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Piracy Advertising Google The Almighty Buck The Internet Your Rights Online

Google Proposes Fighting Piracy By Blocking Ad Money 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the george-carlin-would-approve dept.
judgecorp writes "Google has published a report, written by the Performing Rights Society and BAE Detica, which says the way to fight piracy is not to chase the sharers, but to cut off the money in the system. 'Some 86% of advertising on the pirate sites surveyed by Detica comes from networks that have failed to sign up with the UK’s self-regulatory bodies or commit to strong codes of conduct. More than two thirds of the sites that rely on subscriptions or payments display well-known credit card logos. Online advertisers should be encouraged to sign up to self-regulatory codes of conduct. Credit card and online payment facilities, the pirate’s oxygen supply, must be blocked.'But is Google absolutely sure it isn't doing that with AdSense?"
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Google Proposes Fighting Piracy By Blocking Ad Money

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  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOsPAm.beau.org> on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @06:29PM (#40534945)

    Cutting off the pirates' oxygen supply will help with the bigger outlaw commercial operators. But it won't faze ThePirateBay in the least. Until somebody can come up with a solution to that one, the problem isn't likely to get solved. Longer term though, the bandwidth caps are going to do more to curb the problem on the Internet than anything law enforcement could ever do.

    Eventually we will rediscover the bandwidth of sneakernet. Not much to be done about that one. And it gets worse.

    Ponder this one 'content industry'... How much storage would it take to store every popular song? How easy is it to pass that around? All somebody needs to add is a P2P phone app that works over WiFi to continually sync new songs in as people socialize. Poisoning might be a problem but hashes can resist that. Somebody really serious about peeing in the industry's corn flake could solve the problems and post 'an app for that.' We are getting close to carrying around enough storage so that every kid could just expect to have 'everything' ever released on a major label sitting in their mobile device. Just a few more turns of Moore's Law. How much longer until the same thing happens with TV & movies? Forget the cloud and monthly fees or paying by the minute, just have every movie or tv show ever made riding around on every phone.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @06:41PM (#40535111)

      But it won't faze ThePirateBay in the least. Until somebody can come up with a solution to that one,

      I wasn't aware ThePirateBay was a "problem"?

      • by camperslo (704715) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @07:58PM (#40535967)

        I wasn't aware ThePirateBay was a "problem"?

        We really should have this conversation about something else that is a far more serious problem that could be fought in a similar way. We should ban paid political media ads to cut the cash flow chain of political corruption.

        Many serious problems in the world, including the financial crisis, can be traced back to crony capitalism, where money taken in through campaigns or funneled directly to media during campaigns buys influence leading to regulatory changes that are contrary to the public interest. Additionally, misleading ads also distort public perception. An informed public is crucial to the proper functioning of democracy.

        Attempts at controlling fund raising have been a dismal failure. What's needed is similar to the what the story here suggests. Ban PAID political advertising in the media, and bring back local media ownership. Controlling what online would be more difficult, but that is needed too. The changes could be done at the FCC level and not involve campaign laws. Media owners would be subject to fairness rules governing informative public service time that the GIVE away.

      • by xenobyte (446878)

        But it won't faze ThePirateBay in the least. Until somebody can come up with a solution to that one,

        I wasn't aware ThePirateBay was a "problem"?

        It isn't. Not really anyway. It's just a search engine specializing in bittorrent (TPB does not host any 'warez' of any kind). You can find the same and much, much more using Google or Bing.

        The only thing that makes TPB special is that it continues to expose overpriced lawyers' lack of knowledge concerning international law and the limits of US law.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      TPB runs ads -- how do you conclude cutting off ads revenue won't hurt them?

      As for people walking about with a complete music library, that's just delusional; a typical song at high quality is 5 MB, a typical album is 10 songs, or 50 MB, so a 64 GB device can only hold 1000 albums. That's about 6 months' worth of the US & UK output alone. Quibble with my numbers if you like, but there's no way your getting two orders of magnitude out of that.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        As for people walking about with a complete music library, that's just delusional; a typical song at high quality is 5 MB, a typical album is 10 songs, or 50 MB, so a 64 GB device can only hold 1000 albums. That's about 6 months' worth of the US & UK output alone. Quibble with my numbers if you like, but there's no way your getting two orders of magnitude out of that.

        He did mention Moore's Law. In the last couple of months I can recall a couple of articles about predicted hard drive sizes in the next 10 years. It may very well go up a couple of orders. If a portable device had a couple hundred TB, or even a PB, then we could very well be in a different ball game.

        Will sizes increase? For music I cannot imagine by much. Certainly not orders. Even FLAC is not more than several times the size. Movies could possibly increase in size.... but to what real value? Do you

        • Even if people just walked around with the most current and popular content being automatically synced across portable devices it could be the endgame for content providers.

          And, one might argue, an endgame for content, too. The counter-argument to which is usually something along the lines of smaller, independent content creators rising up to fill the void. Just remember, those guys aren't always what's "most current and popular..."

        • by Smauler (915644)

          Moore's Law doesn't apply to storage.... if it did, my system with 1/2 terabyte striped drives in 2005 would be very scary now.

          I admit, it was a little scary then....

      • by jmorris42 (1458) *

        Exactly my point. Right now you could easilly walk around with blocks like:

        Billboard Pop Charts - ALL
        Billboard R&B/Soul/etc - ALL
        Billboard Country - ALL
        And so on.

        With "ALL" defined at first as the Top 100 chart for every year since they made a chart. You can do that now, the Pop chart will fit on a 32GB MicroSD card. Soon every song that charted, period. A little later every album from a major label that charted. Then every album from a major label, period. It is coming. Inexorable, unstoppable.

      • Drop that to 4MB: We're not using MP3 any more. Now forget the phone, and give all your pirates a 1TB external drive. This doesn't need any futuristic tech (Though extending to films and TV would). That's 25,000 albums on a drive. Enough to easily hold all the popular music of the last century, and a good chunk of the unpopular too. Finally, forget about phones and look at the older method: Drive swapping. I'll lend you my drive if you lend me yours.
    • by Inda (580031)
      Ever read this?

      http://motherboard.vice.com/2012/1/3/inside-the-cell-phone-file-sharing-networks-of-western-africa-q-a
    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @07:02PM (#40535351)
      You don't seem to remember much from history... The first "Big dog" in piracy was Napster, and they flourished at a time when the vast majority of the public had 56k connections at best. More often than not even slower speeds. All bandwidth caps do is drive consumers to lower quality encoding. The major media outlets probably don't realize it, but this hurts them the most. Despite the fact that they think "pirates" are some parasitic new species that in now way puts money into their system it's quite the opposite. Some of their biggest customers are pirates. The fact of the matter is, they can't get what they want. Which is any movie/show they want at any time, in decent quality at a reasonable price. The media industry seems to think that $300+ per month is a reasonable price for a cable/satellite connection that has "all" the channels, is choked with ever increasing commercials and isn't even on-demand. Add to that, the fact that your forced to scroll through hundreds of channels that you don't want, due to horrible packages forced on the cable providers by content producers.

      Piracy is driven, solely, by the media industry that's complaining about it. They could end it tomorrow if they wanted to. But they have this rediculous pipe dream that the internet will lead to them cutting costs by not having to produce physical copies of their media any longer, but at the same time they can raise the price of that very same media. Sorry, that's not going to happen guys. It's 2012, time to get a clue.
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>All bandwidth caps do is drive consumers to lower quality encoding

        Yep. I still use 56k downloading when stuck in hotels w/ no internet. It takes about 4 hours per episode, and the quality is the same as VHS tape. That may seem like a long time but the electricity is free, and my laptop has nothing better to do anyway except download. I get six TV episodes per day to watch... plenty of entertainment.

        >>>industry seems to think that $300+ per month is a reasonable price for a cable/sat

        • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @07:39PM (#40535769)

          >>>industry seems to think that $300+ per month is a reasonable price for a cable/satellite connection that has "all" the channels

          Aren't you exaggerating a bit? Comcast charges around $100 and Dish just $50 for hundreds of digital channels.

          No, he's not.

          Shaw cable up here in Canada encrypts their channels. It's $150 a month plus equipment rental, which is required by the service and flaky as fuck to boot. If you want to get decent HD selection (let's go out on a limb and say HBO HD), you're looking at at least $225 with taxes.

          The fact is, it's cheaper, easier, and more reliable for me to just rent my entertainment. Nothing down, nothing a month.

        • by Rockoon (1252108)

          Aren't you exaggerating a bit? Comcast charges around $100 and Dish just $50 for hundreds of digital channels.

          The number of channels is meaningless, really. The right metric is the fraction of content broadcast per unit time that you would actually sit down and watch (remember that you pay per unit time even when you arent watching anything.) Due to high rates of repetition of the good while the bulk being utter crap anyways, "hundreds of channels" doesnt tell anyone anything.

          The reason his "all the channels" comment is meaningful is because those packages maximizes the amount of content available. No sacrifices

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by brit74 (831798)
        > The media industry seems to think that $300+ per month is a reasonable price for a cable/satellite connection that has "all" the channels, is choked with ever increasing commercials and isn't even on-demand. Add to that, the fact that your forced to scroll through hundreds of channels that you don't want, due to horrible packages forced on the cable providers by content producers. Piracy is driven, solely, by the media industry that's complaining about it.

        This is the 'ol "It's not my fault I pirate
        • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @08:47PM (#40536485) Homepage

          Sorry, you can't fool us into believing that the problem is some imaginary $300 / month subscription fee - we know that pirates are the problem.

          The false dichotomy here is thinking only one of them can be the problem. Clearly they have a problem with people whose sole reason for piracy is to save money, whether it's cheapskates who pirate when they can and buy when they must or freeloaders who wouldn't pay anyway, but demoralizes the paying customers - why should they pay when the freeloaders don't. Because of that they're implementing copying restrictions and DRM systems and region codes, annoying unskippable warnings which is also abused for trailers and commercials, pushing for mass surveillance, three/six strike laws that lack judicial oversight and mass shakedowns that are economically impossible to defend against, carry excessive penalties (thousands of dollars for one 99 cent song) and so on.

          That pisses a lot of other people off, people who like to run a media server like me. People that run Linux like I did, not anymore but that's a different story. People that have a laptop with no optical drive which they feel they should be able to watch it on. People that feel once they have bought it, they should be able to convert it to watch on their phone or tablet. People that don't like them poking their noses in all private communication. People that don't like kangaroo courts. People that are afraid they'll get a thousands of dollar lawsuit because their wifi was open or their machine was hacked or their tenants or relatives was on P2P. On top of that particularly the TV and movie industry cling to an outdated business model which makes the pirate service far more convenient.

          You have a problem with pirates? Well, the feeling is mutual because I have a problem with you because I would like to pay but there's nothing worth paying for. You've made your content so locked up and difficult to access and use as I want that the pirates win without a fight. The service I want you're not willing to offer to me for any price. Your current efforts are futile and the totalitarian society you'd have to build to stomp out piracy is not one I'd care to live in. As far as I'm concerned you're a hindrance to my enjoyment and a menace to society and the best way of neutralizing you would be to take your copyright away. If people want you to continue creating, they'll pay. If not then find some other work. It's not the perfect solution but getting rid of copyright is the lesser evil, you're the greater.

        • Try this one:
          I live in Australia. I use Linux.

          Ok you are screwed right there and I haven't even gotten to my preferences yet.

          I would prefer:
          * Downloading, not streaming. I have a file server for a reason and traditionally Aussie internet is slow. Better to cache everything locally.
          * Immediate release. If it is shown in the US I don't want it a week later. I want it available when most people get to see it.
          * Fair price. No a ebook for $10 is not fair when the paperback is $16 and includes postage. The 1mb co

          • by deimtee (762122)
            I agree with most of your points, except the bit about ebooks.
            Printing and binding a paperback costs less than the difference you quote.
            Typically, between under a dollar for a large quantity of a small book, to three or four dollars for a short run (eg 5000) of a thick book. Add in another two dollars or so for postage and handling and you're pretty close.
            While the $10 for writing, editing, proofing and formatting may be arguable, the difference is about right,
        • by Smauler (915644)

          There are plenty of ways to pay for content without buying a "$300+" cable subscription.

          Yeah... good luck with that. Seriously, try to buy content when it comes out, or even close to when it comes out. Especially internationally.

          You're wrong, or deliberately lying. There aren't any ways for many people to pay for content _at all_, when it is released.

      • You don't seem to remember much from history... The first "Big dog" in piracy was Napster, and they flourished at a time when the vast majority of the public had 56k connections at best.

        For those of us who are really old, there was audiogalaxy before napster. I don't know if anyone else here remembers that, it was not even peer to peer in any sense it was simply a site that served every song known to man. I found stuff on there that was super rare and hard to come by, even with the massive modern archives we have access to. It had a great search function and all songs were guaranteed to be what they were labelled as and a good recording. I still miss it. I used to dare people to come up wi

      • Some of their biggest customers are pirates.

        where's the data to back that up? or did you really mean "some" as in at least 2?

        really, i'm sure there are some "pirates" that mainly pirate as a try-before-by mechanism, but in lack of real data i think that's unlikely. it's human nature. if i've already stolen something, it's actually extra time AND money for me to go back and purchase it. that doesn't come naturally.

        • by BronsCon (927697)
          Piracy is up, so are sales, so are profits. Well, well, if everyone's pirating instead of buying, how do sales and profits keep climbing? There's your data, and a question to ponder while looking at it.
    • But it won't faze ThePirateBay in the least. Until somebody can come up with a solution to that one, the problem isn't likely to get solved.

      Get the founders arrested after passing a new law specifically targeting them. Or extradite them to another country, like the United States, have a show trial, and then disappear them. Not hard to solve one website.

      Longer term though, the bandwidth caps are going to do more to curb the problem on the Internet than anything law enforcement could ever do.

      No it won't. People use more bandwidth on Netflix than piracy. And bandwidth caps are the result of antiquidated infrastructure, which in turn was caused by government-assisted monopoly and short-term thinking. Caps aren't happening to combat piracy; If that was the thinking, we'd all be on dial-

      • Mobile phones can't generally make adhoc connections.

        Both the iPhone and at least some Android models can connect using ad-hoc, though at least in the former case the app can't set up itself the connection.

        But in any case, nobody said it had to be over ad-hoc: public APs (with and without passphrases) are common, and syncing over them is equivalent to an ad-hoc connection for the purpose.

        it's The Laws of Physics, and they are suing you for defamation.

        And what Laws would those be, considering that IBM has already achieved storing 1 bit in just 12 atoms, which would just take 10^-6 cm3 to store a petabyte?

        Sure, it's far fro

    • It would need a P2p style app on IOS and android that always runs in the background using NFC and bluetooth to discover hosts. You'd become a node in a sneaker network. Imagine how fast data replicates on school grounds and in busy shops. Lots of potential to link in local product promotions too.

    • by brit74 (831798)
      > Eventually we will rediscover the bandwidth of sneakernet. Not much to be done about that one. And it gets worse.

      The "we'll resort to the sneakernet" argument is retarded. The sneakernet is inconvenient and will always lack the variety and quality of a globally accessible repository like PirateBay. If companies can push people to the sneakernet, it will be a huge win for the content industry. Most people won't do it, there will be a several-month delay before you can get cracked copies of softwar
    • We are getting close to carrying around enough storage so that every kid could just expect to have 'everything' ever released on a major label sitting in their mobile device. Just a few more turns of Moore's Law.

      Moore's Law doesn't really apply to storage devices, they actually progress much faster than microprocessors. It's sometimes called Kryder's Law.

      Just my two bits.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Perhaps in the US, but most everywhere else the bandwidth is still increasing. Here's the latest figures [www.ssb.no] from Norway, solid green line is average speed and solid blue line is mean speed. All cable/DSL/fiber lines are sold uncapped and our consumer protection agency is making sure you get what you pay for, so those figures are quite meaningful. I've personally downloaded a 500GB+ torrent in 3 days on a 60 Mbit/s line and it was no problem. You can see about a year ago the average speed made a huge jump, that

    • by Ichijo (607641)

      Longer term though, the bandwidth caps are going to do more to curb the problem on the Internet than anything law enforcement could ever do.

      Longer term than that, bandwidth caps will be replaced by variable pricing, so people will simply schedule their downloads for the wee hours when it's cheaper or free, similar to unlimited nights and weekends on your cellular plan.

      People already schedule their downloads for the early hours, but for another reason (QoS).

    • by Smauler (915644)

      Cutting off the pirates' oxygen supply will help with the bigger outlaw commercial operators. But it won't faze ThePirateBay in the least. Until somebody can come up with a solution to that one, the problem isn't likely to get solved. Longer term though, the bandwidth caps are going to do more to curb the problem on the Internet than anything law enforcement could ever do.

      Bandwidth caps are shitty. I just had a hard disk failure.... I have about 1/2 a terabyte _purchased_ games on steam - that's the poi

  • by decora (1710862) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @06:37PM (#40535045) Journal

    Every transaction on a credit card makes money for the middle men.

    Interesting sort of incestuous fight within the Royal Court of Capitalism.

    • by Shark (78448)

      The content industry is not engaged in capitalism. They have a competitor in the distribution sector that they cannot beat on merits, so they are trying to legislate it away. Capitalism would demand that they compete rather than go home and cry to mommy.

    • by poity (465672)

      How many people actually click through an ad on a warez site and buy something? I seriously doubt anything significant. Even if they have the money (which, relatively speaking, is not likely since they're on a warez site) they're probably savvy enough to not associate something like their Amazon account to their piracy habit through those ad cookies.

      • instead of asking that, ask if yourself if you would pay money to advertise somewhere if no one was seeing (pr paying attention to) your ad? nothing is the right answer. the advertisers don't have to guess if people are clicking through. they know, and they wouldn't continue to pay their $ if no one was clicking through.

  • That's how they dismantled wikileaks. Funny that the google would espouse the same solution for torrent sites as the government did for infoleak sites.

    Oh well. (shrug). I never pay for pirate sites anyway. I figure if I'm paying to watch a movie or TV show, then I might as well just go buy the legal DVD or amazon release instead... and watch the money goto the actors, writers, artists, etc.

    • by nblender (741424) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @07:02PM (#40535353)

      Except they won't let you buy what you want. Back in the 70's there was a popular TV show that I enjoyed watching when I was a kid. Go ahead, try to find a DVD set of "WKRP in Cincinnatti"... My wife's cousin came over and lamented how she could only find the 1st season on DVD but the music wasn't what was in the original show... I relayed that I had also been hoping to buy the DVD set... So I went to TPB and downloaded the full series with original music.

      WKRP is credited for popularizing many songs back then and helping artists rise to fame. However, the reason there are no DVD sets of WKRP is allegedly because of the difficulty in licensing the music from the content providers. When WKRP shows are aired in re-runs, they are aired with crappy sound-alike music... In many episodes, the songs are contextual so part of the plot is ruined when they removed the music.

      As the cherry topping, I introduced my 10yo son to WKRP and he devoured all of the episodes, watching some of them twice and three times; with original music... He enjoys the music and has been buying it from iTunes...

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Are you sure? Usually when TV studios negotiated music rights, they negotiated the right to air them during (1) first run (2) reruns and (3) on VHS or Betamax tape. So reruns should be showing the original songs.

        Quantum Leap had the same problem. Seasons 1/2 DVD set does not have the original music, but then the fans complained so seasons 3/4/5 restored the music (and upped the pricetag). I solved the problem by recording the reruns straight off the TV.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          Possibly you are more correct than you think you are. It sounds like they had the license for TV broadcasts, and for video tape. But not for DVD or any other formats.

          But the quetion remains why they had to change the music for TV re-runs - I would indeed expect they have a license to use the music for unlimited re-runs. Unless after changing the music for the DVD release, they only made available for TV broadcast the new version. The TV stations usually buy series on a per-run basis, afaik.

      • As the cherry topping, I introduced my 10yo son to WKRP and he devoured all of the episodes, watching some of them twice and three times

        now that's parenting.

      • by Trogre (513942)

        That show was syndicated to NZ in the 80s.

        Curses, now I have that jingle in my head.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Indeed, the same thing happened to MTV's Daria.

        You would think that a company like MTV would have all of their licensing issues sorted for such a scenario, but apparently that's not the case.

        There's a reason that the rare and incomplete VHS releases are prized among fans...

      • by chrismcb (983081)

        Except they won't let you buy what you want.

        They won't let you buy what you want, so you just take it? I know lots of places that won't sell you want you want, I guess you just take their stuff too?

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          It's okay to take what you want if (1) the person isn't selling it and (2) your copying doesn't cost that person anything. Obviously it would be wrong to steal bread from Walmart, as you've deprived them of their property, but it's not wrong to copy a movie from a studio since (1) they aren't selling it and (2) they experience no loss.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by J'raxis (248192)

      That's how they dismantled wikileaks.

      Yeah, and how'd that work out for them? Wikileaks is still there and going strong. They accept Bitcoin; as soon as someone sets up an ad network to do the same, attacking the CCs to attack the piracy "problem" will become equally as futile.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @06:47PM (#40535197)

    Since all pirates have adblockers, doesn't that make the proposal irrelevant?

  • As long as there is traffic, there will also be advertising. Running ads benefits both the site and the advertisers, after all. They'll just switch to another method.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @07:00PM (#40535337)

    The war on piracy hurts them much more than piracy itself, why is Google suddenly backing it?

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      The war on piracy hurts Google because Google is considered one of the pirates.

      They're now just trying to show they're on the anti-pirates' side.

  • 'Some 86% of advertising on the pirate sites surveyed by Detica comes from networks that have failed to sign up with the UKâ(TM)s self-regulatory bodies..."

    I'd like to be the first to state that the idea that a network has to "sign up with the UK's self-regulatory bodies" is horrifying on so many levels.

    First is the notion that a network has to "sign up" to be able to exist. Second is the notion that "self-regulation" is anything but a horrible idea. Third is that not signing up with these "self-reg

    • There is one situation in which self-regulation can work: If the self-regulating businesses are afraid that if they don't regulate themselves well enough, the government will impose their regulations. The threat of government intervention is needed, or else self-regulation becomes a sham.
  • The only approach that ever had a meaningful and demonstrable effect on spam was to interrupt the flow of money. It makes sense that the same could be helpful for piracy - or at least, for large-scale piracy. Obviously this does nothing to stop people from burning and sharing discs.
  • Why not give the people what they want full access too all musical works from all record companies with proper ownership rights.. Can't be that hard and all the money wasted on litigation could have paid for that service already.

    • It would seem that at a certain point, making the entirety of works all of the record labels have ever created available via itunes, netflix, or whatever would be the cheaper and simpler solution. I wonder what that point is. Are we close to reaching it? Have we already?

      Of course, this seems simple when put into so few words, there's got to be something I'm missing. What is it? Aside from the general "Content companies only want control," what excuse would major labels give for this?

      I've been buying mu
    • by chrismcb (983081)

      Why not give the people what they want full access too all musical works from all record companies with proper ownership rights.. Can't be that hard and all the money wasted on litigation could have paid for that service already.

      For Free? Because that is what most people want.

      • Close to it. The variable costs for such a business model would be tiny, so with a large enough potential market the price can be set very low. To the point where people would rather just spend their fifty cents than go to the trouble of searching on a pirate site. There's a lot of resistance from content producers though, afraid not only of lessened profits but of seeing their product become perceived by customers as less valuable. It took years for Apple to argue the labels down to the current price of a
  • What Google is saying is not that they are against Piracy (and their Ad Money), but they are against anyone else at all to take their money (because Google cannot take them anymore, or for one or another reason will be forced to cut them off). As simple as that, Google's new moto:
    - We do not do evil, but only if no one else does evil. Oh, and don't look too hard at how we made our first billion...
  • Its been over 15 years of /. covering the same repeated drama over copyright legislation with the MPAA/RIAA smash fly with hammer and screw what breaks mentality. Its not new, and its not stopped, and its really put a damper on my enthusiasim for most copyright claimaints. Then there is microsoft, and all these years of running linux and (mostly) free software.

    Everytime I hear "Copyright" I think hindering innovation and exploitation. My desire to see any pirates pursued at this point is nill.
  • by _KiTA_ (241027) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @09:35PM (#40536829) Homepage

    This also works with unpopular opinions and content.

    Case in point, Recently SomethingAwful's harassment of the TVTropes website reached a head when they started attacking TVTropes by complaining to Google about Trope pages that had odd content. The example was "Naughty Tentacles" which was the cliche of tentacles in anime tending towards being somewhat risque even in non-risque works. Google pulled all advertisements from their site until this page was removed and cut all their advertising money.

    The catch being that Naughty Tentacles and other "Not Safe For Google" pages were not serving Google Ads, which means that Google is now claiming that if you have an Ad Sense ad on a SINGLE page then Google has editorial rights on ALL pages on your site.

    That sick feeling in your stomach is normal, it merely means you are wise enough to realize what a huge disaster this could possibly be.

    (Not to say that TVTropes handled it well themselves. The administrator had a very public nervous breakdown over the whole thing, began harassing anyone who posted Japanese media tropes, tried to argue that Romeo and Juliet was child pornography because R&J are both 14, etc etc... Many people, including myself, were publicly banned and our names dragged through the mud because we disagreed with his "great porno purge" on what was supposedly a collaborative website.)

    Another recent example of something similar was when the concern troll at L7World began harassing [l7world.com] websites that hosted "Kodmo No Jikan", a very risque Japanese manga involving a precocious child abuse victim and the male teacher who is the subject of her torment (and who is attempting to save her from her abusive stepfather). While the content is... as close to pornographic as possible without actually reaching that point, the fact of the matter is the L7World troll used as many "fainting couch" attacks he could, including photoshopping things out of context and directly attacking the Advertisers that went through Google, to harass every manga hosting website he could. (He then later admitted he likes KnJ, reads it, and was just fucking with as many people as he could because he could get away with it.)

    Several months later, a similar attack was done by someone claiming that all Manga hosting websites had to remove not only any works with underage characters -- but also any manga works that had Gay or Lesbian themed content, because the "web is a product of the United States, a Christian Nation, and thus they had a duty to uphold Christian morals". When this troll was ignored and banned for these frothy rants, suddenly Google was getting all kinds of complaints out of the blue about these sites and pulled their advertisement money.

    This attack destroyed OneManga, severely hurt every other manga site, et cetera. Even sites that do not host manga, and are simply series database sites, such as BakaUpdates, were affected. So don't think that you're only in danger if you host Troll-Unapproved content, if you talk about things that trolls don't like, they can go through Google to attack your site now.

    And before anyone takes umbrage with the "underage characters" part, I would point out that the most popular children's comic in the world, Doraemon [wikipedia.org], as well as The SImpsons [rottentomatoes.com] technically fall under the same overreaching umbrella of what this troll was complaining about, and are not pornographic by any sense of the word.

    tl;dr: In short, I find it very unsettling that Google is openly bragging about the possibility that legal trolls such as the MPAA could now use attacks that Religious fundamentalist trolls (and, in the case of SA, just plain normal trolls) have used to silence websites that they do not agree with.

    • by Dartz-IRL (1640117) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:01PM (#40537053)

      If I had mod-points right now, I'd upvote this. But I don't.

      Oh well. You beat me to the punch by mentioning the TvTropes incident. And yes, that is bloody terrifying. Though really, advertising hitting publishers with the money stick to impose their editorial will is nothing new orbiting the sun.

      That doesn't mean I have to like it.

      The worrying thing is, many of these withdrawals are pretty much automated. Google has an almost machine-like bureaucratic apathy to the advertising world, it's systems grinding mindlessly along uncaring how automated reports are. It'll yank them anyway because it doesn't cost them anything to do so. It's the cheapest and easiest option. It's expensive to actually follow up the report and investigate the actual circumstances.

      That requires a salaried employee with a brain.

      Or in short form. I agree with everything you said, and just wanted to try post more than 'I agree with everything you said'

    • Reminds me of a person whose name I will not mention. I used to troll his blog. He was one of those political fanboy types - the ones who support their faction with the frenzied loyalty of a sports fan. His particular faction was the conservatives, and most of his posts involved rants about the anti-american evils of the 'lefty loonies.' He was really a fanatic, believing it was his patriotic duty to purge the internet of those of opposing factions.

      One day he got into a bit of a feud with another blogger -
  • Or would have done. Well, first they would have blocked DNS for site too, but that was dropped from the bill after the early complains.

    After that, all SOPA/PIPA did was make it possible to block payments to sites which hosted infringing content.

    I would say that the rejection of SOPA/PIPA means the internet rejected this idea, except i think few actually bothered to read or understand SOPA/PIPA before passing judgement on them.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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