Ron Wyden: Puts Hold On PROTECT IP, Temporarily Withdraws Amendment On The PATRIOT Act

from the busy-day dept

Well, here’s an update to two separate stories from this morning. First, Senator Ron Wyden, who has been speaking out against the secret interpretation of the PATRIOT Act, which allowed the feds to do much more than the law seemed to allow, has apparently agreed to withdraw his amendment, after the Senate leadership promised that Wyden can hold hearings on the secret interpretation. If he is not satisfied with the results of those hearings, he can (and, I assume, will) reintroduce his amendment (with Senator Mark Udall) to require that the federal government make public its interpretation of the PATRIOT Act. This is not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

Separately, in response to the news that the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved PROTECT IP, Senator Wyden has done what he did with COICA and put a hold on the bill, effectively blocking it for the time being. This is good news, as hopefully it will force those pushing the law to address the massive problems with the law. Here is Senator Wyden’s statement:

Consistent with Senate Standing Orders and my policy of publishing in the Congressional Record a statement whenever I place a hold on legislation, I am announcing my intention to object to any unanimous consent request to proceed to S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act.

In December of last year I placed a hold on similar legislation, commonly called COICA, because I felt the costs of the legislation far outweighed the benefits. After careful analysis of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, I am compelled to draw the same conclusion. I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective. At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet.

The Internet represents the shipping lane of the 21st century. It is increasingly in America’s economic interest to ensure that the Internet is a viable means for American innovation, commerce, and the advancement of our ideals that empower people all around the world. By ceding control of the Internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the Internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives. Until the many issues that I and others have raised with this legislation are addressed, I will object to a unanimous consent request to proceed to the legislation.

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Comments on “Ron Wyden: Puts Hold On PROTECT IP, Temporarily Withdraws Amendment On The PATRIOT Act”

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Buck Lateral says:

Re: Re: Re:

@Killer Tofu:

At the point a senator puts a hold on a bill, cloture is the only real recourse unless Wyden withdraws the hold. So 60+ senators voting for cloture is less democratic than a single senator holding up a bill that came out of committee with a unanimous vote? That’s a good one. Who writes your schtick? Masnick?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

If it’s used like that? What are you talking about?

Do you know what a filibuster and a hold are?

One Senator can not hold up the business of the Senate, and 60 votes takes care of that.

Not that it matters; this bill is going to pass 98-2.

Good luck in the future getting any help from Senators Leahy and Hatch tho, Mr. Wyden…

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh, that’s a great attitude to have! Let’s just sit on our hands on all civil abuses such as this bill because someone might not support us in the future. Let’s allow them to trample all over the public good and pass any legislation that favors businesses and profit over what’s best for the liberty and progress of the entire nation. Since it’s so easy to overturn any attempt to block wholesale theft of civil rights, let’s not try at all!

Oh, but it isn’t about the public good is it? It’s about stopping those damn “thieves” and that is far more important than the legal fallout that will result from this bomb going off on the net. Stop being such a damn child. These laws do nothing but prop up a way of doing business because the nature the goods defies any attempt at limiting it.

This is about turning back the clock to the time before the internet existed and protect the fast and easy business model for content. It is a FACT that there are other ways to make a profit from the creation of art and other content that has no dependence whatsoever on the concept of controlling the copying and distribution of cultural symbols. Knowing that, there is no justification for these laws at all. Ignoring or disregarding such options does not justify the demand for “protecting intellectual property”. This attitude is exactly like demanding laws to force a particular price on a product even though the market values it at a lower price. Then, you call them thieves because they try to take it for what it’s really worth.

If you’re an artist and you want to be paid for your work, then get paid for your labor, dammit and not your precious “IP”! Nobody can steal your labor and it doesn’t require any one-sided laws to protect it. Everybody else takes home a paycheck for the labor they did that week and doesn’t get to demand they get paid for it for the rest of their life! X amount of hours of work for Y dollars an hour, that’s how it works in the rest of the working world. Why don’t you hypocrites try that instead of bitching for special treatment and stop calling those that see how things really are thieves?

It’s really simple. You need $50,000 a year to live on (and I’m being generous here, 50K is a lot just for the “basics”). You are willing to spend at least 2080 hours (a standard 40 hours per week schedule) of your time per year to create art. That’s roughly $24 an hour for your labor. That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. All you have to do is show people that your work is worth $24 an hour. How do you do that? Let them enjoy work you’ve already been paid to create! It’s so simple it’s mind-blowing! You’re not loosing money on the works you’ve already made, because you were paid your fair wage for it and the works advertise your skills to the market! I don’t know why nobody can get this into their head! This is just one possible model that works without requiring copyright to exist and there are others as we’ve seen over and over and over again on this site and elsewhere.

Exceptional anecdotes you say? Well, when you take a bunch of similar anecdotes together, guess what that makes, data. There is a body of data that has been collecting over the years that shows what you don’t want to admit. Copyright is not necessary.

It makes too much sense, so it must be wrong or it’s wrong because it’s harder to do that than have the government hand you an monopoly over something that completely defies the economics of scarcity. If you can’t make a living doing it that way, then I’m sorry to inform you that your skills are just not what the market wants. Find a new trade and get over yourself.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If that’s the take-away you got from my comment, then you are the one that’s hopeless and in need of help.

X dollars per hour * Y hours of labor = Z dollars of take home pay. That’s how the real world works and that’s the rule that content should be too. Everybody else works 40 hours a week and takes home a check that reflects the amount of labor they performed for the rate they were promised, but you copyright supporters are just too fucking greedy and want more than that. You think that every copy in existence implies an unspoken contract that you be paid for each and every copy that exists. That’s just bullshit. Just because somebody somewhere gets a copy of your work that didn’t contribute to your fucking pocket doesn’t constitute a loss to you. If you agreed to spend a certain amount of time and labor to produce a work and they agreed to pay the rate you require for that, then that’s what you get. You have nothing to complain about. It’s not a hard concept to grasp. It’s a completely fair exchange and has been the core business model for all workers since there was such as thing as commerce.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Wow, that’s one whopper of a lie there! If you actually read my comment, you would have noticed that I said the artist determines what his labor is worth and applies that to the work he’s hired to do. To say I arbitrarily determined what an artist deserves is nothing short of a lie. I pointed out facts that govern how an artist can price his labor and you summarily disregarded that because it doesn’t allow an artist to squeeze profit from his labor for the rest of his life. You get paid to do labor for an agreed amount and that’s all you get for your labor. Once the art is made, the artist doesn’t get to claim more wages on it. The labor was performed, and labor was paid for, all fair and just.

You just can accept a scenario where the artist can continually extract payment for labor long ago performed, because selling copies that have no reproduction overhead are too profitable to give up. That doesn’t justify laws that permit such a model. Let’s just demand a law that requires everyone to pay money to Ford every time someone sells a used Ford auto. That’s crazy you say? Of course it is, but that’s the same concept you pinheads apply to content.

If all you can do is toss out insults then I will take it that you cannot refute my position with any factual evidence or logical reasoning, because I am right.

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Wow, such bitterness and anger without a single intelligent thought. Go fuck yourself? Is that all you have left?

The low quality of your posts means you can’t possibly be a content creator. I’m guessing you’re involved in a company that’s failing because the people running it (quite possibly you) are just not willing or capable enough to adapt to what your customers really want these days. This would explain both the anger and the lack of a credible response.

Am I close?

Dave Smiley says:

Good news

Great news and thanks to all the technocrats who have been educating the Hill. To have derailed USG’s own mandates to secure the DNS by using DNS redirection as a sledge hammer to enforce IPR would have killed the goose thats about to lay another golden egg for securing the Internet.

Now we need to make sure other upcoming LE Bills don`t try to tie IPv6 addresses to people.


Karl (profile) says:

Didn't know it passed yet

Dammit, I didn’t know it had already passed the Judiciary Committee. I just now got off the phone with my Senators’ offices. Hopefully my opposition will still count.

I made a laundry list of everything that is wrong with this bill:

Specific problems with PROTECT-IP:

– It does not allow the owners of allegedly infringing sites a chance to defend themselves BEFORE they are put on the “blacklist.”

– It does not specifically state that compliance with 17 USC 512, or othe “safe harbors” laws, makes a site exempt from being considered a “rogue site.” (It claims that entities can still assert this as an affirmative defense, but that appears to only apply to the ISP’s, search engines, and financial transaction providers – not to the “rogue sites” themselves.)

– It does not allow the operators of allegedly infringing sites any recourse if they are to be found innocent. They have no means of recuperating any damages to their business (if they are a business), or for compensating them for their loss of civil rights.

– It does not require transaction providers to differentiate between transactions due solely to the infringing activity, and transactions that are not. An accused site, for example, would have no way to set up a legal defense fund. Furthermore, it is unclear if financial transaction providers are required to stop payments against the owners themselves – making it impossible for them to, for instance, get paid by their employers at their day jobs.

– It encourages chilling effects by encouraging ISP’s, search engines, and transaction providers to blacklist sites solely on their own judgement, and eliminates liability if they do.

– By allowing copyright owners to place sites on the blacklist, it creates massive opportunities for abuse, such as claiming a site is a “rogue site” for the purposes of eliminating legitimate competition.

It’s a terrible piece of legislation.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Didn't know it passed yet

you forgot to mention

– it could be used to shut down any open source code sites. Just by claiming copyright on a small section of code, in a small project.
– it could be used to shut down YouTube.
– it could be used to shut down any weblocker.

Basically, this is the exact opposite of what the framers of the constitution had in mind. This does not promote the progess, it creates a chilling effect, shutting down progress.

another mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Didn't know it passed yet

Floyd, we’ve already blown apart the strawmen in your letter but let’s go over it one more time.

“Copyright violations are not protected by the First Amendment.” No shit, Sherlock. And no one is saying that illegal activities are protected speech except the stakeholders pushing for expansive copyright. Every time this lie is repeated like it was ever part of the debate is an attempt to obscure the issue.

“…stealing is somehow less offensive when carried out online.” No, stealing is always stealing. Moving any crime, even stealing, online does not suddenly make it legal or more glamorous.

“[I]t protects creators of speech… by combating its theft.? Repeat after us: “Infringement is not theft.” Rights’ holders, unlike victims of grand theft auto, are not deprived of tangible property. They may be deprived of potential revenue but, while that issue is faced by everyone making bad business decisions, that is not a crime.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Didn't know it passed yet

That’s entirely opinion and you know it. Oh, but I see how it is. It’s an opinion that aligns with yours so, it must be fact!

“The word fact can refer to verified information about past or present circumstances or events which are presented as objective reality. In science, it means a provable concept.”

In other words, only verifiable statements can be considered fact. That quotation contains nothing of the sort. Troll harder.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Didn't know it passed yet

You are so breathtaking wrong in your analysis of the bill I’m not even going to bother with this.

It’s not an “analysis.” It’s a list of problems with the bill’s text, as it is currently written.

You can debate whether those problems are worth considering, but there’s no question they’re in the bill.

Read 1st Amendment scholar, Floyd Abrams analysis of the bill:

You forgot to mention this:

written on behalf of the DGA, AFTRA, IATSE, SAG and the Motion Picture Association

Floyd Abrams is hardly an impartial source.

Furthermore, I just read his letter, and it addresses none of the problems I brought up.

Josh Taylor says:

It won’t matter cause this bill will shut down Christian sites and sites that is Christian-based such as the ACLJ and CBN, and sites that has some biblical content even with a single bible verse are deemed copyright. This bill needs to be sent to the ACLJ. Jay Seculow needs to get this bill out so that everyone who is a Christian needs to know about this. It can silence the gospel on the net and it will lead to more bills deeming Christian Evangelism (even if it’s not internet related) as copyright infringement by gov’t law. Think about it, you criticize a person or other people of the govt or corporate business as a sinner, they can sue you for copyright infringement. They can sue a church for infringement and take the tax exemption away from them. It will lead to persecution and martyrdom. This bill is another step toward a Communist-Sharia state.

It won’t matter either if House and Senate passes a bill that would make it unconstitutionally mandatory to have DRM-thought police chips implanted in the brain of us Americans in case we try to criticize the govt or corporate businesses, preach bible verses, singing hymns.

sam sin says:

many tnx to wyden for putting a ‘hold’ on this disgraceful piece of legislation. as i have always believed, this and other measures being taken by the US to introduce this type of internet restriction, whilst force other countries to do the same type of thing is, in fact, just a way of getting complete control of the Internet, using threats of trade sanctions against countries that dont ‘do as they are told’. this whole copyright protection fiasco is not the real reason. it is being used to blind-side the actual aims. so sad that the people voting for this and other similar bills have no clue as to what they are doing or the consequences. they are obviously internet idiots! once it’s done, there will be no turning back!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The less congress does, the better. You assume that Wyden is interested in passing more legislation. At this point the best thing congress can do is to not pass anymore legislation. At least not until we can get decent representatives elected. Then maybe we can have someone pass legislature that makes copy protection lengths last some reasonable period of time.

The more congress does, the worse off we are.

Josh Taylor says:

The next legislation after this fails, it will be a bill that Wyden can’t block. A bill that will make it mandatory to have DRM chips implanted in the brains of us Americans just in case we try to criticize the gov’t or corporates, or try to sing or hum to a copyrighted song.

Protect-IP Act bill needs to go to Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ. The info of this bill needs to be broadcasted on NRB so that everyone needs to be alerted. Think about it. Even one bible verse on the net can get the entire Christian site blocked from DNS. It will lead to persecution. You can get sued for criticizing a corporate as a sinner.

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