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Censorship Google Your Rights Online

AFL-CIO and Big Content Advocate For SOPA 295

Weezul writes "Today's House Judiciary Committee meeting on the Stop Online Piracy Act excluded any witnesses who advocate for civil rights. Google's Katherine Oyama was the only witness to object to the bill in a meaningful way. In particular, the AFL-CIO's Paul Almeida advocated for the internet blacklist, saying 'the First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks.'"
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AFL-CIO and Big Content Advocate For SOPA

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @07:05PM (#38079814) Homepage Journal

    The root of the recording industry came from distribution.

    That was trucking.

    It's why the same gangsters ran these concessions: recording, publishing, pressing and distribution. This is a "legitimate business" that grew out of racketeering - and has never dispensed with the original ethos - they just went "legit" and lawyered-up.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @07:07PM (#38079832) Journal

    Can you quit the AFL-CIO?

  • Fallacious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khellendros1984 ( 792761 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @07:15PM (#38079934) Journal

    the First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks

    Yeah, true. But there are several points to consider that I feel make the quoted statement utterly fallacious. First, an accusation of theft isn't immediately punished; guilt has to be proven first. Second, theft of a physical object means that the original owner loses the object. In the case of a piece of digital property, the original holder hasn't lost possession of anything. The content-creation industry's obsession with immediate punishment before investigation doesn't make sense. It violates the due process rights of the accused for no legally-sound reason. It allows for corporate actions to replace proper review by the judicial system....and it's a short-sidedly, seemingly-logical extension of a content-holder's desire to maximize revenue.

  • Re:Fallacious (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @07:25PM (#38080042)

    The ironic thing about this: I mailed the Congress-critters in my district. One replied to not bother him , that he did not care what thieves and scofflaws thought. Two things... SOPA will do little to stop IP infringement. The warez hounds will use the usual sources, even if they use a proxy or send TOR to a flaming grave.

    SOPA is meant to silence critics and dissidents, pure and simple.

  • by Local ID10T ( 790134 ) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @07:34PM (#38080180) Homepage

    I'm just gonna throw this one out there... mostly because it's obnoxious.

    http://www.reverserobocall.com/ [reverserobocall.com]

    Politicians robocall you. Now you can robocall them.

    Welcome to the Robocall Revolution. We believe that voters should have access to the same technology political groups use to get their message across; so we built a simple web-based robocall tool to literally give citizens back their voice in the political discourse. What better way to exercise your rights to to speech, than to actually speak truth to power?

    ReverseRobocall.com provides voters an easy way to communicate with one or hundreds of politicians or political groups using the same technology politicians use, the robocall or automated phone call.

  • Re:I Agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @07:50PM (#38080346)

    Yeah! So what we need is a law that allows any corporation to confiscate any car or truck that they claim has any stolen goods in it, or has been used or is likely to be used to carry stolen goods without proof or judicial oversight on those claims.

    You're aware that this is already legal, right?

    That's how the police can confiscate a drug-dealer's stuff and keep it without any inconvenience like warrants, trials, verdicts, that sort of thing.

    And if the police take your stuff under those laws, you have to bring suit against them to recover the stuff, after PROVING that you are not, in fact, a criminal....

  • Re:Third Parties (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tragedy ( 27079 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:02PM (#38080454)

    It's known as the Spoiler Effect and it got both Clinton, via Perot and Bush, via Nader elected. Somehow, it got stirred up into anger at the "third party" candidate, when the real problem is that the US uses a simple plurality voting system that is extremely biased towards a two party system since voting any other way risks throwing your vote away on a spoiler. The fundamental problem is that simple plurality is the best functional system for choosing between exactly two options. For all numbers other than two, it's the worst functional system (there are other, worse, systems, but I wouldn't consider them functional). All of the known single pass systems have paradoxes, but the one that the US actually uses has the worst paradox in the Spoiler Effect.

    Then, of course, the Democrats and Republicans, realizing they have a duopoly, work together to ensure it stays that way. For example, the so-called "presidential debates" are a purely Democrat/Republican media affair. There's no invitations for other parties to participate and no established mechanism for other parties or independents to join. Real presidential debates would last about a month and be either arranged tournament style like an actual debate competition, or in some format that allowed every candidate to debate every other candidate. Instead, there's just a polished media event between members of the traditional duopoly arranged by power brokers. I'm not going to say that voting in the US is a sham per se, but I would like people to think about how many US elections have been decided based on a difference in votes that was actually smaller than the margin of error in the voting system (which the debacle in Florida a while back that was sorted out in part by the brother of one of the candidates makes abundantly clear).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:07PM (#38080526)

    As I understand it, I need only send a "take-down" notice indicating a site is infringing on my trademark. The DNS must then be blocked and the site owner must be notified of the blockage. The site owner may then send a counter-notice claiming it should remain unblocked. If the site owner sends a counter-notice the site is unblocked and the matter is referred to the courts. If the site owner does not respond with a counter-notice the site remains blocked.

    If I am correct, what is stopping me from drafting a "take-down" notice stating that I own the trademark for MPAA.org? RIAA.org? whitehouse.gov?

    Would this not automatically force the specific site off-line until they produce a counter-notice?

  • by ZeroSumHappiness ( 1710320 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:19PM (#38080666)
    Are there any liabilities if you misuse the take-down system? Are there any identity checks to make sure you're really who you say you are when you do misuse the take-down system?
  • Re:I Agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @08:25PM (#38080738)

    This is the problem with intellectual properties in general.

    You cannot prevent people from using your ideas. If its a good idea, people will use it.

    Patent and copyright laws are intended to COMPROMISE between necessary competitive agents, and incentivisation of creators.

    It *ONLY* works, when the public at large defacto agrees on the compromise.

  • Re:I Agree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday November 16, 2011 @10:43PM (#38081848) Homepage

    Even if you accepted the "copyright infringement is theft" analogy, SOPA is not about the Internet equivalent of "stealing goods off a truck." Copyright infringement is already illegal and there are already provisions to handle it. You notice your copyright is being infringed, you send a DMCA notice to the website, they take down the infringing material (or open themselves to a lawsuit), and then the uploader gets to respond (to get the stuff put back up). If you want to take down an entire site for copyright infringement, however, you need to first prove your case to a judge.

    SOPA takes that pesky judge out of the equation. Suppose that there are 10,000 sellers on SomeAuctionSite.com. Of these, 9,999 are legit. They sell items that nobody would have any problem with. One seller, however, is selling copyright infringing material. (For example, copies of DVDs.) Instead of the DMCA notices, the MPAA could contact the payment processors and ad sites that SomeAuctionSite.com uses to get their operating money. With their access to money cut off, SomeAuctionSite.com closes down. 9,999 legit sellers are taken down to get rid of 1 pirated DVD seller. It's using a bazooka to kill a fly, but the RIAA/MPAA doesn't care because they just want the fly dead and don't care about the collateral damage.

    In fact, it's even worse than that example. Suppose that the 1 seller on SomeAuctionSite.com didn't sell pirated DVDs but instead sold photos he took. Now let's say someone looked at one and thought it looked like a photo they had taken. They start to believe that this seller is selling other people's copyrighted photos and send SOPA notices to the payment/ad companies SomeAuctionSite.com uses. Nothing is proven in court, but still funding is cut off and SomeAuctionSite.com closes. Even if that seller is innocent of any infringement. SomeAuctionSite.com isn't even given any notice until their funds are cut off. By that point, their business will be bleeding money until they can clear things up. (Imagine if your business couldn't take any money in for some reason. How long would it last before it closed shop?)

    SOPA is a MPAA/RIAA wet dream and a Freddy Krueger for the rest of us.

  • by Aryden ( 1872756 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:17AM (#38082334)
    Can't agree, Unions are becoming a bane to worker. I've been in the UFCW, I have suffered because of them and lost a job because of them. Unions restrict your possible earnings. I was offered a raise by the company that I worked for because I had gained certifications, additional skills and had a decent level of seniority. The UFCW stepped in and told them that they could not give me the raise because it was unfair to the other union members. I argued against the union but the only way for me to get the raise was to quit for 30 days and get rehired at the new rate, but I would lose all of my seniority. So I quit. In the interim, the Union told my company that it was unfair to hold the position for me, and made the company fill it.
  • by leucadiadude ( 68989 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @04:33AM (#38083192) Homepage

    So he was 85% correct.

    They can continue to deduct 85% of the union dues as long as you work in that union job. By quitting the union you forfeit your right to vote in any union elections, and your dues are reduced by 15%. That 85% covers the supposed cost to the union to provide negotiation and worker protection benefits (what a joke). But sorry you cannot negotiate on your own, or try and provide a cheaper alternative to the union in non-right to work states. And you are still bound by that union contract, i.e., senority limits on your raises, offers for promotions and so on.

    Solution: Try and find a job in a right to work state like Nevada or South Carolina, etc.

    At one time Unions had a necessary reason for forming and existing. But with the advent of OSHA their main reason for existing (worker safety and working conditions) is redundant. Now they are pretty much just another cash cow of the Democratic Party and senior Union bosses and also a PAC/lobby. Incidentally that 15% that you can reduce your union dues by is supposedly what unions spend on political activities. Yeah right.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?