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PROTECT IP Act Follows In COICA's Footsteps 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed-come-up-with-a-dumb-acronym dept.
Last fall, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which was dubbed the "internet blacklist" by opponents worried about its broad provisions for allowing the removal of websites based on vague criteria. COICA stalled in Congress, but now Leahy has proposed a new, similar piece of legislation called the PROTECT IP Act (PDF). "Like COICA, Protect IP expands the web of enforcement techniques by requiring advertising networks and financial transaction providers to cut ties to domains found to violate the law. But the new version now adds search engines and others to the list of providers who can be conscripted into complying with court orders. Protect IP would require 'information location tools' to 'take technically feasible and reasonable measures, as expeditiously as possible,' to remove or disable access to the site associated with a condemned domain, including blocking hypertext links to the site. ... Perhaps most worrisome of all, Protect IP adds a provision that allows copyright and trademark holders to sue the owner/operator of a domain directly. Again, the provision applies only to nondomestically-registered domains, but it allows the private party, like the government, to sue the domain name itself if the registrant does not have a US address. That's important because in all cases, once a suit is initiated, the plaintiff can ask the court to issue an injunction or restraining order effectively shutting the site down."
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PROTECT IP Act Follows In COICA's Footsteps

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  • by elucido (870205) * on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:22AM (#36117128)

    Because we know they need welfare to profit. They have to invent imaginary persons (corporations), and imaginary objects (intellectual property), both which defy the laws of physics in their favor but never in the favor of consumers.

    Immoral corporations, they don't age, they don't die, but the powers that be expect us to accept them as persons.

    Imaginary property, that is to be treated as physical objects when it's 1s and 0s, copying is equated with stealing, but the powers that be expect us to believe in it.

    So in order for them to profit, we have to go schizophrenic and believe in imaginary shit which defies the laws of physics? The basis for their beliefs is unscientific at the foundation, and they don't care. They'll tell us that the earth is flat and make it true by court ruling, and then charge us to walk across the flat surface which they'll claim to own. But that doesn't change the fact that the earth is round, that they don't actually own it except on paper. They might hijack the government to protect their profits militarily, the government might believe that corporations are persons, the government might believe in their concept of intellectual property, and the government might invade privacy, abuse human rights and diminish civil rights to protect their profits, but it's all about the money right?

    So get some money or suffer.

    • by Moryath (553296) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:26AM (#36117172)

      Leahy is beyond corrupt and firmly in the pockets [opensecrets.org] of the MafiAA - essentially he's the new RIAA hand-puppet in Congress.

      He's actually worse than Fritz Hollings (D-Disney) [linux.com] was.

      What we need is major campaign finance reform to get rid of all the backdoor contribution scams going on. But good luck getting that to happen - especially with the 5 senile delinquent conservatives on the Supreme Court having struck down the last few attempts at campaign finance reform!

      • by osgeek (239988) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:38AM (#36117782) Homepage Journal

        Campaign finance reform ran into the first amendment. It's normally right to have the first amendment prevail against other well intentioned laws.

        We can get a lot of things done without messing with the first amendment:

        1. Term limits to reduce the amassing of power and favors.
        2. End of plurality voting so that we end the power sharing duopoloy that continues to favor corporatism.
        3. Much stronger restrictions on the ability of government officials to do favors for corporations and then take jobs with them as lobbyists and executives.
        4. Transparency transparency transparency! Government officials should be required to keep extensive records online declaring every source of income or benefit they receive. We should be able to know who is using commercial airlines, whether or not they're flying first class, where they're going, who's paying for their hotel rooms, dinners, trips, doing their home remodeling, etc.
        5. Stronger ethical training and rules enforcement. The self-policing of congress is pathetic. Every congressman and staffer should have to take one of those ethical IQ tests, similar to the one they make you take to get a retail job; but much much more detailed. Any difficulties with the test should result in extensive ethics training. All test results should be posted online for every citizen to examine.

        • by Moryath (553296)

          Campaign finance reform ran into the first amendment. It's normally right to have the first amendment prevail against other well intentioned laws.

          Which is a colossal joke, because it hands the lobbyists the ultimate in corrupting power.

          All your various "reforms" are meaningless when all the lobbyists have to do is show up with one of the two following statements:
          #1 - Do it our way and we'll coordinate a set of "issue ad" buys to the tune of a couple million dollars to help your next reelection run.
          #2 - Do i

          • by osgeek (239988)

            - Where are all these powerful lobbyists going to come from if we get rid of the quid pro quo of having government officials become lobbyists with huge salaries?
            - Which political organizations will lobbyists target if we reduce the power of those organizations by allowing other parties to be voted in?
            - Which politicians will lobbyists target when term limits prevents them from buying a senator for 20 to 30 years? Fresh blood in congress means a reduction in strings.

            Political attack and support ads are not

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Moryath (553296)

              Where are all these powerful lobbyists going to come from if we get rid of the quid pro quo of having government officials become lobbyists with huge salaries?

              They'll be former party officials who were never officially "government officials."
              Or they'll be people who put together a firm simply for the purpose of being lobbyists from the industry themselves.
              It's not the "who", it's the fact that they can make the threats and promises that in any other setting would amount to bribery.

              Which political organizati

              • by osgeek (239988)

                Political attack and support ads are not the main problem crippling our government. Corruption and the amassing of power are.

                You say that as if they are not one and the same.

                Let's see:
                campaign (support and attack ) ads - the feeding of information to voters who can make up their own minds
                corruption - accepting bribes, giving jobs to relatives, redirecting tax money to campaign donors, etc.

                Hmm... yeah, I'm going to have to say those aren't the same thing.

                • by Moryath (553296)

                  Let's see:
                  campaign (support and attack ) ads - the feeding of information to voters who can make up their own minds
                  corruption - accepting bribes, giving jobs to relatives, redirecting tax money to campaign donors, etc.

                  Hmm... yeah, I'm going to have to say those aren't the same thing.

                  Corruption - accepting bribes, including "I will do this for you if you do this for me, I will do this against you if you don't do what I tell you" quid-pro-quo arrangeme

        • by mldi (1598123)
          Then maybe we should stop treating corporate entities like they have the exact same rights as citizens. They represent something totally different, so totally different rules should apply to them and govern them. Individuals don't stand a chance against mega billions, and thus have no voice by comparison. I'm pretty sure that's not how things were supposed to be.
        • Items 2-5 help and I think that most folks here would agree with them. Item 1 simply moves bribery to the cadre of staffers who now start profiting from telling their "ever-newbie" bosses "what they need to do/who they need to see". In addition, it tends to make politicians think "I'll be done with my limited term before anyone catches on to my bribery and, by then, no one will care about what I did in that elected position, as I've moved on to the next."

      • You know people keep calling for campaign finance reform, yet every time they have passed a campaign finance "reform" law, the problems of corporate influence over elections have gotten worse.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We're not *consumers.* We are citizens.

      Don't let them dictate the terms of discourse and label us as cattle from the very beginning.

      • by somersault (912633) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:35AM (#36117750) Homepage Journal

        When discussing "citizens" and their relation to a content producer, it is legitimate and sensible to say consumer, or potential consumer. Would "customer" perhaps be better?

        You might as well say "we are not citizens, we are human beings". Then "we are not human beings, we are mammals", blah blah. It's useful to have specific words for specific situations.

      • by arose (644256)
        I can agree to reasonable forms of popyright, patents and trademark but IP is intellectual poverty.
    • They have to invent imaginary persons (corporations), and imaginary objects (intellectual property), both which defy the laws of physics in their favor but never in the favor of consumers.

      You can't seriously be advocating abolishing corporations and IP. You probably take it for granted that the computer you're using was created by a bunch of investors who pooled millions of dollars through a corporation and funded the very expensive CPU development knowing that their investment would be protected by patents. They used very complicated software to design the CPU which is protected by copyright. They marketed the CPU under a brand name protected by a trademark so consumers wouldn't get ripped

    • by Tim C (15259) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:35AM (#36117736)

      They have to invent imaginary persons (corporations), and imaginary objects (intellectual property), both which defy the laws of physics

      I know I'm being pedantic here, but the laws of physics say nothing about either of those concepts. The rest of your rant degenerates from there, but admittedly is perfectly aimed at the majority of the slashdot readership.

    • We're sick of you encouraging the erosion of our liberties, the corruption of our government, and the persecution of true music/movie lovers everywhere. Go fuck your respective selves. You sit there, confident in your position outside the law's grasp, feeding off the misery of others for your own benefit. You make me sick. You're the scum-suckers of society, and you have the unabashed nerve to claim that you're actually being wronged! What is totally, completely wrong is that you guys exist in the first pla

  • If first you don't succeed try try again.
  • by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:26AM (#36117168)

    Boy, howdy.

    Those damn Republicans are always trying to steal our freedom!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jhoegl (638955)
      No see... the difference here is that the democrat just wanted the sites de-linked and "hidden".
      but the republican wants the sites de-linked, hidden, and hard to get to. All the while allowing for law suits in an already overworked law suit court system.
      One just wants people to do their best, the other just wants people sued until they dont exist anymore.
      One promotes competition, the other doesnt.
      etc etc.
      • by Moryath (553296)

        No see... the difference here is that the democrat just wanted the sites de-linked and "hidden".
        but the republican wants the sites de-linked, hidden, and hard to get to.

        Speech that can't be heard is speech that can't be heard.

        I fail to see any important difference in the two "categories" you list above on that basis.

      • Did you miss that Patrick Leahy is a Democrat and intorduced both the COICA and the ProtectIP Act?
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:47AM (#36117322) Homepage

      Actually, in this case it's safe to say this is probably bipartisan. Anytime the question at hand involves oppressing ordinary people, particularly at the behest of corporations, both parties are generally happy to go along with that. Google and Yahoo may complain about the cost to comply, so I'd expect some sort of amendment to compensate whichever third party is having to make changes to get rid of the links, but other than that I wouldn't be surprised if this went right through without too much debate.

      The reason it got stalled the last time was that a few Senate Republicans were basically holding up all Senate business until they got what they wanted on a few specific and completely unrelated issues.

      • Re:Damn Republicans! (Score:5, Informative)

        by CodeShark (17400) <ellsworthpc@yahoo . c om> on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:02AM (#36117448) Homepage
        With the duly noted sarcasm meter note, it is sad that NEITHER of the major political parties are one whit interested in this little thing known as the preservation of civil rights as much as they are about the seizing and holding of the political power of the purse for their own ends. If that meets kowtowing to corporate and monied interests, so be it.

        What is more disturbing is the lack of public and news outlet reaction. Of course, most news outlets now being owned by extremely large corporate interests is in this case, no help at all...
        • by alexo (9335)

          it is sad that NEITHER of the major political parties are one whit interested in this little thing known as the preservation of civil rights

          it is even sadder that over 99% of your citizens are not one whit interested in this little thing known as the preservation of civil rights (based on the voting trends).

          • by Kjella (173770)

            Honestly "most people" aren't interested in civil rights unless it hits them in the wallet and never were. Like the US revolution was mostly because of British taxes, that was what fueled the common man. That's what the Romans said too with their "bread and circus", if you have money for that you won't be unhappy enough to rebel. The Soviet Union too was mostly an economic collapse, it was the endless lines to empty shops to buy things with worthless rubles that caved them in not the Iron Curtain and Pravda

          • How can you tell that from voting trends?

            Every election at state level and above, I have basically three choices: vote Democrat, vote Republican, vote for somebody who's really not going to be elected so my vote doesn't matter. I've done all three at times, although usually I vote Democrat (or, frequently more accurately, vote against the Republican). I've been inspired by two presidential candidates, and been disappointed in both Carter and Obama. I think my Presidential inspiration receptors need r

            • by alexo (9335)

              Every election at state level and above, I have basically three choices: vote Democrat, vote Republican, vote for somebody who's really not going to be elected so my vote doesn't matter.

              Indeed [flickr.com].

        • What is more disturbing is the lack of public and news outlet reaction. Of course, most news outlets now being owned by extremely large corporate interests is in this case, no help at all...

          The FCC clearly studied and pointed out that corporate mergers of content and distribution is best for consumers. So much so that key members of the FCC believed they should merge themselves with these same corporations.

          I can't see how merging the interests of the RIAA, the MPAA, Congress, the FCC, Content, and Distribution companies all together would be a bad thing. Around here we call that "synergy".

          Why would anyone need to look up anything from an illegal domain anyway? Shouldn't everyone be happy

      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        > Google and Yahoo may complain about the cost to comply, so I'd expect some sort of amendment to compensate whichever third party is having to make changes to get rid of the links

        GAH! Yeah, I bet you're right, just like the warrantless call monitoring systems. Some corps aren't happy with the laws written to channel more power and money to some other corps? Simple; give the unhappy corps some taxpayer cashflow to keep their mouths shut. And, of course, let those corps know you'll be expecting some of th

  • Time to ditch DNS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For something less centralized

    • I recall discussion a while back - I think it was when wikileaks had their domain names shut down - of how such a system would work: Some sort of peer-to-peer network that took the control away from any government anywhere in the world.
      • The problem is fundamentally how do you have a a single coherent addressing scheme without a central authority to enforce it?
        If you have a single authority then that will always be open to attack/enforcement by governments. If you have no authorities then that's as bad as no addressing scheme. Even worse is you have multiple authorities all competing for the smae address space then you have arguments over who claims an address first.

        Now one might argue that in the days of google and other effective search e

        • by Sloppy (14984)

          The problem is fundamentally how do you have a a single coherent addressing scheme without a central authority to enforce it?

          You don't; you sometimes sacrifice coherence. That's the least-bad compromise.

          It's really not so bad. Imagine: You put out the request to the p2p system for the name boycott-example.org, and you get back several "competing" answers. Some of those answers are 3rd party testaments that as of [timestamp] that names resolves to

          • 1.1.1.1, signed/asserted by a keyid associated with someone
          • While I like the idea in general that you lay out I think it smacks of an "If only everyone followed the rules then the world would be a better place."
            I think it's biggest flaw is the idea that those people who maintain the 3.3.3.3 in your example will exist. While I believe in the adage that the best way to get something done is to tell an engineer that it can't be done, I believe that in the real world while you might start out with many trustworthy and trusted sources then simple human nature will cause

        • Someone needs to adapt BitTorrent protocols to handle all general internet traffic.

        • Or we could take another look at distributed P2P systems like Gnutella, so that no single server can be blocked. The whole point of the Internet was to be peer-to-peer.
          • You've missed the point, or maybe I have but...
            Let me take an example I already own rufty.org.uk. This is registered on the main dns server. If a p2p dns was setup tomorrow almost everyone would have that entry in their records.
            But some joker decides he wants that address, so he changes his dns entry for that to point to his server and instructs his dns server to share that with the rest of the network. Those who trust his dns server go to his address. Those who trust the old records go to mine.
            Fine, you ma

        • Yes unfortunately you really do need a central authority for DNS. But it can be a democratic online community.

    • ##dns-p2p and #namecoin on freenode

  • out of the USA. In fact, it is time for many businesses to threaten to leave. Seriously, CONgress has gotten out of hand. We have neo-cons that run up massive debt during good economic times, totally corruption, and playing games to get keep their jobs, rather than doing their jobs.
    Now, you have dems continuing their assault against anything sane WRT IP.
    • Exactly. Why should a non-american trying to search a access *outside* the U.S., limited to a list of sites approved by the U.S. law? Just because he's using an american search engine?

      This sucks. It seems it wasn't enough for the U.S. to destroy the global economy, they want to destroy the internet, too?

      • It seems it wasn't enough for the U.S. to destroy the global economy, they want to destroy the internet, too?

        Yep, that seems to be the plan. Talk about killing the goose that lays golden eggs!

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          See, they don't see it that way. The folks in power see the Internet as the great equalizer. The last thing someone in power wants is to give the masses comparable power. It is therefore no surprise that Congress is hellbent on screwing up the Internet as much as humanly possible.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday May 13, 2011 @09:57AM (#36117394) Homepage

    Perhaps most worrisome of all, Protect IP adds a provision that allows copyright and trademark holders to sue the owner/operator of a domain directly. Again, the provision applies only to nondomestically-registered domains, but it allows the private party, like the government, to sue the domain name itself if the registrant does not have a US address. That's important because in all cases, once a suit is initiated, the plaintiff can ask the court to issue an injunction or restraining order effectively shutting the site down.

    So, the US has more or less decided to pass an extra-territorial law?

    If a domain is registered in another country, and not with a US owned TLD, what gives the US standing for this? Because they say so? WTF does it mean to sue a domain name?

    And what will happen when someone in Iran decides to sue a US based organization for some form of defamation or violating their beliefs/hurting their feelings? Lawmakers need to realize they can't just go around passing laws that reach outside of their borders and jurisdiction ... otherwise, everyone will be guilty of breaking laws in every other country.

    This is quite sad, and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of either the technical or jurisdictional issues of the internet.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      If the National Defense Authorization Act passes the term "another country" becomes history.
      If your server is found to be hurting the US tax system at a time of worldwide war by reducing sales ( ~supporting terrorism), a diplomat will have words with your federal government.
      If that fails to get your server off the net, military force to capture terrorism suspects becomes an option.
      The owner, admin ect face been captured on a battlefield. A charge or offer to face trial might come up one day.
    • by Tim C (15259)

      People sue people in (or break the laws of) other countries all the time. The problem is enforcement.

      Just don't visit that country (or do something that falls within the remit of an extradition treaty or covert extraction/assassination team) and you're fine.

      • Re:Holy crap .... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Friday May 13, 2011 @12:52PM (#36119616) Homepage

        People sue people in (or break the laws of) other countries all the time. The problem is enforcement.

        And, jurisdiction.

        If I go out into my backyard and do something that would be illegal in some random country ... that doesn't mean I've broken any of that country's laws. That means I've done something which would be illegal if I did it in there. But, I'm not in there, so they can go get stuffed. Nothing I did was on their soil, and wasn't under their jurisdiction.

        If America is going to start violating the sovereignty of foreign countries by going in under cover of night and ... oh, crap, they've already done this.

        Well, then I guess it's time for Iran to start sending in extraction teams to pull out any Americans who have insulted their great, glorious leader who happens to be totally insane, or draw pictures of certain people, or take the lord's name in vain or whatever myriad offenses they can dream up.

        After all, if it's OK for the US, it should be OK for everyone else, right?

    • This is quite sad, and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of either the technical or jurisdictional issues of the internet.

      Al Gore invented the internet when he was in congress. I think they would know what is best for the tubes. Those tubes aren't free, you know.

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:01AM (#36117434)

    ...swaps spit with Orrin Hatch.

    Orrin is also a friend to the media companies. They needed a replacement for Senator Hollings (aka Senator Disney) so now Pat's been bought.

    I'm a lifelong Democrat and this shit sucks. The thing is that there's nobody on the other side worth a damn either. It's all a bunch of rich white guys who think they know best for everyone, even if it means breaking the Internet.

    Fuckers.

    Not even Ron Paul is worth a damn, because maybe he's for individual rights, he's a corporatist to the bone and would sell out the entire US public, including his mom, to the corporations and would be just fine with this. That's because libertarianism is just like communism - looks fucking great on paper, but it doesn't take into account reality.

    --
    BMO

    • by PhreakOfTime (588141) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:15AM (#36117564) Homepage

      because maybe he's for individual rights

      Sure, if you are white.

      • by bmo (77928)

        Yeah, I know all about that too.

        Ron Paul used to make sense when I heard him in an interview on WBZ with David Brudnoy back in the early 90's. But then I was younger and more idealistic. He has disappointed me greatly of late.

        --
        BMO

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>>>Paul's for individual rights
        >>
        >>Sure, if you are white.

        Accusing (or implying) Ron Paul of being racist is a SERIOUS accusation. How about backing it up, otherwise we'll just ignore your comment as equally worthless as Alex Jones' or Bin Laden's rantings.

        If you bothered to read their platforms, it is clear that Paul and other libertarians don't give a damn what color you are. You are a human being and deserve *equal* rights as given to you by your Creator (god or Nature depe

        • by bmo (77928)

          I am pretty sure that he is not personally racist, but the libertarian philosophy as it stands lets racism run unabated.

          The libertarian philosophy says that freedom of association and trade are *absolute* and that means any systemic racism in the society must be unopposed. Blacks may not sit at the lunch counter if you do not wish to serve them. Blacks (or anyone of any race) may not buy houses from you if you do not wish to sell them mortgages. Dealing fairly in business to all comers regardless of race

        • How about backing it up

          You know, at some point you are going to have to go about the world with your eyes open, and not have to rely on others to point out the obviousness of that reality. I get it, you like Ron Paul. I used to like him too, but then I did my own digging into the background of the man who I was listening to. You know, because I like to find these things out on my own.

          If you worked the night shift for the eternity of your life, enjoying every minute of it and not wanting anything to change, you may be unaware tha

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>That's because libertarianism is just like communism - looks fucking great on paper, but it doesn't take into account reality.

      It seemed to work just fine from 1789 to circa 1900 (when the US government, minus a few exceptions, was basically libertarian (i.e. small and nonintrusive)).

      • by bmo (77928) on Friday May 13, 2011 @11:12AM (#36118186)

        >It seemed to work just fine from 1789 to circa 1900

        Not for people like you and me.

        Not for miners, not for railroad workers, not for anyone who had to work for a living. I suggest you read up on the Banana wars. I suggest reading about how people died while putting in rails as the robber barons of the age built their cottages 20 miles from me in Newport RI. The Breakers (Cornelius Vanderbilt - Rails and shipping) alone, if rebuilt from scratch, would require half a billion dollars of modern money. Living the life on the literal blood of the people who worked for him.

        That's what laissez-faire gets you.

        Yeah, it was so magical back then. You're not romanticizing /at all/.

        --
        BMO

        • by sdguero (1112795)
          Damn dude. Relax. Maybe all that shitty stuff happened because people got all hard line about stupid shit. Leaving them unwilling to see any benefits in another point of view /maybe/.
      • by osgeek (239988)

        Isn't it funny how most people don't recognize the libertarian roots in the US that were a beacon and the envy of the world? Instead, we've destroyed our libertarian heritage by dramatically growing government while managing to confuse capitalism for corporatism. Thomas Jefferson was so prescient in this regard.

        "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
        -- Thomas Jef

        • by imric (6240)

          Bullshit. You want the money for the SAME THINGS to go to corporations instead - you know, organizations that serve their customers with the lowest possible benefit for the highest possible price. You know - because the difference is profit, and that is what business maximizes. And don't give me the old 'competition' saw - competition is temporary in any such system (unless regulated, which is anathema to the libertarian dogma). Competition is all about colluding with or eliminating your competitor so t

    • by osgeek (239988)

      I'm a lifelong Democrat

      At least you're honest about your main problem there. I have no clue why anyone gives allegiance to a political party. Political parties are no more logical, ethical, or relevant to good policy than football teams - especially in the US where you can only choose between two of them. Political party affiliation clouds your judgment and is the cause of the allowance of so much government shenanigans in this country.

      Not even Ron Paul is worth a damn, because maybe he's for individual rights, he's a corporatist to the bone and would sell out the entire US public,

      Complete and utter bullshit.

      Ron Paul is as anti-corporatist as they come. Corporatists enac

      • by bmo (77928) on Friday May 13, 2011 @11:23AM (#36118358)

        >Ron Paul is as anti-corporatist as they come.

        He is anti-Sherman Antitrust Act.

        And that's all I really need to know.

        By the way, the free market, even completely devoid of regulation, is a myth. Just so you know.

        --
        BMO

        • by osgeek (239988)

          He is anti-Sherman Antitrust Act.

          I definitely don't like that - but monopolies aren't our worst problem right now. It's corporations buying influence and laws. That's the first giant that we have to slay. The pendulum has swung so irrevocably far toward the big government nanny state side of the spectrum that someone like Paul is needed just to move us back toward sanity.

          By the way, the free market, even completely devoid of regulation, is a myth. Just so you know.

          So you think that we're in danger of accidentally falling into unregulated capitalism after someone like Paul would have a term or two in the President's chair? Really

          • by bmo (77928)

            >So you think that we're in danger of accidentally falling into unregulated capitalism

            Sure am.

            Repealing of Glass-Steagall was the gate letting the horses loose. Say what you will about Clinton signing it - it was going to be repealed with or without signature since there were enough Republican and Blue Dog votes to overturn any veto. It was pushed by laissez-faire capitalists and we've only seen laissez-faire capitalism gather more steam.

            >monopolies are not a problem

            I beg to differ. I am a t-mobile

            • by osgeek (239988)

              Repealing of Glass-Steagall was the gate letting the horses loose.

              Well by the same token, the nanny state helped create the toxicity of the assets being traded by forcing banks to make risky loans. Then the government controlled and backed company in charge of the lions' share of the mortgages (more corporatism/socialism) in the country fell asleep at the wheel and let the whole thing go straight into the shitter -- despite the warnings from the Bush administration, I might add. Since the government was very much to blame for the whole mess, no one responsible (Barney

              • by bmo (77928)

                >Since the government was very much to blame for the whole mess, no one responsible (Barney Frank)

                As much as I dislike Barney Frank, he's not the cause of this shit.

                I saw this all happen 20 years ago locally. The vast majority of people responsible for that particular clusterfuck did not go to jail. I know of only one, personally, and that was basically because he couldn't cover his thieving tracks. He was also a terrible forger (if he had actually paid a bill instead of simply forging a receipt, I wo

              • by marnues (906739)
                Yes, it is a wedge issue because "nanny state" is not a real thing. Just like many other wedge issues, it's a term that refers to bad governance without ever defining what that bad governance is. Rather than using a well defined term with real political meaning, it is a pejorative that allows people with disparate political beliefs to group together without cause. We both hate the nanny state, but my nanny state is not your nanny state. Please refer to real terminology with real definitions so there is
                • by osgeek (239988)

                  You really think that when people use the term "nanny state" to describe bad governance that they don't have a bundle of issues that directly illustrate the problem?

                  Am I supposed to define every term in every slashdot thread? How is communication supposed to occur in a meaningful way in your world without abstraction and encapsulation?

                  I'm kind of surprised to see someone bickering over the term "nanny state" as though they don't know what it means.

                  You must not have been paying attention. Here, let me wiki [wikipedia.org]

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:06AM (#36117486)

    When a company has been found to violate the law, do all other companies have to 'cut ties' with them, too? I mean, that would destroy SO many companies right this week.

    This is ridiculous.

    • But many don't think beyond their own personal interest. And that is what the business lore of this country says we're supposed to do.

      I mean, that would destroy SO many companies right this week.

      Not in actuality. The courts and attorneys general will target individuals, proprietorships, co-ops, unions and 'troublemaker' NGOs over the odd news clipping, HTML links, or audio/video clip. But as usual they will avoid doing this to large corporations unless Congress wants to initiate an ideologically-motivated attack (the kind of ideology that says you play by the rules o

  • I predict that PROTECT IP will get farther than COICA because it sounds more wholesome and less naughty.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday May 13, 2011 @10:27AM (#36117672)

    Corporate puppets. Sellouts. That's all I have to say.

    "But he's a democrat."

    Oh.

  • Guess "PATRIOT Act" was already taken.
  • I wish I had the time and knowledge to write a well-worded letter I could print and mail to my rep and senators.

  • Why do they insist on making names that are acronyms, even when the phrase backing the acronym is convoluted and bent to fit a predetermined word? "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property"? What the flying shit?!?

    I propose the next law be called the "Stop the Heist of Information Technology, Hoping to End Anarchy in Data" Act.

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