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In Wake Of SOPA Defeat and Rising Profits, IFPI Calls For 'SOPA Plus' Migraine Tablet

Yes, that's right, SOPA might have been set back for now, but the vested interests from the big media corporations (music/movies/news etc) that want it implemented unsurprisingly aren't sitting idle and are pushing for ever more draconian measures aka 'SOPA Plus'. A digital music report (PDF) asks for everything that was in the original SOPA and then some, with a wishlist of seven 'fixes':

SOPA/PIPA Internet Protests Go Viral, Hit Home

The protests to the widely condemned SOPA & PIPA "antipiracy" censorship bills have been a resounding success. They have gone viral with many, many websites blacking out and putting up protest pages, with big players taking part such as Wikipedia, Google, EFF, Reddit, Craigslist, Techdirt (greyed out) and many more taking part. Unsurprisingly, the bills' backers have not shown any sign of backing down (yet) but were prompted to make statements "wondering what all the fuss is about" to play down the damage done to their play for power, since they have recently made changes to them, such as removing the DNS blocking provisions - for now. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) senior vice president of communications Jonathan Lamy called the protests 'stunts': "It's a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation. It's time for the stunts to end and those who claim to care about rogue website theft to back up their rhetoric and work with us on meaningful solutions." This is the same RIAA that sued their own customers with extortionate "settlement" letters remember.

Microsoft Finally Makes It Official That It Opposes SOPA.... As Written

This is a Techdirt republished article, which we feel is important. Note that Techdirt don't use copyright and encourage their work to be copied freely.
Early on, Microsoft was a quiet -- but definite -- supporter of PIPA. When it came to SOPA, however, apparently had concerns... though it never said anything publicly, until now. On the eve of mass blackouts and protests, Microsoft has released a weak statement about how it opposes the bill "as written," which is somewhat meaningless, given that the bill is about to undergo a revision any way. Notice, too, that they only say SOPA... and not PIPA? Is it really that hard for Microsoft to realize that the whole concept behind these bills is broken? Or is Microsoft just confirming for us that it's past the "innovation" stage of its lifespan, and now moved on to the death spiral of "protecting the way things used to be?"

Now GOG.com Joins Opposition to SOPA and PIPA

The highly controversial SOPA & PIPA bills currently being rushed through Congress by Big Media are encountering ever more opposition from minor and major players alike, such as Google. Now gog.com, owned by parent company CD Projekt RED, has come out against these bills too and are one of many games companies to do so. They address the questions of "will it work?" and "will it stop piracy?" with the answers being sort-of and no.

Congress Debates SOPA, Hypocritically Downloads Illegally Itself

Almost everyone who understands something about technology will have heard of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (H.R.3261) currently being debated in the U.S. House. This is internet censorship legislation by any other name and anyone that doesn't have a vested interest in it like the big media cartels is against it. This is because it hands almost total control of the internet to powerful (read: money) special interest groups, allowing them to shut down websites at the mere whiff of an accusation of 'piracy', however small and however unfounded. This will easily ruin many legitimate businesses, all on the pretext of 'protecting copyright' from supposed 'financial losses' due to content 'theft'. It also does an awful lot of other things, all of them bad, which are fully detailed in the link above. Now, if anyone thinks that this is far-fetched, just look at how the current 'darling' of the internet, GoDaddy operates: they pulled the DNS records of weebly.com, because of one little complaint against the site and without even contacting the domain owner first to advise of the situation. Disgraceful. Give them SOPA and a webmaster doesn't stand a chance, regardless of their size.

Walled Garden Outfit Valve Accuses Apple Of Operating A Walled Garden

You've got to laugh at the hypocrisy of big companies sometimes. It's a well known fact that Apple operates a very closed and controlling walled garden eco system with all of their products, courtesy of the late Steve Jobs. Examples include the iPhone, which can only purchase apps from the official Apple apps store and the iPod, which can also only sync with iTunes, both due to deliberate vendor lock-in using a combination of hardware and software DRM (Digital Restrictions Management). Apple claims that this is to ensure a seamless, consistent and high quality user experience. Savvy users know this to be only half the story, instead it's there to shut out competition and lock you in to Apple for everything in order to charge high prices for allegedly "premium" product. The only way to avoid this, is to jailbreak the devices (break the DRM) which conveniently (for Apple) voids the warranty on these expensive gadgets. Thankfully, this process is no longer underground, due to a recent court ruling that said jailbreaking was legal, much to Apple's displeasure.

However, the equally closed Valve, with their Steam gaming platform and it's account-based DRM has accused Apple of being a closed system! They are also "concerned" about it. This happened in an interview between Bellevue-based Valve's Gabe Newell and leading games investor Ed Fries at the WTIA TechNW conference. This has been reported in The Seattle Times in Brier Dudley's blog.

Ditch The Restrictive DRM: Happy Customers Equals More Profit

Rice University and Duke University are the latest in a long line of educational institutions to fund research on the effect of using restrictive Digital Rights Management (DRM) to try and control levels of so-called "piracy", which is allegedly reducing sales of content-only, infinite goods/virtual products, such as music, movies, computer games and books. (Some observers writing about DRM replace the word "Rights", giving us the phrase Digital Restrictions Management, which seems a more accurate description of what it's really about and removes the veneer of legitimacy from it. When buying DRM'd content, you are buying digital handcuffs, nothing more, nothing less.) The universities sponsored a study called Music Downloads and the Flip Side of Digital Rights Management Protection and what it found is that contrary to popular belief amongst the big content companies, removing DRM can actually decrease levels of piracy and increase sales. The fact is that DRM is always broken by hackers and pretty quickly too, often within a day or two (there isn't a single one still standing) leaving legal users who work within its confinements with all the restrictive hassles that it imposes, while the pirates get an unencumbered product to do with as they please. How is this progress?
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