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SOPA Makes Strange Bedfellows 439

Posted by timothy
from the and-they-keep-stealing-the-covers dept.
davide marney writes "What do 1-800-Contacts, Adidas, Americans for Tax Reform, Comcast, the Country Music Association, Estee Lauder, Ford, Nike and Xerox all have in common? According to OpenCongress.org, they all have specifically endorsed H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. A total of 158 corporations have signed up in favor of the bill, and only 87 against. $21 Million has been donated to Congressmen who favor the bill, but only $5 Million to those against. Thanks to OpenCongress for these insights. This goes a long way towards explaining why this bill has so much traction, despite all its negative publicity."
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SOPA Makes Strange Bedfellows

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  • Money. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:26AM (#38629332)

    And nothing more.

    • Weird money (Score:5, Interesting)

      by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:16PM (#38629746) Homepage

      Just look at these amounts :

      Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] $3,502,624
      Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY] $2,648,770
      Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY] $2,080,651

      I wonder how much Obama got ... in the beginning of an election year no less. What do you think Obama > Harry Reid or the reverse ?

      Weird, weird names on the list though :

      * United States Tennis Association
      * Council of state governments
      * National Confectioners Association
      * Major City Chiefs
      * Let Freedom Ring
      * Outdoor Industry Association
      * Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
      * Eli Lilly and Company
      * Center for Individual Freedom
      * Concerned Women for America
      * Americans for Tax Reform
      * Society of Plastics Industry
      * Beam Global Spirits &Wine

      Half of these sound extremely fake. Most of these look like it's VERY unlikely they would get themselves on this list if it didn't gain them money ...

      Not that I tell myself these guys collectively contributed even 1% of those amounts ... very strange names here. Were the pressured into signing this ? There's another collection of names that clearly were pressured to get in there (National Electrical Manufacturers Association
      , Electronic Components Industry Association) ... are these names just an attempt to point "broad support" or ? Weird weird weird.

      Interesting though : all but one electronics manufacturers are in the opposing category ... /me suspects threats from customers. All think tanks, democrat or republican, are on the opposing side. So clearly both parties are aware of the publicity loss. Lots of the organisations supporting this bill are subsidiaries of other supporters (so the supporter list shoulds be a LOT shorter). WTF is visa doing supporting these guys ?

      Some organisations could have contributed more by staying out of it, me thinks :
      * 4chan
      * Torrentfreak
      * Tumblr
      (let's just say people might think they know why these guys are opposed, and it's not for the right reasons)

      And, surprisingly in the "opposing" category (although I must admit this legislation doesn't strike me as conservative, and it doesn't seem like it's supported by the software industry either, it's almost purely privilege grab by the entertainment industry) :
      * Business Software Alliance (also known as Microsoft)
      * Brookings Institute
      * Competitive Enterprise Institute

      • Re:Weird money (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sponge Bath (413667) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:28PM (#38629818)

        Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] $3,502,624
        Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY] $2,648,770
        Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY] $2,080,651

        I wonder how much Obama got ...

        Hmmm... you don't mention of the republicans on the list (John Beohner, Eric Cantor, Scott Brown, Robert Portman, Patrick Toomey, Mark Kirk) and you bring up Obama, who is not on the list. Thank you for clearly identifying your ideological slant.

        • Re:Weird money (Score:5, Interesting)

          by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:37PM (#38629904)
          Benefit of the doubt; he pulled the Senators list, and was curious about Obama. The first 3 on the senator list happen to be Democrats, and TBH, I'd be curious as to what Obama received as well.
        • Re:Weird money (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JWW (79176) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @02:17PM (#38630644)

          Obama is a singular individual who can kill this bill directly. He has more power over it becoming law than anyone else.

          Damn right we need to know what his position on this bill is and why.

          The next most important influences on this bill becoming law are Reid (already betrayed us by bringing it up for a vote) and Boehner (very likely to betray us by bringing SOPA to a vote in the house).

          I just can't shake the feeling that when SOPA/PIPA passes, that the Internet will catch fire and rain down torment on 'our' elected officials and the content industry.

          Perhaps all the shooting in the next revolution will happen online.

          • Re:Weird money (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @03:00PM (#38630952)
            If Obama were to oppose SOPA, expect to see a huge amount of negative news coverage of him come the election, and plenty of glowing stories about his opponent. The electorate may choose the president, but it is the media that really tells them who to vote for, and the media wants SOPA badly.
          • Obama is a singular individual who can kill this bill directly. He has more power over it becoming law than anyone else.

            I've got this horrible feeling it will pass with a veto proof majority. These folks simply, and only, understand one thing and that is how much who paid for a vote one way or the other.

            Damn right we need to know what his position on this bill is and why.

            I agree wholeheartedly.

            The next most important influences on this bill becoming law are Reid (already betrayed us by bringing it up for a vote) and Boehner (very likely to betray us by bringing SOPA to a vote in the house).

            Well, if its on the agenda, they eventually need to do something with it. If they bring it up and it fails then they have done their job. If they bring it up and it passes it must be the will of the people (who wrote all those checks of course, nothing to do with constituent email blasting it)

            I just can't shake the feeling that when SOPA/PIPA passes, that the Internet will catch fire and rain down torment on 'our' elected officials and the content industry.

            Which t

      • Re:Weird money (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:38PM (#38629916) Homepage

        The BSA is unsurprising actually. Many of their members (including Microsoft) have online services with user-generated content which could be targeted by the bill.

      • A lot of those on the list aren't interested in copyright so much as they are in branding, like the National Confectioners Association and Nike. They couldn't care less about internet piracy - they just want a way to shut down overseas-run websites selling counterfeit products with their logo on.
        • Re:Weird money (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @05:48PM (#38632116)

          A lot of those on the list aren't interested in copyright so much as they are in branding, like the National Confectioners Association and Nike. They couldn't care less about internet piracy - they just want a way to shut down overseas-run websites selling counterfeit products with their logo on.

          Perhaps ... but an enlightened capitalist realizes that he won't always get what he wants, and shouldn't get everything he wants if the cost to society is too great. Fact is, anyone supporting SOPA for financial gain has demonstrated that they think like the big media companies: do whatever it takes no matter who gets hurt.

          That's more than enough to make me look elsewhere for my needs.

      • Re:Weird money (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Serpents (1831432) on Monday January 09, 2012 @07:18AM (#38636126)
        I'm not surprised by the strange names on the list considering that some companies didn't even know they were listed as SOPA supporters [techdirt.com]
    • by cjcela (1539859)
      It is not only money. There is something else that is remarkable. Our elected officials listen more to their 'friends' that to the people who vote them in power. And we seem to be complacent with this. Somehow we have to find a way in the US to held individuals working for the government accountable for their actions, if we want the land of the free to be so for our children.
      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Money is what votes politicians in power. Sheep that enter votes will obey their media masters. Money buys media masters.

      • Re:Money. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shentino (1139071) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:35PM (#38629886)

        That's because politicians quit answering to voters once they are elected.

        If congress critters were subject to recall like their local and state counterparts you'd see a LOT more responsiveness.

        In the regular 9 to 5 world us working class folks live in, your boss actually gets to fire you if you screw up.

        • If congress critters were subject to recall like their local and state counterparts you'd see a LOT more responsiveness.

          Every member of the House must be reelected every 2 years. The reelection rate never drops below 80%. While I would support recall at the federal level, I don't know how much a difference it would make. Most people are simply too apathetic and ignorant about anything that doesn't obviously and directly affect their day to day lives.

          http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/reelect.php [opensecrets.org]

    • Re:Money. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Cow Jones (615566) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:54PM (#38630052)
      Lobbying pays [npr.org]:

      In a recent study, researchers Raquel Alexander and Susan Scholz calculated the total amount the corporations saved from the lower tax rate. They compared the taxes saved to the amount the firms spent lobbying for the law. Their research showed the return on lobbying for those multinational corporations was 22,000 percent. That means for every dollar spent on lobbying, the companies got $220 in tax benefits.

      You know what's funny? In Germany, the president is currently under a lot of pressure, and may have to resign, because he got a private credit for his house at too favorable a rate of interest. In the US (the home of democracy, defender of the free world, etc), corporations can openly bribe their senators to get the laws they want.

      Something's rotten in the state of Merica...

      CJ

      • Re:Money. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by starfishsystems (834319) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @04:15PM (#38631432) Homepage
        Twenty years ago, while in Germany, I saw a television documentary which described the United States as a "dollar democracy", ie. one dollar = one vote. It's overly simplistic, of course, but has more than a little truth to it.
      • by HiThere (15173)

        Sorry, but Greece is "the home of Democracy", as Britain is "the mother of Parliments". The US is generally called (by it's anthem) "the land of the free", but it's well to remember that when that line was written, slavery was legal.

        Of the three examples, only Britain seems to be living up to it's image. (Or, "Don't trust slogans!")

  • Stand up, people! (Score:5, Informative)

    by intellitech (1912116) * on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:27AM (#38629338)

    Write to your senators, your representatives! Tell them you oppose this bill!

    http://www.opencongress.org/contact_congress_letters/new?bill=112-h3261&position=oppose [opencongress.org]

    Tell your family, friends, even the guy at the gas station to do the same!

    This bill WILL get passed if we don't make our position clear to elected officials!

    • by ae1294 (1547521) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:32AM (#38629374) Journal

      Write to your senators, your representatives! Tell them you oppose this bill!

      http://www.opencongress.org/contact_congress_letters/new?bill=112-h3261&position=oppose [opencongress.org]

      Tell your family, friends, even the guy at the gas station to do the same!

      This bill WILL get passed if we don't make our position clear to elected officials!

      Be sure to include a check for at least $10,000.

      • Re:Stand up, people! (Score:5, Informative)

        by todrules (882424) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:20PM (#38629764) Journal
        I already did. Here's the response I got back. Looks like Senator Isakson is already bought and paid for. I'll definitely vote for whoever runs against him in the next election, though.

        Thank you for contacting me regarding intellectual property theft. I appreciate hearing from you and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

        S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act of 2011, was introduced by Senator Leahy (D-VT) on May 12, 2011, and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. On May 26, 2011, it was reported out of Committee and is currently pending in the Senate. The bill targets websites, particularly those registered outside of the United States, which are "dedicated to infringing activities." These rogue websites typically offer unauthorized downloading or streaming of copyrighted content or the sale of counterfeit goods including music, movies, and pharmaceutical drugs.

        Websites targeted by this bill are foreign owned and outside the reach of U.S. laws despite the fact U.S. intellectual property is being infringed upon and U.S. consumers are the targets. Rogue websites cost American workers jobs and cost businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue. As online technology and commerce advances, we must see to it that injured parties have the ability to stop infringers from profiting from counterfeit products. For example, a victim of infringement will have the authority to file a civil action against the owner or registrant of a rogue site. If an order is granted by the court, third parties will be required to stop processing payments from the infringing sites, therefore, preventing infringers from collecting payments. I will work to ensure that our laws our modernized to protect intellectual property, and will keep your thoughts on this bill in mind should it come before the Senate for a vote.

        • by mdf356 (774923) <mdf356.gmail@com> on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:28PM (#38629822) Homepage

          I'll definitely vote for whoever runs against him in the next election, though.

          Don't forget to vote in the primary as well. Knocking a candidate out in the primary can mean that you can play party politics as usual in the general. In Washington state now, the general isn't even a two-party election, it's a runoff from the top two vote getters in the primary.

        • by houghi (78078)

          I'll definitely vote for whoever runs against him in the next election, though.

          He will be bought as well. It does not even matter if he has a D or an R after his name.

          With the two-party system you can choose if they shoot you in the left or the right kneecap. Please don't forget and register to vote. That will show how nice of a citizen you are.

          And it will get worse, much worse. Also read http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm [rense.com] and especially:
          9.

          • Re:Stand up, people! (Score:4, Informative)

            by StikyPad (445176) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @09:29PM (#38633656) Homepage

            Nice site you got there at http://www.rense.com/ [rense.com]. David Duke videos? Check. Conspiracy theories about Mars? Check. Chemtrails? Check. Miracle cures? Check. Rampant antisemitism? Check.

            Though for what it's worth, the original source seems to be here: http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=index_23 [secularhumanism.org]

            And the author, Laurence Britt*, seems to have no other credentials than his article appearing in a free, irregularly published journal of, let's say uncertain repute. (Don't forget to pick up his novel, June, 2004, [amazon.com], which depicts a future America dominated by right-wing extremists, still available new from 5 sellers for just $49.99.)

            Of course none of that makes what he says any less true by default. Fascist nations probably possess most of those characteristics. It's also true that serial killers all have many characteristics in common: they have noses, mouths, ears, eyes, hair, and always seem to show up in human form (so far). Be on the lookout!

        • by wytcld (179112)

          Bernie Sanders was still short of a full commitment when he responded to me, but seems to be leaning against. Hope other Vermonters will push him on this. Play the anticorporate card - Bernie is strongly suspicious of the power of large corporations.

          Leahy of course belongs to the Devil (aka his old buddy Michael Eisner) on this one.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:38AM (#38629438)

      This bill WILL get passed regardless of whether we make our position clear to elected officials!

      FTFY. When congressmen will not even listen to expert testimony on these matters, what makes you think they will listen to their constituents?

      • by Paladeen (8688)

        Their chances of re-election don't hinge on the experts, but if enough of their constituents kick up a fuss, they might think twice.

        Or maybe I'm just being hopelessly optimistic.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DougBTX (1260312)
          Their reelection depends on having funds to mount a reelection campaign, hence the $10,000.
        • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:02PM (#38629640)
          You are being hopelessly optimistic. Not only do most people not care at all about SOPA, even if they did care they would forget about it by the time election season rolled around. Politicians know this, and that is why the DMCA was passed, the Mickey Mouse bill was passed, the PATRIOT act, etc. That is why I have little hope for SOPA or PIPA being defeated; I wrote to my representatives in the House and the Senate, and I have told everyone I know that these bills are bad and why they are bad, but I doubt there will be much of an effect.

          Ten years from now, when the Internet has been conquered by old media interests and there are toll booths and walls everywhere, people will start to get annoyed -- and by then, it will be too late. People are annoyed by the DMCA now, but there is little hope of getting it overturned. SOPA will be no different.
          • by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:41PM (#38629958) Homepage

            The one thing I hate most about these, though, is that the Americans basically think themselves as above everybody else. What can I do, as a Canadian citizen, to stop this bill? Nothing. But if it passes, I will have to live with the consequences.

            If it were just the Americans that would be affected, I'd just let them hang themselves. They seem very capable in doing so. However, when their laws start trespassing borders to affect the entire PLANET, I think something is clearly wrong.

            • by T Murphy (1054674)
              I would love to see other countries speak out against the US on this. I wish we could get economic sanctions from passing a law like this. If you aren't American maybe it's at least something to write to your representatives and ask them to release a statement against the US about this, or even seek to take action (such as push to end the lopsided power we wield over the internet). Sure, some Canadian politician writing a complaint to the US might not mean much, but if said complaint is signed by dozens, an
            • They've been doing that for years. When Bush invaded Iraq the price of fuel in South Africa jumped up 40% overnight. Food prices followed within the month.
              The lives of everybody in the country (a poor one for the most part) was made massively worse because a US president wanted to step out of his daddy's shadow.
              And not one of the people in South Africa has a vote or any other ability to have done anything about it, they didn't elect Bush but many of them starved because of his reckless warmongering.
              Since So

        • by shentino (1139071)

          If the favors they do for their corporate bedfellows line them up a cushy enough job in the private sector they won't give a damn about re-election.

      • Re:Stand up, people! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Yvanhoe (564877) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:27PM (#38629814) Journal
        So rather, make it known that you will boycott products from SOPA supporters, who can tell congressmen what to vote for. Someone developped a nifty app for that :

        http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/o78co/my_friend_and_i_wrote_an_application_to_boycott/ [reddit.com]
    • by krelvin (771644) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:41AM (#38629460)

      Go after the companies that are supporting the bill as well. Look what happened to GoDaddy when it was found out they were supporting it. Imagine what happens when companies like 1800contacts, Ford, Adidas and others start getting consumers telling them to drop support as well or lose business.

      Business funds Congress... if they start saying no, Congress will say no too.

      • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:53AM (#38629568) Homepage

        So you're saying we have to lobby companies who would in turn lobby congress? Democracy at its best!

      • I can indeed imagine: nothing. GoDaddy got shafted because it was a business that dealt largely with IT professionals; companies like Ford and Adidas don't have customer bases that are anywhere near similar in overall composition. We need to face the facts and deal with the core problem: the Internet's interests will continue getting shafted as long as it lacks the financial backing of those who seek to destroy it. Hopefully, the blackout protest will turn a couple of eyes... but you kinda have to wonder if
      • by Mitreya (579078)
        Look what happened to GoDaddy when it was found out they were supporting it.

        Nothing happened to GoDaddy. They lost some customers, but half of that was due to them being a crappy company. Also, many people are under the mistaken impression that GoDaddy withdrew support (or opposed) SOPA. Neither of those things happened - they just toned down their support to control PR. They are still for SOPA.

        Imagine what happens when companies like 1800contacts, Ford, Adidas

        There is less of a direct channel the

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:45AM (#38629504)

      You need to put it into terms they'll understand:

      The Honorable [congresscritter]:

      I see you are supporting SOPA. If I may, let me clarify some issues that will change your mind about your support.

      For one, online piracy is all done by the Somalis. They have not gone online and don't plan to: there are no ships online and they can't put them online. There hasn't been any ship hijackings online and as you know, pirating a ship with ones computer is ludicrous.Ships don't travel on the internet! They can't get into the tubes!

      Secondly, I really don't like making accusations, but the folks who are behind this bill have been lying to you. They have ulterior motives and will make a fool of you.

      Yours,

      A tech savvy constituent.

    • by Raisey-raison (850922) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:51AM (#38629556)

      What I find interesting is that it's never mentioned much in the mainstream media. It's not mentioned in the presidential debates. And I don't understand why unions, Americans for Tax reform and builders associations support it. Our current extreme IP inhibits economic growth (which is why tax reforms should be against it) and helps to bolster income inequality (which is why unions and builders associations should oppose it).

      I understand that this this is the ONE issue that CNN, MSNBC and FOX all agree on. Because they all are part of media companies that want ever stronger IP to bolster their profits. The whole subject is censored.

      So many of my so called 'informed' friends aren't aware of it and they say IP is boring. My god - what are we to do!

      • Re:Stand up, people! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:13PM (#38629728) Journal

        PBS might also support it. Last month, the News Hour ran a story on piracy [pbs.org]. They interviewed two "opposing" parties, the Open Internet Coalition and the MPAA, whose only difference was how much copying should be regulated: a lot, or a lot more. That was the most biased, unbalanced, and stupidly wrong coverage I'd ever seen from PBS. I thought they were a cut above the rest of the mainstream media. They weren't, not that time.

      • Re:Stand up, people! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:16PM (#38629738)

        I don't understand why unions...support it

        "It protects American jobs!"

        AFL-CIO is a political organization; sometimes they do things that legitimately help the working class, other times they do things that they can claim help the working class. SOPA is squarely in the second category: labor organizations can point to it and say, "We are helping protect your job by supporting this legislation!"

        Our current extreme [copyright/trademark/patent/trade secrets enforcement regime] inhibits economic growth

        Only over the long term. In the short term, the fat cats get to report big profits and continue to buy yachts and mansions. Over the long term, consumers are forced to wait longer for new products and technologies, pay more for existing products and technologies, and forced to turn over their own profits to the entrenched businesses and trolls. Eventually the rest of the world will start ignoring American demands about trademarks and copyrights, and then the system's hollow core will be exposed and the fat cats will abandon ship and leave the rest of us to our fate.

        When the design of a logo or the composition of a soft drink is considered to be a major economic issue, you know the system is destined to fail. We still have a chance to turn things around...but not with the current set of politicians.

      • this article [theregister.co.uk] gives a reason: journalists would risk a lot.
      • by X86Daddy (446356) on Monday January 09, 2012 @11:07AM (#38637372) Journal

        Here's the answer... here's why you don't understand:

        There is an existing game, an existing set of rules for getting what is wanted out of the US government. (A) be an enormous corporation or a confederation of smaller ones, (B) buy legislation, and (C) make sure the populace doesn't riot by managing their "news" etc... about the important work done by the government.

        The Internet is finally showing itself to be a major threat to the status quo. Arab Spring... Ron Paul's increasing popularity, Steissand Effects everywhere, Wikileaks, Anti-Sec... And so, while the rules of the game are still mostly in effect, the Game Players who have enjoyed successful ownership of the largest government on Earth are working to ensure they will maintain that ownership.

        All unions, All PACs, all politicians participating in the election games, and definitely the media empires... all of them currently enjoy winning at the game with the current set of rules. A free Internet only provides benefits to their opponents in this game: us. Humans. People who care about how they're governed and dare disagree with how Sony wants us governed. So, there will be no media coverage. No major PAC, party, union, etc... with an interest in its long-term survival will dare bring SOPA up.

        The actual battle is going to be technological. Legislation is a foregone conclusion.

    • by Stiletto (12066) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @01:10PM (#38630198)

      MY senators? MY representatives?

      News Flash: I don't have any representative to write to. Time Warner has representatives. ExxonMobil has representatives. Pfizer has representatives. Lockheed Martin has representatives. You and I don't have squat in terms of governmental representation.

      • Out of interest, have you ever tried writing to the senators or representatives for your constituency? On any matter? I most often hear this 'my elected representatives don't represent me' from people who have never bothered letting the politicians that are supposed to represent them know what they think.
    • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @01:23PM (#38630306)
      the bill will be passed regardless of what you think/want. A Majority of Americans wanted single payer healthcare; Congress shot it down. A Majority of Americans were against the bank bail out. Congress passed it through.

      I don't really have a solution. The problem is we're too balkanized. It's easy to divide and conquer. Blacks & Whites. Gays and Straights. Union & non-Union. Hell, a good friend of mine is vehemently anti-Union. He just described to me how the non-Union guys at his work got a pay cut so the Union guys could get a pay raise. He didn't even notice the company was pitting the non-Union against the Union, let alone ask why BOTH groups didn't get a raise...

      The only way to win is not to play. Don't have children. If you do; only have one. If there's fewer rats in the race you've got to keep the ones you got alive. Aside from that I'll keep plugin away with my liberal/progressive agenda on /. and hope for the best...
      • by stdarg (456557)

        He just described to me how the non-Union guys at his work got a pay cut so the Union guys could get a pay raise. He didn't even notice the company was pitting the non-Union against the Union, let alone ask why BOTH groups didn't get a raise...

        Do you really think it was the company's idea to do that, and not the union's? That seems unlikely.

        The only way to win is not to play. Don't have children. If you do; only have one.

        It's the total opposite. The only way to win is to have more children and make them good citizens who care about each other.

    • by Scaba (183684)
      Also, write to any of the corporate sponsors of the bill and tell them you are taking your business to a non-SOPA supporting competitor. This will be more effective if you actually have an account history with a company that they can see, and you actually do take your business elsewhere. And publicly post about it, and send them links to said postings. Enough of these complaints and it's quite likely said company will drop support for the bill. It worked with GoDaddy, it can work with others. This is a
  • Do something (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:30AM (#38629362)

    VPNs are not a viable alternative but there are other technologies that can help. Write one-click installers for darknets, p2p networks, distributed DNS systems. Seriously, technology cannot solve social problems but at least can alleviate them. SOPA will come, so it's time to act now.

    • Re:Do something (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:48AM (#38629524) Homepage Journal

      In reality none of those are viable long term options either. Since the ISPs ( which are also content providers ) support this they will just take the next logical step, if these alternatives becomes common place, and ratchet down your "open" bandwidth to the point that you cant afford to do anything.

      Buying content from their servers will of cousre not count against your measly cap.

      The only true solution will be point-to-point community networks. ( mainly neighborhood wifi mesh )Get rid, and get around, the need for a link to the 'public internet' except for perhaps your online banking and buying stuff from amazon.

      Who all here remembers BBSs and FidoNet?

  • by TWX (665546) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:33AM (#38629380)

    ...what non-information companies have to gain by this bill. Ford is limited to intellectual property related to their physical products, and only could really deal with software piracy for ECM and BCM computers which are limited to use in Ford products anyway. Nike could face a competitor stealing their product designs which would be easier to make than Ford's, but still would fall into industrial espionage rather than casual piracy, and Estee Lauder makes cosmetics and other products that again, aren't exactly end-consumer-piratable...

    I wonder if it's a bigger deal that these companies are supporting Congressmen who are passionate about this bill, and this is just another way of helping to keep these Congressmen in their pockets.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:36AM (#38629412)
      Have you ever gone to Chinatown and seen all the "fake" handbags (it is hard to call them "fake" when they are probably produced by the same people who make "genuine" handbags)? Online, there are plenty of websites that will sell you a bag or a shoe that looks just like an expensive brand for a fraction of the cost. SOPA is meant to block access to such websites, which are often hosted offshore where US law enforcement agencies cannot touch them.
      • Exactly counterfeit goods are a big deal for companies and consumers. There is a need to prevent these counterfeiters from tricking consumers, but SOPA is not the solution. Just do a google search for "cheap uggs" the first result is a warning from UGG Australia about counterfeiters and the second result is a counterfeiter selling "fake" uggs. Unfortunately this does need to be stopped! However, I can't think of a way that would not compromise the Internet and civil liberties, etc.

        • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:25PM (#38629796)

          On the one hand, I can see the point of view of the designers who are annoyed about the counterfeiting of their product.

          On the other hand, what does it say about the actual value of their designs? It says that people are not willing to pay the prices they demand for the somewhat ephemeral value that their design commands.

          It used to be that artisans had makers marks because their product was of superior quality and they wished to differentiate it. People seeing the superior quality of the product and desiring that quality for themselves would see the makers mark and know where they could get an item of similar quality.

          Quality is no longer the differentiation though - price is. The relationship has inverted ; a maker no longer puts their mark on something to identify the maker of the product and generate sales, he puts the mark on to increase the perceived value of the product. As some people are no doubt pointing out - a lot of the so-called "counterfeit" product is made on the same production line, from the same materials, by the same workers using the same amount of labour.

          There is no difference in the intrinsic value of the product - it's the same material object with the same properties - so why can Loius Vuitton sell it for more than Mr Chang? Because Loius Vuitton inflates the perception of value of their products in ways that have nothing to do with their actual utility - they put them in a swanky shop with a flunky on the door, they don't pile them high, and they don't sell them cheap.

          The real counterfeit is therefore the perceived value of the "genuine" product - people are buying fake value. This is not an artisan product made by a skilled craftsman. This is a product designed to be made as piecework in a third world sweatshop - a product that by definition, has to be makable by the lowest common denominator of skill.

          • Quality is no longer the differentiation though - price is

            Bingo. This is the problem with the current legal framework and enforcement regime.

          • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:51PM (#38630034)

            Interesting/Informative post, but you miss two key issues:

            1. You ARE aware that the whole fashion industry has NO copyright and yet still continues to profit, right?
            Johanna Blakley: Lessons from fashion's free culture
            http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture.html [ted.com]

            > There is no difference in the intrinsic value of the product.
            2. Correct. You are close to a key Insight to reach the next level of understanding but not quite there yet; so let me help you out --> Value is multi-valued! i.e. Two different people can value the same thing differently; what is it "perceived" value then? The High, the Low, the Average? No, it is BOTH the low AND the high. It is a 1-to-many relationship, NOT a 1-to-1 relationship. THIS is the main factor on why [almost] all economic theories are doomed to fail -- they don't accurately model the relationship of value -- multi-valued, not single-valued.

            > The real counterfeit is ... people are buying fake value
            People literally buy into the pseudo-cool factor all the time. They are called "fads." Suckers have yet to learn that having object X doesn't matter one bit when you the true value in life is relationships. e.g. The rest of us get on with our lives buying the $20 jeans instead of the $100 designer jeans laughing (and/or feeling sad) at the sucker ^H^H^H financial idiot willing to throw away his money at a lame attempt of being a hipster.

            There is a much bigger issue looming on the horizon ( 100 - 400 years) though that you will want to ponder -- what happens to "value" when anyone can simply "print" whatever object they want? =)

            Cheers

          • Quality is no longer the differentiation though - price is.

            You couldn't be more wrong! I've had a family member buy counterfeit UGG boots and the difference in quality, craftsmanship, and materials is laughable. On the one hand you have a boot that is made from lamb skin, its durable, water proof and most of all it has a warranty from the manufacture. But the other was made from cotton, was already falling apart, was not water proof by any stretch of the imagination. Worst of all it had exact copies of the UGG Australia labels, do you think UGG Australia should hav

            • Yet I had dozens of friends in high school who bought "counterfeit" handbags in Chinatown without any problem. The bags performed just as well as the officially sanction bags for a fraction of the cost.

              Sure you can buy a PC that looks like an Apple, but it isn't an Apple

              Right, it will cost hundreds of dollars less than the Apple product for the same hardware. Software is not hardware and SOPA has little to do with software.

              If someone puts an Apple sticker on a PC and sells it as an Apple, that's FRAUD

              Actually it is trademark infringement.

              The difference isn't a trick by the brand to get you to buy it

              No, the value of the brand is propped up by the law, which allows people to sue for trademark infringement a

      • by Artemis3 (85734) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @01:36PM (#38630388)

        Calling them fake is ignorant at best. First, China makes the "genuine" ones; then they make "non genuine" of varying qualities, starting from identical, all down to rip-off. Also, you can make them stamp anything on them, starting from an identical logo, subtle variations to avoid "counterfeit" claims in different countries, down to generic or whatever you want written on them. These variations have different prices and levels of legality (within China). They will officially deny to stamp "Sony" in some random electronic equipment, but if you are willing to pay, it can be done. Kinda defeats the saving of buying a cheap alternative in the first place? You decide, but people is stupid enough to buy for brands.

        Many times I'd rather buy a Chinese labelled device because at least the price is fair, some people do try to sell you bad quality but brand stamped stuff; when instead you could buy good quality but generic Chinese brand instead. Indeed, you can buy in Hong Kong super expensive brands, or cross the street and obtain very high quality same brand stamped "non genuine" product. Knowing to recognise which is which can be very hard, sometimes they copy packaging, stickers and such very well; and normally that doesn't matter there because it has the fair (much lower price) while keeping the same quality very often.

        What I hate is when they try to sell you a counterfeit with almost the same price of the genuine, or sometimes just a little cheaper. Software is silly, "counterfeit" price is 0$ in the net, but fakes are sold online for 25$ or such, sometimes with good enough packaging, aluminium (plant pressed) CDs etc for software meant to cost 100$, 500$ etc.

        Does these justify blocking of sites? the Bill is a blacklist, how do you fall on it or how do you get out of it is shady at best. Further, the State is not even enforcing it directly (like China or Iran), it passes the responsibility to the ISPs. This means they will rather block in excess rather than infringe the law; and many will be falsely accused and promptly disconnected in fear.

        Iran is requiring full ID before using the net, and America is not far from that. China forbids cryptographic connections, America will get there as well, because this gets in the way of proper deep packet inspection; and only criminals have something to hide... Soon enough dissent will get banned, it is too easy to make a site go down by having agents post links to blacklisted sites; and this way the establishment cannot be accused. See? Americans are much more refined than China and Iran, while achieving the same.

        Of course, the countries who do not implement these laws become "source of terrorism", blah, blah lets invade (war helps the economy, stupid).

  • by rrossman2 (844318) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @11:56AM (#38629592)

    You know when *they* are anti-SOPA, there's something wrong with it...

  • Come on... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @12:01PM (#38629636) Homepage

    All those people that were berating others for supporting (or even just not caring about) the GoDaddy debacle, come out in force and NOW follow your own advice.

    You should now throw away anything you wear that has Adidas or Nike on it, cut your Comcast connections, stop listening to country music (okay, no great loss there), take all the Estee Lauder gear back that you bought your girlfriend for Christmas, sell any Ford you might have, start returning your photocopiers, etc.

    No? Or is it actually not that important compared to moving a couple of domains around? Boycotts like that were stupid for one reason - you didn't know WHO supported it because many companies have kept absolutely silent about their stance and almost every company would have an opinion on it. Surprise, surprise a profit-making business supports the option that makes the most profit for them.

    As I said back then: You have zero idea what political agenda any company is secretly supporting or not.

    If you want to boycott, then you can't selectively boycott. And then you will realise that virtually all profit-making companies would support something that you would want to boycott (unless you were a shareholder).

    • You should now throw away anything you wear that has Adidas or Nike on it, cut your Comcast connections, stop listening to country music (okay, no great loss there), take all the Estee Lauder gear back that you bought your girlfriend for Christmas, sell any Ford you might have, start returning your photocopiers, etc.

      Actually, I am not terribly far from that:

      1. Shoes are a bit tough, it is not very easy to find off-brand shoes. I can make the pledge now, however: when my current pair of boots needs replacing, I will find a pair made by a small, local business.
      2. My landlord provided service through Comcast until recently...because Comcast cut off our service. I have been working on setting up a wireless connection to the nearby university campus (I work there, so that helps), at which point my landlord agree to cut the
    • What you say is true in theory. Each and every thing that you buy is produced by someone who has done something worth boycotting.

      That's not the point, though. One of the reasons that this happens too much is that they are never penalized for it. Not by the government, not by their customers. They simply get away with it with no losses. And while you can't change that by simply not buying from those that are guilty of something, you should by all means take the chance to use the bad publicity surrounding the

    • Re:Come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @01:04PM (#38630142) Journal

      If you want to boycott, then you can't selectively boycott.

      Says who? Your lazy, uninterested, pro-SOPA ass? Fuck you, we'll boycott whomever we can, and if one company happens to be the lowest hanging fruit, we will damn well kick that one in the nuts, and proceed from there.

      It's really simple: those who didn't even bother to boycott GoDaddy, have really no say in the issue. Some of us did at least a little bit to knock down the first domino (GoDaddy) and a few other dominos followed.

  • No Corporations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @05:00PM (#38631770) Homepage Journal

    It's a goddamn crime that the list of those supporting this heinous, un-American tyranny is topped with giant corporations. Multinational corporations. Foreign corporations.

    These foreign non-people should have absolutely no influence over the laws set by the government of the United States. The legitimate government is by, of and for the people, not the people's property like corporations.

    The Constitution does not give the government any power to represent corporations. But even from the beginning the Constitution has needed amendments that spelled out for corrupt government officials the limits to its power that were not already spelled out: the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights shouldn't have been necessary, because the powers it prohibits aren't granted in the original document. But obviously it was necessary; obvious when it was written and passed, and obvious ever since as it must be constantly invoked when government reaches across its bounds. It's clear by now that we need to amend the Constitution to spell out that corporations aren't people. That they don't have rights, that the government can restrict their actions with the existing powers government has.

    There is already such an amendment in the works. Closing in on 200,000 people have already signed on supporting it. You should too. [senate.gov] If you're a person, anyway. Why suffer being a second class citizen behind corporations that aren't even people?

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