Senate Lets Copyright Lobby Set Up Shop In Senate Building During PROTECT IP Debate

from the how-about-some-bias-with-your-coffee? dept

This is pretty ridiculous. Just as the Senate is debating the PROTECT IP bill, the Copyright Alliance, a lobbying group created and funded by a bunch of the big legacy copyright maximalist companies, apparently got to set up an “educational display” in the Senate Russell Building Rotunda. The Copyright Alliance has no shame about how it’s using this “educational display” to influence the vote:

The exhibit is an opportunity to showcase for lawmakers and visitors to the U.S. Capitol Complex the importance of copyright to creators across America, by focusing on people behind the lens, sharing stories about the images, and helping viewers understand the investment and commitment made by photographers capturing our nation?s many stories.

I’m curious if the Senate allows such other totally biased parties to set up exhibits like that during debate on other bills. How about pharmaceutical lobbyists setting up an “educational” nursing station in the Senate, just to show the “importance” of protecting pharma. And I’m sure the banks would love to set up an “educational” bank vault in the rotunda during Wall Street reform hearings. How could anyone in the Senate see such a biased effort as being okay?

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Companies: copyright alliance

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Comments on “Senate Lets Copyright Lobby Set Up Shop In Senate Building During PROTECT IP Debate”

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60 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 What will really surprise you...

Once I saw a guy complaining about a submission of a bug report that contained the video the guy was watching it has something to do with animals and women, the guy was aggressively questioning why the guy hadn’t sanitized the filling before it send it to them, immediately another guy popped up and say “We don’t care send it anyway you can, we appreciate you having the time to report the issues”.

In the same vain, a proposal is a proposal no matter how bad it is at the moment, this is a draft, can you amend that draft to make it better? can you correct the bad grammar and so forth?

If you are not willing to do even the basic stuff to get something you want to see enacted why are you complaining that others are doing it?

AJ says:

The average person really doesn’t care about these guys or their attempts at taking away our rights. The average user treats them, like the internet treats damage, and routs around them.

My hope is that they make the laws so crazy, and the punishment so bad, that everyone is scared to do anything and they whole system grinds to a complete halt. Look whats happened to smart phones, you cant even break wind without getting sued by someone for something, you think any company wants to introduce anything new until that mess gets sorts out? . What happens when the average person gets dragged into the mess, people start getting sued because they bought the wrong product… how long do you think these idiot politicians will continue to ride the PRO-IP bandwagon when the “think of the children” crowd starts getting dragged into court for stupid shit?

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

"Copyright Lobby"?

When you said “Copyright Lobby”, I thought you meant the AA’s (most of you refer to them as the MAFIAA). That’s what I call them. It’s a misnomer though, because if they get their way, there will be more of an increase in copyright abolitionism, and that is something this lobby (nor I or even Larry Lessig, the man on whom the Pirate Party bases their manifesto) wants.

Anonymous Coward says:

Masnick, it’s no wonder you spent so much time in high school looking out of your gym locker louvers. The incessant sniveling is really annoying. The Copyright Alliance is not the first, nor last group with a partisan message to appear in the Russell Rotunda.

Instead of crying about it, why don’t you actually DO something. Why not have Techdirt host an apologist’s exhibit in the Rotunda? Maybe you could even offer a showing of “Sita Sings The Blues”. That should really pack them in.

The Incoherent One (profile) says:

To be fair they should allow a group like the EFF in so that they can show the other sides to this argument. How longer copyright only makes these record labels richer at the expense of the tax payer. How laws like Protect IP will do more overall damage to the economy and tech industries, than the studios and labels could ever hope to make up for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh noes! The sneaky Jazz people have done it too!

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/photographic-exhibition-of-americas-jazz-ambassadors-on-display-in-russell-senate-office-building-rotunda-60773992.html

Not to mention those crooked Christian artists:

http://lovelettersfromheaven.homestead.com/files/the_seattle_times_display_of_christian_artwork_in_senate_building_draws_fire.htm

…and not to mention an evil, wild bitch of a nurse:

http://www.wolterskluwer.com/Press/Latest-News/2011/Pages/pr24jan2011.aspx

Mike, you are such a weenie for these sorts of things.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh noes! The sneaky Jazz people have done it too!

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/photographic-exhibition-of-americas-jazz-ambassadors -on-display-in-russell-senate-office-building-rotunda-60773992.html

Not to mention those crooked Christian artists:

http://lovelettersfromheaven.homestead.com/files/the_seattle_times_display_of_christian_ artwork_in_senate_building_draws_fire.htm

…and not to mention an evil, wild bitch of a nurse:

http://www.wolterskluwer.com/Press/Latest-News/2011/Pages/pr24jan2011.aspx

None of those — as far as I can tell — appear to be lobbyists actively lobbying for a specific bill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Mike, those were three fast examples of uses of that area of the Senate, without even looking hard (first two pages of Google results).

As for “interested parties”, consider:

http://franken.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1630

or

http://www.allbusiness.com/medicine-health/diseases-disorders-immune-system-aids-hiv/10192862-1.html

or

http://saveourwildsalmon.blogspot.com/2011/06/photo-exhibit-in-dc-june-13-to-17-one.html

or

http://www.christianpost.com/news/odd-bedfellows-team-up-for-endangered-wildlife-38729/

I could go on. Safe to say there are plenty of “interesting group” and “lobbying group” activity linked to displays in the rotunda.

Sorry, but for this one, you fail.

Anonymous Coward says:

A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

This is a proposal for amendments to the US Constitution in a draft, outline format.There are three basic elements. Silence group influence. Generate the platform and agenda from the populace. Make running for any office ostensibly free, and then select the upper tier for closed competition. I come hopefully from logic and reason, rather than emotion, ideology, or other loyalty.

Proposal:

28. Corporations are not Persons

28.1. Groups, corporations, PAC?s, unions, political parties, religions, ethnic communities, etc., are not individuals for the purpose of freedom of speech and do not hold first amendment rights, or any rights as individuals. Single persons are individuals. Like minded people are allowed to agree with each other, disagree with others, and vote how they like. Groups may exist or form and may take positions on issues, but have no right to advocate outside of their own forum by paying for any kind of communication, such as paid advertising in any form that is propagated by a group.

28.2. Elected officials may meet with individuals in groups (no private meetings except with staff), not organized groups, though they may meet with disorganized groups i.e. open sessions, both in their hearing rooms and in their home districts (they represent their people, not others). Closed sessions are not allowed for any purpose where other than legislative officials exist, except in the very narrow interest of national security, for an extremely limited number of items.

28.3. Lobbying, by an organized group or causing an individual to lobby for a group, of elected officials, their staff, or non elected officials (bureaucrats) by any group is a felony and all officials, officers, and directors said groups are to be held liable. Individuals may lobby, but may not give gifts or restaurant meals or anything other of significant economic value or any kind of influence. Groups may express their sentiments, but references by an individual to a group constitutes hearsay, and is not allowed.

29. Elections

29.1. Eliminate the electoral college and then fully fund election advertising by requiring broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, etc. to put aside bandwidth or other space or accommodation to allow any and all candidates to communicate with their electorate with equal time and space allotted to every candidate.(see 29.9) Paid political advertising of any kind is not allowed. The government shall run appropriate web services (on secure (two factor authentication), encrypted, audit able Elections Information Server(s) (with multiple redundancy and 3rd party plus off site backup with no expiration date for either audit or historical purposes) with one domain for all election information), organized by election year, making space available to all candidates (Fed, State, County, Municipal) including, but not limited to forums, email, newsgroups, wiki?s, podcasts of all media, video, audio, print media, commentary, allotted advertisements, town halls, interviews, debates. No personalized user information shared short of an adversarial probable cause hearing. Media shall be free to cover the various stages though equal time is in force, and since they may not accept any paid political advertising, may freely endorse. Candidates may use other free communication options such as social media or newer technologies. All broadcast options must be opt-in. Yard-signs, bumper stickers, buttons etc. may be personally made by individuals using download-able graphics.

29.2. Data shall be divided between open public domain, and private. Private is anything that might disclose any personal information, location (other than voting district), or any other way to identify an individual and must be absolutely person identifiable. Public facing information and data analysis shall be open source and public domain. Data analysis shall include an algorithm for ranking overall sentiment toward issues, agendas, and/or candidates, and forecast results for accumulated agendas (all 535 congressional agendas melded together and an overall agenda projected). This would represent what they would see on day one of the new session. I would expect them to negotiate from there, though they have responsibilities. Along side should be a total compiled issue list, ranked, for each legislative body or office, and then contrast legislative vs executive platforms. This shall be finalized on October 31 at midnight, along with advertising and candidate speech. All algorithms supporting this process shall be open source and public domain, and should be widely and independently tested.

29.3. The election process shall follow a prescribed format where issue/agendas (new initiatives, the way to be now about current items/prioritized list of issues which are combined to create the platform) for each election are proposed by the electorate online beginning in October of the year preceding the election, and qualified with an issue/agenda primary for each election, taking place online in January of the election year, taking the top 25 rated issue/agendas for each district, for each election, to become the election platform for those elections. How to deal with trolls, duplicate identities posting anonymously, other important controls, fraud and such is an issue to be studied.

29.4. In February, any citizen otherwise qualified may declare their candidacy online and post their positions and credentials, in relation to the established platform. Candidates may form small voluntary support organizations, but may not cause nor fund, nor allow to be funded, any marketing effort outside of official channels established by 29.1 which are free, subject to disqualification and prosecution.

29.5. March and April will be used for online forum style discussion and debate streamed live and retained for immediate and continued download, so that candidates may develop their positions, and a sense of leaders may develop through the ranking system.

29.6. In May leading candidates (say top 25) will be interviewed by a cross section of journalists (mainstream and significant bloggers (determined in part by market, especially in local elections)), equal time applies.

29.7. In April, open houses and town hall type events, and organized formal debates (candidates directly address each other over each issue/agenda item in the platform for that district) are held on all of the nominated issue/agendas in each election platform by district, organized by the government of each election district.

29.8. In June, candidate primaries are held, online, narrowing the field for the final stages, say top 10.

29.9. July, August, September, and October will be used for final debates and use of the free advertising channels by primary winners. Each outlet shall use 25% of all available advertising resources in the various peak opportunities on any given day during this period only. Note the limited burden placed upon Media. Note the opportunities for Media. Consider it their business tax.

29.10. In November, candidates will be silent, except for existing resources stored on the Elections Information Server(s).

29.11. The vote shall take place on the second Friday, Saturday and Sunday of November by some easily verifiable, but not identifiable, open source and public domain (source code freely available and widely and independently tested) system that allows for both online or personal visit to a local election center, at the voters wish.

29.12. Special Elections shall follow the same pattern starting at 29.9, beginning with the remaining candidates and the current platform.

29.13. Platforms, the top issues prioritized, for each electoral district remain the same through the election cycle, example: 2 years for Representatives in the House, and 6 years for Senators. The position of the Elected official shall follow the positions from which they were elected with regards to the legislative agenda.

29.14. Elected officials are held to their positions as candidates, unless changed by their electorate. The process for changing the official platform for a district shall follow section 29.3, with the addition of 1 month of formal debate, and a week for a formal referendum of the electorate (a semi-special election). Elected officials are subject to recall for failure to follow their electorates instructions (system to be devised but thinking about failure to vote according to issue/agenda/platform twice should be considered). So, the electorate needs 5 months to react to the environment and change the direction of their official.

(Damn, I tried to keep it short, but issues kept cropping up)!

I actually have a number of other reforms in mind. However, they have little hope under the current corrupt system. The intent of the above is to change how money and inappropriate influence adversely impact the system. A lot could follow naturally. Obviously details need to be worked out. This is a draft of a concept. Timing may be off . A control missed. Possibility of reorganization needed. Language too obtuse. Lowest common denominator reading test vetted. Opportunities missed. Final language needed.

Offers of solutions along with criticisms greatly appreciated, and eminently more effective.

Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

No but people should know when someone posts intelligently. I am not sure I agree with everything but still respect intelligence.

I have a;ready submitting your comments to 3 different places.

Nothing can bad can come from speaking as your self. But call-outs for bad grammar.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

Amusing, but your entire law would fail on first amendment basis. You cannot constrain anyone from declaring themselves as a candidate at any time. Mike Masnick could declare himself a candidate for the Tea Party for 2024 today if he wished, without issue.

So sorry, you need to find a new drawing board, that one is constitutionally broken.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

> Amusing, but your entire law would fail on first amendment basis.

A constitutional amendment cannot violation the 1st Amendment. It becomes part of the Constitution.

The Constitution cannot violate itself. The amendment as proposed would essentially repeal the 1st Amendment and replace it with something new. For that reason alone I personally would oppose a lot of what he’s suggested, but it would not be unconstitutional.

> So sorry, you need to find a new drawing board, that one is
> constitutionally broken.

So sorry, you need to go back to grade school Civics 101, because your understanding of our constitutional form of government is broken.

Anonyous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

I guess you missed the part of the first amendment that refers to persons. This method merely defines person to specifically exclude non persons, such as groups and corporations.

“Corporations as persons” has been through the supreme court a couple of times,with the corporations losing, but not stopping the abuse of the situation.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

You might also be interested in CGPGrey and his videos on the animal kingdom, explaining different parts of vote rules:

Problems with First to Post

Alternative voting explained

Gerrymandering Explained

Of course, there is more coming out, but it’s great to look at what some of the problems with our electing officials in the US are.

Anoymous Coward says:

Re: Re: A Plan to Remove Money from Politics

Thank you for your comment.

I watched all three videos and found them very informative. However, all three of them assume political parties, while the method described above does not allow them.

How might the assumptions in the videos differ if the assumption of political parties is removed?

calvin (profile) says:

Protect IP Act

Does the exhibit mention the Protect IP Act? No. Does it mention copyright? Yes. Following the logic set forth in the main post, dispay of the Constitution should be banned on Capital Hill during the pendency of the Protect IP debate since that piece of blatent propoganda, in section that is universally referred to by the Supreme Court as the “Copyright Clause,” expressly provides for the securing for “Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

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