Watch Reddit’s Co-Founder Debate SOPA On TV

Still not sure how US legislative efforts like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act of 2011 (Protect IP) could affect the rule of law on the Internet? On Giz, we’ve posted a detailed primer from the Stanford Law Review, but this video from MSNBC — hosted by Chris Hayes — is another great introduction.

In the States, will third party search engines, ISPs and social networks be forced to impossibly police copyright? Or will the Acts only affect “non US sites that are wholesale devoted to illegal activity”. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian (who organised a blackout in protest of the legislation) and NBCUniversal’s Executive VP sit on different sides of the fence, though they both agree that piracy is indeed an issue.

Says Alexis, “Piracy is a service problem…When there are barriers to getting the content you want, people will go through other means. If you can provide a service that is actually better [than what the pirates offer] then you can win with business.” [Business Insider]



    The knockout punch was "Sloganeering won't help". Ohanian is obviously spinning the facts and he got called on it.

    Also, is there something the matter with Ohanian's head? Why does it bobble around like that?

    What the hell is "whole sale piracy"
    i swear he has no idea what is saying...

    I was getting annoyed as he could have used the example of movie studios placing a 58-day HOLD on all movies before they're released to Blockbuster or Digital download sites.

    That NBC bloke just decided that he could talk louder, and therefore his point was more valid, which replicates the whinging and bitching of entertainment companies that have the money left over from their outrageous profits to lobby louder than anyone else, and expect to be treated like gods. Change will always happen, and the businesses that change with it to adapt to the new environment will survive, unlike those left behind. It is evolution happening right in front of us, and the 'dinosaurs' that consist of stubborn media companies that refuse to acknowledge the change in the world around them will be left out to get hit by an metaphorical asteroid, or failing that, disinterested consumers who will flock to piracy websites.

      Exactly.. the problem being is that the dinosaurs have accrued such a large amount of money, control and power that it will take a while for them to be stomped out... but it also gives them longer to hold on to their out of date practices with the hope they can turn it around before finally submitting.

    As far as I was aware, ThePirateBay doesn't profit from wholesale piracy, or any piracy.

    Obanian never actually explained what was wrong with the legislation. It was the first question that got asked of him, and all he would do was counter what the NBC Rep was saying.

    I learned nothing.

    This suit from NBC doesn't get it, and neither does anyone else from his position.

    Take piracy in Australia, for example. People pirate TV shows here because digital TV is terrible. Most of the "new" channels are just B-rate Britcoms from 25-30 years ago or trashy 90's shows, and the shows on the main channels (10, 9, 7, etc) are mostly re-runs or new shows that are nothing special. Another reason is the signal. My sister was essentially shoehorned into downloading her TV shows because she couldn't get digital TV at all where she lived. I'm also pretty much shoehorned into downloading a few shows myself because they're either:

    Not on digital TV
    Not on digital TV but on Austar (which I can't get where I live)
    On DVD but not available in Australia

    This only reinforces the point Ohanian (badly) made about Valve in Russia. Piracy of videogames over there was pretty much considered the norm, but Valve gave them the service and content they wanted and, as a result, piracy has dropped alot over there.

    The moment these copyright holders realise "hey, what if we just gave the people the service and content for once?" is the moment piracy will decrease.

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