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« Absence as presence | Main | Another CRA disaster »

Dec 15, 2011


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agreed x 1,000.


I realize Brod will likely pop up and argue that regulations create whole fields of endeavor that would not otherwise be in existence.

But how do you guys argue that we should not stifle innovation with law while concurrently arguing that many existing law and regulations should not be abandoned for exactly the same reason?

Andrew Brod

Wow, I'm really in your head, aren't I?


I realize Brod will likely pop up and argue that regulations create whole fields of useless endeavor that would not otherwise exist.

But how do you guys argue that law would stifle innovation while concurrently arguing that much of existing law and regulation should not be abandoned for exactly the same reason?


I'm sure Roch will say it echos....


Now Roch is in my head...

Being Poli Malkovich.


poli, should i assume you're for this legislation? would you mind speaking to that and only then provide examples of similar legislation that myself or your bud, brod, might be so wholeheartedly for keeping in place? i'm much more interested in this legislation than my supposed ideological proclivities in general.


I am against this legislation for the same reason I am against the EPA.


The ability to distinguish between "good" things and "bad" things ... even when they represent the same genre ... is a fundamental characteristic found in thinking people. Arguing that all regulations kill jobs or that they don't kill jobs is like arguing that all mushrooms are poisonous or that all mushrooms are not poisonous.

In the early days of cellular phones, the US adopted a low-regulation policy with few standards, while other countries chose standards and bet on their effectiveness. That's why the US is still sucking wind behind the rest of world - with crappy service, disintegration, and higher prices. Regulation would have helped enormously, but the free market maniacs carried the day.

Purveyors of "regulations are bad" and "regulations are good" nonsense should take those broad brushes and slap themselves upside the head.

Such brush holders paint themselves as dimwits.


poli, i'm assuming i won't get a specific comparison between SOPA (legislation) and the EPA (a federal agency), so i'll take it that you're comfortable with me and everyone else walking away from this thread, painting in the nuances of your perspective.

Billy Jones

James wrote: "Such brush holders paint themselves as dimwits."

What more can be expected from an amphibious painter except to croak.


My comments were based on the broad perspective of the post in this sentence:

We don’t need laws that will stifle it.

It was the brush we began with, James.

So, what can we draw from that statement? Well, that laws stifle innovation - except, apparently, when they do not.

But I wonder what it is that leads James to believe that the internet and the cell phone industry differ in the need for law? Monday night quarterbacking?

In would note two things. One, our nation already had an envious telephone system that that made cell service something of a luxury relative to the necessity other less hard-wired nations saw it as. Their push for cell service was out of necessity.

Second we should understand that our cell phone industry was not only forced to cope with a dynamic industry, but one that covers many more square miles than nations frequently pointed to as models of success. Additionally it is rarely taken into consideration that the deeper coverage needed to provide service to our more rural areas often went ignored in other nations. This deeper coverage poses an additional layer of difficulty not seen elsewhere when upgrading. We should realize that infrastructures in nations of large land areas suffer from growing pains most acutely in quickly changing industries.

Let's wonder around the world:

Let's look at Thailand's coverage.

How about Brazil's?

What of a small country like Austria?

I know. Surly Indonesia.

Hey, I found one of your successes -- Singapore.

I can see your point about broad brushing but broad brushing with a meme is a lie.


Putting adherence to one's personal ideology before the general welfare of other people is a very selfish thing to do.

That SOPA has moved this far up the legislative ladder is a testament to Congressional deafness to the general welfare. I guess it's pretty tough to do the people's business when the 1 percent are waving money at you.

Since SOPA exists to use the powers of government to do the bidding of one industry, we should make clear to that industry that if it passes they will suffer because we will stop buying their products. You don't need to make it permanent (although cutting the cable cord is a virtuous thing). If you go to movies, don't go for one month. If you buy music, don't buy any for one month, etc. You get the idea.

I don't have a solution for piracy. Maybe there will eventually be a technical solution. But, frankly, it doesn't impact me. It must really annoy Big Media that some sites in Scandanavia give all their stuff away free. But it isn't exactly one of society's pressing issues, is it? We don't need SOPA and we don't need government policing the net just to put more cash in Big Media's pockets.


SOPA is legislation that skips the slippery slope, and jumps straight to the end of the ride. it wants to use the various building block mechanisms of the internet -- social media, cable services, dns services, ad networks -- to police user access to "accused" copyright infringement. the legislation is literally asking the government to take block requests, from anyone, with extremely limited due process, and put a chinese-styled internet block into motion if they see fit... but in a manner that the government doesn't have the responsibility of policing moving forward, which removes all liability from the gov and places it on the backs of the industry itself.

it's an insidious plan, actually.

if you're familiar with the dmca, and how youtube handles takedown requests and legislates subsequent account shut-downs with zero due process, completely forgoing a fair use argument from the user, one can imagine that mess on a much larger scale. this legislative proposal literally positions the attorney general as judge dredd in the flesh. no exaggeration.

ok, so we can't access a bunch of sites who "probably" are doing something "illegal." whoop de damn do, you say. we need to be outside more with our kids anyhow.

for a minute, try imagining what the internet industry is at its core. the most successful internet companies mine, present and connect data (content) in unique interfaces that serves specific user needs and desires. imagine if this legislation were in play as google attempted to go public. would google news be deemed fair use in the eyes of the unenlightened newspaper / news industry? what about google books with the publishing industry? hell, even organic search pulls back content from copyrighted sources big and small -- should search be illegal? inaccessible?

it's simple to say no, of course not, but that's only because we're 10 years down the google road and the value proposition of their services have shifted pre-conceived notions of those types of fair use arguments. but what about the next big thing that alters how we find, use, access, digest, share information or content? will that next big thing ever get the backing from a much more conservative group of industry VC's in order to get off the ground? would bootstrapping entrepreneurs even attempt to swim in such choppy waters without the ability to protect themselves with high-priced lawyers? i sure as hell wouldn't, which makes my options exponentially less to not only innovate, but have work to provide for my family.

by far, the most successful things we actually produce in this country live in the cloud... so this is kind of a big deal.

oh yeah, and the EPA provides no service other than to hate on businesses!

Andrew Brod

"But it isn't exactly one of society's pressing issues, is it?"

No, it isn't. The pressure's coming from the movie and music industries, which tells us that what this is really about is... movies and music.


"Monday night quarterbacking?" -- Polifrog

LOL. Don't you mean barber chair quarterbacking?


It seems to me that this discussion is mostly focused on the "stifling innovation" and "destroying jobs" part of the bill. However, I feel attention should be called to the impact it will have on free expression. Andrew Brod stated that it's really about movies and music, and yeah while the large push is from Hollywood and bullies like the RIAA, it seems a prime opportunity for the government to step in and subtly attack social networking sites that have been fueling a lot of political movements this year.

This bill doesn't just hurt jobs, it censors speech. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg, YouTube etc, will all be responsible for user content and face the consequences if they let copyrighted material through. Someone posting a copyrighted video will get more years in jail than the doctor accused of killing Michael Jackson. Since a lot of internet culture is based on the spread of information and "memes," you can pretty much say goodbye that on the level it has currently existed.

Justcorbly suggested boycotting by not buying music, I'd like to edit that and say you can still buy music, but just buy music from local musicians. The music is just as good and they don't go complaining to the RIAA which would take most of the money from any lawsuits anyways (since they hate sharing).

Here are some links:


sorry, andrew, but this is a big issue. if this were only about guys on a virtual corner sharing pirated music and movies, you'd be right. as it is, it could completely change the web. it adds governance where there was none, burdens the industry with policing (which may or may not be just), affects security online and could very well do damage to the economy.

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