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Government Censorship Piracy Your Rights Online

House Panel Moving Forward With SOPA 206

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the freedom-is-overrated-anyway dept.
itwbennett writes "The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a debate and vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act for later this week. Representative Lamar Smith, the committee chairman and main sponsor of the bill, will offer an amendment that is meant to address some concerns with the bill. Smith's proposed amendment would clarify that the bill applies only to foreign websites, not U.S. sites, accused of aiding copyright infringement."
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House Panel Moving Forward With SOPA

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  • Fuck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:09AM (#38354034)
    That.
    • by Anonymous Coward
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    • Shit.

  • In other words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmuslera (3436) * on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:10AM (#38354044) Homepage Journal
    its ok when the US law affect only to other countries? The only Web 2.0 sites in the world can only be from US now?
    • Take action at EFF (Score:5, Informative)

      by Openstandards.net (614258) <slashdot@nOSpAm.openstandards.net> on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:42AM (#38354310) Homepage
      Please take action at the EFF [wiredforchange.com] to communicate to your representatives.

      I changed the boiler plate text in the email to say the following, which I believe has more of a punch:

      _____________________
      I am a constituent and I urge you to reject the Internet Blacklist Bills (PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House).

      In addition to the danger these bills pose to Internet security, free speech online, and innovation, I am deeply concerned by the risk that these unprecedented assaults on foreign entities will be interpreted as a provocation of war, particularly by leaders who are already hostile towards US policies, such as Putin of Russia. This will be heavily compounded as this inevitably leads to harming sites that many will view as innocent victims of this highly subjective process and clearly biased intent towards increasing corporate profits in Hollywood.

      This bill will also re-enforce the image that congress is purchased and own by corporate interests.

      Lastly, due to the sweeping level of censorship, this bill will popularize methods of overcoming censorship to the US, technology that is usually reserved for hardship regimes. This will certainly make it difficult for the intelligence community to find real crimes, as their chatter becomes increasingly co-mingled with mainstream on-line anti-censorship technology.

      The Internet Blacklist Legislation is dangerous and short-sighted, and I urge you to join Senator Wyden and other members of Congress, such as Representatives Lofgren, Eshoo and Issa, in opposing it.
      _________________

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:20AM (#38355398)

        The 44 cents in postage I would waste would pale in comparison to the $68,000 the media industry donated to my representative last year.

        • You do understand they only want that money so they can get more people to vote for them?

          You writing a letter to your representative isn't going to change much. You and a few thousand other people doing it is going to make them realize that you represent a sufficiently large chunk of their constituency that they'll be losing more votes continuing to support the bill than they can buy back with the Hollywood money.

      • by Marillion (33728)
        I wrote my congressman urging him to oppose HR 3261. I got back a polite letter that gave no sense of how he will vote. But given that he's a staunch Republican in the district next door to Speaker Boehner's district, I doubt there are enough constituents who have expressed enough opinions to sway him from the Party Line.
        Never the less, I got off my ass and DID SOMETHING! You should too.
        https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/388571_10150409971002592_700082591_8990585_787157727_n.jpg [akamaihd.net]
      • by s73v3r (963317)

        A far, far, far better method of action would be to print this out, and actually snail mail it to your representatives. Emails can be ignored, but snail mail tends to command far greater weight.

    • by jythie (914043)
      Well, that is the idea. I guess they don't want to potentially piss off companies that actually have a local legal presence and standing to challenge applications.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Other countries are full of either godless heathens or socialists. Didn't you pay attention in school?

      Actually, Fox News expressed doubts that Norway was a democracy. They're fair and balanced, right?

  • DOH! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:11AM (#38354054)
    "We will only censor foreign websites, we promise!" does not make the proposal any better. Their are no nationality of a website on the Internet, a website is a part of the Internet, no matter where it is hosted.
    • Re:DOH! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:24AM (#38354142)

      Their are no nationality of a website on the Internet

      Thus explaining why I go to so many Chinese-language websites. The truth is that there most certainly are national borders on the web and on the Internet, but the borders are not as arbitrary as the borders on a world map. Borders on the Internet are formed by the identity of groups of people, who are brought together by common cultures, common languages, common needs, etc.

      Otherwise I agree, SOPA is so anti-American that any congressman who votes for it should face impeachment proceedings.

      • Re:DOH! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by imakemusic (1164993) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:54AM (#38354430)

        Borders on the Internet are formed by the identity of groups of people, who are brought together by common cultures, common languages, common needs, etc.

        As opposed to being formed by nationality. This is why me (a Brit) and you (I'm going to guess an American though you might not be and that would help prove my point) are having this conversation.

      • When it comes to law though, the borders are more physical. Even up in the Cloud, information has to be stored in an actual hard drive somewhere. Users have a country of residence. The big distinction is the ease of jurisdiction-shopping. If you don't like the laws of your real country, it's a huge hastle and expense to leave and go elsewhere - while on the internet, it isn't hard at all to do the equivilent.

        There are some completly lawless places, like Freenet - but this isn't for an legal reason, but sim
    • Re:DOH! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by somersault (912633) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:28AM (#38354168) Homepage Journal

      a website is a part of the Internet, no matter where it is hosted.

      "A country is part of the world, no matter where it is situated". By your logic, different nations shouldn't exist. It's a nice idea of course, but reality kind of gets in the way.

      If anything the fact that sites are not located in the US should be what makes it impossible for them to do anything - apart from create something akin to China's "Great Firewall". If they want to stop people using US owned domains then fine, but they'd better not try to start taking down .ru sites etc.

      Note that I don't even agree with Copyright infringment, but neither do I agree with these clowns.

      • "apart from create something akin to China's "Great Firewall"."

        I think that is the general idea. SOPA isn't so technologically sophisticated, but it's blocking provisions are the type of foundation a Great Firewall would need to be built upon.
      • by s73v3r (963317)

        If anything the fact that sites are not located in the US should be what makes it impossible for them to do anything - apart from create something akin to China's "Great Firewall". If they want to stop people using US owned domains then fine, but they'd better not try to start taking down .ru sites etc.

        It was my impression that was largely what this was trying to do. If PiratePlace.ru or whatever was found to be an unlawful site, they would block it in the US, meaning you couldn't access it from the US. They would also block US banks and stuff from processing payments to it. I would think you'd still be able to access the site in China, or Europe.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      I wonder how long the "debate" will last....

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:13AM (#38354076) Homepage

    Even during an election year, when the bill before Congress gives rights to wealthy corporations and takes them away from citizens, that's a sure way to win overwhelming bipartisan support. It's one of the effects of government by bribery that we currently have.

    • by Riceballsan (816702) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @09:04AM (#38354542)
      Correction.. Especially during an election year. The largest crowd of voters is the group most easily manipulated by a combination of advertisements and the media. Taking money from said media to get biased news coverage, and applying that money towards your own commercials is getting free votes, The voting population won't know what rights they are giving away, because the media doesn't have to cover it. To top it off, when this bill gets signed, it may also put a huge dent in independent online news. "I suspect that Slashdot is plagiarizing our CNN tech site as they both reported on the same topic". Once that goes on they can start systematically shutting down competing news sources, which in turn lets them mask who is doing it in their normal reporting etc...
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Considering that internet is #2 media in elections nowadays, this bill sounds like political suicide.
        • by JWW (79176)

          Agreed. I hope that eventually Facebook will replace the page for ever representative that sponsors this bill with a page explaining how they are unfit to serve and need to be removed from congress.

          Facebook is a private company that can approve or deny users at their discretion. I would like to see the SOPA supports denied its benefits when running for office next time....

          • by game kid (805301)

            Facebook would sooner court those reps so they can get laws to help them treat their users (and non-users--thank you, Like button) like the shit Facebook thinks they are.

          • by s73v3r (963317)

            While I would find that amusing, I would much rather Facebook not be wielding that kind of power.

        • The internet isn't unified. Remember that most people consider the internet a place to keep track of friends on Facebook and look at pictures of cats. They care as little as possible about the politics behind it.
    • This is why we need a Constitutional Amendment that defines "human rights" do not apply to artificial legal constructs (Corporations and other legal entities)

    • by s73v3r (963317)

      It should be noted that there's also a decently sized bipartisan opposition.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:15AM (#38354096) Homepage Journal

    so only if it's outside us jurisdiction will the laws be applied? well hot damn.

    it will only affect sales of .com addresses though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:28AM (#38354170)

    You can only complain if you've tried to make your voice heard:

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/fight-blacklist-toolkit-anti-sopa-activists

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:30AM (#38354194)

    How long before the majority of the Slashdot crowd gets on board with limited Constitutional government and stops supporting liberals just because they're occasionally expanding an "acceptable" part of government? Give a politician an inch and they'll bend you over and give you 10. The only way to remain free is to slap down anything they don't have the authority to do. If we really need it, then we need an amendment saying so. Otherwise, make them stick to the enumerated powers and made them side with freedom over lobbyist bribes.

    Also, when your favorite politician is advocating some new expansion of government power, ask yourself if you'll be so happy when this new power is wielded by the other side. Listen to our Founding Fathers: the only way to be free is not tempt men with power. Historically, government is an oppressor and everything it does should be treated with suspicion or you deserve what you get.

    • I agree whole heartedly with you, but I have to comment on one point- "Otherwise, make them stick to the enumerated powers and made them side with freedom over lobbyist bribes" - freedom doesnt pay anywhere near as well as lobbyist bribes. Our politicians dont care one bit about freedom, liberty, the constitution, or the people. They care about money. If freedom paid well, we'd be the free-est damn place on Earth.
    • by fedos (150319) <allen.bouchard@ g m a il.com> on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @09:10AM (#38354604) Homepage

      How long before the majority of the Slashdot crowd ... stops supporting liberals

      You fail. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of this bill is a conservative. The truth is that both liberal and conservative congressional members routinely support draconian copyright laws that give huge amounts of power to large corporations. Snap out of the "small government" brainwashing and realize that the real fight is between those who want to give unlimited power to corporations, who make up almost the entirety of the Republican party plus a good amount of the Democratic party, and those who support protecting consumers from predatory behavior.

      • And this is the problem, those who favor the expansion of government power have distorted the issues so that the divide is between those who want to "conservatively" expand government power and those who want to "liberally" expand government power. Just as in the 50s, those who favored government control of the economy said that the political spectrum extended from the Communists (who wanted to seize all means of production and have bureaucrats run it) on the left to the Fascists (who wanted to let "capital
      • ...and those who support protecting consumers from predatory behavior.

        There's really no such thing anymore. Yes, USDA inspections of meat packing factories was once sorely needed. But there hasn't been a single bit of legislation in the last 50 years termed "consumer protection" that was anything but a rule eliminating some consumer choice.

      • You fail. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of this bill is a conservative.

        According to who? He's a Republican, but there are lots of Republicans that are far from conservative. "Heritage Action" only gives him a 56% conservative rating [netarrantteaparty.com].

        I don't really pay attention to party much anyway. To me, you judge a politician only on whether he is working for more government and corporate power or defending liberty for the people.

    • How long before the majority of the Slashdot crowd gets on board with limited Constitutional government and stops supporting liberals just because they're occasionally expanding an "acceptable" part of government? Give a politician an inch and they'll bend you over and give you 10. The only way to remain free is to slap down anything they don't have the authority to do. If we really need it, then we need an amendment saying so. Otherwise, make them stick to the enumerated powers and made them side with freedom over lobbyist bribes.

      Also, when your favorite politician is advocating some new expansion of government power, ask yourself if you'll be so happy when this new power is wielded by the other side. Listen to our Founding Fathers: the only way to be free is not tempt men with power. Historically, government is an oppressor and everything it does should be treated with suspicion or you deserve what you get.

      You make it sound like only liberals expand government.

      If Ron Paul and the other politicians pretending not to be 'just another republican' get their way then government will be made smaller, perhaps, but it will only be the 'liberal' (aka democrat) programs that get cut. Republican programs will be untouched or expanded.

      So long as politicians are owned by big money, there will be no fundamental change in the way things work in the US.

    • by Maudib (223520)

      So I should instead support conservatives that expand governments power to spy and detain citizens and gut the separation of church and state?

      I don't see either side as having clean hands when it comes to respecting the constraints imposed on them by the constitution.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Are you trying to suggest that any of the GOP members of my state's congressional delegation are any less Hollywood's bitch? Or less inclined to engage in "social meddling"?

      I think you should watch less Fox News.

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Liberals might run the government poorly, but conservatives want to give the government to the rich. Personally, I'd rather a system I can at least in theory vote in, over the Social Darwinism championed by libertarians.

      "Historically, government is an oppressor and everything it does should be treated with suspicion or you deserve what you get."

      Read up on the East India Company. And before telling me it was government-connected, think about how much of a difference that made in how it operated or to t
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:35AM (#38354232)

    "I think we should tax the incomes of foreigners living and working abroad!"

    That should go down well with domestic voters . . .

    • The great irony here is that the United States is the only country in the world that DOES this.

      All US Citizens, regardless of where they live, what other citizenships they hold or what they are doing... are required to pay income tax to the US on all income, worldwide.

      If you are a US Citizen and you move away. If you live in France or China for the REST of your life, you owe Uncle Sam a tax return every year. If you ever set foot in the US again, after living abroad for years, you may be arrested for tax

  • My shiny backside!

  • When some politician firmly stated:

    "We will tax all foreigners living abroad!"

    http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/Taxing.html [umn.edu]

  • by RivenAleem (1590553) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:52AM (#38354404)

    I don't know what worries me most, that politicians in America really believe this is good for the country, or that politicians in America are so deep in the pockets of the corporations to push this through.

  • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy (595695)
    I've heard a lot of bad things about this bill. I don't think it's a good bill, and hope it doesn't pass (even though it most likely will). But I'm hearing so much FUD from the people against this bill that it makes me roll my eyes every time I hear about it . Sites like StackOverflow and the Stack Exchange Network [stackoverflow.com] state they their sites could be directly harmed by this bill. PLLEEEAAASE. Get Real. No judge is going to take down a Q and A forum because somebody reports that one of the 8 million questi
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @09:20AM (#38354692)

      You just have to look at what has already happened without SOPA - abuse of DCMA for the purpose of censorship by private corporations, takedowns of legitimate websites taking a year for the owners to get them back, presumption of guilt with no recourse to defend oneself, subversion of DNS etc. Roll your eyes as much as you want, but there is real reasons behind what you refer to as FUD.

    • Dear Stack overflow, every time I try to play this disc it keeps popping up an error. I've narrowed it down to this one component that doesn't seem to do anything other then give me headaches. Help me bypass it.
    • It must be nice to be so naive and optimistic. The truth of the matter is that the DMCA is already being abused broadly to silence legitimate speech. Having broad laws and enforcing them selectively ensures that almost anyone is in violation of the law and can simply be grabbed out of the crowd as soon as they say something that you don't like. Whether or not a site in particular is going to be directly taken down, it will harm the whole Internet by providing a chilling effect on all forms of speech.
    • by TheWoozle (984500)

      There's really no other way to take down access to foreign owned piracy exclusive sites. And there really does need to be a way to take sites like this down

      Sorry, but your basic premise is wrong. There does NOT need to be a way to "take sites like this down", if in fact you could accomplish that in any meaningful way. It's the same basic flaw in any argument for censorship - the idea that if you remove people's access to something you think is undesirable, that it solves the problem. Really, the problem is your own: that you think that the thing you want to censor is undesirable/wrong.

  • Start a revolution already, jeez
  • by Goboxer (1821502) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @09:35AM (#38354844)
    http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/good-idea-poor-follow-through-congress-mistakes-sopa [aclu.org]

    That will take you to a blog post about SOPA and ACLU's opposition to it. The last link in the article is a link to a form where you fill in the blanks and it will send off a letter to your representatives. It is one of the easiest ways to contact your representatives about your concerns. Forget your feelings about the ACLU or other such crap. This bill/legislation/power-grab needs to be stopped, and it is your duty as an American to let your representatives know that you oppose it.

  • Move to one of many darknets and say goodbye to government regulation of, by, and for the big corporations. I'm not a big corporation, so the government should have no interaction with me... if only it worked that way...

    Personally, in my infinite spare time, I'm working (slowly) on a openvpn and quagga based exclusively ipv6 darknet. Don't peer with me, peer with someone already there, preferably far away from your home. An independent project is resurrecting ye olde usenet with a twist... all "peering"

  • by SixGunMojo (177687) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @11:04AM (#38355978)

    Full page ad in The Wall Street Journal for the passage of PROTECT IP and SOPA to "protect American jobs" signed by

    ABC, AFTRA - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFM - American Federation of Musicians, AAP - American Association of Publishers, ASCAP, BMG Chrysalis, BMI, CBS Corporation, Cengage Learning, DGA - Directors guild of America, Disney Publishing Worldwide, EMI Music Publishing, ESPN, Graphic Artists Guild, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Hyperion, IATSE - International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States its Territories and Canada International Brotherhood of Teamsters (WTF), Kaufman Astoria Studios, Macmillan, Major League Baseball, Marvel Entertainment LLC, Mcgraw-Hill Education, MPA - The Association of Magazine Media, NFL - National Football League, National Music Publishers' Association, NBCUniversal, News Corporation, New York Production Alliance, New York State AFL-CIO, Pearson Education, Penguin Group (USA) Inc., The Perseus Books Group, Producers Guild of America East, Random House, Reed Elsevier, SAG - Screen Actors Guild, Scholastic, Inc., Silvercup Studios, Simon & Schuster, Inc., Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Time Warner Inc., United States Tennis Association, Universal Music Group, Universal Music Publishing Group, Viacom, Warner Music Group, W.W. Norton & Company, Wolters Kluwer.

     

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Nice they made a checklist for companies to never purchase goods from.
    • by game kid (805301)

      I can't find any info on that ad (if it exists). That said, should large media conglomerates [wikipedia.org] be allowed to list multiple subsidiaries as supporters of measures in political ads like that? (This is just one of many problems with that sort of ad, but one I quickly noticed.)

  • by ZenDragon (1205104) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @11:34AM (#38356416)
    Interesting article written by a Harvard Law professor detailing specific cases show how SOPA violates the constitution. http://www.scribd.com/doc/75153093/Tribe-Legis-Memo-on-SOPA-12-6-11-1 [scribd.com]
  • Copying can not be legislated on the internet. Period. Put the laws in place if you like, but it is meaningless. The RIAA and MPAA missed it, but the power has already passed from them to the audience. No longer can they dictate release windows (theatrical, DVD, VOD, etc.) or decided which version are public and which are not (bootlegs, old seasons of TV shows, special 'limited' editions).

    Simply put there is no argument that wins, it is now a physical law of the internet. The only way forward that is actua

  • It looks like this bill just forces ISPs to change their DNS information to not have sites in it. As horrible as that is (and it IS ridiculous), what would stop people from using 206.47.244.61/206.47.244.103 (Those are from Toronto via a quick Google look up. They're perhaps not the best ones available, but it's the kind of thing that you can search for.) or something at which point the Internet is exactly the same? Am I missing something?

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