SOPA IS BACK: Lamar Smith trying to quietly revive SOPA and cram it down the world's throats

It's not just ACTA that is being snuck back into law through undemocratic means. Lamar Smith, the powerful committee chairman and corporatist archvillain who tried to ram through SOPA last year is now bent on reviving his slain monster and unleash it upon the earth.

The new bill, the Intellectual Property Attache Act, will create a class of political officers who will see to it that all US trade negotiations and discussions advance SOPA-like provisions in foreign law. And as we've seen with other trade deals, one way to get unpopular measures into US law is to impose them on other countries, then agree to "harmonize" at home.

True to form, Smith is trying to cram his law onto the books without any substantive debate or scrutiny, just as he tried with SOPA. When you're serving corporate masters instead of the public interest, the less debate, the better.

The specifics of the bill appear to go further than the version in SOPA. It is clear that the bill itself is framed from the maximalist perspective. There is nothing about the rights of the public, or of other countries to design their own IP regimes. It notes that the role of the attaches is: to advance the intellectual property rights of United States persons and their licensees;

The bill also "elevates" the IP attaches out of the US Patent and Trademark Office, and sets them up as their own agency, including a new role: the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Yes, we'll get another IP Czar, this time focused in the Commerce Department.

When even the USTR is recognizing the importance of limitations and exceptions to copyright, to have Congress push a bill that basically ignores limitations and exceptions and only looks to expand Hollywood's special thugs within the diplomatic corp. seems like a huge problem.

Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood's Global Police Force


  1. Big Government that helps normal people:  BAD!   VERY BAD!

    Sneaky Big Government crap that benefits corporations, run by faceless ‘czars’?  GOOD! More, Please!

    1.  Politicians always think they are doing the former.  But they change the definition of “normal people” all the time.

  2. So Issa is supporting this one, what’s up with that?  The techdirt comments have at least a few who think if Issa’s for it, it can’t be bad, but I’m wondering if he’s finally been co-opted.  He’s been comparatively public in talking about these issues, is it possible to get him to give his case for this?

  3. corporatist archvillain who tried to ram through SOPA last year is now bent on reviving his slain monster and unleash it upon the earth.

    I’d say the chances are good that Cory watched Game of Thrones.  ^-^

  4. This stuff will never stop until you make laws against it, for every head of the hydra you slash off, 2 more grow in its place. Cauterize the stump, fire the corrupt, make a IP constitution, stop the hydra: ACTA, CETA, DMCA, WIPO, TPP,  SOPA, etc.

    1. Remember that every dollar you give the MAFIAA encourages this sort of thing. Be ethical, pirate.

  5. It’s not too often I still see scribes from the church protesting the printing press, how long until these fucks run out of money?

    I’m really wondering, anyone have any idea? Surely within the decade, right?

    1. I’m afraid these large corporations aren’t going to run out of resources any time soon at the rate they’re going.  Our politicians are way too cheap. I’m getting less and less taken aback by how little they get out of betraying their (human) constituents. A company directorship in a couple of years here, a few thousand quid there, a bit of influence yonder. It’s actually quite disturbing. We need a lot more corruption, we need a far larger number of high-maintenance scoundrels to soak up the slush funds a hell of a lot quicker than is happening at the moment. 

  6. i think the idea here is to keep pushing legislation eventually with each one the opposition will lose protesters (since they will figure, what’s the point they will just keep bringing them up and i dont have time to write my congressman every 2 weeks) they have no other job, THIS is their job to KEEP pushing this agenda. most protesters don’t make it their career. suffice to say, they have the advantage

    1.  This is why professional lobbying should be severely limited or stopped completely. As a citizen, I have a job and a life. I don’t have time or money or revolving door jobs to make my interests known to anyone with the power to do anything about it. Meanwhile, the wealthy and the corporations they own can employ people whose full time jobs are to make their interests known to those with the power to give them what they want. If money is free speech then more money is more free speech. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

      1. The solution isn’t to use Government to limit Corporations… The stronger the State, the more tempting (and cost-efficient) a target it becomes for special interests and lobbying.

        The only way to beat back the cycle is to make the central government weaker. Let the corporations fight each other to keep each other in check.

        1. I’m not saying that I advocate for a strong regulatory government either, but a weakened government is how we got the corporations in the first place, starting with the railroads that ran roughshod over the weak federal government and disorganized local governments they dealt with until it was too late to contain them. Weakening the government creates a power vacuum that someone will fill. The only solution is to better distribute that power to a well-educated populace – something we’re not going to get to easily in our current state.

  7. Our elected officials will continue to sneak bills like these through until one finally makes it. You, the voter don’t matter. What matters is the multi-millions of dollars in donations that corporations give, and they want this, so it will eventually happen. I’m sorry to say, a SOPA like law is inevitable.

    1. Fuck that. I’m furious and done with it. I’m insuring I don’t spend a dime on anything associated with these asshats ever again. No movies, no music. I can find plenty in lieu of the former on netflix and look to wonderful online communities for the latter, and make up the difference with games (a market that seems to thrive despite a lack of overbearing assholes).

      I implore everyone to do the same. Factor the cost of corruption into your purchase, and throw an extra buck to every independent you encounter. The sooner the MAFIAA runs out of money for bribes, the sooner the congress critters stop caring about them.

      1. Netflix has to pay the MAFIAA just like every other legal means of getting Hollywood movies.

        1. Yeah, I thought about that after I had posted (well, edited). I mean watching tv shows in lieu of movies. You can find a lot of random stuff that’ll entertain you days, perhaps weeks longer than the next blockbuster. Heard of The Shield? Good stuff.

  8. The only way to get rid of them, without raising eyebrows, is to vote the scum out of office.

    The Lamar Smith’s of the world are ultimately powerless and impotent.

    1. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. He has been in office since 1987. The people of Austin and San Antonio keep re-electing him. What I don’t get is how his actions are going to benefit the residents in his Texas district?

    1. That’s exactly what we need here. However, he only did that from internal gov pressure. No court will convict Lamar Smith, because what he is doing is *sigh*…legal.
      If only we could get enough 2/3 of state legislatures to agree on Constitutional Amendments that protect online rights. Or start electing real fecal flinging primates. I vote for the latter ;)

  9. This is like some bizarre Sixties’ sci-fi parody of the cold war, with the capitalists getting more and more extreme until they’re indistinguishable from what they’re fighting.

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