Al Gore Comes Out Against SOPA/PIPA

from the and-he-invented-the-internet!-(joke) dept

Well, check this out. Al Gore has come out strongly against SOPA and PIPA, angrily denouncing the bill and its supporters. It’s a quick 2-minute video taken at a CareerBuilder event, and it’s in response to an audience question. The actual question isn’t heard in the video, but he’s clearly talking about SOPA/PIPA and appears to be well-informed on the issue:

A quick transcript (the very beginning is cut off, so it comes in mid-sentence):

“… are now able to be shared digitally. There is a growing concern on the part of the companies and individuals who create that content, that they’re not getting compensated in a fair way, and so they want to impose a new set of requirements on those companies who provide access to the internet, like the browsers, the search engines, etc. And some of these new requirements, according to the experts on the internet, would very probably have the effect of really shutting down the vibrancy of the internet. As in all things, some compromise must be possible. The content creators and owners have a point and a legitimate complaint… But, in our country, in our world today, there is hardly anything more important — whether you want to solve global warming, as I do, whether you want to reinvigorate democracy as many of us do, whatever problem you want to fix — there is hardly anything more important to getting the right things done than to save and protect the vibrancy and freedom of the internet. The internet is bringing life back to democracy. We saw it in Egypt. We’re seeing it in Russia now. We’ve seen it in so many places…. If you look at the reform movements around the world, and in the US, more than likely they’re based on internet forms of organization. And anything that would threaten the vibrancy and freedom of the internet, I’m against!

There’s very loud applause at the end. If you watch it, you see he gets more and more animated and worked up towards the end. He’s also clearly familiar with the details, since he knows the real impact of the bill. Rather than just focusing on “foreign” sites, as supporters of these bills would like everyone to, he points out that the way in which this is done is to put new requirements on tons of domestic internet companies. He may not have invented the internet (and yes, I know that was taken out of context, but it’s a meme at this point, so live with it), but he certainly understands its importance… and he’s clearly not a fan of SOPA/PIPA.

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Comments on “Al Gore Comes Out Against SOPA/PIPA”

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Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Chris I know you will absolutely be right if the search results on CNN ever change.

Even with the on-going stream of opposition, this is still not a “story” to be followed by the mass media, and therefore is unknown to a great portion of the population. For them, and for congress, having most of the country be aware of what’s actually in this bill is “bad for business”. As are civil protections.

Showing 1-10 of 11 CNN results for SOPA

Did you mean: soap ?Top 2 results shown


updated 21 hours, 13 minutes agoNew ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ stars speak their minds
Not unlike the host of the show, Donald Trump, the fifth season cast of “Celebrity Apprentice” will speak on just about any topic under the sun. First and foremost, of course, they spoke to reporters on Wednesday about what to expect this season…

updated 23 hours, 10 minutes agoHow to nominate a CNN Hero
It’s often said that just one person can make a difference, and CNN Heroes — everyday people changing the world — are evidence of that. Sponsored LinksHelp us Stop SOPA
Help stop SOPA while we still can. Just learning about the danger help

Sponsored LinksHelp us Stop SOPA – Help stop SOPA while we still can. Just learning about the danger help

Doh! The top 10 tech ‘fails’ of 2011 updated Wed December 28, 2011Can’t win ’em all, can you?
Anti-piracy bill meets Web-freedom backlash updated Fri November 18, 2011A bill moving through Congress is intended, on its surface at least, to do something relatively simple: Crack down on the illegal pirating of movies, music and other copyrighted material.

Anonymous Coward says:

Everyone is naive if you think that his alleged opposition to this bill now means he won’t be opposing this (or a similar) bill if he were in office right now. It could be the case, sure, but it’s certainly premature to say that.

The only think we can really look at is his voting history. What’s the most similar bill proposed or passed during his elected term (IE: DMCA?) that he voted on and what was his vote? What he says now almost means nothing and we should take it with a grain of salt. Voting history is what we should try and look at when possible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Not to rob you of your well-earned cynicism (because I share it!) but…

Wikipedia says the DMCA was passed in 1998. The WIPO treaties that lead up to the DMCA were both apparently ratified in 1996. In both cases, Gore was Vice President (1993-2001).

Assuming Wikipedia’s dates are accurate, he would only have voted in the event of a tie (which wasn’t true in either case), so his actual voting position is unknown.

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

Re: Re:

As I pointed out yesterday:

What Al Gore actually said is quite accurate (per, among other people, Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn); what was misquoted in the press is wrong. Please see: How a journalist invented that Al Gore invented the Internet, which links to Seth Finkelstein’s page describing how this story spread.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They also didn’t have a point or a legitimate complaint about the VCR’s or gramophones for that matter and if their view had won out, they would all be a lot poorer now.
These are people who regularly oppose those things that will expand their businesses and make them more money, what they clearly do not need is for people to buy into their fake storylines, the losses they will face due to the legal and political support they are currently getting will probably destroy them.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re:

That’s true. One of the implicit — and wrong — assumptions made frequently on this topic is that there’s a problem in need of solution.

This is what scares me the most. Not that SOPA will pass, at this point, I think it might not. But now that the ball is rolling, something will get passed and it will be bad for all of us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Exactly, IP is not something that anyone is entitled to. No one is entitled to a government granted monopoly, IP is something that should only exist to promote the progress and social welfare.

Anyone claiming to have a legitimate claim because they want IP laws for themselves don’t. The only one that would have a legitimate claim is the public since that’s whom IP should benefit.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Re: D's Advocate

No one is entitled to a government granted monopoly,

To be fair though, there are times when a temporary government granted monopoly is more advantageous to everybody, though such normally applies when you’re speaking of physical utilities (water, electricity, internet, cell network, telephone network, natural gas lines, etc). The natural end result of such work should always result in a break-up of said monopoly after its usefulness has ended.

Anonymous coward's son says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, dad. Because collective socialist politicalism isn’t what got us to this point in the first place. Please just go back to wall st. and get pepper sprayed. Those that know the government regulation in any form, the way you state it or otherwise, is THE PROBLEM. Why? Becuase they aren’t nerds.

Fickelbra (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I believe him on this front. Like it or not, piracy is wrong, but again, they are largely to blame for piracy. They underserve their consumers.

I always summarize my view as this. I have Netflix and Hulu Plus, which I love. I pirate any other cable shows if I really want to see them. I also don’t like doing it, because I have to search for a good torrent, download it, upload it to my server, worry about disc space.. OR.. stream it through a simple interface. I stand before Hollywood a willing consumer with no price effective solution.

A Monkey with Atitude (profile) says:

What times we live in…. I have to agree with Nancy and Al on an issue… But i guess it does show no matter the person or position, some common ground always exists…

Now if we could just get people to actually speak about issues and look for common ground, we might actually get some where (even if its not ideal for both side, it will be far from the worst outcome).

FM Hilton (profile) says:

So what?

Just because Al Gore is against SOPA/PIPA, it does not mean his opinion matters any more.

I do believe he is a private citizen, and as such, he has absolutely no impact on these matters before Congress except as a private citizen.

He was once VP. Not any more, and not even credible in most cases. (see the “Al Gore invented the Internet” meme.)

But he’s still right about the issue. Too bad nobody will ever listen to him or us, for that matter.

nerdfiles (profile) says:

Doesn't help

“Content creators” aren’t complain. Plus, that’s a huge oversimplification, if not principally false.

“Owners” is a stupid word. What he says is divisive. We’re NOT arguing for the importance of the Internet over something else. With that rhetoric, we look like we’re trying to replace something. We’re NOT. The Internet JUST IS important. It’s not “up for grabs” like their content is. Their content goes away, who cares. Internet goes away, we all lose.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s so sad sitting here and seeing so many dumb retards re-hash the “Al Gore Invented the Internet” quote of mass inaccuracy. He never stated he invented the Internet. He stated he took the initiative to create the Internet, and he did by pushing legislation to turn what was already ARPANET, into something that could be used by the public in what he eventually became and has grown into today. Jesus Christ you people are fucking stupid.

vayapues (profile) says:

crud, that is the last thing this issue needs

The last thing this issue needs to to have Gore against these bills. That hurts our efforts to defeat them.

It was frustrating to watch the issue of net neutrality get politicized. To this day, it takes a great deal of energy to convince people that net neutrality is a good thing.

Obama supports it. He is widely unpopular. So net neutrality must be a bad thing.

If Gore wanted to help us defeat Sopa and Protect IP, he would keep his mouth quiet. He is even less popular than Obama!

I can hear them now… “I read that Gore is against SOPA, and foxnews is for it.”

Dumb! Who is behind this strategy? I am glad Gore is on the right side of this issue, but it is absurdly dumb to broadcast that!

All it does, is make the issue that much more polarizing.

M. Kamermans says:

if you can't hear the original question,

there is no “clearly”. He could be responding to SOPA, or he could be answer “what do you think of the policies used in China and Australia, and the trend of western countries starting to implement similar things”. This entire response can be treated as a comment unconnect from SOPA, and when asked directly, he could still say he isn’t directly opposed to SOPA. So no, “The actual question isn’t heard in the video, but he’s clearly talking about SOPA/PIPA and appears to be well-informed on the issue” means “I don’t know what he’s responding to, but I hope it’s SOPA. Find out what the actual question was and update your post with it, please.

Chilly8 says:

I compare Lamar Smith to Sir Allistar Dormandy, in the movie Pirate Radio. Dormandy was hell bent on passing laws to put them off the air much in the same way that Lamar Smith is hell bent on passing SOPA, and does not care what public opinion says.

If you watch the movie, you can see some similarties between Lamar Smith and Allistair Dormandy.

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