Congress Using Lame Duck Session To Push Through Awful Plan To Politicize The Copyright Office

from the don't-do-this dept

I explain all the details below, but the short version is that Hollywood is trying to use the lame duck Congress session to push through a bill that would be very bad for copyright, and would politicize the Copyright Office. EFF has an action page where you can tell Congress not to do this. The bigger explanation of all of this is below.

You can't take your eyes off Congress for a second or they might do something awful. As you may recall, over the past few years, there's been a huge fight going on concerning who controls the US Copyright Office. Historically, the Copyright Office has been a part of the Library of Congress. In early 2017, I wrote a very long, detailed article for the Verge detailing why the Copyright Office is in the Library of Congress, and why it should stay there. If you're confused about this, I suggest reading that article. However, for years, many both within the Copyright Office itself, and (more importantly) in the legacy movie and recording industries, have been pushing to get the Copyright Office out of the Library and set up as its own agency (or possibly merged into the Patent and Trademark Office). This would give those special interests a lot more power over the organization, especially as it would make the head of the Copryight Office, the Register of Copyrights, now a Presidentially appointed position, rather than what it is today, where the Register is appointed by the Librarian of Congress.

The previous Register, Maria Pallante, advocated strongly for independence from the Library, and all sorts of rumors started to swirl after Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden (herself only recently appointed) fired Pallante. There was a ridiculous set of conspiracy theories pushed out about this falsely accusing "Google" of engineering the firing of Pallante. This entire narrative was debunked when it later came out that Pallante was almost certainly fired over an astoundingly botched computer system upgrade in which a new computer system that the Office had promised would cost $1.1 million had ballooned (through questionable means) to $11.6 million, and never actually worked and had to be scrapped. On top of that, an Inspector's General Report suggested that Pallante lied to both Congress and the Library of Congress about the status of that computer system upgrade, claiming that it was going great. Those are fireable offenses. Meanwhile, under Hayden's leadership, the Copyright Office has actually done a good job upgrading its computer systems.

However, the conspiracy theories around Pallante's firing gave the Hollywood lobby the momentum they needed to push for a law to remove the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress. Since Pallante was fired, Hayden (who had only taken the job a few months earlier, and who was the first actual librarian to run the Library of Congress, let alone the first black woman to do so), has not appointed a new Register of Copyrights, leaving the "acting" Register, Karyn Temple, in place. No one will state this definitively, but I've heard from multiple sources that Hayden was told not to appoint a new Register until after Congress decided what to do with the Copyright Office (with the implied threat being that if Hayden went ahead and did her actual job and appointed a Register, Congress would look negatively on such a move and it would almost certainly mean the Copyright Office would be taken away from the Library).

There was a big push last year to try to split the baby on this debate, and, like an actual splitting of a baby, the plan was ridiculous. It wouldn't technically take the Copyright Office out of the Library, but it would take away the Librarian's ability to appoint the head of the Copyright Office. Instead, it would become a Presidentially appointed position, which would effectively politicize the office at a time when the last thing we should want is a Copyright Office that is bowing to the whims of whoever is in the Oval Office.

There is no reason, whatsoever, to do this right now. First of all, we have a President who, two years into office, still has only filled 378 of the 704 key positions he's supposed to fill (with 129 still having no nominee at all). It's hard to see how it makes any sense to add yet another position to the list he has to fill when he doesn't seem particularly interested in actually appointing people.

Furthermore, while supporters of this move falsely claim it's necessary to help "modernize" the Copyright Office, this ignores that, under Hayden, the Office has been modernizing (and that Hayden has experience modernizing a massively large library system in the past). Furthermore, this move would take away Hayden's abilities to hold the Register accountable -- which seems important given how she discovered Pallante's management problems before. And, of course, there's the general optics of a bunch of old white men in Congress stripping the first black, female Librarian of Congress of the same authority that every previous Librarian (all white men) had had.

Anyway, as the EFF action page explains, the House has already passed the "Register of Copyright Selection and Accountability Act" and now it's the Senate's decision. With little fanfare (and little expectation this would happen), the Senate decided to vote on this tomorrow to get it out of Committee, and then will likely to try to hide it in the "must pass" end of year appropriation's bill. In other words, the lame duck Congress may give Hollywood a huge gift and politicize the Copyright Office. Tell them not to do this.


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    identicon
    A. Dunn Deal, 3 Dec 2018 @ 9:47am

    "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

    Show me exactly where in the Constitution any person in gov't is supposed to take into account the wishes of persons except those specifically noted by recognizing (not granting) that persons have "the exclusive Right" to their OWN works!

    Techdirt as always implies that the thieves of content, whether personal or commercial scale, have some sort of legitimate interest in this or any other copyright matter, but it's silly as saying that you land-lubber "pirates" have some say in maritime / Navy matters. YOU HAVE NO SAY.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:00am

      Re: "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

      Explain why those who buy up creative works should decide what copyright law should be. If these legacy industries get their way have their way the only use an individual will have for the copyright in their own works is to try sell it to a publisher for a pittance; and if they fail, their works will remain forever unpublished.

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

    • icon
      Steven (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:05am

      Re: "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

      "To promote the progress of science and useful arts..."

      As in the purpose of copyright is to promote progress as a benefit to society. It is not for the purpose of lining the pockets of large companies who leach off the creative works of others.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re: "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

        Apparently, to some it reads;

        To promote the progress of creating larger pockets and filling them with your money ...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:07am

      Re: "little fanfare" -- Like when you left forever

      Looks like someone has a full nappy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:16am

      Re: "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

      Piracy is simply the latest excuse used in their rationalizations of the draconian censorship tools they have wet dreams about implementing.

      Also ... why is the rum gone?

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 11:09am

      Re:

      Techdirt as always implies that the thieves of content, whether personal or commercial scale, have some sort of legitimate interest in this or any other copyright matter....

      You do realize that pretty much everyone is a copyright holder in the US, right? Please explain why only some copyright holders should have a say.

      Also, this is a public matter that impacts the public. Are you really saying something along the lines of: "You drink alcohol, so you should have no say concerning drunk driving laws."? Because if you are, that is simply plum dumb.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 12:11pm

      Re: "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

      Techdirt as always implies that the thieves of content, whether personal or commercial scale, have some sort of legitimate interest in this or any other copyright matter

      By the absolute strictest reading of copyright—the only reading that seemingly matters to you, and one where principles of Fair Use would never come into play—these are just some of the people who would qualify as “thieves of content”:

      • Film critics who quote part of a film or include official art/screenshots in a written review without having first licensed that material

      • Film critics who use clips from films in video reviews/critiques without having first licensed that material

      • Videogame streamers who do Let's Plays, speedruns, and other such content without having first licensed the right to record video from the games they play

      • Book reviewers who quote part of a book without having first licensed that material

      • Music critics who quote lyrics from a song without having first licensed that material

      • Music critics who play songs in video/audio critiques of music without having first licensed that material

      • Social media users who post photographs of copyrighted paintings/statues/works of art without having first bought a license to create and distribute such a reproduction

      • Social media users who use any form of copyrighted material to create memes—and I mean everything from Spongebob Squarepants screencaps to the opening notes of “Megalovania” from Undertale

      • Fanfiction authors and fanart creators of all stripes

      To say that none of these people have a “legitimate interest” in any matter relating to copyright displays an ignorance that can best be described as “willfully malicious”.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 5:22am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Georgia, please clean up after y

      "Show me exactly where in the Constitution any person in gov't is supposed to take into account the wishes of persons except those specifically noted by recognizing (not granting) that persons have "the exclusive Right" to their OWN works!"

      The very first sentence of the copyright clause:

      "To promote the progress of science and useful arts..."

      Such progress is not only dependent on locking up culture, it can be actively blocked by it. The wishes of society as a whole trump those of people who want more free money from things they didn't create but to which they happen to have bought the right. The wishes of "pirates" who want access to things created generations ago are worth more than the wishes of Disney because they're scared the public will rightfully own the stuff that was promised to it when it was created.

      "Techdirt as always implies that the thieves of content, whether personal or commercial scale, have some sort of legitimate interest in this or any other copyright matter"

      ...whereas you and your heroes merely lie outright about the people who oppose your plan to extort the world. Your arguments fall apart when you realise you're addressing both those who pay for and who create culture - including the public domain and other open content you freely use, doesn't it?

      Once again, I wonder how it feels to have to lie about the world and those around you just to be able to support your own position.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 9:35am

      Re: "little fanfare" -- I hope much wailing by pirates!

      Show me exactly where in the Constitution any person in gov't is supposed to take into account the wishes of persons except those specifically noted by recognizing (not granting) that persons have "the exclusive Right" to their OWN works!

      Since copyright law is not specified by the Constitution, it contains neither any such direction, nor any protection of exclusive rights to authors' works.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 9:51am

    Always on defense

    Rather than complain about other people getting things done, why don't you try to do something? Why didn't you take advantage of this lame duck session and try to get the TechDirt Restoring Balance to Copyright Act pushed through?

    Things don't just spontaneously happen. If you never act offensively, you will always be playing defense. But then, if you fixed the copyright system, you wouldn't have much to write about, would you?

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:01am

      Re: Always on defense

      Rather than complain about other people getting things done, why don't you try to do something? Why didn't you take advantage of this lame duck session and try to get the TechDirt Restoring Balance to Copyright Act pushed through?

      Wow, you really don't understand the difference between the government and private entities.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re: Always on defense

        What would you classify "Hollywood" as?

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Always on defense

          A blanket term referring to various companies in the motion picture industry and, specifically in this case, their multibillion-dollar lobbying arms.

          As Techdirt does not have billions of dollars to spend to get its preferred legislation in front of Congress, its most effective tool for enacting its legislative agenda is...publishing articles on its widely-read website that advocate for that agenda, urging its readers to contact their elected representatives, and providing a means to do so. In other words, the exact things this articles does.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Always on defense

            Sounds like you're a lot more cynical than me.

            Individuals and small groups of people have managed to get legislation pushed through.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Always on defense

              I'm sure there are plenty of unambiguous examples.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 12:14pm

              When it comes to copyright, the international multimedia conglomerates that own the overwhelming majority of of mass-market mainstream pop culture—and the billions of dollars said pop culture produces for them—tend to have a far greater say in re: copyright than a blog like Techdirt. You can believe in an feel-good come-from-behind story, but at some point, reality will dropkick you in the face and laugh at you while you stumble into the mud while the wealthy power-walk to the finish line.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 5:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Always on defense

              "Individuals and small groups of people have managed to get legislation pushed through."

              When facing the lobbyists from massive multinational corporations who are pushing the false narrative that the industry they represent depends on the legislation not going through?

              I'd love to see some of the examples you apparently have in mind.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:26am

          Re: Re: Re: Always on defense

          A criminal enterprise.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 5:26am

      Re: Always on defense

      "Rather than complain about other people getting things done, why don't you try to do something?"

      Why do you assume nothing is being done? I mean, the evidence of what is being done is out there, if you wished to look for it, but why is your default position that a person who writes about an issue is not involve with it in any other way?

      "But then, if you fixed the copyright system, you wouldn't have much to write about, would you?"

      ...which in the eyes of a normal person would be a good thing. Only a sociopath like yourself would wish problems to continue in the world just so that you can keep your current job.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:02am

    Thanks for the update, Mike. Message sent to Senators telling them to vote no.

    I used the Resist bot to do so, myself. For anyone taking part, remember that the EFF's form is a good start, but personalizing it or rewriting it entirely will make your contact stand out more.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:43am

      On the other hand...

      Statistically, the influence that such letters have (without an accompanying campaign contribution large campaign contribution is 0.000% (non-zero but very tiny), whether a petition's presentation is optimized or not.

      For those whose representatives are planning on voting for the bill, it will be more effective to embarrass them, maybe trap them in an elevator on video and confront them.

      Or if we're going to get extreme, sabotage the lame duck session.

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

      • identicon
        Michael Riendeau, 3 Dec 2018 @ 11:50am

        Re: On the other hand...

        So the likelyhood of us evening getting Democrats to stop this, as it would be snuck into a must have bill, is next to none... Great. Fucking Copyright Fascists.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 12:06pm

        Re: On the other hand...

        For reference, your reply reads to me, at least, that I should not have bothered to write. I don't know that this is what you intended, but it's how it looks.

        The problem here is that, while the statistics may be true, I don't have the option of traveling to meet with my Senators and embarrass them publicly, certainly not in time to influence the vote _tomorrow_. The exhortation to do something more effective is only useful if that more effective option is available to the person you're talking to.

        Anyone who can reach congresspeople directly, in person, and embarrass them in the way you proposed _should_. I wholeheartedly endorse them doing so. For anyone who can't, letters might be the only option.

        Should I have done nothing, instead?

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 1:25pm

          "Should I have done nothing, instead?"

          My point was that we have about the same chance of affecting the outcome as we did appealing to the FCC not to gut net neutrality when we were encouraging everyone to make a relevant point on their public comments page. It didn't help. Comments were overwhelmingly in favor of preserving net neutrality and title-II regulation (despite the alleged DDOS). Pai dismissed them all.

          Is that to say you shouldn't comment to officials or legislators? No. I commented on the FCC page, and I used the EFF's utility. But I do not expect it will help.

          In this case I am saying:
          ~ Commenting will not help
          ~ Commenting with a significant bribe (the maximum individual campaign contribution), might help. If you can do that. Do it.
          ~ Protesting, demonstrating or obstructing the legislation process might help, if it's done in a way loud enough or destructive enough that it cannot be ignored, circumvented or policed.
          ~ If this sounds like the fight is already lost, that's probably true, and the system should be changed so that petitioning our government for the redress of grievances is once again a functional action. We should find a way to change it before this happens again. (It's not likely. Monied lobbyists like their control of the government, but we should.)

          Also, given that we without money to buy representation don't have recourse within the system to be heard, this may lend validity to methods outside the system.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 3:21pm

            Re: "Should I have done nothing, instead?"

            I figured as much, given your comment history. I more wanted to point how your reply could be construed to be an argument to do nothing.

            I say the following more for those who might be thinking they shouldn't write, because it wouldn't have much effect than for you, because I suspect that you already understand this: I agree that just writing congress, just commenting on the FCC's process, etc. doesn't have much of an effect, but there is one very important thing that it does, which is create something that can be pointed to as an indicator of "what the public wants."

            It is only possible for people to point out that Pai ignored the FCC comments and went against the will of the public because those comments exist. It is only possible to say that a congressperson ignored their constituency if there is a record of their constituency speaking out about a topic. These things create tools that can be used in other avenues, and every tool in the box could be useful.

            Additionally, creating the comment or writing congress is a very low-effort task anymore. Via the resist bot, it took me a sum total of 4 minutes to complete the communication. There's about as much effort involved in using the EFF's contact form. The barrier to entry for this is so low, there's really not a good reason not to, even if the ultimate direct effect of it will be negligible.

            For those have the ability to do more, please do more - but do that more in addition to this.

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

            • identicon
              Michael Riendeau, 3 Dec 2018 @ 4:58pm

              Re: Re: "Should I have done nothing, instead?"

              Look,these copyright Fascists are out to destroy the internet out of sheer greed and fascism and are bribing our representatives. I don't know how we can stand against such disgusting bribery without a civil war to take our country a democracy back by force. Even with the new Democratic house of representatives, I am cynical that they are bought and sold too.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 6:26pm

                Re: Re: Re: "Should I have done nothing, instead?"

                Fight back and maybe lose, or don't bother and ensure it.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2018 @ 6:59am

                Re: Re: Re: "Should I have done nothing, instead?"

                If it comes down to violence, for any issue, wouldn't you prefer to have the ability to say "we tried the non-violent method" and then have something to point to that proves it?

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 10:32am

              Creating a record of what the public wants

              That is a very relevant point, and one I hadn't fully considered! Thank you for making it!

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

  • identicon
    Aspeaker, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:45am

    Re: Not filling federal positions with candidates

    Just my opinion but I wonder if Mr. Trump is having problems finding people willing to fill many of those 326 positions. His government seems to be abusive toward their appointees. Note the revolving door in department heads. Not many competent people will volunteer to be abused and blamed for events outside of their control with no support from superiors (unless you consider scornful remarks some kind of support).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:55am

      Re: Re: Not filling federal positions with candidates

      my bet - he has only filled the positions that either A- the new appointee will immediately do something that will benefit himself or B- he has been paid to fill.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 10:28am

      Re: Re: Not filling federal positions with candidates

      Just my opinion but I wonder if Mr. Trump is having problems finding people willing to fill many of those 326 positions.

      He only appoints people who he believes will be personally loyal to him, so I imagine he's running out of (or already ran out of) candidates.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:46am

    "we have a President who, two years into office, still has only filled 378 of the 704 key positions he's supposed to fill"

    Is that necessarily a bad thing? In many if not most cases, it just makes the second in command the acting head. It's no secret that political appointees sadly tend to be incompetent brown-nosers who are usually inexperienced in their assigned field, while those who work under them are often far more competent. Having the top position (officially) remain vacant often times inadvertently puts better experienced and more qualified people at the helm.

    "And, of course, there's the general optics of a bunch of old white men in Congress stripping the first black, female ... "

    Underneath the surface, there's also this counter-argument at play here. Maybe we can call it the Brenda Snipes Syndrome, named after the infamously incompetant and corrupt Broward County Florida Elections supervisor, who made use of both the "racism" and "sexism" shields to cling to a job for many years that in all probability she should never have had to begin with except that there was excessive pressure to fill an 'identity' quota.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      I agree that turd polishing has it place in politics but after a while it too begins to lose its charm.

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

    • identicon
      Too Much Coffee Man, 3 Dec 2018 @ 3:12pm

      Re:

      "political appointees sadly tend to be incompetent brown-nosers who are usually inexperienced in their assigned field"

      Yes, when they're Republican. Republicans tend to appoint anybody that donates lots of money. Democrats tend to appoint people that have actual, relevant experience in that field.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re:

        "Democrats tend to appoint people that have actual, relevant experience in that field."

        ...whereas Trump's appointees seem to be people who are ideologically opposed to the fundamental function of the thing they're placed in charge of.

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

        • identicon
          TDR, 4 Dec 2018 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I thought we didn't play partisan patty cake around here. And the thing about generalizations is, they're always wrong. Don't make them.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 5 Dec 2018 @ 1:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I thought we didn't play partisan patty cake around here"

            It's hard not to do when, for example, the orange moron has replaced a competent and qualified EPA head selected by Democrats with a guy who spent much of his career railing against the agency, and stated he doesn't believe in basic facts surrounding environmental science. Ditto his education chief who apparently doesn't support public schooling, his energy secretary who wanted the department disbanded (at least until he learned what it actually does, apparently), and so on.

            Also, note the qualifiers - Democrats *tend* to, Trump *seems* to. Nobody's saying one "team" is always right and the other always wrong. We're simply noting that the current president is replacing a lot of competent, qualified appointees with people who have no business being in arms reach of the positions they're being installed into. If that's factually wrong, please support that argument, otherwise it's basic fact.

            "And the thing about generalizations is, they're always wrong. Don't make them."

            I didn't do that, yet you just did. Interesting.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 5 Dec 2018 @ 4:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Oh, and in case you needed more examples, here's a classic one:

            https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46440529

            In case you can't click through for some reason - Rudy Guiliani sent a tweet but missed a space, causing Twitter to interpret part of it as a hyperlink. Someone noticed that the URL it pointed to was not currently registered, so he registered it and created a site with a message attacking Trump.

            When he noticed, Guiliani did not respond by correcting the original tweet, he responded by writing a semi-coherent tweet attacking Twitter for altering his tweet in order to make the attack on Trump.

            The man apparently either does not understand the internet, or is happy to use a platform that he believes is going to randomly change his words in order to undermine him. This man was appointed by Trump as a cybersecurity advisor. Let that sink in.

            If you have examples of people appointed by Democrats who are this woefully unfit for the appointments they are given, feel free to provide them.

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Dec 2018 @ 12:32pm

              Periods without spaces indicate hyperlinks

              I've encountered a few chat clients and utilities that automatically interpret periods without spaces as hyperlinks, including full ellipses.

              I assume that hyperlinks never use more than one period in succession. If that's the case, it should be an easy exception to trap for.

              This.is.probably.a.link. This..is..not..a..link.

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

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 11:44am

    Welcome to Oregon

    Not a problem here. My rep is good and so are our Senators. The others reps, not as much.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 12:17pm

    The EFF is nothing more than a Google astroturfing group, so no, I don’t think I’ll do what they ask.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      [citation needed]

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 1:42pm

      Re:

      Quiet, Mr. Orlowski.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 3:03pm

      Re:

      I hear they're also in favor of air, food, and having money, so if you're that easy to manipulate you know what you need to do.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 6:46pm

      Re:

      SOPA died over five years ago.

      You really shouldn't need this long to grieve. I don't care if FOSTA doesn't deep throat you like SOPA was supposed to.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 8:15pm

      Re:

      Daww. It thinks it’s people. How trite.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 10:39pm

      Re:

      The EFF is nothing more than a Google astroturfing group, so no, I don’t think I’ll do what they ask.

      This is such a bullshit talking point. And wrong.

      The EFF regularly opposes Google on stuff, including to the point of filing an FTC complaint against Google over its privacy practices. The argument that it's a "front" for the EFF is laughable. And if you mean that Google "funds" EFF, that's also wrong. According to its latest financial report, less than 5% of the money EFF gets comes from corporations, so even if you argued (laughably) that all of the corporate money it gets is from Google, it would still only be a tiny amount of EFF's budget.

      Google doesn't fund EFF and EFF is not even close to a Google front. You should, maybe, not get your talking points from idiots.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 Dec 2018 @ 5:36am

      Re:

      How about you do what is clearly the right thing to do, then, instead of opposing it because you don't like someone on that side of the argument? If you're old enough to take interest in these matters, you should be able to evaluate the actual argument, rather than just blindly supporting based on whether or not you like the person telling you about it.

      As ever, even if you weren't lying about the basis of your argument, it's still moronic.

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

  • identicon
    TripMN, 3 Dec 2018 @ 1:25pm

    I'm only surprised by the content, not by the effort

    I'm surprised the lame duck session hasn't tried to extend the Sonny Bono copyright another 20 years. Unless I'm mistaken, the first items from 1923 should be going into the public-domain on January 1st, 2019...only 96 years after creation.

    Maybe Disney is waiting until we get a little closer to 2004 (when Steamboat Willie will go into the public-domain) before paying for an extension to be rammed thru congress.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2018 @ 2:17pm

    I really do wish that support for Internet-critical issues was as easy to gain today as it was back in the days of SOPA. But now, as different companies that were once gung-ho in their battle to save the Internet are now diverging in the goals they want to accomplish, as well as having grown in size to where it's a non-issue for them, another big Internet blackout or day of action is going to be nigh-impossible. These are dark times for the free and open Internet, and they're set to get darker still.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 2:19pm

      Re:

      I really do wish that support for Internet-critical issues was as easy to gain today as it was back in the days of SOPA.

      You call that easy?

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 2:47pm

      The SOPA era

      The problem then was getting people to even be aware of these issues. Net Neutrality was a thing that users were taking for granted in that they didn't know it existed and things could be different (and worse).

      Now, instead, they are aware, but the subject is being obfuscated by lobbyists (much the way the climate change issue is being muddied). Rather than the public being caught unawares, it's caught confused.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 2:28pm

    WHY>

    Why does C span require you to have a CABLE TV account??

    https://www.senate.gov/floor/

    We had such a nice design for a government..When did it get this bad..20-30-50 years??

    Something I wish to understand.. We didnt pay these folks before..the 1970's..
    they voted themselves a wage, commensurate to that of a Middle management boss.
    As they are being PAID NOW...arnt these folks considered EMPLOYEES??
    And as every man/women/child is NOW their Boss, cant we just Fire them..we should need to do much of anything else..

    ANd why are we still letting them in while they are supposed to be GONE, home..
    They are only requested BEFORE seeding the farms, and upto the harvest time..about 6-8 months MAX(and get paid $170k per 1/2 year)
    Please lets fire them before they do MORE stupid things..
    Anyone got a List of days missed?? w can fire 2/3 of them just for missing days..
    LETS get rid of the AUTOMATIC voting system...Its REALLY ABUSED..

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

  • icon
    reader50 (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 6:54pm

    Need a Senate Bill number

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

  • icon
    reader50 (profile), 3 Dec 2018 @ 6:57pm

    Need a Senate Bill number

    The EFF page is outdated, with a House Bill number, and a contact form for our representatives. But it's in the Senate now.

    I can't seem to find it on senate.gov, so does anyone know the SB-number for the Senate bill?

    I can contact my Senators manually, but still need the bill number.

    Oh - can a mod delete my earlier comment above? Dingbat mistake - I hit Enter instead of Shift.

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


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