Are Democrats About To Lose An Entire Generation Of Voters By Pushing PIPA/SOPA Forward?

from the do-they-not-understand dept

I’ve talked, in great detail, how the SOPA/PIPA debate has been a non-partisan discussion. It’s not bi-partisan and it’s not partisan. It’s just non-partisan. The debate has nothing to do with traditional Democrat or Republican lines. This has confused cable news, who has a script to follow, but doesn’t know what to do with strange bedfellows. However, some people have noticed an interesting thing in the response to yeseterdays’ protests: it was mostly Republicans who moved decisively away from PIPA and SOPA. While a few Democrats did so, many took hedging steps — saying they “heard concerns” and would “work to fix” things — but still supporting the bill. This is — quite reasonably — infuriating internet savvy Democrats who point out that the party is on the verge of losing an entire younger generation by supporting not just this legislation, but the corrupt process that created it:

If you keep reading that story, the Democrats listed all remain adamant that they’ll remain co-sponsors of the legislation but work to “fix it”.


It’s been a while since we’ve seen Democrats this tone deaf, this oblivious to political reality.

You have an entire wired generation focused on this issue like a laser, fighting like hell to protect their online freedoms, and it’s FUCKING REPUBLICANS who are playing the heroes by dropping support?

Those goddam Democrats would rather keep collecting their Hollywood checks, than heed the will of millions of Americans who have lent their online voice in an unprecedented manner.

Are they really this stupid? Can they really be this idiotic?

Indeed. Even worse, there are rumors that the White House itself may flip flop on its earlier statements, and pretend that any “new” deal meets the standard it set with last week’s announcement. If true, it seems that the White House and the Democratic Party are making the bet that young people really aren’t paying attention to this issue. It seems to me that that’s a huge miscalculation on their part.

Those pushing for this quick solution don’t seem to have understood the protests yesterday. They weren’t protesting this bill per se. They were protesting the entire process through which these bills were made. Using the same backroom dealing to come out with another bill… and pretend that “all stakeholders” had been heard from and were in agreement seems like a very, very dangerous position to stake out.

Over the last few years, the Democrats have been considered the party who “got” the internet much more than the Republicans. Is that about to switch?

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Comments on “Are Democrats About To Lose An Entire Generation Of Voters By Pushing PIPA/SOPA Forward?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I've already made up my mind

You’re absolutely right. I just wish there was a candidate who actually gave a crap about what I care about. None do, and all are either against what I want or have proven that they lied about being what I’m for.

So this might be the first time in my life that I do not vote. It’s sad, and maybe I’ll throw my vote away on a 3rd-party candidate who will never win because s/he actually speaks to what I’m looking for, but I certainly see no reason to take time out of my day to vote for Obama or any of the cast of characters who are the front-runners for the GOP.

FormerAC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've already made up my mind

maybe I’ll throw my vote away on a 3rd-party candidate who will never win because s/he actually speaks to what I’m looking for

I cannot stand people who think they are throwing their vote away. Every time I hear someone say that, I want to slap them.

I voted for Ross Perot. The day after the election, at least 50% of the people I spoke to about the election told me they were going to vote for Perot, but didn’t think he would win. If everyone who didn’t think Perot could win had actually voted for him, it would have been a very different election.

When did voting for President become as silly as voting for Prom Queen or Senior Class President?

Vote your conscience, if you have one. This is not the Miss America pagent. You don’t vote for the prettiest, or the most popular. Vote for someone you think will make a difference. If you don’t, you have thrown your vote away.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've already made up my mind

I voted for George Bush in 1988. Of what all the candidates said, his message I agreed with most. Then I watched what he DID, and I vowed I would not be voting for him again.

Of all the candidates running in 1992, it was Ross Perot’s message I agreed with more. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology (and one of the reason I believe quite strongly that results should not be announced until after the last poll has closed), by the time that I (and at least several dozen people I knew who had planned to vote for Perot as well) were able to get to the polls, Perot was so far behind it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that he would not win.

So we all voted against the candidate we absolutely didn’t want in office (some didn’t want Bush in at any cost, other’s didn’t want Clinton in at any cost) instead of a candidate we did want in office. We didn’t want to “throw out votes away”.

Instead, what we ended up doing was we threw our votes away. Perot got some decent percentage out of that election. He would have posted even higher number had we all stuck to our guns. He likely still would not have won, but he would have had more momentum going into 1996, and had he picked a different representative to run under his platform than himself they might have gained even more momentum.

Now I don’t know if Perot, or whomever he might have gotten to run under his platform if it wasn’t himself, might have made a lousy President, or if they’d have turned out to be just as big a bunch of crooks as the crop we have now, but we passed up on a real chance to break the two party system and we let it slip away so we didn’t “waste out votes”.

exciteabull (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've already made up my mind

GOP:Big Oil::Democrats:Hollywood

Every politician has their own set of corporate paymasters, and they answer to them. When any of them — even the president — dares to disobey, retaliation is swift (as evidenced in another story here on Techdirt). Obama will sign SOPA if it winds up on his desk, because he knows he can’t be elected without all that Hollywood lucre pouring into his campaign coffers. And since the mainstream media (also the property of the corporate oligarchy) consistently succeeds in convincing Americans that they only have two choices when it comes to any political office, you will never see any third party candidate pose a genuine threat to the status quo.

Take your pick: high taxes, corporate welfare and the destruction of the free Internet, or compulsory Puritanical values, corporate welfare and the destruction of the environment. Those are your choices across the board come November.

Karen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I've already made up my mind

That’s not what they’re saying at all. What they’re saying is that if you’re ONLY reason for changing your vote is how Obama votes for SOPA/PIPA, maybe you should rethink your priorities. While this is a big deal, there are way bigger issues on the table that have been brought up, like the fact that Gitmo is still open.

You don’t have to rationalize anything to anyone but yourself. They’re just recommending you think things through before making a decision on a vote such as this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I've already made up my mind

No – but you seemed to be defining who you’d vote for with the following:

1) If he supports SOPA/PIPA, I won’t vote for him
2) I won’t vote for a Republican

Which basically says: I will vote for him because he’s not a Republican, but I won’t vote for him if he supports one thing I oppose.

People like that drive me nuts, and are a large reason why this country is so f’d up.

I certainly didn’t say you didn’t have the right to vote, but I think you’re voting for all the wrong reasons. Please, exercise your right – thanks for having a good reason.

Mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Re: I've already made up my mind

I’m not voting for him. I’m voting against science-hating, privileged, uber-religious idiots who are trying to eliminate all entitlements so they don’t have to pay taxes on the obnoxious amounts of money they make.

At least the Democrats pretend to care about the poor. It’s only lip service, but it’s something.

Mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I've already made up my mind

If I wanted horseshit I’d go to a farm.
Really, go blow smoke up someone else’s ass. I know a hell of a lot of people who had to go on the public dole, and they got off it ASAP. It kept them alive and above water long enough to get another job.
If idiots like you had the slightest idea just how hard you have to work to get into these programs and stay in them, you would shut up. But, instead you rely on 3rd hand info from 40 years ago. If it’s so easy to do, why aren’t you doing it? Just jump on the welfare system and coast!
You, sir, are an ass. Go bray somewhere else.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've already made up my mind

Or, maybe some of us do know what we are talking about, and don’t need to resort to name calling to try to make a point.

And maybe we don’t want to live a sub-standard life living off the dole. I’m not sure why that would even considered to be an viable option.

Mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 I've already made up my mind

If you read my posts, you will realize that I don’t normally name-call. But when I personally know people positively affected by public assistance, and you start spreading lies about it, I am going to tell you what I think of you in no uncertain terms.

You are a lying sack of horseshit, AC. You don’t even kinda know what you are talking about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 I've already made up my mind

Nothing you replied has anything to do with my previous response.

Did you act rude? Yes.
Are there people been eligible or did receive a government backed assistance program who realized that either at that time or some time after that the program isn’t the best method to help people get out of a bad situation? Of course there have been.
Are the Democrats a bigger supporter of public assistance, regardless of the cost or results than the other parties? Well, maybe not if you consider every party out there, but if we stick to the majors, and include candidates who run on multiple lines then yes.

Even with that.

I still would like you to point out what I posted that was made me a “lying sack of horseshit”, as you called me, considering that I was the AC above that you directly replied to, and not the John Doe a bit up the thread.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 I've already made up my mind

It’s always anecdotes with the people who think that public assistance is some great thing that people get on and just stay on from laziness.

It doesn’t hold up to scrutiny and statistics, but don’t expect them to care. It’s all ‘fish stories’.

“Oh, man, I saw this welfare queen and she was so lazy! Eating lobster too!”

You are disgusting

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 I've already made up my mind

Wait, I care about it. And I want people to care about it.

But there needs to be a sense of reality. We can’t go freaking out about anecdotal claims of fraud which in total actually result in losses that could also be found in rounding errors.

That’s throwing out the good for the impossible perfect.

And while we’re at it, as I’m sure you are making some assumption about my politics to the negative, let me say that I’m against the fact that even one quarter of a cent of my earnings went to pay for this:

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've already made up my mind

I know it is very hard to get on the public dole, if you are an honest, hard working citizen. We are walking a high wire without a safety net.

I know someone who lost everything, was $50k in debt and had only a 120,000+ mile mini-van worth maybe $4k. That was enough to keep them from getting help. Now if he had lost his mode of transportation and only asset left in the world, they would have been waiting at the door with bags full of money for him. So why should hard working citizens not be able to get help when they fall on hard times until they have lost everything they have? I am not for any program that I spend my entire life paying into that won’t pay me back a dime until I don’t have a dime left.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 I've already made up my mind

It’s words like this that really highlight the ‘dogwhistle’ theories.

Note the scorn. Obviously, those who are on assistance aren’t ‘honest’.

Roughly 50% of the people who are in the SNAP program are children. We should penalize them for not choosing better parents.

We should ensure that they don’t have a chance.

Just, wow.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 I've already made up my mind

Yes, yes.

I’ve studied economics. Everyone always makes perfectly rational decisions.

No one ever did something they regretted due to a simple mistake. Especially when young and in perhaps some cases suffering from mental health issues. The very definition of irrationality.

I get what you’re saying. These people are just looking for a signal, and the pricing of not quite enough money to get enough to eat is just what they are attuned to. Especially with a crying baby. That’s what every depressed 19 year old needs.

If the evaluation of incentives is even one tick of rational, then we’re needlessly condemning those children to poverty and perhaps starvation. When we have plenty of food.

Tell me where the incentives are so wrong again?

indieThing says:

Re: Re: Re:4 I've already made up my mind

Yeah, I know how that is, having recently had to spend a few months on the dole here in the UK. It took forever to get any form of help, jumping through hoops and being treated like scum! Luckily I’m pretty resourceful and managed to keep my flat ๐Ÿ™‚ No thanks to a system I’ve paid into for over 30 years.

It’s definitely time for a change world wide methinks. Luckily the internet seems to be opening many peoples eyes to what’s being done in our names by our respective governments.

John Doe says:

Re: Re: Re:3 I've already made up my mind

Its not trolling, it is true, just check the voter ranks. Figures don’t lie.

Speaking of figures, in 2009 47% of the people paid no income tax. I can’t find the source off hand, but I have heard that 49% of the people receive public assistance. This country is $13 trillion in debt. How long can it last with only half the people pulling any weight at all? Whatever the answer is, giving away more and more money isn’t going to solve it.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 I've already made up my mind

Well, first, paying no income tax is a far cry from paying no taxes whatsoever. Everyone pays taxes. Only those making above the poverty line pay income taxes specifically, but poor people do pay taxes overall, and their total tax burden, as a percentage of their income, still remains pretty high. That’s even granting the 47% figure is true, which I don’t know for fact.

Second, about receiving public assistance, it depends on how you count. If total public assistance were counted — meaning financial assistance provided by a government program of some sort, then pretty close to 100% of us receive it.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 I've already made up my mind

And the higher you go up the income chain, the more likely you are to have profited from government assistance.

Not just got a modicum of food, which is seemingly the most offensive. Rather it’s rich assholes buying themselves legislation.

Well, they’ve earned it. Worked hard.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 I've already made up my mind

Why is it when people bring up overly generous social programs, people like you go straight to the richest of rich. John is talking about half the country receiving assistance and paying no income tax and you go straight to the 1%. It is the middle class that pulls the weight and are caught in the middle of the class warfare.

As John points out, this country is in huge debt and half the people are drawing assistance and paying no income tax. Like he said, how long can a country last with stuff like that going on? Please answer his question.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 I've already made up my mind

“Well, first, paying no income tax is a far cry from paying no taxes whatsoever.”

That ‘could’ be a sound argument if income tax wasn’t such an important revenue generating tax.

If anything, the dismissal of that number just helps to illustrate how overtaxes we are. Every time money moves, it’s taxed. Regardless of how often, or how much it has been taxed previously.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 I've already made up my mind

You should really go investigate the costs of things. Ignorance of how these programs work, their benefits and their costs is no excuse any more. Nor is understanding how taxes are paid.

This notion that the poor are the problem is just amazingly asinine. I thought we’d learned that shit, but I guess not.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I've already made up my mind

They want to keep them poor because that is their voter base.

Poor people don’t vote as much.

“A study on these disparities found that 86% of people with incomes above $75,000 claim to have voted in presidential elections as compared with only 52% of people with incomes under $15,000. As a result of the participation disparity across demographic lines, politicians are more responsive to the opinions of high-income constituents. A study of roll call votes under the 107th and 108th Congresses reported that legislators were three times more responsive to high-income constituents than middle-income constituents and were the least responsive to the needs of low-income constituents. “

There is probably a difference between R and D on this, but I think it’s inaccurate to state that “poor people are the Democrats’ voter base”.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 ... ... ...: I've already made up my mind

Well, since between me and my wife we make about $200k per year, does that mean that we can tell our congressdroid to take a long hike off of a short plank, and he’d do it?

He’d be three times as likely as if a middle earner told him. I would say… it’s worth a try! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 ... ... ...: I've already made up my mind

You know, $200k sounds like a lot, but by the time you take out taxes, mortgage, food, utilities, occasional domestic travel, gasoline, insurance, and all that other cruft – suddenly it isn’t so much! Of course, if we were paying at Mitt Romney’s 15% rate, we’d be a LOT better off!

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 ... ... ...: I've already made up my mind

You know, $200k sounds like a lot, but by the time you take out taxes, mortgage, food, utilities, occasional domestic travel, gasoline, insurance, and all that other cruft – suddenly it isn’t so much!

Of course not, nobody is rich. Only people 50% richer than you are rich. People making $100,000 a year say when you take out taxes, mortgage, food, utilities, occasional domestic travel, gasoline, insurance, it’s not that much. And people making $300,000 say that when you take out taxes, mortgage, food, utilities, occasional domestic and international travel, box seats, insurance, financial planner fees, and gas for the yacht, it’s really not that much. People making $1,000,000 would throw in mainentance for the private jet, mortgage on the beach house, and household staff, and you really don’t end up with that much.

However, IMO it’s really not appropriate to “take out” mortgage, food, utilities, vacations, gas, and so on. Those are all parts of your lifestyle that your income allows, and they have great value. It’s like saying “yeah, but if you don’t consider all the awesome stuff my money lets me buy, it really doesn’t do me much good.” Of course this whole thing is just an irrelevant side conversation, so whatever. :-p

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 ... ... ...: I've already made up my mind

Well, the almost $200k is now, but until 3 weeks ago I was unemployed for over 4 years, living off of borrowed money and my IRA account. We live in a modest 2 br house in a working middle class neighborhood, drive cars that are 12 and 17 years old, and pretty much only travel domestically to family gatherings unless it is for work. We don’t have much in savings, our taxes are going up, and if we eat out more than once every couple of weeks to give the cook a break (me), it is rare. So, raw income alone does not tell the entire picture.

Jonathan Peebles says:

Re: Re: I've already made up my mind

I agree 100% as Obama is one of the worst Presidents we have ever had but if he does sigh it after taking or cigarettes away I am sure no one will want his to stay in office! I always thought it was the Republicans who supported the rich companies and there BS? Now the democrats too?

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: I've already made up my mind

“I’m certainly not voting for a republican either”
So no matter the issue or what the person represents as long as they are a DemocRAT you will vote for them? Or as long as they are not a DemocRAT you will. Sad really. Voting based on party or race, instead of what they stand for does a great injustice to our country. DemocRAT, RepubliCANT, both parties are bought and paid for.


Eponymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Yesterday was only the beginning

Don’t wish for a complete democracy, at least not one where people can vote to fund all the things, and then suddenly freak out when they realize that this shit costs money.

Like it or not, we need some buffer between the people and the treasury. What we have at present is utter shit, but straight up mob rule would end badly, methinks.

Heed the words of agent K: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

Troglodytarum_venator (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yesterday was only the beginning

my point is, your current system was working for a good long while.
Until shit like regulatory capture where the government literally asked the oil companies who they wanted in the oversight committee.
Get a rock solid moneyproof wall between politicians and companies, and a huntingseason for lobbyists and you just might end up with politicians representing the people again rather than just paying lip service to get elected and then go with whatever the one who gave them the most money thinks is best.

Anonymous Coward says:

Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
Victoria A. Espinel
U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

Victoria A. Espinel serves in the Executive Office of the President as the first U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. She was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in September 2009 and was confirmed by the Senate in December 2009.

Ms. Espinel is charged with developing and implementing the Administration?s overall strategy for enforcement of intellectual property.


(Emphasis added.)

Violated (profile) says:

Re: Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

I don’t see your point when Obama appoints all the people he likes to be the head of various Governmental organizations. It is the case that these people don’t get the jobs unless Obama appoints them.

This is the whole basis of running an Administration. People he can count on to get the jobs done.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

I don’t see your point…

It’s a subtle one ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’ve been following closely, then you’ve already heard of Ms. Espinel, and her role, and I’m just reminding you.

If you’re new to the story, then you’re probably not aware of her role, and I’m raising awareness.

That is all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

She’s apparently not getting it done well. Hollywood’s ripping congress around with their paychecks, and actual creators are blacking out the internet in rage and warning.

This is the person who’s phone should have been exploding yesterday as well.

Atlanta2012 says:

Re: Re: Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

Has no one noticed how quickly the people he appoints jump ship like drowning rats? Seriously, people who are his friends or are appointed as a payback for something they did for him run screaming from the White House! If they can’t work with him, how can anyone else? Oh, I forgot , they all “want to spend more time with their families”. He quite simply does not care what Americans want, he’s so sure that whatever he has planned will be “better ” for everyone.

Anonymous Coward says:

I doubt the republicans “get” the internet, but some of them do have a ridiculous amount of belief in the concept of the “free market”, despite having little understanding of all else that needs to exist for a real free market to occur.

Most of the time, that causes them to take utterly insane positions, but the one thing about the internet is that it actually allows for a lot of the necessary prerequisites for a genuinely free market to actually work.

Eponymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: They don't get it

Yeah, not so much in agreement here. Your comment, whether rightly so or not, reminded me of the push to pass Obamacare. No one could claim to have read the whole thing, and at one point we were told that we would have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

If the Dems do understand the implications and still want this in any shape or form, what does that say about their opinions on liberty in general? I don’t see any way to fix this, it’s just giving the ban hammer to big content, a bigger hammer than the ones they already have.

Designerfx (profile) says:

totally wrong, wrong focus, wrong understanding

the parties are all bought and owned by the same people.

So it is not that the $politicalgroup responded more strongly.

It is that the group which is currently the majority power actually responded. If this had been democrats in power they would have changed faster than republicans. Since it is republicans in power who want to stay in power, it is republicans. It’s entirely a scorched earth concept.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: totally wrong, wrong focus, wrong understanding

It is that the group which is currently the majority power actually responded. If this had been democrats in power they would have changed faster than republicans. Since it is republicans in power who want to stay in power, it is republicans. It’s entirely a scorched earth concept.

Then why are the Senate Democrats still favoring the legislation? They’re the majority there. I don’t think your narrative fits the facts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Are they really this stupid? Can they really be this idiotic?

That quote is referring to the young voters who actually took Democrats at their word, right?

Well, the sooner they figure out that the two parties are merely two sides of the same coin, and that all the partisan “bickering” is just a show put on to raise re-election money, the better.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not to get political but Republican politicians do a better job of heeding the threats and warnings of their base (partly because their base has shown a willingness to follow through on those threats and warnings). “Conservative” sites like redstate and the heritage foundation coming out in opposition and threatening to hold people responsible scared the republicans into action. Democratic politicians on the other hand are not scared of their base (and wont be until some follow through happens on one of these issues).

to prove the point just look at the differing response between the parties over the third party candidacies of Perot and Nader that swung the election against Bush I and Gore. One side tried to address the concerns and win over the supporters while the other side attacked and blamed the supporters.

Anonymous Coward says:

You know what really annoys me actually?

The fact that each anti-SOPA/anti-PIPA argument has to have the words “…piracy is indeed a problem…” as if we’re talking to a 5 year old child throwing a tantrum over some candy “…now I know you want that candy but…”.

They’ve never even proved the full impact of piracy and most of us know that, and still we have to use that baby talk to concede a point that they should not have. Every argument we make has this fallacy built into it, this little nick they can use to hold on to their artificially produced fears.

Give an inch, they take a mile.

Joe Publius (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hear, hear!

If they were on the ball, they would have used the internet like the lightning fast and global communications medium it is to create hordes of interested and paying customers. It wouldn’t be 100% fair to say that you could look at the internet in 1994 and see dollar signs immediately, but even a few years later, the potential was obvious.

Bengie says:

Re: Re:

But piracy is a problem, like welfare is a problem. Fix the source of the problem, and almost no one will need it.

Like welfare, some people do abuse piracy, like people copying and reselling, but most piracy is harmless, if not good.

Piracy will cease to be an issue once the business models are updated to use free copying. You can’t pirate free stuff(in the normal sense).

Dustin (profile) says:

This is bigger...

I’m an avid reader of TechDirt and other blogs. I don’t usually comment here but started commenting a little yesterday.

If SOPA and PIPA pass then it is clear that our elected officials no longer represent the will of the people. Tampering with MY INTERNET crosses a line in the sand. I called my representatives yesterday. I emailed them too.

If these bills pass then I will dedicate myself to seeing this regime thrown from power. It really will become *Us-vs-Them* and will be the start of a revolution in this country. I’ll do my very best to see it happen.

I will not live in a country in which my freedoms are eroded for the betterment of a corporation and dying business model. Say NO to censorship. Say YES to freedom.


I was just looking at this page on SOPA SUPPORT/OPPOSITION. It looks to me like the tide has turned against SOPA significantly.

PIPA remains a serious concern. I’ll see what happens on the 24th. I’m hoping more people voice concerns on the 24th. I’ll be calling and emailing on the 23rd and 24th as well. I hold TechDirt darkens their website again. I hope Wikipedia does something too. We must all work together on this.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: This is bigger...

I am totally with you in your view.I started a facebook group called Boycott Big Content.I do not want to cast Votes for the same bullshit over and over.I will vote for Candidates who break with the ranks and will not take that Corporate Money.That means I will just vote for Indie Candidates.If OCCUPY had more brains their time may be now cause now is when we really need to work on forcing both Major Parties out of our lives for good.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:


And when the Republican party inevitably puts up Romney as their banker-owned patsy-in-chief this November, the election cycle will be entirely about pushing away young voters.

I highly doubt that disaffected Democrats who decide not to vote for Obama (aka Bush 2.0) in November are going to jump ship to vote for the Republican’s Obama-lite. More than likely, we’ll just see record low voter turnouts from both parties.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Prediction

…going to jump ship…

?Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins? by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, Jan 3, 2012


There are obvious, even significant differences between Obama and someone like Mitt Romney, particularly on social issues, but no matter how Obama markets himself this time around, a choice between these two will not in any way represent a choice between ?change? and the status quo. This is a choice between two different versions of the status quo, and everyone knows it.


Two different versions of the status quo.

zegota (profile) says:


One of the major reasons so many Republicans dropped ship is because of Obama (the Democrat, remember?)’s opposition to it. Now that SOPA doesn’t have a chance of passing in it’s current form, there’s not really an upside for the Republicans to pass it. They can save face with their base by saying “See, we heard you!” and with their Big Business partners by saying “Hey, blame that socialist commie in the White House.”

Violated (profile) says:


My theory in this is that the Democrats are just holding back to see which side is prepared to fund them better in the future.

It is hard for either side to miss that Hollywood wants the World to suck its hairy nut sack. Not many have the taste for it but like any true whore it is just a matter of price.

Still like anyone they have bills to pay and a better class of “John” is not a bad idea. So this would be not about losing their old dirty source before the new buyer is whispering sweet words of long term deals in the President’s ear.

Whore away our political friends but this goes to show that the Republicans have benefited less from Hollywood.

Anonymous Coward says:

Urgent Message by Representative Zoe Lofgren

submitted 56 minutes ago by Representative Zoe Lofgren

For anyone who happens to think this isn’t really Representative Lofgren. Her facebook page links to this post.

Yesterday was important. Emails and phone calls poured into the US Capitol. The message in opposition to SOPA/PIPA was clear. As I was on the floor of the House yesterday, I can assure you that the actions taken were noticed by the Representatives. For myself, I was inspired that millions of Americans cared enough about freedom to contact their elected Representatives. But we have not yet prevailed. The key vote in the United States Senate is scheduled to occur at 2:15 next Tuesday, January 24th. It is on a ?motion to proceed? to consider PIPA. We need at least 41 Senators to vote NO on the ?motion to proceed?. Our vote count right now show us in single digits on the NO side so we have work to do. If the motion to proceed is successful it is likely that a form of SOPA/PIPA will become law this year. So this vote is a KEY VOTE on PIPA in the Senate. The concern is that Senators may try to have it both ways. They can say they are only voting ?yes? on a motion to proceed to ?allow the bill to be fixed.? But the truth is that moving to proceed next week will leave the proponents of SOPA/PIPA in control of the process. It will shut down further debate and preclude input from Internet experts and the public and will prevent meaningful consideration of changes to the bills. The goal of proponents of SOPA/PIPA is to pass something in both the House and Senate so that legislators can move ?behind closed doors? into what is known as a ?conference committee? and write what they want in secret.
A yes vote on a motion to proceed is, in effect, a yes vote on getting SOPA/PIPA made into law. And that vote is scheduled to be taken next Tuesday at 2:15. Your opposition to SOPA/PIPA had nothing to do with political parties and everything to do with preserving free expression on the internet. Make sure that everyone knows the KEY VOTE in the Senate is scheduled for this Tuesday, January 24th, 2:15pm (EST). We need Senators to vote NO.

Anonymous Coward says:

The EFF is pushing for another round of “Call the Legislators” on the 23rd…

“January 18th is just the beginning. We?re also gearing up for a day of action on January 23rd when the Senate will be back in session and getting ready to vote on the Protect-IP Act, SOPA?s sister bill. We?re calling on digital activists and Internet users everywhere to call Senators on the 24th and voice their opposition to this censorship legislation. Despite the chorus of opposition from human rights advocates and the tech community, Senators are still trying to push through this dangerous censorship bill. We need all hands on deck to make sure that doesn?t happen.”

Anonymous Coward says:

To answer your question, no, the worst democrats could do is leave today?s youth against BOTH parties, or leave young democrats wanting to support a very similar third party that?s more Tech Savy and less friendly to copyright & spoiled millionaires & billionaire’s who want more draconian copyright laws.

I say this as a young democrat.

The fact is today?s Republicans have already hopelessly screwed themselves over and burnt bridges with the youth in various ways. To cite just a few examples off the top of my head.

-Today?s youth strongly supports gay rights/marriage (by a 2 to 1 margin), and views it similar to the civil rights struggle fought by blacks a generation ago for equal rights. Most republicans still brag about hating & discriminating against gays in order to win votes. The same goes for a lot of social/civil rights issues.

-The youth tends to be a reaction of the presidents they grew up with. Today’s under 30 crowd that voted in the last presidential election is therefore a reaction to economic prosperity under Clinton, and lots of incompetence under Bush. Could this change when the newest youth forgets Clinton and just remembers Bush and Obama? Yes, but what Bush & republicans did during the Bush years will still keep hurting republicans for another decade at least.

-The youth is more and more diverse and minority based, and the GOP continues to do almost everything they can to piss off minority groups (see Newt attacking blacks for collecting food stamps, ignoring the fact that many poor white people in rural areas (areas that tend to vote heavily republican) also depend heavily on food stamps).

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think your strategic political analysis is quite accurate. I would add that the GOP has a racism problem that will eventually collide with changing demographics: to wit, the party has taken a vehemently anti-immigration stance that’s really just a stand-in for “we hate non-white people”. As the racial and ethnic blend in the US shifts over the next 20-40 years, that’s going to be an increasingly-unpopular viewpoint, particularly when white people are no longer the majority.

I’m not a member of any political party (and never have been) but if I were a Republican strategist, I’d be thinking very hard about how to fix that.

Saoirse (profile) says:

Re: Re: GOP Racism

As another “not a member of any party,” I have to disagree. While many republicans might be racist (and many Democrats are closet racists as well), “anti-immigration” does not necessarily = “we hate non-white people.” Most Republicans want the US to enforce the immigration laws which are already in place. The drive to enforce our immigration laws has an economic motivation, not prejudicial. The current laws were enacted to reduce the load of economically impoverished immigrants on our welfare system, typically favoring those who will be financially independent from “economic benefits.” The GOP want immigrants to follow our laws.

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: GOP Racism

It may not be racism, per se. But it is discrimination.

I think Matt Taibbi summed it up pretty well. It’s narcissism:

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Matt, before we get to the transformation, one of the central questions about the Tea Party, and one of the accusations that flies around, is that this is a racist group ? predominantly racist group, partially racist group, or more racist than your average collection on a subway car in New York City. You’ve been in and among them. What’s the answer to the Tea Party racist question?

MATT TAIBBI, Rolling Stone magazine: My answer is it’s not so much about hating black people for these people, I think it’s more about believing in this preposterous fantasy that white people are some kind of oppressed minority in the age of Obama. And I don’t know whether that’s racism, but it is just incredibly stupid. And that’s really my answer. I think there’s not that much overt racism, clearly race is a factor in almost all of their political views. But it’s really more like a collective narcissistic ?

O’DONNELL: They’re working without a historical framework for anyone else’s experience except their own and their own families. And that’s what you’re calling the kind of the narcissistic view of our politics.

TAIBBI: They really believe in this sort of idea that they’re this persecuted, oppressed people and they have no frame of reference about anybody else’s experience and they also don’t have any sense of how their rhetoric is received by the rest of the country. Just think of the whole idea of a tea party: if they’re the Tea Partiers, people like you and me are redcoats, you know, we’re literally not Americans, we’re un-American. And they really believe that.

Someantimalwareguy (profile) says:

Are Democrats About To Lose An Entire Generation Of Voters By Pushing PIPA/SOPA Forward?

…Yes, and it is also beginning to move the older generations as well. I have Uncles, born in the 1940’s who had been long time Democrats dropping their party affiliations to become Independents because the Dems went corporate rather than fighting for economic and social justice and I am seriously thinking of going in the same direction precisely because of SOPA/PIPA, NDAA, DMCA, warrentless wiretapping, Crony Capitalism, Patriot Act, etc, etc, etc.
To everything under the sun, there is a time…perhaps it is the time for the traditional parties to see their time end as well…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

… the choice between democratic candidates and republican candidates….

Some people are very passionate about Coke versus Pepsi. And there’s no doubt! The two brown, fizzy, sweetened beverages taste different!

Some people are very passionate about the diffrences and get into long, heated arguments. Maybe they like arguing?

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Of course, it’s not about which you prefer. It’s about Coke and Pepsi tricking you into thinking that it’s about which of the two you prefer: Coke or Pepsi — and forgetting that there could be another brand you might like just fine.

In the long run they don’t care so much about which of the two is number 1. They just don’t want you thinking past the number 2.

The False Dilemma personified in a decades-long marketing campaign.

John Doe says:

Par for the course for the current administration

The current administration is so use to playing party politics and constructing bills in back rooms and passing them before letting anyone read them that it is no surprise to me that they don’t understand what is going on. The public may, hopefully, finally be waking up out of their slumber to realize that what goes on in Washington has a profound effect on all of us.

bongo houzi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: As I recall..

Zappa for supreme world overlord. So, he, a musical type artist, was against a piracy tax. I always knew he was a genius. I did not however, know that the whole PMRC thing was a distraction from the passage of said piracy tax though. Always wondered why the cost of blank cassettes went up just as they were going out of style.

darryl says:

Biased blogger, quotes biased blogger !!

one has to wonder if Masnick is actually capable of his own ORIGINAL thought ?

It appears not, even this is just a quote from some self proclaimed “expert” just like Masnick.. Yet it appears KOS does the same as Masnick, and is just another one of “them”.

Here is a clue mike, how about something original from YOU !!

is that possible, or can we find everything you say, allready said by someone else. Do you know what research is ?

I guess not, I guess it is easier to use other people’s information, you dont have to think that way. And you do not have to stand by what you say….

one day mansnick will actually say his own opinion, and produce an article which is not simply something stolen from someone else.

But dont hold your breath…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I long for the day when, if an indictment makes a claim, then that claim has to be proven before the indictment can proceed.
“An indictment accuses the company of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films”

How are they allowed to make claims like that, when what they possibly mean is that they believe that people downloaded material which if it had been purchased would have cost that much.
But it’s such a leap between, if purchased and definitively or even possibly cost revenue of x millions that it’s literally breathtaking that people are allowed to make it when they have nothing to back up the claim, especially when claims made under law are in most other circumstances required to be precise and accurate.

demented (profile) says:

Re: Re:

In other words, our “dear leaders” consider this to be war between the people and the government. They may not have declared it openly, but since we DARED to make our voices heard and subvert the will of the 1%, they’re gonna punish us by shutting down sites and treating “web people” like murderers.

They have no idea what they are screwing with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Term Limits

I not going to vote for any incumbent at any level of government and I encourage everyone to vote out every incumbent in every election.
If they only have one term then they can’t do so much damage and will hopefully get the message that they work for us and not big money!
Maybe all the crooks that want to run for office will seek their fortunes elsewhere

theyallstink (profile) says:

None of them care.

I don’t understand how you young people aren’t behind Ron Paul with his views of the social security scam, The ever increasing size if the military, and the ridiculous amount of federal agencies there are eating up tax money employing a bunch of brainless paper pushers creating obscene regulation spending money we can’t afford to spend as a country.

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:

Re: None of them care.

Ron Paul…is an idiot. Yes, yes, I know it’s quite trendy for a lot of younger geeks to support him, but he’s really not worth it. As I’ve said here before, everyone should ready Ayn Rand when they’re a teenager…and by the time they’re 21, they should realize that the entire Randian philosophy is total bullshit…at which point, they should also realize that adherents of same can be summarily dismissed as unworthy of further consideration.

Yes, Ron Paul has said a few sensible things from time to time; but on the other hand, so has Michele Bachmann, and she’s clearly insane. Sporadic, isolated moments of lucidity from otherwise-crazy people do not suffice to make a case for electing them to political office.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: None of them care.

What people like about Ron Paul is that he is at least consistent.
He claims to be for people’s individual freedoms and doesn’t dump that the first chance he gets to please homophobes or racists.

Obviously he is starting from an insane place so even consistency and logic cannot actually get him to a sane one, but out of most of the politicians in the US he is probably one of the few that is within shouting distance of sanity, even if he has no intention of getting any closer.

From an international perspective, we know he’d be bad for the average US citizen, and really bad for those with problems but on the plus side, he almost certainly would stop the US destabilising the rest of the world, and with his face turned against war unless necessary, that alone could save anywhere from 10’s of thousands of lives (as previously in Afghanistan) to possibly millions (as previously in Vietnam)

To the rest of the world, we would surely love you to choose him, but would feel really sorry for you if you did.
Which isn’t to say that we don’t feel sorry for you under this one and really embarassed for you under the last one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: None of them care.

I’m going to vote for Ron Paul, but I know it won’t get noted. At this point there is no hope of improvement. Our “democracy” makes sure that only the 2 parties are actually eligible for election, and those 2 parties are one and the same when it comes to treatment of everyone besides themselves and their wealthy friends, which is to say, that you don’t matter one whit.

Eponymous Coward (profile) says:

Just gonna throw this out there

Everyone bitches about how corrupt the government is, but so few have seen fit to posit a solution to the corruption, apart from more government, AKA campaign finance reform.

I think the better solution is to take power away from the centralized government, push it back closer to home, and leave the Congress/Senate with the bare-bones authorities that they should have.

If Congress no longer has the power to grant the favors sought, the money will dry up and we may get some worthwhile representation. I’m not saying that the MPAA/RIAA are geniuses, but even with their shady accounting they should be able to recognize this losing proposition.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just gonna throw this out there

There is no solution. They are entrenched. We don’t even have the real chance of revolution these days. Didn’t you know the military has been developing non-lethal weapons and training for urban combat so that way if anyone were to try and fix things the only way left to us, revolution, it’d be easily quashed? Big federal government is not going to give up their power. Then Hollywood would have to give money to other people!

bjupton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: There is no solution.

Yeah, the “Well, we can always fight it out” ignores the real revolutionaries like oh, Gandhi or that Jesus fella we hear so much about.

I’ll submit that there might be a time to fight, but holy crap, do we have to just stand there waiting for that time and not ever take a stand before it comes to that?

It’s demented. And passively doomed to failure.

f0nZi3 (profile) says:

None of this is surprising...

This is the same group of retards that said “pass the healthcare bill (aka: Obamacare) so we know what’s in it”. Shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Dumbocrats are stating that they continue to support SOPA and PIPA but will “work to fix it”. Yeah… they’ll work to fix it alright… after it’s law and then there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I would suggest that every american that is concerned about SOPA/PIPA does have a vote in this debate. If it does become law I would urge a complete boycott of all products produced by the “entertainment industry”. They need to know this right now, there could be a real possibility that their profits could be significantly affected if they get this crappy legislation signed into law

Just another pissed off American says:

I would suggest that every american that is concerned about SOPA/PIPA does have a vote in this debate. If it does become law I would urge a complete boycott of all products produced by the “entertainment industry”. They need to know this right now, there could be a real possibility that their profits could be significantly affected if they get this crappy legislation signed into law

f0nZi3 (profile) says:

Re: Just another pissed off American

I agree. I purchased all of the software and movies (music is half and half) I have and use/watch. That’s right… I am one of those that supports the devs and likes having a DVD or BlueRay of what I purchased.

They pass this shit, and you’re gonna see me become one pirating fool. I’ll have to upgrade all the hard drives in my NAS to hold all the shit I’ll be downloading and pirating!

Just another pissed off American says:

Re: Re: Just another pissed off American

I believe that we should hit them where it really hurts, I don’t believe in pirating. Instead don’t go to a movie, don’t buy that CD, make sure that all the phony award shows have a very low rating. In other words just don’t buy anything from those companies. They think that the pirating is a source of lost revenue, let them try to survive with no revenue. All the movie studios, record companies, cable and broadcast companies need to understand that there is a very pissed off sleeping giant out there that is not going to take this laying down. I can promise them that I will not purchase any product that offer now or in the future.

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

To my congresspersons and senators

Any of you, in any party, that do not come out publicly against SOPA/PIPA in particular, and over-regulation of the Internet and freedom of expression in general, will not see a penny of my money, and I will actively work to see that you are removed from office at the earliest opportunity. The behavior of our representatives has been dishonest, corrupt, and short sighted in the extreme. It is time to throw the bums out!

Rachel @ Last Res0rt (user link) says:


The Blackouts caused a lot of previously undecided folks to throw their lot in against SOPA, which is a pretty even split.

Of the folks who were for it and are now against it, those folks make up a bunch of Republicans, sure. Does this mean that the remaining Democratic supporters are harder to sway, or just that a lot of Democrats didn’t sign on to begin with?

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

Re: Well...

You also have to keep in mind that most voters have a mix of concerns and this may not be the one that is the deciding factor for them. Among those who have traditionally been more liberal, there are concerns with the environment, health care, immigration, etc. Assuming that anti SOPA/PIPA folks will choose parties or candidates on that issue alone is not likely to be true across the board.

The Luke Witnesser says:

Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that even TechDirt has yet to report: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.

The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even their outmoded business model.

Can you say, do as I say so I can crush you under heel?

Pjerky (profile) says:

This is bullshit

Mike, normally I support your journalism but in this case I gotta say your being an idiot yourself. If you look at the number of democrats that dropped support of the bill including the president himself I think that support is dropping strongly there too.

Don’t get me wrong, love a chance to kick either party in the balls when they play games and make BS moves. But at least lets be honest about what is really going on.

Jenny says:

It's only a matter of time before Democrats . . .

This issue is still new to U.S. liberals today, give it another couple or so years and Democrats will have convinced enough of them to support and even worse bill than these two.

I’ve found that what liberals support today, if their leaders don’t like it, it’ll only be a couple or few years before they actually think it’s the best thing.

Think about it, that’s why Republicans are ready to drop the bills, but Democrats are saying, lets rewrite it. They’re not going to convince liberals today, but they will engineer some sort of mass persuasion technique that within the next 2 to 6 or so years Democrats will raise this issue up again, and liberals will be crying in support of it. Liberals will probably be so convinced they’ll actually believe that a bill worse than these two today will give them more online freedom. Either that or Democrats will engineer another form of this bill in the disguise of online security, and liberals, like morons, will jump on board and pass a bill worse than these two.

Liberals are way to easily convinced today to actually think this issue won’t eventually pass with liberal America’s support. I’m telling you give max, a decade, minimum, 2 years, and a bill worse than this one will be passed, primarily by Democrats with liberal America’s blessing because liberal America consist of this nations stupid bunch. Now I’m not talking typical Democrat supporters, I’m talking liberals. A good half of Democrat supporters are not even liberal at all, and vote Democrat for other reason.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: It's only a matter of time before Democrats . . .

I’ve found that what liberals support today, if their leaders don’t like it, it’ll only be a couple or few years before they actually think it’s the best thing.

I’m curious, do you have some examples of this phenomenon?

liberal America consist of this nations stupid bunch.

Oh, well at least you’re not biased or anything.

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