DMCA, SOPA, PIPA, the web + you


With Wikipedia, Reddit and the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) protesting via website-blackouts, this seems like a good time to explain those 4-letter acronyms. Don't worry, I'll keep it short! (under 500 words).

In 1998 the Digital Milennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was a first, imperfect step, in figuring out how to handle copyright on the Internet. Basically, it allowed copyright owners like Disney or Sony Music to tell uploaders to take down certain content, or go to court and prove the content wasn't stolen or copied.

However, the Recording Industry and the Motion Picture Associations of America (RIAA and MPAA), or in other words: the music and movie companies, thought this wasn't a powerful enough method, and ever since they have been trying to get more agressive laws approved, but (luckily) failed most of the time.

Then in 2011, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) appeared on the horizon. SOPA and PIPA are important for two huge reasons: they have much more political support, and there is MUCH more at stake. Whereas DCMA is about taking down a single file, SOPA and PIPA are about banning the entire site and forbidding banks to do business with it. Imagine that. They find one copied video on YouTube (which isn't that hard), and suddenly, the entire YouTube website is gone.

What's more, these laws will not stop piracy. Actual pirates will find ways to reach their own servers via direct IP, proxy servers, tunnels - and they can of course just go back to handing out illegal DVDs. The only ones these laws hurt are legitimate users and sites who get caught in the crossfire, and anyone that's not tech savvy. Your mum, for instance.

So why do traditional media like MPAA, RIAA and big TV and newspapers want these laws enacted if they won't solve the piracy problem? To censor 'unwanted' opinions, media and content. The power of the internet is user-generated content. Like Twitter, which is becoming a pretty important source of news. Or you guys, making pixel-art. But user-generated content is also it's weakness (if SOPA or PIPA passes) because traditional media can then simply claim copyright infringement on any website that doesn't agree with their point of view. If there's even a single pixel-art piece that's infringing (like one of these), our entire site could be taken down.

In short, these laws:
- are far too agressive and have lots of collateral damage
- will not prevent piracy or copyright infringement
- can, and most likely will, be used to censor the internet

Oh, and did I mention, 83 people who literally invented the Internet together oppose these laws?

Now, what can we do? First, tell your friends, family and coworkers about SOPA and PIPA. Second, try to convince U.S. Congress to stop these laws.

International citizens should sign this petition.
U.S. citizens should sign this one, and call members of Congress.

Together, we can save our Internet.

Thanks for your time.

Posted by PixelSnader @ 1/18/2012 15:59  |    15


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Skull (Level 11 CEO) @ 1/25/2012 10:14

 FFS Mum...

SpaceSalmon (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/24/2012 07:14

 It's things like these that makes me hate the world, douchebags like the SOPA facist will always exist but that people are dumb enough to support. It's Nazi German all over again :/

Sterner Regnix (Level 6 Serial Killer) @ 1/22/2012 08:12

I can hear them now...

"Sh*t...there's another mobile phone video of WTC do we shut down Yootoobe??!?"

QuaziGNRLnose (Level 1 Rookie) @ 1/21/2012 16:42

 Not infringing, those fall under fair use as do most stupid copyright complaints. Yet the big corporations seem to ignore that their laws aren't valid cause no one can possibly checking. Yet even so, they're never going to be publicly outed as the ones on the wrong side of the legal fence. 

tanuki (Level 1 Seaman) @ 1/20/2012 13:26

Scumbag SOPA

So apparently the guy who wrote SOPA is using a copyrighted photo background on his own website without credits. :)

philippejugnet (Level 6 Hitman) @ 1/19/2012 21:32

 I can see these information everywere! lets stop thease!!!

manxana (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 1/19/2012 12:50

Artist, if you don't want your work to be stolen then don't publish it until it's published for real.

WE are the ones that should secure our work on the internet.

Kravvon Nar'roth (Level 4 Ensign) @ 1/19/2012 11:12

 Thanks for posting this. You worded it very well: short, sweet, and to the point. Now even you "It's-too-much-to-read" people don't have any excuse for not knowing about this very serious issue.

codewarrior (Level 1 Seaman) @ 1/19/2012 05:23

Like some of the oponents already said in their Letters:

Through SOPA, the United States is attempting to dominate a shared global resource. Building a nationwide firewall and creating barriers for international website and service operators makes a powerful statement that the United States is not interested in participating in a global information infrastructure. Instead, the United States would be creating the very barriers that restrict the freeflow of information that it has vigorously challenged abroad. (source: )

I read it the time it came out, and i can just agree on that.
Futhermore i agree with this PJ-article here, that it will not really bring any security other then handing the authoryties the tools to punish normal users, small companies, and again exactly those who didn't do a thing.


Mathias (Level 5 Rokkyu) @ 1/19/2012 04:55

That's a brilliantly produced video. I wanna get into video editing.

K, what are we talking about . . .

Paxjah (Level 4 Mercenary) @ 1/19/2012 04:36

You really need to ammend this post, having read up on SOPA and PIPA I understand more.

Jetrel (Level 1 Intern) @ 1/19/2012 00:07

 Amen.  Most dangerous legislation that's hit the internet yet.

Chibiwing (Level 4 Deputy) @ 1/18/2012 20:19

I called the three reps for Alaska this afternoon.  I love the internet too much to have it die because of idiots.

jeremy (Level 11 Special Agent) @ 1/18/2012 20:17

Everyone's probably already seen this video, but I'll add it to this news post if you'd like snader.

Thanks for doing this too

slym (Level 8 Rear Admiral) @ 1/18/2012 20:09

 Thank you for posting this, hopefully more people will understand what these laws are and what to do about them. 

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