US copyright net-censorship bill is dead -- for now

It's a good day for American copyfighters -- COICA, the fast-track Leahy bill that would have established a China-style "Great Firewall of America" has been postponed. That means that instead of being rushed through without substantive debate, it has been put off until after the midterm elections, and come back to a longer debate with more opportunity for public action to defeat it comprehensively. (Thanks, manddroo, via Submitterator!)


  1. Being that elections are right around the corner, who/what do we have to do to help influence the debate on the issue?

    1. EFF had an action alert geared towards the senate bill. Note, though, that the bill is only postponed, and will likely be taken up (with amendments) when they get back in session. Whether they can move something in the short period between elections and the holidays is uncertain.

      But there’s also a likely House companion bill in the works. When that happens, get ready to call your representatives as well as your senators and let them know your opinion. Believe it or not, it does make a difference–but only if you’re a constituent (i.e. it;s their job to represent you).

  2. I’m unfamiliar with the bill as it stands in the USA, but there was an election held recently in Australia where a similar (unpopular of course) bill that was proposed by the incumbent before the election seemed to lose support until they were re-elected, after which it’s business as before. Campaigning makes no difference, the government will ultimately control what you can see on the internet whether you (as a voter) like it or not.

    1. Something similar happened with the Canadian version of the DMCA, which is currently working its way through Parliament. Just before our last election, they had a similar bill which was postponed likely to avoid bad election press — and then as soon as they didn’t have to answer to the people quite so soon anymore, they reintroduced it, completely ignoring in the process the fact that an insanely huge majority of Canadians involved in public consultations opposed exactly the measures they are now attempting to enact once again.

      It’s hard to believe that anyone paying attention these days believes that democracy exists in the West anymore — it doesn’t. What we have are a variety of shell games masquerading as democracies, and while this is a good thing, to believe it represents anything more than another shell being moved would be dangerous optimism.

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