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This morning I received a DMCA notice for an unlicensed image someone posted on their user page. It's not a huge deal; I removed the image. It reminded me however that I've been meaning to make a post about SOPA, something you've probably heard about by now.
SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act. It essentially creates an internet blacklist in the US, where offending sites are no longer accessible by domain name.
Lobbyists from the entertainment industry claim SOPA is intended to block foreign sites that specialize in illegal music and movie downloads, or counterfeit goods. It makes the whole thing sound pretty harmless but in my 16 years of running Newgrounds, I've learned that companies will use whatever means available to strong-arm us. This article explains the process for how companies will use SOPA to circumvent the traditional DMCA process. If your website has even one piece of infringing material (such as an unlicensed picture on a user page), this material could be used as an excuse to:
1) Block your domain name, essentially shutting off your site to the US.
2) Block your advertisers and payment processors.
3) Block your search engine listings.
All of this could happen without having to prove anything in court.
In the past we've seen companies send shutdown notices directly to our bandwidth provider, attempting to take NG off-line rather than talk to us about their issue. I believe this may have been because I hadn't registered an official DMCA agent for Newgrounds; you actually need to pay a fee and register an agent to be protected. With SOPA, however, unscrupulous companies will try to shut down entire businesses over complaints that could be resolved with a simple DMCA notice. They'll do it because they are total shitheads who don't give a fuck.
Not to mention this is GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OF THE INTERNET. It undermines the security of the Internet and gives comfort to totalitarian regimes already doing the same thing. NG has been blocked in China before and IT SUCKS!
Of course I better not criticize the US government now that NDAA has passed, or I might get indefinitely detained without trial. THANKS, FUCKERS!
I'll wrap this up with some links to websites that are actively engaging people to help STOP SOPA:
Stop American Censorship - Submit letters to Congress, petition the State Department, etc.
Stop Censorship - Fill out this form to have your name potentially read during a fillibuster.
Save the Internet! - A big ongoing petition.
Despite our opposition to SOPA, we strongly believe that you don't have any reason to post unlicensed material on NG in the first place. There's a whole Audio Portal full of musicians who would love to have their music featured, as well as an Art Portal full of artists who make amazing transitions into games and movies. Why promote the wares of a massive consolidated industry when you can support individuals working alongside you on NG?
This is the game JohnnyUtah and I have been working on.
Love how you worked in the Chinagrounds logo Tom.
Fuck lobbyists and old people in the government who don't know what the fuck they're talking about regarding the internet...
"this message was removed due to the fact it contained words that were copyrighted and can not be written or talked about, it also contained a picture of a kitten which we are unable to identify if the poster copied this image unlawfully"
If the bill passes the entire internet will be screwed. Hell, the NDAA is probably worse than SOPA at this point and for SOME REASON the senate passed it. I have little to no faith in our government anymore. They haven't been about the welfare of their kinsmen for a long time and NDAA proves it.
At 12/20/11 12:00 PM, Carbonwater wrote:America.Oh okay.
It would pave the way for other countries too. Good post tom.
If this passes teen angst will skyrocket. I already sent about 3 letters to congress as to why this is a bad idea.
this america land of the fucking free
every day its becoming more like communist
At 12/20/11 12:13 PM, roderickii wrote: If this passes teen angst will skyrocket. I already sent about 3 letters to congress as to why this is a bad idea.
Pssh. I once said on another forum that if it passed, we should all gather outside Congress and set ourselves on fire like in Tunisia. And I don't even live in America; I'm British. But if this shitty bill passes and all my fave sites get shut down because of "copyright issues", I'mma be seriously pissed off.
The internet is a place where men are men, women are really men, and children are undercover FBI agents. ~Downfall_RiD
If this passes, wouldn't Newgrounds be in big trouble? There are thousands if not millions of flashes on here which contains unlicensed material troughout the history of the site. Take all those hentai galleries for a start, not to mention all the videogame parodies which contain official music of the game in it.
Dose useing Sprites fall under the piracy thing? I use sprites because my art abilities are lacking and unless your popular on NG no one wants to work with you on anything.
Sig by ToastedToastyToast
At 12/20/11 12:00 PM, Carbonwater wrote:America.Oh okay.
Yeah I live outside US too, but the problem is too many countries are copying US government decisions, so I there's a chance your or mine government will incorporate SOPA into their law just because the uber cool us government accepted it
Something like this happened in Italy not too long ago. Luckily, the "law" didn't pass.
It was followed by a Wikipedia.it protest, who self-suspended for some days.
Now the same thing is happening in the States too?
Well that fucking sucks.
If there's anything us non-Americans can do to help, I'm sure a lot of people would gladly help.
I need a sig.
I just hope EU users of newgrounds realize that is means sooner or later something similar is bound to make its way into EU. In fact they have been planing for such with ACTA for almost a decade. If SOPA passes in US, chances are europeans will be hit by the shit tide too.
Don't you guys think this is "american only" problem, it will probably hit us too, since EU is an oligarchy were a few shit stains dictate a constitution that wasn't approved by no european country population.
Don't want to be an alarmist but this a very serious and real possibility.
I created a forum post in the "politics" section addressing this issue a month ago asking NEWGROUNDS to look in to this a little more, because I didn't know what to think, but the post vanished only a couple hours after I posted it... THERE IN THE SYSTEM ALREADY!!!!!! I didn't bring it up again because I figured I may have said something I shouldn't have in the post (and I think I did). :P
Anyway now that you have officially addressed this, this is how I feel
It's not that Europeans don't want to vote, but we're not eligible for quite a couple of these forms, even though it affects us as much as any other country.
"America equals world"-mentality I guess.
A rather disgusting-looking git that should have been disposed of ages ago.
You do realize that if this stupid law is enacted, it will allow overseas hackers to virtually shut down all e-commerce in the US? Here's how:
1) Hackers gain back-door access to folders on a site, usually through holes in the server or through database / SQL injections
2) They upload html pages and copyrighted images to that compromised folder, creating a mini website that showcases everything that can cause multiple violations
3) They do NOT touch the main site, as to not give away the fact that it has been compromised.
4) Then they contact the Internet Nazis with links to those pages, and without a chance to defend themselves, that site is now blocked, chocked and done. The hackers have now taken down a business in a way that they could never do by themselves.
5) Now, extend this scenario to all of the Walmart, Amazon, Ebay, PriceClub, Tiger Direct, Google, Yahoo and countless other servers where e-commerce is hosted. Imagine those guys being blocked out because of this law. How many hundreds of thousands of orders could be lost and millions - if not billions - of dollars in lost revenue realized?
The American economy is already wobbly enough - this type of action could ruin thousands of businesses through no fault of their own, and it opens the doors for major foreign influences to take over the direction and access of our internet access - and our businesses.
And if you don't think that foreign businesses (especially in China and the old 'Russian' states) would employ hackers to take down American sites to help bolster their own business - think again.
KEEP THE LAND OF THE FREE FREE!!!!!!!
At 12/20/11 11:54 AM, TomFulp wrote: 1) Block your domain name, essentially shutting off your site to the US.
This site shall soon be known as Britgrounds. YAY!
In the past we've seen companies send shutdown notices directly to our bandwidth provider, attempting to take NG off-line rather than talk to us about their issue.
Meh; since the site is still here, you obviously have some defense against people doing this to you, so why would a SOPA-related order be any different to protect yourself from?
Not to mention this is GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OF THE INTERNET.
To anyone who thinks the US' internet wasn't already censored, I have two letters to say:
Signed it even though i'm from sweden. Also Tom where is my bally autograph from all of the staff!
XBL: Taillesspack819 Send a Friend Request if u want :D
SOPA is just one of those bills that Congress uses to please lobbyists and make it look like they're actually being productive for once. It's chock full of pork and bullshit.
At 12/20/11 01:02 PM, Ronald-McDonald-LoL wrote: SOPA is just one of those bills that Congress uses to please lobbyists and make it look like they're actually being productive for once. It's chock full of pork and bullshit.
Oh...just to point out the obvious - the sig I made for you has at least 4 or 5 violations in it alone!!!!