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US Senate Passes PRO-IP Act 212

Posted by Soulskill
from the ruh-roh-shaggy dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Senate has passed the PRO-IP Act. While they stripped out the provision to have the DoJ act as copyright cops, it still contains increased penalties for infringement, civil forfeiture provisions, and creates an 'IP czar' to coordinate enforcement. Even though the civil forfeiture provisions are ostensibly intended for use against commercial piracy outfits, history indicates that they will probably get used against individuals at some point. Worse, because they left out the only part of the bill that Bush threatened to veto, it is expected to pass. It is going back to the House where they're expected to pass it on Saturday, after which the President will probably sign it. So, if you want to contact your representative, hurry." An anonymous reader notes that DefectiveByDesign.Org is mobilizing to fight this legislation. The Senate vote was unanimous. We've been following the progress of this bill for quite some time.
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US Senate Passes PRO-IP Act

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  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @07:49AM (#25176703)

    I mean, it's not like they have a financial crisis that they should be spending their time on.

  • by compumike (454538) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @07:49AM (#25176705) Homepage

    From Senator Wyden [senate.gov]:

    "With over 30,000 civil suits filed by a single entity against individual Americans it is clear that industry is more than able to enforce its intellectual property rights in civil courts without the contribution of taxpayer funds and busy federal prosecutors."

    But while that's a kind of system that should be working, it really isn't. There are still tens of millions of Americans who either believe that it is within their "fair use" rights to freely redistribute copyrighted materials to dozens of unknown online participants, or do so fully knowing it is illegal.

    So while the method sucks... isn't this actually a reasonable place for government action, you know, in enforcing the law?

    --
    Learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

  • Vote the Fuckers Out (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @08:04AM (#25176767) Homepage Journal
    Early on in this administration they changed the bankruptcy rules to make it harder to declare bankruptcy, stating that individual Americans need to be more responsible with their borrowing. At the same time they've driven this country into historic levels of debt and are now debating a bail out package for their friends on wall street with $700 billion of taxpayer dollars. Time and again they vote to support their friends in big business, but if you're an individual facing possible homelessness they'll treat you to some weasel words and turn their back on you.

    This November we should all vote with one voice, Democrat and Republican, against the current corrupt congress. We should vote across the board, not Democrat or Republican but against anyone sitting in office. We should kick every single one of those bastards out, and we should keep kicking them out after just one term until they once more represent the people and not the businesses that contribute millions of dollars a year to their campaign funds. We should keep kicking them out until they spend more time doing the jobs we elected them to do instead of gallivanting around and campaigning for most of their terms. We should keep kicking them out until we find some people who actually take the responsibility to fix the major problems in thus country.

    It is time to put aside our petty differences and root out this corruption that infects our very core, before it destroys this country.

  • Re:Voting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 27, 2008 @08:20AM (#25176841)

    Things like this, TRULY, make me laugh... not your post I am replying to!

    (Well, part of it does, & it's not YOU, or your statement from you)

    I mean, the very fact the US really IS 'moving away' from the production of physical goods in & of itself, is a damn joke!

    I.E.-> Outsourcing harms us more than anything else!

    ( & the STUPID gov't. allows it! )

    What they OUGHT TO BE DOING, is saying "Sure, we'll do 'laissez-faire', & allow you to do this, BUT, we will also penalize & tax you for doing it also, taking away your incentive to do so - thus, you'll bring back the jobs to our internal domestic shores, because we'll make outsourcing less profitable for you by us doing so"!

    Thus, creating more internal jobs & thus, also more taxpayer state & federal income, via taxation in the same stroke - of course, you have to remember that MOST of these "politicians" are scumbags, & also are bought and paid for (in the pockets of) corporate masters/backers, OR, these self-same politicians have monies invested into these companies also).

    What about practices companies have done for DECADES (if not centuries), in taking a competitor's superior product, & "reverse-engineering it" (taking it apart, seeing what makes it tick, & then, producing an analog of it in THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT, to make it perform equitably or near to @ least, that of their competitors)? You'll NEVER see that being put into law (or it may be already, but they do it anyhow) used to attack "the big guys/rich", only the "little guy/average joe" (who doesn't have a good paying job, because it was outsourced, so he steals tunes, programs, etc. online).

    Give us a break U.S. government - get less corrupt (especially the FUCKING REPUBLICAN SCUMBAGS!)

  • by cervo (626632) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @08:34AM (#25176941) Journal
    Well yes and no. Some congressman do do an okay job (not mine). As far as I can tell Ron Paul votes no to almost everything. Unfortunately with the shitty laws they pass it is probably mostly the right way. I'm sure there are those 5 or 10 congressmen who do their job right. We need to find/promote them and then vote everyone else out. If we vote out the few good ones too, we'll probably get bad ones in their place...I would bet that if we keep doing that maybe we get 5 or 10 more good congressmen each vote. In a few hundred years we could have a good congress....now if only we could mix that with a good president.....

    Of course a better way would be to get more third party candidates in congress to destroy the powerbase of both democrats and republicans. It is much harder to have to pay 10 or 11 political parties than to just have to bribe 2.
  • Re:Voting (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 27, 2008 @08:37AM (#25176955)

    Some decent points, & I'd have to say, in combination with those you replied to would probably be "a way" to get the job done, & done right... because it certainly IS NOT BEING DONE RIGHT, now, by the current administration (or, are the economic results satisfactory under the current & previous administration? NO WAY!).

    E.G. - If you or I were to have "such a good performance on the job" as the current set of politicians have done (not, it's horrendous - proof being the state of the economy itself alone)? We'd be fired, quickly. The results of today's state of the nation, especially economically, evidence my statement for me, cleanly.

  • Re:Voting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @09:03AM (#25177097)

    No. What we need is a truly free economy that means A) No minimum wage, B) Copyright law where unless you are making money on the product you can pirate all you want C) Little to no patents D) The government stays out except to 1) Protect us 2) create general law and order 3) give a basic education and 4) maintain roads. If all those were followed, we would have no economic crisis.

    Roads? Education? If people want education for their kids, they can buy it. And don't get me started on roads. Want to get somewhere, you take a helicopter. Don't see what's so hard about that. Law and Order? That's a TV show. You don't want someone stealing your stuff, you hire a security guard.

  • by freedom_india (780002) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @09:56AM (#25177397) Homepage Journal

    This would just result in one bunch of corrupt, spineless, thoughtless, clueless tube-savvy idiots to be replaced by another bunch of corrupt, blah blah, guys.
    Look, every single senator and congressman has at some point got some money from corporates, etc. No one uses his money anymore to get elected.
    You can keep kicking them out every 2 years, but the same type of guys will return every time.
    Until such time a legislation is passed outlawing ALL outside funding for elections, except that provided by Government.
    I mean if Ted Stevens got a contribution from Exxon for campaign, it SHOULD result in a 20-year jail term with no parole for BOTH Stevens and the CEO for Exxon.
    The government funding should kick in once the candidate submits 1,000 signatures or 1% of the registered voters whichever is lesser, on paper.
    Federal and State income taxes SHOULD fund the elections.
    No donations, no campaign contributions, no crap.
    Do that, and immediately you will see lobbyists losing their jobs and Senators suddenly balking on supporting bailouts and RIAA.
    Until then, until their hand remains inside their pants, they will be corrupt.
    You can do NOTHING as a voter.
    New candidates would be "broken" before they reach some maturity.
    Take even Obama for example. He is accepting donations from corporates, while initially he acted as if he is the true messiah and accepted donations from people only. Now he has backtracked knowing well people are tapped out.

  • no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @10:37AM (#25177639) Homepage Journal
    leave aside being republican, im a liberal in TURKEY. a major trading partner of usa, especially in textiles and manufacturing.

    i dont need to tell you that any such protectionist measures as you propose will be met with similar measures against usa in the world. nations are not stupid. they arent gonna let you go protectionist on your internal market, but export to their own internal markets. thats the fact of life, if you give, you have to take. get used to it.

    im talking to you from outside, outta the stupid delusions you americans wall yourself with.

    there is no isolation in a global world. any step towards isolation, not only lowers the standard of living in a particular country, but also lowers the standards for entire world. observe north korea, ussr and other isolationist regimes that came and passed.

    you should start seeing yourself not a u.s. citizen, but a world citizen, and start evaluating your life based on your personal qualifications, and open up to the world personally and seek your fortunes rather than shut yourself down to your country and locale. hint : internet allows you to live IN your locale and work for some company in the opposite corner of the world.
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @10:55AM (#25177723) Homepage

    Another example of number 3 was removing the regulations that required savings and loan [wikipedia.org] organizations to have sufficient assets to cover their loans, with the understanding that taxpayers would pay for the resulting bankruptcies.

    Now now, let's not engage in hyperbole here! The regulations requiring them to have sufficient assets were never changed. What was changed was the definition of what constitutes an "asset"! The key line in the Wikipedia entry is

    "They were also allowed to take an ownership position in the real estate and other projects to which they made loans"

    Essentially what happened was that oversight over the real value of their assets was removed, which allowed the S&L's to basically buy worthless swampland and sell it back and forth to each other until its "value" was artificially high, then use the swampland's inflated value towards their "assets" calculation.

    It may seem like I'm splitting hairs, but the distinction is important. Because it happened that way, the S&L's were able to say, up to the bitter end, that they had "federal law requiring sufficient assets" protecting their customers. If the asset requirement had actually been removed, people would have rightfully freaked out and withdrawn their money. This illustrates how fiendishly corrupt government is, and how you have to be diligent, how can't depend on them doing something bad in a blatant manner to warn you you're about to get hosed.

  • China (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm (591458) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @04:58PM (#25179971) Journal

    Which is why - in many ways - China may actual progress while the US will continue to stagnate.

    With the current patent and IP system in the US, it will reward those that may come up with an idea but not necessarily though that produce a product. Moreover, producing a product becomes dangerous as the chances of intersecting somebody else's IP goes up, and companies become unwilling to produce products due to the risk of being sued.

    Meanwhile, Chinese and other non-IP-following shops will continue to ignore American IP, producing stuff (often "for cheap") which they happily sell to pretty much everyone.

    I really can't see a future for an economy based no ideas/concepts/virtual-property VS one based on actually building something based on those ideas.

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