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Government Networking Republicans The Internet

DNS Provision Pulled From SOPA 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-double-down,-protesters dept.
New submitter crvtec sends this excerpt from CNet: "Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one of the biggest backers of the Stop Online Piracy Act, today said he plans to remove the Domain Name System blocking provision. 'After consultation with industry groups across the country,' Smith said in a statement released by his office, 'I feel we should remove (DNS) blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the [U.S. House Judiciary] Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision.'"
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DNS Provision Pulled From SOPA

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  • No, he didn't (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trogdor8667 (817114) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:00PM (#38692666) Homepage

    He said he'd postpone it until further research had been done... In other words, pass the bill now and then shove it down our throats later.

    • by trogdor8667 (817114) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:01PM (#38692682) Homepage

      My bad. That was the ProtectIP one, even though this still sounds like the same thing.

    • Re:No, he didn't (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ouchie (1386333) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:27PM (#38692928)

      The research is whether congressional hipocracy is exempt. It appears that under the law the congressman's website would have been permanently shut down for copyright infringment.

      The background image on Chairman Lamar Smith [texansforlamarsmith.com] own website was being used without the consent of the photographer.

      • Re:No, he didn't (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ouchie (1386333) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:48PM (#38693138)

        Update

        The background image is now gone.

        • Wait, who cares that it's gone! He used the offending image, right?

          Pull his site!

          Oh wait - so if a Govt site "just pulls the image" it's okay, but when Joe Small does it we pull his entire site?

          How did you let him past that double standard?!

          • by Marillion (33728) <ericbardes@gmail. c o m> on Friday January 13, 2012 @09:23PM (#38694058)

            Actually, that's a perfect example of how it should be done. A copyright owner notifies the infringer of a violation. The infringer says, "Sorry, my bad, I didn't know. I'll address that immediately." The infringing material is removed. Both parties go on their merry way.

            Because infringement is very easy to do unintentionally, as Representative Smith found out, I feel there needs to be a safe-harbor course of action. If infringement is removed within (picks a number from thin air) seven days, then the infringement should be presumed to be unintentional and not liable for any damages. Furthermore, there should be a process where an alleged infringer can say to an accuser, "No, you've got it all wrong. I have a right to use this because of [insert reason here]." The matter would be settled either inside or outside of courts, using well-established procedures from Civil Law, but the matter would eventually be settled.

            Anyway, that's my fantasy world. It's happy there. I only wish it could actually happen.

            • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 13, 2012 @09:54PM (#38694292)
              An even better solution, which would eliminate most of these kinds of problems before they even start, would be to go back to the old Copyright standard of a few years ago (and for centuries before that): for most things you have to first DECLARE a copyright before you can enforce it.

              It is this new "automatic" copyright for almost all works that has caused most of the mischief. The old way worked just fine for many generations. But less than one generation into this scheme, and it has caused all kinds of very serious problems for society.
              • by jackbird (721605) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:18PM (#38694424)

                Lamar Smith's website was infringing something with a declared copyright - a Creative Commons-licensed photo that specified attribution and noncommercial use (not even a license fee!)

                • by tepples (727027)
                  By "declare" did Jane Q. Public mean "register for $35 at copyright.gov"?
                  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 13, 2012 @11:06PM (#38694728)
                    No, just a claim.

                    According to the old rules, which were in effect for a very long time (and pretty much everybody seemed to think worked just great), you had to CLAIM a copyright in order to enforce it. In other words, one of those notices that looked typically like "Copyright © MyCompany 2011". (I don't know if the circled "C" will come through properly on Slashdot.)

                    If you hadn't claimed the copyright up front, you could not enforce it. Which was fine with most people because they didn't want to bother with copyrighting everything in sight anyway.

                    Copyright registration is not a "copyright". You own the copyright anyway. That's why it's called a "right". Registration is nothing more than "official" evidence that you own the copyright on a work. It is neither proof per se (because it's possible you could have registered something from someone else), or any kind of stamp of Government approval or anything. In the same way that legally, a signed piece of paper is not a "contract". An agreement of any kind that is otherwise legal is a contract. The piece of paper is just evidence of that agreement. Copyright registration works pretty much the same way.

                    There were exceptions, for situations like photographers and artists who sold original works for profit. They did not have to carry a copyright notice in order for the copyright to be enforced.
            • by Triv (181010) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:30PM (#38694510) Journal

              Because infringement is very easy to do unintentionally, as Representative Smith found out, I feel there needs to be a safe-harbor course of action. If infringement is removed within (picks a number from thin air) seven days, then the infringement should be presumed to be unintentional and not liable for any damages. Furthermore, there should be a process where an alleged infringer can say to an accuser, "No, you've got it all wrong. I have a right to use this because of [insert reason here]." The matter would be settled either inside or outside of courts, using well-established procedures from Civil Law, but the matter would eventually be settled.

              The bone-jarringly stupid thing about this whole mess is, what you describe is more or less the way a DMCA takedown request works NOW - a copyright holder claims their work is being infringed and the site hosting the material pulls it pending review. If it's infringing (ie, if the infringing user can't explain why it isn't) it stays down and if it isn't it's reinstated.

              That's the biggest problem with this whack-a-doodle bill - the measures in place to deal with copyright currently work perfectly well for everybody except gigantic corporations with too much copyrighted material to effectively police.

              • Offshore sites (Score:4, Insightful)

                by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:35PM (#38694550) Homepage Journal

                the measures in place to deal with copyright currently work perfectly well for everybody except gigantic corporations with too much copyrighted material to effectively police.

                Or U.S. authors whose copyright has been infringed on a foreign site serving U.S. residents, such as TPB. The loss of the OCILLA safe harbor doesn't affect them because the sites are operated offshore. That's what SOPA and PROTECTIP were originally targeted at: making it more difficult for U.S. residents to access sites that would violate U.S. copyright if only they weren't offshore.

              • by Kalriath (849904)

                Notice and Takedown is stupid though - ideally the US should have gone with the more sane Notice and Notice system, whereby the ISP simply passes on the notice to the site owner, and they can choose to either act on it immediately (Takedown) or send a counter-notice - rather than being required to take down the content until the site owner can make that decision.

          • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:34PM (#38694540)

            How did you let him past that double standard?!

            Not to excuse it, but that's not the biggest double standard in the thing, I think the fact that GoDaddy helped write the bill and was conveniently exempted from the penalties their competitors would face under the bill. To me that sounds like a literal double standard with much bigger consequences.

    • by drpimp (900837)
      Or maybe GoDaddy called him and said they were losing customers so they would have to cut jobs if they lost more share of the market. So they filled his back pocket with some cash and called it a day?
    • Re:No, he didn't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:29PM (#38694502)
      At the very least, this is probably a case of "Here's a bill for like 5 things you hate, alright twist my arm, I'll drop one of them to get the four I really wanted, that's reasonable right?"
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:05PM (#38692732)

    We'll slip this back into some other bill later on when you sheeple are not paying attention.

    Bad laws never go away forever in america. They just keep comming back until they stick.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Or international law. Someone at one of several international organizations is bound to bring it up.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ChaoticCoyote (195677)

      We'll slip this back into some other bill later on when you sheeple are not paying attention.

      Bad laws never go away forever in america. They just keep comming back until they stick.

      Ignore the sheeple. They've been around since humans first evolved, and aren't going away anytime soon.

      Bad laws do go away, but only with great effort, struggle, and sometimes societal collapse and rebirth. Humanity is due for a good colonic, IMNSHO.

  • Sony (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The bill should contain a provision for a national holiday any time anyone performs a public cracking of Sony's network.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:08PM (#38692762)

    (1) Expect A;

    (2) Ask for something else A+B+C, where B and C are even more insane-sounding things and C is pratically unworkable;

    (3) Make concessions to get people onside by suggesting that you're prepared to renegotiate on C;

    (4) Wait for objections to be made to much of B and a near complete elimination of C;

    (5) End up with all of A and a few scraps from B and C.

    Notice this pattern in every jurisdiction with every proposed law. Always tackle the principles, which will be in A - you'll probably find that you want to eliminate the bill entirely. (That's at the second reading at the latest, if you're looking at the UK Parliament. Beyond that it's too late unless the increasingly castrated Lords throw up a fuss.)

    • by ChaoticCoyote (195677) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:33PM (#38692996) Homepage

      (1) Expect A;

      (2) Ask for something else A+B+C, where B and C are even more insane-sounding things and C is pratically unworkable;

      (3) Make concessions to get people onside by suggesting that you're prepared to renegotiate on C;

      (4) Wait for objections to be made to much of B and a near complete elimination of C;

      (5) End up with all of A and a few scraps from B and C.

      Notice this pattern in every jurisdiction with every proposed law. Always tackle the principles, which will be in A - you'll probably find that you want to eliminate the bill entirely. (That's at the second reading at the latest, if you're looking at the UK Parliament. Beyond that it's too late unless the increasingly castrated Lords throw up a fuss.)

      Congratulations on codifying reality succinctly. Hell, this is how most projects work, political or otherwise: Shoot for the moon, settle for what you need.

      Which makes me wonder -- why doesn;t the opposition do this? We need to demand freedom, push for flory, and expect to get bits back incrementally. Hell, we aren't goign to repeal the Federal Code, but we might just take a few bites out of it and start something positive.

      Often, the best way to defeat someone is to use their own tactics against them. Vote, demonstrate, get involved, fight. Anythign else is just posturing.

    • Clearly put. It seems that the job of a politician is to compromise every value (on either side). Therefore if your opponent asks for something that is odious, as long as you can get that odiousness halved it looks like you have made a success.

      The Politician equation is:

      (Approved Change) = (Opponents Requested Change) / 2 = (Perceived victory)

      Thus the Lobbiest equation is:

      (Requested Change) = (Desired Change) * 2

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      tl;dr version: "hey, I got this on sale!"

      seriously, its how america relates to things.

  • isn't it interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by desdinova 216 (2000908) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:10PM (#38692790)
    that this would come out just days after Comcast Announced that they've implemented DNSSEC which is not compatable with the DNS blocking provision of SOPA.
    • DNSSEC which is not compatable with the DNS blocking provision of SOPA.

      I keep seeing this assertion, but there is nothing about DNSSEC which prevents ISPs from blocking domain lookups. What DNSSEC mainly prevents is the forging of DNS responses to redirect users to another server. ISPs can still block the domain resolution by either allowing the request to time out or responding with an error (other than No Such Domain).

  • Behind-door meetings with corporate sponsors who brought this bill to his table and deciding what to give up to pass the rest of it.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:19PM (#38692872) Homepage Journal
    First it was not for US citizens, then it was to be changed to exclude US citizens, then .....
    All you have now is a signing statement about values to protect you from indefinite detention :)
    As for US law enforcement and the inter tubes, recall the 84,000 "a domain" website efforts:
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110220/17533013176/ice-finally-admits-it-totally-screwed-up-next-time-perhaps-itll-try-due-process.shtml [techdirt.com]
    Ignore the pre committee PR and follow the bills :) Even the 2 page ones like S. 1698 the Enemy Expatriation Act
    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:45PM (#38693122)

      Everybody knows that democrats can do no wrong when it comes to civil rights. Only republicans are bad.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Re: NDAA

      First it was not for US citizens, then it was to be changed to exclude US citizens, then

      And then the version actually signed by the President specifically excluded US Citizens, US Resident Aliens, and ANYONE actually caught inside the USA.

      Remember that Obama didn't issue a signing statement because the NDAA allowed indefinite detention of US Citizens, he did that because he thought he ALREADY had the power to detain someone captured outside the USA indefinitely, and didn't like Congress suggesting

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        The US President of the day has the option to sign for indefinite detention on US Citizens caught inside the USA.
        A neat trick, one can quote the part that seems most fair but indefinite detention is ready to use when needed under a few old laws (Authorization for Use of Military Force).
        Then they get to select military detention (trial by military commission?), an alternative court or competent tribunal, a civilian criminal trial, transfers to third-country or to delete your overly protective "US Citizen"
  • A law like this can only be pushed through by making it Draconian at first, then filtering a little bit when protest comes in, to end up with a still draconian version with most people feeling that the stinger was removed from the law. It's a simple means of wagging the dog, and it works most of the time.
  • Stuff Still In (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#38693018) Homepage

    The stuff that is still in the bill is still completely unacceptable. It still gives the MAFIAA the power to shut down the revenue of a company based merely on accusations, and removes any liability for payment processors or advertising programs for refusing to do business with a company based exclusively on a hit list written by the MAFIAA.

    Between the MAFIAA shutting down the MegaUpload song and Warner's admission in court that checking whether they actually own some copyright is too much trouble, they cannot be trusted with that kind of authority.

    Moreover, we have already given them law after law after law for more than a decade. They keep saying, "We need this to stop copyright infringement, even though it is going to be costly, intrusive, and strain the bounds of civil liberties." And it keeps not working, and they keep abusing what we do grant them, and they keep asking for more.

    We have given them more than we have given any other industry except maybe the investment banks, and they are still telling us they need more.

    It does not make sense for us to keep going to more and more extreme lengths to protect this business model. Either it works in the Internet age, or they need to come up with some ideas for funding their production that does not rely entirely on heavy-handed interference in the marketplace. Centralized enforcement is a blunt and expensive weapon. If this particular government-granted monopoly is no longer a cost efficient means to channel revenue into science and the useful arts, we need to try some new approaches instead of just plugging holes in the failing levee.

    • Re:Stuff Still In (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bobcat7677 (561727) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:55PM (#38693208) Homepage
      Lets not forget the part of the law that makes infringement a FELONY eligible for serious prison time. Thats the part that seems the most draconian to me. Lets make an example out of Susie Homemaker by making her do some hard time for downloading a Kenny G song. Seriously??? Haven't they ruined enough lives already by suing everybody in sight?
      • Re:Stuff Still In (Score:5, Informative)

        by jonwil (467024) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:26PM (#38694476)

        Under SOPA, downloading a film from the internet could result in MORE jail time than if you walked into a store and stole the DVD at gunpoint.

        If the fact that downloading a file from the internet is considered a more serious crime than stealing things at gunpoint doesn't show that the USA is totally screwed up, I dont know what does.

      • by smagruder (207953)

        Ref: War on Drugs.

  • by gstrickler (920733) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#38693026)

    Given that the DNS provisions were seriously flawed, so much that they're simultaneously ineffective and would break many things on the internet, what other serious flaws are in the bill? If something that major "slipped past" all the sponsors and people promoting the bill, I have no faith that the rest of it is any better. Until the whole thing has been thoroughly reviewed for technical feasibility and constitutionality, the whole bill needs to be put on indefinite hold.

    Anything that bypasses or takes shortcuts on due process is absolutely unacceptable. And, there must be severe civil penalties and recourse, and possibly criminal penalties for false allegations.

  • Nice to see that our lawmakers are happy to modify a extremely ludicrous law and exchange it for a very ludicrous one.
  • When I quote the first post from last night's thread on PIPA:

    Fuck you. We still don't want it.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      If you have a Wordpress blog you can add a plugin [wordpress.org] that takes your site dark for the 18th - redirecting to an education page. But it's a 503 redirect, so it won't kill your search engine rankings. Every little bit helps.
  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:45PM (#38693120)
    Notice how the Republicans are fine with Big Government, as long it is to the benefit of corporate interests.
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday January 13, 2012 @07:57PM (#38693232) Homepage Journal

    Just pull the plug on SOPA and nobody gets hurt.

    This means you too, EA.

    I've given you tens of thousands of dollars over the decades, but my checkbook and credit card is shut if you don't back down.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday January 13, 2012 @08:59PM (#38693844)

    I thought that was most of it. What is left now?

    Piracy was already illegal... how does the law change without the DNS issue?

    • by jackbird (721605) on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:25PM (#38694474)

      Goes from a civil tort to a federal felony, which is a pretty big fucking deal.

      • Yeah, that sounds like a bad idea again... even from the perspective of anti piracy advocates because it would basically create something like the drug war.

        We'd start filling our prisons with people that aren't really hardened criminals.

        The piracy legislation should definitely be handled with kid gloves. But we do need to start coming up with alternative plans. Congress and the lobbying groups are making it pretty clear that simply stonewalling is not an effective political position.

  • by thinktech (1278026) on Friday January 13, 2012 @09:56PM (#38694308)
    http://texansforlamarsmith.com/robots.txt [texansforlamarsmith.com] No archiving my site!!! If I change my mind, I don't want those pesky archives to be able to call me on it. Wow, this guy is a sleeze.
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday January 13, 2012 @10:35PM (#38694548) Journal

    While we wait for Wikimedia to do their committee thing it looks like about a dozen game companies and communities are going completely dark in sync with Reddit. I see a couple rumors that Google's having internal talks about how to get involved - but it's a very tricky thing. We like other websites, but many of us actually need Google. If enough small fry get involved it could become a big enough deal.

    I forget... where were we on shutting down /. for the day?

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