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Internet activists take aim at legislators pushing SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 29 Dec 2011 21:36 User comments (16)

Internet activists take aim at legislators pushing SOPA Now that their campaign against GoDaddy has convinced the world's largest domain registrar to back away from supporting SOPA, some Reddit members are turning their attention to unseating legislators whose support is keeping the bill alive.
To be sure, this effort is on an entirely different level than boycotting an Internet registrar, but Reddit's previous effort surely garnered them plenty of extra attention.

In part that can be attributed to their GoDaddy protest getting significant coverage outside the tech world, in mainstream publications like USA Today, Forbes, and Time. That isn't the only reason GoDaddy is in the news either.

The Hollywood Reporter has an article about a lawsuit in which GoDaddy is accused of facilitating trademark infringement by AMPAS (the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) because of infringing domain names owned by customers of their domain parking service.

Keep in mind, GoDaddy does not own the domain names. They merely provide a service to park domains and provide ads. The point is, the claim that IP holders only want SOPA to target the actual bad actors is already proven false.

They are going after service providers without it. And what's worse, GoDaddy knows this and still decided to support the bill.

But perhaps that's not so surprising thanks to a provision added to SOPA when the bill was amended recently. When the power for copyright holders to go after US companies was removed, another one to give DNS providers, search engines, payment processors, and ad providers the right to take action without a court order, or even a complaint from an IP holder.

This is actually more than an IP holder could demand with a takedown request, but without all that pesky due process. All that is required is:

the reasonable belief that--

(1) the Internet site is a foreign infringing site or is an Internet site dedicated to theft of U.S. property; and

(2) the action is consistent with the entity's terms of service or other contractual rights.


Of course we already have a definition for reasonable belief. It has been conveniently provided by the agreement between the MPAA, RIAA and a group of ISPs for their five strikes plan to kick subscribers accused of copyright infringement off the Internet.

That standard is nothing more or less than "the IP holder says so." As with that agreement, it's not important whether all these parties want to cooperate. Rather, it is about what kind of carrot or stick they can come up with.

The worst part is they wouldn't need to convince everyone. Just like in the previous agreement, ISPs are the low hanging fruit. If they won't be swayed by threats, and some of them probably will, there are always offers of content deals. After all, why should they care about blocking a website which probably doesn't even belong to one of the customers?

Once they get the ISPs to cooperate, search engines, payment processors and ad networks just aren't that important. Why worry if someone can see a website exists if they can't reach it. Obviously simple DNS blocking could be bypassed, but as long as the ISPs are playing ball there's no reason for the IP holders not to help pay for more advanced measures.

Not surprisingly, Redditors aren't the only denizens of the web trying to organize against SOPA supporters in Congress. Influential conservative blogger Erick Erickson of RedState.com recently vowed to "do everything in his power" to defeat Republican in the House Of Representatives who continues to support SOPA.

He went further to suggest an alliance with activists for the Democratic Party, whom he disagrees with on practically everything, to keep the effort as bipartisan as the support for SOPA in Congress:

Everyone on the left and right who is interested should pledge $10.00 per candidate, or $321.00. If that?s too much, just pledge $10.00.

A fund should be created and the left should go out and find candidates to take on the Democrat sponsors. The right should go out and find candidates to take on the Republican sponsors. Heck, maybe Act Blue would let us on the right come by and we can all use their pre-existing platform (a platform no one on the right has even been able to really compete with. Seriously, I?m a big admirer).

The money should then be used to fund the primary challenges against the incumbent sponsors of SOPA. Let the right vet and direct the funding on the right so no one thinks the left is trying to pick the challenger and vice-versa on the left.

This might mean some allies are taken out. It might mean we take out Marsha Blackburn on the right and Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the left.

But sometimes a fight is that important. Killing SOPA is that important. Letting the Attorney General of the United States shut down the internet as he wants, whether it be Eric Holder or a future John Ashcroft, should scare the mess out of every American.

Congress has proven it does not understand the internet. Perhaps they will understand brute strength against them at the ballot box.

If members of Congress do not pull their name from co-sponsorship of SOPA, the left and right should pledge to defeat each and every one of them.

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16 user comments

130.12.2011 0:00

It would be really great if people got behind such things more often...if doing something that was massively opposed by the public got you removed from office, the average congressional candidate would serve less than a month.

Quote:
Everyone on the left and right who is interested should pledge $10.00 per candidate, or $321.00. If that?s too much, just pledge $10.00.

LoL...so there are 32.1 candidates? Who is the 0.1?


230.12.2011 1:33
Zoo_Look
Inactive

Its more like 1 candidate, with $311 'handling fee', they are still politicians after all.

330.12.2011 4:27

HOW TO: Move Your Domain Name Account:
http://on.mash.to/vWJdCq

SOPA: Domain Blocking Will Encourage Yet More Fraud and Scams [More Problems that Solutions]
http://bit.ly/vbArbV
[Video] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUEvRyemKSg&feature=share


US politicians get richer despite recession:
[Video] http://aje.me/seatsy

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Dec 2011 @ 5:52

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

430.12.2011 5:09

Since it was the same politicians who set up the PAC system so that they can be bribed in a way that meets the requirements of the Supreme Court of the United States, it's very unlikely that a campaign based on persuasion (without a payoff) will make the least impression - but good luck anyway.

530.12.2011 8:31

Originally posted by attar:
Since it was the same politicians who set up the PAC system so that they can be bribed in a way that meets the requirements of the Supreme Court of the United States, it's very unlikely that a campaign based on persuasion (without a payoff) will make the least impression - but good luck anyway.
The problem is not the PAC system per se, but rather the way it has been used since 1994 as a way to let donors write their own legislation. This article from 1995 gives a good example of the changes. It has since become standard operating procedure in Washington.

And keep in mind, it may have started with the Republicans, but it is by no means restricted to them now.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2011 @ 8:32

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

630.12.2011 11:40

Originally posted by vurbal:
Originally posted by attar:
Since it was the same politicians who set up the PAC system so that they can be bribed in a way that meets the requirements of the Supreme Court of the United States, it's very unlikely that a campaign based on persuasion (without a payoff) will make the least impression - but good luck anyway.
The problem is not the PAC system per se, but rather the way it has been used since 1994 as a way to let donors write their own legislation. This article from 1995 gives a good example of the changes. It has since become standard operating procedure in Washington.

And keep in mind, it may have started with the Republicans, but it is by no means restricted to them now.
The problem is the PAC system per se...the fact that it exists means there is bribery...the fact that it was established means that everyone is OK with it...the fact that the people who run the government are allowed to make laws benefiting themselves (and do so) means they are not representatives of the people as they claim to be.

730.12.2011 11:59

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by vurbal:
Originally posted by attar:
Since it was the same politicians who set up the PAC system so that they can be bribed in a way that meets the requirements of the Supreme Court of the United States, it's very unlikely that a campaign based on persuasion (without a payoff) will make the least impression - but good luck anyway.
The problem is not the PAC system per se, but rather the way it has been used since 1994 as a way to let donors write their own legislation. This article from 1995 gives a good example of the changes. It has since become standard operating procedure in Washington.

And keep in mind, it may have started with the Republicans, but it is by no means restricted to them now.
The problem is the PAC system per se...the fact that it exists means there is bribery...the fact that it was established means that everyone is OK with it...the fact that the people who run the government are allowed to make laws benefiting themselves (and do so) means they are not representatives of the people as they claim to be.
Of course PACs don't cause bribery, and not all bribery comes from PACs now. Bribery is a "feature" of any and all governments, or any other system where people wield power others want influence over. Get rid of PACs and that money will simply come in via a different route.

The real issue here IMO is that we assume democracy means we can rely on the government. In fact it doesn't. Just as democracy is something which can only be attained by the demand of the people, it must be maintained in the same way. Since you can't eliminate corruption, the next best thing is to punish it severely enough to clean it up as much as possible.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

830.12.2011 14:07

W T F!!! I have never seen such a goulash of deased rats & dead, decayed human flesh drawn over red coals to rolling boil & called an edible stew in my F-ing life as the last paragraph by a staff member in an attempt to stand at the top of the heap of "Right".

For F***Ks sake!!! Breathing causes bribery! Anyone jerkhole wanting ungainful advantage over another & using material wealth as a means to get is a freaking bribe. Spelling the word Broyhill and then telling a guy your name is pronounced Smith is asinine!!!

The PAC system is just another way of pitching a bribe to your favorite political figure & "here are the rules", served up with a smile. The jerk offs sing & dance in front of you because they have a fancy language & club you can't afford to attend or learn & it's just tough titties.

Low & behold, if you do figure it out, they will change the rules or you disappear (most times, figuratively speaking) in a blaze of scandal. Despite your guilt or innocence.

It's reflection has little to do with anyone's democracy. That can be obviously bought & sold like any other commodity.


930.12.2011 14:50

Originally posted by LordRuss:
W T F!!! I have never seen such a goulash of deased rats & dead, decayed human flesh drawn over red coals to rolling boil & called an edible stew in my F-ing life as the last paragraph by a staff member in an attempt to stand at the top of the heap of "Right".

For F***Ks sake!!! Breathing causes bribery! Anyone jerkhole wanting ungainful advantage over another & using material wealth as a means to get is a freaking bribe. Spelling the word Broyhill and then telling a guy your name is pronounced Smith is asinine!!!

The PAC system is just another way of pitching a bribe to your favorite political figure & "here are the rules", served up with a smile. The jerk offs sing & dance in front of you because they have a fancy language & club you can't afford to attend or learn & it's just tough titties.

Low & behold, if you do figure it out, they will change the rules or you disappear (most times, figuratively speaking) in a blaze of scandal. Despite your guilt or innocence.

It's reflection has little to do with anyone's democracy. That can be obviously bought & sold like any other commodity.
I'm not disagreeing with any of that. I'm just not seeing how any of it goes away if you get rid of PACs. The reason we have PACs in the first place was because there were already problems and they needed to establish a structure for making spending rules. Move those contributions out of PACs and they just go to less regulated or completely unregulated places instead. The government can't forbid people from pooling resources to lobby the or campaign for something or someone. It doesn't matter if you call it a PAC, a social club, a political party, or anything else.

There could be a partial solution, however if you restricted corporations separately. The problem is, thanks to an error by the Supreme Court decades ago (reading a court clerk's note as part of an actual decision), corporations are recognized as people by the courts. As long as corporations are treated as people it's impossible to truly regulate their lobbying activities because it would also limit actual people as well. Fix the corporations = people problem and you can regulate them separately.

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1030.12.2011 15:38

Point taken. Facts are they don't need 'any' of these publicly recognized organizations to do anything they want. Any off shore account will do nicely.

Basically... Until those people that have taken elected public office literally have their asses to lose, they have nothing to promote their incentive to do a damn thing in any interest of anyone or anything. That's why nothing get's done. They don't care. There's nothing in it for them.

Bet if the cure for one of their dying kids was on the chopping block they'd put fire to their asses... But that's just a hunch.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2011 @ 15:43

1130.12.2011 18:40

Why does Marsha Want Congress to Regulate the Internet? Why not just say NO FEDERAL branch (the FCC and congress and the federal courts included) has any authority to decide or rule on any aspect concerning the Internet?

BUT Marsha Blackburn did Vote FOR: Patriot Act Reauthorization, Electronic Surveillance, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension; and only NOW she is worried about free speech, privacy, and government take over of the internet?

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :
mickeywhite blogspot com
Mickey

1230.12.2011 23:57

Originally posted by vurbal:

The real issue here IMO is that we assume democracy means we can rely on the government. In fact it doesn't. Just as democracy is something which can only be attained by the demand of the people, it must be maintained in the same way. Since you can't eliminate corruption, the next best thing is to punish it severely enough to clean it up as much as possible.
Actually, the problem is that we don't have a democracy at all. A democracy is when people vote on the issues at hand...that doesn't exist anywhere in spite of the fact that the digital revolution has made it a viable option. There is also something called representative democracy, where people vote for the representatives that vote on issues. The US had this once...but now all the "representatives" are part of the same 2-party system and they all have essentially the same goals and they are all bribed by the same people.

At least in Switzerland the people can override their representatives with actual democracy...this doesn't keep the government honest, but it does go a long way towards that goal. Something like SOPA might have a chance of passing there...but the people would just vote it out and that would be the end of it.

1331.12.2011 11:57

Good point KB. I keep forgetting that the fine folks here at AD live in an entirely different country & have varying rules of government. Not necessarily better, but in some cases, better ways for their folks to call their politicians on their BS.


143.1.2012 14:15

As of this year, the problem is even worse as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (from Jan 2010) now allows PACs to raise and spend unlimited amounts of corporate money to get whoever they want elected.

I disagree that companies are people and that they should be allowed to inject massive amounts of cash into our elections...but a packed Supreme Court decided otherwise.

153.1.2012 14:59

Originally posted by IguanaC64:
...but a packed Supreme Court decided otherwise.
Just goes to show that an Ivy League degree doesn't always declare the brightest individual for the job.

165.1.2012 8:05

you do realize if sopa happens at all they are actually taking peoples rights like freedom of speech and the american people can get a military cue going and guess what happens to legislation it goes bye bye because the military will fight for the rights of the people not what legislation is doing. and SOPA is a bunch of BS because it will never pass some of the legislation are against it already so good luck on passing the bill

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jan 2012 @ 8:12

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