Senator Leahy Still Insisting That SOPA/PIPA Are 'Needed'

from the out-of-touch dept

It appears that Senator Patrick Leahy has learned absolutely nothing from the public outcry over his ridiculously overreaching PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, in which the White House IP Czar, Victoria Espinel, suggested that perhaps the “problem” was solving itself via voluntary action, Senator Leahy continued to insist that legislation like PIPA was needed:

“Voluntary efforts are wonderful and I am hoping the voluntary efforts will give us some confidence for the legislation we need, because ultimately we still need legislation.” Leahy said.

This is really ridiculous. He isn’t just saying that PIPA is needed, but he’s arguing that the market working these things out on its own is evidence to support the need for legislation. How does that make any sense at all? What’s clear is that Leahy still doesn’t understand why PIPA was defeated or why there was so much concern (and so little legitimate rationale) for the legislation in the first place.

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Comments on “Senator Leahy Still Insisting That SOPA/PIPA Are 'Needed'”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

How are you polling for the primary? I think you are right about no one giving a shit about SOPA. It’s dead, why are you making it a campaign issue if nobody cares? Even if you get past the primary, I think the RNC will be sharpening its knives in D2. Opposing “cyber-security” legislation like CISPA will get you killed in a conservative district- no matter what your reasons are. Plus it appears that you are the only non-veteran in the mix and that opens you up to the appearance of being soft on national security issues. Best of luck to you. Amodei is a Republican party drone and I wouldn’t be sad to see him gone but I have real doubts whether any D can take him out.

el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

SOPA and its ilk are dead, but we all know that the critters will push it through as a rider on some other bill. I’m trying to campaign on diversifying the state economy and on paring back issues like the PATRIOT act and getting the TSA out of our pants. Unfortunately I’m young (30), single (soon to be engaged), and no democrat has ever won the 2nd district.

I appreciate the good wishes, I really do believe that the key to fixing politics is to remove the career politicians. The problem is that they’re so entrenched it will take a major event to dislodge them.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

SOPA and its ilk are dead, but we all know that the critters will push it through as a rider on some other bill.

Indeed. But specific bills generally make people’s eyes glaze over and fill people with confusion (they’re written specifically to induce those effects, I believe).

You might get a better response by speaking to the underlying principles behind the opposition to those efforts rather than speaking about specific bills, except when there’s a call to action regarding a Bill Of The Moment.

And good luck!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You might get a better response by speaking to the underlying principles behind the opposition to those efforts rather than speaking about specific bills, except when there’s a call to action regarding a Bill Of The Moment.

If you want to get elected, you should focus on the issues that are most important to your constituents- not to you. Right now in the second Congressional district of Nevada; it’s the economy stupid.

arcan says:

Re: Re:

anyone besides me think there should be a limit on the number of laws that can be in effect at any particular time. so if you want to pass a new one you need to repeal a previous one? also if there is a section of a new bill that is not explicitly related to the main topic you have to repeal 2 laws.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I don’t think a numerical limit is a good idea, but I’d like to see a different approach to get the same effect: all bills come with an expiration date. They have to be specifically voted for renewal to continue being a law.

This would take a lot of Congress’ time reviewing and re-voting on existing law — thus preventing them from being able to introduce new laws at as great of a clip. It would also allow a way to get bad laws off the books more easily. instead of having to pass a new law to get rid of an old one, they could just do nothing and let it expire.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I disagree with a lot of what I read on this site — for instance I don’t see respect for the public domain being properly balanced with respect for artists rights, more often than not, and there seems to be more fanning of flames than attempts at settling on workable solutions — but totally agree with you. We don’t need a constitutional amendment, just a constituency that advocates for a sensible term.

Anonymous Coward says:

his Bill was defeated, so he has lost face. couple that with how old he is, how internet illiterate he probably is and just how idiotic he is behaving by trying to insist that if something aint broke, he’s still got to fix it and we have the perfect formula for a complete idiot. no wonder he is where he is in USA politics! it seems that unless you are well into your 50’s, internet illiterate, easily bought and thick as fuck, you dont have a chance in hell of getting to be a US senator!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So voluntary is fine, so long as it’s not functionally different than mandatory? If that’s the stance, then I agree with Leahy, that it’s better for them to try and make it mandatory. At least that’s honest, and there is some sort of opportunity on the part of the citizenry to affect if it happens or the nature of it.

I’m generally ambivalent about this kind of voluntary action. On the one hand, if the results turn out to be awful, everyone can easily just stop doing it. On the other hand, it puts public policy into private hands where the public has no real say about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Really there is no problem that can’t be fixed with legislation. Why just this morning I went to make coffee when I realized I was out of sugar. That’s why I’m putting forth the Sugar Allocation Act (SAA) which will require any individual or corporation with land holdings adjacent to my own to supply me with any sugar or associated sweetener (including but not limited to splenda, equal, sweet-n-low, honey, agave syrup, or nutrasweet) at no interest and with no associated fees. Penalties for failing to do so have not been fully outlined but this law will fall under the joint jurisdiction of homeland security and the senate judiciary committee.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Proper Alt

Dear Politicians,

Here’s a good course of action: Do nothing.

And then, publicize the hell out of it. Use an angle like, “hey look, I’m not making anything worse, I’m not making your life more complicated with new laws, I’m not doing anything. None of the laws I’m passing or writing are taking away your freedoms, because I’m not writing or passing any new laws. You should elect me again.”

I’m telling you, it will work brilliantly.

:Lobo Santo

rubberpants says:

Re: Re: Proper Alt

Anyone can do nothing.

You’d have to explain why you’re better at nothing than everyone else.

People would start wondering why they are paying this guy the big bucks when they could just put a sack of rolled oats in his chair and accomplish the same thing, which is to say, nothing.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Part of the problem is the right wing has deadlocked Washington for anything important. So, congress critters are reduced to this sort of thing just to look like they are doing something, anything at all.

According to Frank Shaeffer that was the plan all along..

Look at the video on this link

The bit you want starts at about 19 minutes in…

Rob says:

Money buys loyalty

I’m sure Leahy is paid well via the MPAA. With all the money they throw at him he isn’t going to come out and say things like SOPA or PIPA are no longer needed. The MPAA tells him to jump, he asks them how high. It is wonderful to see corruption still works well in Washington. It makes me so proud to be an American.

Anonymous Coward says:

Politicians only know of one way to do things, legislate. If they say there is no need to legislate then what is the point of their job? It is the same way if you bring in an “expert” to review/audit a part of your business. The “expert” is not going to tell you your way is working so just keep at it as that would negate his/her very existence. There will always be certain changes that is needed to be made just so he/she justifies you hiring them.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Legislation needed?

Yes, we absolutely do need legislation. It’s the only way to fix the problems.

Without legislation rolling back copyright terms to something reasonable, we’ll never reclaim our public domain rights.

Without legislation criminalizing the use of DRM, the entertainment industry will continue to use it to violate our property rights.

Without legislation repealing the DMCA’s “Safe Harbor” provision, (an Orewllian abuse of the language if there ever was one,) our culture will continue to be held hostage to DMCA takedown notifications, and new SOPA-esque bills violating Due Process will continue to have it as a foundation to build on.

(Some people say that the Safe Harbor provision is a good thing, that it’s what allows sites like YouTube to exist and be useful to us. That’s crap. Laws to make such sites useful already exist–it’s called common carrier law, and it provides the same protections that Safe Harbor does, but without the trampling of Due Process that comes with it.)

So yes, getting new legislation passed is very important. I agree completely with Senator Leahy on that. He’s just got the wrong legislation in mind.

iambinarymind (profile) says:

When Violence is your Hammer...

When force & violence is your hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Politicians only want ever more power & control. The idea that a voluntary & consensual market is solving the problem is antithetical to their purpose as a politician in the fascistic state that is the U.S. today.

This is why we must not use the political system in an attempt to affect change.

We must instead live the principles of freedom & liberty via the non-aggression principle, respect of property rights, and self-ownership.

We must not associate with those who advocate State force against us (i.e. public schools / taxation / voting …etc).

Anonymous Coward says:

Well I guess they figured we all lived in woods and retarded.

News: Did you hear about this PROTECT IP Act.
Billy Bob: Well by god I want someone to protect my IP while I’m surfin the interwebz for my pron.

News: If it does not happen we are all doomed DOOMED!

Billy Bob: We gotta hirry this alon right noww.

8 Year old child: It’s not that kind of IP moron..
8 Year old child: It’s the kind that will take your porn away.

Billy Bob: OMFG we are all doomed DOOMED!!!
Wife: Da fuck?
Billy Bob: How am I supposed to get my rocks off now.
Wife: Rolls eyes
Billy Bob: “You would think the bitch gets after 15 years you just need some strange”
Billy Bob: Did I say that out loud? Sigh..
Wife: Yeah well you would think after being with the same woman for 15 years you would know how to please her and not bust your nut in 45 seconds.
Billy Bob:I’ll stfu now.

Oh yea to the dude talking about Frank Shaeffer.
It looks more like a referral link to me O_O

Chilly8 says:

Any Senator that supports PIPA better watch it. One of the original co-sponsors just barely avoided being knocked off in the primary. Orrin Hatch, last month, just barely avoided, by 66 votes, being knocked off in the primaries, and I think his co-sponsorship of PIPA, despite rescinding it later on, it what caused him to nearly lose in the primary.

Chilly8 says:

I think that the one “Future History” prediction of another SOPA-like law could come true.

Could we see something like the Protecting Internet Commerce and Communication Act (PICCA), that is in one fictional scenario in’s “Future History” section.

With people like Leahy and a few others hell bent on passing such legislation, we might very well see something like PICCA in the 113th Congress.

Anonymous Coward says:

Markets do not always "work things out on their own"

Which is why we require laws in order to set the boundaries of fair commerce. Period. If you don’t like the proposed law itself, fine, neither do I. But don’t you wonder whether the threat (if not likelihood) of future legislation has something to do with the voluntary actions we are beginning to see? In other words, legislation and voluntary measures are not mutually exclusive. Without the threat of legislation, perhaps the incentives for voluntary action simply will not exist.

AC Cobra says:

SOPA and PIPA dead in name only

As I’ve been saying for a while, SOPA and PIPA are not dead, just in cryostasis. Technically they could be revived and passed just as written at anytime, more realistically they will be renamed/given a makeover, maybe tacked onto some other legislation, as soon as the election is over.

Those of you who are union members, especially IATSE: now is a good time to start reading the bulletin (that glossy magazine they send you quarterly, also findable on the website). Understand that IATSE’s leadership is intending to jump right back on the MPAA’s bandwagon as soon as possible. IATSE elections are happening this fall as well. This is a good time to tell your union leaders how you feel about this issue, and tell them with your votes as well!

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