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Stop SOPA! Stop BREIN! Stop BUMA-STEMRA! Stop GEMA! Stop HADOPI! Stop...


The Blender Foundation is joining in the protest against the limitation of freedom on the internet.

Ton Roosendaal writes:

Blender Foundation is for an open and free internet, and is worried about how copyright protection is endangering digital rights in EU and USA.

I'm fully supporting the protests today against the SOPA bill that might get accepted in the USA. With Blender Foundation being established in the Netherlands, I would like to emphasize that similar ideas have either already been established or are being lobbied here and in other European countries.

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About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. You can help by also NOT abusing copyright and not using illegal download sites.

    Though I am sure most people here are honest enough. Just saying its sadly one of those situations where a few bad and selfish people across the net have ruined it for the rest of us.

    This is all very concerning, but not really surprising it's coming to this. Governments hate not having control, especially the EU and USA.

    However I see their problem, the difficulty of regulating the internet and the abuse of it something that I have thought would bring it to this for some time.

    I don't agree with these bills, there are other things that could be done, but I am REALLY sorry to say, while there are people out there offering illegal downloads, damaging invasive software (such as viruses, and phishing sites), illegal abuse sites, mp3, video and software piracy.....

    This goes one of two ways, iron fist regulation, like that of radio waves, leaving us with a very small corner that be used without a license. Or deregulation and the whole copyright ideal gets turned on its head and no one owns anything legally any more.
    Both of these are BAD!!

    But as long as people abuse the system, the more people will clamp down or give up on protecting us.

    In other words, do your bit by NOT abusing copyright and not using illegal download sites.

    But also protest against these bills as they are the wrong direction.

    • I use Open Source so I don't have to steal. For my money the harder governments crack down on piracy, the better for the Free(dom) movement. But...

      .As long as people abuse...' doesn't mean anything: should I go to jail because there are criminal in my neighbourhood ? Maybe I've even met them, talked to them, mabe I even suspect that they aren't straight but can't prove it. Should some victim of them send me to jail for those reasons.

      SOPA and PIPA are some of the most anti-american laws that were ever intended. They give power to some plaintif to judge and punish the other party. They allow the take down of site which just linked to an infringing site. They give to the plaintif quasi-extraterritorial powers ('in rem' powers, for the legally minded). It punishes everyone which goes far beyond guilt by association.

      Like you say, there are other, more intelligent and more efficient, things that can be done. If I have to chose between copyright protection and such flagrant abuses of my rights as I just described the choice is easy: I say no.

      • As long as people abuse...' doesn't mean anything .....

        No I meant people like child abusers ( you know what I mean ), people who use facebook to abuse and lie about people, people who abuse your computers by uploading viruses, people who use the internet to arrange terrorist attacks.

        Don't get me wrong...... man I know so much this bill is designed to give media companies the right to bully down smaller companies and honest folk. that's WRONG on so many levels. 
        That is also abuse in my mind.

    • As mentioned already, IMO this bill has very little to do with copyright/piracy. I suspect all the hacking that went on in the world fairly recently may have been a different approach by government to also give legislation the power over the internet if SOPA has a negative reaction by the masses. Just think of the name of these bills as deceptive labels. Patriot Act , National Defense Authorization Act, SOPA.  - they all sound good, until you find out there true intent is to erode people's rights / privacy. I'm in the USA and appalled by the recent signing of NDAA 2012, but suspect 2012 is the year of transfer of power from the people to the government. 

    • @352d30aba50e66b679f4c820780f2d7c:disqus :"...You can help by also NOT abusing copyright and not using illegal download sites..."

      SOPA and PIPA are not about Piracy but to give big media corporations control over Internet content. This bills will give Hollywood and Music Industry the ability to censor any site (legal or not) just because they don't like it. Google, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Vimeo, Wikipedia or even Open Source community sites could be shut down without any probe or legal process...

      "Piracy" word is used in this bills just to make it look better to the non informed people and get support for artists community but at the end it's just about how much money lobbiest paid to senators to get control over Internet.

    • seriously,  "a few bad and selfish people" you try paying for w7 one month's salary and a half ... lets see how that goes... not in the mood to go on...

      • I know I know.....

        I was just saying it's a crying shame the governments are clamping down and letting corporations stamp all over us.....AGAIN!!

        I was just trying to point out 80% of this is control, 20% is about the people who turn parts of the web into some very dark places.
        People like the ones I refer to in my reply to IamInnocent

        However, I feel that most of the internet is a truly wonderful and enlightening place and should remain free.

        Just do our part not to encourage the uglier side of the web... and there is one.

        Peace my friend. :)

      • Benjamin Lindquist on

        Well some people do buy stuff, no matter if it's expensive. I've bought the overpriced Windows XP and I have a legal version of  windows 7 as well. If everybody bought what they use it'd probably be cheaper too.
        I know almost nobody is going to buy every software they use (me included) but I plan to clear my conscience when I can afford it. Why not leave stuff you can't afford alone you might think...well some companies don't give you student licenses for the software that you're supposed to use. What then?

        • "If everybody bought what they use it'd probably be cheaper too" True !

          myself as of about a year now i started to use free stuff or buy what i need (2 months after started using blender :P ) last week bought w7hp for 80 euro's :D [italy]

          personally i feel very "warm and fuzzy inside" when i buy the stuff i want instead of downloading them...

          PS. overprice isn't the only problem (yes a little expensive save up and eventually buy it), availability that's the real problem, if you cant buy the stuff in your country then what...


          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            "personally i feel very "warm and fuzzy inside" when i buy the stuff i want instead of downloading them..."

            Yeah, because that's the right thing to do. :)

            "PS. overprice isn't the only problem (yes a little expensive save up and
            eventually buy it), availability that's the real problem, if you cant
            buy the stuff in your country then what..."

            Indeed, but even if it is available it's usually cheaper to order stuff across the globe for example from the US

    • Like most bills in DC, they don't actually have much to do with what they're labeled as; they just call it the STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT so they can get all the sheeple that won't actually do the research to go along with it. SOPA is ALL about government and corporations wanting control over what they don't have control over....THE INTERNET. Kind of like China's Government controlled internet; that is what SOPA is. Do research, don't be sheeple.....they love sheeple. 

    • Hey I know that copyright is a VERY small part of all of this.

      And trust me! I know what these bills are all about behind the scenes.

      All I was trying to say was YES protest VERY strongly against this bill, it's wrong wrong wrong!!

      But also up hold the moral standards and set an example.

      The internet is a beautiful place with some pockets of very nasty things, lets try and do our part in a small way.

      I know it's all about control, trust me I am on your side here and my voice is out there along side you all.

      I just want to make sure they can't point the finger at us all and say "but there is the example of what we claim this is about!"

    • Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

      Copyright was never about benefiting content creators: it was created to prop up a publisher/distributor monopoly, pure and simple.

      In the age of the Internet, more and more content creators (such as artists, writers, musicians, film-makers) are discovering that they can bypass the publisher middlemen and connect directly with their fans, thus weakening the value of the publisher monopoly. They can exploit this so-called “piracy” as a promotional tool for building a thriving business that actually makes them money, without the usual large cut going to the record companies or the film studios.

      That kind of innovation is what these unjust laws are designed to prevent: the whole business of copyright “piracy” is just a smokescreen to prop up their dying business model and stifle competition from new ways for content creators to make a living.

      In short, “piracy” is not theft: copyright is theft.

  2. I have mix feeling about this,however let not cry ignorance about it we abuse and took the internet for granted over the years since it birth. We has the people fail to take responsibility for our actions.Remember this a digital world now  the old world is gone.what I can said is "it was a fun ride". 

      • If you are without digital sin then delete me,otherwise get zip by big brother.You all what to make a differences than take my advices.Don't buy or rent any movies,download or buy any artist album and cancel internet services all for 90 days. No?Than get zip! 

        • May be u r so great that I can't understand u. But as far I know it is a world wide conspiracy between corporations and governments of different countries to exploit and control common people. I strongly oppose those bills.

  3. @Dusty
    "You can help by also NOT abusing copyright and not using illegal download sites."
    - These bills will not stop piracy. They only allow censorship policy for entirely arbitrary reasons.

    "Or deregulation and the whole copyright ideal gets turned on its head and no one owns anything legally any more. Both of these are BAD!!"
    - This is exactly what we need. Information and education can and should be free to everyone. The eventual removal of copyright and monetary value in general is the only logical step towards a free and collaborative future. Eventually all governmental, industrial, technical, and educational endeavors will be structured around Open Source philosophies and the world will be a better place for it.

    • Benjamin Lindquist on

      So you mean that people who work hard to help others should do it for free? I doubt there would be any teachers or educational facilities left after that.

      • You're not thinking far enough outside the box. Incentive is much more complicated than monetary reward. You don't work for money, you work for resources, identity, and accomplishment. Today, resources are tightly controlled by private groups with selfish interests. It's not hard to see how this structure is corrupted. If we collaborate openly, we can do much better. Providing for our needs is a technical challenge, and should be addressed scientifically. The key to scientific integrity is transparency. Peer review. Open Source.

        Automation is rapidly replacing the human labor force. It won't be so long before children are educated by sophisticated software and "teachers" are little more than guides.

        • It is refreshing to see more and more often these ideas spreading not only on the web, but in person among acquaintances where I work. The message of The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement (and other parallel thinking groups) seem to be getting around.

          Tight control and ownership of everything is no longer needed or advisable in our world. It only artificially perpetuates scarcity and greed. Abundance through ease of access and cooperation and collaboration is the model for the future.

        • Benjamin Lindquist on

          As long as people are egoistic, jealous, greedy etc. (and that's never going to change) this won't work. I agree that it would be ideal, but I don't think it's gonna happen.
          It's a bit like the dream of having a society without crime, there's always someone to ruin and take advantage of everything even if you wouldn't. I wouldn't much care if there would be cameras in every street because I don't have anything to hide, but there are people who do and like to keep in the shadows.

          • People are egotistic, jealous, and greedy because we have been conditioned to be. Our culture, what we might call "western", was fundamentally changed on purpose by people like Edward Bernays after the great depression and WWII. You don't have to take my word for it, the information is out there and people are finding it and realizing they have been sold a lie about "human nature." We are what we as society shapes us and decades of having consumerism foisted on us is taking its toll. I am not saying we all need to be like the Amish, but they along with others are people that show every day that We have something wrong in our society that isn't in our "design." They aren't perfect to be sure, nothing is, but until it is understood in grand scale that something better can be had without draconian laws or police states then nothing with improve.

            I do care that somebody would think that cameras on every street, internet content filters, or heuristic scanners reading everything and anything we do is any kind of solution to the problems of the world. Besides just forcing an evolution in tactics to get away with illicit activities, cost and manpower requirements makes such propositions absurd whether you have something to hide or not. It is much more sane and reasonable to me to consider that maybe the problems we have are the product of a flawed society than to think we would ever enforce laws and police the public enough to "fix" anything. Our drug war in the U.S. perfectly illustrates this. Those Mexican cartels are quaking in their boots I am sure over more and more measures to "stop" them. Wouldn't it be more prudent to design out the many causes of crime and drug use such as poverty and poor education rather than increase all the protection systems?

          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            I really have to disagree with people having bad properties because of our culture. The same characteristics can be seen everywhere no matter where you look.

          • You can disagree all you want but the information out there seems to show that the more egalitarian a society is the less of all the above mentioned problems and then some across the spectrum of people participating in that society. This means there is some large amount that is culturally conditioned or is a direct response to the environment individuals are being reared in.

          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            Well ofcourse it does affect people but it's pretty naive to think that's the only problem. As ideas all this sounds very nice but it never works in practice. Take communism for example.

          • Communism is structured around monetary economics and, more importantly, elected leadership. Corruption in politics won't go away (be it communism or capitalism) until tangibly good ideas supersede elected authority and social reputation.

            You may not believe this is realistic, that's fine of course, you're entitled to you opinions; but I'd recommend watching "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward" sometime, it might change your view.

            At the end of the day, all this needs to be fully designed and tested before put into practical use. This is why the rapidly growing success of Open Source technologies is so important. As much as I agree with the logic of a RBE, I would never opt to switch economic models without a clear and tested design of the better system.

          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            Yeah but communism in practice has only been lead by dictators really.
            If we had a better solution than democracy I would certainly want to hear it.

            I don't believe people are born as blank slates and that only your surroundings define who you are. That's just my opinion.

            Thanks for the tip, might watch it at some point.

          • Our negative characteristics are exactly why we need reform so much.  Designing a new systems isn't like collectively adopting a new philosophy. The system must be aware and guard against human corruption much like an operating systems guards against viruses.

            Crime may never go away, but thinking we can't improve our situation is equally unrealistic. Especially since most crimes are not crimes of passion, they're crimes of property. Remove the need to horde possession, and you remove the motive to theft.

          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            "The system must be aware and guard against human corruption much like an operating systems guards against viruses."

            That's a good idea in my opinion.

            " Especially since most crimes are not crimes of passion, they're crimes of property."

            Theft is really the smallest problem in my opinion. There is so much worse that should be fixed.

          • "Theft is really the smallest problem in my opinion. There is so much worse that should be fixed."
            Agreed. My example wasn't the best. I was going for a term which shrink-wrapped many different criminal motives.

  4. Under SOPA it's conceivable that, for example, BlenderArtists could be taken out by Big 3D Software Company X if a user posts up a screenshot of a movie made with 3D Software X - merely on accusation.

    If you're comfortable with that... Well, frankly, you deserve the legislation you get.

  5. I wish people would debate copyright length. It just keeps getting extended in the tit-for-tat race between the US and Europe and nobody ever seems to raise a finger to stop it. Copyright, like patents, is being abused by large companies. It's about time this was stopped. The period should be reduced to 25 years on both sides of the Atlantic rather than governmnts being swayed by big corporations (cf: Disney) who want copyright to subsist forever. I think 70 years (many places in Europe) and 95/120 years (US) is unreasonable. It is no longer about protecting the artist from unfair use; it about self-serving interests of faceless corporations and the greed of certain individuals like Mary Bono who are hanging on the coat-tails of relatives who were successful creators and who are long since dead.

    • Maybe the whole concept of copyright should be questioned in the digital information age. Our ability to communicate information has never slowed. It has only increased since we discovered symbolic understanding.

      Should artists or owners continue to be presumed to have the same rights as 100 years ago before everyone had access to the equivalent of an unlimited printing press that works at incredible speeds?

      Should they be able to control how or if something is used in other works once it is out in the world? Is it even reasonable to this such control is possible now?
      Creators would still be able to monetize their creations. There are always ways of doing so even in the face of free unbridled sharing of digital copies. Real physical objects (numbered and signed books, music and video discs, sculptures, paintings, etc) cannot be pirated easily and "true" fans and collectors or works buy these things today. (And collectors can spot forgeries.) Same goes for experiences. Nobody can pirate the experience of a live music show or performance of a play. Home sound systems and TVs may be "better" to some, but this is subjective. Blender works by donations and book and DVD sales right? It sure seems to be working.There may be less money to be made with a model like this but at least it doesn't turn huge sections of the population into criminals. Pertinent information has always found ways to be transmitted and shared in ever more efficient ways. People always try to find the lowest possible costs to get something, often regardless of what arbitrary laws say.

  6. Well we are all criminals! Each time you listen to some music, which is not VIVO or whatever, you illegally download the music to your computer.
    What about youtube? What about music?

    • So what you are saying is that if you accidentally go to a site or a pop-up opens with illegally acquired (pirated*) media, then you are a criminal? On Youtube or similar sites, you are merely "viewing", not keeping the media for your own personal use. Now, if you were to redistribute it and claim it as your own or buy an illegally acquired (pirated*) version, that would be unlawful.

      *The defintion of pirate is: to use or reproduce (a book, an invention, ect.) without authorization or legal right to use itDefinition from / Definition #8

  7. Personally, I think that a lot of the criticism of these bills stems from a sense of "it's on the internet, it should be free" entitlement and perhaps a strain of anti-American sentiment. While I oppose the bills in question, I have a feeling that some people perhaps are opposing it to support piracy, not to uphold free discourse. That's just my two cents worth.

  8. Résumé pour les Français qui ne serais pas au courant...Le 18 Janvier, plusieurs sites Internet entreront en grève[1]
    pour manifester contre la menace que représentent la SOPA (Stop Online
    Piracy Act) et la PIPA (PROTECT-IP Act), des projets de loi américains
    qui, si elles étaient votées et appliquées, porteraient atteinte à la
    liberté d'expression, auraient un impact négatif sur l'économie, et
    menaceraient la sécurité des données transitant sur Internet. Ont été
    confirmées les participations de Wikipedia (en langue anglaise)[1][3],
    Reddit, Mozilla, la Free Software Foundation, et bien d'autres.
    Plusieurs autres organisations dont Google, Facebook, et Twitter ont
    quant à elles exprimé leur inquiétude concernant ces projets[4].
    Officiellement, ces législations visent à stopper la violation des
    droits d'auteur sur Internet. Des lobbies tels que la Motion Picture
    Association of America (MPAA) qui représente l'industrie
    cinématographique américaine, ou encore la Société des Auteurs
    Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD)[5] militent pour l'adoption de ces textes, prétextant que le partage de biens culturels est nuisible à leurs revenus.
    Sans se préoccuper des motivations sous-jacentes ou de leur impact
    sur l'économie, ces lois ne sont pas compatibles avec les valeurs
    démocratiques. Elles promeuvent la censure en donnant au gouvernement
    américain ainsi qu'aux entreprises le pouvoir de faire bloquer l'accès -
    et de faire fermer - des sites web qu'ils estiment violer leurs droits
    d'auteur, marques ou brevets. Ce système de censure concerne également
    les moteurs de recherche ou les sites qui renverraient vers des sites en
    infraction. Pour effectuer le blocage, les Fournisseurs d'Accès à
    Internet devront empêcher l'accès aux sites incriminés, les moteurs de
    recherche les déréférencer, et les organismes financiers et autres
    régies publicitaires bloquer les fonds leur étant destinés[6]. Ces
    lois, en responsabilisant tous les services en ligne mettant à
    disposition des espaces d'échange et de discussions (sites web, réseaux
    sociaux, moteurs de recherche), les rendraient impossibles à gérer sans
    une surveillance massive de ses utilisateurs et la censure automatisée
    de leurs publications. Un lien placé par un internaute dans le
    commentaire d'un article d'un magazine en ligne pourrait faire fermer le
    site et faire poursuivre son rédacteur en chef. Cela ne ferait pas
    qu'handicaper l'innovation et l'entreprenariat, ce serait une violation
    flagrante du droit fondamental de l'homme à s'exprimer librement. Les
    soutiens des projets de loi refusent de reconnaitre les aspects
    anti-démocratiques, préférant mettre en avant que les mécanismes de
    filtrage proposés ont prouvé leur efficacité dans des pays comme la
    Chine, l'Iran ou la Syrie [7], des pays tristement célèbres pour leurs restrictions à la liberté d'expression.

  9. It's just another ploy, If the government don't have a hand in it or don't have control over it then they must do something about it. All politicians do anymore is sit around and try to think of what is not under law, so they can make a law to control it. They get in office and say hey I want my name to be attached to something and they come up with something. What's really great is when that same politician gets arrested years later for doing something he/she took part in creating. I don't know how bad the law competition is overall between USA and EU, but here in the states we have some really stupid laws such as slurping soup in public can get you fined in some states.
    This new proposed law is not needed, let the big corporations deal with it. Why not stop the manufacturing of software such as Nero that will allow you to remove copy-guards from DVD's? It's not the Internets fault there is piracy, it's certain corporations that advocate and help piracy happen. Controlling the Internet is not the way to prevent this stuff from happening something will always come along and take it's place.

  10. ironically abusing the internet is exactly what the RIGHT WING would do in order to give themselves a self serving reason to reguate the internet. we are dealing with a very devious and corrupt breed to start with and it is not beyound their capabilities to 'pay for hire' virus writers, web hosters, etc etc in order to ferment the idea that the internet needs more regulation. if you think this sounds paranoid you should go watch WTC 7 in freefall, from 9/11.

  11. Don't worry about SOPA.  They are just 'sharing' their power with you.  You people 'share' media with each other.

    Honestly, I don't like the law, but too many people set us up for this kind of thing.  Until people show an ability to police themselves, then they will be policed.

    All these lame 'it helps the artist' twisted logic arguments don't help either.  As a commercial artists, I have had my work stolen.  All that free exposure/compliment/whatever has never helped me pay my power bill, and it sure as hell doesn't make me sleep better at night.

    In summary: Police yourself or SOPA will be a fond memory compared to what will follow.

    • You don't understand piracy and your costumers. Exactly like many companies producing games, music, books and movies. Stop blaming piracy and people if your business model is outdated and/or a failure.

      If these are the reasons for people to download
      illegally, then how can it make sense for publishers to start actively
      fighting them. Because the most important fact is: they want your
      product! It’s up to you (as a content creator/provider) to ensure that
      consumers can buy your products in the simplest way, as quickly as
      possible, for a good (reasonable) price and without any fuss (no DRM, no
      unnecessary copyright notices and usable on a device of their own

      So stop thinking in terms of: they all want it for
      absurdly low prices, or even worse, free. It is very dangerous to assume
      that this type of person is the dominant group that illegally downloads
      your titles, or that this group download illegally because they don’t
      want to spend any money and would have bought your product in the first
      place. Downloading is like sampling: you taste it and might even want to
      buy it when you like it (it’s up to you to catch those people and guide
      them to the simple, fairly priced and fuss-free cash desk). Simple
      being the key term here.

      Another common misconception is that every download
      is a missed sale. Most downloaders never even had the slightest urge to
      buy your product. So forget them, don’t even pay one second of your
      attention to them, but focus for the full 100% on the (potential) buyers
      that do want your product. That is the one and only good strategy.

      This is true for every content, not only books publishing.

      • Standard, canned response.

        "You don't understand piracy and your costumers.  Exactly like many companies producing games, music, books and movies."

        Customers are people I do business with, based on the business model I choose.  People who use my materials are called 'thieves' if they operate outside the model that I have put forward.  Like I said, I am a commercial artist.  If you want me to be a charity, just ask me.  I do tons of pro-bono/discounted work for people that ASK ME.

        "Stop blaming piracy and people if your business model is outdated and/or a failure."

        My business is a success because I provide a quality product at a price that the market will bear.  How does someone staling my work and not paying me for my efforts make ME the bad guy?  If I steal a car from a dealership, I can't argue that it was the dealer's fault because he has a lousy business model.  It's called theft, and I get thrown in jail.  IP is the way our economy is heading, and blatant disregard for it has to be handled, or there will be no motivator for innovation.

        I love open source software, but one of the reasons it can do so well is because people give money to the foundations.  Money that we earn by using the software.  Money that we can't give to foundations if people don't pay us for our damn work because they like to 'share' things.

        As for your time-worn quoted materials, it's fallacious and biased.  It has nothing to do with missed sales, product promotion, or anything like that.  It has to do with people taking, and using, materials that aren't theirs.  Many of these materials would be available if they would even bother to ask, but they don't.  They just assume that they can do whatever in the hell they want, and they are wrong.

        I hope SOPA passes and squashes this type of mentality.  It's been the plague of the internet since the beginning, only people back then weren't afraid to call it what it was.  They knew it was theft, and it was fun and exciting.  Not people seem to think they are entitled to EVERYTHING that isn't nailed down for free.

        It's my IP, and you can't have it.  It's my right to decide that as the created of the materials.  I don't care how much you argue, you still can't have it.  I have filed lawsuits over IP theft, and I have won every single one of them.

        • Amen, B. Magic.  People love to blur the line between the free flow of information and ideas (a good thing) and the theft of another's work (a bad thing).  If SOPA will stifle free speech or enable capricious censorship, can it.  If SOPA will punish people who feel entitled to the work of another for no charge simply because it is distributable over the Internet, pass it.  I'm so sick of the argument that "in the future" everyone will just share everything and somehow artists and other content creators will still have the motivation and the financial incentive to create anything.  They won't.  People work for money, not personal satisfaction, not reputation, and not for fun.  That's the way the world has always worked and I don't see any reason it would change.

          • ...And why not? Because obviously the gods have decreed so I guess?

            Interestingly enough, we don't live in caves anymore, neither do we have to hunt animals in groups. We don't use slaves (or we rather do but in a more metaphorical sense). This de-facto argument proves nothing and says nothing why a different society would be better/worse.

            The world will change, the question is, which way do you want it to go?

            I am sorry to say that an statement such as "People work for money, not personal satisfaction, not reputation, and not for fun" is one of the most miserable statements I have ever heard. I strongly believe that, if people could cover their basic needs easily they would still work. People have worked on things even under threat of a death penalty or we wouldn't know that the earth is round.

            This of course shows another problem, that people nowadays can't easily cover their basic needs but this is a lot more complex than the very limited problem that software and music piracy poses to the global economy.

          • Just different views of the world, I suppose.  If I could live life the way I wanted without ever working another day, I would sign up, and I bet many other people would as well.  And even if my de-facto argument says nothing about the direction society should take (a la "would we be better off if no one had to work for a living") then I think it is still valid to the point at hand.  That is, in our CURRENT society, people have to work in order to live.  Copyright laws provide a protection for those who create content as a means to make money.  Suggesting that we do away with copyright and somehow positively affect creators' incentive to create is still just nonsense to me.

        • Aaaaah, the canned theft metaphor.

          Once again: There is no inherent cost in copying so how would you call someone who is making more money after he has covered his total expenses+salary?

          I am not going against either side but there must be some sustainable way to keep people working and keep them from overcharging. And in my opinion information sharing is critical. Only a modern middle-age mentality will make people want to withhold data and knowledge such as patents.

          For IPs it's the same thing actually, once it was the church, fearing science because it threatened its power, now it is corporations, fearing exchange of ideas because it stops them from keeping their "advantage".

          Funny thing is that the social advantage ill be better if the ideas flow freely and people are free to utilise them. The only way to restrict knowledge is to give advantage to a certain group...And why do you want that, are we on war or something?

          I really like your open source metaphor but you have forgotten one little detail: Open Source programmers may get paid sometimes, but they get paid only once for the work they did(with the understanding of the community that programmers have to cover expenses) and do not require that others keep paying them for something that is inherently free: Copying.

          • rewriting this paragraph since I can't edit:

            The funny thing is that the social advantage will be greater if the ideas flow
            freely and people are free to utilise them. The only reason to restrict
            knowledge is to give advantage to a certain group...And why would you want
            that, are we on war or something?

          • Benjamin Lindquist on

            "Open Source programmers may get paid sometimes, but they get paid only
            once for the work they did(with the understanding of the community that
            programmers have to cover expenses) and do not require that others keep
            paying them for something that is inherently free: Copying."

            I don't understand what your point is. If an opensource programmer says that he needs 2000€ to finish something it doesn't really differ from someone making something creative that can only be sold once. It's about covering expenses and getting food on your table.

        • if SOPA would merely squash this kind of thing I would be for it, but it will not.  That is not it's intention.  It allows for unjustified actions far in excess of what's necessary to combat the real problem.  It removes real freedoms and actually will be used at some point to squash free trade and empower companies with more capitol to remove start-ups from the game.  

          And what if the targeted site really has no copyright issues, but merely presents an unpopular view, or one that sheds a bad light on a big-money company (like Microsoft used to be)  When laws allow preventative measures rather than corrective ones, they cross a line.  Once that line is crossed, it will only escalate.

          If a line is not drawn now, then when?

        • B. Magic:
          I don't necessarily agree that this bill will truly solve the problem of piracy (that's a problem only self-control can truly ever solve), but I agree with pretty much everything else you've said.

    • "As a commercial artists, I have had my work stolen.  All that free exposure/compliment/whatever has never helped me pay my power bill, and it sure as hell doesn't make me sleep better at night."

      I am a commercial artist as well.  And so are many others who are very opposed to SOPA.

      There are much more important things at stake here than whether artists can make a living as artists.  Artists are not stupid, we can get other jobs if we have to.  Maybe not jobs that we like, but we can get them.  I have very little sympathy for people who can't get their heads out of their asses long enough to see that their profession of choice is not the most important thing in the world.

      The open-ended way that the internet currently functions, and which SOPA et al threaten, has enabled a lot of work in social justice and human rights, for example.  It has also allowed the formation of platforms such as, for example, Wikileaks, which has been instrumental in fighting corruption in many countries.  And these kinds of things are threatened by SOPA as well.  And they are a far sight more important then your or my current profession.

      And most people are not web developers with the savvy to set up their own webservers.  If they want a presence on the internet at all, they depend on user-generated-content-based sites like YouTube,, etc.  If someone has an idea, like Khan Academy (which started out on YouTube), how are they supposed to get it off the ground?  It sets the bar waaaay higher for people, and that has far-reaching consequences.

      Hell, SOPA isn't even good for us as professional artists!  What if someone accuses my website of copyright infringement?  Under SOPA, my domain could be disabled without due process.  That site is my portfolio and contact point.  And I also use it to transfer files to clients.  How is that good for professional artists?  I'm down with well-balanced copyright law, but SOPA is not well balanced, and it threatens far more important things.

      I'm sorry, B. Magic, but you are not entitled to your profession (and neither am I), and there are far more important things than copyright law--things that will be harmed by SOPA.  Your post is short-sighted and sounds damagingly selfish.

  12. I love Ton, but I still wish he wouldn't lump everything together so casually. US draft bills, European collection societies, lobby groups, public authorities… why not add Microsoft, religion, and bad weather while you're at it? I'm not saying there aren't flaws to be found in each one of these (some of them fundamental), but they're such completely different entities that it really doesn't make much sense to tar them all with the same brush. Worse, it can be perceived as disingenuous.

    Make no mistake, I wholeheartedly support the fight against SOPA. It's a terrible concoction that needs to be killed with fire. But if you try to exploit the public momentum by attaching everything else that happens to bother you to the cause at hand, you'll needlessly alienate people with more moderate views. And in a time when every voice counts, that can be a mistake.

  13. This not a law to stop piracy, it is for the government to gain control of the internet.  They are only using piracy as a scapegoat to enforce these laws.  Don't let the name fool you.  If this law is passed it will only be followed by stricter laws to control websites and the flow on information.  The rest of the world will then follow passing similar laws.  If you like being like China were websites are blocked by the government because of their views, then by all means support the law.  But if you like the internet you know today then you know what you have to do.

  14. short this law is a scam ...

    as usual this law will be extremely beneficial to the politician, the multinational, and every guy who bathe in money ... like China, Iran or Syria ....

  15. Just see how politicians and artists seek the other's company.
    In Belgium there is even a corrupting system that obliges big builders to pay for a work of  "art".

  16. For those who are confortable with this scam:

    The problem with these people (politicians, company owners, etc) is that they dont make the different between copyright, creative commons, opensource, etc. They want to control all the contents, their contents and your contents. Because if you dont put a copyright in your works, it is legal for them to stole that work from you, put it a copyright and get money for your work.

    For them, there are no other ways than copyright: you are in or you are out... and authors and artists benefits have nothing to do with this.

  17. “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”  - Benjamin Franklin

    In essence they are trying to trade liberty for the security of copyrighted material.

  18. for all the supporter of SOPA please educate yourselves to how it will  actually work. Just because you worked hard on something doesn't mean you are entitled to be paid lots of money for it. If you work for a company that had hired you must pay you a salary but if you make a product and no-one want to pay for it, tough luck, but that is why it's called a free capitalist society.

    • "but if you make a product and no-one want to pay for it, tough luck,"

      If I make a product and someone DOES want it, obtains it, and doesn't pay for it, then it's stealing. If ths carries on, then SOPA is inevitable. Tough luck.

      FFS, why can't people understand this? Is it not plain English enough?

      • because even with SOPA in place people will still download my music illegally. Don't let the name fool you on what this bill is really about.  We understand perfectly what the government would like us to think SOPA will do for us. 

    • We don't live in a world where people take concern of top priorities or necessary responsibilities.  We live in a world where people generally seek to protect their relative comfort zones.

  19. I don't want potential censorship from such bills as these, but at the same time, I wish people would stop pirating everything these days.  It's amazing just how easy many are willing to steal something online today.  It's not just big businesses who suffer from piracy, but small businesses as well.  As an indie game developer myself, it's a bitter reality to face that all your hard work might end up being illegally downloaded.  Regardless of whatever governments do, just speaking about the small business owners, it's hard trying to be sell things at a fair reasonable price to some people who are not being fair to the creators.

    I don't want these bills to pass just as much as I don't want people to pirate digital media.  This issue is hard, and I take nobody's side wholly, because you want freedom for people, but you wish that people would take responsibility, too.  And before someone says to me, "But the legislators are using piracy as a guise."  Maybe so, but they've still got a point and excuse when it comes to the ridiculous piracy rate going on online.  It you want to rob something, rob legislators of their proposed reasons for these bills by buying stuff online legally and not promoting piracy.  This is just one problem that piracy makes for itself--drastic actions starts being proposed against it (again, whether the agenda behind a given bill or anti-piracy movement is sincere or not).

    If you just can't afford something, then do what we used to do a long time ago: save up for it.

  20. I'm definately against SOPA, the number of sites and wealth of information that will be affected will no doubt go far beyond taking down the most serious sites and we'll see sites being taken down without warning and just because they're trying to prove a point. We'll no doubt see sites being taken down for no genuine reason but to buffer statistics to make it look like they're "winning a piracy battle".

    As for the posts above regarding artists and their IP of their work. SOPA is going to be no help I fear.
    All focus will be on movie and music sharing as this is where the pressure from bigger companies will most come from.
    I agree that the artist put the time & effort into that work and should be able to charge what they see fit.
    Just because its digital does not mean its either worthless or should be free to those who feel it should be to people who want it to be or think the artists is overcharging. I don't walk into art galleries and simply walk out with works I like but don't want to pay for.

    I can't afford a ferrari because they cost too much, doesn't mean I don't want one but doesn't mean I'll go steal one either.
    If an artist thinks his work is worth x amount, you can either buy it or not, stealing it cannot be justified. If the artists makes no money because they get no sales for that work makes it the artists decision to reduce the cost.. or not.

  21. Nabil Stendardo on

    Many people have talked about the problem of piracy, calling it the cause of many evils, but nobody seems to question "why do people download illegally?". There are IMHO a few reasons to that.

    1) First of all, non-financially independent people (typically, but not only, minors living with their parents) need to beg their "financial manager" in order to buy something (and it can be a very painful experience trying to convince a parent to buy something, trust me). Yet these people have the technical skills for downloading something on a torrent, etc. That is the main reason why I used to "pirate" stuff some time ago.

    2) Another reason is of course the price. If the price is too high, people will not buy it. Standard economic logic. People not getting it or "pirating" it has the exact same impact for the publisher, a lost sale.

    3) Another reason is availability (both ease of acquisition and availability in a form suitable for the consumer). If it is complicated to get it legally (i.e. requires buying a physical disk, waiting for shipping, etc.), people will pirate it. Also, if people feel restricted in what they will get (i.e. DRM), they will most likely get a DRM-free copy on a torrent rather than buying it legally. Yes, even if it was intended to  reduce piracy, DRM is a MAJOR CAUSE OF PIRACY.

    IMHO Governments should, instead of trying to repress an epiphenomenon (i.e. a consequence of more profound causes), they should tackle the causes. Similarly, instead of tackling violence in suburban areas, they should tackle poverty and social exclusion.

    • It's naive to say that cheaper, easier legal options would have much of an effect on piracy. People are cheap. Of course I don't support SOPA, but the blame for piracy lies more with human selfishness than with overpricing or DRM.

  22. The truth of the matter is that SOPA would in no way stop piracy, only inhibit the average user experience.
    I'm guessing TOR would get a large boost in user traffic if this passes.

  23. The problems with the bills are substantial. I seriously doubt any language that allows for dinking with DNS will make it to a final version. That's an extremely egregious aspect. The main problem is that the way it's worded, it allows very wealthy entities to harass smaller competitors and destroy their business while the issue is tied up in litigation. There is NO burden of proof required before accused-site access is disabled, and furthermore, if the defendant is aquitted, they have little recourse against the accusing entity because they have to prove the accusation was deliberately malicious. This legislation is vain attempt by Big Media to shore up in the face of a changing culture and economy instead of changing their business model to adapt. iTunes proved the folly of this type of thinking - against the entire record industry - by cleaning their clock in the market with a forward thinking business model. Finally, the stupidity of we Americans trying to impose regulation of foreign entities can hardly be overstated. If you cut off DNS access to the pirate bay, they can simply re-emerge under a different domain or simply engage in a campaign to publish their actual ip address. This entire approach is stunningly wrong-headed and a great example of why we Americans' level of confidence in the competence of our leaders is at an all time low. In short, Congress is not smart or fair minded enough to possibly get this right.

  24. Please consider this people. This bill empowers the government to take down a site w/out due process under the guise of SOPA. The true purpose is to give the government the power to take down ANY site that they feel is a threat. .Again, it's not about piracy at all, its just the door they're using to take control, exactly like NDAA 2012 has allowed the US government to now detain a US citizen indefinitely w/out trial... 

    As much as I want other peoples work protected as well as my own, as this is my lively hood, i'm against SOPA. Unfortunately as I mentioned in a previous comment, if this bill does not get passed I'd bet another one will be pushed forward to let's say, hmmm..hackers. "They're a real problem so we as the government need the power to be able to shut down there sites (any site) at the flick of the switch (but the bill will allow us to do that to any server we feel "might" be a problem)." The America Constitution being dismantled.  Government control of the internet will eventually take place even if SOPA does not pass. All my opinion of course :)

    • You nailed it.  That is exactly, and frighteningly correct.  They will not stop until they get the control, either with this law or another one.  

      Time to start a new internet.  

  25. SOPA and PIPA will effectively give the US a free hand to censor the entire of the net (through removal of ip addresses and domain names from dns). The shutdown of Megaupload without having to resort to these draconian measures is proof that these laws are not needed to achieve their stated goals. They must be there to achieve some other aim.

    The timing of the shutdown of Megaupload has got to be one of the biggest political blunders of this year (even though the year is yet young). Shutting down Megaupload without the need for PIPA and SOPA undermines the only possible argument that could be made for implementing them.

  26. Let's close all store's that sell products of copywrited trademarks like coca-cola products because shoplifters might steal some stuff!

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