Would Obama Veto SOPA? Extremely Doubtful

from the too-much-money dept

I usually like the work of Arik Hesseldahl, who’s pretty sharp in his reporting, but it appears he may have waded into a subject where he doesn’t have much knowledge, in arguing that Obama would likely veto SOPA should it pass out of Congress and land on his desk. Arik’s summary is that Obama “likes the internet,” so he’d probably veto such an anti-internet bill. No offense to Arik, who perhaps just wanted a quick holiday post on the subject, but that shows little understanding of the history of Obama on intellectual property issues, or the many, many signals that the administration has been giving over the bill. In fact, the signals suggest pretty strongly that if the bill landed on his desk today, President Obama would sign it into law with little hesitation — and declare it a victory for the economy and American jobs.

No doubt: there is a significant split inside the administration from everything we’ve heard. Much of the State Department is strenuously opposed to the bill, knowing darn well that it would do significant harm to their efforts to push internet freedom and openness around the globe. SOPA supporters love to point to the letter that Hillary Clinton sent to Rep. Howard Berman about how there’s no conflict about protecting intellectual property and working for internet freedom. But they’re significantly overplaying the letter, which was written before SOPA came out and didn’t mention SOPA at all. In fact, it would be a hilariously bad breach of standard protocol for Clinton to take a position on a bill before the White House made its official position clear, and everyone involved in the debate knows that, even if they pretend otherwise. Either way, multiple sources within the State Department have made it abundantly clear that State has been putting tremendous pressure on people to either fix SOPA or kill it altogether. They’re not happy. Ditto for many in the Commerce Department, who see how bad it would be for the economy to have a bill like SOPA in place. The feelings there aren’t quite as strong as at State, but they definitely appear to lean towards opposed (or, at the very least, neutral).

There are also voices in both Homeland Security and the Defense Department who are worried about the online security aspects as a part of the DNS blocking features of the bill. Of course, those voices are likely outweighed by those who like the ability to shut down domains — such as ICE, who would gladly support SOPA. The Justice Department, also, appears to be a huge, huge, huge supporter of SOPA, seeing as it would give them much greater powers to shut down websites.

Then, of course, there’s the White House itself. And, again, there appears to be a bit of a mix of feelings there, but the leaning definitely appears to be towards supporting the bill. Throughout his administration, the President has left almost all intellectual property issues up to Vice President Joe Biden, who has been about as big a copyright maximalist as can be. He’s the guy who claimed that the heads of the biggest entertainment companies represented “all the stake holders” (public be damned) in a roundtable about intellectual property that he convened two years ago — from which the ideas behind SOPA and PIPA came. It’s safe to assume that he’s totally on board with the bills, and since Obama defers to him on these issues, you can expect this issue is pretty much decided. There are a few others in the White House who may weigh in on the subject, including IP Czar Victoria Espinel. Again, the likely guess is that she’s in favor, having supported the plan to seize domains which is related to SOPA & PIPA. Others in the White House include the CTO, Aneesh Chopra, who hasn’t given much of an indication of where he’d fall on the issue, but has supported open internet initiatives in the past. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s mildly against the plans, but not enough to make a big deal about it. If anything, he’d probably prefer that the bill be adjusted to make it slightly more palatable and then have it pass and be signed.

Finally, there’s Obama himself. Heading into what may be a difficult election year, and dependent on money from Hollywood and unions (the big Democratic funders), this is an easy call. He’d sign it in a heartbeat. Any bill that has the support of the MPAA and the AFL-CIO is red meat for him when it comes to fundraising. The whole “loves the internet” thing is great… if the internet donates. The internet was certainly useful to Obama in the primaries last time around, but when it comes to the big fight, he needs the big guns. So he’s looking for the big cats, and those still support the bill in a big, bad way. If you want a blueprint for how this works, just look at how he signed the patent reform bill a few months ago, despite widespread complaints among the tech industry about how the patent system was totally broken and the bill didn’t help at all. He still signed it and declared (incorrectly) that it would stimulate new jobs. He’d do the exact same thing here. Sign it, point to the AFL-CIO and US Chamber of Commerce support and talk about how this was a “jobs bill” that would “help the economy” by “protecting American jobs.” The internet? Meh. No one cares about the internet when Hollywood and the unions have checkbooks open.

The only way that changes is if SOPA and PIPA become so toxic that any support is seen as career suicide — and if that’s the case, then the bill itself probably doesn’t get out of Congress to get on his desk in the first place. Getting GoDaddy to switch positions is one thing. Getting these bills to the toxic level is a whole different ballgame, and we’re certainly not there yet. For those celebrating the “victory” over GoDaddy last week, this fight is far, far, far from over, and the MPAA and the other supporters of SOPA don’t give up easily. Both SOPA and PIPA are dangerous in the extreme, and still have a decent chance of passing, if people don’t speak up directly to the politicians who continue to support these bills.

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Comments on “Would Obama Veto SOPA? Extremely Doubtful”

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105 Comments
Jason (profile) says:

SOPA Support

I will never, ever vote for someone who supports SOPA. Now, Obama isn’t likely getting my vote anyway. But this issue is huge.

I think we are at the tip of the iceberg as far as the net’s reaction to SOPA. I think if it passes, there will be absolute carnage online.

I also maintain that if it passes, Facebook should turn the pages of every politician who supported it dark. Replaced with an explanation as to why the politician needs to be removed from office.

If SOPA passes I am also contemplating never ever buying any music or going to any movies ever again. I have boycotted companies for far far less.

As everyone watches GoDaddy burn, the message to the politicians needs to be clear. SOPA/PIPA are toxic. We the people will vote you out of office if you support them.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: SOPA Support

I agree and intend to fight this back in any way that must be done.I am not losing my rights without a battle and they will have done the opening shot of a global online war.
They will be so screwed in the end.The people worldwide will hack and crash again and again.
I totally boycott anything RIAA/MPAA for life
I demand that the traitor Politicians be brought to justice
I have no intention on Voting for any supporters of these Bills.
I will probably start voting Indie in 2012 until the Dems & Reps are finally a minority in Washington.
Those two Parties are nothing but a bunch of empty brainbags paid off by big money.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In Mike Masnick’s world, basic economics and market forces include blowing off laws.

I’ve never suggested blowing off laws. What I’ve suggested is that if large segments of your consumer base is blowing off a particular law, there may be better ways to deal with it than to sit and insult people telling you how to make more money.

That’s why his “business” is such a stunning success.

Are you suggesting I blow off any laws? Care to elaborate?

Most grads would realize that such an approach is ill-advised, but apparently he doesn’t.

We abide by the law. It’s amazing how incredibly desperate you have become in your willful blindness to what I’m talking about.

I’ve never seen anyone so obstinate in blaming the messenger. I do not advocate or support breaking the law. I do not break the law myself.

Yet, because you can’t seem to comprehend what I’m saying your only retort is to lie and smear me. Kinda pathetic, don’t you think?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What I’ve suggested is that if large segments of your consumer base is blowing off a particular law, there may be better ways to deal with it

Like raging against enforcement of said laws?

If all you’re going to do is respond with more lies about what you do, Masnick, don’t bother. People completely see through you.

I’ve said before that only a sociopath could lie so egregiously about what their motives are and think they are fooling people.

You continue to prove me correct.

Now go run away and write more anti-piracy enforcement propaganda, k?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

How said is it that I’m about to quote someone who would insist I am not only evil, but un-American?

“A false argument should be refuted, not named. That?s the basic idea behind freedom of speech. Arguments by name-calling, rather than truth and light, can generally be presumed fraudulent.” — Ann Coulter

If you cannot prove your argument, we understand completely, but you should at least make the attempt before you are laughed away.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:


You’re right- that’s why when I find you, take your wallet and leave, there is no legislation that can stop me.

Do I really have to spell it out to you?

You are correct in saying that legislation cannot prevent you stealing my wallet. However, as others have commented, there are laws that prescribe punishment for you in this case and enforcement agencies who well enough resourced to catch you at reasonable cost. Consequently you will probably deduce that taking my wallet is not a good plan for you – so I doubt if you will follow it.

Note here the key fact that it is both physically feasible and economically sustainable to deter you from stealin my wallet. The law of man is thus consistent with the laws of ohysics and economics in this case.

There is however no guarantee that any law you pass will be viable in this way – and changing technology can change the situation at any time.

In particular the IP laws that you defend fail the physics/economics test and therefore are not viable in the long term.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Actually that’s completely correct. If you find him, take his wallet, and leave there is no legislation that can stop you. Legislation can provide you with a disincentive to do so but it cannot prevent you from doing so.

I wouldn’t be throwing around insults like ‘Richard’s fantasy world’ if I believed that pieces of paper stopped people from doing things.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“In Mike Masnick’s world, basic economics and market forces include blowing off laws.”

I think any economist, including myself, could tell you that market forces do indeed include blowing off laws. You didn’t think that passing a law magically makes demand disappear did you? Any rational human being could also tell you that observing this rather objective fact and acknowledging it is in no way what-so-ever tantamount to supporting illegal activity.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

“If these tech companies have to fight bills that are purchased by the entertainment industry to enforce grossly perverted monopoly rights and censor free speech and suppress competition, then they obviously haven’t made enough contributions to political campaigns.”

FTFY

The tech companies already have working business models. If you have to pass new laws to outlaw currently legal business models, you’re the one who needs to adapt.

Seems pretty obvious.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Google’s current business model is legal only because of a loophole written into the 1998 DMCA law; a poorly worded section that allows willful blindness as a cover for illegal activity.

You can’t use the Yellow Pages to look up “heroin dealers”.

Any person that thought such a thing would continue in the cyber world ad infinitum is a moron.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Any person that thought such a thing would continue in the cyber world ad infinitum is a moron.”

Or you know someone who actually understands how the internet works and the many many ways it is nothing like a phonebook but you know whatever, please continue to insult people while you talk about things you don’t understand its very amusing.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Google’s current business model is legal only because of a loophole written into the 1998 DMCA law; a poorly worded section that allows willful blindness as a cover for illegal activity.

Oh look, someone doesn’t understand the law, or the history of secondary liability!

You can’t use the Yellow Pages to look up “heroin dealers”.

You’re conflating a few different issues — either willfully or because you’re not very smart. Neither makes you look good.

(1) The yellow pages approves each ad, so you have a very different situation.
(2) If someone did advertise Heroin Dealers, that would be an easy way for law enforcement to, you know, find and arrest heroin dealers. That shouldn’t be pinned on YP.

Any person that thought such a thing would continue in the cyber world ad infinitum is a moron.

No. Any person who can’t understand the fundamental difference here is a liar or completely ignorant. Take your pick.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

(1) The yellow pages approves each ad, so you have a very different situation.

Is this the part where you pretend Google couldn’t remove The Pirate Bay completely from its search engine? LOL

(2) If someone did advertise Heroin Dealers, that would be an easy way for law enforcement to, you know, find and arrest heroin dealers.

So what is the easy way for the US law enforcement to, you know, find and arrest those running the Pirate Bay?

Whatever legislation that could make such a thing possible, you would rail against, and you know it.

Why do you lie so much about your motives? Who exactly do you think you’re fooling?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“So what is the easy way for the US law enforcement to, you know, find and arrest those running the Pirate Bay?”

Well its not, block website, sue private files sharers, send collection notices to ip addresses, or any of the other things they have tried recently.

I would probably reccomend finding them and then having them arrested, but that is too simple a solution that’s try to hide them from the internet, because that will work so well. Of course arresting them and making them take down the website would work really well, how long did it take to have limewire relaunched after the owners got sued and arrested?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Is this the part where you pretend Google couldn’t remove The Pirate Bay completely from its search engine? LOL

No. Nor have I suggested they *couldn’t*. What I would ask is why they should remove it completely, when many artists use it legitimately? Why should Google block any site “completely” barring a legal basis to do so?

So what is the easy way for the US law enforcement to, you know, find and arrest those running the Pirate Bay?

You seem to be confusing those running a website that hosts no material with those doing the actual infringement. US law enforcement has every ability — should they wish to — to seek charges against individuals violating criminal statutes by use of The Pirate Bay.

Why do you lie so much about your motives? Who exactly do you think you’re fooling?

My motives are exceptionally clear. I don’t think it’s right to blame third parties for the actions of their users. I worry about the impact on innovation and free speech by clueless morons who can’t seem to comprehend the difference between a tool and a use of the tool. I also recognize and understand basic economics and how those who are embracing what the world allows seem to be doing a lot better under such an embrace than under the old system. Finally, I look at the data and I realize that the entertainment industry is growing and thriving — minus a small segment (for which you apparently work).

There’s no lying, and my motives are clear.

I’m not “fooling” anyone. I’m telling the truth. The fact that you wish to lie about me for reasons that are not entirely clear is an issue you need to deal with yourself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

the entertainment industry is growing and thriving — minus a small segment.

Movies, games and recorded music dwarf all other aspects of the entertainment industry. You sound like a fool writing this bunk.

What I would ask is why they should remove it completely, when many artists use it legitimately?

So you just want to be willfully blind about the Pirate Bay, right?

This goes along with your willful blindness with any other site that illegally traffics in copyrighted material: someone used it for a legal purpose, so all the illegal activity is given a pass.

This is what I’m talking about when I say you actually think you’re fooling people.

I don’t think it’s right to blame third parties for the actions of their users.

OIC, yet when the RIAA or anyone else actually goes and sues those users, you do everything in your power to demonize them.

So who should take responsibility and be punished here Masnick? You hilariously claim you don’t support piracy, yet you rail on anyone or anything that does indeed try to enforce copyright law.

Let’s cut to the obvious, shall we?

You hate copyright law. And you know it.

You’re just too much of a little man to admit it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

It isn’t piracy to hate copyright law. Copyright law is state monopolism and rent-seeking especially when it’s used to attack infringement with no commercial nexus. My perspective is that copyright is kind of like the drug laws – just because they’re usurpatious, tyrannical, and un-American, doesn’t mean I violate them.

I think copyright should be abolished or at least non-commercial infringement legalized. Most artists would do fine without copyright. Musicians (not record labels) and writers would do fine. Entertainment software would be more than OK – they already live in a world where copyright is a myth and survive through adding value using modes like multiplayer and through technological measures which, of course, are a constant arms race. TV might have some trouble though the serialized model of content distribution which they specialize in would be doomed.

Only those who depend on rents rather than creation would suffer. Textbook publishers would be going down the tubes because they depend on releasing a new book edition every year with the same content but different problem sets. Hollywood would also be absolutely doomed because of the high cost necessary to make a movie, the derivative content of modern movies, and their noninteractive nature. In any event, Hollywood makes the same movie over and over again diced 100 million ways. No big loss. Let them get real jobs.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

The ads Masnick has on this site are rent-seeking. People should be able to pay once and have an ad on here forever.

It’s amusing when the children pretend they know what economic terms mean.

Look, if you want to have a debate about economics and business models, I’m happy to do that. But it’s gotta start with you understanding fairly simple terms like “rent seeking” and not making up definitions for them that have nothing to do with the actual phrase.

Otherwise, I mean, who can take you seriously?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“someone used it for a legal purpose, so all the illegal activity is given a pass.”

No, that’s just your strawman argument that you made up. No one said that illegal activity is acceptable just because the site also facilitates legal activities.

“This is what I’m talking about when I say you actually think you’re fooling people.”

You think your fooling people when you claim that the only purpose of the RIAA/MPAA et al is to stop piracy. Their purpose is to make it too expensive for anyone to host content without fearing infringement so that they can use our legal system to effectively ban competition. This is what they’ve already done to restaurants and other venues that wish to host independent performers without paying some irrelevant parasitic third party licensing fees under the pretext that someone might infringe. It has nothing to do with infringement and everything to do with banning competition.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111220/02265017137/new-anti-sopa-song-crowdsourced-video-dan-bull.shtml#c863

No one is fooled. This isn’t just about stopping ‘piracy’ it’s about banning competition altogether. No one is fooled.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Movies, games and recorded music dwarf all other aspects of the entertainment industry. You sound like a fool writing this bunk.

Movies, games and recorded music are all industries that are *GROWING*. You should look at the data. All three have been growing significantly over the last decade.

So you just want to be willfully blind about the Pirate Bay, right?

No. It’s just that I recognize how tools that start out for infringement quite often later turn out to be the most useful legitimate tools around. The photocopier, the VCR, etc.

Learn some history, you ignorant fool.

This goes along with your willful blindness with any other site that illegally traffics in copyrighted material: someone used it for a legal purpose, so all the illegal activity is given a pass.

Are you really that dense? I made it clear that I’m not saying give it a pass. Just don’t blame the tool.

You’re so stupid that if you were in control there would be no radio, no CDs, no VCRs, no MP3 players, no YouTube… none of that. Because it was all “dedicated to infringement” when it started and in your pea-brained mind, it should just be killed off.

OIC, yet when the RIAA or anyone else actually goes and sues those users, you do everything in your power to demonize them.

If I think the prosecution doesn’t make sense, I’ll point it out. Not sure your point. But in other cases, I’ve said it makes sense. I’ve pointed out that both Jammie Thomas and Joel Tenenbaum should have settled their cases, rather than take them to court, for example. But you ignore that. Because you will never read what I actually say and will only read what you think I said.

So who should take responsibility and be punished here Masnick? You hilariously claim you don’t support piracy, yet you rail on anyone or anything that does indeed try to enforce copyright law.

As I’ve explained in great detail, if you as the copyright holder can *DO BETTER* by ignoring copyright law, then why shouldn’t I point that out? My goal is to help expand the market and make content creators BETTER OFF. So if I think you’re doing something moronic, I’m going to point it out.

Sorry for trying to help you.

Let’s cut to the obvious, shall we?

You hate copyright law. And you know it.

You’re just too much of a little man to admit it.

No, I’ve explained in great detail that I think that copyright law today doesn’t serve its purpose, and that it limits the market, harms content creators and consumers alike. That doesn’t mean I “hate” it. It means I can judge it rationally and recognize that it’s a bad law.

I’m sorry these ideas are too complex for you. But, as I’ve suggested in the past, if you take the time to actually read what I say, rather than what you pretend I say, you might actually learn something and stop being such a failure in the industry. Of course, we all know that won’t happen because your MO is to insult your own fans. And I don’t care what kind of law is in place, you’ll never be successful with fans if you’re a born jackass.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You keep saying he’s trying to “fool” people.

You do realize there’s a difference between you “not being fooled” and you “simply being too stupid to understand the issues at hand” don’t you?

Actually, wait, never mind. I think I just answered my own question there. Of course you don’t, because you’re too stupid to understand the issues at hand.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Is this the part where you pretend Google couldn’t remove The Pirate Bay completely from its search engine? LOL

You don’t understand technology do you?

You’ve never actually developed anyting technical have you?

You den’t understand the difference between doing things manually and via an automated system.

Otherwise you wouldn’t “LOL” in such a stupid way.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

There are already websites that Google has removed from its search engine,
So?
They can make a token gesture by removing a small number of sites – which is kind of pointless – because if you Google “pirate” you get “About 40,900,000” results. Good luck searching through that lot to find the infringing sites.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“You can’t use the Yellow Pages to look up “heroin dealers”.

Any person that thought such a thing would continue in the cyber world ad infinitum is a moron.”

People PAY to post listing in a phone book. Google indexes every webpage out there. You don’t take a word out of a dictionary because it conflicts with your personal views.

el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And if the content middlemen hadn’t perverted the copyright system to impressive new heights, there would be plenty of room for both industries to get along. As it stands right now, my industry (the tech sector) is smarter, quicker to adapt, and has the common man on their side. You and the rest of the entertainment Luddites can go smack your head against some rocks, the rest of us have something important to contribute to society and yes…you can come too even if you’ll do it kicking and screaming.

JamesB says:

Re: Sopa - Anoymous Coward

The problem with this bill is that anyone can file and claim copyright infringement, and for larger companies there’s almost no way to police this type of action 100 percent of the time so you could be they’d be called out in breach often, add to this the huge legal bills for every company online to protect their domains from issues and the problem goes beyond your limited scope of better business models

Anonymouslymad says:

Re: mad

es and the goverenment wll tighten the rules mre and more until their will be no enternet for us to be able to use and thousands of online buissnesses will be destroyed for stupid copyright things that the government shouldn’t even be sticking their noses in. If somone that got copywrited had a problem they can sew and stuff themselves not have the government take all are right away like when they passed the National Defence Authorization act 2012 that removed are right to a fair trial.

Adam (profile) says:

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage, backup and inter-computer sychronizing via the internet is becoming a big business, much of it in the USA. SOPA/PIPA will move that whole market to Canada and offshore — who will want to store anything they value or rely on in the US when the site can be shut down entirely arbitrarily and without any warning? Now that the US is rapidly transforming itself to a corporate oligarchy with a financially stressed population, why would I trust any computer service that resided in the USA? Why would I even want to open a branch there?

Anonymous Coward says:

Mr Obama on civil liberties

Mr Obama’s consistent support for civil rights and liberties was made clear by his statements and actions ?while he was still Senator Obama? on the FISA Amendment Act.

?Obama?s FISA Shift? by Kelly Moeller, ABC, Jul 9, 2008:

“To be clear,” Sen. Barack Obama. D-Illinois, spox Bill Burton told Talking Points Memo last October about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, “Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

Reaffirmed Obama?s Senate office in December: ?Senator Obama unequivocally opposes….?

In February Obama voted in favor of the an amendment from Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., to repeal retroactive immunity for telecoms, saying, “I am proud….?

**

Free from the political pressures of the Democratic primaries, Obama now says he will vote for the FISA bill even if it doesn?t include retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

And moreover, he will no longer support a filibuster of the bill if it doesn?t include telecom immunity.

“My view on FISA has always been….?

Senator Obama’s view on civil rights and liberties is that we have always been at war with Eastasia.

Eric Toribio (profile) says:

About the toxicity.

GoDaddy was so severely affected by their support to the bill because they were the supporter that was the most threatening to the internet because it controls domains and SOPA is all about taking domains down. The boycott was a no-brainier. Now, when the rest of the supporters are organizations and companies that have nothing to do ‘directly’ with the internet but people that control money, patents and consumer’s content that speak louder in the WH than then 800million people on Facebook’s side. To boycott all of those companies will mean subjecting to live like a pilgrim until the effect is so tangible that SOPA and PIPA will be history. Of course, we can focus on the ones that’ll cause a bigger impact worldwide (if the media talks about it, ’cause this legislation is only famous online and not in news reports). Also, there is something to notice for the representatives that support these bills, if they pass the changes will be so abrupt that people won’t help but to attack those who were responsible for pushing it further in the elections (well.. only smart people, who aren’t bought by fast-food promises).

Anonymous Coward says:

All these people commenting about how all of us who oppose the bill are vriminals and pirates are showing their complete ignorance of the facts. They think that it’s okay to just hand the internet over to Universal Music and the like.

FACT: Under SOPA/PIPA, anyone who claims infringement can shut down any site they like WITHOUT PROOF AND WIYHOUT DUE PROCESS AND WITH NO CHANCE OF APPEAL. If opposing that sort of bullshit is criminal, lock me up and throw away the key. But in America, we are CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED due process.

So what matters more to you mudslingers and ignorant name-callers: Protecting the profits of the Hollywood elite, or protecting our Constitutionally guaranteed due process?

You don’t think SOPA can ever be a bad thing? You think no one will abuse it? Tell that to MegaUpload, or 50cent, who put a video of HIS original music on HIS YouTube channel, only to have it pulled by Universal Music for copyright infringement on a song they had NO RIGHTS to. And there are countless other examples, and that’just under DMCA. SOPA is far worse.

So don’t blindly support something just because it has “Stop piracy” in its title. Do some research and learn the truth befote making accusations you can’t substantiate. Then maybe we who do look beyond the surface may care what you have to say.

(Apologies for the aggressive tone, but I’ve really had it with these idiots.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 27th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

Where, exactly, does the bill say no due process and no chance of appeal?

In the most recent version, the bill appears to have lots of safeguards, including the ability of ISPs to refuse to execute a block without a judicial order.

There are other problems with SOPA (DNSSec comes to mind), but unless you can point me to a pager number to exact language in the bill, I think this line of reasoning is faulty.

S Benjamin says:

If Obama wouldn’t Veto the NDAA which allows “the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial” which is clearly a perversion of the constitution he is not going to Veto this. It is my opinion that they are not interested in helping the entertainment industries they support S.O.P.A because it gives them a “kill switch” just in case another wikileaks pops up 😉

I could care less about the entertainment industry if it tanked tomorrow I wouldn’t shed a tear!

Anonymous Coward says:

AFL-CIO support?

I think that if we reach enough union members and educate them as to the dangers of SOPA/PIPA we could see the unions withdraw their support. Remember its only a handful of leaders, not the rank and file, who signed the unions up to endorse this. Most union members are hard working regular Joe and Jane types who have no great love for the suits who are pushing SOPA.

The WGA pulled out didn’t they?

Violated (profile) says:

Whitehouse

The Whitehouse is mostly an easy one when VP Joe Biden has been in bed with the Copyright Cartel for ages and welcomes their bullsh*t and campaign contributions.

So like with ICE’s operation “Within Our Sites” it only requires good old Joe to convince the President. That aspect is usually smooth sailing for him. Money, jobs, etc.

Things are not all hopeless though. The Whitehouse may see the massive public and industry revolt, not to forget how damaging SOPA is, and their advisers may advise against it.

staff says:

more dissembling

“despite widespread complaints among the tech industry about how the patent system was totally broken and the bill didn’t help at all. He still signed it and declared (incorrectly) that it would stimulate new jobs…”

What the bill did was tilt the field so that big firms were running downhill and small firms up. Obama was likely corrupted to vote for such a bill that would have the opposite affect on jobs of what he claimed. Politicians only care about getting elected. For that they need campaign contributions, and lots of -no matter the cost. It’s pay to play in DC.

“patent reform”

?This is not a patent reform bill? Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) complained, despite other democrats praising the overhaul. ?This is a big corporation patent giveaway that tramples on the right of small inventors.?

Senator Cantwell is right. Just because they call it ?reform? doesn?t mean it is. The agents of banks, huge multinationals, and China are at it again trying to brain wash and bankrupt America.

They should have called the bill the America STOPS Inventing Act or ASIA, because that?s where it is sending all our jobs.

The patent bill is nothing less than another monumental federal giveaway for banks, huge multinationals, and China and an off shoring job killing nightmare for America. Even the leading patent expert in China has stated the bill will help them steal our inventions. Who are the supporters of this bill working for??

Patent reform is a fraud on America. This bill will not do what they claim it will. What it will do is help large multinational corporations maintain their monopolies by robbing and killing their small entity and startup competitors (so it will do exactly what the large multinationals paid for) and with them the jobs they would have created. The bill will make it harder and more expensive for small firms to get and enforce their patents. Without patents we cant get funded. Yet small entities create the lion’s share of new jobs. According to recent studies by the Kauffman Foundation and economists at the U.S. Census Bureau, ?startups aren?t everything when it comes to job growth. They?re the only thing.? This bill is a wholesale slaughter of US jobs. Those wishing to help fight this bill should contact us as below.

Small entities and inventors have been given far too little voice on this bill when one considers that they rely far more heavily on the patent system than do large firms who can control their markets by their size alone. The smaller the firm, the more they rely on patents -especially startups and individual inventors. Congress tinkering with patent law while gagging inventors is like a surgeon operating before examining the patient.

Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.

Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html for a different/opposing view on patent reform.
http://docs.piausa.org/

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Why the hate against protecting musicians rights?

Fimlamker, musicians and artsist all have a right to earn a living from their work and have it protected from thieves!

No. Everyone has the right to *try* to earn a living. No one has a right to earn a living.

And, yes, you have a right to protect things from thieves. But we’re not talking about thievery here, so that’s really completely off-topic.

There is nothing wrong in protecting your creative work from piracy.

Okay, let me make a simple point: let’s say we proposed a law that said, simply, “to protect artists from online piracy, the government will completely shut down the internet.”

I think you would agree that this would be overkill and would do more harm than good. Sure, it would likely stop online piracy (though I imagine it would only create new underground pockets of piracy). But the collateral damage would be immense.

What people are arguing here is that SOPA creates a ton of collateral damage, of this nature, with little to no benefit.

So why the hate?

Because the bill would create a tremendous amount of damage, while doing almost nothing to actually help “the filmmaker, musicians and artists” you talk about.

James Howardson says:

Re: Re: Why the hate against protecting musicians rights?

@Mike Masnick

In the interest of not fighting a point without cause, may I say your comments are acknowledged and I agree with the body of your points.

Essentially I do wish that some of the focus would put forward alternatives – but I guess that may not be the intent of the debate.

For the record I am not behind bills that further government controls (without reason).

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike, what’s the basis for your conclusion that the Justice Department is a huge supporter of the bill? It doesn’t look like they’ve issued any official statement about SOPA, and Holder didn’t say Justice supported SOPA in his testimony a few weeks back.

I’m wondering because that seems to be the oly department you mention that supports SOPA (other than ICE, which is just part of DHS), so their support would seem like it would be big news.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Mike, what’s the basis for your conclusion that the Justice Department is a huge supporter of the bill? It doesn’t look like they’ve issued any official statement about SOPA, and Holder didn’t say Justice supported SOPA in his testimony a few weeks back.

No agency will go on record in support (or against) one of these bills prior to the White House deciding what it wants to do. That’s just standard protocol. If any of them did so publicly, that would be a massive faux pas of somewhat epic proportions.

But… you talk to enough sources and you can learn all sorts of interesting things.

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