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No SOPA Vote Until 2012 181

Posted by timothy
from the just-when-you-least-expect-it dept.
jfruhlinger writes "A victory, or a just a breather? The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has postponed further debate on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until after Congress' holiday break. At the urging of some SOPA opponents, Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and committee chairman, said Friday he will consider a hearing or a classified briefing on the bill's impact on cybersecurity." Update: 12/17 04:28 GMT by T : "Or not," as an anonymous reader comments below. "Despite the fact that Congress was supposed to be out of session until the end of January, the Judiciary Committee has just announced plans to come back to continue the markup this coming Wednesday. This is rather unusual and totally unnecessary. But it shows just how desperate Hollywood is to pass this bill as quickly as possible, before the momentum of opposition builds up even further."
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No SOPA Vote Until 2012

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  • by Jibekn (1975348) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:12PM (#38405204)
    This lets us get our shit together and oppose them properly.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:14PM (#38405222)

      Or alternatively, they're hoping that if they let it lie through the holidays, the furor will die down and they can pass it on a day during the Retardican primary votes when the media's too busy covering Rick Perry's latest stupid statement or Michele Bachmann's latest bigoted spew, moving the SOPA vote to page 8.

      • by tibman (623933) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:20PM (#38405284) Homepage

        page 8 might be moving up. Neither cnn, bbc, foxnews, google, abc, msnbc, reuters, usatoday, or npr mention sopa on their front page. The two that had sopa were yahoo and cnet.

      • by Moryath (553296) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:20PM (#38405286)

        I can't believe this got modded down already - the idea of trying to hold bad news for a day when the media won't be looking is a longstanding trend. West Wing even referred to the "friday trash day" theory, where the White House would let little stories they wanted buried in a rush on fridays, giving them a scant few column inches on a day when nobody pays attention to the news anyways, forgotten by Monday.

        I can completely believe that the SOPA pushers would try to schedule a vote for a day when "something else" has media attention.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:34PM (#38405996) Homepage Journal

          West Wing even referred to the "friday trash day" theory, where the White House would let little stories they wanted buried in a rush on fridays, giving them a scant few column inches on a day when nobody pays attention to the news anyways, forgotten by Monday.

          While I agree with your point, you want to be careful about putting forward as proof something said on a network TV drama, especially one that portrayed a White House staff as being an earnest and basically good-hearted gang who for the most part have the best interest of the country at heart and an American president who is willing to stand up to religious bullies and corporate lobbyists.

          It would be like saying that just because Captain Jack Harkness comes from the far future it is proof that time travel is possible.

          • It would be like saying that just because Captain Jack Harkness comes from the far future it is proof that time travel is possible.

            Torchwood is a lot more real than anything with the phrase "Federal oversight committee" in it. #justsayin

          • by Sulphur (1548251)

            It would be like saying that just because Captain Jack Harkness comes from the far future it is proof that time travel is possible.

            If we march into the far past, then can we say we came from the far future. Thus time travel is possible.

      • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:22PM (#38405300) Homepage
        Most likely, they will re-propose it under a new name, with some of the more outlandish clauses removed, and pass it with a super-majority. Basically, follow the original plan: ask for the universe, settle for the earth.
        • by dgatwood (11270) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:18PM (#38405670) Journal

          That's pretty much how Congress works, but not quite. In general, they propose something, then if people scream, they wait a while for the anger to die down, then pass almost exactly the same bad bill as soon as they think everyone who cares has stopped paying attention.... If we're lucky, the most outlandish clauses will have been removed, but there's certainly no guarantee....

          • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:33PM (#38405986)

            That's how it used to work, but Wisconsin taught them a valuable lesson. Propose something, and if people scream: fuck 'em, push it through anyway! They won't get to vote you out for months or years, by which time many of them will have given up on democracy, allowing you to win in a landslide.

            • by ianare (1132971)

              Why was this modded troll ? If you disagree with the viewpoint then grow a pair and comment.

            • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @11:01AM (#38408418)

              And then, when the people start to band together and unite to recall the governor and the rest of the filth following the rules of recall here in Wisconsin, well hell, let's just change the rules! Let's redraw the districts to be totally favorable to the Republican party and then sue to try and force the recalls to happen following the new districts! And if that doesn't disenfranchise enough people, let's pass a voter-ID law so that students can't vote (they're all dirty socialists anyway, amirite?) and not only that, but the elderly, gotta keep them from voting, too, since they're furious at Paul Ryan and the Republican plan to destroy Medicare. That laser focus on jobs, meanwhile Wisconsin has lost jobs for the last 5 months, Scott Walker says "no thanks" to a billion dollars in Federal Aid to beef up our rail infrastructure prompting that money to go to California instead (Here's an op-ed from the L.A. Times rubbing it in. [latimes.com])

              Living here in Wisconsin for the last 10 years, I never expected the depths to which politics would sink here in this state. Scott "dropped the bomb" all right, they're on a scorched-earth campaign. If there is civil war in this country, I fully expect Wisconsin will be where the opening shots ring out. Everyone is at each other's throats now.

              At least the Canadian border is close by. If the shit truly hits the fan, I'm throwing the family in the car, running north, and claiming refugee status.

          • by bky1701 (979071)
            But, by inserting parts they don't really want, and then removing them, they can pass the bill and end up being praised for their efforts at compromise and protecting the public... even though they sought to screw the public from the outset.
          • by trolman (648780) *
            This comment is 'right-on man.' Just look at Patriot. That act was in someone's back pocket ready to go.
      • We have a bitterly divided congress. There was two issues that both sides wanted (avoid government shutdown and keep payroll tax decrease) but they need to show their constituents that they are going to stand firm and not let the other side gets its way.
        SOPA isn't really a big name law outside the geek, so they just wanted to get the laws passed that will imeadeatly help their representive people.
      • by Chewbacon (797801) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:02AM (#38406516)

        Retardican primary votes when the media's too busy covering Rick Perry's latest stupid statement

        Right, cause bipartisan politics has done wonders for the countries so far. Cut that shit and get in the mindset of working with a diverse crowd to stop it. How about you look up why we have parties and see why they are no longer any good to us and only make the American people hate each other. Take any democrat and republican and you'll see they agree on something.

        • Take any democrat and republican and you'll see they agree on something.

          I think they agree on almost everything. Stay in power, and pay back the groups that bought you. The only difference between R and D is that only one side gets to cheat on the wife.

          • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @04:51AM (#38407350)
            I suspect part of the reason they constantly fight over gay marriage and abortion is that they don't actually affect many people. Unless you are gay or a woman with an unwanted pregnancy, it doesn't affect your life in the slightest if those things are legal - and yet they are still hugely divisive. That makes them great for some political showmanship. The two parties can be seen to be disagreeing and put on a great display of their opposition to each other, while colluding on much more important issues.
            • by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:21PM (#38408770) Homepage

              Unless you are gay or a woman with an unwanted pregnancy, it doesn't affect your life in the slightest if those things are legal ...

              Actually, it does, because odds are that you know somebody who's gay or had an unwanted pregnancy. You may not think you do, because there's still risks to announcing either of those, but it almost definitely affects you even if somewhat indirectly.

              What you're right about is that "(Christian) God, guns, and gays" is how many Republicans convince people to vote against their economic self-interest. And then once in office, they just help out their pals who are making large campaign donations.

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      I believe the saying goes "Soap Box, Ballot Box, Jury Box, Ammo Box". I'm fairly certain that we've exhausted both the Soap and Ballot boxes at this point. The Jury Box has not been run down entirely, but the way some of these judges are "interpreting" the law it's not looking good.

      The Occupy movement is essentially the Soap Box, but unless they get unified and start using the Jury and Ballot boxes they're not going to have an impact. We could have literally half the country in the streets and these politic

      • by Mex (191941)

        We could have literally half the country in the streets and these political cocksuckers wouldn't bat an eye. They might be a bit scared, but in the worst case scenario they'll fly away in a chopper surrounded by armed guards.

        This is funny to me because that's literally what happened in Mexico in the last Presidential election.

        Current mexican president Calderon won by a controversial advantage of a few hundred votes. The opposing candidate's supporters made a human blockade to stop him from swearing in as pr

  • Maybe not delayed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:15PM (#38405230)

    Or not. Despite the fact that Congress was supposed to be out of session until the end of January, the Judiciary Committee has just announced plans to come back to continue the markup this coming Wednesday. This is rather unusual and totally unnecessary. But it shows just how desperate Hollywood is to pass this bill as quickly as possible, before the momentum of opposition builds up even further.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111216/11102617108/sopa-markup-runs-out-time-likely-delayed-until-2012.shtml

    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:28PM (#38405358) Homepage Journal

      Or not. Despite the fact that Congress was supposed to be out of session until the end of January, the Judiciary Committee has just announced plans to come back to continue the markup this coming Wednesday. This is rather unusual and totally unnecessary. But it shows just how desperate Hollywood is to pass this bill as quickly as possible, before the momentum of opposition builds up even further.

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111216/11102617108/sopa-markup-runs-out-time-likely-delayed-until-2012.shtml

      Thanks to the old Hollywood westerns I had a mental picture of a stagecoach driver, whipping several representatives in harness and crying, "Yah! Git a move on! Giddap! Yah!" as the coach is pulled rapidly along a dusty trail, past sagebrush and cacti.

      I'm sure it takes less whipping and more money, the the effect is the same.

      • by identity0 (77976)

        I'm curious, how do they get this shit done?

        I mean, obviously Hollywood/IP industries have a lot of money, but we do actually have very transparent means of seeing who gets campaign contributions from where.

        How are they pulling the strings or giving the money?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Money is considered free speech in the US.

          • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:54PM (#38406102)

            Money is considered free speech in the US.

            True, and a serious problem with politics in the US today. But what's really baffling is that the Web industry (Google/Facebook/etc), which stands to lose the most from this law, has far more money than the MAFIAA. Google alone could literally buy the entire recording industry without even feeling the pinch. Are the tech companies just really bad at lobbying? Why is the MAFIAA so well connected and able to punch so far above their weight?

        • Re:Maybe not delayed (Score:5, Informative)

          by mbone (558574) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:36PM (#38405768)

          but we do actually have very transparent means of seeing who gets campaign contributions from where.

          No, we don't. Search on "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission."

        • Re:Maybe not delayed (Score:5, Informative)

          by Mr. Shotgun (832121) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:45PM (#38406056)

          I'm curious, how do they get this shit done? I mean, obviously Hollywood/IP industries have a lot of money, but we do actually have very transparent means of seeing who gets campaign contributions from where. How are they pulling the strings or giving the money?

          Kinda like this [colbertnation.com].

          • by danomac (1032160)

            "This content is unavailable from your location."

            And they wonder why people download shit? Sheesh.

    • by mbone (558574)

      Yes, that is what I heard too. I don't know what the rules are here. Maybe they will call Congress back into session for an hour (the Republicans have been doing that in the Senate a lot to avoid recess appointments).

  • OR NOT...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:15PM (#38405232)

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111216/11102617108/sopa-markup-runs-out-time-likely-delayed-until-2012.shtml

    Update.... Or not. Despite the fact that Congress was supposed to be out of session until the end of January, the Judiciary Committee has just announced plans to come back to continue the markup this coming Wednesday. This is rather unusual and totally unnecessary. But it shows just how desperate Hollywood is to pass this bill as quickly as possible, before the momentum of opposition builds up even further.

    • A sure sign that the bill should be nuked.

      On an off-note, does anyone knows how many Senators and Representatives have teenage children / grandchildren? And of those, how many own an iPod or some other media device? Since >95% of the younger population is engaged in some form of copyright violation... It would be quietly entertaining to see the Legislators catch their own offspring in the crossfire. And for the price of those fines, bad publicity, and court costs, which for copyright violations could be

      • Re:OR NOT...? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:48PM (#38406070)
        I'm sure the MAFIAA has a VIP list of people who aren't to be threatened or sued, and that this list includes the family members of Reps and Senators.
        • by cjb658 (1235986) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:58PM (#38406120) Journal

          Is Ron Paul on that list?

        • As a number of Judges recently found out, lists like that aren't always kept up to date, and the people involved won't necessarily care that they're going after a VIP's son / daughter / grandson / granddaughter.

          There will be "friendly-fire" at some point. So, the Legislators in question have to make a decision: do they roll the dice, and hope that when the friendly fire does happen, it won't be one of their family / friends who get hit, or do they take the safe approach, which while not as fiscally enticing

          • For a congressman or senator? One phone call to their lobbyist friends to ask a favor, and the suit will be dropped or settled out of court for an undisclosed token few dollars. That extends to anyone close to them too.
            • Yes. And favors can be expensive. Which is kind of the point.

              Owe too many people one too many favors, and suddenly you're adopting positions completely contrary to your election platform. You can see the effect it has on the current Congress, where members of the populace have argued that Congressmen should sport jackets (ala Nascar) with patches indicating their various 'sponsors'.

               

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:18PM (#38405260)
    Translation:
    We're catching a lot of shit about this, and so we've told our campaign sponsors we have to table this until after the election. Once the election is over, we'll ram it down their throats, promise.

    xoxoxo,
    Your Elected Officials.
    • by Meshach (578918)
      Déjà vu of the Keystone XL pipeline
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      We'll just have to vote them all out first.
    • by mbone (558574)

      The election is almost a year off. This bill is dead, unless they do something really sneaky Wednesday.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hrtserpent6 (806666)
      Do all of you clamoring about a "midnight vote" realize that this bill is still in committee? Even if the House Judiciary Committee passes it, it still has to pass both houses, the reconciliation process, and withstand a veto to become law.

      I agree that the best time to strangle and bury this monster is before it leaves committee and becomes a soundbite issue that can be made law in the dead of night, but this isn't quite over yet.

      --
      Oppose SOPA, PROTECT-IP, and other anti-Internet freedom legislation
      ht [demandprogress.org]
  • Sign the petition (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kongming (448396) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:20PM (#38405280)

    If you care about this issue and are a US citizen, then I strongly urge you to sign the a petition relating to the matter or start and promote a new one. The existing petition only has 2 days left. You can find it at:

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/amend-constitution-making-internet-unalienable-right/YJ3fXQcm [whitehouse.gov]

    It might not fix the problem by itself, but it does get us a response and also gives the White House an idea of how many people are opposed to it.

    As an aside, signing petitions at whitehouse.gov takes much less than voting and (given the 25,000 signature threshold) may actually have more of an impact than voting. I strongly urge you to do so.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:42PM (#38405462)

      I dislike SOPA with the burning fire of a thousand suns.

      But amending the Constitution to claim the "internet is an unalienable right" strikes me as a really bad idea, and very vague.

      Amusingly it would also seem to prevent Network Neutrality, which I would be in favor of - but again I think amending the constitution is a bad way to go about this, and pretty certainly requires way more votes than is possible to make happen.

      Far better than signing this petition, call or write your house members and let them know you DO NOT WANT SOPA in any form. Not a "fixed" up bill. Nothing.

      • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:37PM (#38406012)

        call or write your house members and let them know you DO NOT WANT SOPA in any form.

        A thousand times this. For partisan bills, this won't work... Republicans will never agree to anything proposed by Obama no matter how much the people they supposedly represent beg. But for something like SOPA, it's not so much a partisan issue. If you call, they WILL listen. Sadly, most people don't bother, so they think we don't really care, and vote the way that gets them paid. But if enough people let them know that we DO care, most of them will listen.

  • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:20PM (#38405282) Homepage
    The issue here is threefold. First, that money is allowed to influence politics. As long as that is true, those without money lose - and lose constantly. Second, the idea that ideas can be property. Creating artificial forms of property has repeatedly proven to widen wealth disparity and harm society at large. The very idea of property is a problem, but physical property is a necessary evil. "Intellectual property" is not. We need to not be creating and extending this "intellectual property," but rather we need to be rolling it back or abolishing it. Third, that censorship is seen as a reasonable way to deal with people in other countries doing things that are illegal here. We all criticized China and Iran for censoring communications which were illegal in their countries; why is it suddenly alright when it is for the sake of American profit? Because it is not, and if you believe so, it is only because you either stand to profit from said censorship, or are a fool being misled by those who do.
    • by jamesh (87723) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:04PM (#38405888)

      Second, the idea that ideas can be property.

      I take issue with this point and find it frustrating that people muddy the water with this idea. If you just spent 2 million dollars of your own and investors money making a movie, the idea that you'd then let people just take it for free would seem ridiculous to you too. A movie or a song isn't just 'an idea', it represents (potentially) a lot of hard work and a lot of money. I don't get why it's so hard to understand that downloading a movie you didn't pay for is pretty much the same as walking out of a video store with a movie you didn't pay for. The physical medium is unimportant, it's the content that matters here. If you want to enjoy it, at least have the decency to pay for it. If nobody paid for the hard work of others then the world would be a much worse place.

      Patents, which are these days literally just ideas, are a whole different matter so don't confuse them with copyright infringement.

      The very idea of property is a problem, but physical property is a necessary evil

      I don't see why. It's much better than the alternative. Denouncing property just seems like an excuse for lazy and greedy people to take whatever they want and not have to pay for it, while still appearing to be "cool" about it.

      Third, that censorship is seen as a reasonable way to deal with people in other countries doing things that are illegal here

      And this is the problem. Taking something that you haven't paid for when you should have paid for it is wrong, but so far nobody has come up with a reasonable way to enforce it that doesn't unnecessarily and harshly infringe on the rights of the general population. DRM just made it harder for the people who legitimately paid for the product. Any attempt at tracking down perpetrators and taking them through the court system just seems like a huge waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere. I guess the recording industry is just going to have to suck it up and rely on the honesty of the public, because just about everything else is doomed to failure.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:48PM (#38406074)

        If you just spent 2 million dollars of your own and investors money making a movie, the idea that you'd then let people just take it for free would seem ridiculous to you too. A movie or a song isn't just 'an idea', it represents (potentially) a lot of hard work and a lot of money.

        Your desire for profits DOES NOT justify why those "ideas" should be arbitrarily declared "property" and have government-enforced, rights-infringing monopolies slapped on them. If you can't figure out a way to make money without resorting to censorship, then you shouldn't be spending investors' money and you shouldn't even be in business! It's simply not the government's job to provide you with a business model and censorship powers, period.

        • by jamesh (87723) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:56PM (#38406478)

          If you just spent 2 million dollars of your own and investors money making a movie, the idea that you'd then let people just take it for free would seem ridiculous to you too. A movie or a song isn't just 'an idea', it represents (potentially) a lot of hard work and a lot of money.

          Your desire for profits DOES NOT justify why those "ideas" should be arbitrarily declared "property" and have government-enforced, rights-infringing monopolies slapped on them.

          It's not just an idea though. It's a body of work. Just because you've figured out a way to duplicate it with no cost to yourself doesn't magically take away its designation of "property".

          If you can't figure out a way to make money without resorting to censorship, then you shouldn't be spending investors' money and you shouldn't even be in business! It's simply not the government's job to provide you with a business model and censorship powers, period.

          Well... I think we obviously agree that censorship is never the right solution, and I doubt a good solution exists, but if a profit can't be made from making movies, then no movies will be made, and that would be sad.

          Somewhere along the way people decided that because they can take something then it's right to take it, and they'll fight tooth and nail to stop anyone who dares interrupt their free ride. Yes I agree that pretty much every solution the government has come up with to stop copyright infringement is beyond stupid, but that doesn't mean that you should feel good about taking something you didn't pay for.

          • then no movies will be made

            I doubt that. I think there would most likely be less movies. But no movies? I think people will always make things just because they can.

            Somewhere along the way people decided that because they can take something then it's right to take it

            Or, in this case, "copy."

            and they'll fight tooth and nail to stop anyone who dares interrupt their free ride.

            This sounds almost like the idea that all people who support copyright are "corporate shills." It sounds like a generalization of the opposition.

            but that doesn't mean that you should feel good about taking something you didn't pay for.

            And there's nothing to suggest that people shouldn't feel good. About "copying" or "taking." It's a matter of opinion.

          • by mbone (558574)

            It's not just an idea though. It's a body of work. Just because you've figured out a way to duplicate it with no cost to yourself doesn't magically take away its designation of "property".

            It never had it to begin with. Seriously. Copyright is a temporary monopoly, not real property.

            The people, through their representatives, a relatively short time ago gave creators of content temporary monopolies to encourage them to create and share such content with the public. Now, the people have clearly taken some of t

      • by bky1701 (979071) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:55PM (#38406112) Homepage

        I don't get why it's so hard to understand that downloading a movie you didn't pay for is pretty much the same as walking out of a video store with a movie you didn't pay for.

        Because it isn't really, unless you're trying to make a false equivalency to create an argument to stand in for a real one in favor of controlling information for profit.

        The store purchased the copy of the movie (a bit of a simplification, but that's what it works out to). Stealing the movie means the studio profits and the store loses an equal amount. Money changed hands, and the store lost: that is why stealing the movie is a crime against the store, not the studio.

        Piracy duplicates the movie. It does not remove anything from anyone along the line, other than a potential to make money. That is not the same as stealing, just as refusing to allow BMW to tattoo their logo on your forehead is not stealing from BMW. If it is right or not to pirate needs to be determined on the value of the idea of owning ideas, NOT on some made up analogy to theft. Trying to phrase the argument as such is dishonest and deceptive.

        Aside from that, I haven't really got time to respond to people who lie to improve their position. I am tired of hearing the same old rhetoric I have disproved hundreds of times, and I think your using it destroys your credibility to a point it isn't worth debating further. I will quote myself:

        ...if you believe so, it is only because you either stand to profit from said censorship, or are a fool being misled by those who do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jamesh (87723)

          I don't get why it's so hard to understand that downloading a movie you didn't pay for is pretty much the same as walking out of a video store with a movie you didn't pay for.

          Because it isn't really, unless you're trying to make a false equivalency to create an argument to stand in for a real one in favor of controlling information for profit.

          How is that different to you creating an argument where you get to profit (by not paying for something someone else created)?

          Piracy duplicates the movie. It does not remove anything from anyone along the line, other than a potential to make money. That is not the same as stealing, just as refusing to allow BMW to tattoo their logo on your forehead is not stealing from BMW. If it is right or not to pirate needs to be determined on the value of the idea of owning ideas, NOT on some made up analogy to theft. Trying to phrase the argument as such is dishonest and deceptive.

          Someone else created it. What gives you the right to decide that you can just take a copy?

          You can throw together all the arguments you like, but stop making the mistake of trying to get old world ideas of theft to apply to the new world. Just because it only exists as 1's and 0's doesn't make it yours to do with what you will. People say "theft" and "stealing" only because there isn't

          • Someone else created it. What gives you the right to decide that you can just take a copy?

            What gives you the right to do anything at all? The magical rights fairy? The law? If it's the latter, that can be changed.

            At some people in the future it will be possible to take something that someone else spent billions of dollars creating and clone it.

            That sounds like amazing technology. It's such a shame that it will probably be held back by people searching only for profit. It's not necessarily their fault alone. They do live in this capitalistic society with everyone else.

            is not a good thing to do

            Subjective.

          • by sjames (1099) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:28AM (#38406656) Homepage

            Someone else created it. What gives you the right to decide that you can just take a copy?

            But i don't TAKE a copy, I MAKE a copy. You subtly imply that I somehow deprive the copyright holder of something they once owned, but I do no such thing. They don't somehow end up with one less copy, they have exactly what they had before I made the copy.

            Infringing copyright may well be something, but that something is certainly a lesser crime than theft. It's outrageous that legally speaking, you're better off throwing a brick through the music store window and stealing a CD than you are just downloading a copy. That is especially true for a minor.

          • by gstrickler (920733) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @01:16AM (#38406826)

            People say "theft" and "stealing" only because there isn't a word for "duplicating without permission something someone else worked hard to make".

            Sure there is, Copyright infringement.

      • There aren't really that many people even on Slashdot that want to abolish copyright entirely, but you'll find a lot of people who think that it needs almost completly rewriting because it currently is written to heavily favor corporate profits over the public interest.

        Take the copyright term, for instance. For a work-for-hire, 95 years. Ninety-five years ago, films were silent. A computer was a person at a desk with a slide rule. Audio was recorded on wax cylinders. How is such a long term in the public i
      • This is an attitude I see a lot, and it troubles me.

        I'm not going to waste a lot of time typing a lot: hard work and/or money invested absolutely does not entitle you to "a lot of money." You are entitled only to the value people perceive in it.

        I could go outside and film myself stacking bricks to my cats meowing. Does that entitle me to a lot of money? But at the same time, if it was posted in the right place, it could get half a million hits on YouTube. How does that relate with the money I expected

        • by jamesh (87723)

          I'm not going to waste a lot of time typing a lot: hard work and/or money invested absolutely does not entitle you to "a lot of money." You are entitled only to the value people perceive in it.

          I never said it entitles you to a lot of money. It does entitle you to demand money for the work you produced though. If people value your work they'll pay for it.

          The decision should be "I think this is worth what the copyright holder is asking for it, i'll buy it", or "this isn't worth what the copyright holder is asking for it, i'll pass". What seems to happen though is "I like this but I don't want to spend money on it, so i'll make a copy of it. The artist can get their money from elsewhere.".

          I could go outside and film myself stacking bricks to my cats meowing. Does that entitle me to a lot of money? But at the same time, if it was posted in the right place, it could get half a million hits on YouTube. How does that relate with the money I expected to get? Since lots of people are watching it, I'm entitled to cash, right?

          I've never

  • by cultiv8 (1660093) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:21PM (#38405296) Homepage
    if(!control) { cyberthreat_danger_ZOMG() } else { SOPA() }
  • Not quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xelios (822510) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:26PM (#38405338)
    According to Issa's Twitter feed [twitter.com] the next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

    I just posted this in the other thread, but I'll go ahead and repost it here too, that way I can feel like I didn't waste my time on it. I actually watched most of the judiciary hearing yesterday and while I was probably in the middle of a stroke for most of it the parts I remember paint a pretty clear picture.

    On the one side you had a few (very few) congressmen/women, namely Mr. Issa, Mr. Polis, Mr. Chaffetz, Ms. Lofgren and Ms. Jackson. They spent the entire hearing pleading with the chairman and the rest of the committee to allow experts (nerds as they often said) to essentially come in and explain the internet to them, because it was obvious that 99% of the members of the committee had no idea what they were talking about. They made reasonable, logical arguments and put forth one amendment after the other trying to clarify some really vague areas of the bill, all of which were shot down by the rest of the committee usually by a vote of ~6 to 24.

    On the other side you had 5 or 6 members of the committee who also admitted several times that they had zero understanding of the technical aspects of the bill, but that the bill was awesome anyway. This group was mainly the chairman of the committee Mr. Smith, Mr. Berman, Mr. Watt, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Goodlatte and Ms. Waters. They made no arguments beyond "We have to do something. This is something. Therefor we should do this". Unlike the first group they didn't care that they were ignorant on the subject, they just wanted to get the damn thing passed. I doubt anyone here would be surprised to learn they all [opensecrets.org] received [opensecrets.org] large [opensecrets.org] campaign [opensecrets.org] contributions [opensecrets.org] from the TV/Music/Film industry. Check the contributions of the first group and you'll find the same industry conspicuously absent. It's also worth noting that more than half the committee never said a word during the entire session that wasn't "No" in response to an amendment vote. This third group cared so little they couldn't even be bothered to take part in the debate.

    So when you're condemning this committee for being willfully ignorant just keep in mind that 5 or 6 of them don't deserve to be thrown in with the rest like that. I'll end with a quote from a frustrated Darrell Issa, speaking to the chairman of the committee half way through the second day:

    I thank you for continually trying your best to go Republican, Democrat, Republican, Democrat. I might suggest that you might as well go 'for' and 'against', that'll save a lot of your 'for' people some wasted time because you'll run out of the 'against' pretty quickly. Mr. Chairman it's very clear we're gonna lose here eventually, and we're gonna lose in the worst possible way. We're gonna lose without all the facts, and we're gonna lose without the process being open in the way that I would hope it will be in the new year.

  • We're screwed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forkfail (228161) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:33PM (#38405402)

    Congress does this when they want time for two things to happen:

    1. People to forget about it, and opposition to thus lose momentum.

    2. Lobbyists to deliver more big bags of cash.

    Both things are almost guaranteed to happen. This is going to pass.

    Unless, people can give a rats arse for more than three months running about something, which, as desperately as I hope will happen, probably won't.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      They will pass this the way they passed the DMCA... in the middle of the night when session is out. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

      Any American here still "proud to be an American"? I'm not.

    • It will pass. The technological damage this will cause is -by design-. It serves four fundamental actions.

      1. They will get their bag of money.
      2. It will now distract from the Health Care fiasco that got passed awhile back.
      3. New found power in the chaos this now creates. Looks like they can now create even more bills and laws to address the very one that started this mess the first place.
      4. Restricts freedom. Politicians don't like to be healed accountable and controlled by the populous.

  • Newsflash: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:35PM (#38405410)

    Outlawing something pushes it underground [uk.com]. It does not make any perceived problem disappear, in fact it creates more. Some places have actually allowed controlled use of what would otherwise be completely illegal substances such as cocaine [guardian.co.uk] and hash [experienceamsterdam.com] because otherwise there would be so many problems the domestic security services would be overwhelmed.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:43PM (#38405472)
    Congress sees Christmas as a distraction for the public; it's a time for passing unpopular legislation while everyone is tied up with friends and family, too busy to call their congressman. It is a very good thing that it has been killed for the holiday season.

    The traditional news outlets have given it very little coverage, but the internet will not let the fight die.
  • A delay! Just what all those whiners... err citizens wanted, right? Well, this will serve one purpose at least - to wait until the opposition's momentum has died down before going to a vote. They learned their lesson from the Occupy movement well: wait until people are sick of hearing about the issue, then move to squash it.
  • by identity0 (77976) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:49PM (#38405516) Journal

    Those of you who were following the hearing, what do you think was the best part?

    Either +1 Insightful or +1 Funny. Or even -1 FUCKING WRONG

    My favorite part was how Sheila Jackson Lee's tantrum over a tweet from a opponent lawmaker delayed things - but not the fact the person was tweeting about being bored and surfing the internet.

    "We are debating the Stop Online Piracy Act and Shiela Jackson [sic] has so bored me that I'm killing time by surfing the Internet."
    http://www.zdnet.com/news/sopa-votes-derailed-by-politicians-offensive-tweet/6334156 [zdnet.com]

    • by Xelios (822510)
      I thought it was a lot more ridiculous that they spent a full 30 minutes afterward arguing over whether or not to strike the word "offensive" from the record. In the end she agreed to replace it with "impolitic and unkind". I'm surprised they didn't take a break for juice boxes and Dunkaroos while they waited.
    • by mbone (558574)

      There was a (very rare) House filibuster today. I am not sure if this was part of it, but every little bit helps.

  • by jesseck (942036) on Friday December 16, 2011 @08:55PM (#38405558)
    All this means is the issue will damage their chances of re-election. it will be passed once another term is locked in.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:18PM (#38405672) Homepage Journal
    The reason for the delay is obvious, under the act Santa would be thrown in the slammer for allowing his elves to look up how to make toys online. No congressman wants to be responsible for arresting Santa the Christmas before an election year, even they aren't THAT evil.
  • Quote of the Day (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mbone (558574) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:42PM (#38405794)

    Quote of the day, from the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] : "As a general rule, when the people saying that this will have a horrible, chilling impact on something are the ones who created that thing in the first place, and the people who are saying, “Oh, no, it’ll be fine, it only targets the bad actors” are members of the Motion Picture Association of America, it seems obvious whose opinion you should heed."

  • They are waiting till another disaster happens so they can vote on it while everyone is distracted. Mark my words.
  • Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ixnaay (662250) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:47PM (#38405810)
    Somehow I've missed this issue over the last couple of months (I read /. daily, my memory must be getting worse than I thought). At first look, the bill reads like a bad joke. The wording of this bill as it stands now will allow the take down of any website which provides user forums / comments. Simply visit the forum, post a link to download copy-written material or other 'illegal' data (which covers a tremendous amount of ground), and the owner of the website has committed a felony and immediately loses all advertising income.The owner is then guilty - you can't even say 'guilty until proven innocent' - you've likely lost your main income, their reputation among 'reputable' businesses is gone, and their opportunities for defense and damages seem pretty insignificant as stated in the bill.

    The user forum example just scratches the surface of absurd possibilities.

    Amazon selling a book which could facilitate access to whatever a corporation declares is 'illegal' data,e.g. computing book which touches on bit-torrents.
    Services like Pandora (you can record it on your home PC) or Google Music (obviously)
    Any data backup company (oops, had illegal data on my backed up hard drive - bye bye Carbonite).

    Did I miss something? I don't see where in this bill that any line is drawn between a site like Pirate's Bay and the examples above.
    • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jesseck (942036) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @02:00AM (#38406930)
      Then this could be used against the bill supporters. Maybe Congressman Smith has a family- say a brother, who owns business with an online presence. Post the link there. Maybe his child was downloading and sharing MPAA files on his wifi. What about a family member in College- encourage them to watch online films. These "leaders" are blinded because they don't think the Bill will affect them. It will, hopefully directly, and then they will (hopefully) realize their mistake. Of course, a greedy "public servant" getting fat stacks of cash from lobbyists probably won't feel guilty, but maybe their family and family's friends will ostracize them.
      • by Xelios (822510)
        The problem is because the bill is so broad and vague it opens the door for selective enforcement, both in who you target and how you target them. This was brought up a few times at the hearing, and dutifully ignored. Out of all the amendments I saw proposed the only one that was voted through allowed ISPs and other institutions (like universities for example) to block an entire website rather than just the infringing content on it, if it's easier or cheaper for them to do so. A few congressmen pointed out
  • by jasno (124830) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:58PM (#38406124) Journal

    It's likely our complaints will fall on deaf ears. We don't need a political solution - we need a technical one.

    There has to be some group of people looking at ways around SOPA... Alternate DNS systems, Tor, tunneling, encryption... all of these things should be able to defeat whatever measures they throw at us. The real way to defeat SOPA is to render it irrelevant.

    We can do this now, before it's passed, or we can do it after, but we're going to do it regardless.

    • There has to be some group of people looking at ways around SOPA... Alternate DNS systems, Tor, tunneling, encryption...

      It really depends what part of SOPA. If you mean the ability to block foreign websites, then using a DNS outside the US will probably work.

      If you mean the part where file-sharing can land you in jail, then there is no technical solution. Some file sharers will end up getting caught, and some of them will end up going to jail. TOR could theoretically help you, but kiddie porn rings already try that, and they still end up getting caught.

  • by epp_b (944299) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:11PM (#38406198)
    ...is their laziness.
  • TO: Lamar Smith RE: SOPA 3261 I am the IT Director (in your district). I have 28 years IT experience. Please cease and desist with the SOPA H.R.3261. To me the bill reads like a bad joke. Thank you for your consideration.
  • by PPH (736903)

    Its Haley's Comet!

    There's only so many times a person will fall for that one.

  • This fool is no brighter than that Ted Stevens jackass from Alaska. Let him F$%#$ it up and then wonder why his email takes to long to go through all those pipes. Only in America do we have fools who are uninformed but still qualified to pass judgement on things they don't understand. NO SLEEP TILL DOPA!!!!

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