Let The Judiciary Committee Know That Creating A Mini-SOPA Without Public Participation Is Unacceptable

from the speak-up dept

Yesterday, we wrote about how Lamar Smith was rushing through a new bill that looked to approve a piece of SOPA that would spend taxpayer money to expand the diplomatic corp with a bunch of people whose job it would be to spread Hollywood's special copyright interests around the globe... and to set up a special agency for this in the Commerce Department. Despite the public rebuke Lamar Smith got for his efforts to write SOPA in secret and then to rush it through, he apparently didn't learn much and chose to do this bill the same way. It was put on the schedule to be marked up without the bill even being announced -- basically a way to rush it through in secret.

It appears that this plan is falling apart. The markup did not happen this morning, and we're hearing that support for the bill is wavering. Some of the named co-sponsors have made it clear that they're just as unhappy that the bill was being rushed out this way without public comment and were uncomfortable with some of the specifics in the bill -- and that these concerns mean that the bill may actually be delayed. It may be a very temporary delay, but it does sound like some of the "co-sponsors" may have changed their minds and won't be supporting the bill. And, for the time being, the markup has been called off.

There is still a lot of back and forth going on, and it's still important to speak up. Public Knowledge pointed out that the House Judiciary Committee and Lamar Smith need to learn that secret bills are a non-starter, and they're absolutely right.
Before getting to the substance of the bill, perhaps the most shocking thing about it is how it is being handled by Committee Chairman Smith (who was a driving force behind SOPA). If Congress learned no other lesson from SOPA and PIPA, you would think that they got the message about not developing IP-related laws in secret. But you would be wrong. This bill leaked, fully formed, over the weekend and was scheduled for markup today. Needless to say, this came as a surprise to just about everyone not directly involved with drafting it and provided a very limited opportunity to meaningfully participate in the markup process. Step zero for any new IP bill should be a transparent drafting process.
Given that this is still a highly fluid situation, if you're represented by any of the members of the House Judiciary Committee, you might want to give them a call and let them know that you opposed SOPA and you're shocked that the HJC might push through a piece of SOPA in a process that was even more secretive than the one for SOPA itself.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jacob Blaustein, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Too close for comfort.

    If there is anyone from Smith's district here right now, go forth and tell him that you want a) A more transparent process in regards to IP, and b) for him to stop abusing his position as the head of the Judiciary committee

     

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

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

    what the hell is wrong with Lamar Smith? Was he molested by a man dressed in an infringing Mickey Mouse costume as a child? I can't think of any reason that he's introduced SOPA, PCIP, and now this... in addition to his previous efforts to expand the DMCA.

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:04pm

    Jump up and down and wave your arms. Cause a ruckus. Show them that the 1% rules the world.

    Seriously thought Mike, I told you so. You defeat SOPA, and you will just get it handed back to you in pieces, bit by bit, through back doors, last minute amendments to other bills, trade offs, and in all the usual manner that things get passed.

    The goal has been set, and it will likely be accomplished, without a simple name for you to rally people against.

    Told you so.

     

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  4.  
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    SolkeshNaranek (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    Stupid Old Dog

    It does seem that a stupid old dog cannot learn any new tricks.

    Of course, by dog I mean Lamar Smith and by stupid I mean Lamar Smith.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:16pm

    Re:

    If anything that Freudian Excuse would cause him to hate disney and d everything in his power to get it shut down.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:18pm

    Re:

    We do have a name to rally against, Rep. Lamar Smith. and the fact that the Bill looked all set to pass through and has now hit a brick wall in a sense shows that your assumption doesn't quite hold as much water as you previously. I do think that Mike should have Demand Progress start up another petition against this though.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:23pm

    Re:

    So the better alternative would have been to have it approved and set in stone so no one could challenge it or vote it out.

    Yeah, your alternative that we would have "freedoms under SOPA" is completely convincing.

     

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  8.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:28pm

    Umm, no?

    I'm sorry, are you honestly trying to push 'it's going to happen anyway, there's no point in fighting it' as your message here?

    Because I seem to recall that exact same message being associated with SOPA, PIPA, ACTA...

    The fact that the various bought and paid for politicians are doing everything they can to sneak these things through does not mean that people should just shrug and say 'oh well, it's going to happen some time, no point in getting upset', it means that people need to be even more vigilant in looking for, spotting and bringing to light these massive abuses of power.

    Honestly, doormats like you are the reason politicians had such an easy time pulling crap like this for so long.

     

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  9.  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

    Re: Umm, no?

    If you read the article, you would know that it was stopped by the co-sponsors of SOPA who have apparently learned it is against the law to send bills like that through without public opinion.

    Lamar Smith is the writer which means he got paid the most. He then more than likely convinced others that the bill was good, but pulled an Obama Care move and added a bunch of the SOPA crap to an otherwise useful bill and not told anyone about the SOPA bits in the hopes he that one wouldn't be reviewed.

    Now all that being said, it also shows he is under the watchful eye of his constituents, who now know his works are tainted. The only reason SOPA went through the House of Representative so fast is that a lot of these proposed bills are a lot of TL/DNR legalese. They saw the same patterns and stopped and actually read what he added.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Mason Wheeler, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

    Look at the supporters

    Interesting. I look at the article from yesterday, and whose name do I see trying to help push this latest legal abomination but Darrel Issa.

    Anyone still think he's on our side?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Umm, no?

    I don't think he's a doormat. I think it's far more likely that he's got a vested interest in seeing these passed; at least that way, he'd be able to spite Masnick with a "neener neener neener".

    Unfortunately for him the rationale that he's using for a bulk of these arguments don't pass the laugh test for the average person.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:10pm

    Re: Look at the supporters

    Does anyone know if he's backed off?

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:26pm

    Perhaps it is just me, but try as I may I have been unable to find as a part of the "job description" the following quote from the EFF write-up:

    The people in this program will basically be tasked with patrolling intellectual property rights for private US

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:30pm

    Above comment sent in error. Please ignore.

     

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

  15.  
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    Alana (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Stupid Old Dog

    That's an insult to stupid old dogs.

     

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

  16.  
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    surfer (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:45pm

    so where is bob?

    the usual troll spouting his bullshit that this is for the benefit of mankind and children, and this is best for the populace? 'we need this because of the children?' crap. the world is waking up to your shit. but you would not understand why this is no longer going to happen.

    abolish patents and copyright, before we all die.

     

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

  17.  
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    surfer (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

    Re:

    he got offered a job as an extra in the upcoming Batman Rises flick, ahem.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:52pm

    Re:

    you know, i can excuse uninformed, but I cant excuse ppl not paying attention. if you're not paying attention, then you are a fucking idiot.

    if your not outraged, then you are not paying attention....

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re: Look at the supporters

    I heard from some other sources that he's looking to amend the bill.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    anon, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    Yesssss

    Lamar has become toxic when it comes to any agreements in the capitol. If he is involved you can almost guarantee that your trade agreement will not pass, every time Hollywood is involved they destroy all the hard work done by many others and prevent them from passing a lot of good laws that have been negotiated over years.
    I would hate to know how much money has been wasted in lobbying and bribes , how many man hours that have just been wasted. Maybe this is why some people are starting to fight back and not agree to these last minute changes.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Jul 10th, 2012 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Yesssss

    He may have become "toxic," but until there's an actual challenger to dethrone him, he's going to remain "Enemy of the Internet" until the day he dies...

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 1:19am

    'Some of the named co-sponsors have made it clear that they're just as unhappy that the bill was being rushed out this way without public comment and were uncomfortable with some of the specifics in the bill'

    seems to me they weren't that unhappy. had they have been, they wouldn't have co-sponsored in the first place! more likely is that when this new bill was leaked and the co-sponsors names were released too, they suddenly saw the writing on the wall, as happened with SOPA!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 1:38am

    Re: Too close for comfort.

    If you are pretty sure to be reelected no matter what, there is a good chance that you do what is best for yourself and spit on the electorate. It is the opposite of democratic values, but who counts? It is definately not the voters having a voice!

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 3:01am

    Re: Re: Look at the supporters

    Does anyone know if he's backed off?


    A number of supporters have backed off, but have not announced their position publicly. But... do not assume that everyone you've seen associated with this actually are still associated with it.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 3:38am

    Re: Re:

    Its more likely Disney sends him a hooker in a blue fairy outfit.

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 3:50am

    Re:

    ' but try as I may I have been unable to find as a part of the "job description"'

    Do you like wearing jack boots, dark jackets, and IP arm bands? Is your life empty and meaningless? Do you enjoy falsifying evidence and briding politicians? Are you capable of kicking in doors and dragging children out into the night for filling their iPods?

    If so we have a job for you ... join the IP corps for fun and adventure in foreign lands.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 3:50am

    Re: Re:

    bribing = briding

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    AG Wright (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 4:05am

    New department now?

    I can't help to think that when we are supposedly in the process of shrinking the budget that now is not the proper time to establish a brand new department that will certainly cost millions if not billions of dollars.
    Of course they will probably just take the money from something like the Education Department or EPA that they don't like and the public does rather than actually raise the money.
    It's just a stupid idea all around.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Re:

    "Jump up and down and wave your arms. Cause a ruckus. Show them that the 1% rules the world.

    Seriously thought Mike, I told you so. You defeat SOPA, and you will just get it handed back to you in pieces, bit by bit, through back doors, last minute amendments to other bills, trade offs, and in all the usual manner that things get passed.

    The goal has been set, and it will likely be accomplished, without a simple name for you to rally people against.

    Told you so."

    Good morning Mrs Carreon

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 5:05am

    I thought these guys wanted to reduce the size of government - lol.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 8:27am

    As a republican shouldn't he be all for spending less money and decreasing the deficit?

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Much obliged for the fix.

    Briding politicians just sounds...icky.

     

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

  33.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jul 11th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Given that this is still a highly fluid situation, if you're represented by any of the members of the House Judiciary Committee, you might want to give them a call and let them know that you opposed SOPA and you're shocked that the HJC might push through a piece of SOPA in a process that was even more secretive than the one for SOPA itself.
    Shocked! Shocked I am that the House Judiciary Committee, of which 20% are representatives from California, which of course is where Hollywood lives, would try to secretly pass more Imaginary Property legislation! Ahh, wait, the shock is quickly passing... Yep, it's gone.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Nerd, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    OMG WHAT A SURPRISE!!!!

    seriously I knew Lamar would not be able to do a damn thing, the guy is a moron! Seriously when I first heard of mini sopa it was laughable

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Richard M Stallman`, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 12:58am

    The term "intellectual property" spreads confusion by lumping together
    a dozen or so unrelated laws and treating them as one issue. (See
    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html.) To be "for intellectual
    property" is a foolish overgeneralization, just like being "against
    intellectual property". This bill is fundamentally bad because it is
    based on that sort of foolish premise.

     

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


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