For chatting and discussions.
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By James
#24760
Wanted to help get word of the SOPA bill in the US get out there.

Today some of the biggest websites are are trying to help get word of this out

Jimi Wales says:
"Proponents of Sopa have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy".

"But that's not really the point. The point is the bill is so over broad and so badly written that it's going to impact all kinds of things that, you know, don't have anything to do with stopping piracy."
I feel that this bill is hugely important and needs to be stopped...

What do you think? :)
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By michi
#24761
While I don't like SOPA at all, I also think that this post gets dangerously close to a breach of section 4e of the Rules and Guidelines. To make it relevant, why not list the reasons why SOPA is a danger to this forum? That would make it relevant in an instant ;-)

Michi.
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By James
#24769
This forum is about West African music and dance with a particular focus on djembe, Mande drumming and traditions. Our community has a preference for traditional drumming and dance so please be mindful of this. You may post about other musical instruments used in West African music in the Other Instruments sub-forum. Jokes about any topic may be posted in the Humour section. Other topics may be discussed in the Social sub-forum as long as they add interactive value to the community and are not promotional in nature (some non-profit activities will be considered after prior contact).
I think I'm ok no?

Interesting you bring it up, I have always been surprised that this forum doesn't have more non drumming fun and serious discussion on world issues. Perhaps this rule is why...

Anyway I'm going off topic now ;)
While I don't like SOPA at all, I also think that this post gets dangerously close to a breach of section 4e of the Rules and Guidelines. To make it relevant, why not list the reasons why SOPA is a danger to this forum? That would make it relevant in an instant
Basically someone could file a lawsuit that has us removed from the Google index, or have our host take us down for piracy, just because we are actually secretly plotting against the lobby groups in washington....

Maybe we have to ban 'Occupy wall street videos just in case'
By bkidd
#24772
Here's a couple questions that make this topic relevant to the forum. How does the current situation where music can be (and is often) shared freely affect W. African artists? Putting out a CD is not a financially lucrative endeavor. Does spreading the content for free help artists become known so that they are able to make money in other ways?

Best,
-Brian
By goodwill559
#24775
Here is the relevancy to our community. Our community creates this message board, i.e., user generated content.

This website does not have a legal obligation to screen content.

SOPA would change that.

If, for example, copyrighted or trademarked intellectual property were to appear on this website (maybe something as simple as a song lyric, or a movie quote), the Justice Department of the USA would be able to make this entire board "disappear" without any court hearing, no due process.

This proposed legislation is overkill. A member posting an encouraging message with the words, "use the force," is entirely different from a factory pumping out pirated Star Wars DVDs but SOPA is so vague & overreaching that the two could be treated as the same.

Now repeat with millions of user generated communities, search engines, blogs, cached indexes...

I want to be able to read and contribute freely here at djembefola.

IMHO, of course.
By Paul
#24786
James wrote:Interesting you bring it up, I have always been surprised that this forum doesn't have more non drumming fun and serious discussion on world issues. Perhaps this rule is why...
I can think of one example where we did and I must say it degenerated into uninformed reactionary racist rubbish or some form denial.. in my opinion..
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By michi
#24787
James wrote:I think I'm ok no?
Yes, but only just :-)

The relevance of a post to this forum is important. Feeling strongly about something isn't enough.

Just to drive the point home: I might have very strong feelings regarding right to life or, conversely, pro choice, but that doesn't mean that a post about these topics belongs here.
James wrote:Interesting you bring it up, I have always been surprised that this forum doesn't have more non drumming fun and serious discussion on world issues. Perhaps this rule is why...
Actually, I think it's a good rule. This forum is about West African drumming (well, mostly), and the rule stops the board from turning into an unfocussed collection of postings about arbitrary topics.

If I want to broadly discuss other things, there are many places where I can do this (and probably more effectively than I could here). Pick your favourite social networking site, just to name one example.
Paul wrote:Interesting you bring it up, I have always been surprised that this forum doesn't have more non drumming fun and serious discussion on world issues. Perhaps this rule is why...
I don't recall the particular discussion you are referring to. In general, I think we have gone off topic (in the sense of the R&G) on many occasions, and I don't have a problem with that. I think a liberal interpretation and application of the R&G is appropriate and desirable. My personal opinion is that, as long as something is even vaguely relevant to the forum, we should allow it, even if it strays a fair distance from West African drumming. (Some of the past discussions on female drummers and the white/black issue come to mind.)

When I posted the reference to the R&G, I really was mostly having a dig at James :-)

Besides the very naive and damaging technical meddling that was proposed by SOPA, the most worrying aspect is that it shifts the burden of proof on the accused, without any judicial oversight. In effect, SOPA could potentially be used to eliminate competition, simply by taking them off-line and then relying on the fact that most business cannot afford to defend themselves against the accusation, and will be destroyed or lose their window of opportunity simply by being off-line, even if they can afford to defend themselves.

djembefola.com would almost certainly fall into this category. (And we do have our share of copyright violations here, in the form of links to copyrighted material, which, according to SOPA, would be sufficient grounds to take the site off-line if someone took offense.)

Cheers,

Michi.
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By michi
#24868
The real problem with SOPA is the complete lack of checks and balances (not to mention the deep problems with the approach from a technical perspective).

What amazes me in all this is that this bill, if passed, would almost certainly be ruled unconstitutional later. Politicians who vote for the bill know this of course. But it doesn't matter: in the mean time, they have done what they need to do for their lobby group to get re-elected, never mind that the bill they voted for hasn't got a leg to stand on and severely infringes on civil rights.

The SOPA protest is a very interesting lesson of how important it is to live in a democracy. Without freedom of speech, the issue could not have been aired, and we would have ended up with a law that panders to a particular industry that hides its profit motive behind arguments such as all the jobs that will be lost without SOPA, damage to the American economy, the need to curtail the activities of criminals (such as ten-year olds reading a downloaded comic strip), etc.

Without a democracy and the right to protest, the same arguments would lead us straight back to the days of children working in the mines…

I'm not trying to say that the recording industry, film studios, and book publishers aren't being harmed by piracy. They are, beyond a shade of doubt. (I know first-hand what that feels like. The book I wrote back in 1999 was available for download in full from a large number of sites within a few months of being released. Seeing that I put one and a half years of my life into writing it, I wasn't impressed…) But many of the piracy problems these industries are complaining about are entirely self-inflicted (starting with a retail pricing structure that would have to be called predatory).

We are seeing the effects of a major disruptive technology change. What's happening at the moment to the publishing and media industries is much the same as what happened to the weavers in England during the industrial revolution. We have an economy that is geared towards a particular model of trade, production, and earning a living, and along comes a technology that effectively invalidates a large part of that existing economy by making its activities worthless.

It's similar with the retail industry for commodity items, such as books and CDs. (Here in Australia, almost all CD retailers have disappeared already, and book stores are following in droves. The suffering for other retailers is real too, particularly consumer electronics stores, travel agents, and even clothing stores.)

Naturally, until a new model and a new balance is established, a lot of people get hurt (and a lot of people get rich).

Cheers,

Michi.