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18-01-2012
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SOPA Will Take Us Back to the Dark Ages
SOPA Will Take Us Back to the Dark Ages



I had an epiphany today. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was not written by people who fundamentally misunderstand how the web works. They understand all too well, and want to change it forever.
Behind the almost unreadable (yet truly scary) text of SOPA (and its Senate doppelganger, PIPA, or the Protect Intellectual Property Act) is a desire, likely fueled by powerful media conglomerate backers, to take us all back to the thin-pipe, content-distribution days of 1994 — right before the World Wide Web launched. From the moment the Internet and websites arrived, a veritable Pandora’s box of opportunities have opened to every average Joe and Josephine in the world. Everyone became a content creator. Everyone had an audience.
The Internet also almost immediately became the transport mechanism for a steady flow of pirated content — first images, then music and, when the pipe got fat enough, movies. Major media companies, which once upon a time had sole control of the creation and distribution of popular entertainment, were appalled — and also powerless to stop it.
The music industry stuck its head firmly in the sand and ignored the digital age for years. Its CDs (an early digital embrace I’ll bet the music industry still regrets) made it easy for anyone with a computer to rip and share music. The practice nearly gutted the record industry. Steve Jobs and Apple saved it at the turn of the century, but that’s another story.
The movie industry has long suffered from yahoos bringing camcorders into screenings and delivering crappy copies of first-run films to DVD peddlers in Chinatown. The fat-pipe Internet and peer-to-peer file-sharing simply cut out the middleman and made it easy for anyone to share not only those same awful copies, but also DVD files grabbed, chunked up and delivered to countless pop-up movie download sites and even pristine films stolen from the Hollywood pipeline.
Meanwhile, star-making power was rapidly transferring from the hands of a few in Hollywood, the publishing houses of New York City and elsewhere to, well, everyone. YouTube is a perfect example. People create their own movies and music videos and, thanks to YouTube’s network, distribute it to, potentially, millions. They create their own following, even their own revenue stream (thank you, Google AdSense). People can now self-publish books and, sometimes, make oodles of money. Photographers post pictures on Flickr and Google+ and generate thousands of views. They no longer need a magazine or newspaper to reach an audience.
It’s not just books, music and movies. The Internet is empowering people to create all sorts of businesses and distribution systems. They leapfrog the old hurdles, ignore the gatekeepers and go straight to the public.
It is true that, sometimes, these creators rely in part on other people’s works to tell their tales, sing their songs, and post their movies. This is not a new impulse. The creative act has been, in part, derivative since the beginning of time (the Bible, the New Testament). There are always influences.
It’s also true that real content piracy remains a persistent and daunting problem for companies and creators who rely on revenues from the content they create to continue making more content and, sometimes, simply to survive.
Yet the language in SOPA is so irrational that I can only assume that the authors and backers wanted nothing more than to fundamentally change the rules of the web: To shut down the open post fields, kill reposting (goodbye, Tumblr), end shared videos (sorry, YouTube), expand the definition of what it means to infringe (sorry, Twitter, no sharing links that aren’t yours).
When you turn copyright infringement into a felony and say that anyone can accuse a website of providing ”infringing” tools (and apply severe penalties whether or not you do something about it), you are essentially making it impossible for anyone to do anything online without fear of retribution.
This is just as the authors and backers want it, though. Fear is a powerful motivator. It will grind the engine of the Internet to a halt and when everyone is wondering what do to next, trying to figure out where they get their daily fix of viral videos or post their latest Bieber cover song, there will be media companies. They’ll be standing there, smiling, with open arms. One hand will be ready to give you a warm embrace, while the other collects your money.


mashable.com

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Last edited by softgrey; 18-01-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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18-01-2012
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What Are SOPA and PIPA And Why All The Fuss?


Visitors to Google.com see a blacked out logo and a link to an online petition

Knowing that Wikipedia would go dark for 24 hours in protest to SOPA and PIPA, I took the precaution of printing it out last night. Just kidding. Wikipedia is huge. I wanted to say just how big it is, but when I went to Google to look up “size of Wikipedia,” most of the relevant results directed me to articles on Wikipedia which, of course, is dark for the day.
Google didn’t go dark but it did black out its logo and has a link to “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” with a link to an online petition.
What are SOPA and PIPA and why are people upset?
This is all because of two pieces of legislation: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and its Senate companion bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The purpose of these bills is to make it harder for sites — especially those located outside the United States — to sell or distribute pirated copyrighted material such as movies and music as well as physical goods such as counterfeit purses and watches. Even most of SOPA and PIPA’s strongest opponents applaud the intentions of the legislation while deploring what it might actually accomplish.
Although its sponsors have said that they would amend the bill, as currently written, SOPA would enable the U.S. Attorney General to seek a court order to require “a service provider (to) take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site.” Until this weekend, one of the ways to do that would have been to cut the DNS (domain name server) records that point to the site, but that provision is likely to be removed after the Obama administration weighed in on the issue over the weekend, saying “Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.” The administration also echoed concerns raised by a number of security experts, including some anti-malware companies that the bill could disrupt the underlying architecture of the Internet.
The White House statement coincided with sponsors agreeing to remove the DNS blocking provisions. Still, the bill could require search engines like Google to delete any links to the sites.
These are not partisan bills. SOPA and PIPA have proponents and opponents on both sides of the aisle.
The bill would require sites to refrain from linking to any sites “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property.” It would also prevent companies from placing on the sites and block payment companies like Visa, Mastercard and Paypal from transmitting funds to the site. For more, see this blog post on Reddit.
The problem with this is that the entire site would be affected, not just that portion that is promoting the distribution of illegal material. It would be a bit like requiring the manager of a flea market to shut down the entire market because some of the merchants were selling counterfeit goods.
The bill would also cut off funding by prohibiting payment services from cooperating with infringing sites.
Opponents say it would create an “internet blacklist.”
As CBSNews.com said in its analysis, there are existing laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) that require operators to remove specific infringing content. SOPA and PIPA would go after entire domains.
Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley
These bills have pitted the entertainment industry against the technology industry. “Hollywood” has a legitimate interest in protecting its intellectual property. Not only are profits at stake but so are jobs. Thousands of Americans make their living by dreaming up content and selling it to the world and piracy does in fact take money out of their pockets. Silicon Valley has invested billions in creating companies that freely distribute information. While Google and every other Silicon Valley company must respect copyrights, they thrive on helping people find what they want. If, suddenly, every web site that had links to other sites had to worry that they could be in violation of the law by linking to a “banned” site, it could put undo pressure on these companies. There is also worry that SOPA and PIPA could be abused and lead to censorship for purposes other than intellectual property protection.
Are the protests having any effect?
Shutting down Wikipedia for a day or blacking out the Google logo won’t stop these bills in their tracks, but they have raised an enormous amount of awareness about the issue. As a result, it is likely that these bills will continue to be amended and, though they may pass in some fashion, they are likely to be quite different than they were when first proposed.

forbes.com

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Last edited by softgrey; 18-01-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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18-01-2012
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Thank you so much for making this thread softgrey, I really hope the TFS community can support this moviment.

If anyone have doubts or is unaware of the moviment, this video pretty much sums it up:



I ask all the members to join and sign the petition and spread the word to all your facebook friends, twitter followers, EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

To see how you can help and to get more info, go to this site: http://americancensorship.org/

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Last edited by Marc10; 18-01-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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18-01-2012
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If SOPA or PIPA passes in its present form, this site may well be dead, if any of the copyright owners decide to complain. As well as all the other fashion sites out there that don't have the rights to spread images owned by others. Scary thing.

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18-01-2012
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I'm asking why is the USA fighting for the freedom of other countries when it's putting its own population into shackles with every new law that has passed over the last two years.

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18-01-2012
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I already signed the petition

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18-01-2012
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I just realised that SOPA could affect tfs too with Conde Nast and Meisel who are not too fond of scans.

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18-01-2012
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These laws are ridiculous. Thanks for starting the topic, softgrey, it's really important to make people aware of how damaging these laws can be. Google, Wikipedia, and Tumblr have information on their sites about how you can take action by signing petitions and contacting your representatives to ensure SOPA and PIPA don't get passed.

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18-01-2012
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It all boils down to greed! having total control of content by a select few companies who "own" the materials would mean massive traffic to their sites which eventually leads to massive revenue from advertising. SOPA and PIPA must be stopped!

and students if you think this does not affect you just wait till finals when you have no wikipedia and google to help you with last minute catching up lol

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18-01-2012
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18-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejarc View Post
I just realised that SOPA could affect tfs too with Conde Nast and Meisel who are not too fond of scans.
Exactly. As things stand, TFS is practically an archive of images that would simply be unavailable to most of us in paper form, I'd hate to see that go down the tubes because imageshack or photobucket or whatever were threatened.

(and fashion images are not like books and music, they're only available for a finite time and then never offered for sale - in the magazines - again. It's not as if putting up, say, a Vogue editorial from 10 years ago makes any difference, you wouldn't be able to buy the magazine in which it appeared unless it was secondhand or something).

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18-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drusilla_ View Post
(and fashion images are not like books and music, they're only available for a finite time and then never offered for sale - in the magazines - again. It's not as if putting up, say, a Vogue editorial from 10 years ago makes any difference, you wouldn't be able to buy the magazine in which it appeared unless it was secondhand or something).
But with the new Vogue archive, if you had a kajillion dollars to throw around to subscribe, you would have access.

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18-01-2012
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SOPA means trash in Swedish, which is exactly what this is. this would affect the whole world, there is not a word for how unknowledgeable Lamar Smith is.

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18-01-2012
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^How fitting.

I think this probably makes the US government the most hypocritical one on Earth for even considering it up to this point.

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18-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavieenrose View Post
But with the new Vogue archive, if you had a kajillion dollars to throw around to subscribe, you would have access.
Does that include all the images from any edition of Vogue, including the international ones too?

But wow, whatever Conde Nast is charging for had better be AMAZING for that much money.

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