Empowering Talk Radio

The Online Piracy War Wages On: The Joan Jerkovich Show

Writers, musicians and artists love to create.

Online pirates love to steal their creations.

Artists do love to create, but those who do so with a modicum of success have spent years honing their craft.  They’ve spent countless hours writing or recording only to spend countless more hours re-writing and re-recording to get their book, song or screenplay to a point of artistic expression they can be proud of.

Online pirates love to sit at their computers looking for creative works to steal and disseminate.  They get a thrill from stealing, hoping to make money while not getting caught.

Pirates rob, plunder and hijack.  Artists create.

Just as you want your personal property to be protected, artists deserve to have their intellectual property protected by our laws.  The White House recently issued a statement on the Online Piracy Bills, SOPA and PIPA, saying it would oppose them as written.  That’s a good thing.

SOPA and PIPA were akin to attacking this issue with a sledgehammer, when a precision tool is what is needed.


The sledgehammer at work here is called DNS-blocking.  Most websites are hosted under large umbrella domains. Blogger.com and wordpress.com, to give just two examples, each host tens of thousands of individual blogs. But if either of these blog-hosting sites were DNS-blocked because some individual blogs violated SOPA, those thousands of blogs would disappear from the net, blocking, in essence, our freedom of speech.

The second swing of the sledgehammer with SOPA was the clause that allowed a private right of action by an individual or commercial corporation to request a Web site takedown if they suspected that site of hosting copyrighted data.  The bill, as written, essentially allowed a shutdown without due process.  While I support protecting copyrighted intellectual property, surely our lawmakers can do a better job of refining the bills they propose.

Has the Internet become today’s worldwide pawnshop?  Former White House Science Advisor on computer security and privacy, A. Michael Noll wrote, “Suppose someone brings stolen property to a pawnshop, and the pawnshop takes it not knowing that the property was stolen.  Later, the pawnshop is informed that the property was stolen.  The pawnshop then has a responsibility not to sell the property—and also return it to its rightful owner or to the authorities.  Search engines are like pawnshops.  Once they have been informed that they are enabling access to stolen material, they have a responsibility to stop doing so.”  Professor Noll speaks from personal experience having had his book pirated.

This weekend, 2/4 and 2/5/12, on “The Joan Jerkovich Show” I talk with Matt Moody and Tom Hatfield, two computer geniuses, about Online Piracy.  The legislation may be on hold for now, but this issue is not going away.  Listen to the interview to hear the response I got from these two guests when I asked them about the frightening lack of technical knowledge and expertise our lawmakers have.  On second thought, don’t just listen to their response, watch it on video.  The high octane energy in this interview was like a roller-coaster ride.  Jump on board and ride along with us!


The Joan Jerkovich Show

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