Why Cartoon Brew Opposes PIPA and SOPA

You may have noticed that a lot of websites have gone “dark” today, most notably Wikipedia and Tumblr. There’s grave concern throughout the online community as a result of two bills currently in the US Congress: Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). This animated video explains why the bills would almost certainly kill off sites like Cartoon Brew:

Our ISP sent us a note this morning explaining how it would affect both him and us:

As an ISP I will become responsible for all of your content. Currently I am not. Due to the massive logs requirements and policing I would either need to increase my fees or discontinue service if the law is passed. If you are interested about its impact on hosting please take a moment and read this at SaveHosting.org.

Keep the Internet alive. Send a message to your Congressperson today by visiting AmericanCensorship.org.

Your Brewmasters,
Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi


  • cbat628

    I totally agree! While I am generally against piracy, these bills are unfocused and are the wrong way to combat the problem.

    Viva La Cartoon Brew!

  • Zac.

    ██████ for the ████! ████ is an █████████ ████ to be █████ of.

    To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:
    http://americancensorship.org/posts/45586/uncensor

  • Rick R.

    This is like so much of what the government has being doing lately… to wit, trying so hard to protect people against every little thing they forget they are destroying that fragile thing called “freedom”.

    It’s like the TSA molesting 85+ year old women all across this land because of the actions of one man on a flight from Paris (Reid the Shoe Bomber) and the would be gel bombers, who flew out of England. Please note: The attacks did not come from Americans, nor did the flights originate here. But…. we can now be groped and irradiated regularly thanks to those morons.

    Pirate Bay? Not on US shores.
    iTunes? On US shores making the US billions per year.
    Cartoon Brew. On US shores, not pirating.

    Sadly though, it’s California people pushing this stuff, and Boxer, Feinstein and Pelosi are for it, and they are quite happy ignoring the will of the people. Wish my complaints would help, but they never have before.

    • Bud

      It’s not the “government.” It’s the lobbyists who line the pocket of the people we elected to Congress that want to do this. In other words, US.

      And WE can undo it. Occupy the Internet and JUST SAY NO!

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ J.K. Riki

    The problem I see with this, and EVERY video I’ve seen on the subject, lies in the words at marker 1:04.

    The quote:

    “But in all likelyhood”

    I’m not for SOPA. I AM certainly for procedures to reduce and eliminate piracy. I think it (these bills) does some things right, and some things wrong. However the quote above NEEDS to be recognized for what it means:

    “This is what WE ASSUME will happen.”

    NONE of these laws do the things claimed by videos like this. None of them. They COULD do those things, but this “in all likelyhood” stuff really needs to stop being paraded around like it’s a fact. If anything, be angry with the people who would misuse such laws. They’re the ones to fight, not the laws themselves which DON’T actually do what, to so many “is so likely” to happen.

    “Assuming” only makes an… Well, you know the saying.

    So what is the solution? I don’t know, protesters, what IS the solution? Ignore piracy? That doesn’t seem like a solution to me. Yet that is the only alternative I’ve seen presented.

    So you’re against SOPA. What are you FOR? What would fight piracy and also get your support? Without offering a better solution, protesting is just a lot of noise. It’s a two way street. Don’t just say “This isn’t good enough.” Include “Here is something better.”

    • Recent Grad

      It’s like they said in the video – The current anti-piracy laws have already been abused pretty grossly. Why would we want to risk the internet, a hugely important resource, to corporations that could sue sites like facebook and youtube for gobs of money? There is profit in abusing these laws, so it will happen.

    • Zac.

      Verbiage is a very important part of what a law is. You’ve never heard of a murderer getting off on a ‘technicality’? Or corporate tax fraud? It’s because of the way a law is written that loopholes like these exist. People just want to protect their rights.

      These assumptions that people are making are based on how loosely this law is written. I think it’s important to be aware of just how far the letter of this law COULD be taken. It’s a complicated issue, and just because I don’t have an alternative to this idea, doesn’t mean I’m not going to complain and disagree with it.

      [puts away soapbox]

  • Matt Sullivan

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “We reserve the right to edit or delete comments at our sole discretion.” Trying to troll our readers is a good example of when we use our discretion.]

  • Bevin Carnes

    I don’t have time to go into detail right now because I’m at work, but you guys are actually mistaken about this bill. Big corporations that benefit from advertising on stolen content have started all of these rumors about what will happen if SOPA passes, but practically all of them are partially or completely untrue.

    There is far more money behind the cause of supporting online piracy than there is behind supporting independent creators who need piracy to be stopped, because the ad revenue for companies like Google (whose AdSense rakes in the dough from pirate sites) is huge, and therefore they can support a major ad campaign against something like SOPA. Whereas independent creators like me who have no money and no time can do nothing to stop them. I had intended to create an animated piece explaining the truth about SOPA, but due to not being able to find funding or time, I was unable to. I’m sure the video posted here was well-funded by someone who makes their living off of pirating the work that myself and others slave to create. And this video is completely filled with speculation of all kind of things, many of which couldn’t possibly result from SOPA being passed.

    I have to get back to work now, but I hope to add more to this discussion later.

    • me

      I can’t figure out who funded this video but the EFF supports “fight for the future” group that made it and that’s enough for me to support it. The EFF has done a lot of good things and they have a lot of smart people working there.

      Make your video, do it with 3×5 cards and a pencil. I’d love to hear the counter argument, so far I have not heard anything convincing to support SOPA. This one is pretty convincing and it couldn’t have cost that much to produce: http://s3.amazonaws.com/theoatmeal-img/comics/sopa/sopa.gif

      The fact is that if SOPA passes the Cartoon Brew will probably go away. They post a lot of video and cometary here, I don’t see how they can keep doing that if they are open to lawsuit.

    • http://xxchels922xx.deviantart.com/ ctrayn

      @Bevin: Most- almost all- works that are pirated are from the big studios, labels, and publishers. A pirate is way more likely to distribute copies of Toy Story 3 than an independent short film and the like. The whole point of the pirate sites hosting big-name movies is to bring traffic there…thereby making money on ad revenue (or giving the computers of the people downloading the movies a trojan). An indie piece that no one’s heard of isn’t going to draw people to the site, so unless you’re working on a blockbuster piracy has very little effect on you.

      And if you really want to make a pro-SOPA film, then what’s stopping you? You have Flash and Photoshop I assume…combine that with iMovie or Windows MM and you’ve got all the tools you need to make a message that can go viral. Ryan Higa reaches out to more YouTube users than anyone else in the world, and he doesn’t have a million-dollar marketing department either. Hell, all he has is a camcorder. Maybe if you spent less time worrying over pirates that have nothing to do with you, you’d have noticed the paradigm shift that’s happening in our culture. You don’t *need* a major ad campaign anymore, and you don’t need big budgets.

      SOPA is not and never was meant to protect indie filmmakers. All it is is a way for the Entertainment industry giants to rage quit before the internet generation can win in the showdown for viewers’ attention. The big guys are the ones in the red because of piracy, a hole they dug themselves when they jacked up ticket prices to the point where a family of four has to pay $70 to see Tangled. Not to mention the fact that they were the ones endorsing and distributing the actual file-sharing software to begin with. http://bit.ly/twZb0a

      SOPA and PIPA are bills endorsed by old, rich men hanging on to old, flawed ways. It’s a last ditch effort to nip the next generation in the bud. It will not protect you, and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

      • Bevin Carnes

        What’s stopping me is that I’m working the clock around trying to make a living as a filmmaker (which is extremely difficult, you should try it sometime), and don’t have time to do something that can’t help me earn my living right now. Especially something that shouldn’t be necessary, because everyone who’s opposing this bill should just read the bill and discover the truth about it. I don’t have any further time to discuss this, but I just wanted to voice my extreme disappointment that Cartoon Brew would take a stand against a bill that would help artists, animators, and filmmakers.

        I know Jerry personally, and wish he would’ve read the bill before allowing this to be posted.

        I’m an IATSE member, and here’s what IATSE and the other Hollywood guilds had to say about this bill and the opposition to it. It sums it up as well as I ever could:

        “We are well aware that opposition voices, funded and encouraged by a few enormous Internet companies like Google that stand to lose billions in illicit profit (as shown by Google’s willingness to pay a $500 million fine for knowingly placing ads on illegal pharmaceutical sites), if the bills are allowed to become law, have grown louder and shriller in an effort to sway public opinion and derail the political process. They have successfully diverted support from the bills by blanketing the Internet with mistruths and lies and using fear tactics and blacklists to overwhelm and intimidate those who should stand up for protecting American creativity and American workers. In some instances, they have even kept our voice off the Internet in an effort to stall any who don’t agree with them.”

        “The PROTECT IP Act does nothing more than make it possible for the U.S. government to handle illegal foreign websites in the same manner it can already do — and has been doing — with illegal U.S. sites. It has no impact on all the legal U.S. sites that people are being told will disappear under the PROTECT IP Act, nor will it keep American citizens from the Internet they know and depend on.”

      • Bevin Carnes

        All of this is dead wrong and I’m really offended, but don’t have proper time to respond. All I’ll leave you with is Ellen Seidler’s story- and indie filmmaker who, like many others, has been robbed by the big corporations who support piracy:

        http://popuppirates.com/

        We’re the little guys. They have all the ad dollars in the world to attack us and we don’t have the money or the time to respond. They’ve paid big bucks to make sure that we’re portrayed as “rich old men” but I’m a 27-year-old woman trying to make it in the world of independent film. It isn’t a billion-dollar business for me, it’s a passion. You really think one person can stand up against a multi-million dollar ad campaign like they launched yesterday? Think again. My voice is barely heard and they have the power to keep it that way. But I won’t quit trying, because I love making films and can’t stop, so I’m stuck dealing with them.

    • http://robertkohr.com Rob K.

      @ Bevin, I am also at work on lunch so I will keep this brief. I agree that piracy needs to be stopped but PIPA and SOPA are not the way. Try looking into the OpenAct its more sane.

      The issue with SOPA and PIPA is multifold fold. It will allow law enforcement to shut down a site with no due process and without informing the site owner. It also allows US law enforcement to shut down sites that are not in the US are that are outside of US jurisdiction. Also it makes the service provider liable for the content, meaning a site like facebook will need to be monitored for copyrighted material by facebook. Considering its a free ad support service trolling the some 800 million active users this will prove daunting. Also its very difficult to determine what is and isn’t a violation as a lot of things still fall under fair use.

  • http://www.ghiblicon.blogspot.com Daniel Thomas MacInnes

    I’m glad to see Cartoon Brew standing up for a free internet. And you’re absolutely right – our websites will be shut down, either by a fearful ISP, an overzealous government, or vengeful corporations.

    Oh, and did you see Rupert Murdoch declaring Google to be pirates on Twitter today? Tell me he wouldn’t use his power to destroy Google. Now see that magnified across Hollywood and the music industry, and it’s a recipe for chaos. This is a disastrous bill, written by old men who are laughably clueless.

    Everyone needs to do their part. Stand up! The freedom of the internet is under assault. “Piracy” is a red herring, a fraudulent scam. Remember “Weapons of Mass Destruction”? Yeah, pretty much like that.

    Kudos again to Cartoon Brew. Don’t give up the fight!

  • ctrayn

    I’m so happy that you guys are opposing SOPA as well! Excellent. Thanks for sharing this video too. A lot of my fellow animation students are oblivious to the danger of the bill, so hopefully this’ll be an eye-opener for them.