I think this would be called "corruption" in any other country but US.
Boys, looks like we got us a terrorist right here. Better shut down his terror website.
This is a classic case of concentrated benefits with dispersed cost. It's a messed up situation, but not corrupt.
The problem is that if your only source of information is biased, you take the wrong decisions.
The fine line usually placed in the US between corruption and politics as normal is that of the quid pro quo; it's fine to take money from people who happen to share your beliefs, but if you change your votes because of that money, it's corruption.
Politicans have always hidden behind the plausible deniability this gives. You can always claim that you changed your mind on an issue of your own free will, and the donations came later as an unexpected benefit.
But ultimately, it causes well funded interests to dominate political discussion. The teacher's union is almost uncrossable, but how much funding do homeless lobbies get?
Charitably, this is because of survivorship bias - politicans who don't have platforms that generate revenue die out - senators already literally spend half their time raising money . More likely, everyone in congress and the senate sees the writing on the wall and preemtively switches to the right platforms.
The cracks are starting to show in this veneer of innocence, with Chris Dodd earlier this year directly threatening to withhold donations based on SOPA, unless the Obama administration toes the line . It's so long been an open secret in Washington that it was a small step forward for Dodd to take, but it had the unusual effect of exposing the Washingtonian power games to the rest of the country, so it caused quite a bit stir up.
I'm not taking a side on what happened. I genuinely have no opinion one way or another. But if it were as mtgx suggests to curry favour with the MPAA to mend bridges after SOPA, there is zero lattitude on this. It would be corruption.
Edit: tows->toes. Yes I am an idiot.
I don't get why this is any more of a problem than money in politics in general. If you give money based on how much you support a politician, and they change their positions, and now you agree less, you don't give them money anymore.
What's the alternative?
"If you've ever given money to a politician, you have to keep doing so even if they change their minds about the issues you care about"?
"Politicians are legally forbidden from changing their mind, even in the face of cogent arguments and massive disagreement from their constituents"?
"Giving money and stopping giving money based on a politician's stances are fine but SSSHHHH don't talk about it!"?
Politicians' campaign spending is strictly limited by law:
You toe a line.
You put your toe up to the line and stay within that line.
My point was that it's an enviable position, not least of which because it's a great stepping stone to becoming president. Actual political power aside.
It's been described by someone who had that position as "not worth a bucket of warm spit".
"not least of which because it's a great stepping stone to becoming president."
This is actually pretty uncommon, in practice.
Anyway, in Biden's specific case, there's no way he'll be President. He probably won't be running for VP again.
Come on. It's legalized corruption with one degree of separation from outright "handing over briefcases of money".
I do have to say that implicating Biden in a corruption-feeling scandal during an election year is a great legal strategy.
So while the MPAA may have been posturing about being angry, the reality is they are going to continue to flood money into the Obama/Biden campaign.
When the MPAA threatens to cut off funds, the implication isn't just that whatever amount the MPAA has to throw around will go away, it is that the big dollars from the 6 member studios and the super rich executive and celebrity donors will go away. But you still see that money flowing. Just one example, also from Hollywood Reporter, "Jamie and Michael Lynton - He’s CEO of Sony, and she’s a veteran Democratic activist. The two are raising $500,000-plus for Obama this season. Michael has had almost a dozen meetings at the White House, some regarding anti-piracy."
I expect the Obama/Biden election campaign got contributions from MPAA companies. Shutting down Megaupload was payback.
So yes, you want politicians to do things that will get people to vote for them. But you do not necessarily want politicians to do things to get companies to pay for their campaigns.
The goal should have been to have more justice in this world. What happened there is wrong. The extradition of the UK "pirate" is much worse and a treason of a country against its own citizen.
Im as an American am both ticked at Biden, and happy that this sort of thing is coming to light due to the Dotcom political thriller.
Establish that, then you have corruption - in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world.
Just because someone is or is not guilty, that does not make corruption OK.
With all the political uproar that was going on that week it would be surprising if the FBI had not gone to the White House before pulling the trigger on the raid.
It is almost impossible that the timing had anything to do with SOPA, considering that the SOPA defeat was rather unexpected.
Which is starkly different from the other side, which tends to revert to conspiracy theories every time.
(1) Megaupload suing Universal, in a lawsuit they were likely to win, and were then forced to drop the lawsuit after the raid.
(2) The raid happened just prior to Megaupload releasing a new service called MegaBox, which would allow artists to legally sell music directly to fans, allowing artists to keep 90% of the profits, as well as introducing a feature that allowed artists to make money off music that listeners were streaming for free.
It turns out the FBI had been spying MegaUpload for the past 5+ years
With the fact that they don't have any evidence to present a case that there was actual illegal activity going on that required the raid, I would say it's more likely that the pressure for the raid to come when it did came directly from the entertainment industry / UMG.
There is a contradiction there perhaps. Political favors includes buckling due to lobbying. Then US govt. is just a proxy for large banking interests, the military industrial complex, pharmaceuticals, large agribusiness etc. So no the govt. might not have really cared about MU but maybe MPAA cared and when they care they line pockets and make promises about future rewards
I've always had this problem with lobbying. If everyone has to lobby and I guess it mostly requires money these days then how is it not "legal bribing"?
This is a discussion, not a Court of Law, so let me state my view clearly: Kim Dotcom created an extensive enterprise aimed specifically at violating copyrights while attempting to shield the enterprise with the minimum amount of "compliance" they could get away with. It's entirely possibly that his corporation broke no laws. Regardless of his possible legal innocence, the speculations of a sleezy businessman like Dotcom regarding the integrity of the Vice President is unworthy of consideration.
Textbook ad hominem. His business practices are completely irrelevant to the questions of impropriety raised and the illegal conduct of the authorities involved.
Name one serious question of illegal conduct raised by Dotcom.
Furthermore, "Kim Dotcom is a $negative_thing" is an adhom no matter how you slice it, when the question is "Do his claims have any merit". He could be a mother-stabbing father-raper, claims are still supposed to be evaluated on their merit, not their speaker!
Although officially the office only has a couple of duties, a modern US VP has a bunch of roles and powers that are not outside of the law but not spelled out. Really, modern US VPs are kinda like co-presidents. VPs now get included in cabinet meetings, do negotiations with Congress or more. Kennedy put LBJ in charge of the space program. Rockafeller headed certain judicial inquiries. Nixon, when he was VP, sat in on the National Security Council.
So, when Biden talks, is that Obama talking? Maybe.
> Kim Dotcom created an extensive enterprise aimed specifically at violating copyrights while attempting to shield the enterprise with the minimum amount of "compliance" they could get away with. It's entirely possibly that his corporation broke no laws.
That's no different than what other companies do, now. Sometimes they won't even go that far. :)
Anyways, if the words “Obedience to the law is liberty” means anything, that has to include our leaders, too.
Your reasoning fails here. An ATTORNEY does not just guess at who is ordering him to do something. An Attorney only obey an order from the VP if someone he reports to ordered him to, in which case the person who ordered him owns the responsibility for the action.
And since the action is hardly a secret, that person knows and owns the action.
Modern VPs have only the powers and responsibilities allotted to them by the President. Cheney was an outlier, and was able to grab so much power because Bush was a moron, and agreed to it.
Having the tie-breaking vote in the Senate is a very tangible power of the VPOTUS, especially when it is needed.
I do agree that MU may be able to prove that it didn't break any laws, due to their minimal DMCA compliance. And, it is for that reason that higher powers in the US may have had to resort to illegal tactics to shut the website down. I also agree that Biden, if he was involved, would not actually take the responsibility for any actions. However, politicians are playing a game of public perception, and none of them want their names brought up when foul play is being exposed.
His worse crime seems to have been not paying off the politicians.
And cheering that on from the sidelines seems an odd choice for a rallying call against legalized corruption.
They are very, very pleased with this outcome.
Can you point to some posts of this nature? All I've seen from the "uninformed" so far is heaps of support.
(Which I actually find pretty funny, because while Dotcom may have landed on the right side of things by chance this time, he does seem pretty repugnant.)
My point was that the only comments I've ever seen on the web were mostly siding with Dotcom. Unless of course your point is that Hollywood is trying to win the sort of people who don't post to online discussions, in which case you have a point.
Sigh. We definitely have the best politicians money can buy...
Most medium to large sized technology companies that get big enough to attract parasites will gladly cooperate with an investigating authority (such as the FBI) and turn over user activity records without much of a stink in exchange for a future favor down the road rather than hold their ground and demand warrants, subpoenas and the rest of the 9 yards.
If you promise to aid the FBI into perpetuity, they will on occasion nail some malicious user that's giving you a hard time - like that 16 year old from Des Moines who is submitting stolen credit cards (that were found on twitter via @NeedADebitCard, naturally) to pay for your merchandise and giving you a headache in chargeback fees.
It's a cool superpower but it's probably not doing much to address the root of your problems.
Worse, it quickly turns the FBI into a sort of protection racket for the Fortune 5000.
Beside, it wasn't the Executive branch that ordered the Megaupload shutdown: it was the grand jury, followed by an Australian judge (apparently improperly.) Mr. Dotcom doesn't appear understand the US legal system.
Or, more likely, he is willfully ignoring it in favor of a story. Given the lack of evidence that the VP actually did anything, much less that he did anything corrupt, this seems like a desperate bid for attention.
New Zealand. You might aswell call Joe Biden vice president of Canada.
Also, yea, New Zealand is not Australia.
Joe Biden: Tool. Perhaps his legacy, reduced to a single word. (Oh, and "trains!")
mpaa chairman chris dodd is an influential democrat with strong ties to the obama administration, biden in particular. entertainment industry has historically had an oversized presence in washington, and the tech industry an undersized one. this is why our copyright debate has been driven by an incumbent-dominated industry rather than the innovator/disruptor one such as ours.
it's telling that we've all so negatively reacted to recent story of washington telling apple to spend more on lobbying, calling it a shakedown - but we'd be wise to think about that more carefully and not dismiss at our own peril.
Slashdot has "Your Rights Online". Ars has "Law and Disorder". Looking up a few keywords, I notice that there's also /r/SOPA, /r/rights, /r/yro, /r/privacy, /r/freedom, /r/internetfreedom, /r/civilliberties, /r/civlib and others. Maybe some consolidation is in order.