Posts tagged sopa

Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society. I call on all web users to demand better legal protection and due process safeguards for the privacy of their online communications, including their right to be informed when someone requests or stores their data.
Tim Berners-Lee, speaking at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Monte Carlo. The Telegraph, Web inventor Berners-Lee warns forces are ‘trying to take control’.

Same as it Ever Was

Browsing through Time Magazine’s covers archive is an exercise in deja vu all over again.

Shown above are Internet-related covers from 1993 to 1996. Looking back years later, the memes and themes of our general interest technology reporting remain about the same. 

The Internet and those who spend a lot of time on it produces a weird, “other” culture. Porn’s an issue. So too cyberwar. Who controls the Internet? It’s been a question for some time now. 

Contemporary equivalents of the above covers?

Images: Selected Time Magazine covers, 1993-1996. Select to embiggen.

When SOPA-PIPA blew up, it was a transformative event. There were eight million e-mails [to elected representatives] in two days. People were dropping their names as co-sponsors within minutes, not hours…

These bills are dead, they’re not coming back. And they shouldn’t… I think we’re better served by sitting down [with the tech sector and SOPA opponents] and seeing what we agree on.

Chris Dodd, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, during a talk at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club earlier this week. Dodd was a US Senator for 30 years before becoming the MPAA’s top lobbyist.

Ars Technica, MPAA chief admits: SOPA and PIPA “are dead, they’re not coming back.”

The Internet Defense League
The Internet can always use more heroes and Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit, and Fight for the Future have formed the Internet Defense League to make it so.
Public enemy number one: ACTA and CISPA style legislation that seems to sprout like mushrooms these days.
Via Forbes:

Ohanian describes the project, which they plan to officially launch next month, as a “Bat-Signal for the Internet.” Any website owner can sign up on the group’s website to add a bit of code to his or her site–or receive that code by email at the time of a certain campaign–that can be triggered in the case of a political crisis like SOPA, adding an activist call-to-action to all the sites involved, such as a widget or banner asking users to sign petitions, call lawmakers, or boycott companies.
“People who wish to be tapped can see, oh look, the Bat-Signal is up. Time to do something,” says Ohanian. “Whatever website you own, this is a way for you to be notified if something comes up and take some basic actions…If we aggregate everyone that’s doing it, the numbers start exploding.”

Developers are encouraged to join the League. GitHub is here, a Google Group here and Tracker is here.

The Internet Defense League

The Internet can always use more heroes and Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit, and Fight for the Future have formed the Internet Defense League to make it so.

Public enemy number one: ACTA and CISPA style legislation that seems to sprout like mushrooms these days.

Via Forbes:

Ohanian describes the project, which they plan to officially launch next month, as a “Bat-Signal for the Internet.” Any website owner can sign up on the group’s website to add a bit of code to his or her site–or receive that code by email at the time of a certain campaign–that can be triggered in the case of a political crisis like SOPA, adding an activist call-to-action to all the sites involved, such as a widget or banner asking users to sign petitions, call lawmakers, or boycott companies.

“People who wish to be tapped can see, oh look, the Bat-Signal is up. Time to do something,” says Ohanian. “Whatever website you own, this is a way for you to be notified if something comes up and take some basic actions…If we aggregate everyone that’s doing it, the numbers start exploding.”

Developers are encouraged to join the League. GitHub is here, a Google Group here and Tracker is here.

Is CISPA Really SOPA’s Evil Twin?
First, check out this infographic.
via Gigaom:

The criticism that, by including a provision for the protection of intellectual property, CISPA is little more than a less-conspicuous form of the draconian SOPA bill seems misguided. CISPA is vague and unnecessarily broad, but it’s not SOPA. In fact, the very same Internet companies that were so adamantly opposed to SOPA might support CISPA. Facebook already does. 
CISPA is actually good, in theory. The idea of sharing cybersecurity information between private companies and the government has merit, especially in a world of increased cyberattacks against organizations in both sectors. If you’re trying to discover patterns in attacks, more data is always better, and web sites are attacked constantly. That they also could have access to classified government data is particularly beneficial.
But CISPA isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s vague to the point of being a problem, which is what’s driving concern over the bill. To me, CISPA doesn’t read like SOPA in disguise, but it doesn’t expressly deny that possibility either.
Probably the biggest problem is what a company is able to do to “protect” itself from such threats. As the EFF points out, CISPA allows companies to “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property of such protected entity.” It also grants companies immunity from lawsuits if they exercise their rights under the bill in good faith.
(Keep Reading)

Infographic by Lumin Consulting
Image via ReadWriteWeb. 

Is CISPA Really SOPA’s Evil Twin?

First, check out this infographic.

via Gigaom:

The criticism that, by including a provision for the protection of intellectual property, CISPA is little more than a less-conspicuous form of the draconian SOPA bill seems misguided. CISPA is vague and unnecessarily broad, but it’s not SOPA. In fact, the very same Internet companies that were so adamantly opposed to SOPA might support CISPA. Facebook already does. 

CISPA is actually good, in theory. The idea of sharing cybersecurity information between private companies and the government has merit, especially in a world of increased cyberattacks against organizations in both sectors. If you’re trying to discover patterns in attacks, more data is always better, and web sites are attacked constantly. That they also could have access to classified government data is particularly beneficial.

But CISPA isn’t perfect. In fact, it’s vague to the point of being a problem, which is what’s driving concern over the bill. To me, CISPA doesn’t read like SOPA in disguise, but it doesn’t expressly deny that possibility either.

Probably the biggest problem is what a company is able to do to “protect” itself from such threats. As the EFF points out, CISPA allows companies to “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property of such protected entity.” It also grants companies immunity from lawsuits if they exercise their rights under the bill in good faith.

(Keep Reading)

Infographic by Lumin Consulting

Image via ReadWriteWeb

Just like I told a French journalist and to the lady at the Washington Post, pirates are thieves and they do steal. Yeah yeah, “when I steal your DVD, you have no DVD, but when I copy a file, you still have a file” – I get that BS. We all know that it’s BS too. However, SOPAs and PIPAs create tyranny. If given the choice between thieves and tyranny, I’d rather stay with the thieves.

Suren Ter, creator of YouHaveDownloaded.com to Privacy Online News.

You Have Downloaded indexes IP addresses that have been used to download torrent files. If you visit the site, it will display what files have been downloaded on your network. 

The site, says Ter, is a proof of concept to show visitors what the entertainment industry might see as it tracks downloads across peer-to-peer networks.

H/T: Slashdot.

via Social Times:

The waves of the Reddit sea have grown tumultuous as Internet privacy laws like SOPA have threatened to derange the treasured free speech of the web.  Reddit, a staunch critic of any move to restrict freedom, have drafted a crowd-sourced privacy bill that would protect web user’s rights.

Creators of the act seek to prevent any kind of internet censorship, yet simultaneously protect copyrighted work. The suggested timetable leads to a completed documented by April 1, the same day the European Citizen’s Initiative site opens. Toward international reach, Downing_Street_Cat, author of the timetable, calls for “a bit of research into internet laws in different countries.” A good idea indeed. I wonder how the free speech vs. privacy debate will play into this.
The act is being drafted on a Google Doc, which has been updated since Social Times reported it and discussion is still pretty dynamic. Check out these quick links to follow the action:
The Free Internet Act Subreddit
The FIA Discussion Page
The Google Docs
To get an understanding of the act, I’d read the 24th February view-only version, which has some pretty interesting editing suggestions on it, and then check the discussion page for updates. This evening, the “editable” version is a fun-to-watch live document of tremendous nonsense, periodically deleted of all relevant content and then replaced again.

via Social Times:

The waves of the Reddit sea have grown tumultuous as Internet privacy laws like SOPA have threatened to derange the treasured free speech of the web.  Reddit, a staunch critic of any move to restrict freedom, have drafted a crowd-sourced privacy bill that would protect web user’s rights.

Creators of the act seek to prevent any kind of internet censorship, yet simultaneously protect copyrighted work. The suggested timetable leads to a completed documented by April 1, the same day the European Citizen’s Initiative site opens. Toward international reach, Downing_Street_Cat, author of the timetable, calls for “a bit of research into internet laws in different countries.” A good idea indeed. I wonder how the free speech vs. privacy debate will play into this.

The act is being drafted on a Google Doc, which has been updated since Social Times reported it and discussion is still pretty dynamic. Check out these quick links to follow the action:

To get an understanding of the act, I’d read the 24th February view-only version, which has some pretty interesting editing suggestions on it, and then check the discussion page for updates. This evening, the “editable” version is a fun-to-watch live document of tremendous nonsense, periodically deleted of all relevant content and then replaced again.

Y Combinator wants to Kill Hollywood

youmightfindyourself:

Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.

That’s one reason we want to fund startups that will compete with movies and TV, but not the main reason. The main reason we want to fund such startups is not to protect the world from more SOPAs, but because SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they’re resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention. When a striker is fouled in the penalty area, he doesn’t stop as long as he still has control of the ball; it’s only when he’s beaten that he turns to appeal to the ref. SOPA shows Hollywood is beaten. And yet the audiences to be captured from movies and TV are still huge. There is a lot of potential energy to be liberated there.

How do you kill the movie and TV industries? Or more precisely (since at this level, technological progress is probably predetermined) what is going to kill them? Mostly not what they like to believe is killing them, filesharing. What’s going to kill movies and TV is what’s already killing them: better ways to entertain people. So the best way to approach this problem is to ask yourself: what are people going to do for fun in 20 years instead of what they do now?

There will be several answers, ranging from new ways to produce and distribute shows, through new media (e.g. games) that look a lot like shows but are more interactive, to things (e.g. social sites and apps) that have little in common with movies and TV except competing with them for finite audience attention. Some of the best ideas may initially look like they’re serving the movie and TV industries. Microsoft seemed like a technology supplier to IBM before eating their lunch, and Google did the same thing to Yahoo.

It would be great if what people did instead of watching shows was exercise more and spend more time with their friends and families. Maybe they will. All other things being equal, we’d prefer to hear about ideas like that. But all other things are decidedly not equal. Whatever people are going to do for fun in 20 years is probably predetermined. Winning is more a matter of discovering it than making it happen. In this respect at least, you can’t push history off its course. You can, however, accelerate it.

What’s the most entertaining thing you can build?

Young People Following SOPA. Old(er) People, Not So Much

Each week the Pew Research Center releases its News Interest Index examining the most followed stories in the US market. 

Last week’s top stories were the sunken Italian cruise ship and the 2012 US elections.

SOPA also happened last week and it comes in at a somewhat respectable fourth (just after economic news stories). But what’s interesting is how it registered across age groups.

While just seven percent of people overall say they followed the SOPA debate, 23 percent of those under 30 surveyed say they followed news about the anti-piracy bill. That 23 percent is higher for this age group than any other news story.

Currently SOPA is off the table as lawmakers tinker with it to make it more “amenable” for re-introduction. As a congressional aid tells ReadWriteWeb, “I think, like anything else, if there’s not strong constituent opposition, it makes it easier for us to move forward on issues like this.”

Something to consider as older demographics largely ignore SOPA and other legislation affecting copyright.



Frederic Filloux says Piracy is a big part of the digital ecosystem, and its role is both revered and ridiculed:
 

In October 2003, Wired ran this interesting piece about a company specialized in tracking entertainment contents over the internet. BigChampagne, located in Beverly Hills, is for the digital era what Billboard magazine was in the analog world. Except that BigChampagne is essentially tracking illegal contents that circulates on the web. It does so with incredible precision by matching IP numbers and zip code, finding out what’s hot on peer-to-peer networks. In his Wired piece, Jeff Howe explains:
BigChampagne’s clients can pull up information about popularity and market share (what percentage of file-sharers have a given song). They can also drill down into specific markets - to see, for example, that 38.35 percent of file-sharers in Omaha, Nebraska, have a song from the new 50 Cent album.
No wonder some clients pay BigChampagne up to $40,000 a month for such data. They  use BigChampagne’s valuable intelligence to apply gentle pressure on local radio station to air the very tunes favored by downloaders. For a long time, illegal file-sharing has been a powerful market and promotional tool for the music industry.

Piracy is still a problem, especially for software giants like Microsoft. Filloux points out that in China, so rampant is the problem of digital piracy for the company, that Microsoft sales are the same there as in the Netherlands, a country with just 16 million people—many of whom must be paying full fare for computer programs.

Frederic Filloux says Piracy is a big part of the digital ecosystem, and its role is both revered and ridiculed:

 

In October 2003, Wired ran this interesting piece about a company specialized in tracking entertainment contents over the internet. BigChampagne, located in Beverly Hills, is for the digital era what Billboard magazine was in the analog world. Except that BigChampagne is essentially tracking illegal contents that circulates on the web. It does so with incredible precision by matching IP numbers and zip code, finding out what’s hot on peer-to-peer networks. In his Wired piece, Jeff Howe explains:

BigChampagne’s clients can pull up information about popularity and market share (what percentage of file-sharers have a given song). They can also drill down into specific markets - to see, for example, that 38.35 percent of file-sharers in Omaha, Nebraska, have a song from the new 50 Cent album.

No wonder some clients pay BigChampagne up to $40,000 a month for such data. They  use BigChampagne’s valuable intelligence to apply gentle pressure on local radio station to air the very tunes favored by downloaders. For a long time, illegal file-sharing has been a powerful market and promotional tool for the music industry.

Piracy is still a problem, especially for software giants like Microsoft. Filloux points out that in China, so rampant is the problem of digital piracy for the company, that Microsoft sales are the same there as in the Netherlands, a country with just 16 million people—many of whom must be paying full fare for computer programs.

Jon Stewart on SOPA

I had to find out about SOPA and with Wikipedia down I had to turn to a notoriously unreliable source… the news.

Rushing something with such potential for far-reaching consequences is something I cannot support and that’s why I will not only vote against moving the bill forward next week but also remove my cosponsorship of the bill. Given the legitimate vocal concerns, it is imperative that we take a step back to allow everyone to come together and find a reasonable solution.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in a statement this afternoon coming out in opposition to PIPA, a bill he formerly cosponsored.
Your Images on SOPA
Via Steve Jurvetson.

Your Images on SOPA

Via Steve Jurvetson.

SOPA and PIPA are prime examples of big companies trying to do everything they can to stop new competitors from innovating. They’re also examples of how lobbying in the United States has become one of the most effective ways of limiting this sort of competition.
James Allworth and Maxwell Wessel, Harvard Business Review. The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath.