Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jan 2012 19:33 UTC
Internet & Networking Big news from Capitol Hill in Washington DC today: House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa has said that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been "shelved" in the House of Representatives, meaning it has been put on indefinite hold until a consensus about the act can be reached. Sadly, SOPA's counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) will still be pushed forward, meaning we must remain vigilant. Despite all of this, Wikipedia has announced it will join the blackout coming Wednesday.
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

...it was and is a completely empty statement designed to allow Obama to go either way regarding SOPA without losing face.

Those are actually two distinct statements. One, that it was completely empty. And two, that it would allow some wiggle room without losing face.

The second point is likely valid. A standard political precaution which doesn't tell us a whole lot. But the White House statement, itself, was far from being completely empty. It sent a definite message, in politico-speak.

I would agree that the White House statement had as much or more to do with the "shelving" of SOPA as do the pending blackout plans.

In reality, they are all bound up in a rather complicated way that I would not venture to claim to completely understand. If I did, I would also begin questioning my own sanity.

However, lucus_maximus does have a point.

-Steve

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Those are actually two distinct statements. One, that it was completely empty. And two, that it would allow some wiggle room without losing face.


While I see your point, I actually mean one and the same thing: the statement is empty because it's so utterly vague and lacks any decent definitions or 'hard' words - thus making it completely meaningless. Had the statement included a "...like SOPA" or "...like current proposals in the House and Senate", the statement would actually have teeth.

Another option would be for the statement to specifically define what is acceptable, and what isn't, according to Obama. Not doing either of these two makes it an empty statement. Posting a statement like this in The Netherlands would be pointless - it would be chalked up as a sign of weakness on the side of the administration.

In reality, they are all bound up in a rather complicated way


It's not that complicated. There's a boatload of negative publicity going on right now, and several US senators and other supporters of the bill were backpedaling - never a good sign if you want a legislation pushed through. The White House statement, in my view, had far less influence - its lack of teeth would have made it possible for Obama to sign this law without losing any political face, i.e., he wouldn't violate the statement in the slightest if he did sign the law.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Even though there were words highlight in bold which are kinda of the defintion of "strong" (hahaha <strong> tags) on the web.

Stop attacking the people that are apparently on your side.

Edited 2012-01-16 22:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Posting a statement like this in The Netherlands would be pointless - it would be chalked up as a sign of weakness on the side of the administration.

In case you haven't noticed, the US is not The Netherlands. My stay in your country was brief and many years ago. And it came at a bad time for me, personally. I was distracted. But even so, the differences were still glaringly obvious.

Thom, we're still arguing over creationism vs Evolution, here in the US. Creationism vs the Consensus Cosmology. The educational competence of our public school graduates is steadily falling through a hole in the floor, as documented by uniform, standardized testing, while our upper education continues to do well.

We're a nation of contrasts. And the bad tends to outnumber the good, by a substantial margin, viewed on a per capita basis. And yet we all have exactly the same vote. Meanwhile, politics is the art of finding the point at which your constituency is divided more or less 50/50, and pushing your own political agenda items right to the point that you think you might just be on the 50+ side of the 50/50 balance. (Sure, corporate interests and lobbies complicate the matter.)

You really cannot expect the straight-forward strategies, which might work in your country, to be as successful here.

Sad to say, but it's true. This may be why I interpret the White House statement in a different way than do you.

Sincerely,
Steve from Oklahoma

Edited 2012-01-16 23:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


Those are actually two distinct statements. One, that it was completely empty. And two, that it would allow some wiggle room without losing face.

No, he said the statement was empty and thus he could later go either way. You added the 'wiggle room' statement, why would Obama need 'wiggle room' when he hasn't in the slightest committed to anything?

The companies backing this bill will throw enough money at politicians to get it through once the media gets tired of covering this as a story.

I've seen pretty much jack-sh*t about SOPA on 'traditional' media and what little I've seen has been slanted as a bill to 'protect american jobs' (lol, yeah right), anti-SOPA has pretty much been an all internet campaign from start to finish and it's been hugely successful in building momentum.

Obviously this scares the sh*t out of alot of people with power out there, given that while traditional media is so narrow that it can easily be controlled, people on the internet get their information from a wide range of sources, not only that but they also get to discuss this information on a global scale, no longer are we confined to political discussions around the dinner table. All this together with the ease at which people can quickly rally around/against something, again on a global scale, makes all these powermongers scared and thus incredibly motivated to control the web. This goes way beyond online piracy.

Given this, obviously there will be alot of shills out there now trying to make the shelving of SOPA the result of 'the White House's statement' and downplaying the importance of the organized it-industry/internet campaign against SOPA. This is because that if people understand just how much power they have and start organising in order to make things happen then the power structure enjoyed by big organisations will start to crumble and power will be shifted.

With the internet we have a voice which can in effect rival the huge amounts of paid lobbyists the corporations and rich private interests can muster. Not only that, but we can put it into action by campaigning directly against companies who are working against our interests (see GoDaddy).

Reply Parent Score: 6

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

With the internet we have a voice which can in effect rival the huge amounts of paid lobbyists the corporations and rich private interests can muster...

Of course, the problem you have there is keeping all your ducks in a row. Who's "we"? People who agree with you? I'd love to see that Venn Diagram evolve over time.

It depends upon the topic, of course. Protecting people's "right" to violate copyright on the sly is likely to yield you a large backing of "fine upstanding citizens" who are appalled by the bill in question, for the most ethereal, Platonic, and idealistic reasons.

But that has nothing to do with the true value or worthlessness of the bill.

What if the bill was spcifically targeted at violators of the copyright of GPL'd works, and contained a few draconian clauses. And you found yourself against it because of that. How do you think that might affect your operational definition of "we"?

Edited 2012-01-17 18:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1