Rabble rabble rabble

Recently there’s been a lot of excitement on the internet regarding censorship, big corporations getting in the way of liberty in order to serve their own selfish agendas and the horrifying ‘breaking of the internet’ that seems imminent if any of several new measures are passed, some of which contain language that’s extremely vague, and therefore threatens the livelihood of several thousand internet entrepreneurs who run websites and could even be used to (gasp!) censor the flow of information. Dark days indeed.

The overtly stated goals of these drastic and draconian actions were to help curb and/or eliminate internet piracy. I understand why that’s not for everyone. Hell, if I grew up with something I liked consuming being free all the time, I’d be pretty fucking annoyed/pissed if all of a sudden laws went into place that made that shit suddenly cost money. Companies like Google, who link to filesharing sites, would be asked to police their search results to make sure they don’t link to places where copyrighted materials are freely available, (in much the same way they currently police their results so that child porn doesn’t come through when you type in whatever you type if you’re completely gross) and if they don’t, they could be shut down, to which I say, so fucking what? Shut down google. Who gives a fuck? Do you know how many brick and mortar businesses were shut down by the internet? Do you know how much the internet and the “free flow of information” has fucked with my own personal income? Now Google is rallying its troops in the name of freedom from big multinationals and their greedy corporate interests as though GOOGLE ITSELF ISN’T SOME GIGANTIC MULTINATIONAL THAT’S USING YOU, THE INTERNET DILDO, as a pawn in their battle against other dumb multinationals for THEIR self interests.

Yes, it’s easy to paint record execs and Hollywood shitheads as greedy bloodsuckers, because they’ve been the face of greedy bloodsuckerdom for a long time, but if you don’t think that Google sponsored “SOPA breaks the internet” movie was anything but corporate propaganda at its most hysterical, then you’re a dumb dumb, plain and simple. We’re not used to search engines being the new face of special interest lobbying yet, but this should be a good step in that direction.

Fuck, the whole thing is actually scary. You know how many people posted links to signing petitions fighting this legislation on Facebook with the EXACT same caption, which was something to the effect of “This will only take you five seconds. It’s too important not to sign.” That’s some George W Bush, Hitler shit, folks. Do you realize that implicit in that caption is the directive NOT to read the language of the bill, not to research and come to your own, informed conclusion, but to just sign, because it’s “too important” to waste time on.  Sounds like Google is suddenly too big to fail, eh? Cool. That sounds like a victory for the little guy to me.

This whole thing is multi faceted, and a huge part of the debate is that smaller websites can be bullied or even ‘disappeared in the night’ (to borrow some Stalinist shit) by corporations who don’t like their content simply by using loopholes to prove (or even just claim) that the smaller websites in question violated copyright laws. That sounds like censorship to me, bro. That sounds like A) censoring the internet, which is disgraceful and un-American and B) corporations playing god or at the very least government, which is a terrifying proposition.

Some of the sites said to be potentially right on the chopping block (and this is some serious fearmongering bullshit to say the least) are our beloved Google (who practically has a [completely un-American] monopoly on what they do, for fucks sake. Look in the corner of your browser if you don’t believe me), Twitter, Facebook, file sharing websites, tube sites (including porn sites) and various news and gossip outlets that are, as of right now, operating more or less outside the law. A  publication that I visit recently pointed out that copyright laws are very confusing and if they presented work from an artist with the artist’s American label’s consent, it’s quite possible that the label’s UK affiliate wouldn’t know, could object and bingo-bango, the whole website is shut down! HO-Lee-Shit!!!!!!

Well, here’s my take: Who gives a fuck? If Twitter, Facebook, dumb gossipy websites, streaming sites, file sharing sites and porn tube sites all disappeared tomorrow, my life would improve drastically. I waste entirely too much time looking at facebook, going to zillions of insular, myopic ‘news’ outlets that only confirm my point of view, AND I spend WAY too much time watching people stuff things into each others asses on the internet all day. The internet has ALREADY created a new kind of censorship, which is the orgy of opinion, and it could be argued that it’s vastly more dangerous than the old school “silence the dissenting” censorship that we’re so used to.  Here’s what I mean:

Back in the old days, we had no choice but to see things from opposing viewpoints simply because there weren’t ten thousand opinionated dickheads like myself with blogs and ‘newsmagazines’ that just parroted whatever company line you happen to align yourself with to choose from. Nowadays, I can read the Huffington Post, my in-laws can watch Fox news and there’s no hope for any discourse at all. The opposing viewpoints are presented as clownish, outsized travesties and there are enough media outlets out there that you can easily insulate yourself in a cocoon of your own opinion and never feel challenged or be forced to examine your stock/core values. Meanwhile, whatever insidious shit is actually being done by powers that be is getting done, and here’s the great part, they’re parceling it off to their sycophantic media interests and peddling propaganda in a grassroots Trojan horse (see Google’s ‘it’s too important not to sign, SOPA breaks the internet’ meme that just took the world by storm).

And anyway, whoopity fucking do if copyright law is difficult to understand. I didn’t complain when all my records suddenly became FREE after a lifetime of practicing and living in a van and foregoing everything else so I could make records that people would actually want to have, so I expect the same courtesy from media outlets if they’re suddenly forced to make sure the products they’re offering for free aren’t stolen. Fuck, it’s hard to track the legality of the cartons of cigarettes in the convenience store, from the legality of the workers who pick the tobacco, to the tariffs, to the shipping (all aspects of commerce that are notoriously shady) but guess what? Motherfuckers have to do that shit if they want to sell cigarettes. Is it REALLY too much to ask to have these fucking websites police themselves just a little? Seriously?

Well then, fuck the internet. For every great highschool friend I reconnect with and every cool article I read about ‘five super cool ghost towns that really exist, there are ten zillion hateful trolls, lazy assholes who want something for nothing, and cyberbully dicks who would rather cause chaos than do anything that even helps their own misguided cause. Cool world. The nerds have taken over and guess what? They’re just as mean and selfish as the last batch of dicks. So fine, cry when your dirty diapers are pulled down to expose how selfish and gross you are, how lazy and easily manipulated by corporate interests you are, sing the praises of internet vigilantes who spend as much time harassing fourteen year old girls as they do toppling government websites in some of the dorkiest displays of power of all time, go ahead. Nice fucking world you have here. Jesus.


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57 Responses to Rabble rabble rabble

  1. Shaun says:


  2. dustyfloors says:

    “dustyfloors likes this”

    Well said.
    Full disclosure though – I am a lazy, music stealing nerd that had a SOPA link up on FB. This is getting linked to FB too though.

  3. acorn says:

    And that’s why I love ya BK

  4. Neil says:

    I suppose my misgivings about the whole thing come from a) Agreeing that it is 100% right that people get paid for whatever (in this case music) that they take the time to create (keeping in mind that there is obviously a huge difference between stealing from Wal-Mart vs. Doug’s Shirt Shack, with acknowledgement that stealing is stealing and if everyone did, Wal-Mart would fold, too) and b) That while I’d love to be able to ask people to pay for my shitty songs means that no one would hear them ever, compared to trying to get someone to listen now for free and if piracy spreads the Good (shitty) Word, then that’s okay for now.

    Maybe learning some Bon Jovi covers would help. Just can’t put ’em online.

  5. fart master says:

    I have a question maybe someone in here can answer. I never steal music. I would be crushed if I helped breakup bands like tla. But sometimes I’m too lazy to preorder an album I’m aticipating,
    the album comes out and I buy it off itunes. My question is does that help the bands. Do they get a good piece of itunes sales

    • Chase Carter says:

      They should. Itunes would get a % cut, the record co. would get a % cut and then the band would get it’s cut. I don’t believe thought that they would make a mechanical royalty though. but they might. I tunes is a legitimate source to buy music from, although isn’t it much funner to go to a record store and talk shop with a guy and then buy it from him. He might know other bands to check out.

    • Anonymous says:

      It depends, mostly on what kind of deal the artist has with their label and what kind of deal the label has with iTunes. By and large, album sales really don’t do MUCH for the artist unless the album is purchased directly from them, say, at a show.

      • Beep says:

        Album sales do a TON for bands. For example, Mike Park at Asian Man does a 50/50 split with his acts. When people buy records instead of ripping them off, that adds up and allows the artist the freedom to spend more time creating.
        With iTunes, the general split is 70/30, but you must remember that iTunes is only the retailer, not the venture capitalist in the equation.

        • Anonymous says:

          50/50 is a great deal, but unless things have changed drastically in the past 10 years or so, the average split is nowhere near that.

          • Beep says:

            Unless what things “have changed”?

            It’s really charming how you make empirical statements as if you’re an expert.

            In reality, you’re not.

            Shame on you.

  6. Kevin says:

    If people can find a way to make money or get something for free, they will do exactly that, regardless of who it hurts or censors…I’m not saying all people, but always some.

  7. slim says:

    Now that was a rant.

  8. candice says:

    dead on.

    • Ever just shat untarnished skittles? Grrrrrooss says:

      Oh, Candice approves? Well shit! I mean I have absolutely no reason to doubt said approval comes from the enlightened perspective of she herself having diligently researched the details of this whole SOPA sitch to the full extent poss–LMFAO~

      • Beep says:

        Post the language IN THE BILL that said any US site could be taken down.

        And don’t post parts of it out of context, you fucking wussy.

        You people are the worst.

        • Radbloke says:

          Why? Because they don’t specifically agree with this fucking sourpuss rant? By exercising their own mind to reach a conclusion that doesn’t 100% line up with yours? Nice. Real nice.

  9. Seth says:

    Fuuuuuck man, really?

    For starters, it wasn’t google (etc)’s fight til the end. There was indeed, no-bullshit a grassroots campaign, started by READERS (not owners) of reddit and some other sites. Google didn’t say anything until the blackout day (also not initiated by them, but by non-profit Wikipedia). I think you choose to ignore that, dude. I think most of the people who actually gave a fuck about opposing this bill in the beginning are pleased with the result, but would rather google stayed the fuck out of it, because you’re right: their interests were transparent an laughable.

    Let me try and put it in a context the pseudo-Luddite voice you used for this article would maybe get more behind: SOPA in the 80’s would’ve been a bill that allowed the government to shut down Memorex because they made the blank tapes that you were using to STEAL from Lookout or whoever in your homie’s bedroom. Nevermind that your band was using them to record your demo; if there’s one illegal application of a technology, the government’s got to get in there and meddle with it (…but only because they were asked to do so by bajillionaire corporate interests).

    Copyright infringement is always gonna exist, and sure, that sucks. You’re just grumpy cause it’s your copyright this time. Taking that out on a legitimate outcry from the bottom, by belittling them and ignoring their contribution by only talking about opposing bajillionaire corporate interests’ piggybacking of the effort is a total bummer.

    Full disclosure: I LEGALLY have downloaded every TLA album off megaupload, via google. They’re digital backups of my LPs, dog.

    • boombox27 says:

      The difference between the cassette tapes and the file sharing is vast. File sharing puts one copy out to LITERALLY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE to take, whereas a tape is much more small scale. A tape is much more similar to a blank CD, in that it can only be copied (for the most part, without special equipment) one at a time. Filesharing sites are more like a world wide pirate radio station, which the government has stopped in the past.

      • Criterion completist (consumerist jesus) says:

        Well by jove Sherlock Holmes! A single illegal blu-ray rip of Rolland Emerich’s latest colossal turd DOES reach considerably more folks than the sum total of all pirate cassette tapes to have ever existed! It’s science! What’s also science is that the analogy still holds in representing powers that be seeking to eradicate an entire service with impunity based on misuse by a relative minority of the user base

        • Boombox27 says:

          I don’t think you can say that a relative minority of filesharers are using that service for illegal reasons. We all know the VAST majority of filesharing is for pirating. I call bullshit on every single person who claims to use the service only as a “backup”.

    • Navi says:


  10. Margaret says:

    1. Google are dickheads

    The SOPA protest isn’t the first time that corporations happened to be on the right side of an issue. Wal-Mart was for nationalized healthcare, even though they’re total fucking dicks about fair employment practices. I don’t mean to say the ends necessarily justify the means in all cases re corporate protest, but if Wells-Fargo for whatever reason wanted to jump on the re-enactment of the Glass Steagall Act, I’d be very OK with that.

    A lot of the problem with political movements (or fuck, even bipartisanship stonewalling) is the polarity of interests. Basically, even if you vehemently disagree with what a group stands for on most issues, common ground is how shit gets done on the issues you DO agree on.

    2. The internet is full of dickheads

    I sincerely believe Hell exists and it is youtube comment forums. Yes, the internet is full of assbags. I think it was who Aaron Sorkin said, “I’m all for everyone having a voice, but not everyone has deserved the microphone. And that’s what the internet has done.”

    BUT. The positives of that kind of mass communication so vastly outweigh the negatives that my personal beef with “IM_A_DOUCHEBAG_14_YEAR_OLD_MAKING_A_RAPE_JOKE” pales in comparison. Twitter and Facebook are full of self promoting fuckheads who for reasons unknown think their every bowel movement is worth documenting, but they were essential in the coordination of the Egyptian and Iranian revolutions.

    I, personally, created a twitter for the sole purpose of yelling at Michael Moore about the really dumb comments he made re rape accusers. And he responded and apologized in a pretty cool way.

    Also, if someone wants to get their news from Huffington Post or FOX news without doing the kind of research that the internet allows (SCOTUS blogs, .govs with searchable full text of bills, etc…), that’s their issue. The internet is great because it allows access to unfiltered information. It’s up to the user to take advantage of that.

    3. SOPA

    Even if a reasonable person wants regulation of unauthorized use of licensed material, SOPA sucks. It’s unconstitutional as all fuck.

    Your cigarette analogy is faulty b/c if there is a problem with the legality of the process (at least according to the letter of the law – I’m not saying the judicial system is by any means perfect) then the offending party will be arrested and brought to trial.

    Section 103 allows termination of websites unilaterally without any kind of open discovery proceeding (or due process, essentially) to see if there even was a god damn violation to begin with. Telling a website that 1 page out of 5,000 potentially is violating the act will shut down the entire site, without judicial proceedings. That removes the courts from the process, and THAT’s fucked.

    And that’s just one of the tons of problems with this legislation. There’s a way to regulate the internet for unlicensed material without resorting to this insanity.

    • Beep says:

      “Telling a website that 1 page out of 5,000 potentially is violating the act will shut down the entire site, without judicial proceedings. ”

      You see, this is the problem with you lemmings. You state bogus hyperbole, fed to you by the tech industry, to back up your opposition. You go off on rants without having any idea what is in the bill.

      Read the bill, Section 103, particularly page 27, and tell me where there is language that could make such a thing possible.


      • Margaret says:

        Yeah, I already cited the section at issue — §103 — but if you want me to break it down, I will.

        The overly broad definition of “dedicated to the theft of US property” contained in Section 103(a) juxtaposed with “or portion thereof” make it that it doesn’t have to be the entire site to bring issue, just part of the site. That’s the “1 out of 5,000 pages” part. (Ambiguity in legislation is sometimes fine because the courts can look to the “spirit of the law” or prior judicial rulings on the same subject. SOPA so drastically diverges from normal copyright law that it would make the judicial statutory interpretation difficult, to say the least. Plus, if it went to a strict constructionalist like J. Scalia? That could be fucking ANY website.)

        The other part is in the same section’s definition under qualifying Plaintiff. The qualifying Plaintiff can bring civil action which would stop ads (and other financial basis for the running of the site) from being able to operate – effectively shutting it down without judicial ruling because merely FILING the COA would be enough.

        There’s also several reputable law professors specializing in Copyright Law who have written extensively about the subject, if you’re interested. I’m sure they’ll do a better job citing the requisite legal precedent.

        But I am a law student with a political science degree, so this whole “reading legislation” thing isn’t exactly new to me.

        It’s cute that you called me a lemming, though.

        • Beep says:

          There’s nothing “overly broad” in this language:

          “the site is primarily designed or operated for the purpose of, has only limited purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator or another acting in concert with that operator primarily for use in, offering goods or services in violation of—” Lanham Act and Titles US 17 and 18 US code-
          “the operator of the site operates
          the site with the object of promoting, or
          has promoted, its use to carry out acts
          that constitute a violation of section 501 or 1201 of title 17, United States Code, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster such violation”

          Seems pretty goddamn clear to me.

          And what’s this “or portion thereof” you speak of?

          You read the bill, right?


          • Margaret says:

            For real, dude? “Sounds straightforward to me!”

            If you seriously don’t understand the ambiguity in the definitional section of that bill, then look up the memo of Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Con Law Prof. He’s pretty straightforward in his analysis.

            But before doing that, read a book on the statutory interpretation and basic rules of construction regarding statutory ambiguity.

            And just because it’s a funny case – I’d suggest “Frigaliment Importing Co. v. B.N.S. International Sales Corp.” if you think, “This sounds straightforward to me!” is seriously adequate when it comes to legal interpretation. (And I quote the majority Justice, “The word chicken standing alone is an ambiguous word.”)

            And yeah. I read the bill in conjunction with Constitutional legal analysis. Again – I do nothing but read law day and night and I still need canons of interpretation explained when looking at copyright law.

            If you honestly think you can look at that without the help of experts in their field, then you’re deluded.

          • Beep says:

            That’s swell about all that other stuff.
            But let’s talk about this bill.

            Where’s the language you quoted “portions thereof”?

            Where is it?

          • Hey says:

            Shut the fuck up, Beep.

          • Beep says:


            I just pointed out exactly how everyone got suckered into supporting a protest they knew nothing about.

            That’s what makes you angry, isn’t it?

          • i can read says:

            Beep, go to the bill again, it says “or portion thereof” throughout, how are you missing that?

            However, the relief may be limited to portions of sites, so the sky is falling scenario described may not materialize, but who knows.

          • Beep says:

            Why are you posting an old version of the bill?

            Oh wait- don’t tell me, you were one of the charlatans that conned the stupid into protesting something they’d never read, right?

            I posted the latest version of the bill, written up back in early December. The bill that, after DNS language had been removed, would have been the one voted on. The one all you fucking lemmings protested.

          • i can read says:

            Beep, I honestly don’t care if this passes or not, nor have I taken any action related to this legislation aside from here.

            But, the two versions of the bill contain the same “portion” language you tard.

          • BC says:

            clearly this argument can only be settled by a televised knife fight

          • Chief Osceola says:

            Your level of ignorance is almost embarrassing, lil’ Beeps McGrundle

          • Beep says:

            They both contain the same “portion thereof” language?

            Ok, then you’ll have no problem pointing to the page and line in the final bill that contains that. Right?

  11. God's father says:

    Brendan, please stop using the internet. That would be the best ending to your rant.

  12. disasterMarch says:

    I understand your frustration, and this is one of the main reasons I only directly share music with friends via dropbox. Also, I’ve legally bought almost every TLA album (got a copy of Ghost Stories and Guided Tour from a friend who bought them), but I probably would have never started buying your records if it wasn’t for Limewire (where I originally downloaded some of your songs after hearing a couple on comp records). But I digress…

    Came here to say roughly what Seth said, so I’ll just add a couple things. It’s not the intent of the law that pisses people off. It’s the implications of how it could be used given how vague the wording is. It was written by people who don’t use, don’t understand, and frankly don’t like the Internet (not why they’re doing this, but I’m sure politicians hate the fact that we can now see every single thing they’ve ever said without thinking or that’s taken out of context, but again I digress…). My opposition to the law is not that I want piracy to continue, it’s that I want them to take a better approach that isn’t so obviously open to abuse of power and loopholes that could provide legal censorship.

    Sites like the PirateBay and Megaupload should be taken down, but the law should give websites a chance to police themselves (which it doesn’t require, to be clear), ban users who upload copyrighted content, or block they’re MAC address (or IPv6 addresses, all devices will have unique IP addresses soon so it will actually become relatively easy to ban someone’s phone/computer/Ipad from a website if the owner wanted to anyways, at least from a technical standpoint). If a copyright holder asks Youtube to take down material, they do. Maybe the law should be worded so that if a website refuses to take action itself, then they can be filtered or “taken down” (blocked in the U.S.).

    I know this post is already too long, but there are better ways to approach the problem while addressing many of the legitimate concerns that people have. I just came up with something better in 30 seconds. It’s a poorly written, vaguely worded law even if the intent is good. Most of the backlash from internet communities like Reddit (yes, I’m a frequent Redditor) is aimed at the possible unintentional side-effects, not because they can’t torrent every new movie that comes out (and frankly, fuck that guy because he’s ruining how awesome the internet can be for everyone).

  13. jason says:

    With respect to what the internet is used for, up till now the question of the morality of the issue has been raised (specifically piracy, but also worth considering: erotica, interspecies erotica, terrorism, scat, pedo, tyranny, felching) but VERY SUDDENLY the USA is flat out taking a stance on the morality of this. Megaupload was just recently targetted, nightfall in middle earth! Typically when the US does this human beings lose rights (patriot act, marijuana). But while you’re sipping the slowest drinks at the saddest bars, other alcoholics are butchering pedestrians or ripping families apart or just fucking doing nothing AT ALL–it’s astonishing how readily available it is in the US. I’ll be feltched if the only crazy thing on this planet isn’t that little part in the human brain that tells people they can do fucked up shit [and it’s acceptable if sloshed]). If the US’s motives were to preserve the family unit or whatever other fucking tripe is marketable to http://60plus.org/, then alright it would be understandable, the US is full of itself again and is lynching everything that wants to be free. The problem is that there are scores of corporations that support this bill (google SOPA/PIPA supporters–ex, every single American Broadcaster!!!). This means that desperate shithead politicians now have better reasons to run for office than seeing themselves parodied on SNL.

    So anti-SOPA/PIPA campaigns came off as propaganda? well duh, the source material was bills marketed to Americans in cute acronyms funded by the movie industry. America is flat out demanding compensation and appealing to an antiquated sense of bigotry in geriatrics trying to protect corporate interest instead of adjusting to economic climate LIKE EVERY OTHER PERSON IS FORCED TO DO. And that these business models expect LOST revenue in the realm of 500 million PLEASE GET THE FUCK OUT. Most people I know, to start a business, would be lucky to get 20 grand a year after putting double that into their education (leaving them able to just cover start up costs and expenses). So you and your pals crossed dicks and made a van pact to rock the world to its knees and make 2 of the best albums ever made (still not sold on A&E) –and it was tough. Well making ends meet is tough. Everyone has it tough. Since the late 1800’s, what socialists fought for, was a world with a better standard of living, unfortunately capitalism still works everyone under its heel like the imperceptible turd of a rabbit and few ever get to be a true force to be reckoned with like that of a deer. Ever hear Bill Joel’s first musical effort? It was insane. Even TLA’s old stuff is pretty tough take. Art builds relationships with people and it’s a testament to the merit of its quality that some bands have zealots, but sometimes it’s a testament to nostalgia and you’re really not all that talented.

    The kicker is that these industries market a standard of living that is completely unreasonable, I’m no Dickens or Gissing, I can’t wax on realism, but it’s safe to say the standard of living in the US is well known and frankly parasitic, in the way a man might suggest felching to his wife during heavy flow. The alienation between mind and body is something to seriously consider, and is a Western curiosity of perverse self-obsession that these industries seem intent on exploiting in youth. (the Asias have far more sensible systems like TCM and Ayurveda) These companies wants to keep promoting this shitty lifestyle while affording no one its luxury except those within it (but remember, business is business and success is about as variable as jizz loads). The internet is allowing people to realize what common sense is, to converse on all matters and to see all varying opinions, and on matters that they are SPECIFICALLY interested in. That’s huge. You can pass it off as a bunch of buzz words floating in your toolbar bookmarks, but humanity is drifting toward some new equilibrium of free intellectual pursuit, and imposing censorship and restrictions can’t be anything but a hinderance to progress of every sense. Suddenly an entire new genre of literature addressing these new protocols exists and a hundred more interesting ones vanish. Suddenly it’s time to convolute things in the guise of preserving the American Dream (the perfect propaganda–you can be rich doing whatever you fucking want).

    It’s hard to kid yourself that somehow your possessions are anything but in the way and all the wax, cotton, paper and plastic will validate you or your punk rock ethic . It’s even harder to find time to enjoy this stuff unless you’re part of the damn scene. Despite my frustrating passion for music, I don’t know a single person that has time for it! It’s even harder to find the fucking energy to go to work, to manage debt, to fuck. And these multi-millionaires are upset because people want to exert greater control over their investments while freely pursuing their own personal passions that they probably share with a vast network of 9 people.

    People are still attending movies, still using itunes, netflix. It was put best, piracy is a service problem.

  14. WeAreAllFucked says:

    Why havent anyone mentioned wikileaks?

    By implementing internet censorship, American military cunts can do whatever they want, and fuck that.

  15. Jabronius Balognius (3X krazy) says:

    Yeah, what Seth and Margaret said.

  16. Dudeguy says:

    You’re not wrong about Google and others’ vested interest in the issue due to the extra cost of policing, and while Google’s motto used to be “Don’t be evil”, they’ve certainly loosened up on that strategy in recent years and have been bullies themselves.

    That being said, your blog post mostly sounded like “I don’t care if they screw up or over censor the internet because I waste too much time on the internet, and the people there are mean to me, ” which is hardly a defensible position.

    One other fact that I was looking for but missed in this post is the distinction that child pornography is always 100% illegal in all circumstances whereas links to infringing content are situational and significantly harder to check for. The way I read your post, it seems you would respond that the over censorship this would cause is okay. The unfortunate thing would be if you uploaded your music to a site to get some free publicity, and that same site was later shutdown because they found copies of your copyrighted content on there.

    The safe alternative would be to force search engines only link to sites with content they’ve already verified (and must continually verify) is legit. I don’t know if you remember the pre-search engine days or how hard it was to find links to the information you were looking for (or even farther back where you either had to know someone who knew or read it in an encyclopedia), but I don’t think we need to go back to those days. They were able to take down MegaUpload without this as law, and I don’t personally see how that solution is not sufficient.

  17. jamie says:

    three quarters of the world are starving
    three quarters of the world are starving
    the rest are dead
    the rest are dead

  18. Edgar Allan Po-Po says:

    Interesting article speculating what may have REALLY been at play re: the Megaupload crackdown:


    Basically the Bandcamp template, but with the actual potential to be massive. Makes sense to me…

  19. Edgar Allan Po-Po says:

    BTW note the nature of the site the write-up is on! A bastion for “freetardz”, as lil’ cherub-cheeked Toby would say. A real favorite of mine. The site, not Toby

  20. Anonymous says:

    Why would that have been the “real” reason megaupload got taken down? It would have been competition to iTunes and Amazon, not a new threat to record labels. Record labels welcome any sites that pay, even when they pay shitty (see Sopitify), so this would have been no different.

    • That you, Beep? lulz~ says:

      …Er, did you read a word of that article, you goddamned idiot? This proposed site WOULD bypass the labels, ala BANDCAMP. That being the, uh, whole idea and whatnot.

      • That you, Beep? lulz~ says:

        Why, if one were to utilize the full extent of their brain power, they could possibly extricate how such a scenario would possibly draw the ire of the RIAA and represent a conflict of interest!

  21. BC says:

    i feel bad cause i found out about TLA when someone sent me a link to Oh! Calcutta! on mediafire but im headed to the bank in about 20 minutes to put cash into my checking account so i can buy it from itunes

  22. Jfru says:

    I think that the issue I take with Brendan is that anyone starting a punk rock band would depend on that to make a decent living doing so. Considering I was lucky enough to be into this music (still am) when it was current, and even seeing slapstick and the broadways play after their records were recently released, I don’t want to crap too hard on Brendan, but I disagree. Musicians make music because they love music, whatever genre that may be. Making money is not the reason to be in a band, and its one of those aspects of liking punk rock that we all need to except-its about attitude and worldview, not making millions (sure it would be nice, but how many platinum selling artists do we as BSC readers actually like? I’d imagine not too many- it’s not about the money and the vagina, its about relating to something that most people in society can’t, or don’t want to). Sure, some bands become extremely successful whether we consider them selling out or not, and from my understanding, most bands make their money on tour, not on record sales (no one is forcing anyone else to work in a restaurant, thats a personal choice. If you like this music, I don’t think any amount of income changes that, unless you are changing the principles that make you who you are). Even before the internet, people sold bootleg movies on the street, and this will continue regardless of how many movies can be copied from Piratebay or similar site. There will always be thieves in some form. Technology is a double edged sword- Hell yeah does it beat looking in an encyclopedia as I did when growing up as you can get many differnent viewpoints (Brendan is right on the money here-we all need to read things that we dont agree with, otherwise you’re no less brainwashed than something listening to Nickelback), but scum is scum in the long run, and some people are going to try to get over on others regardless of how many laws are passed. Read comments people post on punknews.org, most of them sound like the jocks I avoided or made fun of when I was younger. Its not about the music. Some people (ok, a lot of them) are just douchebags, its a human thing, not a punk thing.
    Megaupload was shut down without this legislation being law, so what are we really debating. The gov’t can do pretty much anything it wants at anytime, which is a very sad thing. So what can we as fans do to bands we like? I think its simple- even if you download something for free from mediafire or wherever, you can still go to the record label or bands site or Itunes and make the purchase, and support them as best as you can. Support your local record store too while they still exist.

  23. double g says:

    Making a living on art is definitely tough. But it always has been. There have been amazing bands that didn’t get signed big indies with successful PR accounts that dissolved because working overnights at wal-mart just didn’t work for them anymore. I think your view about getting paid is a bit selfish as well. It isn’t so much about piracy. It’s more about freedom to information.

    The power of twitter, google, facebook were great tools to organize Arab Spring and the Occupy movement and SOPA or ACTA being put into place would put a stranglehold on that one edge the people have over oppression.

    Say I post an article on Wikipedia, Twitter, etc with pic that’s not mine and then it’s reported. Instead of the pic being removed, all information along with the site is gone.

    This might be an obvious one, but think of how much of the economy is made up of the digital economy. You start banning people from the internet, closing down websites, arresting people for streaming a song on youtube, there is no longer an economy/disposable income to buy your records. Or your t-shirts. Or go to your shows. The world is a complicated place with gray area and intertwined reactions to decisions.

    The only thing I see happening with this bill passing is a shittier version of the 80’s.

  24. Keith says:

    “That’s some George W Bush, Hitler shit, folks.”

    You stopped me caring with this lazy, asinine sentence.

    And frankly as someone who legally purchased all the Lawrence Arms, Broadways, Falcon and Wandering Birds records that I am aware exist at this point in time, that’s fairly disappointing.

    I illegally downloaded the Slapstick album though, read into that whatever you like.

    It’s a shame, because I like this blog, as well as your musical output. But this firmly lies in the camp of you being a bitter, cynical prick towards and a befriender of authoritarian bullshit because some people have at some point not paid you for something. If your point was in the context of fair recompense for artists in a climate where that issue has gone unaddressed, this could have been an interesting post. Instead you bitch and whine about “nerds” bitching and whining with what appears to be a complete lack of irony.

    As far as the evolution of copying copyrighted material is concerned, here’s my take: Who gives a fuck?

    Because nerds are all complete dicks right? And artists are messengers from God or something.

  25. LOLa says:

    Yeah Brendan, where do you get off asking to be paid by those that you’re working for?

    The nerve of some people!!!

    Let this be a lesson Brendan- you’re only here to entertain other people for free, and they’re entitled to that. Understand?

  26. Keith says:

    Being compensated for what you produce is completely fair enough. I didn’t say people shouldn’t pay for music.

    I said that conflating nerds (when did they become the evil doers again?) with mega corporations, George Bush, anti-censorship campaigners, Hitler et al into one giant bundle because some of those people have illegally downloaded stuff you’ve made is boring and pointless to read because it makes and has no point.

    If this article has a different point to that, it should have been written a lot better, and a good deal less bitchier.

    And on that note LOLa, fuck you.

  27. chris says:


    I have downloaded every single one of your albums (lawrence arms, broadways, falcon, slapstick, etc) illegally. If it were not for that, i would have never heard of you or your music.

    Having become a fan of yours through this downloading, I have seen you play with the lawrence arms 6-7 times, bought two t-shirts, some patches and buttons. I would estimate this to be about $200 dollars worth of merchandise.

    If you REALLY want, I will delete all my illegally downloaded brendan kelly music, if you will send me a check for the $200 that you would not have earned from me if I hadn’t downloaded them.

    • lulz says:

      Easy Chris Ortega – you’re perilously close to superceding Nick as the sock drawer’s reigning Grand Highmaster of Logic

  28. Meh.... says:

    I agree that piracy need to be curbed. But the proposed bill was completely the wrong way to go about it. That bill is what you get when you have people who do not understand anything about how the internet works.

    Yes piracy is out of hand. yes something absolutely needs to be done about it to help those artist (including yourself) who are impacted by it.

    As a Systems Admin I could easily see how their proposed legislation could cripple the internet as we know it.

    I think they should put the issue back into the hands of the companies with the issues. They spend hundreds of millions on their art (whether it be movies, books, music, pictures, etc…) but they spend almost nothing on protecting it.

    The Movie and Gaming industries were on the right track with DRM. Again it was horribly implemented in most cases and therefore it was broken within a week. But it was a start. R&D needs to be just as important as creation of the art. Until companies start dumping more money into R&D for protection of their media, there will always be people getting it for free because they can.

    I don’t see why this should completely fall on the government’s shoulders. Should they lend a hand? Sure.

    Say I open an electronics store in the middle of West Philly. I don’t put doors on the building, no cameras, no alarms, no security guards. And I close at 5pm and go home. Is it the Government’s responsibility to watch over my store through the nite and make sure I don’t get robbed?

    Like any piece of software, DRM (or other forms like it) need to evolve. Someone out there will always find a way to break it. But companies needs to invest in this and not just shrug their shoulders and walk away from it as soon as it gets broken.

    R&D is the answer. Not locking down of the internet. Piracy is like the fabled Hydra. All you can do is cut off one head at a time and try to keep up with it.

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