Showing posts with label SOPA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOPA. Show all posts

Congress Continues Its Crusade Against a Free and Open Internet

In case you thought SOPA was defeated, here's a reminder that it has merely been turned into a zombie bill that cannot be killed via traditional means.  From Geek:
Two years ago, major websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit blacked out their services as a form of digital protest against SOPA, the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act . . . Eventually, the widespread outrage over the bill was acknowledged and Congress knocked it off. Various forms of SOPA attempted to make a comeback since the original proposal back in 2011, but none have made it through. Now, though, SOPA might be making a comeback, but in a much sneakier fashion.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee met to discuss copyright reform, but rather than redesign SOPA, it is instead taking the more sinister route of voluntary commitments from individual entities to comply with a ruleset similarly sinister to SOPA.  
In other words, the old SOPA policies would be administered on a voluntary basis, meaning the rule of law on the issue would be outsourced to the arbitrary policies of copyright fundamentalists. 

Washington Post Pretends Legislative Process Is Not Dominated by Special Interests

The United States federal government is today a wholly owned subsidiary of a handful of powerful corporations.  These corporations own our so-called "elected representatives" and write our laws. Things do not have to be this way, but unfortunately, barring a popular insurrection, things are very unlikely to change anytime in the near future.  From the Washington Post:
Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has vowed to conduct a comprehensive review of our nation’s copyright laws to determine whether they are “still working in a digital age.” That’s a long overdue task. But there’s a danger that the process will be dominated by a handful of special interest groups that have long been reflexively hostile to technological progress [emphasis added].

Last year’s defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) caused industry groups to intensify their lobbying efforts. And they haven’t been subtle about it. In the wake of the SOPA defeat, Motion Picture Association of America chairman Christopher Dodd warned legislators: “Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.” . . . 
There's a danger that the process will be dominated by a handful of special interest groups?  What planet is this author from?  It is a veritable certainty that any such process in the US Congress is dominated by a handful of special interest groups.  Pretending otherwise is certainly not helpful.