Monday, January 23, 2012

SOPA and PIPA Fully Alive -- And a New Bill Joins Them

This is what remains of
Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when an overwhelming amount of Americans banned together and voiced their opposition to Congress over both the Stop Online Piracy Act, and Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Sites that dimmed the screen for a day or two have gone back to normal -- Facebook users have swapped their anti-SOPA images for their previous profile pictures.

We may have even believed that the postponement of the vote originally scheduled for January 24th was some sort of white flag of capitulation. But that is certainly not the MO of most lawmakers.

While the outcry did get the attention of Congress, they are simply returning unflinchingly back to the drawing board to wait out our attention spans. Articles whirled that SOPA was dead and the bill was pulled when the bill's sponsor Lamar Smith said in a statement that there would be no further action “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”

Lamar isn't really listening. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”

Actually, SOPA is set to be reformulated in February. PIPA will be revisited with possible amendments in the coming weeks. Case in point, all is still open and possible -- nothing is dead, pulled, or cancelled. If that wasn't enough to keep us on our toes, a new, similar bill has surfaced.

Déjà Vu in the form of OPEN -- The New Anti-Piracy Bill

As an alternative to SOPA-PIPA, Representative Darrell Issa (CA-R), and 24 co-sponsors introduced the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) H.R. 3782 on Wednesday, during the Internet blackout.

From PCWorld:
OPEN would give oversight to the International Trade Commission (ITC) instead of the Justice Department, focuses on foreign-based websites, includes an appeals process, and would apply only to websites that "willfully" promote copyright violation.
The bill pretends to only target foreign websites, while keeping Americans free to surf and post, but the bill's wording is wide open to pursue American sites. Just one example: when describing an infringing site, it starts with those "that are accessed through a non-domestic domain name," but continues in section (8)(A)(ii) for any site that "conducts business directed to residents of the United States."

It sounds like, "in general," copyright holders will be the ones filing complaints to the Commission, but the writing leaves it open for any complainant to file. The ITC would still have the ability to coerce payment processors and ad networks to cease funding and linking the accused in question. Who could determine "willful" infringement?

Also, none of these bills had been decided before the U.S. Government took down New Zealand owned during the commotion. To which, Anonymous responded by shutting down the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice, Universal Music, Recording Industry Association of America, the U.S. Copyright Office, Broadcast Music Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America.

"The [DOJ's] action 'demonstrates why we don’t need SOPA in the first place,' points out PCWorld’s Tony Bradley." The government was enforcing a previous anti-piracy law called PRO-IP signed by Bush in 2008.

OPEN is gaining support from groups like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Consumer Electronics Association and more.

While it seems admirable that the bill is transparent and open for public comment, most laws of this nature are broad and allow for bigger, no-common sense crackdowns later. Plus, there might only be a couple concessions and the pacifying effects of "being heard."

One commenter of the bill aptly noted:
'Reasonable belief' and 'credible evidence' are too vague and have the appearance of inviting highly subjective interpretation with the option for the commission and/or the provider to exercise sweeping powers with impunity.
Whenever any group is appeased after a battle, it cannot be emphasized enough -- the lawmakers' modus operandi will be: aim high, brace for the outcry, make a couple alterations and sneak the bill back in when no one's looking. Keep it going and going. Call it by a different name. Haggle. It appears there is compromise and reasoning now, but once the bill passes into law, reason goes out the window, and we are the only ones compromised.

Theft is a reality -- although not one that has seriously damaged the growing entertainment industry, or caused massive death and devastation. If Hollywood, pitching the biggest fit, were actually going down, why should we go down with it?

It is more unfortunate that Americans must be so tirelessly vigilant to protect their online activities from the same lawmakers who are tanking the country in so many other truly devastating ways.

The dismantling of Internet freedom will not stop here. Let's borrow an MO and not let up.

To SOPA -- Say NOPA!

To PIPA -- Pipe down!

To OPEN -- Shut it!

Additional Sources:



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old grandma said...

Jim Stone Facing 15 Years in Prison!

c.w.scamman said...

where will this all end? will congress soon make it illegal for a garage band to play music created by others without written permission and royalties being paid? will workers be thrown into jail for whistling a popular tune because they've infringed upon another's "intellectual property"?

there is very little true creative genius today and even what does exist is stolen by corporate lawyers. much of the technological advances today are research projects by undergraduate students around the world, with professors or corporate sponsors picking up the acclaims and monitory rewards.

these bills will never stop piracy, pure and simple. laws have never really meant anything to the criminal mind. what these laws will accomplish is the total strangulation of the first, forth, fifth, sixth, and seventh amendments. as this article points out, there are already laws on the books, we don't need no more stinkin' laws!

citizen ron said...

in reality, we don't need this government.

tell your government to take a hike.



Anonymous said...

Thing is, the web sites that are against all this, are only looking out for themselves, they do not really care about the people who use their sites or surf the net. Example, Facebook is owned by an FBI agent, and Google and Yahoo give or sell users info to the federal mafia.
These places don't want to have to be held liable that is why they protest this stuff, once they are taken off the list of being liable, they will not fight this anymore and will continue selling people out.

Paul said...

"wait out our attention spans" ?
I am one of the people whose attention will only be dimmed when I am dead and I think our ranks are growing exponentially thanks to people like Ron Paul.

Anonymous said...

sopa's a con

Tim said...

ok. Time to get dirty. Last time this came around and I called my congressman and politely asked them to oppose it. THIS time call them and politely inform them that you are tired of the tricks and runarounds and that if they do not oppose these bills, that you will VOTE THEM OUT.

Zahraa said...

Okay hold up.
There's wars and terror,and hunger and yet they're fighting THE INTERNET. Honestly if you don't want anyone to take your "inventions" or whatever you post ..THEN UHM MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BE POSTING IT. Piracy isn't the end of theworld. People are dying but the US is worried about the internet... Anybody else see this as wrong?

Anonymous said...

Ron Is right, we don't need a government people can survive. We just have to trade and barter. Work together. No money needed.

Anonymous said...

no wonder why there are so many criminals and terrorist in this world. but what tim said might be true...

Anonymous said...

I beg you Americans, please team up together with every group possible you have in your country that has similar goals of defending human rights from corporations and finance mafia - be it civil rights organisations, Occupy-Wall-Street or Anonymous or whatever group who else is fighting for better, transparent democracy and against corruption - you have in fact common goals. If you fight together you'll be strong.
If your government goes on with this, it'll make the rest of the world suffering, too.

Anonymous said...

To mobilize masses you need to get knowledge spread.
Tell all your friends and family about it, take to the streets and preach it to everybody like those Christian preachers do, distribute flyers into postboxes in your city, put banners and links on every webpage, call your politicians, leave messages everywhere in social networks and on the webpages of industry and federals, demonstrate - make it impossible for everybody to be unaware of what's about to happen. Team up and organize your activities. Couch potatoes can't win, but a wide awake populaton taking action can.

Anonymous said...

Seek ye First the Kingdom of God where all wisdom and truth flows from. Many of the so called occupations or mobilization platforms are being deliberately instigated by those whom are setting the agenda, further giving the lawmakers opportunities to pass uncontstitutional laws. These days call for higher wisdom, we might be best to understand secondary means of communications once the internet is almost completely shut down to truth based organizations. There has to be a means by which huge masses can be organized with very little hoopla, and if large corporation is the instigator of such perpetrations than they must immediately begin to feel the wrath of their rational

Anonymous said...

we should join together to boycott the mpaa. stop watching tv, no theatre, stop buying dvd/cd, etc ...

Ian said...

First sentence should have been ; " Americans banded together" (sorry!)

One of the Last True Patriots said...

I just knew that the fight against censorship was not over! The SOPA & PIPA legislation has only been shelved for now until such time it can be rewritten and renamed in a way that will make it sound wonderfull. Change a word's meaning, and then they will control it by defining it any way needed.

Recall the Patriot act? Nobody in congress bothered to read the bill before voting for it back in 2001! (Except for a minor few of them, incl. Ron Paul who voted against it!) Hey it sounded good with that title, but it is nowhere near patriotic in truth. The law has been used in more cases searching US citizen's list of library books borrowed than actual terrorist cases prosecuted in the last 10 years. In fact, it was over hundreds of pages that was written out sometime before the events that happened on Sept. 9th, 2001.....just waiting for a reason to be passed into law. Barely a month later (45 days) it was pa So, my take on this issue with congress working to restrict the information on the internet.....I don't think they will ever give up!

Like Mr Universe says in the movie Firefly, "You can't stop the signal."

Anonymous said...

I have found that most bills that make their way through our Congress have several sections and sub-sections that contradict themselves. Unless you go to the Library of Congress and read the bill for yourself, you won't know the real content. Most bills, including "Obama Care", are laden with so much double talk, our elected officials just don't take the time to read them. We need to replace 99% of all Congress members in Nov. Requirement #1 is that he/she reads the entire bill before casting a vote.

Mac Ripper said...

Remind people of this as election nears, and REPLACE THE OFFICIALS that keep passing crap bills. Avoid both current parties, either create a national third or set up local parties but give people a neutral choice with no heavy industry ties. Run the campaign online and with OWS-style posters. This should not be expensive, and giving people an internet-savvy alternative could not hurt. Personally I recommend the Pirate party. Works wonders in europe. For president, I'd vote for Henry Rollins. A non-bullshit guy who speaks his mind.
Also, do not worry about giving a guy with limited experience power. That's what advisers are for. If a guy like Junior Bush could make it through two terms as PRESIDENT, being a senator should not be a problem.
Don't hesitate. Go for it.

Anonymous said...

A friend of ours who immigrated here over 30 years ago has warned us to "Throw everyone out" every elections or they just stick around and know how to screw the public a bit better every year. Me thinks my friend knows of what he speaks!

Lenny Gray said...

First, people are stupid and won't band together against ANYTHING -- and surely not against the GLOBAL PLANTATION. The only laws the 1% think are necessary are the ones THEY can use to threaten the 99% into subservience. And Ron Paul is no better than the others -- his philosophy, the only thing that distinguishes him, holds to a bottom line of "WELL THEN, LET THEM DIE". The intent of all our public discourse is to make the language of THOUGHT, itself, useless for anything human. When the word "bad" began being used to mean "good", I knew we were approaching the end. If "peace" and "tolerance" continue to be the only reaction to what the aristocracy gives us, then PREPARE FOR A 70-HOUR WORK-WEEK, FOR WHICH YOU AND YOUR KIDS ARE PAID 31 CENTS PER HOUR. IGNORANCE IS BLISS.

Anonymous said...

I think we should replace all of the elected officials in office every time there is a vote. Try to stay ahead of their games.

Anonymous said...

The National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by Obama can cause the indefinite detention and assassination of U.S. citizens with no Due Process of a trial nor any charges brought forth and folks are (rightfully so) worried about the Internet getting shutdown. Why does it seem like the efforts put forth to maintain and defend the Internet supercededs folks' worries about being indefinitely detained for life and/or assassinated?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Anonymous of the above comment. To me the whole fight with the internet is just another way to keep us busy or distracted. We have to pay attention to the bigger injustices. We have to take down the Patriot Act and NDAA or else all the other protesting in the world won't save us. This is another red scare...And anyone that wakes up to the reality of what is truly happening will be shut down. It won't matter that you're innocent. If you are capable of independent thought and could gather any sway, they will label you a terrorist. Animal rights, Environmentalists, Gay rights, Libertarians, Militiamen, Pro-Constitutionists, and Truthers. We're awake, now let's get off our duffs and do something! Anyone that wants to have a life worth living - This message is for you. If you wait until your neighbors start disappearing there will be no one left to save you.

Anonymous said...

Our Fore Fathers would roll over in they graves if they knew that Politicians were making a CAREER out of politics! It should be LAW that you do your TERM and GO BACK TO YOUR PREVIOUS JOB before you were into politics.... Congress, Senate, Judges, House members, or any Publically appointed person who is VOTED into a position. There should be TERM LIMITS like the President has, for ALL offices of Government! This would stop CAREER Politicians from passing laws that they themselves would not want to follow!!!! Im just saying.

Anonymous said...

Vote Ron Paul and this crap will be thrown out the door.

Anonymous said...

"It is fortunate for the governments that the masses don't think." Adolf Hitler.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul does not hold to a bottom line of "let them all die!" He is a physician who had delivered many a baby for no profit. He just sees cradle to grave entitlements as theft and a path to surfdom. Get real.

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