Senator Dianne Feinstein: So Out Of Touch, She Doesn't Realize Tech Companies Are Vehemently Against PROTECT IP

from the wake-up dept

In the debates over SOPA and PROTECT IP (PIPA), one thing that has been clear is that neither California Senator has been any help at all. When asked about this, I've been told, multiple times, that despite both being from Northern California, as long-term politicians they're completely ignorant of technology issues, and "follow the money" down to Southern California. We've already written about Zach Carter's excellent behind the scenes report on the politicking behind SOPA and PROTECT IP, but there's one ridiculous tidbit that was worth highlighting to show just how incredibly out of touch Senator Dianne Feinstein is. When asked about this issue, Feinstein appeared totally clueless, believing that the tech industry was fine with the bills:
When HuffPost asked Feinstein, a Protect IP co-sponsor, if it was difficult for her to navigate the bill with Silicon Valley and Hollywood on opposite sides, she responded: "I don't believe that they are. I thought we had reconciled the issues. The bill's been passed out of committee." The response seems incredible given the outcry from Silicon Valley, and Google in particular, but the complexity of the legislation has left many lawmakers vulnerable to K Street spin.
Apparently Feinstein is completely blind to the very vocal outrage from some of the largest tech companies around, including Google, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, Facebook, Mozilla, Wikipedia and more. This is not someone listening to the people. It's someone following the money.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Jeff (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

    I'm guessing the check from the RIAA/MPAA cleared.

     

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      MrWilson, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

      Re: Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

      That's how I translated, "I thought we had reconciled the issues. The bill's been passed out of committee."

       

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        bjupton (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re: Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

        "Yeah, what's the hold up here? We've all been paid"

         

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          Larry, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

          All are giving Feinstein far too much credit. THIS is a case of simple cluelessness. One of the worst ever and the poster child for term limits.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

            > All are giving Feinstein far too much credit.
            > THIS is a case of simple cluelessness. One of
            > the worst ever and the poster child for term
            > limits.

            No kidding. When I wrote to her to express my opposition to SOPA, I got a form letter in response explaining her position on net neutrality.

             

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        Bergman (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 10:12pm

        Re: Re: Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

        How do you reconcile the issues raised by the opponents of a bill, when you never invited those opponents to attend?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2012 @ 7:47am

      Re: Why the *honorable* Senator isn't listening anymore...

      No, it was Righthaven. That's why RH could not pay their court costs.

       

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    bjupton (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    It's pretty amazing that Senator Feinstein would need more money.

    You'd think she'd be sitting pretty with all the money her husband has sucked up from student loans.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    Ask Larry...

    The Republic lost

     

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    David Cortright (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

    I wrote a physical letter to Senator Feinstein voicing my opposition to PROTECT IP. I thought it was particularly ironic that she pointed me to her YouTube channel at the bottom of the letter. That is one of the first sites that will be shut down should this ever become law.
    ----------------
    Dear Mr. Cortright :

    I received your letter expressing your opposition to the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act," commonly known as the "PROTECT IP Act." I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

    America's copyright industry is an important economic engine, and I believe copyright owners should be able to prevent their works from being illegally duplicated and stolen. The protection of intellectual property is particularly important to California's thriving film, music, and high-technology industries.

    The "PROTECT IP Act" (S. 968) would give both copyright and trademark owners and the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to take action against websites that are "dedicated to infringing activities." These are websites that have "no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating" copyright infringement, the sale of goods with a counterfeit trademark, or the evasion of technological measures designed to protect against copying. The bill would not violate Internet users' First Amendment right to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech. On May 26, 2011, this legislation was reported favorably out of the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration by the full Senate.

    I understand that you oppose the "PROTECT IP Act." While I supported reporting the bill to the full Senate, please know that, prior to the close of the 111th Congress, I worked with California high-technology businesses and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to improve upon language from previous versions of the bill and to address the concerns of legitimate high-tech businesses, public interest groups, and others. However, I recognize that the bill needs further work to prevent it from imposing undue burdens on legitimate businesses and activities, and I will be working to make the improvements, either by working in cooperation with Chairman Leahy or by offering amendments on the floor of the Senate. Please know I will keep your concerns and thoughts in mind should the full Senate consider the "PROTECT IP Act."

    Once again, thank you for sharing your views. I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.

    May I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

    Sincerely yours,

    Dianne Feinstein
    United States Senator

    Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website, Feinstein.senate.gov. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list. Click here to sign up. Feel free to checkout my YouTube Page.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

      Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

      "I wrote a physical letter to Senator Feinstein voicing my opposition to PROTECT IP. I thought it was particularly ironic that she pointed me to her YouTube channel at the bottom of the letter. That is one of the first sites that will be shut down should this ever become law."

      Unless YT is bought out by TPB and changes its business model to that of a "rogue" site, it is a fairly safe bet that none of the pending bills will impact it.

      But what the heck, why let the real world get in the way of the hypothetical world bandied about by many buzz word-responsive opponents?

       

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        abc gum, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 8:16pm

        Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

        "why let the real world get in the way of the hypothetical world bandied about by many buzz word-responsive opponents?"


        Yes - that's right folks. Nothing to be worried about here.

        And let us not forget that, as previously stipulated, the taser is only used in lieu of deadly force and it is responsible for saving many lives that would have otherwise been shot dead. Pepper spray is very similar in that it is only being used when officers are in immediate danger, fearing for their lives.

        So, really - what's all the fuss. Your representatives have your best interests in mind. Sit back, relax and turn on Dancing With The Stars. No need to keep up to date on things which may affect you because that is all being taken care of for you by your benevolent benefactors.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 9:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

          If one wants to have a debate, then debate real life scenarios, and not hypotheticals that in the vast majority of instances are misleading.

          Seriously, YT would be the first to fall? Has anybody read the legislation, not to mention that the DMCA remains alive and well? Apparently many have not.

           

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            Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 9:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

            Seriously, YT would be the first to fall? Has anybody read the legislation, not to mention that the DMCA remains alive and well? Apparently many have not.

            Then why does the rest of the world, after having read both bills disagrees with your assertion?

            Better yet, why was only Google the only company invited to the company and given the displeasure of representing all technologists, all engineers, all security experts, and all VC capitalists in a firing squad hearing?

             

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            The eejit (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 12:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

            Uhh, tasers are used with frightening regularity, in lieu of deadly force. The DNS-blocking is still in the SOPA AND PROIP bills, but "only as a last resort". The analogy is sound.

             

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            abc gum, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

            "If one wants to have a debate, then debate real life scenarios, and not hypotheticals that in the vast majority of instances are misleading."

            I am referring to real life scenarios. There is nothing hypothetical about being tased or pepper sprayed for reason.
            Where have you been, under a rock?

             

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            Stuart, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

            You sir are correct.
            YouTube will not be one of the first to fall.

            First will be a few high profile torenting sites.
            Even though they work the same Google will not be targeted in this wave.

            Second will sites that attack powerful people. They will get combed over and take downs will be issued and they will be shut up for long periods of time.

            YouTube will not go down till Hollywood and the record labels have a competitive product. Then down will go YouTube.

            Blogs that bitch about Pepsi tasting like shit will go down fast and hard.

            If you think that this is the one law ever passed that will not be taken to extremes over time could you please explain to me why this law is so different from every other law ever passed?

             

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            btr1701 (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

            > If one wants to have a debate, then debate real
            > life scenarios, and not hypotheticals

            How in the hell can you debate a 'real life scenario' involving a bill that HASN'T BECOME LAW YET.

            By definition, the only way to discuss the impact such a bill would have is by using hypotheticals.

             

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        jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

        Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

        Youtube will be the last to go. They're going to go after sites that don't have an army of lawyers to fight back. They're not that stupid.

        Then we'll just watch as more and more videos disappear from Youtube until all that's left is home movies and sponsored content.

        And then all the media that the mega corporations don't feel they can make money on will be safely locked away in their vaults once again, never to see the light of day.

        Too bad. It was fun watching those rare musical numbers from obscure or forgotten talk shows.

         

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          abc gum, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 8:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

          Yeah, after watching a snowboarding video on youtube that had really good background music, I would go buy the CD - man - those were the days, huh.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 9:06pm

      Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

      Reply-
      Dear Senator.

      Your vote for "PROTECT IP Act" will lose you more votes than the film industry money can buy for you.

       

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:35am

      Re: Here is Senator Feinstein's response letter

      Here's the reply I'd send, if I were a US citizen, and if my voice would mean anything:

      "I believe copyright owners should be able to prevent their works from being illegally duplicated and stolen."
      Except neither the PIPA nor the SOPA bill really address that.
      And "stolen"?! Copyright infringement is not theft, I'm appalled to hear a US Senator be this ignorant on the letter of the law. (never mind the fact that you are using the exact same language that the media companies are using, I guess we know who you are using as moral compass)

      "These are websites that have "no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating" copyright infringement, the sale of goods with a counterfeit trademark, or the evasion of technological measures designed to protect against copying"
      The fact that you actually believe that, says a lot about your knowledge of technology. Name a single site that has no significant use other than engaging in, enabling or facilitating copyright infringement.

      "The bill would not violate Internet users' First Amendment right to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech."
      Oh yes, and the DMCA was only intended to attack those same infringing sites, and was never ever ever ever abused.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

    Not blind....

    She sees the color green just fine...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    I'm trying to think of something witty to say here.

    ...

    I can't.

     

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    jakerome (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 4:02pm

    Feinstein needs to go

    She has been legendarily out of touch with the citizens of California for more than a decade. Washington insider is probably too kind, she's more of a creation of the corporate lobbies.

    I am a Democrat, and I look forward to supporting every candidate that challenges the overstayed Senator-- with my vote, financially and even volunteer wise.

     

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    jojoyojimbi, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 4:29pm

    Sometimes the best solution to bad legislation is to just let them pass the shit.

    They'll see how bad it was and hopefully amend the Constitution afterwards, you know, once justin beiber's in jail

     

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    Rekrul, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:06pm

    You're all missing the real explanation: She thinks that Hollywood IS the tech industry.

     

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    Violated (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:10pm

    Liars

    Since she is a co-sponsor of the bill then this is no surprise at all when she simply wants people to believe that everyone is happy so the bill passes.

    This is not the case of her being "out of touch" and not knowing about the Internet opposition but simply about her lying to us.

    Clearly SOPA is not a bill for open discussion when it only serves one small sector of the market. So if it can "trick" its way through Congress the happier those people would be.

    This is exactly why all their technical documentation backing up the bill is complete rubbish. Lies built on lies built on more lies to "trick" those who read it.

    Liars they are. We only need to remember the phrase "The end does not justify the means." So even if they get the bill passed it is still corrupt.

     

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      velox (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 6:55pm

      Re: Liars

      Mike, along with several commenters, here suggest that Feinstein is "out of touch" or "clueless". I disagree. Violated is exactly right.
      She is lying.

      Feinstein has received nearly 1.3 million dollars in campaign contributions from the music, film and television industries since she was elected.
      Does anyone really think she doesn't know what she needs to do to keep those funds flowing her direction? She most certainly *does* have a clue.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 7:21pm

        Re: Re: Liars

        Feinstein has received nearly 1.3 million dollars


        Hey! Anybody here from North Carolina? Connecticut? Delaware?

        You should call your senator and tell 'em your state is getting ripped off. They need to hold out for more money. Look at Delaware—that idiot Coons isn't even getting af full $100,000 ! What a loser!

        If you're from North Carolina, Connecticut, or Delaware then you need to make sure the Hollywood lobbyists show some respect for state. Your senator should want a cool quarter-million. Absolute minimum price.

         

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    Phoenix84 (profile), Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    Can't get rid of her

    I live in CA, and every election, I vote for someone else. Every election, I hope she goes away. Every election, I'm disappointed.

    It seems most voting Californians don't realize how bad she is. They just keep voting for her because they recognize her name, or think "the devil you know."

     

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    bigpicture, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 5:53pm

    What Did You Expect

    What did you expect? Aren't these the same people who let Wall Street and the Banksters away with Graaaand Larceny? They already stole the tax payers money, and now the corrupt crowd of thieves on the Hill are going to steal your rights and freedoms as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2011 @ 6:36pm

    This just in

    A career politician has been found to be uninformed, ignorant, and bought. Story at 11.

    I favor variable term limitations, with an electric shock to be delivered upon leaving office, the voltage of which is determined by length of time in office.

    There's a multiplier for number of positions held, as well. And it's all doubled for anyone who moves between lobbyist and politician.

    So a 12 year congressman, who serves 6 years as senator, before joining a washington lobby group should get about 4800V. Problem solved, automatically. :)

    They can select when it's appropriate to leave the political arena. Darwin says that we'll eventually end up with some impressive masochists for congress. Which might not be a bad thing. Currently, they seem to be sadists.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 12:14am

      Re: This just in

      Change that V to an A, apply across the heart, and you'd solve all electoral problems in the US.

       

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      wallow-T, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:37am

      Re: This just in

      My state has term limits. What this has meant is that the newbie legislators -- and they are ALL newbies -- turn to the kindly, helpful lobbyists to tell them what to do about complex issues. There is no more institutional memory, and there are no power centers which can oppose the lobbyists.

      So our state now runs like the SOPA legislation: the corporate lobbyists tell the lawmakers what they want, and it is duly enacted.

       

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Apparently Feinstein is completely blind to the very vocal outrage from some of the largest tech companies around, including Google, Yahoo, eBay, Twitter, Facebook, Mozilla, Wikipedia and more. This is not someone listening to the people. It's someone following the money.

    While I agree with your general point, Mike, I find it interesting that in this paragraph, whether intentional or not, it seems you've equated tech companies to people. I guess you agree with the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC?

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 18th, 2011 @ 7:17am

    Note to Feinstein: Try not being such a clueless twat.

    I can't believe that moron is still in any office, and the morons who keep voting her back in richly deserve whatever ills befall them as a result. However, when her cluelessness impacts the nation as a whole, that is going to far. I'm sure the slack-jawed dopers who voted her in will do so again, being too stoned most of the time to actually think.

     

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    identicon
    Hollywood6394, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Dianne Feinstein

    Dianne Feinstein has proven too many that she is anti-constitution, anti-first amendment, anti-second amendment. She is NOT listening to her constituents; she is only listening to Hollywood and the money trail. A federal probe of Dianne Feinstein's dealings needs to occur immediately.

     

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    identicon
    larry hassell, Jan 12th, 2013 @ 10:49am

    Fienstein

    WHY ISNT THIS WOMEN IN JAIL....AND HER CROOKED HUSBAND...THIS HIPOCRATE CARRIES A GUN BUT NO ONE ELSE SHOULD. MAYBE ITS TO PROTECTE HER FROM THE BIDDERS THAT NEVER SAW THE BIDS SHE GAVE TO HER HUSBAND THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BID ON. PUT HER IN JAIL

     

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