Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Your Rights Online

The Privatization of Copyright Lawmaking 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the outsourcing-a-job-nobody-wants dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "The biggest misperception about [the Stop Online Piracy Act] is that it is somehow unprecedented or extraordinary. It is not. SOPA represents just the latest example of copyright law defined and controlled not by the government but by private entities. Copyright owners will deploy SOPA in the same way they have behaved in the past: to extend out their rights. They will disrupt sites that do not infringe a copyright, interfere with fair uses of copyrighted works, and take other steps that evade the limits that the Copyright Act sets on a copyright owner's actual rights."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Privatization of Copyright Lawmaking

Comments Filter:
  • by Avarist (2453728) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:12AM (#38040102)
    And why does the American people still tolerate this again? Surely, in a democracy, every law should be in its people's best interest, no?
    • by Jstlook (1193309) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:21AM (#38040124)
      To some extent it was - up until the courts decided that corporations have the same rights (at least one specifically, and others implied by induction) that people do. Now laws are in the best interests of the biggest bank accounts.
      • by znerk (1162519) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:34AM (#38040366)

        Now laws are in the best interests of the biggest bank accounts.

        Not familiar with The Golden Rule? "He who has the gold makes the rules."

        Not disagreeing with you, by the way, just wanted to point out that what you said is similar to a Mitch Hedburg joke.
        "I used to do a lot of drugs. I still do, but I used to, too."

        I'm still waiting for corporate entities to be executed for capital crimes - until then, I won't actually believe they're people. A possible alternative would be to make the CEO of the company directly and personally responsible for everything the company does, as if the CEO had done it him/her self - make 'em earn those golden parachutes by risking life in prison.

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          ...A possible alternative would be to make the CEO of the company directly and personally responsible for everything the company does, as if the CEO had done it him/her self - make 'em earn those golden parachutes by risking life in prison.

          And I would accept that alternative if the definition of "life" in prison was a bit more than a few days(or hours) for the Hollywood/Executive 1% elite...(gotta love those Lohan sentencing guildelines...apparently her freckles count as "time served".)

          Besides, unless we started getting smarter about arrests, what do you think an exec with a few billion at his/her disposal is going to do the instant they post bail facing that kind of punishment? I'm certain they would find a comfortable life with their stol

        • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @01:05PM (#38041628) Journal

          I'm still waiting for corporate entities to be executed for capital crimes - until then, I won't actually believe they're people. A possible alternative would be to make the CEO of the company directly and personally responsible for everything the company does, as if the CEO had done it him/her self - make 'em earn those golden parachutes by risking life in prison.

          Unfortunately, we're long past the point where that could ever be a possibility. We can't even get corporations to pay meaningful fines for breaking the law, let alone something like a corporate-equivalent of capital punishment. In fact, I am not sure of any non-trivial criminal penalty (even as a sizable fine) has ever been levied against a corporation in the last century. We rely entirely upon lawsuits to keep corporations in line, which both stacks the deck heavily in favor of the near infinite legal budget of the corporation and carries a stigma of injustice against the poor, benevolent, victimized corporations.

          No, corporate personhood is all about granting nearly all individual rights to a faceless entity and taking away nearly all responsibilities from the entity and those who control it.

          • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @05:34PM (#38043270)

            No, corporate personhood is all about granting nearly all individual rights to a faceless entity and taking away nearly all responsibilities from the entity and those who control it.

            Corporate personhood is not the problem. The problem with Citizens United is not "corporations are people." It's not even "money is speech." It's the inherent fact that speech costs money, so people with no money get no speech. And there is an easy fix for that: Public financing of elections. But people don't like it, because they don't want their dollars going to political campaigns. (Apparently they would prefer that it be AT&T's dollars.)

            People just don't seem to understand what limited liability is. If you're the CEO of a corporation and you hire an assassin to kill your competitor's engineering team, you go to jail for murder. Limited liability has nothing to do with it.

            If you sell toys with lead paint, the victims sues and gets a judgment. If the corporation is not bankrupted by the judgment, limited liability doesn't do anything. The corporation pays the victims, the end. If the shareholders want the CEO to pay the judgment, they can put that in his employment contract before it happens, or they can condition his future employment on him paying it. It's completely between the CEO and the shareholders.

            All limited liability does is make it so that if the judgment is so large that it bankrupts the entire corporation, the victims can't go after the shareholders or the officers too. Unless the corporation ceases to exist, it doesn't really come into play. It isn't the cause of corruption in Washington and it isn't the cause of music labels ripping off the artists.

            What it is is a moral hazard in finance: The corporation can take your money and make a risky bet at a 40:1 margin. If they win the bet then they make the corporation a billion dollars and take home a fair chunk of that as a bonus. If they lose then the entire company goes bankrupt but the officers don't have to pay for it. And the solution there isn't even to eliminate limited liability, it's disclosure requirements. If you're a securities trader making a trade that, if you lose, will cause you to be unable to pay what you promised, you should have to disclose that to the other party or be subject to criminal penalties. Then nobody in their right mind will be willing to be the other side of those transactions and the problem will go away.

            Corporate personhood is not the problem. Limited liability is not the problem. The problem is that we have more government spending than tax revenue but nobody wants to pay more taxes and nobody is willing to gore their own ox. The problem is that wealthy and organized parties like record labels and telecoms are better able to shape legislation than unorganized parties like artists and consumers.

            You can't take the money and power out of money and power. All you can do is see to it that you get your share.

            • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:25PM (#38044790)

              If the shareholders want the CEO to pay the judgment, they can put that in his employment contract before it happens, or they can condition his future employment on him paying it. It's completely between the CEO and the shareholders.

              The problem is that "the shareholders" (of any voting block size) are all "in the club" and would never ask a potential new CEO to accept anything as *shudder* gauche as liability. The things that are deemed acceptable, even for owners of tiny little $10M companies, wouldn't pass the "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" fairness test of an 8 year old.

              Apparently, it is accepted as fair and reasonable for an owner to offer a block of restricted shares to the employees for purchase to help the company during a time of crisis. These shares are priced at 1/2 current market and may not be sold for a period of one year. The year represents risk, and the 1/2 market price represents reward... sound fair so far? At the same time, the owner (secretly) offers himself a block of shares four times as large as the employees at 1/4 market price, restricted for a period of 6 months. This only comes out after 6 months have passed and the owner's sale of a portion of these shares is made public. The deal was "approved" by a paid "ethics consultant." Pure genius.

              He who has the gold makes the rules, indeed, and those rules invariably give him more gold in the end.

        • A corporation is not like a person, it is like a church, the difference being that in church people exercise their faith, while in a corporation people exercise a complete absence of faith. It's what gives corporations their god-like power.
      • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @08:51AM (#38040604)

        That ruling was only a "problem" because washington is full of corrupt assholes that allow themselves to be legally bribed.

        Trust me, the biggest wallets have ALWAYS outvoted the little folks. The court ruling just made obvious what was already going on behind the scenes.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:39AM (#38040178)

      This isn't due to any flaw in democracy; it has nothing at all to do with democracy. These kinds of abuses come from autocratic structures that do not answer to any outsiders. A better way to describe these kinds of systems is 'totalitarian.' Of course, democracy is a nice word that we have all been taught applies to our systems of centralized planning and property, but just 5 minutes of thinking about it should induce uncontrollable laughter. The fact that most Americans don't laugh is a sign of how deeply indoctrinated much of the population, especially the political and technical class, has become. The Soviet system was similar. The intelligentsia (including the technical intelligentsia) needed to be well-indoctrinated. The remaining 80% would follow, as guided by the 20% of `proper' thinkers and the truly mass media. In the US, the situation is nearly indistinguishable. The mass media depends on things like publicly subsidized sports (franchises run by universities with the profits primarily going to private owners) and `popular' music and movies. It is crucial that these means of mass control remain firmly in the grip of private power; mass media is the primary means by which popular consent is shaped in the US and projected abroad.

      The reality is that no modern corporation -- be it a financial institution, a mass media distributor (RIAA/MPAA/etc), or whatever -- can tolerate democracy. We can see how the machinery respond to even modest democratic initiatives, such as the occupy movement: hysteria. They can't tolerate 'free markets' either, but that's a different (though related) story. What we see now are interrelated systems of global mercantilism backed by state power and by a hugely profitable propaganda system, which we now call the media and public relations, and those propaganda systems depend on favorable 'IP laws.'

      • by Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:28AM (#38040340)
        The politico-media complex at its finest. Sometimes also called the political-legal-media complex. I propose to call it: the Berlusconi complex.
        • You should write a sociology paper and refer the entity you describe as the Berlusconi/Murdoch complex, it would be more universal that way.

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @08:05AM (#38040466)
        They do let the vox populi have it's say on issues on no great importance - thus why one of the biggest political issues of our time is gay marriage. What does gay marriage or the lack thereof actually do? Nothing at all. Which is why politicians love it so. They can pose, they can pander, they can play all their political games and chase votes, but in the end there is no chance they'll actually do anything that might upset the big money.
        • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @12:35PM (#38041484) Homepage Journal

          What does gay marriage or the lack thereof actually do? Nothing at all.

          Unless you're gay and want to marry your partner, in which case it does quite a lot.

          Never assume that the freedoms you care most about are the ones that are most important to other people. You want to live your life as you see fit; so does everyone else, and what you see fit to do may well be something that's of no interest to them.

          Support other people's freedoms. It gives them a motivation to support yours.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dripdry (1062282)

            I have a handful of fabulous gay neighbors. Really, they're awesome. I have gay clients and honestly enjoy their company more than most people's.
            Perhaps you don't feel affected by the enormous loss of rights yet. However, what I think people are trying to say is that the foundations of a country are not predicated upon marriage or abortion issues. They are built on basic, inalienable rights of all people. Erode those, and clinging to other rights is just clinging to the top of the mast on a sinking ship.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by blahplusplus (757119)

        "What we see now are interrelated systems of global mercantilism "

        No what we're seeing is the true face of the free market, the free market has ALWAYS had the nanny state to protect it, only morons use linguistic obscurantism like yourself to protect your favored ideal from any kind of rational criticism.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          the free market has ALWAYS had the nanny state to protect it.

          That's a strange definition of a free market.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        The reality is that no modern corporation -- be it a financial institution, a mass media distributor (RIAA/MPAA/etc), or whatever -- can tolerate democracy. [...] They can't tolerate 'free markets' either, but that's a different (though related) story.

        I believe you're making the rather common mistake of conflating free and competitive.
        A market can be free without being competitive.
        And a market can be competitive without being free.

        I'd rather have the latter, but we frequently end up with the former.
        Of course, competitive and free is best.

        • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @11:13AM (#38041036)

          Competitive and free are mutually exclusive. A free market always ends up as a collection of monopolies or oligopolies due to the simple fact that free means no constraints on the advantages of scale and accumulated wealth to stamp out competition. The US prior to the Sherman act is an illustrative example.

        • That's because people don't understand why the classic free market is good: it isn't good just because, it is good because when combined with the theoretical characteristics of perfect competition, it will lead to the lowest prices and the best service. Most people, especially Americans, have completely lost track of this requirement, and instead have elevated the free market to a religion. It is now the Free Market, and anyone who questions the Free Market is a heretic, to be burned at a stake.

          Democracy ne

          • The economy is a race with no end. Therefore in a race to cut costs, you are NEVER finished. And how much can you cut costs without loosing service OR doing something drastic.

            When one company outsources to get a lower price, to continue in the race everyone else must as well and then who is left locally to afford the product even at the lower costs? Yet many people happily claim you can outsource everything and then the low low low price means people locally don't need jobs. Apparently they believe that the

      • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:25AM (#38040844) Journal

        This isn't due to any flaw in democracy; it has nothing at all to do with democracy.

        Au contraire, it has everything to do with the most fundamental premised of Democracy. The greatest enemy of Democracy is, apathy. Not communisim. Not terrorism of Wahhabis and Quereshis[*]. Not even the reasoned argument, "there is nothing to stop people from voting themselves benefits they call ill afford and refuse to pay for it. The debt will accumulate and destroy the system from within". No sir. Once people lose interest in the functioning of the government, stop paying attention, stop trying to separate the misinformation from the correct information, once people are deluded enough to believe in policy statements that fit into a bumper sticker or a 30 second sound bit, that would be the time Democracy stops working for the people.

        It is far easier to steal a penny from million people than to steal $10000 from one person. Every dollar wasted by the government is an ill-gotten undeserved revenue for someone. That someone will fight tooth and nail to continue the waste. Those will engage in all sorts of misinformation campaigns. If people are not vigilant they will lose. If people don't see that they lose something when fair use is constrained, when ??AA engage in legal extortion etc, the people will lose it.

        ----- [*] We should avoid using overly broad terms like Islamic Terrorism, or Jihadism. Such terms unify Muslims against external threats, and using the same terms plays into the hands of the terrorists. Use the minimal group label to tie terrorism to a smaller group. There is no point in antagonizing a larger group than necessary.

        • So your solution to the worlds issues is to put the blame on factions within a larger group. Why don't you just blame it all on the jews (faction within the judaic faiths) and get it over with.

          • by Pence128 (1389345)
            It's like someone seeing a bunch of westboro baptist churchers and thinking "man, americans are a bunch of bigoted fuckwits." Get it?
      • No, it has to do with most current representations of democracy. The elected representatives do not act in the best interest of the electors, they can and very often will be be corrupted by monied interests. Now, if any elected representative was elected on a contract, that they could be tried by his / her electors at any time after the election, even if retired, and punished if it was found their actions were not in the elector's best interest, that might help. Perhaps with a shooting squad in the backgrou
      • The fact that most Americans don't laugh is a sign of how deeply indoctrinated much of the population, especially the political and technical class, has become.

        I don't laugh because I see no hope for improvement (improvement requires a motivated people, which we don't have), and it depresses me deeply.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:55AM (#38040228)

      It's like the old Communist joke:

      "Communism is for the best of man. And at the last parade, I've even gotten to see that man."

      It's kinda sad if the old dictatorship jokes start to apply to nominally democratic systems.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:55AM (#38040230)

      The problem is fundamental to our system: corporations can continue to lobby, year after year, until the goverment finally caves in -- even if that requires corporate employees to temporarily join the government in positions of power.

      Until this changes, we're going to be slowly become more and more fucked.

      • by Pi1grim (1956208) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:55AM (#38040428)

        Freedom is not something you achieve and then enjoy for the rest of your life. It's something that you have to fight for every day of your life. So what you are talking about — is nothing new. Corporations have their interests, you have yours. They will keep trying to get what they want, so should you. The whole idea of democracy is based on balance: everybody is trying as hard as they can to get what they want and everything ends up in a compromise. If the balance is shifting somewhere — you should push harder, it's just that.

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:24AM (#38040682) Homepage

          Problem: Fighting for rights takes time and effort.

          We have lives, they have enough money to pay people to sit on the phone all day doing it for them.

        • by jez9999 (618189)

          What has changed is the relative power of the average voter and the rich. Until relatively recently, you could fight for your interests, and have some sway over politicians. Now, you can do that, and they will ignore you.

    • Bread and circuses (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kristian T. (3958) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:06AM (#38040264)

      The answer is, that the system delivers what most of people consider to be most essential, namely: Bread and circuses. Of course this reasoning preceded the Roman Republic's transformation into the Roman Empire before it's ultimate collapse

      • That's the funny part, they're not even delivering the bread and circuses anymore.

        Hulu was a classic "Circus" but now it's purposely being degraded. You've seen the economy, there's the Bread half at work.

        Now they're going straight out for the fastest track to Big Brother possible, with each new piece coming on the heels of the other, daring us to fight it. Yeah, we do, a little, so maybe we succeed in getting a particular clause removed *this year* but overall the corruption is accelerating.

        Does anyone kno

        • Does anyone know what Al Gore is up to? Is this the REAL cost of that fateful 2000 election? Does anyone think we'd be here if he had been President?

          Yes, I do.

    • by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:12AM (#38040282)

      And why does the American people still tolerate this again? Surely, in a democracy, every law should be in its people's best interest, no?

      How sad is it that this got modded 'funny'. I am not laughing

    • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

      > Surely, in a democracy, every law should be in its people's best interest, no?

      Yes. But in this case the 'people' is the corporations.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      We are more and more turning into the world depicted by Max Headroom.

      It's kind of depressing that a fictional movie and TV series got it so right.

    • Seriously. About 45 % of our population are part of the left wing that would appose this (cause it's bad for freedom and such). Another 45% are part of the right wing that support this stuff (cause of property rights and such). That last 10% have no strong opinions whatsoever, they just vote for the guy with the best hair. We call them "Swing Voters". That's why the question "Who would you rather have a beer with" decides the election. Our trouble is elections are being decided by people that vote on "gut f
      • by Belial6 (794905) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @01:48PM (#38041928)
        You are a perfect example why there can be no change. A "Swing Voter" is a voter that actually looks at the candidates and their platform. The problem is that the 10% of voters can't out vote the 90% of voters that are going to vote for the team with their favorite colored jerseys.

        The media has convinced people that if they don't pick a team and vote for that team no matter what the team does, they must be stupid. The newspeak has worked, and it has worked on you specifically.
    • by hey! (33014)

      And why does the American people still tolerate this again?

      Well, what mechanism do the American people have for acting on their *in*toleration, once access to money becomes absolutely essential to getting elected, and wealth is able to exercise the influence without any restrictions?

      Surely, in a democracy, ...

      That's the rub, isn't it? Of course we are *formally* a democratic republic according to our Constitution, but the question is how effectively our republic still *functions* as a democracy. It's not either/or. The people might still be able to throw the bums out over a huge bungle like

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:17AM (#38040114)

    America is totally corrupt. How many of the current US politicians are not taking corporate handouts, accepting meetings with lobbyists, or preaching 'free market' ideology. It has to be accepted that America is a banana republic, run by a mafia of corporate interests, and a collection of crazed religious zealots. I am just so glad I don't live there.
    In a democracy, there is a choice of government. Choice is impossible in the United States, because the Republican/Democrat Party, is the only party that can attract enough campaign contributions. The Republican/Democrat Party, is consequently the only party that can buy power. This is not democracy.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:59AM (#38040250)

      Don't act surprised, the system forces them to.

      There is no way in hell a "honest", i.e. really and completely independent politician could get elected. The reason: Campaigning. And the cost of it. How should any politician afford it if he can't get a fund raiser going? And fund raisers by definition means that some corporations will chip in. And of course they'd expect something in return for their investment.

      Over here there was an outcry when in the 70s our back-then socialist government demanded that political parties and people should get their campaigning expenses reimbursed from tax money if they get at least (IIRC) 2% of the votes. Right now, I'm fuckin' glad they did that.

      I consider it heaps better if I buy my politicians with tax money rather than corporations do it with lobbying money.

      • by shentino (1139071) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @09:20AM (#38040664)

        And you should also realize the same corporations also own the media and are going to do everything they can to keep things the way they are by smearing anyone they don't like.

        Which means that almost by definition an honest politician isn't going to even make it to the primaries before he fails the corporate kiss-ass test and squashed out of the running.

        • We just need a new class of politician. Someone that will lie to the corporations, and work for the people.

          AHAHAHAHA... so we just need to find someone that doesn't want outrageous amounts of money and power.
    • by Kopiok (898028)
      It always strikes me as odd that some can't realize the reality of the situation where many people are participatory in the government (ie, the House and Senate) and how many corporations can use their capital to influence these politicians. The benefit of the republic system we have is that, in theory, we can elect people who seem to represent out interests and replace them when they fall out of representing the peoples interests. It's not a perfect system, but none are, and it tends to work out at least r
      • by Loki_666 (824073) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:24AM (#38040326)

        Yes, the Republicans and Democrats both pander to their donors, but at least the tend to have different, conflicting. donors,

        Really? That would be incredibly stupid of the donors. If i was in that position i would be sponsoring both sides to make sure i won. Hedge my bets kind of thing. I'm pretty sure big corporations are doing this.

      • Yes, the Republicans and Democrats both pander to their donors, but at least the tend to have different, conflicting. donors

        That's not how it works. A company will donate $200K (for example) to both candidates. If the winning candidate doesn't vote the way the company wants, then the threat is to only give $200K to the other candidate in the next election. The elected representative doesn't have to do what they want to get an advantage, they have to do what they want to get a level playing field.

        • A large component of the function used to allocate donations is holding public office. That is if the Republicans hold power, most donations go to Republicans.

    • by inasity_rules (1110095) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:21AM (#38040314) Journal

      America is totally corrupt...

      I'm not sure you know what that means. [wikipedia.org] In fact look at any african country....

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pi1grim (1956208)

        Is "but we're still better off than a tribe in civil-war torn African country" really passes for an argument this days?

        • by inasity_rules (1110095) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @08:26AM (#38040518) Journal

          I have lived in a "Civil war torn African country." I have never lived in America, I must admit, but I have a hard time believing the level of corruption is anywhere near comparable to say, Zimbabwe. In fact I seriously doubt you understand what "total corruption" really means, until you actually experience it. I know exactly what it means. And after a long chat with my brother in America, you don't have it. Not even close.

          And btw, this is not an argument, this is abuse. You want room 12b. :)

          • by gmuslera (3436) * on Sunday November 13, 2011 @10:09AM (#38040788) Homepage Journal
            The corruption in Zimbabwe fucks all the world? There is a term of scale if you count how many countries are being hit by that corruption.
          • by jez9999 (618189)

            Look at how they tried to counter Mugabe in Zimbabwe - with peaceful protest. How far did that get them?

            The point is that it's the way the US is *heading*, and peaceful protest doesn't always work. Where it does, great, but if it always works, why do you have the 2nd Amendment?

            • And yet(surprisingly), america is not in africa. There is a lot of worry in South Africa for example, that the same thing will happen there - some crazy dictator will take over and screw the country. What people forget is that South Africa is not Zimbabwe. And you could hardly compare America to Africa. It is a different situation and things will go down differently.

              In essence, in Zimbabwe they have Mugabe. In South Africa they have Julius Malema as their crazy potential dictator. Who've you got?

    • Corruption is everywhere, just because you don't live in a country with conspiracies under a media spot-light does not mean you live in a utopia.

      And you're right, we're not a democracy. We're a representative republic. We leave it to the socialist and communist countries to claim that they are a democracy.

  • This isn't news (Score:5, Informative)

    by atari2600a (1892574) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:26AM (#38040130)
    The private elite have influenced western politics for at LEAST a century or three
    • by peppepz (1311345)
      That's history. In my country, we moved on to the next stage: the "private elite" dumps proposals of law into the parliament verbatim. We have come to know this in one case some time ago, when someone looked at the file properties of the PDF document containing a proposed law, as posted on the official web site of the politician who was supposedly its author. They revealed that the actual author of the document was the chairman of a RIAA-like association.
      • by ATMAvatar (648864)

        Many of the laws passed in the US start the same way. That's the point of the article, though it is hardly new enough to constitute news.

        How else do you think multi-thousand-page bills are created? Surely, you don't think that our congressmen have the time to draft them. In our system, bills are written by lobbyists just as our regulatory agencies are managed by the industry they regulate.

  • by Reality Master 301 (1462839) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:29AM (#38040142)
    In swedish, SOPA means garbage.
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday November 13, 2011 @06:39AM (#38040174) Homepage

    Over recent years there has been an accelerating plunge into rule by corporation in its interests rather than rule by government in the interests of all. This has resulted in the loosening of regulation or oversight, laws allow corporations to do things that are effectively disallowed to individuals. The results of this include: the financial woes of recent times; copyright abuse; globalisation for corporation but not individuals (think: they buy where it is cheap in the world, but stop you doing so, eg by region encoding).

    This has happened by a variety of means: bribing of law makers (whoops silly me, I mean - donations to campaigns and pet causes, promises of jobs on leaving office, ...); threats to move to another country; ...

    Don't get me wrong: not everything about corporations is bad, not all corporations are problematic. A restoration of balance is needed.

    • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish.info@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:29AM (#38040346)

      ...[L]aws allow corporations to do things that are effectively disallowed to individuals. The results of this include: the financial woes of recent times; copyright abuse; globalisation for corporation but not individuals (think: they buy where it is cheap in the world, but stop you doing so, eg by region encoding).

      Bingo.

      To say that treating corporations as persons is to state only half of the problem.

      The other half of the problem stems from treating corporations as a privileged class of persons.

      • Oops, I was bit too quick to click...

        ...[L]aws allow corporations to do things that are effectively disallowed to individuals. The results of this include: the financial woes of recent times; copyright abuse; globalisation for corporation but not individuals (think: they buy where it is cheap in the world, but stop you doing so, eg by region encoding).

        Bingo.

        To say that treating corporations as persons is a problem, is to state only half of the problem.

        The other half of the problem stems from treating corporations as a privileged class of persons.

      • by znerk (1162519)

        Actually, the other half of the problem is the idea that all consumers are greedy, conniving bastards who will cheerfully steal anything from "big corporations", given half a chance, so the "big corporations" assume all of them are criminals before they've even had the opportunity to purchase a product.

        Or maybe it's a system of laws that practically guarantees that every person is a lawbreaker in some form or fashion, allowing the enforcement agencies to pick up, detain, and criminalize any person at any ti

        • by VAElynx (2001046)
          More than that - why should it ever be considered stealing?
          The corporations are trying to produce as cheaply as possible, and then sell it as expensive as possible , for biggest profit margin
          The people are trying to get the product as cheaply as possible , to maximize their own utility
          The two keep each other in check, that is, until one side went off crying and called the law to its aid

          And yeah, this whole article is brilliant. There was an awesome bit in the Discworld novel "Night Watch" *i think
  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Sunday November 13, 2011 @07:54AM (#38040424)

    ...Applies to every satellite State of Britain, former and current. The specific section implies the obligation upon Law-abiding citizenry to Lawfully disobey bad Law. This is the only way in which it will get changed. If we sit there and take it up the arse every time our basic civil rights are infringed those who make black-letter Law will carry on until we are deprived of the freedom to make our own choices. That said, it is up to you: will you argue for your rights in a public forum, even if that forum consists of thirteen men and women, even if it means the total loss of liberty for an unspecified period? Will you take that argument to a wider audience, for example by way of media, considering that this action is not without personal risk? Will you risk your life for your freedom as your grandparents did and your great grandparents did (I ask as a Gen. X-er)? Or will you bend over and take it up the arse like a good little sheep?

    Lawful Rebellion doesn't mean asking permission to protest. If you have a grievance, make a peaceful and nonviolent show of obstructing a public space and broadcasting your grievance. Let the Corporate Enforcement Officers (AKA Police) make the first violent or unlawful move, and make sure you have the video camera running when they do. And when they do, the Court of Public Opinion shall judge them.

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Will you risk your life for your freedom as your grandparents did and your great grandparents did (I ask as a Gen. X-er)?

      The grandparents had the government and the army ON their side. To try and dislodge the oligarchy in charge of the USA, you'd have to take up arms AGAINST a military that receives half a trillion dollars per year. This makes things slightly tougher.

    • Have you visited the Occupy people in various parts of the world? This is exactly what they are doing and advocating.

  • All lawmaking was privatized long ago.
  • Italy put a media mogul in charge of the country and look what happened to them. We are basically doing the same thing here in the US. by allowing corporations to write our laws we are going down the path of italy. i fully expect the US to implode within my lifetime.

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

Working...