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Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin
Democratic leadership, Sens. Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin finally catch a clue. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
Here's a temporary victory for the internet and all of us who use it; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has postponed the vote on PIPA, originally scheduled for next Tuesday. His statement:
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.

“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.

“I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”

It doesn't mean the issue is dead and gone; Hollywood is far too powerful to give this one up. But it does buy time for the other side—high tech, Internet users, the millions of constituents these Senators supposedly represent—to educate policymakers. It gives those policymakers a chance to get on the right side of history.

Thanks to everyone who contacted their Senators. You helped make this happen.

7:10 AM PT: You can also thank Sen. Ron Wyden, who was responsible for sounding the alarm bell on this bad legislation and fighting it in the Senate.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 06:56 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 06:56:54 AM PST

  •  Rinse... and repeat... (10+ / 0-)

    They are not gonna let this go, ever...

    Time to think about a legislative pushback, methinks.

    And then vote the jerks who are STILL pushing for this out.

    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass.

    by detroitmechworks on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:07:24 AM PST

    •  protests work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Brown Thrasher, koosah

      especially during an election year when nobody likes anybody.

    •  It's time to start pushing in the other direction (5+ / 0-)

      Yes, they won't give up. They will continue pushing more laws to expand the scope and enforcement of copyright. Copyright laws is already too extreme as it is. This comes down to the Overton Window theory. If they are constantly pushing to make it more extreme and all we do is try to say 'no' to each attempt, then the "compromise" will always be to make it more extreme, but just somewhat less more extreme than they are asking for at any given time. The only way to counter this is to build a movement to start reducing copyright, not only because it should be reduced to begin with but because that will be the only way to stop it from becoming perpetually worse.

  •  Reid's "cost of piracy statistics" are made up (17+ / 0-)
    Writing for Cato At Liberty, Ars Technica alum Julian Sanchez has a timely redux of the research he did on how the made-up piracy numbers quoted during debates about SOPA and PIPA come from, and how little relation they bear to reality.


    Again, we don’t have the full LEK study, but one of Siwek’s early papers does conveniently reproduce some of LEK’s PowerPoint slides, which attempt to break the data down a bit. Of the total $6.1 billion in annual losses LEK estimated to MPAA studios, the amount attributable to online piracy by users in the United States was $446 million—which, by coincidence, is roughly the amount grossed globally by Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:08:42 AM PST

    •  Made up #'s just Like Keystone nt (4+ / 0-)

      Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

      by JML9999 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:24:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever the "losses" are, the government (6+ / 0-)

      and the industry is going about this entirely the wrong way.

      The question is not how to block content dissemination.

      The real question is how do we facilitate collecting payment for content.

      They need to scrap SOPA/PIPA because it is all about plugging up the tubes and taking the engine out of the dump truck.

      If the Democrats really want to help their Hollywood friends, they can help find a way to make sure content for which there is a demand is appropriately compensated.

      Here's a recent anecdotal story about my quest to buy a song that I heard on US satellite radio:

      I was happy to find that the song was available on iTunes!  Easy right?  Well, no.  It was available only on iTunes UK.  Apparently, we in the US can't buy from the UK iTunes site.  Not sure why, but that's what it is.  The song was not available in digital format for sale through a legal and copyright compliant site.  Not one.  

      However, it was out there on pirate sites as far as I could tell and think those were free, probably.  I don't download content that doesn't come from legitimate sources so I didn't go any farther with that.  But most people would especially after the exhausting search that I did.  

      I finally found an import CD of the band on Amazon after some weeks of searching.  I bought it.  It was expensive and I had to wait about two weeks for it to arrive.  

      The band is relatively new and young and I didn't want to steal their content - even if they were old and boring I wouldn't want to cheat them out of their royalty - but a lot of people would have just given up and taken any one of the free copies that was available.

      The point of the story being that before we change a thing about our laws, I'd recommend that the content marketers get their acts together and make it possible for content to be purchased and then see where we end up on the piracy front.

      •  International rights issues... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...the reason that a song (or other type of content) can be available online in one country but not another is that rights are often sold separately by country or region.  So that means it is a separate negotiation to allow iTunes in Britain to sell songs from a particular catalogue, as opposed to iTunes in the US.  For the similar reasons, folks outside the US are blocked from streaming video off of Hulu, and we're blocked from streaming video off the BBC's domestic site.

        Now, the crazy quilt of rights issues is based on business models that existed prior to the rise of the Internet -- and I'd say it is well past time for the music and movie industries to look at these practices and rationalize them to reflect the real markets of the 21st century.

        That would make more sense (and be more profitable) than trying to get the laws changed in a futile attempt to protect the way things have been done in the past.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:55:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a lot of bullshit going on in the music (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sura 109

      biz. Most of the artists are not picked by how good they are at music, but how good they are at following orders. They can't sing either without Autotune. They are not allowed to pick their own music because the execs know better what will sell, what is that awful smell? Oh! It is executives thinking. My dog, so that is what corruption smells like.

      Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

      by Agent420 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's needed is analysis of the (8+ / 0-)

    economic value of an open internet.

    MPAA has thrown around a lot of numbers claiming losses that on a lot of fronts are losses they would sustain even if SOPA/PIPA were to pass as it is currently written.

    There is a segment of the MPAA's "losses" that have more to do with the fact that their products are not available through legal channels thus giving the pirates a market to fill.

    In any case, what we haven't seen is a coordinated effort to show what the internet's net positive effects are and peeled back the onion to discuss what will be "lost" because of the internet vs. what was always ever going to be "lost" in the first place.  It isn't like pirated DVDs have gone away or will go away.

    I have the flu so I am not outlining these thoughts as well as I might if my brain were not addled.

    •  Hope you get to feeling better soon (4+ / 0-)

      And yes, the debate as shaped by Reid seems to ignore the financial impact on the economy, and the non-financial impacts on society, that the legislation's effects on the internet would have brought about.

      •  Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

        The reason Reid is ignoring all of that is that he and other Democrats are fixated on only one segment of the internet's economic engine.  MPAA has captured them and when I went out looking for economic data the other day that gave a more global picture, I couldn't find much at all that illustrates the big picture.

        I want to understand the profit-loss ratios here.  We should be able to look at what happens if you take online sales away - no movies over the internet ever - then what happens to Hollywood?  We know that a study like that will show that if digital copies weren't available they'd lose more than they are now.

        The question should not be how to block dissemination of content, but rather how to we make sure that it is paid for?  

        SOPA/PIPA is all about stopping transactions rather than solving the real problem of collecting on them.  It is the wrong way to go about it from an enterprise and governmental standpoint.

        •  Another problem that Reid has ... (3+ / 0-)

          ... is that MPAA members make significant campaign contributions to Democratic members of congress; and I imagine he feels that he needs to try to save face with what he perceives an important part of the machinery to elect Democrats.  I think this is to some degree another example of the corrupting influence of money in politics; the purchase of legislation favorable to a specific industry through the vehicle of campaign contributions.  And in my view this looks bad for Democrats; a lot of people will look through the "debate" and see this an example of special interest money buying favorable legislation.  I think Reid's best move now would be to dump the legislation, giving credit to those who have pointed out the flaws in the bill as written.

          •  It is definitely an example of the corrupting (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            davehouck, Brown Thrasher, stevemb

            influence of money, but it is worse in that they are captured entirely - to the exclusion of all else - by this lobby.

            No one serious in this debate believes that piracy is okay or should be tolerated.  I am a member of that (gack) "creative class" that they identified in 2008.  I care about copyright and many, many friends are in the film industry.  I'd like them to be paid for their hard work and to realize full profits as best they can for their trouble.  But I do NOT believe that the way that you get them or me or anyone else who might hold a copyright paid is by shutting down the internet as we know it.

            There's a real throwing the baby out with the bathwater thing going on here.  These bills were likely written by Hollywood Entertainment lawyers whose only fixation was in preventing the theft that they perceive.  They have no concept of the extent to which their fixation will effect sales because that's not their problem.  And that's exactly why these bills need to be scrapped.  They need to enlist some international trade lawyers who might thing more about how to facilitate the trade, grow the market and make sure people get paid - rather than the guys who think only about how to control and keep content.

            •  I like this ... (3+ / 0-)
              They have no concept of the extent to which their fixation will effect sales because that's not their problem.

              If you substitute for one word the phrase also applies to lots of other issues to which the one percent employ myopic actions.

              They have no concept of the extent to which their fixation will effect the climate that future generations will inherit because that's not their problem.
              They have no concept of the extent to which their fixation will effect good paying jobs in this country because that's not their problem.
              They have no concept of the extent to which their fixation will effect the well water of rural residents in the county because that's not their problem.

              It's a great phrase that directly points to the problem.

              •  The greatest deficit that I think we have on (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koosah, Brown Thrasher, davehouck

                Capitol Hill these days is that of not having many if any "big thinkers" around anymore.  Most of the members of the Senate on both sides of the aisle are caught in a wonkish, siloed, feed-back loop of single-issues with no perspective on what the effects are to everything outside of their single-issue pieces of legislation.

                Their myopic view is a huge handicap to solving the problem and more and more a real threat to our potential as a nation.  It is the war on terror mindset.  Justify wholesale destruction of the country and the democracy in order to say they are doing everything they can to keep us safe.

            •  A theft of IP does *NOT* mean a lost sale. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

              by Agent420 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:31:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Reid needs to encourage Leahy (8+ / 0-)

    to leave us the hell alone, not "engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance."

  •  Question: Does the whole idea need to be scrapped (4+ / 0-)

    altogether or can it be fixed? If they were to change it so that no site is shut down unless and until piracy can be proven in court, does that solve the problem for folks? Or is it a matter of needing to change the whole concept of ownership of intellectual property? Looking for thoughtful answers, thanks.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:11:31 AM PST

    •  It isn't about getting on the "right" side, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kinak, davehouck, skidrow, dinotrac

      Both sides have a legitimate complaint.  The idea that one side should simply give up and accept the other side's argument is incorrect.

      This bill can be rewritten so websites would not be responsible for policing and removing material posted by someone not associated with the site.

      Most issues facing us VS Republicans are indeed an us VS them fight, this is not one of them.  It's crazy to make this one of those fights.  This can be fixed and it should be worked on by both sides.

    •  This particular idea needs to be scrapped (7+ / 0-)

      There already are laws against theft of intellectual property.  These two laws were really just a naked power grab by an industry that has consistently resisted adapting to new technology and paradigms.  

      I keep marveling at how much energy RIAA and MPAA put into this...when they could be spending that money on creating ways to capitalize on the new technology.  They should have adapted years ago and created a new market, but they didn't and they still don't want to.  

      No law will ever stop determined criminals from committing any crime.  Think anything from gun laws to speeding in your car.  What RIAA and MPAA want is the power to take your car away from you because some people break the speed limit.  That's crap.  Enforce the speed limit laws we have.  

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

      by koosah on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:23:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The film and television industry (7+ / 0-)

      and the cable industry need to innovate and adapt to the modern marketplace.

      If you turn the piracy question around and acknowledge that there is a demand for their products and then work from there to discuss why the pirates have such a huge opportunity, you will find that it cannot all be attributed to the technology of the internet.  There is a segment of piracy that has more to do with the fact that people can't obtain legal copies of the products where they are.  The cable and movie people also have to start to think about how to charge competitive prices; realign their marketing budgets (downward) and maximize the incredible power of the internet to get free exposure.  One suggestion would be that they allow their film promos to be used under copyright, but free of charge.

      I have to agree with most people who have said that the laws that we already have are more than sufficient.  Maybe there would be a tweak or two to earlier legislation, but the reality is that the Movie moguls are trying to avoid adapting to the modern marketplace.

      •  Yes! (5+ / 0-)

        If you look at this from a pure capitalist standpoint, it becomes very, very clear that there is a market not being exploited here.  And that market is finding its resources without the help from normal suppliers because the normal suppliers refuse to supply it the way the new market demands.  

        So much opportunity being wasted...

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

        by koosah on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:30:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is not unprecedented for governments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koosah, dinotrac

          to send out armadas to protect the merchant ships from piracy :) -- But the difference here is that the film and television industry want to sell what's on their ships - so they have to go out and figure out how to do that.  It is ironic in a way that they can reach more people than ever, but can't seem to see the good in that expansion of their audience potential.

          •  Yep! (5+ / 0-)

            They have been dragged kicking and screaming into each new innovation.

            Currently, though, we are in the midst of more than just a technology upgrade.  We are having a cultural paradigm shift about what "information" means to people and how they have access to it.

            It's really like telling people that they should slow down and take two months to get to Europe.  Or walk to the store instead of using Amazon.  Or quit using their phones to communicate.  What if thirty years ago the communication industry had said  "Nope.  You can't have a phone that you can take anywhere with you.  We have too much invested in laying cables and wire everywhere.  Think of the jobs that will be lost."  

            Sounds really stupid doesn't it?  Because there were boatloads of jobs in making the technology for wireless phones and systems.  

            This is a cultural shift and the RIAA and MPAA are positioning themselves on the wrong side of it willfully.

            Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

            by koosah on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:49:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  All this sounds nice and logical but the fact of (0+ / 0-)

        the matter is they (especially the music business) have been grappling with this for over a decade and losing.  Many companies have been trying different models.  If you think you can come up with an answer by all means give it a go.  However tons of tech venture capital money have been thrown into alternative forms of music and video creations and distributions.  The distribution models are doing a little better but that's because the rate of return back to the content creators are almost non existent.

        Right man, right job and right time

        by Ianb007 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:58:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey iTunes had been hugely successful. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The truth is that if I could go to a CD store, I would, but they don't give me that option anymore.  Listening to the radio is getting to be a waste of time.  The music industry fought for and won their right to shut down restaurants and bars that play music without paying royalty fees so we can't go hear a random song and decide to buy it anymore.  I have a long list of reasons that the music industry is in the shape it is in and that list was started well before the advent of digital internet downloads.

      •  The problem is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...that they're also trying to protect existing (and profitable) business models.

        For example, I'd be interested in purchasing DRM-free downloads of episodes of TV series that are airing either internationally (ie, from the BBC in Britain) or on domestic cable.  However, the cable industry doesn't want to see that happen because it might encourage more folks to "cut the cord" and dump expensive bundled cable/satellite service in favor of just buying the programs that they want to see.

        Obviously, that wouldn't work for the mass of cable subscribers, but if it's enough to cut cable/satellite penetration by just a few percentage points, it might well end up costing the TV business more money that they could make from selling those downloads.

        So, instead, they let the business of those downloads go to the pirates and hope that they can keep from losing too many cable/satellite subscribers to free OTA TV and the Internet.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:00:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All good points, but the cable companies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          like mine that provides my internet actually could follow their model of being paid for content delivery in a more expansive way than they currently do; and by all indications the equipment is starting to signal that that is the direction in which we are going.  But the important thing to understand is that a lot of this is more about the companies not being able to figure out a way to work together to sell their content.

          My cable company has a library of PPV movies while another has a different library.  That's stupid when I could go on the net and get any movie that I want.  Trying to figure out what movies my cable company has to offer is unbelievably cumbersome if I use their cable box technology and when I go on the net, their website doesn't actually function properly.  I raise these points only because they could get with the program so to speak, but they don't want to.  That's their own problem.  Not one that the government can solve for them and certainly not one that should be solved at the expense of billions or trillions of dollars in other commercial activities conducted on the internet.

          Anyway, I believe that they all have some work to do internally to fix their issues.  I also think that Congress needs to examine the entire picture before attempting to write another anti-piracy law.

    •  Scrap It -- It Serves No Legitimate Purpose (5+ / 0-)
      If they were to change it so that no site is shut down unless and until piracy can be proven in court

      The law already provides for shutting down criminal operations if and when their criminality is proven in court.

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:30:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The MPAA isn't acting in good faith (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, cybersaur, koosah

      By which I mean their numbers are bogus on face. The main numbers they quote have been around for decades, never having public attribution, and covered all counterfeit goods worldwide, including all sorts of stuff like fake watches.

      Even if the knockoffs are "worth" hundreds of billions of dollars at normal price, they're expecting us to take it on faith that it's all happening in the US, that it's all happening over the Internet, and that those dollars would actually be spent to buy a product if a free alternative weren't available.

      The only numbers I've seen (from the Cato Institute of all places) suggest we're looking at about $90 million in increased profit for the movie industry if all piracy in the US is stopped.

      And all this is before we even approach the question of how much piracy PIPA/SOPA will actually prevent, the costs it would entail, or the chilling effects it would have on other industries.

      Now, Cato's numbers may be wildly off, but the MPAA isn't even trying to tell us the truth. If they want to have a serious conversation, they need to start with not lying.

  •  We must take action............. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Brown Thrasher

    Ya did a while ago how's about enforcing existing laws

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:12:13 AM PST

  •  I'd like a veto (0+ / 0-)

    I'd love to see a veto on this one.  I'd love to hear Obama say that the copyright laws we have in place are sufficient to deal with this.  

    THe only way this changes is when congressional reps end up losing their porn sites and don't have anything other than viagra to get them ready to jerk it in between votes.  

    I want my pajamas to be covered in words from Bartlett's. That way, whenever I sleep, it'll be in quotes.

    by otto on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:12:15 AM PST

  •  If Reid & Co. were reassured (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, Brown Thrasher, Matt Z, Kinak

    that internet companies would be just as loyal donors in the future as Hollywood was in the past, that would go a long way to sending these two bills to the crapper.  I've heard that some Hollywood moguls have cancelled fundraising appearances for the Dems, thinking they're playing hardball. If internet moguls could step into that breach, that would be great. "Harvey Weinstein, you wanna cancel your appearance at the fundraiser for Obama? Fine! We've got Mark Zuckerberg anyhow. Enjoy your slide into irrelevance!"

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:14:38 AM PST

  •  Production companies and Studios are always... (8+ / 0-)

    10 years behind in realizing the benefits of new technology.

    When cassette tapes were invented, music studios wanted them banned because of the "loss of revenue" that would occur from people taping albums and reselling them.

    Instead the cassette tape made music portable increasing sales as people wanted to take their music with them.

    The same with iPods, DVD's, internet streaming, and every other technological improvement.  It has always resulted in an increased audience and sales.

    Companies want to lose billions because of the internet?  Just shut it down.   That will cost them 10's of billions.

    “Tax and Spend” I can understand. I can even understand “Borrow and Spend”. But “Borrow and Give Tax Cuts to Billionaires”? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:14:46 AM PST

    •  When cassettes first came out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher, koosah

      KINK radio in Portland used to play new albums straight thru without interruption so they could be taped.  Of course, that was back in the day, before KINK got bought out.

      •  KZEL did the same thing (0+ / 0-)

        down in this end of the Willamette Valley.  They had a show called "Album Sides" on Sunday evenings.  They would announce the stats and everything for people taping the show.  

        Remember how the recording industry practically got rabies over that?  

        Quaint.  Fighting a technology that was already being made obsolete!    

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

        by koosah on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:01:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why do they always make the assumption... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, cybersaur, mightymouse

    ...that here is the same demand for a product that is free as for a product you have to pay for?

    It seems obviously that many of the people downloading free movies and music would not be buying them at the same rate.

    It's a little thing called the law of supply and demand. When the price of something goes up, in this case from zero, people buy less of it.


    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers and pot smokers, though.

    by expatjourno on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:14:59 AM PST

  •  So, Hollywood is Too Big To Fail (5+ / 0-)

    and So powerful that it's voice is allowed to drown out ours and so wealthy it can Pay Our elected officials off and override the people's will?

    I'll tell you One way I am benefiting from Hollywoods recent revelations: They are forcing the "Problematic Corporate Hugging/1% DC Dems" to reveal themselves.

    Is it not the people who allow Hollywood to exist by its interest in the product produced?
    Can Hollywood survive without consumers?  Is the public backlash going to cost much more at the end of the day?
    Will Hollywood's Precious Jewels Lose Their Luster after the smog settles?

  •  It was good to see ... (6+ / 0-)

    ... so many people, from the left and the right, progressives and conservatives, come together on this issue.  It was, is, an example of the 99% coming together to stand up to the 1%; in this case a powerful business lobby, whose campaign contributions had enormous influence in congress, was opposed by ordinary human beings who saw through to what they were trying to do, and rose up to oppose them.

  •  Hollywood accounting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Brown Thrasher, Matt Z

    When are they going to help the victims of Hollywood Accounting ?

    A WB receipt was leaked online, showing that the hugely successful movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ended up with a $167 million loss on paper.[15]

    Michael Moore is suing Bob and Harvey Weinstein for creative accounting to deprive him of his share of profits for the film Fahrenheit 9/11. [16]

    Some analysis on loss on a Harry Potter movie.

    Mr. President, throw the ring in the fires of mountain of doom and destroy it. --John Stewart, 2010.

    by arnott on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:26:08 AM PST

  •  Anyone heard radio ads? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher

    I heard an anti-SOPA radio ad on my way to work this morning (in the Cincinnati area).  I believe the ad said that it was paid for by the Net Coalition.  I wondered where else these ads were playing.  Has anyone else heard these ads?

  •  My little protest against SOPA/PIPA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher, Kinak, koosah

    I have made all 7 of my solo albums available as torrents

    I don't believe for one second I will lose a 'sale' from this move.

    the choice is not between buying it or downloading it. it's between downloading it or not having it.

    (you can do a search for Tommy Jones .torrent to get my songs)

    To be a Republican, you have to believe that our economic problems are caused by the poor having too much money and the rich not having enough.

    by Tommy Jones the Band on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:36:15 AM PST

  •  this isn't what you might think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher, cybersaur

    I disagree that protests are at issue. I think the Senate, and Congress, are always about defending corporate insterests.  It just so happens that they were unaware that there are competing coroporate interests in this instance.  So now what do we do?
    I think the protests brought the competing interest to light but I doubt the "will of the people" turned this thing around.  

  •  I've always had the impression (7+ / 0-)

    that the business cost of piracy was calculated along the same lines the police use to calculate the value of confiscated drugs: inflated and exaggerated to assume the greatest amount of potential profit, without regard to what would really have been possibly purchased, or at whatever discount. It's for show.
    There's nothing wrong with protecting a legitimate copyright within a reasonable period of time, but these media asshats would have me pay a royalty every time I sing a song to my little boy, or borrowed something from the library or a friend.
    It's hard for me to feel any sympathy for companies who only seek to concentrate wealth, patent everything and perpetuate copyrights solely for the profit of corporations who couldn't give a rat's ass for the creative people whose works they own.

    "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." ~ Voltaire

    by Andhakari on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:49:25 AM PST

  •  A Third Way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher

    Please see Nerve's Diary on "OPEN", which is a paired down alternative to PIPA and SOPA.

    Although Issa is the lead sponsor of OPEN in the House (makes me wretch), Wyden is its lead sponsor in the Senate.  Wyden more than anyone else in Congress knows what's wrong with SOPA and PIPA, so I have to believe his OPEN bill fixes those wrongs.

    I don't know if OPEN is the answer, but we need to find something that will allow free and open use of the internet while punishing the pirates.  If we simply oppose every bill regardless of its content, we risk being labelled "Pro-Pirate", which we aren't.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 07:55:40 AM PST

    •  I honestly think there's a better way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, Brown Thrasher

      Speaking as an indie artist, I think we need to encourage companies to make it so that they can sell their products and still make their profits without sticking it to the consumer.

      For example, if I were to start a design company, I would have to come up with enough capital just to buy the needed (and industry-standard) software alone, and that can cost up to $1800.  It would be so much easier if a company like Adobe, instead of making its prices out of reach for start-ups like me, to make it so that they have some kind of "sliding-scale" type of deal, and people will happily pay the lower and affordable prices.  It's a system where everyone wins but the pirates.

      Also, the "try it before you buy it" model works wonders as well.  I've had instances where I've bought movies only to find them to be absolute wastes later.  

      Furthermore, Hollywood can benefit from free advertising and if their product is good enough, they can buy it.  Again, everyone benefits.

    •  OPEN Takes The Right Approach In General (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brown Thrasher

      The basic concept of OPEN is to use existing channels of international-trade adjudication to press countries to act against pirate sites operating out of their territory. It's not perfect, but it preserves the existing rule-of-law framework.

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:24:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've linked to it in my current signature. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wyden, Lofgren, Issa, & the several other current co-sponsors have started this effort as an open process to which all of us in the netroots have been invited — not merely as spectators, either, but as participants.

      Also, already the OPEN bill describes a fairer process, talking in terms of referring cases to relevant organizations such as the ITC (as opposed to SOPA/PIPA enlisting megacorps as death squads to pile up summary executions).

      Tell Congress: DON'T BREAK THE INTERNET! Learn about the OPEN Act.

      by Brown Thrasher on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:28:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  God Bless Reid and Wyden (0+ / 0-)

    It's shameful that Dems are supporting this garbage more than GOP.  My Senator Ben Cardin has lost out on my vote this election because of this.  I think a good number of lawmakers are canny enough to realize taking away the internet as we know it is like taking the bread and circuses from the Romans, there would be too serious a revolt.

    Take care of all humanity as if they were your brothers and sisters.

    by skidrow on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:01:44 AM PST

    •  Sens Wyden & Merkley (OR)are to be Thanked! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, mightymouse, Brown Thrasher

      They were the forerunners of Opposition on this---I believe Udall (CO) as well.
      It is my (perhaps misunderstood fact) understanding that Reid was going to push this vote through regardless of protests by the public And the House plus a few in the Senate--and After Obama announced His opposition...Until Opposing Corps weighed in.  It seems the corporatist Dems have been had by the RW too as they bailed on this fast and in droves, leaving many corporatist pols standing alone in a leaky lifeboat.
      I am left with the impression that Reid was backing PIPA/SOPA Supporting Hollywood Money along with several Other Dems.

      Please correct me if I am incorrect.

      •  funny how western (non CA) dems are better at this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher, allenjo

        For the life of me I can't understand why Leahy (VT) or Whitehouse (RI) support this junk.

        People say "it's the money," but how would that work? Both of these guys come from small blue states where a) it doesn't cost that much to run, and b) they have a great built-in advantage.

        I could see a senator from a big swing-y state (like PA, say) saying "yes" to MPAA demands. But not these other guys.

        Some of these Dems are really dumb on this.

        •  Wasserman, Gillibrand, Brown (OH), Whitehouse (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          along with Several others have deeply disappointed me and yet I am grateful they have revealed themselves-any facade they have performed behind has been dissolved under this particular issue and "they" were dumb and out of touch enuf to Not see the handwriting on the wall.  
          As a 3rd gen Dem, I have long observed the Dems Failure to look ahead and carefully look at the Big Pic-This failing has really bit many of them in the ass but good this time.
          These particular pols have some 'splainin to do ;)
          I doubt this list is accurate today as many have subsequently changed their positions during the last 48 or so hours--

    •  Reid deserves no thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he is only delaying this so that the furor dies down and gives the bills sponsors some time to spin it some more.

      I cannot believe how tin a political ear Reid and the other Democrats pushing for this shit must have.   There is no way that you can put any shine of this shit legislation.   Regardless of what is done to the bill, it will forever be tainted and I suspect will get much the same response when they go to submit the revised bill again.

      A more politically in-tune politician, would put their tail between their legs, walk away and lick their wounds in the corner somewhere.

  •  they should really drop this (5+ / 0-)

    Among young, technically savvy people, this is not helping the Democrats' image as the better-on-technology party. The Democrats have had a few years of good positioning in that respect, thanks to Ted "tubes" Stevens making the GOP look ridiculous.

    The current spat hasn't completely shifted the playing field, but I don't think it's helping, and it could yet hurt considerably if they keep pushing it. Republicans have backtracked faster, with McConnell dropping it like a hot potato in exactly the way Reid should (but isn't). And it's setting up Rand Paul with an easy stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day opportunity to grandstand as the proponent of civil liberties with his filibuster threats.

    Do we really want that to be the narrative? Democrats push an anti-internet bill, which Rand Paul stops with a filibuster? That's just giving away some PR for no reason.

    •  Totally agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Reid is either completely and utterly politically tone deaf or the media overlords have given a commandment that cannot be ignored.

      I suspect it is both.

      •  20% deafness, 80% kowtowing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        According to Fish

        The Dems often can be willfully tone deaf because they really take it for granted that their base will be so incensed at the Republicans at any given moment (a pretty safe assumption, I must add) that they will shrug off or look the other way at their deafness.  They know we will vote for them, even when they let us down, because we are sooooo righteously pissed off at the other side.

        That's 20% of the equation.

        The other 80% is kowtowing to their political...or rather financial... overlords.  Look at some of the press statements from MPAA people over the last couple of days.  They are shocked and resentful that the legislation they paid for might not happen.  "This shouldn't be a political decision" one of them said. The implication being that it already was a financial one.    

        Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. MLK Jr.

        by koosah on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 09:49:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Counterfeiting and Piracy? (3+ / 0-)

    Perhaps the Senate should take a closer look at the practices of the home mortgage industry. How many thousands of jobs and billions of dollars have been lost to subprime mortgages, NINJA loans, mortgage-backed securities,  robo-signing and illegal foreclosures?


    On the issue of SOPA/PIPA, I think we all agree that the protecting intellectual property is a good thing. I think we all agree that such protection should be enforced by the law rather than by vigilantism.

    What's so disturbing about these bills was that they try to compel internet providers to perform the enforcement on behalf of the copyright holders.

    It's akin to the threat of punishment used to make neighbor spy  on neighbor in Stalinist dictatorships. The patRiot Act has already put one foot onto that slippery slope by imposing penalties on banks for "failure to report suspicious activity" in money transfers.

    Enough is enough.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 08:44:40 AM PST

    •  OH but it was never thefault of those who bought (0+ / 0-)

      houses they could not afford by lying on their income statements, not having a down payment, and paying interest only loans. True the mortgage companies should have never given these unqualified people loans in the first place, but both are to blame.

  •  This statement is all the bullshit you need to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    hear to realize that nothing has changed other than getting their bottoms spanked by the voters of this country:

    We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.

    How the hell is the fair compensation of a union back lot worker effected by this issue?   It isn't!   The only thing I can think that is going on here is that Reid is trying to somehow bring the union issue into this fight to get more support.    I don't believe Reid has a clue about what he is talking about on this and makes himself look like a fool by saying this sort of shit.

    •  bullhsit is calling theft freedom (0+ / 0-)
      •  No one that I have seen opposing (0+ / 0-)

        SOPA or PIPA is calling theft freedom.

        Please show me where I or anyone else has equated the two.

        What is being disputed is the way these bills allow the Media overlords to shutdown any website that supports user generated content.    If you don't see a problem with that, then I'm not sure you understand the implications.

        Also, how was the MegaDownload website shutdown without this law?  Apparently, law enforcement officials already are able to shut down sites that are clearly violating copyright laws so why do we need this legislation?

  •  Why Is This Page Black? (0+ / 0-)

    Back in 1996, Clinton signed the Communications Decency Act, which was recognized as Internet censorship. Though the release of Netscape only a couple of years earlier had grown the World Wide Web and Internet user base extremely quickly, there were still only a relatively few people using it. Relative to the majority of Americans (and vast numbers beyond our borders) who use it, even depend on it, today. The forces of censorship were moving quickly and foresightfully to control this emerging free medium.

    But there was a backlash. Major sites at the time set their page background's color to black, linking to a "Why Is Is This Page Black?" online campaign.

    It worked. Even though the CDA had actually passed and become law, its censorship provisions were quickly repealed after the backlash. The revised law protects Internet sites from liability for content distributed through them that the site management did not control.

    That is exactly what happened again. Except this time there are far more of us, the Internet's freedom is far more widely understood, and the backlash came just before the bill was passed.

    This time the Senate passing the bill is Democratic, not Republican, though the House is (newly) Republican as it was then. And the presidents are both Democratic; Obama this week opposed SOPA/PIPA, it wasn't at all clear before the backlash of the past few weeks that he wouldn't have signed it as Clinton did the CDA. In fact most of the people in the Congress, who were all lined up to vote for SOPA/PIPA, are the same people who were in Congress in 1996 who passed the CDA.

    We are now 16 years later than 1996's CDA, practically a generation later. But these fights aren't behind us. A free Internet is so much more valuable now, and only increasing as the media alternatives accelerate their descent into props for tyranny, that we can expect only harder and more secret pushes for enslave it.

    We must learn to pre-empt these attacks even better. We need proactive legislation that protects the Internet as a free medium, not just reactive backlashes that put out a fire once it's already started. The campaign this time around should be the basis of exactly that new fight, to secure our rights instead of leaving them floating as a target.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 09:54:29 AM PST

  •  REid is right you need to pay for the work created (0+ / 0-)

    by others. It is how they make a living wage. Many actors, musicians spend on the copyright laws years for income after they have made movie and years after they are older . You are taking income our of their pockets when you steal by illegaly down loading movies and music.

    Yest some of you call theft freedom.

    the whole negative attitude by some on the left against all corporations is getting sickening and is non productive. Hey and by the way Google makes lots of money off of you too.

    •  For pete's sake (0+ / 0-)

      No one is supporting theft.  What we don't support is the possibility of unintended consequences bad-written bills could be used as a sledgehammer and inadvertently harm legitimate sites as well.

      Furthermore, it's not just the left that was against these bills.  Right-wing sites like RedState had issues with it too, and it was mostly right-wing Republican senators and reps who were quicker to backpedal than Democrats on the whole thing.  

  •  The Problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Based on what is being published in the tech press, any Democrat that is supporting SOPA and PIPA is doing immense damage to the party as a whole.  Here is what the technologists are reading this morning as headlines:

    At GOP debate, all four candidates oppose SOPA

    "You're asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood," said former Speaker Newt Gingrich. "On the other hand, you have virtually everybody who's technologically advanced, including Google, YouTube, and Facebook, and all the folks who say 'this is going to totally mess up the Internet, and the bill in its current form is written really badly, and leads to a range of censorship.'"

    Then you have this from Leahy:

    Update: The bill's sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), is not happy. "More time will pass with jobs lost and economies hurt by foreign criminals who are stealing American intellectual property, and selling it back to American consumers," he said in a statement. "The day will come when the Senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem."

    "Somewhere in China today, in Russia today, and in many other countries that do not respect American intellectual property, criminals who do nothing but peddle in counterfeit products and stolen American content are smugly watching how the United States Senate decided it was not even worth debating how to stop the overseas criminals from draining our economy," he fumed.

    Here is how people react to reading his statement:

    So that asshole, who has done nothing to protect US manufacturing and tech jobs from being shipped over to China, sides with Hollywood to destroy our future and to protect their outdated business model.  No wonder America is rotting.

    However, here is a Democrat who is getting positive response:

    "We gotta win this to get the Senate to step back and have a more thoughtful discussion with all sides represented," he said. "You can't come up with sensible Internet policy on the fly."

    Wyden attributes the growing resistance to PROTECT IP and its House companion bill, SOPA, to Internet organizing. Wednesday's protests against the bills (in which Google, Wikipedia, Ars Technica, and other sites took part) was "a day for the history books," Wyden said, one that will "change permanently the way citizens communicate with their elected officials.

    In short, dump people like Leahy and get more like Wyden.


    "No man born with a living soul can be working for the clampdown" The Clash

    by Calee4nia on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:03:42 AM PST

  •  Saw in yesterday's on-line Statesman (0+ / 0-)

    that one of our Idaho senators is "rethinking his position." I must not have been the only one signing the petition (thanks for making it available, DKos).

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 10:08:55 AM PST

  •  Hats off to my senater, Ron Wyden for pointing out (0+ / 0-)

    that this illegitimate bill and it's unholy brother in the house is so that Mickey Mouse can still be protected against imitators.

    But the real crime is that with copywrongs being extended prevents people from having access to items out of production. They just sit there doing nothing in the hopes that somehow, somewhere, somebody might want to buy something that will earn them a dime. They just cannot do without that dime. In the meantime, just think of all that so called "Intellectual Property" just collecting dust and useless to the rest of humanity.

    I get some of my stuff the better way: Piracy on the intellectual seas. There are tons of stuff you cannot get any other way.

    Example: Back in the '70s, I lived in Canada, Newfoundland to be specific and there was an album (that means vinyl) called; "A Child's Garden of Grass." Since that was 40 years ago in Canada, there was no place you could get it except on the Internet. Try it you will like it, the album and the method.

    Now if any of you out there are blinded by the propaganda from the 1% and think I should go to jail, let me point out a few things to you.
    A) All of my income is SS (nothing to do with Nazis) and the feds are the only ones that can garnish me.
    B) I am about to be kicked out of my house by financial rapists so the rapists may have a hard time finding me.
    C) Send me to jail? Give me a break! Free room and board and all the sex I don't want. Don't mean shit. I'll be dead before I get out, that means a free burn job for me. I'll be laughing when this turns out to be just an amusement park for aliens.  


    Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

    by Agent420 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 11:15:48 AM PST

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