SOPA On Pause, But Still A Threat

By John Walker on January 16th, 2012 at 12:30 pm.

No bloody response from most of them. Cowards.

A flicker of good news. The White House has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act, recognising that it significantly threatens the freedoms of Americans (and indeed the rest of the world, but they haven’t heard about us yet). This means it’s temporarily shelved, while the discussion continues. Unfortunately, it’s sister act, PIPA, hasn’t gone anywhere. There is still much work to be done. Cheers, PC Gamer.

And frankly, I’m disgusted by the number of publishers who couldn’t be bothered to get back to us or Joystiq regarding their position.

, .

29 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Tinus says:

    I do hope this stays on everyone’s radar and protests keep up. We don’t just need half of SOPA gone, we need all of it gone.

  2. Ignorant Texan says:

    Here is the link to the White House Technology Office’s position on SOPA, PIPA and OPEN.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/petition-tool/response/combating-online-piracy-while-protecting-open-and-innovative-internet

    • Fox89 says:

      As far as I can tell that response seems to incorporate both SOPA and PIPA. I’d be surprised if the latter goes through in its current state when you consider that.

      I also liked this bit:

      “The organizer of this petition and a random sample of the signers will be invited to a conference call to discuss this issue further with Administration officials and soon after that, we will host an online event to get more input and answer your questions. Details on that will follow in the coming days.”

      Seems a good idea

  3. Xaromir says:

    We should boycott them even after this is off the table.

  4. Crane says:

    What part of the whole ballyhoo is PIPA responsible for again?
    I forget what effect that act would have if it went into play on its own…

    • Delusibeta says:

      As I recall, the PIPA is basically SOPA with a different hat on. It’ll still utterly destroy the internet if it passes on its own.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      This is how I think the US legislature works so apologies if I am incorrect but here goes:

      The US legislature is split into two bodies, the Senate and the House of Representatives. In order create legislation to be signed by the President (at which point it becomes law) both bodies / houses have to approve of it. Legislation can be proposed in either of the two of the two houses but has to be voted on and approved by both before they go to the president. Before legislation is voted on it has to go through one or more committees made up of elected officials from that house and then if the committees approve of it they send the legislation to be debated by all the politicians in that house. After it is debated it is then voted on. Then it goes to the other house for the same process.

      Sorry that is horrifically boring so I’ll now provide an example to make it clearer:

      Example: A Senator proposes a piece of legislation called “Ice Cream is cool.” It goes through the appropriate committees, is debated on the Senate floor and passes a vote because the majority of the Senate agree Ice Cream is cool. It then goes on to the House of Representatives where it will have to go through the same process of committees, debate and voting..

      What has this to do with PIPA and SOPA? Well if the Senate and House of Representatives coordinate and pass similar legislation at the same time then they can combine the two similar bills together and then just have a single vote in each house on this combined bill rather than having to put the bill from the other house through the extra scrutiny.

      Example: At the same time as the “Ice Cream is Cool” legislation was moving through the Senate a Representative in the House of Representatives proposed a piece of legislation called “Ice Cream is great!” This legislation goes through the relative committees in the HoR, is debated on the floor of the HoR and passes a vote. Now instead of each bill having to go through the same process in the other house delegations from both houses meet and try and combine the two bills together, iron out differences and so on. They succeed and a combined bill called “Ice Cream is Cool Great” is presented to both houses to simply vote on. If it passes in both houses it can then be presented to the President to sign.

      So in effect the same legislation is put through both houses at the same time so as to speed things up.

      In this case SOPA is the legislation being presented in House of Representatives and PIPA is the legislation being presented in the Senate. SOPA is still in the committee stage but PIPA is moving to the debating stage. While the original plan of voting on one bill in each house and then combing is on shaky ground it is still possible for PIPA to debated and voted on in the Senate and then moved on to the House for the whole committee, debate, vote process.

      Given SOPA was initially fast tracked in the house it is entirely possible PIPA, if it passes through the Senate, could be fast tracked in the HoR too.

      So there is still plenty of fighting to be done.

    • Premium User Badge

      lurkalisk says:

      Mostly what ReV_VAdAUL said, except that SOPA appears to be a House resolution that combines two Senate bills (PIPA and CFSA). Well, at least according to opencongress.org.

  5. Jannakar says:

    Yes, and the were opposed to the NDAA but did they veto that? Does the democrat WH have the balls to stand up to their major sponsors?

    You have the pick the battles that you need to win and the ones that you can afford to lose (but be seen to fight). I’m not so sure Obama really wants to win this one.

    • MondSemmel says:

      Well, given the major part online fundraising played during Obama’s original presidential campaign, it would be pretty stupid of the White House not to fight this. That being said, such far-sightedness is in seriously short supply in the whole realm of politics.
      That being said, what sometimes happens (in all presidencies) is that the White House vows to veto legislation. Then the bill with said legislation passes both House and Senate, attached to some must-pass legislation that the White House cannot possibly veto. (say, “emergency” funding for wars; tax cuts; etc.) The bill is signed.
      So defeating the bill before there’s any chance for it to be signed is still very important.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gundato says:

      Yeah. Ignoring ethics (because there is no point), this is one thing I see the White House standing by. Elections are in less than a year, so there is a good chance goldfish-memory will still remember getting screwed on this.

      If it were this time last year: The “We disapprove, let’s shelve it” would be an empty gesture. But it might mean something now.

    • sqparadox says:

      The White House was initially opposed to NDAA before changing their stance announcing in advance they would not veto the bill. They did not refuse to veto a bill they opposed.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Gentlemen,

      In the immortal words of Bobbi Fleckman, “Money talks, and bullshit walks”. Who has more money? If the choice is the RIAA, the MPAA, and the ESA, and their backing industries, or Amazon, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, etc…, I know on whom Granny’s cancer treatment money is riding.

  6. bill says:

    I’d say it’s reasonably safe to assume that the guys who didn’t get back to you aren’t against it.

    Given the unreasoning terror that the very idea of piracy seems to induce in all games publishers, it’s not actually that surprising.

  7. James says:

    John (I hope you don’t mind me speaking in such familiar terms),

    In my view, you are trying your best to fix something that you feel you are able to fix. I am grateful that you are inclined to do so.

    Your efforts are appreciated, greatly by some.

    • Premium User Badge

      Acosta says:

      The right form to speak to him is His Grace, Lord Walker.

      Jokes aside, yeah, great work John! Sad to see most companies are too scared to say anything. Let Google and Apple save the day, given that they will eat your business in the future anyway, you may let them to do the tough work.

  8. AbyssUK says:

    My comment was stupid, please openly mock me.

  9. Chorltonwheelie says:

    I see Rupert Murdoch has come out fully in support of SOPA.

    If the Dirty Digger’s right behind the act that’s all the proof you should need to put it in a box marked “Box of Very Bad Things”.

    • Skabooga says:

      For being the head of an international media corporation, that man does not have a good public image. Might as well be Caligula sponsoring SOPA.

  10. Brun says:

    I’d like to remind everyone of what Wulf explained (much more elegantly than myself) in another SOPA thread – both pieces of legislation are only marginally about stopping piracy. Their true purpose is to increase Big Content’s control of the market and industry as an attempt to preserve the outdated business models used by publishers. Piracy is a market force that will never be completely eradicated – it is a part of the internet and its culture. Publishers know this, and they know that SOPA and PIPA will be ineffective at stopping it. Nevertheless, piracy is an ideal scapegoat for the failure of Big Content to compete in a rapidly changing marketplace, because it will always exist. They have been using it as an excuse for their own failure to adapt since the invention of the cassette tape. The longer we allow them to continue using piracy as an excuse, the longer we will have to endure such thinly veiled attempts to control the market.

  11. Novack says:

    Please guys, dont let this topic fall, keep putting your energy as you have been doing.
    And a big thank you!

  12. kud13 says:

    I doubt that. the issue’s too major.

    any real change in the fabric of copyright would have to come from WIPO.

  13. MythArcana says:

    I have a solution to all of this. Simply cram Nancy Pelosi in the hole to block the infernal black ooze from spilling out of that cesspool of an administration.

    It worked for that little Dutch bastard with the dam.

  14. Idealist says:

    The post needs a minor correction: It was the U.S. House of Representatives, and not the White House, which took action to kill SOPA.

  15. FunkyBadger3 says:

    And frankly, I’m disgusted by the number of publishers who couldn’t be bothered to get back to us or Joystiq regarding their position.

    Not sure what the expected response to “have you stopped beating your wife” is?

    • Cockles says:

      Funky Badger – I’m not sure what you’re connection is with piracy and wife beating but you’ve denounced RPS for their supposed “have you stopped beating your wife” tactics before. Stop trying to be clever and start saying something constructive, if you disagree with their stance or methods then say why and prepare to be challenged.