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Sailor OOC

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I've just sent letters to my representatives in congress and told them what I think about these bills. These two bills are a dangerous mix that will be a dangerous precedent, putting the US in league with countries like Egypt and China in their blocking. Of course it says "Stop Online Piracy Act" and "Protect Intellectual Property Act". But these bills don't do that. It's using a nuke to step on a ant and the collateral in this is the destruction of freedom of speech.

How would this effect you?

Simple... because we use mechanics from different RPGs, site rules from the rulebooks, and use the mechanics within those rules - even if it's protected by fair use, through these bills since we're doing it on the net we could get this site closed down. All because we're using the material correctly!

This has become a threat to the internet in such a a way that all that would be left are the major media companies.

But there is a massive wave against this.

Yes, the big 4, the RIAA, the MPAA, and a few others are for this bill. They want to control the media so that only they are the providers. They lost the Net Neutrality game so now they're taking their ball and going home and throw this tantrum to show their anger.

Thing is, EVERYONE ELSE is saying no. Many others.

If you're in the US, and want to do something, contact your legislator. Since the English Wikipedia is blacked out, they provide a way to find out how to contact your representative and congressman/woman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page will direct you to a blackout page, there you can enter your zip code and find your representative.

Also, if you're not sure how to address them in your letter, head here: http://www.formsofaddress.info/Congressman.html and show them what us roleplayers can do.

Let's score a crit on SOPA/PIPA!

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I don't think I've ever written a congressman before today, but this pair of bills are so fundamentally scary in how drastically they would effect our freedom online that I wrote my congressman and one of the two senators, the other one had their site down from all the traffic hitting it.

I hope this was a serious wake up call for our legislature. Judging from the people in my circles and how many of them actually took the time to sign petitions and write letters, I doubt congress has ever faced such a major 'across the board' groundswell of resistance to any piece of legislation. They finally had to choose between saying "yes master" to the lobbyists who pay them and the very real threat of being voted out of office. These two pieces of legislation won't be forgotten and I'm sure the RIAA and MPAA will try again, but hopefully they've learned that the American people wont' be pushed around. Viva Democracy in action!!!

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No guarantees.

Not until we take back our constitution and our rights. There was similar groundswell against that defense act that got passed, and the patriot act... and that did nothing.

I expect nothing of value for the energy I wasted.

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Yes. Darn those websites for abusing their power by informing folks of something that the news allowed to go almost entirely unreported...until the websites informed folks.

At this rate they'll never sneak unpopular legislation through under people's noses.

It's hard being a lawmaker in the pocket of paranoid, overreactive business interests. People just don't UNDERSTAND.

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They might in part be referring to Anonymous DDOSing the government and - well - pretty much anyone else they could get their hands on over this.

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist: That was apparently for the take down of MegaUpload, which pretty much illustrated that the Media-Entertainment complex doesn't need SOPA/PIPA to get the US.gov to take care of piracy. Something needed to be done about them, but all legitimate users of that website also suffered. In contrast, when Universal performed an unwarranted takedown request against MegaUpload on YouTube, they had to go through proper procedural channels.

I'm a tad surprised some elements of Anonymous didn't start this up after this kid: he's being extradited from the UK to face US prosecution for actions he performed in the UK. (For the record, I would completely support his prosecution under UK law, since his site didn't really have a legitimate use).

I'm pro-copyright (and pro-intellectual property in general) but roughly as it was originally envisioned, as incentive to creators, and not as an incentive to control our culture, the genes of organisms (including humans) or mathematical algorithms (which are just mental processes)--none of which were permitted until lobby groups started giving politicians golden parachutes, on the one hand, and publicly threaten politicians who don't stay bought, on the other.

The deeper problems are, American Media (yes, big 'M' media), is owned by the very people that want to pass these laws, and they will spin it the way they see fit, and the system is incentivized on several levels to reward politicians for catering to the lobbyists who reward them the most.

Here endeth the rant.

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Yeah...see, copyrights function on two levels. They protect artists...and they protect producers.

Now, in my view, copyright should really be all about the artists, though I recognize that, in theory, protecting producers can help artists as well.

That said, the music INDUSTRY has grown and taken on a grotesque life of its own, quite apart from the actual musicians (similar with movies and so on). Copyright infringements of the kind they're talking about with SOPAPIPA don't really threaten artists directly. Rather, they threaten the profit margins of the production companies and distrubutors. This is not about whether or not your favorite singer gets his or her royalties, or if Lucas gets his paycheck for Indiana Jones 16. It's about if Virgin Records sells enough of the next Britney CD to make their stockholders happy.

And lets be frank...these companies make a huge amount of money even as things are. Piracy is really only a matter of concern for smaller/indie labels, and in the sense that one realizes what profits "could have been" were there no piracy. You look at a report that says an estimated 100,000 copies of the song were downloaded, and you think, "Damn, that's 100,000 records not sold." The reality is that if people downloaded it illegally, it's probably because they weren't gonna buy it anyway...but wanted to hear a song or two off of it.

All of which makes it sound like I'm giving the big 'OK!' to piracy...which is not my intent. It IS my intent though to dispel the myth that the industry promulgates, which is that piracy hurts artists. That's very seldom true as far as I'm aware (except, again, through purely hypothetical 'opportunity costs'). It's not like successful artists and their media companies are hurting for cash.

That said, on a moral/ethical level, taking someone else's intellectual property illegally does constitute a form of theft. I do think the industry's hysterical overreactions to the phenomenon are unjustified and uncalled for...but I can't argue with that central premise.

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