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Tech Industry Reps To Speak Before Congress About SOPA 273

Nemesisghost writes "Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), a major opponent of the Stop Online Piracy Act has announced he plans to call a hearing where Tech industry representatives will get to speak out about how legislation like SOPA will negatively affect the internet. From the article 'Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has called a hearing that will bring more voices from the technology industry to Washington, D.C. to discuss how legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would affect the Internet. On Jan. 18, industry representatives that include Brad Burnham from Union Square Ventures; Lanham Napier, the CEO of Rackspace Hosting; and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of, will testify before Congress.'"
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Tech Industry Reps To Speak Before Congress About SOPA

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  • Hopeless... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:34PM (#38652178)

    ...if those Tech Industry Reps have not more than $21 million to offer.

    Maybe we should start collecting. Freedom isn't free they say.

  • by h00manist ( 800926 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:38PM (#38652234) Journal

    It seems reasonable to debate that the political winds could eventually change direction, and "copyright owners" would simply start being viewed as "censors", rather than "legitimate business interests", "job generators", "authors and artists", etc. Possible or not?

  • Re:Hopeless... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:47PM (#38652340)
    And we're going to get that law passed _and_ retroactively seize the $21 million that the SOPA supporters have already paid, all in less than a few weeks?

    Your idea is laudable, i think outlawing campaign contributions and actually making it stick is totally impossible, but the idea is laudable. However there's no way it could be implemented within the time frame we're talking about. Until we can actually get some kind of reform passed i sure hope the tech companies are willing to lobby in the only way that's currently effective.
  • Re:We're doomed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:52PM (#38652396)

    They've already said they might put notices on their own websites. I think if the likes of Facebook can get 500million+ to notice something on their website then there may be just enough ire lit under a congressman's ass. Considering their Facebook pages may just explode with complaints.

  • Paul ryan says... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hero-author ( 2550054 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:52PM (#38652402)
    "I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse."
  • Re:Hopeless... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@wo[ ]net ['rf.' in gap]> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:56PM (#38652454)

    The only way to stop this bullshit is to mandate that all campaigns be publicly funded and disallow direct financial contribution to any candidate by anyone, period. We need to get money out of politics, not start throwing more in on the other side. All that's going to accomplish is a fucking cold war type situation where both sides try to outspend the other, and the fact is, the people are going to lose that fight every time. People struggling to pay their bills don't have the means to donate to political candidates, so their voice is ignored. This must end.

    Good suggestion, but doesn't last. The next government will just scrap it.

    Look at Canada - we had a per-vote subsidy for party members (everyone got $1.25 per vote). The present Harper Government (yes, the Government of Canada is officially known as the Harper Government) scapped it under the guise of "budget deficit". (Plus a few people were complaining that they had to support a "losing" party). Total amount saved - around $10M or so per year.

    Perhaps the biggest thing that can be done is to drop the tax benefits that come from campaign contributions (yes, that curious little loophole was NOT removed...). That way if people want to contribute, they can do it from after tax income and not expect any plum tax benefits out of it. if you want to know, contributing $1 to a political party gets you far more in tax benefits than contributing $1 to charity.

    That's how lopsided the laws are.

  • Re:We're doomed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:56PM (#38652456)

    You make the false assumption that the congressional "opposition" as any intention of stopping SOPA. At best they'll hold it hostage for something they want, but it WILL pass, and the tech giants - that includes Google - WANT it to pass, too.

    SOPA is going to kill Internet startups. We all know that. The entrenched players won't even have to blink. They know that too.

    But after seeing public outcry towards GoDaddy, you can bet Google and the other tech giants will be ineffectively "anti-SOPA" right up until it passes because they didn't bother lobbying against it or testifying against it or mentioning it on their website[1] or doing anything that might threaten it.

    So expect to see more of this token opposition, to "prove" that there's no real opposition and to make sure all the Ts are crossed before they pass this bill anyway.

    [1] You know how you can tell Google wants SOPA to pass? There's no mention of it on their website. You think Google could manage to get the word out if they were really concerned about SOPA.

  • Re:Hopeless... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @12:59PM (#38652494)

    And even if you did fix the campaign financing issue, there's still a much more insidious type of money in politics that's harder to stop...the move to the private sector. In addition to helping them get elected, large corporations provide cushy jobs for representatives that did them favors while in office. And it's practically impossible to write a law that prevents this type of arrangement.

  • Re:Hopeless... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:30PM (#38652964) Journal

    That's because the fundamental problem isn't with our political system, it's with our economic system. You can't have a government by, for, and of the people unless your economy is similarly populist. Capitalism and democracy are fundamentally incompatible.

  • Whats stopping (Score:5, Interesting)

    by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:59PM (#38653340) Homepage

    people around the world from hacking sites and publishing "illegal content" on those sites, then reporting those sites so they get blocked. 6 months later the US has blocked itself from 75% of the Internet. I'm sure the rest of the world will survive while the US rots its in own closed environment. Just make sure your domain is not a tld controlled but the US.

  • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:35PM (#38653832)

    Meanwhile I imagine the bought and paid congressional goons are just singing the Meow Mix jingle in their heads during these hearings.

    Or surfing the web, even tweeting how "boring" listening to someone argue against the bill during a fucking meeting explicitly for that purpose was... []

    Here's some of what he found "boring":

    "But there are sufficient loopholes here that would allow innocent sites to be shut down, thereby a loss of jobs. Have we answered the question dealing with national security? And as well are we recognizing the value of the First Amendment?"

    Yeah, the First Amendment is just so fucking boring...

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