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Wednesday, 18 January 2012


If I was in the U.S. I would. From what I understand these bills would allow the U.S. government to close down any website, any time, anywhere in the world.

Please, if you are a U.S. citizen, speak up for the rest of us.

I know that it is just me, the usual curmudgeon, speaking, but I would not mind if Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter go dark for... a year... or forever. FB and TW are just terrible time-wasters, but W is dangerous too: it makes people think they know what they are talking about after five seconds of reading about it there.

Seeing other related actions aside from these two bills, methinks the U.S. is running scared. And as the country constructs bigger and bigger walls around iself, strange things will happen.

Be afraid, be very afraid!

This isn't China?
Governments have more in common than difference in many aspects. This is an example: and US seems to have long been criticizing China for internet censorship.

Note to Slobodan, at least for now it is up to the individual whether they want to waste their time with Wikipedia, FB and the like. I think you're missing the point.

I respectfully disagree. The DMCA is toothless. SOPA isn't about censoring anyone, it's about protecting the right of musicians, singers, writers, AND PHOTOGRAPHERS to control the dissemination of their work.

As a Music industry commentator called Moses Avalon put it:
"How nice that for one day Big Data is withholding content in protest of “injustice.” If only content creators could do the same.

ISPs don't squawk about blocking access to child pornography or sites that explain how to convert weapons to automatic operation. They do so because that material is illegal. They don't block access to sites that illegally trade in stolen IP because it's good for their business. Plain and simple. Why is it that when very large, wealthy corporations selectively obey laws they are lionized? The rest of us would be in deep s*it.

Mike, I would be very grateful for a cogent explanation of exactly who would get hurt by SOPA and how. As far as I can see it only hurts ISPs, search engines, and hardware manufacturers' bottom lines. On the other hand I can tell you exactly who's been hurt and who continues to be hurt by internet piracy: me.


To all three of my reps. One of them (Rubio) has already withdrawn support.

For Roger at al: the purpose of the bill, as far as I know, is to prevent sites in the US, e.g., Google, Wikipedia, etc., from providing links (thus advertisement and exposure) to sites outside the US which are known to peddle pirated material (software, etc.). The opponents of the bill, while accepting the validity of the stated intention, claim that the vague wording might open the door for different interpretation in the future and even some doomsday scenarios (e.g. the death of free internet).

So much for freedom. Your post is a command, not a choice offered to your readers. "go to..", "tell them to vote against SOPA...", "this isn't a dictatorship. This is a free country with free speech...", so, "Do it!. Right now!".
Does anyone notice the contradiction here?

For what it's worth (which isn't much) I agree that the Bills should not be passed. If you have something to say, state your case and let people decide. Don't command them to do what you think should be done.

[Mike replies: Steven, that is utterly absurd, and you know it is. My post is an exhortation, not a "command." To command, one needs authority, and I have none over ANY of my readers. You cannot be commanded when you have complete freedom of choice whether to obey or not, with no penalty to yourself resulting from your choice either way.]

What about us in other countries who don't care for the US congress or their stupid laws, but pay for and use the internet that I understand is something the whole world uses and not only the US-centric version of this weird blindfolded planet?

Isent an e-mail to my Rep Nydia Vazquez

For those of you who use Flickr, go there to and participate in their manifestation, which is to allow you to "black out" some pictures, yours or someone elses. This is to exemplify what anyone effectively will be able to do to you at any time if these laws go through.

Well, I'm not quite as pessimistic. If this thing goes through, there'll just be two internets, one for America, and one for the free world.

In the real world, if you are doing something that will endanger the general public, you will be stopped by the GoVernment. If that is ok in the real world, why should the internet be an exemption. If a group of hackers can block or even take website off the net when they think they have the right to, why is an elected government with parliament oversight under the rule of law, more dangerous than those hackers?

Why am I not surprised that Mitch McConnell's contact form won't work. Anyway, at least John Yarmuth got my opinnon!

Turning yourself into an uninformed person through use of the internet is one thing. Giving the government the right to monitor your progress toward that end is quite another thing.

At least theoretically, under these laws, if there is a link from TOP (perhaps even in a comment) to a site that's showing material that violates copyright law, TOP could be shut down. Many are realizing that these laws were hastily drafted without due care. Even if one does not care about Wikipedia (but I do!), one ought to worry about other sites we do care about. This stuff needs more time to be done right.

The danger is not only in the usa, similar laws are under discussion in other countries as well

I did it and urged everyone I know to do the same (except for the three people I know wouldn't do it: my wife, my mom, and my boss).

As Roger pointed out, most sources indicate that the foreseeable effects of such legislation WILL affect users across the globe. There are some things we can do even if we are not in the U.S., but of course, it's just not the same (it's a U.S. law, after all)...
So yes, please, speak up for the rest of us!

I'm ambivalent. On one side I don't like our gov't, ISP or whomever having control over what I can find out. However, on the other side, I think the Internet is in danger of becoming the domain for amateurs and all professionals will be out of work. Case in point, investigative journalists - Google ain't paying their salaries.
We like to rally around the concept that ideas should be free, but what about solutions to difficult problems? And what about books that contain those ideas/solutions? Same for music and photography. SOPA may not be the answer; but we need to work together for a better solution instead of just reacting.

As you might imagine, done. This is very important for all of us who use the Internet to communicate.

Mike, there's another side to this that you seem to be ignoring.

The bill exists to protect content creators (that's you if you're a photographer -- I'm a filmmaker). Right now Google makes money by directing users toward sites that pirate copyrighted media. Google wants to protect this revenue stream, which is why it's opposing the bill while hiding behind a free-speech banner. They're spreading a lot of misinformation about the bill in order to kill it.

If you make photographs, movies, books, and music, you have a right to make a living from what you create. Piracy threatens that livelihood. Ask anyone who tries to make a living as a musician these days. Even if you don't create content yourself, you will eventually see the impact of piracy in terms of diminished choices.

Think for yourself. Do your homework about this bill. Don't just blindly support it because the big Internet oligopolies tell you to. Trust me, when corporations spend this much money and effort to try to scare you, it's not because they care about free speech. It's about money.

By trying to protect the rights of creatives in their own work, Congress could actually harm their ability to monetize those rights. After all, the internet is a terrific marketing and distribution channel for photography.

Protecting our rights is a noble endeavour. Doing so at the expense of an increasingly important route to market is folly.


What's sauce for the goose, etc.

I'm curious; doesn't SOPA protect content providers? As such, doesn't it offer more protection for photographers? And if it does offer more protection for photographers, shouldn't photographers support it? I don't know the answer to this myself, but before a photographer suggests a "follow the herd" mentality, shouldn't they also articulate why it is a bad thing AND why it won't harm those other photographers who follow your blog? Just sayin.

Take a moment today to write your representative asking them to act on piracy and protect ORDINARY creative workers, such as musicians, indie filmmakers and photographers.
If the average internet user was really interested in protecting creativity and creative people we wouldn't need SOPA in the first place.

I'm not American but I whole heartedly agree with you. One of the problems is that if your nutty politicians let this go through it will affect the whole English speaking world. That is just plain arrogance to the rest of us out side the US. Arrogance and censorship of this kind breeds contempt and there is enough of that on the planet as it is without America the home of the free creating more...

Why bother? Congress isn't entirely stupid, and they know darn well this is a flavor-of-the-moment astroturf campaign. They know darn well that, come November (and with assistance from the latest round of gerrymandering), we'll send the same set of rascals right back to Capitol Hill.

I still have yet to hear anyone explain who is going to be censored and how. I can tell you this - my industry has been devastated. Not just musicians, but songwriters, arrangers, recording studios, engineers, rental companies, equipment manufacturers, support staff, publishers, copyists, instrument repairmen because no one will finance production of music if the haven't got a prayer of recouping the investment. Middle class tax-paying family people who have to pull kids out of college and try to find jobs in their mid-fifties. We will become increasingly artistically impoverished as young musicians won't go into the field because they will never be able to make a living. It's never been easy, but it's becoming impossible. In exchange we get the barrage of self-indulgent crap we see on Youtube. OK, it's speech and it should be protected, but at what cost? Mike, you've referred to yourself here recently as musical and I believe you. Can you not see what piracy is doing and why it must be stopped? Can you not see who's making money out of this and the PR spin they've created? I try to make it a point to contribute to this website out of my rapidly dwindling royalties. At the point I can no longer afford to contribute it starts to hurt you. That's where this is going.

Dear folks,

Many of you are confusing the end with the means. The argument is not against protecting content creators, it is against the blatant violations of due process and reasonable consequences that are invoked to do it. This law is as ham-handed (in the other direction) as the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA. It is not a bad goal, it is a bad law!

If you don't think means matter, then let's just go the simple route of summary executions of anyone accused of piracy. That'll solve the problem, right? Any means to an end, after all...

pax / Ctein

I'm all for protecting artists against piracy. I'm also convinced this is a bad Bill that could have far-reaching unintended consequences and is not the way to get the desired job done.


Several links to hair-raising blogs on SOPA posted so far.
Here's one I feel is well balanced, but sees the topic from an alternative angle:

As the day wears on I feel more sad. I've been debating the issue of piracy online for a few years now, and most of the time the opposing deabte is either ambivalent, or outright against earning money from your creativity. "Do it for love man".
In recent years today's actions are the most energised I've come across, with the most animated and concerned contributors.... and it's arisen out of web millionaires running Google and Wikipedia telling people to protest.

No can do for the reasons Slobodan Blagojevic points out.

Reference to the DMCA as the tool to impact the sites SOPA is after is weak.

Whatever the U.S. congress choose to do or not do, affects the entire world, that's a fact. If they legislate to strengthen protection of U.S. intellectual property that's fine with me. If they are going to do it by restricting or affecting the freedom of speech traffic in any shape, form or level, they won't ever get any compassion from anybody. Internet is bigger than any government. Internet is now patrimony of the humanity, like the Amazon jungle and the Antarctic are.

Mike, I do think means matter and I am being over-dramatic to make a point. I think this is likely an imperfect bill (aren't they all?) but it's the first glimmer of anything with teeth we've ever seen. Instead of killing it, why don't we put it into effect and modify it as problems arise. That way we wouldn't be leaving a lot of us twisting in the wind and the pirates free to do whatever they want. The most important point I'm trying to make is that for most people this is an intellectual discussion, for some of us it is too real and people are being hurt now.

I'll be the first to admit that there's a torrent of fine print and legalese involved within SOPA and PIPA that I don't fully understand- terms, conditions and restrictions which are very broadly written with consequences that, as of yet, are still widely unforeseen.

Let's make our legislators work for once to fairly and critically assess the problems at hand and enact a bill that doesn't have the look and feel of a Patriot Act for the internet- one of those is already one too many...


We've seen too many of our basic rights and freedoms diminished since 9/11. It's time to reverse that trend.

Thanks for the link, Mike.

While I understand the concept of intellectual property and its protection, I've seen writeups that show that some of what we now call "fair use" could be infringed. Mikes message from 9:03 above is a clear, concise arguement against these bills.

This Bill is misdirected and will not do a damn thing to prevent copyright violations via the internet..it's a horrible precedent..

Looking at that list of congressional supporters makes cringe..very disappointed in some of these folks.

Also..interesting to see what a complete pain in the ass it is to fire
off an email to these folks..my folks anyway. I called em all on the phone..wondering what hole my messages ended up in.

I like the 31st and 32nd comments from Ctein and you.

For those of use outside the USA, what's the best way we can help?

See this Cory Doctorow talk. Silly laws don't work because they make unrealistic demands on reality.


Like 99.44% of Congress, I have not read these bills, but as I understand them, much of the responsibility for enforcement is passed along to private organizations like ISPs and the penalties are theirs, not the real perpetrators.
We are all familiar with the current slipshod enforcement of piracy and counterfeiting laws. Most of what we hear is from those harmed but the law enforcement follow up is pathetic.
I have been deeply involved in one aspect of this and it took almost 5 years to get anyone's attention and no action has been taken. I was also hacked and traced the perpetrator and got no response in trying to put them out of business.Nobody wants to anger the originator of most of the counterfeit goods -China of course - which is also the source of many of the online pirates, along with Russia and the former Soviet countries.
If worldwide law enforcement cannot deal with this problem, they ought not to be allowed to make everybody else do their work.
If this is all Hollywood can come up with, it indicates they are as much out of touch with reality as the US Congress.
And as technophobic.

For those interested in a technical explanation why this bill could cripple the current internet, while not providing any real additional protection for content creators, I suggest this article.

Note that content creators already have the option of having a domain revoked, if it's proven in court to provide copyrighted content illegaly. What this bill does, is move the burden of proof from the copyright holder to the alleged infringer. In other words: If I say Mike ripped off my pictures he gets blacklisted until he proves he hasn't.

I doubt that's what we want.


If you're "all for protecting artists against piracy", as you claim, then you should urge people to call their congressman to urge them to fix the elements of the bill that don't work, as opposed to scaring them with clams of censorship.

At the very least, you should be honest about what the bill is trying to do, rather than caricature it.


You're smart enough to know a straw man argument, and presumably too smart to make one. The line about "summary executions of anyone accused of piracy" is a feeble rhetorical tactic.

Piracy is not free speech, nor is it protected under the constitution.

What about us in other countries who don't care for the US congress or their stupid laws, but pay for and use the internet that I understand is something the whole world uses and not only the US-centric version of this weird blindfolded planet?

I agree. Sometimes it's hard to believe that the US makes up only 4.5% of the planet's population.

I agree with Ctein and Mike.
This is not about whether or not IP ought to be protected - it's about the imposition of draconian and ill targeted penalties with wholly inadequate due process safeguards.

"Trust me, when corporations spend this much money and effort to try to scare you, it's not because they care about free speech. It's about money."

Is David referring to those against the bill, those lobbying for it, or both ?
Bear in mind that SOPA and PIPA were basically drafted at the behest of corporations - the MPAA pays an ex senator $1.2m per annum effectively to act as a full time lobbyist for just this purpose.
There are corporations on both side of this argument. We should be looking at the merits of the case, not who is making it.

Seth: SOPA [... is] about protecting the right of musicians, singers, writers, AND PHOTOGRAPHERS to control the dissemination of their work.

All mainstream photo-sharing site I can think of relies on *not* vetting each & every submission for copyright violation individually. That would render them illegal under the terms of SOPA. Now how do you control the dissemination of your work when flickr, smugmug, 500px et al have been forced out of business?

For the possible negative ramifications of this proposed law work thru this article:

One key point (in my reading) is that the current DMCA Laws should be able do the job - if implemented properly to start with.

@Slobodan: "but W[ikipedia] is dangerous too: it makes people think they know what they are talking about after five seconds of reading about it there" ... I agree, there are some people who think they are experts after five seconds but that's not the fault of Wikipedia. Wikipedia tries to be the best available encyclopedia, it doesn't pretend or suggest anything else.

I'm a little annoyed with Wikipedia in taking such a dramatic stance against this legislation while (as far as I'm aware) completely ignoring EU legislation on cookies, which could also have major implications on use of the Internet.

As far as I can see, there seems to be a general panic to legislate the Internet - [probably] with the best intentions, but often with little appreciation of collatoral damage.

It seems to me that the very nature of the internet means that no country or organisation can attempt to impose [their] order on the 'net without sacrificing the benefits.

I can remember well the time when various national networks were not part of an all encompassing Internet - accessing material outside national boundaries was a pain.

I fear we are heading back in that direction

Cheers Colin

I agree that there should be reasonable protections of IP and that these are not the bills to accomplish that, but all of the overwrought censorship/police-state rhetoric is not very helpful. It seems like any kind of measured consideration of an issue is impossible these days.

"Right now Google makes money by directing users toward sites that pirate copyrighted media."

I'd be very surprised if the revenue Google would lose if they didn't link to piracy sites isn't pretty close to zero. (Although I don't know for sure.)

That being said, Google implementing things to prevent those links (per what the proposed law says they'd have to do) would incur some cost. No big deal for Google - although they'll fight against having to pay that cost - but it could be big for other sites.

The main problem though, is that sites that allow links to piracy sites - even in user comments - COULD be found to be providing the means to circumvent the law. And then they'd be subject to being shut down/cut off. Now the law isn't written that way explicitly, but what worries everyone is that it could be interpreted that way.

So, for instance, if I posted a link in this comment and Mike allowed it to stay on his blog, the government could possibly order all of typepad to be cut off. So that puts typepad in a real quandry if the law goes through - not just the person who posted the link, and not even just Mike.

I called each of my senators, as well as my representative. I asked their stance (one senator opposes already, the other is undecided; the representative supports) and then asked them to mark me down as an actively-voting citizen in their district who strongly opposes both bills and will use their stance on the bill as my primary decider on whether I would vote for them in upcoming elections.

My representative favors the bill, and his staffer asked why I oppose it. She then tried to educate me on the benefits of the bill. It was only after I ended the call (asking her to note my stance and that I always vote) that I realized my representative is Lamar Smith (R-TX), author of SOPA! I guess that explains his support of the damned thing!

"Many of you are confusing the end with the means. The argument is not against protecting content creators, it is against the blatant violations of due process and reasonable consequences that are invoked to do it. This law is as ham-handed (in the other direction) as the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA. It is not a bad goal, it is a bad law!

If you don't think means matter, then let's just go the simple route of summary executions of anyone accused of piracy. That'll solve the problem, right? Any means to an end, after all...

pax / Ctein"

This bears repeating, over and over, until it sinks in.

Succinct and to the point as usual, thanks Ctein.


Knowledge has never been free.

OK so what's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?

None really; only with a democracy you get to choose a new set of dictators every once in a while.

So far I have seen no criticism on this topic that is positive or constructive. I'm of two minds on this, but I'll ignore any rally to action that doesn't suggest a viable alternative.

Anyone that thinks DMCA is sufficient hasn't tried to use it. One of the scariest things I've ever read is Google's own DMCA complaint page (paraphrase: Yes we'll take down the link, but we tell the link owner your real name and contact info, including your web domain, just in case they want revenge).

Dear David S (and Seth, indirectly),

The intent and purpose here are truly trivial matters. There is a strong consensus that (a) piracy is bad and (b) the current countermeasures are ineffectually cumbersome. (Note the word consensus-- not unanimity.) Most every comment directed against Mike was about intent and purpose, challenging him on those grounds, NOT about means. I responded to the issue they raised... and the one they ignored.

Intent and purpose are easy to write into law. Means is where it becomes real and where all the hard work has to go into the code. The code, in this case, is badly flawed-- fundamentally it relies on "the word of good people" to effect punishment. This almost always proves to be a very bad idea, although it is a popular one today (vis the black bag provisions in the new defense bill). We aren't protected by relying on good people, we're protected by relying on good law, because sometimes good people turn bad and not everyone is a good person (President Obama might never order a detention without traditional due process, but we know from historical record that both Johnson and Nixon, to name one from each party, wouldn't think twice).

We definitely need a better process than the conventional wind-the-burden-of-proof-through-discovery-and-a-trial approach. It is unworkably cumbersome in this situation. The DMCA did not make it better, it made it worse, setting up MORE roadblocks to prosecution. It is its own worst enemy.

But... this is not a new meta-problem for law enforcement! There are ways to make cases move a lot faster (and cheaper) without giving up the protection of law. It does not require eliminating rules of evidence nor due process.

Pulling the law from consideration *IS* the way to get it rewritten. Patching it via amendment on the floor is a bad way to write code, when the problems are this deeply embedded. You pull the installer, send the code back to the code monkeys, and you tell them ,"Good idea but lousy implementation. Retain the specs but scrap the code and start writing version 2.0."

This isn’t a defeat in the fight against piracy, this is the defeat of some really crappy programming.

pax / Ctein
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

Dear Doug,

The requirement to be "positive or constructive" only applies when you're considering a good idea. If it's a genuinely bad idea, it is entirely sufficient to simply say, "Don't do that."

This one may very well have the best of intents but it's a very bad idea.

"Mommy, the toast is stuck in the toaster, and I'm going to stick a fork in to pry it out"

"No, you will be very sorry if you do."

"But I don't know any other way to get the toast out and you haven't made a constructive suggestion of an alternative."


pax / Ctein

I also disagree. It's tiring to hear the same admonitions again and again about potential misuse of a law that hasn't been passed yet. I think it is indeed paranoid. If any law who can be misused should be stopped, there would be no laws at all.

DMCA is useless. You can send a takedown notice to a web, they will comply, only to offer again the same material a few days after. Then you have to send a new warning while they keep making money with the copyrighted material... The process repeats itslef until you abandon your legitimate bussiness, bankrupt and demoralized, and the infringer still makes money with your old work.

I understand Google doesn't like to spend part of the thousands of millions of dollars of benefit it has obtained from his bussinesses -like Youtube,f.i., that "Boadcast yourself" site that makes money by splashing ads on videos uploaded by people who don't own them and produced by people who doesn't see a dime- hiring people to monitor content. That's the only reason the are opposing the law. But they should do it. Individual rights are important.

The problem is that you can get away with things in the virtual world that would cost you dearly or land you in jail in no time in the real world. It has to be stopped and I don't see any of the webs or people that oppose PIPA or SOPA offering any alternative solutions. What's mistyfing is that they even dare to say that the legal framework in place is good enough, against all evidence! It's good old fearmongering.

Ctein arguments are also lost on me. Procedures and guarantees are extremely important, but IP adress is an administrative concession, I don't see why there should be additional guarantees to those offered in the bill. I understand it offers due process and enough guarantees. As in many other bussinesses or manufacturing industries the bill allows government agencies preemptive actions, and part of the control is executed after the facts, but it is an every day occurrence already.

P.S_ Wikipedia is not only dangerous, it's blatant explotation. A few live very well off the work of thousands of others. Can't accept that.

The instances of abuse of DMCA are scary enough -- Warner Bros. issuing takedown notices against content they don't own, and in fact issuing notices when no Warner employee has looked at the site (they let an automated process decide and send out takedown notices!!!). This new law deliberately goes to KILL sites, and has no more requirements for fact-checking, no judicial review, and no penalties for misuse. I'm not completely sure that there's a problem -- but I'm absolutely sure that this is not the solution. These bills are more a mutual suicide pact.

@ David Dyer Bennet: Be assured: If I read it well,the bill requires that a federal judge determines that the web against which actions are to be taken is indeed a rogue web.

I am sure Warner has made mistakes when trying to enforce DMCA. Not suprising,considering majors send 5.000.000 takedown notices a year, for an estimated infringig files of 50.000.000.

All laws are abused and wrongly employed some time or another. No law can stop the crimes it's supposed to fight. Thats just how the world works. Correction and compensation is also built into the system. Rape is heavily punished by the law, yet rapes abound. ¿Does it mean that the law has to be derogated? In real world, if police finds somebody peddling forged goods, they impound the goods inmediately. No judge has to approve of that.If an inocent is harmed, he will be compensated, afterwards.Why should it be different in Internet?

I don't understand the fear and the agonising about these two pieces of legislation, so precisely targeted. I'm sure they can be bettered, but they are badly needed.

And yes, don't doubt there is a problem, a big one. What you Americans call copyright and we Europeans call droit d'auteur is a fundamental human right, the Universal Declaration says that Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. That's what the law must preserve. That's what SOPA is about.

I signed the Google petition, and sent massages to my congressional delegation. The reply from my senior senator shows that someone in his staff "gets it". I think the huge corporate interests have lost this round, but we will need to be vigilant, as they have better funded lobbyists than those of use in the grass roots. Score one for the good guys, but keep your fingers crossed and your eyes on the blogs...

One thing not mentioned yet is the need to revamp the Internet itself. It was designed for decades ago for military uses and adapted for use by scientists to share information in a period when scientists trusted each other (e.g. before everyone was trying to be first to patent and capitalize on everything, right down to your genes.)
When the DEC marketing guy sent out the first Spam, all hell broke loose! It was and is easy to use the Internet for nefarious purposes.
One big problem is nobody ever figured that the Internet needed traceability and accountability, so even today, hiding your identity online is a simple process. Pirates can move websites in minutes to start the process right back up, making it extremely hard to shut one down. ISPs are often in cahoots with them, because ISPs are as likely to be unethical as the pirates - hell, Verizon protected the biggest spammer for years because of all the revenue he generated for him!
So it's technically very hard to fight piracy unless we change the Internet to include traceability and accountability. And if you think PIPA/SOPA caused a hornets nest, try suggesting we change the way the Internet works.
Do you know that much of the hacking going on against US sites comes from one small college in China that teaches hacking, probably with sponsorship of the government? About 90% of all software sold in China is pirated. They even opened fake Apple stores last year. You can buy kits to get started hacking or delivering pirated stuff from guys in Russia?
Several years ago, my son was looking to rent a studio in LA. One place he looked had a half-dozen tenants all making pirated software, CDs and DVDs.
If you are a photographer and worry about people stealing your intellectual property, never put an image online or sell a digital image because I can assure you it will be copied and used. Store no images with online backup services because they may not be trustworthy - and remember many if not most security breeches are caused by employees. I'm not sure I'd trust all the services that print photos uploaded digitally.
And just think what would happen if someone got hold of one of your images, claimed it was theirs and demanded that YOUR website be shut down! I've had exactly that happen to me on a patent issue and it cost me big $$$ to fight.

SOPA and PIPA legislation are now on hold. Reid and Smith plan to go back to the drawing board to find better methods to balance protection of intellectual property with freedom and innovation on the internet.

As an update, the Senator who didn't reply to me was on local radio whining about how all of us who have problems with this are all pirates or are ignorant, yada, yada, yada. maybe he should read the thing like the other Senator had?

It appears we have one senate seat that is always help by a moron.

And for the record, both of my senators are Democrats, and only the NEW one is a moron...

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