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Letter to my representatives concerning PIPA, SOPA, et al. [Jan. 17th, 2012|11:43 pm]
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Below is a letter I recently sent to my representatives, feel free to reproduce any of it you want. (I thought I'd keep this thing around and public instead of existing only in email, so yes, it's the first post in a very long time.)

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I am a constituent and I urge you to reject the Internet Blacklist Bills (PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House). I am deeply concerned by the danger these bills pose to Internet security, free speech online, and innovation. The Internet Blacklist Legislation is dangerous and short-sighted, and I urge you to join Senator Wyden and other members of Congress, such as Representatives Lofgren, Eshoo and Issa, in opposing it.

For a summary of my position, in the words of those more eloquent, please see the links below:
- http://www.cdt.org/files/pdfs/CDT-PIPA_letter_sept_2011.pdf
- https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/how-pipa-and-sopa-violate-white-house-principles-supporting-free-speech
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
- http://cdt.org/report/list-organizations-and-individuals-opposing-sopa

Being a copyright holder myself, I know piracy is a major issue and loss of revenue for copyright holders in general. However, I do not believe some of the organizations who began to flourish before the ubiquity of the Internet, such as the MPAA and RIA, have really listened to what the markets are telling them. Consumers are willing to pay for content and convenience, or even sit through advertisements as we do in traditional broadcast media, however, many of the agreements and practices these organizations have in place actually make it harder or prohibitively expensive to consume their products than it is to pirate them. I believe these organizations need to embrace the open market we have by attempting to understand their audience and adapt to a changed environment instead of attempting to change the environment to work with their views and current revenue streams.

The demand still exists and is higher than ever, the media industries are still massively profitable on the whole, and as median income increases, demand only rises. Many of the people currently pirating would gladly accept a legitimate course for their actions if it were actually easier and more convenient to live within the law instead of going around it. Exactly what percentage of pirates this is, is yet to be determined.

I have been a software engineer for 15 years and an artist for even longer. I can tell you with absolute certainty that digital piracy, just like physical piracy, can not and will NEVER be completely stopped. So long as it is possible for one person to communicate to another, it will be possible to capture that communication, set it into a recording media, copy it, and distribute it to another person. More simply, so long as you can watch a movie, listen to a song, or read text, that information can be copied and passed to another. No amount of technological innovation or government regulation can prevent piracy so long as the motivation to spread knowledge and entertainment exists and the systems in place to do so are too restrictive. What we can do is find ways to minimize piracy by reducing the motivation to do so. Fear of government reprisal is a poor motivator, especially for crimes many perceive as "victim-less".

Consumer products such as subscription services (Netflix, Pandora, etc), public domain copy (Project Gutenberg, LibriVox), free educational offerings (WatchKnowLearn, MIT Open Courseware), timeshifting (Tivo), and long-term online viewing (ABC.com, BBC, SouthParkStudios) are current successful ideas that remove the demand for piracy by offering an easier alternative to a modern audience. I believe the nation's money would be better spend investing in ideas such as those instead of attempting to enact post hoc penalties that could be viewed as possibly unconstitutional and technically unfeasible.

I urge you to consider actions that give us a better understanding of piracy and remove the motivations for it instead of investing that money in stopping something that can never be stopped.

Rebuild copyright and patent law from the ground up so it is better aligned to modern technology, can adapt to future technology, and better promotes a rapid exchange of ideas. Recommend organizations adapt to a changing economy by stopping legislation designed to protect existing revenue streams. Keep the Internet open, honest, and secure. Educate the public on these topics.
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 15th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 22:17 Microsoft is giving away a free copy of Win7 to someone who builds a "cool" Win7 app. Catch-22 much? #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 13th, 2010|12:04 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 18:05 @temporalshadows o'rly? #
  • 21:54 Gotta love how it's impossible to find what channels are actually included in the TV packages Comcast sells #
  • 22:09 Someone fire Comcast's info or marketing people -- whoever is responsible for the descriptions of their offerings on their website #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 9th, 2010|12:04 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 23:11 I have to confess, I get giddy walking through office and organization supplies. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 7th, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 22:19 Predators Movie Trailer: I'm so there, quite possibly on opening night. ff.im/njJTH #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 6th, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 23:35 The World Freerun Championships have a decided lack of freerunning. Amazing feats of strength and agility yes, freerunning no. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 5th, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 00:12 I'm not sure I like Steam's summer ad campaign. I know it's half joking, but the "the outside is dangerous, stay inside" thing puts me off #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 3rd, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 00:33 @willia4 it doesn't hate freedom so much as it likes being re-elected, so it caters to the whims of special interest persons/groups #
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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 2nd, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

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The Day's Tweets [Jul. 1st, 2010|12:03 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 18:48 @WilHarris iTunes is rubbish on Windows but Jobs isn't trying to boycott that #
  • 22:17 Finished Susskind lectures on Classical Mechanics, Quantum Mechanics, Special and General Relativity, and now on to Cosmology. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 30th, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 22:46 Infographic: US Federal Contract Spending in 2009 vs. Agency Related Media Coverage ff.im/mVvDz #
  • 22:54 visualcomplexity.com | Global Dependency Explorer ff.im/mVwE4 #
  • 23:12 Oh, Steam got a face lift while I wasn't using it. Still love their UI style. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 29th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 15:55 @shanselman it's printing against you, plotting isn't it's job ;) #
  • 21:51 Now I remember why I've been avoiding iTunes. It's crap software. Oh the things I deal with for free lectures. iTunesU ftw #
  • 22:03 Ahh, iTunes and Windows are working together. Win Update tells me to reboot, iTunes tells me to BSoD to force the reboot. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 27th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 19:13 @shanselman depends on your body. Every other day tends to work for the avg sedentary person #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 25th, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 23rd, 2010|12:02 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 09:16 The New iOS4 Shortcuts, Features, and Settings You Need to Know ff.im/mvy3N #
  • 10:30 @gregorylent you have to go into the msg and hit the trash icon to delete it. I think you can also turn off the archive btn #
  • 10:31 RT @temporalshadows: Retweet this & @Bing will donate $10 @CNN's Gulf Telethon up to $100K. More at bit.ly/howtodonate. #BingforGulf #
  • 17:23 Day after summer solstice is always sad - less sunlight than the day before. At least it's still summer though. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 22nd, 2010|12:03 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 22:55 Upgrading to my iPhone 3GS to iOS4 #
  • 22:56 Um. iTunes reports 8 hours remaining on the iOS4 upgrade. I hope not... #
  • 22:58 @shanselman Or you can keep your existing unlimited plan, jailbreak the phone, and use tethering that way. #
  • 22:59 iTunes is apparently not kidding about the 8 hours to download the update. Off to bed, maybe it'll be done in the morning. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 19th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 18:33 Landed in ATL #
  • 19:42 @willia4 congrats! Just got in from our honeymoon today. Still at airport actually #
  • 23:08 Italy was fantastic but now it's back to yardwork and an American schedule. #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 18th, 2010|12:06 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 22:21 Headed out from Soriano > Orte > Roma/Fuimicino > London/Heathrow > Atlanta 19:05 #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 7th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 20:59 Sitting around waiting on the "on time" British Airways flight to LHR #
  • 21:24 Finally on board. Off to London then Rome. twitpic.com/1un796 #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 6th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 01:20 Bachelor party is awesome so far. ;D #
  • 05:22 Bachelor party over. Sleep then wedding ;D #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 5th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 00:28 In Huntsville. 17 minutes left in Elantris. Must finish book! #
  • 14:14 Usability WIN: I automatically get emails in English from Trenitalia because I was using the English form to sign up. #
  • 14:16 That one win can't make up for the rest of the Trenitalia website though, which is a good collection of major usability FAIL #
  • 14:43 As much as I dislike Bank of America, they do have a good security setup. #
  • 14:46 BoA/Visa was not a fan of me attempting to purchase a train ticket via an Italian website from an IP address over 100 miles from my house #

  • 15:18 It's been over an hour and I can't find video of the full #spacex #falcon9 launch? Internets FAIL (or is it just PEBKAC?) #
  • 15:22 "2010-06-04 11:54 PDT Falcon 9 has achieved Earth Orbit!" #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 4th, 2010|12:01 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 00:58 Anyone know how to jb+unlock iPhone 3GS running 3.1.3/05.12.01 that's never been jailbroken? #jailbreak #unlock #
  • 01:04 Anyone know how to unlock iPhone 3Gs running 3.1.3 / 05.12.01? #
  • 18:11 @temporalshadows yeah. Need to unlock though for honeymoon. Any way to rollback to older baseline that can be unlocked? #
  • 19:01 @temporalshadows fffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! No way to roll back 3gs? #
  • 20:41 Headed out to Huntsville. Wedding Saturday. Off to Roma Sunday. :D #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 2nd, 2010|12:04 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 21:57 @jdattis I second @mranlett shift to grass fed and many of the problems go away. However the omega3 in the fish is much needed #
  • 22:01 @ItalyTravel is there a list of the underground sites? Leave for Rome on Sunday :D #
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The Day's Tweets [Jun. 1st, 2010|12:04 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 21:41 You're doing an A-Team movie while Mr T is still alive, healthy, and freakishly unaged but he's not playing Bosco? Sad. #
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The Day's Tweets [May. 31st, 2010|12:04 am]
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My tweets for the day, follow me on Twitter to reply in real time: http://twitter.com/jokeyxero

  • 03:57 @orcasquall Makes perfect sense. *badumb badump badump badumb* Mine places trance it seems... #
  • 10:42 I almost forgot how awesome or a production Hard Candy is -- and only $950k to make compared to the $150M to make Transformers 2's tripe #
  • 10:46 At my current rate, it will take over 14 years to get through my movie queue. Something must be done about that. Hmm... #
  • 20:14 Are you on The "Standard American Diet" aka The SAD? ;P #
  • 23:33 @pyroIke what was at dragon hills this weekend? #
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