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Where are SVC and Jean on January 18, 2011?
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Jean
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Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 1297

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Where are SVC and Jean on January 18, 2011? Reply with quote

We don't think SOPA or PIPA is a good idea and while we aren't going to take down our BBS, Forum, our page on Facebook, our website, or our web storefront, there won't be any other posts by us here until after 5:00 pm CST as too many of our news outlets could be a target of this legislation. We aren't going to post a blog on StarBlog because too many blogging sites might be closed. We (the Steves and Jean) won't be posting on the BBS this afternoon, because our Forum and BBS would be possible targets if a fan posted something that was too close to forbidden territory.

While we don't condone piracy, SOPA and PIPA are too broadly written and would adversely affect all entities with websites or fan-contributed content, in our opinion. You may choose to post, but we won't respond until after our self-imposed blackout. -- Jean
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Jean
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We (as a society) need to do something about internet piracy.

The problem is file-sharing sites (and peer to peer indexes) that allow copyrighted stuff to be freely passed around, without penalty when they are caught. I hear lawyers talk about "we need to have due process" which means you have to pay a lawyer to get any penalty imposed, and that's a process that is ridciulously out of reach for all but two or three wargame and/or RPG companies.

I don't have a solution, but I want one. I want to start with a law that says that no file sharing site can let a document go live until a human being looks for a copyright notice. I am aware that this simply means the dishonest thieves (as opposed to the honest ones) will then just (criminally) remove the copyright notice from the document they are sharing. At least that would stop the honest thieves (the good old boys who just think the internet should be free and don't have the technical skills to move a copyright notice).

Beyond that, I don't know. Few understand fair use. If somebody posted a poem on my BBS or forum and I didn't recognize it as a copyrighted work from Khalil Gibrahn (however his name is spelled) I don't want to be fined (at least not very much) but if somebody posts an entire frakking book on a website I think somebody needs to get fined real money (not just required to remove it). Of course, I realize that just means people who delight in posting copyrighted books will post them on a website in Piratistan which refuses to respect copyright laws. Then we can go to the Great Firewall of America which blocks US citizens from getting to copyright pirate websites in Piratistan which works great until some government blocks American citizens from getting to editorials criticising that government. Oh well.

I'd love to have a system where if you find a copyrighted book on a pirate website you tell the US government and when that website has been caught with 1000 books it gets shut down (and it then reopens the next day under a new domain name) and the owners get prosecuted (assuming you can actually find them).

I don't have an answer, but I want one.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your issue is lawyers and paying for due process then how does any new law help? There are already laws against piracy, I'm not seeing how any new laws help if the issue is the legal system and courts etc.

The only way around that seems to be corporations (or individuals) being able to freely bring charges against others on a guilty until proven innocent approach, with immediate punishment even prior to proving innocent. That seems scary. To an extent that is already happening, it is not just small companies who cannot afford lawers, it is the accused as well. There have been plenty of cases highlighted in the press over the years where it appears the accused is innocent yet is effectively blackmailed into paying fines due the cost of defending themselves.


I wonder whether IP laws will even survive in anything like its current guise. I know from my own discussions with my own children that the concept of IP is something they really struggle to grasp. IP has always been based on a legal fiction, and that fiction is, for some IP types, looking ever more fictitious and harder to defend to the coming generation who grow up with the internet (and its legitimate concepts of freely available information) and a lack of physical copy. Give it 20 years and I think democratic govts will struggle to defend the current IP laws at all (non democratic obviously don't need to defend it anyway).

I don't think IP owners have helped themselves over the last generation or 2 either. There have been plenty of draconian laws to 'protect right holders' and plenty of term extensions (even retrospective). IP was seen at one time as a give and take between creative industry and society being able to advance/improve prior arts/ideas/creative stuff, it seems to have moved to more just about extending the rights of one side of that equation for most of my life. If a term of 28 years was considered acceptable in the early days of the USA why is 95 years seen as needed now?

Maybe the cost of bringing cases should be seen as the quid pro quo of all the extensions etc the rights holders have had.

Non of the above means I'm against IP laws nor that I ignore it or enage in piracy - I don't, but I do think that it needs a radical over haul if it is survive the next generation. The more the likes of the music industry push for draconian laws/extensions the more they shoot them selves in the foot, it is not far off to say any force will be met by an equal and opposite force. If the creative industries don't back some change manifestly in favor of society (as opposed to themselves ) I suspect it will eventually be forced on them in a way they may not like.
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Jean
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf, SVC isn't for SOPA or PIPA as written. However, there truly is an issue with some sites and somehow those sites need to be targeted. The bills above as they are currently proposed are far too broad and can be used in very negative ways.

I don't know how IP laws will progress. The lifespan of people has increased -- a wise old man was in his thirties back when the Constitution was written. Now "old" is quite different. I do know that it will change and that we'll need to watch it and as a culture try to shape the laws to benefit us all -- creators and users.
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storeylf
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh - I could see he wasn't for SOPA etc. I wasn't querying that. I see he said he didn't know the solution.

I find IP laws and the friction it causes interesting thats all. I agree with what you are saying in many ways.
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The_Rock
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Joined: 16 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure that the solution is not more a matter of resource allocation than it is new laws.

Libraries, physical ones, are analogs to digital file sharing. People can, and do, go into libraries, check out material such as DVDs and CDs and copy them. That is theft no different than if they DL'ed it from a file sharing site.

I suppose it is theoretically possible that people go in, get books, and scan them in. But that is a ton of work and almost always just go buy the book (even if your morals don't tell you to do so, the value of your time should).

Both scanning and photocopying of other written material - mostly journal articles - certainly happens.

But even so, we would not want to hold libraries responsible for what people do with the material they check out. We would want to hold the people responsible.

The problem is, we don't. As a society we have apparently decided that it is not worth our time to investigate and prosecute that form of theft even though we do find it worth our time to investigate and prosecute petty crime of similar economic harm (such as shop lifting and other petty larceny).

I think, at least in part, Lee is right that the RIAA being such aggressive dicks may have something to do with our societal attitudes, but I think there is more to it than that as, at least in part, no small number of people wouldn't consider downloading files (or copying a borrowed CD) a wrong, much less a crime.

Either way, I think this is where the ball has been dropped. People don't look at IP theft in the same way they look at stealing $5 from someone's pocket. They should. Certainly, those people whose income is primarily IP based look at it that way. But there are not enough of such people such that, as you say, you want to distinguish the "honest thieves." I am, like you, also with out a good solution, but I do feel that whatever solution, to be effective, it needs to be an attitude change, not (exclusively) a legal change. I don't know a single person who would answer "yes" to "if you knew that nothing would ever be done to you, would you steal $5 from a stranger's wallet?"
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mjwest
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

storeylf wrote:
If a term of 28 years was considered acceptable in the early days of the USA why is 95 years seen as needed now?

Because Walt Disney Co. has the money and power to make it happen. Seriously. That's a huge part of it.

And 95 years is ridiculous. Longer lifespans or not, 95 years is just abusive. Unfortunately, it isn't going to stop at 95 years, either. Just watch for when Steamboat Willy is about to slip into the public domain to see when the term of copyright will be extended yet again.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suspect a lot of what Disney was able to do, resulted, because they started protecting their stuff on Day One, not wait until it became a problem, which is what the music (then the movie) industry did ---

Kinda like the ant and grasshopper, Disney the ant, the rest a grasshopper ---
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mjwest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apples and Oranges.

What the Disney action I described is about is copyright. It is not about someone pirating their material; it is about someone legitimately using what they consider their material because it finally slipped into the public domain. That is the whole point of their perpetual war to endlessly extend copyright: To make sure no one has right to use Mickey Mouse in any forum outside their express written permission. Ever.

RIAA (which includes Disney, BTW, in some form) is primary focused on piracy. Whether copyright ends in 28 years or 95 years or 950 years, the fact remains that pirated stuff has legitimate copyright now, yet those rights are being violated. So, Disney is as much the grasshopper on the piracy issue as is anyone else on the issue.

In short, the 95+ year issue is about maintaining copyright. RIAA, SOPA, and PIPA are about protecting that right against piracy. Really, they are two completely separate topics.
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, that. I routinely sign things (where I feel that the person requiring the signature is being a Jobsworth) as 'M. Mouse' just to see if anyone notices. Wonder if that's copyright theft, then, given that my name is not actually M. Mouse?
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Kang
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also thank you, ADB, for joining many other Web users (like Wikipedia and so on) in making this stand.

This is truly a nasty piece of legislation which could ruin the fun level of the Internet for the purposes of a small minority of its users, who imo don't deserve to be allowed to use such a wonderful resource.
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with most bills these days, there are multiple laws on the books that aren't being used to their full extend, if at all ---

Are these two bills really necessary or are there not laws to not being utilized ---
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Jean
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For libraries, most libraries do cover themselves. In our library:
Every recorded piece of media that we circulate has a prominent label informing the patron it is illegal to copy it.
Digital copy information is made unavailable or the digital copy is trashed so the first person who gets the DVD doesn't get an additional free copy.
Every copying machine has a copyright notice over it.
No librarian helps patrons photocopy anything that could be considered protected.
Prior to sending copies of things to other libraries, the borrowing library must certify it falls under Fair Use.
If photocopied articles are used more than once on reserve, then permission is secured or the articles are not allowed back on.

Libraries that have not followed those rules have indeed been prosecuted and lost. Folks who did course packs now don't. In our case, most students don't use print resources now as most journals are online.

I think that some of the abuses come from not understanding that what a person can do in college while doing research is different from what an individual can do for his personal pleasure (and avoiding paying for things). It's a slippery slope from "Sony won't miss this" to "ADB won't miss this." People don't think that stealing a copy of the MRB affects Steve Cole, Leanna Cole, Steven Petrick, Michael Sparks, and Joel Shutts. They'd never steal from those PEOPLE, but not paying a COMPANY is fine.

Sad

I've been stolen from before, losing things I cared about, losing a much loved dog, losing money. Theft hurts. Hiding behind words like "torrents" is a way to isolate oneself from the real word of "steal."
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Bolo_MK_XL
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They'd never steal from those PEOPLE, but not paying a COMPANY is fine.


Don't recall off top of my head, but someone prominent said "Corporations are people" and took a hit for it --- but what he said was exactly right, though no one wanted to hear that, it messed up their agenda ---
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