MegaGear Intervention Con MegaGear
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Intervention Con

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< Piro >

Oh, Marmalade Boy on VHS...

"Con Ja Nai and Old VHS tapes"

Saturday - February 4, 2012

[Piro] - 11:31:38 - [link here]

If you are a student at or live near University of Michigan, I'll attending Animania's Con Ja Nai as a guest next weekend on February 11, 2012. Crispin Freeman is also a guest - i haven't seen Crispin since we were both guests at Anime Expo Tokyo years ago. ^^;;

The first panel i'm doing is a Megatokyo panel at 5pm in MLB First Floor, Lecture Room 1. It'll be a pretty casual discussion about MT and other related stuff. I promise not to rant about Angel Beats this Year. No, really.

The second panel i'm doing is something new, not even really sure how it will go, but i figure it could be interesting. It's called "By Mail and Fourth Gen: Anime Before Digital Subs" and it is at 7pm in the same location. Basically, i am going to bring in what is left of Anime collection from when i first got into anime in the 90s - which means lots of VHS tapes. I'll go over what my experience of the struggles and challenges anime fans faced before digital downloads and torrents and stuff. Next time you feel like grumbling over the lack of a 1280p version of something, i'll show you what '4th gen copy that you were glad to get' means. :) I might even be able to show a little of one of the Fansub i myself had a part in, years ago...

< Kalium >

More details on the text of the bills here

"Black Bars"

Wednesday - January 18, 2012

[Kalium] - 11:08:07 - [link here]

In case anyone missed the memo, today is January 18th. That makes today SOPA Blackout Day. SOPA - the "Stop Online Piracy Act" - is HR3261. It's what happens when the MPAA and RIAA write the legislation they think will save them from piracy. In this case, it involves internet censorship and placing a heavy burden on site owners to police what their users post. I won't go into details here, but lots of other people can and have on other sites. The point is this: censorship bad.

As an anime and manga fan, the crusade against piracy puts me - us - in a bit of an awkward spot. Ours is a culture that thrives on piracy. On the one hand, we want to support the people who create what we love. On the other hand, we're not always willing to wait and find out if the stuff we want to watch now will be picked up and translated. So piracy is often the answer. In that sense, we're part of the problem. We pirate wildly, and many of us have few compunctions about pirating things that we do have legitimate ways to get.

Maybe Gabe Newell's right. Maybe piracy is a service problem. I've drifted far afield, though. Point is, we as a subculture are in no position to wax self-righteous about piracy. It is, after all, a big chunk of what unites us. We're pirates. Yarr.

The reason so many people are upset over SOPA isn't piracy. Broadly speaking, there is agreement that piracy needs to be fought. The issue is how. SOPA and it's close cousin PIPA contain an array of tools that amount to censorship. The bills would empower the Attorney General in a way that would require the removal of links and search results and force companies to stop doing business with each other. Moreover, "qualified plaintiffs" would have most of those powers without judicial involvement. To rub salt in the wound, the sort of sites that would be subject to this legislation is very broad. Pretty much any site that allows users to submit content would fall under SOPA.

Also, the way they chose to go about it is technically clueless. Because it wasn't bad enough thus far, right? It sets up a system ripe for abuse. If the DMCA is any guide, enforcement of "under penalty of perjury" clauses will be impressively lax.

In theory, this stuff is intended to block piracy. In practice, it grants a few people the power of censoring entire domains for very flimsy reasons. I don't know about you, but I have remarkably little sympathy for would-be censors. I have even less for ones who want to break the internet.

Back off, chumps. You can't have it. It's ours.

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