Posts tagged ‘Hollywood’

December 26, 2011

The Best Email I’ve Seen In Months

by Mark E.

It’s no secret that I’m strongly opposed to the SOPA and PIPA bills currently winding their way through the House and Senate.  There’s no shortage of my thoughts on this awful piece of legislation on all of my outlets on the Interwebz, and here is a summary of what the bills would do.

I have a number of web domains, some openly registered and some registered for clients.  Most of them are hosted by GoDaddy, a company who has publicly shown support for the SOPA bill.  Earlier this week, their unfortunate support for the bill came to light and a formal boycott of the company began.

I began to pull all of my sites from GoDaddy today, and I just got the greatest e mail:



Dear Mark Edwards,


This is to confirm that the following domain names have been successfully transferred away from Go Daddy to NAME.COMLLC:




If you require additional information, please contact Go Daddy.




Domain Services


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Copyright (C) 2011 Go Daddy All rights reserved.

Done.  See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.  That’s what you get for siging with Big Pharma and Hollywood and opposing an open Internet. 

My first domain is out of their hands, and therer are many more to come.  PC World says over 70,000 people have already dumped GoDaddy, and while it’s a small number for a huge company like that to lose, it’s only the beginning of the damage GoDaddy has inflicted upon itself.

It’s a huge pain to transfer a domain to a new host, but I think it’s worth the time and effort because GoDaddy is supporting a bill that could Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE fundamentally change the way the Internet works.  They claim to have backed off on their support, but they refuse to provide proof that they’ve told Congress that they aren’t supporting SOPA, and they even are on the record as being in support of the PIPA bill during Senate hearings.

I urge you to find out about the SOPA law and how it might affect you, and if you’re doing business with GoDaddy, to move your services to any of the companies who oppose this chilling legislation.

Sometimes you just have to do the right thing, even if it’s a little costly or inconvenient.  THIS is one of those times.

Related articles

November 16, 2011

Shootout At The Digital Corral-Why The SOPA Bill Will Change The Internet

by Mark E.
I know I sound like a broken record talking about the SOPA Bill and how it will change the landscape of the internet.  Here’s some background about how much money is at stake for “Hollywood” and why the bill is so important to the entertainment industry.  Thanks to Politico.comfor sharing.The House Judiciary Committeeis holding hearings on this bill right now, and it’s more like a coronation of the bill than an actual Congressional hearing.  The fix is in, and if (probably when) the bill becomes law, the entertainment industry will use it to fundamentally change what is posted on the internet.It isn’t too late to let your Congresspeople and Senators know how you feel about this onerous law.  Click here to learn more about the law and how you can stop the entertainment industry from censoring the internet.
Shootout at the digital corral
By: Jennifer Martinez
November 16, 2011 04:31 AM EST
Hollywood’s in a showdown over its TV shows, movies and music with an up-and-coming opponent in the Washington arena: the Silicon Valleygang.And that can only mean a huge payday for lobbyists.According to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, the film, music and TV industries have spent more than $91 million on lobbying so far this year — an amount that puts them on pace to beat all of their previous spending records. Not to be outdone, Google and its tech cohorts — including eBay, Yahoo and Facebook — have been ramping up spending and are looking for a hired gun to lead their newly revamped coalition.

The focus of the faceoff: a pair of online copyright bills aimed at getting Internet companies to help shutter websites that profit from illicit copies of blockbuster films, TV shows and chart-topping songs.

On Wednesday, the Motion Picture Association of America and Google, among others, are expected to lock horns at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act. A companion bill in the Senate, the PROTECT IP Act, was reported out of committee this spring but is still waiting for floor time.

Both sides in the copyright debate are traditionally left-leaning constituencies but are being careful to target Republicans and Democrats with campaign cash and carefully spun messages.

“This is a jobs bill, and we’re happy to do our part to cut through the confusion, make the truth known and enable U.S. innovation, creativity and technical invention to continue to support U.S. job growth,” NBCUniversal general counsel Rick Cotton told POLITICO in a statement.

Internet companies say they are fighting to clarify the implications of the two bills.

“There is more to this issue than meets the eye. While we support targeted approaches to solving the problem of foreign rogue sites, some of these bills could truly hamper innovation on the Internet, so we are working hard to raise awareness of the potential for unintended consequences,” said Amber Allman, a Yahoo spokeswoman.

Several entertainment players are on track to beat their lobbying spending total for last year. That spending went toward lobbying on a range of issues, including communications, broadcasting, tax and trade, but copyright for many concerned has been front and center as both the House and the Senate consider bills.

Universal Music Group and Time Warner, for example, have upped lobbying spending so far this year by nearly 14 percent compared with the same time period a year ago. Lobbying spending in the first three quarters of 2011 for Broadcast Music Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment is up about 3 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Comcast, whose merger with NBCUniversal closed in January, has spent more than $14.7 million in the first three quarters of this year, up more than 68 percent than the same time period in 2010.

Meanwhile, two of the most iconic Hollywood lobbies in Washington — the Recording Industry Association of America and MPAA — have spent around $4.4 million and $1.3 million, respectively, on lobbying so far this year. MPAA brought on former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to help lead the charge. RIAA, meanwhile, has as its top lobbyist Mitch Glazier, who served as the chief counsel for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property under then-Chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). Glazier helped craft and push the landmark 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act into law.

“This is either make it or break it for them,” said Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation. “It’s not surprising that they’re spending more to push for these bills.”

The industry says it’s wrong to focus on the bottom line. “These kind of charges are brought up as a distraction from the real issue of content-protection laws that help preserve jobs,” MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman said in a statement.

“This is much more a policy debate than a battle of resources,” said Glazier. These glitzy lobbies are locked in a fierce battle on the Hill against Silicon Valley Web giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, which are seeking to block the bills that would hold them liable for policing some copyright violations online. While the Internet industry is still a relatively young member of K Street, it has become a powerful lobbying force in its own right — and the industry is in the market for a star lobbyist for its group, NetCoalition, to raise its volume even louder inside the Beltway.

“They might be the new kids on the block, but they’re learning the ropes quickly,” said Michael Beckel, spokesman for CRP.

Google wields the strongest lobbying muscle of the companies and trade groups that are opposed to the two bills, with the PROTECT IP Act and copyright listed among its top policy issues in disclosures.

Spending in Google’s Washington shop has exploded this year — largely to deflect criticism of its business practices as anticompetitive. With its lobbying spending already tallying about $7.2 million this year, the Mountain View, Calif., company has blown past last year’s total of about $5.2 million.

About a dozen of Google’s new outside lobby shop registrants this year were hired to lobby on copyright, patent and trademark issues, among other topics.

Google’s Silicon Valley peer, Yahoo, has also been engaged on the issue. Yahoo reportedly left the Chamber of Commerce this fall over its aggressive lobbying campaign for stricter IP legislation. It has spent more than $1.8 million on lobbying in 2011 on issues including online privacy, data security, patents and copyright.

Three trade associations that represent these Web giants have also been lobbying furiously behind the scenes: NetCoalition, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Consumer Electronics Association. All three trade groups have publicly hammered the legislative proposals and have flown big-name venture capitalists to Washington to discourage lawmakers from pushing forward.

But even the Internet industry realizes it’s a David vs. an entertainment Goliath, which dug its roots into Washington decades before Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were born.

“If you are a member of the Judiciary Committee, year after year after year, the content industry has been at your fundraisers over and over. They’ve gotten to know you, and they’ve talked to you and given their spiel,” said CCIA President Ed Black.

Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government affairs at the CEA, noted that the tech industry “doesn’t have dozens of lobbyists running around Washington trying to preserve their business models.”

Copyright protection is undoubtedly at the top of Hollywood’s list of legislative priorities.

Time Warner, News Corp., Comcast and Walt Disney have all lobbied for more stringent rules against the offspring of websites like Napster, LimeWire and Zediva that they say promote pirated content. But Hollywood also has a powerful ally on its side: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has unleashed a full-court press for legislation against so-called rogue sites. It formed a coalition made up of a waterfront of Fortune 500 companies, trade groups and unions — ranging from Eli Lilly to Comcast to the AFL-CIO — that support this aim.

With the Chamber leading the charge, the entertainment industry doesn’t have to carry this battle on its own — in fact, the industry rejects the charge that this is a battle pitting Hollywood against Silicon Valley. So far, the industry’s biggest tech ally on the bills has been Go Daddy, an Internet domain name registrar and hosting company.

Both sides in the copyright showdown have traditionally favored Democrats in terms of political giving and issues. As perhaps a sign of the political times, both sectors have stepped up recruitment of Republican lobbyists and giving to GOP campaigns.

PACs for TV, movie and music companies have contributed more than $2.5 million to federal candidates so far in the 2012 election cycle, with Republicans receiving slightly more than Democrats this time around, according to CRP.

Computer and Internet industry PACs, meanwhile, have contributed around $1.7 million to 2012 federal candidates so far, with 55 percent of PAC money going to Republicans versus 45 percent to Democrats, CRP said.

In terms of hiring lobbyists, both sides are trying to be equal-opportunity employers. RIAA works with a smattering of GOP and Democratic lobbyists on copyright at The Glover Park Group; Ogilvy Government Relations and Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock. Disney Vice President and counsel Troy Dow served as the IP counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee under GOP leaders. Viacom has a former Democratic counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Marla Grossman, lobbying on copyright issues.

Google, meanwhile, has added Ryan Triplette, a Republican lobbyist for the Franklin Square Group and former Senate Judiciary Committee chief IP counsel, to lobby against the PROTECT IP Act. The deputy general counsel and vice president for global public policy at Yahoo, David Hantman, served as Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Schumer’s chief of staff from 2005 to 2007.

Tony Romm contributed to this report.

November 13, 2011

Government Approved Censorship Could Be Coming To The Internet. STOP SOPA, SAVE THE INTERNET – Boing Boing

by Mark E.


By at 8:51 am Friday, Nov 11

Tiffiny from Fight for the Future sez,

Google knows it. Viacom knows it. The Chamber of Commerce knows it. Internet democracy groups know it. BoingBoing knows it. But, the Internet hasn’t been told yet — we’re going to get blown away by the end of the year. The worst bill in Internet history is about to become law. Law is very real here in the United States and legal language is often different than stated intentions — this law would give government and corporations the power to block sites like BoingBoing over infringing links on at least one webpage posted by their users. Believe the EFF, Public Knowledge, Google when they say this bill is about much more than copyright, it’s about the Internet and free speech everywhere.

The MPAA, RIAA, Hollywood knows that they have been flying in CEOs of as many companies as possible, recruiting people to get petition signups at malls in California, and here’s the big point– they know they have gotten their message through to Congress — the worst bill in Internet history, the one where government and their corporations get unbelievable power to take down sites, threaten payment processors into stopping payment to sites on a blacklist, and throw people in jail for posting ordinary content is about to pass before the end of this year. The only thing that is going to stop Hollywood from owning the Internet and everything we do, is if there is a big surprise Internet backlash starting right now.

PROTECT IP (S. 968)/SOPA (HR. 3261) creates the first system for Internet censorship – this bill has sweeping provisions that give the government and corporations leeway and legal cover for taking down sites “by accident,” mistakenly, or for NOT doing “enough” to protect the interests of Hollywood. These bills that are moving very quickly through Congress and can pass before Christmas aim to give the US government and corporations the ability to block sites over infringing links posted by their users and give ISPs the release to take any means to block peoples’ sites, including slowing down your connection. That’s right, some say this bill is a workaround to net neutrality and is bigger than net neutrality.

This is the worst piece of Internet legislation in history – the lawmakers who have been sponsoring (Leahy, Lamar Smith, Conyers) this bill need to be shamed by the Internet community for wasting taxpayer dollars on a bill that would break the very fabric of the Internet, create an Internet blacklist, kill jobs and great startup companies, huge blogs, and social networks.


Everyone, the entire Internet community needs to stand together if we don’t want to see this bill actually become law. Internet and democracy groups are planning an Internet-wide day of protest called American Censorship Day on Wednesday, November 16th for the day Congress holds a hearing on these bills to create the first American Internet censorship system. Every single person with a website can join and needs to.

Boing Boing, Grooveshark, Free Software Foundation, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, Demand Progress, Open Congress/PPF, TechDirt, Fight for the Future and dozens of other sites have created this day to ask you to join them to stop S. 978 and HR 3261, as hard as you can. Write them, protest, call them, protest, support your favorite sites, protest, sign a letter, block out your site, protest.

Many public intellectuals who are often the ones to help win the public interest over and over are about to come out to lead the charge to stop PROTECT IP/ SOPA – they have to when they learn that the House and Senate will be working to pass this bill before the Christmas. From those doing work on the hill, it’s very clear we have been stacked comparatively lightly. The House bill has 40 co-sponsors and major industry support. The only thing that will change the dynamic now is if Congress gets a knock on their door by CEO”s of small and large tech companies, blogs, and news sites and if Internet users start piling on, one by one, and protest.

Tech companies, blogs, news sites are already in a death-do-die battle cry — listen to them — it’s a few days before the hearing on this bill. But, we need more tech companies, blogs, new sites before the hearing on this bill. Help get them.

I’ve been trying to think about whether or not the world is going to end if this bill passes like it’s supposed to — and the answer is, “kind of yes”. When small sites, and it’s the small sites that get turned off in the night and no one for the most part notices, say my friend’s political blog or news site gets blocked by the US government and she has no way to get it back up even though everything she did was legal according to current law, and no one can help her except she can choose to file suit to defend herself, I feel like I die inside a little. Living in a country where you are being shut out and left powerless to really defend yourself is like living in another country, the ones you hear about. Life starts to feel shot when that happens, especially to our friends or our favorites sites.

Every site who has user-generated content, posts links or videos to anything copyrighted in it could face new legal threats.

If a copyrights holder disliked links you have on your site, they could simply file a complaint with a payment processor (Visa, PayPal), who would then have 5 days to respond to their request or risk legal ramifications. If bills like this are allowed to pass, we’ll be spending another $47 million dollars every year to help corporations fill out and enforce Internet blacklists.

Sites that would be legal under the DMCA and its safe harbor provisions would now risk losing everything for allowing user generated content. It also has added in the streaming felony bill that would make it so ordinary Internet users are at risk of going to jail for 5 years for post any copyrighted work that would cost $2,500 to license. And because copyright is so broad, that means videos with copyrighted music in the background, kids in a school play, people singing karaoke could all be a risk.

Because the law affects almost every Internet user and the sites they use every day and have come to love, and because granting sweeping blacklisting powers is just sickening to almost everyone, we need your help — if you can encourage your favorite site to join the protest, and help drive the maximum number of people to contact Congress on November 16th (until the bill dies), please help.

These bills represent a major blow to openness and freedom on the Internet, free speech rights, and the fabric of the Internet itself. If SOPA is allowed to pass, the Internet and free speech will never be the same again.

SOPA: Hollywood Finally Gets A Chance to Break the Internet (EFF)

House takes Senate’s bad Internet censorship bill, tries making it worse (Ars Technica)

Protect The Internet (Brad Feld)

Protecting The Safe Harbors Of The DMCA And Protecting Jobs (Business Insider)

S.978 – Commercial Felony Streaming Act

Tags: , , , , , ,

This isn’t the wild ravings of a small group of activists. This is a serious threat to content providers and regular people who use the internet every day. The RIAA is the only organization I have had personal experience with in regards to abuse of copyright laws, and they are simply EVIL. If this bill becomes law, they and other industry groups will be able to have almost anything taken down from the web at their whim.

We don’t need this kind of censorship in the name of copyright or protecting artist’s rights. I believe in protecting artist’s rights and that artists should be compensated for their work. I don’t believe in “industry organizations” acting like brown shirted Storm Troopers yanking anything they think threatens their ability to make a profit from the internet.

America may be the land of opportunity, but it should not be the land of censorship or prior restraint. Please do what you can to make ure this bill doesn’t become law.