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Rethinking How Congress Pushes Copyright Laws

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the a-spoonful-of-sugar dept.

Censorship 228

pigrabbitbear writes "Lamar Smith just can't get a break. The Texas congressman and widely despised author of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) ruffled the Internet's feathers once again this week with the quiet unveiling of a new piece of legislation that's drawing criticism for being plucked out of SOPA's language and rushed through Congress. The Intellectual Property Attaché Act (IPAA) would streamline the process by which the U.S. protects its intellectual property by enforcing U.S. copyright law abroad through specially assigned diplomats or attachés. These officers would report to a new agency-level position, the Assistant Secretary for Intellectual Property and push agendas that, according to the bill's language, are 'consistent with the economic interests of the United States, both domestically and abroad.'"

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I for one (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40635757)

Welcome our new RIAA/MPAA SS Troup overlords

Re:I for one (5, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635801)

It may be interesting to check how much he has been paid by lobbyists to drive this.

Maybe it's time to study Lamar Smith in detail for any kind of inappropriate behavior. Everyone is guilty of something.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636019)

Well, it shouldn’t be too hard, to put nice illegal stuff on his box, and call the cops...
How about a healthy mix of child porn, a written statement for a not-yet-happened public shooting, Al-Qaeda contacts, drug dealer contacts (will already exist), and media files from whatever media company is from the competition (will also probably exist)? ^^

Re:I for one (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636887)

Welcome our new RIAA/MPAA SS Troup overlords

Watch out for their black helicopters !!
 

Re:I for one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636213)

I am too tired to suss this out fully right now but holy media industry Batman...

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00001811 [opensecrets.org]

Did I do that right? I am trying to learn the finer points of SD so I can play too....

J.

Re:I for one (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40637053)

The discussion system understands HTML (this post is written with <p>'s around the paragraphs).

When you link, just use HTML:

<a href="http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00001811">OpenSecrets<a>

...displays as:

OpenSecrets [opensecrets.org]

If you just want the link displayed and clickable, here is pseudo-html:

<url:"http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00001811">

...displays as:

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00001811 [opensecrets.org]

Re:I for one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40637067)

Or people can just highlight the URL, right click, and select open in new tab (firefox).

Re:I for one (1)

CTU (1844100) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637199)

Wow and I just have to be out of mod points. Shame you posted as AC tho :(

Re:I for one (4, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636917)

I saw this [imgur.com] back during the SOPA trial. During the hearings the people on the left did everything they could to try to push it through, the people on the right were more or less the only ones speaking out against it.

One has to wonder why the $2 trillion+ in taxes we pay every year don't buy us as much influence over the legislative process as $100,000 in campaign contributions by various corporate interests. Why aren't election campaigns funded by tax dollars instead of private donations?

Re:I for one (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637167)

That's how it is in my country. You get more than 2% of the votes, you get your campaigning costs refunded. It does actually not only level the playing field, it also lessens to some extent the reliance on bribery.

Sadly, it does not eliminate it. Politicians are simply greedy, they take money where they can get it. The only cure would be to outlaw bribery.

Re:I for one (0)

noh8rz5 (2674523) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635845)

I think if people actually went and read the CONSTITUTION they would see that copyright exists for a reason - to protect the creator, to make it profitable to create, and to enbiggen a vibrant creative economy.

Re:I for one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40635909)

and to enbiggen a vibrant creative economy

It's embiggen, not emgiggen. What do they teach in school these days?

Re:I for one (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636395)

I wish they'd teach people not to focus on the irrelevant.

Re:I for one (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636879)

Or to put their foot in their mouth by makign the same sort of mistake

My own typo left in on purpose.

Re:I for one (5, Insightful)

ausrob (864993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636097)

The so called 'copyright clause' of the US constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8) doesn't say that at all - it states "To promote the progress of science and useful arts". It mentions nothing making things profitable. It also mentions granting copyright for a *limited* time, which - given the continuing extensions to copyright term - is not being exercised in accordance with the US constitution.

By the way, the public domain exists for a reason too, and was intended 'to embiggen a vibrant and creative economy'. Take a look at what has happened to it in the past few decades.

Re:I for one (2, Interesting)

Kartu (1490911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636099)

Note that copyright is exact opposite of sharing ideas => major driver of the progress.
Copyright was seen as necessary evil to protect investments into expensive R&D.
But tell me what "investment" is needed to come up with idea of:
1) Showing an animated icon in browser's loading area.(by Microsoft)
2) That tablet is a rectangular shape with rounded corners (by Apple)
3) Searching in multiple sources (by Apple)

Apparently patents like this exist only to be used as legal weapons vs competitors.
And then we have rights on music/movies. I doubt Elvis would create less songs inf copyright law protected his work for 10 years, instead of a 100. Oh, and just recently in EU it was "only" 50 years. Now they've changed it to 100. Incidentally, if not the change, one German company would lose rights on Elvis's songs...

Re:I for one (3, Informative)

spectral7 (2030164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636255)

Copyright was seen as necessary evil to protect investments into expensive R&D.

Those are patents, not copyright. Copyright is intended to help content creators profit from their work so they can make a living and create more content.

Re:I for one (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40637159)

Copyright is intended to help content creators profit from their work so they can make a living and create more content.

You've got that backwards.

Copyright is designed to encourage creators to create more content by enabling them to make a living from creating content if they're good at it.

Being able to live off selling media is the side-effect not the goal.

Re:I for one (5, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636355)

I think if people actually went and read the CONSTITUTION they would see that copyright exists for a reason - to protect the creator, to make it profitable to create, and to enbiggen a vibrant creative economy.

Go back and read it again because that's not what it says. What you've written are the means by which copyright fulfills its *actual stated* reason, "to promote the progress of science and useful arts". Everything that is created is supposed to enter the public domain and enrich society as a whole. Letting the creator have a limited (key word: LIMITED) time to make money on his works is the way by which society encourages that.

Re:I for one (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637209)

There is no problem with copyright per se. The problem is that copyright got way out of hand, and I doubt that's what the founding fathers of the US had in mind when they thought that it's a good idea to give the creator of content the sole right to reap the fruits from it.

Back in those days, the "unfairness" was on the other side of the swing. Creators had to hurry to publish as fast as they could because if it was even remotely some kind of success, others would copy and sell it. Back then, the "bad guys" were not the users of content, the publishers were. They would not sign up artists, they'd wait for the artist to have success with their limited ability to publish, then rip them off by copying their creation and quickly reproducing it. The idea was to protect the artists against the publishers.

The system has been perverted into the one we have today. Copyright no longer protects the artist either, rather, it protects the publishers now.

And I am quite certain that this is exactly the OPPOSITE of what the inventors of copyright had in mind.

Re:I for one (3, Funny)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636021)

BAM Instant Godwin, well done.

Re:I for one (4, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636165)

No, I think you have to explicitly mention Hitler.

Oops.

Re:I for one (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636373)

The law is clear: Any comparison to Hitler or the Nazis counts.

Re:I for one (1)

Xenkar (580240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636551)

Honestly I have to wonder if Hitler would have been against file sharing if they had the technology at the time. Assuming file sharing is as bad for the media industry as the media industry thinks it is, and that a certain race dominates almost all aspects of it, wouldn't Hitler rejoice file sharing? The only reason I can think of that he would want to ban file sharing is because of the multicultural and degenerate propaganda contained in the content.

HERE I GO AGAIN ON MY... OWN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40635763)

AND AWAY WE GOOOO.... (AGAIN)

Great (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635771)

This way they can bypass the congress and do whatever they want through secret trade agreements like ACTA and TPP. Seriously, US citizens should lock these guys and throw away the keys. They are corrupt to the bone.

Re:Great (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635781)

Our judges are from the same law schools, and they are all good friends... what now?

Re:Great (1)

fredprado (2569351) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635823)

Throw in the judges too? >.>

Re:Great (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635991)

Throw in the judges too? >.>

Hear, hear... I do prefer to keep alive a passivized (locked in a prison) parasitic life form than an active and aggressive one (still paid from taxes, therefore parasitic).

Re:Great (1)

EtherKnight (1084057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637017)

don't forget the lawyers

Re:Great (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637213)

You DO still have those guns, yes? Just asking...

How? (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635777)

The problem is not how these laws are being pushed.
The problem is the content of these copyright laws.

Lamar Smith (R-TX) obviously thinks that the copyright lobbyists are his constituents
and not the masses of citizens which protested and sank PIPA (Patrick Leahy (D-VT))
which in turn lead directly to SOPAs death

Wasn't life + 90 years enough copyright?

Re:How? (2)

core_dump_0 (317484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635955)

Wasn't life + 90 years enough copyright?

"Wasn't life + 90 years enough copyright?"

It's not about copyright term length. It's about increasing the profits of the failing companies behind him, no matter how much any individual, or any other business in the country, has to suffer in any way.

It should also be noted that only one of the Hollywood companies is an American company, all the rest (BMG, News Corp, Sony, etc.) are foreign companies.

Re:How? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636005)

It should also be noted that only one of the Hollywood companies is an American company, all the rest (BMG, News Corp, Sony, etc.) are foreign companies.

How this is relevant? I mean, they still pay taxes and lobbying in US, aren't they?

Re:How? (4, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636063)

It shits all over the rhetoric about protecting "American" interests and intellectual property if the relevant interests and intellectual property do not belong to Americans.

Not even the anti-protectionism crowd would bother defending the use of American political and legal machinery to specifically and disproportionately benefit foreign business.

Re:How? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636109)

It shits all over the rhetoric about protecting "American" interests and intellectual property if the relevant interests and intellectual property do not belong to Americans.

The fact that the politicians interest and citizens' interest aren't aligned doesn't make the the politicians less Americans than the citizens, nor precludes them from having an interest on the matter. Granted, they are "more Americans than the rest", but... is not unconstitutional and/or making profit is not immoral nowadays, is it now?
</large_grin>

Re:How? (1)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636319)

How is News Corp. a foreign company?

Incorporated in Delaware; headquartered in NYC; its primary listing is on the NASDAQ; the chairman/CEO (Murdoch), president/COO (Carey), CFO (DeVoe), and about 1/2 the rest of the board are US citizens; its primary listing is on the NASDAQ ...

How much more "American" do you want it to be?

Re:How? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636347)

How is News Corp. a foreign company?

Incorporated in Delaware; headquartered in NYC; its primary listing is on the NASDAQ; the chairman/CEO (Murdoch), president/COO (Carey), CFO (DeVoe), and about 1/2 the rest of the board are US citizens; its primary listing is on the NASDAQ ...

How much more "American" do you want it to be?

Me? Let it be 100% american and even a bit more.

The only thing I'd wish for: keep it there (together with the ex-Ozzie Murdoch) and don't let it outside... but that's not going to happen, is it now?

Re:How? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637217)

Hey, it's good for the economy if foreigners bribe you! Money coming in from abroad is good, isn't it?

Re:How? (1)

RedDeadThumb (1826340) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636091)

Lamar has been in congress since 1987, too. How about some term limits on these old connected farts!

Re:How? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636247)

While term limits would certainly limit entrenched corruption, it would promote "flash in the pan" corruption. Why worry about your reputation if you can't make a career of it?

Re:How? (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636339)

In California, where we've had term limits for a while now (for state politicians), the problem has been that although politicians leave office quickly, lobbyists don't. It takes the politicians a couple years in office before they figure out the lobbyist tricks, and how to deal with them, but the lobbyists stay around for a long time, and get more and more experience manipulating politicians.

As a result, lobbyists have gained more power. This problem isn't insurmountable, but we still have it here in California.

Re:How? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637225)

In other words, changing the sock puppet doesn't improve the quality of the show.

Re:How? (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636111)

Two terms of fourteen years each was enough.

The length of the copyright term isn't even the primary battleground - except for Disney, what company is still profiting from exclusive use of stuff created more than ninety years ago? The bulk of profit is made from content that was created in the last 10-20 years (maybe longer for books). The current trench warfare lies in the control of computers and the internet. The aim of the lobbyists pushing these bills is not primarily a perpetual copyright (though that's certainly part of it) but an environment where all technology that could potentially store, convey or reproduce copyrighted content is tightly controlled.

Re:How? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637211)

[QUOTE]The length of the copyright term isn't even the primary battleground - except for Disney, what company is still profiting from exclusive use of stuff created more than ninety years ago? The bulk of profit is made from content that was created in the last 10-20 years[/QUOTE]
Marvel and DC would tend to disagree... although marvel is Disney now I guess.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636163)

The problem is not how these laws are being pushed.

On the contrary, how the laws are being pushed is a serious problem. The issue of the US taxpayers paying to enforce the interests of a small international business group is one problem. It does not concern me very much, as I don't pay taxes in the US, but it should concern you, because it comes out of your checkbook.

There is then the issue of the "IP" MAFIAA using the US power and gaming the international legal system for their private benefit. You may not care about what happens in my country, but you should consider if it is in your best interest to create and support such precedents. Someday you or your kids may be on the receiving end.

Finally there is also the issue of jurisdiction. If the US expect her laws to be enforceable abroad by the simple means of a diplomat twisting the hands of the other side (remember Hillary asking their staff to collect credit card info on foreign dignitaries?), the US should not be surprised that other people may think their ideas of law are enforceable in the US as well and try to enforce them by, among others, flying aircraft into buildings.

Re:How? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636327)

It's very possible that the good people of Texas are ok with a strengthening of copyright law, when they think about it at all.

Either way, I'm willing to bet that a campaign of, "the Internet hates him because of copyright law!" isn't going to get him out of office.

Re:How? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637237)

If you think a politician is bad, consider just how much worse the other guy must've been to let that guy win...

Re:How? (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636769)

The problem is not how these laws are being pushed.
The problem is the content of these copyright laws.

How these laws are pushed leads to their content. There is a reason Lamar is treating them like his constituents.

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 process. 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:How? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637239)

How difficult do you think it is to create a letterbox company in every state of the US if you're an international corporation?

Sovereignty (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635839)

Can't wait until China starts sending diplomats into our country to enforce their intellectual property laws. I'm sure our esteemed legislator from Texas will be overjoyed to cooperate with Chinese business interests acting within his state.

Re:Sovereignty (4, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636013)

Can't wait until China starts sending diplomats into our country to enforce their intellectual property laws. I'm sure our esteemed legislator from Texas will be overjoyed to cooperate with Chinese business interests acting within his state.

This may well be: I reckon is only a matter of how much they'd contribute to their electoral funding.

Re:Sovereignty (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636203)

This may well be: I reckon is only a matter of how much they'd contribute to their electoral funding.

My point is that we act like we own the world. America, fuck yeah! But the truth is, other people own us. They've got us by the balls, and anytime they want, they just have to squeeze and it's the end of the line for us. We can't manufacture most of the goods and services we depend on. The only thing we have in abundance is fresh water, farmable land, and a lot of nuclear missiles. Everything else is decaying. It's been outsourced. There's a few hundred thousand in this country that are rich, and the rest of us are, or soon will be, dirt poor. We're dependant on the 3rd world to provide everything, they're starting to realize they have everything. It's just a matter of time until they can (and will) take the lead and do away with our exploitations.

Intellectual property is the (failed) attempt to delay this fate of ours... but they saw through it. They're ignoring it. And although we can destroy the world a hundred times over with our military... they are still saying no. And rather than using this antebellum moment to prepare, to maybe even reverse our fate... we're letting those select few rich people ride headlong into our own destruction. And we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and call them heroes even as they destroy it all.

Years from now, America will be nothing but a lighthouse, telling other countries where not to sail if they want to avoid a ruinous fate.

Re:Sovereignty (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636345)

I'm not sure what numbers you are basing your ideas on, but US manufacturing output has been increasing for a long time. You might want to look it up. We don't do the cheap, labor intensive stuff, but we do a lot of manufacturing.

Re:Sovereignty (2)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636677)

We don't do the cheap, labor intensive stuff, but we do a lot of manufacturing.

A brilliant strategy which has no obvious downsides.... except for reduced levels of employment which you are going to need to support through a benefits system or risk increasing social instability and crime.

Re:Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636949)

There are "numbers" out there to support your assertion but they are completely ridiculous. The increased processing of foods is a significant factor in rhe current numbers for manufacturing output. Yes, a bag of chips is manufacturing. Please keep in mind that we live in a country where pay to support families of military members is considered entitlement. Where medical sevice for military members is considered entitlement. Where financial firms claimed billions in the bank but aren't exposed until the CEO tries to suicide because there is less than one percent of those billions in the bank. Where the leader of the Nasdaq then forms a company that goes on for years as a real ponzi scheme. Where an energy company shuffles money between subsidiaries to manufacture fake profits and isn't caught until they basically don't have enough funds to perform the shuffling.

Just in case you haven't noticed, the US is led by lying criminal scum. Don't believe their numbers. The notion that numbers put out by the current US establishment have any credibility is completely unsupported. The opposite is overwhelmingly supported.

It is impossible to tell a bunch of people that they are working in manufacturing when they know they are not. Lying with numbers can still ride on the past times of competence and honesty and fool some people. Consider the rash of fraudulent representations in the US.

Re:Sovereignty (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637293)

Numbers may be misleading, just like that infamous "average national income". You know anyone who makes that magical number of dinero? No? But you know a lot of people who make less, right? Simple reason: If 10 people each earn 1000 a month and one earns 100.000, the average is still 10.000. Now, isn't an average income of 10.000 just great? How can this country have poverty if its people earn that load of money? Hell, I could easily support a family of 5 on 10 grand a month, couldn't you? Where is the problem?

How good a country is actually doing depends less on its imports and exports, as odd as it may sound and contrary to what a lot of business people seem to believe. The US economy was strongest during the latter half of the 20th century, and it wasn't for its exporting power. It was simply because of an incredibly strong domestic economy, which in turn was due to the ability of the majority of Americans to go out and spend. Currently my country is doing pretty well despite the global economic downturn, and again this is due to the high ability for domestic spending. We can spend money on services which in turn creates jobs and drives the economy forwards.

It seems we learned from the errors of the past. Between the world wars my country tried to create a "strong" currency by cutting back all government spending to the bone and it led to an economy crisis that was even worse than in the rest of the world. We've done well so far with anticyclic spending, and I can only hope our politicians continue with it.

Re:Sovereignty (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636851)

But the truth is, other people own us. They've got us by the balls, and anytime they want, they just have to squeeze and it's the end of the line for us.

Who would that be, and how are they going to do it without destroying their own economy?
 

We can't manufacture most of the goods and services we depend on.

Well, setting aside the fact that you can't manufacture services (one of the many logical errors you make), you confuse "don't" with "can't".
 

The only thing we have in abundance is fresh water, farmable land, and a lot of nuclear missiles. Everything else is decaying. It's been outsourced.

Yeah, everything's been outsourced... Oh, wait... Our manufacturing sector, taken by itself, is the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world.
 
Etc... etc...
 
You're a clueless git parroting crap you've read elsewhere without the slightest understanding what you're talking about.

Re:Sovereignty (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637313)

I think the "can't" in his sentence is a matter of economic ability, not so much one of technical. It is an economic impossibility to manufacture a good sensibly domestic if it is cheaper to get from abroad. You will not sell it. Worse, nobody will be able to buy it.

I can only offer you an example from my country, not knowing how it worked in the US, but here, in the 70s, a TV could easily cost you the equivalent of 2 months income. And we're not talking about some kind of fancy 100" bleeding-edge technology thingamajig. But there was no China to assemble it, and domestic workers cost more. Can you imagine someone paying 4000 for an average standard TV today? Or 12,000 for a computer?

The problem the US is facing is that more and more of those manufacturing jobs are moving away. Due to economic reasons, of course, the US workforce could easily build iPods and cellphones, but they cannot be made competitively. How long until the same is true for every "high tech" manufacturing today done in the US?

Re:Sovereignty (5, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636939)

Sorry to burst your ideology, but pretty much all your facts are wrong.

>>There's a few hundred thousand in this country that are rich, and the rest of us are, or soon will be, dirt poor.

The US has the most millionaires of any country in the world, with 3M (about 1 out of 100 Americans is a millionaire!): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millionaire#Number_of_millionaires_by_country [wikipedia.org]

The real median household income rose steadily from 1947 to the present day (not counting the current recession): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_Income_Distribution_1947-2007.svg [wikipedia.org]

This includes all levels of income earners in America.

>>We can't manufacture most of the goods and services we depend on.

Manufacturing is doing fine: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/08/us-industrial-production-resumes-growth.html [blogspot.com]

>>It's just a matter of time until they can (and will) take the lead and do away with our exploitations.

If China stops exporting to us, there will be a disruption of our market as we shift production around. But China's economy would be destroyed.

Re:Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636963)

The only thing we have in abundance is fresh water, farmable land, and a lot of nuclear missiles.

And the dollar printing press, which enable Americans to buy oil and Chinese imports in exchange of intrisically worthless green paper.

So FIX IT. (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637081)

So how about fixing this problem?

First goods step would be to get either Ron Paul or Gary Johnson elected for POTUS.

Second good step would be to vote out EVERY incumbent that's been in Congress fore more than 2 terms, regardless of who they are.

Third good step would be to stop paying all of your income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes and face the government and its illegal ways, its power, its size, its spending.

It is the government that has destroyed the America, not people, not businesses.

Re:Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40637115)

The only thing we have in abundance is fresh water, farmable land, and a lot of nuclear missiles.

Sounds good to me. Very soon most countries won't have the first two and only a few countries have the third.
Seriously, the whole "US is doomed" thing is just a tired, old diatribe. Quit enjoying being a loser.

Re:Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636721)

Megaupload case is still going strong, and in a textbook operation, local (NZ) laws have been broken, some might say fatally with prejudice. Rules of evidence, and the chain of evidence cannot be mishandled. Looks like the FBI or whoever, botched this one with honors. In an age of 'deregulation' WTF is the law intent on getting commercial unqualified people involved ; and making a civil procedures criminal - even the French know this is just wrong.

Lets run these 'I' acts through a plagiarism engine, and if the score comes out as 'cheat', tell our overworked pollies, it is (another) defeated act being recycled , and they need to slam it in the bin fast. You would be a fool to associate with cheaters.

Re:Sovereignty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636139)

Wait until the Laden family comes to the US to protect "their" gas stations. ^^

Re:Sovereignty (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637037)

The bin Ladin family does not operate gas stations, they operate a construction and holding conglomerate [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Sovereignty (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637247)

Depends. How much does the Chink pay in campaign contribution?

Economic interests of the United States (5, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635869)

Haha. Whoever said that the economic interests of the copyright cartel were the same as that of either:

1) the US government (I'm not talking about the Obama or Bush campaigns when they inhabit the White House). The copyright cartel is pushing the US into forcing other governments to do stuff they don't want to do, leading to blowback, leading to anti-Americanism. Hollywood films already routinely make more abroad than domestically, and it'll only increase as the world gets richer. What's the problem?

2) the United States (i.e., the States, united). State and local governments are the ones who have the most to gain from a freer copyright regime. They're usually strapped for money.

3) people (RIAA lawyers are not counted among these). IP is strangulating innovation and increasing prices. What's the upside? Avatar wouldn't have been made if copyright expired before James Cameron's death?
 

Re:Economic interests of the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636041)

What's the upside? Avatar wouldn't have been made if copyright expired before James Cameron's death?

Pardon me, but... just as a personal opinion, I would have preferred Avatar was never made - it's a waste of money and human effort: storyline-wise, even Matrix 3 is better (and I never understood/remember what Matrix 3 is about).

Re:Economic interests of the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636085)

even Matrix 3 is better

You lost all credibility right there.

Re:Economic interests of the United States (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636197)

even Matrix 3 is better

You lost all credibility right there.

My right to opinion.

The elaborate my POV: both of them have childish story lines, to the point in which I can remember none of them after a while (other than: some oppressed population decides to fight back with the help of the powers of some "comics-like heroes"). But... Matrix 3 was pure 2D... less headaches for me after I wasted the time watching it, thus a slightly more enjoyable experience.

Re:Economic interests of the United States (3, Funny)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636387)

It was just Fern Gully.

In SPAAAACE!

Re:Economic interests of the United States (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636215)

even Matrix 3 is better

You lost all credibility right there.

What movie is he talking about? There was only one... [xkcd.com]

Rethink Congress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636133)

What we need is to rethink the whole idea of Congress. We have now reached the point where direct, non-representative, democracy is possible. Why not vote directly on the issues, instead of voting for representatives who may or may not represent our interests?

ugly american agents... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635889)

No doubt when these extortion and espionage agents start to disappear or become "accident prone," the US will declare it a casus belli for more foreign adventures. Foreign nationalism and impatience should not be underestimated with this type of invasion.

Re:ugly american agents... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636053)

No doubt when these extortion and espionage agents start to disappear or become "accident prone," the US will declare it a casus belli for more foreign adventures. Foreign nationalism and impatience should not be underestimated with this type of invasion.

Sustaining a war in two third-world countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) for 10+ years and running out of money... and you still think "invasion" is a viable solution for US? I mean... the so-called IP is almost the last merchandise US may have chances to export to cover the deficit... and this not for very long.

Re:ugly american agents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636071)

Well, you know the story of the “cold” war...

Just that this time, US would be the global menace...

Idiots won't give up (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635925)

ACTA->CETA->
SOPA->IPAA->
They'll keep renaming it until people stop paying attention long enough for it to pass. They've still got almost 17576 four-letter acronyms ending on -A that they haven't used yet.

(All this keeping in mind that they already pushed the DMCA through.)

Lamar... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40635941)

Lamar smith needs a very hard kick in the pants just prior to being thrown out of government onto his ass in the street.

How long are we going to put up with his shit?

Re:Lamar... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636065)

Lamar smith needs a very hard kick in the pants just prior to being thrown out of government onto his ass in the street.

How long are we going to put up with his shit?

Wanna bet? I say: longer than Lamar is goin' to get his pants kicked... what do you think?

Re:Lamar... (1)

Exrio (2646817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636149)

How long are we going to put up with his shit?

Forever. You kick out lamer smith, they kick in a replacement that shits just like him.

Re:Lamar... (4, Insightful)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636161)

It won't matter. Kick Lamar out of Congress this year and he'll be back next year as a lobbyist for the MAFIAA. Just like Chris Dodd and countless other members of the Revolving Door Club.

CHINA FAKES!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636127)

So we would be going to war with china? Cause ya know, honey badger doesnt give shit about no stinkin copyright diplomats.

Its funny. (1, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636227)

Back when the first bill was killed, I was certain that it was over. And yet, the neo-cons try over and over and over to get their agenda through. My guess is that their under-the-table money depends on getting these bills through.

Sad. They put more effort into styming our nation, then they do into solving unemployment, high deficits, and our on-going illegal issue (though they will no doubt introduce HR-2885 in the next couple of months; an e-verify bill that is so bad (basically, little penalties on the businesses) that the dems will not pass it).

Re:Its funny. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636363)

SOPA was largely a bipartisan effort, you fucking major party shill. You'd have your party of choice win elections, right or wrong, and damn their intent.
 
Fuck heads like you are keeping politics from being truly progressive for the man on the street.

Re:Its funny. (1, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636385)

The first bill WAS bi-partisan. ANd like I said, I thought it was dead. Said so at the time.
HOWEVER, it is the neo-cons that continue to bring it up in different fashions. And it is fuck heads ACs like you that are worthless and serve to retard all down to your level

Re:Its funny. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636403)

Fuck you. I've been reading your other posts and you're such a fucking shill. Go to hell. You're making things worse. But you're probably making a few bucks from it somehow.
 
I urge others to read this user's shit posts. They're all biased.

Re:Its funny. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636587)

He uses the term neo-con a lot:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2957783&cid=40547637 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2957783&cid=40547125 [slashdot.org]

But states he's a libertarian - so he can't be all bad. Although he does defend Obama - make of that what you will.

Re:Its funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40637201)

After reading some of that stuff I'm not sure he really knows what a neo-con is.

Re:Its funny. (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637031)

He has only got to get one though, then he does not care if he gets kicked out.
They will give him a job for a stupidly high salary somewhere and then get someone else to get the next one though.

Is this his last chance before elections?

Hypocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636281)

Why is it on one hand the US Government is going through all this trouble to protect IP and such while on the other hand on every military installation in Afghanistan (and previously in Iraq), local vendors (with permission from the garrison) are allowed to sell hundreds of bootlegged movies and TV shows to Soldiers and contractors for a fraction of the cost. All the while operating PX's that sell 'legitimate' copies of the same movies.

Re:Hypocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40637143)

The same reason that you can buy Cuban cigars on some of the bases (at least on Tallil you could), when you're in a war zone, stupid bullshit like "protecting IP" isn't important.

If only ... (1)

cdrnet (1582149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636375)

If only these guys would apply their fancy IP laws to their IP laws, preventing them from spreading uncontrollably ....

In my pocket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636513)

Does anyone believe this guy is NOT in someones pocket?

What's good for Disney is good for... (1)

Dave Emami (237460) | more than 2 years ago | (#40636617)

That bit about "consistent with the economic interests of the United States, both domestically and abroad" sounds remarkably like "what's good for GM is good for America" -- except that, to my knowledge, Ford never tried to block sales of the Camaro by citing infringements of Mustang-related patents. Besides, I must have missed the part where biasing the US legal system in favor of the RIAA and MPAA, and constricting our network infrastructure to conform to those organizations' business models, is even slightly in America's overall economic interest.

fiR5t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636791)

too 8any rules and

FUCK YOU AMERICA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40636833)

no really and i think its time to start guerilla war around the world and join your enemies and become a terrorist
maybe when more and more nations peoples start murdering your kind and we thin you form the genetic pool we can have peace as you realize this crap is not the way to go

im gonna blow up some Americans what ya gonna do one me 50 you
that's what we all need to do go kill more then one

to hell with being nice
im beginning to think arabs got it right blowing up the trade center

when do we start talking about (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40637015)

intellectual property free products?

like hormone free milk or pesticide free fruit?

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