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The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet

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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:41 AM
Original message
The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet
from the free-speech-isn't-free dept

This is hardly a surprise but, this morning (as previously announced), the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the internet via the COICA bill -- despite a bunch of law professors explaining to them how this law is a clear violation of the First Amendment. What's really amazing is that many of the same Senators have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries, yet they happily vote to approve it here because it's seen as a way to make many of their largest campaign contributors happy. There's very little chance that the bill will actually get passed by the end of the term but, in the meantime, we figured it might be useful to highlight the 19 Senators who voted to censor the internet this morning:

# Patrick J. Leahy -- Vermont
# Herb Kohl -- Wisconsin
# Jeff Sessions -- Alabama
# Dianne Feinstein -- California
# Orrin G. Hatch -- Utah
# Russ Feingold -- Wisconsin
# Chuck Grassley -- Iowa
# Arlen Specter -- Pennsylvania
# Jon Kyl -- Arizona
# Chuck Schumer -- New York
# Lindsey Graham -- South Carolina
# Dick Durbin -- Illinois
# John Cornyn -- Texas
# Benjamin L. Cardin -- Maryland
# Tom Coburn -- Oklahoma
# Sheldon Whitehouse -- Rhode Island
# Amy Klobuchar -- Minnesota
# Al Franken -- Minnesota
# Chris Coons -- Delaware

This should be a list of shame. You would think that our own elected officials would understand the First Amendment but, apparently, they have no problem turning the US into one of the small list of authoritarian countries that censors internet content it does not like (in this case, content some of its largest campaign contributors do not like). We already have laws in place to deal with infringing content, so don't buy the excuse that this law is about stopping infringement. This law takes down entire websites based on the government's say-so. First Amendment protections make clear that if you are going to stop any specific speech, it has to be extremely specific speech. This law has no such restrictions. It's really quite unfortunate that these 19 US Senators are the first American politicians to publicly vote in favor of censoring speech in America.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101118/10291211924/t...
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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. I dont understand how people could say one thing
turn around and do something else.
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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Seriously?
No offense intended, but were you born yesterday?
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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I didnt say I was unaware of it
I said I don't understand it. I am a person, if I say something I do it. I mean what I say, I say what I mean.
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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks for clarifying.
There's enough naivet displayed here that it's hard to tell sometimes.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
apocalypsehow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I can. n/t.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. Al Franken???
:wtf:
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 03:54 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. It isn't just Franken!
There's Leahy, Feingold, and Durbin among other authentic liberals. Can it be that there's more to it, than a knee-jerk "feel good" sound bite?
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 04:18 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. DU likes things black & white, but then it makes it hard to explain away Feingold & Franken,
as well as Durbin.
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The Northerner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
I'm just disgusted.
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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
9. I'd like to be surprised to see Al Frankens name on that list
But sadly I'm not surprised.
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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I was
then again, it doesn't take long does it?
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OKDem08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
11. How does Al Franken justify his vote?...anybody?
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Possibly he believes copyright should mean something?
At present it doesn't, this bill or something similar (arguably clause B of the definition of an infringing website in this bill is too broad) would be necessary to make it do so again.
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cartouch100 Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 05:22 AM
Response to Original message
14. So many Democrats!
It's too bad that that list appears to contain more Democrat than GOP lawmakers! I always thought that the GOP was into censorship, but after seeing that list, it looks like the Dems have their problems, too.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
15. I'm afraid I'm with Franken, Feingold etc on this one.
I don't buy that this bill *isn't* about stopping copyright infringement, given that that's what it does.


The text of the bill defines an infringing website as one that is:

(A) primarily designed, has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator, or by a person acting in concert with the operator, to offer:

(i) goods or services in violation of title 17, United States Code, or enable or facilitate a violation of title 17, United States Code, including by offering or providing access to, without the authorization of the copyright owner or otherwise by operation of law, copies of, or public performance or display of, works protected by title 17, in complete or substantially complete form, by any means, including by means of download, transmission, or otherwise, including the provision of a link or aggregated links to other sites or Internet resources for obtaining such copies for accessing such performance or displays; or

(ii) to sell or distribute goods, services, or materials bearing a counterfeit mark, as that term is defined in section 34(d) of the Act entitled 'An Act to provide for the registration and protection of trademarks used in commerce, to carry out the provisions of certain international conventions, and for other purposes', approved July 5, 1946 (commonly referred to as the 'Trademark Act of 1946' or the 'Lanham Act'; 15 U.S.C. 1116(d)); and

(B) engaged in the activities described in subparagraph (A), and when taken together, such activities are central to the activity of the Internet site or sites accessed through a specific domain name.<3>




This bill censors speech to exactly the extent that copyright restrictions themselves do.

I think that suggesting that you can tackle copyright infringment without tackling websites fitting this description is disinenuous, and that opponents of this bill should have the honesty to admit that their position is "we believe that it should be possible to distribute copyrighted material illegally on the internet", rather than claiming that they oppose this bill for other reasons.

One could make a case that clause (B) is slightly too broadly worded, but the OP makes no attempt to make such a reasoned case.
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Yea, what he said.
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howaboutme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. BUT BUT BUT......So, if copyright ability is expanded
where does that leave information sources?

1. It leaves us without information unless it is filtered through the "OK Corral Police Incorporated"

2. Just like the DMCA it gives self proclaimed holders of copyright information the right to censor and control the message.

3. Have we forgotten about RIGHTHAVEN suing Democratic Underground and being defended by the EFF? That is exactly what this bill will aggravate.

4. When EFF talks - I listen. When Senators vote I listen with a grain of salt and a big dose of cynicism and look for self serving agendas.

5. EFF.org VEHEMENTLY as well as noted founding members of the internet community oppose this bill on the basis that it is not in the people's interest.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. This is about content; it's nothing to do with information.

I think you have this entirely backwards.


1. It leaves us without information unless it is filtered through the "OK Corral Police Incorporated"

I have no idea where you got this from, it's nothing to do with the real COICA. COICA deals with redistributing a piece of content (not information) without the owner's consent. So it won't prevent anyone from distributing any information - at worst it will require them to rewrite it in their own words.



2. Just like the DMCA it gives self proclaimed holders of copyright information the right to censor and control the message.

Copyright holders are not self-proclaimed; they're proclaimed by the law. You keep using the word "information", but it's nothing to do with the issue - information does not get copyrighted (I think data occasionally does, but only in a few highly specialised scientific circumstances that have nothing to do with websites). What gets copyrighted is content. If you publish a news story then there is absolutely nothing in either existing law or COICA that prevents me telling other people what you said, provided I make the effort to rephrase it in my own words, or I can just link to your website. So this has nothing whatseover to do with controlling access to news.



3. Have we forgotten about RIGHTHAVEN suing Democratic Underground and being defended by the EFF? That is exactly what this bill will aggravate.

This bill would have no effect whatsoever on this court case, because publishing copyrighted material is not central to DU's function.



4. When EFF talks - I listen. When Senators vote I listen with a grain of salt and a big dose of cynicism and look for self serving agendas.
&
5. EFF.org VEHEMENTLY as well as noted founding members of the internet community oppose this bill on the basis that it is not in the people's interest.


I note that several of the senators voting for this - Franken and Feingold leap to mind - have fairly unambiguously progressive and ethical records. I know nothing about EFF, but I don't think argument by appeal to authority is a good way of making a case.

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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
18. Russ Feingold is never wrong.
That's my hypothesis.
John Cornyn is always wrong.
So now I am really confused.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
20. They voted to move out of committee, not to pass it. The headline is a joke.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. Franken? FEINGOLD? WTF!?!
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:55 PM
Original message
(dupe delete)
Edited on Sat Nov-20-10 12:56 PM by JackRiddler
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
22. This is a dupe and there's one with more detailed replies...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

No problem, dearabby, you may have missed the earlier one but it's got more meat in the replies (links to the legislation and such).
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