70 Groups Tell Congress To Put The Brakes On Any Further Efforts To Expand Intellectual Property

from the time-for-a-rethink dept

Over 70 different groups, including many who were central to the January 18th online protests against SOPA, have put together a letter asking Congress to put a halt to any attempts to further expand intellectual property laws. The key point:
Now is the time for Congress to take a breath, step back, and approach the issues from a fresh perspective. A wide variety of important concerns have been expressed – including views from technologists, law professors, international human rights groups, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and above all, individual Internet users. The concerns are too fundamental and too numerous to be fully addressed through hasty revisions to these bills. Nor can they be addressed by closed door negotiations among a small set of inside the-beltway stakeholders.
The letter goes on to point out that Congress cannot and should not continue only taking one industry's point of view into account -- and most certainly should not ignore how existing law is already being abused. Historically, this is exactly the kind of letter that Congress would ignore, but after the events of January 18th, perhaps it'll start paying attention.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 4:38pm

    Listen up, union leaders!

    I would like someone to please forward this to the heads of the labor unions so they won't be able to pretend they didn't read about it.

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    • icon
      Kevin H (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 4:51pm

      Re: Listen up, union leaders!

      I am not convinced that they do know how to read. The blind, deaf, and dumb approach seems to be their only counter to the backlash they are receiving. Their responses are nothing more that regurgitated word vomit from the MAFIAA types. They are no better than those critters we pay to represent us at the federal level.

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

    • icon
      computerslife (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:31pm

      Re: Listen up, union leaders!

      May I suggest Anonymous Coward. Google it ... please ... get the heads of the labor unions your interested in email addresses ... email them. I'll email and call my Maryland Congressman, Congresswomen and Senators ... so they'll hear from me. It's all about each of us speaking out for a "free and open" internet.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:06pm

      Re: Listen up, union leaders!

      Maybe a few million should do the same to their representatives - certified with reciept and signature. Put a dollar in the envelope to get the point across.

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

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 2:49am

      Re: Listen up, union leaders!

      I would like someone to please forward this to the heads of the labor unions so they won't be able to pretend they didn't read about it.

      I find your comment heartily depressing.

      When you consider why the labour unions were founded and their original ideals of standing up for the ordinary man against the big companies and the government it is amazing that they have reached the point when they are part of the problem - when they should be part of the solution. I'm not in the US so I'm not familiar with how your unions operate - but if your comment is a fair one then Wow!

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      • identicon
        btr1701, 7 Feb 2012 @ 2:38pm

        Re: Re: Listen up, union leaders!

        > it is amazing that they have reached the
        > point when they are part of the problem -
        > when they should be part of the solution
        > if your comment is a fair one then Wow

        Not only is it fair, it's an understatement.

        The entire state of California is teetering on the brink of insolvency due to union domination of the political process and the politicians in Sacramento that run it.

        They've raided the state's coffers dry, and now that there's noting left, they're demanding the state raise taxes so that they can have more.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:17pm

    History dictates, that they will either ignore or wave the issue away, stating that this is a legal matter and that we as a people have no say in legal matters


    thus continuing its trend, in igniting and stoking the fire

    please do continue to ignore us, while some of us still have a civil tongue, then proceed to be gobsmacked when shit finally hits the fan

    or prove us wrong?............. its that simple, be the government your people want you to be, or not

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:09pm

      Re:

      "... that they will either ignore or wave the issue away..."

      Maybe the news media should start doing journalism rather than pretending like it's "too complicated" and taking press releases or shrills word for it.

      Half the reason people responded is because they had never heard about it or hadn't heard any other side.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 9:12pm

        Re: Re:

        The issue with the old form of news media is that they're part of Big Media. They'll never turn on their masters unless massive public outcry forces their hand, making the abuses of our rights too blatantly obvious to be able to try and hide away or ignore.

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

      • identicon
        John Nemesh, 7 Feb 2012 @ 3:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Why dont you post under a NAME instead of hiding behind the "anonymous coward" heading?

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

  • identicon
    monkyyy, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:18pm

    mpaa/riaa response: "these 70 group are terrorists, trying to destroy the american dream"
    with the internet recently making a push on the issue will they push harder, or back off?

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

    • identicon
      Vincent Giannell, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:37pm

      Re:

      They better back off or they'll get in big trouble with us.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:15pm

        Re: Re:

        If they were smart, they would have backed off ages ago. We'll just see how many dumb politican's they take down with them.

        "Historically, this is exactly the kind of letter that Congress would ignore.."

        I have to agree - "Did anyone talk to the NERDS about this ..." (from the SOPA hearing)

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    • identicon
      rubberpants, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:53pm

      Response to: monkyyy on Feb 6th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

      Terrorists.

      I've been seeing the signs lately that this exactly where the debate is headed. They're working on the messaging and the bills right now. Look for it this year.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:27pm

        Re: Response to: monkyyy on Feb 6th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

        They've already made that case before and it didn't stick - but there's no reason why they wouldn't revamp and tweak it, and throw it at the wall again.

        "...It just so happens to be funded by the movie studios claiming that piracy is helping to promote terrorism -- and because of that, the US government needs to devote stunning levels of new resources to stopping piracy at all costs." 2009

        http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090304/0025383981.shtml

        Yup. This is criminal priority number one. Never mind that a study came out today stating 45,000/year die due to lack of healthcare in the U.S.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:18pm

    The letter goes on to point out that Congress cannot and should not continue only taking one industry's point of view into account

    Like an industry that has been making money off others via loopholes in the DMCA?

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    • icon
      TtfnJohn (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:23pm

      Re:

      citations and then evidence please. No Google cause THAT one has been exploded too many times already.

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

    • identicon
      MrWilson, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:41pm

      Re:

      Like an industry that has been making money off of artists and customers through unethical lawyering, creative accounting, price fixing, suing innovators who make money or force prices down for consumers or who give consumers what they actually want?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 6:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Like an industry that has been making money off of artists and through unethical business models, creative interpretation of the law, ripping off innovators who make money or forcing creators to expect that they should be working on their valued content for free?

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

        • icon
          JMT (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 6:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Reread MrWilson's comment and tell me why you think you should have the moral high ground here.

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

        • identicon
          MrWilson, 6 Feb 2012 @ 7:56pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Funny - every activity you mention can be attributed to the middlemen in the Entertainment Industry.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2012 @ 2:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Funny- no it can't. The laws that exist within that industry are far more stringent than those that exist in the online world.

            You're cool with consumption of labor without compensation? Awesome. Come wash my clothes, car and dishes.

            No? You're a hypocritical parasitical leech.

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            • icon
              Richard (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 2:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I would like someone to please forward this to the heads of the labor unions so they won't be able to pretend they didn't read about it.

              Hmm - within the industry - meaning within our little private game where outsiders are excluded.

              You're cool with consumption of labor without compensation? Awesome. Come wash my clothes, car and dishes.

              Don't give us that crap AGAIN! We've seen it all before.

              If you want compensating I suggest you put the arrangements in place before you do the work.

              What you want to do is roughly equivalent to the people who come and cleane your windscreen at traffic lights and then expect to be paid afterwards when no-one asked them to do it beforehand.

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              • icon
                Richard (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 3:01am

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

                Whoops - first italic quote should have read:
                The laws that exist within that industry are far more stringent than those that exist in the online world.

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

            • icon
              The eejit (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 3:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Just go ask Eminem how he felt about being stiffed out of millions of dollars. Just ask why the CRIA was asked to pay millions of dollars for copyirhgt infringement over compilations. Just ask why, when confronted with a public that disagrees with what was being asserted and had hard evidence to back them up, the refain was that the MAFIAA was being persecuted by terrorist pirate paedophiles.

              Oh, wait, you won't. Fucking hypocrite, hiding behind the very same anonymity you want ot remove from everyone else...

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            • identicon
              abc gum, 7 Feb 2012 @ 4:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Typically, an accusation is accompanied by evidence.

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

            • identicon
              TDR, 7 Feb 2012 @ 6:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              *AC 35 jumping up and down* "NO, NO NO! I WON'T ADAPT! I WON'T ADAPT! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! YOU CAN'T, I TELL YOU, YOU CAN'T! THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THE 90'S! THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THE 90'S! TIME MUST STAND STILL! THE WORLD MUST OBEY MY WHIMS AND THOSE OF MY MASTERS, ETHICS BE DAMNED! I CAN'T POSSIBLY IMAGINE OTHER WAYS OF MAKING MONEY BESIDES WHAT I ALREADY KNOW! I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT TECHNOLOGY MAKES MY GATEKEEPER ROLE OBSOLETE, BUT THAT CREATORS CAN AND DO MAKE A GOOD LIVING SELLING THEIR STUFF WITHOUT ME! NOOOO! THAT CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN! MIDDLEMEN MUST SURVIVE AT ALL COSTS! THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT MATTER! WAAAAHHHHH!!!!"

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            • identicon
              MrWilson, 7 Feb 2012 @ 11:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The middlemen in the Entertainment Industry obviously don't work without compensation. They make out like bandits. And they convince artists to work with little guarantee of shared proceeds via unethical business practices such as Hollywood accounting and repayment of advances in addition to charging them for production and marketing costs.

              So what's worse - underserved consumers looking elsewhere for what they want because Hollywood refuses to heed market forces or the Hollywood middlemen activity screwing over the actual artists and content-creators while pretending to work in their interests?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 11:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I want to know why you people deserve a monopoly.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2012 @ 8:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because copyright, the agreement between the public and innovators/creators, says we get a time period to make money on our work to fund future creations? (granted, that time period should only be 50 years, but that's not exactly my fault.) You know, because the honor rule doesn't exactly work any more...who would pay for consuming content or crediting works used in a derivative if they didn't have to?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 6:00pm

      Re:

      You have no idea what a loophole is.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 6:12pm

      Re:

      Like an industry that has been making money off others via loopholes in the DMCA?

      The DMCA Safe Harbors are not a loophole AC, they are a feature.

      This is how the U.S. Copyright office describes the DMCA:

      Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA" or "the Act") as part of an effort "to begin updating national laws for the digital era." It was designed to "facilitate the robust development and world-wide expansion of electronic commerce, communications, research, development, and education in the digital age."
      Source

      The Section 512 Safe Harbors are pretty much the only part of the DMCA that are actually doing what Congress intended. And you want to label them as "loopholes".

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      • icon
        kirillian (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 6:49pm

        Re: Re:

        so telling that he doesn't have time to respond to well-reasoned comments but still has time to respond to other comments that can be maligned more easily.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 7:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It *has* facilitated the robust development and world-wide expansion of electronic commerce, communications, research, development, and education in the digital age.

          It's also facilitated parasites that can't create their own content to illegally piggyback on those that can.

          Everyone knows this. You aren't fooling anybody.

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          • identicon
            MrWilson, 6 Feb 2012 @ 9:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Everyone knows this. You aren't fooling anybody."

            Ah, the good old argumentum ad populum fallacy.

            "Everybody knows the fight was fixed
            The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
            That's how it goes
            Everybody knows"

            - Leonard Cohen

            Woops. Am I guilty of illegally piggybacking on someone else's creation now?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 11:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What you call parasitic relations are in fact symbiotic relationships where one part takes what other had done improve it a little and it is available to others including the other guy copied to make use of the improved version.

            On the other hand in your monopoly dream world that is bad, but for society that is just another day and will continue to happen even if you don't like it.

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

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 3:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It *has* facilitated the robust development and world-wide expansion of electronic commerce, communications, research, development, and education in the digital age.

            It's also facilitated parasites that can't create their own content to illegally piggyback on those that can. Everyone knows this. You aren't fooling anybody.


            Everybody also knows that it's a small price to pay for the benefit - you'll just have to live with it.

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

          • icon
            Richard (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 4:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's also facilitated parasites that can't create their own content to piggyback on those that can.

            Actually that is precisely what copyright law (in particular the "tradeable" nature of copyright) does.

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

          • icon
            Karl (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 6:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Everyone knows this. You aren't fooling anybody.

            Translation: I believe my own prejudices. Therefore, everyone else must believe them too.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:58pm

      Re:

      Better an industry that follows the law, than an industry that threatens others to follow demands that are not a part of the law.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 10:36pm

      Re:

      Dammit yet another AC get your talking points straight.
      The whole stance is that the DMCA is a loophole, not that there are loopholes in it.
      If you are going to argue nonsense, then at least argue the official nonsense.

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

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 2:58am

      Re:

      Like an industry that has been making money off others via loopholes in the DMCA?

      You mean like the big content companies who monetise YouTube videos that they don't actually have the rights to?

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

    • icon
      Karl (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 5:58am

      Re:

      Like an industry that has been making money off others via loopholes in the DMCA?

      Not a single signatory has been "making money off others via loopholes in the DMCA."

      Furthermore, the DMCA does not have any loopholes. It is currently working exactly as it was designed. If anything, it is biased too heavily in favor of the rights holders.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2012 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re:

        Ummm, making the content owners actually work to protect their content is a loophole. The money is just suppose to pour in while they fuck hookers on their money pile.

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  • icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:22pm

    While I wait for the usual AC's to show up to accuse the signatories of the letter to be pirates or wanting piracy to explode across the Web.

    There's not a signatory to the letter who approves of things like piracy just as there's not a signatory to the letter who approves of the way in which SOPA and PIPA showed how so-called intellectual property (copyright and patents) are legislated and who actually gets involved in the early stages of legislation, usually the entertainment industry and them alone.

    As for some of the unions in the entertainment industry they come so close at times to being yellow dog unions that I just don't listen to them anymore.

    (And I'm a committed trade unionist, by the way. :)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:22pm

    Can't vs Won't

    It is not the case that the present Congress can't do the right thing, the fact is that they won't do the right thing. They all knew perfectly well that accepting bribes in return for legislation was morally wrong. They knew that from the start. It was well known to them that what they were doing was wrong and they would be in serious trouble if they got caught. Well, they got caught. They are now in the position of bad guys who have just been arrested and who know full well that the evidence against them is overwhelming. But they have not got to court yet, so they are frantically trying to lie their way out of trouble.

    US voters, do your duty. Find them guilty.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 5:41pm

    I think some of our governments need a 10 step progam for coruption


    First step - Acknowledgement

    Governments acknowledge that their governments are corrupt

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  • icon
    Steve R. (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 7:09pm

    Criminal Creation In Progress

    Expanding so-called "intellectual property" will constitute "theft" of the public's property rights and create even more pirates that can be tossed in jail. Piracy is the creation of the content industry.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:39pm

    Remember when the air waves was considered 'belonging to the public"? Not only am I admitting my age but this generation hitting 20 has no concept of "for the good of the public", fair use or public domain.

    All Hollywood needs to do is keep things stalling for a few years more and this debate will be mute; stories that grandma and grandpa told ...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2012 @ 10:48pm

      Re:

      Moot, not mute, but I understand where you are coming from. This is why it is important to educate our younger generations, ourselves. My nephews (only 1 niece, too young to understand as yet) are all very aware of the issues. They do not pirate material, but they are well-versed in why IP as it is today is going too far, and why it must be pruned back. Don't let that younger generation remain ignorant. If they are, it isn't Hollywood's fault, it's ours.

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

  • icon
    CJ (profile), 6 Feb 2012 @ 8:44pm

    I happen to think...

    They will ignore the letter. To agree to leave this alone for now will mess with their egos. After all they are busy apologizing to the lobbyist, and now that they have them back in their pocket... it's time to make them all happy, to hell with the public money rules.

    You better believe those lobbyist had a nice talk to every one of them that said no. I don't doubt they were threatened. If Dobbs will announce to the world his distaste in the Bill not getting passed... What makes you think Dobbs and the rest of those mongers talked to them any better in private?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2012 @ 3:18am

    Looks mostly like the same group of whiners... reddit, cheezburger, etc. Nothing new here. If anything, it proves that they aren't really getting much more headway, as the list isn't growing.

    They are flexing their political muscles to discover they haven't really got any.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2012 @ 5:24am

      Re:

      That maybe, but at least they can sleep better at night knowing that that granted monopoly(i.e. copyrights) can't be enforced on the public space only in business space and although it causes great harm to business, there is little to nothing your kind can do to people, except persecute and sow the seeds of your own demise.

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    • icon
      Karl (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 6:14am

      Re:

      Looks mostly like the same group of whiners...

      Yep. Whiners like the American Library Association, Amnesty International, Free Press Action Fund, Human Rights Watch, and Women's Media Center. Thieves, the lot of them!

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

  • icon
    Paul Hobbs (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 3:31am

    This is very encouraging

    Recently I posted a comment appealing to Americans to mobilise, take a stand, and basically do something about all the crap which is going on (eg: corruption in Washington; unwarranted power of MAFIAA; erosion of rights in the name of national security; huge drop in journalism standards; etc). I have to say, this letter is very encouraging. The response of people (not just in the US, but across the world) to injustice, corruption, abuse of power, etc, is wonderful to see. Hopefully the protests in Europe will see ACTA go the way of SOPA/PIPA.

    It seems to me that the best thing which can happen now is for HUGE numbers of people - ordinary folk with jobs, mortgages, etc - to actually make the (minimal) effort to contact their representatives and endorse the objectives of the letter. The more I think about it, the more I am amazed at the paradox of how democracy can become so warped and deformed, despite the fact that such warping and deformation can be prevented by simply participating. All it takes is a phone call or an email, or even a visit in person to make an impression on a representative, and right there you have democracy in action. (Perhaps it isn't strictly a paradox, but it is puzzling).

    I recently watched the video of Jack Abramoff being interviewed by Lawrence Lessig, and I was transfixed. It was fascinating to me how things actually work in Washington (and I'm not even American). But the most telling part (for me) came towards the end where a member of the audience asked "how does a new member of Congress get corrupted?" And the answer was chilling in its simplicity. When newly elected politicians arrive in Washington, the first thing that happens is they meet with their leadership. The leadership informs new members that their number one priority is to get re-elected at the next election. And since most new members arrive with a debt (presumably from running a campaign), the leadership informs the new members that they need to retire that debt. And here is a group of people who are very good at helping you to retire that debt - meet the lobbyists. Now the lobbyists (for the most part) represent large corporations and other special interests (eg: MPAA, RIAA, etc). But here is the kicker. Lobbyists, companies, etc can give all the money they want to a member of Congress (and in doing so "buy" a vote), but there is one thing they can't do (despite a corporation being a "person", which frankly is ridiculous), which real people can do. Vote. If a member of Congress was inundated, on a scale previously unheard of, with phone calls, letters, emails, and personal visits, I suspect that most members would take notice, and probably do the right thing (whatever that is). Remember, the leadership has already told them that priority number one is to get re-elected. I suspect that the reason it is so easy for lobbyists and special interests to get their way is it is a one-sided tug-o-war. There aren't enough people pulling the members of Congress in the other direction.

    Which brings me to my next observation. A democracy is a double edged sword. It is great because it affords us many freedoms. But it demands that EVERYONE participate. If only a handful participate, you may have elections, and you may call it democracy, but to the extent that people are not involved (usually out of apathy), it is not a democracy. In ancient Greece, the term "idiot" referred to a private person, a person who took no interest in politics. Involvement or participation doesn't necessarily mean running for office, or volunteering in a campaign, or joining a party. Personally, I define participation as making your views known to your representative. That is as simple as it needs to be. If 100% of the population did that, lobbyists would be completely redundant.

    The tricky part, of course, is how do you get people involved? How do you motivate someone to make that phone call or write the letter? I think the thing which prevents most people is inertia. Somehow we need to make taking that first step (eg: writing a letter or an email) as painless as possible. The Internet is probably the single most powerful tool available for connecting with people to get them motivated/activated. And there are probably lots of strategies for achieving this. But that needs to be the goal - mass mobilisation.

    I am reminded of some of the things that Winston Churchill had to say about government and governing:

    "But it is not Parliament that should rule; it is the people who should rule through Parliament."

    "No-one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

    PS: Sorry for the long post - I get carried away sometimes.

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  • identicon
    Michael, 7 Feb 2012 @ 7:26am

    Copyright/IP = Monopolistic Power Grab

    With PIPA, SOPA, ACTA, and the looming TPP, copyright/IP extremists are trying to wrestle control of general computing and internet data flow away from the general public. The eventual goal is to make it so that in order to access anything online with your computer, it would require that A) You obtain a limited license of use via payment, B) You can only access that data via a media player designated and controlled by them (again, making what was once yours theirs), and C) You be monitored at all times via your ISP. It is a measured attempt, step by unilateral step, to take control of our lives, an Orwellian Big Brother with an iron fist and no remorse.

    The legacy players are acting the part of Satan, gladly tempting our politicians by flaunting money, seducing them with empty promises in exchance for our rights. As such, these days Washington resembles a brothel moreso than a democratic government. To be honest, there are still a few politicians who care enough to listen to what we have to say, but they are too few and far-between which is why we must continue to push back against having our rights trampled in this seemingly neverending battle.

    We have a choice: either a vibrant internet built by the people or a destitute one built to serve corporate interests.

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

  • icon
    DNY (profile), 7 Feb 2012 @ 7:45am

    A small criticism

    Great letter. The only criticism is that they (and we) should not be using the rent-seekers' phrase "intellectual property". Words matter. "Copyrights and patents" isn't that many more characters to type (and in some cases "copyright" suffices), and we should not cede the rhetorical ground that state-granted monopolies (even state-granted monopolies that succeed in some salutary purpose) constitute "property".

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 7 Feb 2012 @ 9:53am

    Good Luck

    Nothing will change until there is major reform of the laws governing the money and gifts that lobbiests use to buy politicians and politicians actually start acting like public servants again rather than corporate puppets.
    Furthermore, we ned to see fresh politicians who understand how technology works before we can expect legisation in the area to resemble something sane.
    Additionally, none of this will be likely with the current state of the average voter's intelligence. If you've spoken with anyone outside of the field at all about any technology related political issues you will realise the level of ignorance is amazing.
    Nothing will change while the voters remain blissfully ignorant. And the SOPA protest, in my opinion, was a fluke caused by the social networks and will not hold as much attention when its time to fight the next round - the fad will be old hat to the constituents of the social networks who's attention span for the matter will have expired.
    To move toward a solution would require more education, which the US needs to improve badly anyway. I don't see any politicians willing to turn off the faucet of money coming from lobbiests.

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

  • identicon
    John Thielking, 7 Feb 2012 @ 11:44am

    Protest ACTA and Decolonize The Internet 12pm-2pm Feb 11 San Jose City Hall

    Peacemovies.com is sponsoring a protest called "Protest ACTA and Decolonize The Internet" at San Jose City Hall, 4th and E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA USA on Feb 11th, 2012 from 12pm-2pm. ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that the US signed in October 2011. It is currently in the process of ratification in Europe and there are many protests planned all across Europe for Feb 11, 2012. This treaty is worse than SOPA and would require the US to pass laws such as the Lomar Smith HR 1981 Internet snooping bill that would require ISPs to retain 18 months of data on which web sites each user has visited. Peacemovies.com also supports overturning the laws that make it possible for web sites to post and enforce draconian terms of use contracts that restrict the use of web site content more severely than copyright law. People should be able to make commercial use of paraphrased versions of content obtained on the Internet as well as be able to make "fair use" of quoted short passages of material, regardless of what individual web sites state in their terms of use. This protest is also endorsed by Occupy San Jose.

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


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