SOPA Postponed "Indefinitely"

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SOPA Postponed "Indefinitely"

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SOPA lead sponsor Representative Lamar Smith says markup in the bill will be postponed "indefinitely" until wider consensus on how to combat piracy can be reached.

It wasn't exactly a "Day of Rage," although there was no shortage of pissed-off stupid at @herpderpedia, but the "No Wiki Wednesday" [or whatever you'd like to call it] was nevertheless noticed by the Powers That Be. Republican Representative Lamar Smith, the House Judiciary Chairman and lead sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, announced today that he's putting the brakes on the bill.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products," Smith said in a statement, once again hitting his odious "foreign thieves" note.

He said Congress will continue to work with "copyright owners and internet companies" to come up with ways to combat online piracy and also invited input from anyone "who has an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem."

"The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore," he continued. "American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America's intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack."

Several politicians had already withdrawn their support for SOPA and its Senate sister PIPA prior to Smith's statement, including SOPA co-sponsors Ben Quayle and Lee Terry, and PIPA co-sponsors Mark Rubio and Roy Blunt. And although it's not quite as sweet and satisfying as an outright acknowledgment that the whole idea was a bad one from the get-go, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Source: Silicon Republic

Permalink

Okay, so they're starting to realize how ham-fisted they're being? Good. Let's all dance in the streets a bit.

Well, in my opinion there are only two mains ways to combat piracy:

introduce an authoritarian law

or

introduce a pointless law that creates needless red tape and does noting at all to combat it.

Wasn't it just postponed indefinitely a couple days ago, then brought back?

Call me skeptical, but...

Yo Adrian,

WE DID IT!

I hope
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mad825:
Well, in my opinion there are only two mains ways to combat piracy:

introduce an authoritarian law

or

introduce a pointless law that creates needless red tape and does noting at all to combat it.

That's pretty much what I've been thinking. There are two ways to fix these problems:

1) Enact slow, primarily societal changes that change the public perception of piracy while exploring alternative methods of content distribution that are acceptable to producers and consumers alike

2) Cull the Internet. Burn it to the ground and start from scratch.

Obviously, #2 is less than desirable.

On topic: Yay, go Internet!

"It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products," Smith said in a statement

Wow. Classy. "We're only trying to do the best thing for you ungrateful kids, but if you're just not going to appreciate our hard work..."

Here's an idea, Smith. How about we revisit the problem of piracy some time when you're no longer in office? Soon, hopefully.

So the tides are turning? They're beginning to realise that it's a bad idea?

Good news, men. The enemy is retreating. Now chase them into the ground.

Great news. SUCK IT MPAA!

I don't believe it for a second. This is just another tactic to divert attention from the bills as they ninja their way into law.

By "postponed indefinitely", I hope they mean "buried in a shallow unmarked grave".

mad825:
Well, in my opinion there are only two mains ways to combat piracy:

introduce an authoritarian law

or

introduce a pointless law that creates needless red tape and does noting at all to combat it.

There's no way to do it at all, it's just throwing with pillows, not even China or the Iran have managed it and they're a lot closer to "authoritarian law" (although they arguably have more of an interest in censoring stuff than stopping piracy, but they can't manage that too well either). That said, Torrents and Webhosts like Megaupload or Rapidshare aren't the first, nor the last technology to download your files through a computer. Long ago there were things called "Direct Connect", "Usenet", "eDonkey" and a number of other services/clients that didn't (and still don't, because most of them are still around) require any website access. And even if they managed to shut it all down, somewhere someone at some university is probably working on some new revolutionary way of transmitting files over the intertubes right now.

They can't fight the issue with sticks, and that's what they don't really get. Although I'm not even really sure if this whole thing was really about "piracy" as much as being able to control the Internet better (considering all those mean old bullies like Wikileaks, Anonymous etc. lately).

I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products...

Erm... I'm not entirely sure if Mr. Smith understands exactly how piracy works, unless there's some kind of covert mass-network of patent theft on the web, which steals industry secrets and uses them to build evil duplicates of good god-fearing American technology that I've somehow managed to avoid exposure to?

The reason the Chinese are able to build exact duplicates of patented technology isn't because they've stolen the designs using their much-rumoured secret hacker network. It's because companies handed them the designs on a silver platter when they moved their manufacturing over to China, that's how their IP laws work over there.

I really hope I'm not the only one who starts seeing a little red when the phrase "foreign thieves" gets thrown about.

Yes yes, I know, "you're never the only one". Shut the fuck up, it's a figure of speech.

After all, it's not like any American has ever engaged in a spot of piracy, and of course that fucking clown knows it. He's just trying to leverage a bit of good ol' xenophobia, the miserable, rotten little... grrr...

Zhukov:
I really hope I'm not the only one who starts seeing a little red when the phrase "foreign thieves" gets thrown about.

Yes yes, I know, "you're never the only one". Shut the fuck up, it's a figure of speech.

After all, it's not like any American has ever engaged in a spot of piracy, and of course that fucking clown knows it. He's just trying to leverage a bit of good ol' xenophobia, the miserable, rotten little... grrr...

Especially since I'm willing to bet most of these "foreign theives" are "stealing" because the products aren't even legally available in their country to begin with.

No, I don't have stats to back this up. But then again, Mr. Smith up there doesn't have any stats to back up his claims either. And if his claim is enough to get these bills introduced, my claim should be just as valid.

But then again, I'm not backed by millions upon millions of lobbying dollars from the big companies that are supposed to be hurting very hard from piracy.

"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products"

Stay classy, because nobody in America pirates anything, am I right?

Otaku World Order:
By "postponed indefinitely", I hope they mean "buried in a shallow unmarked grave".

If it's unmarked, how can I pee on it?

Frostbite3789:

Otaku World Order:
By "postponed indefinitely", I hope they mean "buried in a shallow unmarked grave".

If it's unmarked, how can I pee on it?

If you don't mind, I think I'll join you for that.

OT: My reaction:

Ah, Scalia. You always know what I'm thinking.

Anyhow, I'm glad to hear this.

Regiment:

That's pretty much what I've been thinking. There are two ways to fix these problems:

1) Enact slow, primarily societal changes that change the public perception of piracy while exploring alternative methods of content distribution that are acceptable to producers and consumers alike

This would be the 2nd most ideal solution in theory (the ideal would be people would stop pirating, and keep the exchange simple, while allowing for a full refund. Economics would take over afterward), except I know how that would actually go:

Publishers change games over completely from Products to Services. Online connection becomes mandatory (this is the hardest DRM scheme there is; it's also the most effective if done ala Cloud-Gaming, where the gamer/client keeps little to none of the game's actual files on his/her computer).

Publishers will do what most service-centric companies do; tighten the thumb-screws and rate-hike. (This is the direction gaming is leaning towards in the next two decades, methinks. It's dependent on a few other things happening first, but I can see it)

So instead of "Coaxing people to stop pirating" we get publishers "Slow boiling the proverbial frog until it pops".

The trick is trying to find that distribution system that lets gamers play without requiring them to jump through legal hoops or constantly connect to the internet. Steam is a good base model, but still hardly ideal; I have issues with Steam from time to time.

2) Cull the Internet. Burn it to the ground and start from scratch.

*chuckles*
You're welcome to try. I've no doubt a talented and coordinated group could do serious temporary damage to the net, but by its very nature, the Internet is like a hydra; hack off a piece, and another grows to replace it.

EDIT:

Daystar Clarion:
"I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products"

Stay classy, because nobody in America pirates anything, am I right?

*Puts on Sympathy for the Devil*
Time to play a little Devil's Advocate. *ahem*

Behind the xenophobic attitude of the bill is this "logic" (*cough*):
"The American pirates are assumed to already be in Federal Jurisdiction. Foreign nations, obviously are not. SOPA effectively aims to create a legal workaround for that, since it's very difficult to actually apprehend and prosecute them."

But I still agree that the bill sounds incredibly Xenophobic (borderline racist, even though no country is specifically mentioned) in its wording.

So this time, can it be gone for more than a day?

And also, stop with the foreign thieves thing. It's just a tactic to make it sound "scary and unknown and wooooooooh FOREIGN THIEVES woooooh".

Still, nice to see that all of our online bitching has finally pierced some of those thick skulls over in Washington.

Atmos Duality:

2) Cull the Internet. Burn it to the ground and start from scratch.

*chuckles*
You're welcome to try. I've no doubt a talented and coordinated group could do serious temporary damage to the net, but by its very nature, the Internet is like a hydra; hack off a piece, and another grows to replace it.

Make no mistake, I think that this would be the least desirable solution whatsoever, and I don't think it could physically be done at all. I find it to be along the same lines as saying that a cold can be cured by killing the sick person. It's technically possible, but it's not the right way to go about things.

Which means that SOPA would have cured colds by permanently closing any building that had sick people in it, and here the analogy kind of breaks down.

Make no mistake, they will try again and again until they get what they want. As long as the farce of intellectual monopoly lives on, they will keep doing it. There is only one thing that can truly stop this kind of evil: the abolition of copyright.

Why did the internet turn into cry babies over a bill that was never, ever going to go through. Its hilarious. I agree that companies should have control and ban sites that are pirating and distributing their property illegally. But the bill needs to be more specificly targetted at the criminals, not just because a film fan writes about a movie he liked and adds a trailer to it without asking permission.

End of the day the internet can not be controlled, its to big. An there are people with skills that enable them to get around any anti pirating bill that is put into effect. The fact is some people want stuff for free and that will never change.

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The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

...is it gone for good this time?

SonOfVoorhees:
Why did the internet turn into cry babies over a bill that was never, ever going to go through. Its hilarious. I agree that companies should have control and ban sites that are pirating and distributing their property illegally. But the bill needs to be more specificly targetted at the criminals, not just because a film fan writes about a movie he liked and adds a trailer to it without asking permission.

End of the day the internet can not be controlled, its to big. An there are people with skills that enable them to get around any anti pirating bill that is put into effect. The fact is some people want stuff for free and that will never change.

If you'd checked the number of House reps who were in favor of SOPA only a week ago, you'd be singing a different tune. The bill very much could have gone through, simply because of lobbyists. As for the companies having control, no. Absolutely not.

Imagine for a second that the majors indeed do have control over legislation. YouTube dies. Social networks die. Lyrics depositories die. Why? All because someone took offense of the fact that Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" is used without consent of the copyright holders.

They won't make any difference between harmless fanfic authors putting a trailer together for their works or the aXXo ripping group. They won't make any difference between Let's Play providers and scene groups offering game rips.

There is no way whatsoever to ensure that the quote-unquote "right" people are prosecuted. Piracy cannot and will never be handled in a successful manner, because the very structure of the Internet makes any and all attempts at a national form of legislation unfair to whoever lives or works outside of those national laws. The current situation is allowing for cases where a citizen of Great Britain who is innocent by British law to be prosecuted according to American laws without any kind of local proofs backing up his arrest.

The only way we could conceivably legislate the Internet is if we considered it to be a supra-national entity with its own government and structure - a virtual country, if you will. If the Internet developed its own laws from within, then all users across the globe could successfully be held accountable for their actions. Expecting everyone to be free and able to just rush in guns blazing is only going to turn the World Wide Web into an anarchist hotbed - if it hasn't already. This would mean that the more hard-lining governments would have to put some serious water in their wine (e.g. China), as we couldn't have one "province" of the Web enforcing censorship while others don't.

That is, at the very least, how I see things. I'm not a lawyer and I have no idea how this would work, but it feels like a somewhat workable solution in my admittedly naive mindset.

Rodrigo Girao:
Make no mistake, they will try again and again until they get what they want. As long as the farce of intellectual monopoly lives on, they will keep doing it. There is only one thing that can truly stop this kind of evil: the abolition of copyright.

Thumbing through the chapter, I noticed plenty of Slippery Slope argumentation, appeals to romantic notions rather than facts, and a tenuous understanding of economics. The author hand-waves critical flaws to their argumentation away without proofs or fails to address them outright (such as assuming that costs for information reproduction are the same as producing the original; ignoring the perils the arbitrage under such a system, and arguing for all informational goods as if they had the same limits as traditional private goods; they do NOT).

I can cite examples, but rather than leaving a three page dissertation here, I'm just going to say that I disagree with that book in general.

It has some good ideas, arguments and concepts, but it ultimately fails to prove its case (abolition of Copyright entirely) logically.

Still, I do enjoy reading economics, so it was worth killing time while this blasted snow continues to bury the world around me.

I cant wait till Anonymous gets up on a high horse and says "look, see, we made them do that! we made a difference!" and takes credit for something they larger did nothing to help and could potentially only strengthened.

Still, its nice to see progress.

Not to be a lemon but considering the Gov carpetbombed Megaupload and all of its sister sites without SOPA to get at those 'evil pirates' does it make much of a difference?

Don't get me wrong though, it makes me happy to see this draconian bill bite it though!

The internet has scored a victory today. SOPA was the equivalent to burning down the entire house to kill a bug. Activism feels good. :D

Now is time for CELEBRATE.

Zachary Amaranth:
Wasn't it just postponed indefinitely a couple days ago, then brought back?

Call me skeptical, but...

As of yesterday, PIPA was still being voted on in February. Now both are shelved indefinitely.

I love his flip flopping.

Yesterday Lamar was calling opponents of his bill, I mean the bill lobbyists wrote for him, names.

Today he gives in.

Love it.

This has me excited. Even though the bill technically still exists, the fact it has been delayed means that it is likely headed for major revisions before it even sees a committee hearing again. This shows that a concerted effort on the part of ordinary netizens and websites can affect the political arena, it was done in such a pragmatic way that did not damage the stand we all took.

On a side note I HAVE to critique Mr. Chalk ever so slightly. Lamar Smith is a REPRESENTATIVE, not a Senator. There is a huge world of difference here and the two must not be mixed up. Please try and be a little more careful in the future.

Aggieknight:
I love his flip flopping.

Yesterday Lamar was calling opponents of his bill, I mean the bill lobbyists wrote for him names.

Today he gives in.

Love it.

He knows the job market sucks, he plans to keep his. Unfortunately hell probably get to stay cause people in his state wont vote against him.

It's going to be really hard for any one nation to come with an idea to address piracy. A pirate site based in the U.S. and a pirate site based in say... Sweden have absolutely no difference in function save for one can claim "not your jurisdiction" as a defense while effecting the country exactly the same as an in-country site would.

As nice as it would be seeing the deserving sites grabbed by the long arm of the law (suck it megaupload) there will always be arguments about jurisdiction. IMO the U.N.'s reputation for wrapping everything in red tape is legendary... but they actually manage to do their world peace-keeping from time to time. The internet might be a similar beast to that instead of a national government thing, given the flexibility of the internet to loophole circles around the law.

I wouldn't celebrate yet, I mean, he just pulled the same thing a few days ago.
Also, the 'foreign thieves' statement, in addition to coming off as highly intolerant, really does kind of back up that whole notion of a lot of senators/congressmen being crotchedy old men.

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