Jimquisition: Sony, Nintendo, EA and SOPA

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The truly worrying thing about all this is to witness the fact that enormous corporations are being given the ability to not only police themselves (which has never worked) but to police nations.

Already in several countries (USA and Mexico-- during their elections-- to mention just a couple) corporations have participated unlawfully in the forging of political history to benefit themselves. But the scope of this is global.
That a business institution is now capable of manufacturing a law, a law without borders geographical and legal, and has enough clout to force governments (the UK for example) into implementing them relatively fast, has to give anyone a horrific glimpse of what this precedent will set in motion in generations to come. Just as that first step at the beginning of the 1900s, where they created the idea they could be "moral entities" instead of "physical entities" that has eventually placed them in a position were they are never to be responsible of their actions, this act will propel them to new levels of invulnerability and control beyond what we thought were the normal frontiers of what were basically "the merchant guild".
Specially terrible when compared with how long it takes the same countries to get their heads out of their asses and pass on laws that are actually urgent to protect the world from ecological disaster, this case is revolting.

It is also sobering to see that the internet does indeed have an owner. I think it was never really true that it was an international territory, such as Antarctica.

William Gibson's works are alarmingly close to stop being "fiction" and becoming "naturalism", sadly only in regards to the balance of power.
Write a letter, paint a sign, rally friends or take part in any movement that is trying to stop this obscenity of taking place. Anything that you can. It is really NOT JUST about games or piracy, it is about power and control without restrain.
Lets keep Gibson's novels as wonderful "cyberpunk fiction" only.

garjian:
How would this effect sites based elsewhere?
...couldnt you just move your business... somehow... if this only effects america?

im not really read up on it... ... ...lets do some research then :/

Look at it this way: All of the companies that have signed to support SOPA deal in international business and have branches of their company spread out among several countries across the globe. If this bill proves to be successful in the USA by their perception, the bill signers may be so inclined to start something similar in their own countries.

So I just informed myself a little about the subject.

It seems like this is something based mainly in the USA. I'm not saying it won't affect people outside of it, but it's mainly targeting the American people.

I just wonder how they can justify this law alone from the standpoint that it would surely mean that online sites and businesses that would choose not to have to deal with these laws would just open shop outside of the US. Like getting servers abroad.

Seems like a silly thing to do, just from a financial standpoint. I would think other countries would almost HOPE that this law passes in the US just for the potential revenue they could stand to make from this.
Mind, it seems like a stupid thing to do from any other standpoint too.

In Swedish, the word "Sopa" means trash. coincidence? I think not.

For those of you saying it doesn't apply to you because you don't live in the United States: it might one day if it passes. On the video game side of things alone we have a company that doesn't even originate in the US, but is nonetheless pushing for this one. It may seem unlikely that Nintendo's home country would go for such a thing in turn, but it also seems hard to believe that the US - with countless websites whose creators make their very livings off of the things this bill would be in a position to shut down but don't threaten their business, such as, well, this one - would either. The point is that it could very well concern you one day; it would hardly be the first time the rest of the world followed suit when one nation did something idiotic, and our nation loves leading the way in that particular parade.

For those of you saying "Eh, there's no way it'll pass", you're probably right, but if the idea of what bills like this are proposing is in any way unacceptable to you, it's in your best interest to speak up; it might take half an hour out of your day. And if you think to yourself "Well, it's just me; what difference would it make?", I ask you in turn, "What if one hundred thousand people who thought the exact same thing all decided to do something? What if one million people did?"

Our apathy as a nation is why crooked politicians are allowed to get even far enough to propose such a bill; we have no one to blame but ourselves when democracy dies, because it's ultimately our responsibility to uphold it. We do not work for democracy; it works with us. And when the people proposing the decisions are in the wrong, it's up to us to say so and shut it down. Doing nothing simply tells them we're content with being silenced.

Here's a little video about what this bill is about. I found the visual aid helpful.

http://vimeo.com/31100268

And if you want to help, go to americancensorship.org. On Tuesday they're having an "everybody call your Senators" party.

As for those who aren't US citizens, the only thing I can think of is to spread the word about it, and cross your fingers. If the bill passes in the US, then a lot of countries will likely use us as an example to follow. Not to mention lots of people in other countries whose jobs depend on the internet will have their livelihoods injured, because a large portion of their fanbase is in America.
Secondly, it puts all social network sites at risk because the website becomes responsible for its members. For example, even if you don't live in the US, you will be censored on Facebook (which is based in the US) because FB will get sued if any of its members infringe on the bill. Meaning you can't post videos containing footage from games, movies, tv shows, or copyrighted music.
Thirdly, the bill will only support big money corporations, and actually cripple small businesses, because it gives corporations the right to sue others for "not working hard enough to prevent piracy", which is so vague that it can't mean anything good.

EDIT: For what it's worth, VP Biden is against this bill. Here's some proof.

http://vimeo.com/32149733

As horrible as it is for consumers of entertainment, the simple fact is that SOPA isn't really aimed at them.
SOPA is a desperate response to the Occupy Wall Street movement and others like it.
The corporations that control everything are scared shitless, and they recognize the strong contribution to these movements that social media and online news reporting sites offer.
SOPA is an attempt to silence online media, so that the only source of information available is the traditional media, which we all know is corrupt as hell.
Even if you do care about intellectual property rights, you need to stand up against this bill. If you don't, we'll all be living in Nazi Germany by the end of the decade.

First of all, thank you so much, for your part in getting Deadly Premonition noticed. I wouldn't have had it blow my mind, in good and bad ways if not for you and the others that made the effort. Games like that will seriously suffer from this retarded bill, and as a consumer, regardless of how bad I'd feel for people losing their jobs, this is what is really important. It will limit competition from smaller publishers and the most interesting products will die off. So yeah. Fuck 'em and their censoring ways.

Unbelievable.

You know what? Fuck it. Go ahead, corporate lawyers. Push this bill through. Try to weed out any Fair Use. Try to censor media sites on the internet, delete Youtube videos en masse, stomp around wielding unchecked power. Give my generation the excuse it needs to bring out the torches and pitchforks. Give us the Empire vs Rebels showdown we've all been waiting for, preparing for, anticipating from day #1. Take the chance. I dare you.

I don't think PROTECT IP, ACTA or SOPA or any of these are going to pass anytime soon, but the fact that there are so many being put forth is a bad sign.

This is fucked up

But...

At least there won't be My Little Pony videos clogging the internet up xD

MianusIzBleeding:
This is fucked up

But...

At least there won't be My Little Pony videos clogging the internet up xD

Finally, a reason to support SOPA.

A big issue that I noticed with SOPA. I originally thought that reviews wouldn't be too badly affected by SOPA because companies depend on them (and metacritic scores) for sales and publicity. Then I thought, with these powers, companies could single out negative reviews and remove them, claiming an infringement of copyright. This makes reviewing and Metacritic averages completely useless. My god this is getting worse by the second!

I know this is already dead but I have to wonder how this would have affected "spectator" sessions. Counterstrike or everything on onlive for example. During most just cause 2 sessions I usually see at least a dozen spectator notifications.

Well, it's not surprising that big businesses are lining up to support a law that directly benefits them. As far as the law itself goes, I have mixed feelings on the subject, after all I'm someone who goes off about other countries like China stealing US Patents and IPs, so needless to say I'm not exactly on the pro-piracy bandwagon. That said this really isn't about piracy but about stepping on people's protections, the right to a trial, the need for evidence, etc... and pretty much letting one private group of citizens directly regulate another, in the especially damning fashion of ultimatly allowing businesses to legally shut down their own competition and any criticism of their products. For that reason alone SOPA needs to be stopped.

To be honest I do not things are currently in any danger of going as far as Jim suspects though. Right now our system of checks and balances is sufficient to prevent that.

A lot of people will say I'm "off the deep end" or "trolling" or whatever else, but I'd remind people that the odds of the police ever busting in and arresting someone as a felon for streaming a video game for a charity event are minimal. This is because of one of our most important rights, the right to keep and bear arms. The point here is that the people aren't entirely defenseless against the police and authorities. Getting away from all the other ways that this influances things, as it applies here is the bottom line that to go and enforce a law and arrest someone the guy at the bottom of the totem pole, Joe cop, has to agree it's worth potentially getting his head blown off to enforce a law, which is always a chance no matter what advantages we give him as long as the populance is armed. A lot of very stupid "pet" laws by politicians are curtailed by this kind of thing and it's been a HUGE deterrant towards the US becoming a police state when laws even worse than the one Jim is talking about have successfully passed, especially on a state and local level. Basically if YOU were a cop, would YOU go and kick open someone's door and risk taking a bullet in the head from someone who doesn't want to go to jail or have their life ruined, over something stupid like a video game and EA's IP rights? No, you probably wouldn't. That means that it would become one of those laws that might be on the books, but nobody enforces directly (the kind of thing that becomes "blue law" before it expires) because nobody doing this job is going to value the "paper rights" of big business more than their own lives. People do not really "get" all the ways our right to be armed benefits us, and why it's so important we protect it from guys like Obama who seek to limit it. The costs of gun violence, even in surges, are vastly outweight by the cost if this fear went away and there wasn't much keeping cops from enforcing any petty law someone wants to pass, I mean without the fear some otherwise law abiding citizen (as opposed to a hardened criminal) might defend themselves, some cop is going to value their paycheck more than your livelyhood or freedom. "Just following orders" is easier to use as an excuse when it becomes the path of least resistance.

That said, for those that got past that paragraph (I know what sentiments are like here), the odds of this paticular law even going that far are slim. Jim's fear of being arrested for streaming doesn't seem paticularly valid under any circumstances, it's more likely the people providing the services you need to stream will be the ones jackbooted and it will never trickle down to the everyman. Sheer intimidation and the possibility of arrest will do the work for the laws after the first few examples should this pass and be enforced.

This is definatly something to be concerned about, but honestly I'm not entirely sure what can be done about it at our level, unless someon at our level is arrested and actually manages to fight a series of appeals up to the supreme court, where I don't think it would hold weight. With the money involved this doesn't seem like the kind of situation politicians are likely to listen to what is a pretty small minority of people overall.

But yeah, I could see this nailing a lot of industry critics like Jim, or me for that matter (and people don't even like me), and what little watchdogging we see as it is going away.

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