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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ian, Jan 18, 2012.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know if anyone here has accessed Wikipedia this morning, but there's a proposal I've been following for a while now that I think everyone in here needs to know about because it could potentially have a bearing here at our site, and thousands of others.

    The act is called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) which, if made law, would expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property. I have no issue with the concept of what they're trying to achieve, but the problem is that the language in the proposed law is too broad and it could have a direct impact on sites like this which contains a lot of "user generated material" (ie: posts, threads, etc.)

    As you know I've been active against having people copy/paste complete articles, etc. to make sure we stay within the necessary guidelines so that we're not infringing on any copyrights. I think for the most part we do a good job, but obviously it's not perfect and it's obviously hard to catch everything.

    The problem is several of the provisions in SOPA will force ISPs hosting websites (ie: the company that hosts our servers) to potentially disconnect us from the Internet if there’s a claim - unsubstantiated or not - that we're infringing against copyright, regardless of if it has not been fully proved in court. The argument is that this would make it easy for someone to make false or weak claims against the site to take a us offline until we went to court.

    That's a headache I'm not prepared to deal with. The number of threats I get each year via e-mail from angry members from other teams we remove are pretty unreal and obviously you guys don't see them, so giving any additional ammunition backed up by a law like this would be a potentially huge issue. I've been talking with other sites and it's a very real concern that we're all potentially going to be faced with if this goes through, unless it's rewritten to better target the sites that are really the ones they're looking to address.

    Needless to say this is something serious enough that everyone should be aware of. I noticed Wikipedia went black this morning over it, and I just felt that everyone here should know about what's going on. Again, I'm not condoning piracy, infringement, etc. - that's not the point. The point is the language in the proposal unfortunately is too broad and isn't specific enough in achieving the desired results.

    You can read more about it here:

    Stop Online Piracy Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  2. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    If you lock it we can't bump it. Perhaps this deserves a sticky.

    Edit: And perhaps a separate discussion thread(?)

    Edit2: I figure I'll use my real estate to provide some links for those that are interested:

    Anti-SOPA
    Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more
    Google: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

    Pro-SOPA
    CNN: http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/17/technology/sopa_explained/index.htm?iid=HP_Highlight
    MPAA: http://consumerist.com/2012/01/mpaa...tunt-to-turn-us-all-into-corporate-pawns.html

    Neutral(?)/News
    BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16612628

    Nerd News (Not Neutral)
    Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/
    Slashdot: http://slashdot.org/
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  3. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll leave it open for a bit as long as it avoids any political debate, but it's definitely something people need to be aware of.
  4. Skree

    Skree Rookie

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    I think SOPA got knocked out by the House of Representatives. There's a Senate version called PIPA that is on the docket now. Hopefully, it won't go through. Write your congressional rep and sign the google.com petition,
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  5. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Ian,

    A great anti-SOPA argument, and not one I've seen made before.

    Unfortunately, you got your phrasing a little garbled in the part quoted above.

    (Yes, I've stopped posting here due to moderator nonsense. But that's about football. SOPA is about human liberties. That's a lot more important.)
  6. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    From what I've read it's still in play, so it's not completely done yet.

    For those that want to, you can go here to look up your local representative:

    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  7. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  8. NEPats1

    NEPats1 Rookie

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    Hey guys I don't know much about this stuff, can someone explain in basic language what will happen to the average internet user?
  9. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    i didnt realize this was that serious...where's the petition?
  10. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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  11. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 Rookie

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    I can't even get on craigslist now because of that.:mad:
  12. NEPats1

    NEPats1 Rookie

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  13. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Day-em.

    Guilty until proven innocent?

    Not good.
  14. robbomango

    robbomango Rookie

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    My representative's usually send me back long drawn out non answers on issues but I don't mind harassing them.
  15. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just for info purposes, MA Senator Brown has said he will not support PIPA. I do not know Senator Kerry's position. I suggest MA voters here contact him. I have contacted one of my NH Senators to register disapproval of her support. I believe that Senators can be persuaded to vote against this. Do your civic duty.
  16. Rusty Coupe

    Rusty Coupe Rookie

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    There is a video in this link that explains in real terms what PROTECT/IP SOPA will mean to the average user.
    http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/01/18/save-the-internet/
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  17. A.C Vegas

    A.C Vegas Rookie

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    between this an the NDAA the goverment is really trying to get to the little guys like us we need more people to speak out aganst it
  18. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 Rookie

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    And look at some of the Deep Pocket companies behind them *Hated* in Bold.

    News Corp, RIAA, MPAA, Nike, Sony, Comcast, VISA & others want to make that world your reality.
  19. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Sites will get taken down.

    Site owners will at a certain point not even bother creating or managing certain kinds of sites.

    Those sites that do stay up will censor their users heavily to avoid being taken entirely down.
  20. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    That doesn't matter. Some low level assistant counts the number of emails they get and bigger the number the more likely the rep is to care. Their actual response is meaningless.
  21. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    The short answer is if RandomPats fan puts up a link on this board and that website has any material whatsoever that violates anyones copyright this site would be have to pay megabucks to the point that there is no way for the site to continue.
  22. rojo8401

    rojo8401 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I work for one of the main sponsors of this bill so I am obviously biased.

    This bill is aimed squarely at foreign sites selling counterfeit goods and intellectual property. It is not to be used against sites operating inside of the United States. Period. At least that's what the language says (not being reported for political/financial reasons).

    Google and other tech companies who's business models subsist on making money off of our content (mainly through ads on torrent sites , etc) have a financial stake in this matter and are using scare tactics. Your internet will not change one iota.

    People need to understand how tech companies like AOL, Google, Facebook are not interested in protecting intellectual property because it limits their users access to content.

    As I sit here and write this from my ivory skyscraper, I can look around the halls and count the number of empty desks that used to be occupied by hard working creative people who's only crime was that the content that they helped make was coveted by pirates and Google execs. That's not hyperbole either.

    We have had 40% layoffs for the last 4 years. It tends to make you quite angry and embittered...

    If Google and the rest were sincerely interested in fighting piracy then they would offer meaningful solutions and take steps to address it. They have not done anything because that would affect their bottom lines.

    They say quaint things like "we're obviously against piracy" but they do nothing to help the video game makers, the movie studios and music industry people who invest huge amounts of time and money making this content.

    This is not about censorship. It's about taking on pirates and the huge tech companies that profit from this traffic.

    If your servers are in the US, you are not culpable. That's how it was written. I have not read it in the last six months so if that's changed I am obviously wrong and disregard.
  23. Rusty Coupe

    Rusty Coupe Rookie

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    Rojo, the entertainment industry already has the tools to go after copyrighted material, and have it removed. The language in in PROTECT/IP SOPA (written by lawyers) is intentionally vague and leaves the whole internet open to censorship.

    Sorry, I do not trust politicians at all to take their word that they will not abuse this power for their own ends at the expense of everyone else.
  24. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    As a five year old can be sued for singing happy birthday to her friend, I figure the laws against priacy are strong enough.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  25. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    You're right, that's what the bill is aimed at - and I understand the main reasons behind it - but the language needs to be written better because it could be a problem for sites like ours with user based content. Unfortunately people exploit loopholes and there are too many that could impact smaller sites like this one.

    Needless to say hopefully they come up with something a little more specific and targeted better.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  26. rojo8401

    rojo8401 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    AS i mentioned Rusty, this bill goes after the FOREIGN SITES that we have no way of shutting down under current law. That's what this bill addresses. You have no idea how brazen the russian, chinese and other foreign pirates sites are. They operate with full impunity within their respective countries. We can't do jack and it's hurting our economy.

    You are correct in your assertion that we have the ability to go after AMERICAN sites that infringe.
  27. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Even if the rest of what you say is correct, why do you assume that nobody in the US looks at foreign sites?

    Also, why do you assume that these unprecedented new censorship powers will never, ever, ever be extended?
  28. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Couldn't the authors of this bill simply put all the concerns to rest by clearly including that it pertains only to FOREIGN ISPs??????

    The ability to shut THEM down quickly is OK with me as long as there are severe penalties for any frivolous/wrong claims by the whistleblowing corporation once it gets to court..

    Make it swift and effective, but lethal to frivolous and wrong accustations.

    Until that is done, what a waste of productivity?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  29. rojo8401

    rojo8401 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Lol. That's unfortunately a real example of bad policing and we're working internally to make sure that crap stops.

    This bill goes after foreign sites that have no interest in protecting American intellectual property and real goods.

    We currently have no legal way to shut these sites down. This bill stops them.

    Your internet will not be censored. That's Google and other pirate-huggers trying to confuse the issue.
  30. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    The problem with those two specific bills is that the language is so poorly written and so broad that a lot of small sites, such as this one will become dangerously exposed to prosecution. In other words it is a corporate sponsored (e.g., heavily lobbied) bill.

    All it would take is one claim (read that again, just a claim, NOT proof) filed in court against a website like this one, to get an injunction to have it shut down until the claim can be heard in a court of law and we all know how long that takes.

    This bill is actually a much better alternative as it directly targets foreign sites that traffic in piracy without disrupting internet protocol.

    KeepTheWebOpen.com
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