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Yesterday I posted a diary which sank into oblivion, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act Police State to Protect Iron Man 2?.

One of only two comments seemed to have difficulty with reading all the big words and complex background of the treaty as discussed by three major individuals and entities who have expressed grave concerns about the threats to a continued open and viable Internet not totally controlled and censored by corporate and government powers controlling ISPs.

So today, let's try again, on a related topic.

I am simply going to quote Lauren Weinstein of Privacy Forum and Internet Neutrality Squad again.

I don't think the message could be any clearer.

Governments and corporations are pushing harder every day to throttle the Internet as it has come to be, an open form of limitless communication allowing any individual access to publish and comment on anything.

Bottom line, as they see their profits diminish from traditional entertainment conduits and technologies, they want to impose the dying media and technology controls which on television and newspapers allowed them to control the medium and the message.

They do not necessarily understand, and for sure do not care, that the Internet is not a paper newspaper, nor is it copper wire and and banks of switches at the phone company, nor is it broadcast TV, where there is no interaction or feedback from the audience, just passive reception and consumption.

The Internet is the opposite of the world that gave them power and wealth. It is by definition a connection of independent networks and machines, all simply sharing a defined set of communication protocols, designed to allow routing around points of failure and roadblocks. All key legislation to date has relieved ISPs of the any responsibility of monitoring each and over word or photo posted by its customers to any form of communication medium on the Net, a blog, a web site, a newsgroup, whatever.

Now the message to members not only of DailyKos, but to anyone of any political stripe who has seen the power of the Internet to communicate and open up knowledge beyond the control of the traditional government and corporate masters, is very, very simple: WAKE UP AND PAY ATTENTION. Your are going to lose the power and ability to communicate on sites like DailyKos if these trends are allowed to continue and bear fruit in treaties and legislation.

I would try to put this in smaller words, but I am not sure how to. Sometimes you just have to 'read the bill', you know.

Greetings. An amicus curiae brief was filed a few days ago by the Washington Legal Foundation in the ongoing Viacom vs. YouTube/Google lawsuit.

Even by the normal standards of our adversarial legal system, this brief is startling not only in the depth of its misleading and just plain inaccurate arguments, but also in the implications that its "logic" would have for the Internet at large.

Despite Google's implementation of a comprehensive "video fingerprinting" system to aid in the identification of copyrighted materials that rights holders wish to remove from the YouTube environment, the brief's arguments that services such as YouTube are not deserving of DMCA protections are clearly disingenuous.

This is especially true when viewed in light of the abusive behavior that has been revealed on the part of Viacom in their attempt to "game" YouTube for their own purposes, even while Viacom was simultaneously complaining about YouTube operations -- the textbook definition of hypocrisy.

It's crucial to understand that such arguments are part of an increasingly shrill campaign being promulgated by powerful interests who desperately wish to "reimagine" the Internet as primarily an entertainment industry conduit, where ISPs and Web sites -- even search engines -- would be forced into the role of Content Cops, potentially required to "approve" every posting by every user, at the risk of massive financial liabilities.

The ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is largely oriented toward creating this sort of requirement at the international level, as are many of the dangerous calls to eliminate all forms of anonymous Internet usage.

The negative implications of such a regime -- which would turn the entire concepts of free speech and the existing DMCA "safe harbor" on their heads, extend vastly beyond the scope of YouTube.

As I've noted before, I have many friends in the music and film industries here in L.A., and I certainly appreciate their intellecutal property concerns.

But while it's reasonable for intellectual property to be protected in appropriately measured ways, it is unacceptable to turn the Internet into a surveillance monster where every Web site is required to proactively and continually monitor and censor the postings of every user -- largely to meet the goals of a few massive entertainment industry conglomerates.

Basic principles of fair use, free speech, privacy, and civil liberties more broadly, require that we resist attempts to remake the Internet into a permission-based liability leviathan, strangling users in a suffocating maze of restrictions that benefit the few while penalizing, intimidating, and muzzling the many.

May 11, 2010 Strangling the Net: Stripping DMCA Protections from YouTube

Originally posted to HeartlandLiberal on Wed May 12, 2010 at 08:59 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "We must become the change we want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HeartlandLiberal on Wed May 12, 2010 at 08:59:36 AM PDT

  •  So to begin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nate Roberts, OHdog

    I'm on the same side as you entirely.

    But I wonder whether Google and YouTube losing Safe Harbor protections given by the awful DMCA could actually be a good thing.

    I'm finding it difficult to drum up support and consciousness of the enormity of what is being done to free expression and content sharing (the legal as well as the illegal) by recent Bills (and ACTA soon as well).

    Maybe having YouTube taken offline for a few days would make this a major issue. Maybe not having Safe Harbor protections would embed an existential conflict between Google/YouTube et al and the major Telecomms/Media giants, with Google and YouTube on our side.

    Think of the raw outrage if Google were to go offline for 24 hours because it didn't have Safe Harbor protection. Imagine the outrage, imagine the lawmakers forced to respond to it. Imagine the traction this issue would get.

    The Safe Harbor has been a pernicious tool to lessen understanding and awareness of the sheer awfulness of DMCA. Let it shrink, and let's fight the battle in the open air with powerful allies on our side.

    What do you think?

    "I, for one, would like to welcome our new Belgian overlords..."

    by Morus on Wed May 12, 2010 at 09:20:35 AM PDT

  •  Copyright Protection Racket (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nate Roberts, millwood

    the copyright protections have gone from reasonable levels to obscene -- 120 years for a work to enter the public domanin? ... are You fucking kidding me?

    if You want to protect intellectual property, fine and dandy, but the perverse nature of this copyright protection racket has gotten completely out of hand

    millions of dollars in fines AND jail terms? -- all at the hands of the government acting on the behalf of what is fundamentally a private matter

    "you stole that movie / cd from me, you need to pay me"

    "you stole something from me, and admittedly, i didn't know that you did, but i went looking sensing that you might have, and no violence was perpetrated, and my revenues didn't necessarily suffer at all, and you might not have paid me even if you had no other choice, but now that i found out about this "theft" i demand millions of dollars in fines be levied on you and that if i REALLY want to make an example of you, i insist that you go to jail as well"
    "ummmm ... what!?!?"

    which of these is reasonable, and which isn't?

    "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

    by josephk on Wed May 12, 2010 at 09:47:45 AM PDT

  •  recommended! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you for this diary.  The issue you highlight deserves far more attention around here.  I am sure it must be frustrating to put work into something important only to watch it scroll off the recently diaries list into oblivion.  

    (In my humble opinion, DailyKos has suffered much since Obama's election.  About half the featured content is pretty much what it always was, but much energy and space gets taken up with Obama cheer-leading and apologetics--not to mention diaries filled with gorgeous hero-worshiping photographs of the telegenic first family.  Which is just to say that it is harder than ever for a serious diary like yours to get the attention it deserves.)

    That being said, you do yourself (and the cause you highlight) a disservice by wasting diary space insulting the intelligence of commenters on your previous diary. Maybe those comments really were stupid--I don't know, I didn't check, and I don't care--but it doesn't matter.  Your frustration at the failure of more people to grasp the importance of this is certainly justified, but, again, no need to distract attention from the issue itself with bitterness towards those you are attempting to reach.  I hope you will take this comment in the constructive spirit it is intended.

  •  D.A.R.K. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    WTF does DMCA mean? It is nowhere defined in the diary. For someone coming fresh to this discussion, well ... sorry, I'm outta here.

    •  Digital Millennium Copyright Act (0+ / 0-)

      from Wikipedia

      The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998 by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of on-line services for copyright infringement by their users.

      more here.

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