Joe Biden promises a blank check to the entertainment cartel

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39 Responses to “Joe Biden promises a blank check to the entertainment cartel”

  1. Tdawwg says:

    But do you all think copysharing and copyright issues trump, say, universal healthcare, the economy, the wars, rule of law, the restoration of the Constitution, women’s reproductive rights, climate change? Wow, talk about a wedge issue!

    Would this really cause y’all to vote third party? In a close election? Crazy!

  2. Baldhead says:

    I wish they’d stop saying they’re doing it for the artists. As far as music goes, the artists have had to sue their labels for the proceeds from the suing of fans- the labels take money form fans in artists’ names, then proceed to make whatever claims they can to justify not giving the money to the artists.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How about we just stop letting lawyers become elected officials? More than anything, it’s the lawyers in office who screw things up by thinking they know more about various topics than actual experts.

  4. Timothy Hutton says:

    Cory – Thanks for posting this story, I thought you’d find it interesting.

    I have mixed feelings about reigning in campaign financing – when candidates can raise three-quarters of a Billion dollars for an election (a bit over $2 per US citizen of all ages), the election in my opinion ceases to be about ideas and starts to resemble a popularity contest.

    I’m not picking on our current president, but he’s the one that took fund raising to unheard-of levels, at least until the 2012 elections, when both parties will raise record dollar amounts (again). It’s like an arms race, and McCain-Feingold reforms did precious little to turn back the Doomsday Clock

    The one suggestion I like would be the “NASCAR-ification” of politicians – force them to wear the logos of their supporters, sized proportionaly to the size of their contributions. That way they could, in effect, wear their heart on their sleeve.

  5. A New Challenger says:

    Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
    Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

  6. GregLondon says:

    A lot of Democrat representatives in California.

  7. maitrix says:

    The really sad side effect of this is that it promotes such stupidity in our otherwise sane neighbors, as Cory well knows.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My anonymous sibling @17 seems to have fallen for a canard of Obama’s opponents in the last election. The truth (IIRC) is that Obama pledged that he would limit himself to public financing and would decline and discourage support from 527 and other special-interest groups if McCain would do both. McCain was, again IIRC, hamstrung in that he had already locked himself into public financing by taking out loans against the money he would receive thereby, and he was either unable or unwilling to say “no” to 527s and other groups who could help him to overcome what he saw (rightly, as it turned out) as Obama’s extraordinary prowess in fundraising.

    I may have some of the details wrong but the gist of it is that it was a two-part conditional agreement, and since McCain wouldn’t sign on to both parts of the agreement, Obama didn’t feel himself bound to follow through on his offer.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Like we couldn’t see this one coming!

  10. remmelt says:

    Change!

  11. Bill Albertson says:

    Sigh…American national politics…

    I made a simple decision after coming back to the US from my stint in the Army down in Central America. I don’t vote for anyone that abrogates my fundamental rights as a citizen.

    Its that simple. Don’t reward them. If you reward them, then they continue hurting you, because you just paid them to kick you in the teeth. They’ll just go on doing it until you find a way to make it stop.

    And, yeah, my ballot line for PotUS was blank when I turned it in. Some years my ballot has not that many blanks filled in, and some years it does. Same goes for my dollars to candidates.

    I don’t care how close the election might be. I really don’t- its the candidates’ jobs to care about that, not mine, and if they want my vote, then they will be down with me and my fellow citizens, and not with their corporate sponsors.

    But I understand how hard that can be for them to do the right thing, when the largest PAC in the US is run by the mainstream media. Even the current President didn’t have the cojones to take that one head on.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Obama PLEDGE to go with public financing if his opponent did? Oh yea, all his statements have expiration dates.

    We need to keep liars out of politics, but then again, how do you keep fish out of water.

    “The one suggestion I like would be the “NASCAR-ification” of politicians – force them to wear the logos of their supporters, sized proportionaly to the size of their contributions. That way they could, in effect, wear their heart on their sleeve.”

    I like, then we should vote for the ones with the least amount of logos.

  13. Takuan says:

    @28
    “Okay, that REALLY sucks. What’s the statue of limitations on taxes if you renounce your citizenship? They can just keep garnishing your pay forever?”
    haven’t followed it up, but I heard somewhere they try to confiscate all your money at the border if you renounce citizenship.

  14. Jim Terr says:

    Why could you not vote in the last election?

  15. Cory Doctorow says:

    @15: Although I pay tax in the US, I am not a US citizen (I don’t even live in the US). I feel that this entitles me to gripe, if not vote (and don’t get me started on California, which claims 9% of my gross income even though I don’t live in California and spend less than 2 weeks a year there).

  16. Marcel says:

    Hooray! A new enemy America can believe in.

    The war on Torrent.

  17. Pantograph says:

    Hmmm, another Czar. It’s enough to turn a same man into a commie.

  18. Man On Pink Corner says:

    Chains we can believe in!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe in isms I just believe in me.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @#12: NASCAR-ization.

    Very interesting idea. I read an article once (this may seem off-topic) about ALLOWING insider trading. The point, as I remember it, is that the people running the company will do everything they can to maximize their personal profits, but if it’s transparent, we can see how they really feel about their company. When they sell, we can predict they think the company is about to take a downturn.

    People are greedy. We just have to figure out how to make that beneficial to all of us. Non-asymmetric information and transparency seem like a good place to start.

  21. odin861 says:

    This is yet another example of why we need LESS Government. Get out of the way and lets us live!

    They ALL suck even Obama.

  22. cosanostradamus says:

    .
    Hey, all that money hadda come from somewhere! And then there’s 2010…

    Get money out of politics. Ban all corporate lobbying & campaign funding, fund all elections publicly, no exceptions, no private money, no advertising, just actual open debates on CSPAN & PBS.

    Take over your local Democratic Party organization and work your way up, purging “blue dogs” & corporatists as you go. Otherwise, it’s just a question of which corporations run our lives, not whether.

    And ban the GOP as a criminal/ terrorist organization. Take yer pick.
    .

  23. Francesco Orsenigo says:

    #6: No.
    Remove a politician’s right to privacy and right to possession for the duration of the term.
    Yes, have them forfeit ALL their possessions to the state before entering office, and maintain them on a minimum wage when the term is done.

    This to filter out all the greedy bastards that do it for their pockets instead than for an ideal.

    It’s time we ask our leaders some sacrifice, we want to choose them among the most selfless of us.

  24. Anonymous says:

    #10 I’d suggest that less transparency is better. Make campaign funding totally opaque. The candidate must never know who is giving money to their campaign. Who do you pander to and who do you owe favors to if you don’t know who is funding you?

    With modern banking and the internet, it would be very simple to set up an account that anyone could put money into anonymously. Add a law or two forbidding disclosure above, say $10, without severe financial and/or criminal penalties and you cut down on quid-pro-quo stuff. That, or anyone can promise to give big money, so how does the candidate really know who they owe.

    Zero transparency, it’s the only way to go.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Cory,

    What? You pay 9% tax in California as a Canadian citizen living in the UK? How in hell did that happen? You owe from the dotcom boom or something?

    Not that I’m trying to pry, it’s just that I can’t see how that’s even *possible*

    …unless… hey everyone, Cory’s got a movie coming out! ;) jk

  26. zandar says:

    And I WANTED to believe snapping up RIAA lawyers didn’t mean anything!

    Damnit!

  27. Timothy Hutton says:

    Takuan – I don’t mean to speak for Cory, but as far as taxes, there is not “statue of limitations”, I think it usually comes down to “you maintianed a residence in our jurisdiction during the year in question, you owe us taxes.”

    I suspect (but do not know) that in Cory;s situation he maintains a residence on US soil, obligating him to pay taxes on any income earned in the US. I don’t know where you (Takuan) live, but here in the states, the states do something similar – a famous radio personality maintians an apartment in NYC, but resides full-time in Florida. Every year NYC and NY state wants to collect taxes from him, so every year he has to document where he was every day of the year, to establish that he doesn’t owe taxes (his time was too brief to establish residency).

    My father worked for an international company, and while he was working overseas he was obligated to pay taxes on his income in both the US and the country he worked in – his company hired every “ex-pat” employee an accountant to prepare their taxes each year – it was simply too complex for most non-accountants.

    How much of this relates to Cory’s particular situation I don’t know, but I hope this helps you understand how it works…

    I suspect because he has a residence on US soil and because he earns income from US-based companies, the US Gov’t want their share.

  28. KirkUltra says:

    It seems to me that with or without increased campaign finance laws, most people are already well aware of who their candidates are taking money from. They just act surprised when the politicians actually start doing things for the companies giving them all that money.

    The trick is to get the voters to actually CARE about where a candidate’s money is coming from, and to get them to be willing to vote for somebody else if they don’t like it.

    Basically, until more people are willing to vote third party, corporate America will always have a place in our government, right at the top. You can NASCAR the candidates up all you want, but as long as people keep believing that we live in a two party system, it won’t effect a single vote.

  29. Timothy Hutton says:

    OMG! – Biden is less popular than Cheney was half-way through his first year in office as Veep, according to a Pew Research Center report.

    Only about half of Americans (51%) say they have a favorable impression of Joe Biden – comparable to the 55% who felt favorably toward Al Gore in April 1993 and lower than the 58% favorability rating Dick Cheney received in July 2001.

    Shocking!

    How could this be?

    We’re getting to know him – that’s how…

  30. KirkUltra says:

    Oh, and in addition to a copyright czar, apparently we’re also getting an immigration czar as well. Yay freedom!

  31. Anonymous says:

    “and don’t get me started on California, which claims 9% of my gross income even though I don’t live in California and spend less than 2 weeks a year there”

    Okay, that REALLY sucks. What’s the statue of limitations on taxes if you renounce your citizenship? They can just keep garnishing your pay forever?

    As far as the congresscritters go, we need three things:

    1. mandatory term limits (not perfect, but come on….30 years in congress?!?)

    2. mandatory finance disclosure (I really like the NASCAR idea! It’d be hilarious to see some pompous congressperson arguing in favor of strict copyright laws with a big old “RIAA” emblazoned on their chest).

    3. full sunlight. All transactions and official conversations are recorded. Hell, make them carry a mandatory camera around with them so we can see and hear the bozos 24/7. It may make it hard on them for awhile, but we’d be sure they really were about the people’s business. Maybe compensate for their lack of privacy with a million dollar salary or something.

    4. (okay, that’s four…not three.. where’s the Spanish Inquisition?). Put some sort of meaningful chains on the lobbying beast. There’s a really, really good article here that talks about how out of control lobbying has become. I thought the author did a pretty good job of being nonpartisan about it.

    http://american.com/archive/2009/april-2009/the-coming-of-the-fourth-american-republic

    Thanks for the space.

  32. zuzu says:

    Oh, and in addition to a copyright czar, apparently we’re also getting an immigration czar as well. Yay freedom!

    What about the “car czar”, to oversee the bailout of GM, Ford, and Chrysler?

    What about the “financial czar”, to oversee the bailout of investment banks?

    Now, kiss the ring!

  33. Anonymous says:

    And America slides closer to the distopian corpratist future we all grew up reading. Better get signed up for those rollerball lessons, must always have a backup career at the ready.

  34. cosanostradamus says:

    .
    ‘ #7 posted by Francesco Orsenigo, April 23, 2009 2:20 AM
    #6: No.
    Remove a politician’s right to privacy and right to possession for the duration of the term. ‘

    –Yeah. That’ll happen! (?)

    ‘ #10 posted by SpookyInteraction, April 23, 2009 5:05 AM
    Want to ban corporate money? Then you’re going to ban labor and Moveon money, too. Politcal speech is either free, or it isn’t.
    Oh, and #6…thanks, but I’ll pass on your one-party leftist state fantasy. “Purging” sounds so…well, Leninist. ‘

    –”Leninist”! BWAHAWHAHHAHA!!!

    Just ban corporate money, then move on. Corporations are not people, and should not have the rights of people. Legitimate organizations of PEOPLE should retain full rights, including political organizations like MoveOn and the labor unions.

    And nobody said anything about a “one-Party State,” you right-tard! What we have NOW is a one-Party State: All corporatist, all the time.

    Once we push the Lite Republicans out of the Democratic Party, we can have a truly democratic, mixed-market socialist Party. As of now, there is no Left in this country, only Far Right and Right of Center. And that’s the problem: It’s all corporatism. Twitter that!
    .

  35. IamInnocent says:

    I’ll go one further than #6 and #7 (it took some thinking though…)

    Ban all political parties and have elections to choose among candidates who have been DRAFTED from a common accord. If WE can be sent to war without any choice then anyone can be sent to office to fulfill their duty as a citizen of the country.

  36. Ugly Canuck says:

    A whole panoply of brand-spanking-new punitive criminal laws for children to obey!
    Liberty be damned! She must submit & bend to the needs of $$$!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I have two fingers pointed at you Biden. Take a guess as to which ones.

  38. SpookyInteraction says:

    Haven’t we learned from FECA, BCRA and the rest of the campaign finance reforms yet? They all fail because they seek to restrict money rather than to enhance transparency. Money will always find a way into campaigns (setting aside that whole freedom-of-political-speech thing)– and that means money from the right AND left.

    Want to ban corporate money? Then you’re going to ban labor and Moveon money, too. Politcal speech is either free, or it isn’t.

    The only fix is to mandate instant disclosure and let crowdsourced due-diligence take its course.

    Oh, and #6…thanks, but I’ll pass on your one-party leftist state fantasy. “Purging” sounds so…well, Leninist.

  39. Ugly Canuck says:

    het spooky #6 was proposing just that: publ;ic finance only: mandated media time, too: for the big media feasts on election $$$, why else do the candidates need money,other than TV time?

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