It’s not just ACTA that is being snuck back into law through undemocratic means. Lamar Smith, the powerful committee chairman and corporatist archvillain who tried to ram through SOPA last year is now bent on reviving his slain monster and unleash it upon the earth.
The new bill, the Intellectual Property Attache Act, will create a class of political officers who will see to it that all US trade negotiations and discussions advance SOPA-like provisions in foreign law. And as we’ve seen with other trade deals, one way to get unpopular measures into US law is to impose them on other countries, then agree to “harmonize” at home.
True to form, Smith is trying to cram his law onto the books without any substantive debate or scrutiny, just as he tried with SOPA. When you’re serving corporate masters instead of the public interest, the less debate, the better.
The specifics of the bill appear to go further than the version in SOPA. It is clear that the bill itself is framed from the maximalist perspective. There is nothing about the rights of the public, or of other countries to design their own IP regimes. It notes that the role of the attaches is: to advance the intellectual property rights of United States persons and their licensees;
The bill also “elevates” the IP attaches out of the US Patent and Trademark Office, and sets them up as their own agency, including a new role: the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Yes, we’ll get another IP Czar, this time focused in the Commerce Department.
When even the USTR is recognizing the importance of limitations and exceptions to copyright, to have Congress push a bill that basically ignores limitations and exceptions and only looks to expand Hollywood’s special thugs within the diplomatic corp. seems like a huge problem.
Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood’s Global Police Force
HEADS UP PEOPLE!
This motherfucker REALLY needs to get voted out of office.
We’ve seen some ridiculous DMCA takedowns over the years, but we might have a new champion. On Monday, radio host Rush Limbaugh — who over a three-day period beginning in late February attacked Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke on air for the apparently unforgivable sin of testifying before Congress to advocate for legislation she supported (a bill mandating health insurance coverage for contraception) — turned to copyright law to go after one of his most vocal critics, the left-leaning political site Daily Kos. The site’s offense? Publishing a damning montage of Limbaugh’s controversial comments about Ms. Fluke.
Limbaugh’s curiously thin-skinned decision to resort to the quiet, low-cost censorship offered by copyright law doesn’t exactly break new ground. Limbaugh joins a dubious club that includes:
While initiating frivolous legal processes to intimidate and silence critics is hardly new, Limbaugh actually seems to be taking a specific page out of the playbook of Michael Savage, his on-again/off-again compatriot and fellow conservative talk radio fixture.
Thunderf00t gets his videos reinstated
A few days ago I posted this story about a YouTube user who had his videos taken down because they might be offensive to religion.
It turns out there was quite an outcry when this was posted on reddit, and YouTube had a change of heart.
Read the full story here.
I just can’t believe youtube’s really changing its policy this badly. Sure the terms of service have long essentially defined everything as hate speech while encouraging people to voice controversial opinions (yes very mixed messages!). In practice this means the policy is defined by how its enforced. Up till recently I thought youtube did an excellent job of allowing vibrant discussion of controversial topics:- a mature and responsible policy that would make anyone who espoused the virtues of the Enlightenment happy!
Then I got four videos taken down in half an hour, and a ‘privacy notifications’ against a further two. Believe it or not, the privacy notifications were against videos where I documented a muslim guy hunting for and dropping my docs. WTF, seriously W-T-F.
He drops my docs, YT scarcely bats an eyelid, now he says the video calling him on it is violating his privacy?
I can only hope that it really is this simple, that it’s just an error by an overzealous censor. If its a change in policy, its an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good.
Basically, if you’re part of a loud enough group you can censor anything you want if you say that it “offends” you. I find the parts of the Qu’ran and the bible that advocate murder, child abuse, slavery, genocide, sexism, paedophilia, and are anti-science offensive to common sense. But, I’m just 1 person who represents no group of people threatening YouTube or spreading death threats so who am I?
So, YouTube, it’s ok for religious zealots to post their vile abusive messages of hate and intolerance, but we can’t challenge it? You, Google, are pathetic.
“Facebook has informed us that historically recorded quotes from Hitler concerning religion will be censored and deleted. I guess that historical facts that cast light on religious evils are illegal on Facebook…..censorship of truth?”
What the holy fuck is this about?
See for yourself
By Gautham Nagesh | The Hill
An online piracy bill in the House would “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself,” according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet.
“By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet,” Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.
The search giant has been at the forefront of a tech industry backlash against the legislation from House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
“If Congress writes a bad law, we all suffer,” Schmidt said.
He compared the proposal to the Web censorship practiced by repressive foreign governments like China and doubled down on that comparison when speaking with reporters after his remarks at the Economic Club of Washington.
This is actually what big media companies want, they are using piracy as a justification, as always, but what this is really about is getting rid of alternate forms of media distribution. They don’t want to be cut out of the pie, to them, profits are more important than your freedom.
The internet censorship bill “SOPA” is in big trouble—you may have killed it. But now the forces behind SOPA are pushing another censorship bill (“PROTECT IP”) through the Senate.
Don’t let them. Call your Senators now, and use our new calling widget to drive thousands of calls to the Senate.
Senators need to know that PROTECT IP is just as controversial as SOPA. And we’ve made it super-easy to call. Just enter your phone number, and don’t worry if you’re not sure what to say. We’ll give you talking points before we connect you. Click the banner to get started:
This is a part of an effort of a coalition of sites and groups all over the internet. And the chorus of opposition is growing every day — the NYTimes, LATimes, and even Microsoft have come out against SOPA because of the momentum you helped create.
The Senate is going to try to pass their internet censorship bill between now and Christmas, and they could take it up as early as this week. Take action today, and if you have a website, blog, or Tumblr page, embed our call widget in your site!
Let’s make history together. —Tiffiniy Cheng, Fight for the Future
Click here to join the big call-in day!
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality decided to edit parts of a scientific paper that refereed to rising sea levels due to global warming as well as sedimentation problems caused by dams and other human activities.
Entire paragraphs and sentences were removed as well as references to other peer-reviewed studies at the end of the paper, their rational: the report contained “information… that we disagree with.” as well as, the entire chapter was beyond the scope of the report and “inconsistent with current Agency policy.”
In other words, they don’t believe in global warming.
[FULL STORY AND SOURCES]