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Author Topic: SOPA and Bitcoin  (Read 3163 times)
bb113
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December 19, 2011, 08:30:48 PM
 #1

Anyone want to explain what implications this would have for bitcoin?

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(b) Denying U.S. Financial Support of Sites Dedicated to Theft of U.S. Property-

(1) PAYMENT NETWORK PROVIDERS- Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph (5), a payment network provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after delivery of a notification under paragraph (4), that are designed to prevent, prohibit, or suspend its service from completing payment transactions involving customers located within the United States and the Internet site, or portion thereof, that is specified in the notification under paragraph (4).

...
Quote
(3) DESIGNATED AGENT-

(A) IN GENERAL- Each payment network provider and each Internet advertising service shall designate an agent to receive notifications described in paragraph (4), by making available through its service, including on its Web site in a location accessible to the public, and by providing to the Copyright Office, substantially the following:

(i) The name, address, phone number, and electronic mail address of the agent.

(ii) Other contact information that the Register of Copyrights considers appropriate.

(B) DIRECTORY OF AGENTS- The Register of Copyrights shall maintain and make available to the public for inspection, including through the Internet, in electronic format, a current directory of agents designated under subparagraph (A).

section 103 part b

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3261
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December 21, 2011, 09:30:41 PM
 #2

(Not a lawyer, this ain't legal advice, &c)

I think it depends a lot on what the definition of "payment network provider" is in this context. Seems to me that other than exchanges like Mt. Gox and the like, Bitcoin doesn't have such a thing.

If there is something that will make Bitcoin succeed, it is growth of utility - greater quantity and variety of goods and services offered for BTC. If there is something that will make Bitcoin fail, it is the culture of naive fools and conmen, the former convinced that BTC is a magic box that will turn them into millionaires, and the latter arriving by the busload to devour them.
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December 23, 2011, 01:29:11 AM
 #3

Quote
(b) Denying U.S. Financial Support of Sites Dedicated to Theft of U.S. Property-

(1) PAYMENT NETWORK PROVIDERS- Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph (5), a payment network provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after delivery of a notification under paragraph (4), that are designed to prevent, prohibit, or suspend its service from completing payment transactions involving customers located within the United States and the Internet site, or portion thereof, that is specified in the notification under paragraph (4).

Can you post paragraph 4/5 from the bill?

I suppose this means that the bitcoin community (in the US, like me, who provides a phat pipe for block chain distribution here in the US) would need to come up with a method to "freeze" accounts if requested by the US govt.  You should have the ability to this by a geographical area (this would be hard).

A method to accomplish this would involve trusting some sort of central authority to mandate the non-acceptance of blocks containing transactions that have as their source or destination an account number provided from the authority.

If the govt. decides to enforce this law under the way I interpret (major paragraphs missing) it, (they may not even enforce it, there are plenty of stupid laws not enforced.  It allows the bureaucrats opportunity when they want to shake another entity down) I believe that the bitcoin community would schism in some manner with a block chain underground accessed with deep web tools, and one that every happy family could use with a central authority controlling accounts and most likely the rate in which btc are generated (this sort of control would come later).  That all assumes that I had actually read more of the law, and the US govt. decides to embrace bitcoin rather then extinguish it.

... but ianal.
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December 23, 2011, 02:15:42 AM
 #4

I think this would only apply if someone was running a website like piratedmoviesforbitcoins.bit. They wouldn't be able to seize the name, so then the bill allows pressuring the payment processors (traditionally Visa/MC) into shutting down the account. This would be harder with Bitcoin, the payment address can change every time and you would have to figure out where the bitcoins are going and try to make all exchanges not take bitcoins from that address (or coins that were ever in that address, etc). Fat chance; about as likely as invalidating dollar bills if they were ever used for illegal purposes. If they can discover the name of the person running the site, and MtGox has received identification from that person, they could make MtGox close that person's account, except US laws don't apply to businesses in Japan. Anonymous digital currency without central control wins again.

Americans can deluge their congress critters with negative messages about this RIAA/MPAA-authored piece of crap legislation, and let them know that our votes cannot be influenced by their MAFIAA kickbacks, and we don't forget.

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December 23, 2011, 03:59:52 AM
 #5

I would still say that the big money would have tight commodity contracts involving the protection of btc based on storage (laser dvd in deposit box)... think it out!  There is a business there!
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December 23, 2011, 05:17:38 AM
 #6

I think this would only apply if someone was running a website like piratedmoviesforbitcoins.bit. They wouldn't be able to seize the name, so then the bill allows pressuring the payment processors (traditionally Visa/MC) into shutting down the account. This would be harder with Bitcoin, the payment address can change every time and you would have to figure out where the bitcoins are going and try to make all exchanges not take bitcoins from that address (or coins that were ever in that address, etc). Fat chance; about as likely as invalidating dollar bills if they were ever used for illegal purposes. If they can discover the name of the person running the site, and MtGox has received identification from that person, they could make MtGox close that person's account, except US laws don't apply to businesses in Japan. Anonymous digital currency without central control wins again.

Americans can deluge their congress critters with negative messages about this RIAA/MPAA-authored piece of crap legislation, and let them know that our votes cannot be influenced by their MAFIAA kickbacks, and we don't forget.

How would one seize a .bit domain?

Bitcoin Auction House http://www.BitBid.net BTC - 1EwfBVC6BwA6YeqcYZmm3htwykK3MStW6N | LTC - LdBpJJHj4WSAsUqaTbwyJQFiG1tVjo4Uys Don't get Goxed.
Matthew N. Wright
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December 23, 2011, 05:27:35 AM
 #7

I think this would only apply if someone was running a website like piratedmoviesforbitcoins.bit. They wouldn't be able to seize the name, so then the bill allows pressuring the payment processors (traditionally Visa/MC) into shutting down the account. This would be harder with Bitcoin, the payment address can change every time and you would have to figure out where the bitcoins are going and try to make all exchanges not take bitcoins from that address (or coins that were ever in that address, etc). Fat chance; about as likely as invalidating dollar bills if they were ever used for illegal purposes. If they can discover the name of the person running the site, and MtGox has received identification from that person, they could make MtGox close that person's account, except US laws don't apply to businesses in Japan. Anonymous digital currency without central control wins again.

Americans can deluge their congress critters with negative messages about this RIAA/MPAA-authored piece of crap legislation, and let them know that our votes cannot be influenced by their MAFIAA kickbacks, and we don't forget.

Unfortunately, we do forget and that why we're in this mess to begin with.

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December 23, 2011, 07:00:05 AM
 #8

I think this would only apply if someone was running a website like piratedmoviesforbitcoins.bit. They wouldn't be able to seize the name...

How would one seize a .bit domain?

dot-bit is is the top level domain name for Namecoin. You can't seize it, that is the whole point, it is a distributed p2p DNS system based on Bitcoin technology. The only way would be to determine and locate the owner and come beat them with a wrench to make them use their private keys to change the domain name record. As Namecoin is also anonymous, you'd have to go after the web hosting.

bb113
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December 23, 2011, 07:52:10 AM
 #9


Can you post paragraph 4/5 from the bill?


The entire bill could be found at this link:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3261


Paragraph 4
Quote
(4) NOTIFICATION REGARDING INTERNET SITES DEDICATED TO THEFT OF U.S. PROPERTY-

(A) REQUIREMENTS- Subject to subparagraph (B), a notification under this paragraph is effective only if it is a written communication that is provided to the designated agent of a payment network provider or an Internet advertising service and includes substantially the following:

(i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the holder of an intellectual property right harmed by the activities described in subsection (a)(1).

(ii) Identification of the Internet site, or portion thereof, dedicated to theft of U.S. property, including either the domain name or Internet Protocol address of such site, or both.

(iii) Identification of the specific facts to support the claim that the Internet site, or portion thereof, is dedicated to theft of U.S. property and to clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the holder of the intellectual property right harmed by the activities described in subsection (a)(1) in the absence of timely action by the payment network provider or Internet advertising service.

(iv) Information reasonably sufficient to establish that the payment network provider or Internet advertising service is providing payment processing or Internet advertising services for such site.

(v) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the payment network provider or Internet advertising service to contact the holder of the intellectual property right harmed by the activities described in subsection (a)(1).

(vi) A statement that the holder of the intellectual property right has a good faith belief that the use of the owner’s works or goods in which the right exists, in the manner described in the notification, is not authorized by the holder, its agent, or law.

(vii) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that the signatory is authorized to act on behalf of the holder of the intellectual property right harmed by the activities described in subsection (a)(1).

(viii) Identification of the evidence indicating that the site (or portion thereof) is a U.S.-directed site.

(B) SERVICE IF NO AGENT DESIGNATED- If a payment network provider or Internet advertising service has not designated an agent under paragraph (3), the notification under subparagraph (A) may be provided to any officer or legal representative of such provider or service.

(C) NOTICE TO INTERNET SITE IDENTIFIED IN NOTIFICATION- Upon receipt of an effective notification under this paragraph, a payment network provider or Internet advertising service shall take appropriate steps to ensure timely delivery of the notification to the Internet site identified in the notification.


Paragraph 5
Quote
(5) COUNTER NOTIFICATION-

(A) REQUIREMENTS- Subject to subparagraph (B), a counter notification is effective under this paragraph only if it is a written communication that is provided to the designated agent of a payment network provider or an Internet advertising service and includes substantially the following:

(i) A physical or electronic signature of the owner or operator of the Internet site, or portion thereof, specified in a notification under paragraph (4) subject to which action is to be taken by the payment network provider or Internet advertising service under paragraph (1) or (2), or of the registrant of the domain name used by such site or portion thereof.

(ii) In the case of an Internet site specified in the notification under paragraph (4) that is a foreign Internet site, a statement that the owner or operator, or registrant, consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, and will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under paragraph (4), or an agent of such person, for purposes of adjudicating whether the site is an Internet site dedicated to theft of U.S. property under this section.

(iii) A statement under penalty of perjury that the owner or operator, or registrant, has a good faith belief that it does not meet the criteria of an Internet site dedicated to theft of U.S. property as set forth under this section.

(iv) The name, address, email address, and telephone number of the owner, operator, or registrant.

(B) SERVICE IF NO AGENT DESIGNATED- If a payment network provider or Internet advertising service has not designated an agent under paragraph (3), the counter notification under subparagraph (A) may be provided to any officer or legal representative of such provider or service.
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December 23, 2011, 02:39:26 PM
 #10

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(b) Denying U.S. Financial Support of Sites Dedicated to Theft of U.S. Property-

(1) PAYMENT NETWORK PROVIDERS- Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph (5), a payment network provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures...
Could "technically feasible" be Bitcoin's out? Even if the exchanges are forced to stop taking the funds, there are plenty of ways to filter bitcoins through intermediaries. In fact, a website could transact entirely in bitcoins.

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December 26, 2011, 08:54:28 PM
 #11


Could "technically feasible" be Bitcoin's out?

Great point... it is not technically feasible to stop btc payments to anyone.
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December 27, 2011, 04:12:05 AM
 #12


Could "technically feasible" be Bitcoin's out?

Great point... it is not technically feasible to stop btc payments to anyone.

One of the great things about bitcoin... it's out of the hands of any state in the world Smiley

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December 28, 2011, 01:39:18 AM
 #13

This video is relative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7DkrsCCQ_A
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December 30, 2011, 06:42:06 AM
 #14

from op's paragraph 4
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(iv) Information reasonably sufficient to establish that the payment network provider or Internet advertising service is providing payment processing or Internet advertising services for such site.

again if one was partaking in the distribution of the block chain that contained transactions that could be tied to an infringing web site you may be in violation of the posted theoretical[1] law


[1] - theoretical - it hasn't been passed yet and god only knows what it really contains.  Remember kids.... you must pass the law before you can see what is in it.
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December 30, 2011, 08:15:20 AM
 #15

At least in Canada (and probably in other countires as well), the devil is in the details. The regulations describing how the law is implemented often don't get written until the law is passed. This serves to make the law more flexible, which can be a good thing.

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December 30, 2011, 08:19:33 AM
 #16

My understanding of SOPA was that by simply mentioning Sony, would give Sony the power to file a complaint, and have the site shut down. Not even mentioning ANY other part of the Plan.

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