back to article SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

In response to internet technology companies leading a rousing protest against SOPA and PIPA, these bills appear to be doomed to ignominious defeat. Even the co-sponsors of these anti-piracy bills are deserting their legislation, leaving the tech world to cheer its success. But what kind of success did we achieve? As written …


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  1. Tom 15


    Personally, I think IP should only be enforceable if the company are actively making use of it and making it available at a reasonable cost... a lot of people who torrent do so because it's the most convenient way of acquiring content.

    What I'm really saying is the following:

    Games Developers - 1. don't use restrictive DRM that blocks valid users, 2. don't charge twice as much for an online purchase as it costs on physical media.

    Musicians - ensure your music is on services such as Spotify; if you don't want it being listened to for free, then make it premium only.

    TV/Films - You all need to get together and make sure people can actually license all of your content. I'd love to use LoveFilm or Netflix but I'm not going to pay for a 60% experience where I still need to torrent or not watch the other 40%.

    I know some will argue that companies own IP and therefore if they don't want it available online then that's their right but I personally don't think they can complain that people are using it online for free when they don't even offer it online.

    1. Titus Technophobe

      @Tom 15

      So what you are saying is that if a product isn't available legally via a particular sales channel this gives you the legal right to steal it? I just can't see how this argument is justified either legally or morally?

      As to the price if I produce something I set the price, if that is a price you don't want to pay it is your choice not to buy the product. Acquiring the product by either stealing (a physical item) or copying (IP related product) both to my mind both equate to theft.

      1. Richard Gadsden


        Copyright is a grant of monopoly by the government, not an intrinsic right. You only get copyright because you having copyright is useful - viz, by having copyright you get enough income from this film to give you the incentive to produce another one. If you start using copyright to stop people using something rather than to make money from people using something, then you having the copyright isn't useful - and you shouldn't have it any more.

        "[I]f I produce something I set the price" - not true for copyright goods in general. You don't set the price that a radio station pays to play your song, that's standardised to be the same for all songs.

        Streaming and downloading music and films is much more like a radio station or a TV station than it is like buying a physical copy

        1. Carl

          Not quite.

          "[I]f I produce something I set the price"

          Nope. The market sets the price.

          Unless the product is that of a monopoly. (and by "Monopoly" I also mean "Government mandate").

          And the market is segmented due to differentials in how much value the people in that segment attach to the product, what they can pay and how motivated they are to buy it. Your statement is correct in the sense that a clever marketer will figure out the best price to charge that will attract the largest number of people. But by and large the market sets the price.

          1. Andy Fletcher

            @Titus Technophobe

            Irrelevant? How much do you think David Prowse, Anthony Daniels & Kenny Baker made out of being in Star Wars. Not much. And they just got paid for their work - no ongoing gravy train for them. The whole system is a mess, and wages are disproportional. And therin lies the problem - usually supply and demand dictate pricing. Crap like SOPA is simply an industry trying to protect itself from natural market forces.

      2. Dana W

        Bad idea.

        Do you want to listen to music in a world where the RIAA is the only decider of what is and isn't saleable and available?

        Happy pop divas and rap acts to you too.

      3. KKaria

        Missed the point

        @Titus Technophobe

        I think you missed the point. Online selling is a channel, yes, but a very improtant one. The media industry has had many years to adapt to it. There was a point when not selling online was an option but not any more. Companies still have free choice, but if they don't chose to sell online / make the media available more easily, freetards will resort to piracy. I don't support it but it is simply the common outcome. So the media companies go after the freetards should just use blanket legistation like SOPA or PIPA. If your business is under threat find a way to handle it without causing problems for the rest of the world. Go after pirates, but don't attack the freedom of the Internet. Basically GROW UP and learn to compete in the current market which is now mostly online.

        1. david wilson


          >>"Companies still have free choice, but if they don't chose to sell online / make the media available more easily, freetards will resort to piracy."

          That fraction of people who currently download for nothing but who in reality *would* be prepared to pay a reasonable price for stuff online, I wouldn't call 'freetards'.

          OTOH, I think *true* freetards would resort to piracy anyway, even if some fraction of them might currently pretend that they're being 'forced' into getting stuff for nothing.

          As for Titus's point, I think all he was really saying was that people don't have any kind of 'right' to copy stuff for nothing just because it happens not to be available in the specific format they want.

          People don't have any kind of moral 'right' to pass around free ebooks of any book not yet available as a paid-for ebook just because they want one, people didn't have any kind of moral 'right' to pass around free VHS copies of films that had yet to be released on video, etc.

      4. Brendan Sullivan

        So you think that ignoring significant market factors in favor of restricting rights will reduce piracy? Adjusting price in response to market demands encourages people to buy your product. Is it hard to compete with free? Yes, but you don't have to make it harder by setting prices that are beyond the budget or value threshold of your consumers.

        Similarly making your product available in the location and format that is useful to the potential consumer reduces the incentive to 'pirate' your content. DVD's Region system and pricing drives low income consumers and consumers in regions where those DVD's are not allowed drives those customers to seek other ways of obtaining that content, whether by buying bootleg discs from street vendors or downloading a ripped copy from a website they get the content they want at a price they can pay and without jumping continents.

        Actively offering licensing (at terms that are agreeable to both sides) and participating and innovating in new distribution channels and technologies further reduces incentives for 'piracy'. Why would I go through the trouble of ripping my otherwise unused DVD collection into files I can watch on my tablet and laptop if I could simply go to a website and buy digital copies of the films for a /small/ amount and download a copy right to my device just as I am able to do with music offered by Amazon's mp3 shop. Don't offer me streaming rentals instead either; most of the time I would actually make use of such a service is exactly when I cannot because of connectivity issues (subterranean trains, airplanes and just in a mobile deadzone will prevent any sort of streaming while limited bandwidth degrades the quality to the point of useless yet these are exactly where I would want such a collection because I don't have connectivity or tasks occupying me).

        Far too much of the discussion of piracy leaves out economic factors and purchasing concerns and instead concentrates on the largely spurious method of handing control over to large media companies.

      5. moiety

        "As to the price if I produce something I set the price, if that is a price you don't want to pay it is your choice not to buy the product. Acquiring the product by either stealing (a physical item) or copying (IP related product) both to my mind both equate to theft."

        Classic beginner's mistake: You're assuming a 1:1 'download to lost sale' ratio. Legally it's not theft if the 'victim' isn't deprived of anything. There's evidence that easy downloading decreases sales and there's evidence that downloading increases sales a bit further down the line; but there's so much horseshit piled up on both sides of the fence that it's hard to discern the true story.

        What there is evidence for, however, is that the vast majority of people would prefer to be honest is the solution is:

        * Convenient

        * Perceived as a reasonable price for the product

        Something that also has to be taken into consideration is the public's perceptions of the parties involved; and the media associations have done themselves a great deal of damage here by bribing politicians to curtail the rights of everybody so that they can make a few quid. The true obscenity is the unreasonable extension of the term of copyright term (The 'Mickey Mouse laws'; or the 'Wowbagger laws', as they're going to have to rename them if it keeps up). At least part of the motivation for downloading is a mini, personal 'fuck you' to the media associations.

        15 years was fine, and did the job well. If that were still the case we'd still be legally allowed to download -say- Radiohead's 'OK Computer'*** and maybe buy some other Radiohead albums to see what they've been up to since; or maybe dick around with the sounds and make something else from the work. By the time it *actually* comes out of copyright, we'll all have something else to listen to in our flying cars; and it will probably be so antiquated that it would sound like crap anyway (***Just picked at random from the right year, okay?). That's just's a lot more important for society to stay current(ish) on published science and engineering, for example. 15-year-old remixes of science and engineering would benefit all of us...even the selfish media ass. scumpouches.

        If things are seen as fair, then the majority will be happy. Reset copyright back to 15 years; charge a reasonable price for the product (remember that you're not paying for physical media and transportation for digital products, and we fucking well *know* that); make the penalties for infringing within that 15-year period offputting, but sane...and the game can still be saved.

        Won't happen though. *sigh*

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @moiety - You said it very well, sir!

          That's exactly what happened with classical music. That's why I can listen to music written in the 1600s or even before that. The music was accessible and generation after generation could afford to listen to it and now we can enjoy it too.

          Just to let you know, one of the up-votes is mine.

          1. Goat Jam


            Invent a world changing cure for cancer? You get a 15 year monopoly to make some money from it.

            Invent a cartoon mouse? You get 75 years (and counting) monopoly so you can sell people their childhood memories at $30 bucks a disc.

      6. Marshalltown
        Thumb Down


        The problem is frequently that a "product" isn't available at all in some potential markets. More to the point, media execs lie - period. There's no evidence at all that "piracy" is actually taking sand out of any Hollywood or Nashville swimming pool, let alone a bit of caviar off anyone's table. There are media company assertions without quantitative backup and there are real-world investigations that flatly refute the idea that ANY protection is required against "piracy." I've no idea about Britain, but in the US, the chief "pirates" are the big media companies and in the music industry the people getting robbed are the artists. For contrary opinions regarding the utility of the idea of "IP" check out the thoughts of Maria Muldaur or the reasoning behind and the results of the Baen Free Library at Baen Books as set out by Eric Flint.

        1. Titus Technophobe

          @Moeity and some others

          You miss the point regardless of convenience and price if I produce something to my mind I have right to sell that product. This allows me to then buy the things that I require. The fact that my product either isn’t available in your locale, is overpriced (in your opinion), or indeed not for sale at your preferred marketplace doesn’t justify you taking that product without my permission.

          Maybe a physical product example would help. I grow beans in fields and sell them in a market. Living in an area of bean pirates I choose to sell them in a market that whilst geographical distant, but doesn’t have the local theft problems, not being hugely familiar with the laws of supply and demand I chose to sell boxes of beans for $1000.

          Does the fact that my beans aren’t available locally give you a moral right to steal from my fields? Or even more so steal them and then just hand them out locally?

          Whilst the price of $1000 a box is ridiculous, and I can’t sell then, does this give a moral right to steal the boxes and sell them cheaper? Left alone I may start to discount the prices until they do sell, whereas with a constant theft problem I have to maintain the original price to cover my costs.

          I see the arguments about IP in a similar way. I may either choose to give away attenuated copies of my product to enhance sales, distribute the product via the Internet or indeed in Europe, Russia or some other locale. That is my choice. The fact that I choose to do none of these things does not justify people doing that without my permission just because this is trivially simple on the Internet.

          1. moiety

            @Titus Technophobe

            I was objecting to your use of the word 'theft' in regard to downloads. With your bean analogy it would be theft because I am depriving you of something. Every box of beans I steal would be a box of beans that you then wouldn't have.

            That's not the case with downloads. Take as a theoretical case somebody downloading an album or film with absolutely no intention whatsoever of buying the official product. Morally dubious, yes, (I think unlawful is the term - IANAL) but there is no loss to the rights holder as nothing is taken. The rights holder has just many copies as ever to sell. There is no lost sale as the downloader was never going to buy it anyway.

            You're also looking at the issue from the creator's POV, and 99% of this argument isn't with the's the media associations that are ripping both the creators and the public off. To run with your bean analogy, let's say that in order to sell your beans you have to join a farming collective. They are charging $1000 a box; but you're only seeing $50 of that; and they have a contract for your entire yield for the next 10 years. You were hungry and you needed to see your beans, so you signed. Sure you're able to heat your house with flatulence alone, but you still need cash for tools and things.

            Now getting back to downloading...the 'regionally available' stuff is an antiquated and artificial scarcity. Sure it used to work when vinyl and postage was the only way...don't release a product in some markets and people would be happy to import a product at extra cost. And to an extent, that was fair have to consider the logistics of producing extra copies, sending these physical items to foreign places. And if you got the numbers wrong it was expensive.

            With digital products, none of this applies: set up a site with a paywall in front of the download - problem solved. Anyone, anywhere in the world can buy your product and enjoy it more-or-less immediately. And there are no logistics, print or supply problems as you can calve off copies of your product until your server explodes or the heat-death of the universe (whichever comes first). Artificial scarcity in this environment is bullshit, and the potentially purchasing punters know it.

            In fact, it makes unloading physical products easier too; as you can centralise your order-taking and just post them from wherever you happen to be.

            Absolutely agreed that the creator of the work has the right to do whatever with the work. The game changes, however, when media ass.'s get involved. If an organisation is deliberately creating artificial scarcity, then the people in those areas who 'can't access' a given product are going to find their own ways round it. Right or wrong; that's human nature. If I produce an album and release it across the UK, except for Wales (random example!); what are the people in Wales going to do? I give you one guess. They're going to find another source to obtain said product; and quite possibly download my entire back catalogue while they're about it as an additional 'fuck you'.

            Telling people they can't have something increases the likelihood of them wanting (and obtaining) it; and many business models rely on this very fact. Telling people they can't have a digital product (or something that can become a digital product in very few mouse clicks) because they live in a certain region is bullshit. Everybody (except the media associations, apparently) knows this.

            If a creator doesn't want to get on the internet, that is their decision. However. The vast majority of people (I'm guessing here) buy and store their media in electronic form as it's easier and a hell of a lot more portable. So even if I abide by the creator's (somewhat eccentric) sales technique and buy a waxed cylinder of his work from his bike basket; I'm still going to convert it into something electronic for my own convenience. And sooner or later a copy will probably escape from somebody. You can wish for other outcomes but that's much the same as wishing for the tide not to come in. Telling people "you can't have it" is equally futile, unless you're saying it for some free publicity.

            You have to work with human nature. The various media ass.'s efforts have been a "You're doing it wrong" poster from start to finish. The whole approach of "we're going to arrange for some extra oppression so you give us more money" has only one answer: "Fuck off".

            Most of the problem can be easily solved. But it won't be.

          2. apjanes

            I think you're missing the point

            @Titus Technophobe: I don't think many people are arguing that it is morally 'okay' for people to pirate IP, but that neither is it morally right to give those who may (or may not) be victims of piracy to shutdown/impede/cause problems for others merely on the basis of suspicion. Laws like SOPA cause a huge amount of burden and risk on EVERYONE who runs a website, regardless of whether or not they themselves are engaging in privacy or not.

            In a crude attempt to use your bean analogy, even though it is not right for the bean pirates to take your beans because they can't (or won't) get them legitimately, does that make it right for you to send the 'bean police' in to destroy my fields because I gave directions as to how to get to your fields to some stranger who happened to be a pirate?

            1. Titus Technophobe


              My original response was that just because a piece of IP, i.e,film, book, whatever was not available on the Internet did not justify people making it available for free on the Internet. I made little comment on SOPA.

              The attitude of entitlement to copy IP because something either isn't available, or costs too much pretty much guarantees that producers of IP will continue to press for just this sort of legislation. Mind I don't really need to say this as Andrew Orlowski argues the case far better.

          3. niksad8

            well lets change that bean analogy a bit

            Lets upgrade your bean story to the internet age. Now you have decided not to cater to the local market. Lets say a local pirate comes along sees the warehouse full of beans. Npw he has a device that can scan a particular something and duplicate infinite times. Now the pirate ses some hungry people on the road and duplicates the boxes of beans and hands it to all the poor people so that they can have a full stomach. You have not lost any of your boxes, but your beans are in a market that you dont want to cater to in the first place. Now whos fault is it that you did not see the potential in the local market? Or the pirate who saw the demand and fullfilled it, without earning a penny and ofc he feed some poor people while doing it too.

      7. CappyC


        Is it morally correct that the likes of Tom Cruise gets $100 Million for a couple of months work for a movie? Then they charge £8 to watch a movie in the cinema and if you want to watch again on DVD you have to pay yet again.

        The likes of Cheryl Cole then spends a few hours recording a song and get paid every time it is played, instead of every time she sings (like in a live concert). Do painters get paid every time a painting is displayed or looked at? Is it also morally correct that the MPAA and distributors get 90% of all the revenue when distribution could be as easy as creating a torrent file and people do that for free

        The money these companies and so called Artists (real artist produce art for the sake of the art not the cash Mr Simon Cowell) make is way out dated just like your point of view. WE DO NOT NEED THEM ANY MORE SO WHY PAY FOR THEM.

        1. Titus Technophobe


          How much Tom Cruise, Cheryl Cole, and Mr Simon Cowell get paid is irrelevant. As you yourself have said if you don't need them don't pay for their work. But it still isn't morally correct to copy their work and then watch it anyway.

    2. LarsG


      THE political elite of the USA have realised that if they supported the bill, a bill against the fundamental right of free speech, they would stuggle to be seen as credible.

      They just want to keep their cozy jobs and will always bend with the wind whichever direction it blows.

    3. fzz

      I'll interpret your last paragraph thus: everything which can be digitized will be digitized and made available online, either legitimately by copyright holders or illegally by pirates. Probably true, and would imply that copyright holders should accept this reality and learn to adapt to it.

    4. LarsG


      Megaupload has been taken off the air?

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge


        Funny timing, no? That Megaupload is taken off the air the day after the big who-har When everyone has said that SOPA et. al are too much, not needed etc.

        Maybe the labels will say: "look this is why we need the new laws...", but at the same time the other side can say "Look there are already enough laws..."

        I am a bit disapppointed in El Reg I must say (I'm sorry). But my misses has just asked me about it because it's on the news in Spain, but here I am reading the Reg and I don't know about it!

    5. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      "Personally, I think IP should only be enforceable if the company are actively making use of it and making it available at a reasonable cost"

      Well companies don't own music IP, it's assigned to them. Ray Charles insisted on master rights, I know Feargal Sharkey and the band own theirs.

      What you're talking about is "use it or lose it" clause, aka Reversion.

      Reversion was actually a big part of the independent labels argument in the European sound recording term extension debate. I highlighted it, but to the cynical hearts, every label in the world is evil. It was ignored.

      In the end the EU made a token gesture, it reverts after you're as good as dead. Quite useless.

      To me the length of the copyright term doesn't matter so much as the use it's put to. That needs healthy markets. So the creator can look around for an investor to give the work some new life.

      Reissues labels do this every day, and many do a fantastic job - finding it, curating it, wrapping it up in lovely sleevenotes... that's the best argument that IP should never be snatched from the creator before the term is up.

      See Vampi Soul, Sundazed Records, Soul Jazz, Andy Votel's Finders Keepers label.

      All utterly amazing. They've revived the careers of neglected artists, such as Joe Battan. But IP is essential, as an incentive; with no IP, these beautiful things wouldn't be being reissued.

    6. David Hicks


      The movie industry need to follow the music industry.

      Music is now available at a reasonable price, with extreme convenience, from multiple outlets. As a result music piracy is on the wane.

      Movies, OTOH, are not. They are kept ludicrously expensive (especially for HD content) for no good reason, and there are few services that have poor selections and poor pricing models. As a result, movie piracy is still huge.

      The shutdown of mega-upload demonstrates that we don't need new laws. The tech industry is surely perfectly correct to 'shotgun' criticism at the lawmakers - WE DON'T NEED MORE LAWS!

    7. NogginTheNog


      "I know some will argue that companies own IP and therefore if they don't want it available online then that's their right but I personally don't think they can complain that people are using it online for free when they don't even offer it online"

      So you're basically removing any right the rights holder have over the use of their content?? byt that argument any photos you take, or anything else YOU create, then I, Facebook, or anyone else, has a perfect right to splat all over the 'web if you don't do it yourself?

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        You're right Noggin, the creator doesn't owe anybody anything.

        The creator can compose a symphony and hide it under their bed. Or put it into the public domain. Or negotiate publishing rights. The choices belong to the creator, not a bureaucrat, and not Angry Shed Bloke.

        I think it reflects a weird sense of entitlement.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's the tech world that's reactionary now?

    Then Big Music[tm] and Hollywood[tm] are also part of "the tech world". Really now.

    What we're seeing is people doing their thing and then a bunch of other people step in, bullying, buying themselves some legislation, and the supposed representatives of the people let themselves easily be bought by big money, not even understanding in the least what they're doing.

    It is so deeply, awfully wrong that it's hard to see how we can have anything but the shouting. Don't forget that the whole "IP" business (that's copyright and patents both) are already horribly skewed and broken. ACTA is a testament to how wide the rot has spread, and it doesn't point to the pirates. Anybody notice that the US managed to take things out of the public domain again?

    It isn't industry of any kind that needs to speak up here. It's the people, and they need to call heel to their representatives, who need to learn to represent exactly the people again.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      I concur

      You cannot talk to a US politician without cash in hand - they cannot hear you over the counting machines.

      I'm with the Torches and Pitchforks crowd at this point - recently disillusioned by some things happening here in the US, things I thought were set in stone (like justice and honor) and at my age, a total shock.

      I'm still trying to adjust.

      Good post.


    2. Asiren

      It was said in the article

      The shouting isn't ideal, but when the initial negotiations are done in back-rooms and the legislators are blinded by money, how else are bad laws supposed to be shot down?

      The two ways to a Congressman's Brain (ha!) is:

      1. Pay to have some private time with him and put your own ideas in his head, feed him talking points he can fend off newcasters (which you have also primed) with and gives him publicity. (aka Lobbying)

      2. Rile up the public so that they scream and shout until the Congressman realises that if he goes the wrong way, his gravy train is going to run away wrong way on a one-way track towards a cliff, never going back. (aka Protesting)

      One is cloak-and-daggers, the other is mob mentality. What sort of common ground is there between those methods of "dialogue"?!?

  3. Shane8

    TPB said it better!


    The word SOPA means "trash" in Swedish. The word PIPA means "a pipe" in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence.

    They want to make the internet inte a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to the

    rest of us obedient consumers.

    The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you'll learn that noone wants to be fed with

    trash. Why the US government want the american people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that

    you will stop them, before we all drown.

    [end quote]

    (full text @

    Ill drink to that!

    1. Laie Techie

      [quote]The word SOPA means "trash" in Swedish. The word PIPA means "a pipe" in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence.[/quote]

      The word SOPA means soup in Portuguese. Does that mean the govt wants to turn this country into a soup kitchen?

      A word's meaning in a foreign language only comes into play when the original context (in English) was inspired by that other language. I doubt more than a handful of our congressmen know Swedish.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


        The word PIPA may be understood in Russian as "dick". I'll leave the interpretation of the true intentions of the US media industry to your imagination...

    2. Toastan Buttar
      Paris Hilton


      The word "PIPA" in UK English means "shapely rear".

      1. Steve Renouf

        isn't it Pippa?

        why isn't there a mouse icon too?

      2. Turtle_Fan

        PIPA in a foreign language...

        Then you really don't want to know what pipa means in Greek....


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is also...

    ... the problem that the "structure of debate" in the US is currently either back rooms or shouting. Look at how Big Media[tm], clear proponents of this awfully abusable legislation, didn't say a thing to the people they're supposed to inform. Not much sense admonishing the shouty to go back to discussing when the other side won't talk back.

    1. K Silver badge


      Definitely conflict of interest here, with the likes of Rupert Murdoch backing SOPA because of his interest in Fox.. Fox New simply becomes a propoganda tool.

      1. Efros

        Not "becomes" it already is, and has been since it started.

        1. Dr. Ellen
          Big Brother

          Fox News

          I don't exactly disagree about Fox News being propaganda. I just think it's *counter*propaganda to most of the other news services.

          1. Tinker Tailor Soldier
            Thumb Down

            Reality has a liberal bias

            But then Faux news watchers like you never liked reality much did you?

  5. K Silver badge


    You hit the nail on the head.

    The film industry in using a piece meal approach, they'll release the old "tat" to Netflix and Lovefilm, but the rest of the content they hoard in an effort to squeeze more profit from it. Its doomed to failure, the music industry learnt this, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming by the likes of iTunes (et al) into the 21st century.

    It boils down to this - We have a culture of consume on-demand, with products available through multiple suppliers, the net result should be increased competition and decreased prices, this is the ethos of capitalism. Consumers now live by this, so they're looking for the content they want, at a time dictated by them and at a reasonable cost.

    Where the film and tv industry fail to deliver this, then consumers will find these other supplier (even if its not legitimate). The big players in the industry will lose distribution control, the spoils will go to those that embrace it... e.g. the iTunes and Spotifies of the Movies and TV world.

    1. Richard 81

      Gabe Newell said it

      "In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the U.S. release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty." - Gabe Newell of Valve fame.

      Basically boils down to "if piracy provides a better service than the producers, of course people will pirate."

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Dead? Not hardly

    SOPA/PIPA are only "dead" in the way that Jason, Freddy, the Alien, et. al. are "dead" at the end of the movie. They will be back in the sequel, as bad (if not worse) than before.

    Seriously, even if you drive a stake into SOPA's heart, stuff its mouth full of garlic and sew it shut, cut its head off with a gravedigger's shovel, bury it in holy ground at a crossroads, salt the site (with both NaCL and Cobalt-60 chloride), nuke the site from orbit, drop it inside a Schwarzschild metric black hole of 10 solar masses, and then eject that from our worldbrane, it WILL be back, because companies with more money than business model or common sense want it.

    We need to keep an eye on our "elected" officials, lest they think they can slip it through unnoticed.

    1. irish donkey


      what he said!

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Good prediction:

      "Seriously, even if you drive a stake into SOPA's heart, stuff its mouth full of garlic and sew it shut, cut its head off with a gravedigger's shovel, bury it in holy ground at a crossroads, salt the site (with both NaCL and Cobalt-60 chloride), nuke the site from orbit, drop it inside a Schwarzschild metric black hole of 10 solar masses, and then eject that from our worldbrane, it WILL be back..."

      SOPA will be back EVERY year until the problem is fixed.

      Fixing it through co-operation means you don't need new legislation.

      But you need to fix it with fair enforcement powers that benefit (for example): the amateur, the little guy (independent filmmaker), and the big studio. All three. Not two out of three - or the two you like most.

      Of course if you prefer fighting the war, to fixing the problem, you'll get SOPA every year.

  7. PassiveSmoking

    Had the US government not tried to push this bill through in secret, without consulting people who weren't involved with the "creative" industries and without a free and open debate on the merits and failings of the legislation in question, those who were in most danger of getting screwed by the law probably wouldn't have felt the need to resort to shouting and civil disobedience to being the issues to light.

    Of course the shaping of the legislation should have been done in a more mature way, but political representatives should also be expected to behave in a trustworthy way.

    1. Turtle

      The Tech Industry

      "Had the US government not tried to push this bill through in secret, without consulting people who weren't involved with the "creative" industries and without a free and open debate on the merits and failings of the legislation in question, those who were in most danger of getting screwed by the law probably wouldn't have felt the need to resort to shouting and civil disobedience to being the issues to light."

      You are so full of shit that it isn't even funny. The tech industry has never supported any measures to protect copyright owners, and they never will support any meaningful protection. (The number of DMCA takedown notices that Google receives every year can be counted by millions.) The tech industry will continue to resort to obstructionism for as long as they can, because the continuation of the current situation, which enables them to steal, distribute, and devalue content, is of immense financial benefit to them; the fact that is of immense financial harm to the people who actually create the content that the tech industry steals means nothing to them.

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