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Friday, October 7, 2011

Protect IP Act, Protect Media Corporation Profits Act

There's a bill in Congress called the "Protect IP Act". A more accurate name is the "Protect Media Corporation Profits Act".

For domains registered in the USA, the police can already seize your domain without trial, via "asset forfeiture".

The "Protect IP" act targets domains registered outside the USA. The US government can't seize the domain, because it's registered outside the USA. Instead, the bill forces DNS servers in the USA to not carry the domain. Google and other sites would be banned from mentioning it.

The evil part of the law is that there's no jury trial. All it takes is a warrant signed by the judge, and the domain is blacklisted.

For tangible property, the police can seize your property without trial, via "asset forfeiture". In an "asset forfeiture" case, your property is charged with a crime and not you, placing the burden of proof on you to try and recover it. This law extends "asset forfeiture" power to the Internet, forcing DNS servers in the USA to not carry certain domains.

Fortunately, the law contains a massive humongous loophole. The law only seizes the domain. You can still access the "banned" site via IP address.

Intellectual property is not property. I no longer feel guilty about downloading old out-of-print computer games. Even if I did buy a used copy, the programmers who wrote it won't get paid extra.

Via "Hollywood Accounting", most music artists don't get royalties, even for blockbuster hits. Almost all money spent on purchases goes to corporate middlemen, rather than to the artists and workers. Pro-State trolls say "Copyright benefits artists!", but the profits of one more marginal sale all go to corporate middlemen.

That's the beauty of evil copyright law. Copyright is owned by the individual, *BUT* you have to sell your copyright to get published by the cartel. Most copyrights end up owned by large corporations.

Imagine a website that had every single computer game that was over 10 years old! Due to copyright law, it's impossible to create such a website legally. People do it anyway, illegally.

It's really nice to download a torrent of *ALL* old Atari games. If it were possible to purchase it legally, it'd be worth a couple hundred dollars. Unfortunately, the only way to get a complete game collection is "illegally". There's no way to sell such a collection legally, due to legal wrangling with copyright owners. Each copyright owner would demand a huge fee, for permission to include that game in the collection.

Intellectual property is not property. The only way the copyright can be enforced, is by spying on everyone all the time. To enforce copyright, the State must restrict your ability to use your own computer. In a digital world, copying costs zero, making traditional copyright obsolete.

I'm really interested in retrogaming now. It'd be a shame if laws like "Protect IP" interfere with that. Fortunately, the Protect IP law contains a massive loophole. If you know the IP address, then you can bypass the seizure.

No matter what countermeasures Statists take, there are ways a computer literate person could evade it. If necessary, people would start mailing each other DVDs and USB drives.

I really like the retrogaming torrent websites. It's impressive that people have preserved old computer games, in spite of the fact that it's "illegal". I'm concerned that laws like "Protect IP" could interfere with that.

The annoying part of the "Protect IP Act" is that it's flagrantly protecting the profits of a handful of insiders. Even worse laws may be coming. However, I'm not that offended by the "Protect IP Act", because you can avoid the ban by directly entering the site's IP address.


Anonymous said...

have you ever tried Console Classix? they have a ton of old atari, NES, SNES, SMS, genesis, gameboy, etc games. it's just a program you download and you access the games remotely.

FSK said...

I use BitTorrent. It's easier to download the games to my PC and phone. This way, I also get a full collection.

Plus, my primary phone usage is on the subway. Anything that requires an Internet connection to use is automatically out.

Scott said...

I think with the old games the current system works. People are free to illegally download them without much restriction, but if you try to sue the creator because it crashes your computer or what not, the suit won't get far because you "stole" the program to begin with.

I do not like the idea of eliminating copyright. I don't like the idea that a book I wrote some company I hate can publish and sell without my input or control. If that is the situation I'll just not write any more books.

FSK said...

There's almost no risk of old games crashing your computer. They are typically played in emulators.

The correct answer is "Copyright is not a valid form of property." If people would rather buy a book from a knockoff publisher rather than from you, that's your problem. The correct answer is "Intellectual property is not property." You can't enforce "intellectual property" without a State police/justice monopoly.

I wouldn't copy current on-the-market games.

Unless you're already a superstar promoted by the State media cartel, your biggest risk is "People don't know who you are." rather than "People will copy without paying you." Unless you already have a mainstream media contract and are actively promoted, copyright doesn't protect you.

Scott said...

" If people would rather buy a book from a knockoff publisher rather than from you, that's your problem."

No it's your problem because under this system I don't produce books, no point. I'm perfectly happy to not produce useful things that others benefit from when the situation is that my work can be stolen.

I can grow vegetables, design new weapons, or write propaganda to advance agendas though instead. If others copy my propaganda that's good for me.

FSK said...

Are you seriously suggesting that, without copyright, nobody would write any books at all? That's ridiculous.

Actually, copyright is an incentive for publishers to recycle the same old stuff, rather than being original.

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