SOPA / PIPA -- Why screw us?

Posted on January 19, 2012

Its really unfortunate that our congressmen drop to their knees when several money-holding media companies start bribing them indirectly by promising power through additional campaign funds.

This whole thing backtracks 20 years ago when they all flipped out about the record-able video tape. After tons and tons of push to ban this new technology, Congress said “Back off. Its Fine to record and share with friends. Its Fine to make mixtapes or derivative works and share with friends. It is not fine to take original works or derivative works without license and selling to others.”

And so they went to Plan B. Use tons of money, and the DMCA happened. Legally allowing the media company to break your digital device’ s functionality to what they want in order for you to even consume their content.

Does the Sony CD virus sound familiar?

It should. It was released on 50 or more titles where it was installed without the consent of the user.

The SOPA and PIPA exist so that media companies with BIG ESTABLISHED can send a special letter to any company that thrives on user created content. Where if the company that receives the letter does not comply within 5 days, the media company can start suing ANY members directly or indirectly involved with serving that content. That includes but is not limited to Data centers, Web hosters, ISPs, etc. can be sued to an oblivion even though they were only transmitting and passing data, which is what their job is.

Now, Youtube usually complies immediately as to avoid damage charges for letting it go online for that duration. Next, It has provisions which break the internet infrastructure. You can’ t just take a DNS record out and expect it to be the same within a specific area. Either its not on that specific servers, or all the servers. Its meant to be a distributed and stable system.

These politicians do not understand how the network works, nor what implications it has. If we did do this, we would lose our authority on the internet, and become a segmented space on the internet. Websites created in the US will not be served outside because their names will not resolve. They will not resolve because the foreign DNS servers will no longer respect our information. Which is the case with Iran.

This means that businesses created in the US will not be able to set up a web-based business globally, unless they spent the time and money to set up servers and domains outside of the US. This will result in less economic power to small businesses and will ultimately not create new jobs.

Next, By giving these powerful powers(yes–redundantly redundant) to the media companies, this effectively allows them to quietly shove any competing business into the ground. We’ re in a day and age where a non-internet business isn’ t a business at all. If people cannot get information about one, they won’ t bother calling, or investigating further.

These bills create a Mount Olympus for the big guys. Shoving down anyone else who they don’ t like under supposed copyright infringement. Its no longer innocent until proven guilty, its guilty until you spend a lot of money and time in courts. Going bankrupt in the process. The big guys just want YOU to sit on that couch and consume. They will make 400000 more Disney movies with the same exact plot and formula with different names and settings. To an even more ridiculous extent than how unimaginative Pokemon is now.

Next, these bills do NOT fight piracy. They do not disable any of the means which software pirates obtain the content they do. They might make it harder to do it from a public library computer, but given any piece of perfectly legal software, usually open source, which can be used for non-legitimate things as well as legitimate, anyone can get anything.

The only means to stop pirates is to remove the incentive, not to place a deterrent. Especially since they are doing all this for free.

Now, what’ s the definition of a pirate? The way I see it is that they illegitimately displace some good wherein the destination or purpose from the provider does not reach its goal.

A thief who steals DVDs from a rental store would be considered a pirate. A person who jacks oil tankers is a pirate.

But… A computer, which by its function copies data from Point A to Point B, computes, and pushes to Point C. In order to play a video from a DVD, it has to be read from the DVD drive to the RAM, then processed and shoved to the graphics processor. In order to watch youtube, data must read from a server, copied to RAM, sent over network, copied to ram each time it hits a networking device on the way, pushed until it finally hits that computer, then it copies to RAM, processes it, and pushes to the graphics card and sound device.

Copying is a natural function of computers, It is the only way it can work.

Is that displacing anyone’ s good? Is the original provider no longer able to take that good and place it in the hands of the legitimate recipient? No. They are still able to sell their works as physical disks, or give paying subscribers a stream of the content like Netflix.

Who supposedly pirates? Usually people who want to try things out, or people that would not have payed for it in the first place. Did that displace funds from the person who made it? No. The funds would never have gotten to them in a theoretical space.

Would taking said content and selling it as your own be damaging? Yes, because funds which should have gone to them is not going to them.

Having something equivalent to a 100% scanning customs border office in the network would create such intense latency that it might as well not be worth connecting to outside servers. Imagine if every time you wanted to visit Wikipedia, and they had their servers out in England, you would be waiting 5 seconds to 20 minutes. That virtual customs office would be constantly saturated that it would literally take several instances of New York City in Electricity use just to process it. Is that feasible? I don’ t think so, but these politicians who refuse to balance the budget think it might.

Back to the point, SOPA and PIPA are not about removing piracy. Its impossible with the provisions they have. What they do allow is for big companies to stifle creativity and innovation. Further making everyone consumers, not creators or artists. This is not about the government censoring the web, its about the companies censoring the web. Its just to further their monopoly into an encapsulated environment where there’ s a dedicated amount of revenue, and they don’ t want anyone else to come in to take part of the feast they reap every second of the living day. Its a LEGAL MONOPOLY. Just like Patents. Patents originally existed as a stronger form of copyright so inventors didn’ t have to worry about others capitalizing on their hard work and research. Now, its all about preventing others from using concepts which are universally foundational to establish a business. This is why Apple is suing Samsung in Germany, Australia, everywhere but the US where dominance is already set. It no longer serves the individuals, because apparently Corporations are individuals(which happen to have tons of slaves and money) as far as the legality is concerned.

Also, Don’ t trust the whitehouse right now, just because they said they questioned the provisions of SOPA. Obama has a public image to save until his last term, which he will likely win as incumbent. After that, he’ ll do whatever will benefit him.

Moral of the story, Respect original artists, Not the people that try to suck your money by stabbing everyone else who might. Sharing is Caring. Not Stealing. You have a right to share what you’ ve worked on with others. Although in 1990 Hollywood wanted to say otherwise to a 60 year old lady. What we have here will not stop pirates, it won’ t even slow them down. It will only make us a fragmented state from the rest of the world. Like China, Like Iran.

Over 20 artists, including Snoop, worked with MegaDownload and MegaVideo. You know what happened? They got shut down as of January 19th.

The media guys don’ t like it. Even when the company, like youtube, respected all of the DMCA requests which these guys sent to them.

Additionally, near Washington DC, at an ISP, Cognet Communications, all employees are being detained (Convenience much?) in relation to a Mega-Related warrant.

The media groups don’ t want US, the PEOPLE, to create. They want US to CONSUME. They want a static world where power is theirs and no one else’ s. They want to be ruthless Gods, controlling vast domains of slaves, all for their worldly benefit.

Meanwhile…

Lastly, The TSA isn’ t going to be stepping down any time soon. They are expanding like cancer.

They can detain you for undefined Reasonable suspicion. They remove your right to protect yourself, your right to arms, your right to assembly, and they can do it supposedly legally too. Now, I’ m okay with not allowing guns, or daggers into Airports. But I’ m not okay with how they are trying to supposedly secure all of our internal transportation! Dangers aren’ t going to come from our own people unless they are insane! All others are because we’ ve screwed them over by giving them crack or meth (Russia), or Opium (Iran / Iraq), or others.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

-Benjamin Franklin

He even got fan letters.

EDIT: Looks like we have finally had some payback.