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Broadcast Flag Sneak Not Attempted

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the should-we-celebrate-that-someone-wasn't-a-jerk dept.

United States 365

Trizero writes "THOMAS, one of the best sources for Congressional action on the Internet has shown that no amendments occured to the CJS Appropriations Bill. Monday, Slashdot covered the EFF announcing a rumor that a senator was attempting to sneak an amendment to bring the Broadcast Flag into law. From THOMAS (scroll down to the bottom): "6/21/2005: Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. Approved for full committee consideration without amendment favorably." Translation: No one attempted to sneak the Broadcast flag into law." Update: 06/22 18:55 GMT by J : The EFF's new Activism Coordinator, Danny O'Brien, sees this as a victory for swift citizen action. Impressive numbers. Nice work by EFF and Public Knowledge, and everyone who raised their voice.

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So what happened? (5, Interesting)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881304)


So, the Broadcast flag wasn't smuggled into law within the CJS appropriations bill, as threatened earlier.
The question now is: why not?

  • Did the massive phone campaign [publicknowledge.org] advocated by Public Knowledge [publicknowledge.org] manage to dissuade the senators?
  • Did the senators decide against this course of action on their own?
  • Or was this just an unfounded rumor to begin with?

Discuss.

Re:So what happened? (3, Interesting)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881334)

D) None of the above.

Sneaking something into an appropriations bill, by definition, requires it be "sneaked"... impossible to do, if everyone knows about it. 3 weeks from now, 3 months from now, 3 years from now, there will be another bill, people won't be on guard for it, and it will return.

Re:So what happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881336)

Discuss.

Bread, Circus, and Fair Use.

Re:So what happened? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881347)

"Discuss" proclaimed TripMonkeyFucker the KarmaWhore.

Re:So what happened? (1, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881351)

Did the massive phone campaign advocated by Public Knowledge manage to dissuade the senators?

No, see below.

Did the senators decide against this course of action on their own?

Senators don't have free thought. They are paid by corporations to think/act like the corporations tell them to.

Or was this just an unfounded rumor to begin with?

Probably unfounded or at least only partially true. If anything, there was something far more insidious going on elsewhere and this was an attempt to divert the all powerful Slashdot crowd's attention to something worthless.

Discuss.

I'd prefer to just joke about it thanks.

Re:So what happened? (2, Insightful)

snorklewacker (836663) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881714)

> Senators don't have free thought. They are paid by corporations to think/act like the corporations tell them to.

I would say most of them are simply just highly attached to their own prejudices, many of which are ignorant, superstitious, and bigoted, while the rest are idealistic without the benefit of either pragmatism or human empathy. And without exception, they hunger for more power. Most corporations prey on these attributes first before falling back to naked avarice.

Re:So what happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881410)

Discuss

dont tell me what to do

Re:So what happened? (1, Insightful)

joecm (16636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881470)

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you

up next a law against Burning a broadcast flag (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881475)

championed by such stalwart defenders of truth as Bill 0'Reilly and Shawn Hannity

So what happened? (4, Insightful)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881491)

Perhaps the backers of the broadcast flag would like to wait for another bill to append it to. For instance, the Real ID act passed the senate 100-0 as a part of an $80B war funding bill. The war funding bill had strong support in the senate and the house because the congressmen don't want to look bad to their constituents. Additionally, those sort of bills are not often held up in committee, because people want to get them through fast.

Attaching an ammendment like Real ID or Broadcast Flag will not slow the process. So maybe the CJS Appropriations Bill was not an ideal carrier for Broadcast Flag since appropriations bills tend to be the most debated and delayed.

Re:So what happened? (4, Interesting)

stiggle (649614) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881667)

What is it with senators appending bills to others to try and get them passed.

Surely if you are voting on a specific Bill then thats all you should be voting on - not "The Senate should buy more duck food for the ducks on the lake Bill" with the appended "Nuke Russia Bill" and "Give Hollywood and Microsoft everyone's firstborn Bill"

Re:So what happened? (2, Insightful)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881752)

That is just a symptom of Amercian-style representative "democracy." A good percentage of legislature at the federal level is hardly beneficial to the nation and its people.

Re:So what happened? (1)

Asprin (545477) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881748)


Ugh. Frustrating. Why aren't these pork-barrel bills ever named for what they really do. I'd love to see "The Anti-Consumer WillOfThePeople-Circumvention and Privacy Disposal Act" someday.

*NONE* of this would happen if we limited the length of individual bills, acts and actions to maximum of 1,000 words on 10 printed letter-size pages in a single-spaced 12point courier font.

Re:So what happened? (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881597)

How about, "the Senators grinned and said, 'you won!' but will slip it into the next Iraq bill when fewer people are snooping around."

Re:So what happened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881669)

Actually, with Patriot Act II, it allows for hidden laws to be passed. Do not be surprised if this is snuck in with one of them.

Re:So what happened? (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881634)

Or was this just an unfounded rumor to begin with?

Given that this is slashdot, land of unfounded rumor, take an educated guess :-)

Wait there's more! (5, Insightful)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881307)

Don't start jumping up and down. This won't be the end of the broadcast flag...

Re:Wait there's more! (1, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881345)

Yes, they'll find a way to restrict low quality re-hashed sitcoms to only authorized viewers...

Maybe these protection methods would make more sense if they had something really worth protecting.

And before anyone gets all "well people do actually watch Friends, tom". That's simply a product of not having a choice. After decades of decreasing quality television people assume that they're getting what they actually want/need/crave/desire.

So I say go for the whole shebang. Cancel analogue television and make it all $5/min for viewing for all I care. When it comes down to it outside of the odd good cartoon or documentary there isn't much to miss.

Tom

Re:Wait there's more! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881360)

We bow down before you, oh superior being who is much better than the rest of us TV-watching mongrels.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881459)

Its one thing to be stupid. Its not your fault; its genetics and upbringing, neither of which you control.

Its entirely another to be proud about being stupid. That's just....stupid.

Re:Wait there's more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881383)

Hey, garcia and tomstdenis posting in the same article. All we need now are Dancin Santa and AsSeenOnTv and we'll have a lovely little four-way queer fest!

Re:Wait there's more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881478)

Yes, they'll find a way to restrict low quality re-hashed sitcoms to only authorized viewers...

Yes! Reality shows remain safe. We dodged a bullet there.

Re:Wait there's more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881547)

Tomstdenis cans the man-ham

Re:Wait there's more! (1)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881556)

After decades of decreasing quality television .....


When has television ever not sucked? Have you ever gone back and watched old TV shows? They don't just suck, they blow!

If anything, TV today is better than TV in the past (but by enlarge it still sucks).

Re:Wait there's more! (5, Funny)

murphyslawyer (534449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881629)

but by enlarge it still sucks

Hey - did you send me like 20 emails this morning?

Re:Wait there's more! (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881685)

Hey - did you send me like 20 emails this morning?
Don't you mean 21?

Re:Wait there's more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881645)

by enlarge

<pedant>
You mean "by and large [worldwidewords.org] ".
</pedant>

Posting anonymous-cowardly because pedantry is good for the audience but bad for karma.

Re:Wait there's more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881700)

Thanks! this kind of stuff is good to know.

Re:Wait there's more! (1)

benna (614220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881529)

Yeah, it still has to get through the full comittee. They could amend it tomorrow.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

rssrss (686344) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881308)

FP

In other news... (1)

The Beezer (573688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881309)

A draft proposal wasn't added either.

hmmm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881312)

first YAY!

So the rumor got the name of the bill wrong? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881314)

So which bill are they going to try to put it in? Maybe the rumor got hot enough that he decided to slip the amendment into another bill sometime later, after the heat was off.

These are not the droids you're looking for... (4, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881426)

>So which bill....?

Exactly. Some MPAA congresstooge will slip it in under the cover of night, as it were.

On the other hand, consider the possibility that the story was leaked as a trial balloon, to see how much attention it would get. They'll put it out again every couple of months, until we all decide that a broadcast flag is inevitable.

Considering how many people think digital TV is some kind of constitutional right, I suspect we'll get a broadcast flag along with subsidized digital TV -- to protect our way of life, fight terrorism, and to save the children.

The MPAA will get their broadcast flag, and the government will borrow money from my kids to pay for it.

Re:These are not the droids you're looking for... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881552)

Considering how many people think digital TV is some kind of constitutional right, I suspect we'll get a broadcast flag along with subsidized digital TV -- to protect our way of life, fight terrorism, and to save the children.

Yup, been there and talked about that [slashdot.org] .

Sad isn't it?

Soooo, what your saying is.... (-1, Offtopic)

booyah (28487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881320)

Nothing to see here people, move along move along...

mmmm, slashdot, news for what DIDNT happen.

Re:Soooo, what your saying is.... (0, Offtopic)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881341)

mmmm, slashdot, news for what DIDNT happen.

In that case, in related news, I did not win the lottery. (Although I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.)

Re:Soooo, what your saying is.... (1)

KingVance (815011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881348)

It's a big deal that it DIDNT happen because we need to be on the lookout for what COULD happen. Personally I like my TIVO, dick.

Poor senator (3, Informative)

paranode (671698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881331)

I wonder if the entertainment industry will keep bankrolling his election campaign after he has failed to help them.

One of the most needed pieces of legislation in this country is a Federal-level law that states the amendments and provisions of a bill must directly relate to its topic. I know a few states have this now but Congress uses this backdoor to get all sorts of shady and illegal legislation passed every year.

Re:Poor senator (1)

systemic chaos (892935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881392)

I've always wondered about this - I don't seem to know why this hasn't been done already. Maybe someone could sneak it in as an unrelated provision sometime soon ;) So basically my question is this: what's the official excuse for the lack of such a law?

Re:Poor senator (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881400)

Like tax cuts for the rich on military funding bills. -Rick

Re:Poor senator (3, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881438)

amendments and provisions of a bill must directly relate to its topic.

Like that will change a thing, really. It'll just mean that our bills will be titled

"Wont somebody think of the children in Iraq and my taxes on my million dollar house are too high and random porkbarrel act of 2006"

On the other hand, we'll quit getting stupid cutesy acronyms like PATRIOT and what not.

Re:Poor senator (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881477)

illegal legislation

I have to call you on that one. If Congress passes the law, and the president signs it, it is by definition legal. There ain't no such thing as illegal legislation. There is such a thing as unconstitutional legislation, though, which is maybe what you were thinking of.

Re:Poor senator (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881605)

There ain't no such thing as illegal legislation. There is such a thing as unconstitutional legislation, though, which is maybe what you were thinking of.

Why is there a difference? If I were to break a local, state, or federal law, I'd have committed an illegal act. But if Congress breaks the rules in the Constitution, which is the highest law of the country, it's merely "unconstitutional".

Too bad it isn't illegal to pass laws or otherwise act against the constitution. "It seemed like a good idea at the time" isn't much of a defense for any other crime, and it might actually force our representatives to care about what they're doing for once, instead of signing whatever they're paid to sign or passing whatever the majority whip tells them to.

Read the Bills Act (1)

bsdaddict (894188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881580)

While is wouldn't prohibit unrelated amendments/provisions, this would at least help keep them from being snuck in at the last minute... http://www.downsizedc.org/read_the_laws.shtml [downsizedc.org]

Re:Read the Bills Act (1)

bsdaddict (894188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881642)

snuck in at the last minute *unnoticed*, that is...

Re:Poor senator (3, Interesting)

brwski (622056) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881624)

What would be even better is a constitutional amendment which would require either that bills be limited to one item and one item alone (no riders, etc.), or that each and every provision to a bill would have to be voted on for it to be included. A great addition to either of those would be a limit on the number of laws allowed. If we fill up the number, an old one has to go. That would rock...

brwski

I have complete faith in rEBUBLICANS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881335)

"Translation: No one attempted to sneak the Broadcast flag into law." ...yet.

No one (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881339)

attempted to sneak the Broadcast flag into law.

This time.

This time. (2, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881454)

1984 didn't happen, at least not in 1984, because Orwell's book was so frightening. Too bad the fear lasted less than 21 years. Should be required reading in high school. (I thought it frequently was.)

Y2K didn't happen because everyone feared it, and did a heck of a lot of work to prevent it, possibly fueling the dot-com boom. (and bust, when Y2K dollars were finished being spent.)

Maybe the Broadcast Flag didn't happen (this time) because the EFF was on guard, and alerted the most obnoxious people they could find, for the response.

A legislation flag? (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881344)

Perhaps they should first mandate a legislation flag that sends up an alarm whenever someone tries to sneak something in like this ("Hey! Those mohair subsidies are necessary to defeat the terrorists!!!!").

Either that, or REQUIRE that every piece of legislation be read in full on the House floor by Gilbert Gottfried, and on the Senate floor by Ben Stein before it gets voted into law. If you haven't heard it both screamed and droned, it can't be signed into law.

Re:A legislation flag? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881371)

AFLACK!

Buuuuuuuuellllllller ...

Snarkist (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881665)

Ben Stein used to write speeches for Nixon, before he concentrated on protecting his money on TV.

Re:A legislation flag? (1)

bsdaddict (894188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881697)

Either that, or REQUIRE that every piece of legislation be read in full on the House floor by Gilbert Gottfried, and on the Senate floor by Ben Stein before it gets voted into law.

minus the personalities you suggest, that's what DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bill Act wants to accomplish...

http://www.downsizedc.org/read_the_laws.shtml [downsizedc.org]

Re:A legislation flag? (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881704)

Either that, or REQUIRE that every piece of legislation be read in full on the House floor by Gilbert Gottfried, and on the Senate floor by Ben Stein before it gets voted into law. If you haven't heard it both screamed and droned, it can't be signed into law.

While the penalty phases of the proposed law are demonstrated in pantomime on CarrotTop (House) and Daryl McBride (Senate). Such a provision would have the unfortunate side-effect of making torture seem much less Cruel and Unusual (or at least, much less Cruel).

Sneak Not Attempted (3, Funny)

ajkst1 (630286) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881346)

But the coach did signal for the Statue of Liberty play. The quarterback then decided to go for the play action...

oh great.... (0, Offtopic)

Strenoth (587478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881349)

So, as much as I generally like the EFF, I think we should be asking them some very hard questions about how well they review their sources before releasing that sort of rumor.

Re:oh great.... (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881405)

Well, we don't know if their protests were unfounded or not. One thing's clear: if you're trying to sneak something into a bill, someone waving their arms yelling "Look what he's trying to do" is going to make you step back and wait.

Whether this is similar to Y2K ("Nothing happened! Complete waste of time!" "Idiot! It only didn't happen because we did all that work!") or like the Tiger Repellant ("What's that?" "A tiger repellant" "What for? There are no tigers in Atlanta" "Exactly. Works pretty well, huh?") is difficult to tell from the point of view of an outsider.

Re:oh great.... (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881415)

Why ask hard questions? It was presented as a rumor, and due to the seriousness of it, it needed to be published. It's not like any harm came out of it. And more likely, it may have actually prevented harm by keeping the sneak from occurring.

The RIAA did something similar in the 90s when it snuck in "work for hire" legislation, which made all recording artists mere "work for hires" without any right to retain or obtain copyrights on their songs.

Well, I think it was more than Rumour (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881724)

When I called Allard's office yesterday to register which way to vote, I was told that there were many votes in favour of the broadcast flag (That would be the Focus on the Family group doing that). It was why I wrote up an anonymous posting addressed to Colorado Citizens after moderating the story.

Re:oh great.... (off topic, fair warning) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881740)

The RIAA did something similar in the 90s when it snuck in "work for hire" legislation, which made all recording artists mere "work for hires" without any right to retain or obtain copyrights on their songs.

Wow, that's interesting - mere "work for hires" the Slashdotter posts ... compare that to last week's topic on Wedding Photographers, and folks biatching about Photographers who want to maintain copyright to their own works. Copyrights - musicians should keep them, photographers should not. Interesting.

Re:oh great.... (2, Insightful)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881421)

Or maybe the senator-in-question decided not to try and sneak it in given that the EFF raised a ruckus and he'd actually be doing it in plain sight rather than "sneaking"? Are you so resigned to not being able to affect what congress does by writing and calling your senators?

Re:oh great.... (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881534)

So, as much as I generally like the EFF, I think we should be asking them some very hard questions about how well they review their sources before releasing that sort of rumor.

Why? Rumors like that keep people on edge and the EFF in their minds. And I'm sure the EFF got higher than average donations on that day.
It's just like the Bush administration. Replace 'evil terrorists' with 'big business' and you have an organization which must keep fear in the people in order to push its agenda.
Nothing against Bush or the EFF, its just human nature to forget about stuff. Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

Great, now I sound like a crackpot to my senators. (1)

mobiux (118006) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881368)

I am sure they will listen intently on my next call to them.

Re:Great, now I sound like a crackpot to my senato (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881539)

Great, now I sound like a crackpot to my senators.

I wouldn't put it past passive-aggressive corporations to create a rumor like this for EXACTLY that purpose: to make opponents sound like crackpots crying wolf.

Re:Great, now I sound like a crackpot to my senato (2, Funny)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881672)

Yeah, they *NEVER* having poorly informed people calling them about stuff they don't understand.

never happens . . .

Is it too late... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881374)

Is it too late for all those people yesterday to take back renouncing their citizenship and threats to move to Canada? Looks like they are safe to stay for at least another week or so.

No, it got in.... read what the poster wrote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881393)

The poster here is quite devious. If you read thomas you will see that the amendment _is_ in the bill. What the poster is saying is that it wasn't "sneaked" -- what he'd like to imply "sneak" means is that procedures were broken. Well, a small mumble here and there in a republican dominated committee (5-4 vote) things go "up" for incorpation into a bill and approved in the matter of seconds; it goes like this:

Senator presents an amendment to the bill.
All in favor say I. (eye, eye, eye...)
It appears the I's have it, amendment is
favorably added.

It' takes less than a minute; with no debate. Seriously, this isn't "sneaking" is it? Why is this even newsworthy, besides being mis-leading, it's just wrong.

Re:No, it got in.... read what the poster wrote (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881537)

Indeed. Might this be the very vote? [loc.gov]

Re:No, it got in.... read what the poster wrote (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881591)

On June 15th? I doubt it.

Re:No, it got in.... read what the poster wrote (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881668)

I was going to say that this was only last Wednesday, but then I reread the EFF's claim. According to the EFF, the amendment was supposed to be introduced yesterday. So perhaps someone got cold feet, or the EFF had a bad floppy on this one.

Re:No, it got in.... read what the poster wrote (3, Informative)

IKillYou (444994) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881696)

I'm not finding the amendment anywhere in the proceedings. Maybe I'm missing it, or maybe I'm missunderstanding what you're saying, Mr. Coward. Would you be so kind as to elaborate, and perhaps provide a link?

And next time? (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881414)

I mean, you're basically getting a national ID card based on a rider. Shouldn't you all be lobbying your senator and congressperson to have this nonsense stopped?

Harder than it sounds (4, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881632)

Getting the nonsense stopped is harder than it sounds.

The US Congressional procedures are very strange. Bills are created by committees; they don't usually go to the floor until it's been approved by the committee. After that, it's tricky to change the bill.

Most deliberative bodies have a "motion to split", which allows you to take a bill and chop it into pieces and vote the separate pieces. The US Congress rules of order don't have a motion to split. That means that you actually have to amend the bill to remove offending language. On the floor, debate and amendments are limited.

The point of not having the motion to split is to allow compromises to be enforced. If somebody says, "OK, I'll let you have your restriction on cadmium disposal, but only if I can have $15 million for my district to build roads." If you remove one piece or the other from the bill, the compromise falls apart.

It's hard to make compromises in a 435-member House (or even a 100 member Senate). That's why bills come out of committees, where there are usually a dozen people at most. In theory that also allows them to be experts (or at least have experts on hand) in transportation/defense/telecommuncations/etc.

The point is that your senator has less than 1% input into most bills. In theory he makes up for it with more than 1% input into other bills, depending on seniority. Of course it never works out that way, depending on favors he's done, whether he's in the majority or minority, etc.

So ultimately even when it comes down to the up-or-down vote, your senator could be forced to say, "I'm going to vote against this entire bill guaranteeing proper nutrition for kittycats because I don't like the broadcast flag that's gotten crammed into it." And when he runs for re-election, the opposition says, "Senator Bob vote to starve kittycats!"

The Republicans absolutely REAMED Kerry in the last election because of this. It's one reason that Senators haven't been elected to Congress in forever: they end up leaving these long track records of voting against things they agree with.

It didn't help that Kerry fumbled the answer, "Well, I voted for that bill before they crammed all that pork into it" (the correct answer) came out as, "I voted for it before I voted against it," and the election pretty much ended right then.

So Senators on the committee have massive power to write legislative pork and do favors for friends. That won't go away without a rewrite of the rules. Sadly, you'll discover that whatever party has 51% of the vote is not likely to vote to change the rules, since it tends to limit their power.

Viva la revolucion!

Black helicopters (-1, Flamebait)

saddino (183491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881420)

Translation: No one attempted to sneak the Broadcast flag into law.

Translation: The rumor was completely false, and all those having hysterics fell for it.

Re:Black helicopters (1)

Frangible (881728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881485)

The rumor was actually invented by the RIAA in order to make their enemies "cry wolf" and have less of a voice. If they can whip their enemies into a frenzy over something that isn't true, this serves to discourage their enemies from doing so in the future and also discredits them in the eyes of others. Sorry, Mulder wants his desk back. Gotta go.

Re:Black helicopters (1)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881743)

The rumor was actually invented by the RIAA...

Actually, the rumor came from the Millinery Division of Reynolds Aluminum.

now take some deep breaths.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881442)

and take off your tinfoil hats..

Perhaps it is time (4, Insightful)

jockm (233372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881473)

Perhaps it is time for those of us who care about preserving fair use, and copyright reform, to stop being reactionary and be proactive. Perhaps it is time to put our energies, and (more importantly) monies into lobbying for the legislation we want, and not just stopping the ones we don't.

I'm not saying it would be easy, just that it is time to add this to the conversation.

Re:Perhaps it is time (2, Informative)

fname (199759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881575)

I've ranted before [slashdot.org] along the same lines. I'd kick in $100/year to buy some Senators who support expanding the fair-use rights of consumers, but only if enough other people kicked in so we'd reach $1,000,000/year. Anyone want to start it over at PledgeBank [pledgebank.com] ?

Generalissimo (1)

isotpist (857411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881503)

Generalissimo francisco Franco is still dead.

Grammar Cop (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881508)

"THOMAS, one of the best sources for Congressional action on the Internet"

That would be correct as:

"THOMAS, one of the best sources on the Internet for Congressional action"

English is a language with positional importance of words and phrases. Some verbs, like "action", more closely associate subsequent clauses as objects of their meaning than do clauses that preceed those verbs.

Re:Grammar Cop (1)

Daedala (819156) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881614)

Thanks for calling attention to that.

I don't know about you, but I have no need for a source of "Congressional action." In fact, I'd really rather not think about it at all.

This is what is wrong (1)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881517)

This is what is wrong with America today. We can't trust our Senators to not go behind our backs and implement a law that is against the constitution.

Why do we, as American citizens, have to keep a close eye on everything that our elected officials do so that they do not sneak unlawful provision into law.

I thought that our elected officials were supposed to be honorable folks looking out for the best interest of the general public.

This is clearly not the case anymore.

Re:This is what is wrong (3, Insightful)

gedhrel (241953) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881531)

"Why do we, as American citizens, have to keep a close eye on everything that our elected officials do so that they do not sneak unlawful provision into law."

Complete the well-known phrase or saying: "The price of freedom...."

Re:This is what is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881664)

Yes, Virginia, there really IS a Santa Claus!

Re:This is what is wrong (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881705)

have to keep a close eye on everything that our elected officials do so that they do not sneak unlawful provision into law

Um... it's not unlawful if it becomes a law. That's sort of the point of making laws: they define what's lawful. Then it's a question of whether or not it's constitutionally valid, and further more, whether it's in practical terms usable.

As for "sneaking"... your reps/senators work for you, on stuff that impacts your life. You should be keeping up with what they're doing, at least in areas that are interesting to you.

I AM... (1)

WizardRahl (840191) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881538)

...BATMAN!!!!

Now we wonder... (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881564)

What were they really up to while we were all focused on the broadcast flag? It seems like a good strategy: Spread rumours you're going to do something outrageous, so everyone goes beserk about that, and then do something else under the radar.

Too many eyes (1)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881569)

Too many eyes on this one for them to try and sneak it in.

They will wait until our focus is on something else.

Some common sense (2, Interesting)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881571)

Well, there are lots of theories being spouted off here, but let's try to rationalize a few.

First off, was this just a rumor? Well, most likely not, considering how much the MPAA has gone after the BCF in the last several years, it would be pretty damn asinine to think they are not wanting to get this signed into law. Orrin Hatch has been sucking the c**k of the RIAA and MPAA to such an extent, it's hard to remember he is from Utah. (Yes, I know OH wasn't the one involved here, but he has been the assmonkey behind most of the BS from them)

Did the EFF campaign trump the alledged attempt? Well, unless you get an admittance from a congressman, it will be very hard to ever no the answer to this question.

A shift in congress? Well, there have been more and more congressman lately standing up and admitting that the DCMA is a bastardized screw up that needs major overhauling. Wired even had an interview in the last few days with a congressman who openly admitts he will stand up to anyone in Hollywood. Not too mention, the courts have recently weighed in and staunchly shot down the current attempts. Yes, they stated that it would be up to congress to make the provisions for allowing the BCF.

The fourth option not discussed yet, that the tech companies, have finally gotten off their butts, and realized that only they will watch their butts in congress. The article I mentioned from Wired, the congressman involved discusses how the tech companies are no longer trusting congress to do what is right, and have finally started lobbying their positions in congress.

The fifth option, imho, is that the public outcrying from the court challenge over the BCF was heard in congress, and is being taken into consideration.

That's my five cents worth.

Warning! (2, Funny)

bornyesterday (888994) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881602)

This Slashdot article has been flagged by the government of the United States of America as a copywrited piece of creative work. Any resemblance to actual news publications or events is entirely accidental.

Any attempt to copy and distribute the information contained herein will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No animals were injured in the posting of this article.

Re:Warning! (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881723)

This Slashdot article has been flagged by the government of the United States of America as a copywrited piece of creative work. Any resemblance to actual news publications or events is entirely accidental.

Any attempt to copy and distribute the information contained herein will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No animals were injured in the posting of this article.
This Slashdot article has been flagged by the government of the United States of America as a copywrited piece of creative work. Any resemblance to actual news publications or events is entirely accidental.

Any attempt to copy and distribute the information contained herein will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No animals were injured in the posting of this article.
This Slashdot article has been flagged by the government of the United States of America as a copywrited piece of creative work. Any resemblance to actual news publications or events is entirely accidental.

Any attempt to copy and distribute the information contained herein will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No animals were injured in the posting of this article.

Just try me. I dare you, government bitchiceses!

Let's just find whoever came up with that broadcast flag thing, and burn it and him.

Law Hacking (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881611)

Slashdot, and thereby Slashdotters, are becoming more savvy in the legislative process we usually just whine about. Will someone qualified in the arcane wizardry of bill hacking weigh in with how public pressure on, or even just public knowledge of this process contributed to the unamended status of the bill on passage by its committee?

Well GOOD! (2, Insightful)

ZosX (517789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881641)

The courts have already decided this. More than once. The Betamax decision should have already decided this over 20 years ago. The FCC does not have the jurisdiction in the eyes of the federal court. Tough luck. Now, get over it!

Seriously, why should American's rights be trampled upon because the MPAA and the networks are all crying?

Can we fire all of congress and start anew somehow? Perhaps these 80+ year old senators need some goddamned term limits. I remember watching an interview with one of the oldest Senators (forget which one) from the 80s and when asked if he knew how much a trillion dollars even was, he didn't know. He said something to the extent that it seemed like an awful lot of money, but he had no idea how much.

Secondly, we need to close this stupid awful back door policy. We need to stop adding sections to bills that are wholly unrelated, especially since lawmakers have so candidly told us that they don't even have time to actually read what they are voting for, but at the same time, they can waste days and days of congress sessions for filibusters on Supreme Court nominees.

Well, I guess nobody would ever say that big government is efficient.

That's all I gotta say for now, but I could definately ramble on about the feds for days and weeks and still never exhaust my discontent with the state of the union.

But they're *not* unrelated. (1)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881709)

"We need to stop adding sections to bills that are wholly unrelated..."

Did you know that it's already against the rules to add an unrelated rider to a bill? It is. Fortunately for the bureaucrats, they practiced for years on "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" -- they're *quite* skilled at finding relations between topics that mere common-sense-wielding constituents would have likely overlooked.

Wait until full committee on Thursday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881648)

This could still be put into the bill in full committee on Thursday.

Please wait a few more days to be sure that it hasn't happened.

Yuo fail iT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12881682)

would choose to use brain. It is the join in especially paranoid cVonspiracy

Line item veto needed, badly (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#12881759)

Every time one of these controversial rider bills comes up it should underscore to everyone the need for a line item veto on for the Federal executive. And this shouldn't be a partisan issue; I want this for the Prez regardless of which party controls which branch.
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