Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Aftermath of a Blackout

The Aftermath of a Blackout

Now anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time may know that I can come across as being.. well, a bit cynical. But I have to wonder if it's me being cynical or was Google and Wikipedia's "Strike" against SOPA in a sense laughably half-assed?

Like, at no point could you NOT use either service. As reported in yesterday's post, a slew of websites including Wikipedia's own site offered you ways to get around the blackout. Google's was especially shitty. They changed their logo and that's it. They seem to change their logo all the time anyway so I don't pay attention to that sort of things. Not to mention that if you're a chrome user you never even have to go to Google's homepage anyway since you can just type whatever it is you are looking up in the URL bar.

And even though Wiki's was better than Google's effort, It was all trivial anyway. I mean, yeah, it got maybe a handful of the attention of the few casual internet users who didn't already know about SOPA/PIPA. So on that account, Wikipedia did a better job at it.

Way to go nerds.

And yeah, it got around 13 senators to drop support in a day. So maybe it was a success on that aspect and did some work in spreading the message. In the end, the goal was just to raise awareness, and it did that. Maybe I'm just taking it too far. I'm a bit of an extremist. Maybe full on blocking the page would have taken would-be supporters and made them enemies.

Perhaps in your next attempt you should link this video to everyone you know to better educate them on the matter.

And while it was a success in spreading the word, is anyone else disconcerted by none of these protest actions being directed at the RIAA, MPAA at all? Everything was "write your senator" or "Call your rep," but nobody was talking about, say, boycotting movies or trying to address the real heart of the matter - intellectual property owners want to get paid for their shit, yo.

Basically everyone thinks that SOPA was the government's idea when this kind of action has been pushed before by the usual anti-piracy suspects and basically the only real push-back came from similarly large corporate entities.

What's the old saying? The fish rots from the head. So perhaps instead of cutting off the rotting pieces of the fish's body, we should cut off the head. Because as it stands, if I'm an RIAA stooge right now, I'm not sweating this protest much at all. There's no heat on me what so ever and there's no reason to be mad. Well, other than the fact that a handful of people not paying to watch my shit movies really really bothers me.

You have to admit, the whole movement avoiding that common sense is a bit weird. On the bright side, MPAA's twitter is basically a bunch of hilarious flailing about. You have to wonder how much hate mail and hate tweets they get. The scary thing of all this is the big picture being missed. This isn't the first time that the RIAA/MPAA has tried to do something like this and it's not going to be the last. All they have to do is get Google or Micorsoft to flip on their stance and go along with their lobbyist and once that happens it's curtains for the freedom on the internet.

Just look at what happened to MegaUpload..
MegaUpload Shut Down by the Feds, Founder Arrested

MegaUpload, one of the largest file-sharing sites on the Internet has been shut down by federal prosecutors in Virginia. The site’s founder Kim Dotcom and three others were arrested by the police in New Zealand on request of US authorities.

An indictment unsealed today by the department of justice claims MegaUpload has cause the entertainment industries more than $500 million in lost revenue.

Just a few weeks ago MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom told TorrentFreak that his Mega ventures have nothing to worry about, as they operate within the rules of the law.

“Mega has nothing to fear. Our business is legitimate and protected by the DMCA and similar laws around the world. We work with the best lawyers and play by the rules. We take our legal obligations seriously. Mega’s war chest is full and we have strong supporters backing us,” Dotcom said.
You have to laugh a little about that name. Kim Dotcom. That's utterly amazing. That's like something a child would come up with. What's the president of Window Washer's incorporated? Why that's David Squeegee. But hey, at least it saves you the problems of having to work with Kanye West...

Swizz Beatz has Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kanye West and in hot water with their label by getting them to promote his site, MegaUpload. The CEO of the Internet company, Beatz — also a recording artist, producer and DJ — persuaded the stars to appear in a “Mega Song” video promoting his service, intended to send large media files. The catch is the music industry has been fighting against file sharing, accusing the services MegaUpload offers of supporting piracy.
there's a bunch more info here now http://torrentfreak....ut-down-120119/

I'm guessing that RapidShare must be terrified right now. It's so absurd that the Big Scary Number they cite is $500 million in lost revenue and generated $175 million "in criminal proceeds." Now let's see.. 500 million.. Compared to 7,700,000 million banks stole from the government.

All this just looks a lot like a criminal version of Viacom suing YouTube. With the exception of MegaUpload failing to remove copyrighted content per requested, if the indictment is to be believed.

At this point, I'm just wondering if someone can let me know when I should start wiping my hard drive of all non-legal content, that'd be swell.

I know this is vaguely related, but it's well worth noting. The Supreme court said that you can now re-copyright public domain works.

Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a 6-2 ruling, the court said that, just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.” (.pdf)

The top court was ruling on a petition by a group of orchestra conductors, educators, performers, publishers and film archivists who urged the justices to reverse an appellate court that ruled against the group, which has relied on artistic works in the public domain for their livelihoods.

They claimed that re-copyrighting public works would breach the speech rights of those who are now using those works without needing a license. There are millions of decades-old works at issue. Some of the well-known ones include H.G. Wells’ Things to Come; Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and the musical compositions of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky.

We may have won one for freedom yesterday, but it seems that they won one as well.

For all of you who are wondering how this was actually going to stop online piracy? You know, because a DNS blacklist wouldn't stop torrents, or p2p files sharingnetworks, or usenet, or ftps, or really anything that matters. It wouldn't. People would just be pushed into using shady DNSes that don't follow the law, which means that they could run their own phishing scams on you where you type in and end up at their phishing fake site without any real way to tell that anything's wrong. That's one of the litany problems with the bill.

In all, the purpose of this sucker is to enable holders of intellectual property and those connected to them to harass people hosting websites with objectionable content on a whim--it will make piracy more annoying and troublesome for those who are used to typing Piratebay on their URL space while facilitating the censorship of political speech.

At this point, I honestly don't think the internet can be meaningfully censored, it's like part of its design principal.

No comments: