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How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA 857

Posted by timothy
from the two-party-narrative dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Strengthening intellectual property enforcement has been a bipartisan issue for the past 25 years, but Stewart Baker writes in the Hollywood Reporter that when the fight went from the committees to the floor and Wikipedia went down, the Democratic and Republican parties reacted very differently to SOPA. 'Despite widespread opposition to SOPA from bloggers on the left, Democrats in Congress (and the administration) were reluctant to oppose the bill outright,' writes Baker. 'The MPAA was not shy about reminding them that Hollywood has been a reliable source of funding for Democratic candidates, and that it would not tolerate defections.' That very public message from the MPAA also reached another audience — Tea Party conservatives. Most of them had never given a second thought to intellectual property enforcement, but many had drawn support from conservative bloggers and they began to ask why they should risk the ire of their internet supporters to rescue an industry that was happily advertising how much it hated them." (Read on, below.)
Pickens continues: "Pretty soon, far more Republicans than Democrats had bailed on SOPA, the Republican presidential candidates had all come out for what they called 'Internet freedom,' and now for Republicans, opposition to new intellectual property enforcement is starting to look like a political winner. 'It pleases conservative bloggers, appeals to young swing voters, stokes the culture wars and drives a wedge between two Democratic constituencies, Hollywood and Silicon Valley,' concludes Baker, adding that unfortunately for Hollywood, as its customers migrate to the Internet, it is losing not just their money but their hearts and minds as well."
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How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA

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  • here we go (Score:5, Funny)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:50AM (#38914021) Homepage Journal

    made popcorn as soon as I saw this come up in red - have at it kids.

    • Re:here we go (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TWX (665546) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:14AM (#38914213)

      Yeah, I love it how people these days forget that in politics, one has to look at the options, actually evaluate what these candidates have done in the past and what they claim they'll do now, and pick one that has the most in common with the realistic goals that they share.

      This, "Ohmygod! They agree with me on W, X, Y, and Z, but disagree with me on A and B, oh the horror!" attitude that seems prevalent is saddening. I know that I am not going to agree with everything that is espoused or even actually held as a belief by a candidate that I choose from. I have to pick the candidate that I think will do the best job all around, and issue-politics and muckracking doesn't help me see the bulk of the positions that a given candidate takes, only the ones that the opponents of the candidate think will be the most onerous.

      • Re:here we go (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:32AM (#38914455)

        This, "Ohmygod! They agree with me on W, X, Y, and Z, but disagree with me on A and B, oh the horror!" attitude that seems prevalent is saddening.

        I depends. Different issues have different levels of importance to different people. It could be the the person in your quote has a preferred position on W, X, Y, and Z, but doesn't care that much, but A and B are their key issues of concern. In such a case, they rightly shouldn't support the candidate.

      • Re:here we go (Score:5, Interesting)

        by JWW (79176) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:33AM (#38914477)

        I generally abhor people who are one issue voters.

        But, the Internet is the most powerful platform for free and open communication the world has ever seen.

        My opinion now is that ANY politician from ANY party who supports crippling the Internet is not just undesirable, but is in fact my enemy.

        I will be a single issue voter when the future of the Internet is on the line.

        • Re:here we go (Score:5, Insightful)

          by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:50AM (#38914721) Homepage Journal

          See, you just need to care enough.

          Just imagine that you really believe that abortion (at any point in pregnancy) is morally identical to lining up young children and shooting them in the head. Do you see how that one position could outweigh all other considerations?

          One issue voters are people who care very, very deeply about that one issue. I don't understand why anyone would resent that. The key is getting them to see that there may be more than one way to address their key issue.

    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:15AM (#38914239)

      This is the geek-world "Truth That Dare Not Speak It's Name," namely that it is the liberal/democrat machine that continues to give oxygen and sustenance to that e-e-e-e-e-e-evil content distribution industry. Maybe it's because so many of the artists themselves usually espouse left-wing politics, support the democratic candidates, and will not know how to earn a dime if technical progress continues to chip away at the struts in the old content/contract/distribution/residuals system.

      "Popcorn," indeed...

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:54AM (#38914037)
    The Democrats have been Hollywood's party for a long time now, so of course they would support this sort of bill more than the Republicans. These "two" parties are differentiated only by which set of corporations they work for the benefit of, after all (and the two sets are not even disjoint).
    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:59AM (#38914085) Homepage

      And yet capitalism -- let us not forget that Big Brother presides over an integrated, global capitalist system -- must be democratic, because it cannot be anything else. Capitalism could only grow hand-in-hand with democratic society. To deploy itself fully over the face of the whole planet, capitalism must even now permanently assure everyone of a choice, the outcome of which it has determined in advance. One must be able to choose between two indistinguishable politicians or two indistinguishable political ideologies because one chooses between two indistinguishable commodities. If there is no appearance of political democracy, there can be no sustainable capitalist system. This has been proven to be true by the permanent atrophy of the merchants in oriental despotism, by the ultimate defeat of Hitlerian and Mussolinian fascism, and by how poorly bureaucratic capitalism was managed by Stalinism.

  • Breaking news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 03, 2012 @09:55AM (#38914039) Journal

    Dems backed by Hollywood and green tech, Repubs backed by fossil energy and military tech; parties found attacking opposition's supporters. Film at 11.

  • Holy shit... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:00AM (#38914101)
    Did some politicians just say that it sometimes helps to listen to the electorate?

    MY HEAD A SPLODE.
  • by laffer1 (701823) <lukeNO@SPAMfoolishgames.com> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:05AM (#38914131) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, the guy who introduced the bill is in the GOP. Give me a break slashdot.

    http://lamarsmith.house.gov/ [house.gov]

    • by jellie (949898) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:22AM (#38914305)

      Of course you're correct, but this is all the right-wing (and Tea Party) spin on the issues. The main article is written by a former official under Bush II who conveniently ignores the fact that the Republican party opposes EVERYTHING supported by any Democrats. The Democrats wanted to extend the payroll tax cut, while the Republicans opposed it until they finally gave in on a two month extension. They're also trying to kill any additional regulation of Wall Street, because these bills are usually being proposed by Democrats. And the "individual mandate" of the Obama health care plan? That was supported by Nixon, the Heritage Foundation, and even Romney way before Obama proposed it.

      This is just typical rewriting of history.

  • So we are forgetting (Score:5, Informative)

    by Squiddie (1942230) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:06AM (#38914145)
    We are forgetting that Lamar Smith, a Republican first proposed this thing, correct? Face it, it wasn't Tea Party supporters or Republicans that stopped this. It was all of us that wanted Internet freedom. It was the threat of being voted out of office that made these politicians reject it, not one party or another. You bet your ass either side would pass it if they thought they could get away with it.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:33AM (#38914479)

    who was... wait for it... A democrat.

    I'm not going to blame either side for this... I think we can agree that both parties have been on both sides of this issue.

    Lets just be happy SOPA died and remember in the future that MAYBE the "other" party which ever that might be for you MIGHT not be made up entirely of vampire demon nazis... and might just be okay people with a different perspective on things.

    Honestly, most of the political disagreements would go away if we stopped trying to impose things on people that don't want to participate. If you have a great idea... great. Anyone that actually likes that idea will support it. If your idea involves forcing people at gun point to do what you say though... maybe it isn't such a great idea.

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:41AM (#38914611) Homepage

    The Republicans deserve credit for how they stand up for freedom in general and against SOPA in particular. If I were a single-issue voter, this would make me vote republican. They have the correct position on this issue.

    Of course, I'm not a single-issue voter, and the Republicans are pants-on-head-retarded about almost everything else. But give them credit for being right this once.

  • Let Me Restate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:57AM (#38915647) Homepage

    So, to restate: More than a decade after the technical experts on the implementation side began explaining that centralized inhibition of copyright infringement is a costly boondoggle which will do far more to harm the public than to prevent copyright infringement, and more than a year after more fiscally minded people started asking whether we should be reducing copyright grants and enforcement instead of increasing them on a pure GDP maximization basis, the Tea Party decide to test the waters of supporting the rational, societally beneficial side. They did so when we technologists finally got so fed up that we started turning off the Internet. Actually, it wasn't just that -- they also realized (and frankly it was mostly this) they could use it as a political wedge issue to angle a few more seats in the power-and-pork circus.

    Yeah, that's great. Nice work guys. Today you are truly statesmen.

    I'll make you a deal -- you start showing some actual leadership on this issue. Start doing some research on the cost effectiveness, publishing the results, and using your offices as a serious bully pulpit to explain why the very spirit of America demands unhindered free speech on the Internet. You show that you understand why every step we have taken on digital copyright enforcement from the DMCA forward has been a direct violation of America's most sacred principles. You start trying to explain that to the populace, instead of just flapping in the breeze of popular emotionalism. You do that, then I'll stop thinking you are shameless opportunists who are only slightly less despicable on this particular issue than any of the other corrupt vermin in D.C.

    Oh, and one more thing: You better make it clear that free speech means radical Muslims and American dissidents too. Everyone gets to speak, even if they are insane, evil, violent assholes.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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