Posts Tagged ‘Internet service provider’

There are people out there who praise web filtering, and say how It’s the greatest thing to protect children online. There are others who say “these non-child friendly sites, why do we even allow them?” and mandate mandatory filtering for all, such as Australia and it’s mandatory filtering program called the “great Aussie firewall” which was stopped a few years ago due to complaints that it would block video game sites…

You read it right… Gaming sites..  Censorship is never right, even if kids are the reason for it. Already many states have mandatory regulation in public libraries to block sites found “harmful  to minors”, as vague as that seems. The statues are vague and have no specific content that must be blocked, so they basically allow the libraries to chose what sites are harmful to minors to block them.  This extends into schools, including colleges as well in many cases. I tried 2 filters, and both gave me complete control over what sites to block…

Talk about scary ways they could be abused to block out something the person running the school/library doesn’t like.  So what’s the whole thing about gaming sites being harmful to minors, anyway?

 

One of the internet filters I tried is a free one called OpenDNS. I also looked at another site called “free internet”, which also blocks gaming sites by default…  OpenDNS is not just web filtering, it is a free DNS service to reroute traffic from dangerous (virus) sites that happens to offer a free internet filtering program. I tried it out…. And was shocked how much dubious, not so harmful to minors type stuff was included with full filtering. The following categories of stuff were filtered:

 

Gaming sites

Sexuality oriented sites

Porn sites

File sharing sites

Web mail

Forums (!)

Gambling

and some others I can’t remember now..

 

Most of these could be considered stuff you don’t want kids to see, but gaming sites, forums, webmail, why are they even on the list? So I got curious. I decided to sign up with OpenDNS’s free filtering service to test 50 or so sites to see what ones are blocked, assuming I was browsing the internet where OpenDNS was forced down my throat due to mandatory filtering laws (hypothetical ones).  The results were, well stupid…  Number 1, a ton of gaming sites got blocked, including doomworld, planetquake,planethalflife, rockstar.com, planetduke, blood.com, and the site for my favorite video game, Deus Ex.   But even worse the following gaming sites which report on gaming news were also blocked, Rock Paper shotgun, Gamepolitics.com, g4tv.com, kotaku.com. Then you get the downright retarded entries which were blocked for no good reason whatsoever: Fpscreator.com, TesNexus.com, 3dgamers archive, filefront,com, bioware.com (!),  planetdescent.com (!) , and the site of a free descent 2 source port, d2x-xl.   But almost ALL sites for video games that are quite controversial were allowed by this filter, including duke4.net, fear3.co.uk, callofduty.com, seriouszone.com, and others, yet Planetdescent and d2x-xl’s sites get blocked? Descent is pretty much the coolest and least violent series of FPS games, you fly around destroying robots, yet the big site for duke nukem 3d, which approaches x-rated terms in violence, is allowed?  Then sites like  rock paper shotgun, and kotaku get blocked for being gaming news sites, what good reason is there for that? Then comes the ones that “really” piss me off, Bioware.com, TesNexus.com, and Gamepolitics.com. Gamepolitics is a game related politics site, not a violent games site, bioware makes RPG games that are mildly violent with one or 2 with same sex relationships that got ripped on Fox News (Mass Effect), besides that their games are less about gore and more about strategy, yet their entire site gets blocked for 1 controversial game? (that shouldn’t be, none  the less!). Then you get tesnexus.com, a modding site for a tame yet really good RPG games in the elder scrolls series. Why block that?  None of those games are really that violent at all. Fallout3Nexus, for Fallout 3 wasn’t blocked and it’s the most violent rpg ever made? Add in 2 file hosting sites for games, Filefront.com, and gamers.org, both blocked. Why? Are they afraid that some kid will download some mods for a game he probably doesn’t own… Why filter out files. You need the game and a PC to even play them. Librarians would probably catch the kid trying to burn a cd with  the game demo or attempting to play it in the library. For mods, you need the damn game the mod is for to play it, and a demo won’t do. Patches, same thing. Why block file sites whatsoever. There is no reason why, unless the people thought game file hosting would lead to school shootings, or something utterly stupid like  that. It makes no sense whatsoever to block this way, PERIOD.

 

Other types of sites blocked are web mail sites like gmail and yahoo mail, which have absolutely no reason to block. I had yahoo mail since I was 20 for gods sake. Why filter that out? You then get all the file hosting sites online like 4shared, mediafire, rapidshare, dropbox, etc. All of these have a reputation for hosting pirate files, and they do. But they also host plenty of completely legal files, including mods for video games. There have been plenty of links to video game files on sites like this, posted on forums. Sometimes the only way to be able to host a file is to use a service like this, and simply blanketing them as “pirate” sites is stupid, but unfortunately, it makes no sense to block the host, when you could block the actual warez sites with the links to the 200 files you need to download the pirated stuff, because without that you will never find all 200 files with a simple internet search due to the fact that each link to one of these sites has a completely different account character list and file name, and the character list is a random string of characters, 30 long, that makes it almost impossible to find one file after you found the previous file through a web search.

 

Then you get the complete ban on social networking, which is well… Stupid.  Almost every single big social networking site, such as myspace, youtube, facebook, etc, are all blocked and made it look like someone was trying to redirect me to a fraudulent site,  to boot. This will  scare people who try to go to these sites to make it look like their infected with redirection malware which normally does this kind of  thing, with an Error box in chrome  that fooled even me, thinking that some malware had infected my PC when I tried to visit youtube, until I read it closer. I simply cannot understand the reasoning behind the panic on social networking. Sure, a kid could become obssessed with them, and they give out personal info, but as long as you know what you are doing, you’re fine.  But the  youtube thing pisses me off. Youtube’s primary focus is video streaming, NOT social networking, unlike myspace and facebook. By demanding these things get blocked, the mandatory filtering groups will be cutting off all lets plays, all walkthroughs, and tons of other stuff that simply are not even close to harmful to minors.  Now, none of this was meant as an attack on OpenDNS, I just think if they mandate filtering in the US, and use something similar to OpenDNS, in terms of site types to block, they will end up blocking TONS of sites that aren’t even remotely harmful to minors, and let a lot in too. Filtering is not the answer, really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am Doing some research on the trans-pacific partnership treaty which would force the US to adopt copyright laws that allow the government to abuse copyright law like no other. The TPP would make the government able to take internet communications which all ISPS would be required to collect by spying on customers to allow the government to find “alleged” copyright infringement, and simply make one accusation of infringement, by saying “this site is filled with pirated links”, without proof, and then force ISPS to tell the copyright holder, force intermediaries like google to shut down the sites in question, and would also penalize temporary copies (think youtube buffer copies) as infringement as well. The spying (deep packet inspection), would be used to frivolously find such buffer copies and then accuse anyone watching any video with anything copyrighted in them with criminal infringement for simply watching the video! Basically this allows the government to legalize censorship of/frivolous lawsuits directed at  any site they see one accusation of infringement on (99% of the internet), or any site the government accuses of infringement based on the fact that they don’t have to prove links on the site infringe. That would be enough to get you arrested and sued under TPP!! One FALSE accusation. According to this site (found while researching TPP), all these  groups/corporations/whatever all lobbied for the TPP, which could be used to take down 99% of the cool parts of the internet, including gaming websites (planetquake,etc), modding sites (moddb, ANY site that hosts mods that have one accusation of infringement), youtube, amazon mp3, internet radio (pandora, etc), indie music sites (soundcloud, reverbnation, etc), and blogging hosts and social networks. It’s scary how the language could be used to censor the internet for “alleged” infringement.

As a consumer, simply complaining to the government and signing petitions, isn’t enough. IMHO. I am considering not buying anything from these groups  until (A) The TPP removes the temporary copies section to prevent buffer copies to be used in frivolous lawsuits takedowns of people who simply watch youtube videos of something that is allegedly infringement (there is a LOT of fraudulent youtube copyright claims especially to lets players, because content ID doesn’t require proof of copyright)  (B) removes the section that says the government doesn’t have to name every “infringing” link without proof of any kind for the ISP to take down the site and replaces it with direct confirmation from the copyright holder with proof of his copyright before the government forces the ISPS to remove said site (C) adds a section that requires a court order with proof of infringement included before the ISP can give deep packet inspection results to the government to find “alleged” infringement (D) Removes the section that mandates that copyright infringement for no profit is criminal infringement.  (E) Enacts Stiff penalties and jail time for falsely accusing someone of infringement, even if it was by accident, to be paid by both the government and the copyright holder.  If none of these changes happen or the US government even attempts to pass these provisions as  law without these changes I shall do everything in my ability to tell people who feel like they could be targeted under the buffer copies BS section for fraudulent infringement,  how to fool deep packet inspection using free plugins for browsers that are easily downloaded.  I already know how. Even if some of the corporations/etc on the list below didn’t lobby for the TPP for it’s IP chapter, It’s still a bad thing to lobby for something like this, and I still don’t really want to buy from them.

Corporations (how many times they lobbied for TPP)

Dow Chemical 12
Dairy Farmers of America 11
Generic Pharmaceutical Assn 11
News Corp 7
Biogen Idec 7
American Automotive Policy Council 7
Milliken & Co 6
Ann Taylor 6
Libbey Inc 6
Boilermakers Union 6
Abbott Laboratories 6
Communications Workers of America 6
Corning Inc 5
Cascade Designs 5
Gildan 5
Alliance for American Manufacturing 5
Footwear Distribs & Retailers of America 5
National Milk Producers Federation 5
McWane Inc 5
Net Coalition 4
Computer & Communications Industry Assn 4
Retail Industry Leaders Assn 4
Biotechnology Industry Organization 4
American Iron & Steel Institute 4
American Manufacturing Trade Action Cltn 4
Fiat SPA 4
National Amusements Inc 4
Express Scripts 4
Prudential Financial 3
International Longshoremens Assn 3
Herbalife International 3
American Farm Bureau 3
Library Copyright Alliance 3
Oceana 3
American Frozen Food Institute 3
Outdoor Industry Assn 3
USA Rice Federation 3
American Assn of Exporters & Importers 3
Homer Laughlin China Co 2
Technology Assn of America 2
National Corn Growers Assn 2
Campbell Soup 2
Animal Health Institute 2
Tyco Electronics 2
American Academy of Family Physicians 2
National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn 2
Cargill Inc 2
Tyson Foods 2
General Electric 2
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees 1
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America 1
Burlington Industries 1
Dell Inc 1
IBM Corp 1
Intel Corp 1
Public Citizen 1
Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affl 1
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids 1
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund 1
NETWORK 1
New York Farm Bureau Federation 1
Illinois Agricultural Assn 1
Visa Inc 1
Nucor Corp 1

(there are others on the site I got this from, but naming them puts me in risk for a “libel” lawsuit, so I am not naming them here)

Sites possibly effected by TPP:

Amazon
Youtube
Facebook
Moddb
Itunes
3dgamers archive
ANY and All of the following gaming sites:
Seriously
Duke4ever
Doomworld
TESNexus
Doom3world
Fallout3nexus
Planethalflife
Func-Messgboard (look it up)
Quaddicted
Unrealsp.org
Beyondunreal.com
Payne Reactor
Planet Deus Ex
The Admirals Command Chamber
Tenfourmaps.telefragged.com
Underworldfans quake review site
Darkplaces
Zdoom.org
Gzdoom website
D2x-xl
Kmquake2
Prboomplus
Doom Legacy
DarkXL
DukePlus
Eduke32 website
Reverbnation
Purevolume
Soundcloud
4Shared
Myspace Music
Myspace
4Shared
Dropbox
FileFront/Gamefront
Atomic Gamer
Rapidshare
4Filehosting.com
Completegamer.net
Mediafire.com
Sendspace.com
Vimeo.com
Zippyshare.com
Blogspot
Wordpress

UPDATE:

Recently the Openmedia group emailed me with this link, it’s a form to email the supporters/drafters of the Trans-Pacific partnership with your concerns. They will display your posts on a wall when they get invited to the next meeting on sep 6-15. I already filled in mine, to give them my 2 cents, I suggest you do the same.  I signed up with them for updates send to my email, that’s how I got the link. Pretty lucky I did. Imagine the backlash when dozens of people email these people with what they all think. It could change the mind of the people and supporters “who are on the fence”, especially people who support video streaming sites, gaming sites, internet radio, etc. If you post the form, make sure to mention how it could be used to take down sites fraudulently, without proof by the government, how it could be used to arrest online video viewers for simply watching a allegedly copyrighted video on a video streaming site because of the temporary copies clause, and also mention how the links that are infringing don’t have to be mentioned all by name, just the assurance of the gov’t that the site has a lot of “infringing links”. It’s important that you don’t actually mention any sites I think could be affected by name,  like “youtube.com” or similar. You don’t want to give them ammo to go after such sites if it goes the way they want.

I’ve been writing about TPP here for the last few days, because In My Opinion, THIS is the big threat to the internet that SOPA wishes it was. For the people who haven’t read any of my posts and don’t know about this at all, TPP is a secret treaty being negotiated by 9 countries (including the US), that is being used to secretly pass downright stupid copyright infringement laws that will end up being abused like no other to take down sites the government finds “infringing”, that’s right, the copyright holder doesn’t have to complain, it’s the governments call, and even scarier according to this site, the government has to simply say the site has infringing links, without proof, without direct specification of which links are actually infringing and the ISPS will be forced to take it down, the person will be forced into jail, will probably be sued too,  because now the ISPS’s will be forced to tell copyright holders the names of anyone found guilty under the proposed legislation of copyright infringement, on the sole account of the government saying “this site infringes, these are the links, etc”. Only that. NO PROOF REQUIRED…

The site goes into the differences between the proposed legislation and the current US copyright law. Among other things, the current copyright law refuses to penalize people for infringing on copyright based on temporary buffer copies PC’s and other devices make, criminal copyright infringement requires at last $1000 dollars to be made with the illegal copies, while TPP would assume ALL copyright infringement is criminal, regardless of how much money is made, so therefore people infringing on copyright who do not make money off of it would all be guilty of criminal infringement under the TPP! It only gets scarier when you read some of the leaked text from the TPP leaked document, that the site linked above shows to see how draconian and corrupt the TPA really is…

“Each Party shall provide that in civil judicial proceedings . . . (b) its judicial authorities shall have the authority to order that materials and implements that have been used in the manufacture or creation of such pirated or counterfeit goods be, without compensation of any sort, promptly destroyed or, in exceptional circumstances, without compensation of any sort, disposed of outside the channels of commerce in such a manner as to minimize the risks of further infringements . . . .”

This text basically says if someone is found guilty under TPP of “criminal infringement” (aka simply any kind of infringement under TPP), and their PC was used to “create” the infringement, the “judiciary authorities” would be forced to “destroy” their PC, to “minimize future infringements”, from that person. Now if the person is uploading illegal music/movies/whatever, that’s one thing. But the TPP also illegalizes any ALLEGED infringement from both permanent and temporary copies. Anyone viewing a video on youtube that is simply alleged to be infringing by the government would end up getting the temporary copies put on their pc. They would get their PC destroyed to “minimize future infringement”. See where this is going?

“Willful copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale includes: (a) significant willful copyright or related rights infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain . . . .”

This makes it so even if an infringer doesn’t make money off the “infringement” he still is guilty of “Criminal Infringement”.

“. . . that its judicial authorities shall have the authority to order, among other measures, the forfeiture of any assets traceable to the infringing activity, and shall order such forfeiture at least in cases of trademark counterfeiting . . . .”

Lets say some video or some other site online is ACCUSED of infringement. If someone uses anything from that site/video to make something else, the government has the right to destroy that site/video too!

“. . . that its authorities may initiate legal action ex officio with respect to the offenses described in this Chapter, without the need for a formal complaint by a private party or right holder.”

The copyright holder does not have to publicly accuse the infringer. It’s the governments call to what is infringing, and they can “initiate legal action” for whatever reason they want whatsoever. This is free grounds for the government to accuse anyone of infringement without proof from the copyright holder…

“The TPP does not include a limitation on liability of nonprofit educational institutions, as § 512(e) does.”

Anything found infringing, created by a “non-profit educational institution”, would be treated as criminal infringement. Under copyright law there is a limitation on liability which prevents such institutions from being accused of this due to “educational value”. This would illegalize any infringement that is used for such value such as, video game commentary (!)/lets plays/ etc, news broadcasts, video game review, software reviews, etc.

“In the case of notices regarding an information location tool pursuant to paragraph (b)(i)(D) of Article 16.3, the information provided must be reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the reference or link residing on a system or network controlled or operated by or for it, except that in the case of a notice regarding a substantial number of references or links at a single online site residing on a system or network controlled or operated by or for the service provider, a representative list of such references or links at the site may be provided, if accompanied by information sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the references or links.”

Under the TPP, if the government merely claims a site has a lot of infringing links, that’s enough proof for them. Under current copyright law, the accuser has to prove what links are infringing. This allows TPP to be used for widespread frivolous attacks on anything the government deems infringing, without any proof whatsoever.  In the last article I posted, the sheer amount of youtube video’s that could be merely accused of copyright infringement is quite high.  It includes far more than infringing music uploads…

“Video game commentary, Video game reviews, Video game walkthroughs, Lets plays, video’s of mods for video games especially ones that include content from other games, their are tons of that,  videos of video games that have background music that just HAPPENS to be copyrighted by someone, video’s showing live performances of bands or videos of bands, even if those videos are uploaded by the BANDS OWN LABEL, behind the scenes videos of bands in the studio that play the tracks after being recorded, even though they are uploaded by the BANDS own label, advertisements for any site that hosts indie music, indie music directly uploaded to youtube by the ARTISTS THEMSELVES, indie music uploaded by an artist separately from their own indie hosting site (think reverbnation) not knowing that reverbnation/etc,  happened to copyright it,  clips from TV shows, even ones uploaded with the copyright holders permission, TV shows uploaded with permission, any video where the permission has been secured to upload it,  and any video someone claims fraudulent copyright on, without actually owning the copyright!”

That’s a lot the government can take down with TPP, without having to prove anything. Youtube video links count as links under the TPP, and all the government has to do is merely claim youtube is filled with infringing links and that will be grounded to take them down.

“Without prejudice to Articles 11(1)(ii), 11bis(1)(i) and (ii), 11ter(1)(ii), 14(1)(ii), and 14bis(1) of the Berne Convention, each Party shall provide to authors the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the communication to the public of their works, by wire or wireless means, including the making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them.”

Under this, any site that has any link to something allegedly infringing, that allows people to view them whenever they want, can be blocked by copyright holders if they own the copyright. This is not limited to Youtube (obviously), Any site that links to any content hosted on any of the constantly called infringing hosting sites such as 4shared, amazon MP3 which allows people to purchase digitally mp3 music any time they want, which counts as ” making available to the public of their works in such a way that members of the public may access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them”, any and all game modding sites, they also count under this, basically any site that hosts content that someone thinks is infringing and allows access to free downloading.

Now… I looked up more info on the TPP, and wondered who was lobbying for this pile of crap law. I thought everyone’s favorite music industry representative would be on the list but they arent. MPAA is, however, surprisingly so is the ESA, the entertainment software association and many other tech groups, including Yahoo!. The list is on this site.  Under the TPP ANY of the following sites could be taken down…

Amazon
Youtube
Facebook
Moddb
Itunes
3dgamers archive
ANY and All of the following gaming sites:
Seriously
Duke4ever
Doomworld
TESNexus
Doom3world
Fallout3nexus
Planethalflife
Func-Messgboard (look it up)
Quaddicted
Unrealsp.org
Beyondunreal.com
Payne Reactor
Planet Deus Ex
The Admirals Command Chamber
Tenfourmaps.telefragged.com
Underworldfans quake review site
Darkplaces
Zdoom.org
Gzdoom website
D2x-xl
Kmquake2
Prboomplus
Doom Legacy
DarkXL
DukePlus
Eduke32 website
Reverbnation
Purevolume
Soundcloud
4Shared
Myspace Music
Myspace
4Shared
Dropbox
FileFront/Gamefront
Atomic Gamer
Rapidshare
4Filehosting.com
Completegamer.net
Mediafire.com
Sendspace.com
Vimeo.com
Zippyshare.com
Blogspot
Wordpress

If you are a fan of any of these sites, I highly suggest you talk to your congressmen about this treaty, being legislated behind their backs, circumventing the supreme court, for the sole purpose of government led

TPP FTA (TPPA): Trans-Pacific Partnership Free...

TPP FTA (TPPA): Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Subordinates Nations (And People) To Corporations (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

witch hunts against anyone they claim is copyright infringing. You do this with one click of a button at this site.

I’ve been writing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for a few days. Basically TPP is a huge and secret treaty among “pacific” countries that would force them all to incorporate extreme, unfair and downright stupid copyright laws, not limited to forcing internet intermediaries (google, etc) to filter and block any content accused of “alleged” copyright infringement (aka no proof needed), as well as ISP’s having to shut down access to the people accused and forcing the ISP’s to tell the copyright holders about any of these people accused of “alleged” copyright infringement.

To make things worse, as I mentioned in the previous article, temporary copies found on people’s computers would be enough to make someone liable for copyright infringement, if found by “deep pack inspection”, a technique ISPS would be forced to use to find these temporary copies, which are downloaded in the thousands everytime someone watches 1 youtube video, listens to 1 streamed song off of sites like  soundcloud, reverbnation, purevolume, etc, all specializing in hosting indie music artists music.  The content doesn’t even HAVE to be infringing any copyright for the holder to take action, remember how many fraudulent content ID claims youtube allows, because youtube does not require proof the copyright holder actually holds the copyright! If TPP and the necessary Copyright laws pass this will only increase, by the thousands! Now let me tell you how easy it would be for temporary copies of an infringing work to get onto someones hard drive WITHOUT them actually downloading them…..

Hypothetical situation A:

Some bar is blasting pop music.  The bar’s radio station of choice has the right to play the music. Some guy happens to be walking outside filming himself going to the bar, for some other reason. The music ends up on his video. He uploads it to youtube.  The video is immediately marketed on google like all youtube video’s are, by making it go into the search results.  Someone finds the video. He watches it on his PC. Without his knowledge, around 1000+ temporary copies are created PER viewer, that don’t go away till the viewers clear their cache. And even if they do clear the cache, the damage has been done. Deep packet inspection would have found them the instant they are downloaded, because deep packet inspection involves looking at everything someone downloads with extreme scrutiny while the packets are moving from the youtube site to the person viewing it.  The ISPS would be legally forced to copy these packets and look at them closely to find out if a “temporary” copy is inside any of them and if it’s infringing.  IF The infringing song is found in the packets, the person is then liable for copyright infringement, even though he didn’t actually steal anything!

Hypothetical Situation B:

Repeat the above scenario with the following changes.  The video’ audio is cut out and replaced with a song the person happens to like. Now the person uploading IS guilty of copyright infringement. But that’s not the point. The song is popular and makes the video even more popular. 90% of the viewers don’t know of the song, but every single one of these viewers has 1000+ of these “temporary” copies on their hard drive. And because of the deep packet inspection, each and every one of these viewers, even ones who accidentally viewed the video when youtube automatically played it in part of a playlist due to an error or on purpose, are all guilty of 1000+ counts of copyright infringement under TPP!

Now to examine the damages the people would be facing looking at the latest RIAA case:

The defendant of the latest RIAA case was forced to pay $22,500 dollars PER song downloaded when he only downloaded 30 songs illegally that were only worth $0.99 per song originally. Imagine this number multiplied by 1000 or more, It gets SCARY, Scary like in $22,500,500 per defendant for merely VIEWING a video! In a court case where the entire viewership are co-defendants of eachother (assuming the video gets 100,000 views), that adds up to $2,250,000,000,000 in damages!

If you think the lawsuit bringer would not stoop too that level, you are wrong… RIAA already made the defendant of the case pay $675,000 for 30 songs! If the persons involved show the video starts showing off the video to people on his PC, that number increases even more, lets say he shows the video to 10 friends, that number becomes $225,000,000 for that defendant!!!!

The bar, the uploader, AND youtube would probably  ALL be liable under TPP for ALLOWING infringement as well. The bar allowed someone to copy a song off the radio, don’t think for a second the lawsuit bringer won’t prosecute them.  The original poster even if he didn’t put the song in the video on purpose, would STILL be held liable for allowing copies to be distributed in HIS video, even if the song was “accidentally” played in the video. Now to get to youtube.

Youtube has the reputation as the worst place on the internet, besides warez, where copyrighted material is available, and many people mistakenly believe that youtube profits off of piracy… Why? Their content ID system, which was set up to alert copyright holders to unauthorized infringers uploading their copyrighted works, allows the holders to upload samples of their copyrighted works (without proof), and gives them the option to either take down video’s matching it, or to put ads in the video’s. When people see ads in video’s and they see infringement in the video’s they think youtube are trying to profit off of this, but they aren’t. The Copyright holders are, because it’s THEIR choice not youtube…

Even if you think youtube’s copyrighted works only amount to tv show clips and music pirated as video’s you are in for a shock to what things could generate “alleged” copyright claims on youtube and what does. The following types of videos are considered infringing by someone, not necessarily the movie and music industry:

Video game commentary, Video game reviews, Video game walkthroughs, Lets plays, video’s of mods for video games especially ones that include content from other games, their are tons of that,  videos of video games that have background music that just HAPPENS to be copyrighted by someone, video’s showing live performances of bands or videos of bands, even if those videos are uploaded by the BANDS OWN LABEL, behind the scenes videos of bands in the studio that play the tracks after being recorded, even though they are uploaded by the BANDS own label, advertisements for any site that hosts indie music, indie music directly uploaded to youtube by the ARTISTS THEMSELVES, indie music uploaded by an artist separately from their own indie hosting site (think reverbnation) not knowing that reverbnation/etc,  happened to copyright it,  clips from TV shows, even ones uploaded with the copyright holders permission, TV shows uploaded with permission, any video where the permission has been secured to upload it,  and any video someone claims fraudulent copyright on, without actually owning the copyright!

The sheer amount of video’s where alleged infringement could occur is about 99.9% of youtube video’s then. Even if some of these were not even infringing in the first place, the temporary copies found on the Hard drive of all the viewers would Guarantee that the copyright moguls and their clients would get even more money than they even deserve for this. Due to all the temporary copies being produced of copyrighted material that happens to be uploaded by people who own the rights, the amount of frivolous lawsuits resulting from this will SKYROCKET to the MILLIONS per years by people apparently downloading 1000 copies per video, without actually TRYING to do that. Simply viewing a video will get people thrown in jail and sued.  This will result in More money being given to the Copyright holders in court for something the defendant didn’t even do!  This WILL be used to shut down youtube because of this. Imagine a megaupload trial X100 with youtube for ALL of this PLUS Temporary copies, IP address info given to the copyright holders for ANYONE who Dared to watch any of these videos in question. Anyone who even visited youtube and got into it would be at risk for having to pay 1000X what that defendant did due to the temporary copies!!!!

What’s next after youtube??? If even ONE game related video from that list gets an alleged infringement tag, the copyright holders would get noticed. Now comes greedy gaming companies, suing major modding sites  AND lets players, people linking to those lets plays, for ALLOWING the copyrighted infringing material to be “distributed”, because of the temporary copies found on people’s HDD after viewing the lets plays. You would then get THEM suing youtube.  I watch DOZENS of lets plays, because I love seeing other people playing games. It helps me get into new ones, and helps me to see good strategies in games I have already played. People like me would be targeted also. This whole thing would not end there however.  Any modding site that hosts any kind of mod for any video game that includes content from another game would then be targeted. Here’s the thing. THERE ISN’T a modding site that DOESN’T do this. Every single game has at least ONE mod that does this… Even modified models/graphics/sprites/textures or ones that are based or inspired would get every single Modding site in trouble. And since 99% of the modding sites are hosted by BIG gaming sites dedicated to the game they mod, those parent sites would be next…. You have 99% of the internet sites dedicated to any video game being taken down due to this!!! The following sites could be gone, Doomworld, Duke4ever, Planetquake, PlanetDeusEx, Planethalflife, TESNEXUS, ANY and All game related file hosting sites (gamefront, atomic gamer, etc),  and ALL other big gaming sites that happen to host mods, nevermind MODDB and other modding sites dedicated to hosting the latest mods, ALL would be targeted under this… But that is just  the microscopic tip of the iceberg…..

Streamed video in youtube is only 1% of the total streamed content online… the rest include internet radio sites, like Pandora, Snakenet internet radio and others, and ANY site that has streamed music on it. After defeating youtube and modding sites, Amazon probably will  be the the music industry’s next target, for it’s Amazon Mp3 download service and Amazon cloud drive, which recently got heat from the music industry for allowing people to host their own BOUGHT music on the cloud….  Amazon MP3 Allows people to buy music legally online and the price is much lower (9.99 for album vs 20+ per Phsyical CD), due to the lack of packaging and medium.  However the music industry probably won’t like this because they think they don’t make enough money from REAL cd’s from amazon so… Next comes the Big Amzon.com take down where they demand Amazon get taken down because they are distributing “pirated” mp3 files.  Even though Amazon is not. Just because the service is “legal” does not mean the industry won’t file a big lawsuit. Under TPP the chance is MUCH greater this will happen, due to the fact the ISPS have to block any site that has any allegation of infringing content on it. One Mogul saying “Amazon Mp3 is all pirated stuff” is enough to get Amazon.com shut down too. It’s the only good source of music to many people, not just me, because of the fact of  the perfect selection of music and the cheap price. But that scenario only the tip of the iceberg….

There are literally Dozens of indie music hosting sites, ALL with streaming capabilities. A big one is soundcloud, another big one is reverbnation. I had my own metal music hosted on both for a while. Then you add in myspace music and facebook too because plugins for the later and the first allow streaming music. ANYONE DARING to listen to any music from any of these sites IS LIABLE for copyright infringement under the TPP, due to the temporary copies being made, thousands from one song being played!!!

Next come the number 1 enemy of Piracy morons everywhere, sites like 4shared, zippyshare, mediafire, megaupload, rapidshare, which all have LEGIT files being hosted.  Under the TPP, the ISPS’s have to filter and block ANY site that has been ACCUSED of infringement, that includes ANY of the following sites, and if one of these sites haven’t been accused, they will eventually, I guarantee it. This list,  which I shall constantly print on any article bashing the TPP and use as tags to get the sites owners (hopefully) involved in the attack against the TPP.

Amazon
Youtube
Facebook
Moddb
Itunes
3dgamers archive
ANY and All of the following gaming sites:
Seriously
Duke4ever
Doomworld
TESNexus
Doom3world
Fallout3nexus
Planethalflife
Func-Messgboard (look it up)
Quaddicted
Unrealsp.org
Beyondunreal.com
Payne Reactor
Planet Deus Ex
The Admirals Command Chamber
Tenfourmaps.telefragged.com
Underworldfans quake review site
Darkplaces
Zdoom.org
Gzdoom website
D2x-xl
Kmquake2
Prboomplus
Doom Legacy
DarkXL
DukePlus
Eduke32 website
Reverbnation
Purevolume
Soundcloud
4Shared
Myspace Music
Myspace
4Shared
Dropbox
FileFront/Gamefront
Atomic Gamer
Rapidshare
4Filehosting.com
Completegamer.net
Mediafire.com
Sendspace.com
Vimeo.com
Zippyshare.com
Blogspot
Wordpress

If Anyone reading this likes any of those sites I highly suggest you click the take action button on this linked page by the EFF, so that your Congressman know about  the BS that’s being done BEHIND THEIR back by the executive branch, CIRCUMVENTING the Supreme court, and Congress to allow the copyright moguls  to sue 1000X as much people, for simply viewing a video!

 

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

While browsing the internet for more info on the TPP, which I wrote about in my previous article, I came across This Page posting Articles on TPP. The TPP, Like SOPA Before it, would severely criminalize and censor any “alleged” copyright infringement. But one thing I did not know about till today is that “Temporary copies” of copyrighted work would get you thrown in jail or sued… What are temporary copies?

Every time your PC connects to a site to view a site, stream audio from internet radio, stream video from youtube, etc, it makes at least one temporary copy on your PC. In the case of youtube video’s, Up to thousands of temporary copies, all less than 1 second long are made.  Everytime you  view copyrighted art on a website that has the rights to use it, temporary copies are made on your PC, till you clear your cache.  Under TPP all the temporary copies could get you in trouble for copyright infringement. Youtube (even though it does have tons of infringing stuff on it) could get some people into SERIOUS trouble. Imagine viewing one video that has something infringing in it and being sued for over 1000 violations due to the fact that 1000 plus temporary copies were found on your HDD because you were too lazy to clear your temp files. Think that is fiction? If TPP passes it won’t be…

But that isn’t really the scary part… The article above is on a site that also has another article called “what’s actually in the TPP?”. The site clearly states that the TPP would force internet services like google, and ISP’s to perform something called “deep packet inspection”, to look for these temporary copies, among other things. Imagine millions of people being sued for copyright infringement for simply VIEWING the Web!!! Under TPP this is would be reality. Simply viewing one video on youtube that just happens to infringe on something would download the 1000 or so temporary copies onto the persons HDD. Deep packet inspection comes next and finds them… Imagine being sued for something that happens all the time on people’s PC, 1000 times over…. Even worse, people like Quizgroupmovies and other “copyright holders”  have proven time and time again that simply claiming they own the copyright is enough. They don’t have to actually own it….  IF tpp passes then there will be a HUGE rise of fraudulent lawsuits against people for merely viewing a video, by people claiming to own it, but they won’t have to own it in the first place. The Copyright moguls do not care if their claims are fraudulent. They just want money. More and more money.  Recently a guy was forced to pay $22,500 PER SONG for downloading only 30 songs that normally would be $0.99, by the RIAA. That’s over 20,000 times more than what their worth!!!! Imagine that X10 for simply viewing one video! Hell the video doesn’t even have to violate the Morons copyrights. They can just claim it does. Simply put, TPP will legalize whole sale frivolous lawsuits for any reason whatsoever.

This could cause Serious problems for internet radio. Internet radio uses streaming (which always causes temporary copies to be created) as it’s core.  Simply listening to one artists music on something like Pandora or any site hosting music that has streaming music abilities, could get your arrested under the TPP… Every single indie music upload site such as purevolume, reverbnation, soundclick, soundcloud, they all have streaming music. Hell my indie metal solo artist is on soundcloud. Already soundcloud has been labeled a “piracy” site because it allows artists to make their music free downloads as mp3’s.  Imagine what will happen if TPP is passed and someone from some copyright group  decides to call anyone who dares to listen to ANY of the artists on ANY of these sites, infringing for 1000+ counts due to temporary copies? It would be HELL for anyone caught listening to internet music in ANY form if what below (deep packet inspection) comes true. You would possibly get thousands of lawsuits, all frivolous, all against people daring to stream music on any of these sites… None of the streaming music has to infringe for their copyrights for them to press charges on ANYONE daring to listen to them. Frivolous lawsuits WILL result from this, I guarantee it…

The people who claim that their music and movies are being pirated and that their losing money over it are the biggest morons alive. They represent crappy fake pop artists an even worse, (c)rappers, and horrible movie makers. Music has simply gone down the tubes so much lately it isn’t funny. Do these people deserve $22,500 per 30 songs “allegedly” stolen? Hell No! They certainly don’t deserve billions of dollars because someone dared to listen to a video online that happened to contain their song. That person didn’t steal their song!!! The temporary copies on that persons HDD should not be reason to throw someone in jail for multiple counts of “copyright infringement”, the most fraudulent “crime” I have ever heard of ever…

The only reason we are seeing this is because SOPA and ACTA failed. That was partially because of people contacting their reps complaining about them. Even with that happening with TPP, there is less chance it will do anything because A) We don’t know the entire treaty because it’s being negotiated in secret B) And it’s a treaty not a bill and there is less chance the supreme court could get involved, or no chance at the worst. Still People who value freedoms and people who are against the fraudulent Copyright infringement BS copyright moguls have been doing lately should really contact their REP’s about this. If you don’t know how to do that, visit this site to do it with one click of a button.

 

The Erosion of Freedom has been down due to lack of any real anti-gaming nonsense being spread around via Gamepolitics. But over the last few weeks a new threat has popped up, far exceeding any anti-gaming legislation that has been considered in the US Congress of recent note: SOPA.

This bill, allows copyright holders to A) Shut down any site that fits the below categories, B) Shut down support from Paypal to the site, and C) arrest anyone associated with the site if the site…. COULD be used to infringe on copyright. It’s cleverly worded because most of the time It tries to mask copyright infringement as “Theft of US Property”.  A blog talking about the language of the bill (here) basically goes into detail into why this bill is so bad. First it tries to start with language that suggests that the bill will only target “foreign infringing sites” (any site outside the US that infringes on copyright). That’s bad enough but if you only read that part you’d assume that US sites are unaffected. Not so.

The next part is where it gets REALLY controversial. Any site or “Part” of a site (even if US Based), if used by users for “primarily” for copyright infringement (worded as “theft of us property” or even “counterfeit goods”) or “enables” copyright infringement, according to the attorney general, the copyright holders can have the site shut down, it’s funding revoked via PayPal, etc, And Internet Service Providers, MUST do everything in their power to get the site shut down, funding removed via PayPal, etc. Then the DNS service that gives your browser the IP address of any site you type in the address bar must remove the site from it’s records, therefore blocking all access to the site to any ISP.   Even worse, if any site is found to be not conforming to a high standard of non-copyright infringement, it too can get the same treatment! Even if this is not found to be deliberate “non-conforming to the high standard”, it is still in violation of this bill. So any site that accidentally allows possible or recorded copyrighted material be posted on it is to be shut down. That is about 99% of the internet that fits into that category.

But that’s not the worst part…. No no no. The bill also states that no copyright holders will be held liable for purposely targeting sites that Don’t infringe on their copyrights, allowing them to target crap they hate (youtube, megaupload, rapidshare, blogs, facebook, amazon Mp3 downloads, game “modding” sites, etc). The Whole site would be shut down if part of it was even ACCUSED of copyright infringement. Keep that in mind.

The real problems are two fold Problem 1 is that any site that hosts user content (social networking, blog hosts, youtube, reddit, cracked.com, etc) “enables” copyright infringement, because it’s very possible to post copyrighted things on these places. The entire site would be shut down once some copyright holder complains. Now the bill provides for no system to back up the complaint so that innocent parties accused of copyright infringement can fight the accusation when their site did not violate copyrights, so there is in all intents and purposes, no due process for this bill.  But even worse, the real issue is that this bill seems to be designed to allow copyright holders to shut down any site they think could be used for copyright infringement, even if the complaint about the site is false. Copyright holders over the years have shown time and time again, that they are willing to take down youtube video’s, and more, with fake DMCA requests, when the video doesn’t even violate their copyright in the first place. Yes, taking down sites/video’s is happening now, sites that do not infringe at all. UMG (universal Music Group) has been taking down video’s that post songs that they don’t even hold the copyright for! It’s been happening on youtube for at least a year.

I mentioned the list of types of sites I thought would be affected. Here’s why I think they would be. Youtube has dozens of user uploaded video’s posting illegal copyrighted music on it. It’s illegal to post this stuff, youtube doesn’t take it down. But there are MILLIONS of video’s on youtube, and most do not infringe copyright. Then you have a part of the bill that penalizes “streaming” of copyright material, such as posting video’s of someone playing video games as video walkthroughs, on youtube. The bill says that anyone found guilty of streaming such copyrighted material is fined and jailed for 5 years, at the most.  Any person posting video’s of any video game, reviews of any video game that even mention copyrighted material of the game (character’s names, etc),  any band’s live performance, legal or not, (even the band themselves, on youtube’s site for that band), their kids singing along to a song being played on the radio, or even performing the song, even without it’s music in the background, would be arrested and jailed for 5 years.

But the sites that could be shut down aren’t limited to youtube, facebook, and other social network sites. Blog hosts could be shut down. How many blogs out there have not posted one copyrighted thing on them? Very few. At least 1 per host, probably hundreds to thousands. And remember that if the host “enables” copyright infringement, it’s gone.  So any host that even allows such content to be posted (that’s all blogging hosts, wordpress, Blogger, all!), would be affected. You’d get shutdowns of many known services quickly if this bill was enacted into law.  Amazon would be targeted, for it’s wonderful Amazon MP3 Downloads. Under the bill’s vague description, Amazon would be found to be hosting copyrighted material, even though they legally distribute the digital forms of these songs to people who pay for the digital version of the albums.  Then Amazon would possibly be shut down, or at least amazon MP3 would be gone. Any site that allows up and coming to host or market their music, online such as soundcloud, reverbnation, lastfm, etc could get targeted. Copyright holders would not stop at things that are copyrighted by them. They don’t need to. UMG is already doing this on youtube. Why stop at youtube? They want the authority over anything like youtube! Any of the sites listed above could be gone.  Then next would come facebook. Poeple post pictures that could be copyrighted all the time on facebook. Screenshots of video games, pictures of comic books, photo’s, artwork, some picture of the front cover of any DVD (my friend gets these posted to facebook all the time when he buys them), would get facebook shutdown. Then Myspace, for similar reasons.

But even worse, IMHO, is the impact this would have on the Gaming Community, especially modding sites. Any mod that includes any piece of the game’s copyrighted material, that is hosted on any site that is dedicated to modding, would get the site shut down. This would affect 100% of the modding sites. Because every game has at least one mod that distributes original copyrighted material for that game in it. Every time we modders made a modified version of an enemy/character  in a game, we have to include the new skin, for  the model for that enemy. Most of the new skins are modified versions of original game ones. Since copyright applies to any thing based on the original assets, any mod being hosted on any modding site that this applies to would get the site shut down.  That would affect most Every modding site out there. There would not be a game that’s primary modding site would not get shut down for this. 99% of doom mods feature enemies that use modified original graphics. Many mods import other game’s characters into their mod, so that the copyright holders of other games would get involved too, especially EA, who supports SOPA.  Even worse, if you include something that looks inspired by something in another game, without copying the original asset, you would be held liable because idea’s are also copyrighted. Once someone makes an enemy for a mod for some video game that is a clone of another enemy from another video game, the site would be shut down. And this would also apply to websites of commercial games that do the same thing. Enemies that look totally unique are a rare thing now. Serious sam 3 had an enemy that looked like a bland rip off of another enemy from Doom 3. Don’t expect copyright holders to not attack such rip offs. Entire games could get banned, nevermind mods. But the modding community is far from the worst facet of the gaming community to be affected. Any time someone mentions content from a video game, or posts screenshots from anything done in that game (even mods for that game), copyright holders will get involved. You post a screenshot of your best score, and then the site you posted on could get shut down. It really is a scary thought how broad this bill is.

Then comes the takedown of lets plays. Every time you do a lets play you are posting copyrighted material. Most Developers, turn a blind eye to this. But some won’t after SOPA.  If the hundreds of copyrighted songs on youtube doesn’t get it shut down, this will.  Even if youtube doesn’t shut down, lets plays will probably be deleted to lessen liability like I mentioned above.  Millions of guys do lets plays on youtube. Its a great source of humor, and entertainment. And it actually gets some games noticed.  But the copyright holders will definitely target this, if SOPA is enacted into law.

Now you might be saying that big sites like facebook, myspace, youtube, would fight this. You’re right. But in the process they would remove any content to lessen the liability on them. That means any user content that could be copyrighted would be removed, By them. Think of the effect this would have… Sites that would not be shut down would remove the content anyway, so the content, would be gone, even if it isn’t infringing. This makes it obvious that this bill was designed to censor things anything the copyright holders don’t like. This bill is not about piracy. In fact most pirates would not be even affected by this bill. Real piracy is done on foreign “warez” sites that upload copyrighted illegal (and very often virus infested) copies of video games, software, etc, in 100’s of parts to sites such as megaupload, rapidshare, etc. To truly stop internet piracy, you have to target the source, the referrers’ of these links to such download sites, the warez sites themselves. This cannot be done by a US law, for most are foreign.  To find such sites, all someone has to do is type words associated with pirated material into a search engine, such as warez, or gamez. Very few real hardcore piracy happens on  most of the sites that could be affected by this bill. So no, this bill is not trying to fight piracy. In fact IMHO it was crafted over obvious paranoia over piracy.  How else do you explain a bill that makes it possible to shut down sites that could host pirated material… It’s either that or it was purposely designed to censor things that the copyright holders don’t like.

This is a great chance to mention that people CAN do something about this. Call your representative and tell them you think this bill is bad for the reasons I mentioned above. There is a site, americancensorship, that has a link to do this and a link to allow people to call their congressman. I suggest people do this now before 99% of the good part of the internet could be gone.