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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Elaborating on Domain Seizures

I want to elaborate on the previous post. The point of the SOPA/PIPA as well as the meguploads take down is that there is no accusation that the site operators were pirates, merely that pirates used their site to distribute pirated material. For the sake of argument let's just accept the law that piracy is illegal. People can easily use social networking sites such as facebook, and cloud storage sites such as dropbox to exchange links to pirated files and make them available. Nor can the site operators easily police their sites; the technical difficulties aside (and they are significant) there is also the issue of user privacy if the operators go poking around in files and postings.

It seems to me unlikely that the Feds would take down large widely used domains such as facebook or dropbox - certainly if they did there would be a massive public outcry, and they would be forced to back down, and we'd have to witness politicians profusely apologizing and explaining that it wasn't their fault.

What that means is that it becomes hard to start a new social networking or file-sharing business. The new-comer or startup - unlike facebook or dropbox - can be shut down without a massive public outcry. So: the unintended consequence is that it is now a lot harder to start the next facebook. We face a huge economic crisis. Many people think we need to innovate our way out of it. Creating huge barriers to entry and giving existing players a big advantage over entrants isn't the way to do this.

If we follow the logic of Chris Dodd to the obvious conclusion: the internet facilitates the piracy of copyrighted material. So let's just shut it down.


Comments

Word! +1
Not to mention all-knowing, all-powerful US government contemptuously detaining an individual living outside of the United States (who isn't and never has been a US citizen) all with the intent to enforce the ridiculous notion that government has some inherent right to grant "monopolizies" to ideas... the whole thing makes me sick & frankly ashamed to be an American citizen.
This action puzzles me too. I am not sure how the U.S. government claims jurisdiction over German and Dutch citizens living in New Zealand, regardless of the supposed copyright violations. But it seems that previous hosting sites have been found innocent of wrong-doing because they provide a service and do not upload any material themselves.

I hope they hire good lawyers and win.


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