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SOPA, Internet Piracy And Power

Clash of titans over Internet piracy and power. Wikipedia goes dark in protest. We’ll look at the big debate.

A screen capture from http://sopastrike.com one of the websites leading the protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act. (sopastrike.com)

A screen capture comes from http://sopastrike.com one of the websites leading the protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act. Websites that are joining the boycott were encourages to put this image in place of their normal home pages. (sopastrike.com)

Go to Wikipedia today and you’re going to get a dark screen.  Same at Reddit and BoingBoing.  Even giant Google has blacked out its famous logo – though its searches go on.  The target of all the Internet protest is legislation on Capitol Hill aimed at stopping Internet pirates – pirates stealing movies and music and more.

Critics of the legislation say it takes a full cannonade to a narrow piracy problem.  That it threatens to sink Internet freedom and innovation under censorship and firewalls.  It’s a battle royal.

This hour, On Point:  the clash of titans over Internet freedom and piracy.

-Tom Ashbrook


David Gelles, U.S. Media and Marketing Correspondent for the Financial Times. His recent piece on SOPA can be found here (registration required).

Alexis Ohanian, founder of the website Reddit.com. Reddit’s explanation of the legislation is here.

Marvin Ammori, legal Fellow at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative.

Sandra Aistars, Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance. Former Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Time Warner Inc.

From Tom’s Reading List

Digital Trends “While SOPA and PIPA have the same goals, and much of the same provisions, they are not identical. The wording of each section is often only slightly different, though the meaning is the same, making these differences meaningless.”

Wall Street Journal “Supporters of controversial antipiracy legislation face a struggle to regain momentum after the White House sided with irate Internet companies and users over the weekend and complained that the proposal could hurt innocent companies and undermine cybersecurity.”

Washington Post “Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing are planning to black out their services Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act by showing users the bill’s effect on Web companies. These companies object to language in the bills, which are aimed at stopping online piracy on foreign Web sites, that grant the U.S. government the right to block entire Web sites with copyright-infringing content on them from the Internet.”

You can find a listing of where your congressional representatives stand on SOPA here from ProPublica.

Gallery Of SOPA Blackout Websites

This gallery of screen captures shows just a few of the major sites that have altered their content on Wednesday Jan. 18, 2012 as a sign of protest against anti-piracy legislation now being considered in both houses of Congress.


Video: The Day the LOLCats Died

“The Day the LOLCats Died” by Chris Parker. A song protesting SOPA and PIA, to the tune of “American Pie,” posted to the Youtube channel LaughPong.


“The Day the LOLCats Died” by Chris Parker

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDH4GYJMIUFU373W3XUQVD2V4E Patrick

    I have the feeling Ms. Aistars is the sort who’d love to go into bars and sue them for doing karaoke without licenses. I assume we’ll be subjected to some Variationen on the Thema http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up863eQKGUI, from this nauseating corporate hack.

  • Hidan

    Anyone else find it funny that Chris Dodd gets hired by Hollywood to lobby for them making over 1 million a year and this crap comes out? Like most things when the government wants to take American  rights away they have to engage in fear mongering and worst case. And of course claim once passed it wouldn’t be abused but of course it nearly always does. Too bad Onpoint or the media for that matter didn’t cover this weeks ago when Mollizza among others were protesting about this undemocratic bill.

    I wrote both my senators and got some crap as response about how this bill will protect my freedoms and stop thieves even one linked it to fighting against terrorism.

    Of course Dem/Rep will vote for it and obama will sign it and little by little the police state gets more powerful. And of course both Dem/Rep who voted for it will see an nice stream of donation money for doing so.

     Can’t wait for the “Snitch on your neighbor bill”, Or the Government supported “camera in your house bill” than after those the “Not American enough bill” and “don’t question congress bill”

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Those bills you ‘can’t wait for’, are most likely parts of the ‘Patriot’ Act, which can be used AGAINST Patriots, the Homeland ‘Security’ Act, which created over 1300 non-government, and ill-controlled ‘Security’ agencies, who’s 85,000 personnel, ‘contractors’, are being paid by your taxes, to spy on you, and each other!
          FISA was enough!

      • Modavations

        Terry ,it is often said that volunteer fire men/women create fires and then try to prove their worth.As you have mentioned your Volunteerism seventy zillion times I was curious about your opinion

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Getting further off subject!  Is that B.C. education?

  • Orlando

    I’m sure we’ll hear the same tired song from an entertainment industry that cares nothing for it’s artists, musicians, and authors. They refuse to accept the sweeping changes the information revolution has brought with it and now would wreak havoc on one of the few sectors of the American economy that still leads the world in innovation.

    The champions of copyright alway claim they’re defending the little guy, but any study of the history of copyright shows blatant abuse of “protections” to curtail competition and reward well positioned interests. Take a look at all the special exceptions (here’s looking at you Disney) power players have extracted from lawmakers over the years. 

    This sort of legislation is also incredibly arrogant - even if you believe in it’s core tentants, it assumes that an inept group of politicians and bureaucrats can make intelligent choices in managing a medium they completely fail to understand. To them, the internet is still a series of pipes … literal pipes!

    A free internet is a vital to our evolution as a species – if I could triple underline that I would. This network we are creating has already integrated itself into almost every facet of our lives. It acts as an extension of our memory. It’s the social platform upon which we build and nurture our relationships. It’s quickly becoming a preferred medium of commerce. All of that … and it’s still in it’s infancy. Do you really want THIS government to nurture it? Gives me nightmares.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I heard and read of big companies short-changing writers and artists, decades before the internet was available to the public!  GREEDY $Millionaires and $Billionaires, keeping royalties, and other payments from the writers and authors, just trying to get by.
         Granted, they are now arrayed against other thieves, that use, abuse, copy, and otherwise infringe on THEIR cut of the profits, that are cutting the authors and writers out too!
           Both groups are just hiding some thieves, who’s only ‘creativity’ is ‘creating’ ways to steal what they cannot create!
         We DO need laws, and protections to better protect the creators of content, from anyone that doesn’t pay the fair price!

      • Modavations

        Terry,we’re having a discusson about priests and molestation.Seeing as you are the resident male/female priest authority,I was curious  about your take.Do you have children?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Copyright Protection, and the abuses of, are the subject of the day. 
             Please explain the pertinence of your comment?

          • Modavations

            So Terry,you even stalked me during a converstation on cars.What do you feel about Volunteer Firemen,being Firebugs

          • Terry Tree Tree

            People can go back, look at the comments, and make their own decision! 
               Since you are being insistent on this subject, I have publicly spoke out AGAINST fire-fighters starting fires, for ANY reason, except valid ones like pre-approved Training fires, etc…!

          • Modavations

            So Terry.I hope you understand,finally,what it’s like to have the shoe on the other foot.Treat the posters civilly and I’m sure it will be reciprocated.I hope my point is heeded

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Since you have been FAR more uncivil, to a LOT of people, for a LONG time, I see NO value in your ‘lesson’, except HYPOCRICY! 
               Your obsessive concern for perverted priests, and NONE expressed for their VICTIMS, shows which side of that issue you are on! 

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  • John Trapani

    Tom, it seems that this SOPA bill is a classic case of battling lobbyists fighting it out for their constituents. But where does the American People have a voice in this matter. I appreciate you addressing the subject, but that is not where demoncracy lives.

    I don’t know what the issues are – but I will be that I am going to get had in some way by who ever wins.

    John from Thousand Oaks, KCLU territory.

    • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

      The American People does have a voice in this matter.  Please use it.

      FreePress is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization dedicating its service to protect the internet rights of the individual. It was founded by Robert W. McChesney several years ago.  FreePress is one place to go if you are interested in helping.

      Wikipedia dedicated this day for the people to speak up on this issue.   Please follow the information provided to help contact your political representatives.  Please direct the political energy you have today to your congressman on your freedom to express yourself on the internet. 

      I’ve frequented this blog just enough to consider many individuals, even the ones I disagree with friends.  It’s time to stop blaming the opposition and take on some responsible.  Please write your congressman on this issue. Please take your political passion and do something to protect the little media available to yourself.  This is your chance.  Failure can be rectified, though it will be much harder.  Now is the time to act.


      • Roy Mac

        This typifies the problem.  Congress is being paid well, VERY well, to ask ME, not vice versa.  Congress has highly-paid staff–paid with tax money–to find this out, not go on junkets with lobbyists.

        My opinions are expressed often; it’s Congress’s responsibility to search them out, it is THEIR job.  My job is to send them money to keep them in business.

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          Your opinions are not being heard.  If this bill passes you will loose one more media allowing an individual contribution. Alone an opinion is ignored. 

          Instead of stigmatizing the act of lobbying, analyze it’s purpose, its pros and cons.   FreePress.net is a lobbying group, find out its purpose and who it represents.   The money it receives is from public donations. Wikipedia is what it is, its money comes from public donation.  

          Let me explain how politicians deal with public feedback.  Shortly after the invention of the Word Processor the form letter was invented.  Politicians realized all the public correspondences could be responded much easier if each letter was group by topic category.  A federal senator in larger states receives tens thousand letter a day.  A federal house member receives hundreds of letters a day.   Roy, politicians do not read your individual concern.  Your letter is scanned over for key words which allows it to be placed in a topic category.  This process is automated when the letter is received via email.  Each categorized letter receives the same form letter.   Each form letter is placed in an enveloped, and shipped back to you with a tax paid stamp. 

          Roy, it is what it is.  You can’t do it alone.  Since Wikipedia is down today, I queried the word democracy in my collection of 1900 quotations.  None of them equate democracy to solitude.

      • Modavations

        I didn’t know Bellvue let the residents use computers in the middle of the night.

        The American people have…….

        • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

          Modavations, I’ve grown to like you, though I haven’t quite figured out how a new media would deal with such aimless chatter.   Actually I have.  It’s called public authorship.  Not blogging.  It’s kind of like Wikipedia, though an individual owns the right of the essay.   The owner is in control of the content and can open permissions to others to write the thought.   Public comments are provided, though private comments are suggested.   The idea is to channel civic engagement in a productive manner approaching civil solutions.

          Modavations, even your chatter provides value in such a process.

          • Modavations

            Read” not a feminista” and Ellen Tibble.In my opinion your posts are verbose.I won’t read anything over a paragraph.That’s why I keep it short and pithy.Calling me a pubic hair going down a toilet is right out of the Terry Trrey tree,et al playbook.And please don’t stalk people

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ANYONE doing a complete search for the past six months, would find FAR MORE such comments from you, than from me! 
               I HAVE, and will continue, to request that people refrain from the diversion of name-calling, and using language on here that the youngest of readers here, don’t need to be exposed to!
               This is another of your un-founded, and mis-leading attacks!

          • Modavations

            Real men?women don’t go on and on about their charity donations and volunteerism.They don’t say,look how cool I am,50 zillion times.They just do it out of the goodness of their hearts

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I have mentioned it less than 20 times, in over 1 year of posts.    That’s slightly less than 50 million, much less zillion!

          • Modavations

            Do you really want me to keep this up.So Terry,when you go to your fake Volunteer Fire Fighting gig ,that you wear as a “badge of Courage”,do you wear high heels,or pumps?I’m not a saint.I turned my cheek,many many times.When you treat the crowd with civility,it will be returned

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I have asked you NOT to get ‘limp-wristed’ about me.  Your repulsive fantasy just mentioned, shows that you are not thinking of me as a woman, as you have stated before.  
               Your physician should re-evaluate whatever meds they have you on.  You should show them your posts, to let them know the bad side-effects you are experiencing. 

          • Modavations

            Terry,I understand you have problems grasping points.The point is that being stalked is quite unconfortable and I’m hoping you will understand when the shoe is on the other foot

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Several of your other victims have commented on this in the past.  Have you apologized to each of them yet?

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            I guess reading only a paragraph grants the right to take other’s words out of context.

            By the way it was a bath tub.  The pubic hair represented a thought.  The clog represented the collective thought of every idea presented in this forum, bad or good.

            The analogy was to represent how blog technology provides little means for civic engagement approaching solution.  High volume blogs such as this one push any conversation approaching solution to the depths of obscurity.

            Sorry four paragraphs including this one, though I hope you read it. Modavations I don’t agree with most of what you say, but I know within your passion there is a solution wanting to emerge.  I wish you well and I hope you get what you are looking for.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’m a writer.  I want to make money from my writing.  Tell me how I can do that, and I’ll listen.

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            If you’re a writer you should understand noone is forced to read your book.  I’d like you to listen but I can’t force it.

            You might want to ask the question of revenue to journalist. The media will change, when it does the question of financing should be addressed.  Or if you don’t want it to change go ahead and support the bill before congress.  Maybe the moneyed interest will continue to pay you.  Though, I doubt it. 

            I’ll continue to argue this legislation slams the door of democracy in the people’s face.  

            The freedom of speech does not provide the freedom to be heard.  The media is the conduit to public speech.  This legislation closes the door on a rare opportunity to express public thought.

            Gregg, there is a third option.  You can demand your question be answered before you listen.  Either way the legislation will be dealt with.  Why not use a little forethought to understand what is best for your interest?

  • Unnamed

    The worst part about this legislation is that it makes the website operators responsible for all user-submitted content on their site.  The biggest risk is that an organized minority can shut down a website they dislike (maybe even this one?) by posting a bunch of copyright violations on it.  Once that starts happening, other sites will stop allowing user-provided content (and sites like youtube and facebook will completely shut down), due to fears about liability.

    Do you like being able to post your comments, pictures, and videos on various websites?  Then you need to oppose this legislation!

  • Anonymous

    We have lost more freedom during the Bush/Obama administrations then we had over the prior 100 years!  Is it no surprise they are trying to clamp down on us more since they just passed a law that allows US citizens to be arrested and held without trial without anything other than an accusation…

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thanks for including the start of all this!  The ‘Patriot’ Act, which can easily be used against Patriots!
         FISA was enough! 
         The illegal and immoral mass-wire-tapping, was a violation of the law, and were NEVER prosecuted.

      • Modavations

        So Terry what does the term fire bug mean to you.I mean as you are a fire man and all that

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Pertinence to program?

          • Modavations

            Terry I invented the concept of J for you.Why you ask?We had a discussion about Indiana Jones and Archeology.I have much experiece in Mexican Artifacts.You made your usual snide remark and I joked I taught Indiana Jones,archeology.You said,but Moda,that would make you 100 years old.He’s a movie character you dolt

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You have forgot a LOT!  Lead, mercury, or B.C. education?

          • Modavations

            So Terry,I was very touched on the day before christmas show,when you said to every poster,oh thanks for coming to the party,oh Bill best regards to you and the family,oh Eddy peace be with you.You sounded like a man/woman saying goodbye at your personal christmas party.My wrists went limp for a week

          • Terry Tree Tree

            THAT is some hallucination you have going for you there! 
               Which program was this supposedly on?

          • Modavations

            This conversation is over.For the 51st time I offer my hand in friendship,just cut the crap.My offer on the archeology expedition still stands

  • Anonymous

    Is this a sign that the government knows how bad the economy is and they are afraid it will become abundantly apparent to the population as a whole soon and they want to limit speech to prevent people from talking about it?

    • Calimom077

      no its people using their “voice”

    • TFRX

      This is beyond the Reality Event Horizon, even for you.

      Care to walk follow the trail of breadcrumbs from the synaptic right-wing oogedy-boogedy “government will quash free speech” back to what we’re talking about, a poorly-written, suspect piece of legalese (not technicalese) bill-writing that’s trying to address the theft of copyrighted material?

      And when’s the last time you’ve written software code that was pirated?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I find it surprising that rather than allow the American Media industry to adapt or die just as they do for every other industry (except banks, financial institutions, and the auto industry) members of Congress are pushing to maintain a business and distribution model that has for better or worse failed. In effect SOPA and PIPA are nothing more than bailouts for the American Media industry at the expense of free speech and should be fought tooth, nail, and blog post.

  • JustSayin

    I would guess that this is a way of protecting giant media corporations under the guise of protecting small companies. I suspect that Congress being the contorted moral and intellectual wasteland will get it wrong, either by intent or incompetence, with money made at every step of the way.

    Here is my big however rant.

    HOWEVER… There is an entrenched gap in (mostly) American  morality about digital media, and attributions of ownership.

    IMO This moral gap is: Anything that can be stolen, should be…and if it was not strongly protected, then the owner must have deliberately abrogated their ownership of the product to the thief.

    This mentality is the China model, and when they appropriate five decades of US digital innovations as their own and resell it as their own, prepare for the aftershocks.  The big media sellers and resellers are now feeling the losses on the international market, that small US media companies experienced in the last three decades…. and they are rightfully scared. This is what makes digital media expensive.

    Most small software companies have shifted to the shareware model, or they are gone… they were destroyed by massive theft.  The innovation is gone, and only the giants who could sustain the losses by overcharging for critical applications remain. The market for electronic media is slightly better now due to the protective technologies created by Cnet, Apple, Microsoft, etc, but still remains a risky venture for small players with small ROI.

    Something should be done, but Congress is guaranteed to get it wrong. In their hands the war on digital media, will be as corrupt and delusional as the war on drugs.

    • Plushkin

      Very well put.

  • AC

    i just noticed people going on about this last night – not too sure what it is or what it will change, glad you’re having this show!

  • gemli

    The business model has already changed from one of consumers owning books, CD, DVDs and blu-rays, to one of renting content to users. Corporations want to charge us for every word we read and every film we watch, over and over again. They’ve passed restrictive copyright laws that seek to make public domain a thing of the past, and invest near permanent rights with the children of the children of the original creators. Now they want to increase their stranglehold on every marketable bit of data, and use the power of the US government to ensure that corporations prevail. Whenever I hear about “illegal” file sharing, I’m always reminded of how those laws were bought and paid for.

    It’s ironic that Disney, who spearheaded the drive to maintain near perpetual copyright, foreshadowed Wikipedia’s protest in Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life.” The ants wake up one day to realize that the millions of them are more powerful than the handful of grasshoppers for whom they toil. Go Wikipedia.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

     am so confuse about the Federal Government. Are they suppose to be creating JOBS instead of this childish issues that they are trying create. Did they got scared of WikiLeak? 
    If they want Money. Pass an Internet Tax bill and Anti-Hacking law instead of suppressing our Civil Liberty.
    The US Government should grow up but they are acting like kids that want their lollipops.
    There more problems to solve than picking on the medium that they created 30 years ago.

  • Anonymous

    From the movie Brazil – 1985 “I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there’s trouble, a man alone. Now they got the whole country sectioned off, you can’t make a move without a form.” – Harry Tuttle

    Where’s Harry Tuttle when you ned him?

  • AC

    i just read a little about it off the wiki site; it sounds like badly written legislation is the problem (I’m a big believer or intellectual property rights & am against piracy). Goes to show how wonderful this congress is, they can’t do anything & when they do, it’s half-a$$ed……. 

  • Greg152

    Ohanian has already said it best.  “Why is it that when Republicans and Democrats need to solve the budget and the deficit, there’s deadlock, but when Hollywood lobbyists pay them $94 million dollars to write legislation, people from both sides of the aisle line up to co-sponsor it?”

    Why does every issue come back to legalized bribery (read: lobbying)?

  • Kaybee63

    I know everyone thinks everything on the internet should be “free,” but there’s no such thing as a free lunch.  We’re going to have to pay somewhere, either for intelligent edited content, or bandwidth, or data, or what have you, but we apparently haven’t figured out yet how to value this.  Haven’t formed an opinion yet on this topic and so am glad to hear the show.

    • nathan

      You should probably should read up on the issue a bit before creating inane argument like “everyone thinks everything on the internet should be free”.

  • Greg152

    This is nothing more than legislation from lazy industries that don’t want to compete.  Look at a company like Valve.  They created a platform for video games that is magnitudes easier than pirating and they’re making money hand over fist!  They don’t care about piracy because they know that putting customers first is what wins and their business model proves this.  Be jerks and sue half the world like the movie industry and people won’t buy your product out of spite.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The real move here is to change the internet into a broadcast medium, like radio and television, where the only publishers of content are a handful of corporations, who will effectively “own” cyberspace much the same way a small group of large corporation “own” the airwaves now.

    The easiest way to comply with these laws will be to remove all individually provided/produced content, and that’s what will happen.

  • ping1

    $ perl Makefile.PL 2    LDDLFLAGS=”-arch x86_64 -arch i386 -arch ppc
    3             -bundle -undefined dynamic_lookup -L/usr/local/lib”   
    4    LDFLAGS=”-arch x86_64 -arch i386 -arch ppc -L/usr/local/lib”
    5    CCFLAGS=”-arch x86_64 -arch i386 -arch ppc -g -pipe
    6             -fno-common -DPERL_DARWIN -fno-strict-aliasing
    7             -I/usr/local/include -I.”
    8    OPTIMIZE=”-Os”

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Translation, please?

    • Cameron Kilgore

      Perl? Really?!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wish I knew what Vermont senator Leahy thought of this bill.  Isn’t he on the Judiciary Committee?

  • Me

    The people who have the most $ in the entertainment industry are the one’s who are complaining the most about losing $ because of the internet! I find that amazing!

  • ping1

     Arch OS/X.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Will there be cease and desist orders before your Facebook page is squelched?  Almost everything I post includes references to others, others’ postings, or actually links to them.  I mean, I don’t have much original to say, actually.  I could definitely be squelched.

  • ping1


    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Do you have a point?

  • Aaron

    I like how the only time business likes regulation is when it exclusively works in their favor.

  • Dfgoog

    People who pay for internet services should be able to trust that the content of their use remain private, just as it is when using the telephone or watching TV.  And those who violate that trust should be held legally and financially acountable.

  • Josephine songwriter

    I am a staff songwriter at a company in Nashville who works damned hard….every time someone downloads one of my songs illegally, or an album is pirated (usually the day after release!!!??), that’s food gone from my family table and clothes taken from my kids. LITERALLY. I am certain that those who work for Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, etc. would not be willing to go to work every day for free; THAT is the issue. Those of us in creative fields are working toward providing for our families; we are simply workers and this is our job. We are generally not in favor of giving our work away for nothing. Sad for a generation we are raising that believes intellectual property should be free. Thanks – just another Nashville songwriter

    • JustSayin

      Its interesting isn’t it. They are not squabbling about ownership rights of the content creators, but who gets to exploit the property. Pirates or mega-media companies.

    • Greg152

      What proof do you have that those people would have actually bought your music?  I’ve downloaded things I would NEVER pay for.

      One download DOES NOT EQUAL one lost sale.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Are you downloading copyrighted material?   If so, do you realize that you are a thief?

        • Greg152

          To be a thief someone would have to lose something.  No one is losing anything.  Thief is an inaccurate term.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Several writers have called, and posted evidence!

    • Brett

      Thanks, Josephine. While not a Nashville songwriter, I write songs and they’ve been featured on friends’ CD’s (and my own soon-to-be-finished CD). Someone wagged a finger at holding bar owners responsible for paying annual fees to ASCAP and BMI in an earlier comment…But it’s that same attitude that prompts a whole generation to think they shouldn’t have to buy music produced by professionals, and it leads club owners to shirk all responsibility when it comes to treating live music with respect and paying musicians reasonably for their work. 

  • Tim in Upstate NY

    Why can’t hollywood/media producers incorporate anti-piracy features on their products or develop new, more effective ones? Wouldn’t doing so potentially create jobs too instead of bogging down our already unproductive congress?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      They do.  Can you do better?  Can you copy-protect from ALL piracy, and other violations?

      • Modavations

        So Terry,we did a poll and we all say our favorite Village People character was the Volunteer Fireman?woman

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          O.K., you two, let it go.  There’s a topic being discussed.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I asked about pertinence to the subject, even reminded him of the subject.
               What more can you ask of me?

          • Modavations

            Just go to yesterday alone.I’d make a comment and you were there in 2 seconds.There was no intell.risposte.It was stuff like Meds,Mercury.You even had the audacity to say that I’m not Frederick Douglas Manning,named for you know who

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I did NOT say that was not your name, I QUESTIONED it, due to many other statements you have made that were content-challenged.

          • nj

            DNFTT. Stop responding to the troll. Responding just generates more trolling. Flag and move on.

          • Modavations

            I’m done and I’m praying my point has been made

        • Terry Tree Tree

          From someone that has commented several times about getting ‘limp-wristed’ about different guys, including Barney Frank, do you think this is a surprise about who you pick as a favorite?
             Pertinence to subject?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      They’ve tried – problem is they have to pay for it. With laws like SOPA they can outsource costs to others.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Say you are a content creator in China.  Would you want to innovate and create in a country that does not protect your creation?  No.  You’d come to the USA where intellectual property rights are at least to some extent protected.
        How about India?  Ditto.
        The idea is that the competition for original content that is worth a lot of money makes this a lot like the trade squabbles between the giants on the field.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The entertainment industry wants the internet to be just like TV – they put what’s on the internet, you get to change channels and watch.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Does “piracy” extend to the unauthorized use of trademarked words?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      There’s fair use–If I wish to comment on or criticize something, that’s fine.  If I’m trying to twist a trademark to make money, that’s a different matter.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        Any web site with ads on it is there to make money.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I mean things like the tee shirt that I saw with Pepsi’s logo changed to Jesus.  That’s just infringement, not critique.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Google’s opposition is obvious – YouTube would be one of the first sites blocked under these bills.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      I watched several songs from the Dubliners on YouTube and enjoyed them enough to buy the DVD.  That’s one case of how YouTube made money for the content creators.

  • troll doll

    Its a complicated issue. A lot of Authors are being ripped off by google books and a similar problem is happening to musicians and directors through youtube (a google subsidiary). Free content is great if consented by its creator.


    • Brett

      It’s the consent that is the key, in my view. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Thought I’d share this: 
     ‎”I carry every day, and have for 26 years, a copy of the U.S. Constitution given to me by Robert Byrd [takes Constitution out of his back pocket]. And to me, what could be more fundamental? With all due respect, I care about health care, education, global warming. But if you get this wrong — what do you got? A trade association. Who wants to be president of a trade association?” – Chris Dodd, Current President of the MPAA, while running for President of the USA

  • Ren Knopf

    Given the long and vainglorious history of committees, agencies and Congress to completely underestimate consequence, no long-term good is likely from either SOPA or PIPA. The handmaidens of pressure behind these works are no better. And I work within the film industry. Ren Knopf, Framingham.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Once again the industry tries to clamp down the wrong way, and goes after an issue with a tarp and a hammer.

    Web piracy will always exist. But instead of addressing some root problems, like countries that allow it, sites like Pirate Bay,  and an entertainment industry that keeps ratcheting up prices for cable, DVDs, CDs, et al, they want to become the Net’s cops, judge, and jury.

    Just watch this become another “cassette tax”  boondoggle where  X-amount of money was supposed to pay the artists for each blank cassette sold.  Watch the industry back off if sites and ISPs pay a fee for “potential abuse compensation”, just like they did with cassettes. And just like the cassette tax, the money will line the pockets of industry insiders and bigwigs and not one dime will find its way to the producers of the content.

  • TrudyS

    This clash is inevitable.  Until creators embrace Creative Commons Licensing (http://creativecommons.org/), this battle will continue.  Perhaps a show on copyright and Creative Commons will be helpful for setting context.

  • nathan

    Piracy as a whole in US atleast is on a decline, I would argue, especially with the advent of services like pandora, spotify for music and hulu, netflix for video services.

    The entertainment industry is better of creating more options for legally accessing content which will have bigger impact on reducing piracy, than passing, archaic laws like SOPA/PIPA.

    A lot piracy in europe is especially driven by non-availability of content legally than anything else.

  • Anonymous

    It is an unbelievable tragedy that Tom didn’t ask Mike Masnick at Tech Dirt to sit in on this. 

    • Joe

      Unfortunate, perhaps.  Do you think that “unbelievable tragedy” might be just a bit of hyperbole?

      • Anonymous

        Considering the misinformation I’m hearing no not at all. 

        • Joe

          Starvation is an unbelievable tragedy.  Genocide, children as soldiers and prostitutes, and the AIDS epidemic.  These are unbelievable tragedies.  What you are lamenting is subjectively incomplete journalism.  Get over yourself.

          • Anonymous

            It’s unfortunate I offended you. I think I’ll head out to Cambridge for lunch, have fun. Apologies.. .

          • Joe

            Enjoy your lunch.  I hope you don’t encounter any unbelievable tragedies like overcooked vegetables, insufficient hot sauce, or (the horror) lukewarm coffee.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The current discussion is saying the powers granted will be limited to corporations and lobbyists. Which is in some ways even scarier.

  • Jamie in Boston

    This is being framed as Content Owners v. Tech Titans. That’s because the last battle, Content Owners v. The Customers, was already fought and lost. Hollywood tried suing grandmothers and teenagers and learned that suing customers never works.

    Business Model One: I spend a lot of money for the On Point DVD (if I can find it, because the Content Owners are already trying to get me to repurchase my library in bluRay). I have to watch 20 minutes of movie previews that I can’t fast-forward through. The DVD is locked to my region and encrypted.

    Business Model Two: I download a pirate copy of On Point the DVD. It takes 40 minutes to download, costs $0, has no previews, no encryption, no region lock, and it’s now “mine” forever.

    The solution isn’t to legislate the Tech Titans, the solution is for the Content Owners to realize that if their business model is so threatened by a Dutch guy with a pirate site in his garage, the problem is with the business model.

    • Dustin in Boston

      Well said!
      Why can’t the Content Owners stop being so myopic? They need to figure out how to work in this new world, through innovation, and respect—not belligerence—towards their customers.

      Rather than doing the hard work of examining long held beliefs about how their businesses work, they would rather use lobbyists and anti-user technology to lazily cling to a broken model.

      Look at the recent success of Louis C.K.’s Live at The Beacon St. Theater, if you are skeptical.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    This is just a different version of “net neutrality”, where a select few want to control the Net.  Sites labeled as “good” get to stay, those that are “bad” get hampered by having to root through everything, limit access, allow one group but not another. 

  • Anonymous


    You mentioned that we are talking about ~7 Billion in Losses every year.

    How much money do these folks make per year?

    I am trying to understand what % they are losing really so I can make an informed decision.

    If they are not losing more than Walmart does in thefts then I am sorry I cannot back their legislation.

  • Bob Mahoney

    The US has been *very* successful in leaning on other countries to enact drug policies in line with US law.  If there is a problem with the behavior of foreign websites, MPAA & Co. should be lobbying for similar arm-twisting here, rather than degrading US freedoms.

  • Terry from Franklin

    Could you do your show if you had to screen each call and every comment on your site, in real time, for possible copyright violations?  These might include callers citing studies, news stories, whatever without acquiring the rights to do so.  

    The RIAA and MPAA have tools to enforce their copyright.  What bothers them is that these tools require them to do some work and spend some money.  A copyright holder has to file suit and get a court order.  These industry groups have been trying for years to get the government to spend tax payer money to enforce their copyrights.  Don’t forget that these are the same people who used to file suits against children and old ladies for illegally downloading music and then refusing to drop the suit even when it was pointed out to them that the target of their suit didn’t even own a computer.

    There are also some fears of the old “slippery slope” here.  That if they get this, next year they’ll be back asking for changes and trying to slip in more restrictive provisions.

    The industry has tried to defeat piracy in the past.  They used to make almost un-watchable VHS tapes.  Remember a couple of years ago when Sony added basically a virus to some of it’s CDs that made it difficult to play any CD on your computer.

  • Dan

    Why do Corporations ; Always try to keep the People Down? it is the claim of the Powerful to also stop all who disagree with them. They who are down must stay Down””Boo-Hiss

  • Joe

    After the RIAA sued a college student in Minnesota (I think?) for millions of dollars for a couple dozen songs she downloaded on kazaa or limewire or whatever it was, how can the greater community of the internet feel anything but suspicion of the powers attempting to limit the freedom of the internet?

  • Justin Leonard

    The internet is a reflection of ourselves. It buys and sells, it entertains, it educates, and is filled with filth and beauty. Antipiracy is antisharing, and people like to share. Antipiracy will do little more than what antibiotics do when they are abused. They create super-viruses and super resistant bacteria. Anti-piracy will create super pirates. Pirates at their worst rape, kill, loot and plunder. Pirates at their best are Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Sharing is not good for profits, it is true, but if corporations and banks don’t share their profits, then they will be pirated. It’s really that simple. To me, anyway….

  • Eric

    Sandra Aistars is a lawyer to Time Warner. It’s her job to maximize the profit of the company she works for.

    She is NOT looking out for the people of the United States.

  • Dontletthem Killtheinternet

    This is all a crock!  These are just old people who don’t understand the internet or the new marketplace.  Ask Beiber how it works.  The more people who get access to your product; the more people demand your product.
    I remember when that smug CEO of Sony Entertainment sat on  CNBC and mocked the free internet and said, “Who wouldn’t want things for free, but you can’t make money that way.” (not a direct quote)  Well, tell it to Google, you jerk!
    Sorry, you can’t.  They are too busy laughing all the way to the bank.

    • mdb

      To be fair, Google is impossible without other people’s content. SOPA/PIPA are bad bills, but there do need to be better protections in place for content creators. 

      • Dontletthem Killtheinternet

        You don’t get it.  You can still make money from your content.  Google works because they sell “eyeballs”.  It is the secret of the advertising industry.  When people flock to your content; you have “eyeballs”.  Sell them.

  • Mario Molina

    Problem is that data isn’t consumed in an encrypted format.  SOPA does make sense from the business-side sense; however, copyrights unfortunately do not mean media content is encrypted whenever it is put on the market.  Congress should instead focus on media distribution technologies because most people think that once content becomes available in open forums like the Internet, companies have already lost their copyright enforcement tools.

    Mario M.
    Bristol, CT

  • Anonymous

    How is Re-Making a film for the 10th time Inovating?

  • Capt. Kangaroo

    From todays Wiki site: ”
    How could SOPA and PIPA hurt Wikipedia?
    SOPA and PIPA are a threat to Wikipedia in many ways. For example, in its current form, SOPA would require Wikipedia to actively monitor every site we link to, to ensure it doesn’t host infringing content. Any link to an infringing site could put us in jeopardy of being forced offline”If so, this would be a show stopper for WP.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Going from the argument that SOPA is perfectly fine, why should taxpayers be on the hook for paying for all this?

    Institute user fees on the private corporations to have their content protected. Let them decide what content of theirs is worth paying to protect instead of expecting the taxpayer to pay to protect all of it for them.

  • Cpxharlow

    I am consistently hearing Sandra Aistars say “The bill is intended to…” My issue is that the broad language of the bill allows it to be used in ways it isn’t intended to be used. History has shown us how much organizations like the RIAA will stretch the definitions of the law often to the breaking point.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Want to reduce piracy? Anyone else remember when the cost of media in the stores was supposed to come down?  But the prices just go up, and the content goes down. $20 for a CD with 1 hit and 8 filler tunes?  $30 for a BluRay that you might watch a couple times ?  The industry says much of it is to make up for pirated ware, but wouldn’t they rather sell much more product- something a consumer can hold in their hands – at a lower price than sell fewer at a higher price?

    Show me someone working a full time job for part time wages (like so many are these days) that can lay out $$ every time a movie or album they want comes out. 

  • nathan

    To that Nashville songwriter, I would say if google doesn’t return his site or some other site to legally download his music, it is not google’s fault but really his own fault to understand the modern marketplace.

  • ulTRAX

    I’ve heard a figure as high as $700 billion in losses to content providers and I wonder how this number was calculated. I suspect it’s an estimate of “lost sales” if all file sharing were ended. But who says all these shared files would be actual sales? If someone gets an expensive program like Photoshop off a file sharing site, is Adobe really claiming that all those users would otherwise shell out $900?

    I suspect the vast majority of file sharers would never buy this content and engage in this activity because it’s free. Thus to claim this as real financial loses is disingenuous. I’d like to hear some REAL numbers on the REAL impact of file sharing. 

  • Anonymous

    The bumper music American Pie is copyrighted. Would it be banned as well?

    • Ed Lover

      Yes.  In fact, if the radio were a website, your entire NPR affiliate would be taken off the air for broadcasting one song snippet.  It doesn’t matter if using the snippet is fair use.  Under SOPA/PIPA, all that’s needed is an accusation, not proof.

  • AndyF

    I know this is a little off the mark – but – each and every day I watch some cable TV in which I am innundated by idiotic advertising, now often taking up more ‘show time’ than the show itself.

    Think about that – this means that I and thousands of other cable subscribers are PAYING a company to bring sales pitches into my home.  When I go to the web now to read the news, any video clip now begins with a commercial.  So when I pay for access to a news site, once again, I am PAYING to be sold stuff.

    If you think about this, imagine your insurance agent calling  you and saying “Hey, I have a great plan I want to show you…” and then adding “…it will only cost you [whatever] dollars to see it!” – you would say no thanks and throw this guy to the wind.  But with television and the net, we cant do that.

    Now Hollywood and many other rather well-to-do industries are worried about piracy???  Its fine when they come in to my home with endless useless advertising WASTING my time and money, but God forbid I even borrow a good DVD from a friend – THEY want every penny they can squeeze from us.

    There is something VERY wrong with this – and what is it?  The usual Greed.  Hollywood produces mostly crap movies and television, and they use it to ‘whore’ products I dont give a rats backside about – and now they worry that I might be stealing a copy of that show or movie WITHOUT the idiotic commercials.

    We are surely ONE screwed up country!!!

  • james

    am quite relaxed about it. But, you know, it is a massive change and it
    does alter the fact that people don’t make as much money out of
    records. But I have a take on that – people only made money out of
    records for a very, very small time. When The Rolling Stones started
    out, we didn’t make any money out of records because record companies
    wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone! Then, there was a small period
    from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very
    handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone.”

    Mick Jagger on the BBC

  • Jesse

    First, the projected losses the entertainment industry keeps attributing to piracy assumes that every illegally downloaded item would be legally purchased were the illegal avenue not available. There’s no way that’s true, people’s consumption tastes would narrow considerably if they were paying for everything. 

    Second, when it comes to illegally downloading TV, look at Netflix and Hulu. People will always choose the safe, easy alternative to piracy when it’s available. If entertainment companies would finally put episodes of TV on their websites as soon as they air, people would stop circumventing the law. Even if they kept the same amount of commercials to maintain the profits they need, the piracy rate for TV shows would plummet. 

  • Joe

    When I got my first computer with a CD burner back in 2000, I realized just how much I was getting ripped off every time I bought a CD.  At that time, a 50-pack of blank CD’s cost about 25-40 dollars (it’s been a while, and I don’t really remember specifically).  Even at the inflated price of 1 dollar per CD, I realized that the new release CD’s costing 20 dollars was profound overpricing.  Then I heard that a good contract had a typical band getting three or four dollars per CD, but more typical was one dollar.  So I realized that a CD’s cost was mostly distribution and profit, and I stopped buying CD’s for the most part.  The moral of the story?  Stop overcharging for the product, and I might stop finding ways to get the product for reduce prices or for free.

  • Vanessa (Jamaica Plain, MA)

    Whoa, Tom is impassioned by this topic! He certainly has chosen his side. Haha. 

    • Anonymous

      He was exasperated at his guest’s increasingly surreal and repeated failure to answer the key question about consequences of the rule openly. Can’t blame him!

      • Vanessa (Jamaica Plain, MA)

        Haha. I know. I love it. Tom very rarely gets agitated with ANYONE.  He is so even-keeled in every debate he moderates, but this woman pushed him over the edge.  Could help but laugh. She did seem to repeatedly ignore his point.

      • Anonymous

        Ditto. I think that Ms. Aistars avoided the issues of this bill like a good lawyer she is. However in the context to a show such as this she kind of missed the boat, by miles.

    • Ted White

      I assume you’re referring to his insistence that Ms. Aistars’ not dodge the topic a hand, in which case I strongly disagree. He was doing the job of a moderator.

      • Vanessa (Jamaica Plain, MA)

        That’s very true.  She definitely repeatedly dodged his question, but I think you can tell he would not be satisfied with any actual answer she would be able to offer up to justify her side’s position.  Mostly, because it’s a weak argument at best. 

  • nathan

    Wow, that was “Mitt Romney on Income Taxes” level of dodge by Ms Sandra Aistars.

  • Mark H

    How do you determine what is considered infringing? Will sites such as Dropbox, which has a lot of legal uses, be considered as a sharing site?

    • Ed Lover

       Yes, it will.  All it will take is one accusation that one infringing file is being made available by Dropbox.  That’s just one reason why these bills are awful.

  • Dab200

    Once again ‘the big money’ is trying to limit our freedom and at the same time the two sites in this conflicts are very dishonest because the ordinary user of the internet is totally forgotten in all that and user’s point of view is not considered at all. What about a bill that would not allow on monitoring one’s activities on the internet. Why every time I search a subject, buy a product as a follow up I am being bombarded by related ads?
    WHo will lobby to stop infringement on our privacy?
    Should ordinary users form a group, file a group suit?

  • Jsenpai

    Thank you Tom for getting her to admit what we all know.  It WILL affect American companies.  Simple as that. 

  • Dontletthem Killtheinternet

    This is BULL.  So what’s next?  Will government stop Ford from making cars because the people are driving to places where other people are breaking the law?
    This is a CROCK!

  • Terry from Franklin

    What supporting evidence do the RIAA and MPAA have to support their published loss figures?  Is this based on what they imagine they could sell worldwide if piracy didn’t exist?  

    I agree piracy is a problem.  It does take money out of the hands of content creators.  But from what I’ve heard about these laws I’m not sure they a good fixes.

    From some of what I heard from musicians and read from movie folks and heard and read from authors their publishers are some of the biggest problems they have.  Go look at the number of suits from musicians, authors and such over under-reporting of sales and hence royalties.  

  • TFRX

    Our host is really showing his chops with the female guest (I missed her name) at 47-50 minutes, and Marvin Ammori at 52-53 minutes.

    Good, persistent long-form interviewing, drawing out facets that otherwise would have gone by the boards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    A pirate site gets a miniscule amount of internet traffic – Youtube on the other hand is one of the busiest sites in the world – who are content owners going to go after?

    • Anonymous

      The deepest pockets?  That’s what I would do and I suspect they will do the same regardless of the merits.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The caller about the e-book millionaire — I think I heard that reported on All Things Considered, and the downside of that was that the author had to spend most of his or her time shepherding her creation this way and that.  The actual creation was the smaller part of the challenge.

  • Anonymous

    Tom, I still want to know the LOSS PERCENTAGE.  Please ask your guests.

  • Michael

    How do the restrictions provided for in SOPA preventing American citizens from accessing websites of their choice or making payments to websites of their choice differ from the restrictions on citizens and corporation that were disallowed by the the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United? 

  • Rnldjnsn
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The biggest organizations depriving “individual artists” of their due compensation are the RIAA and MPAA.

  • Taylor

    During new year holiday president Obama signed bipartisan legis. That allows govt to arrest American citizens wo due process indefinitely. Now govt in a bipartisan is attempting to pass a very loose law that allows govt to control Internet potentially. In the first case, no news coverage aired this taking away of one of our basic liberties..thank goodness, sopa is being discussed..too bad our congress are only able to pass bipartisian legislation that takes away liberties and NOT willing to tackle our financial and jobs problems

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Older lawmakers might not get the “interweb” and “tubes” (Thank you Simpson and Stevens), but they get industry contributions just fine.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The major corporations NEED to go back and PAY those they have stolen from, BEFORE the internet, and ALL others, before they have ANY moral grounds for their objections.
       Unless content is GIVEN FREELY, the royalties should be paid to the creator, and the publisher!
       Piracy is a form of theft! 
       Would YOU want someone to steal the best song, book, poem, etc…., that you are trying to sell?

  • Realist

    If the use of current copyright law is any guide I see big companies using this law to restrain competition or just be ludicrously litigious.  If you want examples of the latter point just look up, Eat more Kale, and the Rock Art Vermonster.

    • Anonymous

      The Eat More Kale case is a very good example of the corporate sector using the law as a club against the little guy. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    Let’s see, the Congress might somehow get me or someone in trouble for linking/accessing content that I did not create, but they cannot protect content that I do myself create.  – that was my perspective going into this discussion, and I’m not sure I see my way to the other side of this.  I agree with the caller who said the old model (the horse and buggy makers) are trying to block the evolution of the new model (the automobile, in his metaphor), but the new model would be a new way of paying for and distributing content.  And I don’t know what that “automobile” might be.

  • ulTRAX

    Sometimes the free market is its own worst enemy.

    When iTunes came out I’d go there to find they only had about 50% of the songs I wanted. Once one bought a song there, these songs weren’t really portable, they could only be played in iTune’s secure DRM environment like in the iTunes player or the iPod. Buying songs from other providers like Real Networks resulted in the same problems.

    So instead of one comprehensive music store that covered everything… songs were scattered all over the net. And even though we purchased the music, consumers found what they they purchased was actually held hostage DRM. Worst, I recently got a letter from Real Networks that unless one exported their songs by a certain date, they’d no longer play.


    • ulTRAX

      Here’s what we need to fear when any company we buy digital content from uses proprietary DRM. It’s not just that a company like Amazon can reach into our Kindles and make changes to content or even delete it. It’s that what we PAID for might stop working.

      This is the letter I got from Real Networks last September:

      Important information about your downloaded music

      Greetings! We’re passionate about making sure our members get all the music you love, as much as you want, everywhere you are. This is a friendly reminder that, in just over 30 days, Rhapsody/RealNetworks will no longer re-license certain music files you purchased before July 2008.

      What does this mean for you? If you do not burn your purchased music with a RAX file extension to an audio CD, they will no longer play if you attempt to play them on a new computer or upgrade your computer operating system or other software like RealPlayer.

      Once you take this small step and burn your RAX music files to a CD, all of the music you’ve purchased from Rhapsody or the RealNetworks Music Store prior to July 2008 will work normally. You can continue to play them on an audio CD or rip them to any format you desire and play them on your PC. Any music you’ve purchased in the MP3 format is unaffected by this change. This only affects purchased music files with the RAX file extension prior to July 2008.

      With just over 30 days left until the switch, you should start the process soon to ensure you have enough time to back up your RAX tracks.

      We want to make sure you’re able to continue to enjoy the tracks you’ve paid for, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need assistance with the above process,

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Please a lot of our Senators and Congressmen are Old School. I think the youngest is about 50 years old and the rest are very old. If they don’t understand what LOL or OMG means. They won’t understand the world of the internet.

    • Modavations

      I plead guilty,however,I am 60.When I was a lad we still typed on the manual IBM.I have no idea what half the keys are for.For instance,what’s F1,F2,F3,etc, about

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        We have to ask my 8 year old daughter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomasmatlack Tom Matlack

    I really think this is about the fight between YouTube and Hollywood over premium content.  Read this:http://bit.ly/yZoUCM

    • Anonymous

      Wouldn’t it be nice if they kept their fight to themselves?

  • alitza blough

    As I started yesterday: Money out of Politics!! Alexi the person who started a web company that was bought by Conte Naste hit all the points on the exact sweet spot. IF there is going to be more legislation on the Internet (a wild and wooly place, I admit) then it must NOT be written by Lobbyists.

    The parallels to the food industry… just for one… are numerous. That industry is so sewn up that the only regulation that gets enforced are those to squash the little guy… FDA hauling off pregnant mothers and Amish people over raw milk… so few small butchers left that organic farmers have to start co-ops to get their product processed. While it’s possible to trace most of the major salmonella in eggs breakouts to egg operations run by one guy; his operations are deplorable. He doesn’t follow regulations in the states he operates, and then pays off the legislature to continue operation.

    In this case the “powers that be” will support anything that would make us sit down and shut up. Well, I died when Bobby Kennedy was shot… a lot died that day… I for one won’t be sitting down and shutting up again.

    There’s an Occupy the Courts event near you this Thurs, Fri and Sat, please participate.

  • Anonymous

    the issue of protecting copyright is not at all about protecting the rights of the artists – and Tom, you’re entirely right in calling your guest “disingenuous” in this regard.  she (“they”) say that up front, but the underlying issue here is the protection of the myriad parasitic jobs – producers, marketers, agents, and yes, you guessed it lawyers – that lay between the creator of any type of work and its ultimate consumer.  

    the “internet”, as far as its critics understand it, is perhaps the wild west but it is much more a social reaction to manifest greed.  ms aistars and her cabal are trying to get their grubby fingers into a pie they have had nothing to do with creating and correctly sense they are on the wrong side of history here. 

  • Modavations

    A movie will premier in the US and two days later you can buy the CD anywhere in Mexico City.The quality is not so hot,but they only cost $2.00

    • Dontletthem Killtheinternet

      I saw the Golden Globes.  No one appeared to be living on kitchen scraps.  This doesn’t hurt any of them and we all know it.  It just makes them MORE POPULAR.  Only stupid people can’t make money off of being popular.  Ask Kim Kardashian (no talent; just popular). 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Kim Kardashian is popular because of her father’s last name.

  • Modavations

    I don’t think there is any chance of beating piraters.I’d just charge more “stateside” to compensate.Build it into the price of the product,in other words

  • http://www.brookevalleymusic.com/ Richard in Canada

    If every ISP imposed a small monthly surcharge to customers’ bills that was then contributed to a newly-created (national?) fund to compensate artists for their work, much of what is now lost through piracy could be recouped by the artist. It is similar to electric utilities (like Mass Electric, NStar…) which impose a small monthly surcharge to fund renewable energy projects in the state.

    In Canada where I now live, blank CD-Rs are sold with a small surcharge that goes towards a fund for artists who create work in electronic media. Under clear criteria, the artists apply for compensation from this fund that at least partially offsets their losses from piracy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    You don’t need an Internet to copy movies. they have a DVD-R that are Made In China that can copy movies on DVD. the machine blocks the copy rights. I know because we have a lot of pirated movies in the streets of Manila. I have one and the quality is good.

  • Paul Smith

    I run a small business.  And SOPA could easily kill it.  How?  We produce music recordings for composers.  A big media company simply has to claim our recordings infringe their rights, and, presto, our website can be eliminated.  They don’t have to prove infringement, just claim it in front of a judge to get the order. And my web hosting company is who they’ll target, so I won’t even get a notice to appear to defend myself.

    I’ve already had BMI submit a take-down request to YouTube for music I composed and recorded!  At least Google offered me the chance to explain why BMI was wrong, and they listened to me, ultimately rejecting BMI’s request.  Under SOPA BMI wouldn’t have to do that.  BMI and other big media companies would have no disincentive simply to issue as many infringement accusations as they can afford to create.  And Google would not be required to listen to or side with any accused site.

    So, small businesses are perhaps the most likely to become the adversely affected, innocent victims should SOPA pass, not the “rogue” pirate sites.
    Just look at the Day the LOLCats Died video … whatever big corp. owns the rights to that song could force YouTube to get rid of the video (which they could actually try to do now, under DMCA), or force the ISP hosting wbur.org to remove the embedded video, just by claiming it’s a copyright infringement (again, not having to prove it). The fact that parody is a protected use of copyrighted material won’t likely dissuade them!

    • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Dianeperryjazz

      please read my post above…this is not a parody which falls under the fair use provision.

  • Guest

    As a gamer, and a part-time musician (nothing big just I play guitar in a bar band) and a future IT professional,I’m against SOPA and I support the websites for going dark today. SOPA is about greed, and nothing else. They got their way with the DMCA, and the 1978 Copyright law, why not enforce that? Instead you treat the customer as if they are potential criminals, restricting their rights to use the product they purchased, making them pay for “premium content” then bombarding them with commercials!, restricting the amount of downloads, activations and other hoops they have to jump through and you wonder WHY Piracy occurs?

  • Dgann

    Howls of pain from the media companies?

    Tom this is a perfect example of why so many of us out here don’t trust “Big Government”, or the “Media”. And I applaud your airing the issue.

    Marvin says Congress doesn’t understand the internet, is there anything Congress which includes the Republican controlled House and Democratic controlled Senate; does understand before they vote?

    Don’t expect Congress,  to actually read the bill, can you say Obama Care? Can you remember Nancy Pelosi frantically saying “we’ve got to pass this bill so we can find out what’s in it?

    How about President Obama, will he sign this bill if passed? Will he read it? Will he understand it, or defer to an opinion passed on from a lobbyist who helped craft it?

    We hear the left wing Hollywood crowd, and you know that they are, crying about the arts and freedom of expression.
    They voice loudly their supposed disdain for Capitalism and the influence of “Big Corporations”, all the while making piles of cash using every advantage they can buy on Capitol Hill, in order to further their own personal “selfish interests”, not “self interest”.
    These are among the people (corporations) that love “big government”!
    Anyone who believes the political left or anyone in D.C. is looking out for the best interests of “The People” should do a Google search, while you can and if you dare, on Wall Street and the Obama administration.
    You can start with Jacob Lew.

  • ulTRAX

    Can copyright law become socialism for the rich?

    This discussion is incomplete without a broader discussion about what constitutes a fair market price for content.

    I’m reminded of how cities would use public dollars to build stadiums for sports teams… stadiums the teams didn’t want to pay for. The cities would then tax hotel rooms etc to get their money back. This public subsidy allowed the teams to escalate the pay players got… pay they could not otherwise afford if they borrowed for a new stadium. This is clearly socialism for the rich.

    Content providers make their money because We The People provide a backdoor subsidy through copyright laws or allowing indefinite extensions of these copyrights. This has to be a huge factor in the outrageous money movie and media stars make. 

    Just because content providers are able to take advantage of copyright law, and may be able to milk every movie venue, and either hard copies of content (DVD, Blu-Ray, CDs) and digitally distributed content via the web, doesn’t mean the We The People “owe” them every dollar they can extract from us.

    What they make is NOT a true market price because these profits are entirely dependent on the arbitrary laws government passes in their behalf. What if copyrights were only half the current length? What if law did NOT permit estates to cash in by copyrighting and licensing images like that of Marilyn Monroe?


    • ulTRAX

      A summary of the history of copyright law from http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~dkarjala/OpposingCopyrightExtension/what.html

      The first United States Copyright Act (1790) provided for a term of 14 years,
      renewable in the 14th year for a second 14-year period. Later the initial term
      was extended to 28 years, renewable for 14 years, and in 1909 the renewal
      period, too, was extended to 28 years (for a possible total of 56 years).
      Beginning around 1962, Congress started extending the renewal term by one year
      each year, with a view toward the extensions envisioned by the negotiations
      leading to the 1976 Copyright Act. That Act did, indeed, permanently set the
      renewal term, for pre-1978 works, at 47 years (giving them a total of 75 years
      of protection). It also eliminated the renewal requirement altogether for
      post-1977 works, giving them a single life + 50 year term for individual authors
      and a flat 75-year term for “corporate authors” (works made for hire).
      Consequently, the copyright term was effectively extended for old works
      (pre-1978 works whose copyright was renewed) by a full 19 years as recently
      as1962. Such works enjoyed, prior to the 1998 extension, 75 years of copyright
      protection–19 years more than the original authors ever thought they were going
      to receive. According to a Wall Street Journal article of October
      1997, heirs and assignees of creative composers from the
      1920′s have already enjoyed millions of dollars of extra royalty income as a
      result of that extension. The 1998 term extension provides these noncreative
      recipients with another 20 years of such royalties, all paid out of the pockets
      of the public.

      • Terry Tree Tree


  • Jeremy Baker

    Legislators who support PIPA and SOPA should Eat More Kale. http://www.npr.org/2011/12/06/143195033/chicken-vs-kale-vt-artist-fights-chick-fil-a-suit

  • Guest

    Wiki has been banned for years and years, since it’s not accurate or verified. Let them stay down.

  • Jeremy Baker

    Grateful Dead encouraged “piracy” by allowing their music to be taped and openly shared.  I believe the band is one of the top most grossing bands of all time.

    As a teen I spent about $2,400 on various professionally recorded albums, money made by making pizzas after school.  Dozens of my peers would make tapes, share them around school, to expand our awareness of what music there was beyond our own personal library.  There was no way I could afford to buy all the music I consumed, and sharing pirated tapes was a method to find the music I wanted to buy.  If I became a fan of a band I would usually try to collect all their work.

    I have to muse out of the box, and wonder, is this another SCO vs. IBM event, in this case a proxy scheme disguised as piracy protection that just happens to benefit Microsoft’s market share and profits by destroying their competitor’s footing?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      I used to do that too. I miss Tapes and 80s so much

    • Jeremy Baker

      Er, um, out of the box comment relates to the assumption that most of these web servers that are offline today, to protest, are, if I may presume, powered by open source software (ie LinuxBSD or something similar to GPL) to run the machines that run the software that manages the services we use that are targeted by the piracy bills. Other than temporarily inflating the value of SCO stock, the SCO case was an attempt to scuttle open source software, free software that is used on servers, a market that has bloomed. [The case might be a complex example of the greedy abuse of copyright law to bang a buck out of someone.]  Microsoft is mostly proprietary software; a server running proprietary software must pay money to use it, so running a server with open source software is less expensive.
      If I remember correctly, as it was many years ago that I read news about the case, MSFT had round about connections to SCO at a time when its sales were suffering in light of the emerging open source market share.  SCO has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
      It’s likely there’s no fire behind the smoke, but after observing the cut throat nature of the tech business, I automatically look for alternative motives behind astroturf lobbying due to the past demonstration of such behavior.  Pass the piracy law and DRM which is used on proprietary software, like MSFT, will become more infused in projects similar to my public library’s involvement with ListenUpVermont, where a person must buy a MSFT compatible device to use the audio books, as a Linux box can not download even those audio books that promote free distribution without limits and my RCA portable device will not allow me to export those audio books that I have, legally, downloaded using the MSFT compatible software.  Pass the piracy act and there may be reasons not to buy portable devices that are using open source software to power their devices, so this law may also impact hardware providers selling devices?
      I invite anyone to please correct my post if I have made any misleading statements. 

      • Jeremy Baker

        The case might be a complex example of
        the greedy abuse of copyright law to bang a buck out
        of someone.

        • Jeremy Baker

          Ugh.  The last post was posted to make a post correction to the previous post; please imagine a strikethrough struck in the word copyright.  SCO vs IBM case concerned patents.

      • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

        Jeremy I understand exactly what you are saying.  I’m a Linux software developer.  Your point is very good and very important to this subject.  I would be glad to help illustrate the point you are making.

        A good thesis statement, some reference to the purpose of GNU and Richard Stallman.  Maybe some assistance to allow the essay to stand on it’s own. Also better illustrations of the collateral damage of SOPA and the hardware ramifications. 

        I would like to help develop your thought as a public authored essay.  You would be credited as the author and own all rights to distribute or make any earnings on the completed essay.

        Contact information is on my website, please email me offline.

      • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

        Here are some additional thoughts.  The subject needs to outlast the SOPA bill.  Your familiarity with the SCO / Linux lawsuit illustrates an understanding of legal battles over time.   The essay might want to illustrate a chronological history.  The general public may not understand the advantages of open source software.  This could be another section for explanation.  

        It would be nice to recruit others from the On Point blog to help critique the essay as it is being developed.   This is what I mean by public authorship.   It’s not about ownership, its about the public assisting in developing a civil idea.

        The essay would be copyrighted to Jeremy, though I would guess he would allow anyone who helped in its creation the right to use the content.  Heck, he might even give co-authorship credit for the thought.   Though it would be up to him. 

        • Jeremy Baker

          The Do Good Gauge,
          Your email is on a web site that is blacked out.  I’ll get it later.
          Yes, you may use and/or edit my essay/post with, or without, crediting my authorship, as I really care less about myself and more about the matter, the issue.  It’s yours to run with if it helps.
          The RCA device can accept audio books that have no limits, such as Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle read by Dawkins, but an audio book with a limit such as How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming will not export to the portable RCA MP3 player, all the while I am explicitly following all the rules so there is no reason why the audio book should not export to the third-party device.  It’s obvious that the PC’s audio out piped to a digital/analogue recording destination skirts DRM, so someone somewhere is paying too much money for piracy protection that doesn’t work.  Note, a MSFT OS with DRM software installed in the machine must use specific software called Overdrive Media Console Inc, to get access to the audio books before I can export the MP3 or WMA to the portable media device, such as my affordable RCA player.  I can’t afford these other devices, iPods and Zune players that are streamlined to configure to the MSFT Overdrive Media Console, inc.
          Keep up the good work.  I am a fan of what the Open Source effort has done for developing nations, for example One Laptop per Child, Extremadura in Spain, etc.  It’s truly amazing!

          • http://www.dogoodgauge.org The Do Good Gauge

            Jeremy, here is my email address.  I welcome anyone interested in collaboratively developing Jeremy’s idea to send an email. 

            I’m familiar with the proprietary nature of these devices.   Personally I feel if you buy a CD you should be able to rip it to MP3.  The record industry should not be entitled to additional money every-time a new media comes out.

            Copyright or better Copyleft is more than money, it’s about giving credit.  If you don’t take credit for what you created, someone else may take ownership and not be so free in sharing the thought.

          • Jeremy Baker

            I get now, your title: The Do Good Gauge is a link to a web page.
            Interesting project.  I’ll look into it.

  • Lostnode5

    Okay if you google RIAA or MPAA law suits, you will find alot of them Going after kids and elderly.
    Now with that said, About the caller who was a song writer
    Maybe some are getting burned. But who isn’t?
    We have been getting burned for years!!
    Pay $25 for a CD with one or two songs worth listening..
    Go to a Concert and pay $100 or MORE!!!!! for a ticket.
    Go to see a Movie and pay $12 for a ticket then pay $5 bucks for popcorn and $5 bucks for soda..
    Now if your a kid and you get maybe $5 Bucks a week for allowance… How do they pay for this…

    Also people like prince who think a songs he made 10 years ago should be worth the same today, No it’s old and not worth that today..
    WHY CAN”T The music inudustry run like the sports world..
    People who play sports work much harder and get paid a set amount..
    So a song writer would get a contract to play for a CD label
    and then youy make money on Posters, endorsements and merchandise..
    Plus get paid to do Concerts! The more Concerts the more MONEY!!
    They get free cars and stuff anyways. (IF YOU Famous).

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Please think this through, as if you are a song writer, author, content originator?

      • Wotan_617

        I’m a so called content originator and an author. I had also been in a band throughout college that was signed to a contract for a small, alternative label where LP and CD pressing, marketing and distribution rights were give to the label for recording costs. As such and from my personal opinion, the argument offered up by industry on my behalf is always overstated toward the favor of business interests and toward the mega-talents or the starving talents.

        To me, copyright is indeed important in the sense that it prevents others from ripping off my work and passing it off as their own, but it has very little to do with money. I’ve made a decent living when salaried and now via contracts. That $2.30 or whatever it is per book from royalty after fees is really negligible to me given that it’s never been about money. People who want things for free will get it regardless of whether it’s through liberalized peer-to-peer sharing or at the local library. I really don’t see what the difference is and I have no problem with this. I wish people would stop falling into the trap that we’re all either the King of Pop or Paul McCartney with billions being lost in royalties or starving Johnny Angry whose being screwed because people have liberated his work for free. And yes, I still use my local library quite a bit for my free reading, music and even blu-rays.

        Sign the various petitions going around and kill this dishonest bill.

        • Anonymous

          Not sure why the edit feature isn’t available for what I wrote above but “whose being screwed” should read “who’s.”

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Gregg, you’re a musician.  Are you a writer,composer, producer of original content?
       If so, I’d request your comments on this subject?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      go get them Triple T.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I am not intending confrontation, just asking someone that has stated that he is a paid musician, about his view.

        • Gregg

          Sorry just now getting around to this board. I’ll be honest TTT, I am not up on this legislation and I should be. 

          I’ll say this much, an artist who creates something owns it whether or not it can be held in the hand. They should be compensated or it’s theft.

  • ulTRAX

    What’s bizarre in these discussions about copyrights is how nonsensical if not surreal it gets. I have to pay for a song from iTunes, but I’m free to record the same song off the radio… even digital radio, or the web. Granted web-based music services like Pandora and Grooveshark aren’t CD quality but the quality is at least FM quality. Last on the list are downloaded music from file sharing sites… but that technically is illegal… even if I can record the songs from other sources.

    If content providers want to get around the problem of illegal file sharing they need to push the technology envelope with more enticing products. Super Audio CDs are an example. But these idiots got into another format war like Beta vs VHS which probably did the effort in.


    Once again, the free market is often its own worst enemy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002844210837 Ellen Gerardis

    It all is very suspicious when Rupert Murdock and Disney are involved.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Or most any corporation or special interest group.

  • Billjanis

    Tom, you are kicking butt today. Amazing job man! I love hearing a journalist actually calling someone out when thy are dancing around the question. That attorney woman, formerly from Time Warner, was completely dancing around the subject. YES, A GOOGLE OR TWITTER CAN BE TAKEN DOWN. just like the tech fellow said, that if a pirate bay address is announced on twitter, twitter will pay big!

    This IS about trying to keep an old business model alice. It’s over. It’s the digital age. New solutions are needed. Where are those republicans now wanting the government out of our lives?

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      You are so very correct. Not only are the business models of the past over, but so is the government model in the US. Our Constitution needs to be updated to face 21st century issues. Our Congress needs to be free of the corruption of money. Lobbyists undue influence, and the revolving door between government and industry needs to be eliminated.

  • Pingback: My Debate on NPR’s On Point Radio re SOPA/PIPA « Marvin Ammori

  • Enlowm

    I find it to be a little fishy this bill is being forced through not even a year after the discovery of the Stuxnet worm. Do you or your guests have any knowledge of the current cyber wars between USA and Iran …. Would be an interesting tangent to discuss considering USA was partially blamed as a co financer of stuxnet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ubertook Ben Atkinson


    there, I just provided a link to a foreign site distributing pirated copyrighted material. tom ashbrook, your news site is now in violation of SOPA/PIPA and is no longer viewable on Google searches

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O7TXNSOLJZGZIEMPM53OZBE3PU Kaj K

      And you did not even provide “a link to a foreign site distributing pirated copyrighted material.” All you provided  is a link to a foreign site *indexing/cataloging some* pirated copyrighted material. But that would no matter to PIPA or SOPA.

  • Jon L

    I always thought the first amendment remained in effect, even when it supposedly challenges jobs in twentieth century industries. My mistake. i didn’t realize the commodity bubble of the music and film industries is more important than core American liberties. My mistake.

  • Howsyerhole

    Sandra Aistars, your attitude has so much in common with the firewalls in China, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Iran. May I ask, were you cheering for the people during the Arab Spring who were able to subvert their governmental censorship firewalls, or were you thinking shame on them for breaking the law?

    oops this website now needs to be shut down.

  • Mikael Walther

    Everything said in defense will STILL result in shutting down the major sites, way to address the issue. Good going.

  • Jim

    get fucking but raped lady at 35 min

    • Modavations

      Very impressive

  • Ssdelap

    ok so we already pay 19.99 on a dvd(more for a special edition one). 59.99 for video games(more for limited or rare editions). 24.99 for blue ray discs. so put more money so make what 29.99 for dvds, 69.99 for games and 34.99 for blue ray discs.the companies would most likely lose more money by doing that. the economy is still not on its feet. Most people which i include my self in the majority would stop dealing with them and find other forms of entertainment. i can also say i havent been to a movie theatre in 5 years(i dont want to spend 20 dollars to watch a movie for 2 hours) i just wait for the dvd to come out and either rent it or buy it. and i would stop doing that if the prices were increased or buy them used from gamestop or ebay and guess what  ebay could be in trouble for allowing us to sell used items that we own because we dont own the intelectual rights to the items. and gamestop could be in trouble since video game companies could say they arent making any money from it so gamestop(they sell online and in stores) is profiting and the video game companies are losing the money. 

  • Ianjzhang

    The small indie musicians are not affected by piracy.
    As Valve (One of the biggest computer gaming companies) that are regularly affected by piracy. Their sales are affected by piracy, but the head of Valve, Gabe Newell said: “Piracy is a service problem, and a way to stop piracy is to offer better service than the pirates.”

  • Trhett

    And at minute thirty-six she lies, lies, lies.

  • Pingback: SOPA, PIPA – if you don’t know, now you know | Ben Rubenstein

  • Bill Horne

    SOPA isn’t about copyright, and it has nothing to do with preventing piracy. SOPA is legalized extortion: it’s a notice to the dot-com billionaires who made the Internet what it is, saying that it’s time for them to ante up and support their local politicians.
    Bill Horne
    Telecom Digest Moderator

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O7TXNSOLJZGZIEMPM53OZBE3PU Kaj K

    I’m very disappointed that the lead interview with the Journalist from the –strike–Wall Street Journal–strike– Financial Times was full of factual errors:
    * The DNS system does not control access to websites. It merely translates speaking website names like onpoint.wbur.org into the actual numeric address (i.e.
    * The great wall of china is more sophisticated then blocking DNS  only, because it would be ineffective.
    * Because DNS is just a convenience you can make accessible the same site by using its numeric address instead of the DNS name (i.e. , which fails due to bad management on the wbur.org webmaster’s part, but be assured the contraban providers will be able to do so).
    * Because the centrally maintained DNS system can be overwritten by any user in their OS, they can provide this translation locally and so still connect easily to the intended target.
    * The tech companies were not only riled up about the DNS provisions, but about the other provisions too, like search engines being required to filter references to so called pirate sites, like payment processors not being allowed to do business with those sites, like advertisers to stop doing business with blocked sites, etc.
    * Our friend from the –strike–WSJ–strike– FT essentially called the tech companies stupid that they still protested, although the supposed main issue the DNS provision was cut from the bill. *Really*, think about it, a journalist calls the actual subject experts to not be able to recognize that the bill is now harmless?)

    P.S.: Sorry for mixing up the WSJ with the FT.

    I like a lot of public radios programming and I’m a regular listener to OnPoint. But this is a big black eye for the credibility of the program.

    • revolve

      so much jargon-no content

      • JustSayin

        He pointed out that DNS is a textural alias for IP addresses, thus DNS blocking does nothing.

    • JustSayin

      Yep. You have violated the law histrionic hyperbole by making a rational and salient point. That’s why this is about protecting the exploiters of creative content and not the actual creators. It’s really just more congressional nonsense or plain ignorance.

      Probably both… but they will still get their money.

  • Djjimmyj

    NO NO NO This will only be the beginning and will lead to more regulations. Keep internet Free. A separation of Church, State and Internet. Too much info is available already.

  • Polly Wilson

    I’d Like to hear your comments on ACTA the precursor to SOPA.
    Tje Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement that was signed by Japan US Australia Canada Singapore Morocco and S.Korea.
    The U.s squelched the preliminary report from early talks on this International trade agreement that took place in 2008 because they wanted to keep it secret..

    It basically says that all countries who sign this agreement will enact a form of SOPA in their country.  The US signed this on Oct 1, 3011.

    I await your comments..
    Polly Wilson

    • revolve

      if this is true one more reason to be outraged–FTG!

  • Djjimmyj

    This is a secret way to block Wikileaks, which will be deemed a piracy site

    • Still Here

      very secret, shhhh

    • revolve

      or anyone that ever dissents or challenges the gov

  • Jason

    So a Republican that believes in small government is trying to flex big government muscle on the internet and its people? Irony!

    • revolve

      always.  Republicans are big government–and big police and big pharma and big military and big on laws and rules and cultural taboos-fascists!  Big gov

  • esc

    SALARY CAPS SALARY CAPS SALARY CAPS Love, the future leaders of your government xoxo

  • MusicMan

    The entertainment industries vastly overstate the scale of the piracy problem.  Most people download free movies and music because they are free, and wouldn’t pay even one dollar for them.  In other words, the industries are losing far less money than they claim.

    • ulTRAX

      I made this point earlier. Every download doesn’t represent a lost sale. But in our system, to move public opinion and Congress, the truth isn’t always the best policy for those who already know it’s not on their side.

    • revolve

      true–most stuff i watch online i would never buy.  Hollywood is pure crap these days anyway.  guns and cliches.  crap!  they dont even try to provide a good service–quality entertainment–the preview is always better than the movie–just want you to waste your money.  that’s bad business.

      Books are becoming the same thing with these big commercial pub houses–lit coming out of these hollow entities is so undercooked, so dry, so empty.  whenever i am asked who my favorite authors are–i am troubled to answer.  The writers being championed by the big houses are not interesting at all.  boring!  Hollow–afraid to challenge establishment.  The prose might be good, but the story is dry.

  • Hallcash

    The Disney company reported in september 2011 that it had a gross operating profit of $31,271,000,000 (yes 31 billion dollars)

    question is ” Is Piracy a problem?” or is it greed?

    • RickNYC

      Ridiculous.  That is closer to their income, not profit.  The net for 2010 was $4 billion.

      • Hallcash

        yes 31 billion was total sales, my bad. Dailyfinance dot com has “Gross Operating Profit” at $9,622,000,000 .. (yes 9 and a half billon).. and this still proves “Sharing” material probably helped them more then it hurt them. The Gross Operating Profit for the 2010 was a over billion less, $8.4 billion.

    • revolve

      piracy is not greed–copyright is

  • Bob

    Yeah, protectionism is bad when it might help a manufacturing worker or computer programmer, but apparently not when it might aid a media creator, handler, or mogul sipping juleps while illegal aliens tend to his gardening.  After all, some animals are more equal than others.

  • Raphaelxxii

    The problem is that most congressmen just don’t understand the internet.

  • RickNYC

    One big reason that pirates and other violators may be able to change their “business model” faster is that they don’t have the same overhead in royalties, advertising, staff and equipment of the mainline, legitimate companies.  Having a low financial profile that may enable them to adapt faster does not justify their illegality.

  • occam24

    The lady representing copyright holders did a terrible job.  Hope she gets fired.  She missed every chance to point out specific examples of SMALL entrepreneurs who are damaged by piracy.

    Bob the Nashville songwriter did a good job; the trade association should be paying him!

    Here’s the point:  Pirates force you to “go big or go home.”  I’ve seen it up close in graphics.  Before the pirates were dominant, it was possible to make some money by selling digital models for, say, $5.  When it became easy to find the same thing for free, only the naturally honest people continued to pay. 

    Yes, there are people who won’t pay at all; that’s the opposite end of the spectrum from the naturally honest ones.  But most “middle-honesty” folks, given the choice of free or $5, will take free.

    The one-man graphics shop doesn’t have the resources to hunt down every single pirated copy.  Only the big companies can do that.  So you have two choices:  Bring in big dollars for each copy, or give up.  And the market for high-dollar items is far smaller.

    That’s why government action is necessary, and that’s why government action in this case helps both the big and small operators.  Highly unusual!

    Come to think of it, the latter aspect may explain why Wall Street Obama has turned against SOPA.  Perhaps his corporate masters have come to understand that they have a better advantage WITHOUT this law that protects both small and large.

    • revolve

      i don’t understand what you are talking about-the example or points you make–can you be more clear?

  • Martyann Kerner

    Excellent show tonight!  I was just doing research on that very topic when the show came on.  It was very helpful.  Thanks!

  • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Dianeperryjazz

    There is still a lot about these regulations that I don’t know, but protecting copyrighted material should be a grave concern to everyone. 
    As a musician I know many countries allow pirated music to be sold commercially. I have to also mention that the YouTube video above, whose audio was also broadcast on your program as a so-called parody, is not actually fair use. In order to be a parody that is allowed under fair use it would have to actually parody THE SONG ITSELF. It does not. It is new lyrics on a copyrighted song which the songwriter, Don McLean, should have had the right to allow or disallow, as well as receive payments for each play. This is a perfect example of the “How do you get the toothpaste back in the tube” type problems that result from the existence of technology that gives such immediate world-wide presence to content produced by those who do not know about (or do not care about) copyright holder’s rights to profit and control that which they have created. 

  • Jgs

    Your goest (Gelles?) reports the media industry’s claim of “billions lost to piracy” uncritically. This number is widely considered to not be credible, in part because the industry refuses to release their data and methodology (“trust us”) and in part due to double-counting accounting practices (record company accounting). Even the GAO considers these claims to be of no value.

  • ulTRAX

    Double Charged For Royalties?

    Before I switched to CDs in 85, I purchased some 1500 LPs… old fashion vinyl albums… my first back in ’66: High Tides and Green Grass by the Stones. For sake of round numbers say this collection cost me $12,000.

    I don’t know what percentage of the cost of an album goes to royalties to artists… but say it’s 25%. So I paid perhaps $3000 for royalties.

    Yet if I buy a CD to replace an LP, I pay those royalties again. I’m not just charged for the new technology but the artists get  a double payment for my listening to the same music.

    When the music industry comes crying about lost money, I won’t forget how they exploit consumers like myself.

    Hey RIAA… YOU OWE ME!!!!

    • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Daneperryjazz

      Royalties per song to artists are zero, nothing, zip; royalties to the composer and lyricist can be approximately 9.5 cents…and even that is split first 50-50 with the publisher, who most times is a corporate entity that created nothing, so that means one quarter of 9.5 cents, approximately 2 cents! (Just had to put my two cents in…)

      • ulTRAX

        I know recording companies can be sleazy; how sleazy probably depends on whether they think they have the upper hand. But that can’t be true that artists get NOTHING. Why would they bother to even produce an album or CD?

        • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Dianeperryjazz

          There is a difference between revenue streams to creators, (for example, composers and lyricists, authors of books articles or poetry) and artists, as in performers. It has nothing to do with recording labels being sleazy…the creator has copyright. If the artist is the creator, that of course benefits them as well. It is dangerous to vilify an industry in an issue in which they do play a part but actually are not exactly at the center of it, especially if you do not realize it. I am not one to hold them completely in the clear in many situations…think of John and Paul of the Beatles. They WERE the creators, but the labels made them sign the rights to their own material away in exchange for the machinery the label controlled that made them stars. Blues and jazz composers for many years had their songs basically stolen when they signed rights away for  literally a few dollars without realizing what it meant. This is why lawyers sometimes really are necessary. (I know, I know) After all, the ins and outs of what is legal or even the real meaning behind a contract or other document is not always easily determined…that’s why opposing parties (who ostensibly each believe that they are right) will have to go to the courts to determine the issues involved.

          • revolve

            corporation machinery cant produce the material without the artists.  The artists should be getting the larger portion of profit.  Unless the ‘artist’ is a pop sensation created by the songwriters and corporate machinery–these people are nothing more than puppets–part of the machine.

      • Gregg

        That’s old school the paradigm has shifted. You no longer have to sign your life away. Record companies are fast becoming obsolete.

      • Gregg

        Love your stuff.

    • Gregg

      I thought that was the “The Outlaws”, I saw them play it live.

      Royalties are different than publishing. Publishing earns money from the LP or CD you can hold in your hand. Royalties pay the artist for the music in the air. Or more specifically on the air. It is collected by agencies like BMI and ASCAAP. It is paid by those who use material in movies and TV or radio stations and nightclubs with live cover bands. And others. So you didn’t pay any royalties on the records.

      • Gregg

        O yea, I was thinking “Green Grass and High tides forever”, I had it backwards.

    • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Dianeperryjazz

      you obviously know NOTHING about the music industry. If you think the artist gets 25% of the retail price you are living in a dream world. Say hi to Santa and the Easter Bunny for me.

    • Bin

      ulTRAX, it is 10% from big labels, even less than that if you are new talent…  The PIPA and SOPA are not about protecting the 10%, but about the 90% pocketed by the distributor… so reach out to your representative and tell him what you think about this underhanded corporate media power grab.

  • http://talbot1.com/ Jonathan


    Unlike the Nashville songwriter who called in, I believe that, except in those cases where “big bucks”
    are involved, copyright is a waste of time and the efforts of SOPA & PIPA to protect it at the cost of free exchange of ideas will dampen creativity. 

    Creative freedom is far more important than making sure that the corporate copyright holders who are pushing this legislation receive their royalties.

    Despite the comments of the female guest on the program, it is important to acknowledge that many individual members of the creative community never receive the royalties due to them for their work.  US Copyright Laws, and the way they are administered, only serve those
    members of the creative community who have sufficient financial
    resources to litigate.

    As the holder of music copyrights for the past
    forty-five years I have purchased physical CDs (not pirated) which contain
    songs I have written and for which I am credited but because the amounts
    owed are not sufficient to interest lawyers, I cannot collect the
    royalties that are due to me as a result of the sales of those CDs.  Because of my inability to obtain recompense for my creative efforts in the music world, I redirected my creative energies to visual arts with a focus on collage. Instead of being a benefit, copyright is an obstacle for collage artists.  I must always make sure that the paper fragments and images I am using are in the public domain and that is often extremely difficult to do. 

    Think about Chick-Fil-A suing the Vermont T-shirt artist Bo Muller for making a T-short that says “Eat More Kale.”  The corporate sages a Chick-Fil-A say that that violates their copyrighted slogan “Eat More Chicken.”  Does that mean that a mother must ask Chick-Fil-A for permission to tell her child to eat more veggies? 

    SOPA & PIPA are so written in such a broad and encompassing manner that their threat to freedom of speech far outweighs their possible benefits to corporate interests.  It would be better if measures were taken which specifically addressed the piracy problem.

    • revolve

      perfectly said.

  • Mike Harris, Ypsilanti MI

    The root issue facing media companies is that a large part of their business, the distribution of media, now has a cost and price that is close to zero. Its not terribly different than the challenges that professional journalists face vs. the blogosphere. This is a social paradigm shift; any protectionist legislation will create costs to society that outweigh the benefits gained “earned” by those media companies.

    • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Dianeperryjazz

      Although distribution and availability costs have gone down, there still is a cost to making the content…and advertising it. Others do work for money, shouldn’t creators get some too?

    • revolve

      yes, if content providers are so perturbed than they can eliminate the middleman and set up their own bit torrents for a small fee–Hollywood content is then purchased online directly form the studio.  it would fast and efficient.  I would pay for it if i had the means.  I ma locked out of the system in china. 

      it seems song writers could do the same–set up a site with songs written–musicians can then browse and purchase–a contract is written up–and all mechanical royalties go directly to the creator every time Britney spearhead sings the ridiculous song.  A tech savvy person in partnership with a lawyer could work some efficient system out.  hell, then i could write a song, upload it an start collecting royalties when it is purchased by a brilliant musician.  The internet has so many possibilities squandered by laws.

      clearly piracy is not an issue so much as a dying industry trying to survive.  it reminds me of big oil.

  • http://dianeperryjazz.com/ Dianeperryjazz

    I would like to clarify something here…Record royalties are a portion of revenue paid to recording artists for the sales of their recordings…Mechanical royalties are fees paid 50/50 to the publishers/creators of the works on the recordings, based on how many were produced or distributed. Both apply in varying amounts whether in physical product or downloads. Besides music, there are games, books, articles, software, art works, inventions, etc. There is a myriad of digital content that this proposed legislation may affect. Before you go off half-cocked, it may make sense to actually do a little research so you know what it is you are protesting against before protesting! I am not saying one way or the other what my opinion is, I am not yet familiar enough with what these say to have formed an opinion yet. I suggest as soon as Wikipedia is back up we may all go and do a bit of reading…however, some of the commenters seem to just want to rail about the greed of companies that want this legislation. Again, I’m not saying they are not, but get your facts straight, people! Performers do not necessarily own the copyrights of the works they perform!!! This issue deals with protecting the rights of the creators to control and profit from their creations. Do you have any idea how few of the millions of people who create works make enough from their creations they could even afford to protect their own rights? Remember, everything is not a blockbuster hit…but the artists who create out of the need to do the things they love should be protected too, not just the ones who go after and attain commercial success. As to how to accomplish this, if I had the answer, I’d still have to go to law school to figure out how to phrase it. Not my department. I’m one of those creators…

    • revolve

      I sympathize with your points,however, the bills seem to be going about this the wrong way–in effect creating a totalitarian Chinese wall.   i long for the days of book stores, musics shops, etc….but I also like the convenience of the internet.  I live in china so for me I have lived under extreme censorship for quite some time–almost every search on Google –blocked–for no apparent reason–its trade protectionism. 

      The bill should be clear and precise–simplified–simply going after bit torrents that download music free–these are the pirates–we have these laws.  how do you stop foreign entities form doing this–you cant.  A bit torrent is nothing more than sharing something you like for free–no profit. In the old days if i liked a song or a movie or a book i can lend it to my friend, even a stranger–you can’t stop me–you have no right to tell me what to do with my property (my possession).  You cant tell sb hey now you cant land that book–its against the law–the have to bu their own.  its absurd.  the internet is just a modern way of sharing–you cant tell me not to share my music, my dvds…its absurd.  Now, if the site is advertizing–most good free bit-torrents do not–than there is another issue–the site needs that money to support technical needs to supply the shared material–and may be profiting.  There is a different case.  Lets be grownups about it.  perhaps these free sites should be allowed a license to distribute FREE materials.  The license would require some fee probably, or a percentage of the revenue from sponsors could go to the content providers–maintaining a completely free website however.  And for these bit torrents where one has to pay–the online video sores–of which i cannot access in china–there should be alternative payment methods, other than credit cards or PayPal.  i don’t use a credit card and cant get one in china.  I am in the same boat with billions of china-men–so you will never solve this problem without some grown-up out of the box thinking–not policing.  We hve a culture i america that has turned all citizins into criminals.  our prisons are full up!  the only criminals are in washington!

    • Josh Cal

      Recent studies have shown that the big content industries seem to be weathering the current recession better than other industries.


  • revolve

    Tom, With a can of whup as today!  Wow!  on the attack!  wish you would do this for other issues–such as war and health care.

  • Revan27

    I’ll be surprised if Sandra (Falling)Aistars does not get fired. She did a miserable job at defending SOPA. Marvin Ammori is a hero! Straight facts.

  • Sy2502

    It’s unfortunate that the issue of piracy is presented as multimillion corporations vs the poor average Internet user. I work for a small movie studio, I am not a millionaire, I pay my bills with my work. My pay depends very strongly on the revenue our movies make, which includes DVD sales. If we don’t sell DVDs we make less money. If we don’t make enough money, the studio has to cut costs. How does it do that? By firing people. So internet piracy can actually cost me, and many many others like me, their job. Piracy isn’t about greedy corporations who just want to make more millions than they can spend. The next time you watch a movie, do something almost nobody does: watch the end credits. Of all the hundreds of people who worked on that film, I assure you the vast majority don’t get paid a great deal. When you, the average Internet user, download that film illegally, you basically made those people work for free. Do you like to work for free? 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/4GDBYNKT2SC43X5L57QVNQS24I mr_gees100_peas

      You make a valid point as many people work to make such a big project that a movie is come together. I would like to add something that may be disconcerting though. Times are changing as they always do and as such the business model that currently stand will no longer be valid. For example, the days of the dvd an even blu-ray are numbered. People want streaming and online content. What these means is that the people that are directly attached to the hard media will ether have to change their business or be prepare to be put out of business. This is the same thing that happened with the 8-track, then the cassette tape. Change or be doomed to failure. I’m not saying is right to illegally download copy righted material. What I’m saying is that the old models no longer apply. The entertainment business is loosing its value as far as their assets are worth. The entertainment industry needs to change and accept that there is profit to be made using the new technology but, that that profit may be greatly reduced. The entertainment industry has be very stubborn in regards to change. They rather forcibly enforce the old doomed to fail module than to embrace the new model and work to make this new model profitable.

    • Bin

      Sad to hear about your predicament Sy … but consider that only 10-20% of gross usually goes to the content creators. The rest? Compensation for marketing and media executives, and stockholder dividends. The problem is not penniless teenagers who pirate stuff, the problem is a rotten corporate media system that is too centralized and corrupt. 

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  • Brooklyn

    I’m commenting on this show because I was sorry to see Tom lose his temper with Sandra Aistars.  If I wanted to hear a host rudely cut off his guest while speaking, raise his voice to speak over her, and make derisive (oh come on now) type comments, I’d listen to any FOX or MSNBC.  I’m not on Sandra’s “side” BTW, I’m just objecting to Tom’s treatment of this guest.  Like other posters, I sometimes do wish that Tom would more directly address guests when they contradict themselves, but I think that can be done with less ire.

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  • Bin

    SOPA and PIPA are really a part of a long-term survival strategy by big media to control the distribution channel – i.e. the Internet. Big corporate media lives or dies by controlling distribution, which allows them to push their packaged content to consumers. The internet is incompatible with this model. Look at virtually any type of media. Look at games – billions of dollars in marketing spent to promote large corporate productions, yet the true stars of 2011 were the indie hits Minecraft, Limbo and Word War III. If you let corporate media control the Internet – which is what SOPA and PIPA are truly about – these works would have been extinct. Yes, piracy is a problem. No, it is not a reason to turn the internet and free expression over to FOX and the like.

    • Airburst

      Played Minecraft, it is a true gem. Not heard of Limbo or Word War III. You can’t find either at Wall-Mart, so your point on locking the distribution channel sounds right. You just need someone as slick like Sandra to make it…

  • Slipstream

    A few thoughts:  First of all, another excellent show on a very important topic.  Thanks again.  

    I dont believe that lawyer did a first-rate job of explaining away the concerns of people regarding this legislation.  She said, don’t worry, this is only a tool for attacking foreign pirates, it would never be misused.  Yet if we hand this blunt instrument to the government and the corporations, how can we be sure they will use it wisely?  And a blunt instrument is what it sounds like – it would allow the authorities to shut down sites without any due process, and it sounds like a very flexible definition of what an illegal site might consist of.  The corporate attorney stressed that the burden of proof would still be on the government, as it always is, but in the meantime if your site has been shut down, as the months go by and the legal fees mount… 

    And isn’t at already illegal to do a lot of these things?  What about the Digital Millenium Copyright act one of the speakers mentioned?  There was a Swedish site I used to watch that had sports broadcasts on it, and Homeland Security shut it down.  So the authorities already have some legal tools, don’t they?  

    For the record, I don’t do illegal downloading and I support the right of content creators to be paid for their work.  There seems to be the supposition that if there was not all this illegal downloading going on, that people would be spending lots of money on downloaded music and movies.  Would they?  Or would they in many cases do something else and spend their money differently, listen to internet radio e.g.?  Using myself as an example, when I was no longer able to get the free sports broadcasts, then I stopped watching them and did other things instead.  

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