January 18th, 2012 was the largest online protest in history to stop the internet censorship bills, SOPA & PIPA. On January 20th, Congress shelved the bills indefinitely. If they return, we must be ready.
In January 2012, the European Union and 22 of its member states joined the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea as signatories of ACTA, resulting in the resignation of the European Parliament’s appointed rapporteur, as well as widespread protests across Poland.
SOPA & PIPA are stopped (by now). ACTA in Europe must be also stopped. Constant updates on ACTA until the vote in the European Parlament (May/June 2012) and ways to prevent ACTA: the main two things to do are contacting Members of the European Parliament and helping spread the word about ACTA.
all this makes me sad
It’s naive of this to say ’It’s as if someone shoplifts from your store, SOPA allows the government to shut down your store’. At the end of the day, these websites enable users like myself to download copyrighted films from my own home as much as I want to… these sites know that people are using their website to do that. Some of them encourage it. Shopkeepers don’t encourage ‘theft’ in that way.
I do not know enough of these acts to understand whether or not they will ultimately help the movie industry increase its revenue, but it is interesting to know that from 2000-2010, revenue increased by 35%.
If I download a film, it’s a film I am not sure I want to buy. If I really love the film, I buy the film. I have spent more money on DVDs because of illegal downloading and streaming.
That timeline is depressing and really emphasizes how much the movie industry hates audiences and hates art. It reminds me of a David Simon quote about how much current American industry has so much contempt, not only for the consumer, but its own products.
Avaaz.org is a good organisation on behalf of the less powerful on a range of subjects, with another petition ready to stop further attempts by companies/big brother to censor and control us online.
I’ve only downloaded one film in my life, and it’s because there was literally no other way to see it
I buy films if I’m not 100% on them, but want to see them anyway. It’s just part of the shopping experience – you can never be 100% sure with what you buy, but I think it’s a risk we should all take… it’s the least we owe to the filmmaker
If you can afford to pay $20-$40 for every film you think you might like, more power to you.
If I had to pay $20-$40 just to give a film a chance, I would have maybe one third or less of my current collection, and that current collection wouldn’t include many directors I didn’t already like. Also bear in mind I use Netflix for most of my exploration, and the only downloading I do is for things that have practically no region 1 availability at all.
And how do you feel about regional controls? Should corporations get to say “People who live in this part of the world get to watch this and nobody else”?
Also, this bill is more than just holding people responsible for piracy. The bill says that if any site has any copyrighted material, even if posted by an individual contributor, a corporation can have that site blacklisted with no explanation or notice. This is absurd. It gives broad censorship powers to a central authority with no real oversight to make sure that power is not abused and no real appeal system.
A lot of the laws Congress is trying to pass are downright frightening. Although it’s kind of depressing that people rallied around killing PIPA, and didn’t do shit about the law they passed that effectively nullified the fifth and sixth amendments. PIPA and SOPA aren’t the only absurd federal power-grabbing laws being thrown around by our current lawmakers.
It reminds me of Animal Farm. They originally had an amendment, “No animal shall drink alcohol”. Then the pigs started drinking alcohol, and they went back and it said “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.” We had an amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, then went back and looked again and it said “But enhanced interrogation is okay.” We had an amendment guaranteeing trial by jury, then looked back again and it said “unless we think you’re associating with terrorists.” PIPA and SOPA do the same thing to the first amendment.
hang the pirates! but start with the movie moguls and record execs
Well, let’s put some theory to it. And not to make things more complicated, let’s just speak about film.
In these decades, what we have is the decentralization/democratization of peoples’ access to films. Imagine the first cinema halls, then bigger cinema halls, multiplexes, drive-in, etc. The aim was economical, to have more viewers. Then we had television, so more viewers. And video cassettes, discs – more channels to have more viewers. That is why the industry’s revenue is increasing, although they often want us to believe the opposite. But one can very easily add 2 + 2 by reading about how much money today’s stars receive compared to the stars from the past. And don’t forget the proud box office figures.
Then we had the internet. This is nothing else than the same trend of democratization/widening of the access. But there is one significant difference – all sort of medium that existed so far were corporately controlled – televisions, disc distributors etc. On the internet, we also have strong corporate interests, but they are a bit aside from the main distributing channels – the internet corporations again provide the access, but access to film is just one of the types of access they provide and very often – not the most important. They don’t make their money primarily from film distribution. That is why, now most of internet businesses don’t have the same business interest as the film industry. And that is why, for the first time, individuals have raised to power to participate in the information exchange to a large scale and again – sharing films is just part of the story.
So, what we have today? We have the largest access to films ever, it is dreams come true for the people who create films. As some pointed out already in this thread, no doubt this popularity pays off indirectly and contributes to their revenue. But in a different manner, like the advertisement benefit. Clever film producers would make profit from this, like I’m sure many do.
Yes, films are products and they shouldn’t be stolen. But films are not ordinary products. Films, like other works of art are vehicles of ideas. Imagine a van Gogh masterpiece hanging in a museum. Whoever owns the painting tries to control all sorts of distribution of the images of the painting. And limits the access. What will be the cost of such a painting if it is known by a limited number of people? Stupid, eh?
What I think – this attack is not so much against pirates, there have always been pirates and will always be. I think this attack is against the internet capital, that is why the internet companies reacted so actively. What they want is to get a legal access inside the internet companies. In order to separate piracy information, they must have all the information. And you know that information is more valuable than gold.
Why should we care about it? Because of our privacy. By coincidence, privacy sounds similar to piracy :-) How can you eliminate one by not hurting the other? Impossible.
Why don’t we re-evaluate copyright instead? And make it more relevant to current technology?
^ Great post, Chadvar.
Honestly this all comes down to money. And how some people want to control it — exclusively.
The idea of intellectual property is troublesome to me. You cannot put a price on everything, and squelching the exchange of information — I’m not talking about ripping people off and making a fortune off of an idea that is not yours, come on is that really all internet users?? — is vital to the artistic community. Being able to post stills from films, post clips from actual films even, discuss them, and then say, in the cinephile community, acquire a really nice Blu Ray ends up in a profit somewhere. But without discussion and sharing, art is dead.
There is a vibrant community of cinephiles on the internet and their being fans of film is important to films being seen, artists being highlighted, and this is MOST important for current and living artists. But access to work by dead artists who are amazing keeps the inspiration going, the dialogue between past and present creates the future.
The internet expands the audience base exponentially. The problem Hollywood has with it is that they haven’t yet learned how to make money off that, so they want to clamp everything down old school. They just don’t get it.
Yeah, the whole concept of owning an idea is outmoded. The notion of intellectual property and patents was invented to ensure small inventors and designers would be the ones to profit off their own work.
Problem is, those small inventors and designers can’t afford to enforce their patents/IP rights, they force their employers into signing over all of their intellectual property upon hire, and they only use them to maintain legal monopolies over content so they can price uncompetitively.
Thing is, HUGE and profitable companies are ALL over the intellectual property crap. If this was designed to just protect the little guy, what the hell distortion is that?
Yeah, that whole thing needs to be revisted.
Apropos of revisiting copyright law, and article on CNN today.
the supreme court recently held that public domain works may be repatriated. heh, i seem to remember that jack valenti wanted to make copyright last for eternity and when the courts said that was impossible he asked for eternity less one day lol
Yeah, I know about that.
Idiots, all of them.
STOP ACTA! Worldwide protest on February 11 2012
+ sign & share Avaaz European petition against ACTA http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet/
+ share & go to STOP ACTA! Worldwide protest on February 11 2012 https://www.facebook.com/events/171544026282055/
+ contact your elected European Parliament representatives to inform them about ACTA, and urge them to oppose this circumvention of their powers and competency
They just don’t get it.
Better to steal content and give it away on a website where the website owner makes money from advertising?
I don’t get it…..
You Are Not a Gadget
Nobody is defending piracy RWP. It’s a ‘Cure is worse than the illness’ issue.
Sure, you could reduce the burglary rate by declaring martial law and running tanks through the city. But that would be worse than the burglary.
SOPA declares martial law on the internet. There are too many raccoons in the park, so they’re releasing bears.
Even Forbes magazine is treating the issue as more nuanced than that Robert. You can read a recent editorial on the subject here
Well sure the good guys are the capitalist ADVERTISERS !
Treat your customers with respect , and they’ll do the same to you. And that is how you fight piracy.
Oh, please Robert. There are a number of associated issues involved with the question of the internet versus older models of content distribution and treating the answers as if they are easy ones isn’t doing anyone any good. One of the central components is what is the goal sought in attempts to regulate and who is intended to be benefited by the legislation. It often appears to me that your particular interest is purely a legal one, but that slant isn’t dealing with the underlying issues at hand, it is merely saying that whatever is legal is good and what isn’t, isn’t.
I don’t have to agree with all types of “piracy” to think the current model isn’t a good one, and that many of the proposed changes are far more troubling than the “ills” they seek remedy. I would like artists to be able to make a living pursuing their art, but I also would like to have our shared heritage accessible to more than those who have the ransom demanded by a select few who deem themselves guardians to the path to interacting with it.
When technology changes you don’t prop up the profitability of the old technology with knee-jerk protectionism. It doesn’t work and mucks everything up in the process.
Copyright law exempts the Public Broadcasting Service Corporation as well as other educational uses. The point I would make is that there is an order to things that has been vetted somehow, not a mob rule.
Look at Jirin promoting stealing because anything else props ‘up the profitability of the old technology.’
Like these assholes at megaupload were not making a profit?
The idea behind property rights is that they provide a stability from which the future is built.
Artists sell their rights to others – that income gives them the time and space to continue creating stuff.
Ultimately this conflict should serve as a platform to discuss how to make the new technology work for all involved (exempting those who are clearly using it for less than honorable reasons).
Digital is very hard medium to grapple with in terms of preventing rampant sharing. Profiting from it fairly is tricky, but even just giving credit where credit is due is difficult to enforce. Anything created digitally can be very quickly duplicated and shared. Anything that can be easily duplicated is always problematic when it comes to profit and and the claim of sole ownership.
That doesn’t mean that the entire internet sharing situation should be shut down while a better solution to resolving these issues emerges.
A solution is going to happen that will work out for viewers and artists, eventually. It needs more time though.
the latest news on acta: romania and the czech republic are reportedly reconsidering the treaty. it’s worth repeating that the united states, who are are attemting to foist this on the rest of the world, did not sign the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works until 1988, more than 100 years after it was first proposed at the instigation of victor hugo. also, over 75 law professors have signed an open letter to president obama expressing concerns about the ‘intense but needless secrecy’ surrounding the treaty negotiations. gotta love this photo from the polish parliament:
I am not ‘Promoting stealing’, RWP. And by accusing me of doing so you sound like the politicians who say those who don’t want to be strip searched at the airport are promoting terrorism. But no, I don’t support the RIAA’s attempts to have a legally enforced monopoly either so they can charge uncompetitive prices by controlling supply. This is not fighting stealing, this is dignified racketeering, and if you notice the companies that are doing the best right now are the ones who found a way to profit legally from downloading and online streaming.
Do you know how much money Apple makes off apps that do things you could do just as well with a free, legal, open source program? But people buy them anyway, because Apple made them want to.
What you’re suggesting would be like if when light bulbs were invented, they illegalized electricity to save the candle industry.
I would not, but some would argue that it’s not stealing unless something is taken away from somebody else, so what do you do with an infinitely replicable good? Such things did not exist until twenty years ago. They had to change the definition of stealing just to make this debate possible.
Ok, can I say something? Those guys need to stop with those stupid masks.