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While I understand your sentiments towards SOPA, are you really going to distance yourself from all of these companies?

http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rouge%20Websites/SOPA%20Su...




Actually that's exactly what I thought when I saw the list yesterday. Several of those companies send people to Demo Day, and when I saw the list I thought: we should stop inviting them. So yes, we'll remove anyone from those companies from the Demo Day invite list.


Ok, awesome! Glad to see that much commitment.


pg - this is bad ass. Way to put your money where your mouth is.


Awesome. More people with influence should (be brave enough to) take their part of action if they think something sucks!


Are you guys going to stop using Mastercard, VISA, and no idea who your internet provider is but if its Comcast, them too?

I did another thread on here regarding this as well and I'm curious how far people are willing to go to prove a point or are they only singling out whatever makes sense. The above three have some strong strong monopolies or close to it so it makes things much harder. GoDaddy just happens to be one of the easy ones people can choose to switch from.


I don't speak for everyone but personally, I'm not against all companies that are pro-SOPA, just the Internet firms who I think should know better. As for others like the music or motion picture industries, I understand and respect their support for SOPA.


lets not forget that GoDaddy's owner is US private equity group KKR. All of KKR's tech portfolio companies should also be banned (if applicable).

http://kkr.com/partners/portfolio-partners.php


Wow that was an interesting list...

I had only heard of 5 of those companies, but this one stood out. Tasc.com

Checkout one of their services:

Cyberwarrior training

http://www.tasc.com/capabilities/cyberwarrior_training/

"Cyber security requirements have changed: hackers have started working full time for criminal syndicates; spammers and adware/spyware developers are now using the same code as worm writers; and organizations are increasingly on the front page news for losing customer data. You need to protect your information now.

The sheer complexity of the Internet makes it difficult to understand and defend against attacks. You may be unaware of vulnerabilities that affect your network.

Modern day computer systems, comprised of millions of lines of software code, are wrought with bugs and exploitable weaknesses. Education is your best defense. While understanding how computers and networks operate is important, to defend your network from attack you need to understand how attackers exploit weakness in your system.

TASC is a leader in IT security for the U.S. Government, Intelligence Agencies, and the Department of Defense. TASC offers the CyberWarrior Course Series to teach you about the latest computer network threats, tactics, defensive measures, and certification and accreditation processes.

The CyberWarrior Course Series will give you the skills you need to ensure you are practic"

While the brochure makes it sound like standard netsec training... I find the wording of a "Cyberwarrior Training" program to be... surreal. Further, I think it is pretty sick to market such services to a government that clearly is clueless about the internet in general. (not the defense industries - the political arms of the government)

The reason is that it is probably easy to market this service to politicians who want to appear savvy:

"Look, we need more cyberwarriors on the net - we need to block the firewalls of the cyber criminals. This is the next fronteir in protecting our nation!" --- *For the low cost of $150,000 per cyber warrior. No guarantees apply. Check you state for local restrictions.


I don't understand how it's "sick" to market a training program at people who are "clueless".


I am talking about marketing the program to congress/political figures in charge of funding for the training.

THey would not be the ones taking the training - but the ones spending tax dollars on a service they really don't understand - thus the likelihood for abuse is higher.

I err on the side of corruption when anything pertaining to governments is concerned. Call me paranoid.


Paranoid is not the word that comes to mind.


I think you are misreading my intent.


Why? The KKR portfolio is independent companies with independent political standpoints...


YC is an investor and has a standpoint. YC is promoting anti-SOPA support outwards and towards its (independent) portfolio companies. KKR is also an investor and also has a standpoint.


But its not KKR listet on the pro SOPA list its one, and only one of there portefolie companies. KKR are not (in the same way as YC isent) responsible for its portefolies standpoints.


They are not legally liable, which is different from being responsible. Imagine if one of their portfolio companies was a child porn distributor. You wouldn't defend KKR, because clearly they have some choice in who they put in their portfolio, and a child porn distributor is an immoral choice. Holding a SOPA supporting company is also a (albeit less egregious) poor choice. Taking away invites of their portfolio companies provides motivation for them to look into this sort of thing when choosing companies in the future.


They're an enabler. You punish them the same to inspire them to push pressure downward on everyone they work with.

Remember when Glenn Beck was still on Fox and people were crying continuously? Nothing worked until they started boycotting the companies advertising for him.


I'm talking to my Congressman on the phone right now. What do you think should be altered so the bill can achieve its original purpose? Or will nothing help?


I think it's very hard to make anything help. Here's a shortlist of things that should be fixed to avoid it horribly hurting innocent people, but I doubt it's enough - there seems likely to be more things in there. The original purpose of the law seems to be "Give the 'intellectual property' industries a blunt instrument to attack perceived violators", so making it less blunt probably violate the original purpose anyway.

Stop removing DNS entries; that's attempting to censor things that aren't in the US for non-US citizens.

Require a full court proceeding to stop advertisements and payment processing in the US - ie, no "court order", it has to be a full lawsuit with the ability to defend.

Require the removal of access to only affect a specific, listed set of companies.

Require the company requesting the blocking to pay reasonable costs of blocking.

Remove the making of copyright infringement into a felony; each of these things can easily happen by mistake.


You could try saying "nothing". Hollywood is actually doing quite alright, piracy or not.

Alternatively, you could suggest Ron Wyden's OPEN bill. OPEN nixes the the DNS filtering, but keeps some of the follow-the-money measures in SOPA. More importantly, it also requires a full court hearing before any action can be taken.


Is Amex the only card association (well, sort of) left? Visa and Mastercard both are on the list.


Remember their take on Wikileaks? No surprise. Use cash.


Actually it looks like Visa and MC were some of the most reasonable in the hearings -- they said there would be lots of costs to comply, and while they didn't support visa/mc being used for any illegal activity, ...


Discover


pg, thank you so much for doing this. Quite a ballsy move, and highly respectable.


I'm sure you've seen the list of supporters (http://1.usa.gov/t7Wpo8). Even the list itself is a half-assed job by pro-SOPAs to illustrate Congressional support for the bill.

Unless, of course, the fragrance company Coty Inc has been seeing a lot of their fragrances being pirated online.


Even though the national/local press does not follow this very closely in Europe, we are making as much effort as possible to bring it to everyone's attention in order to stimulate participation along the same lines as yours. where possible I/we shall boycott over here also.


Paul - you've always been one of my heroes - this takes a lot of intestinal fortitude - I salute you!


Just wondering here -- would you go so far as to consider the domain registrars of YC hopefuls when going through the application process, or would their choice hold essentially zero weight in whether they get accepted or not?


I doubt it'll become a topic of conversation what your registrar is..but if it does happen to come up and you happen to say GoDaddy, judging from pg's post above the answer is probably yes, he will hold it against you :)

Funding a company that supports a company that supports SOPA is just one step away from supporting a company that supports SOPA...which in turn is just one step away from supporting SOPA. Scary, isn't it?


Thanks pg ! This is the kind of effort that make a difference.


This is Awesome.


+1


Yes, no problem. F*ck every last one of those companies. The only two that I still have no real choice but to support would be Comcast because of my local ISP monopoly (I can get 512K DSL from SBC [ATT] or 100mbit Comcast...not really what I'd call a "choice") and MasterCard because my credit union does not offer debit cards via AmEx.


I'm sure going to try.

I only have dealings with GoDaddy and Comcast; and while I can't get away from Comcast, I'm going to do my damnedest to get away from GoDaddy.


That list would be a whole lot shorter if you removed the names of Law Firms. Why are they even on there? And the Congressional Fire Service supports SOPA? That's "stretching it" for supporters.


SOPA encourages litigation -- of course the law firms would be salivating for it.


It's good to be distanced from this kind of crowd ;)


Yes, but I was rather inquiring about whether it was even possible to do so. That list is huge and most likely growing. One of the companies on the list is McGraw-Hill Education. I have to use their products at my school - how do I get around that?


It doesn't really matter which textbook manufacturer you get your books from. They are all morally bankrupt institutions. The entire textbook industry is a scam.

I love how you can pick nearly any topic in almost any subject(especially computer science) and find an amazing book for free, or for about $60, yet every textbook my school uses gets < 2 stars on amazon and costs $150.

My "favorite" was a biology book written by a guy with a B.S. in journalism. He published the book years ago and every year he releases a new edition with the chapters out of order.


Buy used textbooks whenever possible. If you're stuck in one of those situations where there's a new edition every year, make sure to ask the instructor if you can use the previous edition.


> I have to use their products at my school - how do I get around that?

Be a proud pirate.


Both MasterCard and VISA are there. What to do? :(


Discover? I've been a happy customer of theirs since the 90s, and their coverage has gotten near total within the US. Sparser in other countries, though.


No Discover or Amex in my country, unfortunately.

(Edit: found a bank that offers Amex, but there's no debit corporate cards, plus I'm not allowed to get a credit card here because I'm not a citizen).

Ah, duopoly.


I am planning on using my Amex everywhere they take it. I know they're not non-evil with their commissions, but I'm picking from what we have.


On the customer service end, I've found Amex to be leagues above the other two. Speaking from my 2 cents.


Use cash as much as possible and use wire transfer for online payments whenever you can.


With my credit union in California, wire transfers are $20 + 2-3 business days. This is cost prohibitive. Western Union is similarly pricey. Dwolla is an interesting competitor ($3/mo for unlimited instant transfers), but it needs wider adoption before it can be used directly.


In Sweden wire transfers within Sweden[1] generally do not have a per transaction cost and most utility bills are paid through wire transfer. Recently many online stores have started allowing purchase with invoice (many use a company called Klarna[2] which handles the sending of invoices and the risks) which you then have to pay through wire transfer.

1. I think it is usually free to all EU countries too as long as you use IBAN.

2. https://klarna.com/en/business


You guys should look at Dwolla http://www.dwolla.com


BitCoin


Spend less.


How is this relevant? I don't spend much, and use cash in real life. But I need a card for online purchases for my business (hosting, etc.) and for access to my bank accounts in a different country. Maybe I can replace most of it with wire transfer, but Amazon, Rackspace, etc. won't accept it.


You can give Amazon direct access to your checking account: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1...


Thanks. It's ACH-enabled U.S. checking account only, so won't work for me, but maybe others will find this useful.


It's a compromise. If VISA and MC bother you in this context, use them less. You can't practically eliminate them, but you can, if you choose, reduce their use.


Hmm. last.fm's parent corp. CBS is on that list. I wonder what those guys think of the bill.


They already pay the licencing fees to the respective music labels, so if SOPA gets passed they'll be one of the few legal music streaming sites remaining. If SOPA is used to full effect then it's plausible they could get a larger market share.


What are the incentives for Visa and Mastercard to support SOPA?


Online media purchases incur a lot of Visa and Mastercard transactions.


I suspect one reason is that they get process a lot of chargebacks when people's fake Viagra and counterfeit NFL jerseys get seized by Customs before delivery.


Except they make out like bandits in that case. Hefty fees to the merchant, jacked up transaction fees...


The one I found most perplexing was Tiffany & Co.


Tiffany and other luxury brands believe SOPA will reduce counterfeiting websites.


So glad I'm only seeing Marvel Comics and not DC. I don't think I could give up my Vertigo graphic novels.


DC is part of Warner Bros. which is part of Time Warner, which is on the list.




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