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Although we do not normally comment on politics, as a company, Curse has taken a decisive stance against the Stop Online Piracy Act, otherwise known as SOPA. We're in good company. Companies like Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, and PayPal have all come out with stances against SOPA.

Though it is well intentioned, examining the facts of this bill shows that if it were to pass, it would be extremely harmful to the Internet as we know it.

What is SOPA?

SOPA is a bill that is currently sitting in the House Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives awaiting further debate.

Under SOPA, U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders would be given the ability to to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.

The trouble with SOPA

Taking into account the ways in which the bill intends to stamp out online piracy, several issues with the bill become apparent:
  • Strengthening the power of copyright holders on the Internet through government legislation has proven ineffective in the past, having done little to stop online piracy. Offending websites that are shut down simply reappear under a new URL.
  • Lots of piracy sites are hosted outside of the US so they could not be effectively shut down by US law. This bill would make it so that copyright holders would only be able to have the DNS records removed from US servers. This effectively means that the site still exists and can be accessed directly through an IP address and does nothing to stop the piracy.
  • DNS Blocking like this is thought to compromise your personal security on the Internet.
  • Companies that have simply embraced the convenience of the Internet for consumers have been more effective at curbing piracy, like NetFlix and Spotify.
  • Vague language used in the bill like "facilitating copyright infringement" may easily be turned against the sites Internet users rely on daily.
We believe SOPA is more likely to harm legitimate web entities and inconvenience daily internet users than to actually remedy the issue with online piracy.

How would SOPA impact the Internet?

Under SOPA, U.S. law enforcement would be able to blacklist entire websites using DNS blocking simply for containing any instance of content deemed offending. This would affect sites with a great deal of user generated content, including Curse and all social media sites.

In fact it's thought that using DNS blocking would actually decrease your security online by creating conflicts between DNS servers, which would make users more vulnerable to hackers, identity theft, and cyber attacks.

Search engines would be forced to block links to any sites found to be "enabling or facilitating" copyright infringement, making it impossible for users to find the amount of information that they can now.

SOPA would literally allow copyright holders the ability to censor any content deemed to be facilitating copyright infringement, and some have already listed popular sites like Vimeo, SoundCloud, and PayPal as potential targets.

How do I take a stance on SOPA?

Were SOPA to become law, the Internet as we know it would change dramatically due to rampant censorship by the US Department of Justice and copyright holders. Of course, we are against online piracy, but SOPA is not the answer.

To preserve the freedom of the Internet, it's important to stand in opposition to SOPA. Write to your representative in Congress and spread the word through social media.

Writing your congressional representative is simple. The House of Representative's website has an easy-to-use tool to find your representative and send him/her an email. You can also sign the Whitehouse.gov petition.

Please join us in standing up for free speech, the rights of online communities, and the future of the Internet.

Learn More

If you have thoughts on SOPA or more SOPA resources you would like to share please do so in the comments below. I have created this in the Off Topic forum so any user can reply.
Posted in: News
Promoted from AJ and Curse on SOPA

Comments

#1 Conradical

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:52 PM

oboy
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#2 ManofOnebullet

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:53 PM

ah wtf i accidentally repped that, oh well i guess its a good thing
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#3 Breadstick

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:27 PM

nice
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s a d b o y s

#4 Kakio

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:53 PM

if this goes live everyone will just host from outside of the US, which will be bad for the small sites, but for bigger cites it will be merly a small inconvenience.
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#5 zsuper

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:59 PM

While SOPA is definitely a bad thing, I think it's still important to remember that the internet is blowing it well out of proportion.

In reality, this form of censorship is trivial to bypass, even for technologically retarded people.

The only way the US government can actually enforce the censors completely is with the cooperation of ICANN, which I'm pretty sure it doesn't have and won't be able to force. It can be partially enforced with the cooperation of your ISP, but this is the type of censorship that is trivial to bypass.

A lot of people use Google's DNS server. If you're using it, you're probably immune to SOPA's proposed censorship. If it is passed, the only way the government could censor websites for people using Google's DNS server is if Google cooperates with the government. As we've seen in the past, Google doesn't give in to legal pressure from the US.

Other large companies like Microsoft are also in a position to tell the government to go fuck itself; there's not much the government can do about it, because the country is too reliant on these companies.

Also, like most laws involving the internet, there's an extremely high chance that it won't even be used if it is passed.

tl;dr not saying the law shouldn't be opposed, but it's not as bad as the internet thinks it is.
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#6 FukkenZuzah

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

http://www.reddit.co...pa_the_biggest/
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#7 Vahntra

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:53 AM

"Google doesn't give in to legal pressure from the US."

-If it is put into law google will have to comply, there is no way around it. Stalling is the best they can do, don't be naive.

"Other large companies like Microsoft are also in a position to tell the government to go fuck itself; there's not much the government can do about it, because the country is too reliant on these companies."

-The only "weight" microsoft is not that the government is reliant on them due to their services, but the money they put into certain politicians. If the bill is passed the representatives they have in place would have failed already to stop it, due to it getting through the house in the first place. There is big corporate money on both sides of this, which is what is going to make this interesting. Your view on the intricacies between government and business is on the right track, but to "bland", you know the idea but not actually how it works.

"While SOPA is definitely a bad thing, I think it's still important to remember that the internet is blowing it well out of proportion."

-What isn't listed here is that it is also true that under this new bill, the government can IMMEDIATELY shut down ANY website with a link to any other site that has even a mere shred of pirated material. This type of power is overstepping the bounds of reason and shouldn't be put down because it will save our favorite torrent sites, but because the government needs to know where the line is. When it comes to censorship, I would like that line to be bright fucking red.
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#8 Vahntra

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:55 AM

Also there is another probably more important issue going on as well

http://www.sfgate.co.../EDU21MK93M.DTL

NDAA is a little more violating.
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#9 zsuper

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:13 AM

-If it is put into law google will have to comply, there is no way around it. Stalling is the best they can do, don't be naive.

-The only "weight" microsoft is not that the government is reliant on them due to their services, but the money they put into certain politicians. If the bill is passed the representatives they have in place would have failed already to stop it, due to it getting through the house in the first place. There is big corporate money on both sides of this, which is what is going to make this interesting. Your view on the intricacies between government and business is on the right track, but to "bland", you know the idea but not actually how it works.


How can the government force Google's compliance? At worst, they have the resources to stall any legal proceedings until the end of time. Likewise, they can easily move to another country if they think SOPA is a serious threat. The combination of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and other companies are too important for the government to try to force into anything.

What's the worst the government can do? Spend years in court with them, then what? Are they going to fine them until they comply, until Microsoft and Google are both bankrupt? What happens if Microsoft and Google refuse to pay the fines?

The government can't actually do anything if they refuse, short of violence. These companies are too powerful. If they hurt these companies, the damage is pushed directly onto Americans, and if they're pushed too far, these companies also have the ability to take their ball and just plain leave the US. Their weight isn't only in their money, their weight is in the fact that 90% of America is reliant on the services they provide.


-What isn't listed here is that it is also true that under this new bill, the government can IMMEDIATELY shut down ANY website with a link to any other site that has even a mere shred of pirated material. This type of power is overstepping the bounds of reason and shouldn't be put down because it will save our favorite torrent sites, but because the government needs to know where the line is. When it comes to censorship, I would like that line to be bright fucking red.


No, it can't. It can only do this if the website is hosted in the US. Host it in Russia and the most they can do is DNS censorship, which is unreliable and easily avoided. Your favorite torrent sites are not hosted in the US, which makes them immune to the US government. The worst that will happen is that US companies who are vulnerable to SOPA will create shell companies in other countries and host their websites through them, then funnel the revenue back into the US.



This bill just allows a lot of legal threats.
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#10 Srslyguys

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:59 AM

This is from the reddit starcraft forum and is another interesting video on the matter.



Also, sites such as MLG and streamers/commentators such as Day9 have moved all of their domain names off of GoDaddy's services, since GoDaddy originally supported SOPA. GoDaddy, I believe, has now retracted their support of the bill. However, if ArenaJunkies (or Curse in general) has their domain names on GoDaddy's services (however you word it), maybe you should look into another company. If this has already been done, splendid.

This forum of legislation should never be taken seriously.
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#11 Krobuluz

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:52 PM

http://byedaddy.org/
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#12 Breadstick1337

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:33 PM

wikipedia.org
xkcd.com
myeg.net
quantic-destiny.com
ronpaul2012.com
cynicalbrit.com
digg.com
mmo-champion.com
stackoverflow.com
urbandictionary.com


DA IMPORTANT SHIT
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#13 Hobbeś

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:35 PM

http://www.tomshardw...nate,14393.html
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#14 Matarife

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:22 PM

I'm really glad you guys posted this. Hopefully now more people will be informed. Thank you.

SOPA passing = instant revolution.
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#15 Guest_ameego_*

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:41 AM

THE AUTHOR OF SOPA IS A COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR

the look on that guys face is intolerable
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#16 Bloodriot

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 03:43 AM

DO A BLACKOUT!
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#17 Roostersauce

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:49 AM

Please take a moment to contact your local and state representatives - even a quick e-mail expressing your disdain for SOPA, toss out some Tweets, Facebook etceteras. This issue is far too important for each of us and it will not be going away any time soon.

If it is not SOPA it will be another piece of legislation designed to place control of the internet (even moreso) into the hands of corporations. Like it or not, as we see the greatest wealth disparity in our nations history, the internet is one of the few (relative) equalizers that allows for the free expression of beliefs or ideals. There are services that should be part of the 'commons' and an unrestricted utilization of the internet would greatly benefit (both in innovation(s) and freedoms) everyone. The only people trying to create restrictions for arbitrary reasons are corporations in an attempt to further monetize internet usage. If the last 30 years have demonstrated anything it is that not everything needs to under corporate control.

As we see a gradual erosion of these 'internet' freedoms (via bandwidth capping, IP blocking, 'throttling') we see a corresponding cost for internet usage. Simply stated it is in our own best interest to fight against ANY future legislation that restricts utilization.

Lastly, it is not enough to simply complain about SOPA or to adopt a nihilistic view of 'oh, there's nothing I can do' or to assume someone else will fight on your behalf - the stakes are too high and the threat clearly ominous and tangibly real. It is not hyperbole to suggest that SOPA and the future legislation we may see has a direct and deleterious impact upon some of the few freedoms we have left in this democracy.
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#18 Roostersauce

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:14 AM

You are incredibly naive, ill-informed, or both if you think that the govt. could not dictate (under the auspice of law) what Google or ANY company can do if SOPA passes. And, to suggest that our individual protections would be meted out (and magically in our best interests) via Google and other companies engaging in a legal battle with the government is simply ridiculous. I simply do not understand how that would comprise part of your rebuttal if you're not intent on trolling.

I find your suggestion, in an attempt to parse Vahntras' words, also disingenious as his/her intent was quite clear. This Bill, as currently worded, would indeed allow the govt. to shutdown any site or originating IP that might receive complaints regarding infringement. They can actually circumnavigate any 'due process' and close sites whether there is a standing in legal precedent to do so. That is incredibly disturbing and to parse ones words and say 'well, umm, they couldn't block sites outside of the U.S.' seems to miss the point and more an effort to espouse what you think is technology knowledge...which, is not germane.

Lastly, I had to pause when I read your last sentence "This bill just allows a lot of legal threats". That, is prima facie evidence you have not read the proposed legislation and/or you have little to no understanding of the legal implications for individuals and the companies that both oppose and support the passage of SOPA. I suggest you spend your time arguing against SOPA without getting lost in your minutia built on a foundation of inaccuracies.
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#19 Matisse

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 04:05 AM

You are incredibly naive, ill-informed, or both if you think that the govt. could not dictate (under the auspice of law) what Google or ANY company can do if SOPA passes. And, to suggest that our individual protections would be meted out (and magically in our best interests) via Google and other companies engaging in a legal battle with the government is simply ridiculous. I simply do not understand how that would comprise part of your rebuttal if you're not intent on trolling.

I find your suggestion, in an attempt to parse Vahntras' words, also disingenious as his/her intent was quite clear. This Bill, as currently worded, would indeed allow the govt. to shutdown any site or originating IP that might receive complaints regarding infringement. They can actually circumnavigate any 'due process' and close sites whether there is a standing in legal precedent to do so. That is incredibly disturbing and to parse ones words and say 'well, umm, they couldn't block sites outside of the U.S.' seems to miss the point and more an effort to espouse what you think is technology knowledge...which, is not germane.

Lastly, I had to pause when I read your last sentence "This bill just allows a lot of legal threats". That, is prima facie evidence you have not read the proposed legislation and/or you have little to no understanding of the legal implications for individuals and the companies that both oppose and support the passage of SOPA. I suggest you spend your time arguing against SOPA without getting lost in your minutia built on a foundation of inaccuracies.


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some pickles are really good


#20 Thing_one

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:15 PM

[img]http://i.imgur.com/w1Wiq.jpg[/img]
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