The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Up On My SOPA Box.....

By now, most people who pay attention to our government and have a pulse, are aware of the Twin Titans of Tech Terror, SOPA and PIPA.

I am guessing those people comprise about 12 percent of America's population.  The rest are either in tears over Kim Kardashian's divorce or are ticking off the days until the new season of Dancing with the Stars.

I've often stated that if we were to take measure of the average US citizen's IQ, based on their television viewing habits, they would place comfortably between a bag of hammers and....uh, Kim Kardashian.

Don't laugh, I don't think there is much of a spread there at all.  Remember folks, every time Jersey Shore airs, billions of brain cells die.

Which is probably fine since they weren't being used anyway.

So, I had been budgeting to get some of my all-time favorite CD's and DVD's replaced this month.  Due to either wear or unkind handling, I figured I would need to spend about 40 bucks to replace them.  That is at retail price anyway.

Much has happened in the world and within me since many of these disks were first purchased.  One such occurrence has been my growing awareness of the **aa's and their heavy-handed practices toward the consumer.

I'm not real thrilled with how they screw their artists over either.

So instead of running out to some mall or store to replace said entertainment media, I popped over to Ebay to see what I could see.

Oh my.....

That 11 dollar first Aerosmith album I wanted to replace?

2.99 - free shipping.

Who's Next by The Who?


Now I immediately began to suspect the origins of said disks.  The description listed them as "new"....but somehow I knew the new was relative.

So my budgeted 40.00 went waayyyyy farther than I had expected it to.  The added benefit was that with the 7 CD's and 8 DVD's purchased, I am guessing not one shekle went to the RIAA or MPAA.

Of course, it could be argued that said one shekle didn't make it to the original artist either.....

I'm still workin' through that, but for the moment, I am basking in the knowledge that I have, in my own little way, stuck it to the man and at the same time, told them where to stick SOPA.

And on that note, while it's still somewhat legal to do, I'll leave you with a YouTube video of a live Chicago performance of 25 or 6 to 4.   Just a personal blast from my past.  What a fantastic fusion band.  Unfortunately, it does not feature the original lead guitar player for Chicago, Terry Kath.

All-Righty Then


Anonymous said...

I interviewed Janis Ian a few months ago. She said that her first big hit sold over 1 million copies and she still owed the RIAA $32,000 for their protection of that one album.

I doubt that the artist would have seen anything from your purchase anyway. If anything it would have been less than $.01.

kozmcrae said...

I am not much of a consumer of media. I would think that to boycott the goods offered by the RIAA and the MPAA one would forgo acquiring them no matter what method was used. That would be nearly impossible to achieve to any degree. Imagine the message it would send if enough people just decided to tell stories to their children instead of going to the movies and read books aloud. The content providers are absolutely dependent on us to "consume" their goods. And as much as we hate them, we continue to enable them.

Anonymous said...

Could you please explain how giving Copyright Holders an easy way to stop theft is a bad thing?

You are not entitled to free content and there is no way that watching a movie or listening to music that you did not pay for can be considered freedom of speech. So please, explain how blocking pirate sites is a bad thing.

Preferably without resorting to the same entitlement nonsense of all the other anti-SOPA diatribes.

Unknown said...

anonymous, if you want to square off over this, have the courtesy to sign your name so I know who I am talking with. Outside of that, I'm under no obligation to engage your question.

Giving copyright owners the means to stop the theft of their IP is a good thing. Doing so in a way that completely disrupts the entire Internet is not.

You might wanna take a look at the draconian tactics that will be employed via SOPA before you defend it.

Anonymous said...

No, Mr. Starks, I am not going to allow you to make this about me.

I will remain Anonymous and wait for you, or anyone else to for that matter, to point out the language in this bill that will cause the holocaust on the internet that everyone claims.

Of course if you can do that, why not contact your Representative and Senators to change the language that you don't like.

You know, give a constructive solution to the problem that you and every other opponent of SOPA is dancing around, which is the outright theft of someone's hard work.

Dissonance said...


Around $0.19 and $0.25 to the label. If possible, buy direct (Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, for example, on their websites).

DRM-free MP3s, and an actual, working Linux download manager.

Unknown said...

Here you go Jack.

kbOhae said...

Hi Ken. I know a few musicians. According to their contacts, most bands end up owing money after even the most sucessfull tour. And the band (collectively) makes between $.01 to $.05 per track of CD sales.

And as far as SOPA is concerned, what most of us object to is the overly broad (and ambigious) language used so that the sponsors can inyerpret things anyway that they want to abuse these laws.

What the **AAs and publishers really want (and are working towards) is to remove all consumer rights and make consumers pay every time they watch/listen/read.

James Dixon said...

> Could you please explain how giving Copyright Holders an easy way to stop theft is a bad thing?

Tell me Anonymous, do the phrases "due process" and "beyond a reasonable doubt" mean anything to you?

I thought not.

> You are not entitled to free content and there is no way that watching a movie or listening to music that you did not pay for can be considered freedom of speech.

What part of "replaced" are you having problems understanding? He has paid for them. Now you want him to pay for them again. There is no legal requirement for him to do so.

> So please, explain how blocking pirate sites is a bad thing... Preferably without resorting to the same entitlement nonsense of all the other anti-SOPA diatribes.

I tell you what. Suppose the government allows for me, on my say so alone, to claim that you've stolen money from me. And because I make that claim I'm allowed to seize your bank account and shut down the bank you do business with. The entire bank, not just your account.

Would that be a bad thing? Because that's what SOPA does.

mcinsand said...

I wish I still had your optimism. 12%?!? Really!?!? Most of those that don't know the Kardashians no doubt will be able to list the entire team rosters by memory for the Superbowl. Does anyone even remember how Mitt Romney turned completely spineless when Peter Quinn needed support for making documents available to mass voters without requiring an expensive office suite software package?

I WISH that many of our citizens paid attention to activities that will affect their freedoms, but celbrity worship is our (degenerative) culture.

Proud papa moment. My two oldest surprised me over Christmas when I said that I was going to move my DDNS registration to another company. They were almost in unison with (nearly)shouting to not use GoDaddy. I had no idea that they were so aware, but I'm glad.

SOPA is basically the Obama administration's version of The Patriot Act for suspending civil protections, especially when it comes to due process. In the last decade, if you protested The Patriot Act's justification of warrantless wiretaps, you were called unpatriotic, or worse. Now, our government is trying to cloak a constitutional bypass as jobs protection.


Grant Johnson said...

Sadly enough, no only does it make a big mess, but since it attacks via DNS, I can bypass the whole thing in less than three minutes with one line of script. This means that it only inconveniences the honest, while not stopping the pirates (if I can do it, so can they, and they are likely more adept than most people.)

Here is all of the code for the bypass, it just needs to be scheduled via cron to run once every few days:

cd /etc
wget http://fiendly-site/hosts

kozmcrae said...

From a musician who paid his dues in the "trenches".

Warning, language. He gives a detailed breakdown of the money as well as life with a record label. Enjoy.

Bernard Swiss said...

In addition to Steve Albini's tract (The Problem With Music) listed by kozmcrae above, I like to reference this talk by Courtney Love (Courtney Love does the math)

This one's from the perspective of a supposedly successful artist/fperformer.

Bernard Swiss said...

Oh yeah -- somebody mentioned Janis Ian. As it happens, she actually wrote a couple of excellent pieces about how "piracy" really affects the creative artist -- based on actual experiences of musicians and authors -- in the internet age (as opposed to the apocalyptic warnings of Doom and Gloom the Big Labels and Big Studios keep purveying ad nauseum).

The Internet Debacle: An Alternative View

Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken,
Are you in Lamar Smith's riding area? It appears his website was caught using a CC (Creative Commons) photo without proper recognition to the artist. Check out Techdirt and Reddit to see it for yourself.

Oh, the irony. His website has since been "fixed" but there is still evidence on the Web. It would be delicious payback if he was hung by his own petard.

Anyways if you are in his riding, be sure to ring him up and let him know that under his SOPA bill he would be tried as a "rogue site".

Ken, keep up the great work.

scotty said...

I came up with an analogy for what some (many?) SOPA/PIP supporters think should be doable:
(assume you are talking to a suit).
"How can I tell, by just looking at it whether that nice tie you are wearing was bought by you or your spouse, was a gift, or was shoplifted/stolen? I can't ask you, since SOPA/PIP assume you would lie."

Scott M said...

It wasn't that long ago that BMG Music club was selling CDs about that cheap. I think I joined the club a couple of times over the span of 4 years for that "6-for-free (plus shipping), purchase one at regular price, get another one free, and no further obligation" deal.

Granted, the low eBay prices might be a bit shady, but there were some great media deals during Black Friday, too. I bought some DVDs from a well-known online retailer for $1 each, I mistakenly added one to my cart twice and wound-up selling the extra on eBay for $3, free shipping. So unless there are signs that the discs are counterfeit, they might be perfectly legit.