SOPA and Politics-
Old 8th December 2011
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SOPA and Politics-

After listening to Robert Levine defend SOPA on a radio broadcast-

I feel compelled to comment on the overall discussion that has been ongoing regarding it-

First, he is a marvelous speaker- he articulates the needs of the creative community far more effectively than the voices I have been hearing, and he addressed my principal reservations to a degree which I am quite confident is consistent wih free speech issues-

that being said- I think we have some things to look at-

Theft- Copyright violation is theft, plain and simple. There is no justification for it, and one cannot use the poverty excuse for something which is a non-essential item of life- Software, films and music and other items which are infringed upon are typically discretionary purchases, and ones economic situation doesnt, and cannot justify the act of stealing them.


To hear what I will call the SOPA camp speak on these things is like being attacked by a pitbull- Which in some cases may be required- but the general tenor is that anyone concerned with the scope of the legislation and its sometimes vague language, which was acknowledged by Levene, being called a shill, or a pirate or a theif is doing the group a dis-service, and its downright insulting- As one who has been called this directly, I would say **** you and the horse you rode in on-. The core legislation, which seeks to deny funding to sites and entities which commercially exploit both illegal media and the people seeking it, is great- I have no problem with bringing as much hurt to that group as is humanly possible. They deserve every ounce of it, and their disregard, and arrogance in doing so should be revolting to everyone.

The problem I see, is that those here- seem to so focused on that core, that they minimize the more vague and lesser related aspects of the legislation-

At its core, SOPA is about IP theft via electronic means and its prevention within the constraints of international law. It has other provisions though that go beyond that scope- If it were limited to the degree of going after only the aforementioned core issue, I dont think anyone could rationally be against it-

The reality however is that when politics get wrapped up in it- and the governments own frailties in reallife operation, some of us, get concerned of where a legitimate prosecution might end up as an extra Constitutional fishing expedition- This, I believe is the reason rights groups have voiced their concern over its reach and potential abuse- its not a matter of making false claims against infringing sites- its a matter of the 4th amendment being honored in search and seizure. That language, as Levene commented can be refined and focused to keep the spirit of the bill pure, and I hope it is considerate folks like Levene who will be consulted on that, not some of the people who speak so loudly here.

SOPA in concept is a great thing- the problem I see that so many reiterate endlessly is that this is best thing we have available to us- Thats all well and good, but if we hold it up to a standard similar to the death penalty idea, we have to ask how much collateral damage is acceptable- how many people is it ok to errantly kill for their alleged crimes? If you are personally touched by that, most would say zero- If you are not, one would probably have little concern for it. The point being that if the law is carefully constructed, and has in place reasonable oversight on the prosecution side it will be great- Talking about it, and making it great is important- However, as has been stated regarding DMCA, a law which also was controversial and thought to be a strong firewall against IP theft, we saw that significant loopholes were purposefully included which led us need something with more teeth. To those linguistically challenged, the death penalty point is an analogy- and it seems there are a few who have a weakness in understanding what an analogy is and its function....

We also see that after 13 years, we haven't seen the DMCA significantly amended to address those issues- probably because those loopholes were not intended to be fixed in the first place.

the battle for protection of IP is one worth fighting for, because the stakes are so high- I think patience is required, and we shouldn't be looking for a quick fix but we should be looking to see a rugged, clear and concise set of protections as the goal for any legislation which protects artists and content owners rights to be compensated for their work.
Old 8th December 2011
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a post script-


Is it just me, or does anyone else notice the tension of Rock and Roll's historic legacy of rebellion and contempt of authority as playing against the issue of compliance in this matter?

For some reason, Judas Priests' song "Breakin' the Law" came to mind as I was getting coffee.....
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
We also see that after 13 years, we haven't seen the DMCA significantly amended to address those issues- probably because those loopholes were not intended to be fixed in the first place.

the battle for protection of IP is one worth fighting for, because the stakes are so high- I think patience is required, and we shouldn't be looking for a quick fix but we should be looking to see a rugged, clear and concise set of protections as the goal for any legislation which protects artists and content owners rights to be compensated for their work.
We've had 13 years of patience, it's time for change. This is how lawmaking works (or doesn't) and waiting any longer isn't going to change the fabric of what happens in Washington.

Two years ago on this board someone bet me that IP theft was such a non issue that it would NEVER even be addressed with new legislation. I'm glad to say that person was wrong.

The wild west wasn't wild for ever Charles, and neither will the internet be. There is absolutely no reason why the laws and standards that govern the physical world should be any different in the virtual one.

Some crafty people have figured out how to make a fortune in the time it takes for the law to catch up, but hey, history repeats itself...

Oh, and by the way, you should read Levin's book and Jaron Lanier's as well and step away from soundbite culture for a few minutes to educate yourself on the larger landscape of what is really at stake.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
a post script-
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice the tension of Rock and Roll's historic legacy of rebellion and contempt of authority as playing against the issue of compliance in this matter?

For some reason, Judas Priests' song "Breakin' the Law" came to mind as I was getting coffee.....
perhaps, but that's more about the immaturity of "youth culture" in general. levine address's this in his book, you should read it, it's very insightful and more objective than you might think. he doesn't pull punches when recognizing the boneheaded moves of the media companies, but then again hindsight is always 20/20...
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
We've had 13 years of patience, it's time for change. This is how lawmaking works (or doesn't) and waiting any longer isn't going to change the fabric of what happens in Washington.

Two years ago on this board someone bet me that IP theft was such a non issue that it would NEVER even be addressed with new legislation. I'm glad to say that person was wrong.

The wild west wasn't wild for ever Charles, and neither will the internet be. There is absolutely no reason why the laws and standards that govern the physical world should be any different in the virtual one.

Some crafty people have figured out how to make a fortune in the time it takes for the law to catch up, but hey, history repeats itself...

Oh, and by the way, you should read Levin's book and Jaron Lanier's as well and step away from soundbite culture for a few minutes to educate yourself on the larger landscape of what is really at stake.
How long did the CRA take- and at what cost? was it worth it- I think so.


My point being, I dont think legislation which would replay the DMCA's shortcomings is going to do anyone any favors. And if a year of refinement- which is all they have, makes for a more robust law, it will be worth the wait.


And your last comment is exactly why you shouldnt be the person advising Congress....
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
And your last comment is exactly why you shouldnt be the person advising Congress....
only because I disagree with you... I could say the same of you!

but really, how would you know if you haven't read the books? have you read both? are you really qualified to speak to my comment if you have not?
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
only because I disagree with you... I could say the same of you!

but really, how would you know if you haven't read the books? have you read both? are you really qualified to speak to my comment if you have not?
No Honestly I am working on a film right now, and am only poking in here from time to time while my computer is occupied doing tasks-

As far as being qualified to comment- I am a constituent to the issue- I work directly in the entertainment industry and have my products pirated already, if that isnt enough qualification, I dont really know what bar has to be reached.

And I post under my real name as well.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
No Honestly I am working on a film right now,
so am I, two actually!

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
and am only poking in here from time to time while my computer is occupied doing tasks-

As far as being qualified to comment- I am a constituent to the issue- I work directly in the entertainment industry and have my products pirated already, if that isnt enough qualification, I dont really know what bar has to be reached.

And I post under my real name as well.
good for you!

I'd say having an understanding of the history and dynamics of the issue would be a good qualifier, seriously.

I get you are a sound effects editor, and a reasonably successful one - awesome.

Not sure you actually have alot (or any) experience in the actual record business though, or even understand the history of events that have lead us to where we are now... which is why I have recommended the two books that could educate you and fill in the gaps in your knowledge.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by rack gear View Post
so am I, two actually!



good for you!

I'd say having an understanding of the history and dynamics of the issue would be a good qualifier, seriously.

I get you are a sound effects editor, and a reasonably successful one - awesome.

Not sure you actually have alot (or any) experience in the actual record business though, or even understand the history of events that have lead us to where we are now... which is why I have recommended the two books that could educate you and fill in the gaps in your knowledge.
and I intend on getting to them- I have a growing stack of screeners I need to get through as well for the awards season. That being said, SOPA goes FAR beyond the record industry- and the needs of the record industry are not its singular concern. As a media professional I am taking that into account.

I am pretty successful actually, and I won Emmys for my work the last two years, as well as being party to a couple of Academy Awards too. I have been in the industry for around 20 years, and it has been my sole source of income for the last 18. So again- I think I might be qualified to speak on the issue since it directly affects me.

And I actually stand behind my words with my real identity too.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
and I intend on getting to them- I have a growing stack of screeners I need to get through as well for the awards season. That being said, SOPA goes FAR beyond the record industry- and the needs of the record industry are not its singular concern. As a media professional I am taking that into account.

I am pretty successful actually, and I won Emmys for my work the last two years, as well as being party to a couple of Academy Awards too. I have been in the industry for around 20 years, and it has been my sole source of income for the last 18. So again- I think I might be qualified to speak on the issue since it directly affects me.

And I actually stand behind my words with my real identity too.
I get that, and congrats, but just because slash is an amazing and successful guitar player doesn't mean he's educated on the history of events that have lead us here and the issues being debated... the same might be true of you.
Old 8th December 2011
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I get that, and congrats, but just because slash is an amazing and successful guitar player doesn't mean he's educated on the history of events that have lead us here and the issues being debated... the same might be true of you.
yeah- well I am older than Slash- and I think have also probably signed at least as many NDAs as he has.... And the seeming contempt of industries that have a vested interest in this discussion is somewhat troubling- I know many in my union who if subject to the lack of professional discourse would turn their back on support for it. What that says- is that you have a messaging problem.

thanks though for making my point-
Old 8th December 2011
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Excellent OP Charles - a welcome perspective.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
yeah- well I am older than Slash- and I think have also probably signed at least as many NDAs as he has.... And the seeming contempt of industries that have a vested interest in this discussion is somewhat troubling- I know many in my union who if subject to the lack of professional discourse would turn their back on support for it. What that says- is that you have a messaging problem.

thanks though for making my point-
we can agree to disagree.

the contempt comes from watching other people profit from my labor, IMHO, those who are most passive about this rarely seem to have any skin in the game. you'll get your fee regardless of what a film grosses - that's both the good news and bad news for you. for some of us, our compensation is tired directly to sales/grosses and that's a different ball park...
Old 8th December 2011
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we can agree to disagree.

the contempt comes from watching other people profit from my labor.
If that contempt means you are alienating others like you who want to support the effort- I would say thats bad.

We can disagree, but I think it would be better to add to the number of supporters for artistic protection vs turning them against the cause.
Old 8th December 2011
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I get that, and congrats, but just because slash is an amazing and successful guitar player doesn't mean he's educated on the history of events that have lead us here and the issues being debated... the same might be true of you.
Having read Lanier's and Levine's books doesn't automatically qualify you as an expert on the topics, either. For what it's worth, I believe Charles' insights and perspective have considerably raised the standard of discussion here.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
If that contempt means you are alienating others like you who want to support the effort- I would say thats bad.

We can disagree, but I think it would be better to add to the number of supporters for artistic protection vs turning them against the cause.
Like I said, there are those of us with skin in the game, and that's a different reality than being on the sidelines, or so removed from the actual economics of the issue for it to be meaningless.

you say I'm alienating others, but really, I'm alienating you, and largely because we disagree - so what.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
Having read Lanier's and Levine's books doesn't automatically qualify you as an expert on the topics, either. For what it's worth, I believe Charles' insights and perspective have considerably raised the standard of discussion here.
I didn't say expert, I said informed.
Old 8th December 2011
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I agree, the level of debate has been raised...... although often it's plumbed the depths many times so the only way was up.
From my perspective, Charles has made numerous ill informed, perhaps naive comments about the music industry. He sometimes follows those comments with "am I right?".
So as an analogy, I have 30 years experience often at the highest levels in the music industry, experience of recording, touring, writing music for tv, building software products (aka - varied experience). I also have had my drum tracks illegally sampled, my software pirated.
I know virtually nothing about Hollywood, or the film business in general. I know nothing about the struggle (or not) film has with piracy.
This is a music forum.
Charles input is valued, but when comparing experience and relevance, lets understand some are in the music business, others are not.
Old 8th December 2011
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Like I said, there are those of us with skin in the game, and that's a different reality than being on the sidelines, or so removed from the actual economics of the issue for it to be meaningless.

you say I'm alienating others, but really, I'm alienating you, and largely because we disagree - so what.
well if you are happy to alienate fellow industry professionals who wish the same outcome as you, I would say arent thinking things through.

I really couldn't tell though if you are fellow professional, because I have no idea of who you might be- We have this sort of discussion in the post forum often with people who refuse to identify themselves- John and Bob identify themselves- I obviously identify who I am, because I take responsibility for my ideas and my comments- I sometimes am penalized for that as well-

I have clearly stated I have been victimized by pirating- and I can also say that since I have actually made a reasonable amount of money from MY products, which had my name attached to them- not as a peripheral worker for hire. I can surmise through the standard John said elsewhere that my work HAS been pirated- though I quite awre of it even here in Hollywood.

Also, as politics is the art of compromise, the idea of this myopic posture is telling me that you arent really serious about making a practical solution vs an idealized one.

talk is cheap, especially if its anonymous.
Old 8th December 2011
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well if you are happy to alienate fellow industry professionals who wish the same outcome as you, I would say arent thinking things through.
but that's not true. you clearly want a DIFFERENT outcome... so therefore we disagree.

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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Also, as politics is the art of compromise, the idea of this myopic posture is telling me that you arent really serious about making a practical solution vs an idealized one.
again, not true and I would say the same to you.

I want a solution that can be done now, versus waiting out another 13 years of damages listening to the same people who have been telling us to wait for the last 13 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
talk is cheap, especially if its anonymous.
says you
Old 8th December 2011
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I agree, the level of debate has been raised...... although often it's plumbed the depths many times so the only way was up.
From my perspective, Charles has made numerous ill informed, perhaps naive comments about the music industry. He sometimes follows those comments with "am I right?".
So as an analogy, I have 30 years experience often at the highest levels in the music industry, experience of recording, touring, writing music for tv, building software products (aka - varied experience). I also have had my drum tracks illegally sampled, my software pirated.
I know virtually nothing about Hollywood, or the film business in general. I know nothing about the struggle (or not) film has with piracy.
This is a music forum.
Charles input is valued, but when comparing experience and relevance, lets understand some are in the music business, others are not.
And Chris, I made no claim otherwise- SOPA is not specific to the MUSIC Business however, AND Gearslutz does have a Post Production audio component which is also affected by Piracy-

They are two different camps- And it is simply not productive to fight each other over the issue- we both want IP protection.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
And Chris, I made no claim otherwise- SOPA is not specific to the MUSIC Business however, AND Gearslutz does have a Post Production audio component which is also affected by Piracy-

They are two different camps- And it is simply not productive to fight each other over the issue- we both want IP protection.
really, it seems to me you want to either 1) wait for IP protection, or 2) propose an unworkable idea ... again, we just disagree on what we want.

you can say we want the same thing, but if that were true we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Old 8th December 2011
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but that's not true. you clearly want a DIFFERENT outcome... so therefore we disagree.



again, not true and I would say the same to you.

I want a solution that can be done now, versus waiting out another 13 years of damages listening to the same people who have been telling us to wait for the last 13 years...



says you
ok- tell me the outcome you think I want....




A solution now is impossible. It is being worked on- but there is a procedure attached to lawmaking. Let it be done.

You yourself wrote how RIAA ****ed the record industry... last I checked, they pretty much ARE the record industry..... so what does that say? It says they were not prepared to advocate for a solution that would protect their interests- and thats with the "smartest people in the room" at an expense of several million dollars that was paid for on the artists backs.... I would say that maybe that would be a reason to not rush too quickly into a "solution".... the last one seemed to pour gasoline instead of water onto the problem from what I am hearing in this discussion.

There is a great quote John Cleese made in one of the Bond films- "Its better to be smarter than you look, than look smarter than you are".
Old 8th December 2011
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really, it seems to me you want to either 1) wait for IP protection, or 2) propose an unworkable idea ... again, we just disagree on what we want.

you can say we want the same thing, but if that were true we wouldn't be having this conversation.
I want the sites shut down- I dont really care how-

As I said, Levene admitted the current language of the act need to be improved regarding civil rights freedoms- piracy is not a civil right. He said he expected that language to be fixed in Markup- I think thats great, and I fully endorse the bill if those protections are in place.

If those protections are not in place, I am a lot less supportive of it- There we can respectfully agree to disagree- but the IP protection in the sense of commecially released, and work being developed for commercial exploitation I am all for protecting to the most extreme measures.

thats it.

If the language is fixed, I am all in- with no reservation.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
And Chris, I made no claim otherwise- SOPA is not specific to the MUSIC Business however, AND Gearslutz does have a Post Production audio component which is also affected by Piracy-
So, make the majority of your points in the context of your great area of expertise. Not guesswork about the current music scene.

Quote:
They are two different camps- And it is simply not productive to fight each other over the issue- we both want IP protection.
Agreed.
Old 8th December 2011
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Speaking for myself, i hold no ill will towards anyone here.
If my typing gets heated at times... well that's just my passion for the issue. (as well as frustration to the reality of even having to have this section of forum exist)

Thanks for clarifying your stance on the issue Charles.

Now, may i ask- can you clarify your concerns?

From other threads- one gets the impression that your concern is more geared towards a general distrust of government, than any specific language in the Bill at hand.
Old 8th December 2011
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You yourself wrote how RIAA ****ed the record industry... last I checked, they pretty much ARE the record industry.....
Case in point.......
They are an American body. They have zero to do with me, as I'm not American and have operated outside the majors for most of my career.
It is completely incorrect to state the RIAA 'are the record industry'. Seriously
You checked wrong.
Old 8th December 2011
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Case in point.......
They are an American body. They have zero to do with me, as I'm not American and have operated outside the majors for most of my career.
It is completely incorrect to state the RIAA 'are the record industry'. Seriously
You checked wrong.

Chris, I am not sure what standards we wish to use, but the RIAA at least is posturing themselves as the voice of the Recording Industry in America- which is where the legislation is being crafted, and will have the most significant effect- is that a mistaken notion?, I am teachable in this, and if that is seen as a mistaken notion I will happily stand corrected.....

as I said, the Recording Industry is not the sole beneficiary of this legislation.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
Speaking for myself, i hold no ill will towards anyone here.
If my typing gets heated at times... well that's just my passion for the issue. (as well as frustration to the reality of even having to have this section of forum exist)

Thanks for clarifying your stance on the issue Charles.

Now, may i ask- can you clarify your concerns?

From other threads- one gets the impression that your concern is more geared towards a general distrust of government, than any specific language in the Bill at hand.
Eric Holder is testifying in the oversight committee regarding other Justice Department improprieties today- Perhaps we should see what comes of that to see if my concerns are warranted.
Old 8th December 2011
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Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
A solution now is impossible. It is being worked on- but there is a procedure attached to lawmaking. Let it be done.
do you think I have some kind of magical influence over congress? I'm flattered, but I just don't have that kind of power...

sure, I'm active on several different levels, but none of them have any direct influence on what is happening... I have no choice than to let it be done, the same as you!

on some points you and I simply disagree, on others you are misinformed.

either way, the debating of such things only serves to express more points of view to the many lurkers who visit this forum - many of whom have very little understanding of the business and it's history that has lead us here.

in the years I've been posting here I've seen a slow steady turn of the tide, whereby more an more musicians are learning about their rights, what they can do, and the actions to take to empower themselves in one of the most disempowered era's since the beginning of the record business as we understand it today.

we've gone backwards, not forwards, and those reading here should fully understand what is at stake for those who have any desire what so ever to have any kind of professional career.

the hobbyist is another issue all together, and nothing wrong with that, but it is a different conversation than one had by professionals and those who aspire to be.
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