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Current time:0:00Total duration:11:15

Video transcript

let's say that you're the owner of some type of copyrighted material maybe it's a movie maybe it's music of some kind and you observe that there is a site that is operating outside of the United States and that site at least in your mind seems to be infringing on your copyrights by US law so this is the site this is the site in question and you are saying that it's doing illegal things at least at least by US standards the problem is is that there's nothing you can do it's operating outside of US soil and outside of US laws you can even go to the government even if the government wanted to do something about it it really couldn't because once again it is outside the US jurisdiction the purpose of SOPA and it seems fairly benign at first is to give some tools to these actors to stop this the problem and we'll see that it's actually quite a large problem is it gives tools to these actors to do much more than just stopping illegal activity it allows them essentially to go on to some degree a kind of a witch hunt for anyone that might even have a whiff of enabling this type of activity it won't even just be for foreign sites so let's write this down so SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act it sounds pretty reasonable and this is the version of the bill that's coming from the House of Representatives the one from the Senate they're slightly different but they have the same intent is PIPA and what it does is if you can't go after the this site itself maybe you can go after site that are somehow benefiting this site and those sites are inside the United States so this is outside this is inside the United States so things that are doing that might include search engines so search engines like a Google or Bing they obviously link to this site over here you might have ad networks so sites that allow this site over here to display ads and get revenue from them that are benefiting this site over here you might have payment sites like PayPal or credit card processors that this site uses to collect revenue and maybe most importantly you have things like the DNS servers within the US that associate this site's domain name with the actual servers and don't get too technical about it but when you type in something like WWJD shady foreign and once again where we're going to see that this site might not even have to be shady or foreign but when you type something like that in there servers in the United States that associate that with these servers that might be operated outside the United States that associate these this text with a number that points to this website that points to this websites servers so these are all things within the United States that to some degree this site is dependent on so what SOPA does is it allows these actors here the ones that are obviously concerned with enforcing with enforcing their copyrights to issue court orders and notices to these actors right over here that essentially compels them very strongly to immediately cut off ties to immediately cut off ties with this illegal site or this person what they think is an illegal site now that might seem reasonable to you except for the fact that it's kind of a shoot first and think later type of policy the basic the way it works is is you presume guilt until this guy somehow tries to prove his innocence and we'll see this guy isn't just nationally sites outside the US it might even be completely legal or what I would consider completely legal sites inside the US essentially as soon as this allegation is made in either a court order or notice is paid these enablers have to cut off ties to this site and you can imagine if these cut off ties to this site this site's business whatever it might be whether illegal or illegal immediately gets obliterated especially this one here including search engines ad networks and payments and if they don't comply then these guys are going to start having a legal battle and so these guys are not only going to have to comply and that by itself is hard but if they don't comply they themselves are going to be in trouble now it gets really obviously creepy when you start going into so when you think of just a spirit you're like okay maybe this is you know we can we can work around this a little bit but it gets creepy when you even though this is the spirit of the legislation when you actually read the wording of the legislation and obviously that's what matters not the name or the intent but actually how its worded and when it the way it's worded it's pretty clear that its intent is to go after much more than just a site that's explicitly selling illegal pharmaceuticals or allowing people to download movies or or video of movies or music that these owners don't have access to but when you read the wording it's pretty clear that they want to be able to shut down anything that isn't in any way associating with itself or in any way enabling it and you see it in the wording so this is actually section 103 of the SOPA legislation and this is how they define a site that is dedicated to theft of us property so an internet site is dedicated to the theft of us property if and so you know it's it's usable by people in the United States and then this is interesting it's that it's primarily designer operated for the purpose of has only limited purpose or use other than or is marketed by its operator or another acting in concert with that operator for use in offering goods or services in a manner that engages in enables or facilitates now this is interesting enables or facilitates all of these violations and these are the violations that would be you know illegal you're selling things that you can't sell your you're infringing on other people's copyrights and it might seem harmless this enables or facilitates until you think about what that could encapsulate if I have a site I mean I guess I am part of a site Khan Academy let's say someone puts a message on Khan Academy and from Khan Academy from Khan Academy they link to a site that actually is really illegal and that is really shady they link to it and in the message boards well under this am i enabling is Khan Academy enabling or facilitating and if that's the case and Khan Academy by this definition would be considered to be a site that is dedicated to theft of us property and there are much bigger players and just Khan Academy that can be thrown into this bucket players like YouTube or Vimeo or any site or even a news site that allows people to put comments or allows people to put images things like Flickr that maybe hat in some way the user is infringing on the copyright now all of a sudden the whole site based on this definition the entire site can be defined as a site dedicated to theft of us property by this definition YouTube could be that if it's viewed kind of you know enabling or facilitating Khan Academy any new site could be viewed like that way Vimeo could be viewed that way a photo sharing site could be viewed that people might take a photo of something they don't have the copyright to and upload an image and all of a sudden what with this by this definition based on just a sense that that's being violated they won't just be able to shut down these blatantly illegal sites they will be able to shut down things like YouTube or Vimeo or even things like cnn.com if someone puts a message or an image that they think is somehow violating and so it's not just going right now the methodology is if there's some content on YouTube or Vimeo or some other site that they feel is infringing on their copyright there are laws where they contact YouTube directly they point them to the content that seems to be infringing and then YouTube or Vimeo or whoever will take down that content but what this allows them to do is shoot first and think later oh look you are enabling that if they can convince some court to give a court order even they can start start giving notice to these players right over here to cut off ties with major what I would consider very legal sites like YouTube or Vimeo or CNN it's really almost any site that allows people to upload things onto it or put links on it which is almost Facebook is another one Facebook anything that has user-generated content if just a whim they could take down the entire site not just take down that user-generated content they could out with convincing just one judge or convincing just any of these they can cut off ties with Facebook not even making Facebook calm point to Facebook anymore CNN they could just completely take down these sites on a whim and it gets worse than that because you would say well like if they're taking this down on a whim and you know maybe they kind of thought it was but they didn't do their homework and they later realize that it wasn't copyright infringement couldn't these guys sue back although already the damage would have been done these sites would have been taken down they would have lost millions or billions of dollars millions or tens or hundreds of millions of users would not be able to access these things and this would also be true for Wikipedia if someone uploaded something that where it wasn't completely hundred-percent vetted they could take down the entire they could take down the entire site not just that content and you say okay that's bad enough but couldn't these people would say look you wrongfully took us down we're going to sue you now well to see that they can't and to see how one-sided legislation is notice the threshold for being able to sued back if you kind of misrepresented a violation the only way you are kind of held accountable is if you knowingly materially misrepresented the violation so if the copyright holder just says oh I think someone on YouTube you know I feel pretty good that someone on YouTube is violating it that YouTube is enabling a violation and therefore YouTube is a site dedicated to theft of us property and it later on it finds out that that it wasn't it was fair use or maybe that person actually did have the copyright to it they can't be sued because they said well I just thought it was they weren't they weren't knowingly materially misrepresenting themselves so even if it ends up not even being a violation these guys could take the site down maybe some small producer actually secured the rights put it up on YouTube and then all of a sudden these guys take down in all of YouTube based on not actually knowing what they're talking about and they can't even there can't even be a countersuit in that case based on the law and it gets even creepier than that because to be considered this you don't even just have to enable or facilitate which is almost anything one could argue in a computer is enabling or facilitating this on some level but you could you are considered to be a site dedicated to theft of us property even if you do nothing illegal even if you don't even enable anything illegal but if you just take actions that make it difficult for authorities to confirm that you're doing something illegal so if you view this in the physical world obviously some people are doing illegal things in their homes and obviously a lot of people lock their doors to keep people out of their homes and maybe people doing illegal things are even more likely to lock their doors and close their shutters what this would do and this would do it in the virtual sense is say look by just by taking the deliberate action of closing your shutters and locking your doors which makes it hard for federal agents to confirm that you're doing illegal things just by doing that that itself is an illegal act so this is this is maybe one of the creepiest and draconian intrusions of privacy that I've actually you know I've ever that was even attempted to be passed into law so I if I were you just as a kind of a a privacy liberty-loving American I'd be worried