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Democrats Politics Your Rights Online

Protect IP Act May Be Amended 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-changes dept.
angry tapir writes "The controversial U.S. copyright enforcement bill called The Protect IP Act may be amended on the Senate floor later this month in response to ongoing concerns about its provisions affecting Internet service providers and the domain-name system, according to the bill's chief sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat."
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Protect IP Act May Be Amended

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2012 @05:41AM (#38684022)

    What's that business concept called where they run the business to its crashing point, then try to run it just a hair above that? They do it to try to figure out where the rock bottom is on what they can get away with to maximize profits.


  • by Xanny (2500844) on Friday January 13, 2012 @05:45AM (#38684038)

    I know it is drony and hive minded and all that other jazz, but let us be honest: those in congress do not care if you want this bill or not. They just want it passed, so they get their payout by big media for passing it. They barely know how to use email because they are all ancient farts, but they are not ignorant - they know this law is destroying the most open medium of communication and exchange of information in history, and for politicians, it is a bad thing - educated and informed people will decide representatives based on their voting records, rather than talking points, and they want anything but to be held accountable.

    SOPA / PIPA / NDAA all show the true colors of our political system in the USA - paid for by corporations, and always against the interests of the people, because career politicians need ways to keep people ignorant, voting for them, and preferably, not voting at all. The fewer people vote, the smaller their message needs to be, the less they need to spend on campaigning, and the more they can pocket. And then they can get paid off day after day by big business to pass laws completely against the spirit of America, freedom, and entrepreneurship (hello hundred year copyright) and sit on their laurels waiting for the next election cycle to talk about abortion, illegal immigrants, and nebulous "jobs" and who is making more "jobs".

    I know I'm extremely hypocritical about saying it, because honestly, I do not want to inconvenience myself to change a broken political system I have inherited from hundreds of years of Americans. I want change to happen without having to make sacrifices for it. I want government to be run the way I want, even though I have no political experience. But we are losing our freedoms and we have lost our representation, so unless someone much better than myself, and much braver than myself, will step up (along with millions of other better, braver people) out of the woodwork to fix the broken system, we are just going downhill. And talking about it on the internet accomplishes nothing.

  • by game kid (805301) on Friday January 13, 2012 @05:54AM (#38684074) Homepage

    Amending an "IP" "protection" bill is like cleaning the engine cylinders of a bomb-rigged Yugo as it hurtles toward a crowded mall--better to just detonate it before it even makes the parking lot.

    --unless, of course, said mall is filled with mindless zombies instead of people. Perhaps the government of this crowded mall looked at our voting record and thinks we are all mindless zombies. I'm not sure I could blame them then.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday January 13, 2012 @05:59AM (#38684092) Homepage

    SOPA could be the leverage to get all the other IP stuff passed. They'll take this to the brink then say, "all right, we won't do SOPA". Everybody will be so relieved they'll overlook all the other laws they just slipped through.

    Next time it will be something SOPA plus something that makes SOPA look mild by comparison. We'll get in such a panic over the other one that we'll let SOPA through with a sigh of relief that we "won".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2012 @06:06AM (#38684126)

    The fewer people vote, the smaller their message needs to be, the less they need to spend on campaigning, and the more they can pocket

    So you recommend that people grudgingly continue to vote for the fossilized farts who don't represent them just to inconvenience them? Do you understand that by casting a vote you legitimize the system, so whatever corrupt dickhead wins the election can point to the results and say "See, most Americans voted, therefore I'm what the people really want!". Make your displeasure known, it's the only way to show how disillusioned you are with the current "one-party" political system.

  • by VJmes (2449518) on Friday January 13, 2012 @06:50AM (#38684274)
    There's a pattern to this. Politicians at the behest of self-interest groups and self-appoint moralists, begin to regulate what was a benign social issue. Uninformed, policy gets drafted by these people which gains traction from these self-interest, righteous minorities and soon thanks to ignorant third-parties the very inaccuracies that are used to draft these policies are perpetuated. The use of loaded words like criminal, scourge & terror helps to convince a mostly oblivious public. Before long the regulation comes into effect and pushes the issue underground, initially it's deemed a success. However as it becomes apparent that the matter is thriving underground, a war is declared, harsher penalties combined with the perpetuation of gross-inaccuracies and lies continue to waste your tax dollars.
    It's history repeating itself, and it's always follows a similar pattern. Though the end result is the same; tax dollars are wasted, usage increases unabated and the constant game of cat and mouse continues because those elected to listen to the people who know best, won't.

    If I went about my job with the same level of ignorance, incompetence and sheer corruption as the supposed leaders of the United States, I'd be out of a job very quickly. If the private sector won't tolerate it, why does capital hill seem to be a breeding ground for these bottom-feeders?
  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:32AM (#38684456) Journal

    And by not casting a vote, allow the system to roll over you without saying anything. The politicians don't care if the people legitimize the system, as long as they get their money and power.

    At least, by casting a vote, you can nudge the system in the right direction. It's a lot more than what you would get by not voting.

  • Re:No confidence. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:37AM (#38684484)

    People have always been disinterested in continuous political engagement. We don't have the time for it. We have jobs. We have personal and local problems. We simply don't have the attention span or energy to manhandle the political powers that be all the time.

    What is supposed to contain that issue is that the government... at least in the US... isn't supposed to be this powerful. It's been out of control for three generations so this is nothing new. But it's really well beyond anything the people can keep in check.

    It's been said that the worst thing that ever happened to Washington DC was air conditioning. There was a time when it was just too hot and nasty to stay in the city throughout much of the year. Might as well add central heating to that as well. Congress just meets too often, passes too many laws, and doesn't particularly think about any of them very deeply.

    Nearly all legislation should be state or city legislation where as the Federal government should be as minimalistic as possible if only because we can't really control or escape federal excesses as easily as state issues. If a state goes crazy we have 50 others. No critical harm if one of them goes broke or does something crazy. But the federal government is another matter.

    Perhaps I'm showing my ideological stripes here, but I think this would be less of an issue if congress AND the presidency got their wings clipped a bit. They're too eager to involve themselves in our lives and too disinterested with doing their traditional jobs.

    I think the president has more then enough to worry about with the economy and foreign policy. He really doesn't need to concern himself with anything else right now. And as to congress, anything that doesn't fix the budget problem should be sidelined. I don't want to hear ANYTHING from congress that doesn't either increase revenue or reduce spending. No new regulation. No new issues. NOTHING. Just balance the stupid budget.

  • by Strawser (22927) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:38AM (#38684486) Homepage

    they know this law is destroying the most open medium of communication and exchange of information in history

    Not break it as much as control it. I doubt they see that as a bad thing. In the olden day it was difficult for people who don't have access to large amounts of capital to publish information to a large audience, and people with large amounts of capital are already a part of the system. With the intarwebz, anyone has that publishing capability, and the US Government has little control over that. This gives them that control.

  • by smpoole7 (1467717) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:50AM (#38684542) Homepage

    > And by not casting a vote, allow the system to roll over you without saying anything

    Sad, but true. For Congress Creatures(tm), it's all about obtaining the numbers for re-election. If you're disgusted and inclined to vote against them, they *hope* you *won't* vote. Their strategists will say, "we'll lose support on this one, but after all, we have time before the next election. We have a war chest and can afford $$$$ TV and radio ads. We can get our base back [by opposing the war] / [supporting the war] / [being pro-choice] / [being pro-life] / whatever. We'll run negative ads to attack our opponent. And if we can demoralize the opposition, make them believe that their vote is pointless, so much the better."

    A high turnout ALWAYS sends a message, even if they're re-elected. If your Creature was re-elected by a 10% margin in the previous election, but pulls out a squeaker in this one -- especially if he/she sees a good bit if his/her "base" go for a third party candidate -- it will make him or her think.

    Hopefully, anyway. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2012 @08:06AM (#38684620)

    Yes, the studios and record labels are all greedy bastards, but they're the ones who do have an actual stake in IP rights. When you're making a living based on how well your art is received, then let's talk.

    Um, what? The fuck you say---EVERYONE has a stake in this. EVERYONE. This is not about money, homeboy, it's about our CULTURE.

    The big media trusts are not merely "greedy". They are THIEVES, pure and simple, trying to steal as much of the public domain as they possibly can from us so they can sell it back to us.

  • by smpoole7 (1467717) on Friday January 13, 2012 @08:11AM (#38684658) Homepage

    Where history is actually repeating itself lies in the fact that bought-out politicians are nothing new. This comment is going to sound like it's off at a tangent, but I'm sharing it to maybe calm some people down. To quote someone I heard a while back, "hate is like a deadly poison. YOU'RE the one drinking it, but you hope the OTHER guy dies!"

    Instead of hopeless or mindless rage, channel that into a determined anger that will actually change things. The biggest aid for that is a sense of perspective.

    I like to read alternate history; a good one is Eric Flint's "Rivers of War" series (currently just two books, but I'm gonna give him a noogie if he doesn't produce #3 pretty soon) for a good look at the political situation right after the US was founded. Even then, there were political parties, deals in back rooms, posturing, money and favors ... and (of course) a disastrous war that made some people rich, others poor.

    A lot was said (admittedly, with some justification) about Cheney and Haliburton during W's term, but go back to WWII. Go watch Little Orphan Annie; her benefactor was called "Daddy Warbucks." That was a common joke back then: it was a guy who got rich selling arms during the war. Go back to the Civil War, and you'll find the same thing: there were some people who got ridiculously wealthy off of that conflict. Even in the Revolutionary war, which is the closest you might come to an "ideological" conflict, there were people who stood to lose or gain a great deal on the outcome, and it determined their actions.

    In times of peace, the same thing happens. As Flint points out, some supported a National Bank for noble reasons, but others supported it simply because they thought it was a path to riches. Those who opposed it were equally divided.

    What I've said, in my usual long-winded way, is that politicians have ALWAYS been corrupt. Don't ever give up trying to Fight The Machine(tm), but don't let rage consume you and don't (worst of all) become demoralized if you think your efforts make no difference.

    Usual disclaimer: just my opinion, and worth precisely what you paid for it. :)

  • by rohan972 (880586) on Friday January 13, 2012 @08:14AM (#38684680)

    And yes, Congressional officials don't care about whether or not YOU want it, because let's face it, you don't have any stake what so ever in monetization or piracy of IP goods. So you really don't give one shit or another.

    We do have a stake in what our laws are and Protect IP will impact every one of us. We have an interest in not being censored.

    Yes, the studios and record labels are all greedy bastards, but they're the ones who do have an actual stake in IP rights. When you're making a living based on how well your art is received, then let's talk.

    Will you shut up about every topic that doesn't involve how you make your income? I see you've posted on a number of stories with different topics. How dare you comment on things unrelated to your employment?

    The only justification of copyright in US law is the progress of science and useful arts. I don't care how artistic you think you are, you don't get to screw the country over regarding the progress for the sake of your profits. It is more fitting to say that anyone currently working on such "intellectual goods" ipso facto does not require changes to copyright law to provide an incentive as they have demonstrated that the current law is sufficient to motivate them to work in that industry.

  • by cptdondo (59460) on Friday January 13, 2012 @08:27AM (#38684808) Journal

    That sort of backyard capitalism only works when there's relative parity between the parties. In our current "big business is good, regulation is bad, consumer protection is bad" there is no parity.

    A health insurance company doesn't care if they lose you as a customer. They only want you if you are a net profit to them. And because the companies can legally collude and share information, no other company will want you either. So there's no parity.

    There's parity if you buy a soda; you can always buy Coke, or Pepsi, or RC, or the local brand. But the things that are really critical to us as a society have no parity between the parties.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday January 13, 2012 @09:25AM (#38685368)

    SOPA, PIPA, whatever will all fail, because by design, they're fatally flawed. When everyone gets their IP protected, it will be impossible to develop something new.

    You seem to believe that's an unintended consequence. The current big players have no desire to see anyone 'develop something new' that might take away their business.

    Obviously it will hasten America's decline into bankruptcy and irrelevance, but so long as they can rake in the money for a few more years they don't care.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday January 13, 2012 @09:28AM (#38685400) Journal

    For Congress Creatures(tm), it's all about obtaining the numbers for re-election. If you're disgusted and inclined to vote against them, they *hope* you *won't* vote.

    You have two options. You can either vote for someone who could possibly win, or not. Whether you vote for someone who can't win or vote for no one at all doesn't really make a difference. If you vote for someone who could win, you might legitimately knock the congressperson out of his seat. But what have you done? You've just elected someone who shares at least 99% of the same positions as the guy you were disgusted with.

    And this is how they get us. Voting Democrat is an endorsement of 99% of the Republican platform. And vice versa. Vote third party or don't vote at all. Voting for either major party is throwing your vote away.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:04AM (#38685784)
    It goes back further than that. One of the biggest expansions of federal power was actually regarding narcotics. Notice that Prohibition required a constitutional amendment - at the time, the federal government didn't have the authority to prohibit the sale of alcohol with anything less than a constitutional amendment. The closest they could have managed would be to prohibit its transport across state lines under the commerce clause. Today, a few supreme court rulings later, and it doesn't need any such amendment to ban all the currently prohibited narcotics: A simple law will suffice.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"