Politics

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
sopa, troops



SOPA Sponsors: Pass SOPA To Protect The Troops; Everyone Else: WTF?

from the seriously? dept

The main sponsors of SOPA, Reps. Lamar Smith and John Conyers, are taking political cynicism to new and extreme levels. We've certainly joked about how politicians love to put things like "for the children" or "to save jobs!" on every piece of legislation, because no one wants to be called out for being "against" those things. But now they're simply attaching things that have absolutely nothing to do with SOPA to SOPA... such as claiming that it "protects the troops." That link is to a PDF of a letter sent by Smith and Conyers to their colleagues in Congress, with the headline:
Promote Jobs and Economic Growth: Protect Consumers and Our Troops - Support H.R. 3261
(Amusingly, the URL of that letter also says "Rouge Websites" rather than "Rogue Websites" -- a mistake that lots of folks make, but you'd really expect a bit better of Congress.)

So what does SOPA have to do with the troops? Well, they try to stretch the bill by noting the following:
Trafficking in counterfeit military goods -- H.R. 3261 creates a strong deterrent to those who knowingly risk the lives of members of our armed forces and law enforcement by significantly increasing criminal penalties on those who knowingly traffic in counterfeit military goods or goods sold to law enforcement.
Um. Sorry, but it's already very much against the law to sell counterfeit military goods. SOPA changes nothing there, and certainly won't deter anyone. This is just the ultimate cynical ploy by some Congressional Representatives who appear to have no shame at all, trampling on the good name of our military to pass a bailout bill for Hollywood.

Hell, even the "jobs" claim is bogus. The entertainment industry isn't losing jobs because of "piracy." It's losing jobs because its out-of-touch management hasn't figured out how to adapt to a changing marketplace. Instead, we're seeing tons of innovation and new jobs -- including jobs and innovative tools for content creators come out of the tech industry -- the same industry this bill seeks to regulate, which will significantly slow innovation and job creation.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2011 @ 10:41am

    Re: Who buys this stuff?

    It's not the representatives intelligence they're insulting. It's the voters'. Because if a representative votes against this bill, their opponents can then say to the media, "Rep. Smith voted against a bill designed to protect our troops. Therefore Rep. Smith doesn't care about them."

    The media naturally will parrot this view without explaining what the bill was really about. And voters en mass aren't smart enough to dig into it and see what the bill was really all about.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.