Jonathan Coulton on Megaupload, Piracy, and SOPA

One of my favorite performers on why piracy isn’t the horrible end-of-civilization thing Big Media would have you believe it is. #seb #Piracy #Copyright #Laws

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Uh oh, he’s blogging. What happened?
I wrote this thing on Twitter this morning about the MegaUpload shutdown, and it’s gotten some crazy traction on the old internet. In addition, I’ve just done a couple of interviews for NPR on the subject, and I think I may have said some crazy, provocative things. There are many comments and questions out there already with more to come, and rather than have a bunch of separate discussions on a bunch of different social media platforms, I thought I would …

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The autonomous cars are coming and will be a problem until laws are changed

There’s going to be some nasty legal fights before the laws are modified/created to deal with cars that drive themselves, but in the long run I think it’ll be worth it. #seb #automobiles #technology #laws

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How Do You Police Cars That Drive Themselves? [Cars]
Google is already testing its autonomous cars on the roads of California, and plenty of other manufacturers are starting to muscle in on the act, too. But when they hit the roads, how do you go about policing a city full of self-driven cars?
The New York Times reports that that very question is causing lawyers and government officials to break out in a cold sweat. It’s not just working out how the police could pull such a car over, either. How well would those cars interact with normal ones? …

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This seems like an obvious decision, but it’s good to have it affirmed

#seb #laws #GPS #SCOTUS

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Supreme Court holds warrantless GPS tracking unconstitutional
All nine justices of the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that police officers violated the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure when they attached a GPS device to a suspect's car and tracked it for 28 days without a warrant.

The case involved a suspected drug dealer. The feds got a warrant to track his car with a GPS device and then "installed a GPS tracking device on the undercarriage of the Jeep while it was parked in a public parking lot." But agents installed it a day a…

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Senators pushing PIPA are pirates? That's unPOSSIBLE!

Actually, it demonstrates that the Senators in question aren't even familiar with the issue they're trying to legislate. How can you possibly craft and support good legislation on an issue you don't have a good understanding of? I doubt any of these Senators was aware he or she had violated copyright in the use of the pictures on their sites, but according to the law they could be fined up to $250,000 for the infringement (let alone jail time). Perhaps it's time the folks in Washington actually took the time to educate themselves about copyright and piracy before they try pass anymore laws aimed at curbing piracy.

Naahhh, it's not like Big Media would go after any of them even if they were knowingly pirating stuff. Hell, they probably get most of it for free from Big Media as it is anyway so they're only really pirating from the small-timers and independents who couldn't afford to sue them if they wanted to. #seb #copyright #sopa #piracy #laws #politics

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Senators behind PIPA are a bunch of copyright infringers
Vice's Jamie Lee Curtis Taete continues to investigate the copyright shenanigans that SOPA and PIPA's authors get up to (see the saga of how SOPA author Lamar Smith (R-TX) ripped off the photo on the front page of his website).

Now Taete is digging into PIPA supporters, having a quick look at their Twitter profile photos and websites, and yup, the Senators backing PIPA are a bunch of depraved pirates.

This is a screencap of PIPA co-sponsor Roy Blunt's Twitter page from a couple of days ago….

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Gingrich apparently things he’s running for Dictator of the…

Gingrich apparently things he's running for Dictator of the United States.

It'd be interesting to hear what legal basis he thinks he'd have for such an action. As I recall the idea that the President doesn't have to abide by Supreme Court decisions he doesn't like meme has been circulating among the Far Right for decades. It'd certainly force a Constitutional crisis if he tried to do it which could end up damaging the country in the end. #google+ #politics #laws #Republicans

Gingrich: I’d Ignore The Supreme Court

Newt Gingrich told a South Carolina crowd he’d ignore Supreme decisions he doesn’t like as president.
The Republican contender told a forum of anti-abortion activists ahead of South Carolina’s primary election that as president he would ignore supreme court rulings he regards as legally flawed. He implied that would also extend to the 1973 decision, Roe vs Wade, legalising abortion.
“If the court makes a fundamentally wrong decision, the president can in fact ignore it,” said Gingrich to chee…

The protests against SOPA appear to be working… somewhat

It's good that the MPAA and a couple of Senators are backtracking on the DNS filtering aspect of the bill, but it sounds like it's just an attempt to make the rest of the crappy legislation more palatable and then they'll come back later and try to get the DNS filtering passed separately. The whole stinking mess needs to be scrapped. #seb #politics #laws #SOPA #MPAA

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Reeling MPAA declares DNS filtering "off the table"
Reeling from a broad Internet backlash, the Motion Picture Associaton of America has conceded that DNS filtering will not be included in the anti-piracy bills now making their way through Congress.

"DNS filtering is really off the table," said Paul Brigner, the MPAA's tech policy chief, on Tuesday. His remarks came during a debate on SOPA at the State of the Net conference in Washington DC. The event was sponsored by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee.

"The future of our i…

I'm not sure I could wear my pajamas in public

In part because I rarely wear them as it is. I've only got a couple of pairs and they don't have enough pockets to carry all the crap I carry with me in my jeans. That and I'd just feel damned silly wearing them in public unless it was part of some event of some sort.

That said, I'm used to seeing them on others out in public by now and most folks seem to covering all the important bits. I don't think this is something that really needs to be legislated. If someone's privates are flashing you there are already statutes that cover that problem. #seb #pajamas #politics #laws

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Louisiana Lawmaker Wants To Ban Pajamas In Public
Michael Williams, Commissioner of Caddo Parish District 3, doesn’t want to have to see you in your PJ’s at the shopping mall.
Williams said after seeing a group of young men at a local Walmart wearing pajama pants that revealed one young man’s private parts, he decided to push for an ordinance that would prohibit wearing pajama pants in public.
“Pajamas are designed to be worn in the bedroom at night,” Williams said. “If you can’t (wear pajamas) at the Boardwalk or courthouse, why are you goi…

To say that Obama continues to disappoint would be a major understatement.

To say that Obama continues to disappoint would be a major understatement.

It’s just a shame all the alternatives are so much worse. It’s disheartening to think the best we can do isn’t all that removed from the worst we have done. When it comes to policy decisions such as this he’s consistently as bad as, and too often worse then, President George W. Bush.

Missing portion of Obama Hope poster revealed

From Demand Progress

President Obama just signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law despite startling provisions that will allow the military to indefinitely detain American citizens. It’s a travesty, defying basic principles of justice and due process in perhaps the most extreme respect our nation has ever seen.

Thankfully, several lawmakers are keeping up the fight. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation to undo these provisions of the NDAA, in the form of the Du…

I wonder how long it’ll be before there’s a whole section of the criminal code devoted to Patriotism Crimes.

Only a Republican would try to pass patriotism laws dictating what is an isn’t unacceptable displays of patriotism. First up: How to properly sing the Star Spangled Banner. Next: Banning of dissent.

Indiana Senator Wants To Fine People For Messing Up The Star Spangled Banner

Submitted by James Morgan

Indiana Republican State Senator Vaneta Becker wants “performance standards” for the Star Spangled Banner.

Becker of Evansville calls for the Indiana Department of Education to implement specific “performance standards” for the way the anthem is sang and played at any event sponsored by public schools and state universities.

The bill seeks to fine individuals $25 if intentional changes are made to the song.

If you’re at a Colts game, warning: don’t ad-lib.

A list of the companies pushing SOPA.

Most of these are exactly what you’d expect, but there’s a few that boggle the mind. Why the hell would L’Oreal give a shit about SOPA? Are they worried we’re pirating their hair colors or something?

All the Companies Supporting SOPA, the Awful Internet Censorship Law—and How to Contact Them [Sopa]

Who’s officially on the record backing what could be the worst thing to ever happen to the internet? All of these companies listed below. Don’t take our word for it—this list comes straight from Congress. Just FYI.
If you want to get in touch, we’ve provided a contact list below. Maybe you want to let them know how you feel about SOPA.
SOPA Supporters
60 Plus Association:
Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP): 703-539-ASOP (2767)