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Stop the Internet Blacklist

jamesrage

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The government should have no business censoring websites.


David Segal: Stop the Internet Blacklist
When it really matters to them, Congressmembers can come together -- with a panache and wry wit you didn't know they had. As banned books week gets underway, and President Obama admonishes oppressive regimes for their censorship of the Internet, a group of powerful Senators -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- have signed onto a bill that would vastly expand the government's power to censor the Internet.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced just one week ago, but it's greased and ready to move, with a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday. If people don't speak out, US citizens could soon find themselves joining Iranians and Chinese in being blocked from accessing broad chunks of the public Internet.

Help us stop this bill in its tracks! Click here to sign our petition.

COICA creates two blacklists of Internet domain names. Courts could add sites to the first list; the Attorney General would have control over the second. Internet service providers and others (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the good favor of the government) if they block domains on the second list.

The lists are for sites "dedicated to infringing activity," but that's defined very broadly -- any domain name where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are "central to the activity of the Internet site" could be blocked.

One example of what this means in practice: sites like YouTube could be censored in the US. Copyright holders like Viacom often argue copyrighted material is central to the activity of YouTube, but under current US law, YouTube is perfectly legal as long as they take down copyrighted material when they're informed about it -- which is why Viacom lost to YouTube in court.

But if COICA passes, Viacom wouldn't even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal to get it shut down -- as long as they can persuade the courts that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement, the whole site could be censored.
 

MKULTRABOY

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So is this more of a copyright owners powers thing taking on infringement (which I refuse to have an opinion on)
Or a government censoring dangerous peoples? Its not exaclty clear what its going to censor and I wouldnt think itd be an issue of mass censorship because american government would fear the outrage of the people.

If its anything like italy's blog killing log that goes after the pathological liars spreading poison, but needs to be heavily considered and weighed out, I may be for it.
 

Kandahar

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So is this more of a copyright owners powers thing taking on infringement (which I refuse to have an opinion on)
Or a government censoring dangerous peoples? Its not exaclty clear what its going to censor and I wouldnt think itd be an issue of mass censorship because american government would fear the outrage of the people.

If its anything like italy's blog killing log that goes after the pathological liars spreading poison, but needs to be heavily considered and weighed out, I may be for it.

Regardless of what it's intended to do or what it initially does, we're creating a dangerous precedent if we allow this: That the government can censor websites that it doesn't like (without even going through due process in the case of the AG's blacklist). Eventually it could go far beyond what it was initially intentioned to do.

I agree that anyone who is opposed to censorship should strongly oppose this bill. There are less draconian ways to fight piracy than by censoring the internet.
 

danstevens80

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Regardless of what it's intended to do or what it initially does, we're creating a dangerous precedent if we allow this: That the government can censor websites that it doesn't like (without even going through due process in the case of the AG's blacklist). Eventually it could go far beyond what it was initially intentioned to do.

I agree that anyone who is opposed to censorship should strongly oppose this bill. There are less draconian ways to fight piracy than by censoring the internet.

Ecaxtly. How would we like it if government officials would moderate this forum?
 

Hoplite

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And people wonder why I dont really cry when people like the RIAA start sobbing about piracy.

This bill is a way for groups like the RIAA and those it funds to preserve their outmoded business practices by using the law of the land to do what their lawyers cant.

RIAA News Room - RIAA Applauds New Senate Bill Targeting Rogue Foreign Sites Trafficking In Illegal Music And Movies - Sep 20, 2010

http://www.mpaa.org/resources/a5118846-763a-46a5-9ad9-18b8a9a6bf63.pdf

These groups are basically using censorship to try and fight a losing war.

Yay intellectual property?
 

samsmart

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So is this more of a copyright owners powers thing taking on infringement (which I refuse to have an opinion on)
Or a government censoring dangerous peoples? Its not exaclty clear what its going to censor and I wouldnt think itd be an issue of mass censorship because american government would fear the outrage of the people.

If its anything like italy's blog killing log that goes after the pathological liars spreading poison, but needs to be heavily considered and weighed out, I may be for it.

It's copyright owners taking on infringement.

The reason for the bill is that there are websites that offer copyrighted content free for download without the consent of the copyright holders. However, many of these websites have their servers in foreign countries, out of the jurisdiction of the American court system. So they can't be prosecuted for violating copyright.

By having an internet blacklist in the power of the court system, foreign websites will be able to be prosecuted and then banned from being accessed by Americans.

But, as many can see, the potential for abuse is astonishing, as there are definitely the possibilities to use this list for censorship. Imagine the "obscenity" standard being applied to the whole internet, and so the government gets to choose which content gets to be accessed. Imagine the political suppression that can happen because of this.

All because the entertainment industry simply refuses to adapt their business models after the Internet Revolution. It's a damn shame.
 

rathi

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As usual, the public is distracted by emotional rhetoric on wedge issues while congress screws over the citizens to appease some corporate backers. What we need is media attention on this pathetic bull****.
 

Deuce

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As usual, the public is distracted by emotional rhetoric on wedge issues while congress screws over the citizens to appease some corporate backers. What we need is media attention on this pathetic bull****.

Of course, the media is run by some of the same corporations backing this sort of thing...
 

hazlnut

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Sounds like the law the is finally catching up with technology in a practical way.
 

mikhail

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The internet is no country or companies property.
 

hazlnut

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The internet is no country or companies property.

So, using software to download a bitTorrent containing the latest Metallica album or X-Men movie is just like walking down the street (in no country) and finding a copy of the same movie or album that someone (the film/music disto company) accidentally left behind... Oops...

all those 0s and 1s are property...

And when someone gets your CC number off an IRC channel, they're not actually holding the plastic, that's still in your wallet. But they use it on the internet for few days until visa flags them... But it all happened on the internet, not a real country... And all those motherboards you didn't buy aren't real property either... so we shouldn't worry??:roll::roll:
 

Kandahar

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So, using software to download a bitTorrent containing the latest Metallica album or X-Men movie is just like walking down the street (in no country) and finding a copy of the same movie or album that someone (the film/music disto company) accidentally left behind... Oops...

all those 0s and 1s are property...

And when someone gets your CC number off an IRC channel, they're not actually holding the plastic, that's still in your wallet. But they use it on the internet for few days until visa flags them... But it all happened on the internet, not a real country... And all those motherboards you didn't buy aren't real property either... so we shouldn't worry??:roll::roll:

Illegal acts on the internet does not justify draconian censorship measures. There are other ways to combat illegal acts, like arresting or suing the perpetrators.
 

Travelsonic

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And when someone gets your CC number off an IRC channel, they're not actually holding the plastic, that's still in your wallet. But they use it on the internet for few days until visa flags them...l:

Not an apt analogy to piracy at all. :roll:
 

hazlnut

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Illegal acts on the internet does not justify draconian censorship measures.

So when a court issues an injunction or a grand jury hears evidence and issues an indictment... the carrying out of the court order by Marshals is 'draconian'?? This would be a technological extension of an arrest warrant or court order.

What's being censored? If we close down a chop shop dealing in stolen car parts, are we censoring them? If we shut down a flea market booth selling bootleg DVDs, is the owner being censored?

Why not extend the legal authority of U.S. courts in a pragmatic and efficient manner.

There are other ways to combat illegal acts, like arresting or suing the perpetrators.

Can't touch them in China, Sweden, Ukraine...

Look, stolen property is not 'free speech'. Trafficking in stolen property is illegal. However, the internet creates a new mechanism for moving stolen property through normally legal methods. The illegal site with stolen files may not be hosted here in the U.S., but via the internet, we can access it.

Picture an empty storefront. You walk in and the store is magically filled with all the latest software and it's all free. Normally a store buys software wholesale from Adobe or Microsoft, but this store got one copy and made a thousand more without paying for each copy. As soon as you exit the store, it doesn't exist and the cops can't ever find it or touch it. Don't we as Americans have the right and legal duty to block entrance to that store? Adobe, Microsoft are American companies with shareholders etc.

As long as there's a legal process for deciding who goes on the list, I have no problem with it. If you are wrongly put on the list, you can appeal, sue for damages, loss of income etc. If you were a legal business.
 

hazlnut

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Not an apt analogy to piracy at all. :roll:

It wasn't meant to be.

It's just another crime that uses the internet. People trade stolen CC numbers and kiddie porn on IRC channels.

Youtube will never be shut down.

But Canadian's who sell modified satellite boxes over the internet??
 

Orion

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This is different from the Chinese firewall how?
 

Ned Racine

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Does Anybody think that Prison Planet might have a problem???
 

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So when a court issues an injunction or a grand jury hears evidence and issues an indictment... the carrying out of the court order by Marshals is 'draconian'??

The problem here, with bills like ACTA and this, is the burden of proof or lack therefore needed - that and the disconnect between those in power and the knowledge about how technology works on even the basic level.


What's being censored?

Nothing yet, but that isn't being said - the POTENTIAL for cesorship is very high.

If we close down a chop shop dealing in stolen car parts, are we censoring them? If we shut down a flea market booth selling bootleg DVDs, is the owner being censored?

Yes - albiet legitimately - the definition of censorship doesn't change - the legitimacy though is there in these cases.

Why not extend the legal authority of U.S. courts in a pragmatic and efficient manner.

Because it is being done using flawed bills lobbied for corporations, and said corproations will be given too much leeway. As it is, DMCA takedown notices, for example, are already being abused to on YouTunbe for example with no repricussions. The Church of Scientology, for example, has not yet - from what I've heard - face any repricussions for the false DMCA notices they sent to suppress opposition.

Look, stolen property is not 'free speech'. Trafficking in stolen property is illegal. However, the internet creates a new mechanism for moving stolen property through normally legal methods. The illegal site with stolen files may not be hosted here in the U.S., but via the internet, we can access it.

However, we are not talking about that at all [posession of stolen property] and digital files can't be "stolen" in the same way physical goods can be from a storefront - and the law clearly reflects this. In fact, that attempt to equate copyright infringement and trafficking stolen goods was made by prosecutors in Dowling v. U.S in 1985 - an argument that failed miserably because of the obvious differences between IP and physical property.



As long as there's a legal process for deciding who goes on the list, I have no problem with it. If you are wrongly put on the list, you can appeal, sue for damages, loss of income etc. If you were a legal business.

They said that about the DMCA, and the no-fly list. Bollocks.
 

American

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The government should have no business censoring websites.


David Segal: Stop the Internet Blacklist
When it really matters to them, Congressmembers can come together -- with a panache and wry wit you didn't know they had. As banned books week gets underway, and President Obama admonishes oppressive regimes for their censorship of the Internet, a group of powerful Senators -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- have signed onto a bill that would vastly expand the government's power to censor the Internet.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced just one week ago, but it's greased and ready to move, with a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday. If people don't speak out, US citizens could soon find themselves joining Iranians and Chinese in being blocked from accessing broad chunks of the public Internet.

Help us stop this bill in its tracks! Click here to sign our petition.

COICA creates two blacklists of Internet domain names. Courts could add sites to the first list; the Attorney General would have control over the second. Internet service providers and others (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the good favor of the government) if they block domains on the second list.

The lists are for sites "dedicated to infringing activity," but that's defined very broadly -- any domain name where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are "central to the activity of the Internet site" could be blocked.

One example of what this means in practice: sites like YouTube could be censored in the US. Copyright holders like Viacom often argue copyrighted material is central to the activity of YouTube, but under current US law, YouTube is perfectly legal as long as they take down copyrighted material when they're informed about it -- which is why Viacom lost to YouTube in court.

But if COICA passes, Viacom wouldn't even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal to get it shut down -- as long as they can persuade the courts that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement, the whole site could be censored.

None of this is really surprising under the socialist regime of Barack Hussein Obama and his cohort from the People's Republic of San Francisco. So will Democrats take the credit for this. We have a poll asking this very sort of question.
 
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hazlnut

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Considering that the average judge doesn't have the slightest idea how the internet works, this seems like a terrible idea.

You're basing that opinion on what?

A prosecutor/attorney presents evidence of a crime. If it can be shown that the main purpose of particular site is to facilitate theft... seems reasonable to block that site.
 

Travelsonic

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You're basing that opinion on what?

A prosecutor/attorney presents evidence of a crime. If it can be shown that the main purpose of particular site is to facilitate theft... seems reasonable to block that site.

IMO this exemplifies the point being made - no theft is involved here at all. It is something different/new we are dealing with.
 
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Laila

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But if COICA passes, Viacom wouldn't even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal to get it shut down -- as long as they can persuade the courts that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement, the whole site could be censored.

And this is why I have no sympathy for the Industry whenever they whine about piracy. Yah right.
If it isn't 3 strikes, its's censoring the internet, if it isn't fining innocent people without proof then its ACTA Treaty. **** 'em.
 

Laila

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These groups are basically using censorship to try and fight a losing war.

Yay intellectual property?

Good luck to 'em. There is a whole saga going on over here in UK in regards to this.
Cliff notes:
A law firm who sends threatening letters to individuals home demanding up to 500 pounds repay for "downloading" (without proof)
Owner of law firms taunts 4chan ..
Emails of tens of thousands of BT/Sky/ISP's customers details get leaked online which includes credit details goes online
Law firm is now being investigated by Commission and will be fined up to half a million for not protecting data and ISP's have revolted and refuse to co operate with anti piracy efforts.
And when he is fined, he will go bankrupt

Epic Win.

Oh and
:D
 
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hazlnut

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IMO this exemplifies the point being made - no theft is involved here at all. It is something different/new we are dealing with.

10 years ago it was different/new... Today it's electronic shoplifting to the tune of 51 BILLION DOLLARS...

In 2009, more than four out of 10 software programs installed on personal computers around the world were stolen, with a commercial value of more than $51 billion. Unauthorized software can manifest in otherwise legal businesses that buy too few software licenses, or overt criminal enterprises that sell counterfeit copies of software programs at cut-rate prices, online or offline.

Business Software Alliance - Piracy Impact Study
 
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