You can win a battle here, perhaps rally around your congressman and get it killed, or petition the president to veto it, but it doesn't matter. They'll just be back again next year, and the next year, and the next.
This is the importance of constitutional amendments: they settle things on a broad scale exactly to prevent this kind of nipping (although it still happens, it just takes much longer time) We need an amendment or two around internet and computer freedom, specifically that computers are extensions of our minds, not machines to play content on, and that the internet is our primary form of political organization and persuasion, not a fancy telephone line.
I hate to be all doom-and-gloom, but I think that boat has sailed. The tech community might get its act together, give up all social causes and form some kind of committee or group to push for such amendments, but I seriously doubt it. Half the community is in bed with big media and the other half are just as concerned with other issues as this one. We are not organized, coherent, or focused.
Just saw a great series on PBS, Ken Burns' "Prohibition". It was all about how focused groups can make big changes -- but it takes a long time. I don't see the kind of anger and outrage against this as we had against alcohol. Very sad, because this is a lot worse.
Unfortunately, in Canada, the government is protecting our cable networks and limiting companies like Netflix. This protectionism is lazy because it doesn't ask these providers to advance to what Netflix provides (ie, complimentary streaming with cable subscription), it asks the Canadian citizen to "not worry about it" - effectively leaving Canadians with less options in the guise of "protecting thousands of jobs".
Regulators say, "Well, since they don't get Netflix like the US, they'll keep their cable subscriptions." But instead, we're lowering our cable packages and pirating as needed. So the cable companies try to squeeze our bandwidth down to ridiculous per GB rates so we won't download. Luckily, the backlash was strong enough to hold rate limiting off - for now. Downloading torrents isn't a huge technical feat. And setting up automated processes to download your favorite tv shows and movies is becoming easier and easier.
If Rogers or Bell just built the technology necessary to compete with Netflix, Netflix wouldn't have enough advantage over cable (broadband + cable is more convenient than broadband + cable + Netflix + Netflix compatible device).
Antagonizing content consumers may be counterproductive to your efforts to convert them into customers.
The argument against this law is that it's better to have content be easier to create and distribute, and worth the trade-off.
You also make copyright law itself less necessary. Its primary purpose is not to protect authors and creators, but rather to incentivize distributors. That's where all the cost and risk was when copyright originated. Now that distribution costs have dropped to nearly nothing, there is little necessity for copyright.
I've never seen anyone claim that copyright was to protect distributors.
Then I guess you have not been in this discussion for very long, or never paid attention. The fact is, copyright was never meant for creators. It was invented by distributors for distributors. The first copyright law was a censorship law to limit the amount of books printed when the printing press was was getting widely available in England that gave a total monopoly on publishing to a guild of publishers, without even attributing a book to the original author, but instead to the guild member who registered the book, attaining its newly invented "copyright".
You know what's the funniest thing about this? The content industry hails this as a stepping stone for authors and their rights, and what's worse, the public believes them. It's a lie, simple as that. Authors never asked for copyright. There was no collective push to stop the copying of their works. On the contrary, they wanted their works to be read.
The internet has made copyright obsolete. Moreso, it has made it harmful, and it needs to go away. The internet's here to stay. Copyright, by any means, isn't.
Intellectual property is system of monopolies inherently incompatible with a competitive, creative and innovative free market, how the IP-industry managed to turn this argument around in the minds of most people is truly scary.
To all who are interested in facts over fiction: if you want an even more comprehensive view on the matter, try http://questioncopyright.org/promise.
The mainstream interpretation most certain is that copyright is to protect creators, not distributors.
That is certainly the idealized, simplified narrative that most everyone will have been taught these days, but in terms of how copyright actually came about, way back when, it is largely a case of post-hoc rationalization. Hence the link: majority opinion doesn't change reality, only its perception.
While this is probably true, it certainly doesn't mean that distributors want such competition. They want a competitive advantage, and it's much cheaper to get such an advantage by picking popular authors than having a technological arms race or price war with other distributors. Copyright was introduced to provide an artificial monopoly for distributors.
nobody forces the creator to create [or distribute the work]. Keep it in/to yourself. Nope, somehow "creators" feel that the society is owing them the copyright protection.
Of course not. We just want to encourage them to do so.
Nope, somehow "creators" feel that the society is owing them the copyright protection.
That's the agreement between this society and creators who publish their creations.
well, i doubt that Coens would stop creating if this copyright/IP system didn't exist. What i'm sure about is that there wouldn't be those crappy patents with my name on them. You get what you encourage. Enjoy.
We shouldn't need a constitutional amendment here; the constitution is a whitelist of things the federal government may do, not a blacklist of things it may not do. While the constitution does sadly include the notion of copyright, it does not include anything allowing regulatory authority over the Internet.
The politicians supporting this bill, mostly republicans, work the phrase "I'm anti-government" into every single public speech they give. Those are the only supporters on the public payroll, the rest are all corporate entities and lobbyists, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, natch. Those are your pro-government marxist ideologues in this story.
I really think the phrase "the government" or even worse, capital-G "Government", should be banned from any discussion of policy, it turns everyone involved into an idiot. Government and industry both have lots of moving parts.
Lastly, I agree that our existing constitution should prevent this sort of law. I'm not optimistic about the current "small-government" supreme court agreeing with me.
"Thankfully, political leaders concerned about liberty, innovation and due process have stood up in opposition to this proposal. Senator Ron Wyden, a moderate Democrat from Oregon, has courageously put a hold on the Senate bill because of his concerns about the bill’s infringement of free speech and stifling of innovation.
“This is a question of whether the content sector can use the government as club to go after the innovation sector and everything it represents,” said Wyden at a recent Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. “This is a cluster bomb where you should be going in with a laser, and the collateral damage to innovation and freedom is huge.”
Additionally, Tea Party leaders like Michelle Bachman have said it is inconsistent with Tea Party values. Consumer groups, legal scholars, venture capitalists, leading entrepreneurs, Internet scientists and YouTube users have all joined in opposition."
Basically, it's less a Left versus Right issue and more an insider versus outsider one. (Though I will point out that the only person who has apparently put much effort into stopping it is a Democrat...)
I mean, even if this is approved, it's basically the government doing extremely cheap contract work for the companies who'd benefit. I have a problem with it being done, period, if the ISPs formed a cartel with the MPAA to do this without the government it'd be just as bad.
Which Libertarian think-tank was it that was supporting the bill?
Really, jbooth, your partisanship isn't helping anything.
Point of clarification: the government itself has no inherent interest here, and is acting mostly on behalf of influential Big Content lobbyists. Like so many other first-world systemic problems, this is yet another government-industrial complex.
> the constitution is a whitelist of things the federal government may do
Yes, this is how it should work, but it hasn't worked this way for a long time; scope creep has taken on a life of its own. Without implying a simple, "magic bullet" solution, We The People should acknowledge just how broken our electoral system is, and that it is the central impediment towards regaining anything resembling a constitutionally constrained democratic republic.
More concretely, this bill would be allowed up by the prevailing (contorted) interpretations of the copyright clause and the interstate commerce clause.
That's because the House elections run on a two-year cycle, and this is the part of the cycle at which people are paying the least attention.
While the constitution does sadly include the notion of copyright, it does not include anything allowing regulatory authority over the Internet.
/facepalm It doesn't say anything about aeroplanes either, but you'd be mad if they started falling out of the sky onto your house so you put with the FAA. Dark hints about constitutional permissions are a signal of irrelevance, because if it was as obvious as all that the issue would get in front of the Supreme Court much faster. You have to take the history of constitutional jurisprudence into account, because courts do.
This is the sort of problem best fought at the ballot box, which means holding your nose and opening your wallet.
(Personally, I think we'd almost certainly be a lot better off if all bills required margins much greater than 50%; then, only universally accepted policies would gain acceptance.)
Hence my argument that we should not need a constitutional amendment to say that the federal government may not do something, unless the constitution currently says it may.
It's pointless to have arguments about the constitution without reference to past controversies - I've highlighted the relevant section here, but this whole page is effectively the 'rest' of the Constitution that lawyers are paid to think about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_landmark_court_decision...
There's a short and very readable book by Prof. Laurence Tribe called 'The Invisible Constitution' that examines the competing approaches to constitutional interpretation and implementation.
Now in California, we do have a very comprehensive state constitution of the kind you're talking about - any significant expansion of state power or rules has to trace its way back to some specific constitutional provision. It's not my idea of an improvement: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/const-toc.html
In my country the Constitution was enacted for the very purpose of restricting what areas of law the federal government is allowed to weigh in on.
Plenary power is retained by the states.
There are limits on Federalism, but it is far from the unconstitutional imposition you seem to think it is.
We don't have a Bill of Rights or a Congress.
Regardless, I'm not sure how you got the impression that I think federalism is unconstitutional or an imposition... I generally feel that multiple conflicting state-based laws is an inefficient way to run a country, and note that the constitution gives the states the ability to cede legislative power to the commonwealth (as it should).
Just stating the facts ma'am.
Now if only I had thoughts worth keeping private...
As engineers, we are accustomed to think of writing as a mere exchange of data. But in the political arena, writing is an act. The act embedded in the above comment is to convey the defeatist attitude of its author. "Don't bother to campaign against this bill, only a constitutional amendment will do".
Never say the other side is going to win. Never say the other side is too strong. WE are going to win, we are going to keep going no matter how long it takes.
After all, they are trying to stop the spread of their own media. What about them stopping the spread of their competitors' media?
I always worried, as a kid, that one day I'd grow up and think nostalgically back to days before the internet had been made dull and sterile by government rules.
I wasn't imaginative enough then, or even as a young adult, to predict this kind of nonsense would happen instead.
The internet is destined for a bleak period. We care, we're pissed, sure. But most people aren't. Most people don't even know. And wouldn't care if they did.
This law, or one like it, will be subverted in breathtaking and terrifying ways. Thought using the DMCA to shut down early thanksgiving coupon sites was bad? That's going to seem cute by comparison to what you can do when a moronic, bureaucratic authority can disappear entire websites at will.
I've been scratching my head for years trying to think of a way out. But I just can't. The most powerful means of distribution and communication in human history is either in the hands of inept, short-sighted, unimaginative buffoons or subject to regulation from the same.
I'm excited for the practical and technological revolution that upends this control. But I can't imagine what it would look like or how it would work. And that leaves me a pretty sad panda while we wait for it. But – this kind of stupidity is bad for everyone. Even the morons who want this law passed. So I'd like to believe that this period will pass with the same inevitability that will bring on its start.
if you think about it, the Earth's most advanced political systems - the US and the other Western democracies - are just refined implementations of 2000+ years old architectural principles - the Greek's "democracy" (decisions and laws are made by a group of people limited to the size of the big room, the modern refinement of this ancient system is that the members of that group are supposedly elected instead of just being rich and powerful elite of the society) and the Rome's "rule of law" (a law overrides moral and any other motivation/rationale). It's somehow disappointing that human race hasn't been able to come up with (or more precisely - hasn't evolved enough for) a better system. [The most recent attempts to build new, and thought at the time as significantly improved, systems - fascism and socialism/communism - turned out to be catastrophic disasters.]
>I'm excited for the practical and technological revolution that upends this control. But I can't imagine what it would look like or how it would work.
every time significant technological development happens - be it steam engine, Smith&Wesson, radio, cars, phone, television - it looks like it would change the world and free the people from the control of the system ... well, as it happens, the system just absorbs the technological development as a more advanced tool for the control. And it is happening the same way with the computers and the Internet. All the improvement in the society comes from improvement in people (which of course is frequently technically facilitated and accelerated by the technological advances). "Peasants are also humans, not a property", "women are also humans, not a property", "blacks are also humans, not a property", "gays are also humans", ..., (some day we will even evolve enough to recognize the rights of animals and look back in horror to today's treatment of them as property) - all this is just a change in people minds, not a change in law (which follows the change in minds) and not a change in technology (which though does usually help a lot)
>And that leaves me a pretty sad panda while we wait for it.
Look at the "Occupiers" - like the new born kittens they don't know what to do, where to go, yet they have already "born" while we're sitting and waiting :) [ note : i don't have illusions - many of the Occupiers will become lawyers, government employees, political officials ... - ie. indistinguishable part of the system and will try to forgot their "stupid mistakes of youth", yet just for a moment they are "born" and it became an undeletable part
of the whole human race history and evolution]
I don't know, that one is a little fuzzy. Animals are difficult legally. Pets, for example- if we decide they have their own will and it should be illegal to prevent them from going outside, many of them will just up and get eaten.
Now, maybe they have a right to get eaten. But I think it safe to assume they don't want to be eaten. So, it's fuzzy.
we somehow manage it with 2-4 year old children which is what most advanced animals (cats, dogs, dolphins, killer whales, apes) are known to be as smart as (the animals may be even smarter, we just can't yet recognize it and communicate accordingly)
Looking back at the history, it was, for example, normal to sell children or to castrate children for specific practical purposes, like Chinese eunuchs or Italian castrati, ie. treating them just like property. Today we are evolved enough to not do it. The same with animals.
Obvious situational differences aside, I'd actually hazard that pets aren't too far away from the rights of 2 year olds.
200 years ago it would sound like a valid issue about slaves. Today it sound like absurd.
As long as you are boxed inside the "owning" paradigm, your issues sound valid and arguments are sound. Yet, once the paradigm shift in people minds happens - from "owning" to "coexistence" - the issues and the arguments would become either moot or absurd.
Lets suppose that after some time the aliens would notice that humans are also intelligent beings, with intelligence that would seem to the aliens as much inferior, yet still intelligence, and these rough sounds produced by humans is actually a meaningful, though as would seem to the aliens very primitive, communication. And if the aliens would try to imagine changing "owning" to "coexistence" model they would naturally ask each other the question "So in the coexistence model, how would things work? I'm genuinely curious how you see things functioning." Would you have anything to say to the aliens in response to such a question? :)
[Note: the obvious elephant in the room of the human/animals relationship - meat eating - will be addressed in a few decades by synthetic meat which by superceding natural meat in energetic efficiency and biological fitness for human body would make eating natural meat a stupid disgusting obsolete habit like smoking. Note to the note : i'm not a vegetarian and quit smoking 10+ years ago]
A little off topic, but since it was bought up, I am going to mention that I have been thinking of a systems where members of Parliament or Congress are hired by a committee from the general public and then last for something like 20 years terms (unless he or she themselves resign of course). It would take advantage of the separation of powers spreading power out among different kinds of people, so it would not have the problems a dictatorship or monarchy have. It would also allow specialization.
To me the problem lies deeper - it is in the principle that government/state is a concentrated power (taken away from people by force) and what behaves like a violent force against the people. Any tweaks to the current system is tweaks with who and how authorizes the application of that violence.
The government should get it power through willful delegation from people. The US was a nice attempt to implement the idea. Unfortunately the "willful" isn't there anymore. And without it the government looses moral ground under its violence.
The next stage would be government/state system that acts not through force. What can be used instead of force? Persuasion/education, consensus...? it is though too far fetched for any specifics.
Actually, randomly selecting people from a state or province, similar to a lottery draw, may be a better idea. The key is to make sure it is a large variety of people.
In this case, it is the content industry that think they can "control" content. Not sure if it is possible, but I wonder if retraining legacy MBAs would help.
Imagine a future in which politicians are incapable of using even the most basic web services and technologies because they have been barred from use. It would be quite an embarrassment if you could not have a Facebook or Twitter account, couldn't advertise on Google, and your email was rejected by most ISPs.
Of course, this should paint an image of how ludicrous the notion of any blacklist is.
We do not need the big tech companies to sign on, we just need a handful of small startups. Startups are representative of future economic growth and everyone understands this.
Example headline would go something like this -- "Fearful new legislation will cripple the internet, a growing number of young tech companies have banned 28 senators from ever using their products."
If anyone wanted to do this, I would put up a few thousand dollars.
It points to a deeper problem, though: Lawmakers intent on passing something that a large portion of the public finds objectionable can often achieve their goal simply by persistence; renaming and resubmitting a bill each time oppositional furor dies down, or slipping pieces of it into unrelated bills until it's effectively passed.
I'm normally far more progressive than conservative, but at times like this I wish there were some penalty associated with proposing or backing a really bad bill, or with legislation by subterfuge.
I believe the intended result for this, if a sufficient portion of the represented find this behavior objectionable, is to lose one's office. This assumes an educated electorate , or at least the voting subset of the represented to be so educated and so opposed.
Which is equivalent to boosting the winning party.
There is: the ballot box (standard annoying answer), or by organizing and forcing them to pass a bill saying they can't do what is in the bad bill. Both the Occupy and Net Neutrality movements overlap here.
Consider the VCR. Back in the 1980s, when the VCR was a new and disruptive piece of technology, the film industry lobbied to have it outlawed or at least severely restricted. They lost that battle, and it's fortunate for them that they did. A decade or so later, home video sales and rentals would grow to account for nearly half the revenue of the entire industry. What had initially been seen as a menace came to be seen as a savior. Highly ironic, to say the least, and the irony is compounded even more by this attempted legislation.
What really pisses me off is that I have to wait 2-3 months for a film to go from cinema to dvd. I don't pirate because I'm fiscally short, I pirate because I just saw an amazing movie and I want to watch it again. I don't want to go back to a theatre, I want to watch it at home, but I can't. The irony is, I can go to a nearby hotel and rent pre-pay-per-view movies that are still showing in the secondary phase of the cinema market (cheapie theatres). Why can't I rent pre-pay-per-view at home? I pay 8 bucks for a fucking PPV as it is, why can't I pay the $11 I would at the hotel or at a theatre.
I don't get why when I want to pay them more money they make it impossible for me to do so.
The big challenge for studios right now is that there used to be two lifecycles for any given film: the exhibition lifecycle (i.e., the theatrical release window), and the ownership lifecycle (i.e., DVD or Blu-ray purchase). These days, both are being compressed, and ownership is increasingly unnecessary. Piracy may or may not be a legitimate threat to ownership, but that's sort of beside the point, because ownership -- as a fundamental concept -- won't matter in the cloud-driven, on-demand world of the very near future. But piracy can still exist as an interesting exhibition tactic. It just needs to be harnessed in the right way, and/or a compelling and equally convenient alternative needs to be created.
This is a very tough spot for studios, but legislative attempts at sticking their heads in the sand are not going to solve any problems for them -- and may, in fact, exacerbate their problems by putting innovation attempts on hold.
No it isn't. I don't pirate anything that I can find on Netflix. Bittorrent is like simply like a Netflix cache-miss.
Not particularly. TV networks regularly make money off of their content online. I can go to virtually any networks website and stream an episode of whatever and get adverts in the regular breaks. Why not simply do the same with a movie?
People don't care about giving up 18 minutes of their lives for 42 minutes of a show. Why do the movie networks have such a hard time grasping that people will gladly give up 30 minutes of their lives to advertisers for a 90 minute film.
I genuinely think they don't do this simply so they can say "well people are stealing because they just don't want to pay".
Something more like YouTube's banner ads along the bottom might work.
Perhaps cut the breaks to every 30 minutes or so. An advert break every 10 minutes in Titanic would likely induce suicide.
I don't mind watching commercials (for television particularly), but your numbers are really, really high.
So I imagine you do sit through 18 minutes of commercials for a 42 minute show.
I take it, then, that after you've pirated, you buy the DVD when it becomes available?
I pirate some DVDs because for me that's less illegal than buying a DVD from a different region and making my DVD a region free player.
(Pirating a DVD means the content owner can sue me for a loss of a sale; the cost of the DVD plus legal costs. Cracking region-locking on my DVD player is a criminal offence.)
How did I know this? Due to the new Copyright Act amendments which made breaking DRM illegal, extended copyright length among other things. One of their arguments for the copyright amendments update is that VCR recording should be legal.
IIRC: $93,500 and 5 years jail for copyright infringement. You better not copy a single file without permission. Importing material that infringes copyright, $71,500 and 5 years jail. You better not download a single file without permission.
It seems there's no apparent distinction between non-commercial and commercial sharing so your grandmother accidentally forwarding a picture is liable for penalties.
Two things you can do:
Write, on paper, to your congressional representatives and explain briefly and politely that this legislation will hinder job growth, hurt exports, and mention that you will donate only to legislators who vote against this bill. Then follow through. If you can afford it, make a donation to a known existing opponent and include a copy of your receipt with the letter to your representative. Money talks like nothing else does. It does not have to be a large amount. Nor is it important for you to agree with the other politician about everything. All you need to do is make it clear that there are votes and issues at stake on this particular margin. A pattern of small donations outside of election season will get people's attention.
Donate to either a primary or general election challenger in Rep. Smith's district.
Seems like he's been in office since 1987, so there may not be much hope for a challenger in any given election.
Any standout opponents of this thing that I could donate to instead?
It is just freaking weird that the biggest, most blatantly rent-seeking organizations in the world call their own legislation the E-PARASITE bill.
Seems legit, no?
"A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent [...] the domain name [...] from resolving to that domain name’s Internet Protocol address."
Hard to tell which incarnation of this effort will become law, and when, but it seems prudent to assume that it will. Rather than simply hope the government won't attack the network, or petition the government not to attack it, we should engineer improvements to the network which increase its resistance to attack.
Time for a more distributed, probably peer-to-peer, DNS.
It's been said that the internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it. That's precisely what these threats call for.
I'm not sure he can keep it on hold indefinitely, but he definitely sounded committed to doing whatever is within his power to oppose it.
I am personally hoping that "PARASITE" has a much more negative ring that will make it easier to campaign against the bill.
Brand them as the parasites and kill it. Maybe a Googlebomb is in order, listing the sponsors of this bill as e-parasites? Sadly, the document linked on SCRIBD doesn't seem to include the list of cosponsors and mentions only "Mr. Smith of Texas".
Does anyone know where to find out who all is sponsoring this? A quick search only found a bunch of news about it and copies of the bill, but no further information.
There must be some kind of movement one can throw their weight behind to help stop this nonsense.
Yeah, you and some giant company with tons of cash to finance his next campaign.
Guess who's gonna win his support.
It doesn't matter if we can get around it using a public DNS server. For one, tomorrow they can even outlaw using non government compliant dns providers).
What hackers tend to forget is that such problems are not technical, are political. "Bypassing" by technical expertise is not a solution, it's monkey-patching a system that's broken and dangerous.
1) Even if geeks can bypass some restrictions, they too tend to lose --content, community participation etc-- if the general populace cannot do it just as easily, or is scared not to do it.
2) Even the cleverest bypassing can be outlawed.
3) One should not trust one's self to always be one step ahead of the government in the bypassing game.
Take P2P for example. Say you're totally bypassing the P2P download restrictions with some clever hackery that makes you untraceable online, be it Tor or whatever. What good will it do if the authorities can come knocking on your physical door and find that same illegally downloaded stuff in use on your computer?
tl;dr - The judges sitting on federal courts and the supreme court aren't responsible to voters, don't need campaign funds, and don't have a career to worry about. In the unlikely event that this bull makes it out of congress and past the president, it'll be struck down. Just like it has been every time before.
Sure. If this bill was an enforced law, that would be bad. Unthinkably bad. But that goes for a great deal of what happens in congress - especially the House. A small portion of this manure actually manages to make it out of congress and past the president - and it gets taken to the courts. The more interesting cases make it to the Supreme Court, where the nine judges who aren't up for re-election, have no career to worry about, and are already rich enough to be well impossible to buy off, get the pleasure of telling - in this case - the entertainment industry to go stuff it. The supreme court has repeatedly refrained from supporting this sort of thing, and they're unlikely to start in the future. Even if the worst happens, and this thing gets passed, the courts will strike it down long before the bureaucracy finds a way to start enforcing it. It's highly unlikely to affect any of us.
Some other commenters have almost correctly pointed out that "they're not going to give up" - because in many cases, fighting for these inane laws is their day job. First, there's also a group of people whose day job is to argue these sorts of laws. And another group whose day job is to strike them down, _even if_ the opposition is poorly argued. Second, those lobbyists are likely to be loosing their jobs soon as the industry paying for them begins to fall apart.
So, please. Stop freaking out every time one part of the government does something stupid. Writing to your local dimwit to point out the obvious: ok. Running in panicked circles on the internet: unhelpful and irritating.
Also many of us would not like to wait several years if such a bill is passed to see which way the Supreme Court will decide.
Books, movies, magazines, television, radio, and many websites, would no longer be protected under the first amendment, and would be open to government regulation and censorship.
The key would be probably to get the well-funded opposition continuing until that happens, and this will likely last for years. I like to compare it to the end of support of XP.
I remember some recent HN article about someone (German politician?) who had used a photo without permission on his website.
Lily Allen has spoken out about piracy, but used then distributed music via her blog.
How? A lot of pressure put on a lot of politicians in the run-up to the last federal election, which promised to be very close (and was actually one of the closest in history).
You obviously have to pressure whomever holds the majority, but you've got to let the other side know about it as well.
So Australia is filter-free for the foreseeable future - it's become a 'dead issue' that politicians aren't willing to spend political capital on.
US Folks should take this as a bright data point that these battles can be won, but it will take a lot of effort.
Personally it's something that Tea Party and OWS types could get together on, because it sucks for everyone. That's what happened in Australia - they took heat from both 'sides' of politics and it got dumped (sorry, postponed)
I always picture the governor in Mel Brook's Blazing Saddles:
"Patriotism is good isn't it?"
"So I should sign this PATRIOT act without reading it?"
"Parasites are bad aren't they?"
"So we ban them ?"
If only Mr Obama had found a way of making his health care bill spell out "IF YOU VOTE AGAINST THIS YOU ARE SO GAY" ACT - he would have got it through.
Huh? You realize it's law, right?
I see some of that crowd in this thread. I'm not interested in arguing with 'em. But when the loudest spokesmen against some particular piece of silly law (and this is a silly law) turn out to be extremists with a position that most thoughtful people would disagree with, it makes it difficult to put forth a coherent argument against it.
You mean like "I want a monopoly, therefore monopolies should be legal. Also, I should have police powers to enforce my monopoly: search people's computers, shut down their internet access, make accusations based on flimsy evidence like IP addresses, and presume guilt rather than innocence."
I mean, if society were a roomful of people, and someone stood up and suggested that, would you nod and agree?
I'm not saying copyright isn't a useful tool for society to encourage creation of works, but it does need to be balanced with other things. Not least is the fact that it hinders the creation of derivative works. This argument is even stronger in the realm of patents.