As SOPA/PIPA Becomes Toxic, Frantic Congress Test Runs Dropping DNS Blocking Provisions

from the scurry-scurry dept

Well, well, well. It looks like some in DC are starting to get the message that there is real concern with SOPA/PIPA. The latest is that the fact that SOPA/PIPA support is becoming “toxic” is starting to make the press. In response to that, plus significant pressure from those within the government who are concerned about online security issues… the folks behind both SOPA/PIPA are doing some trial running of finding out how people would respond if they just completely dropped the DNS/site blocking aspects from the two bills. The goal is to get the tech industry to “stop opposing” the bills (if not actually support them). Clearly, the opposition is having a pretty big impact, and we’re hearing that some of the “pressure” to “fix” these bills is coming from pretty high places. Separately, even with the House Oversight Committee hearings scheduled for next Wednesday, it sounds like Lamar Smith has decided he wants to restart the SOPA markup on the same day (perhaps with a new version of SOPA… sans DNS/site blocking).

Of course, while taking out DNS blocking fixes one problem with these bills, it still leaves in place a ton of other problems. Of course, supporters of the bill will falsely claim that taking out DNS/site blocking “fixes all the complaints!” That ignores that this is exactly what they said about the last “manager’s amendment” version as well. They figure if they just keep claiming that they responded to all the complaints, maybe people will believe them. But that’s ridiculous. The bills still have the super broad immunity provisions that will encourage all sorts of content/site takedowns to avoid liability. On top of that, many of the definitions in both bills remain ridiculously vague and would likely lead to overblocking in other ways — that is, things like “information location tools” having to block links to sites deemed rogue under the legislation would remain. Also, the anti-circumvention measures remain in the bill (and are not limited to just foreign sites), which is going to continue to create a huge headache for the State Department, which is funding the creation of many such circumvention tools for foreign regimes… even though offering them in the US would be a violation under the bill! On top of that, both bills still include the private right to action, which will lead to numerous unnecessary lawsuits.

The takeaway here: the growing momentum against these bills is having a big, big impact in DC, and it’s forced the bills’ main backers to go back to the well to see if they can find at least something to compromise on. Taking out the DNS stuff will piss off Hollywood… no doubt, but it hardly solves many of the bigger problems in the bill. Don’t be fooled. No one’s fixing the bill (hell, it’s not clear there’s anything that will fix this bill, because no one’s shown why this particular bill is needed!). They’re simply taking out one provision that is especially bad… while leaving in a ton of other stuff.

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Comments on “As SOPA/PIPA Becomes Toxic, Frantic Congress Test Runs Dropping DNS Blocking Provisions”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Though you did quote mike and insulted him, we expect more from our trolls. You failed to make anyone mad and just showed us you are a “buffoon” with your lack of reading comprehension. Please see some of the better trolls before future trolling endeavors.

If you are not trolling, we expect much more in this comment section when it comes to proving/disproving statements. Please review older conversation threads and see where people
succeeded and failed to stir the intellectual pot. When you feel you have grasped the concepts, feel free to post a comment that does not make it seem like you are an obnoxious teenager seeking attention/approval from the Net as a whole.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“It’s hilarious that you post this directly above an article suggesting that “the entertainment industry is dying.”
You are truly a buffoon.”

Funny, the caption reads “Somebody forgot to tell reality that the entertainment industry is dying.”

You’re truly not only a buffoon, you’re an illiterate buffoon, boy.

Loki says:

Re: Re:

No, the article shows the entertainment industry is GROWING (by 43% in the last decade) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and that the growth is projected to continue in the next decade).

Maybe if we changed the title to Putting To Rest The Myth That The Entertainment Industry Was Dying. it might make it easier to understand?

(or, as someone behind me just said, “Damn, English is my 4th language and I got it. It reading comprehension that much of an issue in this country?”)

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I didn’t want a lot, just one i could ride to work.

Some guys on an island figured out a way to bring them back using DNA from a mosquito trapped in petrified sap, but it didn’t turn out too good for them. I heard the dinosaurs even ate the lawyer.

Plus, the most dangerous animals in the wild tend to be the herbivores. More people are killed by Rhinos than by Lions. That dinosaur you can ride to work might trample you. Then again, I want my flying car even though that could be just as dangerous.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Are they the most dangerous, or just the most numerous?

Well, considering that Hippos are considered more dangerous than both, I am not sure.

However, Rhinos are considered critically endangered, while Lions are only endangered. According to Wikipedia, there are between 16,500 and 47,000 Lions in 2002-2004, while Rhinos are listed as mostly extinct in the wild, so I’d bet Lions are more numerous than Rhinos.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

However, Rhinos are considered critically endangered, while Lions are only endangered. According to Wikipedia, there are between 16,500 and 47,000 Lions in 2002-2004, while Rhinos are listed as mostly extinct in the wild, so I’d bet Lions are more numerous than Rhinos.

Just one of the amazing things you can learn reading TechDirt. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You mis-read the headline. The headline is written thusly
“Apparently, Someone Forgot To Tell Reality That The Entertainment Industry Was Dying”.
What is in the article, if you care to use up two minutes of your life, is that the entertainment industry says its dying, that its losing jobs.
Whereas a study from a government funded labour agency says the COMPLETE OPPOSITE. That jobs are GROWING.

For fuck’s sake, just…what is it with you trolls? If you want to be on the opposite side of the fence, at least MAKE A FUCKING EFFORT! Don’t just completely mis-read the headline and not read the article.
Let me spell it out for you. The one reason above all others why we Techdirtians don’t take you seriously is because you rush to make a comment, without any citations or proof, often including a personal attack. You, my good sir, are the buffoon here, for showing to the world that you are lazy, incompetent, and vitriolic.

Machin Shin (profile) says:

This is a prime example of what is wrong with our current system. The idiots running this country HATE to ever say they were wrong. They will fight tooth and nail to try and “make it work” just to they don’t have to come out and say “I made a mistake so we just tossed that idea”.

I really think Lobo has the right idea though. They need to start cleaning up the old laws, toss out the ones no longer needed and fix those that are being abused. THEN they can go back to thinking about new ones.

anonymous says:

obviously, the proper way to fix this and all similar Bills is to stop trying to bring in these type of Bills in the first place! stop doing what the big corporations are paying for to be brought in, simply to protect themselves and start doing what those that actually do the voting want done. stop allowing ‘campaign contributions’ in any way, shape or form and make those that introduce new Bills liable to scrutiny as to why they want the new Bills introduced anyway. instead of making it easy, make it difficult. at least then it will perhaps stop useless, needless stuff from getting started willy-nilly!

Punmaster (profile) says:

Re: Re:

But if Congressfolk don’t pass new laws, how can they point out how much they got done?

And if they don’t pass the laws that their contributors want, how will they justify asking for more donations next campaign cycle?

And if they don’t have the contributions, how can they tell the folks in their district how much they got done for them?

And if they don’t tell people how great they are, how will they ever get re-elected?

Hmmmm – I think we have a problem here…

Anonymous Coward says:

The problem is actually that in all the western countries, we are letting the ip maximalists do the running.
The best that can be hoped for in those circumstances is that we can persuade people to take out the very stupidest things, while passing legislation of just mind numbing stupidity.

For the situation to improve, IP reformers or IP abolitionists need to make the running on legislation, until that happens the legislation that gets passed will just get worse and worse.

viz last 10-15 years

Beta (profile) says:

point of no return

This is a very old tactic. When the people you’re trying to rob pull together into a serious resistance, compromise: ease up a little, distract, try focusing on some victims so that the others will be tempted to quit and go home, lie low until the heat is off…

The counter-tactic is almost as old: when you catch a thief, you don’t just make him give back some of what he stole. At the very least he has to give it all back, and then you either lock him up, flog him or hang him, depending on your circumstances.

It took a great deal of effort to bring this much pressure to bear, millions of hours of work by people who had other things to do. Those responsible should not get away with 90% of what they wanted. Political careers should end over this, companies should take losses they won’t recoup for years, if ever. When the next battle in this war comes, all those asked to lead the charge for SOPA-2 should know that it could cost them very dearly.

GamerLEN says:

They’re panicking, pure and simple. SOPA and PIPA are going down in flames and any campaigns they try to do to raise support would be hugely wasted at this point.

Personally, with Google and the other tech companies getting in the lobbying game I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the next war over online censorship doesn’t happen at all. The tech giant’s next move should be to get the internet as a whole protected under the First Amendement so that something like this can’t happen again (with provisions of course. Child Pornography isn’t an art form dammit).

Beta (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“The tech [giants’] next move should be to get the internet as a whole protected under the First Amendement…”

It already is, in theory, just not in practice. The only way to bring about what you suggest is to get a good ruling in a “People v. Internet” case, preferably from the Supreme Court. Any idea how to make that happen?

gorehound (profile) says:

Stupid trolls !!!!
The entertainment industry is a piece of lying krap and they are not dying or even hurting.They are making tons of money and if you trolls could read or had half a brain you could of learned this by looking at our Government Public Information.
Any Bill that opens up the door of censorship is wrong.I will not support any Bill that does this.I will fight it and fight back for freedom.
Millions of tech literates will be looking out for you.

Violated (profile) says:


I would believe if best if they completely knock off making new laws at this time and instead to focus their efforts to see exactly what is happening.

The old monopolies are gatekeepers are losing out to the independents. Media creation has vastly increased due to the availability of new tools. The majority of people are just happy to share for other people’s enjoyment. Independent artists use file sharing to promote themselves and to amass a fan base. All facts show that people are still happy to buy and convenience is a large factor.

So it is only the RIAA and MPAA who are running around screaming blue murder. They are seriously afraid of losing their monopoly which not only explains such laws but also explains why they attack independent channels like DaJaz1 and OnSmash.

Since media creation is doing great, since the old market is still making a good profit only subject to competition, since an Internet revolution is happening, then this is simply not the time or place to try enforcing harsh new market controls.

Have no doubt. SOPA and PIPA must die.

Scott (profile) says:

Go Marsha!

If you had any doubt about the intelligence of Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)her response should leave you with little doubt.

?Critics of SOPA can?t deny the undisputed fact that piracy hurts America,? she said in an emailed statement. ?The same radical left-wing special interests groups that advocated for Obama?s so-called net neutrality regulations are trying to hijack conservative principles and mislead the public about SOPA.

?The fact is SOPA only applies to dedicated foreign rogue sites that are harming American consumers and creators,? she added.

Someone needs to tell the guys at RED STATE that they are “left wing”…I dont think they’ve been given the memo

Anonymous Coward says:

I hope sopa/pipa passes. The first thing I’m going to do is claim is infringing on my copyright/patents to force a takedown of the dns. Thereby breaking windows updates and killing all the windows OS’s and allowing every machine to go unpatched for months giving virus writers a good chance at corrupting every pc in the world. I’m sure this will in some way lead to zombies roaming the earth just like the Toshiba commercial.

Anonymous Coward says:

On top of that, both bills still include the private right to action, which will lead to numerous unnecessary lawsuits.

Funny, before the bill was offered I heard an awful lot of sniveling about the government being a private police force. Now come the wailing about a private right of action. Let’s be clear, it’s actual you have a problem with.

tsavory (profile) says:

Wants to start same day

Hmm is it just me or is it fishy that Smith want’s to start the markup again on the same day as the House Oversight Committee hearings.
Of course he does last thing he wants is Issa and Chaffetz in there speaking out with the ammunition the NERDS give them or their proposed amendments being brought to the table.
Plan and simple he wants to avoid as much of the opposition as he can.

Mar says:

IMO, the biggest problem with the bill — aside from the actually bill itself, which is (a) unnecessary, (b) an absolute trainwreck, and (b) one more example of Congress’ cow-towing to industry’s wishes, over the greater good for the general public — is that it enables the Dept. of Justice to “enforce” without a due process. HUH?!!! Have Larmar Smith or any of these other chuckleheads even READ the Constitution?

Greg Mercer (profile) says:

SOPA etc.

We need to kill these bill outright – Congress clearly can’t be trusted at this point to offer anything but… benefit for Congress. Until the undemocratic atmosphere subsides, i.e. the lack of any substantive dialogue or compromise, largely from the Republican side of the aisle (I’m being generous to them, actually), there is no reason to accept anything from such a tainted well.
Let’s kill it.

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