Call Your Senators Today: Tell Them To Vote Against Censoring The Internet

from the make-this-stop-already dept

As mentioned last week, there's a big push going on by the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce (the largest lobbying organization in the world) to get PROTECT IP voted on and approved in the next few days or weeks. Some in the Senate leadership have decided that with everything else going wrong in the economy these days, they can repackage this as a "jobs" bill, and pretend that they're "helping the economy." Of course, nothing is further from the truth. PROTECT IP (PIPA) is a sure jobs killer in that it will significantly hinder innovation on the internet, including those responsible for millions of new jobs over the past decade. On top of that, it will set up the very first massive internet censorship program within the US. It's hard to see how that's helpful for jobs at all.

The backers of this bill are hoping that since SOPA is even worse than PIPA, there will be less protest and some may see it as a "compromise." That's ridiculous. It's a very dangerous bill that will have long-lasting consequences. If you're an American citizen and believe in the importance of innovation online, today is the day to call your Senators. The folks at Fight for the Future have set up a very easy system to do that. You just put in your info, and it will first give you a quick summary of key points, and then connect you to your Senators. If the Senate realizes that the public really is against this bill, then hopefully they'll finally dump it.


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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

    For all your blather, you only argue that doing so will harm some people who make money off pirated content. -- Oh, you toss in some "could" affect free speech and so on, but at least tacitly defend the actual targets of it.

    And without offering any workable alternatives -- in my view because there are no alternatives to more enforcement, IF copyright is to be preserved, and think it will be and even should be -- anyway, if you don't want DNS filtering, propose some other actual mechanism that accomplishes it.

    You appear to be against /every/ part of SOPA, including the part that may actually reduce piracy. That's a position that makes it easy for Big Media to roll over your opposition, because it just ain't reasonable, doesn't acknowledge the underlying problem.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 7:54am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      sure, shut down sites actually dedicated to infringement. Have a court say (not rubber stamp) that the site is dedicated to infringement and go through the proper channels to have a site shut down and nobody will argue with you. By trying to take a shortcut using the fear of liability for others' actions is not the proper way. The worst part is that this isn't actually taking the site down, its just temporarily obfuscating its presence.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:15am

        Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

          okay...so your point is that since UMG, without SOPA/PIPA, is able to sue, have a case where all parties are heard, and may shutdown groove shark, SOPA/PIPA is needed.

          See how that doesn't make any sense?

          (we already have a legal system that allows this)

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

          The thing I find most amusing about that article is that Grooveshark was basically FORCED to violate copyrights in order to build a viable streaming service. Say what you want about the motives of Grooveshark's management but when the record labels won't even sit down to negotiate until you can offer millions of dollars or millions of unique users upfront the problem rest squarely on the shoulders of the record labels.

          Tell me, how does one build a music streaming service or even the next iTunes if they don't have millions of dollars or millions of users already?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

            ha, that's utter bullshit.

            If Grooveshark wanted to build a legal streaming service, they could have followed the rules just like Rhapsody, MOG, Pandora, etc.

            No, their plan all along was to take advantage of DMCA loopholes and try to build a business based on infringement.

            They're idiots for being so brazen as to brag about it in emails and they're going to lose millions because of that.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

              Yeah and a Judge should decide that in a real court. Not the senate killing the whole internet. Part of the problem is that the right hates to enforce laws on companies and other 0.1%ers.

              Perhaps we really do need Google, Apple etc to buy the labels and turf the management and lawyers replacing them with a saner structure.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

                Google and Apple are the greedy 0.1%ers, you fucking ignorant moron.

                And you're their stooge.

                 

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 7:54am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      While it's true that many parts of SOPA are intended to reduce piracy, a cause I sympathize with and support, the way the bill wants to handle the enforcement is so loose and vague, perhaps intentionally, so in the end the big corporations and/or the government itself are given control of all content on the internet. Think of it this way: there's a building where journalists of all kind enter but many of them are ill-intentioned or fake reporters. What's the solution? They don't let ANY of the journalists get in except for those that the goverment chooses, rather than giving right to the others to be allowed into the building. In long term, the bill is just going to let government and companies to manipulate the internet content according to their own agendas and interests and they'll justify this by saying "it's for your own protection" or "it will stop piracy".
      Malign information running rampant online is something I'm against, but enforcing a complete oppression over all content online is something I'm against even more. Out of two evils, I'd stick with the one that has less repercussions against freedom.

       

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        gorehound (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:42am

        Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

        +1
        And I have called my Reps numerous times.They vote yes then I make sure to not ever vote for them.i would much rather just vote INDIE anyways.I am getting fed up with both of the Major Parties.SOPA/PIPA will screw over many DIY Artists like me.It is broad and will give the Government to much Power over us.It is wrong.They want to fight Piracy then arrest those who do it just like shoplifting.do not try and Censor our lives.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 7:55am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      +1

      And I'm using the above link to call my Senators and tell them that I support the bill.

       

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        Fickelbra (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

        Make sure you include how amazing you think the Great Firewall of China is to the "freedom" of the Chinese.

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:00am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      "And without offering any workable alternatives"

      We have offered alternatives, many times. The problem is you literally refuse to see or hear these alternatives.

      "in my view because there are no alternatives to more enforcement"
      Really? No alternatives whatsoever? More and more draconian enforcement is not the answer. Since people like you love to use real world analogies, let's say you (yes, you Blue) were running a supermarket. You hate theft/shoplifting. So with this "More Enforcement Is Good" mindset, you eventually get to the point where you strip search your customers before you allow them to leave. Once customers hear of the way you're treating them, they start to avoid you like you have the plague. And in the end, you have no one to blame but yourself.

      "Oh, you toss in some "could" affect free speech and so on," When this bill allows for someone to just fire off a "THEY IZ INFRINGING ON MY COPYRIGHTS" letter to the payment processors, and thus, starve a site of funds, then yes, free speech does become a legitimate concern. Here's a thought exercise for you Blue. Imagine if SOPA had passed ten years ago. What would Web 2.0 be like?

      "You appear to be against /every/ part of SOPA, including the part that may actually reduce piracy."
      As Mike and others have pointed out hundreds of times, not one part of SOPA works as intended. I would recount how, but since you've ignored it so far, I'm not going to bother.

      Blue, if you do respond to this, respond to what I've actually written. No ad homs, no strawmen, respond to what I've written.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:05am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      You assume without elaboration that stopping piracy is even necessary or desirable.

      Since a lot of offline activities such as copying a friend's Itunes library, copying a borrowed cd and forwarding ringtones to one's friends equally violate copyright law but aren't affected by SOPA, I fail to see why the opponents have to provide a "solution" to piracy in order to negate the need for the legislation.

      You could also claim that since no one has offered a solution to stop piracy in private communication, any opponents of monitoring private communication must therefore offer a "solution" or accept the need for monitoring of all private communication.

       

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      SabreCat, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:17am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      Why now? What's so urgent about reducing piracy?

      The movie industry is thriving. So are music, TV, video games, and books. In every sector supposedly harmed by piracy, you can see booming business, with new content and new platforms for enjoying that content coming out all the time.

      Yes, there's piracy going on right now. So what?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:34am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      And without offering any workable alternatives ... if you don't want DNS filtering, propose some other actual mechanism that accomplishes it.


      That implies that DNS filtering actually accomplishes anything. Which it won't. Anyone savvy enough to pirate with torrents will be savvy enough to get around that. And if they aren't, tools will come out to do so.

      So with all the negative baggage with SOPA you justify it with one completely pointless 'solution'.

      A reasonable alternative to SOPA is simply not passing SOPA.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:45am

      Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

      "in my view because there are no alternatives to more enforcement"

      How about the "content owners" offering their product using the same technology as the "pirates" at a reasonable cost?

      Or would that be too much work for the "content owners"?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:53am

        Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

        They already do, but it doesn't stop people from pirating because the pirated content is readily available.

        If you make the pirated content harder to find the legitimate sales channels will see improved traffic.

         

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          Joe Publius (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

          If you make the pirated content harder to find the legitimate sales channels will see improved traffic.

          And the best way to do that is through a non-adversarial process of accusation and seizure that is written broadly enough to be easily abused, taking all sorts of legal and constitutional expressions along with it?

          I can only assume you typed this post single-handed, as the last time you had a paper cut on a finger, you demanded amputation below the shoulder.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

          "They already do, but it doesn't stop people from pirating because the pirated content is readily available."

          First off, no they do not already do that. They DO NOT offer their products using the same technology as the "pirates" nor do so at a reasonable cost. How do I know? Because DRM is still rampant, file types are standardized (as per what they want to give you, not your choice), cost are relatively reasonable (in some regards, in others they're not), there are still delays (either products not available at all, or not available in some areas but are available in others, etc.).

          All of that DOES NOT sound like they're doing it the same way as the pirates. In fact, it sounds like they're doing it in a worse way, which is exactly the problem.

          "If you make the pirated content harder to find the legitimate sales channels will see improved traffic."

          No, they will not necessarily see improved traffic. That's an assumption, not an unreasonable one, but it's not based on any fact/evidence. If you tell me tomorrow morning I can no longer drink any soda ever again that DOES NOT mean I will turn to water, so you can profit from water sales. Right? It seems like a bad analogy, but it has more logic in it than you're assumption.

          If you get rid of all "pirated material", and you still aren't giving the people what they want (as I've listed elsewhere), they won't flock to you anyway. You'll see "improved traffic", if by "improved" you mean "yay, we got an additional handful of sales". But you won't see it in vast amounts the way you assume you would if people were not pirating. Why? Because you aren't meeting their demands. That's a failure on your part. Until you acknowledge and rectify that failure on your part, nothing you do will help you raise sales at all.

          See how this works. Think logically for a moment. Take all your bias against "pirates" and "pirated content" out of the equation. You'll see I speak the cold, hard, rational truth.

           

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          Prisoner 201, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

          If you make the pirated content harder to find the legitimate sales channels will see improved traffic.

          Quoting The Famous Joe:
          "People pirate for three major reasons: 1. They have no money to buy your product 2. They don't value your product enough to pay for it 3. They're freeloaders who won't pay for any digital goods.

          If we could wave a wand and make piracy go away, none of the above-mentioned groups would suddenly start buying. Group 1 still has no money, Group 2 still doesn't value your products, and Group 3 is still a bunch of freeloaders.

          It is *literally* a waste of time and money (aka, a bad business decision) to tilt at the windmill of piracy."

          Now stop breaking my internet with laws that won't help.

           

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          The eejit (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Instead, say YES to shutting down pirate sites.

          Nullshit, bollocks and buggery.

          If you do that without providing a viable alternative, you just drive the issue underground (see also: cannabis, child porn, terrorism).

           

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    Parts Per Million Man, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    One does not need to show a workable alternative to an obviously bad bill; bad bills simply should not be passed.

     

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    Paul Clark, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    You Are Missing the Issue

    You are missing the issue. The issue with the bills is not the intent of the bill but the regulations/ processes embedded with in them.

    The bills give the government/ businesses rights to shut down web site they do not like without proper oversight.

    Currently, the US government is seizing domains without proper process (an acquisition by a competitor is not justification).

    Corporations have/ are issuing take-down notices to remove content they do not like.

    Whenever you set up a process that does not have proper oversight, or the oversight requires a large outlay of cash on the defendants side, you get abuses of the system.

    That is what needs to be fixed in these bills.

    What this bill will probably accomplish is to drive web hosting and technology start-ups offshore. It creates a business unfriendly environment for both types of businesses.

    This bill is at the heart of what is wrong with the US economy. Incumbent businesses lobby the US government to interfere with the marketplace and suppress disruptive technologies. The thing about disruptive technologies is that you can't stop them, only slow them down. The US economy becomes the last economy and is left out of the next economy.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    The most unfortunate thing about this bill? I can't fight it directly like anyone else living in the US, because I don't live in the US. So, even though I live in a completely independent nation, if SOPA passes, the internet I use and enjoy will be massively affected.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:11am

    We won't permit this to happen anyway

    The moment anything like this passes, we'll just engineer around it. The funniest part about this -- beyond the ignorance of buzzing insects like out_of_the_blue -- is that some of the supports of this legislation actually think it will work -- that is, that those of us with superior minds will actually permit those who are inferior to tell us what to do online.

    We never have.

    We never will.

    So pass all the bills you want. It doesn't matter. We're going to win anyway. You're simply too stupid to stop us.

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:14am

      Re: We won't permit this to happen anyway

      I very much agree. Statements such as yours are one of my favorite qualities of humanity.

      But, be careful--the stupid who are in power believe in violence, which is generally effective when applied liberally regardless of the intellect of the persons receiving aforementioned violence. Of course, there's always the law of unintended consequences, which will also apply to said violence...

       

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        bjupton (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re: We won't permit this to happen anyway

        This love of violence they have is what concerns me.

        Look at how quickly they turned to violence with those kids at UC Davis?

        Look at how many who think they are for the cause of liberty who cheer the authorities on?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:55am

      Re: We won't permit this to happen anyway

      I don't think anyone believes that there is anything that can "stop" piracy. Piracy has been around forever, and will continue to be. I think it is more the idea that the law is so flagrantly and easily broken looks bad, and that is why they are addressing it (politicians, I mean).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

        Re: Re: We won't permit this to happen anyway

        I think it is more the idea that the law is so flagrantly and easily broken looks bad, and that is why they are addressing it (politicians, I mean).

        So to be clear ... you believe that people will stop "flagrantly" breaking the law if we pass more laws?? Do you understand how stupid that sounds?

        All laws are equally easily broken, it isn't like some laws are made out of air and others are made out of iron. I think you mean people are less likely to break the law because of the greater punishments involved but there are not really any "greater" punishments in SOPA/PIPA than currently exist. There is just a lower bar for doling out those punishments.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    The error of most SOPA opponents

    Most SOPA opponents accept the premise that copyright enforcement is basically good but SOPA isn't the right solution.

    I think it's wrong because there isn't or shouldn't be a "solution" to "piracy" defined as the unconstrained exchange of information without censorship.

    If stopping or only even hindering piracy means that the state gets to censor communication, it should be wrong regardless of the means chosen.

    The better approach is accepting the SOPA proponents premise that copyright law in order to be effective must trump privacy, due process and freedom of information and simply say no to copyright enforcement.

    If that means that copyright fails it's a opportunity to be cherised not decried.

     

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    anonymous, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    'If the Senate realizes that the public really is against this bill, then hopefully they'll finally dump it.'

    if they dont realise by now how great the opposition is to both SOPA and PIPA, they never will. trouble is, i think they DO KNOW, but will ignore the opposition, simply because
    a) they can
    b) they really have no idea or care about the consequences
    c) think that when broken, the internet can and will be mended at the drop of a hat
    d) because they are as thick as shit!
    e) because they think that protecting one industry is much more important than protecting everything else
    f) because they are not interested in doing the job they were elected for, ie, looking after the interests of the people that voted them into the positions they hold
    g) will be whining like hell when they are voted out!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      I don't think you understand.

      There are only two choices, whether you want to admit it or not:

      1. Repeal copyright law.

      2. Enforce copyright law.

      You can stomp your feet about it all day long, but in the final analysis, one of these two things is going to happen.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re:

        Nothing stops you from enforcing copyright today. Except that pesky 'due process' thingy.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Orly? How does a US citizen enforce their copyright protection against the Pirate Bay?

          As you may have noticed, the government response to this situation is headed in a very specific direction. It is a trend that has been building for a number of years, and I do not believe it is going to cease.

           

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            ChrisB (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > How does a US citizen enforce their copyright protection
            > against the Pirate Bay?

            The Pirate Bay does not host infringing material, therefore there is nothing to enforce. You outlaw the Pirate Bay, you outlaw Google.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:


        You can stomp your feet about it all day long, but in the final analysis, one of these two things is going to happen.





        True, and my own wish is that copyright should vanish.

        And if the alternative to copyright abolition is enforcement at any cost, I wish you a happy endgame.

        You haven't thought through the implications of your framing.

        Your own tactic is only fuelling copyright abolitionism.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:56am

        Re: Re:


        You can stomp your feet about it all day long, but in the final analysis, one of these two things is going to happen.





        True, and my own wish is that copyright should vanish.

        And if the alternative to copyright abolition is enforcement at any cost, I wish you a happy endgame.

        You haven't thought through the implications of your framing.

        Your own tactic is only fuelling copyright abolitionism.

         

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        E. Zachary Knight (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re:

        You sir are an idiot. There are never "only two choices".

        Just off the top of my head, here is a third:

        3. Compete with piracy.

        You can stomp your feet about it all you want, but hundreds of game developers, movie studios and musicians do this everyday and make money doing it. They make money by being more convenient than piracy and connecting with their fans.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not surprisingly, you completely missed the point.

          Laws are either enforced or repealed.

          They do not go on being flagrantly broken forever.

          Feel free to try and use speeding, drug use, etc as examples, but enforcement of those crimes is either increasing or moving towards being made legal (cannabis).

           

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            Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Copyright law is not just one big lightswitch that's either on or off. It's a complex, constantly-changing legal field that consists mostly of civil litigation and case law. It can overreach, it can underperform, it can do both in different areas - and the fact that it is sometimes ineffective or under-enforced doesn't mean any and all proposals for increased enforcement are automatically good ones.

            Opposing SOPA does not mean opposing all of copyright law - hell, it doesn't even necessarily mean opposing stronger copyright law. It just means opposing the poorly-written, anti-innovation, speech-endangering bill that is SOPA.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Why is anything in copyright law good or desirable?

              Abolishing copyright would be great for civil liberties and innovation.

               

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                Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:01am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Why is anything in copyright law good or desirable?

                Abolishing copyright would be great for civil liberties and innovation.


                I tend to agree. I personally would certainly choose abolition over maximization of copyright law. I'm just saying that when it comes to something specific like SOPA, opposing the bill in question doesn't necessarily mean opposing copyright law as a whole. It is possible to believe that more copyright enforcement is necessary but also believe that SOPA is the wrong way of going about it.

                 

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                  Jay (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:49pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  It is possible to believe that more copyright enforcement is necessary but also believe that SOPA is the wrong way of going about it.

                  But here's the million dollar question... When has any of the the copyright enforcement been necessary?

                  We can see the results of clueless judges all over the place. From the looks of it, the more that copyright is enforced, the less likely that litigation is the answer to anyone's problems.

                   

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, the other AC actually has a point.


          Copyright grants the rights holder certain exclusivity rights, and even small scale copyright infringement violates the law.

          The better counterargument is that copyright law if it can't be effectively enforced should be abolished or limited to industrial commercial infringement.

          If copyright law didn't cover anything but direct commercial benefitting, most sites potentially covered by SOPA would be completely safe.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think one of the other problems is that copy protection laws have become opt out. It's hard to determine what constitutes infringement. If it were opt in and if there were some sort of centralized database that people must register their privileges on where others can at least look up the information to some reasonable extent and know that it's infringing (or at least get enough information to further investigate), then that may go some way towards alleviating the problem. But right now, how is a service provider or anyone supposed to magically know what's infringing?

             

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    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      if they dont realise by now how great the opposition is to both SOPA and PIPA, they never will. trouble is, i think they DO KNOW, but will ignore the opposition

      From what I've heard, that's not true. Congress can be pretty closed off at times. Some know that a stink was raised earlier, but they have not followed this closely. They've said that they don't understand the issue, so the public probably doesn't either.

      Making voices heard right now can absolutely have an impact, mainly in making it clear to some Senators that there's a political cost in supporting a plan to censor the internet.

      Not all will be convinced, but more than a few are on the fence.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:34am

        Re: Re:

        Thank you for this. I just called my Senators for the first time today, and it makes me very glad that we might actually be making a difference here.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    Laws by definition restrict freedom. If you believe in freedom then you should agree that any law written should be so narrowly focused on what it restricts that there is no way to restrict anything else.

    Donít write merely to be understood. Write so that you cannot possibly be misunderstood.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    While You're At It

    Also call your senators and tell them you what you think of detaining US citizens on US soil indefinitely, and without trial.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Future of the Techdirt Community ?

    Mike, I am curious as to what you will do with the Techdirt Community and the comment sections here if these laws pass.

    Obviously, you wouldn't make any decisions until we know the wording of the final text of the bills and you've analyzed the situation, but I am curious as to what your thoughts might be on this up to this point.

    Would you change anything? Would you disable commenting? Would you remove the ability to post links? (Which of course makes it harder to back up arguments with data). How would you cover your ass and Floor64's and how would it affect the community you've spent years cultivating?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Parts Per Million Man, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:47am

    "There are only two choices, whether you want to admit it or not:"

    It's always so cute when someone things the world breaks down into only two neat possibilities. I think they need to Think Analog.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Follow the pattern

    WAR on DRUGS
    WAR on POVERTY
    WAR on TERRORISM
    WAR on PIRACY

    Who's winning ? Are any of those things actually going away ?

    Push the button, launch some nukes and declare WAR on HUMAN BEHAVIOR
    That should work a whole lot better than the other "wars".

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Pirate mike has nothing to say, grifters will lose, theft is theft, thousands of jobs and billions is being lost.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      Pirate mike

      Are you suggesting that Mike is engaging in copyright infringement? I'd like to see the evidence you have for that accusation.

      has nothing to say

      The 262 words in this post is greater than zero which would be the number required for your statement to be true.

      grifters will lose

      What about rent-seeking monopolists?

      theft is theft

      I agree theft IS theft. Copyright infringement however, is not theft. It's not right, but it's not theft. Someone not buying your product isn't theft.

      thousands of jobs

      I assume you mean that if SOPA doesn't pass, thousands of jobs will be lost. I disagree. I think if it does pass that thousands of jobs will be lost and I have provided as much to back-up my claim as you have.

      billions is being lost.

      Giving the legacy content industry defacto control of the Internet certainly would generate billions of dollars - for them. Monopolies are great that way.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

        Re: Re:

        rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:43am

        "Pirate mike"

        Are you suggesting that Mike is engaging in copyright infringement? I'd like to see the evidence you have for that accusation.

        Piracy Apologist Mike. Happy now?

        "has nothing to say"

        The 262 words in this post is greater than zero which would be the number required for your statement to be true.

        Thanks for sharing your rapier-like wit.

        grifters will lose

        What about rent-seeking monopolists?

        Monopolists? With today's technology anyone can make a movie. Try it sometime.

        "theft is theft"

        I agree theft IS theft. Copyright infringement however, is not theft. It's not right, but it's not theft. Someone not buying your product isn't theft.I assume you mean that if SOPA doesn't pass, thousands of jobs will be lost. I disagree. I think if it does pass that thousands of jobs will be lost and I have provided as much to back-up my claim as you have.

        Maybe you could tell us a bit about your experience trying to obtain financing for an independent film and how it is affected by the specter of piracy.

        "billions is being lost."

        Giving the legacy content industry defacto control of the Internet certainly would generate billions of dollars - for them. Monopolies are great that way.

        Not having one's product wantonly looted is hardly giving de facto control.

        Other than that you're spot on.

         

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    •  
      icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:12am

      Re:

      Pirate mike has nothing to say, grifters will lose, theft is theft, thousands of jobs and billions is being lost.

      Well that is ok, we'll just take the huge money we gained by not declaring war with Canada and move it towards those who lost jobs and money.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    MAC, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    No morals...

    It seems to me after reading these endless discussions that the underlying cause of all of this consternation can be traced to one simple concept.

    No one has any morals anymore.
    Taking copyrighted content is against the law. It is also immoral (thou shalt not steal).
    Those of you out there who want something for nothing and this is really what it's all about; need to realize that there is a cost associated with everything.
    When you successfully steal something that someone has created that reduces their incentive to keep on creating so the very act of stealing someone elses hard earned work is in essence stiffling creativity.
    Don't you people get it? The proposed law is a reaction to criminal behavior that is a result of all of you wanting something for nothing.
    Plain and simple, You caused it, yeah that's right you. You are responsible for SOPA, PIPA and whatever other kneejerk reaction the government has. It just that simple.
    If you don't want these kind of laws then stop stealing.

     

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    •  
      icon
      The Logician (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:17am

      Re: No morals...

      Incorrect, MAC. The Supreme Court has said that infringement is not theft. Allow me to repeat that for you, that you might understand (if you choose to allow yourself to do so): infringement is not theft. Physical traits do not apply to digital goods, because of the fundamental differences in their nature. Digital goods can be replicated to an infinite degree with virtually no cost. This renders the selling of individual copies meaningless, unless done with extreme care and pricing that accurately reflects the digital nature of the content.

      I assume you understand the basic mathematical premise that 1+1=2. Therefore, understand also that when you copy a piece of content, the copyright owner still has their copy. Nothing is lost. Sharing is addition, not subtraction. Due to its ease of reproduction, it is also multiplication, on an exponential scale. Also understand that in most cases (at least with content from the legacy entertainment industry), the copyright owner is not the creator of the work, but rather a middleman that has been made obsolete by today's technology. Logic clearly dictates, then, that your emotional outburst is both inaccurate and uninformed.

      The current situation was caused by the legacy entertainment industry's inability to adapt to the digital age and their fear of not being necessary anymore to people. Until they offer their content without DRM in the exact same way as those who infringe and on the exact same platforms as infringers use, for more reasonable prices, infringement will continue to occur. Also, just because something is a law, does not make it ethical. Do you understand that principle, MAC? I suspect that you do not.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:40am

        Re: Re: No morals...

        Hmm...I wonder how Spock would feel about the replicator...

         

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        •  
          icon
          Gwiz (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:00am

          Re: Re: Re: No morals...

          Hmm...I wonder how Spock would feel about the replicator...

          What I always wondered about was why they didn't just replicate Captain Christopher Pike's body parts instead of putting him in that ridiculous wheelchair box thing with the flashing lights.

           

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      •  
        identicon
        MAC, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: No morals...

        It's still stealing something that does not belong to you no matter what the SC calls it.

        I don't support these laws. As a matter of fact I consider them draconian and probably un-Constitutional.

        As usual, people miss the point. The proposed laws are reactions to behaviors that provoked them.

        And I'm not saying you can stop infringement but; based on these responses it seems that a lot of people think it's their God given right to take something that does not belong to them.

        How would YOU feel if the shoe were on the other foot? You pour your heart and soul into something and expect to be rewarded for it. So you set up a web site and publish and for the first few weeks you receive some revenue and then it dribbles down to nothing because everyone is 'sharing' your creation.

        And don't give me that crap about 'well, if they really like then they will buy it.'

        How many songs that you've downloaded to your collection for free did you go out and buy? Bet you can count them on 'no fingers' and on no hands.

        It's just another example of the decline of western civilization. In an 'anything goes society' who knows what's next. I guess the next thing people will be in favor of is mandatory euthanism at age 65.

        I will tell you one thing though, I believe that the reason we won WWII was because we had God on our side. The AXIS was evil and deserved to be destroyed.

        With what is happening across the board in America today I am not so sure we'll have Him on our side next time. And there will be a next time...

         

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        •  
          icon
          JMT (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: No morals...

          ""It's still stealing something that does not belong to you no matter what the SC calls it."

          The dictionary also disagrees with you. Surely you can understand the difference between losing something to theft and not losing something to copying.

          "As usual, people miss the point. The proposed laws are reactions to behaviors that provoked them."

          And those behaviours are a reaction to the content industries utterly failing to move into the digital age with the rest of us. Throughout the history of mankind those who ignored or fought against newly developed technologies and what they allowed us to do were left behind and suffered as a result. This is not some strange new behaviour.

          "How would YOU feel if the shoe were on the other foot? You pour your heart and soul into something and expect to be rewarded for it."

          You first and biggest mistake is to expect to be rewarded for it. Nobody owes you a damn thing, you have to earn people's money by providing a product that they want at a price they're willing to pay.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: No morals...

            Anyone who makes something and offers it to the consuming public does have every right to expect that those who consume should pay, whether it be a physical or non-physical good. To say "Gee, you still have your original" completely misses the point. You pay for what you use, and if you are unwilling to pay the asking price then go and spend your money somewhere else.

             

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    •  
      identicon
      rubberpants, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:18am

      Re: No morals...

      I agree with you on your general line of thinking. Obviously, these laws are being proposed as a reaction to what the content industry sees as threats to it's business (not out of some altruistic concept like fostering "creativity" as you suggest).

      But, the question then becomes, is the cure worse than the disease?

      I don't think you can stop copyright infringement at this point without basically turning off the Internet or restricting it so much that it ceases to be the world-changing, populous enabling wonder that it is.

      Should we stifle one of the greatest inventions of our age and all the communication, organization, sharing, and good that it's brought with it in the hopes that we can increase the profits for an industry that's currently having record profits, a history of trying to destroy new technology, and produces what most consider to be non-essential luxury goods?

      My opinion? No.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 11:53am

      Re: No morals...

      "It is also immoral (thou shalt not steal)."

      It is you with no morals. Telling (or suggesting) a lie is immoral. Copying is not theft, it is merely copying.

      Now you may argue that infringement is separately immoral, but conflating it with theft (the deprivation of real property) is a lie and lies are generally immoral.

      and what makes you the ultimate authority of morality? Why should you be allowed to impose your personal moral standards on everyone else? If I declare that eating pizza is immoral and you eat pizza, should I impose my personal moral standards on you? Are you the only one that gets to choose what constitutes moral behavior?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

      Re: No morals...

      No one has any morals anymore.

      Really?

      So the fact that we have one of the lowest crime rates ever, fewer violent deaths per year than at any time in history, and a divorce rate similar to the 1940s is an indicator of "no morals"?

      Oh, someone downloaded a song somewhere ... well that's basically the equivalent of genocide so I guess I see your point.

      When will our moral standards drop low enough that I can slaughter people this stupid in the street and not be punished for it?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        MAC, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re: No morals...

        Theft is theft.

        It does not matter whether you steal a soda or a car, your still a theif.

        By the way, I don't support these new laws nor do I support more government control over our lives; we have too much already.

        As to slaughtering me in the street; card carring member of the NRA for life so bring it you idiot.

        You obviously don't get the point and probably never will unless that is, it's the point of a gun.

         

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  •  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:05am

    Taking copyrighted content is against the law. It is also immoral (thou shalt not steal).

    Yes, infringement is illegal.

    Immoral? Well, that is your opinion and is subjective. My morals will be determined by me and me alone, not you or anyone else.

    But, how immoral is it? Should we start teaching Billy not to share his crayons with Suzie because is creates some mystical "lost sale" for Crayola?

     

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    •  
      icon
      Gwiz (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 10:06am

      Re:

      Whoops. Supposed to be responce to MAC, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 9:50am

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      MAC, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

      Re: As usual...

      As usual you miss the point. Sharing crayons is one thing, you bought a 'physical' object that is to be used. That's no different from you loaning you AC/DC CD to your friend. It's bought and paid for.

      Copying someones copyrighted material and then distrubuting it an entirely different matter.

      I suggest you take a couple of courses in common law; perhaps that will enlighten you.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Gwiz (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Re: As usual...

        As usual you miss the point. Sharing crayons is one thing, you bought a 'physical' object that is to be used. That's no different from you loaning you AC/DC CD to your friend. It's bought and paid for.

        You missed my point. I realize the difference between stealing and copyright infringement just fine. My point was towards your moral argument. Is sharing culture immoral? Sharing has been ingrained into us from early on in life and now you wish to equate some portion of that to stealing, just because some industry doesn't want to adapt to a digital world.

        I suggest you take a couple of courses in common law; perhaps that will enlighten you.

        Perhaps you are the one who needs some education. In your response to me you pointed out the differences between physical and digital, but up above you refuse to accept the differences as pointed out by the Supreme Court.

         

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  •  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Senators Phone numbers if you want to call directly

    State Senator Phone
    Alabama Richard Shelby (202) 224-5744
    Alabama Jeff Sessions (202) 224-4124
    Alaska Lisa Murkowski (202) 224-6665
    Alaska Mark Begich (202) 224-3004
    Arizona John McCain (202) 224-2235
    Arizona Jon Kyl (202) 224-4521
    Arkansas Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353
    Arkansas John Boozman (202) 224-4843
    California Dianne Feinstein (202) 224-3841
    California Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553
    Colorado Mark Udall (202) 224-5941
    Colorado Michael Bennet (202) 224-5852
    Connecticut Joe Lieberman (202) 224-4041
    Connecticut Richard Blumenthal (202) 224-2823
    Delaware Tom Carper (202) 224-2441
    Delaware Chris Coons (202) 224-5042
    Florida Bill Nelson (202) 224-6551
    Florida Marco Rubio (202) 224-3041
    Georgia Saxby Chambliss (202) 224-3521
    Georgia Johnny Isakson (202) 224-3643
    Hawaii Daniel Inouye (202) 224-3934
    Hawaii Daniel Akaka (202) 224-6361
    Idaho Mike Crapo (202) 224-6142
    Idaho Jim Risch (202) 224-2752
    Illinois Dick Durbin (202) 224-2152
    Illinois Mark Kirk (202) 224-2854
    Indiana Richard Lugar (202) 224-4814
    Indiana Dan Coats (202) 224-5623
    Iowa Chuck Grassley (202) 224-3744
    Iowa Tom Harkin (202) 224-3254
    Kansas Pat Roberts (202) 224-4774
    Kansas Jerry Moran (202) 224-6521
    Kentucky Mitch McConnell (202) 224-2541
    Kentucky Rand Paul (202) 224-4343
    Louisiana Mary Landrieu (202) 224-5824
    Louisiana David Vitter (202) 224-4623
    Maine Olympia Snowe (202) 224-5344
    Maine Susan Collins (202) 224-2523
    Maryland Barbara Mikulski (202) 224-4654
    Maryland Ben Cardin (202) 224-4524
    Massachusetts John Kerry (202) 224-2742
    Massachusetts Scott Brown (202) 224-4543
    Michigan Carl Levin (202) 224-6221
    Michigan Debbie Stabenow (202) 224-4822
    Minnesota Amy Klobuchar (202) 224-3244
    Minnesota Al Franken (202) 224-5641
    Mississippi Thad Cochran (202) 224-5054
    Mississippi Roger Wicker (202) 224-6253
    Missouri Claire McCaskill (202) 224-6154
    Missouri Roy Blunt (202) 224-5721
    Montana Max Baucus (202) 224-2651
    Montana Jon Tester (202) 224-2644
    Nebraska Ben Nelson (202) 224-6551
    Nebraska Mike Johanns (202) 224-4224
    Nevada Harry Reid (202) 224-3542
    Nevada Dean Heller (202) 224-6244
    New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen (202) 224-2841
    New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte (202) 224-3324
    New Jersey Frank Lautenberg (202) 224-3224
    New Jersey Bob Menendez (202) 224-4744
    New Mexico Jeff Bingaman (202) 224-5521
    New Mexico Tom Udall (202) 224-6621
    New York Chuck Schumer (202) 224-6542
    New York Kirsten Gillibrand (202) 224-4451
    North Carolina Richard Burr (202) 224-3154
    North Carolina Kay Hagan (202) 224-6342
    North Dakota Kent Conrad (202) 224-2043
    North Dakota John Hoeven (202) 224-2551
    Ohio Sherrod Brown (202) 224-2315
    Ohio Rob Portman (202) 224-3353
    Oklahoma Jim Inhofe (202) 224-4721
    Oklahoma Tom Coburn (202) 224-5754
    Oregon Ron Wyden (202) 224-5244
    Oregon Jeff Merkley (202) 224-3753
    Pennsylvania Bob Casey, Jr. (202) 224-6324
    Pennsylvania Pat Toomey (202) 224-4254
    Rhode Island Jack Reed (202) 224-4642
    Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse (202) 224-2921
    South Carolina Lindsey Graham (202) 224-5972
    South Carolina Jim DeMint (202) 224-6121
    South Dakota Tim Johnson (202) 224-5842
    South Dakota John Thune (202) 224-2321
    Tennessee Lamar Alexander (202) 224-4944
    Tennessee Bob Corker (202) 224-3344
    Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison (202) 224-5922
    Texas John Cornyn (202) 224-2934
    Utah Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251
    Utah Mike Lee (202) 224-5444
    Vermont Patrick Leahy (202) 224-4242
    Vermont Bernie Sanders (202) 224-5141
    Virginia Jim Webb (202) 224-4024
    Virginia Mark Warner (202) 224-2023
    Washington Patty Murray (202) 224-2621
    Washington Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441
    West Virginia Jay Rockefeller (202) 224-6472
    West Virginia Joe Manchin (202) 224-3954
    Wisconsin Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
    Wisconsin Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
    Wyoming Mike Enzi (202) 224-3424
    Wyoming John Barrasso (202) 224-6441

     

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  •  
    icon
    Prashanth (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Talking points?

    I agree with the sentiment, but why aren't you giving talking points? This doesn't seem like people actually expressing their feelings; in fact, it isn't any better than that NBC copyright campaign in New York, and it certainly runs counter to the TechDirt campaign that was run in response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Charles (profile), Nov 29th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    I called...

    but time will tell if the listened to me or MONEY.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    Yes, by all means, call them. Because it worked SO well when people expressed their displeasure with Obamacare.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    To the creators of the bill's opposing "talking points"

    Allow your "volunteers" to receive your information in the most useful way to them. I will not hand out my phone number. Remove that conditional field or allow submitting the form without it, please. Restricting access to the very people from which you are expecting help, makes little sense and limits the effectiveness of your call-to-action. I'm outta here. Good luck with your campaign and the expansion of your telemarketing call list.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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