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House Panel Moving Forward With SOPA

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the freedom-is-overrated-anyway dept.

Government 206

itwbennett writes "The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a debate and vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act for later this week. Representative Lamar Smith, the committee chairman and main sponsor of the bill, will offer an amendment that is meant to address some concerns with the bill. Smith's proposed amendment would clarify that the bill applies only to foreign websites, not U.S. sites, accused of aiding copyright infringement."

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Fuck (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354034)

That.

Mandatory Notice (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354092)

Please note that from this point on, comment direction and moderation in this topic will be managed by a Waggener Edstrom team on behalf of Microsoft. This is simply to ensure a positive and thoughtful discussion of Microsoft activities, and will not impact your Slashdot reading pleasure.

Note also that any further discussion of Waggener Edstrom's efforts on behalf of Microsoft will be moderated to -1.

"Monitoring conversations, including those that take place with social media, is part of our daily routine; our products can be used as early warning systems, helping clients with rapid response and crisis management.

http://waggeneredstrom.com/about/approach [waggeneredstrom.com] [waggeneredstrom.com]
http://waggeneredstrom.com/clients [waggeneredstrom.com] [waggeneredstrom.com]
http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/39304/ [technologyreview.com]

Re:Mandatory Notice (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354136)

Thanks, will add this info to my shill-monitoring journal entry.

Re:Mandatory Notice (1, Redundant)

PerlJedi (2406408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355056)

I don't know who posted this, but I will point out that who ever it was has no official relationship with Slashdot. No company or external entity has been granted any special authority to moderate discussions on Slashdot.

Re:Mandatory Notice (3, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355172)

I'm pretty sure that's a troll, since the text of the post has never been used outside of this thread. :)

Hey NOOB! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355350)

Nice 2-million UID. You must be new around here.
 
Ever heard of a slashvertisement? Or an IDIOT named kdawson or a spewer of raw sewage named timothy? You have a lot to learn, chief!
 
--drinkypoo

Re:Hey NOOB! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355666)

FIRE KDAWSON AND TIMOTHY. And maybe "Unknown Lamer" who just popped up from nowhere.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356112)

Who modded this down? Was it you, noob PerlJedi? If not, please use your magical slashdud powers to get these boys back up to +5 where they should have been all along!

Re:Mandatory Notice (2)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356068)

I think it's meant to be ironic.

In other words (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354044)

its ok when the US law affect only to other countries? The only Web 2.0 sites in the world can only be from US now?

Yes, yes it is (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354276)

There's this snooping law that says names of American Citizens[tm] must be blackened out in snooped phone transcripts, but Furriners[tm] do not get such "courtesy". Been there for ages, as have a bunch of others. Victorian Chauvinism with less style and put into law to boot. That's how it treats its allies. You're saying you didn't see that one coming? This empire strikes first.

Re:Yes, yes it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354412)

We all know Greed shot first.

Take action at EFF (5, Informative)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354310)

Please take action at the EFF [wiredforchange.com] to communicate to your representatives.

I changed the boiler plate text in the email to say the following, which I believe has more of a punch:

_____________________
I am a constituent and I urge you to reject the Internet Blacklist Bills (PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House).

In addition to the danger these bills pose to Internet security, free speech online, and innovation, I am deeply concerned by the risk that these unprecedented assaults on foreign entities will be interpreted as a provocation of war, particularly by leaders who are already hostile towards US policies, such as Putin of Russia. This will be heavily compounded as this inevitably leads to harming sites that many will view as innocent victims of this highly subjective process and clearly biased intent towards increasing corporate profits in Hollywood.

This bill will also re-enforce the image that congress is purchased and own by corporate interests.

Lastly, due to the sweeping level of censorship, this bill will popularize methods of overcoming censorship to the US, technology that is usually reserved for hardship regimes. This will certainly make it difficult for the intelligence community to find real crimes, as their chatter becomes increasingly co-mingled with mainstream on-line anti-censorship technology.

The Internet Blacklist Legislation is dangerous and short-sighted, and I urge you to join Senator Wyden and other members of Congress, such as Representatives Lofgren, Eshoo and Issa, in opposing it.
_________________

Re:Take action at EFF (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355398)

The 44 cents in postage I would waste would pale in comparison to the $68,000 the media industry donated to my representative last year.

Re:In other words (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354474)

They would be a stretch to make it constitutional. As the court has ruled many times that crimes committed not in its jurisdiction are not its responsibility.

Really is it so hard for law enforcement to make its case? You know amendments 4, 5, and 6.

The companies could argue under the 8th amendment. As it is unusual to just seize things without a trial or someone writing a warrant for it.

Even if you are committing a crime you still have rights. That is what number 6 is about.

Re:In other words (4, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355298)

Well, part of the modern argument is that only US citizens have rights and that the constitution does not apply to people outside the country.. which kinda goes against the whole 'inalienable rights' concept.

Re:In other words (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356660)

That's trivial to work around. All that need be done is point out that even if a site is hosted outside the US and created by non-US citizens there, then when someone in the US accesses it they are still subject to US law. Thus the SOPA censorship program is only to prevent people from sneakily using the national border to commit crimes on the inside of it.

Re:In other words (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355276)

Well, that is the idea. I guess they don't want to potentially piss off companies that actually have a local legal presence and standing to challenge applications.

DOH! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354054)

"We will only censor foreign websites, we promise!" does not make the proposal any better. Their are no nationality of a website on the Internet, a website is a part of the Internet, no matter where it is hosted.

Re:DOH! (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354142)

Their are no nationality of a website on the Internet

Thus explaining why I go to so many Chinese-language websites. The truth is that there most certainly are national borders on the web and on the Internet, but the borders are not as arbitrary as the borders on a world map. Borders on the Internet are formed by the identity of groups of people, who are brought together by common cultures, common languages, common needs, etc.

Otherwise I agree, SOPA is so anti-American that any congressman who votes for it should face impeachment proceedings.

Re:DOH! (4, Insightful)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354430)

Borders on the Internet are formed by the identity of groups of people, who are brought together by common cultures, common languages, common needs, etc.

As opposed to being formed by nationality. This is why me (a Brit) and you (I'm going to guess an American though you might not be and that would help prove my point) are having this conversation.

Re:DOH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356196)

But not the president who signs it.

Re:DOH! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356784)

When it comes to law though, the borders are more physical. Even up in the Cloud, information has to be stored in an actual hard drive somewhere. Users have a country of residence. The big distinction is the ease of jurisdiction-shopping. If you don't like the laws of your real country, it's a huge hastle and expense to leave and go elsewhere - while on the internet, it isn't hard at all to do the equivilent.

There are some completly lawless places, like Freenet - but this isn't for an legal reason, but simply because they have been designed in such a way as to make laws prohibatively difficult or outright impossible to enforce.

Re:DOH! (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354168)

a website is a part of the Internet, no matter where it is hosted.

"A country is part of the world, no matter where it is situated". By your logic, different nations shouldn't exist. It's a nice idea of course, but reality kind of gets in the way.

If anything the fact that sites are not located in the US should be what makes it impossible for them to do anything - apart from create something akin to China's "Great Firewall". If they want to stop people using US owned domains then fine, but they'd better not try to start taking down .ru sites etc.

Note that I don't even agree with Copyright infringment, but neither do I agree with these clowns.

Re:DOH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354784)

See the only thing the US could do in my point of view is block the content coming into the US, but that would cause why to much uproar. Saying that they are only targetting non US sites makes this legeslation passable for most Americans. Note I am not an American, and so I find this piece of law extremely offensive and this is not the only piece of US law that is extremely offensive to non US citizens.

Re:DOH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356564)

well, a web site can be:
1. hosted in countries a, b and c (load distribution, you know)
2. owned by someone from coutry d
3. have a TLD from country e

Re:DOH! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356732)

1. Then under this act they can presumably only block the non-US IPs.
2. Doesn't matter whatsoever.
3. They could revoke this.

Re:DOH! (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354300)

I wonder how long the "debate" will last....

Well that's alright then (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354070)

I mean, who even goes to those foreigner-operated so-called "websites" anyway?

Re:Well that's alright then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354306)

Um, isn't the Pirate Bay technically "foreign"?

I see the MAFIAAFire redirector plugin gaining a lot of downloads.

Almost guaranteed to pass (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354076)

Even during an election year, when the bill before Congress gives rights to wealthy corporations and takes them away from citizens, that's a sure way to win overwhelming bipartisan support. It's one of the effects of government by bribery that we currently have.

Re:Almost guaranteed to pass (4, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354542)

Correction.. Especially during an election year. The largest crowd of voters is the group most easily manipulated by a combination of advertisements and the media. Taking money from said media to get biased news coverage, and applying that money towards your own commercials is getting free votes, The voting population won't know what rights they are giving away, because the media doesn't have to cover it. To top it off, when this bill gets signed, it may also put a huge dent in independent online news. "I suspect that Slashdot is plagiarizing our CNN tech site as they both reported on the same topic". Once that goes on they can start systematically shutting down competing news sources, which in turn lets them mask who is doing it in their normal reporting etc...

Re:Almost guaranteed to pass (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355402)

Considering that internet is #2 media in elections nowadays, this bill sounds like political suicide.

Re:Almost guaranteed to pass (2)

JWW (79176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356144)

Agreed. I hope that eventually Facebook will replace the page for ever representative that sponsors this bill with a page explaining how they are unfit to serve and need to be removed from congress.

Facebook is a private company that can approve or deny users at their discretion. I would like to see the SOPA supports denied its benefits when running for office next time....

Re:Almost guaranteed to pass (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356666)

This is why we need a Constitutional Amendment that defines "human rights" do not apply to artificial legal constructs (Corporations and other legal entities)

wtf.. (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354096)

so only if it's outside us jurisdiction will the laws be applied? well hot damn.

it will only affect sales of .com addresses though.

Re:wtf.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355330)

so only if it's outside us jurisdiction will the laws be applied? well hot damn.

"Whenever a controversial law is proposed, and its supporters, when confronted with an egregious abuse it would permit, use a phrase along the lines of 'Perhaps in theory, but the law would never be applied in that way' - they're lying. They intend to use the law that way as early and as often as possible."

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=169254&cid=14107454 [slashdot.org]

At least we now know what our networking companies were doing selling all that gear over the last decade to build the Great Firewall of China: beta testing.

Just another provocation of war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354120)

The truth is that it could be found unconstitutional if applied directly on our soil. They are simply trying to avoid having it tossed out in court.

Ironically, the primary economic target is US consumers. They have simply found a run around the constitution by targeting a foreign conduit that has no ability to defend itself, except possibly with war. While unlikely, I wouldn't outright discount war since Putin is very vocal about his dislike of US policies.

Re:Just another provocation of war (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354240)

Actually, all that will happen is that the US has built exactly what they've been decrying about the Chinese Internet for so long - only the US will be blocked from accessing those sites and they'll carry on being hosted in foreign countries just as before. It's a "Great Firewall of US" instead, that's all. And the feature creep from piracy to other undesirable things is *exactly* what the Chinese do to block sites that disagree with their regime (up to and including Google for mentioning democracy, for example). And who manages those lists? And how hard would it be to put Wikileaks on it, or any site that discloses "secret" details of Guantanamo Bay etc.?

You still won't be able to shut down anything operating outside the US (hosting, domains, or internet access) and it will still carry on regardless, just that the US won't easily "see" it. It's an all-ways-lose for the US, really, trying to box its citizens off from the real world like China does.

The US "pirates" won't suffer (they'll just download from somewhere else, or find a way to join the same downloads bypassing the filters, or buy a VPN in China with Bitcoins), the non-US "pirates" won't suffer at all, the "pirate" sites will lose a few users but also a whole lot of hassle (if the US people can't see the sites like AllOfMP3 that worked by having Russian music-industry licenses anyway, then what's to sue over?) and also still can't be brought to stand in court in the US unless something very serious has been done and they are extradited, and the music/movie industries get the law they've always wanted (and still there'll be no change to overall piracy levels).

The burden of complying will push content providers out of the US (because now they HAVE to filter everything and Google already fled China once because of the cost of that) and that would include everything from international ad networks to search engines to payment methods (you think Paypal.com would be affected if Paypal's EU bank was doing business with SOPA "offenders"? They'd either partition the company, or just stop trading in one or the other, both options of which hurt the business and customer).

And eventually, someone will realise that they can't go onto site X because it's been added to the list and has nothing to do with piracy (e.g. like the Australian filter list did, where perfectly innocent businesses were filtered for no reason), and that the movie/music industry are STILL claiming the same levels of piracy (so the law did nothing) - like they are in New Zealand at the moment - and that they have similar human rights as regards accessing an Internet as the Chinese do. And then it'll make the news one day, get blown out of all proportion, get thoroughly revoked and never mentioned again and people will carry on their lives.

I'll say it again - the US is one of the least "free" places I've ever been to.

Re:Just another provocation of war (4, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354480)

I'll say it again - the US is one of the least "free" places I've ever been to.

I don't know where you've been, but this seems like hyperbole to me. What countries have you been to that are so much more "free" than the USA, and what freedoms do you have in them that you don't have in the USA?

Re:Just another provocation of war (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354656)

Too much hyperbole from the people against this bill. It sounds like the ramblings of a madman, or some conspiracy nut. What it's going to allow them to do is take down access to sites like The Pirate Bay that are "dedicated" (this word appears a lot in the wikipedia article) to copyright infringement. It's not going to be used to take down legitimate sites. You can twist the words in the law to make that possible, but no judge is going to take down legitimate sites because somebody posted a single copyrighted item on them which was promptly removed.

Re:Just another provocation of war (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354728)

I have two words for you: Scope Creep.

Once the government has access to something, they kind of try and stretch that authority to fill other perceived needs. Sounds like a slippery slope argument to me, but unfortunately, history seems to have vetted this one.

Re:Just another provocation of war (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355254)

I don't want to give the government anymore power than they have now.

Let me ask you: why do they need this power? If they show a website to be dedicated to offering copyrighted material for download, then can't they already ask a judge to take it down/seize the domain (right now they're just taking them away without any oversight)? What more power do they need? Seriously.

What it's going to allow them to do is take down access to sites like The Pirate Bay that are "dedicated" (this word appears a lot in the wikipedia article) to copyright infringement.

They're humans, not saints. Mistakes happen. Sometimes they're corrupt.

Re:Just another provocation of war (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355354)

Part of the problem is they are essentially outsourcing the decision making, giving private companies a big piece in the say regarding what a legitimate site is and what is not. It is also structured in such a way that site owners do not have a very good mechanism for challenging a shutdown, in fact they might not even have standing since people in other countries do not always have access to the US legal system. So there is very little reason to apply any real standards to what gets shut down and given how badly abused the DCMA's takedown notice has been it is not that much of a leap to picture this law being used the same way.

So even if the law is well intentioned and billed as being used only against dedicated sites, it can and will be abused due to its low barrier of review and high barrier for defense.

Re:Just another provocation of war (5, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355500)

Who said anything about a judge? That's one of the major problems with this bill. It lets rights holders cut off funding to any site accused of copyright infringement without having to go through the courts. That's exactly what Hollywood wants to avoid. The legal system is actually starting to get wise to the sheer idiocy of their anti-piracy legal cases, so they're going around it.

Re:Just another provocation of war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356378)

Besides, is not as if even under the presence of a judge, sites haven't been taken down.

Re:Just another provocation of war (4, Informative)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355748)

The definition of "dedicated" is up to interpretation. Already under the "Operation In Our Sites" that ICE is performing, many legitimate websites have been caught in the crossfire while being claimed as "dedicated" to copyright infringement. Several were accused of copyright infringement and had their websites taken down, only to find out that the videos were given to them by the copyright owners as promotional material.

We don't give the government right to take down a website without due process, no matter what. Not only that, but even The Pirate Bay has some legitimate, non-infringing content on it.

The government and big-business do not get to decide what is and is not allowed to be accessed. If the law is being broken, then charge or sue the people who are breaking the law, that is it.

Re:Just another provocation of war (1)

Nugoo (1794744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356296)

You can twist the words in the law to make that possible, but no judge is going to take down legitimate sites because somebody posted a single copyrighted item on them which was promptly removed.

You're joking, right? They already have [c4sif.org] . Well, I suppose that's not quite right; dajaz1 didn't infringe any copyrights before they were taken down.

Re:Just another provocation of war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356590)

Who would have believed, ten years ago, that the TSA would be groping people, handing pliers to women to remove their nipple piercings, looking at nude images of passengers, taking off back braces (oops, though it was a money belt!), strip searching grannies, making women taste their own breast milk, and confiscating snow globes?

As a matter of fact, I was one of the (very) few people who stood against the TSA. I came up with scenarios where the whole 'airport security' thing might turn out badly, and was scoffed at as a crazy person. Well, my worst scenarios aren't even close to the way things are now.

So, please forgive the rolled eyes as I read your assertion that reasonable predictions (based upon past government performance) are "the ramblings of a madman, or some conspiracy nut". Also forgive the sneer of derision as I read your claim that the government would never over-reach, never use a law for more than it's (supposed) original intent.

Oh, and a hearty "FUCK YOU!!" for not listening re: the TSA.

Re:Just another provocation of war (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356702)

An internet where only corporations are allowed to disseminate information might be something that the people of the world are clamoring for, but judging by the constant "intellectual property" litigation affecting market access of even the most legitimate corporations, it's hard to believe that the law won't disrupt the big corporations internet presence as well.

Re:Just another provocation of war (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354722)

I'll say it again - the US is one of the least "free" places I've ever been to.

I don't know where you've been, but this seems like hyperbole to me. What countries have you been to that are so much more "free" than the USA, and what freedoms do you have in them that you don't have in the USA?

Most of Europe for instance. ;)

Re:Just another provocation of war (3, Informative)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354852)

That's just nonsense. Freedom of speech is somewhat restricted in most European countries. You can't carry firearms (without a great deal of hassle, if at all) in most European countries. Some European countries restrict your freedom to wear religious items of clothing. etc etc

What a load of tripe (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355260)

Banks won't let you hide your face and Health and Safety require cleanliness in the clothing for caterers. Both require that some religious clothes are not allowed.

Whereas the USA has Free Speech Zones.

You're only allowed to travel in the USA as long as you're not on the travel watchlist which you're not allowed to see or correct.

And in many states in the USA you have a lot of hassle to try (and fail) to carry firearms.

Re:What a load of tripe (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355772)

Banks won't let you hide your face and Health and Safety require cleanliness in the clothing for caterers. Both require that some religious clothes are not allowed.

How about the full Burqua in France?

Whereas the USA has Free Speech Zones.

Of course there are free speech zones. How else could you do it? You can't simply allow people to demonstrate and protest wherever they want... My right to free speech doesn't mean I can stand in the middle of the Holland tunnel and giving a speech (and thereby prevent everyone else from getting to their jobs in New York City).

You're only allowed to travel in the USA as long as you're not on the travel watchlist which you're not allowed to see or correct.

I'll agree that the do-not-fly list is a rather messed up thing, mainly because it seems to have an utter lack of oversight. But again, hyperbole.... this doesn't prevent you from traveling in the USA, it just prevents you from traveling on an airplane.

And in many states in the USA you have a lot of hassle to try (and fail) to carry firearms.

This is just plain ol bullshit. You can own and carry a firearm in every state of the USA. Purchasing a firearm in the USA is easier than in any other Western country.

Re:What a load of tripe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356624)

You're only allowed to travel in the USA as long as you're not on the travel watchlist which you're not allowed to see or correct.

Nonsense. That's only flying. You can always drive - it's not like the TSA is sitting around on highways.

...Except for the part where they are. But don't worry, you're still safe - they're mainly looking at truck traffic.

...For now, comrade.

Re:Just another provocation of war (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355386)

Freedom of speech is somewhat restricted in most European countries.

And what are you going to accomplish with your freedom of speech if you don't own a media empire? Censorship is never directed against disseminating information (this is what secrecy is for), it's used against editorials and placing information in "trustworthy" sources.

Re:Just another provocation of war (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355796)

And what are you going to accomplish with your freedom of speech if you don't own a media empire?

There is no "right to have other people listen to you".

Re:Just another provocation of war (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356016)

And this is why freedom of speech is worthless without access to mass media.

Re:Just another provocation of war (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355110)

Ok, I'm feeling your angst, but your arguments make little sense. First, SOPA isn't law. It hasn't gotten through committee, let alone gotten to the full House, let alone been passed by both houses and signed into law. There's lots of objections to this law, many from some heavy hitters with lots of lobbyists. Its passage is far from assured. You've setup a large series of events in your prediction, but the first stone hasn't even been cast.

Your assertions that the US is least "free" pace you've ever been indicates a serious lack of travel (I've been to far worse places). Much also depends on how you define "free". For instance: I love Germany. I've been there twice, enjoyed the Hell out it, think the health care system is great, find their attitude on things like sex, food, drink, and body image refreshing. It's also very clearly a "free" country by most reasonable definitions of the word. On the other hand, they have some severe restrictions on certain areas of speech. You practically can't mentions Nazis (I'm exaggerating a bit, but not much). Weapons laws are much more restrictive than in the US (Not a big deal for me, but I have friends who would find this onerous). I also recall a recent article about the German Government installing spyware on people's computers as they cross the border.

Is Germany "more free" than the US? In some ways yes, in some ways no. The thing is, as Americans, we see the problems in our system much more prominently. To an extent, due to the influence of the US on world politics, even non-Americans see those problems more prominently. I'm not saying that the US is the best place to live on Earth; I haven't been everywhere for one thing, and I can't deny that I wouldn't mind living in Europe or Canada for a time at least. On the other hand the US is hardly an awful place to live. There are far far less free places out there, and far far worse situations to be in. Of course, we should fight things like this wherever we can to maintain (or even improve) that situation.

Re:Just another provocation of war (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354456)

American citizens thinks that doing this is wrong, so US will apply it to other people, in other countries, or in outside territories... Torture, or put in prison without trial is ok if done in guantanamo, people that complain against government/stablishment should be protected unless is in US, and only our voters need to have human rights. Heck, how loud are the US complains when other countries filter or censors the internet communication, but this time is ok because the bosses of the ones that are in the government say that their properties are being hurt outside.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354126)

This is so you can get your foot in the door, and over time you will kick it open further. Please, some of us don't believe your lies anymore.

Exercise your right to complain (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354170)

You can only complain if you've tried to make your voice heard:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/fight-blacklist-toolkit-anti-sopa-activists

How long before the Slashdot crowd... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354194)

How long before the majority of the Slashdot crowd gets on board with limited Constitutional government and stops supporting liberals just because they're occasionally expanding an "acceptable" part of government? Give a politician an inch and they'll bend you over and give you 10. The only way to remain free is to slap down anything they don't have the authority to do. If we really need it, then we need an amendment saying so. Otherwise, make them stick to the enumerated powers and made them side with freedom over lobbyist bribes.

Also, when your favorite politician is advocating some new expansion of government power, ask yourself if you'll be so happy when this new power is wielded by the other side. Listen to our Founding Fathers: the only way to be free is not tempt men with power. Historically, government is an oppressor and everything it does should be treated with suspicion or you deserve what you get.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (2)

james_van (2241758) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354414)

I agree whole heartedly with you, but I have to comment on one point- "Otherwise, make them stick to the enumerated powers and made them side with freedom over lobbyist bribes" - freedom doesnt pay anywhere near as well as lobbyist bribes. Our politicians dont care one bit about freedom, liberty, the constitution, or the people. They care about money. If freedom paid well, we'd be the free-est damn place on Earth.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (5, Insightful)

fedos (150319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354604)

How long before the majority of the Slashdot crowd ... stops supporting liberals

You fail. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of this bill is a conservative. The truth is that both liberal and conservative congressional members routinely support draconian copyright laws that give huge amounts of power to large corporations. Snap out of the "small government" brainwashing and realize that the real fight is between those who want to give unlimited power to corporations, who make up almost the entirety of the Republican party plus a good amount of the Democratic party, and those who support protecting consumers from predatory behavior.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354726)

Well, that's easy, Lamar Smith is a liberal. For today, anyway. Easy peasy when you call anyone who does something you don't like "liberal" and anyone who does something you do like "conservative", even if they're the same person.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355804)

Lamar Smith, the sponsor of this bill is a conservative.

From looking him up on Wikipedia...

Evidence that he's conservative:

  1. He favors letting the states have final say in marijuana prohibition/allowance.

Evidence he's anti-conservative:

  1. He's a member of the Republican party
  2. He favors expanding the role of federal government to include using force against women who want abortions.
  3. He favors further radicalization of copyright law to make it even less like the traditional view under which billions of dollars have been made, in the form of expanding DMCA.

One might have reasons to think he's conservative, but the overall weight of the evidence should make anyone's first impression that he's pretty far over on the left.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356264)

"unlimited power to corporations" the only way to prevent that from happing is to give less power to hand out, what happens in the US the left will ask for more power to provide service X then the right privatizes this service again, the problem is every time this happens a service go's from the non-politically connected class to to the politically connected class, your party or favorite senators are not the solution the help create the problem.
 

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (2)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355400)

How long before the majority of the Slashdot crowd gets on board with limited Constitutional government and stops supporting liberals just because they're occasionally expanding an "acceptable" part of government? Give a politician an inch and they'll bend you over and give you 10. The only way to remain free is to slap down anything they don't have the authority to do. If we really need it, then we need an amendment saying so. Otherwise, make them stick to the enumerated powers and made them side with freedom over lobbyist bribes.

Also, when your favorite politician is advocating some new expansion of government power, ask yourself if you'll be so happy when this new power is wielded by the other side. Listen to our Founding Fathers: the only way to be free is not tempt men with power. Historically, government is an oppressor and everything it does should be treated with suspicion or you deserve what you get.

You make it sound like only liberals expand government.

If Ron Paul and the other politicians pretending not to be 'just another republican' get their way then government will be made smaller, perhaps, but it will only be the 'liberal' (aka democrat) programs that get cut. Republican programs will be untouched or expanded.

So long as politicians are owned by big money, there will be no fundamental change in the way things work in the US.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355588)

As long as you maintain this ridiculous "only Libruls expand government powers" notion, you'll keep seeing the government powers expand, and nashing your teeth over it, without doing any good. George W massively expanded government powers. Obama seems inclined to do so as well, it's not about GOP vs Dem, its about corporatism vs freedom. You need to realize who your allies really are. An alliance of libertarians and liberals are probably the ones who could truly fight this.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (1)

Maudib (223520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356246)

So I should instead support conservatives that expand governments power to spy and detain citizens and gut the separation of church and state?

I don't see either side as having clean hands when it comes to respecting the constraints imposed on them by the constitution.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356648)

Are you trying to suggest that any of the GOP members of my state's congressional delegation are any less Hollywood's bitch? Or less inclined to engage in "social meddling"?

I think you should watch less Fox News.

Re:How long before the Slashdot crowd... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356810)

Liberals might run the government poorly, but conservatives want to give the government to the rich. Personally, I'd rather a system I can at least in theory vote in, over the Social Darwinism championed by libertarians.

"Historically, government is an oppressor and everything it does should be treated with suspicion or you deserve what you get."

Read up on the East India Company. And before telling me it was government-connected, think about how much of a difference that made in how it operated or to the people it oppressed.

New Income Tax Plan . . . (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354232)

"I think we should tax the incomes of foreigners living and working abroad!"

That should go down well with domestic voters . . .

Re:New Income Tax Plan . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354478)

What happened to one of the reasons why the US declared independance in the first place?

"No Taxation without Representation"?

so it is going to be ok for those pesky aliens to pay taxes (sorry tithes) to Uncle Sam but they can't have a seat in the congress or Senate so that they get represenation.

Typical of the US today. Sticking its nose into the business of other countries.

Re:New Income Tax Plan . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354894)

Since there is no Intellectual Property tax (ownership of the rights to a near-century worth of sound recordings goes untaxed), PIPA/SOPA is a fine example of "Representation without Taxation".

Re:New Income Tax Plan . . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38356174)

I would tax the nude in my bed.

Land of the Free (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354258)

My shiny backside!

Americans, seriously. (0)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354322)

Get with the fucking Programme.

Yours,
-The rest of the world

Reminds me of Monty Python (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354376)

When some politician firmly stated:

"We will tax all foreigners living abroad!"

http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/Taxing.html [umn.edu]

Re:Reminds me of Monty Python (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354502)

Better than their proposed tax on thingy [youtube.com] (not quite SFW)

What worries me most. (3, Interesting)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354404)

I don't know what worries me most, that politicians in America really believe this is good for the country, or that politicians in America are so deep in the pockets of the corporations to push this through.

Re:so deep in the... of the corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354494)

Sure it's the pockets?

Really? (1, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354446)

I've heard a lot of bad things about this bill. I don't think it's a good bill, and hope it doesn't pass (even though it most likely will). But I'm hearing so much FUD from the people against this bill that it makes me roll my eyes every time I hear about it . Sites like StackOverflow and the Stack Exchange Network [stackoverflow.com] state they their sites could be directly harmed by this bill. PLLEEEAAASE. Get Real. No judge is going to take down a Q and A forum because somebody reports that one of the 8 million questions on the site is infringing on some copyrighted question (can you copyright a single question?) in some way. That isn't going to happen. People complain about the way things are worded, and that it's too broad. But that's what judges are for. Laws have always been broad and judges have always had to interpret them. This is how the legal system works. Otherwise you could argue, "I didn't kill the man, I just locked him in a cage with a lion." There's really no other way to take down access to foreign owned piracy exclusive sites. And there really does need to be a way to take sites like this down.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354692)

You just have to look at what has already happened without SOPA - abuse of DCMA for the purpose of censorship by private corporations, takedowns of legitimate websites taking a year for the owners to get them back, presumption of guilt with no recourse to defend oneself, subversion of DNS etc. Roll your eyes as much as you want, but there is real reasons behind what you refer to as FUD.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354840)

Wow... just, wow.

Don't worry about the man behind the curtain, huh? Why does this thing even exist then? If it isn't going to be used the way it says it can be used then why does it even bother to say it can be used that way in the first place?

People complain about the way things are worded, and that it's too broad. But that's what judges are for. Laws have always been broad and judges have always had to interpret them. This is how the legal system works.

So, basically, it doesn't matter that it's stupid and dangerous, because someone else might clean up the mess a few years down the road, maybe.
Well, that's my concerns assuaged! Thanks, d00d.

This reminds of the stupid overly broad child pornography laws that totally weren't going to be used to prosecute teenagers taking pictures of themselves but were then used to prosecute teenagers taking pictures of themselves. That problem was also foreseen and, like you are doing, hand-waved away; I don't buy your "just ignore it and it will all go away" crap for a second.

Re:Really? (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355370)

Dear Stack overflow, every time I try to play this disc it keeps popping up an error. I've narrowed it down to this one component that doesn't seem to do anything other then give me headaches. Help me bypass it.

Re:Really? (2)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355958)

It must be nice to be so naive and optimistic. The truth of the matter is that the DMCA is already being abused broadly to silence legitimate speech. Having broad laws and enforcing them selectively ensures that almost anyone is in violation of the law and can simply be grabbed out of the crowd as soon as they say something that you don't like. Whether or not a site in particular is going to be directly taken down, it will harm the whole Internet by providing a chilling effect on all forms of speech.

Re:Really? (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356110)

If the bill passes (and even if it does not), let's all agree to meet again here in five years to assess.

I'll buy you a steak dinner if your predictions are correct.

Re:Really? (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38356384)

There's really no other way to take down access to foreign owned piracy exclusive sites. And there really does need to be a way to take sites like this down

Sorry, but your basic premise is wrong. There does NOT need to be a way to "take sites like this down", if in fact you could accomplish that in any meaningful way. It's the same basic flaw in any argument for censorship - the idea that if you remove people's access to something you think is undesirable, that it solves the problem. Really, the problem is your own: that you think that the thing you want to censor is undesirable/wrong.

c'mon America (2)

amalek (615708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354462)

Start a revolution already, jeez

Re:c'mon America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355842)

They can not start a revolution, they do not have enough money nor social competency.

As it happens, everyone want to have a revolution but everyone is isolated from each other so no one knows anyone else who also would want to have a revolution. They do not know each other because they do not socialize with each other because they are too exhausted from the 3 works they have that the only thing they can do and afford is to sit down infront of the brainwashing box and eat a slice of pizza.

Throw the bums out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354576)

Another dumb "Texas" Republican politician run amock.

Great American Firewall (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38354600)

Congressman Lamar Smith shows his abysmal ignorance once again by failing to address the real problems with SOPA. Instead he merely re-affirms that it is a pale imitation of what China has already done.

Perhaps Mr Smith should move to China, since he likes their Internet policies so much?

Use ACLU to alert your Representatives (3, Informative)

Goboxer (1821502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38354844)

http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/good-idea-poor-follow-through-congress-mistakes-sopa [aclu.org]

That will take you to a blog post about SOPA and ACLU's opposition to it. The last link in the article is a link to a form where you fill in the blanks and it will send off a letter to your representatives. It is one of the easiest ways to contact your representatives about your concerns. Forget your feelings about the ACLU or other such crap. This bill/legislation/power-grab needs to be stopped, and it is your duty as an American to let your representatives know that you oppose it.

Move to darknet (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355154)

Move to one of many darknets and say goodbye to government regulation of, by, and for the big corporations. I'm not a big corporation, so the government should have no interaction with me... if only it worked that way...

Personally, in my infinite spare time, I'm working (slowly) on a openvpn and quagga based exclusively ipv6 darknet. Don't peer with me, peer with someone already there, preferably far away from your home. An independent project is resurrecting ye olde usenet with a twist... all "peering" done over ssh between individuals instead of hub-spoke with big central providers, all non GPG signed articles in some hierarchies are autocancelbotted, completely new hierarchy structure, dramatically different file length limits segregated by hierarchy (so if you can't afford the BW for .binaries. then its much easier to filter), mandatory utf-8 support, and more, another "don't talk to me, talk to someone far away from yourself who's already peering with me". I'm a network guy so I mostly care about design, but WRT content I'm at least hoping its more like I2P than freenet (freenet seems to be mostly CP, I2P seems to be mostly filetraders)

You can have a lot of fun prototyping stuff like this with a stack of old computers in your basement all running linux and some other stuff...

I suppose islanding the internet into many independent country sized networks would pretty much stop darknets. Maybe only registered multinational corporations with pre-arranged FBI/NSA/MI5 bugging arrangements would be allowed to VPN across the firewall. I suppose we may as well start planning our workarounds for that, too.

Let the BAAAW-fest begin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355520)

Let me guess, the nr. 1 advice given here to counteract the policy is "write your congressman and make your voice heard". Bullsh1t, american politics is nothing but the newest form of reality show. It excites people, let them pick sides, fight amongst each other, winner takes all, RED vs. Blue etc. When the FSCK do you guys over there wake up, smell the roses, and notice the hand that goes up the arse of every one of your precious politicians?!

Why the FSCK do you even tolerate and accept the existence of lobbying within your system? ARE YOU SO FSCKING STUPID THAT YOU CAN PROFESS IGNORANCE AS TO THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALLOWING LAWS AND POLICIES TO BE BOUGHT FOR MONEY?!?!?!

Sorry for being blunt.

MinU5 4, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38355948)

man walking. I7'5

Full page ad in The Wall Street Jounal (5, Informative)

SixGunMojo (177687) | more than 2 years ago | (#38355978)

Full page ad in The Wall Street Journal for the passage of PROTECT IP and SOPA to "protect American jobs" signed by

ABC, AFTRA - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFM - American Federation of Musicians, AAP - American Association of Publishers, ASCAP, BMG Chrysalis, BMI, CBS Corporation, Cengage Learning, DGA - Directors guild of America, Disney Publishing Worldwide, EMI Music Publishing, ESPN, Graphic Artists Guild, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Hyperion, IATSE - International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States its Territories and Canada International Brotherhood of Teamsters (WTF), Kaufman Astoria Studios, Macmillan, Major League Baseball, Marvel Entertainment LLC, Mcgraw-Hill Education, MPA - The Association of Magazine Media, NFL - National Football League, National Music Publishers' Association, NBCUniversal, News Corporation, New York Production Alliance, New York State AFL-CIO, Pearson Education, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., The Perseus Books Group, Producers Guild of America East, Random House, Reed Elsevier, SAG - Screen Actors Guild, Scholastic, Inc., Silvercup Studios, Simon & Schuster, Inc., Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Time Warner Inc., United States Tennis Association, Universal Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group, Viacom, Warner Music Group, W.W. Norton & Company, Wolters Kluwer.

 

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