SOPA Didn't Die, It Just Emigrated

from the to-russia,-with-love dept

It’s hard to believe that the heady times that saw SOPA’s rise and fall are only a year and a half ago. Of course, SOPA didn’t die, but was merely “delayed“. But if you’ve ever wondered what happened to it, wonder no more; it emigrated to Russia, as TorrentFreak reports:

Aggressive new anti-piracy legislation that allows for sites to be rapidly blocked by ISPs upon allegations of copyright infringement passed through its final two readings in Russia’s State Duma today. Lawmakers fast-tracked the controversial legislation despite intense opposition from Google and Yandex, Russia’ biggest search engine. Following upper house and presidential approval, the law is expected to come into effect on August 1.

Its measures are extreme:

The proposals would see copyright holders filing lawsuits against sites carrying infringing content. Site owners would then be required to remove unauthorized content or links to the same within 72 hours. Failure to do so would result in their entire site being blocked by Internet service providers pending the outcome of a court hearing.

Not surprisingly, Russia’s biggest Internet company, Yandex, is deeply worried by what this might mean in practice;

“This approach is technically illiterate and endangers the very existence of search engines, and any other Internet resources. This version of the bill is directed against the logic of the functioning of the Internet and will hit everyone — not just internet users and website owners, but also the rightsholders,” a spokesman for Yandex said in a statement.

That’s a good summary of the problem with this and similar SOPA-like laws. Those proposing them believe, incorrectly, that it is possible to stop people sharing files online if the measures are harsh enough. At the most, that will simply encourage people to swap files on new sites still under the radar, or to exchange them in person using portable hard drives or high-capacity USBs.

But the collateral damage is serious: entire sites can be shut down because of one or two infringements, causing large numbers of people to lose access to their personal files; at the same time, startups will struggle with the disproportionate burden of policing their users, and high-tech investments will fall, put off by the unfavorable market conditions. Bringing in these kind of laws certainly won’t get rid of infringing content online, but is likely to impoverish the online landscape in Russia, which is bad for Internet users, bad for Internet companies — and bad for the whole economy there.

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Comments on “SOPA Didn't Die, It Just Emigrated”

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54 Comments
Ninjasays:

This has nothing to do with copyright infringement. It’s just a facade that will be used as means for censorship.

SOPA will be approved in the US. Bit by bit, slice by slice in different, unrelated agreements and laws.

We’ll need to fix all the damage afterwards. Then there will be blood (both figuratively and literally speaking).

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Russia is basically almost completely in line with the chinese way of censorship. To them it is important to protect the fictive “old traditional values”. SOPA is pretty far away. Not saying it won’t get revived, cause it will, but they need another president since Obama somewhat opposed most of SOPA/PIPA. There may be small bits and pieces trying to pull through as part of some pork-bill, but that is it.

cosmicratsays:

Full of problems

Certainly just full of problems, and I have some inkling of how things work in Russia leading to even more problems for search engines, site owners and the public. But, to be fair, there is at least a glimmer of suggestion that it improves on SOPA/PIPA by requiring a court hearing before a blocking order is issued. It remains to be seen whether that hearing is a prosecutor and judge only rubber stamp session or an actual adversarial hearing that starts with presumption of innocence on the part of the accused. (And yes I understand the difference between US criminal and civil law. I still think it should apply.) There is one part of PIPA I almost did support; the cutting off of payment services to site owners convicted of making a profit from piracy activities, but I supported it only on the condition that there first be a full adversarial trial and conviction.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Full of problems

Certainly just full of problems, and I have some inkling of how things work in Russia leading to even more problems for search engines, site owners and the public. But, to be fair, there is at least a glimmer of suggestion that it improves on SOPA/PIPA by requiring a court hearing before a blocking order is issued.

Ummm, SOPA/PIPA both required adversarial hearings to determine whether the site was “dedicated to infringing activities”. Then a second hearing was required for the petitioner to convince a judge to implement a specific sanction. Both hearings allowed for the defendant to appear. I really don’t understand how you people can continue to be so deliberately ignorant to the facts.

It remains to be seen whether that hearing is a prosecutor and judge only rubber stamp session or an actual adversarial hearing that starts with presumption of innocence on the part of the accused. (And yes I understand the difference between US criminal and civil law. I still think it should apply.) There is one part of PIPA I almost did support; the cutting off of payment services to site owners convicted of making a profit from piracy activities, but I supported it only on the condition that there first be a full adversarial trial and conviction.

Niallsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Full of problems

“Yes, fellow Congressmen. There is an adverserial hearing – all the defendant has to do is get the clearance to read the Highly Classified letter informing him a year after the fact, send in the (redacted) form without redactions, and attend a randomly scheduled hearing in the basement of Fort Knox, if he can get clearance in time. All this for the bargain rate of one bar of gold, to be deposited a year in advance of the hearing. We guarantee that his hearing will give a response within one (Jupiter) calendar year, and if successful, his site will be restored within a Limited Time as provided for in copyright legislation (in other words, the day after Mickey Mouse enters the public domain).

Although Douglas Adams says it better, about planning permission.

out_of_the_bluesays:

Minion parrots: "Won't work, ya can't stop us pirates! Awk!"

Laws aren’t just for actual effect, they’re for teaching too. Adult society values copyright and takes some actions to sanction and thereby prevent it.

But here’s a 14-year-old — I mean, a Techdirt minion with boilerplate saying it won’t work and they’re going to continue taking content without paying. — And warning of the dire consequences if advice isn’t heeded, even though has just said won’t have any effect!

out_of_the_bluesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Minion parrots: "Won't work, ya can't stop us pirates! Awk!"

@ “When are you going to stop molesting children, OOTB? I’m just asking the question other people have brought up. I have no opinion about you one way or the other.”


Really, when I snipe at apparent 14-year-olds here, accusing me of molesting children is your way of showing maturity? Point proven, fool.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
http://techdirt.com/
This is Techdirt! If you value civility leave at once!
13:37:12[o-370-3]

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Minion parrots: "Won't work, ya can't stop us pirates! Awk!"

you seem to think that it is easy to prove a negative. So prove that you have stopped molesting children.

An accusation is enough to prove guilt per all of your previous posts. You do not believe in due process, so you should just go hand yourself in for incarcertion.

Or is it only for your precious copyright that those standards apply?

Hypocrite douchebag

JMTsays:

Re: Re: Minion parrots: "Won't work, ya can't stop us pirates! Awk!"

“Adult society values copyright…”

I’d call that a gross exaggeration of reality. Greedy corps certainly value copyright, but most people have merely tolerated it, until those corps reactions to the digital age resulted in a dramatic loss of respect for the whole copyright system.

Anonymoussays:

you know where the thanks for this has to go, dont you? squarely at the feet of Hollywood and the entertainment industries of the USA. they are still the perpetrators of this and similar legislation world wide. they have no interest in any damage that will be done, even though what they want to achieve will not be. you can also put the blame of the loss of any and all files from ant and all sites that they have had shut and/or blocked everywhere. the idea can only be that if they manage to totally screw the internet people will be falling over themselves to buy media from the shops. if that fails, they think that controlling the internet will bring in loads of dollars because they will be able to sell at prices they determine, in formats they say (any different format wanted will mean a new sale. talk about stupid thinking!), riddled with DRM and sent from 3rd rate servers at dial up speed. they haven’t had a successful business plan in 20years. why the hell they think that fucking everything up for the whole world will result in them having a golden future is beyond me. people are so pissed off at the way they have behaved, the way they treat customers, as if they were/are criminals and that when paying good money for something, are actually only getting a ‘license to use’, so ripping people off, everyone is gonna flock to their sites etc. think again guys! you have no idea how to get people ‘through the door’ but you had better learn quickly before it’s too late!!

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re:

I understand your point, but…

squarely at the feet of Hollywood and the entertainment industries of the USA. they are still the perpetrators of this and similar legislation world wide.

The entertainment (or any other) industry is not supposed to be able to write and pass legislation. That they can do so is the fault of Congress, not industry. (That industry tries to do so is skeevy in the extreme, but in the end it’s not their decision to make).

As a result, I put the blame squarely at the feet of Congress.

First of all, new law also applies to links, including search engines and social networks. Also the wording is so vague, that its possible to apply it to individuals.

Fair Use provisions of Russian civil law are ignored.

It bends Russian Procedure Law – all cases will be reviewed by Court of Moscow.

And finally, today they introduced new law with fines up to $30000 for companies and individuals that refuse to police content. That’s additional to blocking and whatever money court will award rightholder.

Oh, and USA lobby is totally behind this. http://www.ustr.gov/webfm_send/3619

Eponymous Cowardsays:

Always the last to know

“At the most, that will simply encourage people to swap files on new sites still under the radar, or to exchange them in person using portable hard drives or high-capacity USBs.”

Wait, does that mean we’ll have the return of the ‘swap’ meet… or has this been going on and I’m totally just hearing about it now?

Mike Masnicksays:

Re: Re:

For someone who claims to loathe the studios, I’m amused to see that this doesn’t prevent Masnick from taking money from TVLand (Viacom- owners of Paramount) in the form of front page advertising.

1. [citation needed] for when I’ve ever claimed to “loathe the studios.” Seriously. Saying stuff like that makes you look really foolish. I don’t loathe the studios.

2. Given that I’m pretty sure you’re one of the folks who continues to insist I only write what I write because of some mythological money you think Google has given me, wouldn’t your own internally consistent logic require you to think that if you see an ad for a Viacom owned property on this site that all my content would only be to support Viacom?

3. Learn how internet advertising works. You, again, look foolish in the statement above, because it shows you don’t understand the first thing about internet advertising. Hint: look up what an advertising network is.

4. Why would it be amusing for us to accept ad money from an organization that we disagree with, if we did, in fact, “loathe” them (which we don’t)? Wouldn’t a reasonable analysis say that it’s a lot better that they give money to those of us suggesting a more productive way forward, than giving it to folks like lawyers who are throwing it away on lawsuits that do more harm than good?

Either way, nearly every assumption you made in the statement above is wrong.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“For someone who claims to loathe the studios, I’m amused to see that this doesn’t prevent Masnick from taking money from TVLand (Viacom- owners of Paramount) in the form of front page advertising.”

1. [citation needed] for when I’ve ever claimed to “loathe the studios.” Seriously. Saying stuff like that makes you look really foolish. I don’t loathe the studios.

I’ve never seen you speak with anything other than contempt for the studios and MPAA. Here’s your big chance to clear the air: Exactly how do you view the studios?

2. Given that I’m pretty sure you’re one of the folks who continues to insist I only write what I write because of some mythological money you think Google has given me, wouldn’t your own internally consistent logic require you to think that if you see an ad for a Viacom owned property on this site that all my content would only be to support Viacom?

No, I think your internally consistent hypocrisy allows you to take money from anyone- including those you repeatedly malign.

3. Learn how internet advertising works. You, again, look foolish in the statement above, because it shows you don’t understand the first thing about internet advertising. Hint: look up what an advertising network is.

I don’t claim to understand anything about internet advertising, but can’t imagine anyone dumb enough to agree to an arrangement where my adversaries were advertising on my site. Until I met you, of course.

4. Why would it be amusing for us to accept ad money from an organization that we disagree with, if we did, in fact, “loathe” them (which we don’t)? Wouldn’t a reasonable analysis say that it’s a lot better that they give money to those of us suggesting a more productive way forward, than giving it to folks like lawyers who are throwing it away on lawsuits that do more harm than good?

Other than it looks like you prostitute your values and beliefs for money, I can think of no good reason. I doubt Viacom will have to forego any contemplated litigation due to the money they’re putting in your pocket.

Either way, nearly every assumption you made in the statement above is wrong.

Whatever you say.

Mike Masnicksays:

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

I’ve never seen you speak with anything other than contempt for the studios and MPAA. Here’s your big chance to clear the air: Exactly how do you view the studios?

You seem to confuse me questioning stupid actions with hating them. I support them when they do smart things. I was impressed that Warner Bros is experimenting with Kickstarter, for example. I have no hatred for the studios at all. In fact, most of what I talk about is how they could do much better for themselves by not treating their fans as criminals.

No, I think your internally consistent hypocrisy allows you to take money from anyone- including those you repeatedly malign.

Again, you really ought to learn how ad networks work.

I don’t claim to understand anything about internet advertising, but can’t imagine anyone dumb enough to agree to an arrangement where my adversaries were advertising on my site. Until I met you, of course.

So you admit to being ignorant, and double down on that ignorance? Fascinating.

Seriously: learn something before you mouth off and look ridiculous again.

Other than it looks like you prostitute your values and beliefs for money, I can think of no good reason. I doubt Viacom will have to forego any contemplated litigation due to the money they’re putting in your pocket.

Prostituting my values would suggest presenting views that only support my advertisers, something you’ve already admitted I don’t do.

Whatever you say.

You’ve already admitted to being ignorant of ad networks. Maybe try not being snarky when you’re already deeply, deeply confused and already looking dumb.

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

I don’t claim to understand anything about internet advertising, but can’t imagine anyone dumb enough to agree to an arrangement where my adversaries were advertising on my site.

Here’s how Internet advertising works in general.

1. Website signs up with an ad provider (AdSense, AdBrite, Bidvertiser, etc).

2. Ad provider gives website owner a bit of code to put somewhere on their webpage.

3. Ad provider software scans the page for keywords.

4. Advertisers sign up with ad provider.

5. Advertisers (like Viacom) bid on keywords that they want their ads to appear next to.

6. Ad provider matches bids to keywords algorithmically, no human interaction required.

7. Money from advertisers is split between ad provider and website owner.

You’ll notice a couple of things about this setup:

Advertisers don’t know the actual pages their ads will end up on.

Website owners don’t know whose advertisements will appear on their sites. They certainly don’t sign any kind of agreement with the advertisers.

Ad providers don’t know who is being matched with whom unless they examine their logs; everything is done in software.

So, yeah, if you’d actually take the time to learn about how Internet advertising works, you’d realize just how idiotic your accusations are.

Anonymoussays:

That’s a good summary of the problem with this and similar SOPA-like laws. Those proposing them believe, incorrectly, that it is possible to stop people sharing files online if the measures are harsh enough. At the most, that will simply encourage people to swap files on new sites still under the radar, or to exchange them in person using portable hard drives or high-capacity USBs.

So are you suggesting if these pirate sites are cut off, there traffic will be replaced at the same rate by new sites and/or the sneaker net?

out_of_the_bluesays:

"This comment has been flagged by the community."

So I re–post just to show anyone new here how hypocritical are the Techdirt kids talking about free speech but censoring mere snark in practice.

Minion parrots: “Won’t work, ya can’t stop us pirates! Awk!”

Laws aren’t just for actual effect, they’re for teaching too. Adult society values copyright and takes some actions to sanction and thereby prevent it.

But here’s a 14-year-old — I mean, a Techdirt minion with boilerplate saying it won’t work and they’re going to continue taking content without paying. — And warning of the dire consequences if advice isn’t heeded, even though has just said won’t have any effect!

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