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Senate Panel Approves Website Shut-Down Bill

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the best-interests-at-heart dept.

Government 390

itwbennett writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 19-0 in favor of a bill that would allow the Department of Justice to seek court orders to shut down websites offering materials believed to infringe copyright. 'Rogue websites are essentially digital stores selling illegal and sometimes dangerous products,' Senator Patrick Leahy, the main sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. 'If they existed in the physical world, the store would be shuttered immediately and the proprietors would be arrested. We cannot excuse the behavior because it happens online and the owners operate overseas. The Internet needs to be free — not lawless.' However, the internet will likely remain 'lawless' for a while longer, as there are only a few working days left in the congressional session and the bill is unlikely to pass through the House of Representatives in that short amount of time."

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390 comments

19-0? (5, Insightful)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275080)

The majority of the population does NOT want to see this pass, yet it made it through the Senate with NO opposition?

I thought the government was for the people by the people. What a fucking joke.

Re:19-0? (4, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275110)

I thought the government was for the people by the people. What a fucking joke.

Don't be silly. Where there is "big money" there is a way.

Open Source Democracy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275578)

It is amazing how often people rail against the lack of democracy in the modern world, and how few are willing to do anything about it.

"What can we, mere peons, do?" you might ask. Well, you can start by working on the one and only hope you have: open sourcing [metagovernment.org] governance.

mod parent up (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275760)

so people can see it. its important. you can mod this post down to hell if you want.

Re:19-0? (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275120)

the majority of the population doesn't want court orders to be required before websites are shutdown?

Re:19-0? (4, Insightful)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275152)

No, the majority do not want to give the government the power to censor or restrict our freedoms without due process of law.

Re:19-0? (4, Informative)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275182)

To further clarify that...

Getting a court order is not due process.

Re:19-0? (2, Insightful)

master0ne (655374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275464)

im in opposition of the bill as well, but im just curious as to your logic here.... if "Getting a court order is not due process." , than what constitutes "due process"? If this gets signed into law, i say there should be a proceedure that requires due diligance to prove the offence before the court order is issued, however i prefer that this bill not pass at all. Just wondering what your logic is, because if you are correlating this to the real world, all they need to raid your house, or shut down your buisness is a court order, and this seems to serve as "due process" just fine.

Re:19-0? (5, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275600)

if this is the burden of proof "materials believed to infringe copyright" then it isn't proof.

you can believe anything you want .. doesn't mean its right..

Re:19-0? (5, Insightful)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275602)

In order to obtain a warrant to perform a raid on my house, law enforcement is required to show evidence that justifies their action.

All that is required in this instance is someone saying "hey, whatever.com could potentially infringe my copyright!" and the court can order it shut down.

There is no evidence required. There is no panel to vote whether or not whatever.com is actually performing infringing activities or just offering a service that SOME people have abused for the purposes of infringement.

If some kid posts a clip of a TV show on You Tube, under this 'law', the courts could block access for every single citizen, even though YouTube is not directly responsible for that kids' actions.

Re:19-0? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275834)

Then failure to observe due process lies with the low-to-nonexistent evidential standard, not with the fact that a court order is involved. Thus the GP is correct about your previous post; the statement "a court order is not due process" is inaccurate.

Re:19-0? (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275996)

Luckily, there is hope in judicial review and that's that EXACT kind of wording that the courts love to smack down. The prosecution will show great potential for loss of revenue (requiring only a "rational basis" for skirting due process), but since a website is very easily argued to be a free speech, strict scrutiny of the legislation will be required and the prosecution will have to show:

1) a compelling gov't interest (nat'l security, many lives, etc.)
2) the law is narrowly tailored to achieve a stated goal (in this case, preventing IP-infringement)
3) the law is applied in the least restrictive means possible to achieve the compelling gov't interest.

The downside to this *elementary* understanding of constitutional law is that someone's (or many "ones"?) life and reputation have to be dragged through the mud by the application of this law and his/her legal representation has to have the moral fortitude to fight the law.

Re:19-0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34276162)

If some kid posts a clip of a TV show on You Tube, under this 'law', the courts could block access for every single citizen, even though YouTube is not directly responsible for that kids' actions.

Yeah... except for when Viacom tried that tactic against YouTube, and failed utterly because YouTube fell under safe harbor.

Re:19-0? (1)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275774)

Technically speaking, getting a court order would be due process because the law would explicitly stipulate a court order as a legal way to require the website to be taken down.

However, many laypeople interpret "due process" as to allow the defendant the opportunity to provide a defense before the punishment is meted out.

Re:19-0? (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275988)

The part I dislike is the one where the AG can put a site on a list, with no court order or other judicial involvement, and while the ISPs et al aren't _required_ to shut it down, if they do they're immune from prosecution/lawsuit. No prior notice to the site owner required. There's supposed to be a process for getting a site back off the list, but I don't recall anything about making it affordable.

Re:19-0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275856)

He means a behind closed doors, no chance to defend your self (and your site) court order. As opposed to having a trial and getting to make your case. I assume that is what he was going for at least.

Re:19-0? (3, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275370)

Depending on how you ask the question, I'm sure you could get "the majority" to say pretty much whatever you want. There are many freedoms that can be restricted without due process, assuming you define "freedom" to include "ability to do whatever you please, legal or not".

Re:19-0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275418)

Atleast till someone says Think of the Children/Terrorist.

Re:19-0? (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276108)

Think of the Children/Terrorist.

Huh. I've never heard anyone say, "Think of the Terrorist" before.

Re:19-0? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275150)

It made it through a committee.

Now, will it get scheduled to be heard on the House Floor? Probably not. Will it get voted on? Likely not.

Will it fly through the House? There is a lot of bad blood, and the guys who wrote the bill have (D) tags, and the House has flipped control -- it will be a hard sell there.

I wouldn't be 100% sure that it wouldn't pass, but I'm confident it will end up like the Son-of-DMCA act, INDUCE act, or the the many other bills that wind up on the committee table, and don't make it past that.

Re:19-0? (5, Insightful)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275242)

My beef is that it made it through a government committee with no opposition, when the majority of citizens do not or would not wish to give these powers to the government, who is supposed to act in the best interests of the majority.

I don't know that it will make it through the H.O.R. (haha "whore") but it's shocking to see not a single 'nay' vote on something in such dispute in the real world.

Politics is Different... (5, Interesting)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275842)

There probably were folks who thought it was a bad bill, but voted for it anyway because it bought them leverage on (what they felt were) more important issues.

I'm a bit of a state house watcher, and I've heard politicians stand up and speak against bills five minutes before voting for them. Basically, if the chairman of the committee favors something and you don't, but it's going to pass anyway, you curry favor with the chairman by letting him submit the bill to the floor with 'unanimous approval', thereby increasing the chances of getting your own issue heard by the now appeased chairman in the future. In the end, you get the same result you would have if you opposed the thing, but the next time you need something, you're more likely to get it.

That or the HVAC might have been out. Our state legislature seems to decide completely on-the-fly that 'today is going to be the last day of session'. They typically suspend public hearings and pass 300 pieces of legislation that night. Why would you suspend public hearings and do 80% of your work on one coffee-fueled all-nighter? Well, the committee rooms don't have air conditioning, suits are really hot, and most of the legislature is a bit portly. Once the summer heat starts penetrating the marble walls, there's no stopping it until late October, so they 'go Nike' on democracy's ass and Just Do It.

Re:19-0? (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275398)

Yeah, but it made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee; you know, the committee that is charged with upholding the constitution. The idea that something that should be a very contentious topic makes it through a committee who's primary responsibility is supposed to be safeguarding our constitutional rights without a single vote against it is, at the very least, concerning.

Re:19-0? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275554)

Will it fly through the House? There is a lot of bad blood, and the guys who wrote the bill have (D) tags, and the House has flipped control -- it will be a hard sell there.

This is the lame duck session. All those Republicans won't be seated until next year...

Re:19-0? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276042)

It won't get voted on this session, probably, due to a lack of time. But I anticipate little opposition. The Rs and Ds have things of higher profile to bicker over.

Re:19-0? (2, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275196)

I may not agree with this decision, but I think there is a reason we don't directly vote on every issue. We instead delegate that to people who have the time to understand the issues and then vote on them appropriately. Also our system accounts for the fact that while the majority may favor this or that, it also matters how MUCH each person cares about each issue....that is how they prioritize such things in electing a representative. Maybe the majority favors something, but the minority that doesn't, cares much more strongly about it.

Our system is flawed in many, many ways (corruption comes to mind), but the fact that something can win without majority support of the electorate is not one of them, in my opinion.

Conflict of interest on the part of TV news (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275422)

it also matters how MUCH each person cares about each issue....that is how they prioritize such things in electing a representative.

But in practice, it also matters that the television news organizations have a conflict of interest. On the one hand, they should present all issues and all candidates to the public, but on the other hand, they all share a corporate parent with a movie studio in the MPAA.

Re:19-0? (2, Insightful)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275424)

I have to disagree here.

The majority are the working class, who's time is taken up by things like work, school, and children and who's thoughts tend to focus on things like what bills are due, if their kids are healthy, etc.

The minority, in this case politicians, don't "care" more about the issue. They just don't have the day-to-day issues that the majority has to worry about. Why should what they, being in the minority, want hold more weight than what we, the majority, want? They must forget, we may be in a lower "class", but we are the blood that flows through the veins and keeps this country running, pay the bills of these politicians, and our voices should be heard louder than theirs.

Re:19-0? (1)

youngone (975102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275784)

You're right about everything except who pays the politicians. The corporates in whose interest laws like these are passed are the ones paying the politicians, not the working class. (or any other class).

Re:19-0? (1)

mistiry (1845474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275848)

If you look at it that way...

The working class pays their salaries.
The corporations pay their bonuses.

They still get their cut from our tax dollars, so yes, we DO pay the politicians.

Re:19-0? (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276008)

Wait....what? The minority is the politicians? Our voices should be heard louder than the people who represent us?

I don't even know where to start with that. Seriously bizarre way of looking at representative democracy.

Anyway, if they did the opposite, they'd be accused of pandering to the voters.

Re:19-0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275916)

I thought the government was for the people by the people. What a fucking joke.

That is the way it was supposed to be, now the government is by big money, of big money, for big money.

Re:19-0? (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276054)

The majority of the population does NOT have a clue, if a politician (or a hired actor, or whatever) tells them that this is right, they will believe so. Don't worry, happens the same in the election of presidents, most vote what media tells them.

Re:19-0? (2, Interesting)

Peristaltic (650487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276066)

I thought the government was for the people by the people. What a fucking joke.

No offense, but that's taking naivety awfully far.

The fourth branch of government, corporations and banks, swing as much power as any two of the other branches. Our government has faded from a bright, hopeful experiment to one bunch of people lording it over another bunch of people- Pretty much how most "governments" have always worked throughout history. The primary difference nowadays is that the dominant group has a historically unheard of technological advantage with which to distract the peons from that reality.

Re:19-0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34276234)

I would love to see your metrics on this one. The majority of the population can't be bothered to care, one way or the other!

Selling? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275084)

Who PAYS for pirated material?

And what procedures are in place to make sure this isn't abused? Can /b/tards get google, whitehouse.gov, or some other random website taken down with this? Sure sounds like it.

Re:Selling? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275134)

Can /b/tards get google, whitehouse.gov, or some other random website taken down with this? Sure sounds like it.

Actually, lets hope so. It will prove just how stupid these laws are and how open to abuse they are.

Lets do better, lets get the RIAA websites taken down. Now THAT would be sweet irony - their own stuff taken down by a law they pushed through.

Re:Selling? (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275136)

Who PAYS for pirated material?

mp3fiesta.com, movieberry.com, etc...all pay sites for pirated material.

And what procedures are in place to make sure this isn't abused? Can /b/tards get google, whitehouse.gov, or some other random website taken down with this? Sure sounds like it.

did you miss the part about "court order"? that's a pretty large check and or balance.

Re:Selling? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275328)

I never heard of either of them, nor have I heard of this "etc" you refer to.

"Court orders" could always shut down websites, or do anything else in compliance with the law. If these websites are really doing something illegal, then why this law? Something stinks. Smells like totalitarianism.

Re:Selling? (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276038)

It's a two-parter. With a court order the ISPs et al are required to cooperate in shutting the site down. There's another list, that requires no court order, where the ISP doesn't _have_ to do anything... but if they do, they can't be sued for it.

Re:Selling? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275322)

Can /b/tards get google, whitehouse.gov, or some other random website taken down with this?

I'd be more concerned if /b/tards and anonymous got 4Chan taken down with this - after all, wouldn't it only take 1 shot from a copyrighted movie? (And if you've ever been to /gif/ you should know how many of those there are. You probably didn't notice it because its hidden amongst the porn though)

Re:Selling? (1)

kyrio (1091003) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275504)

4chan hosts pirated movies?

Think before you type.

Re:Selling? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275688)

No, but technically neither does Youtube - yet they are told to take down Copyrighted material.

Re:Selling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34276232)

I'd be more concerned if /b/tards and anonymous got 4Chan taken down with this

I wouldn't. I would celebrate.

Two examples of pirated copies for sale (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275890)

Who PAYS for pirated material?

Anyone who has bought a copy of the film Song of the South on DVD-R at the flea market, sold by someone ignorant of copyright term extension acts who thinks U.S. copyright on works published under the Copyright Act of 1909 still lasts 56 years as it did when they were published.

Or anyone who bought a copy of the album All Things Must Pass by George Harrison. A court ruled that the song "My Sweet Lord", which appears on this album and accounted for the supermajority of this album's airplay, was an infringing copy of "He's So Fine" by Ronald Mack, which the Chiffons had popularized.

But the Internet isn't lawless! (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275086)

I, for one, welcome all my proud RFC-abiding fellow netizens.

Re:But the Internet isn't lawless! (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275604)

I, for one, welcome all my proud RFC-abiding fellow netizens.

Those aren't laws.

Not that being a "law" means much in the case many US laws either.

Gravity...now there's a law ;)

Vote (1)

madnis (1300099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275088)

I vote to shut down this post.

um...whut? (4, Insightful)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275090)

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 19-0 in favor of a bill that would allow the Department of Justice to seek court orders to shut down websites offering materials believed to infringe copyright.

The DOJ needed a senate bill to allow them to "seek court orders"? Getting a court order is usually where the process for this sort of thing STARTS.

Re:um...whut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275272)

May be the DoJ (as opposed to private entities) was not previously allowed (/required?) to pursuit copyright infringement cases and now it is possible.
 
PS: I have no clue about the Judiciary system in the US, so dont flame me.

Good Intentions (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275096)

I can see the good intentions of the legislators, but I'm also worried about the execution and application that this may bring. Waiting for comments about the lawmakers being bought out and the end of the Internet as we know it.

Re:Good Intentions (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275668)

this might pass - and within a few years of abuse i'm betting the USA won't have a single root DNS server left..

In the mouth of madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275116)

Copyright insanity prevails

So the U.S. Represents the world, right?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275138)

Time to move my server and registrar overseas.

Re:So the U.S. Represents the world, right?? (1)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275236)

And then they will instead have your server blocked Great Firewall style.

Well... (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275164)

At least this sets the precedent of requiring a court order to shut down a website, and not just the word of some bureaucratic or politician.

Re:Well... (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275278)

*bureaucrat

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275392)

Sure, then all they need to do is find a friendly judge that will rubber-stamp these types of requests. I'm sure there are plenty of federal judges who have bought the **AA's propaganda enough to agree to shut down any website they're asked to in the name of protecting copyright.

A court order should not be enough to shut down someone's free speech rights. If they want to shut down a website they should have to actually bring charges against the website owner, and have the site shut down only following an actual conviction.

Re:Well... (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275594)

A court order should not be enough to shut down someone's free speech rights. If they want to shut down a website they should have to actually bring charges against the website owner, and have the site shut down only following an actual conviction.

I agree, but I don't see game and music torrent hosting as a free speech issue. I don't anticipate it being applied only there, though.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276244)

I imagine it'll be used in a similar way to DMCA requests are now as a means to silence criticisms. Imagine, just as a hypothetical example, the Church of Scientology seeking court orders to shut down sites that expose the very strange teachings of their higher level texts. Or a software company trying to surpress news of a security breach by shutting down any sites publishing it, on the grounds that the exploit requires the modification of copyrighted code, or a celebrity trying to stop the distribution of some embarassing video that escaped from a private party or a members-only invited speech. All things that the DMCA has been used for in the past - but this new measure is somewhat more effective, because if the recieving end doesn't comply you can just have their server unplugged or site blocked rather than having to spend weeks on civil action that would more likely than not just lead to the undesired embarassment being further publicised.

Re:Well... (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275902)

Sure, then all they need to do is find a friendly judge that will rubber-stamp these types of requests. I'm sure there are plenty of federal judges who have bought the **AA's propaganda enough to agree to shut down any website they're asked to in the name of protecting copyright.

Or just want to get some extra money for their district. I remember reading an article about how one court district in east Texas is making millions off of lawyers and lobbyists by being more amenable to copyright/patent litigation.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275514)

You probably missed the part where domain name registrars can "voluntarily" shut down domains they believe to be infringing, and be immune from lawsuits if they do.

Re:Well... (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276078)

You didn't see the other part of the bill, I see. The one where there's a second list, that doesn't involve a court order and doesn't require the site to be taken down... but if it is, the ISP can't be sued.

What? (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275170)

We cannot excuse the behavior because it happens online and the owners operate overseas.

Why not? You can excuse the behavior if it happens offline and the owners operate overseas.

Or are there American law enforcement officials going and raiding shops in China that are selling pirated copies of Windows?

And I don't think letting the DoJ decide who gets shut down or not is entirely fair. You know that Google/Youtube ends up hosting copyrighted material every now and then - and then they get notified and they end up taking it down (or taking out the audio track). So if I host a little site for me and a few role players - and one of them posts a bit of a DnD Manual - am I at risk of my website being cut off from Americans without notice? Or worse - taken down entirely somehow?

Re:What? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275198)

Appears I missed the part about a "Court Order" - ha! Overreaction at its finest.

Re:What? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275478)

If this made it through the senate at 19-0 with no opposition, do you honestly think it will be that hard to get a court order?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275580)

I didn't know the senate could give out court orders.

Re:What? (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275488)

So here's a question. Does the takedown happen before, or after, a trial before a jury of my peers?

Court order, my millimeter-wave-imaged ass.

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

theskipper (461997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275630)

Not to mention the potential of Joe jobs. Could be a brand new market segment for the cracker crowd, catering to a company's competitors. All with the blessing of our laws.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34276214)

The only reason they can do it online is because it is easier to enforce and they can do it from here (not saying that it's right or that there won't be loop holes)

What could possibly go wrong ? (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275176)

..shut down websites offering materials believed to infringe copyright.

This won't be abused .. no way ..

DNS and shit hitting the fan (4, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275246)

Dear U.S. Government,
Remember when the shit hit the fan over the U.S. Government's control over the root DNS servers a few years back?

Welcome to part 2.

Sincerely,
The Rest of the World

Details about implimentation... (5, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275786)

Which brings up an interesting point: How would a government org go about shutting down a rogue server? Lets pretend it is hosted in some remote country, so sending a CnD letter is probably ineffective. Blocking the DNS entries will just result in people putting up non-us filtered DNS servers, and you are playing whack a mole to try to find them and block them. You could put ip-filters on all the trunks going in and out of the country, but that's another game of whack a mole, since any proxy server outside the country can redirect.

I am not a networking expert, but even if you had the political will to do this, it seems to me it would be no more than an inconvenience for anyone determined enough.

Legislators + Technology = Trainwreck (2, Insightful)

Tangential (266113) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275276)

Its very difficult to come up with an example of the legislative branch (or the judicial or the executive for that matter) doing a thorough, cogent job of dealing with technology and the law.

For the most part, their investors..er...campaign donors tell them what to believe and how to vote and that is as deep as it goes.

The sad thing is that over time, we'll end up with some legislators who get it, but by then, the current level of corruption will have been instiitutionalized and they will be so unacquainted with the Constitution and ethics and so beholden to the donations of their masters that it won't make much difference.

Re:Legislators + Technology = Trainwreck (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275754)

Digital Law is bogus.

Let me explain. Things that should be "legal" are made clear with the digital age. Information is not a crime. Knowing how to build a Nuclear Reactor is not a crime. Knowing how to slim jim a car, is not a crime. Having a gun, is NOT a crime.

You see, crime is crime. You cannot STOP a crime by preventing access to tools to commit a crime. You only make it more difficult.

This line of thinking ALSO applies to the security theater done by the TSA and other agencies. However we have a populace that completely wants to live in safety and security and is willing to live in a tyranny to achieve that, just as long as it is a "nice tyranny".

Freedom to say evil things needs to exist or else we're doomed to people defining what is "evil" to prevent others from speaking it. Hate speech should be the most protected of all speech or we don't really have free speech.

More like handing out xerox copies in the park. (2, Insightful)

gam3 (114294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275300)

Just like a digital store, except that nothing is being sold.
So like a digital free box, or giving away a used DVD, or
letting your neighbor come over and watch the ballgame on you TV.

Wake me... (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275326)

when they get to the SneakerNet Shut-Down Bill? Thanks! Why aren't the New Tea Partiers stopping the insanity... wait, nevermind. Smells like more government, this MUST be those dang Demo-crats again, tarnations!!(!

Re:Wake me... (1)

Corant (1727632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275406)

They're not stopping this because they're not sworn in yet.... Not saying they would mind you, in fact I'd lay good money that a goodly chunk of them would support it.

Write to your representatives! (1)

Avoid_F8 (614044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275366)

Slashdotters, WRITE to your representatives and let them know this is not something that has universal support. That is, write a handwritten letter, so it can't be as easily ignored. Talk to your colleagues and let them know about this bill and what it will do.

For those of you who haven't been keeping up with this: this is a bill that will undoubtedly harm the Internet as a platform for free speech [eff.org] .

The least we can do is put up a fight.

A New Weapon... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275384)

So, does this mean that I can now accuse politicians that I don't like of hosting infringing materials on their website to get them shut down? I would have killed for that ability three weeks ago.....

Are the politicians currently in power sure they want to give us plebs that ability? =)

Re:A New Weapon... (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276156)

Sure. You have to get the Attorney General to agree with you before the site goes on the list. Good luck with that.

"or dangerous" (5, Insightful)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275428)

So what's this "or dangerous" bit? Ammunition [midwayusa.com] ? Websites promoting cults [scientology.org] ? Websites attacking [clambake.org] cults? Websites selling material that promotes anything [amazon.com] that senators don't like, like free thought [paladinpress.com] , opposing political positions [lp.org] , naked bodies that they can't grope for themselves [tsa.gov] ?

This ain't about piracy, people.

Re:"or dangerous" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34276170)

I'm hoping people will carefully scrutinize campaign websites for stock photos, text, or other materials for which proper copyright clearance hasn't been obtained. Never mind that copyright often allows fair use for purposes such as political comment. "Stealing" is "stealing", and the law is the law :-)

"If they existed in the physical world [...]" (2, Funny)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275452)

Couldn't they at least have come up with a decent car metaphor, if they're going to mistake the map for the terrain anyway?

Senator's Websites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275500)

In the 15 seconds it took me to go to Kirsten Gillibrand's official website, I picked one random image and reversed searched it.
The image:
http://gillibrand.senate.gov/images/contact/office_nyc.jpg
It turns out that this is the person who took the photo:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Dschwen

I'm assuming that we would have to contact him to see if Ms. Gillibrand is properly using the photo. It's no problem if this example (literally the first try out of very many potential infringements) is totally legit, as we I'm sure we will be able to find one image on one of the websites of these Senators that is infringed. The Senators themselves, of course, did not make these websites, and moreover do not know what they are voting on. My point is that this will, if completely passed and signed, undoubtedly be used for nefarious political purposes and the quelching of free speech in the near future.

"believed to infringe copyright" . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275516)

"believed to" . . . whatever happened to "proved, beyond a reasonable doubt?" All "in Soviet Russia" jokes aside, this sounds like being able to "denounce" someone, and get them shipped off to the Gulag. If you can prove that a site it infringing on copyrights, fine shut them down. However, if the charge is, "I think that it might be possible that this could be potentially infringing on copyrights that might be possibly owned by someone" . . . no, thanks.

Is there something in US law about "due process?"

Re:"believed to infringe copyright" . . . ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275694)

You misunderstand what "due process" means. It means following the law, and if this is the law, then following it is "due process".

SUPER!!! (0)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275526)

Does this apply to email hosts with webmail? Just think of all the people who infringe on my copyright material when they forward my email to other people.
I think with a little bit of ingenuity using this I can take down RIAA, MPAA ect.

Now I can shutdown Google, Bing, Yahoo, Youtube, Flickr, Facebook with just the content other people I know have made available that I own the copyright on.

THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVAR!!!!!
With this BILL and just a 1000$ in legal expenses I think I can shut down the entire internet.

DIE YOU FASCIST COPYRIGHT STEALING SCUM

Believed to infringe? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275530)

Hi, you've got a nice website there... you wouldn't want someone so start believeing that it infringes on copyrights, would you?

This may be the uninformed pursuing a lost cause. (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275536)

Sorry, U.S. Senate, but when we made it possible to make digital copies of things, we opened Pandora's box. Trying to enforce intellectual rights is laudable, but possibly impossible in a digital age, with world-wide connectivity.

They may very well shut down a few U.S. sites, but it will be darned near impossible to shut down all the sites in third world countries.

Unlike the U.S. Senate, I have no idea what the solution is. I do think a lot of time and money could be spent trying to run this down and enforce it, only to have it move somewhere else.

Re:This may be the uninformed pursuing a lost caus (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275858)

they wont shut down sites in third world countries.

they are going to try shutting down the .com or .org or whatever domain they can get ahold of, in usa. because, ICANN is in usa.

this will practically kill usa control of internet domain names. entire world cannot tolerate one single country asserting its will upon all domain names in the world. this will be a side effect.

when the dust settles down, and there is or are other top level corporations handing out names, then they are going to block whatever site that is outside us, to u.s. public. in short, they will outright censor whatever they want from american citizens.

quite democratic eh ... also stupid, due to the above side effect. can you imagine russia, china, india, allowing usa to censor internet over icann at will ?

If it works for China... (4, Insightful)

Target Practice (79470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275650)

Love this part under Non-Domestic Domains, Required Actions...
(i) a service provider ... or other operator of a domain name system server shall take reasonable steps that will prevent a domain name from resolving to that domain name’s Internet protocol address;

So, we'll just refuse to resolve any domains that are outside the jurisdiction of the US, but that are deemed to offend the standards listed here? This, to me, sounds a bit like that whole filtering of information thing that Secretary Clinton said was a Bad Thing in China.

What's Leahy's deal? (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275712)

Leahy seems to always be at the forefront of these draconian pro-IP laws. On non-copyright/patent/etc. related issues, he's actually fairly civil-libertarian, so it doesn't seem like he's one of those authoritarians for whom more government police power for its own sake, and copyright infringement is just a convenient excuse for introducing them (the way many Republicans are on "terrorism"). It seems he actually does want strong enforcement of copyright laws, and that that's his motivator, not an excuse. But he's Senator for Vermont, a place not exactly known for its large media industry. It would make more sense to me if he were from CA or FL or something.

Now that he's become one of the media industry's bet friends in Washington, he gets a bunch of media donations, which could explain his continued advocacy on the subject. But how did a Senator from VT end up in that position in the first place? Personal conviction? Opportunism?

Re:What's Leahy's deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34276152)

Leahy seems to always be at the forefront of these draconian pro-IP laws. On non-copyright/patent/etc. related issues, he's actually fairly civil-libertarian, so it doesn't seem like he's one of those authoritarians for whom more government police power for its own sake, and copyright infringement is just a convenient excuse for introducing them (the way many Republicans are on "terrorism"). It seems he actually does want strong enforcement of copyright laws, and that that's his motivator, not an excuse. But he's Senator for Vermont, a place not exactly known for its large media industry. It would make more sense to me if he were from CA or FL or something.

What's funny is that the only person at the meeting today who showed anything approaching concern was Dianne Feinstein.

Just web sites? (2, Insightful)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275734)

So other Internet stuff like FTP is still safe?

lol (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275766)

Aren't the majority of these types of websites outside of the US anyways? A lot of good this'll do to shut those down....idiots.

Re:lol (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275870)

I don't think you read the article.

a provision in the bill was a requirement for ISP's to REDIRECT traffic if the offenders are offshore. Now we all know there are ways around that, but it's not exactly a "we're offshore so you can't touch us" deal.

How much money did you pay for lobbying ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34275826)

yeah you. the one who is reading this post. how much exactly did you pay in lobbying for your interests last year ? $100 mil ? $1 mil ? $50,000 ? $50 ? none ?

probably either none, or, something in between $50 and none. definitely not $100 mil.

those who want that, however, spent in between at least $100 mil and $1 mil. so, they are getting it.

such is the way with democracy in a capitalist country - you get what you want, as much as you pay for. if you dont have enough money to pay for what you want, you just dont get it -> its a simple rule of capitalism.

so, you have two choices :

a) If you arent rich enough to pay for it yourself, get together, and pay for it with others
b) Change the capitalist society that requires money for everything, including winning elections, justice and lawmaking

Al Franken voted for censoship (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34275986)

Al Franken, darling of the young liberal left, voted for internet censorship.

Petition (1)

Beanyhead (1342977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34276238)

I'm sure this has already been posted, but you can sign a petition against the bill here: http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/ [demandprogress.org]

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