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PRO-IP and PIRATE Acts Fused Into New Bill

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the when-legislation-attacks dept.

Government 324

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have just sponsored a new bill, the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, which would combine the worst parts of the PRO-IP Act and the PIRATE Act. The basic idea is pretty simple: expand the Federal government to create something like the Department of Homeland Security for IP. The Copyright Czar then polices the internet and clogs the courts with thousands of civil lawsuits against individual infringers so the RIAA doesn't have to. Feel free to contact your representatives with your feelings about this bill. Right now, they believe the bill (PDF) will 'protect jobs.'"

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Protect jobs? (5, Interesting)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347211)

Ermm.....more likely "will protect the stream of political contributions and lobbying money from the RIAA/MPAA/etc."

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347287)

Yep, protect jobs. Time to become a copyright lawyer...

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Insightful)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347901)

Yep, protect jobs. Time to become a copyright lawyer...

Or a Jail Warden..

It's gonna be shitty to be an artist though ..

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347305)

the theory goes that if intellectual property can be protected totally, then money will be made in large amounts.

What it actually means is that as soon as profits are assured by this sort of action we will see distribution channels becoming more powerful, taking a bigger cut, and IP owners getting a smaller piece of the pie.

Not that it would work, no government that criminalises millions of its own citizens has done well in the long term.

Re:Protect jobs? (3, Interesting)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347363)

How many people are in prison for nonviolent drugs offences, "crimes" that wouldn't even be illegal in a free country? You can criminalise millions of people as long as the majority has a reason to look down on them; you can prohibit anything that the majority doesn't do (or won't admit to doing).

We can expect the War on Pirates to be the same runaway success as the War on Drugs. I think they will probably eventually succeed in forcing piracy off the public Internet, just as they forced drug dealers into the back streets. The pirating will, of course, continue by sneakernet.

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347397)

in this case the criminalised group would be predominantly middle class, since that is the social group with the highest percentage of internet access.

No-one cares if you criminalise lower class/unemployed/homeless/poor people. Really, they don't. Its amazing how little people with even a little success care about people less well off then them. It sounds cynical, but I'm only being honest. How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?

Criminalise people who are successful, have nice houses, jobs, and are otherwise highly respectable, and you have a potential storm on your hands.

Re:Protect jobs? - They are right (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347539)

It will "protect 'jobs'". Put that last little word through your Noam Chomsky filter [youtube.com] , and it translates:

"protect profits".

but that does not envoke the same emotion in the masses as "Jobs" do.
Which your congress spokesperson might have a hard time trying to disagree with this bill.

Re:Protect jobs? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347579)

Pathetic slashdotters don't have nice jobs, houses or cars... They live on their moms' basements and download pr0n the whole day, because they are not able to create. So, that is why they are so upset when someone try to put a bill in place to protect the rights of real people, that create real things. Slashdotters then get crazy and begin to rant...

Re:Protect jobs? (4, Insightful)

chunk08 (1229574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347983)

I know, feeding troll, but there is a common myth which really needs to get thrashed.

Pathetic slashdotters don't have nice jobs, houses or cars... They live on their moms' basements and download pr0n the whole day, because they are not able to create.

Way to use a stereotype as an argument. -fail #1

So, that is why they are so upset when someone try to put a bill in place to protect the rights of real people, that create real things.

No, we just recognize better than most that "intellectual property" is not property at all. Property exists because of limited resources. I can't magically create a new house/car/yard for my friend just because I have one. Therefore, it can only belong to one party. Knowledge or "intellectual property" can be copied at will. So, trying to restrict it is putting a monopoly where there is none.

Slashdotters then get crazy and begin to rant...

Like you...

Re:Protect jobs? (1)

iMOSET (1319113) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347987)

How does that propaganda taste?

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347813)

How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?
 
Ok, so you only have friends at or above your social class. Explain your friends then, or do that not count as actual people?
They have friends below their social class, so either their slumming it cause they feel bad about you, or they, like many more americans than you care to admit are different than you, don't see social class as noteworthy.

Re:Protect jobs? (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347891)

How many friends do you have that aren't in or above your social class?

By definition, if you have friends "above your social class," then your friends have friends below their social class, which kind of defeats your argument.

That said, I think it's more a matter that people are inherently selfish. They don't do anything when others are mistreated, only when they themselves are affected. And the poor don't have the resources to make a loud noise by themselves, so it needs to affect people who can afford the lawyers and lobbyists to get attention.

Same effect, different cause.

Re:Protect jobs? (2, Insightful)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347713)

I never thought about it this way but as someone who favors decriminalization your comparison is very accurate. It's just another way for politicians to look good in the eyes of the uninformed common citizen. "I'm helping to stop piracy" is really similar to "I'm helping to stop people from using drugs." It's just targeting and demonizing a group of people who engage in questionable/unpopular activities, and using force or the threat of force to prevent them from doing their activity. The people will love you for it.

Re:Protect jobs? (0)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347523)

no government that criminalises millions of its own citizens has done well in the long term.

Sorry to nitpick, but it was actually the citizens who criminalised themselves. The rights of artists to their works came way before the rights of others to trample them.

I guess this is the sometimes slow process of revisionism taking place, ready to wipe out any memory of all the positive effects of copyrights.

Re:Protect jobs? (4, Insightful)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347623)

The rights of artists to their works came way before the rights of others to trample them.

The "rights" of artists to their works came in the last few centuries. The right to share other people's stories came when Ugh first told a story about how he tackled a dinosaur.

I guess this is the sometimes slow process of revisionism taking place, ready to wipe out any memory of all the positive effects of copyrights.

To be fair, the *AA + gov is making it difficult to remember the positive side of copyright.

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Informative)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347789)

The rights of artists to their works came way before the rights of others to trample them.

Copyright has never been about the rights of artists. Since the seventeenth century stationers guild it's been about the right to profit by exploiting the artists and the crowns need to censor and control publication.

Had protecting the rights of authors and artists actually mattered, rather than being used as a thinly disguised excuse to fool the gullible, intellectual 'property' would have been concerned with funneling resources to the actual artists and creators rather than securing monopolies for the holders of the rights.

all the positive effects of copyrights.

There are no positive effects of copyrights. As a whole they damage creativity, slow down creative derivative works, hamper incremental improvement and skew the distribution channels towards creative poverty. More talent and works are marginalized than are aided, helped and spread through the current regime.

Don't get me wrong, there _could_ be positive effects of a system funneling money towards the creators of works and creating a financial incentive for creative work. But intellectual monopoly rights aren't that, nor have they been, nor are they going to be.

Re:Protect jobs? (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347677)

the theory goes that if intellectual property can be protected totally, then money will be made in large amounts.

Of course, as intellectual 'property' usually doesn't involve actually making money (unless you're the mint), it's more appropriate to say that protecting intellectual 'property' means more money will be transferred to corporate accounts.

As that money would otherwise have been spent on other things in the economy, it's most likely that the transfer of money into highly wasteful monopolistic corporations result in a net loss of jobs for the economy (not to mention a net loss of wealth for the economy as a whole).

Tax Evaders should not get relief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347513)

Both music and film industries DO NOT pay their fair share of tax - in fact numbers paid point to outright evasion.

Multilevel distribution agreements across international tax havens ensure uncle Sam only sees chump change.

A better idea is to link prosecution priority to net income /taxes paid. The tinpot police should also investigate the finances of those bankrolling congresscritters.

Re:Protect jobs? (3, Interesting)

gerf (532474) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347581)

Obviously we need another way to fun politicians then. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court gave businesses the rights of citizens, which in this case facilitates a de facto oligarchy.

The only solution, in my mind, would be for individuals to outnumber the businesses in their influence on Washington. There are only a few ways we have of influencing our representitives: Vote, Send money, campaign. What we need is a solution that combines those traits and organizes the real populace. I.E. a popular PAC.

What I'd like to see someone create is a website where an individual could in essence bribe their own representative by promising to donate $xx.xx if they vote correctly on a certain issue, promise that they will remember that vote (reminded by said website when election time comes), and that the general issue will be talked about/watched by that individual in the future. Imagine a House member receiving a message that they would receive $50,000 for their campaign in 3 years and that 5000 people will remember this particular vote when election times come around. Normally, they'd expect everyone to have forgotten the issue by that time, and not vote according to how the people think is best. Of course the site/PAC/whatever would have to be independent of party affiliation and open to both sides of every issue. Individuals can't be expected to watch every bill, so they'd have to be able to filter out what to watch for, and how votes are handled. Also, other PACs could use the site's infrastructure for payments or subscribing their own reviews of bills (a gargantuan effort as it is).

This would all be akin to the Ron Paul effort, where individuals showed a great resolve. On the presidential level, perhaps that effort wasn't great enough. But imagine influencing Representatives in the House or on State levels. Truly, some gains could be made there.

There may be something already like this, and it'd be difficult to manage, but it's the best idea I've had to correct many wrongs we've seen recently.

Re:Protect jobs? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347621)

The truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country.... People shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.

Re:Protect jobs? (1)

MSZ (26307) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347833)

I think we need a little change. When giving names of the politicians supporting these kinds of laws, it should be not the state they live in but whom they work for given for affiliation. Then,
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have just sponsored a new bill
would become like
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-RIAA) and Arlen Specter (R-MPAA) have just sponsored a new bill.

Much more clear and informative.

PS. Sorry if their MAFIAA affiliations are reversed, I'm not current on the bribe flows.

Re:Protect jobs? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#24348047)

Sounds like a winner.

When I wrote Saint Wellstone (D) that I thought it was outrageous that the DMCA made me a felon for playing a DVD on a linux machine, he strongly defended the vote and wrote that he'd do it again. Any media bill is going to get wide bipartisan support. Presumably, Democrats feel good about Hollywood money because at least it isn't money from a cluster bomb factory or Exxon/Mobil.

And, really, besides raw materials exports like a third world country, what are the U.S. technical exports in the 21st century besides entertainment?

kill (1, Troll)

LogicallyGenius (916669) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347223)

i wonder when will people start killing these american senators who are doing things that people dont want. in democracy thats treason.

Re:kill (-1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347259)

Well, we can re-elect new ones, but all of them are the same. I say. RMS for president! Put Torvalds, ESR and other open source figures in congress and we might have a decent government. But I don't see RMS campaign posters... yet.

Re:kill (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347361)

No-one in their right mind would elect him to public office.
Fantastically gifted coder he may be, a founder of open source he most certainly is, but another thing he is, is a zealot. That type of person rarely does well in a job where compromise is the order of the day.
Not that its a bad thing he's so single minded. Open source wouldn't have its most important tool chain were it not for him, and the philosophy would have got nowhere but for his bull headedness on the issue.
That said, I'd never vote to put him in public office, never in a million gazillion years.

Re:kill (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347661)

So instead we elect people who change whenever someone mentions America? Seriously, we need someone where we know where they stand, and RMS has always stood for software freedom. And what we need is less compromise in politics. RMS is true to what he believes in, and when McCain or Obama gets elected, we will see that everything they told us in the campaign speeches and ads are unfulfilled promises.

Chinese curses in office (2, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24348015)

Damn it,

"someone who knows where they stand ... less compromise in politics ..."

That sounds like what we have right now. "Stay the Course" - even when it crushes the country.

"Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it."

Re:kill (1)

pfleming (683342) | more than 6 years ago | (#24348003)

No-one in their right mind would elect him to public office. ...he is, is a zealot. That type of person rarely does well in a job where compromise is the order of the day.

And this is different from GWB how?

Re:kill (5, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347421)

i wonder when will people start killing these american senators who are doing things that people dont want. in democracy thats treason.

As the great Votaire put it:

"An ideal form of government is democracy, tempered with assassination."

Clever guy.

History be cyclical, mothafuckas (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347229)

Czars in America. How did that shit come to be?

Encryption for the mothers? (1)

murmel90 (1236712) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347233)

Let's hope that everyone starts using high-end ecryption and maybe someone smart'll come up with more methods.. even better than what we got now! Leave the internet alone!! -_-

The name of the new bill (3, Funny)

allanc (25681) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347235)

If they'd had any class at all, they'd have named the new combined bill the "PRO-PIRATE" bill.

Why do we need this? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347237)

Honestly, why do we need this? Everyone talks about how music is dying, and how movies are dying. But a quick search on MySpace or YouTube gives thousands of indie bands and a lot are as good or somewhat better than the ones signed with a record company. There are lots of low-budget films circulating YouTube, now while a lot aren't as good as the ones that take millions to make, a lot are really entertaining, something that a lot of Hollywood films aren't.

Just because not everyone wants fast food doesn't give the fast foot industry the right to in a way punish previously legal activities for the goal of getting more people to eat fast food. In any other industry, a bill like this would be laughed at even by the idiots that are in our congress, but it seems that any trade group with the word America is enough to throw both republicans and democrats into passing a bill. Idiots.

Re:Why do we need this? (3, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347261)

Who's passing a bill? They introduce it, it gets shot down. Repeat. The other two didn't pass, did they? Everybody's happy. The corporations think that they're getting value for their money, the politicans pocket the campaign contributions, and slashdot readers get to froth at the mouth and try to construct new metaphors to explain IPR violations. Everyone wins!

Re:Why do we need this? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347279)

But it is wrong that it even got introduced. It would be like introducing a bill that allowed the government to take whatever you owned with no warrant and the ability to sell that at auctions. Sure that bill wouldn't get voted in, and hopefully the supreme court would find it un-constitutional, but it shouldn't have gotten introduced.

Re:Why do we need this? (2, Informative)

JLDohm (741501) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347837)

But it is wrong that it even got introduced. It would be like introducing a bill that allowed the government to take whatever you owned with no warrant and the ability to sell that at auctions. Sure that bill wouldn't get voted in, and hopefully the supreme court would find it un-constitutional, but it shouldn't have gotten introduced.

They can't take whatever you own, just cash that has traces of narcotics on it (>90% of bills in circulation) or a car that had traces of drugs in it.

It's called civil asset forfeiture. See Downsize DC [downsizedc.org] for more information.

Re:Why do we need this? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347389)

Who's passing a bill? They introduce it, it gets shot down. Repeat. The other two didn't pass, did they? Everybody's happy. [...] Everyone wins!

The dangerous thing about that cycle is that one day the sponsors of this type of legislation will attach it to *must pass* spending or military bill and we're fucked.

Re:Why do we need this? (4, Informative)

stinerman (812158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347429)

From TFA:

Intellectual property legislation introduced in the Senate on Thursday would combine elements of two controversial IP enforcement bills: The PRO-IP Act, which passed the House by a wide margin in May, and the PIRATE Act, which has won Senate approval several times since its first introduction in 2004.

In fact it was the first sentence.

The Senators are trying to tie their PIRATE legislation to the already popular PRO-IP legislation that passed the house.

The U.S. government is thoroughly corrupt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347639)

The U.S. government is EXTREMELY corrupt. Passing bills for those who paid the most is only a small part of it. The U.S. government is already fighting a war with Iran [newyorker.com] . There is talk of "diplomacy", but that is only to stop complaints. The situation is the same as before invading Iraq. There was talk of diplomacy, but the leaders in Iraq knew that the U.S. government would invade, no matter what was said.

The purpose of invading Iran is the same as the purpose of invading Iraq: to restrict the supply of oil even further, so that oil prices will rise even further.

Re:The U.S. government is thoroughly corrupt. (0, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347683)

Oh yah. We all know this to be true. Lets see, my guess is you think that the people wanting to invade Iran are republicans right? Who are the people saying we need offshore drilling? Who are the people who say we should drill in Alaska? Oh wait, republicans. And lets see, you probably think that democrats would oppose the invasion, but wait, they don't want us to have offshore drilling nor drill in Alaska. Face it, we wouldn't have had $4 a gallon for gas if we just drilled where we have oil, both in Alaska and offshore.

Re:The U.S. government is thoroughly corrupt. (2, Insightful)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347903)

Why does everything have to revolve around democrats vs Republicans with you Americans? Two parties and you yankees call yourselves a democracy? Right...

In any other industry... they'd blame the problem. (4, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347267)

In any other industry, the core problem would be addressed.

for auto manufacturers, the problem is nafta, not poor quality domestic vehicles.

for food prices, the problem is biofuel, not subsidized farming.

for power generation (and shortfalls), the problem is canada and mexico, not insufficient production.

for job loss, the problem is immigration, not high wages.

for the recession? the problem is terrorism!!!, not the trillions of dollars borrowed and spent on the war, subprime mortgages, and the bush administration's economic policies...

And for piracy? the problem is canada, china, and piracy ... not hollywood crap, and extremely high prices for garbage.

I think that if there wasn't so much high priced garbage, people would start paying for their movies and music again. I'm 100% against paying for something (like a cd), finding out it is crap, and being stuck with something I don't want... almost every other industry, I can return unwanted goods. When music/movies are like that, I'll stop pirating.

Re:In any other industry... they'd blame the probl (3, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347301)

Exactly. I just bought Bioshock and the thing keeps crashing on my computer. I should have pirated it first, but I was trying to be honest and had waited for it to hit an acceptable price point (which it did on steam this weekend). Now I'm being punished for being honest. At least when I get viruses from pirating shit, I know what I'm getting in to.

Now I'm stuck with a couple of gigs of worthless data on my hard drive that I feel like I should keep around in case they patch it. And I'm convinced more than ever that when spore comes out, that shit is coming off the pirate bay. I'm not going to pay for another 60 dollar doorstop.

Re:In any other industry... they'd blame the probl (2, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347333)

No, what you should have done was run Linux then virtualize a pirated Windows install to run your pirated Bioshock. That way, you are not only a pirate but a communist too!!!

Re:In any other industry... they'd blame the probl (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347541)

Unfortunately, there's no way to run Bioshock in a WM yet :(

Re:In any other industry... they'd blame the probl (1)

Digital End (1305341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347717)

Odd... I pirated it and it worked perfectly. :)

Re:In any other industry... they'd blame the probl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347797)

There is a demo available (on Steam no less), you could have tested it on your computer before hand.

Re:Why do we need this? (4, Insightful)

Digital End (1305341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347445)

"The ability to gain endless wealth thru the skill of a few select people's talent in music and movie is dieing"

Think that's more what they're spazzing about

Time for an RIAA tea party (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347251)

Although I'm not sure throwing intangible goods into the harbour is going to be so effective.

Re:Time for an RIAA tea party (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347281)

I always pictured an RIAA tea party involving a bunch of fat rich white motherfuckers in suits sinking to the bottom of a bay. Probably be more effective at sending a message than tossing in a thumb drive with the latest shit from Brittney on it, not to mention cheaper and more fun.

Re:Time for an RIAA tea party (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347303)

Not such a terrible idea.

Create a 'Tea Party' hosts file addition, and put all websites that support the RIAA and MPAA on it and point them to a Tea Party web page, describing why we refuse to support business that support them.

Re:Time for an RIAA tea party (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347327)

Just dump your computer into the Boston harbor, that'll teach'em.

Re:Time for an RIAA tea party (1)

nih (411096) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347493)

thats it!
/me throws some old cd's into his backyard pond

revolution!

Re:Time for an RIAA tea party (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347769)

Everybody meat in Boston, write an idea down on a piece of paper, and throw it into the harbour?

Amazing... (4, Informative)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347265)

This bill basically gives federal prosecutors the right to bring a civil suit against infringers on behalf of the copyright owner (with proceeds going to the copyright owner), AND leaves the option open for the copyright holder to file his own suit on top of it. Now you can get sued twice for the same thing, with damages doubled up to $2 million per infringement. And best of all, the taxpayers will foot the bill for civil suits by the government.

Unbelievable. Really.

Re:Amazing... (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347451)

This bill basically gives federal prosecutors the right to bring a civil suit against infringers on behalf of the copyright owner

The definition of a civil lawsuit includes the idea that the victim brings the lawsuit on their own behalf and pays their own legal fees.

If Federal Prosecutors are going to be bringing these lawsuits on the victim's behalf, maybe we should change the standard of proof from 'a preponderance' to 'beyond a reasonable doubt'.

Re:Amazing... (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347511)

Unbelievable? Bush was elected twice. And if Jeb was on the ticket, he would get elected twice. Nothing is unbelievable anymore.

I'm all for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347285)

These bills should be supported. When the United States has fully implemented the Soviet_Union_For_Corporations, only then will your average suburbian join the revolution.

Please don't contact your reps... (-1, Troll)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347307)

Please don't contact your congressmen and senators on stopping this bill. It doesn't matter whether you do a sit-in in front of their office or send in thousands of letters protesting this bill.
This bill WILL BE Passes because the money-bags have already bought the senators.
Don't you guys ever learn even after suffering multiple insults?
1. No Impeachment of bush even though most senators swore to it.
2. No arresting Karl Rove.
3. No pro-consumer choice for DRM infested systems that hang us high (Yahoo and MSN)
4. No relief from foreclosure for your homes and mine, but only to Countrywide and Fannie Mae.
5. No relief from high gas prices by siccing the RICO act on Exxon.
6. No free/low-cost medicare
7. No stopping the war in Iraq.
Take the hint: Your senators and congressmen and the president do NOT represent you. They are voted by you by "force". Just like you are forced to pay taxes but can't decide how it is spent.
Stop posting, writing or protesting (by citizen-arresting karl rove???).
You will only end up in prison or worse in Gitmo.

Slave, pay your taxes and go home silently to enjoy the 500 channels.
God save the King.

Re:Please don't contact your reps... (2, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347369)

4. No relief from foreclosure for your homes and mine, but only to Countrywide and Fannie Mae.

You know, if people wouldn't take out loans they can't afford, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

Re:Please don't contact your reps... (3, Insightful)

dodecalogue (1281666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347501)

You know, if people wouldn't take out loans they can't afford, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

You know, that's something you hear ALL OVER the place, and yet an enormous number of people had acted in this way which is so spat-upon by most of the smarty-smart forums I frequent. The thing is, though, that if there is such a large amount of similar sentiment or action, there is probably something worth examining there. I would say it has something to do with incredibly smart (well, that's debatable. let's say "good with words") people who write insanely convoluted contracts that everybody and their cousin just signs off the bat without reading (EULA much?) and it's understood that that's how that's done. Added to that, growing up as many of us probably have in a culture that prizes "credit history" (I understand it's being tied to insurance costs, now) which can ONLY be gotten from debt, then I can sympathize with the consumer in these cases (especially after having finally rid myself of debt, probably 10 years later and thousands upon thousands of dollars in interest, and mine's a pretty light case, there are people dealing with mountains of cascading debt). All our choices, all our own fault. But with SO many people in that situation, it's more interesting to look at "why" than just somehow blame them for being wrong. (see: "public misunderstanding" around the release of KDE4.0)

Re:Please don't contact your reps... (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347403)

1. Most senators did not swear to it.
2. Not within the senate's power to decide.
3. Yahoo is now dead. I think the market is handling this fairly well.
4. Foreclosure happens because you took money that you could not pay back. Frankly Fannie should just be allowed to dissolve, but doing that could prolong the crisis.
5. I'm sure that taking oil producers to court would not be a good way to lower gas prices. Thats even assuming RICO was applicable in this case, which it is not.
6. We also don't have magical unicorns pooping candy that cures cancer. Deal.
7. Its stopping itself. You just might not be around to see it.

I disagree with you on many topics, but feel your frustration with the seeming powerlessness we citizens have. Surrender has never provided anything to a people other than defeat. We must continue to struggle or we will just be smothered. Maybe we should write a little letter to our representatives and start it off with, "When, in the course of human events..."

Hey... wtf. mod parent up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347409)

He's 100% right. Are you fucking stupid or something?

Re:Please don't contact your reps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347809)

There is an answer to this, you know. You don't have to continue to be a slave any more:
http://www.metagovernment.org/wiki/Main_Page [metagovernment.org]

Re:Please don't contact your reps... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347811)

*pssst*

You're allowed to run for office.

Re:Please don't contact your reps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24348017)

The OP is talking about national politics. Theoretically, one can run for those offices, but one has a statistically insignificant chance of winning without first establishing oneself with a party (or accumulating a huge amount of cash and/or notoriety).

Here is the trick: to establish oneself within a party, all one has to do is completely sell out to the private interests aligned with that party.

So no, the OP does not have a chance of running for office. Zero. Their only chance is if they join the groups against which they currently rant. But at that point, they would no longer be the same person at all.

Just like (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347315)

ploughing billions of dollars of tax payers money into gas guzzling SUV's saved jobs right ? Don't laugh the US divisions of most car makers is now the only ones losing money, for example, if Ford stopped selling cars in the USA it would be making a profit.

Its unbelievable ! (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347329)

how can the ELECTED senators in your country can easily move against the wishes of the people, so blatantly, so fearlessly, so hypocritically ? unbelievable.

Re:Its unbelievable ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347425)

What makes you think any member person in Congress is elected? Well, maybe the Senate.

It's not so much of an election, as people simply voting their party in a congressional district that is designed in such a way that the same party wins every time. If anything, the people who elect our Representatives are those who win the party nomination, which varies based on state law determined by how they get on the primary ballot in the first place. Of course, the person who is going to get the nomination is the one who has the right funding, and the one who has the right funding already has the connections or funds to begin with. So if anything, the Almighty Dollar elects our Representatives.

Re:Its unbelievable ! (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347485)

how can the ELECTED senators in your country can easily move against the wishes of the people, so blatantly, so fearlessly, so hypocritically ? unbelievable.

Because it is expensive and difficult to recall an ELECTED Senator, they generally get to do what they want for six years.

The fact that the majority of them get re-elected suggests that more often than not, whatever pork they bring home and put on their constituents' table outweighs the 'bad' votes they had to make in return.

Re:Its unbelievable ! (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347821)

You need to push for committee reform if you want that. The most power in Washington goes to the people who sit on committees. Seniority in committees is based on the number of consecutive years you've spent in power. The more influence a politician has, the more they can do for their constituents. Ideally, you would want this set of changes:
  • No riders. Bills must relate to a single subject, you can't tack on pork to any other bill, you have to propose it separately.
  • Length limit. If a bill is too long to be read thoroughly by those voting for it, it should not be allowed to pass (ethical politicians would vote against any bill they - or their staff - have not read in detail anyway, but they are few and far between).
  • Committee membership based on relevant experience. Biases against career politicians, as they are the least likely to have useful experience outside politics.
  • Committee chairmanship by random lot. Removes advantage of incumbents.

Re:Its unbelievable ! (1)

XcepticZP (1331217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347945)

Everyone should vote yes/no on each bill they try to pass. A logistics nightmare maybe, but well worth the trouble if it gets bills like this thrown out by a murderous majority. Besides, this whole system of elected "Representatives" acting on behalf of the people is outdated and needs to be changed according to what society is now. The people should have a say in everything. Period.

Not like DHS (5, Informative)

ronmon (95471) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347339)

Department of Homeland Security is a "Department", which comes with a seat on the Cabinet. This looks more like the DEA with its "Drug Czar", which I believe falls into the "Agency" category. No cabinet post.

The property seizure powers also look similar, though not so much the civil litigation stuff.

Re:Not like DHS (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347461)

Yeah really. This is like the War on Drugs all over again, and we all know how well that turned out...

Re:Not like DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347719)

Nevertheless, I like the idea that you can criticize any proposed government action by likening it to the DHS. It appeals to my carefully cultivated sense of laziness. Thus:

"Al Gore wants to create a Department of Homeland Security for Carbon Dioxide."

"John McCain wants to create a Department of Homeland Security for Bombing Iran."

"Barack Obama wants to create a Department of Homeland Security for Audaciously Hoping."

A love letter... (0, Troll)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347349)

Dear USA,

Fuck off.

Hugs n kisses,
The rest of us

they WONT listen to you. GET IT (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347351)

its a battle between selfishness, self centeredness and will of the people.

you think that by protesting, talking to them, you will have them change their mind ? or by working IN the system, you will be able to compete ? how many stuff you have failed to prevent in the last 10 years by doing that ?

they DONT CARE what you think. they get their votes by doing greasy campaigns that run by donation money from whomever has the cash, and they just do as they or their masters please. thats the gist of it.

you better draw them off, and start thinking what you can do WITHOUT them being on board, because they wont be.

basically your senators have become your enemies.

THEY DONT SERVE YOU

Re:they WONT listen to you. GET IT (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347381)

It's not that they don't care what we think. The problem is that Leahy is a moron and he thinks this (and many other bad policies) is a great idea.

Re:they WONT listen to you. GET IT (1)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347599)

It's not that they don't care what we think. The problem is that Leahy is a moron and he thinks this (and many other bad policies) is a great idea.

I used to think like that, then I started to work in central government.

Be assured, your view is (endearingly, but massively) naïve.

The Solution To This Is Simple (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347441)

Just stop using the Internet to steal music.

Re:The Solution To This Is Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347495)

Do people arrange heists in online chats or how do you steal using the internet?

Re:The Solution To This Is Simple (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347535)

This battle was being fought long before the internet came along. They could also be using this opportunity to be giving clear guidance on what constitutes fair-use, which is desperately needed, but they clearly do not care about that.

Re:The Solution To This Is Simple (2)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347665)

"Just stop using the Internet to steal music."

Tell that to Microsoft and McAfee, who tacitly approved of "piracy" to garner marketshare for their crapware.

This isn't about "theft" or "protecting jobs", it's about dead business models and sh*tty products being protected by clueless politicians for the benefit of greedy, intellectually insufficient imbeciles at the helms of various corporations.

technical problem (5, Insightful)

spikenerd (642677) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347457)

Combine this with FISA, and suddenly the only obstacle left is encryption. We all know what's coming next... The "No encryption for potential terrorists act", the "mandatory back-door act", or the "if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear act".

...so instead of posting about how we're all so insightful for foreseeing it, or just whining about the government (as though our congressman might read Slashdot), let's do what we do best and solve this problem, except this time before it even happens.

It seems to me that the solution to censorship is to route around it. How about if we code up some steganography tool to hide encrypted messages, and give them the back-door to a bunch of worthless garbage? (i.e. SSH over Nigerian scam mail.) Perhaps they'll notice that all the geeks are communicating with variations of Nigerian spam emails, but the only way they could stop us would be to solve the SPAM problem. Good luck legislating that away.

Hey, Pennsylvania. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347471)

We've rid ourselves of the idiot that was Santorum; let us rid ourselves of Specter at the next opportunity.

Specter's agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347505)

Specter is behind this because he really wants to prevent NFL teams from stealing signals by claiming it is IP theft. The bottom line is New England forfeits their Super Bowl win over Philadelphia and Specter gets more Philly fan votes.

cryptoi everywhere all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347525)

Want to make it more fun for them? Just encrypt everything all the time. Yeah its a bit more cpu, but it would drive "them" batty.

Even stupid silly stuff should be encrypted. If you only encrypt the important stuff you paint a bullseye on it.

Sure with https they know which site you went to, they can analyze packets to see how many connections (sometimes), total bytes, etc are sent and try to reconstruct which page you went to, but that can also be masked to a limited degree.

The biggest thing is that since the web is probably the largest single source of traffic, there would have to be some CA that could operate free, and really all they do is guarantee the domain and not who is behind it. These same CAs could be used for bittorrent trackers, and its possible to do something for the data itself.

Chat has many options (silc, encryption laid over another network, etc), email too has many options. At the end of the day even voice has encryption capabilities.

Even if everyone used only 40 bit, for *everything* they would still have to pick and choose, of course anyone they picked it would be near instant, but it would force them to pick. Go to something that is more immune from quantum computer attacks and you can have some privacy for years to come.

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9508027

Re:cryptoi everywhere all the time (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347751)

Want to make it more fun for them? Just encrypt everything all the time.

Ya, its a great idea and everyone should do it. Only problem is later when they outlaw all encryption where the Feds dont hold one of the keys.

Then it wont matter what you are transmitting, they wont have to goto the expense to figure it out. Just the act alone will get you a prison term.

Arrrr! (3, Funny)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347529)

They can have my cutlass when they pry it from my cold dead hand!

Bipartisanship's Not when it is cracked up to be (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347555)

It seems to me that the only thing worse than the incessant squabbling between Democrats and Republicans is when they arrive at a consensus on a piece of "important" legislation.

People who are old like me and remember the famous battles between Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan remember when Republicans really were conservative and Democrats really were liberal. Now we just have two parties of triangulating whores selling out to try and grab the middle and flipping sides on every issue at the earliest possible opportunity.

The solution is simple! (3, Interesting)

gabrieltss (64078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347591)

If everyone would quite buying the RIAA music, quite pirating it even. Quit buying the damn DVD's, quite going to see the movies, quit pirating movies. Show a complete and total drop I'm talking FLATLINE of sales and use for music and movies by the MAFIAA. What will be their argument be for their lost salse then? They would lose money to BUY politicians and would have to go out of business at some point. I hear you saying "boycotts just don't work." Why don't they? Because people have to have the latest RIAA pushed band's CD, they have to go see the lateset greatest MPAA pushed movie. "Hey when is American Idol on?". I haven't bought an RIAA labeld CD in 10 years I gave the RIAA my middle finger a long time ago. Instead of watching a movie I just read a book or play a video game. F@ck the MPAA too! America your deserving all the crap that is comming down on you - because your too damn lazy to do a damn thng about it. But, some of us still give a crap!

Me I wrote my senators and told them they should not vote for this crap. If they do it will show me that they have been bought off by the RIAA/MPAA and that I'll be informing as many of their "constiuants" as I can about their pro-corporate, anti-citizen votes.

Re:The solution is simple! (4, Insightful)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347711)

"If everyone would quite buying the RIAA music, quite pirating it even. Quit buying the damn DVD's, quite going to see the movies, quit pirating movies. ..."

[Newsflash!]

Chairman Mao got it wrong. Religion is no longer the opiate of the masses, "entertainment" is, and like any other opiate it's addictive and addling.

So don't hold out any hope that sheeple will "see the light" and cease ingesting shite music, gawdaful movies, or infotainment any time soon.

Re:The solution is simple! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347753)

I guess Brave New World and 1984 are both right...

Re:The solution is simple! (-1, Troll)

dword (735428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347779)

Or, a lot simpler, stop copying music/movies illegally over the Internet.

Both republican & democrats are against the pe (4, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347647)

The republican party is prioritizing business interests over consumers any time the have a chance.
And the democrats are all cozy and in bed with the Hollywood elite.

Expect RIAA, Viacom, Hollywood and all other companiers with IP content to consistently get everything they want from Wahington. As a consumer, dont even try to get your hopes up. You will continue to get screwed.

Just as a reminder: After entertainment became a big business with lobbyists around 1920, *no* new copyrighted work have expired. Every 10 years or so, it has been extended by at least 10 years, and is now about two lifetimes.

Contact your representatives.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347705)

... and be put on some sort of 'IP watched list' once the department is formed, since if you complain you *have* to be an IP pirate.

No thanks, id rather remain anonymous as possible.

Laughable.......... (1)

tatermonkey (1199435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347707)

I think I know one person that doesnt have downloaded music and pirated software. He even has a purchased copy of windows. Yeah rare I know...

Does the goverbment t have any IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24347843)

Maybe the reason is simpler
  Government official that support IP cant find in themselves any intellectual property that anyone but themselves see as valuable!!

Why not just say it... (3, Insightful)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24347861)

Oh for fsk's sake why don't they just openly come out and make it illegal to actually _own_ anything so that we all have to rent things from large corporations.

I mean that's what they really want here. At least if they came out openly and said it we'd know where we stand.

And the worst part is that it's unlikely to change until the majority of couch potato people are affected by it.

Which if the-powers-that-be are as clever as they have appeared to be so far will never happen. The last thing they want is people actually _looking_ at what they are doing - especially Joe Public - so they'll do anything to keep them fat and happy.
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