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Glyn Moody - before and after SOPA


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An exploration of the anti-SOPA blackout of 18 January, why it happened, and what it means for future Net activism

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Glyn Moody - before and after SOPA

  1. 1. before and after SOPA glyn moody    
  2. 2. 18 January 2012something happenedInternet blackoutWikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, Google 115,000 sites in all 4.5 million signature epetitionStop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA)tackling copyright infringement    
  3. 3. ”copy right”key invention: movable type (1457)in 16th and 17th century England, the Stationers Company had exclusive and perpetual state monopoly over producing printed copies of every registered book (their ”copy right”)aim was to *control* what was printed by establishing responsibility - instrument of censorship    
  4. 4. Statute of Anne (1710)”An Act for the Encouragement of Learning”gave limited monopoly (14 years + 14 year extension)text became freely available after that period – created modern public domainstrongly influenced US copyright law    
  5. 5. US copyright extensions1780 Act – 28 years1834 Act – 42 years1909 Act – 56 years1976 Act – life + 50 years1998 Act – life + 70 yearscopyright was also extended to new domains – art, music, architecture, sculpture, films, TV, software etc.    
  6. 6. enter the Internetblogs (100 million)Flickr (6 billion)YouTube ("hundreds of millions")Facebook (approaching one billion)Web pages (one trillion)all about sharing Web turned ordinary people into creators and *recreators* through re- use of existing material    
  7. 7. anti-sharing: DRMDRM is a technology that makes content *less* valuableDRM only has to be broken once to be broken foreverDRM doesnt work – it can always be circumvented technically    
  8. 8. DMCA (1998)Digital Millennium Copyright Actmakes DRM circumvention illegalmakes distribution of DRM circumvention tools illegaldozens of examples of chilling effects on research etc.    
  9. 9. SOPA (1)DMCA - notice and take downSOPA - notice to payment processors and ad servicesto which sites does it apply? allegedly engage in, enable or facilitate infringement or allegedly are taking or have taken steps to avoid confirming a high probability of infringementsurveillance    
  10. 10. SOPA (2)DNS blacklisting of sites fragments Internet breaks attempts to improve security of Internet (DNSSEC)criminalises anyone who provides or offers a product or service that could circumvent DNS blacklisting orders VPNs, SSH, Mozilla (MAFIAA Fire)criminalises free software    
  11. 11. whats going on?copyright is an intellectual monopoly restricting copiesInternet is a perfect, near- instantaneous copying machine once one copy is on the Net anywhere, its effectively everywhere"IP" versus IP    
  12. 12. why now?No Electronic Theft ACT (1997) criminal prosecution for copyright infringment with no commercial benefitDMCA (1998)"Grokster" ruling (2005) - inducementSOPA/PIPA (2011)war on sharing is a war on the Net, war on computers    
  13. 13. 2011: year of protestsTIMEs Person of the Year, 2011: "the protestor"Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria fighting for freedomOccupy Wall Street, Greek protests fighting against big businesstechnology was involved    
  14. 14. SOPA protestswho was fighting? not just Google, as SOPA supporters claim Wikipedia, Mozilla + 115,000 sites Net community: 4.5 million signaturesfighting for what? online freedomfighting against what? big (media) business    
  15. 15. post-SOPA: what?copyright law has only moved in one direction: longer, broader, stronger, stricterbut copyright is a bargain: in return of time-limited state- enforced monopoly, works enter public domainzero sum: more copyright means less public domaintime to move law into reverse    
  16. 16. post-SOPA: howYochai Benkler re-instate the Sony doctrine [contributory infringement] and reverse Grokster [inducement] create a fair use defence to the anticircumvention and antidevice provisions of the DMCA decriminalise copyright to pre-1998 levels [No Electronic Theft Act] rein in the international trade pathway for copyright extension    
  17. 17. the trouble with treatiesDMCA and EUCD implement 1996 WIPO treatiesmove to "country club" treaties select group by invitation only undermines global bodies like WIPO that relatively open and consensus-basedeasier to draft one-sided treaties without checks or balances    
  18. 18. ACTA: Europes SOPAAnti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreementalready, tens/hundreds of thousands have taken to streetsseveral EU nations put it on holdEuropean Commission playing for time, sending ACTA to ECJACTA is the first big post-SOPA test, with a single action: it must be stopped    
  19. 19. bad ACTAa floor for copyright enforcementscope for huge finescriminalises trivial infringement (worse than NET – no minumum)overrides privacythreatens generic medicines through trademarkswont work – China isnt included    
  20. 20. ACTA 2.0: TPPTrans-Pacific Partnership agreementBrunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore; Australia, Malaysia, Peru, US, Vietnam Japan, Canada, South Korea may join    
  21. 21. bad TPPcopyright extends to buffer copiespatents allows patents on surgical methods and plants & animals no pre-grant opposition to patents unlimited amendments for patents triple damages for infringement data exclusivity for drugstrademarks on scents and sounds    
  22. 22. the secretcommon problem with ACTA and TPP is secrecyfew (ACTA), if any (TPP), official drafts; luckily, some leaksno opportunity for public to commentTPP keeps all documents secret for 4 years after conclusionACTA protests born of frustration at being excluded    
  23. 23. the solutionthe Internet is not the problem, its the solutionthe Internet makes it possible for politicians to engage with the public they represent as never beforethe events of 2011 and January 18 make it obligatoryon that day, the Net awoke    
  24. 24. before and after SOPA on Twitter/