Worst Person in the World

Chris Dodd for this:

Hollywood’s top lobbyist and former Sen. Chris Dodd is threatening to cut off campaign funds to President Obama’s re-election effort because of anger over the White House appearing to side with tech companies in a bitter fight over anti-piracy legislation.

Incidentally, most of the Republican candidates have come out against the bills. So it’s the entire progressive movement, President Obama and the Republican presidential candidates who are teaming up against this thing. Strange.

Meanwhile, I think some of these guys don’t really understand how the legislation enforces the anti-piracy provisions, and how the enforcement process involves censorship and, ultimately, a corporate takeover of the internet. They’re just going along with their bosses at the RIAA and MPAA. And the rest are just corporate shills.

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  • http://twitter.com/maxcat07 Irene Budoff

    I didn’t like Chris Dodd in the Senate, and he’s even worse out of it. He just someone who will go to the highest bidder, and now it’s the Hollywood studios.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Understand how this law enforces the anti-piracy provisions. Hell, I”d wager that 3/4 of Congress still doesn’t understand how the internet works.

    • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

      “It’s … it’s … it’s a series of tubes….”

      • muselet

        –alopecia

        • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

          LOL!

    • Scopedog

      Well, both bills were sort of DOA for some time, and since the White House made it clear that the President would never sign them, then they were pretty much twisting in the wind.

      Plus, the shutdown of MegaUpload was done using existing laws.

      I’m against Internet piracy (shit, “piracy” makes it sound romantic when all it is really is theft), and it does bother me to see people either a) defend it or b) keep blaming “those corporations” or “copyright holders” for why piracy happens. Truth is….most corporations aren’t massive conglomerates with CEOs earning more than a small nation’s GDP.

      They’re also individuals or small two or four person operations. Think of the Killamanjaro corporation. Never heard of it? That’s all right if you haven’t but it does exist. It’s the very small corporation Harlan Ellison created so he could register his work. It’s just him, his wife, and their assistant.

      (And if you don’t know who Ellison is, shame on you!)

      I suppose what I’m getting at is that I will always come down on the side of the artist or writer or musician, especially if they are the copyright holder, and if their work is essentially yanked out of their hands and they are told to basically bend over and take it and don’t complain. And the sad fact is that in all the hand-wringing and endless discussions over SOPA and PIPA there seemed to me to be very little attention paid to the fact that piracy does exist and that it does strip away the works of artists. I did find one blog posting actually dealt with this:

      http://www.peterdavid.net/index.php/2012/01/17/where-i-stand-on-sopa/

      SOPA and PIPA were the WORST ways to address the problem–think of it as putting out the fire with gasoline.

      And Chris Dodd pulling this move….yeesh. No class at all.

      • D_C_Wilson

        I don’t think many people dispute that internet piracy is an issue that needs to be addressed. The problem is, these bills are a taking chainsaw to problem that requires a scalpel.

        • Scopedog

          Exactly, which explains the “putting out the fire with gasoline” line.

          (Which, I admit, I referenced from the original MAX PAYNE game.)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YLNXKC5U7A7N7BD42BOON6BRZA Jennifer

    those of us in the entertainment industry have a different view. every free download costs us money as we–musicians, writers, actors, directors–are due to receive residual payments from sales of our work. they are pirating our images, our music, our work and are cashing in on it without paying us. Dodd is protecting not only the studios, etc but the creative workers.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      While I agree the artist is the main victim, they can be protected with existing laws or minor adjustments to existing laws. There is no reason to introduce censorship.

      • Scopedog

        Well….IrishGrrl, I do understand where Jennifer’s coming from. As a freelance illustrator who has also worked in television animation (and who also has friends that work in video games, comics, and other areas of the entertainment industry), I have heard quite a few horror stories similar to what she described. And I’ve also had to hear people say, “Well, so what if someone steals your work, at least you’ll become more popular!”

        Not the thing you say to someone who works in the creative arts.

        That said–you are right in that there are existing laws that can help, but they cannot help all the time, and some folks are more content to defend piracy.

        But I also believe, like you, that censorship is NOT the answer. SOPA and PIPA clearly were not the proper response; the cure was a helluva lot worse than the disease.

        Still, when it comes down to it, I’m with the artists.

        Just my 2-cents.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      While I agree the artist is the main victim, they can be protected with existing laws or minor adjustments to existing laws. There is no reason to introduce censorship.

    • muselet

      I don’t think anyone here is defending piracy. Certainly I’m not.

      As I mentioned on the 14th, John August and Craig Mazin had much to say about SOPA and PIPA. Mazin said:

      The problem with these online legislations is whoever’s writing them either doesn’t get it or is taking advantage of the fact that the senators and representatives don’t get it, and they become these nuclear sledgehammers that have these broad, wide-ranging impacts that they really can’t have.

      They ought not have. So you have that as a component of a problem. So you’re trying to solve a problem. You come up with way too big of a hammer.

      There needs to be a way to crack down on theft of intellectual property, but it needs to be more targeted than SOPA and PIPA.

      –alopecia

      • Scopedog

        Well said.

        But at the same time…y’know, these bills were on life support and the prognosis was moving into, “they’re fucked”. So try as I might, I can’t work up a huge amount of outrage for two POS bills that were already at death’s door. Doesn’t mean I won’t say that they were awful solutions, because they were.

        And like you, there MUST be a way to crack down on the theft of intellectual property, and it has to be done properly, without resorting to censorship.

        • muselet

          I’m with the artists, too. I stepped into the fray on Kevin Drum’s blog back in September. Matt Yglesias had argued that piracy of digital stuff isn’t actually theft because nothing physical is stolen, and Drum made a valiant effort to take the argument apart. I agreed—and agree—with Drum, but would have stayed out of the comments except for the extraordinary concentration of stupid.

          The number of times people in the comments thread insisted that digital is different because digital is different was astounding, and those people got quite irritated (and defensive) when someone pointed out that actual, living and breathing writers and artists and musicians rely on royalties from sales to pay for the privilege of being writers and artists and musicians. The word games, special pleading and hand-waving were painful to view.

          Ultimately, the solution is to change the culture, to make people realize that paying for digital things is right and proper, but I don’t know how to implement that solution. Wish I did: I could patent the process and make a fortune. :^)

          Oh, and those bills aren’t quite dead. Imagine my surprise.

          –alopecia

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            Omfg 4th time is the charmed post that makes it online.

            Alo you are right. 1. It’s a lack of education and socialization. We need to catch up to the technology. 2. Anonymity online reduces the biggest psychological control on deviant behavior, which is the fear of being caught. That’s why we have to do better on #1. 3. There is a disconnection occurring between people that destroys empathy, a disconnection between owners and their things that makes identifying a victim more difficult (or the ability to witness the suffering of the victim), and there is a disconnection between monetary value and data, capabilities like bandwidth, throughput, storage space, etc. If you can’t declare that something has concrete value, how can you claim a loss?

            I am not excusing piracy, I am explaining why it is occurring. I taught ethics to computer science majors in college and those generations of young people simply were not taught to view virtual behavior through the same lens as physical behavior and we are all sufferring the consequences now.

          • Scopedog

            (Stands up and applauds)

            “I taught ethics to computer science majors in college and those generations of young people simply were not taught to view virtual behavior through the same lens as physical behavior and we are all sufferring the consequences now. ”

            Agreed.

            Granted, I was not a CS major while in college, but since I was a child I had taken some sort of computer class at certain time of my life. But back in college, the first time I ever heard about a “code of conduct” in regards to virtual behavior was when I read a magazine article penned by a writer who at the time (the mid-90s) was worried about disturbing behavior he was seeing online at the time.

            And when one is anonymous, yep, there goes the fear of being found out and having someone punch your lights out.

          • muselet

            Agreed.

            The most common arguments in the MoJo comments thread I mentioned above were:

            •”Digital is different because digital is different.” This is either special pleading or hand-waving.
            •”If I make a copy of a digital file, I haven’t stolen anything because there are more copies than there were before.” Huh?
            •”Drum is conflating two different concepts. Copyright infringement isn’t the same as stealing.” These same people insist that lost royalties don’t count because, well, just because.
            •And, my personal favorite, “We have to separate the cost of creating something and the cost of distributing it. Since the cost of distribution is now zero, copyright holders are just going to have to adapt to the new reality.” A reality in which a significant number of people want their entertainment for free, dammit!

            “Mit der Dummeit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens. (Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.)”
            –Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos

            –alopecia

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Sorry, but Dodd is only protecting his paycheck on this. Piracy would continue under these bills, and censorship would be incredibly ridiculous.

  • mrbrink

    For Democrats, it’s like the PMRC got knocked up by the Defense Of Marriage Act one crazy unprotected night past 3rd base on a work night and named their hump-backed oops-babies, SOPA and PIPA!

    These things are generally bad ideas in hindsight, but God Bless America, someone’s got to think up new ways to remind us that we do dumb things sometimes.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    SOPA and PIPA protect the big guns in hollywood and media, not so much the little guy.

    As an artist, I can tell you straight out that this type of censorship, along with the possibility of “breaking” the internet via DNS tampering, is in no way worth it to me, nor would it be to most creative types if they had a real understanding of what the end product of these bills would be.