backtop


Print 78 comment(s) - last by senecarr.. on Jan 11 at 10:59 AM

Do as we say, not as we do...

The U.S. House is currently debating the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), better known as SOPA.  As mentioned in our previous analysis, SOPA has the potential to create devastating harm to internet businesses, as it allows sites to be taken down if any user posts links to infringing content.  

For example, if a site's user policy explicitly forbid posting links to copyrighted material and one rogue user posted such content, the entire business could be effectively killed for however many weeks or days it took to remove the offending links and pass a complaint through the gears of bureaucracy.  The solution appears to be sort of like chopping your leg off to fight an ingrown toenail.

I. All Onboard the Congressional Pirates Train

Now a particularly ironic fact has come to light -- it appears that IP addresses belonging to the offices of members of Congress have been downloading content illegally via BitTorrent.

TorrentFreak used Hurricane Electric's handy list of assigned IP blocks (found here) to track down which IP addresses belong to the offices of members of Congress.  And lo and behold, when those addresses were compared to results on YouHaveDownloaded, a torrent tracking site, they yielded over 800 hits.

Now to put this in context YouHaveDownloaded tracks only a tiny portion of torrent traffic, so it appears that Congress -- even as they look to punish lesser mortals for file sharing -- are themselves gleefully committing a "smash and grab" as Vice President Joe Biden (D) once put it.

Much of the pirated materials appeared to be adult self-help or education books such as "Crucial Conversations- Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High" and "How to Answer Hard Interview Questions And Everything Else You Need to Know to Get the Job You Want".
 
Pirates life
Argh, Congress knows how to pirate, apparently! [Image Source: Reuters]

A fair amount of useful software -- like Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows 7 Ultimate Edition -- was also pirated.

But other pirated works appeared to be purely stolen for pleasure.  For example one individual within the halls of Congress downloaded a season of Sons of Anarchy, a TV show on News Corp.'s (NWS) FX channel.  Another download appeared to be more "adult" in nature -- "Gangland Cream Pie 21" (we're guessing that's not an educational baking special).

Cream Pie
Some Members of Congress or staffers appear to like the cream pie.  No, not this kind of cream pie. [Image Source: Food Network]

II. Editorial/Analysis: Should we be Surprised that Politicians are Hypocrites?

Is it surprising that the office of Congress are pirating even as they plot to chop the legs off of online business, further crippling the struggling U.S. economy, and raise taxes to further punitive punishments for filesharing that are already grossly disproportionate with offline offenses? Is it surprising that federal politicians or bureaucrats are pirating even as they plan to imprison Americans for streaming sports events, injecting even more Americans into the crowded penal system at a time when America imprisons more of its citizens than any nation in the world?

If Americans wants unbiased political representation -- human beings who truly wish the best for their well being -- why would they allow special interests to pay federal politicians' way into office?  Clearly you're the boss of who pays you, and when it comes to politicians, their boss isn't the American people.

Shepard Fairey says obey
Why question are glorious industry installed leaders? [Image Source: Shepard Fairey]

TorrentFreak should be congratulated though, for their excellent armchair gumshoe work.  They've previously exposed busted torrent traffic coming from IPs at the Department of Homeland Security and the RIAAat Hollywood studios; and at the French President's Palace.  (Has nobody ever heard of Tor?)

Is intellectual property protection important?  Of course.  These government pirates are just as much in the wrong as the members of the public, as they're ultimately stealing work, denying hard working software engineers, actors, musicians, etc. funds.

But at the end of the day that SOPA and its propents aren't engaging in some lofty moral stand, they're just looking to smack down the little guy with punitive punishments, even as the nation's economy lurches and as they or their aids merrily pirate away.

Source: TorrentFreak



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: How you say it...
By Etsp on 12/30/2011 10:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
Sharing is not copying. P2P creates a copy of the media to share. Yes, you're allowed to lend your friends a music CD that you paid for. No, you're not allowed to burn a copy of it and give it to them.

I don't really understand why you think that just because it's easy to do, and you don't see the people it hurts, that that makes it moral. I don't understand why anyone who disagrees with you is "brainwashed".


RE: How you say it...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/30/2011 1:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sharing is not copying. P2P creates a copy of the media to share. Yes, you're allowed to lend your friends a music CD that you paid for. No, you're not allowed to burn a copy of it and give it to them.


Umm yeah that might have cut it 30 years ago. But there's this thing called the "digital age" that happened. You might want to look it up.

Back when I was a kid and tape recorders were all the rage, we would make recordings of our CD's and pass them around to our friends or whoever wanted to listen to one they didn't own. I guess we were all criminals even then? Come on. What's the difference between that and file sharing fundamentally? None.


RE: How you say it...
By EricMartello on 12/31/2011 8:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sharing is not copying. P2P creates a copy of the media to share. Yes, you're allowed to lend your friends a music CD that you paid for. No, you're not allowed to burn a copy of it and give it to them.


Not allowed? Who's going to stop me from doing what people have been doing since there was media to share amongst themselves? It's like I said before, just because a song is shared online and is technically available to anyone on the net; it does not mean that everyone is going to download that song. People who are interested in that genre of music will find it, and they may share it with their friends who may or may not like it as well.

At no point in time is anyone illegally selling the song or other media...and in fact, if the people who were introduced to the music liked it they may purchase a CD from the musician or even attend a concert.

quote:
I don't really understand why you think that just because it's easy to do, and you don't see the people it hurts, that that makes it moral. I don't understand why anyone who disagrees with you is "brainwashed".


Sharing has always been easy to do. The only thing that the internet did was allow people to share with each other globally...it's not a bad thing. You are brainwashed because you have bought into corporate propaganda and "pseudo legal" claims that have no real substance.

File sharing is not theft, is not piracy and IS NOT illegal. Period.

Please, oh please, show me a link to some concrete evidence of people being "hurt" by FILE SHARING. I would love to see this...because even the FBI could not substantiate any claims relating to the claimed "damages". Maybe you'll 1UP the FBI and prove us all wrong...and while you're at it, why don't you go and explore how many companies went from zero to hero thanks to the massive market share they gained by having people share their software. You may have heard of this little old OS called Windows...


RE: How you say it...
By Fritzr on 1/3/2012 7:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Please, oh please, show me a link to some concrete evidence of people being "hurt" by FILE SHARING. I would love to see this...because even the FBI could not substantiate any claims relating to the claimed "damages". Maybe you'll 1UP the FBI and prove us all wrong...and while you're at it, why don't you go and explore how many companies went from zero to hero thanks to the massive market share they gained by having people share their software. You may have heard of this little old OS called Windows...

You asked ... I oblige
http://www.mailsend-online.com/blog/?p=93

quote:
(Jim Lawless)Did piracy ever visibly affect your sales?

(Don French) Of course. Whenever it is possible to get free copies of software, people do. I found very little regard for the rights of software companies or programmers among the computer using public. I knew people who were leaders in their community, deans in the church and the like, and who were among the most honest upright citizens you could find anywhere. Yet they had no compunctions about making illegal copies of software. It is extremely rare to find someone who won't copy software if they can. Remember when shareware was really that? You could keep and use the program and were asked to pay for it if you like it, all on the honor system? I have spoken with a number of shareware authors who tried this and never got a dime from the thousands of downloads of their program. In fact, I tried this with Problematic. Thousands of downloads, not a dime of revenue. People won't pay if they don't have to. Almost no exceptions. Some Commodore journalist once told me that French Silk (the assembler) had a huge cult following on the East Coast. I was very surprised to hear that because by that time I had sold very few.

(Jim Lawless)Did you make transitions into computer markets other than the 8-bit Commodore line? ( Apple? Amiga? )

(Don French) No. As I said above, I got tired of the rat race and all the rats I had to deal with and just jumped ship in 1986.

File sharing cost this programmer thousands of dollars in lost sales & lost the user community the programs he might have written if the piracy had not been so widespread.

I suggest you look into the Microsoft attitude towards piracy...I get the impression they don't really appreciate the 'free' advertising that goes with eliminating the need for the enduser to pay the developer. I have heard of Windows...have you heard of WGA
http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892130

By the way. The system that Don French wrote the assembler for is the best selling computer system in history. The company went under in the early 90s. New software is being written and released in 2011. By your reasoning that means Don shouldn't complain...right?


RE: How you say it...
By Fritzr on 1/4/2012 2:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
.and while you're at it, why don't you go and explore how many companies went from zero to hero thanks to the massive market share they gained by having people share their software. You may have heard of this little old OS called Windows...

I think Microsoft may have heard of Windows also. I think you should contact them and let them know they are completely in the wrong for enforcing their rights as a copyright owner.
http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Claims+Top+UK+R...


"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki