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SOPA blackouts January 18th


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Sorry Arkady - spam detection uses an algorithm that is dependand on specific words and phrases.

There is no way in hell a machine can tell the difference between a legally registered web site (concerning the display of copyrighted content) and one not registered. The code required to even do this in any capacity would easily be copied and spoofed so as to make any site a legal site in the eyes of a machine.

 Quite frankly, SOPA, PIPA and any other bills which may come along with similar wording do nothing for people like us. They won't protect the little guy: They'll be used (and abused) by the MPAA and RIAA (and Goddess knows what other corporations) to shut down any and every possible venue which could be used by those not signed with them.

MegaUpload has already been closed down (mind you, by two different groups who were already harassing the site after it came out in opposition to these bills) - while it was used by those stealing content, it was also used by those distributing their own content.

I personally find this approach by the DOJ to be far too much and a case which utterly proves my point: Any similar service can and will be targeted should any similar bill to these monsters ever be passed. Shortly after that, services like Second Life will be targeted, then sites hosting nothing but original content ... and so on.

If these corporations truly wanted to put a dent in piracy ... they'd have changed their business models to try and keep up with the changing times and technologies. They did not do this - too bad, so sad, they deserve every lost sale and deserve to fail. Let the artists who they are bilking actually get the money they are supposed to be getting, instead of it going to the lawyers and executives. 

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Phil Deakins wrote:

You are mistaken that "the relevant technology could be developed". Understanding cannot be done by a machine.

 

'Understanding' isn't required, just the ability to follow a link and see what's at the other end of it. I think you underestimate the potential power and capabilities of the very best computers, now and in the near future.

Serious question - what qualifications do you hold that enable you to make such an arbitrary statement ?   If you actually have extensive intimate knowledge of the very best of current technology I will, of course, bow to your expertise - otherwise my opinion is as valid as yours.

 


Phil Deakins wrote:

Or is it that you think that Google should also be held to account? And why can't you see the [obvious] difference in the two acts, when one does it intentionally, and the other isn't even aware of it?


I think that Google should be held to account - the difference is not, as you say, that Google isn't aware of it, it's that they know they can get away with it as they're too big to attack. 

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Ah yes, because every search engine/corporation is aware of each and every bit (not byte) of data which flows through their networks, knows where exactly it came from, where it is going, what it contains, if it is legal content or not ...

/end sarcasm

I won't even ask you to provide irrefutable proof that they know exactly what the data contains ... you don't have it and such proof does not exist.

(and now, a closing that each and every person in favor of these bills can understand)

 Please to be coming up with the new words of argument, your persons is failings at conviction.

And no - I don't care how many people that offends .... you deserve to be offended for using such a tired "argument". 

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Arkady Arkright wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

You are mistaken that "the relevant technology could be developed". Understanding cannot be done by a machine.

 

'Understanding' isn't required, just the ability to follow a link and see what's at the other end of it. I think you underestimate the potential power and capabilities of the very best computers, now and in the near future.

Serious question - what qualifications do you hold that enable you to make such an arbitrary statement ?   If you actually have extensive intimate knowledge of the very best of current technology I will, of course, bow to your expertise - otherwise my opinion is as valid as yours.


If you weren't being so serious, I'd laugh. So... once the machine has followed the link, pray tell me how it would understand what is at the other end? It's a machine, remember? Understanding IS required to know the nature of what's at the other end.

My qualifications are as follows:- I have common sense. I've been a programmer since the early 80s so I know what current programming is capable of, and I don't rely on imagination.


Phil Deakins wrote:

Or is it that you think that Google should also be held to account? And why can't you see the [obvious] difference in the two acts, when one does it intentionally, and the other isn't even aware of it?


I think that Google should be held to account - the difference is not, as you say, that Google isn't aware of it, it's that they know they can get away with it as they're too big to attack. 


More imagination? It can't be anything else because you certainly don't know. You have no idea at all whether or not Google knew about it and ignored it. If I thought that they did know and ignore it, I'd agree with you, but neither you nor I know one way or the other, so, as far as I am concerned, the lad knew exactly what he was doing and did it anyway and, until I know differently, the major engines (don't forget the others) didn't know, as so are not responsible.

I'm sorry, but you're just making things up as you go along. You have an attidute, or chip on your shoulder, or something like that, and you just invent things to fit it. You're not getting in the same state as you were last night, are you?

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i read this kinda sarcasm quite a lot in this whole debate. is not technically possible seems to be at the root of it

here is a firewall around a whole country. a western one btw that is one of the most lightly regulated countries in the world

http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Censorship-Compliance-Internet-and-Website-Filter-(known-as-the-Digital-Child-Exploitation-Filtering-System)?OpenDocument

 it targets content. it works ok at blocking, but it excels as a method to catch criminals distributing and receiving illegal content over the interwebz. content in all diff forms. videos, images, documents, all kinds

in the 18 months or so since it went live there has been over 400 convictions as a direct result, and heaps of raids and takedowns all around the world resulting in heaps more arrests and convictions in those countries as well

all kinds of ppl from all over the world been flying in to have a look at how it works. they making lots of notes as well and taking back to their countries

has been so effective that the DIA now talking to ISPs and mobile phone companies about extending the filter to other forms of transmission

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I've been a professional programmer since the early 70's, and I've seen just how fast computer capability has grown, and how far ahead of the mainstream some leading technical companies can be. It's a shame how some posters here choose to try and support their failed arguments with personal abuse, so I'll leave them to their delusional little worlds.

 

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16 wrote:

i read this kinda sarcasm quite a lot in this whole debate. is not technically possible seems to be at the root of it

here is a firewall around a whole country. a western one btw that is one of the most lightly regulated countries in the world

 it targets content. it works ok at blocking, but it excels as a method to catch criminals distributing and receiving illegal content over the interwebz. content in all diff forms. videos, images, documents, all kinds

I read the page at the end of your link, and I also clicked through to a page with more details. According to those pages, the system blocks access to websites that display child porn images, and not the rest of the stuff you mentioned. But that doesn't matter. What the system can't do is recognise child porn images (and documents) all by itself. I've got a firewall in my computer.that does the same thing. I can tell it which websites to block too, and I won't have access to them until I tell it not to block them.

That sort of blocking system isn't new but what it can't do is understand what's on a webpage, so it can't crawl the web and flag all the webpages that have illegal free downloads of copyrighted material. Computer programming isn't capable of that, in spite of the fact that someone, who claims to have been a professional programmer since the early 70s, says it can. (I wonder what computers she was programming in the early 70s. That was a time when computers were huge, and filled a whole room. Even the Commodore Pet didn't come out until later, and I think that was the first of small computers.)

Anyway, programming is still a very long way from being able to 'understand' what's in a webpage. Even the major engines, like Google, can't do it and they do try very hard. Someone mentioned their spam filters, but all they do is check the frequency of words, whether or not they are hidden, and stuff like that. It ascertains whether or not something is likely to be spam but it can't do it with any "understanding" or certainty, AND it gets a lot of stuff wrong, throwing out many babies with the bathwater, as anyone who has been involved with search engines knows. Quite simply, it's not possible for a machine (programme) to ascertain whether or not a website is breaking the law by allowing people to download copyrighted material for free. How can it possibly ascertain that a website doesn't have legal permission to do it? Nope. It needs human intervention to do things like that because machines are simply not capable yet.

So the system you pointed to is interesting, but it doesn't work without human input; i.e. it's not a machine that makes the decisions as to whether or not a site should be blocked because of child pornography. The reason why people all over the world are interested is because the system is hoped to be applied to a whole country (they want ISPs in the country to run the firewall), which, I believe, is new, and not because it can recognise child porn and auto-block the sites that display it.

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the system as i understand it is to first block illegal content and second to bust ppl who do it. that takes the cooperation of the ISPs. while a preventative tool is also a law enforcement one as well. so obv  be ppl involved somewhere somehow. is obv as well that they havent got rooms full of ppl checking every image and video either

the DIA keeping it all pretty close to their chest on whatever algos is deployed, at least to general public. the whispers is tho that it not even bother look at the content, it somehow tracks the shape of content and obvious tracks destinations and sources. no one seems to know exactly what tracking the shape means exactly, except for the DIA and ppl who made it and they not saying. heuristics or something maybe. could be a fake whisper as well tho

when they first went to make this back in 2007-2008 lots of talemted educated and smart ppl said cant be done, is technical impossible, waste of money and time etc. and they got sarcasm chucked at them as well. the team making it went cheers thanks and made it anyways

bc of stuff like this, when ppl say cant  be done then i more inclined to not be so sure about that anymore

 

 

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AFAIK, the state of the practice in detecting copyright infringement at scale is YouTube's "Content ID" system.

That's a Google property, of course, and there's a lot of content on YouTube, but it's a much different application from Search.  What's tractable and effective on YouTube might never be able to catch up with the orders-of-magnitude larger problem of indexing the entire web.  It may just be impossible, even if there were some way to monetize it for Search as there is for YouTube's system.

It does, however, raise an interesting question:  How much should content owners be expected to pay to make their content eligible for protection?  I mean, if the owner doesn't value a copyrighted work enough to invest, say, a quarter million dollars, why should Google (or the government) expend that much effort to protect it?

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Your castle up in the sky built on your greed and your lies
Can not protect you from the hate we hold locked inside
The time for talking is past Our numbers growing so fast
We're bent on tearing down all that you had hoped would last

Faceless and masked in the crowd Our screaming so f**king loud
hold your hands up but now we're in your head Down here we look to the skies Cops can't keep us from the prize Only a matter of time till we bring you down

What if I told you that I walk among you and I'm right behind you and I'm just a "suit" like you

We stalk your halls of power We'll bring your darkest hour We know not how to relent We are the 99%

We are a nation in flames And yet you drink your champaigne
We're going under all the while that you post record gains
Empires laden with lies Bed ridden government ties
And the Fed sells all your hope then hides

Locked down the parks from inside The net you stifled with lies
But we're still here hiding in your head Your cronies sweep through the crowd Our hatred takes to the cloud Try to stop it but the fire has begun to spread

What if I told you that I walk among you and I'm right behind you and
I'm just a "suit" like you

We stalk your halls of power We'll bring your darkest hour We know not how to relent We are the 99%

In the end we will bring you down
In the end we will watch you drown
Your time my friends is winding down
It's time to cleanse your filthy crown

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That system only blocks websites that display child porn images. Whilst it is possible for a programme to sometimes extract characters from a graphic - e.g. captcha, if the captcha image isn't very good - it isn't possible for a programme to decided whether or not an image is child porn. Therefore, whatever you've understood by what's been been printed about it, the system cannot do it. The only way it can be done is for humans to tell the system to block the websites.

But this discussion isn't about images. It's about whether or not a programme can 'know' what the content of a webpage is. Certainly a programme can match words on a webpage without understanding them (because programmes don't have ability to understand). For instance, a programme can successfully check for many variations of "get your free films here" in many languages, but what it can't do is know whether or not those free films are legitimate. Also, it can't check for every possible use of other words and images that convey the same message. So an auto-system that checks for everything in very many languages and for many types of copyright material, and successfully spots the pretty much all of wrongdoing sites, cannot happen. Of course, it can happen in a small way, but not in any meaningful way. It can check for the example text above, for instance, but that's hardly going to spot even one or two wrondoing sites, and it wouldn't know whether or not it's all above board.

In a nutshell, there is no way for a programme to understand what's on a webpage and, without that, the best that can ever be hoped for from a programme is to auto-spot a very small number of wrongdoing websites, or flag possibilites for a human to look at, or both.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

AFAIK, the state of the practice in detecting copyright infringement 
at scale
is
.

That's a Google property, of course, and there's a lot of content on YouTube, but it's a much different application from Search.  What's tractable and effective on YouTube might never be able to catch up with the orders-of-magnitude larger problem of indexing the entire web.  It may just be impossible, even if there were some way to monetize it for Search as there is for YouTube's system.

It does, however, raise an interesting question:  How much should content owners be expected to pay to make their content eligible for protection?
 I mean, if the owner doesn't value a copyrighted work enough to invest, say, a quarter million dollars, why should Google (or the government) expend that much effort to protect it?

That's an interesting read. It's not a perfect system but it does appear to go a fair way towards its goal. It's not something that could be applied to the topic we're discussing though, which is Arkady's objection to Google not being held to account for displaying links to a free film website in their search results, which would need a lot more than the checking that Content ID does.

It depends on what you mean. Nobody should pay anything for copyright, of course, which is the way it is. But copyright holders cannot expect everybody else to police it for them. They have to do that themselves. If they could pay to have it policed, who would they pay? The government, that only makes laws and provides courts? The major engines, and other such things individually? A private service that monitors everywhere on the customer's behalf? I don't think it's practical for governments to do anything much. I do think that outfits like YouTube should do everything they can though, and without charging anyone anything. Their very nature is such that they are places where infringements are rife and, unless they want to be places that passively condone such lawbreaking, they have to bend over backwards to try and stop it. I think even Arkady would agree with me on that :)

I would agree with Arkady if she simply said that outfits like Google should do whatever they can to prevent such things being in their index, and I would agree if she said that Google doesn't even try. The disagreement is that she thinks it can be done for things like the lad's links, and I know that it can't.

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i chat a friend about it more and ask about what u said. he say that from law enforcement pov they far more interested in the ppl doing the distributing and that the interwebz makes it way more easy to track them bc is vast more amounts of hard data to look at than in other kinds of crimes, which is made even more easy when the ISPs are doing the filtering

he also said that ppl try all kinds of tricky stuff but them who work at ISPs and in hitech police units and their consultants knows more tricks than most the ppl they up against. he say quite a few of them hitech ppl invented most the tricks in the first place. and when they come across a new trick then they concentrate on finding where that person lives and go to their house and have a chat. most ppl who get that kinda chat rather not go to jail so pimp out whoever they made it for

which all makes sense like u saying about that part of how it works

edit: sorry. find the distributors then leverage them into giving up the ppl actually doing the bad things to the children

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Ciaran Laval wrote:

You only have to look at SL's own marketplace word filter that sets innocent content to adult to see the problems with automated systems.

True. Although LL doesn't employ the best programmers, it still applies.

What Arkady doesn't seem to realise is that programming hasn't changed. Methods have changed over time - e.g. from top-down to Object Oriented - and new (albeit very similar) languages have emerged over time, but the programming itself hasn't changed at all. Yes, later languages incorporate many more functions and such than ealier languages and versions, but actual programming hasn't changed one bit. It still only does what it always did - manipulate bits and bytes. There is nothing new, either in computers or in the programming of them, that could be used to allow a programme to parse a webpage and 'know' what it's content means.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

It depends on what you mean. Nobody should pay anything for copyright, of course, which is the way it is. But copyright holders cannot expect everybody else to police it for them. They have to do that themselves. If they could pay to have it policed, who would they pay? The government, that only makes laws and provides courts? The major engines, and other such things individually? A private service that monitors everywhere on the customer's behalf? I don't think it's practical for governments to do anything much. I do think that outfits like YouTube should do everything they can though, and without charging anyone anything. Their very nature is such that they are places where infringements are rife and, unless they want to be places that passively condone such lawbreaking, they have to bend over backwards to try and stop it. I think even Arkady would agree with me on that
:)


I'm actually suggesting a much more radical change to IP law, in which you would only get as much copyright (or trademark, or patent) protection as you pay for.

The reason government takes any role in intellectual property is to facilitate commercial innovation.  So, why not make the whole endeavor an exercise in free markets?

The US copyright term is extended every time Steamboat Willie nears public domain.  Every time, Disney has to spend a fortune buying congressmen to make that happen.  In the process they end up "protecting" every bit of content contemporaneous with The Mouse, of less value to their owners than the pixels in a © symbol.  It would be cheaper for them, better for commerce, and fund more effective enforcement, if they simply spent a few million a year in fees to USPTO for protection of their content.

If I were designing such a system, I'd make the fee exponentially proportional to the duration the content has already been protected. Maybe everybody gets free copyright (and trademark, and patent) protection for a couple years, then it costs US$125,000 for the third year, US$250,000 for the fourth year, US$500,000 for the fifth year, a million for the sixth year, etc.

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Hollywood and Record companies have always took such a heavy handed approach to wanting laws they pretty much doom themselves doing it. These recent bills is another example how they try to sneak things through congress hoping the public won't catch on.Because when people do hear about them they want them defeated, not mainly because the public wants things for free, it's that the media companies want to outlaw everything, even if it is something that should be legal, like making backup copies for your own personal use.

Some examples I remember is back in the 80's when audio cassettes first started becoming popular, people were recording their favorite songs off records and playing them in their cars etc, sometimes making mix tapes like people making cds now. They wanted this stopped, since they couldn't stop it failing to ban blank cassettes they tried a new tatic, I always remember watching a music awards show in the early 80's, not sure if it was Grammys or American Music one, they always have a suit from the record company come up and talk about the industry, he was getting applause from the singers etc in the audience, up to one point. He stated their goal of making a tax on all blank audio cassettes, usually at the time sold in three packs the cheaper variety, and two packs for higher end ones, their goal was to tack on a 1 dollar surcharge on each one sold to make up for loss revenue to "the illegal practice" of people recording records even records they owned. After he said that the audience went dead silent, no applause, nothing you could hear a pin drop. Because everyone knew how unpopular this would be and it never happened. Then you have Hollywood trying to stop VCR's and Betamax in the 80's. Both of them wanting to stop DVD burners in the 90's and failing.Then the movie industry found out how profitable home video market was. Just like record companies did with Itunes which they hated at first.

 

I agree their is a piracy issue, but majority of that is foreign, China etc, and I think many Americans like getting their stuff legally for the most part, look how much money Itunes makes selling songs versus file sharing. A lot of these companies want to shut down everything such as fair use, and the simple practice of showing a small clip of a tv or movie on youtube, which you would think they would love, because it brings interest to it. Basically they want to take a sledgehammer approach to copyright instead of using a scapel.

 

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