Saturday, June 23, 2012

existence in the dark

The next variation of SOPA/PIPA/OPEN is upon us...only this one's going to be far more difficult to combat. Why? Because the commercially-owned media companies behind almost all internet service providers have decided to band together and do what SOPA, PIPA and OPEN were designed to do, but were prevented from doing when each of those proposed laws were struck down: mainly, catch anyone they believe is violating their held copyrights and prevent them from violating copyright again.

With no government, FBI, or even local police oversight.

From everything we understand so far, the first line of defense will be slowing data speeds for suspected violators to a crawl. Past that, service will be suspended until each suspected violator agrees to, and signs a document saying that they understand what copyright violation is, and that they won't violate any held copyrights in the future. Then and only then, service will be restored...if the ISPs think it's a good idea.
With no oversight of any kind on when that service is restored.

Here's what's really worrying me about this, and it's nothing, specifically, to do with the violation of held copyrights in the first place. While I continue to have strong reservations on the length of held copyright, I am a proponent of copyright in general. However: where I live (RL), our entire building is on one router, which--as far as I understand--gives us one IP. With this new "plan" in place come July, anyone in our building could trip this new "watchdog" mentality with something they do online. What happens at that point? Does the entire building get data slowage--or data stoppage? Do we all have to then agree to that copyright provisions form before we're allowed access again? Or just the person who owns the router? In that case, does that default to the manager of our building, or to the owner of the entire chain? (At this point, that's four buildings, each of those with at least ten units per floor, so we are potentially talking over a hundred individual apartments.)

And would that even work, specifically, given that our building chain is owned by a cooperative board of advisers for a non-profit organization?

No answers to any of these questions have come to light, so far, and that's just pulling one personal example into the light. What about parents who have children who download things from the net? Or flip that the other way--children who rely on the net for schoolwork, whose parents download things and run into this in July? What about children with networks in school--if one student downloads something that violates copyright, does the entire school get hit? And how would that be resolved?

Ultimately, it's even a question of enforcement regularity--are all these ISPs planning to hire new people, just to police and enforce this new policy? Because if they don't, are they going to be able to keep up with every single potential violation? Plus, while this is purely a commercial issue--and thus, not tied into law or freedom of speech provisions, unfortunately--it seems as if all the potential consequences of internet actions seem to accept guilt first, and innocence only after several different varieties of proof--and that's assuming they even care if anyone's innocent or not.

In less distressing news, Prada's gone steampunk! What's more intriguing to me, personally (I have, tragically, stopped following fashion for the nonce) is that their womens' wear line is pretty much as mod as you can get.

Plus, hey, they asked Willem Dafoe to model for them. How can you not love that?

From a casual mention on Twitter, I discovered an all-in-one skin/outfit/shape package for elves in SL, and...I'm having great difficulty with it. In fact, I am going to openly defy anyone who says elves look like this in SL...because frankly, if you do, you are wrong.

I don't think any elf with a quarter-ounce of self-respect would choose a shape with no hips, bird legs, eyes that could only be achieved through severe thyroid dysfunction, and not only the highest possible cheekbones, but severely puffy cheeks as well. Insanity.

And I'll leave you with a very fun concept: literary rap! Enjoy.

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