[nycbug-talk] SOPA DOA

Edward Capriolo edlinuxguru at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 12:36:05 EST 2012

On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Michael W. Lucas <
mwlucas at blackhelicopters.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:57:34AM -0500, Edward Capriolo wrote:
> > I did not read into SOPA beyond a glance, so I am not saying I agree or
> > disagree with it. But I recently spent 9 months of my life writing a
> book.
> > I sold 400 copies up to Q3 this year.
> >
> > I checked some USENET stats for number of times my book was illegally
> > downloaded just a couple weeks after it came out. It was over 300,000. I
> > can find thousands of sites to illegally download it from.
> >
> > It would be nice if I could just get $1 ( about 0.025% the cover price)
> > from each person that illegally downloaded my book.
> >
> > Not saying that I am super brilliant or deserve to be rich, but what is
> > fair is fair. You download my book I should get SOMETHING for it.
> Edward,
> I feel your pain. I really do.
> At my best guess, unlicensed downloads have cut my writing income by
> about %40 -- assuming that I haven't expanded my audience and that my
> books have not gotten worse with time.  But SOPA and PIPA were lousy
> tools for eliminating unlicensed downloads.
> The real problem is more insidious.
> At a conference several years ago, a young man made a point of telling
> me that "Absolute BSD" helped him stand up several dozen servers and
> he was now printing money as a result. He wanted to thank me.  That's
> always nice to hear. I thanked him for buying my book.  He said that
> he had downloaded it for free, but that he'd now go buy a copy. I was
> stunned, and let him walk away, alive, with all his limbs and
> everything. (I'll be more prepared next time.)
> As long as people think that this stuff should be free, and as long as
> people invest time in bypassing access controls, no technological
> means will prevent unlicensed downloads.
> The same tools that let people escape government censorship can be
> applied directly to books.  I've forced myself to accept that helping
> Tibetans escape tyrrany is more important than my income. But I don't
> have to like it.
> If current trends continue, I'll probably stop writing tech books at
> some point in the next ten years. If I'm not going to get paid to
> write, and I cannot cure this sick compulsion to write, I might as
> well write what I find most easy and fun.
> ==ml
> --
> Michael W. Lucas
> http://www.MichaelWLucas.com/, http://blather.MichaelWLucas.com/
> Latest book: Network Flow Analysis http://www.networkflowanalysis.com/
> mwlucas at BlackHelicopters.org, Twitter @mwlauthor
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@Michael  I feel your pain :) I heard of a musical artist, that his friends
told him he was so great he should quit his job to pursue his music full
time. After he did that the same people were streaming illegal copies of
his music on myspace! Also had a class in college, the book was written by
the professor, and someone came in with a photocopied version of the book!

Here is my dumb story:

I am not a copyright owner of my book (the publishing company is) but I get
royalties. Financially, if someone infringes on my copyright I lose money.
As I mentioned I knew when I wrote this book that I was never going to be a
millionaire from it's proceeds. However, I would like to make all the money
from it I deserve.

If you were to google the name of my book, by putting into google search:

"high performance cassandra cookbook download pdf"

You would find the top result is legitimate. The next 6 results are from
these network of mirror sites. bookf.net, filestube.com, hotfilesearch.com,
www.downloadpdffree.com, there are 10 pages. Likely they are 90% populated
with illegal copies, because obviously there is some mirror network.

Now besides the fact that none of these sites have the right to sell/give
away copies of my book, they are also serving ads and making money on page
views and clicks.

Write my prospective this just stinks. What can I do? Find a lawyer and try
to go after every site in this worldwide mirror network? Yea right. I can
not "fight back" and issue a DDOS attack or something because then I am in
the wrong.

One of the things that made the United States a super power was the power
of our patent office and power to enforce copyrights. It rewards the
inventor and the innovator. In a nutshell, it is the driving force behind
capitalism. I think a few people have chimed in and really illustrated that
piracy really cripples the innovator, and as you can see we are really
helpless to protect ourselves.

Now I worked at a data center. I know I would not want the government to
kick down the door and seize every computer in the shot because there may
be "an illegal copy of a PDF somewhere in this data center". However, let
me say this. Facilitating a crime in most cases is a crime. For example, if
you watch a dogfight, your a facilitator, that is a crime. If you watch a
street race, your a facilitator that is a crime.

I know it is very hard to know as an ISP to know if people your data center
are committing or facilitating a crime. Likewise if you are an ad network
that ends up showing an ad on a site it is hard to know if that site is
committing or facilitating a crime. Or, if your google, it is hard for you
to know that nice of the top ten search results are sites facilitating or
committing a crime.

However, I think we always have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. An
ISP does not want to be known as a "spam friendly ISP" so they introduce
clauses in their contract that punish or allow them to disable the
connection if they detect SPAM. Can and should google employ some algorithm
to help prevent sites obviously trafficking stoled E-books from showing up
in search results? I think so. Can an ad network be diligent and not serve
ads on these type of sites? I think so.

As I stated up in my first reply I am not not saying SOPA was/is
good/bad/whatever, but I did want to chime in with my half brained thoughts
because it puts a face on some issue for the "the little guy". I did not
make a multi-platinum CD and have the RIAA suing 12 year olds. I'm just a
guy who really hates searching for his book and finding filestube.com as
the #1 result.

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