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Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
The statement by the White House should come as an encouraging sign for the weeks ahead.
The statement by the White House should come as an encouraging sign for the weeks ahead.

The fight isn’t over, but the Internet can breathe a little bit easier.

The White House has issued a statement coming out against the maligned SOPA--Stop Online Piracy Act--and PIPA--Protect IP Act--and the DNS redirection of SOPA has been removed.

Much has been written about legislation moving through Congress, a direct result of Hollywood groups looking to combat piracy through additional authority to regulate the Internet.

“Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small,” said the White House in a statement. “[...] We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.”

“After consultation with industry groups across the country,” said SOPA chief sponor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). “I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers.”

There may be good intentions behind SOPA and PIPA, but it’s the unintended consequences of such far-reaching legislation that has anyone who regularly uses the Internet really worried.

SOPA has received the brunt of the attention, largely because of the legislation’s ability to shut sites down, if a media company believes it's servicing pirated content. Not only have Internet users reacted loudly, but Internet companies have vocally opposed it, with a SOPA-rooted Internet “blackout” scheduled for the end of next week.

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#1 Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
The statement by the White House should come as an encouraging sign for the weeks ahead.
The statement by the White House should come as an encouraging sign for the weeks ahead.

The fight isn’t over, but the Internet can breathe a little bit easier.

The White House has issued a statement coming out against the maligned SOPA--Stop Online Piracy Act--and PIPA--Protect IP Act--and the DNS redirection of SOPA has been removed.

Much has been written about legislation moving through Congress, a direct result of Hollywood groups looking to combat piracy through additional authority to regulate the Internet.

“Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small,” said the White House in a statement. “[...] We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.”

“After consultation with industry groups across the country,” said SOPA chief sponor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). “I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers.”

There may be good intentions behind SOPA and PIPA, but it’s the unintended consequences of such far-reaching legislation that has anyone who regularly uses the Internet really worried.

SOPA has received the brunt of the attention, largely because of the legislation’s ability to shut sites down, if a media company believes it's servicing pirated content. Not only have Internet users reacted loudly, but Internet companies have vocally opposed it, with a SOPA-rooted Internet “blackout” scheduled for the end of next week.

Avatar image for animasta
#2 Posted by Animasta (14848 posts) -

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

Avatar image for sgtsphynx
#3 Edited by SgtSphynx (2304 posts) -

Call me a pessimist, but this won't mean shit in the long run.

Avatar image for bonsai
#4 Edited by Bonsai (99 posts) -

Businesses should definitely have a method of protection against copyright infringement, but stopping something like sopa is more important.

Avatar image for masternater27
#5 Posted by masternater27 (939 posts) -

Thank goodness

Avatar image for subjugation
#6 Posted by Subjugation (4905 posts) -

Funny to see this right after I read the statement in my email.

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#7 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

Technically, it's a Constructicon.

Avatar image for zanshin
#8 Posted by zanshin (215 posts) -

All the opposition to this is encouraging.

Avatar image for ultimaxe
#9 Posted by UltimAXE (535 posts) -

Why don't politicians enlist the help of people and companies behind the technology when writing laws that directly affect it? It's like the guys who come up with bills like this don't even know what the Internet (or whatever) is. If you don't have any knowledge about a thing that you're trying to police, then step the fuck away. It makes them look like incompetent morons, and sure as hell makes me uneasy knowing that they're in charge.

Avatar image for bretthancock
#10 Posted by bretthancock (798 posts) -

@UltimAXE: That's pretty much what they did here.

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#11 Posted by MeatSim (11098 posts) -

Best news of the day by far.

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#12 Posted by icemk (37 posts) -

This is a start... but a long way to go

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#13 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4748 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

That is a amazing thought. Imagine The US gets invaded so the white house transforms and must fight for the country.

Avatar image for laszlokovacs
#14 Posted by LaszloKovacs (1272 posts) -

I had a feeling that DNS bit would be cut out early on. There was no way it would have stood up to real scrutiny by anyone who knows what the Internet is.

Avatar image for ventilaator
#15 Posted by Ventilaator (1569 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

Why is this so goddamn funny :(

Avatar image for branthog
#16 Posted by Branthog (5772 posts) -

What a distraction. It's a temporary ploy and the intended goal will still be pushed through. If not now, then slightly later, when attention is not focused on it. The current alternative (OPEN) while possibly well-intended suffers much of the same failures. Also, let's remember all the other things the white house and this president has said. Like "we will conduct all business in the open, before the people" (and after election, there have been plenty of closed-door and closed-to-the-media activities). And let's not forget "every bill will be put online and Americans will have at least three days to read and respond to every bill".

Oh, and let's not forget the veto threat to the NDAA -- which is even more fundamentally hideous than SOPA/PIPA. Yeah. Ended up not being vetoed. But "hey, gosh guys, we won't do anything naughty with it!".

Every inch you give to government is an inch you will never ever get back. How's that PATRIOT ACT (with the sunset provision to make sure the extreme laws enacted in it dont' remain forever) going for ya?

Avatar image for waffles13
#17 Posted by Waffles13 (622 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

That is a amazing thought. Imagine The US gets invaded so the white house transforms and must fight for the country.

It just turns into Liberty Prime.

Avatar image for icon
#18 Posted by Icon (19 posts) -

Considering that the Obama administration has consistently ignored many of its promises, even when the majority of Americans want its government to act on said promises, I will remain sceptic. Hopefully I will be proven wrong in this case.

Avatar image for zaxex
#19 Posted by Zaxex (622 posts) -

I hope someone can figure out how to properly combat piracy without punishing the people who pay for their products.

Hopefully more media becomes like PC games on Steam. A service so good and simple that it can trump piracy somewhat. Even on the system where it's most prevalent.

If companies offer me the content I want in an efficient way I'll gladly buy their stuff.

Avatar image for branthog
#20 Posted by Branthog (5772 posts) -

@UltimAXE said:

Why don't politicians enlist the help of people and companies behind the technology when writing laws that directly affect it? It's like the guys who come up with bills like this don't even know what the Internet (or whatever) is. If you don't have any knowledge about a thing that you're trying to police, then step the fuck away. It makes them look like incompetent morons, and sure as hell makes me uneasy knowing that they're in charge.

They don't give a fuck. They've dismissed the advice and opinion of technical experts which include the fucking architects and creators of the internet. They've dismissed actual knowledge about how technology works and dismissed any opportunity for expert testimony. They frequently refer to not knowing "all that nerd stuff" and not caring. They are willfully ignorant, because technology is no relevant to them. This is not about what you think it is about. It is about a power grab - both for the government and for corporations.

Anyone who things the news of the last twenty-four hours is meaningful is naive. It's theater. It's making that last minute ass-covering move, so you can continue with your abhorrent goals once you're clear, again.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111216/12082717110/dear-congress-its-no-longer-ok-to-not-know-how-internet-works.shtml

Avatar image for xbob42
#21 Edited by xbob42 (683 posts) -

@Waffles13 said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

That is a amazing thought. Imagine The US gets invaded so the white house transforms and must fight for the country.

It just turns into Liberty Prime.

No. It uses Lady Liberty AS A SWORD. And the Pentagon as a SHIELD!

It'd be GLORIOUS!

Avatar image for harkat
#22 Posted by Harkat (1165 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

Perfect. Where can us mortals start our journey to become demigods such as you?

Avatar image for kanerobot
#23 Edited by KaneRobot (2579 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

THIS TALKING HOUSE WILL DEVOUR US ALL

Fo' rilzze doe...change the name of the White House to Metroplex.

Avatar image for ultimaxe
#24 Posted by UltimAXE (535 posts) -

@bretthancock: No, I mean, like, initially. I haven't checked up on it recently, but SOPA in its original form had no business even being considered. Nobody who knows anything about technology would have written that thing.

But it's a common tactic to always ask for more than you actually want. Propose something outlandish and ridiculous so that when you're inevitably talked down, the result that you're really trying to get sounds more reasonable and you look good for being able to compromise. That's pretty much all that's happening here, I'd imagine.

Avatar image for megalowho
#25 Posted by megalowho (1121 posts) -

There is a still a lot of entertainment money behind these bills, and years of lobbying congress. Having an engaged electorate bringing attention to the issue and a few educated lawmakers helps for sure, but I'm not convinced we are out of the woods. They will continue to try to make this a reality because greater control helps their bottom line.

Piracy is still illegal here in the US, and it is an unfortunate problem for creatives and copyright holders. I just hope that, if legislation would indeed help curb piracy (which I'm not convinced it does), it's sensible and modest legislation instead of the draconian internet power grab that SOPA/PIPA have come to represent.

It is nice to see that our collective voices can have an affect on something that could very well have been churned through without question if we were asleep at the wheel. Knock on wood.

Avatar image for ragnarok512
#26 Posted by Ragnarok512 (164 posts) -

@xbob42 said:

@Waffles13 said:

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

That is a amazing thought. Imagine The US gets invaded so the white house transforms and must fight for the country.

It just turns into Liberty Prime.

No. It uses Lady Liberty AS A SWORD. And the Pentagon as a SHIELD!

It'd be GLORIOUS!

Someone with more artistic skill than I needs to draw this.

Avatar image for mikular
#27 Posted by Mikular (169 posts) -

This is a good thing.

Avatar image for chrismafuchris
#28 Posted by chrismafuchris (1154 posts) -
@ImmortalSaiyan

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

That is a amazing thought. Imagine The US gets invaded so the white house transforms and must fight for the country.

It's not as unlikely as you might think; after having the White House burn down in The War of 1812, I'd imagine that the architects were keen to enable the White House to defend itself from invaders and such going forward.
Avatar image for sgtsphynx
#29 Posted by SgtSphynx (2304 posts) -
@Mikular: This is smoke and mirrors.
Avatar image for clumsyninja1
#30 Posted by clumsyninja1 (850 posts) -

It figures republicans endorse the SOPA. Southerns...

Avatar image for raisingindiana
#31 Posted by RaisingIndiana (84 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

I don't remember the last time I laughed at something someone said on the internet. I applaud you.

Avatar image for badabinger
#32 Posted by BadaBinger (15 posts) -

yeah.. let's get the government to do it, the same government that can't do anything else. steam, redbox and itunes are how you fight piracy. not regulate everything until it doesn't work anymore.

Avatar image for arclyte
#33 Posted by ArcLyte (921 posts) -

nothing to see here, just obama making an empty attempt to grab some early voter support for the election.

Avatar image for trevorh
#34 Posted by TrevorH (36 posts) -

*extinguishes torch and puts the pitchfork back in the shed*

Avatar image for megalowho
#35 Posted by megalowho (1121 posts) -

@clumsyninja1 said:

It figures republicans endorse the SOPA. Southerns...

It's not as much of a partisan thing as it is a "which lawmakers can our lobbyists target the hardest" thing, which is just as scary as blind partisanship.

Avatar image for heghmohqib
#36 Posted by HeghmohQib (202 posts) -

@UltimAXE said:

Why don't politicians enlist the help of people and companies behind the technology when writing laws that directly affect it? It's like the guys who come up with bills like this don't even know what the Internet (or whatever) is. If you don't have any knowledge about a thing that you're trying to police, then step the fuck away. It makes them look like incompetent morons, and sure as hell makes me uneasy knowing that they're in charge.

Actually, I had just read about this very thing. There was a committee made up of Tech representatives of various fields to help the government make decisions on such things. It was dissolved in the mid 90's, when it was most needed. A certain House Speaker, at the time, (whom may or may not be running for president as we speak) was involved.

Avatar image for sexualbubblegumx
#37 Posted by SexualBubblegumX (551 posts) -

Obama is full of shit, so we're still DOOMED.

Avatar image for grimluck343
#39 Posted by Grimluck343 (1270 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Oh, and let's not forget the veto threat to the NDAA -- which is even more fundamentally hideous than SOPA/PIPA. Yeah. Ended up not being vetoed. But "hey, gosh guys, we won't do anything naughty with it!".

Beat me to it.

Avatar image for radixnegative2
#40 Posted by RadixNegative2 (539 posts) -

Considering Obama's record I'm going to bet SOPA will definitely pass.

Avatar image for draxyle
#41 Posted by Draxyle (2003 posts) -

The anti-intellectualism of our representatives is baffling. It really weirds me out that too many of these people are still clueless about the internet, as if they let their secretaries "handle that" their entire lives.

Corporations are the only reason they get elected though, and that's what our representatives represent in kind. I really hope this country isn't on a one way slope downhill, there has to be some way to get the ridiculous amount of money out of politics.

I'm throwing my vote away to a third party next election either way. Small gestures can't hurt.

Avatar image for murisan
#42 Posted by murisan (1143 posts) -

This is damage control. They want SOPA and PIPA. Keep pushing.

Avatar image for thehakku
#43 Posted by TheHakku (350 posts) -

I'm not a video game player, I'm a god damn writer.

Seriously, it's amazing how much content you put out, . Love reading your articles.

Avatar image for mikular
#44 Posted by Mikular (169 posts) -

In any case, it's not a bad thing.

Avatar image for adaptor
#45 Posted by Adaptor (217 posts) -

It's really common practice to put obviously ridiculous things (like the DNS redirect stuff) into proposals so the people offering them can be made to look better when they take them out. While, at the same time, the actual legislation that comes from it will be just as bad.

Avatar image for redravn
#46 Posted by RedRavN (418 posts) -

This is just to appease people who do not know anything about what these bills are or represent. They wan't people to think they have made some kind of consession (DNS blocking is a joke anyway) that gets rid of the controversial aspects of the bill. However, anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the entire thing needs to be rewritten anyways. These bills have absolutely nothing to do with piracy and are more about making it legal for the government and corporations to tap into anything they want and censor anything they want. They want all bandwidth to go through cnet and viacom servers instead of consumer friendly services like youtube or whatever. Honestly, given how much of a joke the government I am guessing SOPA/PIPA will pass maybe after a slight revision especially after the rediculous amount of money that the "industry" has thrown into this bill. Whatever happened to the free market?

Avatar image for the_laughing_man
#47 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13807 posts) -
@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

Made me laugh. 
Avatar image for gonezombie
#48 Posted by GoneZombie (10 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

@Animasta said:

I love when the white house makes statements, makes me think that the white house is actually a transformer

That is a amazing thought. Imagine The US gets invaded so the white house transforms and must fight for the country.

Yeah, ever since the real white house was burned down in the war of 1812 he's been waiting, hiding in plain view, always searching for a way home.

Avatar image for zombie_bigdaddy
#49 Posted by zombie_bigdaddy (141 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Every inch you give to government is an inch you will never ever get back. How's that PATRIOT ACT (with the sunset provision to make sure the extreme laws enacted in it dont' remain forever) going for ya?

The scary thing about that is that there is not much that people can actually do against things like that. I mean sure we can elect people to represent us, but most of them don't give a shit about the us, unless is election time. And then you have all the people that will support anything just because it's backed by the party they support, even if they dont understand it.

Avatar image for jasonr86
#50 Posted by JasonR86 (10131 posts) -

This whole 'War on Piracy' reminds me of the 'War on Drugs'. Both are failing because those that are in charge assume that if they can stop the distributors then they can stop the illegal acts. They let the buyers off the hook. If piracy is to be stopped those that are receiving the stolen product need to be stopped. The distributors will stop pirating products if the buyers don't buy the product. SOPA is meant to hurt the distributors and not only does it hurt moral, legal, and sound companies but it's attempt to limit the distributors will lead to naught because those distributors will find ways around the bill. As long as there is an audience, pirates will continue to sell pirated IPs. So those in charge need to refocus their attention on the buyer not the distributor so that that need is gone.

As for how to do that, I have no idea. I think Steam is a good start for PC games. Games on there can be sold for such a cheap price that pirating the games are damn near worthless. Plus, the ease of access and the simplicity of Steam makes pirating much more of a hassle. That's where I think those that can vote on bills like SOPA should look. Make getting the product legally easier then pirating it.