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Piracy Your Rights Online

RIAA, MPAA Recruit MasterCard As Internet Police 421

An anonymous reader writes "Two weeks ago, MasterCard felt the wrath of Anonymous Operation Payback-style DDoS attacks after refusing to process payments that were intended to fund WikiLeaks, the website which began leaking confidential US diplomatic cables last month. Now, the company is preparing to head down another controversial path by pledging to deny transactions which support websites that host pirated movies, music, games, or other copyrighted content. MasterCard lobbyists have also been in talks with entertainment industry trade groups, including the RIAA and the MPAA, and have made it clear that the company will support the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), sources close to the talks have said."
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RIAA, MPAA Recruit MasterCard As Internet Police

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  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:44PM (#34645972)

    most of the PAY warez sites seems to seen scams and some even list fake games or other stuff just to make there file list seem big.

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:47PM (#34646014)

    Ok, fine. You are now liable for any criminal transactions you don't block.

    If you don't like that, you will send my money where I tell you to.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:48PM (#34646020)

    will Indy music sites get shut down as well?

    pioneer one donations?

  • Re:Thanks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:48PM (#34646028) Homepage Journal

    Since when did people pay to infringe copyright? I thought the whole point was that you get the stuff for free anyway.

  • I did my part (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:51PM (#34646084)

    Cancelled my MasterCard, then chopped it up. Enough people do that, MasterCard will start to wise up.

    Of course, I'm probably going to replace it with some flavour of Visa, which is probably just as evil and certainly did jump on the ban-Wikileaks bandwagon.

  • bye bye mastercard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coraon ( 1080675 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:53PM (#34646136)
    if you want me to use your service, then you need me to be able to use your service. If I can't use your service for the things I want, that what do I need you for?
  • Money = Speech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bughunter ( 10093 ) <bughunter&earthlink,net> on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:54PM (#34646146) Journal

    So let me get this right, money equals speech [], according to various Supreme Court Rulings []. But a major corporation whose credit and debit vehicles constitute one of the major means for tendering payment, i.e., speech, is permitted to filter your payments to whomever it likes.

    In other words, a bank gets to decide when your speech is acceptable and when it isn't.

    And, of course, if you're wealthy or powerful enough, this isn't a hindrance. But if you're a working stiff, living on a trickle of cash flow and using revolving credit to solve the logistical problems thereof, you're essentially subject to the bank's approval of your fiscal expression.

    Yet another distinction between serfs and lords in the information age.

  • by dogsbreath ( 730413 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:10PM (#34646398)

    What does this really mean? On the face of it no one should really object to Mastercard / Visa / etc denying service to criminal enterprises or criminal activities. This is to be expected both in terms of business ethics and legal liability.

    So the question is: who determines which enterprise is criminal / violating copyrights and what are the criteria and what is the process to have someone cut off? What is the appeal process?

    From TFA:
    "This move by MasterCard is just another in a recent long line of corporations and organizations that are taking it upon themselves to define the legality of situations rather than leaving it to the courts. One problem is that the US federal government is allowing the lobbyists for these organizations to dictate right and wrong. The RIAA and MPAA were the big influence behind the government’s seizure of several domains during the last week of November. "

    Worst case, this is a monetary blacklist controlled by the RIAA (eg: RIAA sends unsubstantiated note to Mastercard listing "offenders". Mastercard moves immediately to deny service.) Very nice club for the RIAA to hold.

  • If I say that people engaged in prostitution are more likely to have STDs, am I a knowledgeable person, or would you convict me of engaging a prostitute? Perhaps I must also be a fool because I know things about 419 scams? Surely I'm a terrorist for seeing weaknesses in the TSA programs.

  • by Chucky_M ( 1708842 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:13PM (#34646458)
    If the WikiLeaks "dirty" fightback taught the world anything then it was that the USA has too much control over critical worldwide infrastructure both technical and practical (Internet and Money) and it has shown that it cannot be trusted to control either. For reasons of their own most nations have been going along with the current world order as it was never openly abused and this allowed tacit approval, but as pressure grows from China, India and an emerging EU/Russia along with growing understanding from the people in these nations the world has in fact already irreparably changed. These sorts of activities will only hasten that change of power much to the detriment of the existing regimes. As the Chinese (and Mr Pratchett) say "May you live in Interesting times", it is a curse for a reason and these are interesting times.
  • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <> on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:26PM (#34646642) Journal

    If you say that people engaged in prostitution most likely have STDs, I'd say you've made an educated assumption. If you say that most people engaged in prostitution do have STDs, I'd be led to assume that you had firsthand experience.

    Follow the same logic for your other examples. OP said "most pay warez sites seem to be scams" (rather than "must be" or "are probably") and "some even list fake games" (rather than "probably" or "might"). This implies firsthand knowledge.


  • by devxo ( 1963088 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:44PM (#34646894)

    If I say that people engaged in prostitution are more likely to have STDs, am I a knowledgeable person, or would you convict me of engaging a prostitute? Perhaps I must also be a fool because I know things about 419 scams? Surely I'm a terrorist for seeing weaknesses in the TSA programs.

    Why would people engaged in prostitution be more likely to have STDs? At least in countries where it's legal or semi-legal (Amsterdam, Germany, Thailand and so on..), sex workers routinely check against STDs and their place of employment usually has them on record too and you can ask to see them. I would also say that they are much better in knowing how to avoid getting STDs. This is again another one of those assumptions that have no basis in actual reality, because obviously prostitution must be bad since you're having easy no-strings-attached pre-marital sex!

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:46PM (#34646922) Homepage Journal

    So.. is this what the next 20 years is going to be like?

    Will it be that if you don't play by the corporation's rule they will put you on a black list and you won't even be able to live?

    Because that's the direction it looks like it is heading right now. Maybe we're already there as important as the credit reporting agencies already are...

  • by Chucky_M ( 1708842 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:50PM (#34646962)

    So I can't use a Mastercard to pay for Usenet service, then?

    The first rule of Usenet is, you do not talk about Usenet.

  • by BenEnglishAtHome ( 449670 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @07:33PM (#34647390)

    If a cc company doesn't like your product, for whatever reason, they'll institute policies banning you and everyone else in your business. Is it legal to buy marijuana in your location? It doesn't matter if you live in one of the many places where it is, cc companies won't knowingly give those merchants accounts. Want to buy pictures of "child models"? Those sites can't get cc companies to work with them simply because their product is icky (not illegal in most countries, just really icky).

    Sell something, do something, say something that the cc companies think will make them look bad and they'll cut you off. This is a surprise?

    What's surprising to me is that the cc companies have decided that "pirate" sites (or however they define this subset of customers that they're going to cut off) are a sufficiently serious source of bad press that it's worthwhile to cut them off. More people every day are becoming more educated about media distribution, how evil some of the companies involved are, and how not-necessarily-immoral is the whole notion of downloading media. They might derive some public-image profit in the short term among the uneducated but I have to believe that in the long term most of their customers are going to understand this was a really dumb move.

  • Re:Thanks... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @08:55PM (#34648038)

    You don't, but the Pirate Bay actively encourages people to go out and buy branded T-shirts and such which support them; this merchandise is manufactured and sold by a third party (of which there are many). I've no doubt other sites do something similar.

    Watch how quickly the merchandising companies drop them if Mastercard approach and say "Nice business you got here. Be a shame if you weren't able to accept credit cards any more." The already did something similar with

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @09:40PM (#34648360)

    This is pretty much the definition of restraint of trade. If financial companies run this course, they might find themselves on the receiving end of a different kind of lawsuit, anti-trust.

    Has there been any meaningful enforcement of antitrust law in the US since 1974?

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming