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Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

The Companies Who Support Censoring the Internet 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the list-you-don't-want-to-be-on dept.
RichiH writes "From Techdirt: 'A group of companies sent a letter to to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE boss John Morton (with cc's to VP Joe Biden, Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley), supporting the continued seizure of domain names they don't like, as well as the new COICA censorship bill, despite the serious Constitutional questions raised about how such seizures violate due process and free speech principles.' A full list of companies who you might want to avoid buying from is included, as well."
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The Companies Who Support Censoring the Internet

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  • Wall Street rules (Score:5, Insightful)

    by countertrolling (1585477) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:34PM (#34935898) Journal

    Diversified investment portfolios make boycotts virtually worthless.

    Looks at list... Oh yeah, we're gonna stop these guys.. Hope and Change, right?

    • Diversified investment portfolios make boycotts virtually worthless.

      Looks at list... Oh yeah, we're gonna stop these guys.. Hope and Change, right?

      Lol, at the bottom of the /. page right now:

      Everywhere I look I see NEGATIVITY and ASPHALT ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997)

      How about instead of snark, you contact your senators and representative, and vote for liberals (that's liberals, not Democrats) whenever possible? There are people in government trying to block this, you know. Hell, it'd already be law if not for Senator Wyden.

      People who insist that voting doesn't matter aren't just part of the problem, they're the entirety of the problem. If they all voted, we'd have more than enough votes to toss out anyone who didn't respect the people.

      • by countertrolling (1585477) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:07AM (#34936146) Journal

        ...vote for liberals...

        I'll have to conscript one. There are no liberals volunteering to serve. A lot of posers, but nothing realistic. And anybody who actually wants the job is probably unfit. It's better to reign in their authority no matter who we vote for. They have way too much power.

      • How about instead of snark, you contact your senators and representative, and vote for liberals (that's liberals, not Democrats) whenever possible? There are people in government trying to block this, you know. Hell, it'd already be law if not for Senator Wyden.

        My senators and representatives? What am I, Comcast?

        There may be the odd politician that will throw us a bone, but given the current electoral vetting process you can be damn sure that most of them never even make it onto the ballot. I do vote, bu

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        People who insist that voting doesn't matter aren't just part of the problem, they're the entirety of the problem. If they all voted, we'd have more than enough votes to toss out anyone who didn't respect the people.

        Excuse me?

        Sorry; firstly, me not enabling your government by voting is my right, in fact, it is one of the rights your system gave me. Secondly, if your system is going to fall over and shit it self like this every time someone doesn't vote just right, I have news for you. The system was broken from the get go.

        Fix the system not the people.

        • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:48AM (#34936366)

          Excuse me?

          Sorry; firstly, me not enabling your government by voting is my right, in fact, it is one of the rights your system gave me. Secondly, if your system is going to fall over and shit it self like this every time someone doesn't vote just right, I have news for you. The system was broken from the get go.

          Fix the system not the people.

          See, you're confused. You say you don't want to "enable the government by voting". That's wrong on two counts:

          1) The government is just a system. It doesn't need "enabling". It just is.
          2) The plutocrats and corrupt politicians that you really have a problem with don't need your vote. They win by default when you don't vote. It is by not voting that you "enable" them.

          Be an apathetic coward wallowing in self-pity if you like, you have that right, but don't delude yourself into believing that it isn't that very act that is causing the problem.

          • by countertrolling (1585477) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @02:10AM (#34936722) Journal

            It is by not voting that you "enable" them.

            Au contraire. Your vote implies your consent to their authority. Refusal to vote means refusal to consent. The government will assert its authority regardless, but not voting is a perfectly legitimate form of resistance.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by CptCarrot (1579117)
              Only problem with that is, that not voting isn't really resisting, it's capitulation. The only way of resisting is voting for someone else (you do know that there are more than two parties in your country, don't you?). Or you could, well I don't know, join one of the parties and try to change them from the inside. Just saying the system sucks because it doesn't do what you want for you, and then not going to vote is just lazy. Resisting means doing something to change things, not just sit and watch. But tha
              • Change things from *inside* a democratic system? Great idea! How about... we all stop voting! Yeah, that'll show 'em! Lets cancel out their phony elections by not showing up en masse. But oh, wait, according to you, withholding your vote from a system you choose to not participate in because your moral standards don't allow you to is lazy.

              • by russotto (537200) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @11:31AM (#34939958) Journal

                Only problem with that is, that not voting isn't really resisting, it's capitulation.

                Whether you vote or not really has little to do with whether you are resisting or capitulating.

                There is a school of thought which says that if you vote, you're accepting the legitimacy of the system and the outcome and if you lost, you should just sit down and shut up. There is also a school of thought which says that by not voting you are forfeiting your voice and you should just sit down and shut up. Both of these arguments are usually employed by smug supporters of the status quo.

                The only way of resisting is voting for someone else (you do know that there are more than two parties in your country, don't you?).

                Voting for Rand Paul or Ru Paul or Ralph Nader or Mickey Mouse doesn't change anything either.

                Or you could, well I don't know, join one of the parties and try to change them from the inside.

                You won't be able to attain power within the party without compromising yourself enough so that it's _you_ who changes rather than the party. "Change the system from within" is, again, an argument of smug supporters of the status quo.

                Just saying the system sucks because it doesn't do what you want for you, and then not going to vote is just lazy. Resisting means doing something to change things, not just sit and watch. But that's just mho.

                It's not laziness to refuse to bother with methods which cannot work. Tilting at windmills is quixotic; arguing with them is a waste of breath. Unless you have some way of getting sand in the bearing or knocking down the base, you're best off just letting the windmill be and working around it the best you can.

          • by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:40AM (#34937278) Journal

            Riiiight, because when your choices are "Rich corrupt POS corporate ass kisser" A or B you can change the system by voting. And maybe if I think really hard I can grow wings out my butt and fly south for the winter. As long as the MSM is owned by the megacorps you can pretty much give up anybody actually getting a third party elected for anything but local races because they will never get seen enough to even be a blip on the radar.

            I sat out the last election, so I'll give you the choices for senate and you tell me oh wise one how voting would have changed shit. On the one hand you had Bozeman, whose entire platform is pretty much "Pro Life 4ever!" and on the other side you had Blanche Lincoln, a DINO that sucked corporate dick so much she should have had kneepads sown into her dresses. There was a green guy but he never got to debate, or run a single ad, or pretty much do anything at all so he had as much of a chance of winning as you do hitting the powerball.

            So tell me oh wise one how EXACTLY is voting changing shit when you get choices like that? As long as we have a two party system we have NO voice, because it is simply too easy for the corps to simply buy both sides and call it a day. Hell look at the choices for the last 3 presidential elections, the highest office in the land. That is the BEST we could come up with? Really? There is a good reason why fewer and fewer people are voting, it is because they see the system is too corrupt to change in this manner. Trying to fix the system by voting is like saying you can win at Three Card Monty if you really keep your eyes on the lady when in actuality you are just watching a show while the guy behind you picks your pocket.

        • by shentino (1139071)

          Hear hear!

          Especially when we get suckered by wolves peeling off their sheep suits once they're voted in because we can't fire them after they show their true colors.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You think your vote actually counts? Heh. Tell it to Diebold.
      • by mrnobo1024 (464702) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:09AM (#34936454)

        People who insist that voting doesn't matter aren't just part of the problem, they're the entirety of the problem. If they all voted, we'd have more than enough votes to toss out anyone who didn't respect the people.

        People who realize that voting doesn't matter are a tiny minority of the population. We are outnumbered 100 to 1 by the ignorant masses who buy into the phony conflicts between Democrats and Republicans, and don't even know what the actually important issues are (i.e. the ones where both parties always stand together against the public interest).

        • by mjwx (966435)

          People who realize that voting doesn't matter are a tiny minority of the population. We are outnumbered 100 to 1 by the ignorant masses

          100 to 1 still means there are 3 million of you, if you could congregate in one state then you should be able to guide political processes without worrying about the mouth breathing masses.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        No-one who wants genuine change could get the media airtime required to stand a chance of being elected.

        • Re:Wall Street rules (Score:5, Interesting)

          by orphiuchus (1146483) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:27AM (#34937642)

          I think a big part of the problem is that actual systemic change isn't the sort of thing that happens without casualties. Every time in history that a society has attempted to redesign itself all at once, on the level that most internet-dwelling political savants want, it has led to either a civil war or mass starvation.

          Change isn't free.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Do you have any words of encouragement for the few prudent voters drowning in a herd of sheeple that are hypnotized by corporate run media?

    • Re:Wall Street rules (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:02AM (#34936116)

      Yeah. Awesome - I'll just make sure that I move out of Oregon so that I'm in on way supporting Nike, Adidas, or Columbia Sportswear (WTF?) through state business breaks of any kind. And discontinue my access to the internet, so I'm not supporting those companies And then I'll be sure not to watch a significant chunk of movies, from the film companies below. Or video games, since about 50% of games seem to come from Activision.

      The thing is, I understand the concerns of these companies. I understand that they want to be able to attack forgeries piracy, wherever they may originate (and note, by "piracy", I mean the guys who make and sell copies of digital and other content and sell it for a profit as their own; not some kid in his basement playing an illegitimate copy of a game that he downloaded).

      I just don't understand why so many are entertaining the idea - neigh, supporting it - of violating so many rights in such clear and offensive ways. Why not support bringing lawsuits against people who run domains like "CheapNikeKnockoffsRightHere.com" and then sell forgeries for a tenth the cost of the real thing rather than supporting yanking their domains without due process? In fact, yanking the domains should be a lengthy formal process; not a whim.

      Also . . . ICE? Immigration? WTF?

      Also . . . isn't it great that DHS/Homeland Security is now involved in EVERYTHING? The fate of the entire country is at stake! Code orange must now be raised to terrorism code red, because this guy has a dozen fake Rolexes! Oh noes!

      Oh well. I still have netflix, starbucks, minivans, teh baby jebus, and nascar -- and as an American, that's all I need to be content and shut my mouth and look the other way.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        Why not support bringing lawsuits against people who run domains like "CheapNikeKnockoffsRightHere.com" and then sell forgeries for a tenth the cost of the real thing rather than supporting yanking their domains without due process?

        Because any judgments stemming from such lawsuits would be unlikely to even pay their legal bills, let alone recoup the financial losses. They're in a no win situation - sue and loose money, or don't sue and lose money. Just yanking domains is a much simpler alternative.

        I'm not saying I agree with them, but I do sympathize. I'd like to think I wouldn't compromise my own principles if put in that situation, but with millions of dollars on the line things tend to get a bit tense.

      • by ScentCone (795499)
        ICE? immigration? WTF?

        So here you are making what sounds like a complex complaint about all of this, and you can't be bothered to look up what the "C" stands for?
    • by cez (539085)
      not worthless! Vote with your wallet. I know I'm personally never going to Xerox anything ever again or any derivative thereof... that will show them!
    • Diversified investment portfolios make boycotts virtually worthless.

      Wrong. The diversified investment portfolios only give money to the current shareholders and the "financial advisors" (read as: investment salesmen). When you buy stock, you don't buy it from the company, but from the previous stockholder (unless it happens to be from a current company associate). The companies whose stock is public, ALREADY got their money from their Initial Public Offerings.

      Boycotts do affect companies, as you don't affect their initial invetment, but their cashflow. Boycott a company long enough (and with enough people), and then they'll start worrying. By the way, with negative publicity, their stock values will decrease, and the stock the current owners are already holding will see their investment in jeopardy. The trick is to have your boycott reach enough people.

      Alternate suggestion: Publish the negative stuff on twitter (I am not a lawyer, so be careful with libel lawsuits).

    • by Eraesr (1629799)
      Sorry, I'm out.
      D'addario is on the list and I just can't shed their guitar strings like that :-(
    • Re:Wall Street rules (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:41AM (#34939338) Homepage Journal

      It's a little late for hope. I know mine's completely gone. I was disgusted by the letter from the companies to the government. It was full of lies and half truths. Some choice snippets that particularly galled me:

      We run companies large and small that represent diverse aspects of America's intellectual property community.

      There is no "intellectual property community", there are various and diverse artists, inventors, and technologists who have nothing to do with each other.

      While our employees live in different regions of the country, and work to produce a variety of goods and services, they have several important things in common - they work hard, they are committed to quality and innovation and they welcome competition.

      Jesus H. Christ, what unmitigated bullshit! The RIAA is after file sharers not because they're losing money to pirates (studies show that pirates spend more on music than non-pirates), it's a blow agaisnt the indie artists who can't get radio airplay and depend on P2P. The indies are the RIAA's competetion. I don't know what's more unbelievable, that these sociopathic parasites spew this nonsense, or that people are actually stupid enough to believe it.

      However, allowing others to unfairly compete by stealing the ideas, innovations and intellectual property rights created by our employees cannot be tolerated. This theft diminishes our ability to keep and create jobs, and makes it far more difficult to attract the capital needed to invest in new products and services.

      Theft isn't rape, and copyright infringement isn't theft. This intellectual "property" they speak of does NOT belong to them any more than a renter owns his house. Like the renter, the IP moguls have a limited time monopoly, not ownership. The IP belongs to we, the people. And BTW, the extreme copyright lengths are stifling creativity, and software patents stifle innovation. Imagine how innovation would suffer if patents lasted as long a copyrights? And a software patent is like granting a patent to Disney for the idea of a cartoon mouse or duck.

      In order to protect our free enterprise system, and the standard of living it has contributed to our nation, it is critical that we multiply our efforts to identify and punish the criminals who steal what we create and produce.

      Our standard of living has been dropping for a couple of generations, unless you're one of the top 10% of earners. And there's that bald faced lie "stealing our property" again.

      I can't read any more of that tripe without wanting to do violence, and since I hate violence I'll stop.

  • The list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:34PM (#34935912)

    Nike - Beaverton, OR
    Achushnet - Fairhaven, MA
    Curb Music Publishing - Nashville, TN
    NBC Universal - New York, NY
    Viacom - New York, NY
    Callaway - Carlsbad, CA
    Cleveland Golf - Huntington Beach, CA
    Rosetta Stone - Arlington, VA
    Activision - Santa Monica, CA
    Adidas Group - Portland, OR
    Xerox - Norwalk, CT
    Hastings Entertainment, Inc. - Amarillo, TX
    Fortune Brands - Deerfield, IL
    Coty Inc. - New York, NY
    EDGE Entertainment Distribution - Streetsboro, OH
    Oakley, Inc. - Foothill Ranch, CA
    PING - Phoenix, AZ
    Louis Vuitton - New York, NY
    D'Addario and Company - Farmingdale, NY
    Monster Cable Products, Inc. - Brisbane, CA
    Tiffany and Co. - New York, NY
    Farouk Systems, Inc. - Houston, TX
    Beam Global - Deerfield, IL
    Chanel USA - New York, NY
    True Religion Apparel, Inc. - Vernon, CA
    Concord Music Group - Beverly Hills, CA
    Village Roadshow Pictures - Beverly Hills, CA
    National Basketball Association - New York, NY
    National Football League - New York, NY
    The Collegiate Licensing Company/IMG College - Atlanta, GA
    Anderson Merchandisers - Amarillo, TX
    Trans World Entertainment Corporation - Albany, NY
    Timberland - Stratham, NH
    Major League Baseball - New York, NY
    Lightening Entertainment/Mainline Releasing - Santa Monica, CA
    Sierra Pictures - Beverly Hills, CA
    Voltage Pictures LLC - Los Angeles, CA
    Worldwide Film Entertainment LLC - Westchester, CA
    Nu Image, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA
    Burberry Limited - New York, NY
    Big Machine Records - Nashville, TN
    The Little Film Company - Studio City, CA
    Columbia Sportswear Company - Portland, OR

    • Re:The list (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fishead (658061) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:44PM (#34935978)

      Monster Cable Products, Inc. - Brisbane, CA

      LoL, yeah, I could see how Monster Cable's business model could be threatened by free (as in bird) and open communication.

      • You have something against overpriced, over-hyped, cables?

        Monster, explain again how your super high fidelity cables are going to improve my HDMI connection, or even the analog audio of my (quieter than most but still) relatively noisy automobile environment. I keep forgetting what advantages your cables provide in such situations.

        • Re:The list (Score:5, Funny)

          by the_womble (580291) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:46AM (#34936356) Homepage Journal

          The bits get stuck if the copper does not point the right way. Low quality cables also cause bits to degrade which means that they will obviously not sound the same as the near perfect bits that have passed though Monster cables.

          Nine out of ten Monster customers confirm that good cables sound better than cheap cables.

          The other 10% confirm that bits are happier travelling through Monster cables and they are therefore more ethically acceptable.

          Please note that if you are reading this over anything other than an audiophile quality ethernet cable you will not be able to understand it properly and will therefore think its all nonsense. Please try a better quality cable to understand properly.

      • I've heard Monster is lobbying to ban coathangers and alligator clips.
    • What an odd group. Wonder what the common thread is? How is it that these companies cmae together to sign this letter?
      • Wonder what the common thread is?

        Lawyers, guns, and money...

      • Re:Odd List (Score:5, Insightful)

        by trentblase (717954) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:23AM (#34936234)

        What an odd group. Wonder what the common thread is? How is it that these companies cmae together to sign this letter?

        It looks like a list of companies that have a lot tied up in their trademarks. Monster Cable is always suing other people over the Monster name. Xerox has always been on the verge of having it's name genericized. Fashion houses have almost their entire value in their brands. At least the tech companies can fall back on their patents to defend their turf.

        • by makomk (752139)

          Monster Cable is always suing other people over the Monster name.

          Not just the name. They've also threatened to sue companies for selling cables that are a vaguely similar shape to their own cables - i.e. Monster cables are cable-shaped, so are the other company's, and this somehow constitutes trademark infringement. With this change in the law, they wouldn't even have to sue - they could just get an injunction to get the competitor's website taken down by seizing the domain name and it'd be up to said competitor to file a lawsuit challenging it.

    • by TyFoN (12980)

      So this is the list of companies that never will receive my money again. Not that it would be hard, I have hardly ever bought anything from any of these in the past.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        This is why nerd boycotts never work. It's like a Mormon boycotting Budweiser, or a hippie threatening to boycott the Ivory soap company. Not exactly great tactics. The only companies that would take you seriously are the ones you'll never have an excuse to boycott.

      • Re:The list (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Seumas (6865) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:34AM (#34936558)

        Are you sure about that?

        Viacom == CBS, Comedy Central (Colbert/Daily Show), BET, The CW, MTV, Showtime, many radio stations, last.cm, CNET, download.com, gameFAQs, GameSpot, Metacritic, techrepublic, tv.com, ZDNet, Simon & Schuster, Westinghouse, etc.

        NBC Universal == General Electric, Comcast, NBC, USA network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Weather Channel, AT&T, Hulu, Vivendi, MCA, SyFy, Universal Music, Biography channel, National Geographic channel, A&E, Tivo, many radio/tv stations, etc.

        Not to mention the many other subsidiaries of the companies and branches listed above. And that's just two companies. Chances are good that you'll buy something (or many things) in the next year that benefit Nike or Adidas or Activision, but are under brands and subsidiaries that we aren't familiar with.

        It is extremely difficult to actually boycott a corporation these days. Hell, if you decided to boycott Proctor & Gamble, you'd probably never be able to buy a single thing for the rest of your life.

        • Re:The list (Score:5, Interesting)

          by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Thursday January 20, 2011 @03:06AM (#34936914) Journal

          Yes, boycotts are mostly unworkable.

          Don't merely deny yourself to deny them. Take your business to the competition. A problem with that is, sometimes there isn't any competition. Lack of competition, and the ongoing efforts to eliminate competition, are the biggest problems capitalism faces.

          Lawsuits and court cases are a lot of effort, and may fail. And are reactionary besides. Go on the offensive. Proposing alternative laws may be better. How about a constitutional amendment? A "Free Sharing" amendment, sort of like Free Speech. If it gained traction, would solve a lot of these issues. They'd be scared silly by the prospect of such an amendment actually becoming law. It would shift the debate, and they'd be too busy fighting to hang on to their intellectual monopolies to have the energy to keep up this continual testing of the waters to see how much censorship they can get away with.

        • by jonwil (467024)

          Looking at the list of P&G brands on Wikipedia I cant find a single product on there that I have bought in the last year except possibly Duracell batteries (and if I was going to boycott P&G, I would ensure I bought Energizer batteries instead)

    • Keeping track of all the companies I need to boycott is getting tough. Maybe I should switch from a blacklist to a whitelist approach.

  • Xerox? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phiz187 (533366) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:38PM (#34935938) Homepage Journal
    Really Xerox? After all of the legal drama you've gone through, as publishers tried to hold YOU contributorily responsible for copyright infringement committed by your users?!
    • Re:Xerox? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lorenlal (164133) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:52PM (#34936038)

      Kudos for picking that one out. I notice that there's very little tech in this list. In fact, the overly large representation from sports-related companies has me wondering what's up with them. I know counterfeit sports apparel is a bit of a pain for them, but I didn't know that it was that bad.

      Maybe Xerox is looking at finally taking on Apple and Microsoft over that whole GUI thing?

      • by schwit1 (797399)

        The volume of counterfeit golf clubs coming from Asia is huge.

        Achushnet - Fairhaven, MA
        Callaway - Carlsbad, CA
        Cleveland Golf - Huntington Beach, CA
        Nike - Beaverton, OR
        PING - Phoenix, AZ

      • Re:Xerox? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:18AM (#34936208) Journal
        Looks like a bunch of "name brands"... the kind of thing a frugal shopper should avoid. You've heard of those brands because they pay a lot for you to hear about them.

        Most of them make quality products, but some of them I have avoided specifically because I would like "unbranded" items. Just a quirk or mine, I guess.

        Notice you don't see price "equalizers" on the list, like Google, Amazon, web travel sites, or heh, that famous "Kirkland" brand...
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Amazon is already on my list for banning Wikileaks. Much more significant than what ICE does.

          I personally believe that a war on counterfeit, branded items should be a higher priority (see all counterfeit CISCO gear). Nothing to do with censorship here. But if you sell CISCO gear, it is suppose to be from CISCO not from some Chinese knockoff. The reasons are plain and simple,

          1. the company bears the blunt of complaints - if counterfeit stuff is broken, then the company image suffers, not the knockoff

      • Re:Xerox? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:43AM (#34936338)

        Sports affilate groups (NBA, NFL, MLB, etc..) have much to lose if they lose their licensing monopolies. EG, they can currently charge Comcast/NBC for the "Priviledge" of airing the superbowl, and have sole copyright over the entire "Performance" of *all* games played under their banners, regardless of which agency is doing the filming. Ever paid attention to the small text at the beginning of football games? The text that spells out just how much the NFL really REALLY doesn't like having games recorded, etc?

        [sarcasm]A free and open internet would permit game scores, stats, and dare I say it... FAIR USE (as in, the REAL deal) clips of game events to be proliferated without their having their fingers in the pie! I mean, Somebody MIGHT get to see a world record touchdown FOR FREE! [/sarcasm]

        This same mentality is also applicable against the people who save up for the Season Pass tickets, get good seats on game day, and decide to bring the camcorder. Their camcorder footage is the property of [NBA/NFL/MLB/etc], and NOT them, and totally illegal as far as same is concerned. The fear that such footage might end up on YouTube, for free, makes their sphincters tighten.

        THAT is why they support internet censorship.

        • by schnell (163007)

          Ever paid attention to the small text at the beginning of football games?

          Listen buddy, your overall idea is somewhat reasonable but your examples are over the top and make you look like you don't know anything about sports and/or the leagues' copyright concerns. Here, for example, is the actual text you refer to, which goes at the end of NFL games: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent, is prohibited."

          The text that spells out just how much the NFL really REALLY doesn't like having games recorded

          Sports leagues don't care

          • by mangu (126918)

            I agree with what you said, but disagree about the ethics. I think it's wrong that so much money gets channeled into sports.

            For one thing, sports get boring when there's so much competition by sports equipment manufacturers. Records get broken by milliseconds because one of the guys used a special polymer in his shoe or something like that. That's not an athletics competition, that's a competition on which corporation can rake in more money to invest in gear that will bring no benefits to anyone. What's the

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          THAT is why they support internet censorship.

          Then the owners and stockholders should be branded traitors and shot for their attacks on civil liberty..after all, they go after consumers and service providers... Extreme positions invite extreme reprisals...right? Apparently, if one has enough money to bribe...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Z34107 (925136)

        It's worth noting that while Nike supports stronger anti-counterfeiting laws (natch), they wrote Senator Wyden asking him not to break the internet. [techdirt.com] From the letter:

        "The Internet is too important to our economy and to advancing American values to be inappropriately regulated and censored under the guise of protecting IP"

      • They're heavy in big media (which most certainly includes sports leagues) for obvious reasons. They also appear to have representation in products that are easily knocked off (ie, the label is all the shitty product is worth). Sports apparel is definitely a category where the label is what you're paying for. But there are many others listed that fall in that bin that aren't sports related - Tiffany, Chanel, etc.
      • The sports companies are there for a very good reason: illegal streaming of live games and content. And they totally deserve it. Buying a yearly subscription for the NFL, NBA and MLB easily costs more than many cable subscriptions. They won't have success in taking the streams down (many are out of the US or P2P-based), but they can still threaten to stop providing money for their bought-off politicians and beaurocrats.

    • The oppressed becoming the oppressor? Somebody has to suffer.

  • D'Addario (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JohnHorton (1672390) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:40PM (#34935958)
    Until I read this, I used D'Addario strings on my guitar. Now that I see their name on that list, I will never use them again. Thankfully, I don't make use of any of the products of those other companies. That being said, there is no way to "vote with your wallet" anymore, because the corporations control everything, and shy of living an agrarian life in the middle of nowhere, your money will end up in their hands. Even if people on the whole turned against them, buying only locally made products, etc, the corporations would just lobby to have their way, and get it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by grainofsand (548591)

      Agreed. Try Ernie Ball - I have been using them for years and love them.

    • Me too. I use(d) D'Addario strings. Now I have a reason to hate them.

      I'm really glad my employer wasn't on that list. There are way too many Oregon companies there.

    • by DeathElk (883654)

      Perhaps you should do some research before you judge. From the comments on the Tech Dirt article (TFA), a comment by Jim D'Addario... [techdirt.com]

      I personally wouldn't allow this action to deter me from using D'Addario strings. Their interest in this document is simply trying to limit the rampant counterfeiting of their product.

      By the way, you might find this article interesting [metafilter.com]...

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Perhaps you should do some research before you judge. From the comments on the Tech Dirt article (TFA), a comment by Jim D'Addario...

        I did. It's bollocks. Sounds like Gerry Harvey whining that he cant compete with businesses that don't have assanine procedures. His post if full of weak thought terminating cliche's meant to distract you from what he's actually trying to do

        You really should visit and talk to some companies that are living this experience.

        That's right, you could never understand. Now eat

    • Re:D'Addario (Score:5, Interesting)

      by scdeimos (632778) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @02:42AM (#34936838)

      Nike can jam it, AFAIC, but if you read the comments attached to TFA you might have seen this comment from Jim D'Addario [techdirt.com]...

      Jim D'Addario, Jan 19th, 2011 @ 6:10am

      You really should visit and talk to some companies that are living this experience. There is no way to file a legal law suit in every instance someone is stealing my D'Addario Strings trademark. We are family owned business in the USA with sales of $150 million. Sounds big, and rich and all that!!! However last year we spent $750,000 on legal battles and got nowhere. We would be bankrupt trying to protect the 1000 jobs that we provide here in the USA. We are not General Motors, IBM or NIke. The scale is not there.

      If we were allowed legitimate access to the Chinese market and the Chinese were not counterfeiting our product we would be able to create 200 to 500 more jobs in the USA.

      Don't paint everyone with a broad stroke of the brush. Telling the companies on the list to work harder is an insult. We work as hard as we possibly can already (its 5:30 AM where i am right now and dont stop working until 6:30 PM.

      I have personally visited stores in four Chinese cities to see 7 out of 10 sets of my brand of strings are fake. The packaging is perfect, right down to the American flat and the words "Printed and Made in USA". The strings are shxt.

      I wonder how that would make you feel if you started a brand name from nothing in 1974 and built it to the largest in the world only to watch people completely rip it off.

      So your suggestioin to me is to work harder and sue everyone? I may as well close up or cash out and watch the 1000 jobs evaporate. Or better, maybe i should move the factory to China and destroy another 1000 US jobs?

      Go on Alibaba.com and witness the hundreds of thousands of fake product listings. There is nothing on the site that is real or legitimate. At some point the government has to take some kind of police action. This is not just a civil matter, there are criminal (grand larceny) implications here.

      I agree there should be due process before a site is shut down. I dont know what that process should be, but when threre is clear evidence submitted to a government agency that a site is selling fake merchandise the government should have some authority to put a URL on hold until they can defend themselves. Let the theives absorb the burden of defending themselves, don't expect the legitimate folks to foot the bill.

      How is possible for the public to ask the legitimate manufacturers to bear the role of the government and police every instance of fraud with a law suit? It would be tens of millions of $$$ a year.

      Learn more before developing such strong views and 'black listing' good people.

      Jim D'Addario - CEO D'Addario and Company

      • Re:D'Addario (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cbope (130292) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:18AM (#34937610)

        I was right there with Jim until he basically said the accused parties are guilty until proven innocent. Sounds kinda bass-ackwards to how I was raised...

        Personally, I don't have a problem with D'Addario's position, I use only GHS strings on my guitar :P

        • by ScentCone (795499)
          Re-read it. He thinks there should be some sort of due process involved.
      • So in short, you want the government to sue the pirates for you. You do have a legal avenue if fake products are brought INTO this country, but what to do if they are sold online or overseas? Some etailers such as ebay will remove fakes from their sites if presented with proof or a legal claim. Still, I hate to say this, but the burden of protecting YOUR copyrights and trademarks is up to you. You can't expect the government to do this for you. In other times a country might have considered such acts b

  • by Datamonstar (845886) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:45PM (#34935996)
    They won't stop until there is a class of people who can do whatever they please, and another class of low-lifes (us) that must be subject to their power, for their their (our) own good.
    • As you title implies that's how it's always been. This is nothing new it's just a group of artificial persons (corporations) legally required to embody the worst virtues of humanity rather than a single person. A lot harder to get rid of a corporation then a despot.
  • Text of the Letter (Score:5, Informative)

    by cappp (1822388) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @11:47PM (#34936002)
    For those interested in reading the letter itself

    We run companies large and small that represent diverse aspects of America's intellectual property community. While our employees live in different regions of the country, and work to produce a variety of goods and services, they have several important things in common - they work hard, they are committed to quality and innovation and they welcome competition. However, allowing others to unfairly compete by stealing the ideas, innovations and intellectual property rights created by our employees cannot be tolerated. This theft diminishes our ability to keep and create jobs, and makes it far more difficult to attract the capital needed to invest in new products and services. In order to protect our free enterprise system, and the standard of living it has contributed to our nation, it is critical that we multiply our efforts to identify and punish the criminals who steal what we create and produce.

    Thus, we appreciate the effort and energy behind Operation in Our Sites. The actions announced on November 29, 2010 once again demonstrated that, just as in the physical world, prosecutors and courts can judiciously assess evidence and distinguish between legitimate businesses and criminal enterprises that flout the law and profit from the ingenuity of others. We believe that the online marketplace can only work for consumers and creators if there is respect for property rights and the rule of law - and urge you to continue to act against the kinds of domains that you have targeted. Unfortunately, there are far too many sites stealing from our businesses but we believe that your efforts will drive consumers to the many legitimate online ventures and services that we have worked hard to foster and support.

    We encourage you to work with your colleagues in the Administration and the Congress toward enactment of the principles central to S. 3804 - the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. The legislation crafted by Senators Leahy and Hatch was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will undoubtedly be reintroduced this congress. The proposal expounds upon the law enforcement techniques at the heart of "Operation In Our Sites" and will ensure that rogue sites cannot evade U.S. jurisdiction by escaping offshore to foreign-based registrars, registries and country codes in order to peddle stolen American intellectual property back into the U.S. market. In addition, the Leahy-Hatch proposal provides an entirely new level of protection for U.S. rights holders by establishing the legal framework necessary to disrupt the business models of the illicit, offshore sites by starving them of the financing, advertising and access to consumers upon which they depend. The carefully balanced measure would allow American law enforcement officials and U.S. courts to deny thieves the ability to use the Internet to enter the U.S. market and undermine our businesses while reaping financial gain for themselves.

    We hope that you will continue dedicating resources to Operation in Our Sites and work toward the Obama Administration's endorsement of the Leahy-Hatch legislation.

    • Note that they specifically mention S.3804 [govtrack.us] which includes some decent legal requirements for site seizure - ironically enough, if those had been in place the actions by ICE would likely have not been allowed. The Summary [govtrack.us] notes for instance that the bill

      Directs any actions against domestic domains to be in the judicial district where the domain name registrar or registry is located or, if such a domain is located or doing business in more than one judicial district, in the judicial district of its principal

    • While our employees live in different regions of the world, and work to produce a variety of goods and services, they have several important things in common - they work hard for a pitance, sometimes kill themselves in despair and they welcome competition for their labor as that might just pay them another $1 per month.

      There - fixed that for you NIke...

  • Maybe there is an issue out there, but TFA is slanted like Goebbels propaganda. Anybody have a link to an evenhanded report on the matter?

  • by Larisa (1978318) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @01:17AM (#34936492) Homepage
    They should add the National Association of Realtors to that list. They may not have signed the letter in fact, but they apparently support censorship in principle and action. The 800-lb legal gorilla of the NAR jumped on my own back, only yesterday. I set up a site for an audio drama I recently produced -- a fun little ghost-story for geeks, which happens to lampoon the Realtors and high-tech CEOs of Silicon Valley, whom we all love to hate. My URL corresponds to the Title of that fictional story, "The Realtor and the CEO" (http://www.realtorandceo.com). They decided that they did not like my using the word realtor as part of a literary title, and are now trying to coerce me into giving up the URL, the Title of the audio drama, and any reference to realtors in the story -- which happens to require eliminating or completely rewriting a main character. Seems First Amendment rights mean nothing, if you do not have a $100,000 war chest.
    • by Caraig (186934) *

      The term 'realtor' is apparently 'srs bzns.' But a little more long-windedly, it's a term that for some reason has enormous protection on it, usually enforced by the NAR. I'm not quite sure why but they seem to be trying to make it about as privileged as 'doctor' or 'engineer.' (That's 'civil engineer,' for which there are some specific certifications you have to qualify for before you can call yourself that.) If you are somehow in real estate, you may not call yourself a 'realtor' unless you are a memb

    • by CycleMan (638982) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:38AM (#34937680)
      If you made one change to "real estate agent" instead of Realtor(®), they wouldn't have an issue. Per the NAR website, "Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS." It's like Xerox (versus photocopy) and Kleenex (versus facial tissue). No, I'm not in the real estate business, and no, I don't really appreciate the difference that membership in this organization provides. But it's their registered mark, and they are required to work to protect it if they want to keep it that way. There is no National Association of CEOs that created the term "CEO," so you're safe on that front. Since I don't know the full facts of your specific situation, I can't address the merits of the NAR's case, but again, changing to the term "real estate agent" would probably get them off your back pretty quickly.
  • Hey, no NHL though. Another reason hockey is the best sport. They let their players fight, and support free speech! (Or at least, aren't actively engaged in destroying it.)
  • by ryanisflyboy (202507) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @02:05AM (#34936704) Homepage Journal

    You still enjoy free speech, but only on Tuesdays or Sundays while wearing your knickers standing on the toilet in your bathroom with a government trained jaguar lying in the tub. The jaguar won't have been fed in six days due to a bureaucratic mix up (turns out it is impossible to file triplicate copies of feeding form W-FU-HMBOY-5 after a Ted Stevens look-alike found the warehouse).

    Don't worry, if the jaguar bites you Medicare will cover the ER expense. But only for the first 20 minutes. After that unionized monkeys trained to act like doctors will stand over your corpse throwing feces at the wall while inviting the nurses to a smoke out on Friday. It's gonna be a killer time.

    While this may seem a horrible way to ensure a basic human right, the courts can find no legal means to prevent it (the feces slinging monkeys, or the free speech).*

    *Please note that only certain subjects are approved on Sundays, such as: the mating calls of feral cats, ingredients found in a bag of Pop Rocks, and Tommy Wiseau.

  • Maybe time to move DNS out of the USA?

  • Victoria Espinel's actual title is Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. It's a mouthful, I know, but the "czar" title is a ridiculous media creation.

  • As the one who submitted the story, I am happy that the tag intellectualpooperty made it onto the front-page. Similar to Digital Restriction Management, it's an easy, somewhat tongue-in-cheek way to adapt and subvert the terminology of the other side.

    And if only one single person realizes that the term _property_ is being abused due to me using _pooperty_, then yay.

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