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Directors guild president defends SOPA and PIPA in fight against piracy. Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA DGA President Taylor Hackford and host Kelsey Grammer speak onstage during the 64th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards held at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland on January 28, 2012 in Hollywood, California. Google and other technology companies spread “outright lies” about anti-piracy bills, according to Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford. The leader used his clout at the 64th Annual DGA Awards Ceremony to defend the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) as part of the DGA’s anti-piracy campaign. Film directors have a big stake and a big say in the battle over intellectual property online. How will Hackford’s and the DGA’s support of SOPA and PIPA help filmmakers and influence a public that apparently sided with Google?

Guest: Taylor Hackford, an Oscar-winning feature film and documentary director, writer and producer; he’s serving his second term as President of the Directors Guild of America. Supporters of SOPA, PIPA stick to their guns. Beleaguered supporters of two online antipiracy bills today downplayed widespread protests against the legislation and insisted the opposition is misguided and misinformed. Supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) labeled today's protests by Google, Wikipedia, Reddit and others as political stunts that contribute little to the debate around the pros and cons of the two bills. One example is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been a vocal supporter of antipiracy legislation. In a statement, Steve Tapp, the chamber's chief counsel on intellectual property, said the protest was unwarranted considering the changes that have already been made to both bills in response to concerns.

"The PROTECT IP Act and SOPA have been modified by their sponsors to address concerns by removing entirely the provision that would have required blocking of criminal sites," Tapp said. Both bills have been watered down considerably since they were introduced. Why Banks Back SOPA, the “Bring the Chinese Internet to America” Bill. Although lots of technology-related sites are correctly up in arms about the Stop Online Piracy Act, the MSM has given it short shrift, and the financial blogosphere has not paid much attention (cross posts of some of George Washington articles being a welcome exception). SOPA and PIPA (Protect IP Act) use nuclear-weapon-to-kill-a-mouse scale solutions to Internet piracy.

David Carr in the New York Times, in an rather anodyne article given what is at stake, gave an overview of what is wrong with the bills, namely, a lot. Even if you accept the proponents’ dubious claims about the losses from “rouge” foreign websites ($58 billion!) , the bills probably won’t fix that problem and will create a host of new ones. So why is the American Bankers Association one of the sponsors of a bill that seems awfully remote from its terrain? I wanted to call out one key point that was really made clear by an amendment offered by Rep. Oh no, this isn’t crazy at all, it’s authoritarian. Amidst SOPA and DMCA, Comedian Louis C.K. Speaks to Artists’ Relationship with Pirates. Popular comedian Louis C.K. (of FX’s “Louie “) just released his fourth full-length comedy special, “ Live at the Beacon Theater, “ and chose to make it available for download or streaming and completely free of digital rights management (DRM) for a grand total of $5.

In a personal letter on the download page, C.K. wrote, “I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without ‘corporate’ restrictions.” Artists have taken a similar stance on IP distribution before, but Louis C.K. has curiously done so amidst the current copyright backdrop of SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and the start of the fifth Digital Millennium Copyright Act rulemaking proceeding, both of which have the potential to drastically change the law regarding DRM and online piracy.

Video game industry still supports anti-piracy bill. By Stephen C. WebsterSaturday, December 31, 2011 9:43 EDT Despite a flurry of reports suggesting that the world’s largest video game companies have dropped their support for the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) — a bill which critics say could break the fundamental structure of the Internet in the U.S. — that assumption appears premature. The Internet was set aflutter the day before New Year’s Eve after Business Insider noticed that Nintendo, Electronic Arts (EA) and Sony Electronics had removed themselves from a list of official SOPA supporters (PDF) curated by the House Judiciary Committee. The disappearance of these influential corporations sparked a wave of reports that the largest video game makers in the world had dropped their support for the bill.

Those reports, however, are not correct. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the gaming industry’s lobby, still officially support SOPA. The ESA, on the other hand, remains committed to the bill. Stephen C. Update on publishers and SOPA: Time for scholarly publishers to disavow the AAP. GoDaddy backs away from SOPA after mass. Here Is Godaddy’s Statement In Support Of The Stop Online Privacy Act House Hearing Tomorrow.

Here is the statement Godaddy filed with the House: Background First, let me thank Chairman Smith for the opportunity to provide a written statement in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act and on the critical issue of combating illegal activity on the Internet. I would also like to extend my appreciation to Ranking Member Conyers, Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Watt, as well as the other bi-partisan co-sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) for all of your efforts in addressing this important issue. This bill is the result of previous hearings, and months of meetings and discussions with all interested parties. I know that this Committee took into consideration the concerns of all parties during this process, and I applaud your efforts.

Go Daddy looks forward to continuing to work with this Committee to fine-tune this critically important piece of legislation in the coming weeks. Background on Go Daddy Our Enforcement Efforts Our Support for SOPA Filtering. Nintendo, EA, Sony sponsor Internet censorship bill. Paul Graham: SOPA Supporting Companies No Longer Allowed At YC Demo Day. At this point quite a few internet companies have protested H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in creative ways.

Held by many to be the worst thing to ever happen to the Internet if it passes, SOPA would makes it really easy for copyright holders to force sites offline that they think are offending, among other things. While the judiciary vote has been delayed until next year, the list revealing the companies who support the act was released yesterday, and many startups, such as Reddit, have begun to drill down into boycotts of individual companies like domain provider GoDaddy.

The company boycotts have sparked a thread on Hacker News, where user Solipsist posted a link to the list with the comment, “While I understand your sentiments towards SOPA, are you really going to distance yourself from all of these companies?” To which YCombinator founder and investor Paul Graham replied, “Actually that’s exactly what I thought when I saw the list yesterday. The rationale? All the Companies Supporting SOPA, the Awful Internet Censorship Law and How to Contact Them. 3M takes SOPA REALLY seriously.