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SOPA Provisions Being Introduced Piecemeal From Lamar Smith

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the will-be-hard-to-blackout-the-internet-every-other-week dept.

Government 134

bricko sends this disappointing but not unexpected news from Techdirt: "While it didn't get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.'s 'IP attaches.' If you're unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are 'diplomats' (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood's personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for 'aggressive support for enforcement action' throughout the world. ... In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the U.S. government. It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA... but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal."

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Bit Slavery (5, Insightful)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#40606905)

IP is a euphemism for bit slavery.

Re:Bit Slavery (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40607201)

I think Colonialism might be a better word for it.

But, very much the same thing.

I wonder how long before countries decide they aren't willing to receive that person. Already Canada has basically said:

In regard to the watch list, Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It's driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.

Courtesy of Michael Geist [michaelgeist.ca]. Everyone already knows these guys are industry shills ... adding them to your official diplomatic corps isn't necessarily going to gain you credibility for a position which is an industry one.

Re:Bit Slavery (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607343)

Funny though, that Canada said this EXACTLY AS they signed ACTA and instituted their BRUTAL DMCA style copyright bill.

Don't trust words. Trust actions. Harper is a joke.

Lamar Smith?!?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40606995)

1. Why is this guy such a cunt?
2. Why do they keep re-electing him?

Re:Lamar Smith?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607141)

Why is this guy such a cunt?

You can't blame a guy for having a bit of a grudge against the world after his parents named him "Lamar".

Re:Lamar Smith?!?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607623)

Am I the only one who's thinking headcrab when hearing about Lamar?

Why? (4, Funny)

rampant mac (561036) | about 2 years ago | (#40607023)

How could Lamar do this? I strongly suspect this to be a javelin to the heart of internet democracy, thrown by Lamar with his limp-wristed throwing style.

Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (5, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40607053)

Trying to sneak rejected legislation in under wraps should be grounds for public beheading.

Time to get serious with these fucks, or else they'll never learn.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#40607585)

There really should be criminal charges for a government representative knowingly acting against the interests of the people. Is there one? Does treason cover it, or is specifically for national security related matters/

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#40607869)

Sorry, but the people elected him, so it's presumed he's acting in their best interest. If they don't think so, they're free to elect someone else, but I never see that happen too much.

Maybe you could try charging all the voters in his congressional district with treason for re-electing him when he continues to do treasonous things.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40608827)

Sadly, treason may be the only charge that has enough oomph to be effective these days. The only problem is that immediately after it is used on one of them, they'll turn it around and begin using it on regular Americans.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (1)

Loughla (2531696) | about 2 years ago | (#40607803)

I agree, but what are our options? They are working in someone's best interests. They are doing the work that some US citizen wants done. Is it the majority? No, but somewhere, they can point to someone and say, see, he agrees with me.

Remember, that to most politicians, $1 = 1 voice. Are they wrong for being disconnected? Sure, but also remember that they've been conditioned to be that way. Our system is set up so that he with the most money has the most voice. What I find sad is that it makes complete sense that many politicians could be confused about why the general public doesn't approve of what they're doing. They see the money coming in, and money must mean support, so what's wrong?

So what are our options? Really, that's an honest question, because I'm out of ideas. You can say, HANG THE BASTARDS, but really, how do you prove that they weren't working in someone's best interests without being bribed? And how do we decide that the person investigating the bribery isn't crooked in turn? Do we assume that anyone working for some end that is counter to our own is a shill? Or what, what do we do? Seriously, I'm at a loss at this point, and I'm taking suggestions on a new world-view/political belief.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40608275)

Simple - take the money away.

No more legalized bribery, no more special favors, and the bureaucrats can do what they were elected to do - represent the People that this nation's government is allegedly comprised of, for, and by. Anyone who tries to stop the de-funding, or engages in said activity after the fact, should be publicly executed to serve as a lesson to their corrupt peers.*

Is that an extreme solution? Sure, but as we see what peaceful protest gets you these days (maced, beaten, and arrested for nothing more than being inconvenient to the status quo), I don't see a whole lot of non-violent options left, and I for one will not stand idly by while those who do have the balls to protest injustice get destroyed by the powers-that-be.

Side note regarding the above: If you plan on joining an organized protest, do it armed. Always. You have a right to openly carry firearms, exercise it. Sounds crazy, right? It's not, consider recent history as an example -

Occupy protesters did everything "right," i.e. non-violently, and yet they were responded to with extreme, violent force.

The Tea Partiers, conversely, went against almost every single rule in the metaphorical "peaceful protest" handbook, yet they were virtually left unmolested by law "enforcement." Some say it was a matter of ideology, i.e. the cops agreed with the protesters, but I see a much more direct, obvious rationale - the Tea Party folks were armed to the fucking teeth, and not afraid to show it. From my own experience, dickhead cops (as not all cops are dickheads) are only 'Tough Guys' when they know they have the citizens outmanned and outgunned. Take away those two advantages, and they show their true colors.

* There's a damn good reason the founding fathers gave no rights to businesses, and today we are finding out why.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 2 years ago | (#40608591)

Occupy protesters did everything "right," i.e. non-violently, and yet they were responded to with extreme, violent force.

For the most part, they did not get permits and they stayed well past what was reasonble. They stayed so long that - if it was another president - we would have started hearing comparisons to Hoovervilles. There were also multiple instances of rape, theft, vadalism, drugs, and violence during these protests.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 2 years ago | (#40608933)

Um, you're biased idiot who reads too much HUFFPO and watches way too much John Stewart/Colbert Report.

FYI, the TP paid for permits, and OWS generally didn't, So, by "everything right" .. not so much.

Re:Trying to Sneak Rejected Legislation in (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40608795)

Indeed. I vote we invite them all to a closed session to discuss the legislation, then quietly brick up the doorways. I like to think I am not a violent man, but they are really pushing for some aggressive action.

It's like dealing with certain family members. You tell them no to their belligerent attempts to slam something through, then they think you're negotiating. No means no.

SOPA, ACTA & friends are terribly written pieces of legislation, and this is coming from someone who has applied for a patent! The copyright people have gone completely nuts with the terms they intend to foist on society (come on Disney / Time Warner, quit resting on your laurels, and create something new!), and us patent folk are getting the third degree from Congress's botched attempt to sponge needed funds off of the USPTO for their constituent's pet projects ("Senator, we are bankrupt. We can't possibly fund the 'OMG, ponies for every American and nuclear welfare for estranged otters' program like you promised on the campaign trail!" "Wait, wait, I have an idea. The USPTO has a lot of money flowing through it, why don't we take that money, and give them a 'budget'?" "My word, that's an excellent idea!" "That's why it says Senator before my name" "I'll get right on it" "What could possibly go wrong?") - How I imagine the conversation went on the Hill. Sh*ts breaking loose, that almost guarantees a complete IP system collapse in the near future.

I am quietly entertaining the thought that a post-IP society might somehow be a good thing, but given the track record of the people involved, I am a little skeptical.

Headed for Dystopia a la Noir (4, Interesting)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#40607055)

About 10 years ago I submitted a slashdot book review [slashdot.org] for the dark satire, KW Jeter's Noir.

When I first read it, I was convinced he intended it more as a satirical caricature than a cautionary tale.

Now I'm not so sure.

Re:Headed for Dystopia a la Noir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607155)

Personally I'm still not entirely sure what to make of his portrayal of copyright, partly because so many people seem obsessed with it being his literal belief on the matter.

Oh, Lamar Smith... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#40607111)

Out of curiosity, what keeps Lamar in office? His vehement support for the content cartels presumably doesn't hurt his war chest; but I don't imagine the 'Decadent Hollywood types love cutting me checks!' gambit is what gets out the voters down in Texas. He does have the requisite enthusiasm for fetuses; but that's a dime a dozen, and can be had from people who lack the additional oddity of being a Christian Scientist who spends part of his time hanging out in Massachusetts...

Does anybody more familiar with the fellow's local style know what he does that keeps him in office, as opposed to some socially-identical baptist or something without a copyright maximalist fetish?

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2)

txsable (169665) | about 2 years ago | (#40607193)

Well, you're talking about the representative from the Austin area...which tends to be a lot more liberal than the rest of the state. He also has name recognition, as well as a given name that has some ties to Texas history.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607227)

Indeed, there was a *Smith* at the Alamo.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607233)

Austin area...which tends to be a lot more liberal than the rest of the state

That doesn't explain anything. Lamar Smith is a conservative Republican.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#40607327)

Nothing more conservative than trying to enact new legislation...

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607639)

You mean like outlawing abortion?

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2, Insightful)

daath93 (1356187) | about 2 years ago | (#40610141)

I have to agree with this. As a Conservative myself, It continually pisses me off when I see some congressman with an (R) espousing conservatism while wanting to enact legislation that takes away ANY kind of freedom. Be it freedom of marriage, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, expression, etc. In this case he wants to take away my freedom to download something i've already purchased and make it a criminal and not a civil action. These fucks are just as bad as the (D)s who want to take away my right to bear arms, my freedom to disagree with "scientific consensus" and my freedom to call the President an asshat without being a racist.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607379)

OK, how about Austin, which has a noted live music scene, and I'd presume some recording industry, or at least some sympathy for it? (Note, arts and liberalism are correlated.)

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607449)

Well, you see you get the best of both worlds. They're Texan, so they voted in a republican so they don't get lynched as soon as they step outside the city. But they're the liberal type, so they decided to go get one which was all friendly-like with actors and their bosses. That duality might explain why Lamar wants to get his hands around the spigot of freedom and choke the ever-living shit out of it.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607617)

But they're the liberal type, so they decided to go get one which was all friendly-like with actors and their bosses.

Well, not so much their bosses. The bosses of actors are overwhelmingly conservative.

That duality might explain why Lamar wants to get his hands around the spigot of freedom and choke the ever-living shit out of it.

That's the conservative part there.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40608913)

You're missing out on the caricature. You need a secret decoder ring, so I'll lend you mine.

Big Oil / Business / Defense Industry -> Republicans
Liberal Media / Hollywood / Pharmaceuticals -> Democrats

So, despite Lamar Smith running as a Republican, he is elected in an area with a greater percentage of Liberals (Democrats), whose interests are aligned, in this caricature, with Hollywood (MPAA, RIAA & friends); ergo, in representing his constituents, he represents their interests, which are those of Hollywood. You see this elsewhere with Blue Dog Democrats and so forth.

And remember, on Election Day, to vote for the Party of Purple: "It doesn't matter who you vote for when we control who is put on the ballot." ^_^

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607409)

Austin is actually gerrymandered to hell. It is split into about 5 different congressional districts so that the D can never overtake the R. We have no hope of getting rid of these idiots as long as they stuff a bunch of people who see voting as "Vote R for Jesus" into the voting population.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | about 2 years ago | (#40610133)

We have no hope of getting rid of these idiots as long as they stuff a bunch of people who see voting as "Vote R for Jesus" into the voting population.

Here's [tumblr.com] your solution. "Don't Vote. Pray." Pretty cynical. Pretty funny.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2)

Brucelet (1857158) | about 2 years ago | (#40607217)

Often, particularly in a state that skews heavily toward one party or the other, all it takes to keep an incumbent in office is inertia.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#40607241)

Good thing this didn't happen in Florida, Jack Thompson would back this shit with open arms.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40607323)

Ignorance of the internal functioning of congress makes money matter more than informed views. That's it.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607443)

Smith is a congressman for a district in north San Antonio and several, sparsely populated counties surrounding, such as Bandera, Kerr, Kendal, and part of Travis. The people he represents are either too lazy, too stupid, or just flat out don't give a damned and only keep voting him in on name recognition alone. That and some of his constituents are fairly wealthy, and probably have some vested interest.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2)

jodosh (1260096) | about 2 years ago | (#40607475)

He doesn't often have to run against another republican in the primaries. In most places in Texas the primary is the real election. He was born in the general area of his district and has lived in it most of his life, other republicans that have political aspirations have other low hanging fruit that they can pick from. I have the pleasure of voting against his re-election every 2 years.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2)

hemo_jr (1122113) | about 2 years ago | (#40607773)

There was a concerted effort on the part of some in the Internet community to raise money for his challengers in the primary this May, notably Richard Morgan. Unfortunately, the Internet is dominated by slacktivists, unwilling to put their money where their mouths are.

Not enough money was raised to mount a significant challenge to Smith.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

metamatic (202216) | about 2 years ago | (#40608297)

Unfortunately, the Internet is dominated by slacktivists, unwilling to put their money where their mouths are.

Or unwilling to donate money to a Republican.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#40608427)

I'd donate money to get this guy out, but fucktards like him are keeping me from a job.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#40608715)

There are more ways to promote a candidate than throwing money at them (really!)

Slacktivists could do a really good job of "adjusting" google search results to promote Morgan and demote Smith, for example. A few people with large pipes could donate bandwidth to the robocall and email campaigns (yeah, I know....)

With how pervasive technology is in our lives, the possibilities (even the legal ones) are limitless for promoting a politician. The real hurdle is getting all the talent organized.

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607689)

Who will rid us of this meddlesome politician?

Lament of a voter in Lamar's district (2)

tokiko (560961) | about 2 years ago | (#40608293)

I am a voter in Lamar's district (San Antonio, TX) and have been voting against him for the last 12+ years. He runs as a republican in a very "safe" republican district - no democrat will ever fill his spot.

The best way to vote against him is to vote in the republican primary for another republican, in this case Richard Morgan [richardmorgan.com]. Unfortunately, my vote + my families vote + my other friends that I almost have drag to the polling booth don't seem to make much of a dent.

Re:Lament of a voter in Lamar's district (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609959)

when is he up for re-election?
if someone wants to spread the word about his opponent then maybe we could fund this person
and get Lamar out of office

Re:Oh, Lamar Smith... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40608383)

He is protected from on high in the Texas GOP, and so runs in one of the most gerrymandered districts in the US. Contrary to what the sibling posts seem to suggest, the 21st reaches into Austin to dilute the Democratic vote. If it were not for the gerrymandering, Lloyd Doggett would be representing his areas of Austin. To suggest that Austin supports Smith's positions is ludicrous apologism.

In addition to being in charge of whatever the House committee on IP is called in a given term, he is chair of the Judiciary committee. Somewhat confusingly, given what most Americans learn about civics, the Federal District court system is administered by Congress. Smith can be counted on, from his perch there, to table inconvenient questions about corrupt judges in that system (like, say, T. John Ward [wikipedia.org] and his brood). The Texas Bar is a very, very powerful good old boys network.

I live in his district.

Irony (2)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#40607149)

I like how it says to "Elevate the playing field." What do they mean? Tearing up everything and then paving their own companies above it so nothing grows? Also, the fact that it got passed hastily has me a bit worried. Yes, that trick almost worked with SOPA, but what if this one actually makes it past? My God, this thing is a Cthulu holding a flower while holding a gun behind his back, ready to shoot every form of competition.

Re:Irony (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#40607253)

That's the biggest problem I see with this shit.

They can just keep trying, voer and over again, until either by apathy or random chance it gets through.

We can't all mobilize like we did for SOPA every month.. eventually people run out of energy fighting this stuff.. and then it'll pass.

Re:Irony (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#40607287)

Get off the energy drinks and/or coffee and you might actually have more energy than you think. Unfortunately, we have to keep vigilant or in the end we end up with collars around our necks waiting for our government to tell us when to bark.

Re:Irony (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#40607441)

That's not even it.

Thing with SOPA is it got people who had no interest in this stuff thinking about it. I know this because a lot of my non-geek friends were asking me about it. That works once.. maybe twice. All the big name sites that participated in the protest arn't going to do it every time one of these bills comes up, and even if they did, people would very quickly start ignoring it again. SOPA protests were effective because they were unprecedented and it got peoples attention.

Without the kind of mass public "wtf is this about" response, it's just a bunch of geeks yelling at a wall.

Re:Irony (3, Insightful)

replicant108 (690832) | about 2 years ago | (#40607945)

This is exactly why the digital rights activists need to go on the offensive. As long as we are continually on the defensive we are vulnerable to aggressive industry lobbying. Legislation needs to be promoted and passed that will solidify protection for digital rights, and weaken the position of our opponents. In strategic terms, we need to take the battle to the enemy.

Re:Irony (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 2 years ago | (#40608011)

Hopefully the politicians would be happy to see it fail repeatedly - Big content bribes politicians, politicians 'try' to pass bill but fail, big content bribes politicians to have another go, bill fails again. You can see that rinse and repeat is in the politicians best interests, not passing the legislation.

what'd I tell ya? Dildo legislation. (1, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#40607175)

"Oh, No Mr congressman! We don't want that dildo!"

"Well, little voter, don't worry your little head off. We see you can't possibly handle that dildo legislation.. so, how about THIS one?"

"Oh gosh Mr Congressman! That one's even bigger than the last one!"

(Repeat ad nauseum until little voter gets so shocked about what Mr Congressman can pull out of his rape kit that he accepts a "smaller" dildo, but still gets fucked.)

Re:what'd I tell ya? Dildo legislation. (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#40607205)

Truely, the weakening of the American Will. Well, these assaults can't last much longer.

Re:what'd I tell ya? Dildo legislation. (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#40608245)

You know, considering how the target countries of these of these "attaches" are going to be screwed both coming and going, they should be renamed 'DP Attaches.'

(Of course, officially, 'DP' stands for 'Digital Property.')

The best defense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607209)

...is a good offense. Offense usually has the advantage, especially when it can indefinitely pick ground away at the defense. Once that ground is taken through legislation or becomes a societal accepted practice among the masses, no matter how small, it's not so easily taken back.

It's 'Diplomatic *Corps*' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607249)

The word is corps, pronounced /kor/ [merriam-webster.com].

Slashdot could really use an editor or two who are actually *editors* who, you know, like, know correct English and stuff, dude.

Re:It's 'Diplomatic *Corps*' (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 years ago | (#40607483)

Except "corps" is a French word that has no English translation for the context it is used in. I'm more surprised you didn't pick on the misspelling of "attache".

However, these attachés pretty much work for the entertainment industry so maybe "corp." is more accurate.

Re:It's 'Diplomatic *Corps*' (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 years ago | (#40608967)

You're arguing about corps being French-only, when the previous word in the sentence is attaché? It even uses a diacritic foreign to our language....

Let's face it: the French had perfected the art of diplomatic screwing before the USA was even a country.

Re:It's 'Diplomatic *Corps*' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40608183)

WRT these "IP attaches", the preferred spelling is 'corpse'.


Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607267)

Damn copyright-loving, Hollywood-supporting Democrats like Lamar Smith.

Oh, wait...

Re:DAMN DEMOCRATS! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607377)

Neither party is better than the other on IP issues. Once in a while, you seem to get the occasional outlier/fluke (c.f. the fate of the original SOPA/PIPA), but neither are pushing in anything remotely close to the right direction.


YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 2 years ago | (#40607401)

Damn copyright-loving, Hollywood-supporting Democrats like Lamar Smith.
Oh, wait...

Supported by that uber ex-Republican Congressman, Chris Dodd.
I think the operative color here is green, not red or blue.

Re:DAMN DEMOCRATS! (4, Informative)

Dave Emami (237460) | about 2 years ago | (#40608379)

Copyright (and intellectual-property and Internet legislation in general) is one area where Republicans and Democrats are pretty much equal. Unfortunately for us, they're equally horrible. As a sampling, so far we've had:

The CDA, pushed primarily by a Democrats (Exon) in a Republican congress and signed by a Democratic president.

The DMCA, passed unanimously by 57 Republican and 43 Democratic senators, and signed by a Democratic president.

The CTEA, sponsored from beyond the grave by Republican Sonny Bono, likewise passed unanimously by the same Senate and by a Republican House, and signed by a Democratic president.

Prior to that, we had the Copyright Act of 1976, which among other things also extended the length of copyrights, passed by a Democratic congress and signed by a Republican president.

Copyright Renewal Act of 1992, passed by a Democratic congress, signed by a Republican president.

COICA, introduced by Patrick Leahy (Democrat), unanimously passed by a committee of both parties, blocked by Ron Wyden (Republican).

PIPA, exactly the same as above (though the committee members may have changed, I didn't check that).

SOPA, sponsored by our good friend Lamar, a Republican, but co-sponsored by members of both parties, backed by groups from associated with both parties and by ex-Clinton and ex-Bush 2.0 administration members.

So it's basically been a bipartisan buggerfest, for several decades, for almost as long as there's been consumer-available copying equipment.


Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609951)

COICA, introduced by Patrick Leahy (Democrat), unanimously passed by a committee of both parties, blocked by Ron Wyden (Republican).

Ron Wyden is a Democrat, not Republican.

Not all about the internet/freedom (2)

DL117 (2138600) | about 2 years ago | (#40607285)

Looking at where the IP attaches are sent(http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/attache/index.jsp), China, Thailand, India, mid-east, it's clear that it's not all about the RIAA-style intellectual property rampages. This has more to do with the counterfeiting of physical goods, and the stealing of actual, useful research. Given the US's unwise decision to jump into an IP economy, this makes sense, and isn't necessarily a bad thing. They're not worrying about software and music here, they're worrying about research and product design. No need to panic, this isn't so bad. Of course Smith will probably be back with some of the dangerous things letter, but this looks innocuous.

Re:Not all about the internet/freedom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607447)

"This has more to do with the counterfeiting of physical goods, and the stealing of actual, useful research."

No. It doesn't. The manufacturing sector has been yelling about a lack of enforcement for decades. Even they were quiet about SOPA.

This legislation is 100% shit. People can try to fabricate some kind of silver lining, but to what end? We all know how this legislation will be used. Because we have seen it happen again and again and again. The results are ugly.

Re:Not all about the internet/freedom (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#40607525)

Smith is playing with fire though. Right now, there is a fight on who gets to control the Internet. Will it be the US and ICANN, or will it be an international body from the UN (mainly chaired by BRIC) who gets to say who gets an IP address and who doesn't?

Another SOPA-like item might be the final straw.

Re:Not all about the internet/freedom (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40608361)

This has more to do with the counterfeiting of physical goods, and the stealing of actual, useful research.

That's how they sell so many things. "They came for the counterfeiters, but I didn't speak up because I don't counterfeit. When they came for those that lend purchased DVDs to friends, there was nobody left to speak up for me." They'll serve up the most outrageous first attempt, then see what happens. Sometimes they pass (a la USA PATRIOT Act), most of the time they are shot down, and then they look at the reasons why, and reword or eliminate a few of the most contentious provisions, and submit it once a year until it passes. This may be a case where one guy liked one provision of a bad bill and submitted it as a stand-alone. Not everything introduced is expected to pass, sometimes it's a chess move, sometimes it's a statement, sometimes it's just stupid, no idea what it is in this case.

Re:Not all about the internet/freedom (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40609729)

It's still about bullying other countries into passing laws they don't want. It undermines national sovereignty, and just because it may deal with an issue that is actually important to the US economy doesn't make it okay.

Mass Mailings (4, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#40607297)

"Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you because your government is scheduled to soon receive an 'IP Attache' from my country's Commerce Department. Please be aware that despite the departmental title, this person DOES NOT represent my will, nor the will of the American people as a whole. The position he or she occupies was created through corrupt means and despite our vocal protests. I and my fellow Americans ask that you treat this representative as the corporate thug they are. They are not a diplomat. They have neither your best interests, nor ours, as their goal, only their own. I humbly ask that you treat them as you would any other hostile entity.

Sincerely, (name)"

Re:Mass Mailings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607999)

You better be careful! United States federal law forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years. Logan Act [wikipedia.org]

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Re:Mass Mailings (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about 2 years ago | (#40608353)

Three years? Hell, I'll correspond with other countries. I'm not treasonous, I'm tired of this god damn tyranny.

Name names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607477)

I think someone should host a page listing politicians who vote yes to strip away freedoms, internet or otherwise.
A list of IP attaches wouldn't hurt either, then countries could put them on the "do not fly" list.

Australia is taken, but maybe we could ship them all off to Antarctica.

So, the TLDR version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607833)

What they've decided to do is start attempting to pass the bills one a time, one leading directly into the other. This one is saying:

Lamar Smith says, "Hey, don't you think intellectual property is important?! "
The house replies, "Well... yes..."
Lamar Smith says, "Don't you want Americans with good ideas to make money off them?!"
The house replies, "Of course!"
Lamar Smith says, "Well, I have an idea! Let's create a couple positions who's jobs are to oversee __________, in order to ensure our Americans with intellectual property get their dues!"
The house replies, "Sounds harmless..."
Lamar Smith says, "Well, we must make sure we enforce the laws here, and abroad, so we're going to send out representatives to other countries to make sure they pay our Americans for their ideas."

So this is basically the bill. What happens next is the obvious black hole of, HOW DO WE ENFORCE THE LAW? That comes with SOPA 2.0 which this bill lines up quite nicely. Bend over boys, this ones getting passed because it mentions nothing of the internet at all, nor really anything technical at all. Just basically states: "Intellectual property, important?! Yes."

Get rid of him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607849)

Can't you Texans just vote this stupid bastard out once and for all?

Re:Get rid of him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40608231)

Yes, please. He's up for re-election this year. Please vote for Candace Duval (D), John-Henry Liberty (L), Fidel Castillo (G), Bill Stout (G) or Carlos Pena (I)

Well, don't vote for a bunch of different ones. Pick one and go with it. I guess that means vote for Duval? Although John-Henry Liberty is an awesome name.

Re:Get rid of him (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40608451)

Nope, they gerrymander around all the intelligent voters. That's why the districts are so bad, they only found 2 voters to route around.

Re:Get rid of him (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40609781)

It seems that part of Austin is in that district, and Austin has a larger population than his whole district and a relatively liberal bent. Perhaps a large number of Austin residents could 'move' into the district in time to be a registered voter for the 2012 elections and get the bastard out.

Time to matters into our own hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40607885)

I think we need our own lobby with billions of dollars behind it that goes for the extreme opposite, getting rid of all copyright protections for all works.
That way we have some hope of making a realistic compromise.

We keep fighting reactionary battles... (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#40608059)

A pre-emptive strike is needed.

Campaign Contributions should not only be public, but limited as being from citizen/residents of the level of office that is representing that district. Would-be representatives should only be allowed to accept funds coming from citizens from within that district and Senator from within the state. This will, in theory, make them more likely to honestly represent the area in question. I doubt Lamar Smith's own district in TX is clamoring for this shit.

Superpacs should not be allowed. I don't think anyone but citizens should be allowed in the campaign contribution. No groups like megacorps, superpacs, NRA, no unions, nothing. At best, special interest groups should be allowed to notify members in the specific area to give to candidate X or Y. That keeps freedom of association.

The way it works now, with the structure of the Congress, special interest groups like the MPAA/RIAA entertainment cartel just have to target a few special senators/representatives that head pertinent the committees and have seniority, like the Bidens/Lamars of the world for bribes campaign donations, and they can usually railroad what they want through unless the apathetic public makes a special effort to counter it.

The problem is that the general public has a life besides watching Congress like a hawk and protesting. These groups can just keep advancing their agendas patiently, like a person playing chess, despite any one-time setbacks.

Re:We keep fighting reactionary battles... (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40608655)

It's a nice idea... I wonder if anyone else had ever thought of that.

Candace Duval is running against him (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 2 years ago | (#40608165)

The Democrat running against Lamar Smith is Candace Duval- http://www.candaceduval.com/ [candaceduval.com] while John Henry-Liberty is running as a libertarian- http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/John-Henry_Liberty [ballotpedia.org]. I don't unfortunately see any website that Henry-Liberty has set up, but the Duval has a donation button on her website. So the best thing to do to make clear one isn't happy with Lamar Smith is to donate to Duval's campaign. I'm donating right now. Fuck Lamar Smith.

Jews... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40608229)

... doing what they always do... (and it isn't manual labour...)

Who does your Congress bow down to? Netenyahu. It's sickening.

At what point is it treason? (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | about 2 years ago | (#40608505)

I mean, at a certain point, constantly trying to sneak in legislation that's been rejected by congress and by the people is clearly not in the best interest of this country. Treason:

The crime of betraying one's country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.

It would seem, to me at least, that this fits the definition of Treason very well. Or is it the case that congresspeople are granted complete immunity and impunity to all laws?

If I were king (1)

Dr Modesto (1004773) | about 2 years ago | (#40608617)

If it were up to me, I'd go further. All US copyright material would require a special license to both sell and own along with huge fines for non compliance. This would be paid for by a levy on the material. Material from elsewhere would be treated as currently. Market forces can be a bitch.

Bait and switch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40608695)

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait-and-switch

They establish such treaties and promote such laws, and then come to the sucker countries to promote "US culture" like funk, rap and mellow pop with so worthless lyrics which won't work even as class material. The usual local idiots swallow it, bait and all, only to be prosecuted afterwards. After certain transgenic seeds of late, I guess this is becoming a preferred way to shake down other countries -- with added political motivations, I fear.

small government conservatives nor to be found (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40609029)

I don't want to hear any more of this BS about conservatives getting government off of peoples' backs.
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