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SOPA Goes Back To the Drawing Board, PIPA Postponed

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the gone-but-not-forgotten dept.

Censorship 267

New submitter rivin2e writes "SOPA has been sent back to the drawing board. 'The move came shortly after the Senate postponed a key vote on the companion PIPA bill scheduled for next week and amid calls for consensus before Congress moves forward on any legislation to address the problem of foreign piracy websites,' as written by the Los Angeles Times today. Hopefully the next draft of this bill will create a better foundation to stop piracy and not just assert control over the internet." Support for the bill eroded on Wednesday as several of its co-sponsors withdrew their support. The issue is not over, however; statements were issued by both Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. Lamar Smith indicating that they still want to find solutions to online piracy, and Smith also wrote an editorial piece for CNN to explain why he thinks such legislation is necessary. The SOPA issue was raised at the recent GOP debate, and all four candidates spoke against it.

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267 comments

Likely answer... (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766710)

The most likely answer is this: too many people knew what was being planned. We can't have people knowing about the laws that attack their rights and freedoms, can we?

Re:Likely answer... (5, Insightful)

kaellinn18 (707759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766802)

Here's the scariest thing I've read: Lamar Smith is also the sponsor of H.R. 1981 Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (info: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:HR01981:@@@L&summ2=m& [loc.gov]). What someone on Reddit suggested might happen (and I see as all too plausible) is that they will modify the text of SOPA/PIPA a bit and tack it on to this bill. If that happens, it is going to pass in a landslide because no one wants to be seen as supporting child pornography. They will pass this bill without even reading it. We HAVE to keep on top of this and make sure that they don't try to sneak one by us. This is just the beginning, and it is going to get very ugly.

Re:Likely answer... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38766904)

This is just the beginning, and it is going to get very ugly.

Where have you been? Because it's hardly the beginning. But there is a long hard road ahead of us.

Re:Likely answer... (5, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767250)

The problem is you can't keep people enraged, shocked and surprised by any significant amount of time. So they will vote again, again and again, and once we stop making such a ruckus (because, frankly we have other things to do), it will pass. Even if we never yield, a new generation of internet users will come that, if not supportive, is already used to the idea of internet control, so they will not be shocked enough to voice their concerns so loudly. That's how these things almost always go and how society gradually changes its most ingrained values, for better or for worse.

Re:Likely answer... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38766946)

Yeah... I can't see anyone jumping on Facebook to shout, "Stop this anti-kiddie-porn bill! Freeeeedooooom!"

Clever. And Evil.

Re:Likely answer... (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766954)

Dont' think for a second the internet won't outrage if SOPA/PIPA is attached to *Anything*. In fact, I suspect them doing this as soon as the media stops trying to stifle the issue (as Time Warner owns CNN for example - see the article with Lamar smith that says "Editor's note: Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, is among the industry supporters of the legislation.").

However, people will absolutely mobilize again.

Re:Likely answer... (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766984)

Child porn laws themselves aren't the problem, the problem is that they're selectively enforced and don't require any knowledge or intent on the part of the accused to be prosecuted that is the problem.

What I want to know is why none of the FBI agents working on those cases hasn't been prosecuted. If any of the rest of us were caught with the stuff on our machines for any reason we would be prosecuted.

Re:Likely answer... (5, Insightful)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767600)

Selective enforcement is a major issue for most countries at the moment. The 'policing forces' have too much power, and too much discriminatory use of that power. It results in significant police corruption, and waters down the prosecution of real crime.

SOPA and PIPA are just part of the ongoing battle between the authoritarians and the libertarians. That battle is not one that will easily go away, and nor should it. It is through this path that our society achieves balance in its legal system.

Re:Likely answer... (1)

firewrought (36952) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767302)

Is it possible to plan a counteroffensive? You know... get a constitutional amendment going or something that would swing the attack the other way? The MPAA/RIAA has no incentive to back down and say "oh shucks you're right, we were trying to break the internet to protect our business model at the expense of the public good and civil liberties... sorry about that, we won't try it again".

"Holding out" the firestorm isn't enought... if we don't take it the other way, all this talk of "balance" will ultimately mean... big business and big government win.

Re:Likely answer... (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767350)

All we can do is keeping riding our reps as hard as we can and make it clear ANY that vote yes better be ready to find a new job PERIOD. I was surprised i got an actual email back from my senator saying he had taken his name off the bill and promising to vote against it so he must have got enough nasty hate mail to get spooked as you usually just get a standard "Please vote for me!" bullshit chain letter begging for more cash. of course it may be that our senator had run for about a dozen years before finally getting elected this last round and is scared shitless of being a one termer who knows, but i found it surprising to actually get something addressing the complaint instead of the usual "vote for me/cut me a check' bullshit. The fact that they weren't able to simply buy their way through congress though gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, we can use the fear of a massive firing to keep their asses in line on this single issue at least.

Re:Likely answer... (2)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767648)

I was surprised i got an actual email back from my senator saying he had taken his name off the bill and promising to vote against it so he must have got enough nasty hate mail to get spooked as you usually just get a standard "Please vote for me!" bullshit chain letter begging for more cash.

I heard back from my House Representative first, with a form letter reply that didn't address my specific concerns with SOPA. My reaction was to reply to the email, and the message has not been able to clear my outbox. I'm pissed at him, and am seriously considering running against him.

I heard back from one Senator, with another form letter. He also failed to address my specific concerns, but it took him 3 days to respond and he didn't support PIPA in then end (for now). For him... I'll just vote for someone else. He's lost my vote.

Re:Likely answer... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767458)

no one wants to be seen as supporting child pornography.

There's really no defense against lies and mischaracterization, other than to honestly explain things, and that doesn't fit in a soundbite.

But two can play that game. Introduce this bill: The Anti Puppy Shredding Act, which states this:

  1. No person shall shred a conscious, live puppy..
  2. No person shall shred a live, conscious human child between the ages of 2 years ago 16 years
  3. Title 17 Section 1201 of US Code is repealed
  4. No person shall force a human child to suck the penis of a puppy, whether the puppy is live or dead, in front of videocameras

Are you for shredding puppies, Lamar? Then we can all count on your vote for this bill.

Re:Likely answer... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38766832)

Exactly. The new version (see identical) will be buried in some defence appropriation bill that must pass so the lot can say "I didn't want to vote in favor, but we have to protect ourselves from the terrorists."

Re:Likely answer... (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766962)

They'll just attach a quiet rider to the next appropriations bill in the middle of the night. Then everyone can pull that phoney Obama "Well, I didn't *want* to support it--but since it was tied to that really important appropriations bill, I felt I *had* to vote for it/not veto it" shit.

Re:Likely answer... (5, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767078)

That's basically what former senator Chris Dodd (Now MPAA Chairman) said in a statement [theverge.com] he made. My favorite part was "Dodd blames the bills' reduced support on a slow timeline that allowed opposition to mobilize" which translates to "Congress should have just proposed/voted/passed the bill before anybody could get a look at it".

Re:Likely answer... (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767282)

Fuck Chris Dodd with a baseball bat wrapped in constantine wire.

Legislature is not a military maneuver, you WANT to give the opposition time to "mobilize"

Re:Likely answer... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767700)

Fuck Chris Dodd with a baseball bat wrapped in constantine wire.

Pedant alert: I think you meant concertina wire [wikipedia.org]. Also, what'd the poor baseball bat do to deserve such mistreatment? :)

Legislature is not a military maneuver, you WANT to give the opposition time to "mobilize"

I agree that it shouldn't be, but viewed from the standpoitn of the lobbyist-legislator industry it most certainly is.

Re:Likely answer... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767252)

Next time the ACTA approach: secret international negotiations, participants to sign non disclosure agreements and once a treaty is signed national parliament only have to ratify and not renegotiate.

We don't need legislation (4, Insightful)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766746)

We need innovation from the media companies; they need to embrace the digital platform and build distribution systems around it. Piracy will drop drastically if they make the media easy and cheap to buy.

Re:We don't need legislation (5, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766914)

This isn't just about media. The bill is also meant to target counterfeit manufactured goods, like fake Prada handbags shipped directly from China. Allowing companies to quickly block the Chinese web sites would curtail counterfeiting, but as many have said, the bill is too broad and too easy to abuse.

It used to be that you had to go to China, or some secret dinky store in Chinatown, to buy fake Chinese-made goods. Thanks to e-commerce, you can do that from the comfort of your own home. Perhaps SOPA needs to apply to credit card companies instead of web sites. Imagine if Prada could just tell Visa to block payments to fake-prada-handbags.cn without going through law enforcement. I bet Visa would hate that, because then Visa would be have to deal with abuses, instead of dozens of small ISPs.

Re:We don't need legislation (2)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766978)

This isn't just about media. The bill is also meant to target counterfeit manufactured goods, like fake Prada handbags shipped directly from China. Allowing companies to quickly block the Chinese web sites would curtail counterfeiting, but as many have said, the bill is too broad and too easy to abuse.

It used to be that you had to go to China, or some secret dinky store in Chinatown, to buy fake Chinese-made goods. Thanks to e-commerce, you can do that from the comfort of your own home. Perhaps SOPA needs to apply to credit card companies instead of web sites. Imagine if Prada could just tell Visa to block payments to fake-prada-handbags.cn without going through law enforcement. I bet Visa would hate that, because then Visa would be have to deal with abuses, instead of dozens of small ISPs .

I hadn't thought of that. Are you running for office anytime soon?

Re:We don't need legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38766986)

Honestly, who the fuck cares abut fake handbags?

Re:We don't need legislation (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767054)

Prada's owners and employees, most likely.

Re:We don't need legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767420)

I guess they need to reconsider their business plan, if they are so concerned.

Re:We don't need legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767464)

Isn't Prada Italian?

Re:We don't need legislation (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767508)

If they cared so much, they could start by targeting all those street vendors selling fake Prada stuff. Tourists seem to love these things even when they know they're being ripped off.

As a bonus, it'd clean up the vistas of some of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Re:We don't need legislation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767516)

Maybe people should just not buy Prada branded handbags. Then they wouldn't be duped into buying a shitty handbag by either Prada or the Chinese OEM.

Re:We don't need legislation (3, Interesting)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767646)

This kind of plays into the whole ethical/lawful debate. From what it appears, the majority don't have a big ethical problem with buying a handbag designed to look like someone else's. What does that mean, and what really causes the most benefit vs harm?

Re:We don't need legislation (3, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767690)

Perhaps SOPA needs to apply to credit card companies instead of web sites.

It does. Read section 103 [loc.gov].

Pertinent part:

Denying U.S. Financial Support of Sites Dedicated to Theft of U.S. Property-

                (1) PAYMENT NETWORK PROVIDERS- Except in the case of an effective counter notification pursuant to paragraph (5), a payment network provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after delivery of a notification under paragraph (4), that are designed to prevent, prohibit, or suspend its service from completing payment transactions involving customers located within the United States and the Internet site, or portion thereof, that is specified in the notification

Re:We don't need legislation (5, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766994)

My sense is that what they're fighting for isn't an "end to piracy" but a way to legislate their profit margins.

It seems obvious to me that for $20 a month for unlimited viewing subscriptions of all titles or $5 per title to own (via download) they could really put a crimp in piracy, but they would have to accept a permanently reduced profit margin.

That doesn't build beach houses in Malibu, mansions in Bel-Air, private jet airfare or put Bentley Continentals in a lot of driveways.

By re-defining piracy as "any act of copyrighted content consumption without a license for the specific act of consumption" they will be able to finally achieve per per consumption, legislated in law, which will in turn allow them to guarantee margins by controlling the price.

All this... (4, Interesting)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766758)

Over movies & music.

Check this out...

http://imgur.com/pPDak [imgur.com]

It's not enough to kill them (the world would be a much better place w/o the riaa & mpaa), but it might roll some heads, the kind that need rolling.

Re:All this... (1)

Deathnerd (1734374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766812)

This won't work. They'll just spin the decreased sales as a spike in piracy, thus strengthening their case.

Re:All this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767002)

Except if they do that, then people can just keep it going. They're not going to last very long if a ton of people take part into the movement. The latter is hard to achieve.

Re:All this... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767228)

Speaking of killing, some food for thought, you'd get a lesser sentence by murdering one of those guys than you would being imprisoned due to their silly laws. (and probably get more done)

Copying some bits is more punishable than terminating the existence of someone. What a fantastic world we live in, eh?

It got too hot in the kitchen (5, Insightful)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766778)

So Congress backed out until things cool down and they can try again... whether it's by reintroducing this same stuff or by attaching it, piece by piece, as riders to other bills.

We cannot turn down the heat. If we do, we will find this legislation passed before we can do anything about it.

Re:It got too hot in the kitchen (2)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767034)

It sounds like our current congress requires constant pressure to listen to the people.

I wouldn't put up with an employee that required constant oversight to do what I ask him; why is it tolerated with the public servants of our country - of the people?

Re:It got too hot in the kitchen (2)

smelch (1988698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767406)

Because we have a strong sense of anti-federalism, it's very hard to get rid of the politicians that do what offends you because they are not in your district and you can not vote them out. Meanwhile everything the government does is at the federal level and applies to everybody.

Re:It got too hot in the kitchen (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767610)

I see your point - although I wanted to point out that censorship goes well beyond 'offending' me - sort of like I would be "offended" if you stabbed me :)

Obviously! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38766784)

Of COURSE all four candidates at the GOP debate spoke against it. It's election season. Don't worry though, their tune will change back to normal as soon as elections are over.

lol: captcha - citizen. As if citizens have a say in anything.

Enjoy it for a moment (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766794)

We all know how politics work. We all know that stuff like this will keep coming up. We all know that we can't reasonably turn out with the same show of opposition every time this sort of thing happens. But, at least for a moment, I'm going to enjoy the fact that things went well for once in politics.

And even if we can't get that level of support every time this sort of thing comes around, I'm not going to worry about that. I'm just going to worry about the next time, because that's the one that matters right now.

Keep the momentum going (5, Interesting)

gsaraber (46165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766806)

So now is the time to get Smith and Leahy out of office in the next election cycle, I plan to donate to their competitors campaign funds and to let them know why I'm doing so.

Re:Keep the momentum going (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767270)

Good luck, Lamar Smith has been in office since the mid-80's, he hasn't even had to run against anyone in over a decade to keep it.

aren't there already laws in place they can use? (3, Interesting)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766808)

if current copyright legislation such as the DMCA isn't performing as expected, perhaps they could take it off the books before piling new laws on top?

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766968)

No, you see the DMCA makes it the copyright holders job to go after offenders. That clearly isn't aceptable. So these new bills make it Google and other like serves responsable for blocking entire sections of the internet that have been deemed as naughty. Much less effort on the part of the media conglomerates, even if it is an unreasonable request to make of search engines, forums, etc.

For example, it would become the responsibility of SlashDot to prevent all posts that link to or mention the Pirate Bay. That's much easier then having to admit that our laws dont have effect in Norway.

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767194)

The current laws are easy to circumvent because the US can't go after foreign websites like the Pirate Bay.

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (1)

Ilex (261136) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767404)

The current laws are easy to circumvent because the US can't go after foreign websites like the Pirate Bay.

Tell that to the guys who ran Megaupload.com

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767576)

Megaupload had servers in the US and New Zealand agreed to extradite them.

The US would love to shut down the Pirate Bay, but they have no way of doing it.

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767472)

Yes and we all know what a travesty it is that US laws do not apply everywhere in the entire world.

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767260)

Why doesn't someone just copyright laws that protect copyright?

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767336)

I've often thought that a good balance for news laws would be to either pass them with a huge majority or "pay for them" by sacrificing a different law, to try and prevent a huge mass of largely ineffective laws from taking place.

Of course, there is always the consideration that passing laws left and right is just to mkae everyone guilty, and then using selective enforcement as a form of unilateral control while "only punishing lawbreakers".

Re:aren't there already laws in place they can use (3, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767536)

The DMCA is performing exactly as expected. You cannot even post a link to a foreign website that provides decss.

Why must we always fight the same fight (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766836)

We all know that when SOPA 2.0 will come out and it will be good for the greedy that paid for it.

Why can't we get a "bill of rights [on the computer]"?

Does it have to do with the report that says 20% of Americans should be seeing a shrink?

Re:Why must we always fight the same fight (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766888)

I think it has to do with the fact that in a democracy there is always a big chunk of the population that is just wrong on something basic and important. Capital punishment. Abortion. Gun control/gun rights. I can see copyright/censorship going the same way and becoming a "wedge issue."

Re:Why must we always fight the same fight (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766926)

Why can't we get a "bill of rights [on the computer]"?

Because no one is willing to literally die or kill for it. Compare to the actual Bill of Rights.

Re:Why must we always fight the same fight (3, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767186)

Our current bill of rights doesn't contain an 'except on a computer' clause, so it is sufficient. Specifically, the clauses about free speech and unreasonable search.

We don't need a new one; we just need to remind our legislators that the bill of rights still exists.

we dont need sopa or pipa (5, Insightful)

luther349 (645380) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766862)

look what they managed to do to megaupload without any bills. all they want to do with these bills is skip the need to acully go threw the normal channels to make that happen. and i think that's what put the death nail in these bills anyways.

We yield! You win forever internet! (1)

blattin (1335585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766886)

aka "We'll just attach it to to the next defense spending bill or give it a label such as Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act."

Small victory (3, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766898)

But now isn't the time to rest, this crap will come back around, always does. Keep watch on any major "must not fail, do it for the Children/Military", type bills. If it can't make it on its own it'll show up as a rider on one of those.

No. Don't go back to the drawing board (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766916)

Round up all the supporters into camps. Exterminate them, remove the skulls, and bury the other bits in a mass grave.
On top, build a 100 meter statue of Wikipe-tan dancing on the crushed skulls. Generations from more enlightened times can look back on the the pivotal moment, where internet freedom almost got fucked.

It's the only way to be sure.

Maybe the problem isn't piracy, Congressman Smith (3, Insightful)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766956)

Maybe the problem is having a business model that is incompatible with sharing of information.

From the inception of the information revolution, information became easy to copy. It will be that way until you take away all computers and networks.

The real question - is there something we can do to reduce the damages these powerful industries do, while kicking and screaming on their way to irrelevance?

Re:Maybe the problem isn't piracy, Congressman Smi (3, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767064)

Maybe the problem is having a business model that is incompatible with sharing of information.

From the inception of the information revolution, information became easy to copy. It will be that way until you take away all computers and networks.

The real question - is there something we can do to reduce the damages these powerful industries do, while kicking and screaming on their way to irrelevance?

I'm sorry, if you want Congressman Smith to listen to you please insert $100k to his campaign every other year like the entertainment industry does: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=2008&type=C&cid=N00001811&newMem=N&recs=20 [opensecrets.org]

Re:Maybe the problem isn't piracy, Congressman Smi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767098)

Stop taking their content either by legal or illegal means.
 
My problem with this is that so many people out there act like if they can't have The Best of Lady Caca at a price point that they can "afford"* that culture is going to collapse. This simply isn't true. I don't side with SOPA either. I'm just as against people feeling that if they can see it or hear it out there that they have a right to have it and do with it whatever they want with no compensation to the artist.
 
* If you own a computer and have an internet connection you can't come off like you're poverty stricken. Media really isn't that expensive at this point. Get off your high horse about who makes how much for actually creating something while most sit there and leach their works.

Why don't we fix SOPA for them? (1)

ddxexex (1664191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766972)

I know most people here could find a bazillion problems with SOPA, but in order to prevent a repeat of the bill, shouldn't we find a way to reduce piracy online that doesn't destroy the internet and/or or freedoms? That way only the people benefiting from counterfeit goods/blatant copyright infringement are negatively impacted, which I think most people can agree to a certain degree, probably needed to be cracked down on anyways. I don't think the RIAA/MPAA deliberately wants to destroy our freedoms, they just don't want to have people profiting from their work.

Re:Why don't we fix SOPA for them? (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767166)

I don't think the RIAA/MPAA deliberately wants to destroy our freedoms, they just don't want to have people profiting from their work.

Tell me how sharing songs on Kazaa or bittorrent for free constitutes "profiting from their work". If that were the case, then they would ONLY have sued the providers of the services (that get ad revenue when people use them), not the users themselves. But you are right, they don't want to destroy our freedoms per se, they just want to take our money by whatever means possible.

Re:Why don't we fix SOPA for them? (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767342)

The problem is the RIAA/MPAA want complete control over everything.

I think if the RIAA/MPAA want to increase enforcement of copyright protection, they need to give something up and expand the fair use of copyrighted works. There is a lot of middle ground that can be achieved with the issue.

It's easy to reduce piracy... (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38766974)

just put the copyright terms back to the length thought fair by our founding fathers: 28 years after publication.

Doing so would eliminate a lot of piracy, overnight, and at no cost to the taxpayer.

Re:It's easy to reduce piracy... (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767090)

Right, because most of the stuff being pirated is 28 years and 1 day old. There's no reasonable time limit to copyright that would satisfy pirates (0 days) and copyright cartels (forever - 1 day) as they have different views of the information ("I shouldn't pay for it", "you should _always_ pay for it, per view, in every format possible, and maybe just for the right for it to exist in the first place!").

I'm guessing a quick scan of pirate bay would show the most popular stuff is 10 years old.

I really think this is a distribution/price problem, not a technical problem and certainly not a legal one. You won't stop it with either of the latter, but you'd make a whole lot more money by fixing the former.

Re:It's easy to reduce piracy... (4, Interesting)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767374)

That's okay, though, because we're (ostensibly) not out to satisfy either pirates or copyright cartels. 28-year copyright would serve to benefit the individual creators of the works in question and still create an incentive for either their successors, or they themselves later in their lives, to create additional work to continue to profit. Satisfying pirates is a non-starter - they can be written off because they can be assumed to disregard whatever copyright terms are in effect. To slightly twist a meme, "Pirates gonna pirate." Copyright cartels are trickier, as they have at least an air of legitimacy about them despite their rampant exploitation of copyright itself and the legal system that establishes it.

I think the focus should be on up-and-coming artists. Get them to eschew "Big Copyright" and maybe use the OWS rhetoric (1%/99%) to do so.

Re:It's easy to reduce piracy... (2)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767286)

Maybe piracy evolved to be as prevalent as it is today _because_ of market forces balancing out the effect of a general perception of "unfair" copyright terms.

In economics we speak in terms of equity; i.e. "fairness", and that capitalism, for all it's strneghts, does not gaurantee equity.
Perhaps the invisible hand of the market does, in fact, cover equity as well, it just manifests itself as piracy.

Re:It's easy to reduce piracy... (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767524)

I'd agree with that. If copyright holders don't respect the rights of users (via DRM, validation keys, EULAs, etc. and copyright extensions for existing works), why should users respect the rights of copyright holders?

Newt on SOPA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38766996)

Newt was at least amusing on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuVAw2mLmPo

Grit your teeth; it's kind of funny.

pipa? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767008)

I don't see the problem with Pipa, she has a nice bottom!

( http://www.google.nl/search?q=pippa+bottom&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=nl&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi )

What we really need is... (5, Insightful)

Tha_Big_Guy23 (603419) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767024)

the US government to stop thinking they can police the world.

If overseas pirating operations are what's causing all the ruckus, I don't see what passing stringent laws within the US borders will do to accomplish this task. It could just be me, but it seems that what the plan is with both of these acts is to try and police what happens on the internet worldwide. The United States has no business regulating the internet internationally. If they want to regulate it within their borders, that's the government's realm. Outside of the US, there's not one damn thing the US should be doing other than cooperating with other global governments to begin their own enforcement policies.

Not that I'm advocating internet regulation here, it just seems that the reasoning behind the acts is flawed, as is most of the data. I, myself, have created several copyrighted works, which found their way stolen and posted here and there. Sure it pissed me off, but as the person who owned the copyrights, it was my job to do the foot work responsible for making sure that either the content was taken down, or I was given appropriate attribution.

Going back to my primary point in posting, the US government, and US-based corporations needs to stop thinking that the US government is responsible for policing the world on any level.

That's just my $0.02.

Re:What we really need is... (3, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767488)

It's not about the US government trying to police the world. It's about corporations (from any nation or region) trying to use legislation to preserve their businesses, to squash threats, and provide them more and more profitmaking opportunities, be those opportunities the result of monopolies, oligopolies, patents, or copyrights.

And it's about the relative ease of suppressing content on the Internet. Just get the government to agree with you, and it's moving a few bits around. Done.

And we need to break the connection between our Legislature and corporations. the connection is money and insider trading. And it's currently legal.

This must change.

Re:What we really need is... (1)

Rumtis (887583) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767582)

Problem is that they are trying to do this within the confines of US borders by going after the man-in-the-middle that has nothing to do with the copyrighted material in the first place.

If bad site A is in Russia, but it has to go through ISP B, that is in the US, to get to you, they want to be able to shut down ISP B in order to "stop piracy". If ISP B has to resort to deep packet inspection to cover their as...butt, now we are one step away from the government say "well, you already have to look at what comes through anyway, so let's see what so-and-so is up to..."

They are not trying to police the world. They are trying to get the ability to shut down US companies that they can get to, privacy be damned.

Solutions to online piracy (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767056)

let the old business model die. With all the free market touting these old farts sure like to prop up failing business models.

Wikipedia is Evil (1)

Mordermi (2432580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767172)

They misinformed the public about this legislation. How dare they. This is a lovely piece of legislation that will only help legitimate sites such as Wikipedia, and in no way would affect social media sites or anything of the sort.

Oh wait.. That doesn't seem right. I don't think that I believe you Mr. Smith. Google opposing it is "self-serving"? But isn't it self-serving for you to support it?

Seems to me that the approach is all wrong (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767180)

The biggest problems with SOPA and PIPA is that they focus heavily on enforcement and punishment measures rather than addressing the causes of piracy.

If things like "competition" and "capitalism" are supposed to drive supply and demand, it seems to me that the "demand" side of the equation is saying a couple things to media companies:

1) Your product is too expensive
2) Your product is too inconvenient to use

Remember when CDs came out back in the late 80's/early 90s? Duplication costs were said to be lower, so the cost of music was supposed to go down. But it didn't - it went up. Profit margins soared. Consumers noticed.

eBooks are going through the same thing now. If I buy an eBook for my Nook from B&N, say Lee Child's "Die Trying", I pay as much for the eBook as I do for the paperback. But the paperback actually costs more to produce, with manufacturing costs, shipping costs, etc.

So a price adjustment is needed - and maybe, just maybe, those writing the laws should look at writing something to address price fixing instead.

Similarly, if I purchase "Die Trying", it's convenient to download to my device. It's inconvenient to put on my wife's Nook - but if we had the paperback version on our bookshelf, we could each pick it up and read it when we want. B&N allows you to lend a book to an individual exactly *once* for a fixed period of time, and then never again. So if we both liked it and wanted to have it available, we have to pay for it twice.

Congress needs to address causes, not effects, when they write laws. SOPA and PIPA are bad largely because they address the effects of piracy and focus heavily on punishment and enforcement rather than addressing the underlying causes.

Re:Seems to me that the approach is all wrong (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767220)

Interesting. I think your point is both insightful and brings up a good point, and yet you posted AC. My paradigm just broke.

What did you expect? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767198)

The SOPA issue was raised at the recent GOP debate, and all four candidates spoke against it.

They are pandering for votes. Why would they admit to being for something that is currently getting a lot of negative press? Especially when he can come up with a "valid rational reason" to reconsider after he is elected. They flip-flopped on every topic so far, why should this one be any different?

Waste of Congress' Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767202)

Why don't they worry about solutions to our sinking economy, high unemployment, and high taxes - rather than spend their time trying to help content makers deal with business model issues?

Next likely House Bill? How about HR 1981 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767226)

For those of you who are wondering when the next piece of legislation will come up with SOPA/PIPA type measures in it for battling copyright, be aware that it likely already exists.

Take a look at H.R. 1981. Being that this is an election year, there are two things that politicians can't look weak on: Terrorism and Child Pornography. H.R. 1981 goes after C.P. and you can bet the **AA's are still hungry to shoehorn SOPA/PIPA type legislation through by any means necessary. Is it beyond them to lump it into that type of legislation? No way. A simple copy and text paste from parts of SOPA/PIPA into H.R. 1981 and we're back to pre blackout stage. Has it been inserted in that bill yet? No. But I'm watching it like a hawk.

Overheard in the capitol building... (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767236)

"OK, the bill the industry wrote for us won't pass mustard, so we've got to come up with a new strategy to package this s**t sandwich. Renaming worked for Blackwater. Too bad we already used the name "Patriot Act". Hmmm, can we tie this into child rape and terrorism somehow? Think people, there are billions in campaign donations and post-Congress salaries on the line!"

You know what scares me... (0)

flogger (524072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767248)

Google. This was the first time that I have actively "seen" them get involved and asked the masses to get involved in a political agenda. I know, Every corporation has agendas and will lobby, but with their "Black-out" nearly everyone saw it. If I run for president or if I am going to sponsor a law, I am going to go to bed with Google and get my picture on their front page. Imagine what will happen when Google wants to actively run this country.

Re:You know what scares me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767344)

Egads, you've been in bed with enough people already. I know if I saw a picture of you running for something, I would avoid you like the plague! Ugly bastard that you are.

So called 'representatives'. Abolish copyrights. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767278)

And to think that people are still arguing [slashdot.org] over the fact that government is inherently evil and the primary function of the government that was set up in the USA was to protect people's freedoms and liberties .... from the government itself

The same [slashdot.org] answer [slashdot.org] applies [slashdot.org] - copyrights and patents must be abolished.

No business must be in a position to get a subsidy or any other type of preferential treatment from a government (for the people, of the people, by the people, yes?)

Individuals, citizens, consumers - they are supposed to be the constituents of their governments, not businesses, companies, corporations.

Of-course businesses, companies, corporations are also 'people', as in there are people behind them - owners, shareholders, whatever. But they as groups must not be able to get more preferential treatment than individuals (and not group must be able to have that,) but also as a group they must not be punished in ways that undermines rights of individuals that run those businesses.

The correct answer is to get government out of business, finance, money, regulations and subsidies and this also means abolishing copyrights and patents.

Copyrights and patents are preferential treatment to a subgroup of businesses that rely on those instruments to get a subsidy of special type of protection by government, and this must not be accepted by individuals.

Re:So called 'representatives'. Abolish copyrights (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767676)

Copyrights and Patents are issued to PEOPLE, not corporations. The problem is that corporations are allowed to purchase or establish conditions of employment that automatically transfer ownership of the Patent or Copyright to the corporation.

This is what needs to be changed.

Waffles for Dinner? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767394)

Dear Mr. Merchant,

Thank you for contacting me regarding Internet piracy legislation. I would like to take this opportunity to address your concerns on this important issue.

As you may be aware, on May 12, 2011, Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) introduced the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP/ PIPA, S. 968), which is meant to curb the online theft of intellectual property, much of which is occurring through rogue websites overseas in China. As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs. It was with this in mind that I was previously a co-sponsor of the PROTECT IP Act. I believe it's important to protect American ingenuity, ideas and jobs from being stolen through Internet piracy. However, we must do this while simultaneously promoting an open, dynamic Internet environment that is ripe for innovation and can promote new technologies.

Last summer, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill unanimously and without controversy. Since then, I've heard from a number of Floridians who have raised legitimate concerns about the impact this bill could have on Internet access, as well as a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's authority to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.

Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the PROTECT IP Act. Furthermore, I have encouraged Majority Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet. Please know that I will remain mindful of your concerns should this, or similar legislation, such as the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261), come before the Senate for consideration.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of Florida. If I can be of any further help to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R).

I would be curious to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38767400)

Has there been any study that looks at the losses these copyright and trademark holders claim they lost. When I see Lamar Smith throw around 100 billion in losses, what is that based off of?

Isn't it possible that a good number of the people who watch or listen to pirated content or buy fake Prada bags would never buy the album, go to see the move, or don't care about a REAL brand name anyways? How is that lost revenue?

Microsoft turned a blind eye to pirated versions of their software for years and look what happened.

It cuts both ways... (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767518)

The SOPA issue was raised at the recent GOP debate, and all four candidates spoke against it.

Actually, the reason why is the major conservative think-tanks made it a major issue. They realized that all it would take would be a left-wing liberal hippie to go and claim copyright infringement and knock them off the 'net, which to them is quite dangerous.

So they made it a priority to oppose the bill and told all the GOP candidates that yes, it really does matter to them.

It's isn't just about piracy, it's about censorship, and you can bet there's going to be a LOT of people wanting ot misuse the power to censor people they don't like.

Source [arstechnica.com].

What really happened is... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767606)

They tried using a bigger knife to widdle down our rights with and everyone noticed.

But apparently what they failed to notice is the contents of the Declaration of Independence.

Megauploads.com is Proof Tools Already Exist (4, Insightful)

El Fantasmo (1057616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38767650)

How on god's green earth did megauploads.com get shutdown yesterday without SOPA and PIPA as laws? Seems to me, there are already systems in place to take sites offline in the US when they MAYBE break US copyright laws.

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