Writer, lover, all-around commando.
@Irate Gamer Fanboy I can't believe the Irate Gamer haters are spamming Cinemassacre now. I can understand disliking Irate Gamer, but going to the trouble of making a fake troll account? You'd have to have some serious anger management/dependency issues to hate Irate Gamer/love AVGN so much
2 years, 5 months ago on Nerd Log - The Point of No Return
That was hilarious. I especially cracked up at the cookie monster joke. I'm kind of surprised anyone visiting Cinemassacre would be bothered by the matureness of the commentary, considering all the cursing and some of the poop jokes in the AVGN series. Maybe some people aren't comfortable with sex jokes? Eh whatever, they didn't bother me at all and I definitely look forward to more vids from Mike in the future.
2 years, 6 months ago on Elmo in Grouchland (1999) Commentary
@RobertMcDougal Maybe you don't realize it, but when you say "just holding you accountable", that comes across as authoritative, patronizing and uptight. It doesn't help that you have spelling and grammar mistakes in your comments either.
2 years, 7 months ago on Mailbag Episode 3 Promo
I can understand getting tired of the 'motherfucker' moniker, and also of people that just didn't get it (tho I think most Cinemassacre fans would just say "screw those guys for not getting it").
Anyways, I do think that it would be a good idea to at least have some sort of name for these weekly reviews. "Motherfuckin' Mondays" was really memorable, and made it easy to remember that these reviews would be coming out every Monday.
2 years, 7 months ago on House (1977)
@tlgiguere Wow. I totally disagree with you 100%. I think they make a great team, and the vids wouldn't be the same at all without Mike.
I also take issue with how you try to make your opinion seem to be shared by a lot of people. How many people are we talking about, and who? Having a truthy gut-feeling isn't the same as having a pulse on the opinion of the vast majority of cinemassacre fans. Most opinions I've read on Cinemassacre support Mike's work, so I can't imagine who you're talking on behalf of. Your circle of friends or something?
2 years, 7 months ago on AVGN: Bugs Bunny Commentary
@ford3517 Sweden doesn't exactly have the same enormous global entertainment output as the United States. And correlating Sweden's lax copyright laws to their better economy is an honor by association (i.e. an association fallacy), unless you have supporting data.
2 years, 9 months ago on SOPA and Protect IP
@Dave423 Didn't we get a Bible Games episode a week or so ago? And you're complaining already??
2 years, 9 months ago on Nerd up!
@scific@Aedan132@ArikEmeis You're right. NetFlix operates in Canada too. There's also Le SuperClub Vidéotron as an alternative to Blockbuster.
@InnerConvict@Freddy Fiorentino He's probably talking about some of the other comments below. There are a handful of individuals on here that support piracy and/or want to do away with copyright altogether.
@DeathRulerOmega@SilverSlimer Wow. So you'd rather not play games put out by Nintendo, Sony, Konami, etc.? You're saying there are non-commercial games of the same quality as Skyward Sword and Portal? And non-commercial movies better than Avatar and Inception? Dude, let me know about em', I wanna' know.
@Staarscommando@OdieMikes Being a legal entity like a person and sharing the same rights as a person are two distinct things.
You can't, for example, send a corporation to prison. You can't "arrest" a corporation. A corporation can't "vote" for president, or run for office. A corporation may be a legal entity like a person, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's entitled to the same rights as a person ~ they're two different things and should be treated differently.
Granting corporations free speech may, on the surface, appear to be fair, but there are negative consequences to consider ~ specifically, that organized commercial entities now have unprecedented influence on government elections. Unfortunately, our electorate can be pretty stupid ~ they'll oftentimes vote by recognition instead of by platform, and studies show a correlation between campaign financing and election results. As a result, many people believe that wealthy corporations having election promotion rights undermines the fairness of our voting system.
@Staarscommando The traffic argument wasn't an illustration of transit laws infringing on rights ~ it was an example of a vested government power that has the potential for abuse that usually doesn't happen. In the United States, the founding fathers were conscientious to place numerous systems of balance to counteract corruption and abuse. Does that mean abuse never happens? Certainly not. But there are, at least, rules in place that discourage abuse and promote their correction.
I don't have full confidence in government, but I also don't take for granted the benefits that government provides. Without government (i.e., an anarchy), people could be enslaved, raped, tortured, and murdered by any powerful person or group, and unless individuals had the capacity to protect themselves, there's nothing they could do. Without government there is no such thing as "rights" --- or rather, rights can only exist when someone is there to protect them, and that burden usually rests on the shoulders of government.
As for whether or not the U.S. government should have the right to "take down" foreign sites, that's not exactly how these bills work. This new legislation focuses on restricting access to copyright-infringing foreign websites outside of U.S. jurisdiciton ~ they don't have the power to actually shut down the foreign site, only to remove DNS entries in servers within the U.S. and to block payment provider channels to said websites. Whether such companies should bear the burden of preventing access is debatable, but it's not entirely unlike the take-down and notice provisions exercised regularly on YouTube ~ it's just a lot more technically difficult to accomplish.
As I've mentioned in several other posts, I'm on the fence regarding the pre-adversarial nature of SOPA. PIPA at least explicitly notifies the site-owners before initiating measures to block access to foreign infringing sites.
@supercainn You're a programmer? Do you realize that what you're basically saying is that every programmer who works for a software company should essentially work for free, because it's IMPOSSIBLE to prevent people from stealing their work? How do you think programmers get paid? That the money comes out of thin air? Programmer salaries come from revenues made by selling copies of the products they work on.
Imagine you were a programmer who spent 2 years working day and night developing Modern Warfare 2. And when your work was finished your company says to you "sorry, we can't pay your wages, because some jackass put copies on the Internet for free, and no one is buying our games. We only made $49.99 off of our initial $200 million investment. Sorry." THAT'S the scenario you'd want to support? You think that's fair?
@Aedan132@ArikEmeis Torrented copies are produced without the permission of the original content creators. There are more than enough inexpensive/free sampling venues to make torrenting completely unnecessary. Want to test an album? Listen to samples on iTunes or Amazon. Interested in a video game or movie? Rent a copy from RedBox or Blockbuster.
Just because an action has beneficial side effects doesn't mean that it's fundamentally right. Every illegal torrent essentially disrespects the copyrights of the original content creators. It should be up to the copyright holders to decide whether the benefits of torrenting their works outweighs the negative side effects.
@Aedan132@adal2007 When you buy a CD, the physical disc is your property. If you want to share that disc with other people, that's your right.
The CONTENT on the disc, however, DOES NOT belong to you. Producing a CD for retail sale can cost musicians, studios and record labels 100s of thousands of investor dollars, and Hollywood movies can cost millions. Do you think they're going to give you the full right to the content on their CDs and DVDs for $9.99 at Wal-Mart? You think they're going to say "hey, you can buy our CD for $9.99, and sell copies of it to anyone else, that's fine with us?"
It's the essence of the art trade since copying technologies were first invented. If a professional artist spends 3 months making a painting, he/she could sell the 1 painting for thousands of dollars, and only 1 person gets to enjoy it. But with copying technology, the general public can ALSO enjoy a copy of the same painting at a significantly lower price. Copyright encourages an artist to allow for copies of their work to be made with the fair expectation that each copy will give them a return on their initial investment. WITHOUT Copyright law, ANY jackass could take a high-res photo of your painting and sell/distribute free copies of it to everyone ~ making it difficult or even IMPOSSIBLE for the artist to make a return on their investment.
You need to study up on copyright and WHY Intellectual Property laws exist. Copyright is a public trust that encourages artists and content creators to share their works to the public, with the fair expectation of a trade return on their investment.
@SilverSlimer They'll also stop making commercial products. If that's what you want.
@Devil_Rising@Big McLargehuge Well if you can tell me how these bills can be interpreted to make it legally possible for the government to abuse their power against Cinemassacre, I'd like to know. These bills pretty clearly state that they're aimed at foreign web sites, so any government abuse towards U.S.-based sites would have to come from already existing legislation (meaning that the potential for abuse towards U.S. sites already exists, whether these bills pass or not).
In any case, if you're Libertarian or even an Anarchist with strong misgivings about government, that's your point of view and I won't argue it (political philosophy is a whole different monster in and of itself).
@Big McLargehuge From everything I've read so far, no, these bills wouldn't affect Cinemassacre. Both bills are focused on circumventing access to foreign-based websites dedicated to copyright infringement ~ since Cinemassacre is in the United States, it shouldn't be affected. The bills only add to existing copyright law in-so-far as they expand judicial action on websites beyond U.S. jurisdiction, and from what I've seen, neither bill affects current Fair Use and DMCA/safe-harbor laws. Don't, however, take that for a professional legal analysis --- I'd certainly be interested in any legal assessments that state otherwise.
@ArikEmeis Totally disagree. You can't leave the Internet lawless and tell content-creators to just put up with copyright infringement. At some point government is going to have to step in.
@Dakari777@lpgingras@supercainn Torrents and piracy aren't "sneaking" around existing copyright laws ~ they're blatantly and openly breaking them. Are you suggesting that pirates are magically gaining copyright or finding loopholes in the legal framework by torrenting and pirating online? Your grammar is honestly a bit hard to understand.
Copyright is basically the right to copy, which is reserved to the original content-creators and copyright-holders. Illegal torrents are illegal because permission wasn't granted by the original content-creators to generate those illegal copies.
And of course, when you buy the DVD you aren't buying the rights to the content on it ~ you're only buying the right to view it whenever you want. And that's FAIR. Think about it --- what do you think a company would realistically charge for you to own the actual rights to the content itself? Producing a typical Hollywood movie is expensive --- you have hundreds of people from a myriad of professions spending a year or more on production and development, spending millions of investor dollars. Do you honestly think a company would sell you the copyrights to their content for $9.99 at Wal-Mart? Let's be realistic, it costs a lot of money for these companies to produce these movies, and people are taking that for granted. Hollywood is entitled to copyright protection just like the rest of us, whether they're already making a lot of money or not.
@Staarscommando Well, maybe you just have a very Libertarian point of view of government. Most centrists would say that we need government to lubricate social relations, to lay down commonly understood rules and to be the policeman to make sure those rules are followed ~ it encourages the cooperation required to advance civilization. In order to benefit from government we have to endow it with certain powers ~ in a democracy, those powers are kept in check by our electoral system.
Again, even the constitution was written in brevity, with the expectation that future generations would craft legislation to better clarify those laws based on the era they lived in. Citizens grant the government a great many powers and give up individual freedoms in order to benefit. It's a balancing act between the freedom of the individual and the benefits provided by government.
As an example: are traffic laws totalitarian? One could say you've given up your freedom to run red lights in exchange for the safety provided by an agreed common order for road use. Could the government abuse their power, and falsely accuse you of running a red light, even though you didn't? Sure they could, but it's not likely, nor is it a specifically enumerated directive. It's not in their interest to abuse that power anyways, since our government empowers its citizens to not only sue them, but also vote for new representatives that properly and fairly uphold the law. This same example can apply to this new legislation.
@supercainn You don't understand why copyright exists.
Imagine you're an artist/musician/programmer/etc., and you've spent 15 years of your life learning your craft. You join a team of 100 people and spend 3 years using millions of investor dollars to create a fantastic PC game.
Now imagine there's NO copyright laws, and NO ONE cares about copyright.
You sell your first PC game on the market for $49.99 --- but that's ALL you're able to sell. You and your team, who poured years of their life and spent millions of investor dollars to make the game, scratch your heads wondering why you were only able to make $50 back on your significant investment.
Then you go online and find out why ~ that same guy who bought your game is now providing downloadable copies for free, making a tidy living for himself off of advertisements on his website. Since there's NO copyright law, there's nothing you or the government can do. Your investment was FOR NOTHING.
Once those videogame creators realize they can't make a profit, they're left with only two choices ~ either make their games for free, or sell their games at a significantly higher cost. But there are HUGE problems with both choices.
For one, who would spend 15 years of their life and up to 3 years of daily work to create a modern day videogame FOR FREE? Unless you want every videogame to follow an MMORPG micropayment model, no one EXCEPT the unbelievably wealthy could afford a lifestyle that supports that kind of charity.
For two, suppose they DID decide to keep making videogames, but with this new expectation that they could likely only sell 1 copy --- how much do you think they're going to sell it for? These people spent 15 years of their life studying their crafts, 3 years working on a game, and millions of investor dollars. Are they going to sell the 1 copy for $49.99? HELL no. They're going to sell that 1 copy for MILLIONS of dollars. So if ANYONE in the general public wants to play the game, they're going to have to HOPE that those wealthy millionaires who can AFFORD it are charitable enough to upload it online.
Copyright isn't just some totalitarian idea to suppress people's ability to share ~ it's a public trust to encourage artists to share their works to the world at a reasonable cost, with the expectation that they can get a fair return on their life-long investments.
@Staarscommando@OdieMikes I'm pretty sure he's talking about the 2010 Citizen's United case, a landmark Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend money on election campaign political broadcasts. This right was previously only held by 'human individuals', but Citizen's United changed that via a partisan panel of judges making a 5-4 decision that corporations could also possess the same 'free speech' right as ordinary citizens (which many have interpreted as the government legally declaring corporations as 'people').
@JoshuaDeanMonette I respect that you respect copyright. Much kudos to you, because there are just so many damn pirates on the net these days.
That said, who's saying legal things you enjoy can be taken away by these bills? It's true that these bills are ambiguous in some respects, but laws are often vague with the expectation that subsequent court precedent will better clarify the law's intent via case-to-case situations. When it comes to copyright, Fair Use laws in particular rely heavily on court precedent, since the laws themselves are vague. Even the Constitution was vague in it's enumerated powers, written with the expectation that future generations would better clarify and amend it over time. SOPA does give the government the potential to abuse its rights, but it's not specifically enumerated that the government is SUPPOSED to do that. Future court cases will better clarify the intent of the bill over time, as has been the case with other laws over the centuries. That's my understanding anyway, taken FWIW.
The most controversial aspect of SOPA really is the pre-adversarial removal of allegedly infringing content, and even I'm on the fence on that one. I can't fully say I support these bills without deciding on those particular aspects, but I CAN say I support their intent.
@gamez@JeramieKruger Hey man, no arguing there, you're right.
@JeramieKruger *shrugs* If calling me ignorant makes you feel better, go ahead and let it all out. I've researched enough about copyright law over the years to speak confidently on the issues --- and hell, I've been using the Internet since the early 90's back when it was text-based and done over the phone lines. We've had over a decade of rampant copyright infringement and the public didn't cry foul or bat an eye, but NOW that the government says "hey, let's do something about it" people suddenly get up in arms because of the 'potential' that their rights could be infringed? Yeah, let's ignore when people's copyrights are ACTIVELY being trampled, and worry instead about the government 'potentially' abusing their power to fix it in the future, THAT'S fair. I know, I'm naturally sarcastic, my apologies, but as a writer who's seen all the unfair crap that goes on on the Internet, I'm GLAD the government's finally trying to do something about it.
That said, me being 'ignorant' and all ~ why don't you tell me about how these bills affect Fair Use? Or Safe Harbor and the DMCA? What's your take on the pre-adversarial nature of these bills? Is it fair for foreign sites to enjoy 1st amendments rights at the legal expense of US copyright holders? How SHOULD the law deal with websites illegally hosting copyrighted content in countries that don't respect US copyright law? Honestly, most people don't have answers to these questions, because as we all know, opinions are like assholes --- everyone's got one and they usually stink. Most people don't know what the hell they're talking about because it's too hard to.
@JoshuaDeanMonette Well, I can see how you'd misunderstand, seeing as I had to remove whole paragraphs just to get under the character limit.
Yes, I DO think most people are just blindly following the crowd on this. We have a generation of young people who've enjoyed the fruits of piracy and want to continue enjoying the lawlessness of the net, even if it means letting other people's rights get trampled. That's the way it is right now. There are way too many sites hosting torrents and illegal file downloads to not be upfront and honest about it. You probably don't care because it doesn't affect you ~ to the contrary, you've probably enjoyed the fruits of piracy yourself. It's the culture a lot of people have grown up with, which is why people are scared ~ the Internet is a technological Wild West, and the government finally wants to start enforcing the law.
THAT SAID, there ARE aspects to this bill I'm on the fence about. It has to do with the pre-adversarial nature of the bills. Most people don't even know what I'm talking about when I bring it up, and that's why I take issue with all the mindless astro-turfing. What's your position on it? You know what I'm talking about, right?
Unfortunately, the meat of the issue is getting muddled in "anti-censorship" astro-turfing the same way Health Care Reform was lost on "Death Panels".
The first thing people should know is that 1st Amendment rights AREN'T always protected. Defamation (slander/libel), false advertising, inciting public panic and copyright infringement are all examples of speech that AREN'T protected by our 1st amendment. When someone's free speech violates your rights, it's the government's JOB to step in and say "stop that."
Second, here's a legal analysis of SOPA on ReadWriteWeb: http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/11/legal-analysis-of-sopa-protect.php It's an informative read. ReadWriteWeb was initially opposed to SOPA, but their tone softened after getting an independent legal analysis of the bill.
Third, well, keep all the hub-bub in perspective. People 'think' they understand the net, just because they use it a lot --- but they don't. Do you know what TCP/IP packet-sniffing is? Probably not. People also say they understand copyright laws and even SOPA/PIPA, I guess because they read Yahoo News and watch videos on YouTube --- but believe me, they don't. Do you know what Fair Use balance tests are? Not likely. Unless you understand all this stuff, it doesn't make sense to have a strong opinion based off of what all your Internet bros are saying. They probably don't know what the hell they're talking about, and it winds up being a large crowd of the blind leading the blind. It's stupid. Call me old-fashioned, but people should do proper research first and THEN form an opinion.
People should look at the flip side of the coin. The way the law is right now, ALL of James' videos could be hosted without his permission in downloadable HD files on a website based in China, and there's NOTHING James could do about it. They'd profit off his work via advertising on their site, and James would never see a dime of it. Think it doesn't happen? Look up MangaFox and just see how much Japanese artists are getting their copyright raped by pirates on the Internet. The owner of OneManga, another illegal site, tried to sell his site for over a few million dollars before he got shut down. These guys are making financial killings off the work of other people. The spirit of these new laws is to change that. The devil's in the details though.
@kaneda_bjf You're absolutely right, Kaneda. TBH, James seems to have jumped the gun on the issue without doing his research. If Cinemassacre was violating Fair Use laws, he would've been in trouble a long time ago. These bills are targeted specifically at foreign websites devoted to copyright infringement. Even though James' videos sometimes skirt the parody/media review balancing tests of Fair Use, they're for the most part legal.
That said, it IS true that a website can be blacklisted by a court without having an Adversarial Hearing (i.e., without allowing the website to fight in court before having their content removed). But remember, this is specific to FOREIGN websites ~ the law is an attempt to favor US copyright-holders against infringing websites based in countries such as China, Sweden or Russia, who don't respect US copyright and don't mind profiting off of US works. And even then, the bills specifically note that a blacklisting can't happen without a court hearing wherein a judge must be presented with sufficient proof that the site in question is guilty of specifically existing for the purpose of illegally hosting copyrighted content.
This bill is supposed to PROTECT content creators like Cinemassacre. Imagine if someone from North Korea decided to post all of James' DVDs on his/her site, downloadable and in HD quality. They could make a killing off of advertising, and James wouldn't see a single cent of it.