch it?

Not to view his own, prior recordings, no. Of course not. They were legally obtained. (Although the television industries are still attempting to find some way to prevent recording of live tv shows to a permanent medium...) If he were to download copies of those produced DVDs, then that would be piracy. If he were to share copies of his prior recordings with his friends, he is well withing his rights as long as he derived no compensation for them. it's not about making sense; it's about making legal sense.
Actually, such distribution is not legal under copyright laws, at least if copies are given instead of just watched/listened/enjoyed alongside them. Of course, this brings in yet another complexity of copyright; a person is free to lend their legally purchased copy of a song, movie, game, or whatnot, with a friend or family member, though they are not allowed to do the same with a legal recording/copy of such as it is considered to fall under distributing copyrighted material without permission even though the acts and intents are exactly the same.

(Oh, and try as media distributors want, there is no way to fully protect against something being recorded or copied, since as long as it is able to be watched/listened to said output can be recorded. This is a good part of why I see their futile attempts to reach that goal as silly, as it just doesn't conform to the reality of how technology works.)

The strictest definition of copyright infringement does not allow even the lending of a book. If you allow anyone, anyone, to enjoy or experience a work of media that they have not themselves paid for, then you are breaking copyright law. Reading a newspaper on a newsstand without paying for it is technically pirating. Reading a newspaper someone left in a restaurant is technically pirating. This is why copyright law is so complicated and obstructive: so many things we take for granted are actually illegal. Even singing "Happy Birthday" illegal, for God's sake, and it's impossible to draw a line between what's protecting artists and what's being an anal-retentive, obstructive bureaucrat.
Libraries are fucked then
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