Posts Tagged with "copyright"

SOPA & PIPA: A Historical Perspective (NSFW)

January 21st, 2012 at 2:31 am by Mark
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Everyone’s apparently forgotten about Clinton’s 1995 Communications Decency Act, which was an unconstitutionally vague few paragraphs of the larger Clinton Communication Act which left most anything on the Internet open to being listed as “indecent” and requiring an immediate takedown.

Everyone’s also forgotten about Clinton’s attempted 1997 and 1998 Intellectual Property & Copyright Acts, which ended up coming down so hard on online music sharing community, Napster. Further, people forgot the fight against Clinton’s 2000 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the fisticuffs in Congress that made our politicians look as bad as a meeting at Japanese Parliament.

In the end for SOPA & PIPA, logic prevailed. The bills weren’t shelved due to someone in Congress not being able to get their dose of LOLcats for a day, but rather because it’s all happened before, and they knew this would play out about as well as a re-run of a bad 90’s soap opera.

Still, it made me a bit nostalgic for the Internet culture of the 90’s where, rather than utilizing heavy-handed activism, the Internet lashed out in more creative ways:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfAVT4eSRVQ

Taking sites offline against to rage against the mere possiblity that SOPA & PIPA might pass made about as much sense as the age-old quote, “Fighting for Peace is like F#$*ing for Chastity.”

To some degree, this sort of belligerent activism reminded me of last years Facebook meme, “Change your online avatar to a cartoon character to end child abuse!” It was a completely empty gesture, and besides, given my penchant for Bloom County, Calvin & Hobbes and my own silly comic strip from the early 90’s, it’s completely apparent that I was solely responsible for eradicating child abuse in 1994…

WTF? Rapidshare.de Complains About Illegal Links?

January 1st, 2009 at 11:48 am by Mark
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     On one of the Support Foums I hang in, I found this message, supposedly from a Rapidshare.de Support member.  Some information has been removed in order to protect privacy/stupidity, but you’ll get the gist:

Im one of the support members who work for Rapidshare.com/.de who is responsible to make sure that no illegal software is uploaded to our servers. Recently about 1 week ago we have found out that one of your users who is hosting with you – domain: http://XXXXXX1.com indexes illegal links on his/her website.

Myself and other members of our support team has sent number of emails to your departments legal@YYYYY.com and abuse@YYYYY.com tho with no reply and no action taken.

I hope as a respective hosting provider you will take immediate action regarding this issue ASAP as we will have no other choice but to take this action further and report to IWF (Internet Watch Foundation).

Awaiting reply.

Kind Regards,
ZZZZZ

     An hour and a half later, ZZZZZ adds the following information:

Just to add our sytem has found out another domain'(s) hosted by you:
http://www.XXXXX2.com
http://www.XXXXX3.com

which contains illegal content too.

     In case you’re unfamiliar with Rapidshare, they’re a file sharing company who lets users put up whatever they want for download.  Of course, this creates all sorts of illegal uses, and Rapidshare.com is pretty quick about getting stuff taken down — when there are complaints.
     The German side, however, Rapidshare.de, is notoriously lazy in responding to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Requests, complaints about Pirated Software, RIAA Music Complaints, Terrorist Content and, of course, some of the most vile atrocities involving children.  Due to their “slow” nature and their extremely strict adherence to bureaucray, they’ve become the haven of choice for illicit file sharing.

     XXXXX1-3.coms are, for all practical purposes, search engines for the content stored on Rapidshare.de, and host no content of their own.  Instead, they cull the Latest files as published by Rapidshare.de and put them into a nice, easily searchable engine so that most anyone can find whatever content is stored in the Fileshares at Rapidshare.de.

     The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is an anti-child exploitation organization based in the United Kingdom.  They work with police, in the United Kingdom, to assist in the prevention of child exploitation over the Internet.  As noble an effort as they are, their jurisdiction is still only in the UK.

     YYYYY.com is a US-based entity.  Neither are XXXXX1.com, XXXXX2.com nor XXXXX3.com operated or owned by anyone in the UK.

     So, basically, ZZZZZ asserts that YYYYY.com is hosting the sites, XXXXX1-3.com, and that YYYYY.com should take those sites down because they are hosting “illegal links.”  He doesn’t provide those links, of course.  But him, being from a German-based file sharing company, threatens to report a US-based host to a UK-based enforcement organization due to failure to act in removing content that is solely hosted by Rapidshare.de?

     Excuse me, but *cough*bullsht*cough* what?

     This is clearly a case of the Pot calling the Kettle an African Slave, captured by armed men somewhere in the Transvaal region of South Africa in 1789, and the Dutch bastard selling him to the Portugeuse for shipment to the New World says to call him “Stefan.”
     i.e. The irony is so thick you’d have to cut it with industrial machinery.

     And per ZZZZZ’s complaint, anyone can completely understand YYYYY.com not taking the threat seriously…

     Can you say, “Bureaucratic Posturing,” boys and girls?

     I knew you could. 😉

Note: I have nothing to do with XXXXX1.com, XXXXX2.com, XXXXX3.com, YYYYY.com, ZZZZZ or Rapidshare.de. I’m just sayin’… *shakes head*

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Open Letter to the Editor of Slate

April 23rd, 1999 at 12:07 pm by Mark
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     I have enjoyed the perspectives of many of Slate’s articles because they often mirror my own thoughts. However, over the last two years, I have also become dismayed on several occasions to see a sentence here, or paragraph there, from my own, or someone elses, works thrown into the fray by any given writer.
     I don’t want to come down on Slate, specifically, for this sort of behaviour. On the contrary, several New York Times and Los Angeles Herald writers have proven to be the culprits of some of the most unsavoury reprints, copies and unnaturally similar paraphrases. To be honest, it worries me that this sort of (what I categorise as) plagiarism is so rampant, and goes unnoticed when spoken from newshounds and editorialists.
     There are many of us out in the world who would be considered “hobby writers,” as we don’t do this “for a living,” thus our “opinions” and work do not “matter” so much as the “work of professionals.” Even with Copyright papers in hand, it is extremely difficult for the small, independent writer to pursue any form of legal recourse against a medium or large company, or even to a specific writer who has “made a name” for him or herself. Most often, there will be nothing more than a barrage of abusive retorts and character slurs, a few threats, and then, finally, the countersuit for — you guessed it — plagiarism.

     It annoys me to notice that the only people who I’ve ever seen complain of it were the very same “hobby writers” who are continually being screwed over time and again. I suppose it’s no wonder, really. Who on Earth would actually buy a newspaper or magazine if they knew that it often printed stolen material?
     I suppose the worst thing about it is this: Many of us write, giving to the public some viewpoint which we feel is important, not asking for ratings, not asking for advertising revenues or even, many times, recognition for our work. We write because we legitimately care, we want to inform, and perhaps, deep down, we have a desire to be heard…
     …and to see someone else capitalise off of our work is absolutely sickening.