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Day Six

This is the longest posting lockout I have ever experienced at FFN. There was a brief restoration on Tuesday, but the ability to post was gone by the next morning.

Still no peep from Fanfiction Net about what they are doing to fix the problem. Can the days of forums at FFN be over?


Jan. 21st, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, the distinction between "what we're for" and "what we're against" is not that easy. The US Supreme Court has just decided, that books and art that had already fallen to the public domain can be placed under copyright again. There are copyright rules that are positively gagging and disowning to the authors of the material, like the rule that scientists, who post their research to magazines like nature for peer review, lose the right to post that paper or article anywhere else. They have to buy the rights from the magazine. There is the issue of suppressing leaked content, that is, copyrighted business papers that reveal abusive practices - the owners of the papers can try to suppress the distribution of these papers to the public by their copyright claims, and can do so even under the existing laws. And even more, there have been examples that some companies have caused youtube to take down (parody) videos with some of their content that were perfectly legal under Fair Use rules - which proves that SOPA and PIPA could and would probably be abused the same way.

And, as the shut down of Megaupload shows, even under existing laws, the USA can enforce the shutdown of content sharing sites that also hold infringing content, if they just wish. The shut down of pirate bay and kino.to proved the same.

The existing laws are more than enough to protect copyrighted content. In fact, in my opinion, they would need to be changed to be less restrictive on the possibilities of fair Use and the long time endurance of copyright, and should strengthen artists and authors against the copyright holders, meaning the content industry - which, BTW, SOPA and PIPA would not do in any way). What the bills would do, however, was effectively make it possible to shut each and every uncomfortable blog or social media network down or block access to it (and stop the financial flow and business to it) if anywhere in it somebody posted infringing content within it. Which would be easy to ensure, at need. AND make everybody on the web who wishes to post any content or download and remix and any not clearly commercially bought and distributed content quite afraid and unsure if he or she could be sued for committing a felony by downloading or distributing this stuff. The Chilling effect would be huge.

The problem is, I think that some of these senators and representatives (or at least the lobbyists behind the legislation) have a pretty good idea what the bill would do - restrict all that wild uncontrollable and most uncomfortable distributing and sharing of information and content and opinion and knowledge the web in its current form is all about. They would probably like to go back to the old ways of television - clear sender here, clear consumers there. Far more easy to control, that way.

(sorry for the several edits - it's late and far beyond bedtime for me, I fear)

Edited at 2012-01-21 01:34 am (UTC)