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U.S. to Get New IP Czar

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the czar-job-crisis-nearly-over dept.

United States 320

tetraminoe writes "Reuters is reporting that Congress's latest spending bill provides for the creation of a federal copyright enforcement czar. According to the article, 'Under the program, the president can appoint a copyright law enforcement officer whose job is to coordinate law enforcement efforts aimed at stopping international copyright infringement and to oversee a federal umbrella agency responsible for administering intellectual property law.' It also gives $2 million to the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council (NIPLAC), created in the '90s and never funded. NIPLAC will work to protect American IP overseas and oversee enforcement."

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320 comments

First (-1, Offtopic)

piett134 (713199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908514)

First, wow that never happens!

Re:First (2, Funny)

strider5 (15284) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908568)

Maybe instead they should have allocated more money for USPTO auditors so we can put a stop to people gaining patents for shit like shoelaces by calling them:

"cords made of woven fibers, providing tension across multiple eyelets to prevent footcoverings from falling free of the body"

seriously, this is bananas. what next?

Re:First (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908731)

seriously, this is bananas. what next?

Patent application for plant-based cylindrical food product, tapered at the ends with slight curvature along length. Product employs ColorGrow(tm) technology which enables consumer to judge product age visually. Also incorporated natural and artifical flavor molecules to aid in ingestion and marketing.

I for one.... (-1, Offtopic)

PygmyShrew (618310) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908519)

dum de dum de dum...

RIAA/MPAA out of a job now (1)

Strog (129969) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908523)

I guess they don't have to police everything themselves now.

"Forget, we don't want on Internet2 any more"

Re:RIAA/MPAA out of a job now (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908705)

The best art is he gets to be called Czar.

I would have though hell would freeze over before a Republican government would give anyone such a title!!

Will he be able to give our 'order of Lenin' medals

Re:RIAA/MPAA out of a job now (4, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908762)

Exactly. They've scared congress with enough tales of financial ruin that there will be even more heavy handed legislation and most importantly for them, federal enforcement. The civil copyright infringement remedies, which have traditionally relied on the owner for enforcement, have now been transferred to the taxpayers. But somehow I doubt the government would be nearly as responsive if some smalltime software developer asked for federal help to stop illegal distribution of his applications.

I sure hope this IP czar... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908525)

...is version 6. But knowing the government, I doubt it.

Re:I sure hope this IP czar... (0, Offtopic)

Lispy (136512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908651)

I want a pizza too...

Am I the only one (1, Insightful)

phaze3000 (204500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908527)

Was it just me who read the title of the article and thought IANA was being replaced?

This is news for nerds, IP should mean Internet Protocol, not some copyright sillyness.

Finally (5, Insightful)

btwIANAL (763061) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908530)

I am just glad they found a cause better than education to give money to. I was affraid my kids might get an educaion. Everyone knows we cant have that.

Re:Finally (1, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908574)

It's a meazley $2 million. If you distribute that evenly thats less than a dollar for every kid in school. Not like it would do anything if assigned to education. Besides, cracking down on conterfit goods should increase revenues, which will raise the amount of taxes colelcted which pays for things such as Education, Roads and Security. Besides, the Federal Government doesn't contribute that much to Education in the first place. It's mainly the states and local jurisdictions that pay for it.

Re:Finally (4, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908576)

I am just glad they found a cause better than education to give money to. I was affraid my kids might get an educaion.

They are getting an education in how government operates and where its priorities are.

Copyright law, as intended, has certainly jumped the shark and needs to be completely re-writen or eliminated (which, while not ideal would be a better situation than we are heading toward)

Finkployd

Re:Finally (0, Offtopic)

kmak (692406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908729)

Ya, because they might vote for Kerry.

Re:Finally (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908732)

The federal government could spend an infinite amount of money on education, and they'd still do everything completely wrong!!

I'm applying for this job... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908531)

Wish me luck!

W00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908536)

Because I was so worried the MegaCorps aren't getting the government backing they need. They're so weak and defenseless, what would they do without government intervention?!

Well (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908545)

It also gives $2 million to the National Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Coordination Council

Well, at least we know they will have a full set of pens and pencils now...

Department slogan: (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908546)

IP every day.

Better yet... (1)

Mipsalawishus (674206) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908623)

IP in my computer.

Re:Better yet... (1)

banana fiend (611664) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908765)

Or even..

IP in YOUR computer

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908547)

first post

IP Czar or P2P Czar (4, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908548)

I feel so much better knowing my tax money is going to help fund the enforcement efforts of the RIAA and MPAA. Obviously that is much more important than the fact our borders are wide open, that security screeners at the airport are more concerned about searching 78 year old black men and 18 year old young ladies than some more obvious candidates. Sorry for the rant.

Re:IP Czar or P2P Czar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908608)

Im a 22 year old white guy, and they are super-concerned about searching me. Dont discriminate against my peoples. The screeners are after us too!

Huh? (4, Insightful)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908610)

Obviously that is much more important than the fact our borders are wide open, that security screeners at the airport are more concerned about searching 78 year old black men and 18 year old young ladies than some more obvious candidates.
Airport and border security have always been a joke. The point of the TSA is to con you into thinking you're "safe" so you'll go about your life instead of cowering in fear.
I feel so much better knowing my tax money is going to help fund the enforcement efforts of the RIAA and MPAA.

As for being the enforcement arm of the *AA, this country's core creed is "the protection of capital" even to the point of propping up failed business models (hey, it works for Amtrak and the Big Three Airlines). Ignore that at your peril.

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908692)

Airport and border security have always been a joke. The point of the TSA is to con you into thinking you're "safe" so you'll go about your life instead of cowering in fear.

Shhh, don't say that too loud.

Do you want the population to hear you undermining our system of security? Every time you criticize our leaders and the safeguards they have put in place to keep you and me safe... you help the terrorists win.

Re:IP Czar or P2P Czar (2, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908615)

Read again. This isn't just movies and music. It's knock off goods posing as real goods. Such as purses, and physical CDs and DVDs. Nothing is mentioned about the internet. This should also include fake Games, computer equipment and many other things posing as real (Official) ones.

Re:IP Czar or P2P Czar (2, Interesting)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908706)

When people get over their knee-jerk "anything that has anything to do with copyright must be t3h suck" reactions, they will hopefully realize that this "IP Czar" idea is a Good Thing.

IP law is currently enforced by the Justice Department. About three years ago, we were all forcefully made aware that the top levels of our federal enforcement agencies have more important things to do with their time. Shuffling these responsibilities off into a separate, relatively low-cost, department with it's own management frees up a lot of resources that are better used elsewhere.

For us Regular Joes, it probably only means that the annoying FBI warnings on our DVDs will now be replaced with an annoying IP Czar warning. You can all take off the tin foil hats.

Re:IP Czar or P2P Czar (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908746)

Glad I finally found someone who understand that IP!=**AA

On a side not, I have seen some companies that have made ther FBI warnings quite humorous. Rhino's transformers DVDs draw a pair of glasses, beard and some other stuff on the guy in the picture on the FBI warning. Be nice if others did something like that instead of giving just the dull warning picture.

IP Czar or P2P Czar-Information economy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908755)

Now stop that! :>

Don't you know we never RTFAs.

We make wild ass rants, and prefix all our posts with, IANAL but...

Seriously people shouldn't be surprised about the emphasise on IP. We're an "information economy" now. Alan Toffler and others predicted this. Of course people who have forgotten history. Should remember we had "protections" when we were a more industrial society. People bitched about those too.

Re:IP Czar or P2P Czar (1)

beeglebug (767468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908756)

"more concerned about searching 78 year old black men and 18 year old young ladies than some more obvious candidates..."

I'm not sure exactly who you mean by that, but I bet if I squinted hard enough i'd see an offensive comment between the lines...

big deal (5, Insightful)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908549)

Im sure the war on CopyrightAbuse will be as affective as the War on Drugs and the The War on Terra.

Re:big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908648)

War on terra. You don't know how right you are.

Re:big deal (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908735)



The war on terra is going well. Just the otherday efforts were renewed to drill in the Alaskan refuge. Terra will yield.

Maybe it's a good idea (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908550)

Look people. At some point, when there is rampant illegal copying and distribution of creative works, someone is responsible for the damage to the creators. We don't wanna hold the developers responsible for eggregious assistance in infringement. We don't want to sue 12 year olds. So what else is left but for this to become a law enforcement issue?

Re:Maybe it's a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908650)

Wow, modded down for a "troll". Un-be-freakin-lievable. If there was ever a good reason to support stronger enforcement of IP Laws, that's exactly it. Peace.

Mod Parent Up (1)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908768)

I would think the *AA lobby would appreciate this - they are no longer the bad guys for suing grandparents because of what gets put on their machines during weekend visits and they have someone to complain about when U2's new album shows up as MP3s before the master is cut.

myke

I for one, (1)

Rooktoven (263454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908552)

Look forward to our Disney-Cartoon Millenial masters.

Not a good feeling about this... (5, Interesting)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908554)

Why do I get the idea that this new IP czar isn't going to be concerning himself much with corporations abusing copyright law to silence their critics and prevent parody and satire being made about their property?

And is he going to work toward finding a middle ground between fair use and IP protection? I have my doubts.

Me either.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908649)

...you'll notice *who* gets to appoint said position, the President - i don't have a good feeling about that either.

Re:Me either.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908734)

If only we had another Democrat President who could appoint enforcement officers who shoot innocent women holding the babies, abduct Cuban children from their families, and burn down the communes of "wrong" religious sects, all our civil rights would be much more safe.

Re:Not a good feeling about this... (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908696)

Why do I get the idea that this new IP czar isn't going to be concerning himself much with corporations abusing copyright law to silence their critics and prevent parody and satire being made about their property?

And is he going to work toward finding a middle ground between fair use and IP protection?


Well, duh. Where is the money in that? Expect to see copyright violation successfully linked to pirates (arrrr matey) and then terrorism (copyright jihad!) in the future. We must do all we can to protect the patriotic, campaign financing, copyright holding, megacorps from the greedy citizenry.

"if you excercise your fair use rights than then terrorists have already won"

Finkployd

Re:Not a good feeling about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908721)

Why do I get the idea that this new IP czar isn't going to be concerning himself much with corporations abusing copyright law to silence their critics and prevent parody and satire being made about their property?

Because you post on slashdot instead of writing your congressman.

Re:Not a good feeling about this... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908783)

Depends on who's president as this falls under the executive branch. Republicans will be the most corporate biased. Democrats slightly less. Ralph Nader would be the most individual-focused.

If Lawrence Lessig ever gets appointed to the position then we'd have nothing to worry about.

Imagine! (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908558)

Its comforting to know that a government agency will be responsible for ensuring the MPAA and RIAA are profitable.

And we get to pay for it both on the enforcement and higher prices caused by inefficient distribution systems.

What a warm way to start this holiday.

VOLTRON! (2, Funny)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908559)

The power of the MPAA, RIAA, and FBI have combined to firm... NIPLAC!

Re:VOLTRON! (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908759)

combined to firm... NIPLAC

I hope the nipple police have really cool uniforms like the name suggests and really big.....Oops, did I say that out loud.

Re:VOLTRON! (2, Funny)

Cylix (55374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908788)

W can then say his really nifty new catch phrase, "And I'll Form The Head!"

Czar invades Russia! (4, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908561)

Now we'll finally stop screwing around like a bunch of liberals, and invade Russia to stop their theft of honest American labor. Once we've got them whipped, it's on to China! The Czar rides again!

Re:Czar invades Russia! (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908793)

Why isnt parent modded as flamebait or troll.

Canada Eh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908564)

And I thought I could avoid the US copyright insanity by living in Canada!

The real question (2, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908565)

Will they also be responsible for sifting through and cutting short spurious IP claims?

Why aren't I comforted by this? (2, Interesting)

yetanothermike (824215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908571)

I'd prefer that someone appoints some decent litigators, legislators and judges to look at reforming the actual laws instead of inforcement of those which are already botched.

Anyone else breaking out their sleds? I see a great slippery slope to head down...

How? (3, Funny)

Locdonan (804414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908579)

How can a czar (of all things) enforce our laws in another country? Other than certain areas where our law is recognized, we would be SOL! I can jsut see it.

"Hello Nigeria, we have about 4000 people we need to have you arrest for sending spam and rerouting information over the internet in a effort to scam our residents. What are you laughing at? Stop it! Hello? Hello? Oh well, we will try again tomorrow."

I can't imagine this actually taking hold.

Re:How? (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908790)

How can a czar (of all things) enforce our laws in another country? Other than certain areas where our law is recognized, we would be SOL! I can jsut see it.

Look at what we did to arrest Saddam Hussein... and he only had a couple of fake paintings. Well that and a few huminitarian crisises (isn't that what the UN has renamed genocide to).
Seriously, it is about time the world focuses on horrible things like IP theft our resources are being very well squandered.

I for one... (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908581)

welcome our new Gov. enforcing, brutally regulating, fiercely punishing, justice mutilating, freedom curtailing, property upholding, paradigm shattering, useless blathering IP overlords.

Re:I for one... (1)

xsupergr0verx (758121) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908719)

And it's already November, so we have to wait until next October overthrow and kill the czar.

Re:I for one... (1)

automag (834164) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908736)

Gimme an 1... Gimmie an 9... Gimmie an 8... Gimmie an 4. What's that spell? Goodbye freedom. Helllooo Big Brother.

I forgot (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908784)

to add corporate catering, innovation retarding, *IAA enforcing, common law redefining, content restricting, product shilling, obsessively litigating, objectivity abandoning, livestock fucking, (well ok maybe not that last one).

well thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908593)

...we didn't spend it on education or anything stupid like that.

That isn't flamebait and yes, i know we have edu money, but if you think it's enough, go hang out in k-12 and then hit up a state higher ed. campus. It's not enough.

Why NIPLAC? (2, Funny)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908594)

I guess NIPLECC was too close for comfort. :-)

D.

NIPLAC? (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908599)

NIPLAC... yeah, I think my wife still has one of those left over from when she was breastfeeding...

Senator Hatch (2, Funny)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908602)

Needs to be tarred, feathered and deballed!

Because we all know... (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908603)

... the copyright industry lacks sufficient funds to sue infringers on their own. Poor Disney. Poor Sony. Poor Universal. These guys really need a break!

Re:Because we all know... (1, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908637)

RTFA, this doesn't include just movies and music. It covers physical goods such as Clothing and other things. It will also cover books, electronics, games, hardware.

Re:Because we all know... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908688)

Oh yeah, we all know that the clothing industry is broke too. Heck, they use sweatshops to create their product. They must REALLY be broke. I have such sympathy for ALL of the IP industries.

I wonder if we'll get a Fair-Use Czar to help consumers from being screwed?

They stole my idea! (1)

Meredeth (821492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908611)

Quote form the article " While NIPLAC has been around since the early 90's, it has never done anything" and it gets 2 million dollars! Thats my life plan and they stole it from us. I'm going to sue. Who do I speak to?

Re:They stole my idea! (1)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908809)

Thats my life plan and they stole it from us. I'm going to sue. Who do I speak to?

If you wrote the plan down, you could speak to Niplac, that would be copyright abuse.

While another article illustrates that the (1)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908613)

motion picture industry can take care of itself.

Actor violates copyright [reuters.com]

&^#*(^$ Lazy Editors! (0, Offtopic)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908620)

It's spelled c - a - r.

IDIOTS!

War on..... (1)

Pinkoir (666130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908624)

So if the Drug Czar runs the War on Drugs and the Intelligence Czars wage the War on Terror what does the IP Czar run? The War on Freedom?

I sure hope not.

-Pinkoir

WTF is this 'CZAR' BS? (5, Insightful)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908636)

'Czar'? Weren't czar's, like, emperors who had ultimate rule in a non-free society?

Is that what it's come down to in 21st century America? 'Czar's?

At least the US gubment is going out in the open about it. No more of this pussy footing about the real intent here: screw freedom. Drug Czars, IP Czars, what next?

Re:WTF is this 'CZAR' BS? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908804)

Well, we were going to save the surprise for later, but we've had plans in the works now for kicking puppy dogs and stealing children.

Re:WTF is this 'CZAR' BS? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908818)

Govermnent bureaucrats are typically older than slashdotters.

The older generation is still stuck on telling each other "In Czarist Russia" instead of "In Soviet Russia" jokes.

US ALWAYS TRIES TO RULE THE WORLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908639)

We all know this is just a ploy to sue the world
if they infringe on anything US patent and copyright
even though it costs too much to fight it.
Thats why China wont sign the WTO and allow
this kind of Economic Emperialism to spread!

Suck on that

Ching Gao

And the President's first appointee will be...? (2, Funny)

adamh526 (725423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908645)

None other than Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

In soviet russia.. (0)

murraythegreat (780556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908654)

Tsars abuse power, then got shot when people have had enough of it.

So ..... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908658)

Is this guy going to be spearheading more commando-style raids by the RIAA of little old Mac using grannies?

Is there any reason to expect this won't just be a post to make sure that big business continues to suddenly have their own law-enforcement branch, as opposed to actually having any interest in the consumer??

Will Microsoft now get to buy a judgement saying that Linux already infringes and is therefore illegal?

Sigh More protectionistic laws to come out of America are what I forsee here. But I'm sure they'll start putting pressure on Micronesia and The North pole and the like to harmonize their copyright laws with the US so we can all bend over^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hbow down as we should.

Patent wars! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908665)

"...protect American IP overseas..." ..
does that mean the US starts bombing Europe when we don't allow software patents? It wouldn't surprise me.

Potentially useful for USA, but... (4, Insightful)

petersam (754644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908672)

Now the creation of someone to coordinate the United States' efforts to enforce international copyright law would be a good thing; who here thinks that its a good thing that you can buy "Oceans 12" or "Half Life 2" on the streets of Hong Kong today for 50 cents? With the WTO making the rules these days and our jobs being outsourced, I'm all for leveling the playing field and making sure that US companies and artists get compensated for their work.

The bad news is that the other posters are right - this czar will probably focus more on coordinating the RIAA/MPAA legal fights and forcing computer makers to build in DRM so that I can't even legally backup copies of my own CDs/DVDs/etc.

It frustrates me to see people who *share* content getting more persecuted/prosecuted than those who try to profit from stolen content - the real pirates.

Re:Potentially useful for USA, but... (2, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908796)

Now the creation of someone to coordinate the United States' efforts to enforce international copyright law would be a good thing; who here thinks that its a good thing that you can buy "Oceans 12" or "Half Life 2" on the streets of Hong Kong today for 50 cents?

I think that there should be only two precepts of international copyright law: 1) National treatment, i.e. that you treat foreigners the same as one's own people, and 2) Avoidance of conflicts so that obtaining a copyright in one place doesn't preclude you from being able to in some other place.

There should NOT be any minimum standards, however. If a country feels it is in its own best interests to have more copyright or less copyright than another, or no copyright at all, then that is a perfectly valid decision and should be respected.

So to answer your question, if China thinks it's okay to have cheap pirated copies of just-released or unreleased works, then I think that that's fine. It's their decision. We don't have to follow it, but by the same token, they shouldn't have to follow us.

I'm all for leveling the playing field and making sure that US companies and artists get compensated for their work.

The problem is that the level playing field is still in the advantage of the US and Europe basically, because it is up to their level. And anyway, why should other countries care if we make money? Let it be our concern, and let their law be their concern.

I do (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908803)

"who here thinks that its a good thing that you can buy "Oceans 12" or "Half Life 2" on the streets of Hong Kong today for 50 cents?"

Piracy is the only check we have on the price of games, movies, and CD's.

CD prices have dropped recently. Why? Because the competition (i.e. "free") forced it down.

There is a myth that if there was perfect copy protection, prices would decrease because of "less losses from piracy".

In fact, prices go up in this situation, because there is no competition.

I view a small amount of piracy as a healthy thing for the consumer, because it forces the producer to compete with *something*.

Good to know (1)

booyah (28487) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908680)

Good to know that Ashcroft will continue to have a place in our fair and unbiased government

damn, and i said that with a straight face

The new spending bill (1)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908683)

The new spending bill also included a clause that makes it illegal for States to enforce laws forcing HMO's and other insurance companies to cover abortions as a legitimate medical procedure.

And if Democrats hadn't caught it last week, it would have contained a paragraph allowing any member of congress or their "agents" to have undocumented access to any citizens tax return.

Currently the director of the IRS has discretion over whether or not a congressmen or anyone else can view tax returns.

The Republican leadership claims they don't know how it got there. They have blamed it on "A few aides, and maybe someone working at the IRS"

This is a major piece of legislation! They know damn well who made the changes but they're not going to tell us.

All this bullshit and this is the VERY FIRST BILL PASSED after the election. The GOP thinks it has a "mandate" and this is how they're using it.

This concludes the broadcast for this evening.

Courage.

Re:The new spending bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908787)

All this bullshit and this is the VERY FIRST BILL PASSED after the election. The GOP thinks it has a "mandate" and this is how they're using it.

Actually, the Senate struck down that bit of the bill.

Chaps My Hide… (1)

automag (834164) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908684)

Great. Another way for big corporations to use my tax dollars to go find abusers in other countries while here at hope we are still stuck with the same laws that still don't work- no matter how hard the politicians try to make the DMCA relevant. You know, originally copyright was intended to protect individual folks like me- people who create stuff. Now it seems to be the dominion of corporate giants who use it to bludgeon those for which the law was put in place for.

Now I know that *really* updating copyright law is akin to abolishing Medicare or Social Security on the list of things that 'won't be discussed by those who want to keep their cushy political jobs... EVER,' but we can dream, can't we?

Tired of the whole "Czar" thing (3, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908691)

How about "Drug Fuhrer"?
"Education Pharoah"?
"Emperor of Homeland Security"?

Government propping up private enterprise (5, Insightful)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908694)

"While congressional aides said there was a lot of support for the program, its inclusion still raised some eyebrows as there have been questions about the government's involvement in protecting a private, for-profit enterprise. A recent congressional attempt to approve legislation known as the "Pirate Act," which would allow the Justice Department to file civil lawsuits, was turned back over complaints that it would advance Hollywood's interest at taxpayer expense.

"This isn't the Pirate Act, but I think the taxpayers would be surprised that there's money being spent for copyright enforcement when terrorists and criminals still roam the streets," said Gigi Sohn, president of the nonprofit fair-use advocacy group Public Knowledge. "When every dollar is being counted for education, health care and homeland security, it seems like a strange priority."

Indeed, it's funny how certain industries always seem to get government help when they need it. Must be nice. "Lesse, my business is suffering because of competitors who won't play by my rules. I could try to out market them, or out produce them, or enforce my own rules, or, wait a minute! I know! I'll just cut a check to my congresscritter and get them to do my job for me! Whee! Ain't America grand!"

Maybe that's why the article began this way:

"Buried inside the massive $388 billion spending bill Congress approved last weekend is a program that creates a federal copyright enforcement czar. "

Yeah, better not let this one see too much of the light of day. Just bury it in the spending bill that has to pass.

Re:Government propping up private enterprise (1)

Suidae (162977) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908823)

"Buried inside the massive $388 billion spending bill Congress approved last weekend is a program that creates a federal copyright enforcement czar. "

Yeah, better not let this one see too much of the light of day. Just bury it in the spending bill that has to pass.


This is why I think we need more computer technology in our government, so we can handle issues at a more granular level. Too much effort is spent in political manipulation to get unpopular stuff attached to bills that are sure to pass.

Lobby Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10908700)

It is funny, but if we could scrape up enough money together, wouldn't it be fun to lobby for something stupid just to see congress spelled out as the greed-driven bottom feeders they are? Hrrm, what should we lobby for? Maybe make geeking a religion, and have all our computer parts become tax free and subsidizeable? That would be cool..

Quick! (2, Funny)

mogrify (828588) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908703)

Quick! Somebody patent the idea of government-enforced copyright protection!

Re:Quick! (2, Funny)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908791)

I believe such a thing has prior art. But submit it to USPTO anyway and label it a business process and you'll probably get it.

Welcome to the Plantation (3, Interesting)

plinius (714075) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908743)

For those of you who don't know, there REALLY IS an international conspiracy to limit people's freedoms. Globalization according to the WTO/IMF/WorldBank is not about giving cellphones to Eskimos, it's about preventing sick people from getting patented drugs at a penny less than the Corporations allows. Things get really scary when you look at GATS VI.4, which creates a non-democratic Panel that will have veto power of parliaments, the US Congress, everything. It's real and it's very, very bad -- unless you hate freedom.

too early in the morning (1)

trb (8509) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908761)

I just read the headline as: Your Rights Online: U.S. to Get New ZIP Car [zipcar.com] . Oh, that's nice. I need more sleep.

Scariest. Title. Ever. (1)

The_Real_Nire (786847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908766)

Can't they pick a more friendly, inviting title than the Cold-War-Era-feel inducing title of Czar?

It's very frightening to me personally.

WIPO? (3, Interesting)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908767)

I guess this is a national version of WIPO? Would NIPLAC deal directly with WIPO?

I work for a company that has been attempting to "clean up" some fraudulent sites who use our copyrighted name to spam and sell "vi\[ag)(ra" and "c[]el3br1x" via email, www popups, etc. We, as a company, have delt with WIPO on many occasions since it seems a lot of the domain owners are in Asian nations (like China). Our efforts have been mediocre at best (it's been 6 months of chasing registrars and new registered owners to just live up to the WIPO ruling).

Anyway, I wonder if we could use the gov't power of NIPLAC to assist us in obtaining these domain names. That would definately assist us in dealing with ICANN and their "approved" registrars, at the very least.

What after petrol a war on IP? (1)

jamiguet (232071) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908779)

Is this the embrio of what would be required to invade China?

Looks sacry if you start policying internationally about ideas too. Not that it is any good doing on petrol like the US is doing in Nigeria, Afganistan and Iraq.

What a world.

Over seas or in America? (1)

blanks (108019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908786)

What do you think will be their primary focus, trying to enforce existing corporations IP like the RIAA.

Or will they make an attempt to get some type of process here in america working with filing.

Nothing better to do (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908789)

its nice to know that all the terrorists have been eradicated so they are no longer a concern.

Its nice to know that there are no more starving children in the country, or neglected. or abused.

All other *real* crime has been removed from our land.. so now we can waste resources on meaningless things like this.. and have the feds invade farther into our lives, what should be civil issues?

Don't we all just feel so much safer now?

Just say no to "Czars" (2, Interesting)

pherris (314792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10908826)

Look at the position of "Drug Czar" and picture the same tactics used for IP enforcement: prison and "rehabilitation". How about if you violate an IP law you lose the ability to get a federally backed college student loan.

The private prison industry is growing and to sustain that growth they need fresh meat. Any guesses who's on the menu?

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