SOPA & PIPA – 2011 Legislation that Threatens Digital Freedoms – Extra Credits

SOPA & PIPA – 2011 Legislation that Threatens Digital Freedoms – Extra Credits

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Hey guys, you can probably already guess this but some of the information in this episode is going to be a little bit out of date. However, we decided to go ahead with it because even though SOPA maybe done The future is still a wide open question. Laws like ACTA still threaten open access to the internet in Europe And even here in the states, the question of how to address piracy is far from settled So, just getting that out there in front… Let’s do this. Hi everyone! Looks like it’s Public Service Day again here at EC Last week, you heard us lend our voice to a a growing cry, to ask the ESA to withdraw its support from SOPA the Stop Online Piracy Act. This week, we’ll be discussing why this legislation is such a threat Now, some of you may know that the vote on this legislation was delayed last week, and many hailed it as a victory in the battle against SOPA and …yeah it is a victory, but I don’t think the battle is quite as over as it looks You see, while SOPA itself may have been delayed there’s a nearly IDENTICAL bill called PIPA moving through the senate as we speak. And there’s nothing to say that SOPA won’t come off that shelf at some point either… so we can’t be resting easy just yet. Now, we’re going to be referring mostly to SOPA here today, but know that most everything we say applies to PIPA as well. Also, some of the particular parts of SOPA we’re about to discuss have already been cut from the bill. and that’s good. I hope they stay cut. But we’re still going to bring them up here, because: A: there’s no guarantee those cut sections won’t be put back in at some point. B: I think it’s important to know SOPA’s full, original intentions going forward So, enough talk. Let’s get started! talking… *ahem By now, you’ve probably hear a lot about both of these bills For those who haven’t, the gist is that U.S. companies need some recourse when dealing with foreign-based piracy on the internet and this is a legitimate problem. Right now, if a website’s located in China or some small pacific island, and it’s distributing material that’s owned by a U.S. company, The U.S. company really can’t do a whole lot about it. Sure, you can sue the foreign company, but you really can’t enforce the result of a U.S. suit in these countries. And without being to enforce the results, all you’ve really done is just wasted some money, and not really done anything to stop your works from being pirated So, we really do need some solution for that and that’s where SOPA comes in. SOPA was designed to allow copyright holders to essentially shutdown a site’s access to a U.S. customer base As well as to cut them off from many of their principal ways of receiving funds Unfortunaetly, this approach to solving the problem is sort of like nuking an ant hill Yeah, you’ll get rid of the ants. But you’re probably going to create some bigger issues in the process So, let’s dive into the principal problems with this bill First off: the bill is a complete mess and I don’t mean that from a value-judgement perspective I’m talking about the way it’s organized. This bill is unbelievably broad and filled with conflicting language From our reading of it, and from all the analysis we could find from legal scholars: Many of the underlying issues in this bill could probably be attributed to how poorly it was put together, and it used to be much worse before it went through a few revisions. As it was originally written: SOPA more or less allowed for entire sites to be shutdown if they didn’t do enough to prevent users from uploading copyrighted material Like if, say somebody uploaded a copy of Harry Potter to Youtube Warner Bros. could have Youtube shutdown by court order, for failing to prevent the upload from happening. Which is a logistical impossibility. Fortunately, the language of the bill was eventually changed and this specific flaw was greatly diminished. But make no mistake, this bill still had plenty of other serious problems Until recently, SOPA had some pretty scary provisions, regarding DNS redirecting. Thankfully, these were also some of the bits that got nixed recently, and permanently, I hope. But lets look into what these provisions were and what they were trying to do It’s a more complicated issue than we can probably do justice to here but the short version is that the Domain Name System (DNS) is sort of like a phone book for the internet. When you type in a web address in a browser, it goes and looks for that address in the Domain Name System, and that tells it what IP to connect you to. The original provisions of SOPA would require Internet Service Providers (ISP) to redirect DNS queries aimed at rogue sites and would even require search engines to stop linking to infringing websites. A: That’s deeply troubling from a civil liberty perspective as this is the first time the United States has proposed giving the government these powers the same powers, by the way, used by Syria and China to restrict free speech and repress dissent. and B: It also messes with the fundamental integrity of the Domain Name System. For years, the Department of Homeland Security has been trying to make this system increasingly sacrosanct (too valuable to interfere with) if nothings ever allowed to come between you and the domain name system, it makes it very hard to hijack and redirect your web query, and very easy to detect when it does happen. But SOPA’s DNS provisions would have undone all that work In fact, the ex-director of the Department of Homeland Security said that SOPA runs directly counter to the houses own Cyber-Security efforts and a study by the Sandia National Lab not only questions SOPA’s efficacy, but said it would negatively impact U.S. and Global cyber-security and internet functionality So again, good thing those provisions are gone let’s hope they don’t come back. One last major complaint about the bill’s wording and this bit hasn’t been cut out yet: SOPA contains something called the “Voluntary Measures” provision which grants blanket immunity to anyone who cuts off a suspected infringing party, meaning they can’t be sued or prosecuted or anything. Even if they use that power in a completely discriminatory way. So, let’s say that Comcast or some other ISP decided that they wanted to block all foreign-based bit torrent links. According to SOPA, they might be immune from any net-neutrality or anti-trust challenges. This is even more troubling, when you consider the fact that ISPs like Comcast, have been buying up more and more copyrighted content themselves lately so they have a lot of interest in protecting those properties SOPA giving them the power to unilaterally police the internet is a problem and like I said before, a lot of the problems we’ve laid out here: The rushed process of writing the bill The DNS tampering and such are also big components of PIPA, which is actually a lot closer to passing right now There’s a lot more wrong with both of these bills in addition to what we’ve laid out here and I encourage you to read them over yourself but we don’t have a lot of time, and there’s something I’d like to cover before we go Even more than SOPA itself what’s disappointed the most about this whole thing is watching how the process has been handled Throughout the crafting of this bill there has been a display of willful ignorance that has been jaw-dropping and -frankly- disgusting. Shortly before dismissing the expert claims that SOPA might do harm to the internet, Representative Mel Watt said: “As one who acknowledged in his opening statement… that he was not a nerd and didn’t understand a lot of the technological stuff, I’m not the person to argue about the technology part of this.” And that sort of brazen display of ignorance was a running theme throughout the hearings statement after statement was made that included comments to the effect that neither the speaker, nor the companies they represented, had any idea of the actual consequences of the bill but they were certain that it wouldn’t be as bad as people were saying. In fact, during the hearings on the bill only one witness for the opposition was allowed: Google’s Lawyer and she was treated radically differently than any of the host of witnesses in favor of SOPA Berated throughout her testimony, she was essentially dismissed as having only: “Pirate-Loving Nerd Concerns” In fact, the advocate for the AFLCIO went so far as to say: “The First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks.” Which -by the way- is madness. If you’re a member of the AFLCIO, please write them. There is no way the AFLCIO, of all groups, should be in favor of SOPA. This is not how democracy is supposed to work We as citizens, as members of a democratic society are supposed to be informed, but the entire reason for having a representative democracy where we elect senators and congressman rather than voting on everything ourselves is to have people whose job it is to do nothing but study policy and understand its ramifications inside and out That’s their entire job and right now, many of our representatives have failed us So, write them. Let them know that this is not okay. Let them know that your vote or if you’re too young, the votes of everyone you can possibly make listen depends on their desire to really understand the issues they’re voting on. Issues that affect your life. When every group that was willing to spend time to actually think about this bill from the ACLU to the Heritage Foundation From Ron Wyden to Ron Paul From the CATO Institute to the Department of Homeland Security has come out against this bill the least we can ask from our representatives is that they do the same. Thanks for watching. Spread the word, we will see you next week.

100 thoughts on “SOPA & PIPA – 2011 Legislation that Threatens Digital Freedoms – Extra Credits

  • Luredreier Post author

    I'm assuming that this didn't pass…

  • R123d DSJ! Post author

    We are not a democracy we are an republic

  • Kulpas Post author

    ehhhh ACTA… Those were the times… When kids not knowing any of that shit freaked out that ACTA is going to close youtube and they won't be able to watch their favourite minecraft youtuber.

  • Nintendo Kid Post author

    Wow… "stealing goods off of trucks…" you know what? Piracy is NOT even REMOTELY close to "stealing goods off of trucks." When you steal goods off of a truck, you are physically removing something from someone else's possession. Piracy is more like seeing the goods on the truck, figuring out how to make them yourself, and then doing so. You haven't actually taken anything from anybody.

  • Baue frenchmen Post author

    write the people who dont take the time to read and understand social policy and their implications when its their job. this cant possibly go wrong.

  • BaconBurgers Post author

    As an american. Why is everything here an acronym?

  • SwiftDurka Post author

    mmmm sopapia

  • Reece Crump Post author

    "Pirate loving nerd concerns" Is my new favorite phrase. I'm going to make tee shirts.

  • Magical Realism Post author

    Are you wonderful folks thinking up a breakdown of the TPP?

  • Manguneshane Post author

    What's worse about the entire fiasco is that that willingful ignorance was not just ignorance on their part… they know what would happen, they just want to convince unaware people that it is a good thing. they wanted to abused the peoples good faith in them for monetary gain.

  • Ryan Levisky Post author

    I'm surprised I wrote my rep. :/

  • Gladys Nsimbe Post author

    Its has avoid reason to be there but it poorly mishandled

  • Leaf Post author

    Trans Pacific Partnership.

  • Luís Xavier Post author

    sopa and pipa are tow kinds of food in portuguese

  • richard reeves Post author

    the primary job of every elected official seems to be fund raising and getting reelected, judging by how much time they spend doing various things.

  • Brainstorm Surge Post author

    The question is who started SOPA & PIPA and would the instigators have something to gain from this?

    Man imagine if the publishing of scientific papers was proposed to be regulated in a bill in the same manner as SOPA & PIPA. You would have people in congress professing ignorance but still advocating regulation which they have no idea of the ramification of. I agree. They need to do their job and not be ignorant of the ramification of the bills they support.

  • Stellar Mapping Post author


  • StarSeed Post author

    911 was an inside job. Buy guns now.

  • LunaticBaku Post author

    Rejecting legitimate concerns on the bases that the speaker was a nerd…
    don't these people know that nerds rule the world.

  • Hanro50 Post author

    Never underestimate the power of complete idiots in large groups…

  • Psycho Brothers Post author

    FUCK sopa and pipa

  • Petrichorus Post author

    Great, now I want soup.

  • interlamer Post author

    Here in Russia, we already have something like that. it's called RosComNadzor(Russian Communications Watch). Well, time to flee Russia while I still can.

  • AFoxInAviators Post author

    Besides Piracy is pointless. Almost every pirated game site is either locked by an incomplete able survey or just a virus.

  • Fazmaz Post author

    I just cant take this video serious… here in brazil sopa means soup and pipa means kite and theres is a meme called "vo fazer uma sopa pa nois"

  • Michael Hartman Post author

    I can't speak for every case, but an idea I have pondered is why don't they put their product on YouTube instead of complaining that other people put their product there, and have a reasonable number of commercials (unlike History Channel). Fewer and shorter ads have greater impact at least with me, and are less expensive. YouTube viewers would have a good quality source that would be more attractive than doctored poor quality videos.

  • Luca Post author

    in brazilian portuguese, SOPA means soup and PIPA means kite

  • Jeb Post author

    i like SOPA (soup in spanish)

  • Black_ Fog Post author

    so are those 2 things still a problem?

  • Mic_Glow Post author

    Majority of politicians are older (life-experienced) conservatives, which is a good thing, except when it comes to rapidly developing technologies.

  • Lumas825 Post author


  • james10o1 Post author

    And 4 years later the UK has shown it's stupidity with the snoopers charter.

  • CCKillbilly Post author

    "a representative democracy" yeah thats called a Republic

  • Giovani M Post author

    In portuguese SOPA = Soup and PIPA = Kite.

  • Prince Grotle Post author

    looks at date: OH THANK GOD

  • SmitiaS _ Post author

    If USA will keep trying to do shit like this, american IT companies will lose their positions. Can't get paid by paypal/visa/etc.? Well, just use Bitcoin or whatever. Can't Google something? Well, you get the point

  • Marcin Mazurek Post author

    Aaaand things have gone from bad to worse on the "Listen to your voters" front.

  • Mr. Mister Post author

    Welcome to the comments section. This particular comment stream consists of:
    62% – Political commentary
    29% – Comments about soup and/or kites
    8% – Relief over the date the video was published
    1% – Miscellaneous comments not related to the video (barring comments about soup and/or kites)

  • Dexis Post author


    Does this look like the face of mercy to you?

  • John David Tibbetts Post author

    I did quite enjoy the short time in history where these bills were gone. Now I'm just counting the days before the current FCC chairman dismantles everything we've worked for

    last one out of the internet, get the lights…

  • 9seed Post author

    it's just like everyone's been saying; people really stopped caring about intelligence. this is what we get. sure, being a nerd is socially acceptable, but intelligence is no longer a qualification.

    and this is what we get.

  • Max Simeck Post author

    piracy isn't an issue and never will

  • Shredder63 Post author

    welp, now isp's can sell your internet data.

  • Joseph Torres Post author

    I've got to wonder, how different would this fight be if the laws changed so that corporations were barred from directly owning copyrights themselves, and could only be given non-exclusive distribution rights to content, while license to create paid content related to the original copyright could only be given by the original creator to specific additional creators on a case by case basis with a protection against corporations being able to force creators to allow anyone they don't want to be involved? Probably too late to set the law like that but still…

  • Naygen Post author

    I can't believe this video has such relatively low views.

  • Sungindra Setiawan Post author

    Ahh, yes, there was time when we are scared of the end of internet because of them

  • Luciano Castrogiovanni Post author

    I mean I heard this was bad, but man, this was terrible.

  • Vance Blevins Post author

  • Icehollowcome Post author

    Just found this video, past two years, some sites were blocked from access by ISP, juridical order. Internet freedom is gone here in Portugal, Anonymous failed to stop it, and so did we.

  • Zach the Cat Post author

    I'm glad this issue is several years old. we don't have to worry about threats to net neutrality anymore, right?…RIGHT?……..oh……oh no…

  • Anarcho Toast Backup Post author

    If this law passed, you could just use a VPN.

  • AgentAwesome11 Post author

    It is so infuriating that this all happened and the U.S. Government is to blame.

  • こマ Post author

    #netneutrality is a serious issue. You should definitely do a follow up video. People really need it. I love your videos keep making them

  • 3.14 Dragon Post author

    We won… But Net Neutrality is endangered again…

  • El Presidente Post author

    so… how do it end it?

  • Jingle Post author

    Inb4, Microsoft becomes the new SOPA, lol

  • SpookyRoseV Post author

    I tried to tell one of my computer lab teachers this during the Google blackout….put poor word choice pretty much showed that most people at the time didn't know or care about SOPA because she thought when I said "censor the Internet" she responded with something along the lines of "good, now I won't see any kids posting nudes on Facebook".

  • Sparrow Post author

    No, don't write them, they will just save money on toilet paper.

    we need to start a militia and just end it.

  • Anitoon 99 Post author

    6 years later

  • André Matulionis Post author

    SOPA = soup
    PIPA = kite

  • Peter Smythe Post author

    I think in many ways the internet can be viewed as a threat to the capitalist elite, even if it does serve as a feedback to prevent things from going nuts and as an infinite supply of ad revenue and ad space.

  • accquizzer Post author

    "hastily and sloppily thrown together" pretty much describes any bill that goes through Congress

  • RedRidingHoodie Post author

    6 years later, they're trying to get rid of net neutrality

  • BoxOfGod Post author

    Some piracy is actualy good for software. Without it I would never see my friends obsesively play Cod, Battlefield, Fallout, Oblivion, fifa and many other games which some of those we bougth for different reasons. It is a very effective "marketing" and cheap. Those who pirate they usualy don't have money anyway atleast they spread the word if a product is good enough. My theory is that Windows today wouldn't be what it is if it isn't pirated massively.

  • Ballisticzombie7 Post author

    Welllp sorry boiz

  • Magnablocker Post author

    First, there was SOPA and PIPA. Now there is the FCC.

  • Boorider7 Post author

    Oh look this is relevant again

  • Kristofer Quem? Post author

    In portuguese, Sopa & Pipa means Soup & Kyte

  • YerBoi Nate Post author

    And here we are again, with the FCC

  • sklort mcfungus Post author

    it's kind of sad watching this today and realizing the pattern that led up to the government trying its hardest to just outright eradicate net neutrality this year. it see ms each year the forces trying to remove rights to speech are getting more and more blatant about it.

  • NoName Post author

    Net neutrality, anyone?

  • Ralph Jimenez Post author

    Ah…shit!!! Pie.

  • JemiLee DaBear Post author

    Do you want SOFA(furniture) or FIFA(game)?
    I choose Sofa

  • Tenshi Post author

    Just looking back and watching this, history really does repeat itself, with the whole net nuetrality thing

  • Скорпикор Post author

    Пупа и Лупа

  • Fuxy22 Post author

    Well that's a shocker politicians who only know how to take money from interest groups and lobbyists don't put any effort into understanding what they try to regulate.

    Certainly it shows more with the Internet since its more complex and takes more effort to understand but you can see it in other sectors they attempted to regulate.

    The only thing preventing the from looking more stupid is the interest groups paying them that understand it more and give them pointers.

    However in the case of the Internet it's so complex you can't even begin to set up a crash course to not make them sound stupid when asking questions forget about them being able to make and informed and educated decision.

    You might as well ask the monkeys at the zoo to vote on it politicians understand it as much as they do anyway.

  • EmptySergeant Post author

    sopa means twig "that you hit someonewith" and pipa means touching xD

  • Wretch's Corner Post author

    This is not how a REPUBLIC should work.

  • desu38 Post author

    Now do article 13, please!

  • Hangarbird Post author

    The reason we learn teach history is so we learn from it and don’t repeat out mistakes. Now who says we always learn from our mistakes? ahem article 13 ahem
    I came back to this video because I wanted to learn the similarities between Sopa, Pipa and article 13.

  • Jupiter's Godzilla Post author

    NOW We Have Article 13 To WORRY ABOUT…

  • Memories Post author

    and now we have Article 13 and it's about to destroy the internet

  • Billy The Banini Post author

    4:57 looks like my dad lmfao

  • Joseph Post author

    Hey, we are here again! Whee!

  • Kaka Hass Post author

    cough cough ARTICLE 13

  • William Post author

    Vr fifa

  • AnushiRawan Post author

    intellectual property is the bane of creativity

  • LePoisson Post author

    article 13

  • Sploof Mcsterra Post author

    Yeah this just makes me want a technocracy even more

  • Ministerio de Chile Post author

    Guys remember when sopa and pipa was such a big deal? And when the fcc repealed net neutrality by crippling the internet to make people pay for he same internet they had for free? Ha ha ha, american politics are bs

  • Surplus King Post author

    SOPA means loser in swedish

  • Llama Lad Post author

    Article 13 anyone?

  • Renato Ernesto Post author

    And now article 13 or 17

  • Johnrich Talunay Post author

    Now article 13 will screw europe once more

  • Seamus Byrne Post author

    Now theirs article 13.

  • Paroxysmic Post author

    Article 13: "Allow us to introduce ourselves."

  • Sean Nicolette Post author

    Now article 13 has been passed.

  • Sammykid 2 Post author

    I never heard of SOPA. It doesn’t look interesting to me.

  • Nathan Coe Post author

    Does this remind anyone of Article 13 in the EU?

  • lnfo History Post author

    Article 13 be like…

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