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Law Professors On SOPA and PIPA: Don't Break the Internet

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the seriously-the-warranty-just-lapsed-so-be-careful dept.

Piracy 283

An anonymous reader writes "Law professors Mark Lemley, David S. Levine, and David G. Post have just published a piece on the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. In Don't Break the Internet, they argue that the two bills — intended to counter online copyright and trademark infringement — 'share an underlying approach and an enforcement philosophy that pose grave constitutional problems and that could have potentially disastrous consequences for the stability and security of the Internet's addressing system, for the principle of interconnectivity that has helped drive the Internet's extraordinary growth, and for free expression.' They write, 'These bills, and the enforcement philosophy that underlies them, represent a dramatic retreat from this country's tradition of leadership in supporting the free exchange of information and ideas on the Internet. At a time when many foreign governments have dramatically stepped up their efforts to censor Internet communications, these bills would incorporate into U.S. law a principle more closely associated with those repressive regimes: a right to insist on the removal of content from the global Internet, regardless of where it may have originated or be located, in service of the exigencies of domestic law.'"

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I broke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38426984)

Back Mountain.

Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Insightful)

Fireking300 (1852630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427036)

When is the public going to actually get the opinion from a Network expert and not people that deal with law?

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427086)

Because copyrights and trademarks are not a computer network? Need a broader scope than just a network expert.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427108)

They do get such opinions. From the following Networks:

CBS, NBC, ABC, etc...

Unfortunately, that's what Congress considers to be Network experts.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427142)

If the proponents of this moronic legislation have said (paraphrasing only slightly) "I don't even pretend to understand the technicalities of this law or the arguments against it, but I'm supporting it fully, regardless" then I don't think any opinion from any group is going to help things very much. As depressing as it sounds, I honestly do not believe that there is anything that "the people" can do that will make the slightest difference to whether or not these laws are passed, there's just too much money at stake.

Suggestions on how to fix this, such as this one [informationdiet.com] are all well and good, but they require a massive, sustained public effort over a long time, which will be blocked at every opportunity by the existing lobbyists with a vested interest in the status quo.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427184)

As depressing as it sounds, I honestly do not believe that there is anything that "the people" can do that will make the slightest difference to whether or not these laws are passed, there's just too much money at stake.

That's what the ammo box option is for.

If your lawmakers are passing laws about things they don't understand, and incapable of understanding why they're illegal ... it might be time to remind them that either they should read up on these things, or step aside.

Anybody who votes for a law which is unconstitutional has committed treason, even if they're too stupid to understand that fact.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (2, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427308)

You have guns. They have professional killers with precision attack drones. The possibility of armed revolution just isn't realistic any more. It'd need overwhelming public support, and that isn't coming in the age of television.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427354)

If just 5% of the American public wanted to overthrow the government, an armed revolution would be possible. You do not need overwhelming support, you need enough angry people with guns.

The problem is that less than 0.05% of the public cares about SOPA or PIPA. Most people just want to watch The Jersey Shore, football, etc., and then post about it on Facebook. They will not overthrow the government as long as they can still get their cheap entertainment. They will not even get their magazines and clips loaded.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (3, Interesting)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427526)

If just 5% of the American public wanted to overthrow the government, an armed revolution would be possible. You do not need overwhelming support, you need enough angry people with guns. The problem is that less than 0.05% of the public cares about SOPA or PIPA. Most people just want to watch The Jersey Shore, football, etc., and then post about it on Facebook. They will not overthrow the government as long as they can still get their cheap entertainment. They will not even get their magazines and clips loaded.

It would not surprise me if the "cheap entertainment" you speak of soon comes to an end. With legislation like SOPA, this only encourages broadcast media corporations to engage in tit for tat patent-style quibbles over copyrights.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427590)

You have guns. They have professional killers with precision attack drones. The possibility of armed revolution just isn't realistic any more. It'd need overwhelming public support, and that isn't coming in the age of television.

"Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy." - Fahrenheit 451

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Informative)

justdiver (2478536) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427146)

They've been weighing in this whole time... http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/top-internet-engineers-warn-against-sopa/2011/12/15/gIQAGRV4vO_blog.html [washingtonpost.com] Perhaps you were reading the wrong articles? To quote from the linked article: "Vint Cerf of Google, domain name system software author Paul Vixie and Internet routing engineer Tony Li were among 83 high-profile engineers who signed an open letter to Congress in opposition to the House Stop Online Privacy Act and Senate Protect Intellectual Property Act."

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (4, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427558)

Your puny open letter is powerless against our massive bribes^W donations.

Maybe if the letter was attached to a large wad of cash it might change some minds in congress, otherwise good luck.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427166)

Round about the same time you will realize that government does not exist to serve you.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427520)

Maybe the solution is to bribe politicians back. Let's band together and pay for their hookers and fine meals. I mean, if the United States has become a near-naked kleptocracy where the only thing that drives legislation is big wads of cash, why not eliminate any notion of democracy and admit it is a corrupt nation run by vile repugnant people and start buying them off to make right decisions?

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427820)

Maybe the solution is to bribe politicians back. Let's band together and pay for their hookers and fine meals. I mean, if the United States has become a near-naked kleptocracy where the only thing that drives legislation is big wads of cash, why not eliminate any notion of democracy and admit it is a corrupt nation run by vile repugnant people and start buying them off to make right decisions?

Because you'll never have the amount of cash the big corporations have.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427176)

The problem is that it is a law, written in legaleze. People who do real work cannot make sense of this language (and with good reason, there is little sense that can be conveyed in legaleze).

To properly translate a law into a real, understandable form you either need a trusted professional who is also fluent in legaleze (hah), or a lawyer and a professional who can both understand a common dialect and who are both sufficiently trustable. Since we're trying to live in reality (for a few minutes at least), all we are likely to get are tech professionals who can't understand the law but don't like the parts they can parse, and lawyers who understand what the law says but have no ability to understand the consequences of the law.

For the above reason, I advocate an amendment that only laws written clearly in the dialect of english that teaches have tried to push on me since kindergarden could be enforced. This amendment would equally penalize everyone who is not an english teacher, because the rest of us learned divergent dialects despite the many classes and sentence diagrams.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (2)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427704)

Herman Cain, sir, your campaign is over. Please go away.

Not much to do with computer networks (4, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427198)

You really don't need to know much about the details of TCP/IP, or DNS, to understand these proposed laws.

The idea of these laws is to circumvent the standard law enforcement process.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (4, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427248)

At least, based on what I know of these professors - these professors do have a fairly decent amount of technical knowledge, which is evident in TFA.

In addition, they point out some excellent legal challenges to SOPA/PIPA, which indicate there's a good chance either act would get defeated fairly quickly within the Supreme Court. (See the CDA as an example.)

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427372)

Geez, you really haven't been paying much attention, have you?

An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress [eff.org]

Today, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively.

Blacklisting Provisions Remain in Stop Online Piracy Act [wired.com]

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) urged panelists to remove the DNS and firewall aspects of the bill.

Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) said he was not a technological “nerd,” but said he did not “believe” security experts who said that the internet would become less secure unless Issa’s amendment was adopted. “I’m not a person to argue about the technology of this,” Watt said before he voted against the amendment. Issa’s amendment failed 22-12.

Congressional SOPA hearings: no opponents of the bill allowed [boingboing.net]
Nov. 15

As the House of Representatives opens hearings on SOPA, the worst piece of Internet legislation in American history, it has rejected all submissions and testimony from public interest groups and others who oppose the bill.

        Irony Alert: The House is holding hearings on sweeping Internet censorship legislation this week -- and it's censoring the opposition! The bill is backed by Hollywood, Big Pharma, and the Chamber of Commerce, and all of them are going to get to testify at the hearing.

        But the bill's opponents -- tech companies, free speech and human rights activists, and hundreds of thousands of Internet users -- won't have a voice.

There is plenty of commentary by tech people out there on the detrimental effects to the internet by SOPA and PRO-IP. Just fucking google it.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (2)

Brainman Khan (1330847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427392)

They just legalized indefinite detention and the executive branch is on record as saying it is within its power to assassinate American citizens. Don't think they give two pirated Justin Beiber MP3's worth of concern about your internet rights.

Re:Lawyers, Judges, Representatives, Senators, ... (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427668)

When is the public going to actually get the opinion from a Network expert and not people that deal with law?

The "network experts" are working for corporations, who are writing the laws. They're too busy trying to hold on to their jobs. They're not going to be able to help us.

We need experts in dismantling large corporations, creating stronger regulations, taking money out of politics, creating laws that are meant to serve people instead of capital.

Unfortunately, many of those experts are busy Occupying various places. With luck, they'll eventually occupy Congress and the courts. Then we'll see these laws sent back to the dystopian novels from which they came.

And no, Ron Paul is not going to help us either. If he gets anywhere near power, the Koch Brothers and ALEC will just tell him, "Sit down, old man" and they'll have a field day. All government functions will be outsourced at triple the cost.

This will not pass... (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427042)

Even if they were passed. Honestly, I feel that internet providers, will not obey these laws even if they were passed. Because if they did, These ISPS ( I suppose tier 3 and 2 mainly) will be signing their own death warrants. And for once their own self interest is in agreement with what reason and logic dictates - My honest opinion.

Re:This will not pass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427260)

Dont forgot who owns the major ISP and who actually puts money in the government's second pocket.

Re:This will not pass... (5, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427270)

1) It's unfortunately looking very likely these will pass.
2) Death warrant or not, you have to follow the law
3) If it passes, the article points out some good legal challenges that will likely cause the act to be struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

Re:This will not pass... (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427648)

4) The SCOTUS makes blatantly unconstitutional decisions all the time. They're every bit as corrupt as Congress, if not more so.

Oh shocking (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427046)

US Congress proposes bill that violates Constitution. News at 11.

Libertarians (and truly conservative conservatives, not just the "gays are bad, m'kay" kind) have been warning this was the inevitable end of the gradual expansion of US government that has been happening over the last 60-odd years. And look! It's happening. Already happened actually (in the form of the TSA). Of course, both parties are on the gravy train now. Except Ron Paul and Ron Wyden and a handful of others. And I doubt they can stop it.

The end of any government that continually expands in power (and money) and never grows smaller is tyranny and repression, and it always has been. Thousands of years of history back this up. Only way to stop it in the US is cut it's funding and authority. And I mean cut: as in, halve it over 5 years. More would be ideal. And of course restore the state rights back to the states. Never happen of course. If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go think about where I want to live instead in 5-10 years.

Re:Oh shocking (5, Insightful)

clonehappy (655530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427280)

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go think about where I want to live instead in 5-10 years.

The only problem being that, if you follow the money, most first and second world countries are under the control of the same tyrannical forces. See the IMF, World Bank, and other related cretins. Do you really want to live in Iran or some third-world banana republic?

Unfortunately, this time the tyranny is a worldwide occupation. So you might as well just go all in and stand up on the side of freedom and liberty now, for tomorrow it will be too late.

TSA? (2)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427304)

Wow, you're go-to example of government invasiveness is the TSA. Not warrentless wiretapping. Not powers of indefinite military detention. Not the criminal prosecution of journalists. Nope.

I'm always shocked when I meet a person who believes dangerous government authority is a low-paid government employee sneaking a peak at your caboose when you fly on a commercial airlines.

Re:TSA? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427628)

In the sense that that government employee is violating the Fourth Fucking Amendment of the Constitution, yes, it is rather dangerous to let pass. Just because you can come up with more violations of our Constitutional rights doesn't invalidate the parent's point at all.

Don't be such an asshole next time.

Re:Oh shocking (0, Troll)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427306)

"States rights" is is nice way to say "I want to remove peoples rights, one state at a time".

Ron Paul only supports states rights because it is the only way he can bypass the constitutional rights of freedom of (and from) religion. He is a hypocrite and anti-constitutional.

Re:Oh shocking (0)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427424)

"States rights" is is nice way to say "I want to remove peoples rights, one state at a time".

No it's not. It's just portrayed that way by people who are in favor of centralized federal power. It's their working strategy to claim that wanting to limit the unconstitutional growth of the federal government is tantamount to supporting Jim Crow laws.

Re:Oh shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427792)

Only if you COMPLETELY ignore the entire history of the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement can you possibly write off the involvement of Confederate politics (and thus slavery and racism) with the "States' Rights" slogan... and this politics has by no means gone away (cf. the 'Obama is a Muslim anti-colonialist' meme)

Re:Oh shocking (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427326)

I am so sick of this ignorant "states rights" bullshit. It was a bad idea then, it's a bad idea now. We fought a stupid war over it, and you Confederate "States rights" morons lost. Time and again you lose, yet you WON'T GO AWAY. We a no longer "These united states", we haev long been "THE United states".... singular. Get over it and get used to it, or move your goddamned ass somewhere else.

And it's been the conservatives that have been usurping Constitutional right and expanding government power way faster than any liberal or progressive, so don't even go there. LIBERALS are all about the preservation of "Liberty".

"Libertarians" are just over-grown immature over-privileged white boys who fell in love with the idiot Ayn Rand's writings in their endless search for a superior justification for their own selfishness. They have no clue what it's like in the real world, or that many of the things we have (like a social safety net) evolved out of necessity, and are part and parcel of a *civilized* society.

Re:Oh shocking (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427746)

And it's been the conservatives that have been usurping Constitutional right and expanding government power way faster than any liberal or progressive

Indeed, which is why it is more logical for liberals and lefties to promote states rights. That way, we get to have our hippie utopia with lesbian marriages and free dope for all right here and now; and who cares about Jesusland?

Re:Oh shocking (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427510)

Oh bullshit. This is the inevitable result of the expansion of anti-science, anti-reality thinking that has overtaken our country in the past thirty years. We don't check to see if laws actually *work* anymore—we just pass them because they address "emergencies" that are declared in the press to justify them. We don't even read them. We just pass them.

The kind of magical thinking that you're complaining about, where people pass new laws and hope that will make things better, is certainly stupid, but the kind of magical thinking you're engaging in is just as stupid. Your argument is more of the same: "just cut the government's income and force it to ..?" What, exactly? This is just more ignorant hand-waving. It is just pure mental laziness to imagine that some easy thing you can do will make everything all better.

What we have to do if we want anything to change is to stop arguing over subtle points of ideology and start punishing legislators who pass stupid laws, and rewarding legislators who pass good laws. We have to start paying attention to whether laws that are passed work, and repealing the ones that don't. We have to make reason and thinking the basis for passing laws, and not prejudice and ignorance. This means we have to pay attention—we actually have to spend some of our precious time studying what the government is doing, and what our representatives are doing, and letting them know that we are paying attention, and that we will punish them if they allow any of the various forms of corruption to flourish, whether it's regulatory capture, simple cronyism, or the kind of contracting that often happens where the contractor promises the world for a really big hunk of money, takes and spends the money over time, and then eventually says "well, I guess it isn't working, sorry."

When we let this kind of crap continue and never factor it into who we vote for, we have only ourselves to blame.

Re:Oh shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427760)

There's no such thing as a "conservative conservative". Some of the same Founding Fathers that wrote the Constitution also passed the Alien & Sedition Acts. Yet we lionize them all the same--particularly conservatives--which is patently ridiculous if you think about it, no matter your dispositions.

A conservative is someone who, by definition, is strongly disposed to maintaining the status quo. But which status quo? On the one hand, regarding the entertainment industry, the status quo is huge media conglomerates, which this bill would protect, making it conservative. Regarding criminal law and communications law policy, the status quo is literally being left in the dust by this bill, so it's somewhat radical. On the other hand, you can frame the issue as a return to "law & order", i.e. a conservative movement.

So, you can't really call this bill conservative or liberal. Copyright and communications law is so far removed from the ambit of traditional politics that such labels really do more harm than convenience--which is all labels have to offer anyhow.

Copyright length (2)

Sarius64 (880298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427048)

As we all should be living to 150+ years soon(tm) I think they should just raise the copyright length in America from 120 years to a completely reasonable 500 years.

Re:Copyright length (3, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427540)

I've thought of a clever solution to the copyright problem.

Make a law that makes copyright longevity equal to the life expectancy of an American.

So you wanna make copyright last longer? Raise the standard of living.

That's great. What about OPEN? (4, Informative)

OverTheGeicoE (1743174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427054)

There's a rival proposal in the House called the Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act [keepthewebopen.com] , or OPEN, which claims to be better than SOPA/PIPA but does similar things in a different way. I suspect it's better to do nothing at all than approve any of these bills, even OPEN, but it's hard to say because OPEN doesn't get as much coverage. It would be nice if OPEN were included in the discussion in the future.

Re:That's great. What about OPEN? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427300)

The "rival proposal" exists only to give people the illusion of choice. If it didn't exist, then the only other alternative to SOPA would have been approval or disapproval. Regardless, if both are bad ideas, then they both should be dropped, not choose one, because you don't want the other.

It should be surprising that "law" professors speak about something that will inherently change the internet, but like always, the louder you are, the righter you are.

Re:That's great. What about OPEN? (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427312)

Hilarious that it's named OPEN, but I guess Newspeak bill names aren't even novel anymore.

I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427058)

I am heartened by the overwhelming list of experts and public figures who have come out against these bills. However I can't help but feel that the Senators and Representatives who are debating it will never know. Slashdot's catalog of evidence against SOPA and PROTECTIP may as well be invisible to them. These people are trying to regulate something like the Internet but could never be found in a place where real experts have these discussions. How frustrating.

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427116)

They wouldn't understand shit.

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427128)

Well, if the "the overwhelming list of experts and public figures" would donate millions to Congressional reelection campaigns, maybe Congress would listen. It's not Congress's fault that they didn't put their money where their mouths were, now is it?

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (3, Interesting)

iguana (8083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427256)

Maybe if we all wrote them a letter on the back of a US$10 bill they'd notice.

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427390)

You're missing a few zeros in your suggestion.

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427684)

You what, you wanna to bribe the senators! You want to go to jail?

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (1)

Jackdaw Rookery (696327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427144)

Not all Senators and Representatives can be technically illiterate, can they?

Does anyone know of any that are more receptive, they could get the word out then among their peers.

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427654)

They are not technically illiterate.

Make absolutely no mistake about this. The congressmen who support this bill understand, at some level, the technical and security implications. They understand that it won't do anything about piracy. They understand that it is actually an extra-legal, unconstitutional means for criminal corporations to commit wide-scale censorship of criticism and drive their small new-media competitors out of business. They understand all of this; they just don't give a fuck, because they literally hate America.

It wouldn't matter (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427168)

Politicians only care about who is contributing to their campaigns. They don't give hoot about whether is right, or wrong, or smart, or stupid.

Re:I wish Senators/Representatives read Slashdot (1, Interesting)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427192)

Congressmen and Senators can only hear the voices of people who are shoving huge piles of cash at them. You can't just point them at an expert. There must be a huge pile of cash sitting next to the expert.

I'm not wealthy enough to afford corruption in this country. Mexico, on the other hand...has affordable corruption.

An accident? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427076)

"At a time when many foreign governments have dramatically stepped up their efforts to censor Internet communications, these bills would incorporate into U.S. law a principle more closely associated with those repressive regimes: a right to insist on the removal of content from the global Internet, regardless of where it may have originated or be located, in service of the exigencies of domestic law."

Do you honestly believe that the bills having that effect is accidental?

As if there's something new discovered here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427094)

- Haw, what are you doing, SOPA? What are you doing, you fat piece of legislation? Where's it going? What's that fat piece of legislation doing now? Oh sh*t! Aaah! Ooow! Aaah! It's hitting the Internet! It's hittin ma Internet! Don't break my Internet! Don't break my Internet! It's breakin ma Internet!

Let me explain something (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427104)

From the viewpoint of the people proposing and supporting the law, if it breaks the Internet, too bad.

In their view, nothing is more important than the principle of them controlling their copyrights. If it takes the destruction of the Internet, so be it.

I imagine if buggy whip manufacturers would have had a better lobby 100+ years ago, they would have lobbied for laws that would have forced motorists to always keep a buggy whip in their car.

Well ladies and gentlemen, record, film, game, and software companies do have better lobbyist. And they're not afraid to use them.

Quelle surprise (5, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427130)

The proponents of these bills consider the breaking of the 'Net a feature, not a bug. They won't be happy until it's been reduce to nothing more than pay-per-view TV v2.0.

Cheers,

b&

Exactly! (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427232)

They want the same thing they already have with the cable TV system: a neat little topology where consumers are just endpoints that passively receive entertainment (for a fee), and the powerful network operators and media executives get to decide what people are allowed to see.

Re:Quelle surprise (1)

FunPika (1551249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427332)

I'm still waiting for a bill to be proposed that only allows a WHITELIST of sites approved to be non-copyright infringing by the MAFIAA to be accessed by your average Internet user (those not smart enough to circumvent it)...at this rate should happen by the end of the decade.

Wrong assumption (4, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427150)

extraordinary growth, and for free expression

The incumbent politicians do not want extraordinary growth and free expression. If your argument starts with that position, you have already lost them.

Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

mrquagmire (2326560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427162)

Or does it really seem like our country is going straight down the toilet at an accelerating rate? I mean I know I've only been alive for so long and I've only been paying attention to this stuff for a shorter period of time, but the events that occurred over the course of the last decade (and especially the last few years) combined with the policies that have been set up over the last 30 years or so is really starting to make me think we're in serious trouble. I mean real. serious. trouble.

Am I way off? Has our country been in a situation like this before where all the powers-that-be seem to be working together for their benefit, at the expense of everyone else's freedoms, liberties, and way of life?

Please tell me I'm wrong...

Re:Is it just me... (3, Funny)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427272)

I'm not that good of a liar, sorry. :(

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427346)

I don't think you're wrong. Actually, I find it exciting to be witnessing the old age and ultimate death of the United States. As long as I can keep my family and myself alive through the process, I'll be grateful to have had the opportunity to witness it. I mean, talk about living history.

Ancient Chinese Curse: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427428)

May you live in interesting times.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427380)

I like to call it 'New Rome Syndrome'.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427710)

What about "New Foundation" syndrome?

Re:Is it just me... (2)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427420)

Has our country been in a situation like this before where all the powers-that-be seem to be working together for their benefit, at the expense of everyone else's freedoms, liberties, and way of life?

Sadly, yes, it's been exactly this way for a while. But previous administrations and corporate heads were much smarter at hiding the fist inside a velvet glove. It's just becoming more nakedly obvious in recent years, as the number of media companies have shrunk, the Internet grassroots has risen, and the outsourced, dematerialised, copyright-based US economy has started seriously wobbling.

The 1980s Reagan years were filled with government and media collusion and outright scandal (Iran-Contra, Reagan saying "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall" while Thatcher didn't want it to fall), as were the Cold War 1950s-1960s (COINTELPRO, CIA adventurism in South America), the WW2 1940s were flooded with racist pro-war propaganda ("Smack a Jap", the British Passport Control Office), and the 1920s-30s were drenched in greed and fraud. Then there was WWI, the Spanish-American War, Jim Crow, the Civil War...

But yeah, it feels like the last time things bubbled up to the surface all at once like they're doing now was the 1930s. Not a good feeling at all.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427750)

Man. you know your history, it is a rare thing, only if the rest of (300 millions -1) Americans were just like you....just imagine......

Re:Is it just me... (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427458)

It's just you. It's been like this for at least 100 years, and very close to it for 200+. We've been through most of this foolishness before, and we'll do it again. It tends to happen in 50-80 year cycles, as that's about how long people live. Go read about the 1920s, and you'll see much of the same fiscal foolishness. We've actually gotten better at controlling it, but that just means we are ratcheting up the foolishness to the breaking point a bit slower.

It's entirely likely that without the great depression and the advent of the use of Keynesian economics, we would likely see 25%+ unemployment and massive governmental collapse. Instead, we've held steady in return for a huge debt. Unfortunately, it will really take us 10-20 years to dig ourselves out, but as soon as the collapse-panic is over, we expect to see progress/growth. All we've really done is started to set ourselves up for a second collapse where we don't have the ability to borrow our way out of a major correction.

I just hope I have the forethought to avoid losing my retirement savings when it happens.

Re:Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427518)

Sadly, you are not wrong. Citizens have become nearly entirely apathetic and disinterested while government has continued to grow. The citizens are the fourth branch of our government (yes, before the press, though the press needs a major shakeup as well) and must become involved if we have any hope of checking and balancing the other three. We must speak out, get into government positions and not kowtow to party or status quo, get into journalism and not let our own pet ideologies get in the way of sharing the facts. Only by doing so can we stem the tide. If we don't then within a generation this country will be ruled either by international consortium or a government either fully dictatorial or if not so, close enough to make no real difference.

Re:Is it just me... (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427636)

Yes, our country has been in this situation before. Regulatory capture is a well-known problem. Read up on Teddy Roosevelt and the trust-busters. Read up on the robber barons. Read up on social darwinism. Read up on the suppression of the communist party in the 1930s (whether or not you think communism is bad, the way the communist party was suppressed was definitely anti-American). Read up on McCarthyism. Then read up on the Pullman Strike, and Hoovervilles, and the New Deal, and the civil rights movement.

The pendulum swings back and forth. I wish it would just stay on "social justice,' but it doesn't, because people get complacent and let things decay until they get bad enough that they feel like they have to do something. This is that time. People feel like they have to do something now. Don't be without hope. Stop thinking you are powerless. Stop trying to hit me, and hit me. Er, sorry, that just slipped out.

Re:Is it just me... (2)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427650)

Oh, and read up on the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and its aftermath.

Re:Is it just me... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427790)

It does feel a bit like 1930s Germany, doesn't it?

The Internet vs. Cable TV (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427202)

The whole point is to break the Internet! The mainstream media hates the Internet, because people can be more than just passive consumers of entertainment and products. SOPA and PIPA are just one more step in a long chain of attacks on the philosophy that underlies the very architecture of the Internet.

For the past few years, the RIAA and MPAA have been working hard to undermine and destroy peer-to-peer networking on the Internet, because it does not fit into the distribution model they are comfortable with. In the view of the mainstream media, the corporations and the politicians that support them, people are supposed to pay for things, and they are not supposed to assist in the distribution chain unless they are being paid to do so. The idea that computing resources or communication resources can be shared is antithetical to the old media barons, because they want to be the center of the universal. To them, distribution costs are paid for by copyright holders, who recoup those costs by selling copies of entertainment in its various forms.

What they want, in other words, is the Cable TV system. They like the way that cable works -- a relatively small number of head ends that distribute the entertainment, which can easily be policed for violations. Set-top boxes are designed to prevent users from stepping outside the bounds of what the copyright holders demand. Restrictions on distribution can be negotiated with a small number of entities that control the entire network.

They want to break the Internet, so that they can rebuild it. They want a star architecture for the network. They want to routers that block access to "rogue websites." DRM was pioneered by Cable TV and its cousin, satellite (see: HBO). They want the same thing to happen on the Internet, which means they need to recreate the entire network to better suit that purpose.

Re:The Internet vs. Cable TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427512)

> . SOPA and PIPA are just one more step in a long chain of attacks on the philosophy that
> underlies the very architecture of the Internet.

BLAH BLAH BLAH. So much scaremongering.

Stop consuming their media and start creating your own original media. No use of music, video or images that YOU didn't create.

In the face of that SOA and PIPA are toothless.

Re:The Internet vs. Cable TV (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427678)

Stop consuming their media and start creating your own original media. No use of music, video or images that YOU didn't create.
In the face of that SOA and PIPA are toothless.

Except that UMG and the rest of big content will use their newly found, unchecked power to suppress that original media.

They've already been using extant enforcement capability to destroy access to other people's work (to say nothing of the public domain) where possible. SOPA / PIPA will make "where possible" become "everywhere, all the time."

Re:The Internet vs. Cable TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427772)

BLAH BLAH BLAH. So much scaremongering.

Stop consuming their media and start creating your own original media. No use of music, video or images that YOU didn't create.

That doesn't mean they won't try to sue you or take your site down. "Whoops, we're sorry" doesn't mean much when you end up bankrupt defending yourself.

I didn't think the constitution was a big obstacle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427220)

Strange, there seem to be a lot of laws passed that are unconstitutional ... why would this one be any different?

SCOTUS (5, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427236)

Like other unconstitutional laws, if either of these pass they'll simply be challenged immediately in Federal courts.
If anyone like RIAA wants to be dicks about it, it'll go to the Supreme Court and be defeated there.

Re:SCOTUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427452)

I like how /. mods enjoy giving a score of 1 to stuff that is accurate and not just ramblings of someone that agrees/disagrees.

Re:SCOTUS (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427580)

Not really. The SCOTUS can simply refuse to hear any of those cases. They have the right to do so. You better believe they'll take that right.

Re:SCOTUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427596)

That seems rather naive of you.

Re:SCOTUS (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427698)

What reason do you have to believe that the SCOTUS respects the Constitution any more than Congress does?

Politicians will take this as an argument Pro (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427246)

The political system is being closed. Read Naomi Wolfe, watch her on Youtube. Read Glen Greenwald at Salon.

The consequences of this law are fully intended by all parties.

There is no other important issue in the next election, as there will be no other meaningful elections if this process isn't stopped.

The only candidate who supports the Constitution and its guarantees of Civil Liberties is Ron Paul. If he isn't elected, there is a gulag in our futures.

Possible to preserve stability and security? (1)

rHBa (976986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427278)

Correct me if I'm wrong but IF it were possible to implement this safely, it'd probably require massive changes to all servers/clients on the 'new' internet.

Looking at how long it's taking to roll out IPV6, I'm guessing this won't happen in a hurry (especially considering the political[international] complications).

Alternatively they could just break the internet!

Re:Possible to preserve stability and security? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427330)

You know why IPv6 is taking so long to roll out? It benefits the users, that's why. ISPs could start deploying NAT to home users, who are "not supposed" to be running servers anyway.

Do you really think Time Warner or Comcast would waste any time deploying the equipment needed to follow SOPA or PIPA? If it means giving everyone a new cable modem, you bet that everyone will get new cable modems. A lot of ISPs would benefit from SOPA and PIPA, because they also own TV channels and other businesses that benefit from increased copyright enforcement.

Re:Possible to preserve stability and security? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427404)

benefit? That's a pretty funny word.

I don't think you understand what taking away advertising and eyes is for. hint: it doesn't benefit them, they just think it does.

Re:Possible to preserve stability and security? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427378)

No, just the border routers on all routes in and out of the US. This isn't new technology - China has been using exactly the same for years. A combination of DNS filtering with IP blocking.

I have a solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427338)

I have a solution - Pull the plug.

No websites, no email, no ISP, no domains, no hosting, no DSL, no telephone.
Right now I am slowly deleting all my gmail accounts, myspace, youtube, eBay, paypal.
You might not thing nothing of it, that's fine, but I actually HURT many bands by going away. I hurt many retailers by going away.
No more public access show. NOTHING. No, bands, links, videos, no ecommerce, everything is now deleted.
I also am no longer a target waiting for a fucked up law to ruin my life.

You want entertainment again?
Restore the US Constitution, till then Via Con Dios.

What about the other horrible bill (3, Informative)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427350)

The one that allows the US military to indefinitely detain anyone, even American citizens arrested on American soil, until some nebulous 'end of conflict'. The one McCain sponsored.

Awesome Law! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427408)

As one of the people who don't live in the USA, who gets annoyed from time to time with the USA hegemony in technology, I'm quite pleased to see the US destroy its tech lead through _amazingly_ stupid law. Awesome! If the rest of us wanted to make the US a place that nobody can afford to start an internet-based business, this law would be pretty good way.

Keep up the good work guys.

Dear Congress... (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427432)

Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts

Re:Dear Congress... (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427496)

I'm not sure that's such a good idea...if they realize its true potential, they may move from DNS takedowns to wholesale IP or IP range blocking...then say it's the equivalent of getting your phone confiscated on the way into prison or some asinine analogy like that.

2 Questions (2)

high_rolla (1068540) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427450)

Why hasn't an Occupy style movement been started over this? If it was coordinated better they could get their message out clearer with a lot of Media coverage.

How long until the rest of the world says FU USA and starts working on ways to remove their dependence on USA for the functioning of the internet?

Re:2 Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38427560)

Well we are busy moving all our data away from US servers, hang on the progress bar says only 4 minutes left.

Extra-judicial enforcement (4, Insightful)

andrew_d_allen (971588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427480)

The real problem, as I see it, is the "accusation = guilt" and extra-judicial enforcement methods of these laws. It just floors me that our congressmen, sworn to uphold the constitution, thinks that laws where all you have to do is file some paperwork and "poof" the website gets blocked without having to present compelling-enough evidence to a judge under penalty of perjury (and with oppposing counsel's arguments) for him or her to issue an injunction to block the DNS entry. It shows they have absolutely no respect for the Constitution or even knows what "rule of law" means.

The Rune Law (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427516)

This legislation breaches the Rune Law, or spirit law as some people call it. Top Tip!

If the PIPA applied to the Interstate (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427550)

If Protect IP act applied to the Interstate instead of Internet you would be breaking the law if the driveway outside your house connected to roads that could lead to a criminal's house(everyone is guilty). Then it would be up to Hollywood to determine if your house gets demolished.

Breaking the net lets them control the net... (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427656)

Which is the goal of the corporate oligarchy that passes for government these days. Frankly, most of the world's corporation-governments would be happiest if the internet was a restricted, monitored, toll-road. Of course, the flaw in this plan is the million geek army. Telling millions of technically savvy engineers what to do with their toys is very unlikely to be successful in the long run. It just means that the open source pirate internets arrive faster.

Not that this matters to a congresscritter. They just take their fee for passing the stupid law and move on down the road to retirement and the little secret Swiss bank accounts set up for them by the RIAA and friends as a reward.

It will happen eventually - then what? (1)

fygment (444210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427700)

Evnetually the government or big business will push something like this through. They will seize control. So, what can be done? Is there an alternative, like a homebrew, grassroots equivalent?

SOPA has nothing to do with copyright. (4, Insightful)

PrimeNumber (136578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38427824)

SOPA is about control. The web is the one area that the powers that be do not fully control, this legislation provides the mechanism to accomplish that, in much the same way that the true intention of the PATRIOT act was to strip away other rights in the name of security.

Wake up people.

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