VP Joe Biden Explains Why SOPA & PROTECT IP Are Anti-American & A Bad Idea

from the good-for-him dept

A couple of weeks ago, Joe Biden gave a perfect, if unintended, explanation for why SOPA and PROTECT IP are such terrible ideas. Since his speech included a bunch of other things, we thought it would be good to highlight Biden’s specific arguments that explain why SOPA and PROTECT IP are bad, and to give him kudos for making such statements, since they contradict the statements from Hollywood on this bill.

Unfortunately, even with Biden’s clear and incontestable statements that show the massive harm that SOPA and PROTECT IP would cause for innovation in the US, this bill still has tremendous momentum in DC, thanks to a strong lobbying push from the legacy entertainment industry. In fact, don’t be surprised if Biden totally contradicts himself in a few weeks and pretends that he’s all for censoring the internet, harming innovation, and “fixing” what isn’t broken on the internet. That’s why we’re urging folks to support American Censorship Day tomorrow, as the House holds its first hearings ever on how best to censor the internet. Biden’s clear explanation of why SOPA & PROTECT IP are so bad should give pause to anyone supporting it — and will certainly raise serious eyebrows if/when Biden (and the White House) later change positions on these bills. Oh, and if Biden does change positions, let’s hold him to it, and make it clear that the American public doesn’t appreciate flip flopping politicians, who completely contradict themselves, based on who’s supporting what legislation.

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Comments on “VP Joe Biden Explains Why SOPA & PROTECT IP Are Anti-American & A Bad Idea”

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Donnicton says:

Re: Re: Gimme a "T"!

But instead of reasoned debate or, better yet, a cooperative search for solutions, some members of America’s venture capital community would rather set up straw men to be knocked over with arguments that are not supported by the facts and essentially vilify artists and other members of the creative community when they try to defend their rights.

The irony is strong with this one.

Just goes to show that you can pretend anything is the truth if you say it loudly enough.

anonymous says:

what a shame that he didn’t come outright and say just exactly who wants this bill, why they want this bill, what they have done to try to get this bill introduced and what they will do if it is introduced, ie, favour the entertainment industries only, (under the pretence of ‘piracy is killing our industry’ when it is actually flourising), while breaking almost every other internet industry, not just in the US but world wide as well.

Anonymous Coward says:


Funny, I was considering that as something to write about.

I think that the OWS people are pretty much on par with the SOPA opposition. They would love us to think that they are the 99%, that they are some sort of grassroots thing, but in reality, neither of them are.

When you look at all of the SOPA opposition Mike points to, it seems to keep coming up with the same short list of players. Many of the “groups” are just EFF wannabes, lead by a very small group of people who don’t really seem to represent anything except themselves and a few of their friends. They act all like grassroots movements, but really they are just another collection of opinionated people with the balls to claim that they speak for the rest of us (they don’t).

Almost without exception, these “groups” all point to the same videos, and all use the same speaking points.

Their level of desperation is high enough that, like in his post, they are willing to misrepresent what a high government official says, in order to make their points. Biden isn’t speaking about allowing piracy or supporting widespread illegal activities on the net, he is discussing freer speech in countries that just don’t have it.

What Mike, the EFF, and their tag along groups have done is try to shift the debate away from piracy, and on to “free speech”. They are seemingly willing to ignore piracy, and instead want to look at exception cases on the edge to try to define some harm. News for you guys, there is plenty of harm in the middle, where the music industry has been decimated by piracy, and the movie industry is next up for some serious hurting.

So enjoy setting up and knocking down your strawmen. In the end, you will be tagged as the supporters of piracy, and you won’t be able to shake that tag.

Anonymous Coward says:


When you look at all of the SOPA opposition Mike points to, it seems to keep coming up with the same short list of players

Add me to that list.

the music industry has been decimated by piracy

I think you mean the recording industry – they’re not the same.

Biden isn’t speaking about allowing piracy or supporting widespread illegal activities on the net

Neither are we.

he is discussing freer speech in countries that just don’t have it.

Amen. His plea is also that governments don’t do anything to curtail that speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I think you mean the recording industry – they’re not the same.”

Nope, I mean the music industry.

58% of the recorded music sales (including itunes and all the online stuff) has disappeared in 10 years. Concert sales are dropping, ticket prices are going through the roof, and everyone already has a closet full of t-shirts they aren’t wearing. The number of live venues isn’t growing, but the number of acts attempting to play in them has gone up as everyone has become an “artist”.

RcCypher (profile) says:

What amazes me

What amazes me is not the article, or the comments on the article. What amazes me is how many of the comments are from anonymous cowards, either to lazy, or to stupid, to create a profile. But I suppose it doesn’t work if they create a profile, because then we could simply click block and drown out the blather…….

….Now back to your discussion…..

The Incoherent One (profile) says:

Maybe the right place, maybe not

So I wrote my Representative Mark Amodei. I asked him not to support SOPA or any type of legislation that may allow for censorship online. This is what I got:

November 15, 2011

Dear Mr. *******:

As I settle into my new role as a Member of Congress, I thought I would contact you to make sure you had my appropriate contact information and let you know that I have received your thoughts on issues affecting the Silver State and our great nation. We are working to respond to your specific requests in a timely manner.

As you may know, I was recently elected to the United States House of Representatives in a special election on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011. Over the past month, I have opened my offices in both Washington DC and Nevada. In addition, I have held scores of meetings with constituents across northern Nevada on a variety of issues. When in Washington, I have been working on legislation to increase job creation by voting to remove onerous regulations on small businesses, voting to increase private sector investment in the economy, and voting to repeal government mandates that prevents the hiring of new workers. I am also pleased to tell you I have introduced my first two pieces of legislation that both involve ensuring our public lands are protected and managed by Nevadans first.

I am excited to have to the opportunity to represent our state as I work within Congress to get the country headed in the right direction. It is time to get Nevadans back to work, repair the economy, and reduce Washington spending. One of my major priorities is to support a proposal that will control our massive deficit in order to not leave the spending mistakes of this generation on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.

For more information on how to contact me or get updates on my latest activities please visit http://www.Amodei.house.gov or at facebook.com/MarkAmodeiNV2. This site contains up to date information on pending legislation and current events both in Washington DC and Nevada.


Mark E. Amodei
Member of Congress


I do not think they actually read my letter.

Jay (profile) says:


The music industry has done quite well over the years. The recording industry has not as technology moved on without them.

I know you want people to believe that the CD will come back in style but it just isn’t happening. Neither are contracts that are the bread and butter of the RIAA by putting up huge financial numbers for the CEOs. No, the industry is at least a little more fair by having the artists find new alternatives to the RIAA, ASCAP and the entire recording industry system.

Jay (profile) says:


I find this amusing because he doesn’t really answer questions raised by the problems of SOPA, he says “it’s the venture capitalists who don’t like it because they’ll make money unfairly”, then he pulls a play out of Steven Tepp’s playbook and just says “sit back, relax, and let Congress do all the work” when everyone and their mother is saying this is a bad idea!

Anonymous Coward says:

at whiningaboutSOPA guy

i smell a fucking puppet. you will not sway us. we all know about forged grass roots movements, and you guys suck at it. This bill is against the first amendment and shall be fought to the end. Just like when the RIAA tried to ban cassettes (Digital Audio Recorder Copycode Act of 1987 ) which shows how lobbyists will convince senators to do stupid things which are counter productive

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