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Author Topic: 01.18.2012 - DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!  (Read 2401 times)

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Offline Yoc

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01.18.2012 - DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« on: January 18, 2012, 12:14:24 AM »
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQDuHG9EztF2dKidjZsDF7UZ4cmCWzLKkbQHvxEpU14jpyBR-lc&t=1
http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/images/Stop SOPA-banner.gif
Hi Gang,
We the staff of DCM are taking the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) bills soon up for vote Very Seriously!

DCM is the kind of site that without much doubt would be directly affected by these bills.  Yes we are hosting Public Domian scans but that is very unlikely to stop someone, Anyone really, from being able to have us blocked/and or sued without much trouble at all by using these draconian laws.

To learn more about PIPA and SOPA try these links -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/17/stop-sopa-or-web-will-go-dark

And please consider filling in and sending out this form - http://americancensorship.org/

Normally DCM is far, FAR from a political hotbed.  We actively discourage hot-button issues but where the very life of this wonderful site is directly in the cross-hairs - well we don't like it!

We've joined this one day strike as a small protest against these bills.  We hope you will click the link and learn more.  Maybe even let your representatives know we Don't Want This To Happen!

Thanks for your time,
-Yoc

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The strike is over but the issue is far from dead.  Please consider contacting your representatives about this huge threat to freedom of speech on the net.  DCM would most assuredly be crippled if not killed by such laws.

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Digital Comic Museum

01.18.2012 - DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« on: January 18, 2012, 12:14:24 AM »

Offline OtherEric

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Re: DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 12:23:51 AM »
Not much to add to what Yoc said, other than I'm proud that our site is participating.

Offline John C

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Re: DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 05:58:07 AM »
Absolutely.  Basically, there are two parts to the bills.

First, there's the main piece, where the US wants to expand the DMCA-takedown process for foreign sites, allowing a copyright owner to erase a "site dedicated to infringement" from all registries.  There's no real indication as to what "foreign" or "dedicated" means.  If DMCA actions are a good example, then dedication may be hosting a file with a suspicious name.  And as for foreign, I've heard Congressmen say that .COM sites are safe, but The Pirate Bay (a BitTorrent "tracker") is a prime target in examples of why the law is needed.

The shutdown includes hosting, payment processing, search results, and name servers, for the entire domain.  It's worth pointing out that when Afghanistan censored their local name servers a few years back, it resulted in random outages around the world for days as the servers tried to figure out who was right.  In the end, the Afghan servers failed and were "fixed" more often than the officials could censor.

The other major part of the bills is the more troubling part.  It encourages vigilantism by providers, granting them complete immunity for cutting off a site based on "credible information" that the site is hosting infringing material...or information on how to circumvent censorship elsewhere.  The burden of proof is on the site owner, even if the site doesn't monitor what gets posted (a "safe harbor," under the DMCA), not to mention criminalizing helping people get information.

In other words, sound official enough in your e-mail, and you can erase Facebook from the Internet or cut off Wikipedia's donations.  And we're in this, too, of course.  I doubt PayPal (who handles our donations) is interested in hiring people just to investigate whether or not we're actual pirates, for example.

So, those in the United States, bug your representatives.  These guys even use your IP address to point you in the right direction:

http://grassroutes.us/sopa

E-mail address, Facebook account, Twitter handle, and phone number, where available.

If you're not in the United States, this affects you, too.  If you run a non-US site (GAC, for example), you risk your American audience (and revenue) being cut off.  And the rat's nest of treaties and political bullying will bring these laws to your shores soon enough (ACTA, for example).  So I encourage you to call your representatives to explain that you won't stand for censorship and they should be pressuring their counterparts in the United States to stop this.

Douglas Adams published an article on "How to Leave the Planet," where he suggested calling NASA, then the White House to put pressure on them, then the Kremlin to pressure the White House, then the Vatican ("I gather his switchboard is infallible") to put pressure on everybody else.  Which besides being very funny (with the numbers listed in the article), isn't the worst advice in the world.

When contacting your representative, (1) make it clear that you appreciate the effort (lie if you must, or at least appreciate the stress) they put in for your community, (2) give them a scapegoat by suggesting that they were misled, not wrong, in supporting bad bills ("I don't know who pitched this as a benefit to the economy..."), (3) explain your position briefly and make sure there's no factual error to pick at, and (4) in closing, play peacock and "sign" your name with a list of any credentials and positions you hold that indicate you're connected to people.

Offline jfglade

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Re: DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 08:41:12 AM »
 Good on you for deciding to participate in the blackout yesterday. I wasn't aware you were doing that until nearly midnight (my time) but I was happy to see you had brought the problem up to the membership here (although some are not North Americans, the results could still effect them). For Americans, it isn't a bad idea to sign on-line petitions and e-mail or phone your congressmen and tell them you do not want them supporting the bills in question.

  I see this as not a question of copyright enforcement but as a Free Speech issue, but even if you don't I believe it is still in the best interest to prevent both bills from becoming law.

Offline bchat

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Re: DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 09:01:34 AM »
In other words, sound official enough in your e-mail, and you can erase Facebook from the Internet or cut off Wikipedia's donations.  And we're in this, too, of course.  I doubt PayPal (who handles our donations) is interested in hiring people just to investigate whether or not we're actual pirates, for example.

Statements like this ignore parts of the proposed Acts that have been put in place to prevent abuse.  In fact, one of the laws (forget which because I read both in the same day) penalizes anyone who makes a false Copyright infringement claim against a website.  And does anyone seriously believe that companies like Marvel Comics, Disney, Warner Bros Music, Time Warner, NBC, Verizon, Apple or MGM will allow sites they actively use (like Facebook) to "disappear" from the internet?

Offline John C

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Re: DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 11:27:20 AM »
I don't think that clause (the SOPA version, at any rate) is carries any real weight for a few reasons.

- Things happen so fast that a company cut off "accidentally" can lose a ton of business while the counter-notice goes through.
- While the counter-notice requires signatures and personal identification of the site's owner, the notice somehow doesn't mention any such thing, making it trivial to spoof.  If you can't find the person who sent the notice, sure, the censorship will be lifted, but the damage has been done.
- It ignores collateral damage.  Bans are demanded by domain or IP address, which can host dozens or hundreds of sites.  There isn't any recourse if you just happen to be "sitting next to" someone who is hosting a file and refuses to take it down because he believes it's Fair Use.
- It ignores third party "vigilantes," by granting them unilateral immunity for their actions.
- It ignores the anti-circumvention clause, which would require even American sites to self-police.
- Copyrights are no longer registered, meaning that many penalties will undoubtedly be ignored as unfortunate accidents--you can't prove I didn't THINK I owned a copyright on "Romeo and Juliet."

In other words, it only penalizes, say, a representative of John Carbonaro's estate demanding a takedown of a site hosting a THUNDER Agents book.  It doesn't penalize a web host for following an anonymous (or malicious) tip and suspending the account, or Visa for seizing the business account.  You're also out of luck if you're a whistleblower, since the copyright on documents is valid, and for them not to be would call into question the whistleblower's integrity, but the reason for making them available is (conveniently) inconsequential.  Ditto for Fair Use, which the MPAA is vocally against.

And yes, I absolutely believe that, if Disney had a competing social network, they wouldn't hesitate to drive people off of Facebook by any means necessary, because they're legally obligated to the bottom line on behalf of their investors, not Facebook's users or their personal preferences.  Today, they probably wouldn't, but the law would still be in effect tomorrow.  (It's like Obama signing the NDAA with the detention clause but issuing a statement that his administration probably won't use it.  Thanks, but you're President for no more than five more years, and that statement isn't even binding.)

And moreover, it's not just the direct, single takedown.  Just the threat of repeated takedowns (due to user contribution that there's no serious way to monitor--which is why the DMCA defines "safe harbors" like Facebook and YouTube) is enough to make a project too high a liability to pursue.

Every social network and every forum (including this one) would shut down immediately, because the cost to investigate and remove copyrighted material before there's a problem (and deal with crap from users claiming Fair Use) increases with the frequency of communication, which is usually proportional to the square of the users.

So yes, I did ignore it and I sincerely appreciate the oversight (and bringing what little balance can be provided in a discussion like this, where Chris Dodd says that censorship is working fine in China and Iran, so it should be good here, too), but didn't think that one clause was relevant to the overwhelming majority of affected sites.

Offline Yoc

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Re: DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 12:06:19 PM »
Thanks for your replies guys.

I've made this entire News/Announcements section a READ ONLY one as it was originally only intended for staff updates to the membership.
Further comments on this Very Important topic is most welcome in the Discussion sections.

Take care,
-Yoc

Offline Yoc

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SOPA in Canada?
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 08:09:54 PM »
Here's a link to disturbing news that SOPA and PIPA might also be in Canada someday.

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6257/125/

Offline John C

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Re: 01.18.2012 - DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 10:17:07 AM »
It's probably also worth everybody (no matter where you are) taking a couple of minutes to look at ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement:

https://www.eff.org/issues/acta
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/we-have-every-right-be-furious-about-acta

Negotiated in private and claimed by the Obama administration to not impact trade (which is the exclusive domain of Congress, as is ratification of treaties, by the way), rather than the bills that allow for Hollywood to step on rights, this treaty overrides national sovereignty and requires each country to enforce Intellectual Property protection laws of other countries.  That would give bills in the vein of SOPA even more abusive teeth, since every website is foreign to someone.

In the US, the best bet is to convince Congress that the President is taking away their Constitutional authority and they should demand control.  At the bottom of the second EFF article, there's also a link to a White House petition, though I'm obviously suspicious as to how useful that'd be.

In Europe especially, I'd recommend making a big stink about it (and there are also links in that same article).  The EU Parliament signed, but the member nations are only beginning to do so.  If there was ever a time to gripe about American imperialism negating your sovereignty, this would pretty much be it, since this is (on the surface) all to prevent foreign factories from selling overrun merchandise at a discount back to the developed world...but it's not a huge leap to call "piracy" counterfeiting, so it'll be used to the same end as SOPA, but on your dime.

Offline John C

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Re: 01.18.2012 - DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012, 04:40:33 PM »
Wait, wait!  What's that I hear you cry?  SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and C-11 weren't annoying enough?  Trans-Pacific Partnership to the rescue!

http://boingboing.net/?p=141947

"Licensing ephemeral copies," so you understand, means needing special permission to actually use (load into memory to watch, for example) the media you have permission to access.

Offline Yoc

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Re: 01.18.2012 - DCM IS ON STRIKE TODAY!
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 07:31:57 PM »
Oh the news just keeps getting 'better' don't it?
*sigh*