Update Regarding Stop Online Piracy Act and NDAA

#1
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/sopa-watered-down-amendment/

Looks like the man behind this has watered the bill down. As it looks like now, if it passes, that only foreign sides will be affected by this. Anything ending with an .com, .org, or .net will not be covered by this bill.

The web is somewhat safe (atleast regarding to SOPA, don't know about PIPA though). Yes, it would still be censoring, but at least most of the internet won't be shut down now.

Also there's going to be a Senate Hearing on SOPA Thursday, one Senator has threatened to filibuster the bill and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is against the bill saying that it would spell the end of the Internet as we know it.

http://americancensorship.org/
 
#5
I actually had a debate with a Smogon user about this subject last night, and it's pretty clear that no one is really scrutinizing the intent of the bill. It's really unproductive to use emotion-inciting wording to force an overreaction and maybe fuel conspiracy theories. Anyone in support of the bill can read my step-by-step overview of my opinion on the matter:

1. Laws will inevitably screw over people it didn't intend to screw over. We're not perfect. The benefit should be much higher than this "false positive" cost.

2. I'm always leery of laws like these that aim to "crack down on crime". I'm not confident that this bill will be effective in dismantling cybercriminal activity.

---

3. The perceived benefit of this bill is not enough to offset the perceived cost (screwing over false positives, and possibly making cybercrime worse).

I find that 2. is where people insist on the intent of the bill, from a political-science point of view. The intent of the bill is not the problem, however. Lawmakers should listen to balanced expert opinion to see what the actual ramifications of the bill could be.

Let's say you were a lawmaker trying to push a law to fight drug-related crime by cracking down on people who produce certain drugs indiscriminately. Suppose also that criminal experts came in and told you that this would be a bad way to fight drug-related crime, and that a better way would be to legalize and regulate the drugs. Obviously the original bill has good intentions, but the suggestion would be more effective, and would thus be the better way to do things.

This isn't exactly an exotic example. In fact, prohibition played out like this almost exactly (except there may not have been experts warning people about the consequences). Trying to help is not the same as helping. You can word a bill as professionally and unambiguously as you want, and it still won't mean jack if it doesn't achieve its goal.

I'd like to see the results before I believe them.
 
#8
so... Pirate bay is still safe right? it is .org.

But what the politician is doing is pretty smart. As one of the commenters on a site said,
"This is such a common tactic, they introduce something horrifyingly draconian then water it down to something just a little draconian. Everybody claps and passes it, except that each time it gets a little worse until they get what they wanted in the first place. Please do not drink the kool-aid. "
 

Colonel M

Team Yuri
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#11
Shit... Hilary Clinton said something intelligent? And someone attacked Jackson Lee?

Holy shit I love these two people. We have one that came to the light and the other that is a troll politician.

I also want to point out that I'm glad that the bill has at least been "considered" and some amendments were made to it. It's still a nasty bill, but it's a hell of a lot better than the original. I even decided to make something cheap and 30 seconds.
 
#12
http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/11/legal-analysis-of-sopa-protect.php

On application of the Attorney General following the commencement of an action under this section, the court may issue a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or an injunction, in accordance with rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, against a registrant of a domain name used by the foreign infringing site or an owner or operator of the foreign infringing site or, in an action brought in rem under paragraph (2), against the foreign infringing site or a portion of such site, or the domain name used by such site, to cease and desist from undertaking any further activity as a foreign infringing site.
So as obviously stated here, court will determine the final say, not the industries or the government.

According to Wikipedia, it was decided that the next court hearing revolving around SOPA won't be until after Congress's Holiday Break. I'm sure it is still possible for us as citizens to try to sway the decisions of the people attending this court hearing which will be the final say on whether SOPA passes or gets shot down.

Also you guys might want to look into the contents of NDAA which was recently passed, it's not good:

Section 1031 said:
Subtitle D—Detainee Matters
4 SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, com
mitted, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces. (What are "associate forces?" What are "hostilities?" And although it's structured to seem like it fits with the rest, down to the point of being in the same sentence, the 'belligerent act' clause is a stand-alone concept. They can now legally detain anyone they deem 'belligerent.' think about it; otherwise it's unnecessarily specific. What does it matter if you're committing 'belligerent acts' if you're already 'part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or these mysterious 'associated forces?' That's the coup, in one single sentence.© DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following: (Any, but not all. They get to pick and choose whatever they want, case by case.)
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.(2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).
(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

(d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military
Force (This is a nonbinding statement that is a shoddy attempt at covering their grasses. It doesn't matter what it intends to do, it matters what it does.(e) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.—
The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress (No set interval? 'Regularly brief' can be legally interpreted to mean any extent of time at all. regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be ‘‘covered persons’’ for purposes of subsection (b)(2). (Foundation upon which to expand the umbrella in the future.)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s1867pcs/pdf/BILLS-112s1867pcs.pdf
 
#13
I ended up watching a livestream of the entire session where they discussed the bill. Unsurprisingly, it was a bunch of old men (and a few old women) discussing why technology is evil and bad and the downfall of civilization, blah, blah, blah. A few of them, Polis and Issa, seem to actually know what the fuck they're talking about.

The entire session was practically "Will the gentlemen yield?", which is Congress' way of saying "shut the fuck up, I want to say something now."
 
#15
The SOPA bill is so broad and so vague that IT WILL CRIPPLE THE INNER WORKINGS OF THE INTERNET! You're one of those fools that wants society to be the way it was in the 80's and 90's, back when we didn't have Internet. Back where we were limited to what content we could watch via Television and now with the Internet already in place we can choose what we want to listen to and watch.

Did you know that any website that has foreign servers that you can already now use has the potential to be blacklisted from the U.S. Government If SOPA passes? Serebii.net's server is from the U.K. and according to the Government we can't have Americans surfing through websites with British Servers now do we? What about Website Servers from other countries like Japan where WPM gets some of his Pokemon info from, the U.S. Government would be able to blacklist those sites as well.

With the way SOPA is watered down, EVERY WEBSITE THAT EVERY AMERICAN IS ALREADY ABLE TO USE WILL BE REGION LOCKED. The Pokemon franchise would die in the U.S. If the Government gets their way with SOPA and much more, this also effects the Video Game Industry in the way they distribute content for their games. People won't be able to know what game is good or not cause those sites would probably already be blacklisted by the Government. So instead that helps the Video Game Magazine Industry where we waste more ink and paper with content that tells us what's good and what's bad, not saying that the Magazine Industry is bad but hopefully you know what I mean.

The next House Judiciary Committee vote on SOPA will be held next Wednesday on December 21st according to Wikipedia, they aren't going to wait after the Holidays they want this thing passed pronto. That still gives us time to petition against this bill.

You guys know Spoony from the website Spoonyexperiment.com right that's affiliated with ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com? Well he recently wrote a letter to Arizona Republican Senator John McCain who as you know ran for U.S. President against Barack Obama back in 2008. Here's what he replied back to him:

John McCain said:
Dear Mr. Antwiler:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet anti-piracy legislation, specifically the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I appreciate hearing your views about these important pieces of legislation.

As you know, online piracy is a major issue facing the American economy as more and more digital creations, such as music, movies, software, and books, are moved online. The Internet, which has delivered so many benefits to our economy, has unfortunately also allowed bad actors to steal and sell these stolen works. It is estimated that our economy loses more than $58 billion annually as a result of online piracy. As part of an effort to fight back against these losses, Congress has introduced two bills, the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and SOPA in the House of Representatives, respectively.

These bills are designed to help the government more effectively utilize legal tools that are already at our disposal to fight against online piracy and protect American intellectual property. If enacted, the legislation would allow the Department of Justice to notify a website owner that the government intends to pursue a court order for alleged illegal activities. Next, the court would have to determine whether the website has a significant use other than the selling of counterfeited goods. These basic protections are designed to provide due process protections to ensure legitimate websites are not at risk for inadvertent violations.

The PROTECT IP Act was passed out of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and SOPA has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on October 26, 2011. Please rest assured that should these bills come to the Senate floor, I will keep your views in mind. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on this important topic. Please feel free to contact me regarding this issue, or any other in the future.

Sincerely,
John McCain
United States Senator
Just for the record, about PROTECT IP which is a similiar bill to SOPA was put on hold by Democratic Senator from Oregon Ron Wyden. It hasn't been signed into law at least not at the time I'm posting this comment. So in other words I take it that John McCain is Anti-Net Neutrality? Now here's a Senator who actually gives a crap about why SOPA is bad:

Maria Cantwell said:
Dear Mr. Wilson,

Thank you for contacting me about the internet streaming of copyrighted material. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue, and sincerely regret the delayed response.

On May 12, 2011, Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act. Under current federal law, U.S. law enforcement officials and holders of copyrights, trademarks, and patents, have limited legal remedies available to combat internet websites that are registered in foreign countries but operate in the United States by selling products, services, and/or content that violates U.S. intellectual property law. If enacted, the proposed legislation would create an expedited process for the Department of Justice and intellectual property rights holders to shut down through a court order these websites by targeting, the owners and operators of the Internet site, if known, or the domain name registrant associated with the Internet site.

The proposed legislation would require the Department of Justice to demonstrate to the Court that the Internet site accessed by the domain name is "dedicated to infringing activities." Such a website would have no other significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating infringing activities. Once a court order is issued, domestic operators of domain name servers would be required to effectively prevent online users from accessing the infringing Internet site. Providers of online information location tools would be required to take technically feasible and reasonable measures to remove or disable access to such an Internet site, including not providing a hypertext link.

Finally, financial institutions involved in online transactions and Internet advertising companies would be prohibited from doing business with any Internet site subject to a Court order under the legislation. Intellectual property rights holders can take Internet payment and advertising companies to court if they believe these companies are not complying with the law. This legislation was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on July 22, 2011, and is awaiting action by the full Senate.

While I am supportive of the goals of the bill, I am deeply concerned that the definitions and the means by which the legislation seeks to accomplish these goals will hurt innovation and threaten online speech. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should I have the opportunity to vote on this or similar legislation regarding intellectual property rights.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator
So what did we learn boys and girls? Republicans are against Net Neutrality while Democrats are in favor of it. Republicans favor Small Government while Democrats favor Big Government. It's a messed up country we live in, still surprises me why I haven't quit my job yet and moved to Canada seeing as how it's looking like a better country to live in right about now. >_>
 
#16
While I'm sure a lot of people appreciate the raised awareness of the issue, I think that you're way oversimplifying the issue. I'm sorry, but I don't think that, in practice, Pokémon websites will be shut down because of this bill. They probably could have been shut down at a whim before. (Remember the lawsuit threats to various fansites last year? That was mostly because of Keldeo/Meloetta/Genesect sprites.) That said, that is exactly the problem with the bill! Like I said, I'd really like to be proven wrong, but I don't see this bill being effective in its intended capacity any more than I see it being effective in its unintended capacity.
 
#17
So what did we learn boys and girls? Republicans are against Net Neutrality while Democrats are in favor of it. Republicans favor Small Government while Democrats favor Big Government.
Can we please not make stupid, generalizing statements like these? Not every single Republican and/or Democrat is linked up to a gigantic hivemind that gives them all the same thought process.
 
#18
Bill probably sounds nice in theory, but it will mean hell in practice.

I already heard about Megaupload being shut down by UMG on Nov 29th, which was bad enough. What happened afterwards was just a disgusting example of corporate censorship: when music artists made a song protesting the action, UMG ordered it pulled from youtube from "copyright infringement" despite that UMG didn't own anything.

If SOPA passes stuff like this will be commonplace.
 
#20
Isn't much of the issue that a lot of Democrats are in support of the bill?

Also, Japanese media companies seem to tend not to follow the idea of fansites giving them free advertising. For example, Capcom Japan likes to shut down Japanese Ace Attorney websites, while Capcom USA is well aware of court-records.net and lets it run. It is Toei, not Funimation, that keeps trying to shut down Team Four Star. Nintendo and Square Enix seem to be exceptions where even their American counterparts are hardasses about "copyright infringement".
 
#21
Is Nintendo against Pokemon fansites? More or less it's actually helping their company rather than hurting it and them supporting SOPA doesn't really help their cause in this at all.
Not sure, but some companies have particularly douchy attitudes about livestreams, reviews, let's plays, and video guides of their games. No idea why.
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
#22
Don't worry guys NDAA is a great way to deal with trolls!

e.g:

SkarmPiss: JEWS ARE BAD JEWS ARE BAD JEWS ARE BAD
Pwnemon: SkarmPiss is a terrorist!
Undercover FBI Agent: Don't worry I'm tracking his IP right now and we will hold him indefinitely!
Pwnemon:


we must not let this power get into the wrong hands...
 
#24
So what did we learn boys and girls? Republicans are against Net Neutrality while Democrats are in favor of it. Republicans favor Small Government while Democrats favor Big Government. It's a messed up country we live in, still surprises me why I haven't quit my job yet and moved to Canada seeing as how it's looking like a better country to live in right about now. >_>
You fail to realize that these two bills (SOPA and PIPA) both enjoy overwhelming support from democrats and republicans in congress alike, and Obama has already said he would not veto these. Obama said he might consider vetoing NDAA but that's because he thinks it doesn't give him enough power, not because he is opposed to the idea of detaining anyone he wants indefinitely. Both sides are fucking us so quit playing cheerleader.
 
#25
Obama just recently signed NDAA into law and I'm assuming he didn't know about Section 1031 and 1032 so now he decides to veto it? I'm thinking that If he doesn't veto NDAA it will hurt his re-election campaign maybe not who knows.

Even still NDAA the way it's worded is still a violation of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. As for SOPA and Protect IP here's a link explaining why these bills are going to be difficult to kill:

http://www.opencongress.org/articles/view/2434-Why-SOPA-and-PROTECT-IP-Are-So-Hard-to-Kill