Dirty cops will love SOPA

Ken at Popehat examines Google's report on the number of police departments and governments that have requested removal of police brutality videos shot by citizens, and asks what will happen once the Stop Online Piracy Act makes spurious takedown even easier.


  1. Something tells me if Google has been saying no to take-down requests so far, they will continue to do so if SOPA passes. I doubt the US would even try, let alone succeed in having Youtube de-listed from DNS.

    Not to mention SOPA has absolutely no application to this kind of request. SOPA is about preventing copyright infringement, these requests are under “defamation” or “protecting officers” or some other BS.

    Saying SOPA is going to facilitate EVERY possible kind of civil-rights abuse is just crying wolf.

      1. You really think Google wouldn’t take this all the way to SCOTUS if they had to?

        If a judge were to go so far as to use SOPA to shut down Youtube over a single video, they would be violating the letter and the spirit of the law. SOPA explicitly states it is to be used against sites that exist mainly to infringe.
        The Pirate Bay: Yes. Like it or not, TPB is mostly an index of pirated stuff.

        Youtube: Dream on, Christine.

        The Pirate Bay is number one on SOPA’s list, so it will be the test case. It will be interesting to see what will happen to TPB if SOPA passes and the DNS blocks are actually implemented.

        Something tells me TPB isn’t just going to go away.

          1. There is a big difference between a stated policy of censorship, and the abuse of a law meant to stop piracy

            Google has to cooperate with China if they want to be there. They do not have to cooperate with an abuse of the legal system here.

      1. Ever hear the term SLAPP?

        If an anti-piracy law like SOPA is used against a non-infringing site to censor free speech, and the affected party has the legal resources to take it to the top, the result will be the repeal of SOPA or new legislation in the vein of anti-SLAPP.

        You might not like big business, but Google has the power to fight something like SOPA, should it ever be pointed at them in a way they don’t like.

        1. As has been explained by when this question came up before the power to fight back only exists if you have the money. Also takedown notices from say… Us. Will probably get disregarded since the target entities will do a risk analyses and see that even if we were to actually sue they could bury us in legal fees.

          Any mis-attribution or mis-interpretation is my fault.

          I do not believe it will immediately get heavy handed, since those this bill benefits most will likely want to wait for the uproar to die down before going gonzo. I say probably because UMG has already proven that they’ll abuse current tools, and Warner will use Bots and search scripts to file takedown notices for them as mass trolling nets ‘and if a few dolphins get caught in the process. Big Deal’.

          The thing is we /HAVE/ tools right no that does what SOPA and PIPA say they are aiming to accomplish, and those tools are already being abused. Why hand the abusers of Power more Power to abuse?

          As for Google? Google, Amazon, Paypal, Wikipedia, and others /ARE FIGHTING IT RIGHT NOW./It isn’t just ‘Congress Vs. Google, as pro-sopa advocates seem to love claiming. I’ts Congress vs multitudes ranging from large corporations, Professors of law, experts on the technologies and communication this bill would want to alter, THE FATHER OF THE INTERNET ITSELF, and oh. Hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of people like me that are pissed off that our elected Representatives seem to show absolutely no shame in that they are passing a bill to alter a technology they seem to gleefully no nothing about.

          Edit: And before I forget. Thank you for being civil in your disagreements. Refreshing change from what amounts to shouting matches between Pro and Anti.

        2. The problem here is that you are so much more reasonable than reality that you misrepresent it, intentionally or not.

    1. Unfortunately the story immediately preceding this one on Boing Boing already shows that Google is being hypocritical: it describes an incident where a cop punched a mentally challenged woman in the head, and then tried to take the camera phone from the Iraq war veteran who filmed the incident.

      According to the story Google removed the video of it, not for copyright violation, but because it “contained hate speech”, which is not the case. So apparently Google *will* roll over and take down videos of police brutality. In fact, the previous story is a perfect illustration for this one.

  2.  Doesn’t the citizen, the person who shot the video, own the copyright? And in most places it is legal to photograph the police. So how would the police claim this is an illegal video?

    1. The point is that you can *claim* anything, true or false. Fighting the claim, though, takes money and balls, and in most cases companies and individuals simply go along with such abuses of power. That is part of what makes tools-that-ignore-due-process so dangerous.

      1. And I am sure enforcement against law enforcement for abusing the law will be no different than the rest of us. Oh. Wait. 

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