EDITORIAL – SOPA and PIPA LETTER to Senator – Reviewboard Magazine

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I wrote this letter to Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois today.  I hope that you will take the time to write a letter of your own to your senator and tell them that you will hold them responsible for their actions come election time should they vote to pass these two horrible bills.

Senator Durbin,

Making websites like facebook, youtube, google, imgur, and others be responsible for user uploads is absurd and impossible.  The claim that corporate America loses money from these activities is false for two reasons.  1) Most of the time this user content is not used for the original purpose the content was put together for (i.e. A song played in the background while a small child dances was removed from youtube because the company that claimed ownership of the music didn’t want it there).  2) The people that are infringing would never have purchased rights to use the material to begin with, it was only because it was available that it was used.  There is no loss as no one made money on it, and no one would have purchased it to begin with.  When people want to watch a movie, or listen to music they buy it and listen to it or watch it, they don’t go to youtube to hear it (poor quality) or see it for free.  They go to you tube to see some little girl dance and make a funny expression, the fact that the music was used is arbitrary.

Giving a company the power to remove a website domain from active status on the Internet does two things.  It opens up a situation where a company can take out a competitor by hiring other companies to file false reports to hamper their services. (especially smaller companies that can’t afford to fight them)  It does not stop piracy. Pirates don’t use DNS (web domains) to trade real pirated materials.  There is a consumer side that engages in this activity but it is very small.

The real pirating happens on newsgroups, and through binary ftp transfers that use IP addresses.  This will not be changed if this bill comes into effect.  I have personally worked with the FBI in Chicago on some very high profile pirating cases in the 1997-1998.  I worked with Agent ***** *******. My work was responsible for some of the largest pirating group arrests in the History of the State of Illinois.

In the United States I can tell you that 90% of pirating happens because kids age 8-24 (College kids on the upper end of that spectrum) use these materials.  They can’t afford the price of admission and so they download this stuff.  They were NEVER customers of these corporate giants to begin with.  Therefore there was never a loss, since the property is a copy and not an original item. I’m not saying it is right, because it is not, but what I am saying is the financial loss claimed by these software companies is INFLATED and constitutes fraud on their part.  They right off these huge amounts as loss but the fact is they do not represent actual loss at all. (Because the people that used them are generall kids that wouldn’t ever purchase them to begin with for lack of fund or valid reason other than general curiosity).

Instead these companies release software products that are laden with bugs, expect the consumer to find the bugs, they fix 50% of them and release a new version with more features that address the other 50%.  The new version is of course another purchase.  They have no accountability for claims their software does a, b and c when it only actually does a and sometimes c.  This is fraud.

We need a smart representative of the people that will write a bill that will start holding these companies responsible for the promises they make. Something that will hold them responsible for the billions of tax dollars they steal from us by claiming that this issue represents a loss at this magnitude. Something that will address the outright robbery that they are committing by releasing product that does not do what they say it will do.  A Product that is insecure and responsible for people losing their whole life to identity theft.

In short Senator… do you represent the people or corporate America?  I’ll be voting against SOPA and PIPA come election time by voting for candidates that vote against SOPA and PIPA.  I will be vocal on the internet, and through my circle of friends.  I hope I can count on you to represent my interests sir.  Thank you for your time.

-ReviewCrew Member (I left my name out in this writing because of the nature of the case I referred to with the FBI).

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