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Censorship Piracy The Internet Your Rights Online Politics

Viacom's SOPA/PIPA Pitch Video, Annotated 177

Lauren Weinstein writes "Viacom has just released a video calling for support of global Internet censorship via SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). A truth annotated version of this approximately seven-minute video is now available." Reader quantumplacet writes with word that the Business Software Alliance (probably for reasons other than this video) has withdrawn its support for SOPA, claiming that "Valid and important questions have been raised about the bill." Writes quantumplacet: "While the BSA has a long history of focusing on the worst offenders and mostly ignoring casual piracy, this still represents a dramatic turnaround as the organization has been a SOPA supporter since the act's inception. BSA President Robert Hollyman posted on the company blog that 'Due process, free speech, and privacy are rights that cannot be compromised. ....Some observers have raised reasonable questions about whether certain SOPA provisions might have unintended consequences in these areas.'"
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Viacom's SOPA/PIPA Pitch Video, Annotated

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  • Annotations... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jahava ( 946858 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:54AM (#38135490)

    So for those who haven't watched the "annotated" version, allow me to summarize. The production presents a series of film industry professionals talking about how they think things "should" be, why piracy is "not right", and dropping some of the classic inflated statistics that we all know and love. Each annotation is overlayed on top its respective scene to act in shallow rebuttal. The annotations present very few (if any) actual facts in rebuttal, rather relying on the same appeal to emotion and common sense that the original production pursued.

    I hope I'm not the only one who was gravely disappointed with these "nuh-uh!"-style counterpoints. Rather than "and yet the film industry made record profits", let's drop some actual numbers. If our premise - that these guys have failed to make their case to support SOPA - is correct, then all of the world's facts should back us up.

    If you're going to rebut a video, have something more inspiring and concrete than "and yet you want to censor the Internet."

  • Re:Annotations... (Score:5, Informative)

    by spidercoz ( 947220 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:31AM (#38135998) Journal
    You can't counter emotive appeals with facts. While it may be logically sound and correct, people don't care about logic and correctness. Shit like this Viacom propaganda has to be squashed with withering counter-emoting taking into account the bigger picture, which this annotation does, although a little half-assed.
  • by a_nonamiss ( 743253 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:42AM (#38136150)
    I hate to defend the MAFIAA, but they really should post a link to the original video in the summary. We should watch what they put out before biasing ourselves with a (probably very accurate) edited version of the video. I'm a believe that more information is better than less. We can't form good opinions of ignorance.

    That being said, the original video is crap. You can watch it here [].
  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @12:12PM (#38136566) Journal

    Or disallow riders that are not related to the primary bill being passed.

  • by paedobear ( 808689 ) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @12:19PM (#38136698)
    Daily Show / Colbert Report are blocked from streaming in countries where it's shown on a domestic channel or HAS IN THE PAST been shown on a domestic channel (it's the second part that's asking for trouble)
  • Errors were missed. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @07:14PM (#38142512)

    The Viacom video used the following shows and products as examples of "piracy":

    The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and South Park.

    What do you notice about all of these shows that are being "pirated"? They are all legitimately available for free viewing on their respective websites, on Hulu, etc!

    The annotated version failed to challenge the framing of the video and should be ashamed. Here are a few examples:

    -"Piracy" involves kidnapping and murder, not copyright infringement.
    -"Stealing" deprives an owner of their property. This is also not equivalent to copyright infringement.
    -"Intellectual Property" is not protected by U.S. law. U.S. law defines patents, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets (IANAL).
    -Copyrights and Patents are defined in the U.S. constitution to encourage continued innovation and creativity. They have already been extended to ridiculous lengths by acts such as the "Sonny Bono Copyright Extention Act." An obvious example is royalties collected from anyone who uses the "Happy Birthday" song publicly.
    -DMCA restrictions are already being used to trample "Fair Use". You may not back up your own media.
    -Music purchases may not be sold under the "First Sale" doctrine.
    -Recording artists have successfully sued record companies for withholding royalties when selling "Best Hits" compilations.
    -Artists often do not benefit from their own work (the basis for copyright law). For instance, Michael Jackson was greatly enriched by music written and performed by The Beatles.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire