Huge Supporter Of Stronger Copyright Law, Grover Norquist, Backing Away From SOPA

from the support-keeps-dwindling dept

The supposed widespread support for SOPA keeps fading away, it seems. The latest supporter to jump ship is a big one on the political front. Grover Norquist, who runs Americans for Tax Reform, is a major force in US conservative/Republican politics -- and a massive supporter of stricter copyright laws. Where Norquist goes on certain issues, certain Republicans follow. In fact, Norquist and ATR even have their own "stronger copyright law" group called "The Property Rights Alliance." And, a few weeks ago, Norquist sent Lamar Smith a letter supporting SOPA entirely. But... now his group has changed its mind, and notes that they no longer "unequivocally support it," and are hoping that Smith "will allow the concerns many have with the remaining parts of the bill to be addressed." The group also acknowledges its concern about the need to protect "innovation and free speech online."

I'm curious to see how the pro-SOPA folks who declare that everyone who has raised these concerns is just a "piracy apologist" will respond to this one. Norquist/ATR are about as far from "piracy apologists" as you can get. It's safe to say that I think his positions on intellectual property are ridiculous in most cases. But, when even someone like that is recognizing how many problems there are with SOPA, it's time for SOPA supporters to admit that the concerns of the bill are very real. And those complaining about the bill aren't "piracy apologists," but people with legitimate concerns about innovation, security and free speech online.

As Declan McCullagh's article about this notes, it appears that many "pro-copyright" groups rushed to support these bills without bothering to understand what was really in them. Now that they're learning, they realize just how problematic they are...


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  1.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    "they realize just how problematic they are..."

    Problematic and extremely unpopular.

     

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  2.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    This reads more like a strategic move than a reduction of support. Perhaps they are seeing the reduction of support and rather than have the bill completely smashed they are suggesting making some compromises to get it through. The 'something is better than nothing' mentality.

    My thinking is that the bill is poisoned at this point, even if good and reasonable changes are made to the bill to ease our fears, those who support it (even if 'fixed') will be labeled as supporting the original intent of the bill, even if they don't.

    The bill is becoming more than it's language, it's about what it represents.

     

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  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Re: It represents

    Serving corporate interests over the good of the people?

     

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  4.  
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    John Doe, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    How is this for an apology?

    Hi, I am a pirate and I apologize.

    For the record, I don't actually pirate anything. Just wanted to be a piracy apologists. Might get business cards made up for it.

     

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  5.  
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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

    Obviously, pirates have kidnapped his family.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Re:

    Especially during an election year where the republicans are probably fighting an uphill battle (not that I support either party).

     

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  7.  
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    anonymous, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    as discussed before, if SOPA fails but PIPA goes through, next year SOPA will be back on the cards anyway. the entertainment/copyright industries are not going to be satisfied until they get exactly what they want. what they should get is exactly what they deserve, laws introduced that destroy their monopolies completely! and as for US government officials conducting themselves in the disgraceful manner that they have (and probably still are) concerning Spain and other countries, i sincerely hope that there are some serious repercussions from the EU etc! i mean, what the hell does the US produce that is so valuable to the rest of the world? so valuable as to warrant blackmail on such a huge scale that countries fall over themselves to allow it instead of doing what is right for their country and citizens? unbelievable!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: How is this for an apology?

    Can you possibly make a more pointless comment?

    Wait ...

     

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  9.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Wow...

    I have a hard time feeling good about being aligned with a capital D Deutche Bank like Grover, but whatever. Enemy of my enemy, and all that....

     

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  10.  
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    Joe Publius (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Wow...

    Enemy of my enemy, and all that....

    The enemy of my enemy makes two enemies? That would make it a menage-a-trois of rhetoric, meaning that everyone should be careful where they put their arguments.

     

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  11.  
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    John Doe, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: How is this for an apology?

    No, no I cannot. Or can I?

     

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  12.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Wow...

    "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less." - The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates*


    (* Howard Tayler changed the name because of a C&D letter. I refuse to use the new name. The old name was obviously a parody, but I guess there are no fair use exceptions in trademark law. I don't care, I think it's stupid.)

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re: How is this for an apology?

    Lord, I apologize, and please be with the starving pirates in the Caribbean. Amen.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    Some important supporting groups on the right. "Yeah we need stronger pro-copyright and pro-patent legislation and we need it now!"

    The same groups now "Oh, THAT's what's in it? Why didn't the geeks in the tech industry tell us that? Quick, shift into reverse! I don't care we're doing 60 going forward, shift NOW!"

    Grrrrrrrrinnnnnnndddddddd! Currrrunnnnnnchhhhh!

    The sound you now here is a transmission falling onto the highway followed by another outfit Smith has to take off his list of supporters after he gets that transmission off his lap.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    I will do this strategy.
    Every Company that signed on whether they drop the support or not will be Boycotted by me unless what they sell is integral to my health.
    Every Politician who supports this will never get my Vote for life.And I will also write them all nice letters of their so nice character.And I will hope get to be investigated for Ethics Violations or at least get all their financial infgo outed.
    The cat is out of the bag now and once a traitor always a traitor.
    SOPA/PIPA = WAR

     

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  16.  
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    Zos (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    "I'm curious to see how the pro-SOPA folks who declare that everyone who has raised these concerns is just a "piracy apologist" will respond to this one."


    Ten dollars says they never acknowledge it, in any way shape or form, in any public forum.

     

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  17.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:22pm

    Re:

    Ten dollars says they never acknowledge it, in any way shape or form, in any public forum.


    Kinda interesting that the "usual voices" have shown up on every sopa/pipa thread today... except this one, huh?

     

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  18.  
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    Digitari, Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    RE

    "Pics, or it didn't happen"

    They'll just RightHaven this

     

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  19.  
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    MahaliaShere (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    That still doesn't excuse piracy. Piracy is stealing. Stealing is wrong!

    (How's that?)

     

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  20.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jan 6th, 2012 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re: Wow...

    The enemy of my enemy makes two enemies? That would make it a menage-a-trois of rhetoric...

    Wait. I'm confused. Do you divide by trois or subtract it?

     

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  21.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 7th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    If they do respond, they'll just revert to one of their standby excuses such as "he didn't read the bill" or "he was invited to a major tech company's HQ 15 years ago so they must have paid him off", or similar crap.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    Re: How is this for an apology?

    Fun fact: apology in itself doesn't necessarily connote a sense of sorrow or contrition. Rather, an apology is simply a defense or explanation. It's only through common usage that it's been associated with contrition.

    I'm a pirate. And I apologize.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re:

    Sure, this works for really big Pro-Copyright groups that support SOPA, but it would never work for a smaller group. Come on, Mike, why can't you show us a way to drop SOPA support that works for everybody?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 10:23am

    Re: RE

    F*ck it up, receive a huge judgement against them, go bankrupt, and end up in jail for contempt?

    Oh God, I hope so!

     

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  25.  
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    Zos (profile), Mar 29th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re:

    wow, i got a masnick response. minor squee. (ok middling squee) Glad i went back through to look at these.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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