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Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m keeping the introduction brief by simply pointing you towards the ”about” section on my blog.

I’ve decided for my first entry to be about the infamous SOPA and PIPA USA bills, and the lesser known, yet potentially even more insidious plurilateral ACTA agreement. SOPA, PIPA and ACTA worry me greatly. In fact, their existence is what gave me the last push needed to start a blog. Obviously enough, this made deciding the subject of my first entry rather easy.

First off; SOPA and PIPA.

When it comes to your personal freedom, SOPA and PIPA will directly undermine it. With the excuse of fighting online ”piracy”, it is clear that both your liberty and privacy stops as soon as it potentially threatens the income of all parties with a vested interest in these bills. The enforcement of these bills would (as usual) lack transparency and hold websites accountable for what their users do. There’s also the little detail about the nominal enforcement being done by the United Status Justice Department, even though the United Status International Trade Commission would be an agency better suited to the task. In short, both proposed bills are completely draconian in nature. While it certainly isn’t difficult for me to write more about these particular aspects; I’d only be repeating others. So for that, I refer you to Wikpedia and its own references (1).

However, there are some aspects about these bills that have received less attention; specifically the hypocritical and corrupt nature of some its sponsors.

Let’s start with Hollywood and its ”knight in shining armor”, the MPAA. Hollywood was actually built by using content from the public domain and violating patents. In a nutshell : Thomas Edison attempted to control the entire film industry, which led to movie makers moving to Los Angeles. This made it harder for Edison to have his patents enforced, especially as offenders could quietly ”disappear” temporarily to Mexico. As for the public domain: Walt Disney made most of his money by using content from it (2).

Remember all the crocodile tears shed about the supposed damage to the movie industry due piracy? Never mind that file sharing is not the same as theft and piracy is really a misnomer (3). The industry has made predictions about their impending doom so many times (4), yet their profits have only increased throughout the years (5). The MPAA has admitted to publishing ”incorrect’ figures about the supposed revenue loss due piracy (6). Of course, I’m extremely interested in learning how you can claim to publish ”correct” figures about this topic in the first place.

There’s also MPAA’s leadership, particularly its chairman and CEO; Chris Dodd. The man who insisted that he’d not become a lobbyist, but then became the new boss of MPAA and even used a loophole in the law to get a lobbying job so quickly after leaving the Senate (7). His arrogant, tactless remark about how opponents of the two bills will lose funding for their campaigns give us a fine glimpse of his tactics(8). Incidentally, did you know that he is responsible for the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act (9)? In case you have never heard of it, this law means that all children born after April 2008 have a blood sample taken from them, which then becomes property of the Federal State; whether the parents like it or not.

The sort of ”funding” described earlier is one of the more rotten apples of USA politics.  Hollywood’s lobbying is why the current majority of SOPA/PIPA supporters are Democrats, despite that they are usually are thought to be more protective of individual liberty than Republicans. After all, Hollywood has traditionally embraced liberty (as long as it doesn’t hurt their own pockets) and has been a major sponsor for the Democrats.

The RIAA is simply more of the same. Such as the absurd lawsuits with their ridiculously high compensation demands (10); all operating on the fundamentally flawed basis that file sharing equals theft. Or how about Mitch Glazier’s attempt to effectively strip artists of their copyright interests and transfer the ownership to their record labels (11)? As a Congressional staff attorney, he sneaked into a change with major implications into a section of copyright legislation.  Not too long after, the RIAA hired him as Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Legislative Counsel; where he got to defend his own change when it came under fire. These days he is Senior Executive Vice President; clearly his underhanded actions impressed his superiors. The RIAA has actually engaged in piracy as well (12); does this mean they need to sue themselves?

Neither organization truly serves the best interests of the artists. They only serve themselves and their members. Their idea of ”fair competition” is to create an environment in which innovation is stifled, preventing the need for them to adapt, and intentionally making it harder to be a self publishing artist. They abuse their position to the benefit of members, exemplified by the numerous inconsistencies among film ratings (13) and their attempt to ban screener DVDs (14) . The competitive market is a threat for them; a threat that must be contained as much as possible.

A significant majority of the copyright industry is waging a war that they are determined to win, regardless of what it takes. The International Intellectual Property Alliance wants the US government to treat countries, that mandate or suggest open source, to be treated as if they don’t combat piracy (15). CreativeAmerica , a proxy company of the MPAA, literally is paying for signatures on a petition of theirs (16). Nothing is taboo, including indirectly profiting from child pornography.

”Child pornography is great”, according to Johan Schlüter, head of the Danish Anti-Piracy Group (17). Child pornography is great, because it opens the door to censorship all in the name of fighting against it. Really, it is rather questionable if censorship would solve anything about the matter, but it is clear that Mister Schlüter has no desire to truly fight child pornography; its existence only benefits him. Instead, he’s a despicable man who thinks it is great that the internet has footage of children being raped, just so he can push the agenda of his masters and collect a fat paycheck at the end of the day. It illustrates perfectly that there are no limits for the copyright industry

With that in mind, I’m going to conclude my first entry. Part 2 will likely deal with ACTA and how copyright actually goes against certain principles of capitalism.

References

1:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act

2:  http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120119/12273017472/pirate-bay-press-release-sopa-we-are-new-hollywood.shtml

3: http://anpmech.com/gallery/var/albums/Internet/file-sharing-is-not-piracy.png?m=1253463516

4: http://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20111108/17562016686/history-hyperbolic-overreaction-to-copyright-issues-entertainment-industry-technology.shtml

5: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120124/03263517521/infographic-showing-just-how-frequently-hollywood-has-cried-wolf-about-piracy.shtml

6: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Association_of_America#Disputed_figures

7: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110301/13070713317/confirmed-chris-dodd-lies-takes-top-lobbying-job-promises-to-trample-consumer-rights.shtml

8: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120120/14472117492/mpaa-directly-publicly-threatens-politicians-who-arent-corrupt-enough-to-stay-bought.shtml

9: http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/news/2008/05/newborn_screening

10: http://brainz.org/14-most-ridiculous-lawsuits-filed-riaa-and-mpaa/

11: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA#The_.22work_made_for_hire.22_controversy

12: https://torrentfreak.com/riaa-and-homeland-security-caught-downloading-torrents-111217/

13 : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Association_of_America_film_rating_system#Criticisms

14: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20031001/0046257_F.shtml

15: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2010/feb/23/opensource-intellectual-property

16: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120131/23275917606/creativeamerica-literally-resorts-to-buying-signatures.shtml

17: https://torrentfreak.com/the-copyright-lobby-absolutely-loves-child-pornography-110709/

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