Drawing Attention to an important issue

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    Shadowsgirl





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    Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Shadowsgirl on November 18th 2011, 11:57 am

    The US Congress is currently considering a bill called SOPA(Stop Online Piracy Act). On the surface, it appears to be just that- a bill that would allow the government and major corporations such as those in the movie and music industry to prosecute, blacklist, and effectively censor websites and even entire domain names that advocate and participate in illegal piracy activities. Sounds good, right?

    Wrong!

    The bill defines what constitutes piracy and copyright infringement in very broad terms. This broad definition means that they could target a website that lets you download an entire movie, someone who just posts a Youtube video of themself singing to a favorite song, and everything in between! Those in violation would face a penalty that could include taking down and blocking the offending content or even something as extreme as forcing search engines like Google to remove the website or domain name from search results.

    And the real kicker?

    They wouldn't even need PROOF of illegal activity. Only suspicion. When it comes to legislation, the things that are NOT said can be just as important as the things that ARE. And this bill does NOT say that any sort of proof would be needed before action is taken against an offending site. There's a reason cops have to get a warrant before they can search your home: to prevent them from abusing their power and authority. The government's approach to piracy with SOPA is to shoot first and ask questions later, because the ends justify the means to them. This sort of thing is incredibly similar to how China censors its internet.

    SOPA makes a mockery of our freedom. It flies in the face of the First Amendment's freedom of speech (or, if the judicial system doesn't agree with that, it at least falls under the Ninth Amendment). This sort of rights-murdering bill is exactly why our Founding Fathers were afraid of a large, powerful federal government.

    I have signed online petitions telling Congress not to pass this bill, and I have sent an email expressing my displeasure to my state representative. If you're an American citizen, especially one of voting age, I strongly advise you do the same. We the people have a duty to remind the federal government that it cannot trample our rights and do whatever the hell it feels like. Don't let them turn the Land of the Free into the Land of the Tyrants.

    This is not a joke. This is very real. I have read through the document that was the precursor to SOPA (I have yet to find and read the text of the SOPA bill itself but I intend to) and I did not like what I saw. At ALL. As of November 17th, the bill has passed a Senate panel and, if I recall my government class correctly, will now go on to the full Senate. If they pass it, the bill will go to the House of Representatives (if it hasn't already) and once both have approved it, it's up to President Obama to either sign it or veto it. Yet even if Obama vetos it, Congress can override the veto with a 2/3 majority vote.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/250888/20111116/sopa-stopped-5-things-know-controversial.htm

    As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who would give up essential liberty, in exchange for a little security, deserve neither."
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    Shadowsgirl





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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Shadowsgirl on November 18th 2011, 12:54 pm

    Mly wrote:Things must be done about this. What those things are, I don't know off-hand.
    I'm just a college student, so alone I can't do too much. But I am a registered voter and I gave my representative in Congress a good piece of my mind. I'm also trying to spread the word about this because for some reason it's not being widely talked about. The main places I've seen it are tech news sites and I didn't even know about it until a friend told me on YIM.

    This might be a stretch, but maybe the Feds are keeping it quiet on purpose, so they can pass SOPA and have most of America wake up one day to find their internet censored.

    http://gizmodo.com/5860242/all-about-sopa-the-bill-thats-going-to-cripple-your-internet <--According to this article, the bill wouldn't even be able to do it's original purpose. People could still pirate stuff by exploiting IP addresses. But then again, how many non-techsavy people would know stuff like this? Or even what the IP address is for their favorite sites? This bill would leave anyone who doesn't know those tricks SOL. That article also has links to a more in-depth overview of SOPA and to the exact content of the SOPA bill. I'm going to go read that now.

    EDIT: Those slippery bastards! The first thing the bill says after the table of contents is that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impose a prior restraint on free speech or the press protected under the 1st amendment to the Constitution." It then goes on to basically say that if the bill is found unconstitutional when applied to one case, it does not become unconstitutional against all other cases. If you were to fight that it was unconstitutional, you'd have to do so for each and every case that falls under SOPA.

    If it comes down to swaying a court that this bill as a whole is unconstitutional then I suspect our best bet would be to utilize the 9th Amendment.
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    Jmh





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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Jmh on November 18th 2011, 2:13 pm

    Are you talking about the bill that will pretty much make any LPers on youtube a felon?
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    The Freedom Fighter





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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by The Freedom Fighter on November 18th 2011, 4:45 pm

    From what I've heard, it's very unlikely to succeed. If it does survive Congress, it's still likely to be vetoed, and there likely won't be a 2/3 anti-veto.

    Nevertheless, they'll keep trying to take down Internet sites for their own reasons.

    Also, it's great to have you back, Shadowsgirl. Try to stick around this time. Wink


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    Shadowsgirl





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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Shadowsgirl on November 18th 2011, 6:53 pm

    @ The Freedom Fighter: Some classmates of mine had a similar attitude about it not being passed, but they changed their tune once they started looking up SOPA on their laptops and smartphones. If this is really not going to be passed, then why is it on the fast track? It was only introduced on the 25th of October and it's already been approved by a Senate panel. Another thing that worries me is the fact that this bill isn't widely known outside of tech-oriented news groups. Main media seems more concerned with the latest celebrity wedding fiasco instead of a bill that would drastically violate our Freedom of Speech. I don't know why there aren't many people talking about it, but for some reason I have a bad feeling about this.

    @ JMH: Pretty much yeah. But it wouldn't only affect Youtube. Think of the way Youtube currently blocks some videos due to copyright claims. Now make that worse, and apply it to every site on the internet. THAT is the sort of thing this bill would allow if passed. And not just allow, it would mandate it. The bill says that search engines such as Google would be required to remove offending sites from their listings. Also, ad sites and sites like paypal that provide much-needed financial support to websites would be required to cut the funding to offending sites. Then if they go as far to block the domain name, it also blocks sites that are innocent if they have a connection with the offending site.

    And then there's the fact that the bill is pretty broad in determining what actually defines "pirating" and "copyright infringement." For example, if they wanted to, this bill would let SEGA request all fan forums such as this one be shut down for using pictures of their mascot character.
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    Nnoitra Hushimo






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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 18th 2011, 8:26 pm

    I've heard about this bill. It's chances of succeeding are very very slim, very unlikely to get passed considering that if it did pass, it's inevitable that the Internet would collapse and people like Machinima and IGN and other millions of people would lose their jobs because what they do is show video games and their gameplay, and under that bill, that's copyright. And even VEVO could be used as a target of copyright infringement because they really aren't the people who made the music, aren't they?
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Jmh on November 18th 2011, 9:33 pm

    So basically, if this passes, the internet as we know it will be done for.

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    Nnoitra Hushimo






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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 18th 2011, 10:18 pm

    Jmh wrote:So basically, if this passes, the internet as we know it will be done for.

    Yes indeed, and freedom of speech over the Internet will cease to exist, just like in China. The USA, in my view, is going to turn Communistic soon.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 18th 2011, 10:31 pm

    Just recieved more info on the bill here: http://americancensorship.org/
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Twixie Hushimo on November 18th 2011, 10:38 pm

    It's not going to pass, and if it does, which probably won't happen unless aliens interfere, people will protest and it won't last longer than a few days.

    I mean, America is stupid, but not that stupid.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 18th 2011, 10:52 pm

    Ashley Hushimo wrote:It's not going to pass, and if it does, which probably won't happen unless aliens interfere, people will protest and it won't last longer than a few days.

    I mean, America is stupid, but not that stupid.
    I agree, and if it somehow passes, like you said, it wouldn't last more than a few days, it would put millions of more people job-less because of the bill and there would be thousands of riots in the streets. Congress really doesn't know how much of a negative effect the bill would have if it does pass.
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    Twixie Hushimo





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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Twixie Hushimo on November 18th 2011, 11:08 pm

    Exactly. America is so web-based that even a week without Internet would shut the entire nation down.
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    Shadowsgirl





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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Shadowsgirl on November 19th 2011, 12:53 am

    SonicFan001 wrote:I've heard about this bill. It's chances of succeeding are very very slim, very unlikely to get passed considering that if it did pass, it's inevitable that the Internet would collapse and people like Machinima and IGN and other millions of people would lose their jobs because what they do is show video games and their gameplay, and under that bill, that's copyright. And even VEVO could be used as a target of copyright infringement because they really aren't the people who made the music, aren't they?

    You're exactly right. That's the kind of abuse this bill is just begging for if it gets passed. I would LIKE to believe that it wouldn't pass, but if that's the case, why are they even considering it in the first place? It may not be a good decision but whoever wrote the actual wording for the bill isn't exactly a dummy. This is the exact wording of the bill from the first section after the table of contents.
    SEC. 2. SAVINGS AND SEVERABILITY CLAUSES.
    (a) SAVINGS CLAUSES.—
    (1) FIRST AMENDMENT.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impose a prior restraint on free speech or the press protected under the 1st amendment to the Constitution.

    They have set this thing up so that it LOOKS legit until you start digging deeper.

    Also, I came across these two articles.
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/sopa-pols-run-into-internet-buzz-saw/63626 and http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/16/soapopera/
    Both of the sites point out that this bill went unnoticed until pretty much 2 days ago. Another site I've seen says this bill is on the fast track to being passed. It only got noticed when congress had the first PUBLIC hearing about the bill. And before getting noticed it was set to move through the system quietly, and at sonic speed.

    The SOPA bill has bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. That's saying something considering how well Republicans and Democrats usually get along. Until people started raising a fuss about it, this thing was going to pass easily. Now there are speedbumps in the road, but that doesn't mean the issue is over. I know I won't feel safe about this issue until the bill gets well and truly shot down and kicked out of congress.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 19th 2011, 1:16 am

    Shadowsgirl wrote:
    SonicFan001 wrote:I've heard about this bill. It's chances of succeeding are very very slim, very unlikely to get passed considering that if it did pass, it's inevitable that the Internet would collapse and people like Machinima and IGN and other millions of people would lose their jobs because what they do is show video games and their gameplay, and under that bill, that's copyright. And even VEVO could be used as a target of copyright infringement because they really aren't the people who made the music, aren't they?

    You're exactly right. That's the kind of abuse this bill is just begging for if it gets passed. I would LIKE to believe that it wouldn't pass, but if that's the case, why are they even considering it in the first place? It may not be a good decision but whoever wrote the actual wording for the bill isn't exactly a dummy. This is the exact wording of the bill from the first section after the table of contents.
    SEC. 2. SAVINGS AND SEVERABILITY CLAUSES.
    (a) SAVINGS CLAUSES.—
    (1) FIRST AMENDMENT.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to impose a prior restraint on free speech or the press protected under the 1st amendment to the Constitution.

    They have set this thing up so that it LOOKS legit until you start digging deeper.

    Also, I came across these two articles.
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/sopa-pols-run-into-internet-buzz-saw/63626 and http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/16/soapopera/
    Both of the sites point out that this bill went unnoticed until pretty much 2 days ago. Another site I've seen says this bill is on the fast track to being passed. It only got noticed when congress had the first PUBLIC hearing about the bill. And before getting noticed it was set to move through the system quietly, and at sonic speed.

    The SOPA bill has bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. That's saying something considering how well Republicans and Democrats usually get along. Until people started raising a fuss about it, this thing was going to pass easily. Now there are speedbumps in the road, but that doesn't mean the issue is over. I know I won't feel safe about this issue until the bill gets well and truly shot down and kicked out of congress.
    We just got to hope that it doesn't pass, or else there will be anarchy, and the government will pay for it.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Shadowsgirl on November 19th 2011, 1:21 am

    Yeah.

    Upon reading those articles closer, it seems that the general public didn't even know SOPA existed until Congress held a public hearing to determine if the bill was a good idea. And they only invited people to speak who SUPPORTED the bill, such as representatives of Hollywood and the other media industries who would benefit from having the only rights to their material. Apparently the only group represented there that wasn't a supporter of SOPA was Google.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by The Freedom Fighter on November 19th 2011, 4:48 pm

    Shadowsgirl wrote:@ The Freedom Fighter: Some classmates of mine had a similar attitude about it not being passed, but they changed their tune once they started looking up SOPA on their laptops and smartphones. If this is really not going to be passed, then why is it on the fast track? It was only introduced on the 25th of October and it's already been approved by a Senate panel. Another thing that worries me is the fact that this bill isn't widely known outside of tech-oriented news groups. Main media seems more concerned with the latest celebrity wedding fiasco instead of a bill that would drastically violate our Freedom of Speech. I don't know why there aren't many people talking about it, but for some reason I have a bad feeling about this.
    Oh, no, I've looked into it. In fact, I was the one who brought it up here in the middle of the week.
    http://sonicommunity.forumotion.com/t6477-tgwtg-celebrates-american-censorship-day
    Of course no one said anything.


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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Dravid Feryl on November 21st 2011, 6:13 pm

    I personally don't trust that it'll happen... yet. And even if it does any time soon, it won't surprise me in the least.

    Believe you me, though, America is far more stupid than it tends to let on.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by The Freedom Fighter on November 21st 2011, 8:37 pm

    http://www.zeldainformer.com/2011/11/jimquisition-takes-a-stand-against-sopa---nintendo-sony-ea-show-support---internet-censorship.html#more


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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Shadowsgirl on November 28th 2011, 11:59 am

    Bleh, busy all through the holiday weekend x.x

    This is the most recent news article I can find regarding the bill: http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/Controversy-Surrounds-Stop-Online-Piracy-Act-as-MarkUp-Approaches-79077.asp

    The bill is still alive, and schedualed for a mark-up on the 15th of December. I must admit, I can understand the initial reasoning for the bill, such as preventing shady pharmaceutical companies from selling unsafe products to American people. Yet I don't agree with the way SOPA is trying to fix this problem. Not only can the government shut down sites, but major corporations can get sites shut down too. And corporations would abuse this power out the wazoo, especially if it meant more profits for them.

    If they HAVE to pass this stupid bill, then they could at least improve the language, such as setting a VERY rigid definition of what constitutes 'infringement' and 'piracy'. I'm an ex-debator and believe me, if you don't set a rigid definition for something, then people WILL exploit different interpretations. In my debate years, we actually had arguments about which definitions for the words "the" and "of" and even "United States" should be used. And they were all dead serious.

    Regardless, I hope it never passes. There's just too much wrong with it that would lead to bad things down the road.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Twixie Hushimo on November 28th 2011, 6:34 pm

    Again, America is web- and Internet-based. Even at school, half of my papers are done using the Internet. I highly, highly, highly doubt the bill will be passed, and even if it does, it won't last.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Army on November 28th 2011, 9:39 pm

    I cared until I heard Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo AND Apple were on board and supporting this bill. Yup, were fucked. :)

    Actually, Microsoft isn't in support anymore, but they Still got Apple. So... We're still screwee.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 29th 2011, 12:44 am

    Shadiwulf wrote:I cared until I heard Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo AND Apple were on board and supporting this bill. Yup, were fucked. :)

    Actually, Microsoft isn't in support anymore, but they Still got Apple. So... We're still screwee.
    Only because corporations like them are the only ones that are going to benefit out of this whole bill.
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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by The Freedom Fighter on November 29th 2011, 6:41 pm

    SonicFan001 wrote:
    Shadiwulf wrote:I cared until I heard Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo AND Apple were on board and supporting this bill. Yup, were fucked. :)

    Actually, Microsoft isn't in support anymore, but they Still got Apple. So... We're still screwee.
    Only because corporations like them are the only ones that are going to benefit out of this whole bill.
    Yeah, but you should remember why Nintendo and pals would support this: piracy. The bill is supposed to help stop it, the problem is it's so vague that anyone can abuse it. Nintendo recently just set up a deal with Penny-Arcade to make five pages for Skyward Sword, so it shows they're fine with their characters being used freely by fans. But they aren't fine with piracy, and with good reason. So, in essence, we're back to where we started; we need to get a refined piracy bill and stop this crappy one.


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    Re: Drawing Attention to an important issue

    Post by Nnoitra Hushimo on November 29th 2011, 6:49 pm

    The Freedom Fighter wrote:
    SonicFan001 wrote:
    Only because corporations like them are the only ones that are going to benefit out of this whole bill.
    Yeah, but you should remember why Nintendo and pals would support this: piracy. The bill is supposed to help stop it, the problem is it's so vague that anyone can abuse it. Nintendo recently just set up a deal with Penny-Arcade to make five pages for Skyward Sword, so it shows they're fine with their characters being used freely by fans. But they aren't fine with piracy, and with good reason. So, in essence, we're back to where we started; we need to get a refined piracy bill and stop this crappy one.
    I just think this bill is a little extreme, perhaps having lighter restrictions?

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