Senator Ron Wyden's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the didn't-have-to-filibuster-this-week,-so... dept

When Mike asked if I’d be willing to write this week’s “Favorite Techdirt Posts of the Week,” I’m fairly
certain he thought I’d say no. He noted how busy I must be — which is true — but in a display of his
trademark humility, he said he could think of a number of reasons that a U.S. Senator might not want to
be associated with a site called “Techdirt.” I can’t think of anything further from the truth.

While I know I’m supposed to write about my favorite Techdirt posts from this week (I’ll get to that in
a moment), after the events of last week, it is impossible for me not to acknowledge the tremendous
work that Mike Masnick and the folks at Techdirt have done over the last year and a half.

As loyal readers know, Techdirt was sounding alarm bells about PIPA, SOPA and even their predecessor
bill, COICA, long before they became household words. Techdirt’s regular and thoughtful posts throughout
the PIPA/SOPA debate kept attention on the problems with these bills, while providing relatable
explanations for even the most technical concerns.

In a debate that was won by people using the Internet to alert, inform and take action, Techdirt’s voice
was the loudest and most consistent.

Now to the favorite posts of the week…

One of the positive outcomes of defeating PIPA/SOPA has been a much wider public focus on the
problematic ACTA agreement. These concerns are nothing new to readers of Techdirt, which has literally
been raising alarms on this agreement for years.

As usual, Techdirt did an excellent job this week of recapping the history and main issues of the debate,
showing that the struggle for an open, global Internet doesn’t begin and end with the PIPA/SOPA
debate. The agenda by the legacy content industry is executed deeply and broadly across the
government, as demonstrated by ICE’s Operation in our Sites and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) work on ACTA and TPP, as well as its
ventures into blacklisting.

Techdirt is doing important work to highlight the secretive process surrounding ACTA and the USTR which has
a policy of chasing and negotiating international agreements under the cloak of “it’s classified” (pdf). Getting information on USTR’s actions and agenda is never easy.

So, given that ACTA was largely conceived and written behind closed doors, groups like the MPAA and
RIAA were able to exercise a great deal of influence over the product. It wasn’t until the draft texts of
ACTA were leaked and then released, that we were able to influence
ACTA’s content. Mike did a good job of explaining how the leaks and resulting transparency were
essential to tempering the worst of ACTA:


It is worth noting that the final ACTA text was very much improved from what was leaked out
early on. In fact, it seems clear that, despite the attempts at secrecy, the fact that the document
kept leaking really did help pressure negotiators to temper some of the “worst of the worst” in
ACTA.

For example, ACTA initially tried to establish much stronger secondary liability for ISPs, including
effectively requiring a “graduated response” or “three strikes” plan for ISPs, that would require
them to kick people accused (not convicted) of infringement multiple times offline. One of the
key problems with ACTA has been how broadly worded it is and how open to interpretation it
is. For an agreement whose sole purpose is supposed to be to clarify processes, the fact that
it’s so wide open to interpretation (with some interpretations potentially causing significant
legal problems) seems like a big issue. For example, while the original draft never directly
required a three strikes program, it required some form of secondary liability measures,
and the only example of a program that would mitigate such liability was… a three strikes
program. To put it more simply, it basically said all signers need to do something to help out the
entertainment industry, and one example is a three strikes program. No other examples are
listed. Then they could pretend that it doesn’t mandate such a program, but leaves little choice
for signing countries other than to implement such a thing. However, thankfully, that provision
was struck out from the final copy.

The final text of ACTA was ultimately made public and USTR invited comments. (Although seeking
comments after the negotiations are through doesn’t really provide for public input, now does it?)

Setting aside whether ACTA is fully consistent with U.S. law, pursuant to our Constitution, ACTA does not and can not bind the U.S. unless the Senate ratifies it. But until the Obama Administration says that, our negotiating partners may believe
that ACTA provides them the right to challenge whether our laws are consistent with ACTA. That would
result in what we call an international, legal quagmire.

My only guess as to why the USTR won’t actually tell its negotiating partners that it is not legally binding
is that doing so may dissuade them from signing onto ACTA, which would be embarrassing.

So, what is ACTA at the end of the day? A political document that took enormous government resources
to negotiate. Which is ironic given that U.S. companies and citizens may be the only ones who won’t
have to live under ACTA’s rules. (I think we’d all prefer that the USTR invest its resources into other
efforts like combating the illegal subsidies that the Chinese government is using to monopolize the
world’s green tech industries…)

Mike’s Thursday post entitled “Public Interest Groups Speak Out About Next Week’s Secret Meeting
In Hollywood To Negotiate TPP (Think International SOPA)”
gets at an issue that I find far more
troubling than ACTA: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Like ACTA, these TPP negotiations are being held in
secret. Unlike ACTA, the terms of the TPP extend to just about every facet of our economy and society.

Now, when asked, the USTR will say that industry and public interest representatives are made privy
to the details of the negotiations and are asked for input; however these representatives are sworn to
keep what they know secret. How can an agreement claim to represent our broad economic, political,
and societal interests if it’s only being shaped by people handpicked by USTR?

As Techdirt has repeatedly warned, it will be important to keep a
close eye on the TPP negotiations and press the USTR to make public at least what it is seeking in terms
of Intellectual Property protection online:


And, if you thought that ACTA was negotiated in secret, you haven’t seen anything. Rather than
learn their lesson from the excessive and damaging secrecy around ACTA, it appears that the
USTR has decided that the lesson to learn is “we can be as secret as we want… and we still win.”
Of course, this seriously underestimates the mood of the public towards backroom deals on IP
laws that will benefit a few large industries at the expense of the public (in a big, big way).
To show just how ridiculous this is, it has been leaked out that next week there will be a
negotiation over TPP. Unlike ACTA, where at least the negotiators would admit where and when
negotiations were happening (though, not always with much time for others to get there in
time), the TPP negotiations are kept entirely in the dark from the public. However, it has leaked
out that the next negotiation is happening from January 31st through February 4th… in West
Hollywood (where else?).

The question we should be asking is: why keep the U.S. position secret, when the proposals USTR puts
forward at the World Trade Organization aren’t secret?

Finally, Glyn Moody had two interesting posts on the marketplace effects of new methods of content
delivery. These pieces highlight the real world effects of innovation and technological change.

Among other interesting points, the study found that, “Across all three Scandinavian countries, …over
half the people who previously downloaded music illegally no longer do so after they have been given
access to a streaming service.” These posts underline the fact that embracing new distribution mediums is the way
for traditional content industries to overcome the disruptive effects of technological change.

A number of commenters point out the real problem the content industries face: identifying the value
they add to the creative process and finding ways to provide that value in the new mediums. If they can
do this successfully they can build a business for the future.

It’s been a pleasure to connect with Techdirt readers this week. Just as I appreciate Mike and Techdirt’s
involvement in the PIPA/SOPA debate over the last year, your active involvement sent Washington a
clear signal that the future of Internet policy can’t be decided without engaging the Internet. I hope you
will remain engaged in the policy process, as there are many important debates ahead where your voice
will be needed.


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Comments on “Senator Ron Wyden's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week”

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270 Comments
Marcel de Jongsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

A third “wow!” from Europe.

I wish the Dutch politicians were this outspoken on these fundamentally human rights issues. Most of them are still as clueless about the internet as those pro-SOPA senators, who were proudly proclaiming their ignorance. They still think that just filtering the bad content works, often under the faux-blanket of “combating child pornography” (hiding that stuff does nothing to stop it).

And our deputy prime minister has refused to open the ACTA agreement to debate,not because he’s against it, but because it must remain a secret. But that is why the Dutch government hasn’t signed onto it yet, which is a mixed blessing in disguise.

BTW, TPP is now also starting to get some traction in Dutch IT-media as well. Which is a good thing. The more opposition, the better.

Hephaestussays:

Nice to see you here. Thank you very much for helping defending the first, forth, etc, amendments. On occasion there are politicians that actually are worth following. You are one of them. Please keep up the good work. None of us want to live in a world where large corporations buy laws and use them to squash competition. And again thanks.

Now it is time for the enlightenment to end, and for the trolls and shills to come out of the woodwork and comment …

THANK YOU!

HOLY CRAP IT’S SENATOR WYDEN HIMSELF!

Thank you SO much for standing up for us peoplez on the Internetz against the vested interests who readily admit that they want to kill a golden goose as they don’t properly understand it. I really wish I lived in Oregon so that I could vote (and have voted) for you. And thank you for being the only elected representative who gets the whole CWF + RTB; here you are C’ingWF, and are thus giving TechDirt-using Oregonians a better RTB.

I hope that you are able to serve for the rest of your days, but if by chance your constituents (or other factors) turn against you, can you…erm…found a lobby or something (one year after leaving office, of course) on our behalf? We desperately need someone to speak for us, but we have nowhere near the resources or established name like the **AAs, and the problem with having big tech companies represent us is that (1) ultimately they are more concerned with profits and (2) the **AAs will say any disagreement with their cretaceous-era policies is coming from Google, not from real Internet users.

Anonymoussays:

You are one of the few politicians I still have some measure of respect for, but I still say both the republican and democratic parties have become so corrupt from their actual philosophies that I don’t see how they can be fixed from the inside. I hoping the handful of people in Congress, from both parties, who still care about actually serving the people will sit down and come up with a platform all agree upon and form their own party.

Kevin Hsays:

Pretty Fantastic

I wish we had legislators in Nevada who took time their time interacting with those they are supposed to represent. Getting through to Mark Amodei, and Harry Reid is like shouting at the wind. What makes it worse is that despite all evidence to the contrary Reid still wanted to bring the cloture vote on the 24th only to finally cave on the 20th. Mark Amodei on the other hand is self admitted to not knowing or understanding how the interenet works and therefore was fine with the provisions as they were. I have attempted to talk to him several times only to get nothing or some pre made letter that some ignorant staffer didn’t realize had nothing to do with the questions I asked.

Violatedsays:

Re: Re:

I found some sources…
http://www.opencongress.org/people/money/300100_Ron_Wyden

and…
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=n00007724

Senator Wyden is not favoured by the Tech Industry when the only Tech support he has received in recent years was some minor funds from Intel.

His main funding comes from Lawyers, Health Professionals, Securities & Investment, Real Estate and Hospitals.

So what does that say when he is not paid to do this?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I live in Wydens district. I don’t know of any Google jobs around here, though there are a number of small scale tech companies in Portland. There’s an Intel campus, a Netflix call center, a Stream call center, and an Adobe call center. Wyden’s campaign report doesn’t show that he gets much from these companies, if anything at all in some cases.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Google Dalles Oregon Datacenter cost $600 million dollars in 2006

Google $100 million dollars windfarm in Arlington Oregon.
Time: Google Invests $100 Million In Oregon Wind Farm by Graeme McMillan on April 19, 2011.

Google and DOE $43 million dollars project for geothermal energy.
Ecofriend: Google and DOE finance a huge volcano power project in Oregon by Abdul Vahid V on Jan 19 2012

Are you against employment and clean energy now?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I see Hollywood needs to produce $200 million dollars movies in Canada and Australia, send the VFX to Asia, build nothing in America and spend all their money and time paying government officials so they can get censor tools, privacy invading laws to strengthen their monopolies so we get nothing and are forced to pay for it all.

There are footprints and there are footprints.

That is why I don’t go to the movies anymore or enjoy listening to music, I do understand the kids needing to build their tastes and discovering music today, and I feel sorry for them because they will be screwed in the future by people who they used to idolize, my idols died, somewhere along the way they become something else I can’t believe I helped pay for all of this, I am ashamed for not paying attention sooner and not being stronger.

Now is different, everything I can do for myself I will do it, every penny I can withhold from expending on corporate interests is a penny not going to this monsters that are destroying the place I was born.

The only threat to that is granted monopolies, they would force me to spend money on them if they can criminalize me from producing my own stuff.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

No troll shalt not double post.
And the information is readily available, but posing the “innocent” questions was meant to paint a picture.
The problem is we aren’t the Faux News audience and I will call people on their bullshit.
Had there been an actual issue to be discussed, like have you stopped beating your wife yet double posting AC? Then we could have a rational discussion.

-1/10 – Next shall you challenge me to a fight at the bike rack? Step up your game your embarrassing me with how easy I beat you.

Re: Re:

Before I answer this: fellow Techdirt folks, please stop reporting posts like this.

Now, then.

How much money have you received from the tech industry this year?

What is Google’s corporate presence in your state?

I answered these questions a long time ago. Obviously I’m not Wyden, but it’s not like you couldn’t find out the answers.

Also, the outrage over SOPA, PROTECT IP, and ACTA is not driven by Google, nor even by “the tech industry.” So why are you even asking?

Actually, I think I know why. I’m guessing you’re the same Sucka A.C. who characterized Wyden as “Google’s pet senator.” Your intent, pretty obviously, was to ask loaded questions, in the same way as “when did you stop beating your wife?” is a loaded question.

What’s really sad is that you think they are loaded questions. The idea that taking money from Google or the tech industry will make you look bad is simply pathetic. For people who care about digital freedom, an endorsement from Google is about as politically damaging as an endorsement from the Mother Theresa.

Narcissussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually I would be rather worried if he took endorsements from Mother Theresa. She supported some pretty shady people when she was still alive, although it would be kind of awesome if the Senator could channel the dead…

Besides the point. However, even if it was true that the Senator took money from Google or is protecting his own state’s interest, what does it matter? Haven’t the comments from Chis Dodd not made clear that is how they get their support? By giving money in exchange of support?

Everybody discounting Senator Wyden for taking money from the wrong companies or supporting his own state just disqualified all the Senators supporting of SOPA/PIPA.

Violatedsays:

Salamat

Well it is nice to have Senator Wyden posting here but this place has received much more political focus after we hard core Interweb folk woke up around 13 million American voters and had them phone their representative.

We should certainly thank Senator Wyden for the many times he has voiced disapproval for the actions of the Entertainment Industry within the Administration and Congress. The disrespect of the Spanish nation and their law system over RojaDirecta, the failure of open and accountable Government and lack of due process with DaJaz1, then beyond many other acts his current stand against this current Tornado of new IP laws.

Anyway once us people here figure out how to write some new bills to sort out the current mess of crazy laws then I hope we can win his approval. Others can be won over through the millions of voters and the millions of $$$ from the Tech and Internet industries.

It is a winning combination.

ABsays:

Re: It is a winning combination

You would think so, and it certainly should be, except that the tech industry prefers to invest its money into more innovation rather than politics. That’s why it has grown so much faster than the entertainment industry yet remains politically weaker.

Actually I think this is exactly how ‘the system’ should work – by itself an industry should have significant proportional power, but it shouldn’t be able to make huge sweeping changes without the actual support of the people. (Yes, I know… should/could/would… I learned the reality 30 years ago but I still like to play what if…)

Violatedsays:

Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

You may have missed in that the Tech Industry does have a large interest in protecting the free, fair and open nature of the Internet while minimising censorship and regulation.

That we can help them do through neutering the bad parts of copyright protection.

Then you did certainly miss that in this SOPA/PIPA bout in Congress it was the Tech and not the Entertainment industry which won putting them into a prime place to exert some real power into Congress.

And that is an aspect the Tech Industry should not overlook when us united increases their own lobbying power even further. Beyond the millions of voters behind us then there are thousands of businesses around who have been harmed by copyright abuse and would well support our cause to chain this copyright monster.

ABsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

Erm, I think you must have misunderstood me.

I understand what happened at the end, and was saying that it is exactly what should have happened in the first place. In fact this whole issue should never have had to reach the blackout stage. The problem isn’t so much the entertainment industry ‘wanting’ these laws (it’s completely natural to want an unfair advantage). The problem is their ability to buy a presence in government that far exceeds their real-world presence.

My other point was that the ‘tech industry’ has more than enough money and power to buy its own lobbying agency and squash the mafiaa, but it has so far preferred to use its money in more ethical and effective ways. Despite facing almost all the same issues as the entertainment industry, the tech industry has managed to thrive precisely because it invests in innovation and progress rather than lawyers and laws. The tech industry has consistently built upon the past rather then trying to stop the future.

I don’t believe any industry should have the kind of lobbying power the entertainment industry has established. History teaches us not to trust any private interest with such important things as our freedoms. But if some must have that power I would certainly prefer seeing it in the hands of the tech industry.

(By the way, I am from Canada were we are about to be hammered with our own bill C11. And there is absolutely nothing we can realistically do about it because unlike your own multi-tier government, we have what amounts to a dictatorship. Only the Prime Minister’s party has any say in the new laws, and any member of the party that disagrees with the Prime Minister will face exile/forced retirement making it a one-man show. Even the senate is hand picked by the Prime Minister, and they can only delay, not stop, a bill from passing anyway. So there is no way to change a bill once the Prime Minister has made his decision. Even the threat of not being reelected is ineffective since our current Prime Minister is not expecting to return to office. Public outcry and election threats managed to stop this law in the past, but the only thing that could possibly stop it this time is a major rebellion in the leader’s party.)

Violatedsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

Well I can’t disagree with your points and yes the power of the copyright industry, via the MPAA and RIAA, is totally out of control.

They are now writing Trade Agreement that will in many ways block Government from regulating their own IP laws. That is the first step to all the MPAA/RIAA to regulate copyright enforcement as they please.

Yes it is an incredible lobbying presence for an industry mostly composed of cleaners, caterers and part time workers.

I am not familiar with political problems in Canada but I would be surprised if it is as bad as you claim. I am from the UK and I am well aware that Canada did benefit from our laws and method of Government.

I also know that Canada got banned from the TPP negotiations when they were sent away with the rest saying “if you want to join these negotiation then you need to pass these bad IP laws”

I am doubtful that Government would ignore massive public protest, demonstrations and boycott. And well if they did ignore the call of democracy then that is what riots and arson is for. Ignore it more than civil war and head lopping time.

Violatedsays:

Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

In fact I will give you one example.

How many ISPs around the entire World are annoyed that organizations like the MPAA and RIAA are wanting them to police, monitor, censor and even terminate their own subscribers?

I can tell you now that ACTA is a big threat to ISPs by making them liable through the back door method. They do not have to think long about what that would mean to their businesses.

For them to partnership with us and to denote required resources certainly seems in their best interests when it is my belief that we can kill ACTA. Nothing is certain of course but hundreds of thousands if not millions of people will certainly make their opposition heard.

We are also going to push back hard and certainly a goal is to keep ISPs as just the pipe that connects people between A and B. In my view as a subscriber I would prefer to make it unlawful for them to censor my link for any reason.

This is not just USA ISPs but ISPs from the entire World which is our next stop after sorting out Congress. We would also have interest from Web 2.0 companies now that their user generated creations are under attack.

I would even go as far to say we could assemble one of the largest lobbying and law creation organizations there has ever been directly aimed not only to protect the Internet but also to recover many of the freedoms that people have lost.

So if your very freedom is not worth supporting this cause then what is?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

“make it unlawful for them to censor my link for any reason”

Be careful what you wish for. Your ISP providing you with spam filtering services is actually a censorship service. However, since that is done with your consent and under your control, you willingly pay for it. Also, you do not get upset that such a service exists.

See how easy it is to accidentally write a law which is too broad? Legislation is the land of unintended consequences.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

That right there would be good, no more spam filtering done by the middle only at the end points(i.e. customers) there are many ways to deal with it, I for one don’t get spam ever, everybody who knows to contact me have an a signed key so they are never blocked, there is one email for those I don’t know and I don’t see spam there either and then there is the disposable emails I use to sign in to services that I never ever read anything and are filled with spam that I never see, because everything that doesn’t come from the service website is blocked or deleted.

Violatedsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

No problem there.

Spam mail is part of the email system and not the raw data link which was my focus. Then even this would only then apply to email accounts hosted by your ISP.

I should clarify that a filter a person wants on their account, like a spam filter, or near useless CP or adult site filter, should be optional on an opt-in systems. To filter yourself cannot be classed as censorship.

So it is only forced filters also known as censorship which is the problem. My main point is that if it became unlawful for an ISP to force censorship on subscribers then no organization will try making them do so. It also allows people to place more trust their link.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

“Your ISP providing you with spam filtering services is actually a censorship service. However, since that is done with your consent and under your control, you willingly pay for it.”

It is not a censorship mechanism. Your second sentence explains why. It’s censorship if you’re preventing other people from seeing it. It’s not censorship if you’re choosing not to see it for yourself. Spam filtering is that.

If you decide not to read a particular newspaper or magazine article, or a particular TV show or movie, you are not engaging in censorship.

Violatedsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: It is a winning combination

You said to me this… “tech industry prefers to invest its money into more innovation rather than politics”

That to me reads as you believe they would not back our grand political plan which is why I clarified not only that they would but to a high degree as well.

The one thing we can be assured of is that everyone loves the Internet and would want to save it from censorship, monitoring, filtering, blocking and to prevent one group to seize a large chunk of the Internet in their own personal “land grab” in the name of copyright enforcement.

Yes the Internet and Tech Industries are a vastly larger power which means that all together we can “neuter” the copyright abuse they are giving us and to limit the power of their monopolies.

Then at last the Internet itself can innovate ways for how artists can promote and protect their creations. We obviously do welcome and support a vibrant content creation industry.

Fredriksays:

Gratitude

I wanted to begin this post by saying, thank you Ron. You are one of the few politicians who even seem concerned about the consequences of these bills and agreements. Way too often are concerns pushed away by politicians without any knowhow about the situations, in favour of either getting more money, more time or both. Instead of just listening to draconian companies like the MPAA and RIAA, they should listen to people who does not have any stakes in the bill as well as knowing the more far reaching consequences. That is, they should investigate the bills before even considering voting on them, as it should be their job to do.

What I saw when watching the stream from congress about SOPA was a lot of ignorance about the matter at hand. The concerns some raised about the bill was handwaved as nothing by people who even admitted they didn’t have any technical knowledge. That is absolutely unacceptable, and a disgrace that shows a lot of what is wrong with the world of politics today. It seems like the political system needs a renewal, so that things like this won’t happen again.

Thank you for taking a stand against these bills, Ron. You have given me hope that some politicians actually care. If I could vote for you from where I am, I would.

Greetings from Sweden. Keep up the good work.

Donnictonsays:

Excellent job, Mister Senator. However, you are still needed now more than ever.

No doubt that your opponents are already plotting to divide the bill into sections that they can pass under the radar, tacked into a “for the troops/children” bill, such as they have already tried to do to get SOPA passed:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111115/17200316783/sopa-sponsors-pass-sopa-to-protect-troops-everyone-else-wtf.shtml

Should you ever find yourself reading the comments to articles on this site, please take note that we all need you to help make sure that they don’t accomplish this. Even though the carrier has been stopped before it entered the bay, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t try to slip any bombers across the lines.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Can we clone him?

It would be amazing to see what a pack of him could get done.

Much like everyone else I am excited to see you taking the time to interact with those people who would be most affected by the things you’ve been working against. It is refreshing to see an elected official taking the time to listen to those pesky voters. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope we will be seeing more of you here commenting, rather than just staring in stories standing up for us.

Hephaestussays:

Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

Since we are geeks and all “up in arms” over SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and the TPP.

Why not build a site to track everything a politician does (bills, laws voted on, campaign promises, truths and lies)? Then allow people to choose why they wouldn’t vote for someone and remind them at voting time. Then email people a synopsis at voting time.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

because they have done everything in their power to block the ability to track these types of things.
They keep everything under wraps and difficult to access, rather than join the comptuer age where we could see who added what amendments and search bills.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

Truth be told the politicians and lobbyists do not have a chance. There are two worlds. The one where the politicians live, based on political hype, broadcast news and news papers. There is also the realm of electrons and light where we come to discuss and crowd source the truth. The place where trolls can’t seem to get a foothold because all they are is noise. Where we can get real time information we need to say, this far no further.

One term for you, should be the mantra.

We have the ability now to pull things back. It will be a serious effort on our part. We need to stop being so apathetic, and be pissed off at what is being done to our country. Where we can’t get real time information we need to find out who was responsible. We need to hold them accountable for their actions and vote them out of office or recall them.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

I was watching something on PBS, might have been Need to Know, and they had someone in who made an amazing suggestion.

Disband DC. We have the net infrastructure where they could virtually meet to vote and do things. This way after they vote on something they walk out the door and have to answer to the people they supposedly represent right then.

It would make it harder for them to ignore the voters, and the lobbyists would have to work harder to travel and buy each of them off. More witnesses to what they do who aren’t part of the system.

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

I read something similar a year back. Something about politicians should be monitored and the people shouldn’t. They came to the same conclusion, if people had access to everything their politicians did, they would be disgusted and prevent bad laws from being passed.

What we now have is a lack of information and political apathy from the people. “Yeah, I vote”, is not enough.

Any suggestions on how to do this???

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

The issue I see with this (though a real good start) is that it does not remove the lobbyists from the equation. If congress can vote on everything, then why can’t we all? If we all can vote, then create a system where the government funds the entire election process (no private, corporate or personal money allowed), and then let the voters weigh in on individual issues.

This thought would not be complete without limiting each bill to one item. No longer a need for line item veto, just kill the whole bill. With this, no longer could stuff be tacked on at the last minute, a truly despicable practice that is well seated in both the house and the senate.

Half measures return half the recipe, and we need the whole cake.

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

The problem is actually getting our foot in the door to make these changes. For that we need to put pressure on DC. We need a spokesman for this, someone to rally around, someone who has been trying to fix the system for a while. Any thoughts on who that could be?

I put up Lawrence Lessig, he is a bit of a geek but is workable.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

We have to use what we have.
We have the power of our voice, we said No about SOPA and it seems this time they heard us.
We need to demand systemic changes and everytime we don’t get them, extract our pound of flesh.
I doesn’t matter anymore, except to maybe Faux News, if you vote for a republican or democrat, so if they won’t work on real reform vote for the other guy.
We might not be able to agree on marriage, abortion, etc etc… but I woudl hope we all can agree we no longer have a working government and we need change now.

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

“We have the power of our voice, we said No about SOPA and it seems this time they heard us.”

After the first mail blitz, the first phone blitz, and the first email campaign, they went back to business as usual. This time around after this party of we action where people stood up with one voice and said “enough”, nothing will change. They will go back to business as usual and thing will continue to simmer and stew.

” I would hope we all can agree we no longer have a working government and we need change now.”

We can. We the unruly masses, are slowly becoming organized. That is a scary thought, a nerd democracy. Damn, I have to catch up on my Star Trek TNG. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

We really need to move past the distracting arguments and focus one 1 primary problem – Our Government has run amok.
No longer should we vote based on a soundbite or the self proclamation of being religion x or y, conservative etc etc…

Our Government at every level from the smallest town to the nations capital has declared war on citizens. Our freedoms that are claimed to be most dear are taken away for “our” safety. They will not listen when we ask politely and they use weapons when we raise our voice to terrify people back into silence.

They tell us who caused the problem, who is to blame, who to fear… I think they need to stop and take a long hard look in the mirror. All of the ills and problems we face today come from years of their leadership, not one side or another.

The only way to be sure is to nuke it from orbit, it might not be pretty but it has to be better than what we have now.

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

I understand your frustration. It is being reflected all over the world. We have seen nations fall in the recent past because they speak at their citizens and treat them like like children. This happens in the US from the highest federal level, to the smallest town.

So much to say …

We should make this a running, like minded, debate somewhere. A dueling to a solution, of what ails government, with comments to refine what needs to be done.

hit me up @ Hephaestus (page) on Google+. We can figure our where

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

There you go. Work on the causes, not the symptoms. I brought this up a few days ago http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120123/01320817507/internet-begins-discussing-what-to-do-with-its-new-found-powers.shtml#c160 and someone claimed that the focus would be too narrow.

I, for one, don’t like beating my head against the wall, for no reason, or worse the wrong reason. We do need to focus on the cause, and there may be more than one. I see them as:

Money in Politics
Congressional rules that allow congresscritters to game the system
Corporate Personhood
Overly complex language in the laws
Too many laws
Courts including the 9 black robed morons in a hurry giving tortured analysis of the constitution

There are probably more, but I need coffee.

Chris Fowlessays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

That is scary but just last Friday I was discussing this idea with some guys over coffee. We were calling it gamification of politics. The other side of it was allowing voters to poll on policy choices and providing politicians with easy to understand summaries of thier electorate’s opinions.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

I see the potential for it to be gamed by guiding the polls to ask only certain questions, there needs to be a way that questions pop out of the blue(homage to one of our greatests trolls) and be put to a vote,

It needs to be a automated system that makes the questions that people find more relevant to rise maybe by allowing a system of linking, somebody reference that question and it gets copied to a local polling where a group of trusted individuals conduct their own poll and all the linked polls can be queried and store that data in a safe cental place located in a distributed storage system(i.e. omemo)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

I agree. Gaming is always the problem (and why lobbying is such a big problem). Corporations have expansive resources (mostly because the operate in uncompetitive markets) to influence decisions in their favor . They can pay people to exclusively study issues to influence them. The rest of us have to work for a living and have less time to engage in the conversation. The internet makes it possible like it never has before. That is the most important reason it must remain uncensored in any way.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

Do it the internet way, grab a copy of Mongoose or any tiny webserver(i.e. embedded webservers) and start coding, just don’t forget to point it to 127.0.0.1 while testing or get a Linux TurnKey (i.e. virtual appliance) for any CMS(i.e. Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, etc) and start baking.

I would love to give every citizen in the world the ability to carry the laws that govern them, contact others so they can form groups and see what they insert, modify or delete in those laws, just like GIT but more user friendly.

Debate needs to start happening at the public level.

Can you imagine everyone debating and offering suggestions of how the law should look like and every citizen being able to diff and patch their own body of laws?

The most important part though is not that one, is the part where it is made visible to the world to see and so people can start forming coalescing on the laws that have great support and leaving behind the ones that don’t.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Queston for the Senator

I’d lean towards a sort of ‘exit vote’, where they get voted/graded on a second time when their term is about to end.

Get really high ‘grades’, and they get a decent pension, though obviously nothing as obscene as what they get currently.

Get mediocre ‘grades’ and they get nothing, but they owe nothing either.

Get really lousy ‘grades’ on the other hand, and they get slammed with a whopping debt, that goes straight into the tax returns that people from their state get, to pay back the public for not representing them, all the while they took their money.

Josh in CharlotteNCsays:

Thank you!

Thank you for all of your efforts on these issues, Senator. It really means a lot to me.

I made a decision months ago, but never thought I’d have the opportunity to tell you in a way you might read it. I’m writing your name in for president on my ballot in 2012. I cannot think of anyone else I would rather vote for.

RDsays:

For the first time

Dear Senator Wyden,

For the first time in my nearly 4 decades on this earth and in this country, you have made me feel that engaging in the political process and discourse would not be a complete waste of effort. While I am sure there are some (few) worthwhile individuals up there on The Hill, you are the only one I have seen in recent memory who has demonstrated that he was worth a damn, and actually was “for the people.” Please keep up the good work, and fight, for the rest of us.

-RD (who doesn’t just want to pirate everything for free, but does want to preserve the freedoms our forefathers (who were much more intelligent and insightful than we are today) laid out for us, but which have been unfortunately perverted and twisted until they are almost removed from their original meaning.)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: For the first time

Same here. I have studied the last centuries social trends. It seems to be about a thirty year cycle between those who wish to control vs. those who wish freedom. We are about a decade late but am glad that social freedom is on the incline instead of decline. The world is not a scary place…. It’s fucking fun if you see it.

6says:

Glad to have you stop by Senator. Now if you could also turn your attention, limited as it surely must be, at some point to the patent system as well we would be very much indebted to you and your constituents.

Also, Mike I’m glad to see you’re finally understanding whom you need to go to in order to accomplish the “agenda” here. Now all we need is a few less corrupt politicians in the congress and something might just get done.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

I agree, we all need to push harder to get our voices heard on the important issues of copyright and patent reform (and everything else).

Mike has demonstrated (through his hard work and diligence) that the doors are finally open for an honest discussion. Politicians are in office because of our votes. We need to make clear that corruption (putting lobbyist voices ahead of the people) will be tolerated no longer.

Spaceman Spiffsays:

At least...

At least someone in my family voted for Senator Ron! My brother-in-law and his wife live in Portland, and are big supporters of the Senator. There are at least 2 votes he can rely upon for his next election! ๐Ÿ™‚ FWIW, my sister-in-law is a serious media content creator, as is my brother-in-law. He is a musician and recording engineer and she is an animation producer, director, writer, creator (can you spell “California Raisins”?), and they made their web sites go dark for the SOPA/PIPA protest…

PRMansays:

Thanks soooo much!

First off, I agree with Senator Wyden. Mike has done a fantastic job of fighting for our rights on the internet.

Secondly, thank you Senator Wyden for being a Senator that we can all respect, one that stands up for the people instead of the almighty dollar.

Keep asking the tough questions and doing the hard work. You may get down at times, but when you do, just know that we are all rooting for you because you’re on OUR team!

Thanks, again.

ARsays:

I'm at a loss

Normally I am a moderate. I have complete disdain, contempt, and lack of trust for both parties because of the extremists views they spew. Their “if your not with us your against us” mentality and the insinuations of my being a traitor, terrorist, or criminal for not agreeing fully with their lies, has really gotten out of control.

With that said it is really refreshing to see the Senator here making intelligent comments to the ones he is supposed to represent. Those being the people, not the corporations who are attempting to buy the votes. I commend him for listening to the people and not just to the money being counted. I have respect for his stance. A lot more than the spineless *** that I had to vote for who wouldn’t take a stand on sopa/pipa because he didnt want to offend the party leaders in his re-election year. He forgets the national party leaders dont get to vote for him.

This hurts to say but “As a fellow democrat”, I would be willing to stand beside him and confront the party leaders on these issues, and be willing to step forward to criticize their corruption and remind them who they work for!!! I’ll also be there when they start with their corperate written rhetoric, telling me what to do and say…MAKE ME!!!

Its so nice to see a Senator who has some common sense.
Please keep it up and dont fall into their mindsets.

someonesays:

Thanks

Thanks for taking time to discuss these important issues with us. May screen shots of this page appear in your campaign commercial resulting in your re-election.

With one post you have provided me with more information concerning these issues than my own Senators and Rep here in Ohio.

Sherrod Brown responded with doublespeak
Rob Portman never responded
Steve Austria never responded

The Groove Tigersays:

Senator Wyden:

Great post. Excellent effort. I’m not even in the US (or Europe or Asia… or Oceania, or Antarctica, or the Principality of Sealand) and I end up finding out about everything that you do – from interviews in the only real news network in the USA, of course: the Comedy Channel. It’s very important that you keep doing what you’re doing.

You’re pretty much the only politician in the world that doesn’t make me want to hurl.

OK, maybe not the only one, but close.

And good luck with all that. Maybe once corruption in the US is cured, others will consider following suit.

Rapnelsays:

Re: Re:

Yah! Good one!

Loose tool above.

By your insistence upon defecating on this page of ideas and appreciation I can only assume that you’re implying that any elected official that takes a stand or voices his opinion in public, for the public (which just happens to be their primary function) is interpreted by you as a grand one. Yes? Or is it simply because your opinion is in opposition yet you demure from actually sharing it, much less support it?

Just where might one find welcoming and thankful messages of support from the public for the opposing position? A secret location for a back room with whiskey and cigars and old, fat, white rich folks? The same place these ideas are bred into bills and nefarious plans for taking over and imposing a few collective wills on the Internet platform?

Let’s have Senator Reid take a stab at it? On second thought lets invite one Senator a week for a drop in and ask them to give us 1500 words or less on how they see these things.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“ust where might one find welcoming and thankful messages of support from the public for the opposing position? A secret location for a back room with whiskey and cigars and old, fat, white rich folks? The same place these ideas are bred into bills and nefarious plans for taking over and imposing a few collective wills on the Internet platform?”

You just described the senate perfectly.

Anonymoussays:

First I have to add to the thank yous previously expressed here. It truly is refreshing to see an informed member of the legislature truly representing the people instead of pretending to represent only when the people speak up.

With regards to improving the Congressional process, I think what we need is to take the Wikipedia style legislative experiment that was used for drafting the OPEN Act a step further. Why not take the approach where the public can propose draft and edit legislation and once an Internet community drafted bill goes through the Internet’s forum debate if it receives enough signatures from Internet users, it then is sent to Congress for consideration.

I also can’t help but think of how this article contrasts with the recent CNN article by Lamar Smith. I actually was surprised that Mike never gave any commentary on the CNN article when it came out.

TtfnJohnsays:

Thanks again, Senator Wyden

For such a deep and dispassionate analysis of what’s going on with such secret deals as TPP which, like ACTA, promise not only to change our view of common culture but lock items into copyright and patent law which have no business being there.

Too often politicians play off their party allegiances and lose the audience and electorate along the way. This post avoids all that and goes straight to the dangers of over emphasizing “intellectual property” over culture and the growth of cultures.

What affects the citizenry must be discussed in the open with all the players known. And what attempts to put barriers up in front of knowledge or so called content as well as invention.

The other thing Senator Wyden does well is identify the problem(s). Until we can do that, there is nothing much we can do to prevent the feared/expected outcome.

And remind us that what we did around SOPA/PIPA did prove the power of an organized and committed citizenry to stop even the best paying lobbyists from getting what they want no matter how damaging it would be to an economy, culture or freedoms and liberties.

At least with Senator Wyden helping identify the issues and problems the citizenry won the day.

That’s the part the entertainment industry just doesn’t get. It wasn’t Google, it was the citizenry.

Anonymoussays:

To Mr. Wyden;

Would you kindly articulate your position in sufficient detail for some to understand why you believe agreements such as ACTA must be submitted to Congress for approval? Certainly treaties, having the force and effect of law, are the proper subject of advice and consent per Article 2, Section 2. Trade agreements, whether Congressional Trade Agreements or Executive Agreements do not carry the force and effect of law. In your response it would be helpful to briefly discuss your view concerning the Executive’s independent authority per Article 2, Section 1.

It would likewise prove helpful to understand your position why issues associated with DNS under SOPA are problematic given that to a lesser extent pertubation of the DNS system is currently being practiced with respect to certain types of subject matter such as child pornography. Mr. Vixie has acknowledged the latter’s impact on DNS, but asserts that it is tolerable, whereas with respect to so-called intellectual property it is not.

Finally, it would be helpful to understand why the current pertubation associated with child pornography does not seem to cause any due process and First Amendment objections, whereas in SOPA they bordered on being a battle cry for saving the internet. Is your position that this is a matter of scale, i.e., one is smaller in number than the other? Frankly, I have a very difficult time distinguising why as a matter of law one is tolerated and the other is not. It seems to me that this is an inconsistency that has not received any attention in the ongoing debate.

Thank you in advance for your responses.

Rapnelsays:

Re: Re:

Crack! I’m sorry I looked.

“..associated with child pornography does not seem to cause any due process and First Amendment objections..”

To conflate these things together is to be bound by words and not deeds. It is an abject failure of intellect to not understand why inconsistencies exist.

The assault and violation of children is an aberration. It is the most intolerable form of human suffering imposed upon the most defenseless members of society.

Nothing disgusts me more than the incessant manipulation of what society deems as acceptable transgressions of civil liberties and privacy as a necessary means to prevent harm to the helpless.

A child in pain is not to be equated with your missing media license fee or your unauthorised pill recipe. Society will not tolerate the former and society will tolerate your infringed upon media file, likewise, society will not tolerate transgressions of our liberties and privacy to help you find your fee – that’s tasking for those vested in such. Failures are theirs to learn from.

This search for an attempt to rein in moving packets so as to form them and shape them so someone can do some more business in the manner that they are comfortable with is a contentious position to take and an enormous failure of leadership.

The Internet, sir, is not what needs saving and it does not contain the solutions you should be looking for.

Society does not wish to have its people physically harmed. Society does not have such a strong opinion about entertainment files. Perhaps that can assist you in your search for understanding and accepting the inconsistencies.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Short version:

The application of legal tools that impact civil liberties and human rights should be deployed only in extreme cases that are of concern for all people inside society and not only a small fraction of it.

Censor and exclusion tools deployed for economic reasons of special interests are not in the interest of the public good.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Mr. Wyden is an attorney, and as such I believe should be able to articulate a legal principle that reconciles each. My question has nothing to do with, for example, child pornography on the one hand and copyright/trademark infringement on the other. Were this a case before our trial and appellate courts, it is an issue that I believe would be briefed by both parties and presented at oral argument.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

OMG, lawyer (paid shill) speek. TLDR, conflate SOPA and DNS blocking with child pornography.

Try to argue shutting down entire websites is not really, acutally, a first amendment violation.

And finally, when you go home to your wife (or husband) and children are you proud of what you accomplished today? Or is it just another paycheck in your pocket at the expensive of america.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are reacting viscerally to a factual situation. My question has nothing to do with comparing disgusting subject matter with other subject matter that does not raise such societal disgust. It is simply to seek articulation of an overarching legal principle, which is, after all, a basic consideration in matters of law.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

In matters of law others considerations are the public good, the spirit of the law, balance of conflicting interests and so forth.

That is why people who kill others get death sentences or life in prison and people who shoplift get a fine, both break the law but the mechanism to deal with them and the end results are different.

Who is in danger of losing their lifes, being abused, raped, molested if somebody breaks copyright law?

The answer nobody, there is no physical threat, there is only the assumed potential loss that can’t be quantified or proven it is assumed and that is reason to give censorship powers to people?

I believe not.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Only if you can’t weight factors and is trying to be misleading.
Children at risk of death and bodily harm are not equal to people breaking copyright law that puts nobody’s life at risk and cannot even be proven to cause economic harm and you want to give others power to censor anything? creates lists of what is acceptable or not? because of economic interests?

Censoring anything should be done in extreme cases, cases that put lifes at risk, never for economic reasons.

Re: Re:

I think I got this one.

Would you kindly articulate your position in sufficient detail for some to understand why you believe agreements such as ACTA must be submitted to Congress for approval? Certainly treaties, having the force and effect of law, are the proper subject of advice and consent per Article 2, Section 2.

I’m assuming you mean this clause?

[The President] shall have Power, by and with Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….

Seems pretty obvious why the Senate should concur.

Trade agreements, whether Congressional Trade Agreements or Executive Agreements do not carry the force and effect of law.

So, you’re saying ACTA is not binding on U.S. law? That seems to be the case to me as well, but I’m sure other signatories would like to hear about it.

It would likewise prove helpful to understand your position why issues associated with DNS under SOPA are problematic given that to a lesser extent pertubation of the DNS system is currently being practiced with respect to certain types of subject matter such as child pornography.

Ah, the “kiddie porn” argument.

There are significant differences. Child pornography, unlike copyrighted content, is contraband; that is, it is not allowed in any case, authorized or not. You can tell by the content when material is child pornography; you cannot tell by the content whether that content is authorized or not.

Also, it is not the case that you can block the DNS of a server merely based on child pornography being present. That is unconstitutional prior restraint:

the current pertubation associated with child pornography does not seem to cause any due process and First Amendment objections

The “current pertubation” absolutely does cause First Amendment objections. In fact, the same blacklisting scheme was found to be an unconstitutional prior restraint when applied to child pornography. See CDT v. Pappert. Other bans on child pornography were also found to be unconstitutional; see e.g. Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition.

You, on the other hand, are arguing that a scheme that is unconstitutional prior restraint when applied to child pornography suddenly becomes constitutional merely because it applies to copyright infringement. This seems to me to be a total stretch.

And it is not, at all, “a matter of scale.” It is a matter of substance. Copyright infringement is not, never was, and never shall be as much of a social harm as child pornography. Pretending it even could be, is just pathetic.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As I note in comments below, my question is one of law, and not tied to specific subject matter. The two are mentioned only because it is easy to say one is OK and the other is not. My question is posed to understand why law tolerates on and not the other, not only with respect to DNS, but also with respect to the First Amendment and Due Process.

Courts would certainly try and draw a distinction, and I am merely trying to understand what that distinction would be.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

What are the risks for a child being abused? Death? Rape? Extreme Psychological scares?

What breaking copyright law risks? “potencial” loss of revenues?

Censoring anything in a democratic country is the last thing anything should and it should be very narrow when done it, but apparently people like you want that to expand because it was done to protect someone from bodily harm now it needs to include protection for economic interests?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why don’t we punish everybody who breaks the law with capital sentences?

Is all crime according to you right?
And apparently you can see the different factors in play to justify trying to save a life from trying to save a business that is not even clear if harms come to it and it can only be assumed.

Marvelous comparison.

A Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think it will come down to something like “if everyone knows it’s never okay and the material is easily identifiable, like the child porn case, then the service provider is much more likely to be held liable.”

Since most works are already copyrighted at the moment of their creation now, service providers cannot be expected to know if the material is licensed to be on their site.

This is especially true if the user has already represented that they have the authority to license the work to that site. Holding the service provider liable for what it cannot reasonably know would not survive strict first amendment scrutiny.

disclaimer: IANAL but I do follow this stuff pretty closely

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

The First Amendment is supposed to be content neutral.

Due Process is supposed to be content neutral.

The internet is idealized as being content neutral.

While the comparison of widely disparate subject matter is easy easy to criticize as a matter of societal norms, it is not as easy as a matter of law.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why not?
Do we put to death everybody who breaks the law? or just a subset of the people who do it, why? Shouldn’t they all die for breaking the law?

Extreme circumstances rings a bell?
Exception to a rule for extra-ordinary reasons makes any sense to you?

Social interests are not weighed in by the law? Do we have laws only for the benefit of having them?

We do it all the time we set limits to what is acceptable or not that is what the law is for to set limits is it not?

So in extreme circumstances where there is very likely someone being raped we act and society agrees to let some of its rights suspended, society doesn’t agree to suspend it for any other lesser reason, and if the law starts to push it, the people will take away that distinction and there will not be censor tools acceptable for anything not even for children being raped, so the courts should take this very very seriously, some people forget that the law is supposed to weight the social impact of laws that is why we have judges so they can balance all those things otherwise we don’t need them and should just put a computer where we input the facts and it automatically judges the circumstances and it is doable today already.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Short version:

It must be easy to see even for a Judge why censorship should be only applied in extreme circumstances and not for any lesser reason except for the threat of physical harm that could cost a life, that is the same reason we allow people to make it illegal to scream fire in a crowded place, but not when someone is being raped in an alley and trying to get help, so should anybody who screams fire in public without any fire be jailed? or there are boundaries and limits?

ABsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

And you still don’t grasp the difference between real physical harm to a physical person creating real physical and emotional harm, and the theoretical harm to a corporation or other business possibly (it has not yet been empirically proven) creating theoretical financial damage.

The law is not neutral about such things. That is why it recognizes the difference between murder and shoplifting, and assigns corresponding penalties. It also recognizes the need to spend more effort apprehending and preventing the former. I truly fail to see why you would think the difference between child abuse and copyright infringement is any less clear.

Perhaps you think child abuse is a victimless crime? Or do you believe child porn is created with the willful consent of the child?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

My question is posed to understand why law tolerates on and not the other

The law tolerates neither. That was my point. You’re trying to make it apply to one, but not the other, so I’ll ask you again: why do you think a web-blocking scheme that is unconstitutional prior restraint when applied to child pornography, suddenly becomes constitutional when applied to copyright infringement?

JMTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“My question is posed to understand why law tolerates on and not the other, not only with respect to DNS, but also with respect to the First Amendment and Due Process.”

If you’re trying to sound like a stereotypical morally-bankrupt lawyer, you’re doing a great job.

The law is supposed to be a reflection of society’s will, so if law tolerates one and not the other, it’s because society tolerates one and not the other.

That you even have to ask why both society and the law views copyright infringement and child porn differently says a lot about you as a person.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

What is the difference between a child being raped and Universal Pictures?

Universal pictures cannot be rapped, cannot be bullied by everyone, it has millions, it has probably hundreds of security personnel not counting lawyers and you want to compare that to a defenseless child?

More importantly why should censor be justified for economic reasons ever?

Censorship to protect economic interests of a small percentage of society doesn’t seem to be of value except for the very few that will be granted that power, is not like if those companies made more money there would be less child rapes in the world.

Exclusion tools are a danger to citizens rights everywhere, why should that power be given to anybody except in the most extreme cases?

charliebrownsays:

Off Topic A Bit Here: TV vs YouTube/Hulu

I once read the following on Wikipedia: “It is commonly said in the U.S. industry that ‘syndication is where the real money is’ when producing a TV show. In other words, while the initial run of any particular television series may theoretically lose money for its producing studio, the ensuing syndication will generate enough profit to balance out any losses.”

I read that and I finally understood why the TV networks / TV producers hate YouTube and Hulu so much: They think they will loose the profitability of the syndiction market if people can “just watch it online”. The result is stuff like SOPA/PIPA of course. Plus some of the major networks trying to kill Hulu.

Of course, there is no reason why streaming cannot be as profitable as syndication. Streaming is another form of syndication,, where the consumer is the purchaser/right-leasor of the show, rather than a TV station. Syndication won’t die out either, with many people still prefereing to watch “whatever is on” or recording shows to DVR’s to watch later. Not to mention DVD sales still exist.

I’ve been meaning to post this for months but never bothered till now. This has nothing to do with Senator Ron Wyden or his post but t does have to do with why TV hates the internet. Except for Conan ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S: Why is Hulu called Hulu? Because you have to jump through hoops to watch it. (Hulu Hoops!)(I’m Australian, I don’t get Hulu here)

Christina Baxtersays:

Well Said....

Hey, why don’t YOU run for president, Sen. Wyden? I’d vote for someone who has their head on straight about how much these acts are against the constitution and how damaging they will be in the long run to the global economy and also to the rights all humans should have.

~ wishing you well in your political battles in the future, C.Baxter

Anonymoussays:

Every politician should pass a brainscan before voting to see if he sold his soul, I mean his vote.

Quote:

An Emory University neuro-imaging study shows that personal values that people refuse to disavow, even when offered cash to do so, are processed differently in the brain than those values that are willingly sold.

medicalxpress.com: The price of your soul: How the brain decides whether to ‘sell out’ by Emory University on January 22, 2012

The Logiciansays:

Thank you, Senator, for everything you have done in support of a free and open internet and for knowing whom you really serve. It is unfortunate that so few of your contemporaries do. Your post was logical and honest, and the very fact that you took the time to make it speaks more of you than those words ever could. Live long, Senator, and prosper.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

What Spock said! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Senator.

Something that’s always bugged me about these claims of losses by industries actually showing revenue increases: when they go poor-mouthing to the government for stricter laws (since previous stricter laws didn’t work), why are they not required to throw open their books for auditing by federal investigators? It would seem their (double)bookkeeping is the bigger problem than lack of more unenforceable laws.

Additionally, it would seem that the “we’ll all be dead by the time that expires” length of copyright is creating an undue burden on rightsholders, also the byzantine rules of copyright that no average person can possibly understand (especially when they make no natural sense). This leads me to believe that enforcement is a non-issue, it is the underlying law, insane penalties, and preposterous expectations within it that are the true problem.

Perhaps curtailment of copyright and IP law in general could be snuck in with another bill with a catchy name: Save Our Children’s Future?

Who’d vote against that?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Addendum: I don’t think it’s inaccurate to say that overdependence upon IP law and IP in general is why this country is stagnating. These are the ropes we are hanging ourselves with. Dependence upon IP makes companies weak, stupid, lazy and mean, all of which add up to being unable and therefore unwilling to do the work of actually competing in the marketplace.

Allomancersays:

Another thanks

This is great!

Senator Wyden, thank you for all your efforts in fighting censorship on the internet. Your actions this past year were a big part of raising awareness on these issues. It’s been shown that the people do still have power to enact change, but without spokesmen like you and Senator Issa, who knows if it would have been possible.

John Thackersays:

Love most of what the Senator says, strongly disagree with this...

(I think we’d all prefer that the USTR invest its resources into other efforts like combating the illegal subsidies that the Chinese government is using to monopolize the world’s green tech industries…)

Why? If you’re in favor of green tech, then why oppose the Chinese subsidizing it more? Even from a selfish perspective, that’s just the Chinese giving away their own money in order to give us stuff cheaper. I’m sure that at least some of us would prefer for the planet that the Chinese subsidize green tech as much as possible. If there’s anything that the history of technology teaches us, it’s simply not true, even with patents and copyrights, that the first one to research a particular technology monopolizes it for years. Just look at how many things were invented in the UK and then copied in the US, and then later in history it was copied by Japan, then copied by Taiwan, then copied by China.

I love everything else he had to say, but this makes no sense.

A Guysays:

Re: Re: Love most of what the Senator says, strongly disagree with this...

It makes sense to me. It costs jobs in the United States. If it were fair competition, that would regrettable, but understandable. However, it’s not.

If the Chinese produce a product at a loss, they discourage other investors from the market. That diverts resources, human capital, research grants, ect that would improve the science and manufacturing of green tech into other things.

As oil gets more expensive, the United States (and whatever other countries you happen to be in) needs to be in the business of producing economical alternative energy to lower the cost of living and industry for everyone.

The Chinese are distorting the market place so that doesn’t happen.

Anonymoussays:

i doubt if anyone outside of the entertainment industries exec board rooms will disagree when i say the you are doing a great job, Senator. i am curious as to how far you are going to be able to go though? there is a hell of a lot to do in the US over copyright (and patents) but given as how it is doing it’s best to expand it’s jurisdiction to incorporate just about the whole of the internet and as many countries as possible, where will you be forced to stop? where the US borders actually are or where law enforcement thinks it’s borders are? will you be able to expose the threats issued to other countries by various US embassies etc for non-compliance to US copyright demands?

Anonymous Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Mike = Lobbyist

First off, his address is not on K street.

Second, I don’t think he has enough money to buy even the lowliest congresscritter.

Third, just whom do you think he is lobbying for?

Fourth, do you get paid overtime for working weekends?

Fifth, just because one has an opinion, or backs a cause, how does that make them a lobbyist? By your definition, everybody who contacts their politicians IS a lobbyist. So maybe he is. What is wrong with that?

Sixth, whom are you paid to lobby for?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

Second, I don’t think he has enough money to buy even the lowliest congresscritter.

Wyden is posting here. Cash is not the only buying power in the world, access to audience is very big as well. Nothing like a grandstanding politician getting supported by a one sided blog and political hack like Mike.

for the rest:

first: address doesn’t matter.

third: mike is just self-important. He is lobbying to keep his business and business models functional – you know, the ones that require widespread piracy to make things go around.

fourth: since nobody pays, moot question.

fifth: opinions are one things. currying political favor, working with other lobby groups (such as EFF), and so on are a little different than just having an opinion.

sixth: see fourth. Typical politician stuff, you ask the same question twice hoping for a different answer. Too bad you are wrong all the way along (as Mike has always been on this issue).

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

Cash is not the only buying power in the world, access to audience is very big as well.

I was under the impression that SOPA proponents consider the Internet users as minority. What political benefit one would have by engaging the minority with no numerical or monetary clout, I have no idea, and I have no idea why you would think so.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

A screaming minority is like that one crying child on a plane: They can make everyone else’s trip truly unendurable. The majority of the people on that plane will do almost anything to shut up the crying child.

Wyden appears to know how to appease the crying minority, and get them cry loudly for him.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

WHy should they? It appears to work for both sides to whine like little bitches and cry until they get their way.

It just sucks for you guys that the industry people learned how to do it a long time before you guys did. They come off as concerned business people, you come off as spoiled children.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

I truly feel sorry for you. I can only imagine what you must have gone through to become so completely warped. I shall send a letter to my local entertainment representative asking for special donations to pay for your therapy. Perhaps one day you will manage to work through all those repressed emotions and face the real world.

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

A screaming minority is like that one crying child on a plane: They can make everyone else’s trip truly unendurable.

Man, tell me about it. We’ve had to listen to the screaming minorities at the RIAA and MPAA for twenty years, at least. They really are trying to make everyone else’s trip (i.e. the Internet) truly unendurable. The majority of the people in the Senate will do almost anything to shut up those crying children.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

He is lobbying to keep his business and business models functional – you know, the ones that require widespread piracy to make things go around.

And here we see how much of an unapologetic liar you are.

Not a single one of Mike’s business models “require widespread piracy.” Not one.

And if going to Washington to represent your own interests makes you a “lobbying firm,” then just about every business in America is a “lobbying firm.”

I actually hope you’re also lying about being a paid lobbyist. If not, you’re just a pathetic loser, tilting at windmills for God knows what reason. At least if you were a lobbyist, you might finally get off the food stamps.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

“Not a single one of Mike’s business models “require widespread piracy.” Not one.”

Of course they do.

Mike’s business models (and pretty much every “new” model proposed here) requires first that piracy decimate the existing industry. If piracy is combated, or at least kept in check, the new business models don’t tend to flourish. You have to watch closely, because it’s sort of a multi-pronged attack that is hard to see unless you stand back and look.

First there is the push against copyright and patents, and a significant push to increase “fair use” (thanks EFF!). Mike voices this over and over again, the old new culture comes from remixing old culture. In order for this sort of thing to happen, you have to cut copyright off at the knees, do away with or severely limit the rights of songwriters, artists, and creators alike. That is one prong of the attack, remove the right of control over the work of artists.

Then you have the push to destroy markets through piracy. The recorded music business is down more than 50% in 10 years, including all of the “successes” of online sales such as Itunes. Net money, recorded music brings in 50% less than it did just a decade ago. Piracy has massively hurt the sales of recorded music (and is currently working it’s magic on the movie industry as well, we are just early in the play).

The third step is the usual grinding stone called “infinite distribution”. It only exists in reality in a very few ways, either through P2P (almost entirely pirate traffic) or through file lockers (ditto…). If you removed the piracy from these two areas, they would cease to exist in any meaningful way, and certainly would not longer be free or infinite. Yes, there are still low cost options, but actually paying for people to download your content, even at a low price, undoes many of the business models projected.

What it comes together to say is that, without pulling down the existing entertainment industry to their levels, the “new” business models are not competitive, don’t work, or really aren’t new at all. Good business models are suppose to be able to wipe out existing business without kneecapping them.

If the general new music business model (give it away online, sell them concert tickets and merch at the shows) was truly successful, we would be seeing a massive groundswell of unknown, indie style bands taking over the music industry. We aren’t seeing that. Rather, on the concert side, the rich get richer, with absolutely insane increases in ticket prices for shows, and decreasing ticket sales. We don’t see heavyweight independent acts out there filling up stadiums or get $1000 per ticket.

Net, between recorded music sales and live sales, we haven’t seen any great increases. It nets out. More importantly, the vast majority of those live concert ticket sales are going to a dwindling number of top acts who can charge huge amounts for their tickets.

The true canary in the coal mine on this is the file locker sites. As soon as these sites lose the income from selling “download memberships”, they can no longer support being the distribution hubs for “give it away” business models. Do you see very many sites out there willing to give artists completely free download distribution of their content? Nope.

Take away piracy, keep the copyrights enforced even at current levels, and suddenly the types of business models Mike puts forward no longer work, because there is no audience for them. Megaupload wasn’t popular because of Marcus Carab remix songs. 50 million people were not tripping over themselves every day to download the latest garage band from Ohio. They were there for pirated content and software, plain and simple, and the admins knew it. Without that content, they wouldn’t have sold many fast download memberships, and wouldn’t be in business.

That’s called a failed business model.

Until someone says “here is an alternate business model that doesn’t require killing the existing model through illegal means”, you can have a discussion of valid and functional business models. Until then, the existing models are still many times better on a bottom line basis than anything proposed, and the market place is still making that choice.

Now, Mike will come along and give the old “I never said that” or “you don’t understand what I mean” speech. However, it is clear that none of the business models proposed here are functional against the incumbent models without the help of piracy, and Mike’s continued campaigns supporting the rights of pirate sites and copyright violators, as well as his work against copyright, patents, and any law that would attempt to enforce them tells the tale. He doesn’t have to use direct words, his actions speak louder.

Good business models would blow the existing models into the weeds. They aren’t doing it, and it’s only a closer fight because of piracy. That’s the truth.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

“Mike’s business models (and pretty much every “new” model proposed here) requires first that piracy decimate the existing industry.”

Not piracy, common sense. Because the newer business models require those businesses to actually connect with the consumers. The old gatekeepers are failing, not because of piracy, but because of their total failure to put the customers in the top 10 of their concerns.

They fund movies/music based on what they (thoroughly removed from the real world) think will work, not actually seeing what fans want.

“That is one prong of the attack, remove the right of control over the work of artists.”
The gatekeepers have already done this. Artists are forced to give up total control over what they make so that the gatekeeper can dole out tiny payments no matter how well the material actually has done.
Fair Use is a limited answer to having the “deal” with copyright broken, the public granted them a monopoly on their work for x time – afterwhich it should have been part of the public domain. Public domain is now devoid of anything new, and we are forced to pay the great great great grandchildren of the artist for access to the material.

“The recorded music business is down more than 50% in 10 years, including all of the “successes” of online sales such as Itunes. Net money, recorded music brings in 50% less than it did just a decade ago.”

Citation needed. They have shown us numbers that album sales are down, but they ignore the sales of single tracks which is how people want to consume the material now. Net money is misleading for an industry still extracting payments for broken vinyl albums in their contracts. Digital leveled the playing field, there is no longer the great limitations on providing content, it is cheaper to make it available and sadly for the gatekeepers this means they can no longer charge a premium price to something readily available.

“The third step is the usual grinding stone called “infinite distribution”.”
Do you think the gatekeepers might make more money if they actually made things available when the consumer wanted them or if they keep trying to lock things away? They control enough money that the costs for making everything available would be next to nothing in the grand scheme of things. That the biggest blow to piracy is availability? Or would the success of Netflix just be an anomaly, it decreased piracy but because the players decided if they were doing well they should have to pay more. In turn these costs and limitations for Netflix to remain in operation made it less useful to people who in turn looked at other avenues to obtain the material.

“Good business models are suppose to be able to wipe out existing business without kneecapping them. “
You mean like HULU where the people who paid for the premium service got more commercials than the free users? That something that could have stopped many of the tears flowing was cut off from how the consumer wanted to use it in their home? That forcing people to only us it via the Hulu website was a massive mistake, because the gatekeepers demand absolute control over the content out of fear that something “MIGHT” happen if they didn’t impose stupid limitations making the service crap?

“We don’t see heavyweight independent acts out there filling up stadiums or get $1000 per ticket.”
Because the gatekeepers have a monopoly control over ticketing, stadiums, and publicity channels? That the gatekeepers have crafted a system to benefit themselves only, and to force anyone outside to submit to their archaic business model to have a shot at using the existing systems.

“More importantly, the vast majority of those live concert ticket sales are going to a dwindling number of top acts who can charge huge amounts for their tickets.”
And many of those bands are the chosen few who are given dates, and this is their only chance to make money because even though they band has sold 100,000,000 albums they still haven’t paid back the terms of a contract (that loansharks envy) meant to keep them poor and dependent solely on a label?

“However, it is clear that none of the business models proposed here are functional against the incumbent models without the help of piracy”
In your limited opinion of the subject matter, which has a heavy bias that anyone who disagrees with you is a moron. That your completely invested into the status quo, it worked once but those days are over.

“Good business models would blow the existing models into the weeds. They aren’t doing it, and it’s only a closer fight because of piracy. That’s the truth.”
Because they are constantly being sued and charges excessive fees by the legacy gatekeepers who need to kill anything that remotely threatens their monopoly on the market. They are a monopoly and they are not there to serve the consumer, they are there to make as much if not more money on a market they keep control of. They spend money to block any innovation that might disrupt them making money.

So before you want to compare new models to the current model, let us admit the current model is flawed and benefits a few. It is designed to make money on both sides at the expense of the artist and the consumer. It is exploitative and full of people who violate those same laws they hold in such high regard, but only when they work for them. That they are a monopoly that can not see they are the cause of the problem, not P2P, not cyberlockers, it is their failure to actually provide content to the paying consumer until the flowchart says it is time. It is a monopoly that benefits from the advancement of technology making their costs lower, and rather than pass on any savings they look for methods to extract even more.

4/10 – You write like a sane person, but your bias leads you to some obvious ignorance of reality.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

“”That is one prong of the attack, remove the right of control over the work of artists.”
The gatekeepers have already done this. Artists are forced to give up total control over what they make so that the gatekeeper can dole out tiny payments no matter how well the material actually has done.”

The artists can choose not to use record labels (the people you call gatekeepers… and you claim I am biased!). Because the artists have rights, they can sell those rights on to obtain other things they want, like tour support, promotion, exposure, etc. The money isn’t in selling the rights and just making that money, it’s in what the artist gains in exposue, etc. Getting that wider audience, getting to tour and play live – and charge for tickets – is key in the way the music industry works for everyone, label act or not.

“Because they are constantly being sued and charges excessive fees by the legacy gatekeepers who need to kill anything that remotely threatens their monopoly on the market. “

Sorry, not getting this. If you have your own products, and you don’t use their products, and you don’t remix their products, etc… where is the legal action coming from? The real issue is that many “artists” think that they can steal from “the man” and then get mad when the man comes back to get at them.

Great business models would wipe out the existing music industry in minutes. They aren’t doing it. Why? It’s not a lawsuit or two that is going to change it. It’s the lack of a business model that goes past “and then we put the music in the internet for free”.

“So before you want to compare new models to the current model, let us admit the current model is flawed and benefits a few.”

It doesn’t matter, and that is what is key here. The model benefits enough people, and most importantly, the public likes the product and wants more of it. I don’t care if BMW has a great business model that benefits all of German, or only makes a few VPs of the company rich. I like their cars, and want more. That is a good business model. Good business models are not hippies swaying around a camp fire things, they are actual bottom line, rubber meets the road things.

“they are a monopoly “

Equally important, the music business is not a monopoly. It’s a damn good business model that has addressed almost all angles and put it together in a unified music business operations method that is not easy to beat.

“it is their failure to actually provide content to the paying consumer until the flowchart says it is time.”

If there is such a gap, such a huge space, why are the “new” business models not diving in to fill the gap? Why are we not getting thousands of new artists dominating the field, taking over because the people can’t wait for new music? Oh, because they don’t want that product – they want the label product.

The artists can always choose to go on their own. That is what Trent Reznor did… and he was so successful at it that he went back to writing movie music for money.

“You write like a sane person, but your bias leads you to some obvious ignorance of reality.”

I am not ignorant of reality. What I am trying to tell you is that in the world of business models, it isn’t your emotional arguments that really matter. Record Labels still make money because the products they are selling is what the public really wants. Their competition isn’t any new business models, it’s piracy. The type of business models Mike talks about here hinge on piracy dragging down the existing businesses to the point where his ideas start to appear to make sense.

For me, Mike’s business models are like the alternate energy ideas. They are all hinged on “and oil is $250 a barrel”. Solar, wind, and many other methods for generating electricity are still much more expensive than just burning oil or coal to make the power. The business models Mike put up here for discussion (and on the rare threads on Step 2) are pretty much on par with this. They all should be prefaced with “when the existing music industry has been forced out of existance by piracy and the erosion of copyright”, because without that disclaimer, they aren’t going to take over anything.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

Let me ass this… someone wrote further down the page:

“The only way media piracy impacts fresh, creative, new music is to make its dissemination easier. Each time my band records a new album we make our own “official” torrent of it and post it for free across the gamut of P2P sites (along with bazillions of blogs social media platforms). Does this act hurt us? No, because we’re too small of a band to be making money via record sales anyways.”

It’s common knowledge – the piracy infrastructure is what makes it all possible.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased)says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

That is one prong of the attack, remove the right of control over the work of artists.

Funny…isn’t that what the record labels do now? Take control over the work of the artist? IP law made some sense when it protected the original artist/inventor…not anymore!

The recorded music business is down more than 50% in 10 years, including all of the “successes” of online sales such as Itunes. Net money, recorded music brings in 50% less than it did just a decade ago.

As should be expected according to your next point of infinite distribution. If you take out the cost of pressing discs, printing cd liners, packing shipments, and trucking them all over the planet, employing zitty teenagers to sell them at record shops (an obsolete model) then you would expect the net money to drop. Plus, people aren’t buying all the recorded music they used to be forced to buy for the one song they wanted. But you focus on the recording industry that is hurting…not the music industry…which has been growing.

Good business models are suppose to be able to wipe out existing business without kneecapping them.

What? You would rather be wiped out than just wounded? Wouldn’t it be better for you to adapt and continue to make money than to die penniless (well not the CEOs, but the rest of ’em)?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

“Funny…isn’t that what the record labels do now? Take control over the work of the artist? IP law made some sense when it protected the original artist/inventor…not anymore!”

No, the artist sells those rights, which is part of the right of control. They have the right and ability to sell those rights to others. If you diminish artist rights, you diminish the value of that work in the marketplace, which in turn lowers what an artist can get for their rights.

“As should be expected according to your next point of infinite distribution. If you take out the cost of pressing discs, printing cd liners, packing shipments, and trucking them all over the planet, employing zitty teenagers to sell them at record shops (an obsolete model) then you would expect the net money to drop.”

You didn’t read. There is no infinite distribution, unless there is widespread piracy. Distribution costs money, like it or not. It’s why Itunes isn’t free.

“What? You would rather be wiped out than just wounded? Wouldn’t it be better for you to adapt and continue to make money than to die penniless (well not the CEOs, but the rest of ’em)?”

I am not involved, so I wouldn’t be wiped out one way or the other. It isn’t personal.

The point is a really good business model is akin to the old car versus buggy debate. The car is so much better of an option, that the buggy business was wiped out. Telephones are so much better of a product that they killed the wiring of messages in morse code pretty much directly. Good business models, better products… they are always suppose tp win naturally, that is what Mike teaches us. Yet, the business models he puts out there don’t really work until you drag the existing industries down to a certain level. It’s like killing a giant, the first step is getting a million people to kneecap them, so they fall over.

On straight business model to business model competition, nothing Mike has put out there has the power or the demand to “take out” the music industry as it sits, because people still really, really, really want what the music industry is putting out. Mike never wants that fair fight, his business models depend on piracy to hurt the existing business, so that his model can try to compete.

Right now I am a better hockey player than Sidney Crosby, but that is only because he has two broken vertebrae. I doubt many people would line up and pay big money to watch me play hockey. If piracy would stop kneecapping the music industry, Mike’s business models would have about the same chance as me being a major hockey draw… NONE.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased)says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

Sure artist have their right to control. Originally it was for a (relatively) short term and the copyrights would retire. Industry with the help of its elected officials has distorted copyright law so much that the original purpose of copyright is left a withering corpse. Changes made have, in fact, robbed the public of their Constitutional rights. The copyright holders had their shot at making money now the works should be released to the public as was originally intended. Any talked to revert copyright law to its original form is screamed about as tearing away “artists rights”, rights that were supposed to be limited.

iTunes isn’t free because Jobs thought he could squeeze some more money from folks who wanted to guarantee to get low fidelity recordings without a virus and actually feel they are purchasing legitimate tracks that give money to those who deserve it. They also made it very convenient to get music and videos. The sad part is a pirate site can do much the same thing for (essentially) free to the consumer. Why can’t industry do that? Don’t forget that the industry hated iTunes at first, too. Now it accepts it (notice the adaptation of a business model).

Which brings me to your final point. I don’t understand why you don’t believe a business model change is possible (apparently adopting online music distribution is one adaptation the entertainment industry is slowly accepting while hating at the same time). Piracy and cheap distribution is an inevitability especially when it makes sense from a consumer and business model standpoint. Only one part of industry suffers and the rest increases. Thus is adaptation. That is why you hear the “adapt or die” motto thrown around so much. “Mike’s” business model proposals are ways to make money (sometimes lots) with that inevitability out there.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

“Which brings me to your final point. I don’t understand why you don’t believe a business model change is possible (apparently adopting online music distribution is one adaptation the entertainment industry is slowly accepting while hating at the same time).”

Changing the method from a shiny plastic disc to online sales or from vinyl to plastic, or wax to vinyl, those are minor changes in the universe. The product remains the same, and the general business models remain the same. Distribution points change, the structure may change, but the business models remain the same.

” Piracy and cheap distribution is an inevitability especially when it makes sense from a consumer and business model standpoint.”

The inevitability of piracy is only that widespread piracy exists only with anonymity. Remove that, make people responsible for their actions, and it goes way. It is no more inevitable than jaywalking or speeding. Some will do it, but the vast majority will not knowingly break the law, especially if there is risk.

So working a business model based on inevitability of piracy is no better than basing your business model on MySpace. It might have appeared useful a few years back, but is now no longer viable for most.

Mike’s suggested business models at best attempt to sponge off of the piracy mentality that currently exists. However, that mentality is almost certainly going to be short lived, and as a result, it is a dead end. Ripping up the msuic and movie industries as we know them and replacing them with “fad of the month” business methods isn’t exactly a smart move – unless of course you make your living pushing the fad of the week.

It is much more likely that, over time, the internet will become less and less anonymous. There will be fewer and fewer foxholes to hide in, fewer and fewer countries willing to be the designated pirate home, and fewer and fewer people willing to take the risks that piracy entails. The shift is already there, and Mike knows it. SOPA was too big of a jump, too fast, but other laws will come, and they will be passed, and they will be enforced.

If anything the situation with Megaupload and the ripple effect through the file locker world should show you the future: Shine a light on the roaches, and they all scurry as fast as they can to hide. If the internet is hit with a long, constant bright light, the roaches will have fewer and fewer places to hide.

So the movie and music industries move cautiously, not wanting to ignore the dollars at eye level to bend over to pick up a few scattered pennies on the ground. Just as it has always done, the indie scene will get the pennies and snag the occasional dollar, and things will settle back down. It takes time, but it will happen. It is way more inevitable than assuming that piracy will be tolerated or expanded in the future.

ABsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

The inevitability of piracy is only that widespread piracy exists only with anonymity. Remove that, make people responsible for their actions, and it goes way. It is no more inevitable than jaywalking or speeding.

You really believe that the best way to eliminate jaywalking and speeding is to increase fines to $20,000 per offense and to spend billions of dollars building barbed wire fences and speed bumps on the highways?!?!? Oh, and that the fences/speed bumps should be paid for by the paving companies… At least you have selected a more appropriate comparison for assessing damages.

So working a business model based on inevitability of piracy is no better than basing your business model on MySpace. It might have appeared useful a few years back, but is now no longer viable for most.

So you are suggesting that no business should consider theft as a realistic and unavoidable aspect of doing business. All the retail shops will be happy to hear that. Perhaps they should give also give up on all those expensive devices and security guards in favour of lobbying for stronger anti-shoplifting laws and penalties of $20,000 per offense – that’s sure to stop all those homeless people from stealing candybars, right!?

It is much more likely that, over time, the internet will become less and less anonymous. There will be fewer and fewer foxholes to hide in, fewer and fewer countries willing to be the designated pirate home, and fewer and fewer people willing to take the risks that piracy entails.

If you actually believe this (and I actually agree with some of that), then why do you feel it is okay to strip peoples rights away in an attempt to stop a problem that you claim is already in decline?

Shine a light on the roaches, and they all scurry as fast as they can to hide. If the internet is hit with a long, constant bright light, the roaches will have fewer and fewer places to hide.

I agree, SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP are especially good examples! Wiki-leaks, Anonymous, and even LOLCats have been busy lighting up some of the darkest corners lately. God bless ’em!

Just as it has always done, the indie scene will get the pennies and snag the occasional dollar, and things will settle back down.

It sounds like your real issue is with the fact that the indie scene is currently growing fast enough to create serious competition for the existing industry. Perhaps stopping the primary Indie distribution methods is the real reason for all this hubris from the established entertainment industry. Of course, that’s just speculation… ๐Ÿ™‚

btr1701says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

Mike’s business models (and pretty much every
“new” model proposed here) requires first
that piracy decimate the existing industry.

If they’re only decimated, that’s hardly a crippling blow. A loss of 10% isn’t that much. They’ve still got 90% left.

Or do you just not know what the word ‘decimate’ actually means?

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike = Lobbyist

Wow. You are really one huge liar, I’ll give you that. Frankly, the lies are so pervasive, that I honestly think you’ve gone over to the tin-foil hat brigade. You sound exactly like that guy Bob who actually believes that the EFF is a front for Google.

Your whole post is so chock-full of lies, lunacy, and broadbrush scapegoating, that I’d have to write a book to point out how much you’re wrong. This is about as brief as I can be:

Mike’s business models (and pretty much every “new” model proposed here) requires first that piracy decimate the existing industry.

Lie. Not a single part of Mikes business models require that piracy decimate the existing industry. In fact, if the existing industry actually used them, it would make money. Plenty of artists who are on major labels have used them, and made more money because of it.

If piracy is combated, or at least kept in check, the new business models don’t tend to flourish.

Another lie. If you’re using Mike’s business model, nobody is pirating anything.

And the only reason those “new business models don’t tend to flourish” is because the MPAA/RIAA’s version of “combatting piracy” is “attacking new technology.” The legitimate and legal businesses are the ones who suffer because of it, not the “pirates.”

First there is the push against copyright and patents, and a significant push to increase “fair use” (thanks EFF!).

The EFF has never pushed to increase fair use. Just to keep it from being effectively abolished. In fact, the only ones who are trying to change the laws about “fair use” are the MPAA/RIAA – who apparently want to do away with it altogether (despite the fact that their industries depend upon it for their existence).

And the EFF is not the only, nor even the primary, organization concerned about fair use. There’s been a far stronger push from libraries, for example.

In order for this sort of thing to happen, you have to cut copyright off at the knees, do away with or severely limit the rights of songwriters, artists, and creators alike.

The idea that fair use harms artists is complete lunacy. It benefits them. They depend on it for their livelihood. For example, how may news organizations would have been buried under lawsuits without it?

Then you have the push to destroy markets through piracy.

Another lie. Even the pirates don’t want to “destroy markets” in most cases. If there is any desire among the populace to “destroy markets,” it comes from average citizens, who are so justifiably disgusted at traditional media companies (for copyright reasons and more) that supporting traditional media is socially toxic nowadays.

And, of course, not a bit of Mike’s business models would destroy the markets of anyone. They would help the market, even the market of the traditional media industries. Destroying markets isn’t even on the table.

The recorded music business is down more than 50% in 10 years, including all of the “successes” of online sales such as Itunes.

Yes, they’ve declined to where they were before CD’s were introduced. Oh, the horror.

It is precisely because of the successes of online sales such as iTunes that the recorded music business is down. People are moving away from physical media, to far more convenient (and cheaper) digital media; they are buying more single tracks than albums; they are straming more songs from Spotify, buying more media from eMusic. It is precisely because the traditional labels were and still are trying to avoid digital distribution that they are failing.

Then, there’s also the competition from DVD sales, games, and other forms of entertainment, all of which cannibalize CD sales. Not to mention the fact that the U.S. economy has been slowly sliding into the toilet for the past twenty years.

Piracy has very little to do with it.

The third step is the usual grinding stone called “infinite distribution”. It only exists in reality in a very few ways, either through P2P (almost entirely pirate traffic) or through file lockers (ditto…).

Another lie. You don’t need to distribute stuff through the Pirate Bay or Megaupload in order to have “infinite distribution.” Take a look at Techdirt’s Case Stories section. Very, very few of the cases there are distributing anything through “pirate channels.” (Though, of course, it bears mentioning that those who do distribute through “pirate channels” end up better of than they would be if they didn’t.) Most are setting up “infinite distribution” on their own websites, or taking advantage of infinite distribution through Bandcamp or YouTube.

It has nothing to do with piracy.

If the general new music business model (give it away online, sell them concert tickets and merch at the shows) was truly successful, we would be seeing a massive groundswell of unknown, indie style bands taking over the music industry.

For one thing, “give it away online, sell them concert tickets and merch” is not Mike’s business model, never was, and he’s made this clear over and over and over again. It’s a straw man, and you know it, liar.

For another thing, we are seeing a growth in indie music. It hasn’t “taken over the music industry,” because then it wouldn’t be indie music by definition, but indie musicians represent a far greater portion of the overall music industry than they did in the 90’s.

Net, between recorded music sales and live sales, we haven’t seen any great increases. It nets out.

Another lie. Between recorded music sales and the greater music industry (including live sales), the music industry as a whole is growing. Even with the drop in record income.

Until someone says “here is an alternate business model that doesn’t require killing the existing model through illegal means”, you can have a discussion of valid and functional business models.

A huge, gigantic, whopper of a lie. Zero of what Techdirt talks about “requires killing the existing model through illegal means.”

And notice how you phrased it: “Until someone says…” It is nobody else’s job to give you a business model. If you’re in the media industry, it’s your job, and your job alone to adapt to a changing marketplace. And “adapt” doesn’t mean “litigate that changing marketplace out of existence.”

And that is the only thing you’ve been saying here. That you can’t adapt. Just listen to yourself:

“Our business model will fail unless we regulate the free flow of information.”
“Our business model will fail if infinite distribution exists.”
“Our business model will fail if fair use isn’t curtailed.”
“Our business model will fail if anyone else succeeds.”

This is not a sign of a healthy business model. It’s the sign of a group of formerly-bloated gatekeepers (and, yes, “gatekeepers” is exactly the right word) who can’t keep up now that the gates are open.

That should be no surprise. Even at its peak, the music industry was running on a horrible business model. According to the RIAA itself, 9 out of 10 acts on a major label didn’t recoup their costs. That is a 90% failure rate. Any other industry would have folded decades ago. And they said this in the late 90’s, when record label profits were more than they had been in their entire history. (It also bears mentioning that if you’re an artist on a major label, you don’t see dime one from artist royalties until you’re recouped, meaning 90% of recording artists on major labels made no money whatsoever from record royalties.)

The business model you’re defending is a failure. It always was a failure. It is time for the industry to adapt, and if they do not, then they should die and get out of the way so new music industries can form.

wildcomputerwifesays:

tell us how we can help!

I’ve told you this before Techdirt keeps me so informed on issues I never didn’t read about in daily newspapers. It’s not over … we’ll all need direction … please … tell us how we can help to keep the internet “free and open.” So … much is going on it’s difficult to know where to turn to do the most impact. Thank you!

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re:

Dr. Martin Luther King shut down lunch counters and bus lines. Shall we denounce that as well?
The DOJ has stolen webdomains and branded people as pedophiles due to their lack of understanding the system, have they apologized?
Oh and you were late with the whole Google paid you off thing, if your going to troll in the big leagues you really should keep up with the rest of them.

-3/10 cyber-terrorists… really? Obvious shill is obvious.

Just Johnsays:

A Hearty Thanks for representing someone whom you don't need to

Dear Senator,

I would first like to start out by giving you a heartfelt thank you.

First, I will start by letting you know about me.

I am a US citizen living abroad in Taiwan currently. I am registered to vote though in AZ, so cast my absentee ballots for that state.

My family lives in Idaho, so again I understand that directly, I am not influential in your candidacy. However, I would like to give the good news that my mother does in fact work in Ontario, OR. She works for H&R block block, and I have a few family members there, not to mention many of my mothers co-workers whom I will press to make sure to support you for your next term.

It is refreshing to see someone not only speaking up for the public, but also actively engaging the public.

It is officials like you who have made me wonder if “common folk” like me should actually run for office, using the power the internet has given the common man to reach a wide audience. If only I could figure out how to do so from abroad.

As for those shills who are trying to claim that you are “bought by the tech companies”, I understand, as do most reasoned, thinking individuals, that this is far from the case. It was the people, using the internet as a form of communication, that brought this to the forefront and caused the halting to the current bad legislation.

I also call upon those who are claiming it is all “Tech companies” to seriously think about what you are saying.

Many of these companies are in fact trolling a different direction: Patents. These too need to be highlighted, and the serious patent problems are every bit as formidable as the copyright problems. Tech companies gave us the tools, but most did not push for the rethink of bad legislation. It was the people using the tools the companies provided.

While copyright is a big issue, I would love to see you also start challenging the patent issues. The base problem, as shown repeatedly, is not just in the single copyright, but is in the entire IP industry. Somewhere the system has broken down, and I would like those people who are starting to gain awareness of this to remember that is in the fundamental lock down of knowledge (as reviewed in one of the articles this week) and how all human thoughts are trying to be locked behind the paywall.

Doriansays:

Thank You Senator/Angry Oregonian Musician Rants About TPP and the Music Industry in General

Dear Senator Wyden,

Thank you for your article! I was just checking into Techdirt to find out exactly what TPP was and ended up running into your insightful article. I’m a musician and a native Oregonian, and it truly comforts me to know that we’ve elected someone who’s actively engaged in this discussion.

ACTA, SOPA/PIPA, TPP and any other attempts to curtail our internet liberties scare the living hell out of me. As a professional musician, intellectual property rights are important to me, in that I definitely don’t want someone else to take a song I spend countless hours on and claim that they made it. However, as a 23 year old, I certainly understand that media piracy is essentially unstoppable. In the current economic environment, I have pretty much zero disposable income after the absurd payments toward my never-ending student loans. I love music though, so… (ellipses) Media piracy is now an unavoidable fact of the internet.

Now, does this actually hurt the living music scene?

NOT AT ALL!!!

The only way media piracy impacts fresh, creative, new music is to make its dissemination easier. Each time my band records a new album we make our own “official” torrent of it and post it for free across the gamut of P2P sites (along with bazillions of blogs social media platforms). Does this act hurt us? No, because we’re too small of a band to be making money via record sales anyways. Independent professional musicians make money by playing shows. People download our stuff for free online, then come to our live shows because our music reached them. Many then buy our recordings in both digital and physical form, much like tipping your waiter. That’s the old/new, back to basics business model. And it works!

The only folks music piracy harms are the parasitic bastards that fuck and usurp the living music scene in a hopeless attempt to prop up the corpse of their failed business model and make it shamble along (looking at you Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI Music Group, fuck you).

Anyways, sorry for the rant Senator, I just feel very passionately about this issue and desperately want to see these massive corporate interests laid back in their graves where they belong. Policing the end-user and compromising the vibrancy of the web just to keep the iron lung of the old music industry working would be a complete waste of time, money, and would violate our civil liberty to freedom of speech.

Thanks again for your article, for being involved in this discussion and for remaining Oregon’s voice in the senate against censorship.

Sincerely,
Dorian

Anonymoussays:

instead of trying to come up with a less intrusive bill to replace SOPA/PIPA (while ACTA and TPP seem to be carrying on their merry way to do even worse damage), why not concentrate more on trying to get the ridiculous laws and bills that have been extended/introduced, that only expand the monopolies of the entertainment industries, repealed all together? start again. have the bills do what they are supposed to do without damaging the internet or being completely detrimental to the general public?

Anonymoussays:

Quote:

First there is the push against copyright and patents, and a significant push to increase “fair use” (thanks EFF!). Mike voices this over and over again, the old new culture comes from remixing old culture. In order for this sort of thing to happen, you have to cut copyright off at the knees, do away with or severely limit the rights of songwriters, artists, and creators alike. That is one prong of the attack, remove the right of control over the work of artists.

Well if it wasn’t being abused nobody would even care, the fact that people are waking up to it, is because it is affecting them and in a negative way.
It happened before, just look at what happened every time a granted monopoly was granted, it ended in blood and tears, this time around it may end just in tears since people can and will change the laws, one way or another is going to happen, is not a question of if but when.

Quote:

Then you have the push to destroy markets through piracy. The recorded music business is down more than 50% in 10 years, including all of the “successes” of online sales such as Itunes. Net money, recorded music brings in 50% less than it did just a decade ago. Piracy has massively hurt the sales of recorded music (and is currently working it’s magic on the movie industry as well, we are just early in the play).

Of course you have definitive proof that no other factors could explain that except piracy. Only the music industry sued its consumer base, it seems logical that people could just have stoped doing business with them and withhold money causing the severe decline, the economy is in the toilet disposable income disapeared and millions are heading to the poor bracket of income and that could not have possibly any impact on comsumption, nobody buys discmans anymore they buy MP3 players so the industry is phasing out CD’s invonluntarely and that has nothing to do with sales of course right? not even the fact that people now expect to buy only one song and not an entire album seems to you a factor for reduced revenues, not the fact that the labels didn’t get serious about digital until the late 2000’s no those things couldn’t possibly explain that drop, or you are just lying through your teeth and you know those things impacted the industry but is desperate to make piracy appear to be a problem bigger than it is, maybe because you want more control, it is not enough that from 14 years of a granted monopoly it jumped to life + 95 years it included derivatives and it expanded to things that it was not intended to, also it is getting tougher creating new crimes that never ever before existed like in the 90’s the criminalization of personal use and sharing.

Quote:

The third step is the usual grinding stone called “infinite distribution”. It only exists in reality in a very few ways, either through P2P (almost entirely pirate traffic) or through file lockers (ditto…). If you removed the piracy from these two areas, they would cease to exist in any meaningful way, and certainly would not longer be free or infinite. Yes, there are still low cost options, but actually paying for people to download your content, even at a low price, undoes many of the business models projected.

You understimate the storage capacity of the back of a van, or the capacity for people to send things through snailmail, as I recall people have been complaining about distribution since 1700’s where cheap Scotish books floaded the English market, how did they manage to do that? They didn’t had P2P did they at the time.
Besides you can’t remove piracy from somehwere without affecting it in fundamental ways, you can try to combat it, but to try and block it completely would entail the kind of powers that would make any dictator blush.

Quote:

What it comes together to say is that, without pulling down the existing entertainment industry to their levels, the “new” business models are not competitive, don’t work, or really aren’t new at all. Good business models are suppose to be able to wipe out existing business without kneecapping them.

Maybe not competitive to you that doesn’t know how to survive in a true free market enviroment and need legal crutches exclude others from doing business in that market, I can be a world champion that way, if I can exclude anybody who runs faster than me I be the fatest man in the world is that not great?

Quote:

If the general new music business model (give it away online, sell them concert tickets and merch at the shows) was truly successful, we would be seeing a massive groundswell of unknown, indie style bands taking over the music industry. We aren’t seeing that. Rather, on the concert side, the rich get richer, with absolutely insane increases in ticket prices for shows, and decreasing ticket sales. We don’t see heavyweight independent acts out there filling up stadiums or get $1000 per ticket.

Of course you are not seeing that because ASCAP, BMI and other collection agencies function as a barrier to entry, only real stabilished acts and places can afford to do business that way, local business can’t play music anymore many can’t afford it, so there is less open mic nights, there are less venues to play and there is less experimentation overall, is that not wonderful?

What we do see is the result of a granted monopoly, the exclusion of competitors resulting in less need to keep prices down or diversify, resulting in high prices that shrink the market further.

Quote:

The true canary in the coal mine on this is the file locker sites. As soon as these sites lose the income from selling “download memberships”, they can no longer support being the distribution hubs for “give it away” business models. Do you see very many sites out there willing to give artists completely free download distribution of their content? Nope.

So you openly says that what you really want is that other can’t make distribution channels for artists to chose to give it away music?
Well I am sorry but Jamendo, Magnatune, Bandcamp, Kickstarter, blogs, P2P, Youtube, Vimeo(which is owned by an industry dude) are not going away, unless of course you get the power to tell what is right and wrong without bad consequences befalling you, since SOPA died that could prove difficult to achieve in the short term.

Quote:

Until someone says “here is an alternate business model that doesn’t require killing the existing model through illegal means”, you can have a discussion of valid and functional business models. Until then, the existing models are still many times better on a bottom line basis than anything proposed, and the market place is still making that choice.

Well a lot of people are thriving in an enviroment where there are no monopolies, maybe you should ask how restaurants become multinational chains.
The only thing illegal is the fact that people allowed a monopoly to be granted.

What you call illegal actually is a fact of life people will share and that is not going to change, not because you want it to become illegal and certainly not because the government is trying to impose that view onto the population.

Anonymoussays:

I’d like to add my thanks to all those here as well. I really have felt like I’ve Ben an actual part of the political process for once in my life. You were the voice who took the first firm stand and worked tirelessly for our freedoms, and I thank up for that, and hope your endeavors in the future will be a successful, because as many have said, it’s far from over. But thanks to you we’ve won some victories when the opposition thought they had all the cards.

nuclear reactor leaks/accidents

4/30/12 e-mail/web sites per a Plutonium rod leak of possible MOX fuel that if exploded in reactor # 4 at Fuckushemia could terminate the lives of not 2.89-million humans, but 2.89-billion humans per the Plutonium spreading throughout the planet from one of 5,650 rods at the Japan reactor site per the visit by Senator Wyden and Science Academy Environment Medicine group.

“o

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