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Chris Hollander

student researcher ,

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SOPA wants to modernize penal and enforcement policies, should we also modernize definition of Intellectual Property?

Anyone who has used any form of creative software has at some time utilized templates, loops, backgrounds, fonts or any number of preconceived designs in the process of generating their own work. Under our current standards these designs are considered intellectual property the same as the more traditional forms; books, music, movies ect. Typically, a company like Microsoft will allow use of the Helvetica font under its licensing of its product, Word, but does the nature of the explosion of reuse and reformation of designs to create entirely new and imaginative expressions demand rethinking of how we determine the value and definition of digital intellectual property?

Are there other areas of Copyright law that need similar scrutiny ?
(GMOs, Life Patents, Trademarks ect.)

Can the argument be made that we have outgrown Copyright law as a society?


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  • Feb 17 2012: "Practical considerations later" exactly a summary of all the thinking here. Let's just all steal everyone's creative content and do a hippie dance - and we'll consider the practicalities - like the entire city of Los Angeles having a decimated economy - later.

    Besides, even for the most fatuous of academic windbags, defending piracy as "ethical" is patently ludicrous.
    • Feb 18 2012: I think you yourself are the most aligned with the "Practical considerations later" thinking.

      Do you really, really know how the internet works, and how software development had overcome much of that problem by now? You do not seem to know these.

      Do you really want to have all your e-mail and credit card information (from online purchases) checked by your internet provider? ACTA (if I am not mistaken) will actually force them to do that, and will eventually restrict commercial uses of cryptography if it gets in their way against piracy. They are even intending to make the bit torrent protocol illegal, which was not even specifically designed for piracy.

      I would not like to see services like Google, GMail, Facebook, Youtube or even Wikipedia go offline because of that. We would start a new Dark Age, hunting pirates instead of witches, and internet will become history soon enough (not so much because piracy would stop, but mostly because people would either lose interest in the poorly expensive content left, become fearful of sharing or accessing content they are not sure they can, or be unfairly punished for accidentally accessing or sharing illegal content). Much of the sense of collaboration would crumble before that. Is that what you seek?

      And I'd estimate many more jobs would be lost due to this crisis than whatever is estimated due to piracy.
      • Feb 18 2012: This is propaganda and nonsense. Youtube and Google have done a fine job of brainwashing you. Maybe they will send you a check for 0.01c for helping their agenda. Maybe not - they feel everyone should share, although they themselves are very reluctant to share their ad revenues, so likely no check.

        BTW - have you ever met ANYONE who uses bittorrent for something other than piracy? Aren't there other ways of sharing legal files that are much easier?
        • Feb 18 2012: We are not getting a check, but if We did I would despise it. We are not directly getting any economical gain for promoting these ideas.
        • Feb 19 2012: @R.Ruffo
          I think you are the one brainwashed by the movie industry, but that is not relevant after all.

          Google might not be sharing their ad revenue directly, but I definitely could not survive without their free search engine service. I don't mind being exploited as long as I exploit them in return. Our relationship is fair and mutual, unlike in the movie industry. That is probably why so many people are complaining about the copyrights system - it does not offer enough value nor fairness (much less innovation) anymore.

          I do not see the artists getting their fair share on their work, nor I see the overall value of their work improving through this system. Unlike in the software industry, where start-ups actually get a chance of becoming successful, and deliver ever greater value (the most innovative ones, at least - I can't say the same for some corporations or segments) - much of that, only possible because some people shared their work, freely or not.

          And Google (which includes YouTube) is not my only source of information, as you are implying. Most of the insights I get are from different and independent organizations, all within the IT sector (Wikipedia, for instance, is not affiliated to Google, and is built upon the collaborative work of thousands of independent volunteers, unlike your probable sources - and they are ad-free, by the way).

          And you still show no signs of knowledge about the internet. Hope you do not regret should these laws ever happen. By the way, you may ask me anything about how the internet works, it is part of my job to know these things, technically speaking, of course.
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      Feb 18 2012: so you say we should abandon ethics for the sake of practicality? and practicality in that case means more money for you, less freedom for others? then the debate is over. you demonstrated that you here only to fight for some more money, and you disregard reason.

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