Democrats still trying to pay off their donors, why are Republicans helping? Oops sorry to s[poil the party, Y’all having too.
Like many a literary or 50s horror flick monster, the controversial piece of legislation known best by its acronym shortening — “SOPA” — lurched back to life, a cruel antedeluvian nightmare returned to deaden the short lived joy of its reported passing.
Undeterred by opposition from respected House Oversight Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and the implied threat of veto from President Barack Obama, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has revived the Orwellian “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and vows to pass a revised version “markup” version, even as its Senate counterpart the “PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) (S.968) merrily chugs along, assisted by a king’s ransom in bribes to U.S. Senators — lobbyist donations estimated to total of 10 percent of the election costs of all current Senators combined.
The pork train will chug into Washington D.C., just in time to ruin Superbowl weekend with a storm of controversy. That week, after the parties return from their spring retreat — doubtless comparing notes on how many PAC payouts they received from their Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America — talk will turn to whether they can use some minor modifications to grease SOPA into the American annals.
It would take a fountain of red ink to markup and remove all of the controversial language from SOPA. Indeed it would likely be impossible to do so and have much of a bill left. So likely the SOPA we know and love now will be pretty similar to the bill that is looking increasingly likely to be moving towards a vote.
Currently most of the talk focuses on the provisions regarding DNS blacklisting. Under this system if a site within a certain domain was found to be hosting pirate materials, the whole domain could be taken down. This is not the first time such powers have been granted to the U.S. federal government and in the past the feds have shown a fantastic propensity to botch things in the worst way possible taking the act of taking down one bad internet site and propogating it intoaccidental deletion of tens of thousands of legitimate sites.
Indeed this provision, like many in SOPA, has a knack for potentially creating problems far eclipsing those it’s trying to solve; the digital equivalent of spraying machine gun fire on a busy public street corner to try to stop a petty drug dealer. The killer cure also reminds one nostalgically of the old medical practice of bleeding one with leeches to “cure” all variety of maladies.
Indeed, like the leeches, the patient — in this case, the internet — may accidentally die if SOPA gets to execute its piracy “cure”.
from the another-down dept Rubio responds by dropping his support … Yeah Florida.
It appears that the some in Congress are finally hearing you. Senator Marco Rubio, from Florida, has announced that he is removing his name as a co-sponsor of PIPA and is urging Senator Harry Reid not to go ahead with the plan to bring the bill to the floor.
Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy. Since then, we’ve heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.
Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free and open access to the Internet.
Publicity Stunt? Or democracy in action? I vote the latter. It’s good to see politicians actually listening to constituents rather than lobbyists sometimes…
By default, this would force the major websites to go dark …